If you’re a fan of comics with spines, this is a good week for you.
Image Comics brings out the first volume of the Ted McKeever Library and a new printing of Bill Sienkiewicz’s Stray Toasters, while Dark Horse collects the “Wolves at the Gate” storyline from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight. Marvel returns to Civil War with a 512-page hardcover, and gives Hulk the premiere treatment.
DC Comics, meanwhile, releases the much anticipated collection of James Jean’s Fables covers titled, appropriately enough, Fables: Covers by James Jean.
On top of that, there’s another volume of CF’s Powr Mastrs, the beginning of Kevin Smith’s Batman: Cocophony, and a complete set of Kia Asamiya’s Junk.
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: Ted McKeever Library, Vol. 1 hardcover
Ted McKeever is one of those fellas who seemed to be going great guns in the early to mid-1990s, only to seemingly drop of the face of the (comics-related) Earth. Oh, I’ve seen one or two projects featuring his Munch by way of Bacon artwork here and there, but few have held the power his early work did. All the better then, that Image is taking the time to reintroduce us to his oeuvre via this ongoing hardcover collection.
The first volume tells the story of a would-be rebel who finds himself in over his head in a tale of corruption. It’s one of the few early McKeever books I haven’t read, and I’m really looking forward to diving in.
Kevin’s pick of the week: The Dreamer #1
IDW may not seem like the obvious choice to publish a romance-adventure set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, but I’m not about to complain.
The Dreamer is a relatively new, but popular, webcomic by Lora Innes about a 17-year-old girl in modern Boston who begins having vivid dreams about a handsome member of Knowlton’s Rangers. Her nightly adventures in 1776 become so real that she can’t distinguish fact from fantasy.
You can read The Dreamer online here.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Vol. 3: Wolves at the Gate
Kevin: The third volume of the popular “Season Eight” series pits Buffy and her Slayers against shape-shifting vampires, and sends Xander to Transylvania to ask Dracula for help.
Batman: Cacophony #1 (of 3)
Kevin: Cast your doubts aside: Kevin Smith’s Batman miniseries does indeed debut this week! It’s right there on the shipping list! You can see a preview at Newsarama.
Batman: Ego and Other Tails
Kevin: I’m generally a fan of Darwyn Cooke’s work, but I wasn’t crazy about Ego. Luckily, this collection also includes Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, which I enjoyed, plus stories from Batman: Gotham Knights #23 and #33, and Solo #1 and #5. That’s a fine deal for $17.99.
The Exterminators, Vol. 5: Bug Brothers Forever
Kevin: The final arc of Simon Oliver and Tony Moore’s quirky Vertigo series — soon to be a Showtime drama (hopefully) — gets collected.
Fables: Covers by James Jean
Kevin: Ah, finally: The long-awaited oversized hardcover showcasing the stunning Fables cover work of James Jean has arrived. Designed by the Eisner and Harvey award-winning artist, this collection features concept sketches, commentary, and an afterword by writer Bill Willingham.
I Hate You More Than Anyone, Vol. 6
Chris: Oh, yeah? Well, that goes double for me, pal.
JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman #1
Kevin: This 48-page one-shot written and drawn by Alex Ross spins out of the “One World, Under Gog” storyline in Justice Society of America. It’s undoubtedly a must-buy for fans of Ross and Kingdom Come.
Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #20
Kevin: As goes the animated series, so goes the comic. This was a fun all-ages series. I’m sorry to see it go.
Stray Toasters (new printing)
Chris: Whoa-ho! I’m not sure I ever thought I’d see this series collected in one place again. Back in the period between when Bill Sienkiewicz was doing New Mutants and bad Jimi Hendrix biographies, he published this little gem, about … well, I’m not sure anyone ever really figured quite what it was about, but man, it sure was pretty. Nice to see it in stores once again.
Civil War hardcover
Kevin: I’ll give Marvel credit: They know how to get the most out of a miniseries. More than two years after the Mark Millar-Steve McNiven event comic debuted, the publisher is still churning out tie-ins and, now, this hardcover. The 512-page hardcover includes all seven issues of the miniseries, plus Marvel Spotlight: Civil War and the Civil War Script Book.
Mythos, Vol. 1 hardcover
Kevin: To be honest, I don’t remember much about this series, which retells the origins of several Marvel superheroes, beyond that the Spider-Man installment featured Conan O’Brien.
New X-Men by Grant Morrison Ultimate Collection, Book 3
Kevin: Grant Morrison’s revitalization of the X-Men franchise comes to a close in this hefty trade paperback, which collects New X-Men #142-154. I thought the end of Morrison’s run fell flat, but the rest was stellar.
Big Questions #11
Chris: More morally confused birds, ill pilots, mute idiots and dangerous predators, courtesy of Anders Nilsen.
Fruits Basket, Vol. 21
Chris: As we near the end of this phenomenally successful shojo series, I have to wonder how Tokyopop will fare once it concludes. Do they have anything even remotely as popular as FB?
Kevin: I like pirates. I like Westerns. So, I probably should enjoy this BOOM! Studios miniseries that follows the pirate Jean Lafitte and pioneer Jim Bowie during their time in Galveston, Texas.
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Storm Front #1 (of 4)
Kevin: On the heels of the original miniseries The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle, Dabel Bros. adapts Jim Butcher’s Storm Front.
Junk, Vol. 1-7 Set
Kevin: As the title suggest, this collects all seven volumes of Kia Asamiya’s science fiction-action series Junk: Record of the Last Hero.
Powr Mastrs, Vol. 2
Chris: The PictureBox artist known only as CF — OK, his real name is Christopher Forgues — continues his trippy fantasy/sci-fi saga in this second volume. Backstory is provided, wizards are menaced and a good time is had by all. Sadly, there are no women fornicating with jellyfish this time, but two guys in a submarine do get it on.
A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Vol. 6: The Beast of Chicago
Chris: The gruesome story of H.H. Holmes, who murdered up to 200 people, mostly young women, in his “hotel” during the Chicago World’s Fair, is given the Rick Geary treatment.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Chris: Not to be confused with the upcoming movie starring Brad Pitt, this is Nunzio DeFillippis, Christina Weir and Kevin Cornell’s adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story about a man who ages backward, beginning at 70 and growing younger.
Dope Menace: The Sensational World of Drug Paperbacks
Chris: For those who can’t get enough of those lurid, cheesy paperback covers from the ’40s and onward, here are 250 pages of ‘em.
The full list of titles shipping this week can be found here.