Still broken, still not much to say.



Biomega Vol. 1 (of 6) & All My Darling Daughters (two recent Viz releases, unabashed sci-fi/horror action and unabashed relationship drama from the abashment-scarce world of mature audiences manga)



(well, Diamond's site is still mostly down, so once again I'm going by Midtown Comics' listings, which do not necessarily reflect everything Diamond is actually going to release this week, and indeed may reflect books distributed to Midtown Comics by other means - for example, Comix Experience is apparently getting in the ten-years-in-the-making color print edition of Jason Shiga's Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities -- an insane comics take on the old Choose Your Own Adventure books, $15.95 from Abrams, original webcomic here -- as well as Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys vol. 7, while Midtown is getting the new Dark Horse edition of Mesmo Delivery, and ne'er the twain shall meet, so keep your eyes peeled)

Almost Silent: In which Fantagraphics goes about compiling some of its many albums by the ever-prolific, Norwegian-born Jason into the same fatter, squatter $24.99 hardcover format as the artist's recent story collection Low Moon. 'Not Much Talking' seems to be the theme of its 304 (mostly b&w) pages, featuring the artist's wacky shorts collection Meow, Baby!, the interesting silent comedy-as-suspense thriller fusion experiment Tell Me Something (a model for his future genre-bending albums), the not-as-interesting zombie romance The Living and the Dead, and his secret masterpiece, You Can't Get There From Here, a beautifully paced, quietly experimental slash of emotional agony by way of vintage Frankenstein imagery, and my choice for best comic of 2004, back when I'd just starting doing this internet deal.

A good overall sampler of an excellent stylist in the mature form that's, sadly, never quite attracted the critical hosannas which accompanied his aberrational 2001 agony-of-ruined-expectations funny animal lit comics breakthrough Hey, Wait..., the agony (and the funny animals) having mixed with a restless desire to explore the absurd melodrama and heartbroken comedy of generic forms as half-recalled, a subjective popular library. Of course, 2001 was almost a very long decade ago. Many samples here.

Bone Handbook: Celebrating the completion of the new colorized iteration of Jeff Smith's enduringly popular series with something that might even catch the eye of folks who've yet to upgrade from their b&w Cartoon Books trades - a 128-page Official Guide, crammed with character bios, a timeline of events, cover art, process info, interviews and more. From Scholastic.

Starman Omnibus Vol. 4: Another $49.99 nets you issues #39-46 of the James Robinson/Tony Harris opus -- including a pair of Jerry Ordway-written crossover issues of The Power of Shazam! (#35-36) and a quite a few guest artists, Gene Ha among them -- but I suspect the real item of interest here will probably be 1999's Batman/Hellboy/Starman miniseries, drawn by no less than Mike Mignola himself and, unless I'm totally mistaken, never before collected in North America. Also rescued: the 1998 one-off Starman: The Mist and the 1999 Starman 80-Page Giant.

DC Universe Origins: This might be fun - a $14.99 collection of all those little origin summaries DC stuck in the back of 52 and Countdown, mostly written by Mark Waid or Scott Beatty, and drawn by a whole lot of people. Brian Bolland, Kevin Nowlan, Adam Hughes, Howard Chaykin - many more.

Joe the Barbarian #2 (of 8): Man, could you believe last issue? Where the hell does Vertigo get off in couching all those visually dominant opening pages in the context of a $1.00 introductory issue?! It's like they expect controversy or something over a perfectly evocative prelude, and feel the need to circumvent prospective trouble by lowering the price! What the fuck do they take us for?? Well, I'm not going to stand for these insults, although I am going to buy this $2.99 second issue from Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy.

Simpsons Comics #163: Being an all-Aragonés, Sergio special, which automatically makes it worth a flip. It's $2.99.

Hellblazer #264: In which Peter Milligan wraps up the Indian storyline with primary artists Giuseppe Camuncoli & Stefano Landini. Primary secondary artist (and cover illustrator) Simon Bisley returns for another two issues starting next month.

Garth Ennis' Battlefields: Happy Valley #3 (of 3): Another air campaign concludes, like so. After this comes a first for Ennis' war stories: a sequel, following up on line standout The Tankies, with artist Carlos Ezquerra riding along once more.

The Mighty Thor by Dan Jurgens & John Romita, Jr Vol. 2: Sure, you could buy that deluxe $24.99 Kick-Ass hardcover out this week, but know that Marvel has seen fit to provide a more traditional superhero alternative, in the form of this new (also $24.99) softcover collection of late '90s JRJR, along with guest art by John Buscema & Jerry Ordway and writer Dan Jurgens himself. Collects issues #9-13 and Annual 1999 of the pertinent series.