Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
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: Whoah, another tough week to narrow things down. Is every Brian Wood-written title required to come out the same week of each month? Do Dark Horse and Marvel get together and plan it that way, so that people who only buy Wood comics only have to go to the store once a month? I think more than half the DC titles I buy come out this time every month, too. So yeah, lots to pick from …
Anyway, I’d start with one of those Brian Wood comics, Conan the Barbarian #8 (Dark Horse, $3.50), which features Vasilis Lolos on art. Lolos drew one of my favorite issues of Northlanders, “The Viking Art of Single Combat,” so it’s cool to see the two of them working together again. I’d also get a comic I’m sure will be popular with a few of my colleagues, the first issue of the new Stumptown miniseries by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni Press, $3.99). Next I’d get Manhattan Projects #6 (Image, $3.50); this issue turns the focus from America’s secret science program to Russia’s secret science program. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra are having a lot of fun with this one. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #31 (Marvel, $3.99), which really picked things up last issue … and this is a comic that’s usually running on twice as many cylinders anyway.
If I had $30, I’d also grab two finales from DC Comics — Shade #12 and Resurrection Man #0 (both $2.99). Honestly, I never expected to see a Resurrection Man comic again, much less by the guys who wrote the original, so the fact that we got a good run of 13 issues is a pleasant surprise. Shade, of course, was planned as 12 issues from the beginning, and was a nice return to the Starman-verse by writer James Robinson. That leaves me room for three more $2.99 comics, which means I’m going to bypass X-Men, The Massive and Avengers Assemble this week (let’s assume that I’ll one day spend my splurge money on the trades) and instead go with Chew #28 (Image, $2.99), It Girl and the Atomics #2 (Image, $2.99) and Demon Knights #0 (DC Comics, $2.99).
Splurge: Assuming I wouldn’t spend my unlimited gift card on single issues, I’d be looking at the first Bucko collection from Dark Horse ($19.99) and Fantagraphics’ Is That All There Is? trade ($25).
Conventions | Thousands of fans were locked out of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo after the local fire marshal declared that the building had reached capacity. The big draw was not actually comics but a reunion of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Calgary Herald]
Awards | The Thrill Electric, an online comic created by Leah Moore and John Reppion, Emma Vieceli, Windflower Studio and LittleLoud for the U.K.’s Channel 4, has been nominated for best website in the 2012 Broadcast Digital Awards. [Broadcast]
Creators | Jay Faerber talks about his early ambitions, his current comic Near Death, and what is so special about being published by Image: “The thing about Image is you have absolute creative freedom. Once Near Death was approved, I just wrote it. There were no notes from Eric or anyone else at Image telling me what they think I should do, which is awesome. But it can also be a burden, because if a book sucks, I can’t say, ‘Well, if I had been able to do it my way…’ – because I did do it my way. So working at Image has made me become my own editor. The buck stops here, you know?” [Broken Frontier]
Although cartoonist Nick Abadzis might be known to most American audiences solely for his graphic novel Laika, the Swedish-born artist has been busy making comics since the mid-80s. And now, enterprising UK art-house publisher Blank Slate is bringing back Abadzis’ first major comics work, which made him a name to his European fans. Hugo Tate is the story of a man living his life and soaking up the eccentricities that normal people like you and I exhibit. Although the characters are little more than stick-figure men, Abadzis gave them a lushly drawn world and some true-to-life character moments that couldn’t be done anywhere except in comics.
“Over the years, I have been asked for this collection, many, many times,” Abadzis said in a message posted on Forbidden Planet’s blog. “It’s taken a long time to get together, for which I apologise to all those patient readers and fans of Deadline out there. I’ve been working on it, on and off, for years, digitizing and restoring the artwork. (Note to self: never use zip-a-tone again. It shrinks with age.) But this is to let the faithful out there know that the Hugo Tate book really is on its way. It’s going to be published by Blank Slate, an imprint whose output I’ve been really enjoying in the past couple of years. ”
Originally published from 1988 to 1994 inside Deadline magazine as a companion series to Tank Girl, the sole previous collection — a partial collection in 1993 called Hugo Tate: O, America – has been out of print for over a decade.Abadzis’ has posted some of his favorite strips on his blog, including the excellent “Bread & Liver” strip which you should definitely read.
Although Deadline is most fondly remembered for introducing the word to Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin’s Tank Girl, works like Hugo Tate have largely fallen between the cracks and are just now seeing the light of day. Next on my wish list is Philip Bond’s Wired World.