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Collect This Now! Flex Mentallo

Flex Mentallo #1

Flex Mentallo #1

This, perhaps, is an obvious selection for this column. Mayhap too obvious? One could, for instance, argue without a lot of brain-strain that if this feature has any sort of patron saint, it is without a doubt Flex Mentallo.

Part of that is because the chances of Flex Mentallo ever being collected in trade again are somewhere between slim and none, as my dad used to say. That in turn is largely because of an ugly lawsuit thrown at DC by the Charles Atlas folks. Even though DC got the suit dismissed, they’ve been reticent to get this series back in print. Rumors suggest everything from promising the Atlas people it would never see the light of day again to lackluster Doom Patrol sales squelching any plans.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. A bit of backstory is, no doubt, in order.

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Collect This Now! The Cereal Killings

The Cereal Killings

The Cereal Killings

Perhaps this is the sort of work that pundits were fearing would die along with the indie comic pamphlet (which, Diamond policy or no Diamond policy, is pretty much six feet under by this point). An eight-issue mini-series, published by Fantagraphics between 1992 and 1995, The Cereal Killings is an awkward work at times, and betrays the youth of it’s creator, James Sturm, both artistically and thematically. I get the sense, both from the work and in my limited conversations with Sturm, that he was often frustrated by its quality and indeed in his interview with Tom Spurgeon in issue # 251 of The Comics Journal he calls it an outright “failure.” I can’t help but wonder if Sturm had not serialized the story but attempted to publish it in one big graphic novel chunk if he wouldn’t have simply abandoned it midway and moved on to something else.

That would be a shame because The Cereal Killings has a lot going for it. Despite its noticeable problems , it’s an enjoyable, at times gripping work and is a seminal step in Sturm’s development as an artist.

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Collect This Now! The Julius Acquefacques series

L'Origine

L'Origine

Welcome to Collect This Now, a weekly (or, if I’m hungover, semi-weekly) column where we look at good comics that for whatever reason have never been translated, archived or just collected into trade paperback.

It’s a pretty good time to be an English-only Eurocomics fan. A number of great contemporary artists and cartoonists that have been reshaping the comic book landscape on the other side of the ocean are slowly but steadily having their work translated and released here. In the past few years we’ve seen great works by such folk as Lewis Trondheim, Dupuy and Berberian, Joann Sfar, David B. and many others available here thanks to the hard work of a number of small publishers.

There’s one author (well, probably more than one, but I have to limit myself for now), however, whose absence seems rather gaping to my mind and that’s Marc-Antoine Mathieu. More specifically, it’s the series that’ he’s best known for: Julius Corentin Acquefacques, prisonnier des reves.

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Collect This Now! Egypt

Egypt

Egypt

Welcome to Collect This Now, a weekly (or, if I’m hungover, semi-weekly) column where we look at good comics that for whatever reason have never been translated, archived or just collected into trade paperback.

Back in Vertigo’s heady days of the mid-1990s, when Sandman ruled the roost and a comic would be canceled if it hit below the $3,000 mark, writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, The Programme) was the line’s go-to guy. At least that’s how it seemed at the time, since his name appeared what must have been weekly on one of their comics covers, be it a mini-series, regular monthly or one-shot. Continue Reading »

Collect This Now! Justice Inc.

Justice Inc

Justice Inc

Welcome to the debut of “Collect This Now!,” an occasional Robot 6 feature where we look at out-of-print, untranslated, uncollected or just plain ignored comics that, in our humble estimation, need to be put back into print as soon as bloody possible, preferably in hardcover, with fancy-shmancy paper and an introduction by Jeet Heer.

We’re kicking off this column with a look at one of the more interesting and, in my opinion, unfairly ignored prestige mini-series of the last 20 years. So pull up a chair and allow me to expound, won’t you?

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