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When Joe Kubert passed away in August, he left a sizable hole in the world of comics, by virtue of his lifelong career in the field, his fairly unique role as one of the medium’s first and most influential teachers, and his immense talent.
At the time of his death, many of the obituaries and remembrances mentioned he was still drawing comics at his advanced age, and that, in fact, he had projects on his drawing board.
I suspect a lot of people will be contemplating Kubert’s work this week, and mourning his loss, as Wednesday the major publisher with which he was most associated throughout his career released some of his latest and, sadly, last work, giving readers to chance to see some of that stuff of that was on his drawing board when he passed away: an eerie, unfinished story for a Vertigo anthology and the first issue of a new limited series bearing Kubert’s name.
The Vertigo anthology is Ghosts, and Kubert’s piece is “The Boy and the Old Man;” it’s about a brave old warrior on his figurative deathbed, lying there awaiting his end, and, ultimately, vigorously fighting against it when it arrives, in order to save a young man.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d line up to get the this year’s CBLDF Liberty Annual #5 (Image, $4.99). I’m an anthology junkie, and this hits that perfectly while also benefiting a good cause. The creator list is amazing – even without knowing who’s working with whom. After that, I’d get Happy #2 (Image, $2.99). This book’s first issue hit me harder than I expected; I was buying it for Grant Morrison to wow me with his writing, but it was Darick Robertson’s artwork that hit me square between the eyes. I’ve read all the issues of Transmetropolitan and most of The Boys, but his art here has graduated up a level and I’m almost salivating at thinking of this second issue. Third this week would be Wolverine and the X-Men #19 (Marvel, $3.99), quietly usurping Uncanny X-Force as my favorite Marvel book on the stands. Last issue’s Doop-centric theme was great for me, but I’m excited to see star pupil Nick Bradshaw back on pencils for this issue.
If I had $30, I’d double back and get Higher Earth, Vol. 1 (Boom!, $14.99) Canceled or not, this series looks interesting despite my bailing after Issue 1. It’s a complicated concept (from what I gleaned from the first issue), but I’m looking to let Humphries school me on this.
If I could splurge, I’d snatch up EC: Wally Wood – Came the Dawn and Other Stories (Fantagraphics, $28.99). I’ve been aware of Wally Wood for a almost two decades now, but I tend to go through periods of simply floating around before I consume and learn more about him in short but voracious periods. Last time it was in the bloom of Fear Agent, and seeing this in Previews a few months back got me jonesing to do it again.
Vertigo has debuted a first look at “Ghost For Hire,” the short story created by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire for the Halloween anthology Ghosts. It marks Johns’ Vertigo debut.
A revival of the publisher’s 1970s horror series of the same name, the 80-page one-shot boasts also includes stories by the likes of Gilbert Hernandez, Paul Pope, Phil Jimenez, David Lapham Amy Reeder, Mark Buckingham, John McCrea, Rufus Dayglo, Toby Litt and the late Joe Kubert, with covers by Dave Johnson and Brendan McCarthy.
As the title hints, the story by Johns and Lemire centers on a ghost-for-hire haunting agency. “It was a real thrill for me to work with Geoff,” Lemire told the Vertigo blog. “I’ve written with him before, but to get to draw for him was really special. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what kind of ghost story Geoff would deliver and I was pleasantly surprised with ‘Ghost For Hire.’ It’s whimsical and fun and it has heart. When Geoff said he wanted to do a story like all the old Abbot and Costello movies he watched as a kid it really clicked for me!”
Vertigo this week has also offered other Ghosts sneak peeks from Litt, Buckingham and Victor Santos, Lapham and Pope, Hernandez, and Al Ewing and Dayglo. Check out the full image from “Ghost For Hire” below. Ghosts arrives Oct. 31.