Setting it mostly straight.

*This French comics thing is gonna have to end, folks. It's been a blast, but it's also been the better part of a month, and I totally did not help things at all by hopping on the French album production schedule for my last post.

Expect final words on Bilal by both Tucker and myself tomorrow night. And we're just gonna keep pouring it out, like DC and Humanoids did; this weekend's the end of it. Keep your eyes peeled.


--Désastre Hurlant: Just One More Week to Go, Thank God--

I wrote:

Part 10 (concerning The Metabarons and polishing off Jodorowsky week only a week or so later than anticipated)

Tucker wrote:

Part 11 (Bilal's Memories)

Part 12 (Bilal's The Chaos Effect)


The Spirit (my review of the 2008 Frank Miller film)

At comiXology.

*There's always -


Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5: Ain't nothing better than the latest from Michael Kupperman; nothing else to say. Only $4.50 for 32 pages of pamphlet-format mirth; preview here, slideshow here. And don't you dare fail to log the May 10th, 12:45 AM debut of the Snake 'n Bacon Adult Swim television program into your Outlook calendar - if we can't have pamphlets, we can have 12-minute hits of video. Almost the same.

The Beats: A Graphic History: A new Hill & Wang project laying out the art of a time, written primarily by Harvey Pekar (with Joyce Brabner & Trina Robbins, among others) and featuring art by Ed Piskor, Jay Kinney, Peter Kuper, Mary Fleener, Gary Dumm and others. It's $22.00 for 208 pages. Review by Chris Mautner here.

Stonecutter: Oh... huh. This appears to be getting itself marketed as one of those inspirational books about potential and stuff you give to someone graduating from school, except it's an adaptation of a Chinese folktale and drawn by Jon J. Muth. Illustrated prose (by John Kuramoto), I think. Muth's always worth a flip. From Fiewel & Friends; $14.99 for 136 b&w pages.

Viking #1: A new Image series from writer Ivan Brandon and artist Nik Klein, blending a little crime comics style in with the 9th century sword-swinging. It's 24 pages, and thus $2.99. Looks really slick.

Gurren Lagann Vol. 1: I don't have much of any time for anime these days, but I've totally liked all that I've seen of Gurren Lagann, a wonderfully strange, energetic and funny 2007 television project from director Hiroyuki Imaishi (of Dead Leaves) and studio Gainax (Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, etc.); it's sort of a tour of the history of giant robots in anime, with different portions of the show reflecting the progression of the genre, but in the form of an original, continuing story. So, the giving way of Go Nagai-inspired fun and macho frolic into the deathly politicking of Yoshiyuki Tomino sees characters in the story assume different roles, but presented in the context of their maturing into wizened people, maybe cynical, maybe broken, but always struggling forward. Enormously well-done; it's one of the only shows I can think of that does rampant fan-service and (sometimes) self-serious grim 'n gritty robot stuff right, while always returning to a core of crazy love for anime bullshit, very infectiously so, to the point where I doubt you need to 'get' any of the subtext to enjoy the hell out of it.

Anyway, this is the official tie-in manga, brought to English by Bandai Entertainment. On one hand, anime tie-in manga are completely awful 19 out of 20 times. On the other hand, Gainax did commission Hajime Ueda's spectacularly odd FLCL manga, so maybe there's a chance for something? Kotaro Mori is the artist, last seen in English circa 2006-07 via a cute girl fantasy manga DrMaster put out under the title of Stray Little Devil; it looks like a cute girl fantasy manga. I think the Gurren Lagann manga might still be ongoing in Japan too, so don't get married to your hopes of conclusion. Rent the show instead, if you've got time.

Detective Comics #853: The second half of that Neil Gaiman/Andy Kubert/Scott Williams thing, which I'll cop to not really getting into last time; it was a cute (very cute) tour of alternate Batmen gone wrong as a means of peering into different eras of Bat-history, a nice enough little thing but oddly similar to Grant Morrison's most recent Batman thing (i.e. the two-part Final Crisis tie-in). Maybe a play of contrasts? All that really stuck out for me is how thoroughly Scott Williams can convert someone's pencils into something Jim Lee-ish, given his long history of inking the man (and, no doubt, the fact that some of the rarely-solo Lee's flourish is probably more exactly Williams'). 'Tis 48 pages for $3.99. The title will be taking May off, after which the Greg Rucka/J.H. Williams III Batwoman story starts up.

Hellblazer #254: First half of a new two-parter from writer Peter Milligan, now joined by artists Goran Sudzuka & Rodney Ramos. I enoyed the first Milligan storyline, and it looks like he's sticking around for a while.

I Am Legion #3 (of 6): Hey, it's the DDP/Humanoids deal! How about it? This is where we start getting into the heretofore untranslated portions of this WWII-set horror-espionage thriller thing from writer Fabian Nury and artist John Cassaday.

Kick-Ass #6 (of 8): This is still eight issues, right? I know there's supposed to be additional series to come anyway, but I'm pretty sure eight is the number they settled on for the initial storyline. Entrails are likely to materialize; Mark Millar writes, John Romita, Jr. draws.

No Hero #5 (of 7): Being the latest chapter of this Warren Ellis-written, Juan Jose Ryp-drawn 'superhero' comic, which is actually a darkly comedic body horror gut-churner stuffed into a secret origin mold and sprinkled with political intrigue. I mean:

Seriously, nearly 1/3 of issue #3 was double-page splashes of the dude above tripping balls on superpower drugs and gurgling in a puddle. Every other scene is arranged specifically to facilitate Ryp's drawings of gross and/or funny shit. It's way better than Black Summer. Do note that this week also brings Avatar's second softcover collection of Ellis' FreakAngels webcomic with artist Paul Duffield, plus issue #2 (of 5) of Ellis' Ignition City with artist Gianluca Pagliarani.

Frank Frazetta's Neanderthal: And speaking of gross stuff, one night while I was relaxing in my study a bat broke through my window and I swore to mention every comic drawn by Tim Vigil in my Monday upcoming releases posts on the internet. The neverending battle (against not mentioning such comics) continues now. Written by IDW's Chris Ryall, published by Image. Preview.