A little scant, but never too little.



Death Note (a commentary on Tsugumi Ohba's & Takeshi Obata's leanish, meanish shonen sensation as an emblematic 'mainstream' comic of the '00s, for what the term's worth anymore)



The Complete Torpedo Vol. 1: Ha! You thought the Golden Age of Reprints would sit these early days of 2010 out? You thought it'd rest for even one week, with an empire still to build?!

(Not from Torpedo)

Poor fool. You'd better just tithe IDW $24.99 now and steel your faith in this much-desired, months-delayed first hardcover collection of seminal Depression era New York hit man comics from writer Enrique Sánchez Abulí and artists Jordi Bernet & (briefly) Alex Toth, est. 1981 in Spanish-language environs. It's oversized and 160 pages, with a new English translation by Jimmy Palmiotti and book design by Darwyn Cooke. Then after that you can pick up IDW's $39.99 The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 9: 1944-45 and Hermes Press' Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Newspaper Dailies Vol. 3 1932-1934, because these damn pyramids aren't gonna build themselves. Stack those comics bricks! Stack 'em!

Graylight: I don't know the slightest thing about this book, save that NBM is publishing it, as they have with two prior books by Swedish artist Naomi Nowak, Unholy Kinship (2006) and House of Clay (2007). It looks like a surreal, misty thing, and the solicitation tells me it's about a woman in (romantic) trouble. Your $12.95 gets you 144 pages of more.

Neonomicon Hornbook: Being a fancily-titled $1.99 preview of Alan Moore's upcoming Lovecraftian project with artist Jacen Burrows, a sequel to Burrows' (and adaptor Antony Johnston's) 2003 comics adaptation of Moore's prose story The Courtyard, except this one's actually an all-original Moore script, I believe his first with publisher Avatar. This 16-page item contains finished art, script excerpts, design sketches and more; as it usually goes with Alan Moore, even among those cold on his recent work (or his work full stop), I doubt many will be able to resist a little peek.

Blade of the Immortal Vol. 22: Footsteps: Only the latest $19.99 shot of Hiroaki Samura, its 232 pages paced a ways behind Japan's newest vol. 25. Ninja preview. Note that Dark Horse is preparing to expand its Blade line of products, with Junichi Ohsako's 2008 official prose novel Legend of the Sword Demon due out in a few weeks and Samura's (likewise 2008) 'Art of' book set for an expanded English release in June.

Silent Möbius Complete Edition Vol. 2 (of 15): Aw, but I can't blame ya if you want to pledge a softer $14.99 toward some sweet sweet nostalgia - errant X-Men and Batman artist Kia Asamiya's 1988-99 saga of cyberpunk occult policewomen vs. the demonic menace of the Lucifer Hawks in a cobalt tinsel Tokyo sprawl of 2026. It was Asamiya's big splash as a mangaka after years of working in animation, escorting him straight to the director's chair for a 54-minute theatrical anime short in 1991, which itself spawned a sequel movie and a television series. Manga and anime alike quickly found a home in North America, with Viz beginning serialization of the latter in '91 and Streamline Pictures picking up the initial anime in '92, as spicy action sci-fi could often be promised a run at the place in those days, and the artist always did like American comics and movies.

As a result, Silent Möbius got to be somewhat well-known, basically by virtue of hanging around and being visible a lot; truth be told, it's not a very good comic as much as attractively sewn together from bits of other popular comics, leaving it highly adept at pushing certain otaku buttons of its day by sheer force of genre collage. The original Viz translation totaled 12 volumes by 2003, wrapping up the core series just in time for the current manga boom. Now here comes Udon with spanking new editions, in right-to-left format, with the original Japanese color bits, supplemental materials and, eventually, a stack of unseen-in-English sidestory and prequel material, hence the extra three books. I suspect its ferociously derivative nature will only help it form a kind of an executive summary of period nerd delight today, while hearkening back to a time when glittering electric razor skyscrapers were as much a mark of manga in America as teeming bookstore shelves.

Creepy Archives Vol. 5: This, meanwhile, will push a different breed of reader's buttons, even as it sees the old Warren content (Creepy #21-25) sail into a difficult financial period. Still a bunch of nice Steve Ditko in here, I do believe. Still $49.99, still Dark Horse. Preview. Also this week on the fifty dollar old stuff from Dark Horse beat is Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Vol. 2, the solicitation of which tells me Alex Toth is again somehow involved.

Human Target: Chance Meetings: Your Peter Milligan of the week, this time a helpful $14.99 reprint of his very fine 1999 Vertigo miniseries revival of DC's bodyguard-as-master of disguise character, with art by the late Edvin Biuković, along with its 2002 original graphic novel sequel Final Cut, drawn by Javier Pulido. This is all in support of some upcoming television show, which I think is a fine excuse for good comics cheap.

Doc Savage: The Silver Pyramid: Your random old DC miniseries of the week (oh alright, I think it's here to support the upcoming Brian Azzarello First Wave pulp hero universe), a 1987-88 out-of-retirement adventure from writer Dennis O'Neil and the green team of Adam & Andy Kubert. It's $19.99.

Age of Reptiles: The Journey #2 (of 4): Rushing dinosaurs from Ricardo Delgado. Preview.

Daytripper #2 (of 10): The rush of time from Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá.

Die Hard Year One #4: Howard Chaykin is writing this ongoing Boom! license book, now ending its first storyline. I'm told it's nuts. I trust there's shootings.

PunisherMax #3: Shootings here too.

The Muppet Show Comic Book #1: You know the picture rocket format can't be too close to the cliff when Roger Langridge gets an all-new launch of an ongoing series following a successful pair of miniseries, and it somehow feels inevitable. Yes.

(Nor are they Muppets)

Sky Doll: Doll Factory #2 (of 2): Man, Marvel's even putting out a(nother) $5.99 comic's worth of production materials from a French religio-media manga fusion satire that doesn't even have its next album scheduled yet. Apropos of nothing, did you know the final volume of Valérian and Laureline (aka: Valérian: Spatio-Temporal Agent), L'Ouvre temps, is due out later this month? All the better that Cinebook is still set to start a new English translation effort sometime this year, I hope.