INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
It’s a big week for collections and hardcovers, as publishers are no doubt starting to vie for your holiday dollars. Yes, it’s almost October, which means the Christmas decorations should start to roll out at your local Target any day now, if they aren’t already there. That also means we should see a lot of great high end — and no doubt high priced — items over the next few months.
This week brings Robert Crumb’s illustrated Book of Genesis, the third Hellboy Library Edition, a deluxe edition of the first two Fables storylines, Absolute Promethea, an Ultimatum premiere hardcover, a hardcover Avengers Invaders collection and the annual Best American Comics collection, among others. On the softer side, there’s the first High Moon collection, a new printing of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies to tie into the DVD that came out today and a reprinting of Howard Chaykin’s Power & Glory mini-series, among many others.
That’s not to say that regular ol’ comics are being left out in the cooler autumn weather … both Dark Reign and Blackest Night are well represented in this week’s releases, and we’ve got new Astro City, a giant issue of Justice League, an anniversary issue of Teen Titans, a new Bomb Queen mini, Die Hard, Spider-Clones and the big wrap-up of Andy Diggle’s Thunderbolts run.
To see what Kevin, Chris and I are looking forward to buying tomorrow, read on … and don’t forget to let us know what’s on your buy list this week in the comments section.
Kevin Melrose’s pick of the week: High Moon, Vol. 1
I’d name this collection my pick of the week even if the writer weren’t guest-blogging with us this week. I swear. I’ve been a fan of the David Gallaher-Steve Ellis webcomic since it debuted in the Zuda Comics competition two years ago. And while I’ve already followed the series online for three “seasons,” I can’t wait to get my hands on the print edition.
High Moon is a suspenseful, well-paced and beautifully illustrated supernatural western filled with werewolves, secret hoodoo, a little Jewish folklore, blood feuds, hybrid monsters and steampunk, and marked by unexpected turns. (Switch protagonists? Sure, why not!) This 192-page softcover will get new readers up to date in time for the fourth season to debut in a few days. (Zuda)
JK Parkin’s pick of the week: Thunderbolts #136
Honestly I wasn’t real excited about Andy Diggle’s Thunderbolts line-up when it debuted — Paladin? Ghost? Headsman? — but not only has this line-up grown on me, but the big reveal with the Black Widow really shook things up, and the reappearance of the old Thunderbolts has been a great bonus.
This issue marks Diggle’s last issue on the title, and no doubt it will be a doozy. And there’s even more good news on the horizon, as Jeff Parker takes over as a regular writer in a few months. (Marvel)
Chris Mautner’s pick of the week: Book of Genesis Illustrated by Robert Crumb
Here’s the one you’ve all been waiting for, folks. The King of Cartoons hisself, Robert Crumb, adapts the first book of the Bible in all its violent, sexy glory. Dunno if it will be the book of the year, but there’s little doubt the folks will be discussing it heatedly in the months to come. I’m certainly looking forward to cracking it open at some point.
Anyone want to take any bets on whether it generates controversy outside the comics community? Will the evangelists get up in arms over it? Put your money down now. (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Hellboy Library Edition, Vol. 3: Conqueror Worm and Strange Places hardcover
Kevin: If I were a wealthy man, I’d give away all of my Hellboy trade paperbacks and replace them with this series of Library Edition oversized hardcovers. This volume collects the 2001 miniseries Conqueror Worm — the first appearance of Lobster Johnson — 2002’s The Third Wish and 2005’s The Island, plus more than 30 pages of sketchbook material. (Dark Horse)
Hellboy: The Ice Wolves
Kevin: This isn’t a comic but a novel by Mark Chadbourn (The Age of Misrule) that finds Hellboy in a race to stop a wave of worldwide lupine savagery. (Dark Horse)
Astro City: Astra Special #1
JK: Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson move out of the Dark Age and return to the present, as the Furst family’s little baby girl graduates high school. They grow up so fast, don’t they? And have I mentioned how happy I am that Astro City’s returning to a regular schedule? Oh yeah, I have. (Wildstorm)
Batman: The Black Glove trade paperback
Kevin: Sometimes I pull the hardcover off the shelf just to gaze at the J.H. Williams pages. Not so much the other ones, though. (DC Comics)
Fables Deluxe Edition Hardcover, Vol. 1
Kevin: This strikes me as a pretty smart approach — one that I hope Vertigo will continue with some of its other titles. This 264-page hardcover collects the issues 1-10 of the popular series, encompassing the the “Legends in Exile” and “Animal Farm” storylines. This seems like a perfect fit for libraries. (Vertigo)
Icon A Hero’s Welcome trade paperback
JK: DC Comics brings the first eight issues of Milestone’s flagship title back into print. If you’ve never been exposed to the Milestone line and want to see what it’s all about, there’s probably no better place to start than here. (DC Comics)
Trick ‘r Treat trade paperback
Kevin: This is an adaptation of some horror movie, I guess? I don’t know anything about that — I haven’t even seen any TV commercials — but I do like the work of some of the creators involved in this trade paperback: writer Marc Andreyko, and artists Grant Bond, Christopher Gugliotti, Mike Huddleston and Fiona Staples. (Wildstorm)
The Sky Pirates of Neo Terra #1 (of 5)
Kevin: There’s art by Camilla D’Errico (Burn, Nightmares and Fairy Tales) and a character named Billy Boom Boom. What more do you need to know? Oh, all right, it’s based on a video game and involves the aforementioned young glide-wing pilot’s attempts to stop the menacing Pirate King. You can see a preview here. (Image)
New Mutants #5
JK: Fresh from his universe-saving appearance in Annihilation: Conquest, Warlock returns to Earth and the New Mutants. (Marvel)
Runaways 3 #14
Kevin: And so another volume of Runaways comes to a close until someone can figure out what to do with the property. (Marvel)
Aya: The Secrets Come Out
Chris: Oh, but I love the Aya series, a delightfully comic, slice-of-life soap opera set in the Ivory Coast during the 1970s. It’s got real heart and wit courtesy of writer Marguerite Abouet, plus a lovely, fluid art style by Clement Oubrerie. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the latest volume to find out how the various trysts and revelations resolve themselves. It’s really an uplifting, fun comic that I heartily recommend to any and all comic fans looking for something genuinely sweet, but not syrupy. (Drawn and Quarterly)
Ball Peen Hammer
Chris: George O’Connor works off of a play by Adam Rapp set in a post-apocalyptic, plague filled world where a hermit survives by joining a cult that engages in human sacrifice. Heavy on the dialogue and character interaction, this one is. Tucker Stone liked it quite a lot. (First Second)
The Best American Comics 2009
Chris: Charles Burns is the guest editor for this latest look at some very good comics that actually came out in 2008. Michael Kupperman handles the cover chores. Chris Ware, Kaz, Dan Clowes and Gary Panter are among the folks featured inside. Lots more information can be found here. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Die Hard Year One #1
JK: BOOM!’s license deal with Fox brings a look at John McClane’s early years, written by the legendary Howard Chaykin. (BOOM!)
Chris: Glamourpuss’ boyfriend shows up in this latest issue, which should make for interesting reading. This might actually have more fashion parody stuff than treatise on soap opera comic strips of the 1950s. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
Mickey Mouse & Friends #296
Kevin: The long-running series makes its BOOM! Kids debut with a tale of a magic featuring Mickey, Donald and Goofy against Peg Leg Pete. (BOOM!)
Prison Pit Book 01
Chris: Man, if that Crumb book weren’t coming out this would easily be my main pick for the week. Johnny Ryan does straight on fantasy/action, with no tongue in cheek, but without forsaking a single ounce of blood or guts. In fact, this may be even more gory and gruesome than his humor stuff. Understandably, a number of folks would prefer to avoid such material, but those with strong stomachs will thrill to Ryan’s grotesque and truly imaginative fight fest. (Fantagraphics)
Refresh Refresh GN
Chris: A group of teen-age boys whose dads have gone off to fight in the Iraq War vent their frustration on each other and their small hometown in this graphic novel from Danica Novgorodoff. (First Second)
Spicy But Sweet GN
Chris: Hey look, someone made a comic about me! (Aurora Publishing)
Trotsky: A Graphic Biography
Chris: Rick Geary tells the life story of the co-founder of the U.S.S.R. in this brief but fascination biocomic, courtesy of Hill and Wang. Look for an interview with Geary to show up here on Robot 6 in the next few weeks, or whenever my life stops being insane. Whichever comes first. (Hill and Wang)
The full list of this week’s releases can be found here.