Although most eyes will be on San Diego this week, at least a few bodies will end up at the comic shop.
If one of those bodies is yours, what will you likely find? Three significant anthologies — Comic Book Tattoo, Flight, Vol. 5, and Meathaus S.O.S. – the landmark 500th issue of Uncanny X-Men, and a mammoth Scud hardcover, for starters.
Plus, the just-optioned-by-Showtime Exterminators ends at Vertigo, while at Avatar, Warren Ellis’ Black Summer wraps up.
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.
Kevin’s pick of the week: Flight, Vol. 5
Another installment of Tony Cliff’s Eisner-nominated Delilah Dirk would, frankly, be reason enough for me to endorse the fifth volume of Flight. (It’s hard to believe there have been five of them already!) But the latest edition of the anthology has much more going for it.
For one, editor Kazu Kibuishi has opened up the book to longer stories — much longer: Michel Gagne’s opening story, “The Broken Path,” clocks in at 36 pages, and a few others are even longer, helping to push the total page count to 364. And that pleases me to no end, as one of my criticisms of the early volumes was that the entries were certainly pretty to look at, but some seemed light on, well … story.
Oh, this latest Flight still has its share of breezy reads — Phil Craven’s wordless ninja tale, “N,” for instance, or Kean Soo’s Jellaby story, “Lost” — but they inhabit the book with mid-length stories such as Matthew Bernier’s “Mountains” and Dave Roman’s “The Chosen One,” and longer ones still, like Reagan Lodge’s 44-page anthropomorphic adventure “The Dragon.” (My only complaint, and it’s minor, is that the book is front-loaded with long stories, and might have benefited from a little shuffling.)
Flight, Vol. 5, is a gorgeous, well-packaged and substantive book that’s easily worth the $25 cover price. And did I mention it has a Delilah Dirk story?
You can read a preview here.
Chris’ pick of the week: Meathaus S.O.S.
The Meathaus folks had a preview copy of this at their table at MoCCA and I had the opportunity to flip through it. Whoa. This is a thick, robust anthology featuring a lot of stellar talent, including James Jean , Farel Dalrymple, Brandon Graham, Tomer and Asaf Hanuka, Thomas Herpich, Jim Rugg, Corey Lewis, Matt Furie, Ross Campbell, Sheldon Vella, and Dave Kiersh. This could well be the anthology of the year. At least until the next Kramer’s comes out.
Ambush Bug: Year None #1 (of 6)
Kevin: “Ambush Bug” and “totally irreverent romp” are two phrases I didn’t expect to see — at least in the current DC Universe.
Army@Love, Vol. 2: Generation Pwned
Chris: Collecting issues 6-12 of the Rick Veitch Iraq war satire. I thought the first volume was pretty good — one of the best Vertigo reads I’d had in a while, actually, though I might have to wait until my cash flow works itself out before picking this up.
Batman: Gotham After Midnite #3 (of 12)
Chris: Oh, great, now I’ve got Judas Priest stuck in my head.
The Exterminators #30
Kevin: Another offbeat and occasionally disturbing Vertigo title that had difficulty finding an audience — in comics, at least — comes to an end. I’ll be curious to see whether Oliver, Moore & Co. will return with an original graphic novel starring the Bug Bee Gone crew when (if?) the Showtime series debuts.
Gon, Vol. 5
Chris: See little dinosaur. Dinosaur beats up big, mean animals. Dinosaur wrecks havoc. Good little dinosaur, good!
The X-Files Special #0
Kevin: Frank Spotnitz, producer and co-writer of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, pens this story of Mulder and Scully that takes place early in the TV series … just in time for the movie.
Comic Book Tattoo
Chris: Now that Tori Amos joins Belle & Sebastian in getting her own comic-book anthology devoted to her ouevre, I look forward to seeing other uber-sensitive rock acts pile onto the bandwagon. Someone contact Luna, Badly Drawn Boy and Fiona Apple right away!
Scud: The Disposable Assassin: The Whole Shebang hardcover
Chris: I must confess Rob Schrab’s magnum opus somehow passed me by completely in its first circle through comic shops back in the heady days of the 1990s. At least now, should the mood strike me, I can sit down with the complete work in one mammoth-sized chunk. I don’t necessarily think the mood is ever going to strike me, but you never know.
Angel: Revelations #3 (of 5)
Kevin: Here’s a new game: Every time Warren Worthington III appears in a state of undress, take a drink!
The Immortal Iron Fist #17
Kevin: I wish Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman well, but … sigh. I miss David Aja already.
Kitty Pryde & Wolverine Premiere Hardcover
Kevin: For the life of me, I can’t figure out Marvel’s trade policy/strategy. For instance, why does this 24-year-old miniseries, notable primarily for changes in the Kitty Pryde character, all of a sudden receive a premiere hardcover edition?
Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #1
Kevin: Popular and sort-of popular Marvel movie characters Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Hulk team up in this new all-ages series.
Uncanny X-Men #500
Kevin: The anniversary issue that rates five covers, a poster book and a poster! It’s also the issue that reunites The Immortal Iron Fist writing team of Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction who, with artists Greg Land and Terry Dodson, establish the new status quo for the X-Men.
Apocalipstix, Vol. 1
Kevin: Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart tell the tale of an all-girl band so devoted to rock that it won’t allow the end of the world to get in the way of touring. You can read a 50-page preview here.
Black Summer #7
Chris: Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp’s meditation on the abuse of power and superheroes killing Dubya wraps up here. Of course, when I say “meditation” I mean “lots of blood and gore and explosions and yelling.” Still, it was entertaining and I’m curious to see how it will all resolve.
Chris: Assuming Dave Sim didn’t completely alienate whatever audience he had left with his “say I’m not a misogynist or I can’t be friends with you no more” tirade, here’s the second issue of his foray into fashion and the genius of Alex Raymond. I enjoyed the first issue and I’m not even much of a Cerebus fan.
Korgi, Vol. 2: Cosmic Collector
Chris: Widdle doggie goes on widdle adventure wid widdle girlie. Vewwy cute.
As you can tell by my snark, I’m not really the audience for this sort of thing, but if you’ve got wee ones at home, this may be their ticket into comics. Still, if that seems too treacly for them, then perhaps Yam, a collection of wordless Nickelodeon Magazine strips by Corey Barba may be more their speed.
Lucky Luke, Vol. 11: Western Circus
Chris: I remember this as being one of the better Lucky Luke stories, so if you’re looking for an entry point, this would be a good one.
Chris: You know, you never want people to be thinking of underarm deodorant when they look at the title of your comic.
Our Gang, Vol. 3
Chris: At first glance, these volumes seem to cater solely to the serious Walt Kelly fan — those for whom Pogo is simply not enough, or perhaps those stalwart few who actually collect Our Gang trivia like pearls from the sea (hey, I’m sure they’re out there).
But the good news is these stories, done during Kelly’s time in the bowels of the comic book biz, long before Pogo, hold up surprisingly well. Very readable, with just enough nostalgia to make one’s mind ruminate on the changing face of America. Plus, it’s got those swell Jeff Smith covers.
A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Vol. 7
Chris: This is one of the best in Rick Geary’s macabre series, detailing the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. If, like me, you’re only aware that John Wilkes Booth pulled the trigger, you’re missing out on a much richer and darker story.
The full list of titles shipping this week can be found here.