Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: SUPERMAN: Rebirth #1

SUPERMAN: REBIRTH No. 1
DC COMICS – @DCComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITERS: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
PENCILS: Doug Mahnke
INKS: Jaime Mendoza
COLORS: Wil Quintana
LETTERS: Rob Leigh
COVER: Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza with Wil Quintana
VARIANT COVER: Andy Park
44pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (August 2016)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

The last time I reviewed an issue of Superman it was to express my opinion on Superman #41.  Entitled “Before Truth” (Part 1), this was the first issue of the new-look slash new-direction, “DCYou” Superman comic book, written by the acclaimed graphic novelist, Gene Luen Yang, his DC Comics debut and his first issue as series writer of Superman.  The art team on Superman remained the same as it has been for the year prior:  John Romita, Jr. (pencils) and Klaus Janson (inks), with colorist Dean White and letterer Rob Leigh.

However, Romita soon moved on to work on a project related the Batman prestige project, DK III: The Master Race.  While Yang's run started with such promise, it pretty much petered out after about have a year, probably worn down by the inevitable changes to come.  Those changes turned out to be another “all-new direction” for DC Comics, something called Rebirth.

If I understand correctly, Rebirth marks the end of The New 52, DC Comics' reboot of its universe-mythology-continuity-superhero publishing line that began with such fanfare in 2011.  Y'all, it didn't even last 5 years.  Rebirth is all about returning some old continuity, especially the continuity established back in 1986, coming out of the universe-destroying, Earth-shattering comic book “maxi-series,” Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Some call this “GenX” DC Comics.

So before DC's regular series go into Rebirth and some new series debut, some of DC's flagship titles have Rebirth one-shots.  Thus, Superman: Rebirth #1.  It is written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, the creative team behind the new Superman series.  The artists for this one-shot are Doug Mahnke on pencils; Jamie Mendoza on inks; Wil Quintana on colors; and Rob Leigh on letters.

So, if I followed this correctly:  New 52 Clark Kent/Superman is dead and buried.  Lana Lang is trying to retrieve his body from his memorial/monument/crypt.  She is interrupted by post-Crisis slash GenX Superman – the one married to Lois Lane.  He wears a black body suit with a silver Superman emblem “S” on a gray background on his chest.  This Superman and Lang travel to dead Superman's Fortress of Solitude in hopes that the “Regeneration Matrix” will revive him.

I have to admit that I was kinda exited about Rebirth, especially after reading the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot.  But now, that excitement is gone.  Superman: Rebirth #1 isn't bad.  I'm simply not interested in modern Superman comic books, for the most part, and this one-shot reminded me of my disinterest.  When I really want to read a Superman comic book, I buy some back issues from the 1970s or 1980s or read one of those expensive hardcover collections that DC Comics publishes which reprint Superman comic books from those decades and earlier.

Yeah, I'm going to read some more Rebirth one-shots, but I will only review the ones that I really enjoy or that really move me to care about Rebirth.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: THE EMPTY #1

THE EMPTY No. 1
IMAGE COMICS/Shadowline – @ImageComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

CARTOONIST: Jimmie Robinson
COLORS: Jimmie Robinson
LETTERS: Jimmie Robinson
28pp, Colors, $3.50 U.S. (February 2015)

Rated “T/Teen”

The Empty is a miniseries created, written, and drawn by Jimmie Robinson.  Published by Image Comics' imprint, Shadowline, The Empty is a tale about characters from different backgrounds who must work together if they are to save a dying planet.

The Empty #1 introduces the Empty.  This is a vast desert wasteland where hardly anything grows, apparently because of giant poisonous roots that leak gas into the air and the land.  A young woman named Tanoor is a fighter who hunts this dead land to find food for her village of Vaankam.  During a hunt, Tanoor discovers a young woman named Lila, who is apparently from another land, maybe even another world.  Lila's strange talents may save the Empty, but in the meantime, her powers endanger both herself and Tanoor.

I think that I had heard of The Empty long before I found some issues at my local comic shop.  I quickly snatched up The Empty #1 because of my recent interest in Jimmie Robinson, creator of The Empty and of the new series, Power Lines.

As someone who writes the story; composes the pencil, ink, and color art; and provides lettering for his comics, Robinson has control over the entire graphical package of his comic books.  Thus, there is little interference between Robinson's message/story and his audience.  There is a kind of narrative purity in that which I find hard to ignore – with good reason.

The bleak landscape of The Empty is actually beautiful, simply because Robinson's graphics and visuals are so pretty.  However, the rawness of the characters' emotions and the sense of desperation in the villagers is palatable.  Even the naked jealousy and dishonesty of the Elder Blan is powerful enough to drive the narrative.

I plan to read more of The Empty.  Even this single issue reveals the force and skill of Jimmie Robinson's immense talents as both a comics storyteller and as an illustrator and artist.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

-------------------------

Monday, March 27, 2017

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 29, 2017

DC COMICS
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Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 29, 2017

MARVEL COMICS

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IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for March 29, 2017

IDW PUBLISHING

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Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 29, 2017

DARK HORSE COMICS

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Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 29, 2017

IMAGE COMICS

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Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for March 29, 2017

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

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JAN171267    THREE STOOGES APRIL FOOLS DAY PHOTO CVR    $3.99
JAN171266    THREE STOOGES APRIL FOOLS DAY PIE TIME CVR    $3.99
JAN171265    THREE STOOGES APRIL FOOLS DAY TALKING CVR    $3.99
JAN171269    THREE STOOGES CURSE OF FRANKENSTOOGE HAND DRAWN SKETCH CVR    $29.99
SEP161972    TORCHWOOD TP VOL 01 WORLD WITHOUT END    $14.99
JAN171507    UNHOLY #3 (MR)    $5.99
JAN171517    UNHOLY #3 FEMME FATALE NUDE CVR (MR)    $7.99
JAN171509    UNHOLY #3 FEMME FATALES CVR (MR)    $5.99
JAN171515    UNHOLY #3 NUDE CVR (MR)    $7.99
JAN171514    UNHOLY #3 POV CVR (MR)    $5.99
JAN171519    UNHOLY #3 POV NUDE CVR (MR)    $7.99
JAN171513    UNHOLY #3 STUNNING CVR (MR)    $5.99
JAN171518    UNHOLY #3 STUNNING NUDE CVR (MR)    $7.99
JAN171508    UNHOLY #3 WRAP CVR (MR)    $5.99
JAN171516    UNHOLY #3 WRAP NUDE CVR (MR)    $7.99
OCT161392    VALERIAN GN VOL 14 LIVING WEAPONS    $13.95
JAN171191    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR A WINSTON YOUNG (MR)    $3.99
JAN171192    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR B WINSTON YOUNG RISQUE (MR)    $4.99
JAN171193    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR C MENDOZA (MR)    $4.99
JAN171194    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR D MENDOZA RISQUE (MR)    $4.99
JAN171195    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR E PEPOY (MR)    $4.99
JAN171196    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR F PEPOY RISQUE (MR)    $4.99
JAN171197    VAMPBLADE SEASON TWO #1 CVR G BLANK SKETCH (MR)    $4.99
JAN171183    VORACIOUS FEEDING TIME #4 CVR A MUHR    $3.99
JAN171184    VORACIOUS FEEDING TIME #4 CVR B KITCHEN UTENSIL ATTACK    $4.99
FEB171649    WHAT PARSIFAL SAW GN    $14.99
DEC161616    WHITE #4 (OF 4) (MR)    $4.99
JAN171408    WWE WRESTLEMANIA 2017 SPECIAL #1 MAIN CVR    $7.99

MAGAZINES
FEB172269    RUE MORGUE SPECIAL SHARKS    $9.95
JAN172361    STAR WARS ROGUE ONE MISSION DEBRIEF MAGAZINE (STL036049)    $10.99

BOOKS
DEC162177    AGES OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE SC    $19.99
FEB172197    ASIAN COMICS SC    $30.00
OCT163238    ASSASSINS CREED HERESY PROSE NOVEL SP ED HC    $27.00
JAN172287    BATGIRL NEW HERO OF THE NIGHT YR SC    $5.99
JAN171270    HEAVENLY NOSTRILS CHRONICLE GN VOL 05 UNICORN CROSSING    $9.99
JAN172281    LEGION OF REGRETTABLE SUPERVILLAINS HC    $24.95
FEB172211    OFF DC SUPER HERO JOKE BOOK WHY DID BATMAN CROSS ROAD SC    $12.99
JAN172330    OLD TURTLE QUESTIONS OF THE HEART YR NOVEL    $19.99
FEB172201    ON THE GRAPHIC NOVEL SC    $30.00
OCT168151    OTOMO GLOBAL TRIBUTE TO THE GENIUS BEHIND AKIRA HC (MR)    $29.99
DEC162210    PONYVILLE CONFIDENTIAL HIST & CULTURE OF MLP 1981-2016    $19.99
JAN172286    WONDER WOMAN PSYCHOLOGY LASSOING THE TRUTH SC    $14.95

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review: The Adventures of NIKKI HARRIS the Cybermation Witch #8

THE ADVENTURES OF NIKKI HARRIS THE CYBERMATION WITCH No. 8
CANDLE LIGHT PRESS/Warning Comics – @candlelightpres @attila71

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

CARTOONIST: Carter Allen – @attila71
32pp, Color, $3.00 U.S. (2016)

“Fire”

When we last saw her, Nikki Harris (cybermation witch and sci-fi heroine) faced two challenges.  One was solving the mystery of the Kaninium mines on the planet Util.  The other was fighting off the maniacal assassin,  MARION3TT3.

The Adventures of Nikki Harris the Cybermation Witch #8 (“Fire”) opens on the planet Infantino.  There, Nikki awaits the arrival of Ambassador Royks to whom she will act as a bodyguard.  He is attending an important peace summit, and if the summit fails there will be war between many star systems.  The fate of the galaxy seems to be in Nikki's hands, and she must also deal with the pesky, Farrah Heit.

The end may be near for The Adventures of Nikki Harris the Cybermation Witch comic book (as I've been informed).  Of course, that's a shame.  It seems as if I like this series more and more with each new issue, simply because it is so thoroughly enjoyable.

Over the years, writer-artist Carter Allen has continued to refine his digital comics process, and the result is a colorful and vibrant graphical package that recalls Tron: Legacy.  With comic flare and sly wit, Nikki is ready to be a breakout star, and she outshines the few other efforts at sci-fi humor comics, which are often lame.  The Adventures of Nikki Harris the Cybermation Witch  remains a cool comic book – maybe being a little cooler than ever.

A

http://candlelightpress.tumblr.com/
www.nikkithewitch.com
www.warningcomics.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

------------------------

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Review: IN THIS GRAVE HOUR

IN THIS GRAVE HOUR
HARPER (HarperCollins Publishers) – @HarperCollins

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

AUTHOR: Jacqueline Winspear
ISBN: 978-0-06-243660-3; hardcover (March 14, 2017)
352pp, B&W, $27.99 U.S.

In This Grave Hour is a 2017 novel from author Jacqueline Winspear.  It is the 13th novel in the series starring “psychologist and investigator,” Maisie Dobbs, a British nurse whose adventures take place during World War I and in the decades that follow.  In this Grave Hour opens as Britain declares war on Nazi Germany and follows Maisie as she tries to solve a murder mystery with ties to World War I more than two decades earlier.

In This Grave Hour finds Maisie Dobbs leaving her garden flat and headed to the mansion home of her dear friend, Priscilla Partridge, and her family (who are like family to Maisie).  It is Sunday, September 3rd 1939, and Maisie is gathering with the Partridges to hear a radio broadcast of a momentous speech from British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.  Britain is declaring war against Adolf Hitler's Germany.

Meanwhile, a senior Secret Service agent and longtime acquaintance of Maisie Dobbs, Dr. Francesca Thomas, has broken into Maisie Dobbs' flat to await her return.  Dr. Francesca Thomas has an urgent assignment for Maisie.  She wants Maisie to find the killer of Frederick Addens, a man who escaped German occupied Belgium (Francesca's native country) as a teen boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War (WWI).  Maisie and her employees, Billy Beale and Sandra Pickering, begin the investigation in a London on war footing.  Barrage balloons shadow the city, and children are evacuated out of London and into the countryside.  There are few if any leads in the case, which seems to be stalked by the threat of more murders to come.

While she investigates the case of Addens, Maisie learns that her father, Frankie Dobbs, and her stepmother, Brenda, are billeting a little girl, Anna, in Maisie's home in Kent.  The little girl does not speak, and it is unknown if she cannot or simply will not.  Also, no one seems to know who put the child on the evacuee train before it left London.

I was vaguely familiar with the Maisie Dobbs novels when I was a member of a “book-of-the-month” club.  I found the first Maisie novel I read, last year's Journey to Munich, a bit difficult to categorize, but it was quite an enjoyable read.  The middle-aged Maisie Dobbs does not seem like the typical secret agent, and that is more or less what she is as she journeys to Munich on what is more or less a rescue mission.

In This Grave Hour is a straightforward murder mystery, although the novel deals with themes concerning family, such as the longing to have children and parent-child relationships.  Much of the novel also concerns the evacuation of London and the preparation for war in the early days of Britain's declaration of war against Germany (although I think it was another year after Neville Chamberlain's speech before Germany launched an air raid on Britain).

In This Grave Hour is such a riveting and damn-good read because everything about it engages the reader.  Although the killer of Frederick Addens is not revealed until the last chapter (Chapter 19), the reason for the murder (that it is tied to a specific time and event in the past) is fairly obvious.  Still, getting to the resolution allows the readers to experience a wave of powerful emotions tied to themes of regret and sorrow, which actually makes for good reading.

The story of the little girl Anna is poignant and heartbreaking, and tugs on those old heart-strings when there is a sign of a positive ending.  The war-preparation subplots are also grabbing, especially the ones that involve the children of Maisie's friends who are enlisting for some kind of military service.

I liked Journey to Munich, but In This Grave Hour easily surpasses it.  This is some fucking good storytelling on the part of author, Jacqueline Winspear.  I can't wait for the next Maisie Dobbs novel.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

-----------------------------

Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: Twilight Princess Volume 1

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

MANGAKA: Akira Himekawa
TRANSLATION: John Werry
ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Steve “Stan!” Brown
LETTERS: Evan Waldinger
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9347-0; paperback (March 2017); Rated “T” for “Teen”
200pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 U.K.

The Legend of Zelda is a high-fantasy themed action-adventure video game series that debuted in 1986 and is published by Nintendo.  Nintendo has also officially endorsed and commissioned manga adaptations of The Legend of Zelda for over two decades.  The Legend of Zelda revolves around Link, a brave knight/warrior, and Princess Zelda of Hyrule, who guides, encourages, instructs, and summons Link to battle evil.

VIZ Media has been publishing manga based on The Legend of Zelda in America.  The latest is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which is based on the 13th video game title in the franchise.  The Twilight Princess manga is written and drawn by mangaka Akira Himekawa.  VIZ collected Himekawa's other Zelda manga in the recent mini-omnibus, The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition – Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 8) opens with a brief retelling of the story of upstart wizards whose rebellion in the country of Hyrule got them exiled from the World of Light and into the Twilight Realm.  The darkness, however, has reawakened and stirs in the Twilight Realm with its eyes on regaining power.

The story moves to Ordon, a small and prosperous agricultural village on the edge of Hyrule.  Here, the mysterious ranch hand, Link, found a home two years ago.  The people of Ordon love him, especially the children, but Link struggles with his tragic past, which might be returning in the form of the troubling dreams he has.  Link does not realize that he will soon have to face the darkness which once destroyed everything he knew.

In the last two years, VIZ Media has sent me two graphic novels from The Legend of Zelda as copies-for-review.  I have enjoyed them, but I am surprised by The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess manga.  It is not as playful as the two earlier titles I read.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Volume 1 introduces a Hyrule steeped in a foreboding atmosphere.  Even when the sun is out and the farmers are happily bringing in their crops, there is something ominous on the edges.  The tone of the narrative is darker and maybe even a little more mature than the stories in The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition – Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages.

In Twilight Princess, Akira Himekawa makes the idea of people being transformed seem more like an act of destruction and also an act of penetrative violence.  In fact, in this story, violation seems more fearful than death.  I think this series is going to be a good read, and manga readers who normally avoid The Legend of Zelda comics may want to give it try.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

-----------------------

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: KUROKO'S BASKETBALL 2-in-1 Edition Volume 1

KUROKO'S BASKETBALL 2-IN-1 EDITION, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Tadatoshi Fujimaki
TRANSLATION: Caleb Cook
LETTERS: Mark McMurray
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8771-4; paperback (August 2016); Rated “T” for “Teen”
400pp, B&W, $16.99 U.S., $19.99 CAN, £10.99 U.K.

VIZ Media is currently publishing the basketball shonen sports manga from creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki, Kuroko's Basketball, in its 2-in-1 editions, which reprint two graphic novels in one paperback volume.  Kuroko's Basketball focuses on the title character and the new teammate that will help him beat his old teammates.

Tetsuya Kuroko is a great basketball player – for reals, y'all!  He was a member of the “Miracle Generation” at Teiko Middle School.  He was known as “the Phantom Sixth Man,” because opponents never noticed him on the court until he did something amazing.  Now, Kuroko is at Seirin Private High School.  One of his new teammates has just returned to Japan from America.  He is Taiga Kagami, and Kuroko wants Kagami to help him take down his old “Miracle Generation” teammates

Kuroko's Basketball 2-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 16) collects Kuroko's Basketball Volume 1 (entitled I'm Kuroko; Chapters 1 to 7) and Volume 2 (entitled Your Basketball; Chapters 8 to 16).  Vol. 1 opens at Seirin High where the basketball team meets its two new phenoms.  The first is the diminutive Tetsuya Kuroko, whose plainness hides the fact that on the basketball court he can execute awesome moves without others noticing.  The second newcomer is Taiga Kagami who thinks that he has learned enough basketball in America to put him above his new teammates... until he meets that “invisible guy” from the Miracle Generation.

As Vol. 2 opens, Seirin is in the middle of a tough practice game against Kaijo High.  Kuroko is determined to beat Kaijo because one of its players is his former Miracle Generation teammate, Ryota Kise.  However, it is after the game when Kise really makes his move on his old teammate.  Plus, Seirin gets ready for Inter-High.

[This volume includes the bonus manga, “Kuroko's Basketball – Side Story.”]

I have to be honest about my feelings concerning the Kuroko's Basketball manga.  When I think of basketball manga, I think of the legendary Slam Dunk from creator Takehiko Inoue, which I think is one of the best comic books every published... anywhere.  Kuroko's Basketball lacks the high drama and virtuoso graphical storytelling of Slam Dunk, and the depictions of basketball games in Kuroko's Basketball lack the punch of the legend.

That said, I enjoyed Kuroko's Basketball, and I think that it will improve, as for as drama goes, with each volume (which is about a seven or eight chapter story grouping).  I think the drama will come as Kuroko and his partner Kagami face off against more members of the Miracle Generation and other tougher opponents.  Also, just as an aside, Kuroko's Basketball is the second manga I am currently reading that involves a team participating in the Japanese National High School Sports Tournament, also known as “Inter-High.”  The other is the volleyball manga, Haikyu!!

B

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.

-------------------------

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 22, 2017

DC COMICS

JAN170226    ACTION COMICS #976    $2.99
JAN170227    ACTION COMICS #976 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170241    BATGIRL #9    $2.99
JAN170242    BATGIRL #9 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170348    BATMAN 66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN 77 #3 (OF 6)    $3.99
SEP160382    BATMAN ANIMATED NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES CATWOMAN AF    $28.00
SEP160383    BATMAN ANIMATED NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES RIDDLER AF    $28.00
JAN170235    BATMAN BEYOND #6    $2.99
JAN170236    BATMAN BEYOND #6 VAR ED    $2.99
DEC160380    BATMAN BY BRIAN K VAUGHAN TP    $16.99
JAN170249    BLUE BEETLE #7    $2.99
JAN170250    BLUE BEETLE #7 VAR ED    $2.99
DEC160371    CYBORG TP VOL 01 THE IMITATION OF LIFE (REBIRTH)    $16.99
JAN178347    DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #2 (OF 9) 3RD PTG    $5.99
JAN178348    DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #3 (OF 9) 3RD PTG    $5.99
AUG160368    DC DESIGNER SER SUPERMAN & LOIS LANE BY FRANK STATUE    $250.00
AUG160372    DC REBIRTH JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION FIGURE 7 PACK    $100.00
JAN170255    DEATHSTROKE #15    $2.99
JAN170256    DEATHSTROKE #15 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170259    DETECTIVE COMICS #953    $2.99
JAN170260    DETECTIVE COMICS #953 VAR ED    $2.99
DEC160406    DMZ TP BOOK 03 (RES) (MR)    $24.99
NOV160274    DOOM PATROL #5 (MR)    $3.99
NOV160275    DOOM PATROL #5 VAR ED (MR)    $3.99
JAN170263    FLASH #19    $2.99
JAN170264    FLASH #19 VAR ED    $2.99
DEC160395    FLINTSTONES TP VOL 01    $16.99
JAN170341    FUTURE QUEST #11    $3.99
JAN170342    FUTURE QUEST #11 VAR ED    $3.99
JAN170275    HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #17    $2.99
JAN170276    HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #17 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170281    HELLBLAZER #8    $2.99
JAN170282    HELLBLAZER #8 VAR ED    $2.99
OCT160309    JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC VOL 01    $99.99
JAN178349    KAMANDI CHALLENGE #1 (OF 12) 2ND PTG    $4.99
JAN170364    LOONEY TUNES #236    $2.99
DEC160394    LOONEY TUNES GREATEST HITS TP VOL 02 YOURE DESPICABLE    $12.99
JAN170370    MOTHER PANIC #5 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170371    MOTHER PANIC #5 VAR ED (MR)    $3.99
JAN170365    SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #24    $2.99
JAN170359    SUICIDE SQUAD #1 DIRECTORS CUT (RES)    $5.99
JAN170301    SUICIDE SQUAD #14    $2.99
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JAN178350    SUPER SONS #1 2ND PTG    $2.99
JAN170309    TEEN TITANS #6    $2.99
JAN170310    TEEN TITANS #6 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170318    WONDER WOMAN #19    $2.99
JAN170319    WONDER WOMAN #19 VAR ED    $2.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 22, 2017

MARVEL COMICS
JAN170998    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #5    $3.99
JAN171026    BLACK PANTHER #12    $3.99
JAN171028    BLACK PANTHER #12 RIVERA CONNECTING VAR    $3.99
JAN170969    CAPTAIN AMERICA STEVE ROGERS #14    $3.99
NOV160961    CIVIL WAR II FALLOUT TP    $24.99
DEC161094    DEADPOOL TOO SOON TP    $17.99
JAN171040    DOCTOR STRANGE PUNISHER MAGIC BULLETS #4 (OF 4)    $4.99
JAN171013    ELEKTRA #2    $3.99
JAN171077    EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #20    $3.99
JAN171045    FOOLKILLER #5    $3.99
JAN171055    GAMORA #4    $3.99
JAN170972    HULK #4    $3.99
JAN170964    INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #5    $3.99
JAN170951    IRON FIST #1    $3.99
DEC161105    IRON FIST TP BOOK OF CHANGES    $34.99
JAN171006    MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #17    $3.99
DEC161106    NIGHT RAVEN FROM MARVEL UK VAULTS TP    $34.99
JAN170996    PROWLER #6    $3.99
JAN171052    ROCKET RACCOON #4    $3.99
JAN171002    SPIDER-GWEN #18    $3.99
JAN171089    STAR WARS DARTH MAUL #2 (OF 5)    $3.99
JAN170978    ULTIMATES 2 #5    $3.99
DEC161097    UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 05 ONLY SQUIRREL IN WORLD    $15.99
DEC161099    UNCANNY AVENGERS UNITY TP VOL 03 CIVIL WAR II    $15.99
JAN170925    UNCANNY INHUMANS #20 IVX    $4.99
JAN170975    UNWORTHY THOR #5 (OF 5)    $3.99
DEC161109    WOLVERINE VS PUNISHER TP    $39.99
DEC161112    X-FORCE EPIC COLLECTION TP UNDER GUN    $39.99
DEC168890    X-MEN GOLD #1 POSTCARDS (BUNDLE OF 100)    $5.00

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for March 22, 2017

IDW PUBLISHING

JAN170480    BATMAN TMNT ADVENTURES #5 (OF 6)    $3.99
JAN170481    BATMAN TMNT ADVENTURES #5 (OF 6) SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
JAN170557    BRUTAL NATURE CONCRETE FURY #1 (OF 5)    $3.99
JAN170558    BRUTAL NATURE CONCRETE FURY #1 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
JAN170541    DIRK GENTLY SALMON OF DOUBT #6    $3.99
JAN170542    DIRK GENTLY SALMON OF DOUBT #6 SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
DEC160578    DONALD & MICKEY PERSISTENCE OF MICKEY TP    $12.99
JAN170460    GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #1    $3.99
JAN170461    GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #1 SUBSCRIPTION VAR A    $3.99
JAN170462    GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #1 SUBSCRIPTION VAR B    $3.99
DEC160485    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #237    $3.99
DEC160486    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #237 SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
JAN170547    HELENA CRASH #1 (OF 5)    $3.99
JAN170548    HELENA CRASH #1 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
DEC160557    JEM THE MISFITS #3    $3.99
DEC160558    JEM THE MISFITS #3 SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
JAN170449    JUDGE DREDD CRY OF THE WEREWOLF    $5.99
JAN170450    JUDGE DREDD CRY OF THE WEREWOLF SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $5.99
JAN170445    JUDGE DREDD DEVIATIONS    $4.99
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JAN170582    MICHAEL RECYCLE #1 (OF 4)    $3.99
OCT160511    MICHAEL WM KALUTA STARSTRUCK ARTIST ED HC    $150.00
JAN170601    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #52    $3.99
JAN170602    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #52 SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
JAN170490    OPTIMUS PRIME #5    $3.99
JAN170491    OPTIMUS PRIME #5 SUBSCRIPTION VAR A    $3.99
JAN170492    OPTIMUS PRIME #5 SUBSCRIPTION VAR B    $3.99
JAN170528    STAR TREK GREEN LANTERN VOL 2 #4    $3.99
JAN170529    STAR TREK GREEN LANTERN VOL 2 #4 SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
NOV160503    SUPERMAN THE GOLDEN AGE NEWSPAPER DAILIES HC 1942-1944    $49.99
JAN170471    TMNT ONGOING #68    $3.99
JAN170472    TMNT ONGOING #68 SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $3.99
JAN170502    TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE MOVIE ADAPTATION    $4.99
JAN170503    TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE MOVIE ADAPTATION SUBSCRIPTION VAR    $4.99
NOV160477    WYNONNA EARP LEGENDS EARP SISTERS #3 (OF 4)    $3.99
NOV160478    WYNONNA EARP LEGENDS EARP SISTERS #3 (OF 4) SUB VAR A    $3.99
NOV160479    WYNONNA EARP LEGENDS EARP SISTERS #3 (OF 4) SUB VAR B    $3.99

Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 22, 2017

DARK HORSE COMICS

NOV160081    ART OF MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA HC    $39.99
JAN170131    BLACK HAMMER #7 LEMIRE VAR    $3.99
JAN170130    BLACK HAMMER #7 ORMSTON MAIN    $3.99
JAN170120    BTVS SEASON 11 #5 MAIN MORRIS CVR    $3.99
JAN170121    BTVS SEASON 11 #5 VAR JEANTY CVR    $3.99
NOV160110    DANGANRONPA THE ANIMATION TP VOL 04    $12.99
JAN170134    DEPT H #12    $3.99
NOV160095    EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS PELLUCIDAR AT EARTHS CORE TP    $12.99
JAN170136    EMPOWERED SOLDIER OF LOVE #2    $3.99
NOV160083    MASS EFFECT ADULT COLORING BOOK TP    $14.99
JAN170128    REBELS THESE FREE & INDEPENDENT STATES #1    $3.99

Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 22, 2017

IMAGE COMICS

DEC160751    ARCLIGHT TP (MR)    $14.99
JAN170719    BEAUTY #13 CVR A HAUN & RAUCH (MR)    $3.99
JAN170720    BEAUTY #13 CVR B TOLTON (MR)    $3.99
JAN170721    BIRTHRIGHT #23 (MR)    $2.99
JAN170722    BLACK ROAD #8 (MR)    $3.99
APR160749    CIRCUIT BREAKER #4 (OF 5)    $2.99
JAN178370    CURSE WORDS #1 3RD PTG (MR)    $3.99
JAN178371    CURSE WORDS #2 2ND PTG (MR)    $3.99
JAN170724    CURSE WORDS #3 CVR A BROWNE (MR)    $3.99
JAN170725    CURSE WORDS #3 CVR B RIVERA (MR)    $3.99
JAN170726    DESCENDER #20 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170824    EAST OF WEST THE APOCALYPSE YEAR TWO HC    $49.99
JAN178372    FEW #1 (OF 6) 3RD PTG (MR)    $4.99
JAN170730    FEW #3 (MR)    $4.99
JAN170738    LOOSE ENDS #3 (OF 4) (MR)    $3.99
JAN178353    LOOSE ENDS #3 (OF 4) CVR B (MR)    $3.99
JAN170667    MAGDALENA #1    $3.99
DEC168666    MAGDALENA #1 CVR B WOMENS HISTORY MONTH CHARITY VAR    $3.99
JAN170747    NO MERCY #14 (MR)    $3.99
DEC160728    REBORN #5 CVR A CAPULLO (MR)    $3.99
DEC160729    REBORN #5 CVR B CAPULLO (MR)    $3.99
AUG160656    RINGSIDE #9 (MR)    $3.99
DEC160732    SAVAGE DRAGON #222 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170713    SEVEN TO ETERNITY GIANT SIZED ARTISTS PROOF ED    $24.99
JAN170759    SHE WOLF #7 (MR)    $3.99
DEC168661    SHE WOLF #7 CVR B WOMENS HISTORY MONTH CHARITY VAR (MR)    $3.99
JAN170760    SHUTTER #28 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170765    SPREAD #20 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170766    STRAY BULLETS SUNSHINE & ROSES #22 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170663    UNDERWINTER #1 CVR A FAWKES (MR)    $3.99
JAN170664    UNDERWINTER #1 CVR B LEMIRE (MR)    $3.99
JAN170770    VIOLENT LOVE #5 CVR A SANTOS (MR)    $3.99
JAN170771    VIOLENT LOVE #5 CVR B SANTOS (MR)    $3.99

Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for March 22, 2017

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

DEC161185    ALTERS #5 (MR)    $3.99
JAN171789    ANIMAL CRACKERS HC GN    $15.99
JAN171788    ANIMAL CRACKERS PREQUEL HC GN CIRCUS MAYHEM    $15.99
JAN171977    ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5) CVR A MCCAFFREY (MR)    $3.99
JAN171978    ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5) CVR B MANDRAKE (MR)    $3.99
JAN171979    ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5) CVR C WILLIAMSON (MR)    $3.99
JAN171980    ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5) CVR D ZORNOW (MR)    $3.99
JAN171981    ANNO DRACULA #1 (OF 5) CVR E COLLINS (MR)    $3.99
JAN171638    AOD XENA FOREVER AND A DAY #6 (OF 6) CVR A MORITAT    $3.99
NOV161899    BIZENGHAST 3IN1 GN VOL 02 SPECIAL COLLECTOR ED    $19.99
NOV161498    BLACK FLAME #1 (OF 7)    $5.99
JAN172151    BLAME GN VOL 03    $34.95
JAN172119    BLOODSHOT REBORN #0 CVR A DOE    $3.99
JAN172120    BLOODSHOT REBORN #0 CVR B KANO    $3.99
JAN172121    BLOODSHOT REBORN #0 CVR C JOHNSON    $3.99
JAN172122    BLOODSHOT REBORN #0 CVR D GREEN    $3.99
JAN171169    CIRCLE #4 CVR A ZHERNO (MR)    $3.99
DEC161777    CLOCKWORK PLANET GN VOL 01    $12.99
JAN171812    DEEPAK CHOPRAS BEYOND #2    $3.99
DEC161650    DF BATMAN BEYOND #1 HAESER REMARK SGN    $89.99
NOV161522    DF BATMAN TMNT #3 DF EXC HAESER SGN    $27.00
NOV161523    DF BATMAN TMNT #3 POISON IVY HAESER SKETCH    $69.99
DEC161657    DF DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #6 MIDTOWN EXC CAPULLO    $29.99
JAN171726    DF DARTH VADER ANNUAL #1 HAESER DARTH MAUL SKETCH SGN    $89.99
OCT161523    DF NOW AVENGERS #1 HAESER SKETCH    $61.00
DEC161760    DISNEY FROZEN #6 (RES)    $3.99
JAN171840    DISNEY FROZEN COMICS COLL HEARTS FULL OF SUNSHINE TP    $9.99
DEC161756    DISNEY PIXAR CARS #2    $3.99
DEC161763    DISNEY PRINCESS #9    $3.99
OCT161843    DOCTOR WHO 11TH TP VOL 05 THE ONE    $14.99
OCT161848    DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR TWO #15 CVR A IANNICIELLO    $3.99
OCT161849    DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR TWO #15 CVR B PHOTO    $3.99
OCT161850    DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR TWO #15 CVR C ELLERBY    $3.99
OCT161851    DOCTOR WHO 12TH YEAR TWO #15 CVR D FLOREAN    $3.99
JAN171200    DOLLFACE #3 CVR A MENDOZA (MR)    $3.99
JAN171201    DOLLFACE #3 CVR B TATTERED & TORN (MR)    $4.99
JAN171202    DOLLFACE #3 CVR C SUNSET (MR)    $4.99
JAN171203    DOLLFACE #3 CVR D SUNSET TATTERED & TORN (MR)    $4.99
JAN171204    DOLLFACE #3 CVR E HARRIS (MR)    $4.99
JAN171205    DOLLFACE #3 CVR F PAMFIL (MR)    $4.99
DEC161737    DOORMAN TP VOL 01 (MR)    $9.99
JAN171820    DRAGONFLY AND THE GLOBAL GUARDIANS #1    $0.99
OCT162133    EVIL HEROES #6 (OF 6) CVR A SALAZAR (MR)    $3.99
OCT162134    EVIL HEROES #6 (OF 6) CVR B RICHARDSON (MR)    $3.99
OCT162135    EVIL HEROES #6 (OF 6) CVR C REYES (MR)    $3.99
OCT162136    EVIL HEROES #6 (OF 6) CVR D KIVELA (MR)    $3.99
DEC161625    FIRE THE ZORA NEALE HURSTON STORY HC    $21.95
JAN171861    FORGET ME NOT GN VOL 07    $10.99
JAN172200    FRUITS BASKET COLLECTORS ED TP VOL 11    $20.00
JAN172175    GOODNIGHT PUNPUN GN VOL 05 (MR)    $24.99
DEC161553    GREAT DIVIDE #6 (OF 6) CVR A MARKIEWICZ (MR)    $3.99
DEC161554    GREAT DIVIDE #6 (OF 6) CVR B MARKIEWICZ HOMAGE (MR)    $3.99
JAN172226    GRIMM FAIRY TALES #4 CVR A CHEN    $3.99
JAN172227    GRIMM FAIRY TALES #4 CVR B REYES    $3.99
JAN172228    GRIMM FAIRY TALES #4 CVR C REI    $3.99
JAN172229    GRIMM FAIRY TALES #4 CVR D TOLIBAO    $3.99
JAN172261    GRIMM FAIRY TALES STEAMPUNK TP    $9.99
JAN171581    HEATHEN #2    $3.99
JAN172204    HOW TO RAISE BORING GIRLFRIEND GN VOL 05    $13.00
JAN171851    HUNTERS OF SALAMANSTRA #3 CVR A MAIN    $3.99
JAN171852    HUNTERS OF SALAMANSTRA #3 CVR B JOSECO    $3.99
JAN171864    IN SPECTRE GN VOL 03    $10.99
DEC161678    INTERVIEW HC    $24.99
JAN171232    INVISIBLE HANDS #1 (OF 3)    $3.99
DEC161862    JUDGE DREDD EVERY EMPIRE FALLS TP    $25.00
JAN171657    KISS #6 CVR A PARILLO    $3.99
JAN171658    KISS #6 CVR B WILSON    $3.99
JAN171659    KISS #6 CVR C PHOTO    $3.99
JAN171895    LETTER 44 #31    $3.99
DEC161504    LIFE DEATH AND SORCERY #4    $3.99
JAN171474    LUMBERJANES #36    $3.99
JAN172176    MASTER KEATON GN VOL 10 URASAWA    $19.99
JAN171936    MIGHTY TITAN #6 (RES)    $3.99
NOV161878    MONIKA GN VANILLA DOLLS    $16.99
DEC161877    MONSTER MUSUME I HEART MONSTER GIRLS GN VOL 04 (MR)    $12.99
NOV161134    NINJA HIGH SCHOOL TEXT BOOK TP VOL 03    $49.99
DEC161878    OTHER SIDE OF SECRET GN VOL 04 (MR)    $12.99
OCT161295    OVER GARDEN WALL ONGOING TP VOL 01    $14.99
JAN171583    POWERLESS #1    $3.99
SEP161282    PRESIDENT EVIL (ONE SHOT)    $3.99
JAN172209    PRISON SCHOOL GN VOL 06 (MR)    $20.00
DEC161197    REICH #5 (OF 12) (MR)    $4.00
NOV161245    RUST TP VOL 02 (OF 4) SECRETS OF THE CELL    $14.99
DEC161879    SERVAMP GN VOL 09    $12.99
NOV161500    SERVING SUPES #7    $4.99
JAN171821    SHIKARI FORCE HUNTERS TP VOL 01    $12.95
JAN171393    SIMPSONS COMICS #238    $3.99
JAN171479    STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #2    $3.99
JAN171480    STEVEN UNIVERSE ONGOING #2 SUBSCRIPTION SYGH CVR    $3.99
JAN171706    STICKS ANGELICA FOLK HERO HC    $21.95
OCT161738    TALES FROM THE CRYPT #2    $3.99
JAN171707    TERMS AND CONDITIONS    $14.95
JAN172177    TERRA FORMARS GN VOL 17 (MR)    $12.99
DEC161882    TESTAMENT OF SISTER NEW DEVIL GN VOL 05    $12.99
DEC161787    THAT WOLF BOY IS MINE GN VOL 04    $10.99
JAN172328    TORTURE REPORT GRAPHIC ADAPTATION    $16.99
DEC161798    TREASURY OF XX CENTURY MURDER COMPENDIUM HC (MR)    $27.99
JAN172214    TWINKLE STARS GN VOL 02    $20.00
DEC161888    UNTAMED II #3 (OF 4) CVR A BERGTING    $3.99
DEC161889    UNTAMED II #3 (OF 4) CVR B LEE    $3.99
JAN171871    UQ HOLDER GN VOL 10    $10.99
NOV161501    WHITE #3 (OF 4) (MR)    $4.99
DEC161587    WILL EISNER SPIRIT CORPSE MAKERS #2 (OF 5) CVR A FRANCAVILLA    $3.99
JAN171335    WORLD OF ARCHIE JUMBO COMIC DIGEST #67    $6.99
JAN172044    WORLD WAR X #4 (OF 6) CVR A DI MEO (MR)    $3.99
JAN172045    WORLD WAR X #4 (OF 6) CVR B PERCIVAL (MR)    $3.99
JAN172046    WORLD WAR X #4 (OF 6) CVR C SALGADO (MR)    $3.99
JAN171411    WWE #3 MAIN CVR    $3.99
JAN172113    X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 CVR A LAROSA    $3.99
JAN172114    X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 CVR B ROCAFORT    $3.99

MAGAZINES
DEC161738    HEAVY METAL #285 CVR A BERTMER (MR)    $8.95
DEC161739    HEAVY METAL #285 CVR B GRIC (MR)    $8.95
DEC161740    HEAVY METAL #285 CVR C JEAN (MR)    $8.95
JAN172351    SCARY MONSTERS 2017 YEARBOOK MONSTER MEMORIES    $10.95
JAN172364    WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #20 NEWSSTAND ED    $9.99
JAN172365    WALKING DEAD MAGAZINE #20 PX ED    $9.99

BOOKS
DEC162178    BEST THERE IS WHAT HE DOES EXAMINING CHRIS CLAREMONTS X-MEN    $16.99
JAN172280    CAPED CRUSADE BATMAN & RISE OF NERD CULTURE SC    $17.00
JAN172321    DARTH VADER & FAMILY COLORING BOOK    $14.95
DEC162206    FASCIST LIZARDS FROM OUTER SPACE KENNETH JOHNSONS V    $19.99
JAN172278    GOLDMINE RECORD ALBUM PRICE GUIDE 9TH ED    $29.99
DEC162207    HOW HE-MAN MASTERED THE UNIVERSE TOY TO TV TO BIG SCREEN    $19.99
JAN178009    LEGEND OF ZELDA BREATH OF THE WILD STRATEGY GUIDE HC    $39.99
JAN178010    LEGEND OF ZELDA BREATH OF THE WILD STRATEGY GUIDE SC    $24.99
JAN172326    MONTY PYTHONS FLYING CIRCUS HIDDEN TREASURES HC    $40.00
JAN172179    ORBITAL CLOUD SC NOVEL (MR)    $16.99
DEC161685    TAKE THAT ADOLF SC FIGHTING COMIC BOOKS OF WWII    $29.99
JAN173217    WARHAMMER 40K DANTE HC    $27.00
JAN173220    WARHAMMER 40K SHRIKE    $19.00
JAN172337    WARREN THE 13TH & WHISPERING WOODS YA NOVEL    $16.95

Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: A CONTRACT WITH GOD - Centennial Edition

A CONTRACT WITH GOD And Other Tenement Stories
W.W. NORTON & COMPANY – @wwnorton

[This review was originally posted by Patreon.]

CARTOONIST: Will Eisner
ISBN: 978-0-393-60918-9; hardcover (March 7, 2017)
224pp, B&W, $25.95 U.S., $34.95 CAN

Introduction by Scott McCloud; December 2004 Preface by Will Eisner

A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories is an original graphic novel written and drawn by legendary comic book creator, Will Eisner (1917 to 2005).  It was first published in 1978 and is composed of four comic book short stories that revolve around several poor Jewish characters who live in a tenement apartment building in New York City, apparently sometime between World War I and World War II.

A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories (often referred to only as A Contract with God) was not the first graphic novel published in North America, but it was a seminal graphic novel because of its influence on other comic book creators to produce work that was more ambitious than standard superhero fare and children's comics, both in terms of content and format.

2017 marks the centennial of Will Eisner's birth.  In celebration of what would have been Eisner's 100th birthday, W.W. Norton & Company is publishing what is essentially a “Will Eisner Centennial Edition” of A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories.  This new edition is a hardcover book and contains the four stories from A Contract with God reproduced in high-resolution from Eisner's original art boards.  This book also includes “Introduction to the Centennial Edition” by Scott McCloud (a comic book creator and friend of Eisner); the essay “A Brief History of A Contract with God;” and Will Eisner's “Preface,” written in 2004 for a 2005 edition of the book published by Norton.

The narrative of A Contract with God is a short story cycle of four stories.  The stories are mostly set in a tenement at 55 Dropsie Avenue, the Bronx, New York.  Tenements were apartment buildings built to accommodate the flood of immigrants that flowed into New York after World War I.

The title story, “A Contract with God,” opens the book.  It focuses on Frimme Hersh, a devout Hebrew man who grieves the loss of his adopted daughter, Rachele.  Hersh believes Rachele's death is a violation of his “contract with God,” violated by the Almighty himself.  Hersh rebels against his previous life, but years later decides he needs another contract with God.

Eisner's creation of the entirety of A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories was driven by his grief over the loss of his own daughter, Alice, but especially the story, “A Contract with God.”  I think the central message of this story is about man's foolish belief that he can actually not only initiate a contract with God or eternity, but also dictate terms and conditions.  I cannot tell if Eisner wishes to convey acceptance or resignation to fate and God, but the sense of futility is obvious here, while also being wearily hopeful.  Life goes on...

The second story, “The Street Singer,” is set in the 1930s and focuses on Marta Maria (not her birth name), an opera singer who long ago abandoned her career, and a street singer named Eddie.  Their chance meeting gives birth to hopes of a career revival for one and a debut for the other, but a simple error on both their parts endangers their bold plans.

Other than the 10 pages that depict Marta and Eddie's meeting and their sexual and professional consummation, I am not crazy about this story, although I like it.  However, those ten pages contain some of Eisner's best page and individual panel design of his late career as a graphic novelist, especially that two-panel page in which Eddie walks into Marta apartment and then, enters her boudoir.

The third story is “The Super,” which is about Mr. Scruggs, the mean superintendent of the tenement at 55 Dropsie Avenue and his fateful encounter with Rosie, a poppet who might be one of the youngest femme fatales ever in comic books.  I am not a big fan of this story either, but it has some of Eisner's best cartooning of the human figure an exemplified in Mr. Scruggs.

In his post World War II work on his foundational comic book, The Spirit, Eisner frequently showed off his dexterity in cartooning the human figure in motion.  He matches that with the “The Super.”  This story opens with two masterful full-page illustrations, one suggesting Scruggs walking and the other a magnificent pose showing off Mr. Scrugg's physicality and his ability to intimidate using the threat of his physical prowess.

The final of the four stories is “Cookalein.”  The term refers to a kind of resort farm in the Catskill Mountains; 150 miles north of New York City.  City residents went to such places for summer vacations, and in this story, a wife and her two sons travel to a “cookalein” one summer.  However, marital stress lines between the wife and her husband, who will follow his family to the “cookalein” sometime later, grow wider, while the older of their two sons, Willie, has a life altering experience one hot summer night.

I have lost track of how many times I have re-read and perused all four of these stories in whole and in part, especially “Cookalein,” which is one of my all-time favorite Eisner works.  I had long hoped that Eisner would expand on this story, making it a larger, self-contained work or perhaps as a long-running serial featuring all the main characters from the story.

Over my many years of reading articles about A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories, I have come to understand that some comic historians and aficionados consider this work to be the pinnacle of Eisner's career.  I don't.  I consider Eisner's post-WWII work on The Spirit, his comic book published as a newspaper insert during the 1940s and early 1950s, to be his best work.  I do think that A Contract with God is the height of Eisner's comics that are his personal expressions, both as a storyteller and as an artist working in the comics medium.  This graphic novel may also be the best blending of Eisner's expression of pre-World War II Jewish American culture in New York City with his own history as a boy and then as a young man before WWII.

I can say that I love A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories even with my mixed feelings about some of the stories.  In the times that I have read or looked over A Contract with God since Will Eisner's passing, I find myself missing him something fierce... although I never met him.  Anyone who reads graphic novels has not really read graphic novels until he has read A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You


The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: CHAOS CAMPUS #0

CHAOS CAMPUS: SORORITY GIRLS VS ZOMBIES #0
APPROBATION COMICS

[This review was originally posted in Patreon.]

WRITER/LETTERS: B. Alex Thompson – @ApproBAT
ARTIST: Anita Zaramella
COLORS: Anita Zaramella
POST-SCRIPTING/POLISH: John P. Ward
COVER: Anita Zaramella
28pp, Color, $9.99 U.S.

Rated: Teen 13+

“The Keeper of Souls” created by B. Alex Thompson and Ant'Juan Avri; “Faint” and “The Stranger” are courtesy of DreamRealm Entertainment

“Sisters in Arms”

Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies is a horror-comedy comic book series created by B. Alex Thompson and published by Approbation Comics.  The series is set in during a zombie apocalypse and follows the adventures of three members of the sorority, Epsilon Alpha Zeta Upsilon (EAZY):  ass-kickin’ Jaime Schaeffer, brainy Paige Patton, and sexy Brittany Miller.

Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies – Extra Credit is a spin-off series.  Approbation published a Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con exclusive edition of Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies – Extra Credit #6 and entitled it Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies #0.  Extra Credit #6 was written by B. Alex Thompson and drawn and colored by Anita Zaramella.

Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies #0 (a.k.a. Extra Credit #6) finds the three heroines polishing off a zombie attack.  Jaime decides to go on a resource run for supplies where she runs into members of “The Ravagers” gang.  Jaime won't have to take on these hoods by herself, as another ass-kicking young woman happens on the scene.  She calls herself “Faint,” and she has some dark secrets.

Chaos Campus is quite good at referencing lots of pop culture.  The last issue I read prior to this one, Chaos Campus #11, summoned the film, The Matrix, 1980s girl-group, The Bangles, and even an old NBC public service advertisement.

Chaos Campus: Extra Credit #6 focuses on some other things this series does well:  the occult, Satanism, and dark magic.  Chaos Campus is one of the funniest zombie comedies that I have ever encountered, and it even pokes fun at slasher horror, which it does quite well.  As this series advances, however, it embraces more aspects of dark fantasy.

I have to give B. Alex Thompson credit.  I have always thought that Chaos Campus had the potential to offer an expansive mythology and narrative.  The hard part is actually making that potential pay off, and Chaos Campus: Extra Credit #6 shows that Thompson is indeed cashing in on what his comic book can be.

A-

www.ApprobationComics.com
www.AlexThompsonWriter.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint or syndication rights and fees.

-------------------

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: ANONYMOUS NOISE Volume 1

ANONYMOUS NOISE, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

MANGAKA: Ryoko Fukuyama
TRANSLATION/ENGLISH ADAPTATION: JN Productions
LETTERS: Joanna Estep
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9420-0; paperback (March 2017); Rated “T” for “Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Created by Ryoko Fukuyama, Anonymous Noise is a new shojo manga from VIZ Media.  It focuses on a talented singer and her unrequited love for the former neighbor who sang with her.

Anonymous Noise, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 5) introduces Nino Arisugawa.  Once upon a time, when her parents fought, she found comfort in singing with Momo Sakaki, a boy who was her next door neighbor.  Then, Momo suddenly moves away.  Nino soon finds comfort in a young songwriter, Kanade “Yuzu” Yuzuriha, who calls Nino “Alice.”  He tells her that she should sing instead of scream, but he soon moves away.

Six years later, Nino is in high school, and she makes a shocking reunion.  But just around the corner, unbeknownst to her, there is the possibility of another reunion.  Plus, a hot teen pop band needs her.

The Anonymous Noise manga has themes and subplots that involve singing, songwriting, bands, and apparently the music industry.  The lead characters and some of the supporting characters have musical, singing, and/or songwriting talent, but don't kick out the jams just yet.

Anonymous Noise Volume 1 lays down the beat, but the melody and chorus on this new manga is probably about teen angst and young love.  There is also so much unrequited love that I get the feeling that creator Ryoko Fukuyama is weaving more than one love triangle, and it seems as if these triangles will overlap and maybe even clash.  I won't give this manga a grade at this time, but I think it has potential to offer drama with a capital D.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.

------------------------


Monday, March 13, 2017

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 15, 2017

DC COMICS

JAN170228    ALL STAR BATMAN #8    $4.99
JAN170229    ALL STAR BATMAN #8 CAMUNCOLI VAR ED    $4.99
JAN170230    ALL STAR BATMAN #8 FRANCAVILLA VAR ED    $4.99
JAN170233    AQUAMAN #19    $2.99
JAN170234    AQUAMAN #19 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170239    BATMAN #19    $2.99
JAN170240    BATMAN #19 VAR ED    $2.99
DEC160379    BATMAN EGO AND OTHER TAILS DLX ED HC    $39.99
JAN170246    BATWOMAN #1    $2.99
JAN170248    BATWOMAN #1 BLANK VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170247    BATWOMAN #1 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170367    CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #6 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170368    CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #6 VAR ED (MR)    $3.99
JAN170347    DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #24    $3.99
JAN170267    GREEN ARROW #19    $2.99
JAN170268    GREEN ARROW #19 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170271    GREEN LANTERNS #19    $2.99
JAN170272    GREEN LANTERNS #19 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170279    HARLEY QUINN #16    $2.99
JAN170280    HARLEY QUINN #16 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170354    HE MAN THUNDERCATS #6 (OF 6)    $3.99
JAN170362    INJUSTICE GROUND ZERO #8    $2.99
DEC160413    JACK OF FABLES DELUXE HC BOOK 01 (RES) (MR)    $39.99
DEC160385    JSA THE GOLDEN AGE DELUXE ED HC (RES)    $34.99
JAN170287    JUSTICE LEAGUE #17    $2.99
JAN170288    JUSTICE LEAGUE #17 VAR ED    $2.99
DEC160377    JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA POWER & GLORY HC    $29.99
AUG160369    LEGENDS OF TOMORROW HAWKGIRL AF    $28.00
JAN170417    LUCIFER #16 (MR)    $3.99
JAN170295    NIGHTWING #17    $2.99
JAN170296    NIGHTWING #17 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170358    ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #3 (OF 6)    $3.99
JAN170366    SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU #79    $2.99
JAN170305    SUPER SONS #2    $2.99
JAN170306    SUPER SONS #2 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170224    SUPERMAN #19    $2.99
JAN170225    SUPERMAN #19 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170312    TITANS #9 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170314    TRINITY #7    $2.99
JAN170315    TRINITY #7 VAR ED    $2.99
JAN170320    WILD STORM #2    $3.99
JAN170322    WILD STORM #2 JIM LEE VAR ED    $3.99
JAN170321    WILD STORM #2 RICHARDSON VAR ED    $3.99

Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for March 15, 2017

MARVEL COMICS

JAN170988    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25    $9.99
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SEP161121    WOMEN OF POWER STANDEE PUNCH OUT BOOK HC    $24.99
DEC168677    X-MEN BLUE #1 POSTCARDS (BUNDLE OF 100) (Net)    $5.00

IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for March 15, 2017

IDW PUBLISHING

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