Although the two big summer-event miniseries take a breather this week, Wednesday sees the debut of DC’s much-anticipated tie-in Legion of Three Worlds — which could end up faring better than Final Crisis itself.
For Marvel it’s all about collections: Mighty Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Punisher: War Journal Classic, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and X-Men: Divided We Stand, for starters.
Elsewhere, Dark Horse releases the first volumes of Herbie Archives and MySpace Dark Horse Presents, IDW Publishing debuts Doctor Who: Forgotten and a Scorchy Smith hardcover, Viz reaches the home stretch with Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, and Dynamite rolls out the fifth issue of Project: Superpowers.
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: Herbie Archives, Vol. 1, hardcover
I’ve been aching for a proper Herbie collection ever since I read that brief but appealing sample in Dan Nadel’s Out of Time book. Thankfully Dark Horse must have picked up on my mental cries of anguish, as here we have a swell 224-page hardcover volume, with more to come.
Armed with only a lollipop, the Fat Fury (as he was known) would tackle just about any menace without having to so much as raise an eyebrow, not to mention wooing lovely ladies like Queen Elizabeth II and Ladybird Johnson. These are surreal and hilarious tales, completely unlike anything else being published at the time, and it’s nice to see them refitted in the hopes of garnering a new audience.
Kevin’s pick of the week: MySpace Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1
As the title suggests, this 176-page trade paperback collects the first six “issues” of the Dark Horse-MySpace webcomic anthology, including Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon’s Eisner-winning “Sugarshock!”, Mike Mignola and Guy Davis’ “The Christmas Spirit,” an Umbrella Academy short by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, and a Goon story by Eric Powell.
Kevin: Vertigo continues its streak of difficult-to-define series with Air, G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker’s tale of a hidden world of flight, and the fight to take back the sky from terrorism.
Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1 (of 5)
Kevin: DC covers all kinds of bases with this tie-in to Final Crisis — fans of George Perez’s detailed art and character-filled panels, fans of Geoff Johns’ brand of modern superhero comics, fans of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and fans of Superboy Superman Prime. If this isn’t a top-seller, I’m sure I won’t be the only person shocked.
The Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives
Chris: An amusing but hardly essential Sandman-related tale that Ed Brubaker and Bryan Talbot did many years ago. Not their best work by any means, but fun enough, especially if you’re a fan of Gaiman’s original series.
Iron Fist: Origin of Danny Rand
Kevin: “Special re-representation” apparently is a euphemism for “digitally recolored 34-year-old comics with new bookend material.” This one-shot repackages material from Marvel Premiere #15-16 by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Gil Kane and Larry Hama, with a new framing sequence by Matt Fraction and Kano.
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Vol. 2, hardcover
Kevin: This deluxe hardcover collects Issues 6-20 of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, wrapping up the previous volume of the enjoyable, and very missed, series by Sean McKeever, Takeshi Miyazawa and David Hahn.
Abandoned Cars hardcover
The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard
Chris: Eddie Campbell’s latest graphic novel is a hoot — dealing with a young circus sweeper who finds he has to fill the leotards of … well Mssr. Leotard himself, the world’s greatest trapeeze artist, and do it quickly. What follows is a dizzying trip through the late 19th and early 20th century, with frequent breaking of the fourth wall, talking bears and a ride on the Titanic — all done in Campbell’s own unique and utterly delightful style.
BloodRayne: Tokyo Rogue #2 (of 3)
Kevin: I edited this. Support your local blogger.
Chris: Fantagraphics is dropping a ton of books this week — or is it that Diamond is dropping a ton of Fantagraphic books? — but be sure to catch the latest issues of these ongoing Ignatz series. Both Richard Sala’s skewed gothic horror take on Snow White and Sergio Ponchione’s trippy take on time and memory are well worth your while.
Lio, Vol. 2: Silent But Deadly
Chris: A new collection of what is simply one of the best comic strips out there today. If you’re a fan of Edward Gorey or Gahan Wilson, you’ll want to check this out.
Mome, Vol. 12
Chris: The debut of Olivier Schrauwen, who did the stunning (and stunningly odd) My Boy, in these pages is the central reason to pick up the latest volume of this anthology, at least for me anyway. David B. and Kiloffer round out the rest of the European contingent. Dash Shaw, Ray Fenwick, Sophie Crumb, Al Columbia and others help up the page count. Preview here.
The Myth of 8-Opus: Prologue — Expanded Edition
Chris: Before he teamed up with Joe Casey on Godland, Tom Scioli debuted with this valentine to late-period Jack Kirby. Over on his blog, Scioli reports this will be the first of several 8-Opus books he’ll be reprinting.
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, Vol. 16
Chris: Fallen behind on this series yet again. Still, it’s a tightly wound, smart thriller that manages to ramp up the tension with each new volume. I need to get caught up in time for the release of Urasawa’s Pluto and 20th Century Boys next year.
Okko: Cycle of Earth #2 (of 4)
Kevin: Already? The first issue came out just two weeks ago.
Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles hardcover
Chris: Sickles is held aloft by comic-strip scholars as one of the greats, though I doubt many are aware of him or his seminal strip Scorchy Smith (part of the problem is he only drew the strip for three years). Edited by Dean Mullaney, this IDW book collects every single Smith strip, with extra material on Sickles’ life and work methods.
Tales Designed to Thrizzle #4
Chris: Is there anything more delightful than a new issue of Michael Kupperman’s hilarious comics? Well, perhaps a new Herbie hardcover book, but apart from that, I submit to you that there is not.
The Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk #1
Chris: Set in the Pennsylvanian town of Jim Thorpe during the 19th century, this is a Lovecraftian-styled horror tale that seeks to combine historical events like the Molly Maguires with more fanciful and supernatural elements. I met briefly with two of the creators last week and was impressed with their dedication to see the work through and smart promotion through various Pa tourist sites. You can learn more about the comic here.
Where Demented Wented: The Art and Comics of Rory Hayes
Chris: Oh, and here’s another collection no doubt inspired by that Out of Time book. Dan Nadel’s even listed as one of the co-editors! The late Rory Hayes never attained the acclaim that his fellow underground cartoonists did, probably because his work was too crude and unsettling for the peace and love generation. His work, though, collected in this slim volume, has an intensity and vision that is rarely equaled. It’s powerful, personal, revealing stuff. Preview here. Review by Jog here.
The full list of titles shipping this week can be found here.