This is Campbell back in the chair. Hello.
It’s a pretty compact week, delivery-wise, and that’s coming from someone who’s just schlepped a pile of boxes into the basement. We’ve got some good stuff here for you as always, but before we get onto that there’s yet another announcement from our rapidly filling events calendar:
New York’s Jeffrey Lewis is in London next month for Field Day and is going to stop by Gosh! after his gig in Hackney to show us some pictures. So if you’d like to drink beer in the sun and see him play some music you can see that in Victoria Park. But! if you would rather drink beer in the dark and look at some comics instead – come here! We nerds have just the ticket.
Lewis will be showing us some stuff from his sketchbooks projected onto a big screen. He’ll be talking about them too (obviously, otherwise the silence would be weird and awkward), giving us an insight into his workings as a cartoonist and such. It’s on Saturday the 2nd of June from 7pm to 8pm and if you have no idea what I’m talking about go and spend a few minutes poking about on his website.
From this Thursday the 24th until Sunday the 27th you can catch a bunch of great events over at the French Institute in South Kensington. You can see the likes of David B., Guy Delisle, Karrie Fransman, Tom Gauld, Pat Mills, Kevin O’Neill, Luke Pearson, Jonathan Ross and more talking about the stuff they do and the stuff they like (full details over at the BD & Comics Passion website). Our Steve will be there manning a table full of comics all on his lonesome so go and say hello!
Right then. Here’s what you can find on the shelves this Wednesday:
Batman Incorporated #1 is the beginning of a new monthly series by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham (of Batman Inc.’s previous incarnation). It’s the final chunk of the Leviathan storyline and will be the conclusion to his 6-year Batman epic, although editor Mike Marts says that you can jump right in without having read the stuff that came before it. As for where it fits in the scheme of the new DCU, Marts told Comicbook Resources: “This will be fully entrenched in the New 52, and we’ll continue plot threads that Grant has been developing since he came onto the Batman books, but we’ll also be introducing plenty of new material… I think that fans will be a little shocked in what new directions Grant will be taking the characters in. I think he’s managed to do that with each new phase of the Batman story he had done. Batman And Robin was different from his Batman run, as well as from Batman Incorporated. I think you’ll see another transition here – readers will be surprised in the direction Grant is taking things in.” Morrison himself is busy writing comics instead of saying things about them on the internet. Preview at Comic Vine.
Speaking of Batman, Absolute Batman: Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale has landed. It’s the original story blown up large with all the bells and whistles you expect in an Absolute Edition. A review of the story (not the edition) over at IGN says: “If you hated Long Halloween, there’s nothing here for you, but if you loved the original, then this follow-up is a must.”
Peter Hogan (Tom Strong) and Steve Parkhouse’s (The Milkman Murders, Doctor Who) Resident Alien launches this week in its new ongoing series. The stuff that was in Dark Horse Presents was collected in Resident Alien #0 a while back, which was a big hit here and caused loads of people to stick the series on their standing orders. From the various interviews I’ve read (this one and also this one) it looks like Hogan’s got a lot planned for this stranded alien so you’d best jump in while the water’s nice. Preview at CbR.
Also from the pages of Dark Horse Presents is Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy in trade paperback. This is the original (translated) Portugese graphic novel – about an overweight werewolf, a seven-year-old girl who’s actually a demon, and a downtrodden pizza guy – that came before the new story in Dark Horse Presents #4. I think. Smiliest dude on the planet John Landis liked it enough to provide the introduction, and you can see a preview here.
Hero Comics 2012 is the latest instalment of the series that fundraises for comics creators in need (that American health system, oh dear) while also providing you with some top-notch stuff to read. In this issue you can catch – among others – a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story by Kevin Eastman, and a new Zombie Vs. Robots strip by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood. Ryall said: “I’m a huge fan of Mad Magazine. The pieces we created for Hero Comics 2012 are based on Don Martin’s one-to-two-page strips. Martin did the funniest, most insane sound effects. The strips in this comic emulate Don Martin’s strips panel-by-panel. We pretty much kept his gags, pacing, and effects to pay tribute to him.” You can see a bit at Newsarama (and speaking of Mad the third volume of the Mad Archives is now on the shelves and awaiting your purchase). Plus, there’s also an Elephantmen story by Richard Starkings with art by Dave Sim.
Another new ongoing is Matt Kindt’s (3 Story) Mind MGMT #1, an espionage thriller that starts with a young journalist accidentally stumbling into a top secret Mind Management program. I’ve heard there are talking dolphins in this one, and a plane full of people who have lost their memories. Dark Horse has a preview and you might have already seen this but maybe you haven’t: a free online prequel.
New books include the Steve Ditko Archives Volume 3: Mysterious Traveler, making over 210 full-colour pages of amazing Ditko stories from the early 60s. Says a reviewer: “Now we’re talkin’! The first two volumes in Fantagraphics’ Steve Ditko Archives (edited by Blake Bell) were rewarding collections of the offbeat auteur’s early work, and among the best archival books of horror comics published in the last several years. But in volume 3, a.k.a. Mysterious Traveler, we see Ditko’s lunacy reach its full maturation… The bold dynamism and moody linework that would characterize Ditko’s Spider-Man and Dr. Strange work just a few years later, as well as his horror tales for Creepy and Eerie, is in evident throughout…. Volume 3 is essential for classic horror comics fans, and further cements Ditko’s reputation as an artist without peer.” Fantagraphics have a PDF preview and also one of those videos where the guy thumbs through the book if that’s more your thing.
Also from Fantagraphics is Interiorae, the collected Ignatz comics by Gabriella Giandelli. Those Ignatz books are always handsome saddle-stitched things but they were only in duotone. For this collection they’ve reinstated the Giandelli’s original full-colour pencil version of the story about a high-rise apartment building in an unnamed European city. The tenants come and go while an anthropomorphic white rabbit roams the halls and apartments before delivering his findings to a thing in the basement at the end of the night. Have a read of the preview.
Fred van Lente’s Comic Book Comics are collected in Comic Book History of Comics: The Inspiring, Infuriating, and Utterly Insane Story of the American Comic Book History which kind of explains everything you need to know about the book with a handy tagline. Comics Alliance have a preview chapter for anyone who missed the series: it’s about the British Invasion. Y’know, featuring Alan Moore getting expelled from school and cleaning toilets and stuff. Go read it here.
Holliday is a Western set in a city called Tombstone based on the legend of Doc Holliday – famed gambler, gunfighter, and uh, dentist. “What we’ve tried to do here is illustrate what a catalyst Holliday was to the shoot out and the war that Wyatt Earp ultimately waged afterwards. Doc was in the thick of it and the Earp brothers’ motivation was primarily to do right by him,” said writer Nate Bowden at Broken Frontier. The art (preview in that same link) is by a guy called Douglas Dabbs which has to be one of my favourite names of all time.
The Guild: Fawkes One-Shot looks like the kind of thing you’ll only get if you’re a fan of the show. It focuses on Wil Wheaton’s character and fills in the bits between seasons four and five. “Prepare to squee in your armor +1” says MTV Geek. I don’t know what this means but if you do you should buy it. Judging by the MTV review it’s likely to be lost on civilians. Oh, but you know what? Art by Jamie McKelvie. He’s a good drawer. Also buy it if you like his drawings or endless chatter on the internets. This is what he does in the few seconds between tweets. Here’s an interview with Wil Wheaton talking about it. The book, not McKelvie’s twoots.
Joe Hill’s The Cape is out in one hardcover volume this week. It’ll set you up for the new series they’ve got planned for July. If you go here you can see Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella talking about it, and then if you head to CbR you can even see some preview pages. Feel free to stick it on your order so you don’t miss out.
Lastly, there’s Mighty Thor By Matt Fraction Volume 2 in hardcover, joining the new softcover release of volume 1 on the shelf. And the first trade of Paul Cornell’s Stormwatch has arrived too.
Crossover-wise, if you find Teen Titans #9 in your box and don’t know why, it’s because it’s the final bit of The Culling (previously in Teen Titans Annual #1, Superboy #9 and Legion Lost #9) and continues in Ravagers #1 very soon. Fury of Firestorm The Nuclear Men #9 is tied into Justice League International #9.
Meanwhile, over at The Beat they’ve got pictures of Chris Ware’s upcoming Building Stories collection, due out in October. Oof, ain’t it lovely.