Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
After Marvel’s big week last week with the debut of Captain America: Reborn, it’s only fair that DC claims this Wednesday with, well, Wednesday Comics, the highly anticipated homage to the Golden Age of the Sunday funnies.
DC’s Vertigo imprint chimes in, too, with Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel The Nobody.
Dark Horse is no slouch, either, with a hardcover edition of Pixu, by Becky Cloonan, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon and Vasilis Lolos, a Sinfest collection, and a new B.P.R.D. miniseries. And it’s not as if Marvel is sitting this week out: The Art of Marko Djurdjevic hardcover certainly stands out.
If none of those grab you — how could they not? — there’s still David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, hardcovers of Rasl and Prince Valiant, plus, um, President Evil.
Come on, something there has to interest you.
To see what titles interest Chris Mautner, JK Parkin and me, just keep reading. And, as always, be sure to leave your picks in the comments below.
JK Parkin’s pick of the week: Pixu, Vol. 1: The Mark of Evil
Dark Horse collects both self-published issues of this creepy comic into one hardcover.
Creators Becky Cloonan, Gabriel Ba, Fabio Moon and Vasilis Lolos tell a horror story set in a boarding house, with each creator drawing what happens in one of the four rooms. It’s equal parts psychological and physical horror, making it a whole lot more fun and creepy than if they’d gone completely one way or the other. In addition to the whole thing holding together well despite it being a collaboration among four different artists, there are also plenty of smaller, creepier moments that kind of stick with you after it’s all said and done.
Our friend Sam Humphries interviewed the crew for Robot 6 when he guest-blogged with us earlier this year.
Kevin Melrose’s pick of the week: Wednesday Comics #1 (of 12)
I’ve written so many posts about DC Comics’ daring new weekly series that I’m not sure there’s much more to say. It may seem strange to use the word “daring” to describe a mainstream superhero comic — more so when it’s a summer miniseries, which usually means a status quo-rattling slugfest. But with Wednesday Comics, “daring” is the perfect choice.
The brainchild of DC Comics Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello, the man behind the critically acclaimed Solo, Wednesday Comics harks back to the glory days of the Sunday newspaper comics section. While some publishers are fixated (and rightly so) on alternate distribution, making a successful leap to the Internet, and what the next platform will be, DC and Chiarello take a step back — several decades back — if only for 12 weeks. Wednesday Comics unfolds from 7 inches by 10 inches to 28 inches by 20 inches, with each of the 15 stories getting its own 14-inch by 20-inch page.
And they’re not just any stories; they’re stories told by some of the best names in comics: Batman, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso; Metamorpho, by Neil Gaiman and Michael Allred; Adam Strange, by Paul Pope; Kamandi, by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook; The Demon and Catwoman, by Walter Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze; Sgt. Rock, by Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert. The list goes on.
Really, I can’t imagine anything competing with Wednesday Comics for my pick of the week.
Chris Mautner’s pick of the week: Asterios Polyp
Well, after going on and on about Rubber Blanket like that last week, it would be odd of me not to make David Mazzucchelli’s latest and long-anticipated graphic novel my pick of the week, wouldn’t it? A middle-aged architect and womanizer has his life upended when his New York apartment burns down and he has to relocate into the American heartland. The word on the street is practically glowing with praise. I’m really rather excited to check it out.
B.P.R.D. 1947 #1 (of 5)
Kevin: Eisner Award-winning brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Moon team up with Mike Mignola and Joshua Dysart for the sequel to B.P.R.D. 1946, as a vampire nobleman hunts down survivors of the Third Reich. Sold and sold!
Sinfest, Vol. 1
Chris: Dark Horse continues its domination of the webcomics-to-print market with this collection of Tatsuya Ishida’s sardonic but very lovingly illustrated strip.
100 Bullets, Vol. 13: Wilt
Kevin: I follow the Brian Azzarello-Eduardo Risso series in trade paperback, so the release of the 100th issue in April didn’t seem, I don’t know, final. But now there’s little denying that the byzantine 10-year crime saga has come to an end. Unless! Perhaps Vertigo plans to roll out oversized Absolute editions with new back matter! In which case, I can pretend 100 Bullets marches on.
Absolute DC: The New Frontier hardcover (new printing)
Kevin: This is exactly what it says: a new printing of the oversized hardcover collecting Darwyn Cooke’s 2003-2004 miniseries celebrating the birth of DC’s Silver Age. The 464-page book includes all six issues, new story pages, alternate sequences, annotations, sketches and more.
Green Lantern #43
JK: This is a prologue to the big “Blackest Night” event that kicks off this month, and DC promises to reveal the first Black Lantern in its pages. I’m guessing it’ll be someone Green Lantern-related, but I’m still holding out for it being Anthro.
The Nobody hardcover
JK: Jeff Lemire answers the question “Who is the Nobody?” in this new graphic novel from Vertigo. It’s a reinterpretation of The Invisible Man set in a small town, something you know Lemire writes quite well if you’ve read his Essex County trilogy. Chris will have a full review of it later this week.
Proof, Vol. 3: Thunderbirds Are Go
JK: First off, I love the subtitle. Second, this probably wasn’t my favorite storyline in Proof — and it’s actually two different storylines, as the two main characters split up to investigate two different cryptological mysteries. But there’s enough in the story of the Thunderbirds (including a religious subplot) to make it worthwhile, and the second storyline introduces a character who it appears will play a bigger role as we learn more about the title character.
Oh, and there’s also a random Savage Dragon appearance.
Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1 (of 3)
JK: What’s a crossover these days without an ancillary miniseries? A variety of writers and artists detail how Norman Osborn went about recruiting his Dark X-Men, the team that’ll play a role in the X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover running through both titles. Check out a preview here.
The Marvel Art of Marko Djurdjevic hardcover
Kevin: While $50 is out of my price range at the moment, I’m happy that Marvel has decided to showcase a top-notch artist with a high-end hardcover rather than with half of one of those Marvel Spotlight comics. It’s 112 pages of Marko Djurdjevic’s cover art, sketches, designs and discussion about his process.
New Warriors Classic, Vol. 1
JK: I still remember having major doubts about this book when I first started seeing ads for it. I mean, come on, Nova? Marvel Boy? Speedball? These weren’t characters I actually gave two flips about at the time, and they were teaming up with some guy with a skateboard. I kind of felt sorry for Namorita and Firestar, because they were stuck with this team of losers instead of, say, joining the X-Men or something.
I didn’t even buy the first issue; a friend of mine did, and he loved it. After I checked his temperature to make sure he was feeling ok, I read the book, and man, was he ever right. Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley took a bunch of characters I didn’t really care for and turned them into waht would become one of my favorite comics at the time.
This collects the first six issues of the series, as well as two issues of Thor where the team initially debuted (which I don’t think I’ve ever read). It’s been years since I’ve read them, but as I said, I really enjoyed them at the time.
Runaways Premiere Hardcover: Teenage Wasteland
Kevin: The second arc from the first volume of Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona & Co.’s celebrated Runaways, previously collected in digest format, now gets the hardcover treatment.
Uncanny X-Men: First Class #1 (of 8)
JK: The second wave of X-Men — Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus and Wolverine, among them — gets the “first class” treatment, as their early days are revisted by Scott Gray, Roger Cruz and Colleen Coover. Check out a preview here.
Bone One Volume Edition (13th Printing)
Kevin: That’s right, the 1,300-page black-and-white collection of Jeff Smith’s landmark fantasy series is in its 13th edition — in less than five years.
Everybody Is Stupid Except Me & Other Astute Observations
Chris: Peter Bagge has become quite the comics pundit in recent years, sounding off on a variety of issues like drugs, gun control and abortion in the pages of Reason magazine. This book — love the title, by the way — collects most of them. I’ll have a review of the book next week, but for now I’ll just say it’s really funny and you should buy it.
Fairy Tail, Vol. 7
Kevin: Once again I’ve fallen woefully behind on reading a thoroughly enjoyable series. In this case, it’s Hiro Mashima’s fast-paced action-comedy-adventure about young sorcerers on the hunt for fame and fortune.
From the Ashes #2
Chris: Bob Fingerman’s apocalyptic sitcom starring himself and his wife continues with the couple facing off against tentacled mutations and cannibals, though not necessarily in that order.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly #1
JK: The Man With No Name, the serape-wearing bad ass made famous by Clint Eastwood, returns to comics. This time he’s accompanied by writer Chuck Dixon and artist Esteve Polls. After reading Outlaw Territory and playing Call of Juarez: Bound for Blood this weekend, I’m kind of on a Western kick, so I’m looking forward to picking this up. Check out a preview here.
Chris: Ah, I see what you did there. You took that “Resident Evil” moniker and switched it so it says President Evil instead. Wow, that was clever.
Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938 hardcover
Chris: Bigger, harder, thicker and better colors. Fantagraphics has decided to repackage Hal Foster’s seminal “knights and text” once again, this time in a hardcover format and with improved production values. Again, I’ll have a full review of this soon, but I was quite surprised how entertaining this strip was back in the day.
Rasl Collector’s Edition hardcover
Chris: Available only in comic stores, this limited edition version of Jeff Smith’s ongoing sci-fi series features 16 pages of concept sketches, script pages and bonus art. Each volume will also be signed and numbered, if you need an extra incentive.
The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora softcover
Chris: A third collection of work by the late influential commercial illustrator and children’s book author. This one features paintings, drawings and sketches from the 1940s through the 1990s, most never previously published.
Comic Book Design: The Essential Guide to Creating Great Comics and Graphic Novels
Chris: This looks interesting: a how-to book from Gary Spencer Millidge, the creator of Strangehaven, that guides you through the process of making a comic, along with profiles of authors like Chris Ware and Chip Kidd. How-to books seem to be a dime a dozen these days, but I’m curious to see Millidge’s take on the subject.
The full list of items arriving in stores this week can be found here.