DC Comics' July Highlights: "Batgirl," "Nightwing" and a "New Super-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 buy Boys #70 (only two issues until the big finale) and Classic Popeye #2, IDW Publishing’s ongoing series of reprints devoted to Bud Sagendorf comics from the 1940s, as the first issue was much more fun than I expected it to be.
If I had $30, I’d put those comics back, but would be stuck between a couple of books. The first would be Aya: Life in Yop City, which collects the three previous Aya books by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie in one volume. These are great, funny comics, full of life and observation regarding a culture — in this case African culture — most Westerners know nothing about.
There’s also A Chinese Life, a massive doorstop of a memoir by Chinese artist Li Kunwu (with help from writer Philippe Otie) chronicling his life and times. Kunwu lives through some of modern China’s most tumultuous periods, including the Cultural Revolution, and hopefully his book will, like Aya, humanize a time and culture that for many is just a few lines in their history book.
Finally, there’s Message to Adolph, Vol. 1, one of Tezuka’s final works, set during World War II, about three people named Adolph, one a Jew, the other a German boy living in Japan, and the third the fuhrer himself. Originally published by Viz about two decades ago, Vertical has taken it upon themselves to put out a newly translated version which is great news for those that missed this great manga the first time around.
Is there a greater splurge purchase this week that Dal Tokyo, the collected version of Gary Panter’s off-kilter comic strip? I plugged this book last week, but it deserves another one. I’ve been waiting for this book for awhile.
For the scholarly comics type, the splurge of the week might be Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss, a look at the creator of Barnaby and Harold and the Purple Crayon and his wife, a children’s author with whom he frequently collaborated.
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 grab with two hands the new issue of Orc Stain #7 (Image, $2.99). Stokoe is one of the few people in mainstream comics blending storytelling in art and writing seamlessly, creating an organic piece of work that’s as good to eat as some of the fictional food he presents in the book. Spaceman #4 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) has, in its short run, showed the best of what can be done at Vertigo and is pretty exhilarating, especially if you re-read it from the beginning. After that I’d pick up my regular double-shot: Invincible #89 (Image, $2.99) and Walking Dead #94 (Image, $2.99), and then top it off with The Twelve #10 (Marvel, $2.99). I’m appreciative Marvel and the creators saw fit to see it through, and the story’s all the better for it.
If I had $30, I’d go all company-owned super heroes. Avengers #23 (Marvel, $3.99) for the continuing fight against HYDRA by Brian Michael Bendis and Daniel Acuna. Acuna’s really (finally) had a chance to blossom on this book and I hope he sees it through for a good long while. After that I’d get FF #15 (Marvel, $2.99), which has silently outstripped Fantastic Four in my book; the added bonus for this issue particularly is seeing artist Nick Dragotta on this book. I’d wrap it all up with Batman Beyond Unlimited #1 (DC, $3.99). I’ll admit I missed out on the complete fervor of Batman Beyond, but I’m excited by Dustin Nguyen and Adam Beechen’s work and the possibilities of them taking on a future rendition of Batman and the JLA.
And if I could splurge, I’d check out the overlooked Key Of Z TPB (Boom!, $14.99). New York City street warfare told against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse? Sounds like my kind of book. Newcomer artist Aaron Kuder’s got an interesting style that I’d been meaning to check out, and this gives me just that chance.
Welcome to another round of What Are You Reading. With JK Parkin in the midst of San Diego Comic-Con madness, I’m taking over the WAYR duties for this week. Our guest this week is blogger, noteworthy critic and Newsarama contributor Matt Seneca.
Find out what Matt’s been reading (he’s got a long list), and be sure to include your own current reading list, after the jump …
• The big news of the week is that Top Shelf has not only completely updated and streamlined their Web site, but has also unveiled a whole heckuva lot of new projects for the fall, 2011 and beyond, including new books by Jeff Lemire, Nate Powell, James Kochalka and Chris Eliopoulos. All in all it looks like an interesting line-up, containing a solid mix of all-ages and more adult-oriented material.
• Top Shelf isn’t the only one doing the Web site shuffle. Both Savage Critics and All About Comics have moved/updated their blogs,
• IcV2 offers some more information on Vertical’s plans to publish Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako in the fall.
• Tokyopop is planning to publish Neko Ramen, four-koma (or comic strip) about a cat that runs a noodle shop, and they’re posting sample strips to get folks all hot and bothered.. Look for it in stores in June.
• Here’s what the cover to the Essential Superman Encyclopedia will look like.
• And here’s what the cover to the next Zippy the Pinhead collection will look like.
Two quick items of note:
1) Lissa “Kuriousity” Pattillo has sussed out what Vertical’s next big Osamu Tezuka translation project is, following their ongoing release of Black Jack. Apparently it’s Ayako, a work I’m unfamiliar with, but intially came out in 1972 and is described in detail over at the Anime News Network:
Jiro Tenge, the second son of what used to be an influential Japanese family, returns home after being a POW in an American camp during the Second World War. He finds his family corrupted by the terrible social aftereffects of the war. His elder brother, determined to keep what remains of the family patrimony after the Government’s forced land reallocation, has prostituted his wife to his father to secure his blessing, while other members of Jiro’s family have been drawn into similar corruption, and he himself is being forced to spy for the Americans after being broken as a POW. Now the family’s youngest daughter Ayako will have to bear the brunt of the family’s sins.
2) Paul Hornschemeier is currently working on a new collection of short stories entitled Forlorn Funnies Vol. 1. The book will come out in the fall from Fantagraphics. Here he is describing some of the contents:
Our principal concern of this volume, “Obvious Amenities,” is Act One of the story of Edward Molson, salesman. After the untimely osprey-induced death of a co-worker, Molson is thrust into a cross-country speaking engagement, a chance to revisit youthful diversions, and a potential extra-marital love affair. But for now, he has to walk his wife’s dog. Again.
Vertical Press book designer Peter Mendelsund wants some help choosing the color scheme for the next volume of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack:
I am a simple man (I know) and choosing the colors for this design (of which I am proud) brings me great satisfaction every time. But… I thought it might be fun to open up this process to the readership in order to see if any of you have any radical ideas vis a vis color: what colors look good together, what colors pop, what colors ring your own peculiar bell etc. So dust off your color theory books or just fly by the seats of your collective pants. Anyone, as they say, can be a winner.
(Found via Drawn!)
Welcome to another edition of a little something we like to call What Are You Reading. Our special guest this week is none other than comics critic and blogger Johanna Draper Carlson, best known for her long-running site, Comics Worth Reading.
To find out what Johanna and the rest of the Robot 6 crew are currently reading, well, you know what to do …
Welcome to What Are You Reading, where we pull the curtain back and show you what’s on our bedside tables. And yes, we have curtains in our room. Don’t ask.
To find out what Lasko-Gross and the rest of us are reading, click on the link below …