Bad news for fans of lame jokes and lamer colored pencil-on-index card art fans. I haven’t been able to connect to the place on the Internet where my computer sends scanned images into Blog@, either because something’s wrong with my computer, or something’s wrong with Blog@, or my computer and Blog@ are fighting, so this week’s installment is nothing but words, words and more words. On the plus side, there’s a lot more words devoted to more books.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Astro City: Shining Stars: Here’s the latest chunk of Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s superhero comics, including miniseries Astra, Silver Agent and one-shot Beautie. It’s a $25, 210-page hardcover.
Dark Horse Presents #1: After a stint online, the venerable Dark Horse anthology returns to print, now in the form of an $8, 80-page, full-color, ad-free, bound format. This first issue will include work from (deep breath) Frank Miller, Harlan Ellison, Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Richard Corben, Carla Speed McNeil, Michael T. Gilbert, Paul Chadwick, Randy Stradley, David Chelsea and others. In other words, not something you wouldn’t want to take a look at. Preview here.
DC Comics Presents: Ninja Boy #1: DC’s line of $8, almost-trades saves another property from the back-issue bins. This was a one-time WildStorm property, written and drawn by Ale Garza, with co-writer Allen Warner and co-artist Dan Norton. The 2001, six-issue miniseries was remarkably manga-inspired,not simply in the accents of Garza’s art-work, but in the premise and characters as well. That premise? Cheeky ninja kid has action-comedy adventures. I remember trying and not really liking the book much, but it’s certainly interesting in it’s attempt to process familiar elements from Japanese pop culture into something American, regardless of how successful it was. This book will include the first four issues. For a more traditional offering from DC in the same format, this week also sees the release of DC Comics Presents: Legion of Super Heroes—Legion of the Damned.That was a millennial storyline by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who have since gone on to become fairly synonymous with space-faring superhero adventures, and Olivier Coipel. The solicitation on dccomics.com is rather forthcoming about why this one’s being published like this now: “With the hardcover collection of LEGION LOST coming in June, DC Comics collects the tale that led into that space-spanning epic”
Dungeons & Dragons Classics Vol. 1: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on Blog@ before, although I know I’ve discussed it repeatedly on my own blog, Every Day Is Like Wednesday, but the old DC/TSR Advanced Dungons & Dragons comic book was the one that got me into comics, setting me on a slippery slope that—greased with Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Neil Gaiman and company’s Sandman and a few Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle Bat-comics— led me to become the well-adjusted, comic book-obsessed, destitute blogger and mini-comic maker I am today. IDW has repackaged and republished it, along with the previously released DC/TSR Forgotten Realms. This first volume of AD&D comics will collect the first eight issues of the series, all drawn by Jan Duursema (she drew every issue of the series, save two fill-ins from Tom Mandrake), and written by first Michael Fleisher and then Dan Mishkin. Fleisher’s arc, comprising the first four issues, is rather unremarkably straightforward, but starting with Mishkin’s first arc, the book improves greatly, moving away from strict adherence to sword and sorcery business into something a bit more interesting. The second half of this book, for example, is the story “The Spirit of Myrrth,” in which our heroes are hired by the ghost of a dead jester to secure a powerful magical joke scroll before the city’s Jester’s Guild gets it and creates a giant jester skeleton to—well, it’s pleasingly strange, is what I’m trying to say. The trade is a $20, 200-page trade paperback. For IDW’s original exploitation of the D&D license, you can check out the publisher’s Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Sun #4 and Dungeons and Dragons #6, also on sale this week. Those are both $4 books.