Mickey joins a rather rarefied club of characters this week, with the release of Mickey Mouse and Friends #300. The issue will feature the story 300 Mickey by Stefan Petrucha and Cesar Ferioli Pelaez, in which Eega Beeva accidentally clones his pal Mickey a few hundred times too many, as well as a classic Floyd Gottfredson-drawn story from the 1930s.
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #3: Just a friendly reminder, this is the comic book with the greatest, strangest comic book cover Marvel has ever published.
This cover is so great it really makes me wish I worked in a comic book shop, just so I can hear people—especially visitors who haven’t already seen it online—react to it.
Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #16: Just as the Halloween episodes tend to be the very best of each season of the cartoon, Bongo’s Halloween annuals tend to be the very best of their year’s worth of Simpsons comics. Or, if not the best, then at least the very weirdest. This year’s contributors include Evan Dorkin, Peter Kuper, Kelley Jones and Lemmy (Yes, that Lemmy). The price of admission is $5.
Black Widow #6: Says the solicitation at Marvel.com:”New readers, jump aboard here! Duane Swierczynski and Manuel Garcia kick off a new era for the super-spy Avenger known as Black Widow!” Keep in mind this is only the sixth issue of a new series and it has a new creative team kicking off a new “era.” Apparently the length of an “era” in 2010 comic books is now only five issues long.
Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics: The title and sub-title pretty much say it all. This hardcover book by Strange and Stranger author Blake Bell features what looks to be substantial prose biography and appreciation, along with plenty of artwork from an artist who helped build the foundation for Marvel as both a publishing powerhouse and a fictional universe. It’s a $40, 215-page hardcover, and you can download an excerpt and see a video and slideshow preview here.
Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s: Editors Greg Sadowski and John Benson have collected 320-pages of horror comics and covers from the likes of Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Jack Katz, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, and Wallace Wood, casting their net far wider than iconic horror comic purveyor EC for a wide variety of scary stuff. It’s a $30 trade paperback, and you can download a 26-page preview and vide a video and photo slideshow here.
Girl Comics: Is it just me, or did this book get a ton of press and buzz between the time of it’s announcement and, like, the week after the release of its first issue, and then just seemingly disappear from the consciousness of the entire comics-reading and talking-about population? Such a phenomenon is usually an indication that a series is kind of terrible, but in this case I imagine it might have more to do with the gimmick nature of the project making it something to talk about as soon as it was announced, and the fact that a lot of readers were probably waiting for a collection, given that, like Strange Tales, this seems like an original hardcover anthology split up into issues and sold serially more than a serial that begged to be read serially. Well I hope it’s good; I’m one of those wait-for-the-traders. This edition is a $20, 135-page hardcover and, if you’ve forgotten, the concept here is short stories featuring Marvel character by all-female creators, including the likes of Ann Nocenti, Louise Simonson, Lea Hernandez, Trina Robbins, Ming Doyle, Lucy Knisley, Devin Grayson, Jill Thompson Stephanie Buscema, Amanda Conner, Sara Pichelli, Molly Crabapple and plenty of others.
Image Firsts: I Kill Giants #1: Your bargain-priced reprint of the week is the first issue of Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niumura’s 2008 limited series about a little girl who kills giants. Or thinks she does. Image has a five page preview here.
Tubby Volume One: Did you ever say to yourself, “I’ve heard it said that we live in the Golden Age of Reprints, but how can I know for sure that we do? The answer is simple. Just last month, Dark Horse released Little Lulu’s Pal Tubby Vol. 1: The Castaway and Other Stories. And this week, Drawn and Quarterly is releasing a $30, 145-page collection of John Stanley stories featuring Tubby Tompkins, as part of their gorgeously designed and produced John Stanley library series, complete with a new cover by Seth. So you see, there is more than one publisher collecting Tubby stories right this moment—if that’s not a Golden Age, then I don’t know what is. You can download a preview of D and Q’s collection here.
Skullkickers #1: Jim Zubkavich, Chris Stevens, Edwin Huang and Misty Coates collaborate on a “fantasy action-comedy” about two mercenary assassins who must battle there way through werewolves, skeletons and the like to complete their assignment and get paid. You can check out a five-page preview here.
The Smurfs Vol. 1: The Purple Smurfs: Papercutz’s reprint program of Peyo’s original Smurfs comics begins this week with both The Smurfs Vol. 1: The Purple Smurfs and The Smurfs Vol. 2: The Smurfs and The Magic Flute. I wrote at some length about these comics here, but just to refresh your memory, they’re really great, they’re six bucks a piece and they’re about 55 and 65 pages, respectively.
Superman/Batman #76: I wonder if this was a story originally slated for writer Judd Winick’s aborted run on Batman that got bounced when Tony Daniel took over? Not that it matters, I suppose. Winick is joined by artist Marco Rudy for a story about Dick Grayson assuming the mantle of the Bat and teaming up with Superman for the first time wearing Superman’s dead friend’s clothes. That’s one of those awkward situations that only happen in superhero comics, huh?