What’s due in comics shops this week? A whole bunch of stuff, on two days, not just one (Remember this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day, so plan on visiting your local comic shop a second time on Saturday). In the mean time, here are some of this Wednesday’s releases that looked good, bad or interesting to me this week…
Alexandro Jodorowsky’s Screaming Planet: The writer’s name is the one above the title of this $25, 125-page hardcover collection of Humanoids material, but plenty of American fans are likely going to be attracted to the all-star list of international artists involved, including J.H. Williams III, Jerome Opena, Adi Granov, Ladronn and plenty of others.
Avengers Academy Giant-Size #1: This Paul Tobin-written, Ed McGuinness and David Baldeon-drawn comic featuring the Avengers Academy characters and The Young Allies team-ing up against Arcade has already been solicited in a few different formats, but it finally sees rlease this week as a huge 80-page, $8 single issue. As with DC’s DC Comics Presents format, I think this is a pretty good way to sell certain comics in the era of $4/22-page book—it’s pricey, but given its page count and relative to a lot of what’ son the shelf, it’s a great value. (Also, I have a weakness for Arcade). It’s not the only Avengers Academy book out this week; Avengers Academy #13 features the heroes going to their prom in a story by Christos Gage, Bily Tan and Sean Chen. I haven’t read any of the series yet, but everyone who has seems to like it.
Bat Boy: The Complte Weekly World News Comic Strip by Peter Bagge: Just what the title says. This 100-page, $18 harcover collects Bagge’s newspaper-style gag strip featuring one of the late, great supermarket tabloid’s most famous cover boys.
Cyclops Vol. 1: This $20, 115-page hardcover collects the first two instalmments of the futuristic sci-fi action story from the The Killer team of Luc Jacamon and Matz. I’m not a fan of the genre and didn’t really transcend that genre, so it wasn’t really my cup of tea, although you may like different tea than me. The art and production were certainly sensational, and our own David Pepose gave it rather high marks on the main page’s Best Shots review feature.
DC Comics Presents: Son of Superman: One of the ways DC seems to be using their new line of almost-trades is to promote the work of popular artists. J.H. Williams III, for example, has always had plenty of admirers, but his star seems to have risen expontially since his run on Detective Comics with Greg Rucka. This is another DCCP release devoted to his art: a reprinting of a 1999 graphic novel written by Howard Chaykin and David Tischman. Like the rest of the line, it’s an $8, 90-ish page comic.
Delerium’s Party: A Little Endless Storybook: One-time Sandman artist Jill Thompson, the primary artist for the Breif Lives arc, has had great success continuing various thread of Neil Gaiman’s mostly off-limits Sandman/Endless mythology, mostly by adapting aspects of it into her own highly original takes, including shojo manga (2003’ Death: At Death’s Door, 2005’s The Dead Boy Detectives) and The Little Endless Storybook, which featured the cute versions of the characters that appeared in a single issue of the original series (Sandman #40, I believe). Thompson has a new Little Endless book out this week, in which Delerim throws a party for Despair in an attempt to permanently cheer her up. It’s a $15, 64-page hardcover. DC is also offering a new printing of the original Little Enldess Storybook in the same price point and format.
Dracula: The Company of Monsters #1: I rather liked the first volume of this series, in which a ruthless, almoral corporate CEO resurrects the historical Dracula in the hopes of having him help out in the hostile takeover of his business rivals. Boom Studios is offering the curious a good chance to check it out for themselves with a specially priced $1 reprint for the first issue. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d definitely recommend dropping a buck on it.
Fear Itself #2: In addition to the second chapter of the Matt Fraction/Stuart Immonen crossover/event story, this week also sees the release of tie-in miniseries Fear Itself: The Home Front #2 and the first issue of Chris Yost and Mike McKone’s Fear Itself: Spider-Man tie-in mini. Fear Itself itself is a 22/$4 book, Home Front is a 40/$4 book and the Spidey mini is a good old-fashioned 22/$3 book.
Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #1: I’m not crazy about the title of Mark Andrew Smith, Armand Villavert and Carlos Carrasco’s new comic about a private academy for the kids of the world’s greatest supervillains, who apparently hope to grow up to follow in their parent’s footsteps, since I can’t help but think of Donald Duck’s lucky cousin whenever I hear Gladstone. Of course, that may just be because I am old and read old people comics. Anyway, it sounds fun, and I hope to have a review of it here sooner rather than later. The first issue is 40 pages, but will only cost you $3.
Green Lantern Super Spectacular: This 96-page, $10 “magazine format” reprints a quartet of Green Lantern comics, which I assume were chosen for their relevance to the upcoming movie, based on the choices and what I’ve seen in the previews of the film so far. Geoff Johns’ take on Hal Jordan is there, in a short, Darwyn Cooke-drawn story from the first post-Rebirth Green Lantern Secret Files and Green Lantern #4 (featuring movie bad guy Hector Hammond), a Guardians origin story by John Broome and Gil Kane is in there, and so’s an Abin Sur story from the extraordinary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen team of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I’m pretty sure those have all been reprinted elsewhere, but this seems like a pretty good sampler for the casual and the curious.
I Will Bite You! and Other Stories: All I know about this 128-page, $14 trade collection of illustrator and mini-comic maker Joseph Lambert’s comics is that I love the cover. That’s more than enough to get me to pick it up and give it a looksee the next time I’m in a comic shop. Maybe you’d like to do the same?
Red Spike #1: Publisher Image Comics doesn’t have much to note about this book, beyond the fact that it’s a five-issue miniseries and that’s it’s by Jeff Cahn, Salvador Navarro and Ifansyah Noor. I note it here because Diamond’s shipping list says it costs only $1.00, and that is not very much money to spend on a comic book, so there’s an excepctionally low threshold of risk involved with sampling it.
Solomon Kane: Red Shadows #2: I really love Guy Davis’ cover for this issue. Davis unfortunately only providing the covers and not the interiors, although based on the preview artist Rahsan Ekedal does a fine job of it, although his work looks more painterly and lacks the highly individualized style of Davis’ Kane. Ekedal and writer Bruce Jones are adapting Robert E. Howard’s story of the same namein this series.