For those who lament an apparent lack of comics for kids, this Wednesday Thursday is for you.
Not only does this week see the eighth color volume of Jeff Smith’s Bone from Scholastic, but also Jill Thompson’s Magic Trixie and an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, both from HarperCollins.
Looking for something that skews a little older, and a little more superhero-ish? Then how about the Final Crisis: Requiem one-shot? Hey, nothing says summer fun like a wake for a crispy Martian!
Oh, okay, there’s the “Batman and Son” trade paperback, the fourth issue of Secret Invasion, and a teaser for Captain America: White, the latest in Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s line of “color” books.
To see what other titles Chris Mautner and I think are worth mentioning, just keep reading. As always, let us know your choices in the comments below.
Chris’ pick of the week: Cola Madnes
Gary Panter originally drew this fever-dream of a graphic novel involving vampires, fast food, nefarious skateboarders, blow-up dolls, homicidal maniacs and a young Jimbo way back in 1983 due to a misunderstanding with a Japanese publisher. (He thought they wanted new material. They didn’t.) It didn’t see the light of day until a few years ago when Funny Garbage Press published a version. Now PictureBox is re-releasing this wild tale to a hopefully wider audience. For those who have difficulty digging into Panter’s work, this is probably one of his more accessible works.
Kevin’s pick of the week: Magic Trixie, Vol. 1
I love virtually everything Jill Thompson does: The Sandman, Scary Godmother, Death: At Death’s Door, The Dead Boy Detectives, her Dark Horse short stories with Evan Dorkin … And I imagine I’ll be adding Magic Trixie to the list. A four-book series from HarperCollins, Magic Trixie centers on a first-grader at Spectral Park Monstersorry School and her circle of little monster friends, including a pair of vampire twins, a werewolf girl and the Frankenstein boy next door.
In this first volume, Trixie, who doesn’t know much magic, decides she needs to come up with a special trick to impress her friends. A second volume, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over, is due out in October. (Thompson talks more about Magic Trixie on the HarperCollins website.)
B.P.R.D.: The Warning #1 (of 5)
Kevin: I swear, we’re getting a B.P.R.D. or a Hellboy comic almost every week now. Not that I’m complaining! This miniseries picks up where The Killing Ground left off, with the team trying to find the mysterious man who’s been appearing in Liz’s visions.
100 Bullets #93
Kevin: That sound you hear is the clock ticking down on Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s stellar crime drama. Just seven more issues to go …
American Virgin, Vol. 4: Around the World trade paperback
Kevin: This, I believe, collects the final arc of Steven T. Seagle and Becky Cloonan’s offbeat, and occasionally frustrating, Vertigo series.
Batman and Son trade paperback
Chris: The first arc of Grant Morrison’s current run on Batman gets collected into a trade paperback. Art by Andy Kubert. If you just picked up the series with the beginning of the “R.I.P.” storyline, this might help fill in some of the blanks. Or maybe not. I dunno.
The New York Four
Kevin: The Local team of Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly bring us a new Minx book about an NYU freshman and her friends.
I Kill Giants #1 (of 7)
Kevin: As if the title alone weren’t enough to get me to check out this miniseries, there’s Joe Kelly’s name on the cover for that extra push. And then there’s the premise: A sharp-tongued fifth-grade named (ahem) Barbara Thorson carries a Norse war hammer in her purse for use in dispatching giants. (I gather from the solicitation text that there’s some blurring of fantasy and reality.) The art is by the talented J.M. Ken Niimura.
Captain America: White #0
Kevin: Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale return to their “color” books — Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray — with this sampler for the actual Captain America: White miniseries, which will be released … I don’t know, sometime later. This issue features a new telling of Bucky’s origin, plus sketches, a cover gallery, and interviews with Loeb and Sale.
Criminal, Vol. 3: Dead and Dying trade paperback
Chris: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ latest noir arc — a series of three interconnected and all rather beautifully bleak stories — gets collected in what seems to me to be a reasonably priced paperback. I would pick this up if I were you.
Essential Doctor Strange, Vol. 1
Kevin: This new edition collects classic stories of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko: Strange Tales #110-111 and #114-168. That’s a lot of Strange.
Invincible Iron Man #3
Kevin: Something about the way Salvador Larroca draws faces bugs the heck out of me, but I’m really enjoying this series.
Power Pack, Vol. 1, hardcover
Kevin: Three miniseries by Marc Sumerak and Gurihiru — Power Pack, X-Men and Power Pack, and Avengers and Power Pack Assemble! — are collected in this oversized hardcover.
Runaways: Dead End Kids Premiere Hardcover
Kevin: The final arc by JOSS WHEDON — in giant letters! — and Michael Ryan gets the premiere hardcover treatment.
Secret Invasion #4
Kevin: Two of the four covers for this issue feature Nick Fury, so I’m guessing the colonel is back to kick ass and take names.
Chris: Surely it’s a good sign when Mr. Lutes is able to release new issues of his historical series on a more regular basis. I’m probably wrong, but I think this is the concluding issue in the second volume, which will be collected in the upcoming City of Smoke book.
Bone Color Edition Softcover, Vol. 8: Treasure Hunters
Chris: I tend to prefer the black-and-white, all-in-one volume, but there’s no denying the charm that these colorized Scholastic volumes hold. Especially for the kids.
Chris: Julia Wertz’s collection of smartass autobiographical comics has been buzzing about the convention scene for quite some time. Now it comes to comic shops. You can get a feel for her work by clicking here.
Gentleman Jim hardcover
Chris: In a week overstuffed with riches, it’s worth pointing out the release of this proto-graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, of The Snowman and Where the Wind Blows fame. Originally published in 1980, this is the Walter Mitty-like story of a janitor with dreams of glory and his affectionate but sad-sack attempts to achieve it. This is allegedly the first salvo in Drawn and Quarterly’s attempt to rerelease all of Briggs’ work in the U.S., a feat which I am wholeheartedly in favor of.
Goddess of War #1 (of 4)
Chris: From PictureBox. Lauren Weinstein’s new graphic novel was the talk of MoCCA this year. Though I picked up a copy, I haven’t had a chance to find out if it holds up to the hype. However, I enjoyed her last work, Girl Stories, enough that I feel confident in saying it’s probably worth checking out.
Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner softcover
Chris: I’m about halfway through Kyle Baker’s biography of the man behind one of the bloodiest and most infamous slave uprisings in American history and, so far, I’m enjoying it — though enjoying seems to be the wrong word at times. Still, I’m glad to see a talent like Baker turn a small, personal self-publishing effort into a book deal with a large, professional company like Abrams. He deserves that.
Magic Whistle, Vol. 11: Body Armor for Your Dignity
Chris: The latest issue of Sam Henderson’s yearly humor comic. I imagine it’s very funny.
Red Colored Elegy hardcover
Chris: Heavily influenced by the French New Wave, Seiichi Hayashi’s tale of two young, star-crossed, hard-luck lovers made quite an impact on Japanese readers when it debuted in the early 1970s. I doubt it will have a similar effect with Western audiences today. But it remains a fascinating, rewarding read, impressionistic in tone and structure and willing to take the sort of storytelling risks to achieve the proper emotional impact that most U.S. creators seem incapable of even imagining, let alone attempting. For the manga fan looking for something new.
Comic Foundry magazine: Summer 2008
Chris: Another issue of Tim Leong’s up-and-coming comics magazine hits the stands, with items on folks like Blair Butler, Dash Shaw, JG Jones, Paul Pope, Mark Millar and more.
Neil Gaiman’s Coraline graphic novel
Chris: Not the young-adult novel, but a graphic novel adaptation with P. Craig Russell filling in on the art chores.
The full list of titles shipping this week can be found here.