Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oresama Teacher Has Secret

I read Oresama Teacher, Vol. 6

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin (which has free comics).


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leroy Douresseaux Reviews MISTER WONDERFUL: A Love Story


MISTER WONDERFUL: A LOVE STORY
PANTHEON BOOKS

CARTOONIST: Daniel Clowes
ISBN: 978-0-307-37813-2; hardcover
80pp, Color, $19.95 U.S., $22.95 CAN

The New York Times Magazine is a Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. Beginning in September 2005, the magazine began a literary section called “The Funny Pages.” One part of “The Funny Pages” is “the Strip,” which is essentially a comics section. Here, some of the top names in alternative comics, like Jaime Hernandez, Megan Kelso, Seth, and Chris Ware, among others, would offer multi-part stories serialized over several months (thus far, from four to 7 months).

Mister Wonderful is a comics serial created by Daniel Clowes and published from September 2007 to February 2008. Dan Clowes modified and expanded Mister Wonderful, and earlier this year (April 2011), Pantheon Books published it as a hardcover color graphic novel entitled Mister Wonderful: A Love Story (at a size of 6” x 11.2” which is similar to books that reprint newspaper comic strips).

The title, Mister Wonderful, refers to the story’s central character, Marshall, a divorced, middle-aged man out on a blind date. Marshall is a loner and is also in financial distress, neither of which is helped by his occasional flaring temper. As the story opens, Marshall is waiting for his blind date, a 39-year-old woman named Natalie. As the minutes tick by, Marshall imagines himself as being on the date that will change his life. Will this date be the one that lets him be a dashing, heroic type, a “Mister Wonderful?” He may be more right than he imagines, but is this rather unconventional fellow up to the task?

Mister Wonderful is completely about Marshall. Clowes tells the story (except for a few odd moments) as a first-person narrative, so readers who cannot engage Marshall will likely dislike the story. Natalie is really a supporting player, and she isn’t so much a character as she is a caricature, cipher, or type.

Marshall, in a sense, is also a type – a Dan Clowes type. Marshall is the self-absorbed, loser-in-distress. He doesn’t think that he is better than anyone else; he simply thinks that getting to know other people, for the most part, doesn’t add value to the rest of his life. In one way, Marshall is largely an enigma, but Clowes is delving into Marshall’s soul; he’s focusing on the parts of Marshall’s personality that will come forward to address the nerve-racking experience – a date. And Marshall has been dateless for six years or so. I can’t help but think that if we knew if Marshall had engaged in sexual intercourse in the time since his marriage dissolved that it would tell us a lot more about him.

Truthfully, what I like about this book is what I like about Clowes work. It is his ability to take oddball contrarians and make them so interesting, engaging, and even alluring. After reading Mister Wonderful, I realized that I watched the story of a loser who transforms into a lovable loser as he finally won something, in spite of himself and in spite of what others may think of him. Even when it seems like life is beating him down, Marshall is going to win. It’s a wonderful life, indeed.

A


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 28 2011

DC COMICS

OCT110226 ALL STAR WESTERN #4 $3.99

OCT110281 AMERICAN VAMPIRE #22 (MR) $2.99

OCT110163 AQUAMAN #4 $2.99

OCT110189 BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #4 $2.99

OCT110224 BLACKHAWKS #4 $2.99

SEP110179 CHASE TP $29.99

APR110267 COVER GIRLS OF THE DCU STARFIRE STATUE $99.99

OCT110237 DC COMICS PRESENTS BATMAN BLAZE OF GLORY #1 $7.99

OCT110240 DC COMICS PRESENTS BATMAN URBAN LEGENDS #1 $7.99

SEP110174 DC COMICS PRESENTS ELSEWORLDS 80 PAGE GIANT #1 $7.99

OCT110235 DC COMICS PRESENTS LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #2 $7.99

OCT110174 DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #20 $2.99

OCT110283 DMZ #72 (MR) $2.99

OCT110166 FLASH #4 $2.99

OCT110170 FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #4 $2.99

OCT110277 GEARS OF WAR #21 (MR) $2.99

OCT110206 GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #4 $2.99

SEP110218 HELLBLAZER TP VOL 02 THE DEVIL YOU KNOW NEW ED (MR) $19.99

SEP110224 HOUSE OF MYSTERY TP VOL 07 CONCEPTION (MR) $14.99

OCT110214 I VAMPIRE #4 $2.99

JAN110451 JLA TROPHY ROOM RED LANTERN BATTERY PROP REPLICA $350.00

OCT110210 JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #4 $2.99

OCT110234 LEGION SECRET ORIGIN #3 (OF 6) $2.99

SEP110184 LOBO UNBOUND TP (MR) $17.99

SEP110191 ROOTS OF THE SWAMP THING TP $29.99

OCT110175 SAVAGE HAWKMAN #4 $2.99

OCT110298 SPACEMAN #3 (OF 9) (MR) $2.99

OCT110181 SUPERMAN #4 $2.99

MAY110250 SUPERMANS GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 $59.99

OCT110228 TEEN TITANS #4 $2.99

OCT110279 UNCHARTED #2 (OF 6) $2.99

OCT110300 UNWRITTEN #32.5 (MR) $2.99

OCT110221 VOODOO #4 $2.99

APR110281 WOMEN OF THE DCU SER 3 ZATANNA BUST $60.00

OCT100360 WORLD OF WARCRAFT SER 8 BLACK KNIGHT AF PI

OCT100362 WORLD OF WARCRAFT SER 8 FORSAKEN PRIESTESS AF PI

OCT100361 WOW SER 8 GNOME ROGUE VS KOBOLD MINER AF PI

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 28 2011

MARVEL COMICS

OCT110639 ALPHA FLIGHT #7 $2.99

OCT110640 ANNIHILATORS EARTHFALL #4 (OF 4) $3.99

OCT110689 ASTONISHING X-MEN #45 $3.99

AUG110613 AVENGERS CHILDRENS CRUSADE #8 (OF 9) $3.99

OCT110602 AVENGERS SOLO #3 (OF 5) $3.99

OCT118095 AVENGERS X-SANCTION #1 2ND PTG MCGUINNESS VAR A $3.99

OCT118096 AVENGERS X-SANCTION #1 2ND PTG MCGUINNESS VAR B $3.99

OCT110642 BLACK PANTHER MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE #527 $2.99

SEP110546 CAPTAIN AMERICA #5 $3.99

OCT110599 CAPTAIN AMERICA #6 $3.99

OCT110636 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #625 $2.99

OCT110670 DEADPOOL #48 $2.99

OCT110617 DOROTHY AND WIZARD IN OZ #4 (OF 8) $3.99

SEP110684 ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 07 NEW ED $19.99

OCT110651 FF #13 $2.99

OCT110726 GENERATION HOPE SCHISM TP $16.99

OCT110725 HULK BY JOHN BYRNE AND RON GARNEY TP $34.99

OCT118116 INCREDIBLE HULK #2 2ND PTG SILVESTRI VAR (PP #999) $3.99

OCT110655 IRON MAN 2.0 #12 $2.99

OCT110723 KA-ZAR TP BURNING SEASON $16.99

OCT110695 KICK-ASS 2 #6 (MR) (OF 7) $2.99

OCT110594 MIGHTY THOR #9 $3.99

OCT110705 MMW GOLDEN AGE MARVEL COMICS TP VOL 01 $29.99

OCT110706 MMW GOLDEN AGE MARVEL COMICS TP VOL 01 DM VAR ED 36 $29.99

OCT110666 MUPPETS PRESENTS TREASURE OF PEG LEG WILSON $5.99

OCT110716 MYSTERY MEN PREM HC $19.99

OCT110605 SECRET AVENGERS #20 $3.99

OCT110729 SECRET AVENGERS TP VOL 02 EYES OF DRAGON $19.99

OCT110662 SPIDER-MAN #21 $2.99

OCT110623 ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #5 $3.99

OCT110626 ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #5 $3.99

OCT110671 UNCANNY X-MEN #3 XREGB $3.99

OCT110660 VENGEANCE #6 (OF 6) $3.99

OCT110740 X-MEN AGE OF X TP $24.99

OCT110674 X-MEN LEGACY #260 XREGG $2.99

OCT110711 X-MEN SCHISM HC $24.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for December 28 2011

IDW PUBLISHING

OCT110418 30 DAYS OF NIGHT ONGOING #3 $3.99
OCT110390 ANNE RICE SERVANT OF THE BONES #5 (OF 6) $3.99
OCT110355 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS HC VOL 02 FIRST ENCOUNTERS $24.99
OCT110351 DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS #14 $3.99
SEP110268 JOE HILL THE CAPE #3 (OF 4) $3.99
OCT110381 MONOCYTE #2 (OF 4) $3.99
OCT110359 STAR TREK ONGOING #4 $3.99
OCT110344 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICRO SERIES #2 MICHELANGELO $3.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 28 2011

DARK HORSE COMICS

OCT110017 ANGEL & FAITH #5 REBEKAH ISSACS VAR CVR $2.99
OCT110016 ANGEL & FAITH #5 STEVE MORRIS CVR $2.99
SEP110042 BROTHERS OF THE SPEAR ARCHIVES HC VOL 01 $49.99
AUG110059 DISNEYS COMICS & STORIES CHARACTERS #4 MICKEY MOUSE $49.95
AUG110047 GANTZ TP VOL 20 $12.99
AUG110056 MASS EFFECT NORMANDY SR2 CERBERUS SHIP REPLICA $34.99
AUG110048 OH MY GODDESS RTL TP VOL 40 $10.99
OCT110034 STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE III EMPIRE LOST #3 (OF 6) $3.50
OCT110037 THE GUILD ZABOO #1 DORKIN CVR $3.50

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 28 2011

IMAGE COMICS

JUN110524 ARTIFACTS #12 (OF 13) CVR A HORN $3.99
JUN110525 ARTIFACTS #12 (OF 13) CVR B CHRISTOPHER $3.99
SEP100490 GODLAND #35 $2.99
OCT110546 GREEN WAKE #8 (MR) $3.50
OCT110549 HACK SLASH #11 CVR A SEELEY & BADILLA (MR) $3.50
OCT110550 HACK SLASH #11 CVR B LAISO (MR) $3.50
AUG110523 HAUNT #20 $2.99
MAR110591 MICE TEMPLAR VOL 3 #6 MICHAEL AVON OEMING CVR $2.99
MAR110592 MICE TEMPLAR VOL 3 #6 SANTOS & GANDINI CVR $2.99
SEP110381 SHAKY KANES MONSTER TRUCK GN $14.99
OCT110486 SPAWN ORIGINS TP VOL 13 $14.99
OCT110578 WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #52 (MR) $2.99
OCT110447 WITCH DOCTOR RESUSCITATION ONE SHOT $2.99

Comics and Magazines from Diamond Distributors for December 28 2011

PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS
NOV110003 PREVIEWS #280 JANUARY 2012 PI

COMICS
SEP111210 2000 AD #1759 $5.00

SEP111211 2000 AD #1760 $5.00

SEP111212 2000 AD #1761 $5.00

SEP111213 2000 AD #1762 $5.00

OCT111145 AIR GEAR GN VOL 21 (MR) $10.99

OCT111146 ANIMAL LAND GN VOL 03 $10.99

NOV111252 ANTHOLOGY OF GRAPHIC FICTION HC (SALE ED) $9.99

OCT110807 ARCHIE #628 (ARCHIE MEETS KISS PT 2 ) $2.99

NOV110856 ART OF LADY DEATH HC VOL 01 SDCC ED $49.99

OCT110893 BART SIMPSON COMICS #66 $2.99

OCT110813 BETTY & VERONICA BATTLE OF THE BFFS $9.99

MAY118026 BIONICLE GN VOL 01 (NEW PTG) $8.99

SEP111215 BLACKHAWK GN (REBELLION ED) $24.99

OCT111147 BLOODY MONDAY GN VOL 03 $10.99

SEP110689 BROADCAST TV DOODLES OF HENRY FLINT SC (MR) $19.99

OCT111133 CARTOON INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS TP VOL 02 MACROECONOMICS $17.95

AUG110765 CHICKEN FIGHTER PKT MANGA VOL 02 $14.95

NOV110770 CROSSED BADLANDS OPENING SALVO (MR) $1.99

NOV110772 CROSSED PSYCHOPATH #6 (OF 7) AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

SEP110744 DADDYS LITTLE GIRL GN $14.95

OCT111143 DANGER ACADEMY GN $8.99

AUG111032 DF WARLORD OF MARS #13 RISQUE RED CVR $14.99

OCT110936 DUCKTALES #1 8 BIT SDCC VAR CVR $9.99

OCT111134 EVOLUTION STORY LIFE ON EARTH GN $14.95

AUG111075 EXTINCTION SEED #1 (OF 6) CVR A & B $2.99

MAY110857 FATHOM VOL 4 #3 CVR A KONAT $2.99

MAY110858 FATHOM VOL 4 #3 CVR B NOME $2.99

OCT111181 FRENEMY OF THE STATE #5 (OF 5) (RES) $3.99

OCT111031 GAME OF THRONES #4 (MR) $3.99

SEP118166 GET FUZZY MASTERS OF THE NONSENSEVERSE TP (PP #997) $12.99

AUG111090 HEALTH CARE REFORM SC $13.95

OCT111197 HOTWIRE HC VOL 01 LTD SGN ED (MR) $39.99

OCT110918 INCORRUPTIBLE #25 $3.99

SEP110690 INDIFFERENCE ENGINE HOLOGRAPHIC NOVEL SC (MR) $15.99

SEP110994 KIRBY GENESIS CAPTAIN VICTORY #2 $3.99

OCT110828 KNIGHTINGAIL #2 $3.99

NOV110854 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #7 FAN EXPO CVR (MR) $9.99

NOV110853 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #9 AUXILIARY (MR) $3.99

NOV110855 LADY DEATH ORIGINS ANNUAL #1 AUXILIARY (MR) $4.99

OCT111221 LENORE VOLUME II #4 $3.99

SEP111173 LOUIS - RED LETTER DAY HC NEW ED $14.99

NOV111013 LUIS ROYO SUBVERSIVE BEAUTY REG ED HC (O/A) (MR) $19.95

AUG111077 MEDITERRANEA #6 (OF 14) $2.99

AUG111106 PHOENIX WRIGHT GN VOL 03 $10.99

OCT111124 POTENTIAL GN VOL 01 TWO PERCENT HERO (O/A) $16.95

APR110775 RALPH FILMORE GN $14.95

MAY111024 RED SONJA #61 $3.99

AUG110798 RIPPERMAN GN $14.95

AUG111004 ROBERT JORDAN WHEEL OF TIME EYE O/T WORLD #18 $3.99

OCT111155 SAYONARA ZETSUBOU SENSEI GN VOL 12 $10.99

OCT110960 SCHOOL BITES GN VOL 02 (O/A) $12.95

OCT110895 SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR #14 $2.99

AUG111078 SKELETON STORY #6 (OF 6) $2.99

OCT110820 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #232 $2.99

OCT110941 SPACE WARPED #6 (OF 6) $3.99

NOV110773 STITCHED #1 AUXILIARY ED (MR) $3.99

OCT111156 TOKYO MEW MEW OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $14.99

OCT110932 TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN #1 FACSIMILE ED (MR) $3.99

SEP111063 WALT & SKEEZIX HC VOL 05 1929-1930 $39.95

NOV110847 WAR GODDESS #3 AUXILIARY (MR) $3.99

SEP111001 WARLORD OF MARS #14 $3.99

OCT110822 WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #13 $3.99

MAGAZINES
APR111339 007 MAGAZINE ARCHIVE FILES LIVING DAYLIGHTS LICENCE TO KILL $18.00
OCT111354 CINEFEX #128 DECEMBER 2011 $12.50
OCT111658 COLOR INK DIY ART PERIODICAL VOL 12 $10.00
NOV111197 COMICS REVUE PRESENTS DEC 2011 $19.95
SEP111214 JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE #317 $11.99

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Reads You Review: Millar & McNiven's NEMESIS

MILLAR & MCNIVEN’S NEMESIS
MARVEL COMICS/ICON

WRITER: Mark Millar
ARTIST: Steve McNiven
COLORS: Dave McCaig
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
EXTRA ART: Leinil Francis Yu, John Cassaday, and Mark Millar
ISBN: 978-0-7851-4865-4; hardcover
112pp, Color, $19.99 U.S., $22.50 CAN

Nemesis is a four-issue comic book miniseries from the team of writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven. Millar and McNiven produced two hugely popular Marvel event projects: Civil War, a six-issue series that was the impetus for a line-wide event, and the graphic novel, Wolverine: Old Man Logan (originally serialized in Wolverine Vol. 3 #66-72 and Wolverine Giant-Size Old Man Logan).

Nemesis is a creator-owned title that Marvel Comics published in 2010 under its Icon imprint. The four issues are collected in a hardcover volume entitled, Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis. This book has a dust jacket and includes Millar’s afterword from Nemesis #1, the variant covers from all four issues (including a cool one by Millar), a script-to-art comparison, and advertisements for two other Millar comic book projects (Superior and Kick-Ass 2).

The series focuses on two characters. The first is a Batman-like character, called “Nemesis,” who uses his skills, resources, wealth, and whatever super powers and abilities he has for evil rather than for good. Nemesis is very much like the Heath Ledger Joker in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie, The Dark Knight (2008). What if a cool billionaire with all those planes, cars and gadgets, put on a mask and waged war on the forces of law and order, Millar asks.

The second character is Nemesis’ target and opponent, Chief Blake Morrow, the Chief of Police of Washington D.C. He is like Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” Callahan and Bruce Willis’ John McClane (from the Die Hard movies) blended into Commissioner James Gordon from the Batman comics. Plus, he is a staunch, conservative (pro-life, anti-gay) Catholic.

The story depicts Nemesis’ campaign against D.C. as part of a bid to be the winner in a small war he is waging against Morrow. Nemesis’ reign of terror leaves untold numbers of civilians dead and creates collateral damage (mostly among Morrow’s family, friends, and coworkers). Morrow believes Nemesis is seeking revenge against him because the villain claims to be Matthew Anderson, the only child of a couple whose depraved crimes where revealed by Morrow. As he gets closer to Nemesis, however, Morrow wonders what is true and what is just gamesmanship when it comes to Nemesis, the world’s only super-criminal.

I love a great villain – from Iago to Hannibal Lector: the conniving, brilliant, and/or genius types. I rooted for Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight, and it is hard not to love the X-Men’s Magneto.

Nemesis features a criminal genius and super-villain whose arrogance is as alluring as it is hilarious. In a series that offers some pretty deranged scenes, Nemesis’ best moments have the villain killing cops and other law enforcement and authority types. I don’t see Nemesis as a guilty pleasure or sinful delight because I don’t feel guilty about loving it so much, although if I am honest, perhaps it is a sin to take such delight in the depiction of cops getting killed by the dozens.

Millar paints the characters in broad strokes throughout the series, but the sharp dialogue makes them likeable, nonetheless. Steve McNiven’s art, from the standpoint of style, is acceptable, though it makes me wonder why he is so acclaimed. However, McNiven’s storytelling and page design are why this story is an action-packed page-turner that is tense even where there isn’t brutal action splashed across the page.

I read Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis in one sitting, flipping pages as if my life depended upon it. My life doesn’t depend on a sequel, but my life would be better in those moments when I’m reading a sequel.

A


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Leroy Douresseaux Reviews JOE THE BARBARIAN: The Deluxe Edition

JOE THE BARBARIAN: THE DELUXE EDITION
DC COMICS/Vertigo

WRITERS: Grant Morrison
ARTIST: Sean Murphy
COLORS: Dave Stewart
LETTERS: Todd Klein
ISBN: 978-1-4012-2971-9; hardcover
224pp, Color, $29.99 U.S., $34.00 CAN

Sean Gordon Murphy is the New Hampshire-born, Brooklyn-based animator and comic book artist best known for his work with DC Comics, including the Batman/Scarecrow: Year One miniseries and Hellbazer. He has also had work published by Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press. I mention Murphy because he is ready to be a star. He should be a star, and a new hardcover comics collection testifies to that.

Joe the Barbarian is an eight-issue miniseries created and written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Sean Murphy with colors by Dave Stewart. Published during 2010 (cover date March 2010 to March 2011) by Vertigo, the DC Comics imprint, the series blended both high and epic fantasy with quest fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, and juvenile fiction. Vertigo recently published Joe the Barbarian: The Deluxe Edition, a hardcover book which collects all eight issues of the series with supplemental material (script sample, sketches, script breakdowns, art progression, etc.)

The title character of the series is Joseph “Joe” Manson, Jr., a teenage boy with Type 1 diabetes. When his blood sugar drops, Joe enters a state of hypoglycemia, which means the glucose content in his blood is abnormally low. When he is hypoglycemic, Joe begins to hallucinate, and his mind imagines a fantasy world that is actually based on the design and floor plan of his house. This world is populated by his toys and other fantasy characters (superheroes like Superman and Batman, knights, dwarves, and also a Transformer-like toy, among others). One of the characters is an anthropomorphic rat named “Chakk,” a warrior/paladin that is the fantasy version of Joe’s pet white rate, Jack.

Alone in his house during a lightning storm, Joe enters a state of hypoglycemia, and the hallways and doorways of his big, dark house become vast kingdoms, mist-shrouded landscapes, and sinister gateways. And Joe is now the Dying Boy. He is the one legends claim will restore the Light and overthrow King Death, the one who wants to cover the world in darkness and turn the living into the dead. Joe is confused as to whether he is really a hero, or just in need of a soda to stop a series of hallucinations. Still, he must complete some kind of quest or his first adventure will be his last. Either way, Chakk/Jack is by his side.

As with much of Grant Morrison’s comic book work, Joe the Barbarian is not lacking in imagination and inventiveness. Even with its Tolkien-esque qualities, Morrison’s clever and inspired flourishes (such as how the house’s infrastructure shapes Joe’s hallucinations) stand apart as unusual. Still, as a whole, this series is like empty calories because there isn’t much substantive or mentally nutritious like… say… The Invisibles. Even as a metaphor, Joe the Barbarian doesn’t resonate, as it doesn’t have much worth grappling with metaphorically. There are some interesting set pieces and some ingenious panels here and there. Yes, Joe the Barbarian is entertaining, but that’s about it.

If I have to say that something in Joe the Barbarian blew my mind, I would say that it is the art of Sean Murphy. The compositions surpass Morrison’s ideas in terms of imagination, because, visually, Murphy’s drawings are what give Joe the Barbarian the feel that the story is a “flight of fancy” with consequence and significance. In addition, Murphy’s sustained high level of draftsmanship over eight issues is only surpassed by Jim Lee when considering comic books published by DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

Over time, trade collections of this series will undoubtedly attract readers because Joe the Barbarian is a brainchild of Grant Morrison. The art and the supplemental material, however, make Joe the Barbarian: The Deluxe Edition a portfolio of and showcase for the art of Sean Murphy.

B


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 21 2011

DC COMICS

OCT110184 BATMAN #4 $2.99

MAY110305 BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE STATUE BY PAT GLEASON $80.00

OCT110190 BATMAN INCORPORATED LEVIATHAN STRIKES #1 $6.99

OCT110194 BATMAN ODYSSEY VOL 2 #3 (OF 7) $3.99

OCT110193 BIRDS OF PREY #4 $2.99

OCT110230 BLUE BEETLE #4 $2.99

OCT110169 CAPTAIN ATOM #4 $2.99

SEP110208 CARTOON NETWORK 2 IN 1 BEN 10 GENERATOR REX TP $12.99

OCT110196 CATWOMAN #4 $2.99

OCT110236 DC COMICS PRESENTS THE KENTS #2 $7.99

APR110282 DC UNIVERSE ONLINE STATUE HARLEY QUINN $90.00

OCT110172 DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #4 $2.99

OCT118112 DETECTIVE COMICS #1 4TH PTG $2.99

OCT110276 END OF NATIONS #2 (OF 4) (RES) $2.99

OCT110293 FABLES #112 (MR) (NOTE PRICE) $3.99

OCT110205 GREEN LANTERN CORPS #4 $2.99

OCT110287 HELLBLAZER #286 (MR) $2.99

MAY110307 HEROES OF THE DCU WHITE LANTERN SINESTRO BUST $70.00

OCT110159 JUSTICE LEAGUE #4 $3.99

OCT110162 JUSTICE LEAGUE #4 COMBO PACK $4.99

OCT110233 LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #4 $2.99

OCT110200 NIGHTWING #4 $2.99

OCT110199 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #4 $2.99

FEB110287 STARCRAFT PREMIUM SER 1 JIM RAYNOR AF PI

FEB110288 STARCRAFT PREMIUM SER 1 ZERAUL AF PI

OCT110183 SUPERGIRL #4 $2.99

OCT110218 THUNDER AGENTS VOL 2 #2 (OF 6) $2.99

OCT110270 TINY TITANS #47 $2.99

SEP110204 TINY TITANS TP VOL 06 THE TREEHOUSE AND BEYOND $12.99

OCT110290 VERTIGO RESURRECTED SGT ROCK HELL HARD PLACE #2 (MR) $7.99

OCT110165 WONDER WOMAN #4 $2.99

OCT110272 YOUNG JUSTICE #11 $2.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 21 2011

MARVEL COMICS

OCT110631 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #676 $3.99

AUG110680 ANITA BLAKE CIRCUS DAMNED SCOUNDREL #3 (OF 5) (MR) $3.99

OCT110597 AVENGERS #20 $3.99

OCT110720 AVENGERS DEFENDERS WAR TP NEW PTG $19.99

OCT110715 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY PREM HC LIFE OF BUCKY BARNES $19.99

OCT110686 DAKEN DARK WOLVERINE #18 $2.99

OCT110644 DAREDEVIL #7 $2.99

OCT110692 DEADPOOL MAX 2 #3 (MR) $3.99

OCT110747 DEFENDERS BY TERRY DODSON POSTER $8.99

OCT110585 DEFENDERS COMING OF DEFENDERS #1 $5.99

OCT110586 DEFENDERS STRANGE HEROES $4.99

OCT110744 ESSENTIAL FANTASTIC FOUR TP VOL 03 NEW ED $19.99

OCT110648 FANTASTIC FOUR #601 $2.99

OCT110724 FANTASTIC FOUR BY WAID & WIERINGO ULT COLL TP BOOK 04 $24.99

OCT110584 FEAR ITSELF FEARLESS #5 (OF 12) $2.99

OCT110614 FORMIC WARS SILENT STRIKE #1 (OF 5) $3.99

OCT110673 GENERATION HOPE #14 XREGB $2.99

OCT110654 HULK #46 $2.99

OCT110595 INCREDIBLE HULK #3 $3.99

OCT110596 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #511 $3.99

OCT110619 JOHN CARTER A PRINCESS OF MARS #4 (OF 5) $2.99

OCT110727 JUBILEE BY ROBERT KIRKMAN TP $16.99

OCT110668 LEGION OF MONSTERS #3 (OF 4) $3.99

JUL110713 MMW GOLDEN AGE USA COMICS HC VOL 02 $64.99

JUL110714 MMW GOLDEN AGE USA COMICS HC VOL 02 DM VAR ED 172 $64.99

OCT110683 NEW MUTANTS #35 XREGB $2.99

OCT110693 PUNISHERMAX #20 (MR) $3.99

JUL110719 SIEGE HC $39.99

OCT110638 SIX GUNS #3 (OF 5) $2.99

OCT110738 SPIDER-MAN CHAPTER ONE TP $34.99

OCT110667 THUNDERBOLTS #167 $2.99

OCT110733 ULT COMICS SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 03 DOSM PRELUDE $19.99

OCT110734 ULT COMICS SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 03 DOSM PRELUDE DM VAR ED $19.99

OCT110620 ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #5 $3.99

OCT110678 UNCANNY X-FORCE #19 XREGG $3.99

SEP118162 UNCANNY X-MEN #1 2ND PTG PACHECO VAR XREGB (PP #997) $3.99

OCT110635 VENOM #11 $2.99

OCT110748 VENOM EVENT BY STEFANO CASELLI POSTER $8.99

OCT110685 WOLVERINE #20 XREGG $3.99

OCT110672 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #3 XREGG $3.99

OCT110732 WOLVERINE BY GREG RUCKA ULTIMATE COLLECTION TP $39.99

OCT110656 WOLVERINE PUNISHER GHOST RIDER OFF INDEX MU #5 (OF 8) $3.99

OCT110688 X-23 #19 $2.99

OCT110682 X-FACTOR #229 XREGG $2.99

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for December 21 2011

IDW PUBLISHING

SEP110352 ART OF JOE JUSKO HC $49.99

OCT110427 BLONDIE HC VOL 02 $49.99

OCT110331 COBRA ONGOING #8 $3.99

OCT110423 COMPLETE JON SABLE FREELANCE OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $29.99

OCT110367 DOCTOR WHO ONGOING 2 TP VOL 02 WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE $17.99

SEP110328 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS DRIZZT #4 (OF 5) $3.99

SEP118149 GHOSTBUSTERS ONGOING #2 2ND PTG $3.99

SEP118150 GHOSTBUSTERS ONGOING #3 2ND PTG $3.99

OCT110372 GHOSTBUSTERS ONGOING #4 $3.99

OCT110336 GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #173 $3.99

OCT110338 GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO TP VOL 03 $19.99

OCT110347 GODZILLA KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #10 $3.99

OCT110387 INFESTATION OUTBREAK TP $17.99

OCT110339 MEMORIAL #1 (OF 6) $3.99

OCT110342 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #5 $3.99

OCT110326 TRANSFORMERS DEATH OF OPTIMUS PRIME (ONE SHOT) $3.99

OCT110420 ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS WARBOT TREASURY ED #1 $9.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 21 2011

DARK HORSE COMICS

AUG110039 BALTIMORE VOL 01 THE PLAGUE SHIPS TP $18.99
OCT110021 BPRD HELL ON EARTH RUSSIA #4 $3.50
OCT110039 CONAN ROAD OF KINGS #11 $3.50
SEP110021 CRIMINAL MACABRE OMNIBUS TP VOL 02 $24.99
OCT110050 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #7 (MR) $7.99
OCT118141 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #7 CHAYKIN VAR CVR (MR) $7.99
OCT110029 MASS EFFECT INVASION #3 (OF 4) CARNEVALE CVR $3.50
SEP110031 SOLOMON KANE TP VOL 03 RED SHADOWS $17.99
OCT110035 STAR WARS KNIGHT ERRANT DELUGE #5 (OF 5) $3.50
OCT110049 THE IMMORTAL DEMON I/T BLOOD #1 $3.50

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 21 2011

IMAGE COMICS

OCT110438 ACTIVITY #1 $3.50
AUG110515 DARKNESS #96 CVR A HAUN (MR) $2.99
AUG110516 DARKNESS #96 CVR B MITCHELL (MR) $2.99
OCT110456 INFINITE TP VOL 01 $9.99
JUL110532 INVINCIBLE #86 $2.99
OCT110442 LAST BATTLE ONE SHOT $7.99
OCT110459 LIL DEPRESSED BOY TP VOL 00 $9.99
OCT110566 NEAR DEATH #4 $2.99
OCT110461 OFFICER DOWNE BIGGER BETTER BASTARD ED HC (MR) $17.99
OCT110463 RATFIST TP $19.99
AUG110538 SAVAGE DRAGON #177 $3.50
OCT110481 SPAWN ORIGINS HC VOL 05 $29.99
MAY110474 STRANGE GIRL OMNIBUS HC (MR) $59.99
OCT110520 WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS NEW PTG HC VOL 02 (O/A) (MR) $100.00
OCT110577 WALKING DEAD WEEKLY #51 (MR) $2.99
OCT110581 XENOHOLICS #3 (MR) $3.50

Comics and Magazines for Diamond Distributors for December 21 2011

COMICS

AUG111173 2000 AD #1755 $5.00

AUG111174 2000 AD #1756 $5.00

OCT110809 ARCHIE & FRIENDS #159 $2.99

OCT110811 B & V FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #220 $3.99

OCT111272 BETRAYAL KNOWS MY NAME GN VOL 02 (MR) $18.99

OCT110812 BETTY & VERONICA #257 $2.99

OCT110986 BOYS BUTCHER BAKER CANDLESTICKMAKER #6 (MR) $3.99

OCT111171 BUBBLES & GONDOLA HC (O/A) $16.99

OCT111209 BUZZBOY SIDEKICKS RULE TP $14.95

SEP111236 CLINT #12 (MR) $6.99

SEP111010 DARK SHADOWS #2 $3.99

JUL111126 DARK SHADOWS COMP SERIES HC VOL 03 $49.99

MAY111067 DF DAREDEVIL #1 ROMITA SR SGN ED $69.99

MAY111066 DF DAREDEVIL #1 WAID SGN ED PI

JUL111076 DF INCREDIBLE HULKS #635 HAESER REMARK ED $49.99

JUN111085 DF INVADERS NOW #5 ROSS EXC CVR $14.99

JUL111080 DF JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1 JURGENS SGN ED $29.99

AUG111026 DF KIRBY GENESIS CAPT VICTORY #1 ROSS VIRGIN EXC $10.00

JUN111084 DF PUNISHER #1 ROMITA SR SGN PI

MAR111121 DF ROCKETEER #1 ROSS LTD SGN CVR (MR) $29.99

APR111017 DF ROCKETEER #2 ROSS LTD SGN CVR $29.99

MAY111057 DF ROCKETEER #3 ROSS SGN SKETCH CVR $29.99

JUN111083 DF ROCKETEER #4 ROSS SKETCH CVR SGN ED $29.99

AUG111033 DF WARLORD OF MARS DEJAH #8 RISQUE RED CVR $14.99

AUG111029 DF X-MEN #1 HAESER SKETCH ED $49.99

SEP111286 DOROHEDORO VOL 05 (MR) $12.99

OCT111269 DROPS OF GOD GN VOL 02 $14.95

OCT110937 DUCKTALES #1 GET A SKETCH SDCC VAR CVR $9.99

OCT111192 EAST MEETS WEST #3 (RES) $5.95

SEP111285 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST TP VOL 27 (OF 27) $9.99

OCT111286 GIANT-SIZE GFT 2011 HOLIDAY ED A CVR DEBALFO $5.99

OCT111287 GIANT-SIZE GFT 2011 HOLIDAY ED B CVR SEJIC $5.99

OCT111097 GRAPHIC CLASSICS GN VOL 22 AFRICAN AMERICAN $17.95

JUL111031 GREEN HORNET #20 $3.99

OCT110915 HELLRAISER MASTERPIECES #4 (MR) $3.99

OCT110921 INCORRUPTIBLE #1 ARTIST EDITION $3.99

JUL111231 INTREPID ESCAPEGOAT #3 (OF 3) CURSE O/T BUDDHAS TOOTH $3.99

AUG111047 JASON CONQUERS AMERICA (ONE SHOT) $4.99

OCT111041 KEVIN SMITH BIONIC MAN #5 $3.99

OCT110923 KEY OF Z #3 (OF 4) (MR) $3.99

OCT111275 KOBATO GN VOL 05 $11.99

OCT111142 KODT BUNDLE OF TROUBLE TP VOL 05 (NEW PTG) $12.99

AUG111095 KODT BUNDLE OF TROUBLE TP VOL 34 $14.99

FEB110773 LADY MECHANIKA #3 CVR A BENITEZ $2.99

FEB110774 LADY MECHANIKA #3 CVR B TAN $2.99

OCT111151 MARDOCK SCRAMBLE GN VOL 03 $10.99

AUG111128 MOONSTONES MODERN MYTHS BLACKEST TERROR #1 $2.99

OCT111277 MY GIRLFRIENDS A GEEK GN VOL 05 $11.99

OCT110869 NELSON GN $24.99

OCT110926 PLANET OF THE APES #9 $3.99

SEP111624 POP-SEQUENTIALISM GREAT COMIC BOOK ART SC $10.00

JUL111226 RICHELLE MEAD DARK SWAN STORM BORN HC VOL 01 $19.95

SEP110747 SCROOGE & SANTA GN (RES) $14.95

OCT110892 SERGIO ARAGONES FUNNIES #6 $3.50

OCT110894 SIMPSONS COMICS #185 $2.99

OCT110821 SONIC UNIVERSE #35 $2.99

AUG110754 SPEED RACER CIRCLE OF VENGEANCE #2 (OF 4) $3.99

OCT111162 STREAKERS GN (MR) $7.00

JUL111232 STUFF OF LEGEND JESTERS TALE #3 (OF 4) $3.99

SEP111103 TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE #7 (MR) $4.95

SEP111290 TENJO TENGE GN VOL 04 (MR) $17.99

SEP111235 THE PACK #2 (OF 3) (MR) $4.50

OCT111135 TINAS MOUTH EXISTENTIAL COMIC DIARY GN $18.95

AUG110740 UNBELIEVABLE THE MAN WHO ATE DAFFODILS GN (MR) $17.99

AUG110987 VAMPIRELLA #12 $3.99

SEP110815 WOLFSKIN HC VOL 02 HUNDRETH DREAM (MR) $27.99

SEP110814 WOLFSKIN TP VOL 02 HUNDRETH DREAM (MR) $19.99

OCT110965 XXXHOLIC GN VOL 18 $10.99

AUG111132 ZOMBIES VS CHEERLEADERS #5 $3.99

MAGAZINES
MAY111367 007 MAGAZINE ARCHIVE SEAN CONNERY PART 2 $18.00
SEP111349 BACK ISSUE #53 $8.95
MAY111673 BRICKJOURNAL #16 $8.95
AUG111320 CLASSIC MARVEL FIG COLL MAG #160 BLACKHEART $14.00
AUG111321 CLASSIC MARVEL FIG COLL MAG #161 THE PUPPET MASTER $14.00
AUG111322 CLASSIC MARVEL FIG COLL MAG SPEC ODIN $32.00
AUG111330 DC BLACKEST NIGHT FIG COLL MAG #15 LYSSA DRAK $14.00
AUG111331 DC BLACKEST NIGHT FIG COLL MAG #16 ARISIA $14.00
AUG111332 DC SUPERHERO FIG COLL MAG #94 HOURMAN $14.00
AUG111333 DC SUPERHERO FIG COLL MAG #95 BATGIRL $14.00
AUG111334 DC SUPERHERO FIG COLL MAG SPECIAL MR MXYZPTLK / BAT-MITE $22.00
SEP111367 DR WHO MAGAZINE #441 $9.00
JUL111385 FANGORIA #309 JAN 2012 $9.99
OCT111362 LOCUS #611 $6.95
OCT111344 RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE #118 $9.95
SEP111392 SFX #216 $10.99
OCT111372 STAR WARS INSIDER #130 SPECIAL NEWSSTAND ED $7.99
JUL111439 STAR WARS VEHICLES COLL MAG #74 EWOK HANG GLIDER $18.00

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Joe Jusko: Maelstrom" Available for Pre-Order

Much Anticipated Joe Jusko Sketchbook Announced: Second in a series!

New York, NY- The much anticipated second Joe Jusko Sketchbook from Eva Ink Publishing is in the current/upcoming Diamond Catalogue, and is available for ordering either via Diamond or via Eva Ink Publishing (http://www.evainkartistgroup.com/)

"Joe Jusko: Maelstrom" is a lush 48 page, full color book, and showcases works by Jusko not featured in any other sketchbook or artbook! A great follow up to last year's book "Joe Jusko: Savage Beauty."

Jusko is undoubtedly one of the best known Fantasy, Pin-Up and Comic Artists in the world today. His career has spanned over 30 years, starting with the sale of his very first cover for Heavy Metal Magazine in 1977 at the age of 17. Since graduating that year from NYC's High School of Art & Design, Joe has worked for almost every major comic book publisher, producing hundreds of images for both covers and interiors.

His work has appeared on paperback book covers, calendars, posters, t-shirts, toy packaging and innumerable trading cards, most memorably the multi award winning 1992 Marvel Masterpieces Trading Cards. The popularity of that set has been credited with initiating the painted trading card boom of the 1990's, and led to his groundbreaking 1995 Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs trading cards. Those 125 paintings have made him the most prolific Burroughs artist ever, producing art based on almost every major book by the famed author. He is currently the cover artist for the "John Carter of Mars" series.

In addition to his work at Marvel over the years, Joe has produced art for many other companies and characters, including DC Comics, Crusade Comics, Innovation Comics, Harris Comics, Wildstorm Comics, Top Cow Productions and Byron Preiss Visuals, to name just a few. He has produced storyboards for ad agencies and advertising campaigns for such notable clients as the World Wrestling Federation, where he designed the art for the 1991-1992 Royal Rumbles and Wrestlemania VII.

His recent work includes monthly painted covers for Dynamite Comics' adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' WARLORD OF MARS, covers for VAMPIRELLA and a 4 issue WOLVERINE/HERCULES minis series as well as numerous independent publishers. His 2005 fully painted graphic novel based on Lara Croft, the heroine from the Tomb Raider video game series, won a Certificate of Merit from the prestigious Society of Illustrators, into which he was inducted in 2007. His hardcover "Art of Joe Jusko" book was released by Desperado Publishing in May, 2009 to rave reviews, and "Savage Beauty" his first in a series of hardcover sketchbooks from EvaInk Productions was released as of November 2010. He's currently developing a graphic storytelling property with Steve Niles' (author of "30 Days of Night").

His work has earned him myriad awards and honors, including two "Favorite Painter" Wizard Fan Awards, multiple trading card awards, a Golden Lion Award from the Burroughs Bibliophiles (previous recipients include Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo) and a Chesley Award nomination for best cover in 2001.

Joe's original paintings are held in collections worldwide, a fact that never ceases to amaze and humble him.

This new sketchbook on this prolific painter, "Joe Jusko: Maelstrom" is available in two editions:

Signed Edition: $39.99
ISBN:978-1-4675-0474-4

Sketch Edition: $124.99
ISBN: 978-1-4675-0475-1

The print run is limited to 1,000 copies.

Contact us at: evaink@aol.com for more details. Payments are accepted via paypal or via credit card when ordering directly from Eva Ink.

For more information, feel free to drop us a line. And if you don't own "Joe Jusko: Savage Beauty" yet, ask about acquiring both books, and receive a 10% discount via the Eva Ink store.

http://www.evainkartistgroup.com/ and www.witterstaetterwrites/blogspot.com

Friday, December 16, 2011

"One Piece" Art Book Due in Early January 2012

JOIN THE STRAW HAT PIRATES AND DIVE INTO THE ARTWORK OF EIICHIRO ODA IN THE NEW ONE PIECE COLOR WALK VOL. 2 FROM VIZ MEDIA

New Full Color Art Book Features Illustrations From The Bestselling Manga Series Of All Time And Includes Works Never Seen Before Outside Japan

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced the release of a new collection of manga (graphic novel) creator Eiichiro Oda’s artwork from the bestselling pirate adventure, ONE PIECE, with the publication of the ONE PIECE COLOR WALK Vol. 2 on January 3, 2011. The new art book is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

Color images and special illustrations from one of the world’s most popular manga are offered in this vivid new art collection. The book features behind-the-scenes info on how certain characters were designed and also includes an interview with Eiichiro Oda where he discusses his history and evolution as a manga artist. The book also includes a bonus postcard and in-bound full-color poster!

In the ONE PIECE manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens), Monkey D. Luffy is inspired as a child to become a pirate by listening to the tales of the buccaneer "Red-Haired" Shanks. But Luffy's life changes forever when he accidentally eats the cursed Gum-Gum fruit, and gains the power to stretch like rubber – but at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, still vowing to become the king of the pirates, Luffy sets out on an epic adventure... One guy alone in a rowboat, in search of the legendary "One Piece," said to be the greatest treasure in the world.

“ONE PIECE is the most popular manga series in Japan and continues to be the bestselling manga series of all time with more than 240 million volumes sold to-date,” says Alexis Kirsch, Editor. “This new edition of ONE PIECE COLOR WALK Art Book features a big selection of Eiichiro Oda’s artwork rendered in vivid full color. Oda’s illustrations are imaginative, playful, and often dramatic, and most have never been seen before outside Japan. We invite fans to savor all the character and cover art contained in this wonderful new edition!”

Eiichiro Oda began his manga career at the age of 17, when his one-shot cowboy manga Wanted! won second place in the coveted Tezuka manga awards. Oda went on to work as an assistant to some of the biggest manga artists in the industry, including Nobuhiro Watsuki (RUROUNI KENSHIN), before winning the Hop Step Award for new artists. His pirate adventure ONE PIECE, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1997, quickly became one of the most popular manga series in Japan and also enjoys a major worldwide following.

More information on the ONE PIECE manga series is available at http://onepiece.viz.com/. The ONE PIECE manga series may also be read digitally through the VIZ Manga App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, or through VIZManga.com for desktop/laptop computers or any internet-enabled device.


House of Five Leaves: Maple

I read House of Five Leaves 5 / Name Your Link

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin (which has free comics).


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Leroy Douresseaux Reviews ANY EMPIRE (OGN)

ANY EMPIRE
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS

CARTOONIST: Nate Powell
ISBN: 978-1-60309-077-3; hardcover
304pp, B&W, $19.95 U.S.

Rating: Mature readers (13+)

Nate Powell is the Arkansas-born, now Bloomington, Indiana-based illustrator and graphic novelist known for his self-publishing and DIY musical efforts. His 2008 original hardcover graphic novel, Swallow Me Whole, won an Eisner Award in 2009 in the category of “Best Original Graphic Novel.” 2011 saw the release of a new hardcover original graphic novel, Any Empire, which according to the publisher, Top Shelf Productions, “examines war and violence, and their trickle-down effects on middle America.”

Any Empire’s lead character is Lee Powell, a small-town, middle school kid. Lee is often lost in violent fantasy scenarios – most of which involve characters from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Sullen and withdrawn, Lee can also be inquisitive and friendly, which causes his parents (including his father who is an officer in the United States Air Force) some concern.

Lee’s friend is Donnie Purdy, who simply goes by “Purdy,” a boy who is even more sullen than Lee. In fact, Purdy’s attachment to violent scenarios is downright visceral compared to Lee’s musings of consequence-free violence. Purdy is attached to twin brothers, Matt and Mark, little bullies with a penchant for animal abuse. When a series of turtle mutilations comes to light, a local girl named Sarah plays Nancy Drew to catch the culprits. Eventually, Lee, Purdy, and Sarah separate, but their dark histories of violence collide and reunite them in adulthood.

Nate Powell doesn’t necessarily dig deeply into the characters of Any Empire. What he does is delve into the role of violence in their lives, and violence is the dominant theme. Woven into the fabric of Any Empire is violence between children, violence against animals, the depiction of violent and dark emotions that people feel towards others, the insidious nature of violent entertainment aimed at children, and the all-obliterating violence of war between nations and states.

One thing that a reader can get from this graphic novel is that characters don’t just resort to violence; it’s also the tool of choice in their work box. This narrative, however, is not without a ray of hope. There is a scene late in the story that runs for two pages and part of a third page, in which Lee and his father grapple with war and violence. Papa Powell says something that is not said often enough – at least not in a meaningful way (as he does) – in my (fake) humble opinion.

I remain impressed by the way Powell’s compositional technique creates black and white art that shimmers on the page the way black and white Film Noir glistens on the screen. His quicksilver graphical storytelling dances across the pages and reaffirms that the simplicity of black and white art combined with lettering and word balloons can be as transfixing as any color comic book created with software. With Any Empire, Nate Powell assures his place as a great American graphic novelist.

A-

http://www.seemybrotherdance.org/
http://www.topshelfcomix.com/


Review: SWALLOW ME WHOLE (OGN)

SWALLOW ME WHOLE
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS

CARTOONIST: Nate Powell
ISBN: 978-1-60309-033-9; hardcover
216pp, B&W, $19.95 U.S.

Rating: Mature readers (16+)

Swallow Me Whole is a 2008 graphic novel from cartoonist Nate Powell. Previous work by the musician and graphic novelist include Please Release (Top Shelf Productions, 2007) and Sounds of Your Name (Microcosm Publishing, 2006). Swallow Me Whole is the story of step-siblings and their struggles with mental illness. The book received the 2009 Eisner Award in the category of “Best Original Graphic Novel.”

I received a black and white, photocopied galley of Swallow Me Whole from Top Shelf. I struggled to finish the book. My struggles had nothing to do with Swallow Me Whole being a bore. Powell offers dense visual narratives that can be not only complex, but also difficult to decipher.

Along with a handful of young and gradually rising cartoonists like Jordan Crane and Carla Speed-McNeil (who has actually toiled in near obscurity for years), Nate Powell takes an approach to the graphic novel that recalls Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez, Chester Brown, and Daniel Clowes, in which the reader must not only read the text in the word balloons, but must also absorb and interpret the actual comic book art. The art isn’t just drawings; it’s both a narrative and a carrier of ideas, philosophies, commentaries, etc. Through the art the reader is also expected to feel what the characters are feeling, which can be troubling when one is trying to feel a troubled characters.

Powell’s work reminds me of Charles Burns (Black Hole) comix in that everything drawn onto the page, including the lettering, is part of this communication of story and ideas. Because of this, I would say that Swallow Me Whole reminds me of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, in which everything placed on the pages (and covers): drawings, colors, and lettering transmitted stories, ideas, and messages, as well as it evoked sensations and feelings in the reader. Watchmen was meant to fire up the old noodle and get the reader thinking and engaged.

Swallow Me Whole is a sensory reading experience, although I wouldn’t necessarily call it the Watchmen of alternative comics, but could it be… Swallow Me Whole focuses on step-siblings Ruth and Perry – primarily Ruth. They are children of a blended family living in Wormwood, Arkansas, and their high school years are a journey into the dark corners of adolescence. Powell, however, isn’t dealing with such formulaic teenage melodrama as rebellion, sexual awakening, conformity, gangs, or the prom.

Swallow Me Whole is less about the external matters of being an adolescent and more about the madness of boredom and the discombobulating of the interior life. Ruth suffers from apophenia, a mental condition in which she sees patterns and connections in random, meaningless, and unrelated data, data which, to her, obviously doesn’t seem unconnected. Perry also hallucinates, seeing and hearing a small wizard connected to his drawing pencil, a wizard that demands Perry prepare for an important quest. While Perry struggles to extricate himself from the wizard, Ruth isn’t so sure that she should medicate her condition just to fit in with everyone.

Powell composes his art with a quirky line (that recalls Bill Loeb in Journey) and inks in fluid, smooth brushstrokes that seem to pour like batter from a large clay jar. Beyond surface appearances, Powell saturates the art in blacks and shadows that trickle, flow, drench, flood, and finally submerge the drawings. He dots the art with a steady spell of word balloons that combines to tell this story. As I said before, everything on the pages communicates.

There is a two-page sequence featuring Ruth sitting in the passenger seat of a car in which Powell alters the way he composes and inks this page and the manner in which he creates a varying degree of difficulty in reading the word balloons. Powell arranges this sequence in such a way to characterize and shape Ruth for the reader – to suggest her shifting mental state within the space of this one sequence. Powell not only wants the reader to know that Ruth and Perry have mental issues; he’s also determined to take the reader share them. He wants us to feel like them, to think like them, and ultimately to experience a sense of Ruth’s unraveling and Perry’s struggles.

Swallow Me Whole is not escapism because Powell is offering more than a story. He wants the reader to live through Ruth and Perry, and though Swallow Me Whole may come across as too complex and the story so elusive, he is not content with merely acting for you. Swallow Me Whole is about feeling the textures and sensations of the mental struggle. It’s amazing that someone can do this with drawings on a page.

Websites of note:
http://www.topshelfcomix.com/
http://www.harlanrecords.org/
http://www.microcosmpublishing.com/


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 14 2011

DC COMICS

JAN110419 ABSOLUTE PROMETHEA HC VOL 03 $99.99

OCT110269 ALL NEW BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #14 $2.99

SEP110217 AMERICAN VAMPIRE #21 (MR) $2.99

OCT110198 BATGIRL #4 $2.99

OCT110192 BATMAN AND ROBIN #4 $2.99

OCT110310 BATMAN ARKHAM CITY SER 1 BATMAN AF PI

OCT110309 BATMAN ARKHAM CITY SER 1 HARLEY QUIN AF PI

OCT110311 BATMAN ARKHAM CITY SER 1 ROBIN AF PI

OCT110197 BATWOMAN #4 $2.99

OCT110239 DC COMICS PRESENTS BATMAN THE SECRET CITY #1 $7.99

AUG110243 DC COMICS THE NEW 52 HC $150.00

JAN110454 DC DYNAMICS JOKER STATUE $195.00

OCT110173 DC UNIVERSE ONLINE LEGENDS #19 $2.99

OCT110220 DEATHSTROKE #4 $2.99

OCT110216 DEMON KNIGHTS #4 $2.99

SEP110221 FABLES TP VOL 16 SUPER TEAM (MR) $14.99

OCT110213 FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #4 $2.99

OCT110202 GREEN LANTERN #4 $2.99

MAY110315 GREEN LANTERN SER 5 BROTHER WARTH ACTION FIGURE PI

MAY110316 GREEN LANTERN SER 5 GUY GARDNER ACTION FIGURE PI

MAY110317 GREEN LANTERN SER 5 SINESTRO ACTION FIGURE PI

MAY110314 GREEN LANTERN SER 5 SORANIK NATU ACTION FIGURE PI

OCT110219 GRIFTER #4 $2.99

SEP110183 HITMAN TP VOL 05 TOMMYS HEROES (RES) $29.99

OCT110232 LEGION LOST #4 $2.99

OCT110275 MAD MAGAZINE #513 $5.99

OCT110176 MISTER TERRIFIC #4 $2.99

OCT110177 MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #3 (OF 6) $3.99

OCT110227 RAY #1 (OF 4) $2.99

OCT110215 RESURRECTION MAN #4 $2.99

OCT110208 SHADE #3 (OF 12) $2.99

AUG110253 SHOWCASE PRESENTS BATMAN TP VOL 05 $19.99

SEP110192 SHOWCASE PRESENTS WONDER WOMAN TP VOL 04 $19.99

OCT110222 SUICIDE SQUAD #4 $2.99

OCT110182 SUPERBOY #4 $2.99

AUG110254 TALES OF THE BATMAN DON NEWTON HC VOL 01 $39.99

OCT110299 UNWRITTEN #32 (MR) $2.99

OCT110289 VERTIGO FIRST BLOOD #1 (MR) $7.99

MAY110308 WHITE LANTERN 1/4 SCALE POWER BATTERY & RING PROP $35.00

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 14 2011

MARVEL COMICS

OCT110601 AVENGERS 1959 #4 (OF 5) $2.99

OCT110593 AVENGERS ACADEMY #23 $2.99

OCT110606 AVENGERS X-SANCTION #1 (OF 4) $3.99

OCT110745 AVENGERS X-SANCTION BY ED MCGUINNESS POSTER $8.99

OCT110582 BATTLE SCARS #2 (OF 6) $2.99

OCT110641 BLACK PANTHER MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE #526 $2.99

OCT110632 CARNAGE USA #1 (OF 5) $3.99

OCT110746 CARNAGE USA BY CLAYTON CRAIN POSTER $8.99

OCT110616 DARK TOWER GUNSLINGER WAY STATION #1 (OF 5) $3.99

OCT110722 DEADPOOL MAX TP NUTJOB (MR) $19.99

OCT110742 ESSENTIAL RAWHIDE KID TP VOL 01 $19.99

AUG110736 ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN TP VOL 06 NEW ED $19.99

SEP118119 FEAR ITSELF FEARLESS #1 (OF 12) 2ND PTG VAR A (PP #996) $2.99

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IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for December 14 2011

IDW PUBLISHING

SEP110344 CHUCK JONES DREAM THAT NEVER WAS HC $49.99

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Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 14 2011

DARK HORSE COMICS

OCT110022 BALTIMORE CURSE BELLS #5 $3.50

OCT110019 BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #4 JEANTY VAR CVR $2.99

OCT110018 BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #4 MORRIS CVR $2.99

AUG110053 FLASH GORDON COMIC BOOK ARCHIVES HC VOL 05 $49.99

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AUG110055 TUROK SON OF STONE AZTLAN TP VOL 01 $15.99

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 14 2011

IMAGE COMICS

OCT110532 27 SECOND SET #4 (OF 4) $3.99

JUL110446 68 JUNGLE JIM ONE SHOT CVR A $3.99

JUL110447 68 JUNGLE JIM ONE SHOT CVR B $3.99

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OCT110540 DAOMU #8 (MR) $2.99

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AUG110528 MAGDALENA #10 $3.99

MAR110590 MEMOIR #5 (OF 6) $3.50

SEP110423 NIGHTLY NEWS ANNIVERSARY ED HC $34.99

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OCT110470 RED WING TP $14.99

SEP110479 SAMURAIS BLOOD #6 (OF 6) $2.99

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OCT110499 SUPER DINOSAUR DLX COLORING BOOK $4.99

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JUL110412 WITCHBLADE #150 CVR C CHOI $4.99

JUL110413 WITCHBLADE #150 CVR D TURNER $4.99

Comics and Magazines from Diamond Distributors for December 14 2011

COMICS

SEP110850 28 DAYS LATER TP VOL 06 HOMECOMING $12.99

OCT110897 7 WARRIORS #2 (OF 3) (MR) $3.99

JUL110825 A TALE OF SAND HC $29.95

JUL111161 AIRBOY PRESENTS AIR VIXENS #1 (RES) $3.50

SEP111281 ARATA THE LEGEND TP VOL 08 $9.99

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SEP110756 ARCHIE & FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #11 $3.99

SEP110755 ARCHIE CYBER ADVENTURES TP $9.95

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JUL111073 DF WARLORD OF MARS DEJAH #12 RED RISQUE EXC CVR $14.99

AUG111394 DILBERT HOWS THAT UNDERLING THING WORKING TP $12.99

OCT111224 DRY SPELL GN $14.95

SEP110749 EVERLAST HC $19.95

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SEP110985 GARTH ENNIS COMPLETE BATTLEFIELDS TP VOL 01 (MR) $24.99

SEP110716 GEARHEARTS STEAMPUNK GLAMOR REVUE #1 $3.99

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AUG110807 KILLING PICKMAN HC (RES) (MR) $24.95

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JUL110982 MACBETH CAMPFIRE GN $9.99

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MAGAZINES
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OCT111305 JUXTAPOZ #132 $5.99
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SEP111394 SUPERNATURAL MAGAZINE #29 NEWSSTAND ED $6.99
SEP111395 SUPERNATURAL MAGAZINE #29 PX ED $6.99

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Reads You Review: 20TH CENTURY BOYS, VOL. 16

Creators: Naoki Urasawa with Takashi Nagasaki and Akemi Wegmüller (English adaptation)
Publishing Information: VIZ Media, paperback, B&W, 208 pages, $12.99 (US), $14.99 CAN, £8.99 UK
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4215-3534-0

Rating: “T+ for Older Teens”

20th Century Boys is a science fiction adventure series from famed manga creator, Naoki Urasawa. The story begins with Kenji Endo, a hardworking and honorable young man who runs his family’s small business (a convenience store). In 1997, Kenji discovers a series of ominous incidents that follow “The Book of Prophecy,” a ridiculous scenario Kenji and his friend made up as children in the early 1970s.

A bizarre religious cult called the Friends and their leader, the “Friend,” are behind a plot that leads to December 31, 2000. Called “Bloody New Year’s Eve,” this day sees the world brought to the brink of destruction. Fourteen years later, Neo Tokyo is a thriving multiethnic metropolis until the Friends ruin it and the world.

Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, Vol. 16 (entitled Beyond the Looking Glass) opens on a flashback as we see pivotal moments from Kenji and his pals’ childhood. However, they are seen from the point of view of the boy who would become the Friend.

Then, the narrative moves forward to the third year of the Friendship Era. A killer virus has decimated the world’s population. Tokyo has been quarantined behind a giant wall patrolled by the Friend’s secret police and the Global Defense Forces. The story focuses on Tokyo teens, Sanae and her brother, Katsuo. They have given shelter to an injured man who hides in a shack near their home, and his name is Otcho AKA Shogun.

I’ve long since run out of words to praise manga creator Naoki Urasawa. I love his intricate plots, and 20th Century Boys is like a warehouse of intricate plots and is a veritable subplot-o-rama. I assume that there are many ideas about why Urasawa’s storytelling is so successfully spellbinding I tend to think (cause I’ve changed my mind a few times about this) that 20th Century Boys, like his other comics, is successful because of Urasawa’s ability to make every character with a speaking role – from smallest to largest – relevant in the reader’s eyes. Not every character contributes something that is momentous, but that contribution is relatively important to the time in which he or she contributes it or perhaps, to a past or future moment. And this manga still jumps off the page like a summer potboiler.

A+

Friday, December 9, 2011

I Reads You Review: AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1

"Need another Spidey title like you need a hole in your head"

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1
MARVEL COMICS

WRITER: Zeb Wells
ARTIST: Joe Madureira
COLORS: Ferran Daniel
LETTERS: VC’s Joe Caramagna
COVER: Joe Madureira and Aron Lusen (Variant coves by Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgado; J. Scott Campbell and Edgar Delgado; and Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, and Richard Isanove)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.
Rated T+

The new Spider-Man comic book series, Avenging Spider-Man, acts as the latest Spider-Man team-up title. The most famous is Marvel Team-Up, which first ran from the 1972 to 1985 (Vol. 1). There is an “afterword” in the back of Avenging Spider-Man, in which editor Stephen Wacker writes that this new title is going to be a star creator-oriented comic book that will feature oddball comic book characters, as well as popular characters as guest stars.

The star creators to start this are writer Zeb Wells (a star?) and artist Joe Madureira (still a star, but likely not as bright as he was back in the 90s). The team-up joins Spider-Man and the Red Hulk.

As Avenging Spider-Man #1 opens, Spider-Man and his Avenger teammates are battling A.I.M. and a giant A.I.M.Bot. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor J. Jonah Jameson has just shot the starter pistol to begin the New York City Marathon. The marathoners, however, immediately find their progress impeded by an invasion of diminutive yellow monsters. Hopping a ride to NYC on the back of the Red Hulk, Spider-Man finds himself arriving just in time to lose to the invaders – even with the Hulk’s help?!

Back in the mid-1990s, penciller Joe Madureira (also known as Joe Mad) and inker Tim Townsend formed one of the best (if not the best) art teams working in superhero comics. Maduriera’s anime and manga influenced style were transformed into solid comic book art by Townsend, an inker with a master illustrator’s touch. Madureira’s art did not suffer much when he left Marvel for Wildstorm Productions and Image Comics to produce his creator-owned title, Battle Chasers (published under Wildstorm’s Cliffhanger imprint). By the beginning of the 21st century, however, Madureira had left comics to work in the video game industry.

Joe Mad returned to comics in 2007 for The Ultimates 3 from Marvel Comics, but his art was no longer inked by Townsend or inked at all for that matter. Now, Madureira’s art was colored directly from the pencils. For me, it left much to be desired. As best as I can tell, Madureira’s is producing the art for Avenging Spider-Man the same as he did for The Ultimates.

It is not that I think Mad’s art here isn’t good. I do think that compared to the work he did on Uncanny X-Men with Townsend inking, this Avenging Spider-Man art is inferior, at least in terms of style and draftsmanship. However, I still admire Mad’s compositional and design skills. Some other artists may stretch out stories with splash pages or pages composed of big panels simply because those pages are more attractive to sell as original art. Mad uses splash pages and big panels to create a heightened sense of the dramatic or convey the power of action, force, movement, etc. The way Mad positions characters and objects in panels and the “camera” angles he uses reflect what Stan Lee preached in his How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way (co-authored with John Buscema).

As for the story: it’s mediocre. I’m amazed that Marvel and DC Comics can still get away with producing remarkably mediocre material, the kind of toad burger product that would spell doom for a publisher not financed by a multi-national media corporation. I’m surprised at the mediocrity because I remember when Zeb Wells first showed up on the comics scene; he was supposed to be some kind of golden boy. Is that golden as in piss gold?

My grade reflects my still-alive love of Joe Mad, but the grade should be lower because of the story.

C

[This comic book includes a preview of Avengers: X-Sanction #1 by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness.]

P.S. I’m going to buy a copy of Avengers: X-Sanction #1 just to rag on it. The five pages that are previewed here are just lousy. I’d really be disappointed if it turned out to be good, thus denying me some fun.

"One Piece" in Shonen Jump Digital Warp

VIZ MEDIA KICKS OFF DECEMBER WITH DIGITAL MANGA SPEED UP FOR ONE PIECE

Latest Update For VIZManga.com And The VIZ Manga App For iPad, iPhone And iPod Touch Includes Limited Time Volume 1 20% Off Promotion Starting December 7th

VIZ Media delivers a festive dose of digital sparkle as the 2011 Holiday Season begins with the latest update of manga (graphic novels) titles available on VIZManga.com and for digital download on the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch.

The SHONEN JUMP DIGITAL WARP started for ONE PIECE, with the release of Vol. 59, available the same day the print version debuted, along with the digital first of ONE PIECE Vol. 60. This will be quickly followed by the digital first debut of ONE PIECE Vols. 61-62 on December 12th. The SHONEN JUMP DIGITAL WARP is a ‘speed-up’ of selected titles to bring U.S. readers up-to-date with Japanese releases and prepare for the January 2012 launch of VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, North America’s only near-simultaneous digital manga magazine.

The SHONEN JUMP DIGITAL WARP also continues for Masashi Kishimoto’s hit ninja series NARUTO, with Volume 56 now available, and for Tite Kubo’s supernatural action saga, BLEACH, with Volume 52 debuting on December 12th. NARUTO Vols. 54-55 and BLEACH Vols. 49-51, are also available now, ahead of the print editions.

December 7th also saw the kick-off of a special limited time promotion that makes all Volume 1 manga titles available for up to 20% off (regular prices range from $4.99 to $9.99). This offer will run until midnight PST on December 12th.

Other notable December digital manga highlights include the release on December 12th of fifth and final volume of Kaori Yuki’s GRAND GUIGNOL ORCHESTRA, as well as Vol. 4 of Shunju Aono‘s I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL TOMORROW. Both editions hit one day ahead of their print counterparts’ release.

Eiichiro Oda’s high seas pirate adventure, ONE PIECE (rated ‘T’ for Teens), is one of the best selling manga series of all time. As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years, later, Luffy sets off in search of the "One Piece," said to be the greatest treasure in the world...

ONE PIECE Vol. 59
After risking everything he had to save his brother, Luffy faces his biggest tragedy. Whitebeard will make one last stand against the Navy forces, but when the epic pirate war finally comes to an end, the entire world will be shaken!

ONE PIECE Vol. 60
With the epic Paramount War now over, the scene shifts back to when a young Luffy first met Ace. Luffy, Ace and their friend Sabo get into all types of trouble as they grow up in a tumultuous time.

ONE PIECE Vol. 61
Determined to become stronger and challenge the toughest seas in the world, Luffy and his crew decide to go into training. When they finally reunite years later, they will meet brand new enemies and adventures!

ONE PIECE Vol. 62
Luffy and the Straw Hat crew board their trusted ship and head under the sea towards Fish-man island. However, getting in their way will be fierce pirates, underwater volcanoes, and a humongous sea creature!

Additional manga volumes launching the first part of December include:

Available Now:
BLEACH Vols. 36-37
DENGEKI DAISY Vol. 7
NARUTO Vol. 56 – Digital first!
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION Chapter 18
NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN Vol. 6
OISHINBO Vol. 5
ONE PIECE Vols. 59-60 – Digital first for Vol. 60!
OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB Vol. 13
TORIKO Vol. 7

December 12th:
BAKUMAN Vol. 8
BLEACH Vol. 52 – Digital first!
BLUE EXORCIST Vol. 5
FUSHIGI YUGI: GENBU KAIDEN Vol. 9
GRAND GUIGNOL ORCHESTRA Vol. 5 – Final volume!
I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL TOMORROW Vol. 4
KEKKAISHI Vol. 19
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION Chapter 19
ONE PIECE Vols. 61 & 62 – Digital first!
RUROUNI KENSHIN Vol. 28 – Final volume!

VIZ Media’s multiple digital manga platforms allow for universal access to read manga from an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and now, on VIZManga.com for desktop/laptop computers as well as Android-powered devices with built-in web browsers. With one account, registered users may access their purchases across even more devices than ever.

The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top app for reading manga and features a rapidly growing library of the most popular manga series in the world. Over 45 series and 500+ volumes are currently available, with new additions and free Chapter 1 previews added weekly.

For more information, please visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Maoh Juvenile Remix: Testing Powers

I read Maoh Juvenile Remix 8 / Name Your Link

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin (which has FREE comics).


Pogo to Help Celebrate Fantagraphics Bookstore Anniversary

Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery!

“Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly” opens December 10

In 1970, Walt Kelly’s playful possum Pogo looked upon his polluted Okefenokee Swamp and uttered in despair, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This line quickly became part of our cultural lexicon and cemented Pogo’s place in American popular culture. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the publication of Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder with “Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly.” This exhibition of original Walt Kelly strips opens Saturday, December 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on the occasion of the bookstore’s 5th anniversary gala.

The long-anticipated Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder, Volume 1 of the Complete Comic Strips collects early Sunday and daily Pogo comics from 1949 – 1950. Kelly introduces his huge cast of irreverent swamp dwellers and their singular dialect known as “swamp talk.” Politics soon became a central topic in the swamp. While Kelly claimed to oppose “the extreme right, the extreme left, and the extreme middle,” political figures cynically cloaking themselves in patriotic garb were clearly disdained. Kelly boldly caricatured red baiting Senator Joseph R. McCarthy as Simple J. Malarkey. An obvious parody of J. Edgar Hoover seemingly drove the FBI director to distraction. He reportedly assigned cryptographers to decipher the secret swamp talk “code.” (A strip from 1971 referencing this will be on display.) Kelly’s characters also embraced the burgeoning environmental movement and other progressive causes. “Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly” includes 12 memorable dailies and 4 Sunday strips. These original works reveal the artist’s concern for composition, delicate line quality, and detailed dialogue.

The opening on Saturday, December 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM promises to be a festive affair. Musical entertainment will be provided by Sawsome, a female saw and banjo duet. The evening commemorates the 5th anniversary of Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery and coincides with the holiday edition of the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring art exhibitions, special events and wandering carolers from Choir of the Sound throughout the historic neighborhood.

PLAYING POSSUM: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly
Opening reception Saturday, December 10, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
5th Anniversary Holiday Gala with musical entertainment by SAWSOME
Exhibition continues through January 4, 2012
www.fantagraphics.com/news/playingpossum

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle. 206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
http://www.fantagraphics.com/


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Reads You Review: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4

"With great power..."

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4
MARVEL COMICS

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTIST: Sara Pichelli
COLORS: Justin Ponsor
LETTERS: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER: Kaare Andrews
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.
Rated T+

As it was revealed previously, the new Ultimate Spider-Man series takes place before the “Death of Spider-Man” storyline that took place in Marvel Comics’ Ultimate line a few months ago. With Ultimate Spider-Man #4 (AKA Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #4), the new series finally catches up with events as Miles Morales witnesses Peter Parker’s final moments.

Like Parker, Miles was bitten (just recently) by a spider and the result is arachnid-like powers. After witnessing the death of hero, Miles can no longer ignore his strange new powers. With the help of his best friend, Ganke, Miles is ready to suit up, even if everyone else isn’t ready for the new (Spider) kid in town.

This fourth issue of the new Ultimate Spider-Man series is a nice change of pace as writer Brian Michael Bendis has Miles deal with things new to him – the responsibility that having powers brings, the how-to of being a superhero, and the difficulty of replacing a legend. So far, Bendis is gradually revealing Miles to us, but he is also delving into the African-American teen, as if Miles were also new to him.

The art by Sara Pichelli features a clean, almost classical line work. It’s the wonky coloring that sometimes distorts that cleanness. Colorist Justin Ponsor over does it on the gradation when he doesn’t have to. There are times when Ponsor wants to suggest light reflected off Miles’ face, and it instead resembles an albino-like skin condition.

A

[This comic book includes a preview of Avengers: X-Sanction #1 by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness.]

Naruto: The Birth of Naruto

I read Naruto 53 / Name Your Link.

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin (which as FREE comics).


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for December 7 2011

DC COMICS

OCT110178 ACTION COMICS #4 $3.99

OCT110212 ANIMAL MAN #4 $2.99

JUL110285 BAD DOINGS BIG IDEAS A BILL WILLINGHAM DLX HC (MR) $49.99

AUG110242 BATMAN NO MANS LAND TP VOL 01 NEW EDITION $29.99

OCT110191 BATWING #4 $2.99

MAY110309 BLACKEST NIGHT POWER RING SPECTRUM SET $65.00

SEP110177 BRIGHTEST DAY TP VOL 01 $19.99

OCT110238 DC COMICS PRESENTS CAPTAIN ATOM #1 $7.99

APR110283 DC UNIVERSE ONLINE STATUE THE JOKER $90.00

OCT110188 DETECTIVE COMICS #4 $2.99

OCT110171 GREEN ARROW #4 $2.99

OCT110231 HAWK AND DOVE #4 $2.99

OCT110286 HELLBLAZER ANNUAL #1 (MR) $4.99

OCT110201 HUNTRESS #3 (OF 6) $2.99

OCT110288 IZOMBIE #20 (MR) $2.99

AUG110250 JACK KIRBYS FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 $39.99

OCT110164 JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #4 $2.99

OCT110274 LOONEY TUNES #204 $2.99

OCT110225 MEN OF WAR #4 $3.99

OCT110223 OMAC #4 $2.99

OCT110187 PENGUIN PAIN AND PREJUDICE #3 (OF 5) $2.99

OCT110207 RED LANTERNS #4 $2.99

SEP110227 SANDMAN TP VOL 07 BRIEF LIVES NEW ED (MR) $19.99

OCT110273 SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU #16 $2.99

OCT110229 STATIC SHOCK #4 $2.99

OCT110217 STORMWATCH #4 $2.99

SEP110189 SUPERBOY SMALLVILLE ATTACKS TP $24.99

AUG110261 SUPERMAN GROUNDED HC VOL 02 $22.99

SEP110188 SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN TP $19.99

OCT110278 SUPERNATURAL #3 (OF 6) $2.99

SEP118159 SWAMP THING #2 2ND PTG $2.99

OCT110211 SWAMP THING #4 $2.99

OCT110297 SWEET TOOTH #28 (MR) $2.99

MAY110258 WATCHMEN THE ABSOLUTE EDITION HC NEW PTG $99.99