Joining it on the new shelves is Vertigo’s Strange Adventures #1, a science fiction anthology featuring all new stuff by Peter Milligan (Hellblazer), Scott Snyder (American Vampire) and Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), plus the very first chapter of Spaceman (a new series by 100 Bullets creators Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso), all topped off with a cover by Paul Pope (100%, Heavy Liquid).
Comics Alliance have a full contents page for those who like to open their presents early, but it’s all quiet on the preview front.
Back in 1999/2000 Peter Bagge (Hate) and Gilbert Hernandez (Love & Rockets) teamed up for Yeah! – a nine-issue all-ages series about an intergalactically famous girl group who were totally unknown on their home planet Earth.
“My daughter by then, in 1999, was eight, nine years old, and she was a girly girl and hated to way my comics looked and was like, “Do a comic for girls.” So it was very much me writing something that would entertain her,” said Bagge, of his Comics Code of Authority-approved (!) book. “I managed to convince Gilbert Hernandez to draw it, because I knew that he would capture that sort of Dan DeCarlo 60s or 70s Archie look. Since I’m ripping off Josie and the Pussycats, it may as well look like it.” Fantagraphics have a preview.
If you like Bagge chances are you’re a fan of Johnny Ryan too. This week’s Take a Joke collects all the best bits from his one-man laffs anthology Angry Youth Comix as well as a bunch of stuff yoinked from the pages of Vice magazine. There’s all manner of potty-mouthed things you’d expect from Johnny Ryan. Preview at Fantagraphics.
Last week Kurt Busiek was all about Dave Stevens and The Rocketeer but this week it’s all Jack Kirby. Kirby: Genesis #0 is the prelude to a new series he’s writing, illustrated by Alex Ross in their first collaboration since 1994. They’ve trawled through years and years worth of Kirby’s unused ideas and forgotten designs which they’re expanding upon to make a whole new series in itself. There’s a big long interview with them at Comicbook Resources and a preview here.
“I think something that’s important to say about Jack Kirby that we can’t say about anybody else over this last 100 years of creating comics and comic strips is that there isn’t this wellspring of an unending sea of ideas for every artist,” said Ross. “At least not all the ones I’ve admired. Certainly, some people have come along and created all kinds of characters, but to have this many offshoots and things that were done independently that could be mined for creative potential…when you look at some of Kirby‘s designs and see the intricacy of thought and detail he’d put into a throwaway drawing, you realize this was a mind that was exploding with concepts. That’s a very unique thing for a very unique person, and it makes it very special for us to be doing this. We couldn’t just do this with Artist X, Y or Z.”
The Comics Journal are slowly loading old pre-Internet Comics Journal issues onto their new website and most recently made this available: an interview with Kirby by Gary Groth from 1990.
“I was a movie person. I think it was one of the reasons I drew comics. They galvanized me. When Superman came out it galvanized the entire industry. It’s just part of the American scene. Superman is going to live forever. They’ll be reading Superman in the next century when you and I are gone. I felt in that respect I was doing the same thing. I wanted to be known. I wasn’t going to sell a comic that was going to die quickly.”
Craig Yoe always delivers some of the most handsome books on the shelves, and this new one should be no different. Krazy Kat & The Art of George Herriman HC is his tribute to the genius comics creator featuring rare art, memorabilia, and new essays by the likes of Jay Cantor, Douglas Wolk, Harry Katz, Richard Thompson, Dee Cox (Herriman‘s granddaughter), Craig McCracken, Bill Watterson, along with reprinted classic ones from Gilbert Seldes and e. e. cummings.
Lewis Trondheim’s Approximate Continuum Comics were some of the first autobiographical works to come out of France. This volume from Fantagraphics (previewed here) collects the first three chapters from The Nimrod (which were originally released in English as regular American floppies) as well as a bunch of previously untranslated stuff, plus a section at the back in which the real life characters pick fault with Trondheim’s depictions of themselves. David B. has got something to say, as does Trondheim’s Mum. How often does that happen? The Comics Journal have a review of it. While you’re in the mood for some Trondheim you might like to pick up Dungeon TP Monstres Volume 4: Night of the Ladykiller, also featuring work by Joann Sfar.
The Accidental Salad looks like an Ignatz book only it isn’t – it’s part of the wave of new stuff we got from Blank Slate Books last week. The UK publisher has hatched a plan to produce large format comics showcasing previously unpublished artists and Joe Decie’s The Accidental Salad is the first off the block. “[It’s] the cream of my current work, including a nice chunk of new and unseen strips,” Decie told Dave O’Connell (Tozo) in this interview. Head to his blog to see what he’s all about: ink washed stories of the everyday with a twist of the absurd.
Also from Blank Slate are two books by German comic artist Mawil, the first time any of his colour stuff has appeared in English: The Band and Home and Away. In the former Mawil relives his schoolboy fantasy of being in a rock band, while the latter has nothing to do with a terrible Australia soap opera. It’s actually about growing up in East Berlin after the wall came down and fighting videogame addiction. Joe Matt (Spent) thinks it’s brilliant.
French graphic novelist Peggy Adam’s Luchadoras has the same sort of look to it as Persepolis. Set on the Mexican border, it’s about a woman attempting to escape an abusive gang-member fiancé, a corrupt society and a world of senseless atrocity. Basically, it’s about all sorts of things you can’t cram into a one-sentence synopsis eloquently or remotely well. It was chosen for the 2007 Sélection Officielle at the Angouléme International Comics Festival, and Broken Frontier have a review. They reckon you should read it once then read it all again.
Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale SC by Belle Yang is also about fleeing an abusive boyfriend, though in this story she shacks up with her Old World Chinese parents. Much like Maus, it’s about her relationship with her father and learning how he and her ancestors survived in China in during World War II. Yang talks about it in this interview and CbR really like it.
On the subject of “grim and foreign” how’s this one: Prison Stories by Igor Hofbauer, a Croation underground illustrator and poster artist. “Prison Stories is a rolling narrative of seven interlocking stories exploring imprisoned characters. The book is frankly terrifying. Not in a ‘goblins are going to eat my skull’ way, but a ‘humanity has deserted all bonds of allegiance’ way,” writes Last Hours, before going on to compare the mood of it to Charles Burns’ Black Hole.
Clonk is something that almost snuck in under the radar entirely. There are nearly no reviews of it, almost as if the thing doesn’t exist. Why? I don’t know. It looks marvellous in a Jason kind of way, or maybe even Goodbye Chunky Rice. It’s like a creepy kids book that starts with a suicidal hanging, so maybe that’s why. The Innsmouth Free Press has a rave review and here are two preview pages hidden in a corner of the publisher’s website: One. Two.
If you’re after something actually cute with no underlying weirdness Jeffrey Brown has just the ticket: the unbelievably twee postcard set The Cutest Sneeze in the World. Someone is already enthusiastically posting them all over the world. It’s about cats sneezing, cats getting out of bags, cats expanding, and cats looking at things, but if it’s any better than Kim Jong-il looking at things I’ll eat my hat.
Peter Hogan and Chris Sprouse’s six-issue miniseries Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom is now in paperback, and if you missed it the first go round you should read this interview with Hogan at CbR, where he talks about getting one of the best gigs in comics.
Gutwrencher was a four-issue story by Steve Niles and Keith Giffen that first appeared in 2006. “Gutwrencher really is the most straight forward horror thing I’ve ever done because it’s really a nod to the horror movies of the ’80s – the slasher films, the Prom Nights, the Friday The 13th’s and things like that. It’s about a high school reunion and the kid who thought he was abused in high school by all these people who comes back for a little revenge. I’ll leave it at that,” said Niles, way back when. It’s out in trade paperback tomorrow, so you can grab that and their more recent Doc Macabre in hardcover to add to your grisly reading pile.
Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston (of The Coffin fame) see their series about dreams and levels of reality – Deep Sleeper – collected in hardcover for the first time ever. No new reviews so you can have this old one for now.
Also in hardcover is Peter Milligan’s 5 Ronin, which he talks about with CbR, with each of the five issues illustrated by a different artist: Tomm Coker, Dalibor Talajic, Laurence Campbell, Goran Parlov, and Leandro Fernandez. Next to it on the X-shelf you’ll find Mystique By Brian K. Vaughan: The Ultimate Collection TPB collecting issues #1 to #13 of the blue lady. Mark Millar and Chris Bachalo’s Ultimate War HC has arrived too, and if that’s not enough Millar for you there’s always the new issue of CLiNT.
The Tattered Man is a one-shot from the Jonah Hex team – Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti – about a spirit of vengeance whose existence has something to do with the WWII concentration camps. “I have always believed in giving people a second chance (except ex-girlfriends) and the theme of redemption and making hard choices have always interested me. It’s my human nature to believe there is some good in even the worst person… and this story takes an interesting idea/concept and runs with it. That said, there is a lot of simply horrible people in this book that die in horrific ways… but we make sure, at least, that they have what’s coming to them.” More of that interview at MTV Geek.
DC Comics Presents Green Lantern: Willworld by J.M. DeMatteis and Seth Fisher reprints stories from the early days of Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. DeMatteis described it as “Green Lantern meets Little Nemo in Quantum Wonderland. A playful, surreal, quantum physics fairytale.” It has been out of print for ages so bag a copy while you still can. Also, Seth Fisher’s an excellent artist who didn’t end up doing a whole lot – five years after receiving an Eisner nomination for this Green Lantern comic he died at the age of 33 after falling off a roof in Japan.
Lastly, here’s a couple of things from the wilds of the Internet that you might like:
A gallery of Bill Sienkiewicz covers that somebody sent me after I whinged that cover artists always draw the same grimace on every superhero face. If only there were more Siekiewiczes.
Jeffrey Catherine Jones has died. The Comics Journal posts an obituary and some pictures of lovingly rendered naked ladies. “I am a romantic and a painter and I love women…The female form just reflects light so simply and beautifully,” he once said.
That’s about it. I’ve just been told that next week people with proper jobs get another Bank Holiday Monday (I don’t, I’ll be here). The comics will be doing that thing where they arrive on the same day we’re allowed to sell them, so in all probability they won’t be available to buy until Wednesday afternoon. If you can save your visit until the Thursday it’ll be less chaotic and there will definitely be comics. You know the drill!