The Comic Queen

Zip ribbons and word balloons, Wednesday bliss and Previews dreams. If these phrases mean anything to you, then you're in the right place. But if they don't -- hey stick around anyway. You might just like what you see.

Friday, March 10, 2006

March Previews Picks

Pick of the Month:

De: Tales
Dark Horse – pg. 36; $14.95; 112 pgs. B&W
By Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
Moon and Bá are Brazilian twins who are simply amazing. This book of short stories marks their first major American release together. Both show their talent as writers and artists as “their charming tales move from the urban reality of their home in São Paulo to the magical realism of their Latin American background.” Moon’s art was incredible in AiT/Planet Lar’s “Smoke and Guns,” so I am eagerly anticipating this new book.

Featured Comics:

Borrowed Time #1
Oni Press – pg. 311; $6.95; 80 pgs. B&W
By Neal Shaffer and Joe Infurnari
This book follows writer Taylor Devlin as he returns from a mysterious accident in the Bermuda Triangle, and his struggle to fit back in to his life. I’m not familiar with these creators, but something about this plot just really appeals to me. You can see a whole slew of test pages from the book on Infurnari’s site.

Conan #28
Dark Horse – pg. 33; $2.99; 32 pgs. FC
Writer: Kurt Busiek; Artist: Eric Powell; Colorist: Dave Stewart; Cover: Tony Harris
This is one of the most talented teams possible to assemble on a comic. In fact, hand me a paper towel, I think I’m drooling. This Conan one-shot comic continues Dark Horse’s celebration of Robert E. Howard’s centennial. Even though I’m collecting this series in its trade format, I’m definitely picking this issue up in floppy form.

Wonderland #1
SLG – pg. 218; $3.50; 32 pgs. FC
By Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew
Wonderland picks up where Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” left off, and frankly looks even more intriguing and trippy than the original. Sonny Liew is the real selling point here – can’t wait for this comic.

Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda GN
:01 First Second – pg. 287; $16.95; 96 pgs. FC
By J. P. Stassen
This graphic novel centers around the Rwanda massacre in 1994. The solicit says “Stassen’s interweaving of the aftermath of the genocide and the events leading up to it gives powerful expression to the unspeakable, indescribable experience of ordinary Hutus caught up in the violence.” Between this description and the fact that the book has won the Goscinny Prize, a partner award of the Angoulême International Comics Festival, this book is a must-read.

Five Fists of Science GN
Image – pg. 138; $12.99; 112 pgs. FC
Writer: Matt Fraction; Artist: Steven Sanders
Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison meet in this adventure comic set in turn-of-the-century New York. Fraction has said, “An all-out war between magic and science is fought on the streets of New York City in 1899, and it is an absolutely true story, up to a point.” I love the high concept, so this should be a real treat.

Mom’s Cancer HC
Abrams – pg. 204; $12.95; 128 pgs. PC
By Brian Fies
Originally a web comic that one the 2005 Eisner Award for “Best Digital Comic,” the story of one family’s struggle with cancer is now collected in graphic novel form. This is definitely on my must-buy list.

We Are on Our Own HC
Drawn & Quarterly – pg. 281; $19.95; 136 pgs. FC
By Miriam Katin
Another somber comic, the book is the author’s true story of escape with her mother on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest. The solicit says this is a “stunning memoir of a mother and her daughter’s survival in WWII and their subsequent lifelong struggle with faith.” Incredible to me is the fact that at age 63 this is Katin’s first full-length graphic novel.

Quick Picks:

Dark Horse is releasing another 25-cent comic, this one an introduction to a new Star Wars series beginning in June. The sample pages for “Star Wars: Legacy” #0 didn’t wow me, but for 25 cents, I’ll give it a try (pg. 42; 32 pgs.).

Love the idea or hate it, DC’s “52” starts up in May (pg. 77; $2.50 each; 32 pgs. each). Each week for 52 weeks, a new installment will come out revealing the events of the year between Infinite Crisis and One Year Later. I may pick up the first few issues just to see what the series is like, but like most superhero comics, I just don’t want to commit so much of my comics budget to it.

Speaking of piquing my interest, Vertigo has a GN coming out in June called “Can’t Get No” by Rick Veitch (pg. 110; $19.99; 352 pgs). The book follows everyman Chad Roe around the events of 9-11; this looks different enough to be very fascinating and you can count on Veitch for a good story.

“The Art of Brian Bolland” HC will come out in May from Image (pg. 135; $49.99; 176 pgs.). This art book collects 25 years of Bolland’s impressive and varied art.

The sample art for “Stagger Lee” GN caught my eye for what I otherwise would have probably passed by quickly without notice (Image; pg. 145; $17.99; 205 pgs.). Billed as “the true story of a century-old murder that spawned a 1,000 songs” the book by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix tells of Stagger Lee, the man who shot Billy.

I don’t know why “1,000 Deaths of Baron Von Donut” tickles me as much as it does, but I know I love it, and that’s enough for me. Issue 3 is solicited in this Previews. Pick it up if you know what’s good for you (Arsenic Lullaby Publishing; pg. 225; $2.99; 24 pgs.).

“Dragonslippers” by Rosalind B. Penfold looks chilling – a graphic diary of one woman’s struggle with domestic abuse. This one’s going on my buy list for sure (Black Cat; pg. 240; $15; 272 pgs.).

“Blurred Vision Vol. 1” GN is a collection of “narrative art” a mix of “fine art” and comics. Could be good (Blurred Books; pg. 242; $14.95; 102 pgs.).

Joe Sacco has a new mixed-media GN. “But I Like It” contains an expanded version of a short graphic novel from the early 1990s, original sketches, notes, and a bound-in CD, along with other never-before-collected short comics and a section of rock show posters from Sacco’s time in Berlin (Fantagraphics; pg. 284; $24.95; 120 pgs.).

Seattle’s lovable loser Buddy is back in Peter Bagge’s “Hate Annual” #6 (Fatagraphics; pg. 286; $4.95; 40 pgs.). Looks to be another hilarious Buddy adventure.

“Wings” by Shinsuke Tanaka (IBooks; pg. 293; $14.95; 80 pgs.) might win the award for most original plot in this issue of Previews. In this text-free book, a farmer finds an abandoned puppy that happens to fly.

Gotta put in a word for a book set in Vancouver, BC, just a stone’s throw away from me. “True Loves Vol. 1” GN by Jason Turner and Manien Bothma follows the love life of a young vintage clothing store owner (New Reliable Press; pg. 311; $12.99; 128 pgs.).

Top Shelf has always got something good going on, and this time’s no exception. Among a few promising books, one stood out for me. “Cry Yourself to Sleep” GN by Jeremy Tinder “mixes sadness, sweetness, and humor to tell a quirky little story of pride swallowing” (pg. 344; $7; 88 pgs).

Trade Treatment

Wonder Woman: Destiny Calling TP
Collects issues 20-24 and Annual #1 of Wonder Woman written by George Perez.
DC – page 91; $19.99; 176 pgs. FC

Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) TP
Collects issues 42-47 of Bill Willingham’s Fables.
Vertigo – page 114; $14.99; 144 pgs. FC

DMZ Vol. 1: On the Ground TP
Collects the first five issues (at a great price) of DMZ from Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli
Vertigo – page 113; $9.99; 128 pgs. FC

Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four TPB
Ultimate X-Men/Fantastic Four, Ultimate Fantastic Four/X-Men, and the Official Handbook of the Ultimate Marvel Universe 2005#1-2.
Marvel – page 97 (of the Marvel insert); $12.99; 136 pgs. FC

Stupid Comics Collection TP
Collects all four issues of Jim Mahfood’s kick-ass comic.
Image – page 149; $12.99; 152 pgs. B&W

Tezuka’s Buddha Vol. 1 TP
First volume of the story of Buddha’s life as told by Osamu Tezuka.
Del Rey – page 262; $14.95; 400 pgs. B&W

Love as a Foreign Language Omnibus Vol. 1 TP
Collects the first three volumes of the series in one big-ol’ volume.
Oni Press – page 314; $11.95; 200 pgs. B&W

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