Welcome to a brand new year, folks! 2012 still sounds way off in The Future, but we’re here and we still have no jetpacks, no silver spacesuits, and if you put a spoon in the microwave things will still go horribly wrong. Maybe next year someone will fix it. In the meantime there’s new comics to distract us and first off the block is one from fan-favourite duo, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Criminal).
Quick note: just like last week, new comics are out on Thursday because of the bank holiday. We’ll be hauling them off the back of a truck that same day so phone ahead or keep an eye on our Twitter where we’ll announce their arrival. They might not be here until the afternoon.
Fatale is a 12-part series following a newspaper reporter covering the story of woman on the run since the ‘30s. It’s Brubaker’s trademark noir with a horror bent. “I felt like it was time for Sean and me to create something new, and I wanted to try to do a bit of a supernatural twist on noir in some ways,” said Brubaker. “Of course, since I started writing it, it’s grown into a whole new thing of its own, and moved into directions I wasn’t even expecting.” He and Phillips are interviewed over at Newsarama and A Fistful of Culture has a preview.
The Annotated Sandman HC Volume 1 is more square than your Absolute Sandman volumes and is going to stick out and annoy you, but we can’t help that. It’s the first of four exhaustive volumes by Leslie S. Klinger, whose attention to detail has previously been bestowed upon the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. For his latest project he sat down with Neil Gaiman to produce these incredibly detailed reference books: a complete panel-by-panel run-through of the whole epic fantasy. This volume focuses on the first twenty of the 70+ issues, commenting on historical and contemporary references, hidden means, and probably a few strange British things that might have slipped through the editorial net. Tor has a preview of the first three pages. There are 557 pages that will remain a mystery to you unless you buy the thing. The first review of it went up last night.
Dark Horse have rounded up the never-before-reprinted back-up stories from Tarzan #25 – #67 and given them the hardcover archive treatment. Brothers of the Spear (written by Gaylord DuBois, and illustrated by Jesse Marsh and later Russ Manning) was about two unrelated usurped kings in Africa trying to win back their respective thrones. The series should run to about five volumes long and Dark Horse has a preview of the first one.
In trade paperback there’s Crysis, the miniseries comicbook tie-in to the game. In this interview, writer Richard K. Morgan talks about the big differences between writing a novel, writing a comic, and writing a computer game. Preview Peter Bergting’s art in the first issue here. There’s also Fearless, the collection of the four-issue miniseries by Mark Sable (Graveyard of Empires), David Roth and PJ Holden (2000AD), about a man who literally has no fear. As Sable puts it, “it’s the story of a vigilante born with a crippling anxiety disorder who needs an anti-fear serum not only to fight crime, but to function.” And then his drug supply runs dry. From the looks of Sable’s blog recently there’s been quite a bit of interest in this one from Hollywood. iFanboy’s got a 9-page preview.
David Lapham launches a new cheery series with Ferals #1 which is full of blood and guts and werewolves. Rich Johnston, who’s been a fan of Lapham’s since he picked up Stray Bullets #1 on a whim all those years ago, reviews the first issue over at Bleeding Cool. And there a nine-page preview over at Avatar for when you’ve finished your tea.
More blood but less guts in Vampirella Vs. Dracula #1, Joe Harris’ continuation (sort of) of what Alan Moore and Gary Frank started in their 1997 short story from Vampirella/Dracula: The Centenial One-Shot. “The Alan Moore Dracula as personified in the modern-day character of “Dragunsun” is very much a character in this series,” says Harris over at Bleeding Cool, who also have a preview of the comic complete with a few pages of the included Moore interview in which he talks about vampires for the new millennium. As for who’s got the upper hand in the story: “This is definitely “Dracula’s World” we’re exploring. Rather, world(s), when you consider the multiple timelines and repeating narratives that loop around and around over the course of this series. Vampirella is lost in it and needs to find a way out.”
The late ‘80s Peter B. Gillis/Brent Anderson series Strikeforce: Morituri is soon to be collected in trade paperback, but before that happens you can pick up a 75p one-shot this week called Strikeforce: Morituri – We Who Are About To Die which reprints the very first issue.
Avengers Annual #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Gabriele Dell’Otto gives you part two of the story that started in the New Avengers Annual last year. In Uncanny X-Force #19.1 by Rick Remender and Billy Tan the stage is set for Age of Apocalypse, a new ongoing series due in the next month or so. And lastly, if you’re mourning the loss of DMZ you should check out what Brian Wood’s up to in his new five-part miniseries, Wolverine and X-Men: Alpha and Omega. First issue’s out on Thursday. Preview here.
Events-wise, here’s a round up of the imminent ones: Craig Thompson is signing on Saturday the 21st of January so bring your Habibis, your Blankets, your huddled masses. The Eddie Campbell talk is happening on February the 3rd and is now sold out! If you’ve reserved a place for this one do make sure you come because we’ve had to turn some people away. If you can’t come anymore please let us know.
Finally, Ronald Searle has died at the age of 91. Here’s an old Channel Four interview with the man in honour of his 90th birthday. If we had a flag we’d be flying it at half-mast “like masters TROUSIS” said Nigel Molesworth on Twitter.