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, April 21, 2006

April Previews Picks

I’m late with the Previews picks this month, but there’s still time to add books to your April order. Here’s what I’ve noticed in the April Previews that look worth checking out.

Picks of the Month:

Wonder Woman #1
DC – pg. 91; $2.99; 32 pgs. FC
Writer: Allan Heinberg; Artists: Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson (with variant cover by Adam Kubert)
Whew! I can breathe easier now, Wonder Woman is back in action with a new series. Now, I’m only half joking – I do like Wonder Woman quite a bit, but I am a little apprehensive when the solicit says things like the creators are “giving Wonder Woman a fresh, sexy look and a bold new direction!” and that she will have “an all-new supporting cast, a brand-new mission, and a renewed sense of wonder.” A renewed sense of wonder? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Does an anvil get dropped on her head giving her amnesia? This kind of solicit worries me, because it hearkens memories of her stint as a sort of pseudo James Bond fashion icon in the early 70s. In case you’ve forgotten, check out the cover I’ve so generously taken the time to scan.

Now for my true pick of the month:

Tales of Woodsman Pete GN
Top Shelf – pg. 350; $7; 80 pgs. B&W
By Lilli Carré
Between the sample panels and the great description, I’m sold. The comic is a collection of stories about “a solitary albeit gregarious woodsman with a loose grasp on his own personal history and that of the outside world. He forms relationships with his inanimate surroundings and muses to a dead audience, specifically his bear rug, Philippe. His own tales eventually become entangled with that of the legendary Paul Bunyan, and the two become indirectly intertwined, illuminating the discrepancy between the character of the storyteller and the character within his stories.” There’s really not much more to say; this looks like a winner, folks.

Featured Comics:

Sloth
Vertigo – pg. 115; $19.95; 128 pgs. B&W HC
By Gilbert Hernandez
This should be one of the highest highlights of July, described in the solicit as “a surrealist romantic drama in the spirit of David Lynch that takes the art of sequential storytelling to new heights in its use of light and shadow.” No pressure! Just has to reach new heights of storytelling, that’s all. But—no pressure!! This should be excellent, despite the hyperbole, the sample pages about teenager Miguel Serra who wills himself into a year-long coma certainly point in this direction.

Skyscrapers of the Midwest #3
Adhouse Books – pg. 214; $5; 56 pgs. B&W
By Joshua W. Cotter
I’m very happy to see another issue of Skyscrapers of the Midwest solicited. Cotter is amazingly talented—if you haven’t tried this series yet, I implore you to pick it up. And I don’t often implore!

In the Hands of Boys #1 (of 2)
Melody Nadia Shickley – pg. 310; $10; 42 pgs. B&W
By Melody Nadia Shickley and Janet Tanirala
This looks like a fascinating book from creators I’m not familiar with – one of my favorite kinds of books. Anna Covello’s best friend is killed in Sarajevo, and the friend leaves her Anna her entire fortune, including her 10-year-old son.

Get a Life
Drawn and Quarterly – pg. 287; $19.95; 148 pgs. FC HC
By Dupuy and Berberian
This hardcover volume collects the early Mr. Jean—a Parisian everyman—stories. The solicit says “melancholic yet joyful reflections on past loves, favorite authors, marriage, and fatherhood are laid out in a breezy, comic style.”

Zed #7
Gagne International Press – pg. 293; $3.50; 24 pgs. B&W
By Michel Gagné
One of the cutest characters is back in an all-new issue—Zed! According to the solicit, “Zed has had enough and he’s fighting back.” I always enjoy Gagne’s work, especially on Zed, so I’m definitely looking forward to this comic.

The Artist Within TPB
Dark Horse – pg. 35; $39.95; 216 pgs. B&W
By Greg Preston
Photographer Greg Preston collects more than 15 years of photography capturing the leading names of comics creators around the world including Frank Miller, Al Hirschfeld, Joe Barbera, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Moebius, and Walter and Louise Simonson. This looks like a very sweet book ready for the cool nerd’s coffee table.

Quick Picks:

In Conan #29 writer Mike Mignola joins Cary Nord and the Conan team for a three-part storyline “Hall of the Dead” (Dark Horse; pg. 22; $2.99; 32 pgs.).

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Vol. 1 TPB from Eiji Ohtsuka and Housui Yamazaki looks fascinating (Dark Horse; pg. 40; $10.95; 208 pgs.; B&W). Five students at a Buddhist university form the corpse delivery service to carry bodies to wherever they need to go to free the deceased’s soul.

Oooooh, DC puts out a bargain sampler platter of upcoming comics with the DCU: Brave New World 80-pg. special for a buck (pg. 77). Now, the only reason I say oooooh, is because there’s a preview for both a Martian Manhunter project—a humungoid favorite of Kerry, the other Comic Queen—AND a preview of an Atom project—my favorite underrated superhero. Yippee!!

Sweet—Sergio Aragones is the featured artist of the next issue of Solo (#11). This should be a treat to say the least (DC; pg. 87; $4.99; 48 pgs.).

A new Astro City story will be coming out—Astro City: Samaritan Special (Wildstorm; pg. 106; $3.99; 48 pgs.).

Image is releasing a handful of interesting books. Casanova could be worth checking out considering Matt Fraction is writing and Gabriel Ba is responsible for the art (pg. 136; $1.99; 32 pgs. 2-color). A playful-looking comic from Steve Niles and Ben Roman called The Cryptics follows a group of cute junior-high monsters (pg. 138; $3.50; 32 pgs.). Another fun comic, about the life of a hapless superhero sidekick will come out in June: Part one of five Sidekick by Paul Jenkins and Chris Moreno (pg. 142; $3.50; 32 pgs.). The three-part miniseries Umbra begins as well, and caught my interest since art and cover are by Mike Hawthorne – plus it’s set in Iceland. That never hurts (pg. 144; $5.99; 52 pgs. B&W).

Buzz about AiT/PlanetLar’s newest book is rampant. Continuity by Jason McNamara and Tony Talbert is being solicited in this month’s Previews, but the company has already released an electronic copy of the book. I haven’t read it yet, so I won’t comment, but it’s in my virtual read pile, so expect words soon (pg. 218;$12.95; 104 pgs.).

Ursa Minors #1 from Neil Kleid, Paul Cote, and Fernando Pinto (SLG; pg. 224; $2.95; 24 pgs.). You can check out out sample pages on Kleid’s website. Robotic bear suits, comics, beer, ninjas, dinosaurs … helloooo, this has all the meta keywords needed to have a good time!

Mouse Guard!! Number 3!! Buy it!! This is a beautifully illustrated book, most definitely worth checking out (Archaia Studios Press; pg. 232; $3.50; 24 pgs.).

From the cover art in Previews, Twerp and the Blue Baboon by Chris Yambar and George Broderick Jr. looks very cute (Comic International Library; pg. 254; $8.95; 64 pgs.).

Tom Spurgeon and Jacob Covey tell the story of Fantagraphics Books first 30 years in Comics as Art: We Told You So (Fantagraphics; pg. 290; $19.95; 192 pgs.). I love that title.

The incredible book Epileptic by David B. is now available as an affordable softcover edition from Pantheon (page 320; $17.95; 368 pgs. B&W).

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi is also being offered by Pantheon as a softcover (page 320; $10.95; 144 pgs. B&W).

A new Furious Fist of the Drunken Monkey by Rich Stahnke is coming out. Listed as the first of a three-issue series, this looks to be entertaining much as the first couple Drunken Monkey stories are (Silent Devil Productions; pg. 322; $2.95; 24 pgs.).

Art Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries 1900-1969 HC by Daniel Nadel features the work of 30 under-recognized American cartoonists (pg. 376; $40; 320 pgs.).

Trade Treatment:

Batman Chronicles Vol. 2 TP
Collects Batman stories from Detective Comics issues 39-45, Batman #2 and 3, and New York World’s Fair Comics #2. This is the second volume collecting in chronological order every Batman comics story published … and it’s about time the second volume came out. I’ve been waiting ever so patiently. Well, sort of.
DC – page 65; $14.99; 224 pgs. FC

Essential Savage She-Hulk Vol. 1 TPB
This essential volume collects issues 1 through 25 of She-Hulk by Stan Lee, David Anthony Kraft, John Buscema, and Mike Vosburg.
Marvel – page 101 (Marvel insert); $16.99; 552 pgs. B&W

Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan TPB
Collects the Big in Japan four-issue series plus the story illustrated by Seth Fisher in Spider-Man Unlimited #8.
Marvel – page 99 (Marvel insert); $12.99; 120 pgs. FC

2 Comments:

  • At 6:52 AM, April 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love Wonder Woman and Fantastic Four also. Pity the motion films tend to kill the whole atmosphere and feel of these comics.

    People should stand up against the movie firms and tell them to stop wasting good comic material in crap movies!

    John
    www.pillowresource.info
    www.cutleryresource.info

     
  • At 10:38 AM, May 02, 2006, Blogger Kerry said…

    I too, am looking forward to Zed #7. That little Zed had me at hello.

     

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