My Productive November

*Scout's honor! It's been very productive! Just not in re: comics reviewing, but I'm trying to change that!


The ACME Novelty Library #19 (and it didn't help that this became one of those situations where I got on a huge research kick, and soon I was re-reading the Quimby the Mouse collection and Dan Raeburn's monograph and The Comics Journal's Chris Ware interview -- that's issue #200 -- and then I got bad enough that I started buying stuff I didn't have, like that Lost Buildings book/dvd he did with Ira Glass... well, at least I supported public radio)

*And at least there isn't another heap coming to seal my fate. Heaps dominate my ill-omen dreams.


Powr Mastrs Vol. 2 (of 6): Yes, it's the second PictureBox installment of C.F.'s conversational tour of New China, with at least one (1) beheading and one (1) ejaculatory money shot thrown in for good measure. I liked the first one. It's 104 pages, 16 in pulsing full color, for $18.00; preview here.

Big Questions #11: Sweetness and Light: I'd say this Drawn and Quarterly pamphlet series is Anders Nilsen's strongest sustained work overall (in that I'd probably want to see issue #2 of his excellent The End before putting it up top): a dreamy, expansive suspense narrative catching humans and (talking) animals alike in a web of philosophical brooding, as doomy clouds drift. Unfortunately, the earlier, non-D&Q issues are really tough to find (although some are available for purchase online in lavish photocopied 'reprint' format), but don't let that dissuade you from flipping though - it's a striking series, even excerpted.

Wet Moon Vol. 4: Drowned in Evil: New from Oni - the latest in Ross Campbell's moistened epic of relationships and secrets. It's 184 pages for $14.95.

Stray Toasters: Being a new Image softcover edition of Bill Sienkiewicz's 1988-89 solo fantasy frolic, a fevered mashup of murder, family, household appliances, a lawyer, a demon on holiday and a hard-boiled hard-luck badass straight out of Frank Miller (Elektra: Assassin had wrapped the prior year); I haven't read this book in years. It's $24.99 for 224 pages, with annotations (which might be worth a look on their own).

The Ted McKeever Library: Book 1: Transit: I can't say I'm all that familiar with the work of this popular artist, as I only know of his collaborations with other writers (e.g. 1993's The Extremist w' Peter Milligan; 2004's Enginehead w' Joe Kelly... man, remember that one?). He's just one of those guys who've mostly fallen through the cracks in my reading. Looks like this new series of Image hardcovers might be a decent way to catch up, although I suspect even the devout might want a look at this 156-page, $24.99 debut, in that it's slated to contain the unpublished ending to McKeever's heretofore incomplete 1987-88 urban rot series from Vortex Comics.

New X-Men by Grant Morrison Ultimate Collection Vol. 3 (of 3): More reprints?! Ok, here's a softcover edition of the old third-'n-final New X-Men hardcover from back in the day (2004); still 336 pages, but now a pricier $34.99, because you shouldn't have waited. I rather liked Here Comes Tomorrow, myself.

A Treasury of Victorian Murder Vol. 6: The Beast of Chicago: This isn't a reprint, just Diamond once again offering the $8.95 NBM softcover edition of Rick Geary's 2003 chronicle of H.H. Holmes and his infamous house of horrors at the time of the World's Fair. Preview; bigger preview.

Lucky Luke Vol. 13: The Tenderfoot: This also isn't a reprint, at least as far as North America is concerned, although the content -- from creator/artist 'Morris' (Maurice De Bevere) and writer René Goscinny (also co-creator of Astérix) -- dates back to 1968 (it was tome 33 of the original release). Not much of Lucky Luke has been seen in the US, although it's one of those enormous Franco-Belgian comics god-things that you probably should behold once or twice, even if the comedic/historical adventures of its cowboy hero don't suit you. From Cinebook; $11.95 for 48 album-sized pages. Preview here.

Gravel #6: I didn't expect Oscar Jimenez to stick around as this Warren Ellis (story)/Mike Wolfer (script) Avatar series' regular artist, but I guess he is? He was the original penciller on Ellis' relaunched Stormwatch, before Bryan Hitch came aboard and the whole thing mutated into The Authority (well, with some help from the Chris Sprouse/Kevin Nowlan-illustrated WildC.A.T.s/Aliens one-shot); interesting to see him again. Ellis and Avatar also have Anna Mercury #4 (of 5) this week.

Jack Staff #19: Grist.

B.P.R.D.: The Warning #5 (of 5): Davis.

The Savage Dragon #140: Larsen.

Captain Britain and MI: 13 #7: Hitting and stars and red and sword.

100 Bullets #97 (of 100): One step closer to the edge! Er, this looks like the most interesting new thing out from DC-and-thereabouts this week. I mean, there's little doubt that the big seller of the week will be Batman: Cacophony #1 (of 3), which marks writer Kevin Smith's return to superhero comics, but I'm really wracking my brain here and I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Kevin Smith superhero comic. Maybe a $17.99 softcover reprint of Darwyn Cooke's Batman: Ego and Other Tales (with Paul Grist, Tim Sale and Bill Wray) will do the trick?