Two in a row!

*I blame Twitter for this. And not just because I spend all my free time checking if anyone RTd my hilarious Fist of the North Star/Wolverine anime comparison (seriously, those claws are just straight-up South Dipper Waterbird Fist from out between the knuckles); no, I've been using Twitter as a clearinghouse for all the random links I might otherwise use to scratch out a post.

*For example: Abhay Khosla's new comic. Full color, first in a series!

*Lost in the Comic-Con shuffle: CMX has licensed a new Usamaru Furuya (Short Cuts, Palepoli) series for a September 2010 debut - 51 Ways to Save Her, a five-volume natural disaster survival horror project serialized 2006-07. It's all but guaranteed this'll be a more subdued Furuya outing than we've previously seen in English, but I'm sure we'll have some surprises in store; this is the guy who drew the entire 165-page Suicide Club tie-in manga entirely on his own in the space of a month, and formatted a horror story in his 2000 collection Garden to pace itself according to uncut pages, thus forcing the reader to literally take a knife to their book in order to see the nasty bits.

*Shit: I even mentioned that my usual column won't be up until tomorrow. I could get a whole post out of that. How times have changed.


Citizen Rex #1 (of 6): Being the new Dark Horse project from artist Gilbert Hernandez, this time with brother Mario Hernandez aboard as co-writer. No movies within Fantagraphics series here - this one's a far-off funnybook future frolic, wherein a gossip blogger falls in with the world's most lifelike (and notorious) robot, CTZ-RX, to his fine gain and unlimited peril. Utter pulp; $3.50. The Troublemakers, meanwhile, will be out when it's out for the time being.

Detective Comics #855: Nice week for pamphlets - here's part 2 of 12 from Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams III, Dave Stewart and Todd Klein, although Douglas Wolk notes the presence of Jock as artist beginning with issue #861; part 8 is being pushed back to issue #865, apparently with a natural break point built into the story. Don't say you weren't warned! Preview.

Madame Xanadu #13: Wow, and Matt Wagner & Michael Wm. Kaluta! I like this storyline (it's part 3 of 5); it's using a '70s horror comic premise to take the form of an early 20th century supernatural detective story, set in beloved '40s period dress. Seriously, this is as self-consciously old-timey as any Seth comic, with Kaluta offering some scratchy, illustration-styled panels that sort of remind me of Gary Gianni in a way. Good fun, if it's your thing.

MOME Vol. 15 (Summer 2009): Another 112 pages for Fantagraphics' house anthology, including -- yes, it had to happen! -- the grand finale of Tim Hensley's Wally Gropius. Also: a 20-page preview chapter of T. Edward Bak's upcoming book WILD MAN - The Strange Journey - and Fantastic Accounts - of the Naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, From Bavaria to Bolshaya Zemlya and (Beyond), and the wrap-up of Gilbert Shelton's current serial. And as a special bonus, every copy will come with a special bound-in minicomic by the Spanish cartoonist Max. So much more, and all for $14.99. Varied samples here.

Hayao Miyazaki - Starting Point Vol. 1 (of 2): 1979-1996: I can't imagine this not being interesting - a 500-page, $29.95 VIZ release collecting essays, interviews, comics, sketches and reflections by (or with) the revered animator and mangaka, whose Ponyo is creeping up on an August 14th US theatrical release. I recall fondly the afternoon I spent sitting in the only theater for 100 miles playing Spirited Away; there were five other people in the room, three of them kids, one of which had to leave because the gunk monster was too scary. "Stupid babies," I whispered to the empty seats.

Al Williamson's Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic: Hmm, it also might be 'odd reprint week.' Here's a $29.95 softcover (or a $44.95 hardback) from Flesk Publications, devoting 256 pages to the former EC artist's various encounters with the Alex Raymond creation. Featuring his trio of 1966-67 issues of the King Comics Flash Gordon pamphlet, the 1980 movie adaptation and Marvel's two-issue revival from 1995. That lattermost work was written by Mark Schultz, who also provides this book's text (also this week from Flesk: Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Vol. 4, which is just what you suspect). With many rare and unseen drawings, and an introduction by Sergio Aragonés.

The Complete Peanuts Vol. 12: 1973-1974: Perhaps one day we will measure the Golden Age of Reprints by the lifespan of this mighty Fantagraphics project. What historical focusing event might the introduction by Billie Jean King represent? We leave it to posterity's academics. I laughed at the first strip in here.

The Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Vol. 8: 1942-1944: Man, fucking Dick Tracy up to book eight! This one's IDW, $39.99 for 264 pages, some of which I'm told will feature Pruneface.

Skin Deep: Just a new $16.99 softcover edition of Fantagraphics' odds 'n ends collection of Charles Burns stories, including the exploits of Dog Boy. It's 9" x 12", b&w and 96 pages, with a few new drawings.

Rose: Hey, Scholastic may have finished off their colorization of the Bone series proper, but that doesn't mean the (lucrative) fun has to end! You see, a decade or so ago Jeff Smith got the idea to do a pair of prequel projects, one set in the 'funny' corner of the series' world, which he'd draw but not write, and one emphasizing the 'fantasy' aspects, which he'd write but not draw. The former was Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, a 1999-2000 miniseries with Tom Sniegoski that'll soon be getting the color treatment with a bunch of added stuff, under the title Bone: Tall Tales. The latter was Rose, a 2000-01 miniseries with painted color art by Charles Vess, focusing on the youth of Gran'ma Ben; it's easily the most downbeat thing Smith has ever written (and I'm counting RASL), a heroic adventure in which the heroine makes almost all the wrong choices, leaving her bloody 'victory' utterly devoid of pleasure. This is a new edition, $10.99 in softcover and $21.99 in hardcover. Refresh yourself.

Children of the Sea Vol. 1: Kicking off VIZ's SigIKKI substrata of Signature works with a high-atmosphere youth adventure by Daisuke Igarashi, $14.99 for 320 b&w and color pages. Review here.

Parasyte Vol. 8 (of 8): Wrapping up Hitoshi Iwaaki's alien transformation opus with a 288-page finale, $12.99 as always.

BioGraphical Novel: Mother Theresa: This appears to be a Hisako Matono manga about Mother Theresa. I feel the need to point it out. From Emotional Content; $15.95. Video preview!

Lobster Johnson: The Satan Factory: I tend to be pretty comprehensive with my Hellboy universe releases, but I do typically draw the line at the prose releases, and that's just what this is - a 256-page Lobster Johnson paperback novel, by prose and comics veteran Thomas E. Sniegoski (yep, same guy from above). Maybe its snazzy title will catch your eye on the shelf anyway? Hey, few pictures means big preview; it's $12.95.

The Surrogates Vol. 2: Flesh and Bone: Actually more of a prequel, by my estimate, just in time for the big movie adaptation of Robert Venditti's & Brett Weldele's 2005-06 tale of body-hopping investigation. A 144-page color original, $14.95. Preview here; video here.

Garth Ennis' Battlefields: The Tankies #3 (of 3): I think this is the last of Ennis' war stories for now; Carlos Ezquerra does the honors on art. Preview.

glamourpuss #8: Dave Sim, Stan Drake. Curious readers can check out the first three issues' worth of the non-parody content here.

Ignition City #4 (of 5): Murder on the ground of space heroes, Warren Ellis & Gianluca Pagliarani. Goes well with the Al Williamson book up above. Yes.

Rawbone #3 (of 4): Ha ha, this really is a good week. Carve off a tasty scrape of pirate ship ooze, care of Jamie Delano. I think Ryan Waterhouse might be taking over the pencils entirely from Max Fiumara this issue.

Wednesday Comics #4 (of 12): I liked the dog in the goggles in the last one.