Posts in the ‘Previews’ Category

Strangers In Paradise Omnibus

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Breaking news! OMNIBUS WITH FREE SIGNED PRINT IS IN STOCK NOW!

Win Original Terry Moore Art!

Is this print not one of the most beautiful things in the world? Yes it is, and it comes free with every copy of the STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS bought from Page 45.

Not only that, but Terry Moore has sent Page 45 the original art to this print, and we spent a full hour swooning on delivery day when we blatantly should have been working. Sorry about the queue that built up!

It could be yours!

“How? How is this possible?!?”

 

Everyone ordering and paying for the STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS by the end of September at Page 45 (online or in person) will be eligible for the original, signed art. That includes everyone who has pre-ordered up to this point, and can I thank all of you who have done so. Your pre-orders gave us the confidence to invest an unprecented amount of money so that Page 45, a single shop in the UK, is responsible for a whole 10th of Diamond Comics Distributors’ worldwide sales.

This knocked Terry senseless. So senseless that he gave us this original art. Thank you, Terry Moore!

We now give it to one of you because, miserably, none of us here are eligible.

The winner will be drawn from the hat by Ian Culbard, the comicbook creator of all those beautiful HP Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes books, and artist on THE NEW DEADWARDIANS. We haven’t even asked him yet, but he’s a good sort and will keep it all above board.

Original Blog, Links To Reviews, And Ridiculously Affordable Postage Details

Limited edition! We desperately need your pre-orders now!

August 2013 sees the release of the ultimate edition of one of our all-time favourite series, Terry Moore’s  STRANGERS IN PARADISE. One of the key comics through which Page 45 earned its reputation for promoting quality and diverstiy, SiP was so many women’s first comic fiction which – with its craft, heart and humanity – then made them customers for life.

It will come complete, slipcased with a brand-new black and white print signed by Terry Moore which, for Page 45 customers, will be free of charge!

Incorporating every page, every story-ever pertaining to STRANGERS IN PARADISE, it will be a whopping 2,400 pages long and estimated to weigh a hefty 9lbs.

It will be rendered uncensored!

This will be STRANGERS IN PARADISE  as nature intended.

For the first time ever, Terry has restored pages previously self-censored to their original condition. I will be fascinated to see how much hit the cutting-room floor as well as which pages they were!

“Yes! I’m In! How do I order?”

Pre-order direct from Page 45 in the UK here: STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS UK. It will cost £75-00.

Postage for the UK will be just £4-99 if you select “3 to 5 days shipping”.

Postage for the rest of Europe (including Belgium) will be £24-40.

Postage is for the entire package including the free, signed print.

We ship everywhere in the world so please email page45@page45.com for other postal rates, but if you live closer to America you should obviously buy direct from Terry Moore himself.

Pre-order direct from Terry Moore in the States here: STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS USA. It will cost $100 plus p&p.

“Why buy from Terry Moore?”

Because, my kittykins, although you won’t be eligible for our original art raffle, Terry’s own copies IF ORDERED BEFORE PUBLICATION (I WOULD HURRY UP!) come with a completely different print free of charge (please note: this is not it). Also, Terry Moore will make all the money from copies bought on his website. Also, also: shipping will be infinitely cheaper if you live in the US of A!

Terry won’t mind you ordering from us, which is why he is recommending Page 45 as the go-to source for UK/ European pre-orders. On the other hand: that other print, eh…?

“I will buy both!”

That’s the spirit!

“Why should we pre-order? We can buy it whenever we want, correct?”

Corr-wrong!

It’s a limited editon and the previous hardcover editions sold out immediately.

Also, we cannot possibly order 100 copies of a £75-00 book for the shelves. It would break our bank. Remember: we sold over 100 copies of PORCELAIN in a mere 10 days.

Here Terry Moore explains why pre-orders are vital to the success of this project. Please help us to help him and help you!

“There are very few comics on this planet with the power to move me like Strangers In Paradise. So much happens, so much is said. So much of it should never happen to anyone and so much of it should never have been said. That’s life.”

That would be me. Although I should emphasise that it’s also very, very funny.

Click on any cover of the STRANGERS IN PARADISE books for their full reviews. Except for the final volume. You wouldn’t want to know what happens there, right? One of the best endings ever in comics!

Tee-hee!

Stephen

       

May Previews for July 2012

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012


“Doctor Alec Holland says: if you have an inflamed knee, wrap it in cabbage leaves and cellophane. Cabbage leaves contain a natural anti-inflammatory amino acid.

Doctor Stephen Holland says: if you have an inflamed cabbage, for Pete’s sake keep John Constantine at a distance. He’ll only provoke it further.”

- Stephen on Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing.

“Whooooo! Also: ker-ching! Plus yowsa!”

 - Stephen again on the Scott Pilgrim Colour editions. That’s the basic level of journalism you can look forward to. *sigh*

 

Comics & Graphic Novels for July 2012 onwards

Punk Rock Jesus #1 of 6 (£2-25, Vertigo) by Sean Murphy.

I am so looking forward to this!

“The newest reality show hit has the unlikeliest celebrity of all in this new black and white miniseries from writer/artist Sean Murphy (JOE THE BARBARIAN, American Vampire vol 3)! J2, the TV series starring a clone of Jesus Christ, causes chaos across a near-future United States. J2 causes outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all – let alone the Son of God. And what effect will this all have on Gwen, the young woman who is selected, through an American Idol-style process, to be the mother of the new Messiah? All this leads to the hiring of Thomas McKael, the clone’s bodyguard and a former IRA operative with a turbulent past who must protect the new Messiah – a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.”

Pre-order Pun Rock Jesus #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/07/12

 

The Eyes Of The Cat h/c (£25-99, Humanoids Inc.) by Jodorowsky & Moebius.

“The very first graphic storytelling collaboration between two masters of the medium, Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius. In a desolate dreamscape world, a man, a bird, and a cat interact in a unique apocalyptic yet poetic fashion.”

I originally read this is Stephen Bissette’s horror anthology TABOO, but this is a fresh translation and thankfully a great deal less expensive than the previous Humanoids edition of THE EYES OF THE CAT which Hayley Campbell reviews in The Comics Journal. A couple of pages of interior art there too.

Pre-order The Eyes Of The Cat h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

The Song Of Roland (£14-99, Conundrum Press) by Michel Rabagliati.

Aaargh! From the creator of PAUL GOES FISHING etc., I nearly missed this because it didn’t have “Paul” in the title! Love this guy. Love him, love him, love him. And so did Mark. And so does Jonathan.

“The Song of Roland focuses on the life and death of the father-in-law of Rabagliati’s alter-ego Paul, who has been called ‘The Tintin of Quebec’ By Le Devoir. As the family stands vigil over Roland in his hospital bed, Rabagliati weaves a story of one man’s journey through life and the legacy he leaves behind. The French edition, Paul à Québec, was critically hailed, winning the FNAC Audience Award at France’s Angouleme festival, a Shuster Award for Outstanding Cartoonist, and was nominated for the City of Montreal’s Grand Prize, and the Audience Award at Montreal’s Salon du Livre.”

Pre-order The Song Of Roland from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

Scott Pilgrim Colour Hardcover vol 1 (£18-99, Oni Press) by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Whooooo! Also: ker-ching! Plus yowsa!

Here’s a great big preview of the SCOTT PILGRIM COLOUR EDITIONS with some extra info from Malley himself. And here’s what I wrote about SCOTT PILGRIM VOLUME 1:

Scott is a clot. He really is. He’s a total dumpling, and in terms of a Chinese take-away, dim doesn’t even begin to sum the lad up.

He is kinda cute, though, and as the series kicks off Scott is living with gay housemate Wallace for whom sly, dry mockery is a default setting. They’re so poor they even share the same bed. But Scott sleeps soundly until this girl called Ramona comes skating through his dreams – she’s a delivery girl and as you well know the quickest way from A to B is to skate through someone else’s dreams, right? Then Scott meets Ramona in his waking life, falls head over heals in whatever the hell that thing is (he may figure it out eventually) but is casually informed that if he wants her as a girlfriend he’ll have to defeat her seven evil exes in combat!

Truly a unique series with a heart of gold, and a wit and a Nintendo logic all of its own. There is not a single comic reader who could fail to fall in love with Scott, Wallace, Ramona or Bryan himself. O’Malley isn’t even close to running out of innovative ideas: his visual gags keep tumbling onto the page, and so convinced are we that this book is for everyone that if you try the first and aren’t immediately hooked, we’ll give you your money back and even pay return postage.

You will, on the other hand, have totally failed to earn The Power Of Love, so no power-up of a flaming sword for you guys!

Pre-order Scott Pilgrim Colour Hardcover vol 1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:08/08/12

 

The Lost Art Of Ah Pook Is Here: Images From The Graphic Novel h/c (£25-99, Fantagraphics) by Malcolm McNeill.

Do you have any idea how stunning this is going to be? Try Malcolm McNeill’s blog. Yes. Exactly.

“The Lost Art Of Ah Pook gathers the visual elements from the legendary unfinished collaboration between William S. Burroughs and artist Malcolm McNeill. Begun in the early 1970′s, Ah Pook was to be a meditation on time, power, control and corruption that evoked the Mayan codices and specifically, the Mayan god of death, Ah Pook. Although the work was never completed, Malcolm McNeill created over a hundred paintings, illustrations and sketches for the book, and these are finally seeing the light of day in The Lost Art of Ah Pook. Even in a context divorced from the words (Burroughs’ text will not be included), they represent a stunning precursor to the graphic novel form to come. Also included is a historical essay chronicling the long history of Burroughs’ and McNeill’s work together.”

Pre-order The Lost Art Of Ah Pook Is Here: Images From The Graphic Novel from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

Wizzywig h/c (£14-99, Top Shelf) by Ed Piskor.

“In the world of phone phreaks, hackers, and scammers, [Kevin 'Boingthump' Phenicle] is a legend. His exploits are hotly debated: could he really get free long-distance calls by whistling into a pay phone? Did his video-game piracy scheme accidentally trigger the first computer virus? And did he really dodge the FBI by using their own wiretapping software against them? Is he even a real person? And if he’s ever caught, what would happen to a geek like him in federal prison? Inspired by the incredible stories of real-life hackers, WIZZYWIG is the thrilling tale of a master manipulator — his journey from precocious child scammer to federally-wanted fugitive, and beyond. In a world transformed by socialnetworks, data leaks, and digital uprisings, Ed Piskor’s debut graphic novel reminds us how much power can rest in the hands of an audacious kid with a keyboard. — A 288-page hardcover graphic novel, 6.5” x 9”.

“Extremely pleasurable… A gripping story with lots of good, meaty forbidden knowledge and insight into the hacker mindset.” — Cory Doctorow

Click on the blue button for an 11-page preview of WIZZYWIG and watch the young scam-merchant in action. Ed also blogs BRAIN ROT: HIP HOP FAMILY TREE online. Here’s ‘Fab 5 Freddy Meets Blondie (With Basquiat & The Clash)

Pre-order Wizzywig h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

Adventure Time: Marceline And The Scream Queens #1 (£2-99, Boom! Studios) by many.

The all-ages ADVENTURE TIME itself took us completely by surprise. Not going to happen again.

“Thanks to a newfound interest in music, Princess Bubblegum joins Marceline’s paranormal rock band for a tour across the landof Ooo! But when they’re threatened by everything from scenesters to beasts born of self-doubt, can they make it to the RADDEST GIG EVER in time?! Written and drawn by acclaimed cartoonist Meredith Gran (OCTOPUS PIE) and featuring a back-up story from Jen Wang (KOKO BE GOOD), with variant covers by rockstar lady cartoonists Chynna Clugston (BLUE MONDAY), Ming Doyle (POPGUN), and Colleen Coover (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS)!”

Pre-order Adventure Time: Marceline And The Scream Queens #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me (£18-99, Hill & Wang) by Harvey Pekar & J. T. Waldman.

Great title, that. From the creator of AMERICAN SPLENDOR, then:

“In Harvey Pekar’s final memoir, he recounts the entire history of the Jews to explain how he lost his faith in the state of Israel. Pekar grew up a staunch supporter of the Jewish state, but as he grew up he confronted more and more questions his parents couldn’t answer. Not the Israel My Parents PromisedMeinterweaves Pekar’s gradual disaffection with the modern state of Israel with a comprehensive history of the Jews, from biblical times to the present, as Pekar and the book’s illustrator, JT Waldman, wrestle with the mythologies and realities surrounding the Jewish homeland.”

Pre-order Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/07/12

 

The Killer Omnibus h/c (£18-99, Avatar) by Matz & Luc Jacamon.

Welcome to the return of the ruminative assassin, and a welcome return it most certainly is in this reprint of THE KILLER VOL 1 and THE KILLER VOL 2, and if you click on either of those titles you’ll find their full reviews. Click on the second, which we made Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month, and you’ll be blown away by the interior art.

Here he’s particularly preoccupied with the disadvantages of dying in your sleep. And whom it is wise to hang out with.

“The hard part is not the loneliness. The hard part is choosing the right people to have around you, when you finally decide to have people around you. Loneliness offers guarantees that vanish as soon as you try and trust someone. Stepping away from it is running a risk. Especially for me.”

You never do know whom he should trust in this series. It’s its greatest source of suspense. Even the man he’d always placed the greatest trust in, long-time accountant Edward, turned out to be capable of treachery. Pretty stupid into the bargain. Edward had been the conduit in a contract on a man called Martini, and then gone one further and tried to take out The Killer himself. Didn’t really work out for Edward, no.

As to Luc Jacamon, his colouring has always impressed me no end, particularly when it comes to the dappled shadows under a boulevard of trees, and I love the way that there’s this constant presence throughout, even outlined in negative on the side of a building, of an Orinoco Crocodile – the very essence of patient, predatory guile. He excels at details others would never think to incorporate like scaffolding netted in green supporting the side of already impressive edifices. There’s a gorgeous sense of space no matter what he’s asked to draw in whichever country, and there’s plenty of globe-trotting to be done here. I’m a very big fan of 100 BULLETS but it can become bogged down by words whereas Matz never allows any self-indulgence to crowd out Luc Jacamon, maintaining a perfect equilibrium for a smooth and pleasurable read in his medium of choice.

Pre-order The Killer Omnibus from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

Criminal Deluxe h/c vol 2 (£37-99, Icon/Marvel) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.

The best crime fiction on the market. Destined to sit beautifully on your shelves next to the CRIMINAL DELUXE h/c vol 1, this too will include loads of extras including short stories, art and essays and behind-the-scenes material plus CRIMINAL: BAD NIGHT, CRIMINAL: THE SINNERS and CRIMINAL: THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT, all of which I’ve taken the trouble to like to there because they are reviewed. They are! That last one at length.

Pre-order Criminal Deluxe h/c vol 2 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:03/10/12

 

Wasteland vol 7: Under The God (£10-99, Oni Press) by Antony Johnston & JustinGreenwood.

From the writer of THE COLDEST CITY (still have a few signed, limited editionPage 45 bookplate editions left at the time of typing!):

“Mysteries within mysteries and an original mythology to become immersed in,” wroteWarren Ellisbefore this meaty, post-apocalyptic fiction first hit the stands, and now that I’ve read further than the first issue which merely hinted at the heart and depth of what’s been created here, I can see exactly what he means.

There’s a constant dread of danger in this catastrophically damaged world. The various factions and indeed a whole semi-industrialised, mountainous city teeter precariously on the verge of violence, under threat as they are from ruthless political power-play, religious intolerance, and the very terrain which is barren and broken. Whether it’s the environmental armageddon we currently face, the lorry loads of immigrants smuggled then sold into slavery, the destructive politics of tyrants like Mugabe or wilfully ignorant racism that doesn’t even bother to lurk beneath the surface of our societies, Johnston has found novel ways of building them into his depraved new world, giving it far more bite than most.

For more, please see the rest of my review of WASTELAND VOL 1.

Pre-order Wasteland vol 7: Under The God from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:19/09/12

 

Thieves & Kings vol 1: The Red Book colour edition h/c (£18-99, Archaia) by Mark Oakley.

Beautifully crafted in both illustrated prose and comic form, this is a joyous tale of one small boy and his imp, travelling a rustic kingdom in search of lost friends.  Little does he know that his story has been brewing for a thousand years. Within pages of M’Oak beginning this epic one already feels steeped in centuries of ancient lore, caveats and oaths. The marketplaces bustle, the ships sail, and the streets are medievalEurope.

I wrote that nearly two decades ago.

Pre-order Thieves & Kings vol 1: The Red Book colour edition h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:26/09/12

 

American Elf Vol 4 (£14-99, Top Shelf) by James Kochalka.

Autobiography rather than Transatlantic fantasy! Of American Elf vol 3 I wrote:

Two more years of square-shaped snippets as James chronicles his life each day, drawing himself as a big-eared elf, then immediately plonks them on the internet. It’s an odd thing to do. I mean, in a book after a little time has past is one thing, but straight onto the internet?

Do you think all his neighbours subscribe? Think about that: would you want everyone living down the nearest seven or eight roads to know what went on your life each day? Inside your house, with your wife and kid? It’s okay when Eli’s being cute (and he is), but what about the rows you had with the missus? Or when your son spotted you waking up with a massive erection? I guess James is far more secure than I am. Needless to say, I couldn’t tear myself away, in spite of the fact that I’m not too sure what most of them did for me. No one’s life is that interesting 365 days of the year. Maybe it’s just that life itself is fascinating. Here’s two years of someone else’s.

“What was your favourite part of our trip toCanada?”
“Going to the store.”
“You mean when Daddy and Tom and Eli went to buy stiff to make dinner?”
“Yeah.”
“The fondue? But I thought you were a little bit scared of Tom.”
“Yes. He’s a monster.”
“Sweetheart, he’s not a monster. He’s just a grown-up with a beard.”
“Oh.”

Pre-order American Elf Vol 4 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

The Making Of (£22-50, Drawn & Quarterly) by Brecht Evens.

From the creator of THE WRONG PLACE and NIGHT ANIMALS. Brecht Evens blog – there be colours!

Pieterjan is invited to a small town as an honoured guest. From the moment he arrives, things start going wrong, and since no one seems ready to step in, Pieterjan takes over the show. He decides to build a giant garden gnome as a symbol of Flemish identity, but the construction process brings buried tensions to the surface as the other artists become jealous of Pieterjan’s authority. In The Making Of, Evens delves deep into the petty tensions, small misunderstandings, and deadpan humour that pervade modern relationships. Sweeping watercolours jump off the page, surrealist scenery intermingles with crowds of people, and small suburban plot homes have never looked so lovely.

Pre-order The Making Of h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:18/07/12

 

Swamp Thing vol 1: Raise Them Bones s/c (£10-99, DC) by Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette.

One Of Our Mastodons Is Missing.

The natural balance is out of kilter. Weather systems run riot and creatures are being culled: pigeons by day and bats by night falling lifeless from the skies; in the ocean the fish are dying.

A former botanist whose life’s work was a bio-restorative formula capable growing vegetation in the driest regions of a planet, Alec Holland died in an explosion only to wake up six weeks ago in a swamp with memories of being a muck monster and intense, romantic feelings for a woman he’s never met. He’s tried to resume his work and got as far as he did last time round, but found the manual labour on a construction site infinitely less troubling. He receives two visitors: Superman urging him to resume his prior calling and help; someone – or something – he may find infinitely more persuasive. The art’s a bit Kevin Nowlan in places.

Doctor Alec Holland says: if you have an inflamed knee, wrap it in cabbage leaves and cellophane. Cabbage leaves contain a natural anti-inflammatory amino acid.

Doctor Stephen Holland says: if you have an inflamed cabbage, for Pete’s sake keep John Constantine at a distance. He’ll only provoke it further.

Pre-order Swamp Thing vol 1: Raise Them Bones s/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:22/08/12

 

National Comics: Eternity #1 (£2-99, DC) by Jeff Lemire & Cully Hamner.

From the creator of ESSEX COUNTY, SWEET TOOTH, THE NOBODY and ANIMAL MAN (DC New 52), all of which are recommended… Kid Eternity reinvented yet again!

Pre-order National Comics: Eternity #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/07/12

 

Kick Ass 2 h/c (£18-99, Icon/Marvel/Titan) by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.

I no longer know what to make of this series. I really don’t. It’s not just the level of violence, it’s who’s on the receiving end. Basically, a kid with no powers puts on a custom to fight crime. And everyone around him pays the price. Try Jonathan’s review of KICK-ASS VOL 1 if you’ve not come across this yet.

Pre-order Kick Ass 2 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: eventually.

 
Loads More Marvel Graphic Novels Here

Loads More Dc Graphic Novels Here

In fact, there are loads more Graphic Novels and indeed Comics for July onwards in Page 45’s full on-line version of Diamond’s PREVIEWS here!

 
Previews barely written but at least selected by Stephen

April Previews for June 2012

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

If you really don’t know about THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN then I haven’t been doing my job properly. It’s genius. Click on each book for a review, including the new BLACK DOSSIER finally available in the UK.

 - Stephen on League of Extraordinay Gentlemen vol 3 #3.

 

Comics & Graphic Novels for June 2012

 

Fatale vol 1: Death Chases Me (£10-99, Image) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.

Undoubtedly the finest new series in comics this year, with – I’m delighted to report – the biggest selling single issue beating AVENGERS VS X-MEN by a very wide margin. Big, big love to Sean Phillips for all his support. Those signed copies of #1? They were Sean’s, given to us as a present when we missed out on the fourth printing. So, here’s what I made of the first issue:

The Losing Side Of Eternity: an unpublished novel by Dominic H. Raines, 1957.

“So here’s how my entire life went off the tracks in one day.
“It started at Dominic Raines’ funeral… and of course the weather was as bad as most of the old man’s novels…”
“I didn’t see her among the small crowd, which, looking back, is odd. But I was distracted by the engravings on the headstone. Raines wasn’t just an atheist… he hated all religions. So what the hell was this about?”

What the hell indeed. Nicolas Lash has inherited the estate of his father’s best friend, one Dominic H. Raines who published a string of bestselling detective novels beginning in 1960 before dying alone and bitter and broken. As Nicolas swiftly discovers, however, he’s also inherited a great many questions and a whole world of trouble in the form of an unpublished manuscript whose title speaks volumes and a woman he meets by the grave. She calls herself Jo and claims to be the granddaughter of a woman the novelist once loved. The symbol, she says, is a private piece of the past Raines and her grandmother simply couldn’t let go of.

“Later, I’d wonder why my head felt glued to the ground as she walked away. How with just a few words, she’d made me feel like some high school kid again. Dumbstruck. I didn’t know that could still happen.”

It’s been happening for years. Flashback toSan Franciscoduring the mid-1950s and Dominic ‘Hank’ Raines is a happily married man with a wife and a kid on the way. A reporter determined to expose police corruption and in particular one Walt Booker, he lures Walt’s woman Josephine to a bar one night, and she warns him – she does try to warn him – but from that moment on he just can’t get her out of his head…

Ah, la femme fatale: beautiful, seductive, and disastrous for all who stray near. But Brubaker and Phillips have carved something far more interesting which, the more I think about it grows increasingly complex. For a start, I’ve deliberately said little about Walt himself – both his public and private investigations into a death cult – nor what happens to Nicolas back in the present, because although this is everything you love about the same team’s CRIMINAL, it’s also a horror comic: the less you know, the better. Indeed Brubaker’s hinted at so many unanswered questions in this first of twelve issues, I can’t get it out of my head, either.

It’s another perfect fusion of genres, but the big change and key to its complexity lies in the multiple perspectives: of each of the men who find themselves stricken by the raven-haired beauty who appears to weather the ravages of time infinitely better than those who fixate… and also Josephine’s. Each for their own reason appears to have no option but to forge forward in their different directions; each believes they are running out of time. All of them seem linked by and trapped in a web woven wider and wider across time, spanning, it seems, an entire century.

I love the way Sean Phillips draws gunshots – jagged flashes of fire – and there’s plenty of action and more gore to come, but it’s his quietest scenes set in beds, bars or out on the street at night that I relish even more. The opening pages in the bucolic graveyard are particularly sublime and as evidence I present you with this five-page preview of FATALE #1 courtesy ofWarren Ellis including a cover which I predict (as early as the second week in January!) will be almost impossible to beat this year.

Pre-order Fatale vol 1: Death Chases Me from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:27/06/12

 

The Red Dairy / The Re[a]d Diary flipbook h/c (£22-50, Image) by Teddy Kristiansen, Steven T. Seagle & Teddy Kristiansen.

I love Teddy Kristiansen and this looks absolutely fascinating. IT’S A BIRD comes very highly recommended indeed.

“Teddy Kristiansen’s European album is newly translated to English by Teddy Kristiansen and Steven T. Seagle. But in a unique flip-novel format, the book is also ‘re-mixed’ with a completely different script devised by Seagle before he collaborated on the translation. Both versions – THE RED DIARY – a tale of art forgery and World War and THE RE[A]D DIARY – a tale of identity theft and lost love – comprise this unique graphic novel from Seagle and Kristiansen – the Eisner nominated/winning team behind the acclaimed Vertigo graphic novel IT’S A BIRD.”

Pre-order The Red Dairy / The Re[a]d Diary flipbook h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:06/06/12

 

The Massive #1 (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Brian Wood & Kristian Donaldson.

Oh, this is going to be… massive, yes. For goodness sake check out THE MASSIVE’s cover – and there’s a preview of interior art there too. From the writer of LOCAL, NORTHLANDERS etc.

“In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the environmental-action trawler Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its mysteriously missing sister ship, The Massive. Captain CallumIsrael, a man who has dedicated his life to the ocean, now must ask himself-as our planet dies-what it means to be an environmentalist after the world’s ended. Callum and his crew will come up against pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves as they struggle to remain noble toward their cause. Can you save a planet that’s already doomed?”

Pre-order The Massive #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:13/06/12

 

The Manara Library vol 3 h/c (£45-00, Dark Horse) by Milo Manara, Federico Fellini, Silverio Pisu & Milo Manara.

“Milo Manara’s collaborations with legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini take centre stage in this latest volume of The Milo Manara Library! Together, these two masters produced the beautiful, surreal stories ‘Trip to Tulum’ and ‘The Voyage of G. Mastorna,’ the latter of which is presented in English for the first time! Completing this volume is Manara’s collaboration with Silverio Pisu on the satirical update of a Chinese fable, ‘The Ape,’ as well as a large selection of short stories displaying the maestro’s illustrative versatility!”

Pre-order The Manara Library vol 3 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 0/08/12

 

Fatima: The Blood Spinners #1 (£2-99, Dark Horse) by Gilbert Hernandez.

From LOVE & ROCKETS’ Gilbert Hernandez, this is being marketing as an ongoing series.

“Comics luminary Gilbert Hernandez envisions his strangest, most thrilling future yet! A drug called ‘spin’ offers the wildest trip imaginable, followed by its users’ inevitable, rapid deterioration into undead flesh eaters. Despite the side effect, the drug is so popular that the human population is dying out! With no cure to be found, the beautiful, lovesickFatimamay be the only thing standing between the survivors and the apocalypse. Get ready for four issues of zombies, drug lords, and gorgeous women!”

Pre-order Fatima: The Blood Spinners #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:20/06/12

 

Dungeon Quest book three (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Joe Daly.

Jonathan’s happy! He loved books one (oh, look, interior art there) and two.

“Expanded to more than twice the length of the previous volumes, Dungeon Quest Book Three continues the adventures of Millennium Boy, Steve, Lash and Nerdgirl as they traverse mysterious underground realms. This latest instalment of the stoner D&D epic brings a whole new level of bizarre comedy, rousing adventure and ass-kicking action – all staged in front of fantastic backdrops replete with strange vegetation, ancient ruins and steam-punk imagery.”

Pre-order Dungeon Quest book three from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:27/06/12

 

Iron: Or, The War After h/c (£18-99, Archaia) by Shane-Michael Vidaurri.

Well here’s something a little different stylistically on the anthropomorphic front and thankfully Archaia provide a preview.

“It is the aftermath of a long war, in a world of constant winter. An intelligence spy from the Resistance – the rabbit, Hardin – steals secret information from a military base of the Regime. His actions set off a chain of events that reverberates through the ranks of both sides, touching everyone from Pavel the crow to Giles the goat, from the highest-ranking officials to the smallest orphaned child. When the snow finally settles, who will be the true patriot and who the true traitor? A spellbinding, beautifully illustrated anthropomorphic tale.”

Pre-order Iron: Or, The War After h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

 

Courtney Crumrin vol 2: The Coven Of Mystics colour h/c (£18-99, Oni Press) by Ted Naifeh.

Absolutely adore this series and finally the production values match the quality of the contents. I recently wrote a completely new review for COURTNEY CRUMRIN vol 1, and I love what they’re doing with the covers now colour-wise. Going to make a lovely looking set.

“Fan-favourite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full colour hardcover editions! When the night things of Courtney’s community start causing trouble, it’s up to her to find out why. The town’s powerful coven of mystics thinks it knows who to blame, but Uncle Aloysius doesn’t believe their simple explanation. His misgivings start Courtney down a twisted path that leads to the true mastermind behind all the horror! But does Courtney stand a chance against a being that powerful and manipulative?”

Pre-order Courtney Crumrin vol 2: The Coven Of Mystics colour h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/08/12

 

The Clock Strikes #1 (£3-50, Kult) by John A. Short & Vincent Danks.

Are you reading HARKER? You should be. Great British crime comic with a mischievous twist. HARKER VOL1 and HARKER VOL 2. Anyway, its artist is the same Vince Danks and take a look at this, the cover to THE CLOCK STRIKES #1 worthy of Dave Gibbons or Brian Bolland. And that’s all the info we really have for you right there anyway.

UK item so not on our website. Phone 0115 9508045 or make with the clicky on page45@page45.com

Due: when the clock strikes, obv.

 

Right State h/c (£18-99, Vertigo/DC) by Mat Johnson & Andrea Mutti.

“Just in time for the fall presidential election, Mat Johnson, acclaimed writer of INCOGNEGRO [and DARK RAIN – ed.], delivers a race-against-time political thriller about a militia group that’s plotting to assassinate the second African- American President of theU.S. In the week leading up to a major campaign speech, the Secret Service discovers that an extremist militia group is plotting to assassinateAmerica’s second African American President. The best chance to avert this crisis is to infiltrate the group using an ex-Special Forces war hero turned conservative media pundit named Ted Akers. While Akers’s politics make him a hero to the right-wing fringe and no friend to the current Administration, he takes the assignment and what follows is an adrenaline-fuelled race against time to stop a President from dying and a country from being ripped apart.” Original graphic novel.

SLH

Pre-order Right State h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:08/08/12

 

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #3: 2009 (£7-50, Knockabout/Top Shelf) by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill.

The conclusion, and I’m really worried for Mina. If you really don’t know about THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN then I haven’t been doing my job properly. It’s genius. Click on each book for a review, including the new BLACK DOSSIER finally available in the UK.

“The narrative reaches its cataclysmic conclusion in London 2009. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past century has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised age of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, to stand in his way. The bitter, intractable war in Q’umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away inKashmira Sikh terrorist wages a holy war against Islam that must push the world into a nuclear holocaust, and in aLondonasylum there’s a patient who insists she has all the answers.”

Pre-order The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #3: 2009 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

ETA:27/06/12

 

The Invisibles Omnibus h/c (£110-00, DC) by Grant Morrison & Steve Yeowell, Chris Weston, Duncan Fegredo and so many more.

Oh, go on! Go on, go on, go on, go on! 1,536 pages of anarchic mentalism. For INVISIBLES: APOCALIPSTICK I wrote the following series overview, and – egotist that I am – it just made me laugh once again!

“Although this is the fifth book to be released, it’s actually book two; it matters not since the story will only begin to make sense once you’ve bought the lot, snipped out the panels, rearranged them into something vaguely resembling chronological order, then performed a brief, drug-enhanced ritual involving a Tibetan mountain and no less than 39 missing letters of the alphabet. Even then, like the average pension scheme, we offer only the flimsiest of guarantees.

For those of you new to this provocative, mind-bending story (pilfered, it’s claimed, for The Matrix film), the Invisibles is a secret cell of anarchists talented in various aspects of what could loosely be described as the occult, determined to see that our lives are freed from the threat of a transtemporal, interdimensional straightjacket. Reality, sexuality, order, chaos, language and control, it’s all here for the decryption. Learn which events made Lord Fanny, the tranny shammy with even more lip than gloss, the man she is today.”

For more, please click on the seven individual INVISIBLES softcovers.

Pre-order The Invisibles Omnibus h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:15/08/12

 

Superman: Action Comics vol 1 – Superman And The Men Of Steel h/c (£18-99, DC) by Grant Morrison & Rags Morales, more.

Reprints the first eight issues. About the first I typed…

“You know the deal, Metropolis. Treat people right or expect a visit from me.”

Those who’ve read Grant Morrison’s SUPERGODS will recognise Morrison’s approach here, a very different take from his All-Star Superman with its clue in the title: ACTION COMICS #1.

Of the original version Morrison commented on Superman’s socialist role as champion of the people, of the underdog as opposed to the rich and powerful. Also, a man so unafraid to throw his weight about that the public run screaming in a panic on its cover. So it is here, tying in with last week’s JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 as a much younger, brasher and flashier Superman defies the corrupt authorities who’ve decided to distrust him and – egged on by Lex Luthor, of course – perfectly prepared to endanger the public in order to catch their man. This Superman takes a barely disguised glee in flexing his muscles and his targets are both white-collar criminals protected by the law and neo-Nazis he’s reported to have dumped down the sewers and a wife-beater he threw out of a window and left with broken bones.

Crucially it’s far better structured and scripted than JUSTICE LEAGUE, giving you a satisfyingly full first chapter, and readers of IDENTITY CRISIS will love the return of Rags Morales to a title befitting his stature. Speaking of stature, the pragmatic workman-like builders’ boots and knee-patched jeans look one hell of a lot better than scarlet overoos of yore.

Key ingredients: faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and almost stronger than a locomotive. Almost. Locomotive 1, Superman 0.

Pre-order Superman: Action Comics vol 1 – Superman And The Men Of Steel h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:01/08/12

 

Absolute Batman And Robin: Batman Reborn slipcased oversized h/c (£75-00, DC) by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely, David Finch, Philip Tan, more.

Reprints BATMAN & ROBIN #16 (i.e. the entire Grant Morrison run) and BATMAN: THE RETURN in a bone-crunchingly heavy hardcover the size of the average computer screen. A handy comparison for most of you right now. ;)

So that’s BATMAN & ROBIN VOL 1, 2 and Batman and Robin vol 3, each one of whose reviews I’ve just linked to. Please note the date below. Exactly!

Pre-order Absolute Batman And Robin: Batman Reborn from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:21/11/12

 

Incognito Classified Edition h/c (£33-99, Icon/Marvel) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.

From the creators of FATALE, the deluxe treatment for INCOGNITO and INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES (ooh, interior art there!) which, like the CRIMINAL DELUXE h/c (ooh, interior art there too!) will have lots of extra Sean Phillips goodness. Yes, please!

Pre-order Incognito Classified Edition h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:05/09/12

 

The Twelve vol 2 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Weston.

Yuss! The conclusion I never thought I’d see to one of Marvel’s finest series of all time set well away from the regular Marvel Universe. Read the substantial review of THE TWELVE VOL 1 by clicking on that book’s title there.

Pre-order The Twelve vol 2 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:20/06/12

 

Defenders vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Matt Fraction & Terry Dodson, Michael Lark, more.

The Defenders should always be played for laughs, and not just in the pages of Twisted Toyfare Theatre. The Kieth Giffen era, in fact, when they used to run one-line adverts for other titles at the bottom of each page was the only one worth paying attention to until now. The original core members consisted of Dr. Strange trying to pacify the Hulk and Namor while the Silver Surfer buried his head in his hands and bemoaned man’s inhumanity to man. Actually, he did most of that in his own title.

From the writer of CASANOVA, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and the recent rejuvenation of IRON FIST comes a cry for help from a more-than-usually-responsible Hulk answered by Dr. Stephen ‘still-sleeping-with-his-students’ Strange who promptly reforms the Defenders by making house calls on Namor (imperiously wrecking a posse of killer whale cullers), the chrome-domed wielder of the Power Cosmic who answers the flurry as a blizzard of snow (he’s… experimenting), the Red She-Hulk (oh, I know, totally lame, but well written here) and, of course, Iron Fist who himself is having a one-night stand he probably shouldn’t and buries himself in some comics instead (approved!). Each receives their own colour-coded perspective in the monologue boxes and is considerable enhanced by being drawn by Terry sexy Dodson.* Also, guess what’s back? The seventies’ one-line adverts at the bottom of each page! Funny.

*Please note: I have no idea if Terry is sexy; presumably his wife thinks so. But as artists they both deliver in some of the most sensuous lines in superhero comics.

Pre-order Defenders vol 1 s/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:27/06/12

 

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man III vol 2 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli, more.

Still loving the new Miles Morales Spider-Man. Review of VOLUME 1 by clicking on “volume 1.” The first “volume 1” not the second “volume 1” or indeed the third or fourth or, imminently, fifth “volume 1”s. Basically, not the ones in quotation marks. I better lie down.

Pre-order Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol 2 h/c by phoning 0115 9508045 or emailing page45@page45.com

Due: June

 

Spider-Men #1 of 5 (£2-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli.

The regular Marvel Universe Spider-Man and the Ultimate Universe Spider-Man. I’d recognise that body language anywhere.

Pre-order Spider-Men #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:13/06/12

 

Planetoid #1 (£2-25, Image) by Ken Garing.

Never heard of him but it looks pretty monumental. Literally. See what I mean at the illustrated interview for PLANETOID here.

“Silas, an ex-soldier turned space pirate, finds himself stranded on a mysterious planet in alien territory. As he explores the long-abandoned industrial ruins of the planet’s surface he will have to fend off rogue mechanical creatures, roving cyborg militias, and a hostile alien military with a bounty on his head. Silas will have to rely on resourcefulness and bare-bones survival tactics in order to stay alive and ultimately unlock the secrets of a planet where survival is a luxury and escape an impossibility.”

Pre-order Planetoid #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:13/06/12

 

Morning Glories vol 3: P.E. (£10-99, Image) by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma.

Now there’s an ominous title! Of book two I wrote:

Oh me of little faith!

I had certain doubts about volume one, but each of these six chapters were riddled with revelations and reversals that had me slack-jawed at the implicit scope of what’s been crafted behind the curtain and yet to be unveiled. This is a completely new game, and I’m only just beginning to guess at the rules.

To recap: six new students have been selected to attend a prestigious boarding academy which will not let them go. There literally is no escape and whilst a semblance of regular routine is maintained in the corridors and curriculum, the overt threats from teachers and fellow classmates alike are almost as sinister as what’s not being said. There is a lot that’s not being said.

Here six interlocking short stories focussing on the past, present and potential future of each new Glory reveals them to have far more in common than their birth dates: they’re all so psychologically screwed up it’s just not true. Please don’t think that I know all the answers but… Why can’t Hunter tell the correct time? Where does Jade go each time she dies and why doesn’t she seem to mind? Did Ike really kill his Dad then hire an open-topped bus full of bimbos to jeer at the funeral? And if so, how did he get away with it? Did Jade’s parents die? Why does Jun seem to blow so hot and cold? What is Zoe’s earliest memory, how much is she capable off, and who the hell is David? Who is this Abraham that seems to have intervened in their early lives during crucial hours and what specific, completely unexpected connection does he have to one of them in particular? What do all these teachers actually want? Trust me when I tell you that those are some of the more pedestrian questions you’ll be asking yourself once this book has finished freaking you out.

“Faith isn’t about understanding. It’s about -”
“Putting your hand in someone else’s… and learning to take the good with the bad.”

Very much coming round to the art too: clean lines and a misty colouring.

For some reason this isn’t up on our website. Time to email page45@page45.com or phone 0115 9508045.

Due:06/06/12

 

The Walking Dead vol 16 (£10-99, Image) by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard.

All you want to know is the release date, right?

Pre-order The Walking Dead vol 16 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:06/06/12

 

Loads More Dc Graphic Novels Here

Loads More Marvel Graphic Novels Here

In fact, there are loads more comics and graphic novels for June onwards in our full on-line version of Diamond’s PREVIEWS here!

These previews are brought to you by the letter S, L and H with one emphatic, glaring omission. Not exception, omission. Order the project if you want, but I’m not giving it any publicity.

 - Stephen

March Previews for May 2012

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Written by Grant Morrison, yes. Honestly, if I’d blogged this on April 1st, you’d have doubted its authenticity, wouldn’t you? But just look at Mukesh Singh’s dinosaurs! Yowsa! We’re talking Steve Bissette.

- Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens h/c

Comics & Graphic Novels for May 2012

The Lovely Horrible Stuff h/c (£10-99, Top Shelf/Knockabout) by Eddie Campbell.

From the man behind the ALEC OMNIBUS, my favourite single body of work in comics! I’ve seen the comedy slide-show lecture (you have to see at least one comedy slide-show by Eddie Campbell in your lifetime) and this is fab. Full colour, too, if that makes any difference to you.

“Money makes the world go round, as they say… but how, exactly? Award-winning graphic novelist Eddie Campbell (ALEC, FROM HELL) presents a fascinating journey into the wilderness of personal finance. With his trademark blend of research, anecdote, autobiography, and fantasy, Campbell explores how money underwrites human relationships, flowing all around us like the air we breathe – or the water we drown in. The result is a whimsical graphic essay, deeply grounded in Eddie’s personal experiences with ‘the lovely horrible stuff,’ ranging from the imaginary wealth of Ponzi schemes and television pilots to the all-too-tangible stone currency of the Micronesian island of Yap.”

Preview of THE LOVELY HORRIBLE STUFF on the Top Shelf website.

Pre-order The Lovely Horrible Stuff h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:30/05/12

 

League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier s/c and h/c (£14-99, £22-50, respectively, Knockabout) by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill.

Finally! The book banned from the UK by DC’s Paul Levitz to spite Alan Moore. Thanks for that, Paul: you lost us several thousand pounds in Christmas sales.

England in the 1950s and what’s left of our League are on the run. Do I really need to link to the LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN collections? I think I do. Click on any there for full reviews. So very clever.

Pre-order by emailing page45@page45.com or phoning 0115 9508045.

Due: overdue but any day now

 

Sharaz-De h/c (£22-50, Archaia) by Sergio Toppi.

Prepare to be dazzled! I mean dazzled! If you’re unfamiliar, check out this gallery of Sergio Toppi’s art. Yes. Now you want this original graphic novel freshly translated from French.

“A set of tales inspired by the Arabian Nights exploring a barbaric society where the supernatural is the only remedy to injustice, as Sharaz-de, captive to a cruel and despotic king, must each night spin tales to entertain her master and save her head from the executioner. Tales filled with evil spirits, treasures, risk, and danger, but with ever at their centre the passions of gods and men.”

Pre-order Sharaz-De h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:30/05/12

 

Blacksad: A Silent Hell h/c (£14-9, Dark Horse) by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido.

Ker-ching! The only anthropomorphic series to match the sales of Bryan Talbot’s GRANDVILLE here, this too is detective crime fiction, impeccably drawn, and for more (far more!) I leave you with a link to the first volume of BLACKSAD. Oh yes, this one’s set in New Orleans. Expect voodoo.

Pre-order Blacksad: A Silent Hell h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/07/12

 

Carnal vol 1: Pride Of The Lions h/c (£14-99, Sea Lion Books) by Jason Bergenstock & John Connell.

Once more with the anthropomorphic action, this time set in Africa, and I think fantasy fans will be very well served if this Carnal: Pride Of Lions Trailer is anything to go by. Crank up the speakers. There’s also an interview there.

“After the Great War decades earlier between the hyenas and the lions, the victorious and once united lion prides now lay scattered across the land, torn by civil unrest over territory disputes and food shortages. Long Eyes, an old sapphire-eyed lion who is determined to save the lion kingdom and rescue his warrior son, Oron, who has gone missing. Long Eyes believes Oron is the key to uniting the prides. A young lioness tracker named Omi is sent out with the protection of two lion brothers to locate the missing warrior, but what they find is something that may unravel the very foundation of life for all species.”

Pre-order Carnal vol 1: Pride Of The Lions h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:02/05/12

 

Skeleton Key Colour Special (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Andi Watson.

“One of the greatest all-ages comics of all time, Andi Watson’s Skeleton Key is back-and in colour! Using the magical Skeleton Key, schoolgirl Tamsin and fox spirit Kitsune can turn any door into a portal to an endless multiverse. Lost somewhere in space and time and trying to get home, the two friends encounter a band using the undead in a music video, check into a haunted hotel, and become catalogued in the vast Museum of the Lost! Collecting all three new stories from Dark Horse Presents, this is the perfect introduction.”

Of KITSUNE TALES #1 Mark wrote: “A change of page for Andi and a welcome return to one of his older characters. We last saw Kitsune, the fox spirit, attending her garden in the final SKELETON KEY volume. Woodrow [Phoenix] saw possibilities for an-all action, ancient Japanese landscape, butt-kicking, food-related adventure so he wrote it up and Andi drew it. As the recent Watson output has been so down to earth (and we’re not complaining here, how could you not love DUMPED, SLOW NEWS DAY or BREAKFAST AFTER NOON?) we’ve not had the wonder of towering Ukiyo-e mountains, great tables spread with delicacies or oriental monsters. But now we do.”

SKELETON KEY original series books ONE, Three and FIVE still available. Just

Pre-order Skeleton Key Colour Special from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:02/05/12

 

God And Science: Return Of The Ti-Girls h/c (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Jaime Hernandez.

Strangely not on our website. Superhero joyride from Jaime Hernandez! “A genuinely dramatic fable about madness, grief, and motherhood.” Bit of bad news if you picked it up as a periodical: there are 30 extra, previously unpublished pages.

Pre-order God And Science: Return Of The Ti-Girls h/c fromPage 45by phoning 0115 9508045 or emailing page45@page45.com

Due: no idea

 

Ed The Happy Clown h/c (£18-99, Drawn & Quarterly) byChester Brown.

Honestly? I’ve never read it. It’s been out of print so, so long.

“In the late 1980s, the idiosyncratic Chester Brown (author of the much-lauded PAYING FOR IT and LOUIS RIEL) began writing the cult classic comic book series Yummy Fur. Within its pages, he serialized the groundbreaking Ed the Happy Clown, revealing a macabre universe of parallel dimensions. Ed the Happy Clown is a hallucinatory tale that functions simultaneously as a dark roller-coaster ride of criminal activity and a scathing condemnation of religious and political charlatanism. Brown leaves us wondering, with every twist of the plot, just how Ed will get out of this scrape.”

Pre-order Ed The Happy Clown h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:23/05/12

 

Dal Tokyo h/c (£25-99, Fantagraphics) by Gary Panter

“Collected into one giant volume for the first time, Fantagraphics proudly presents Gary Panter’s sci-fi/punk mash-up masterpiece Dal Tokyo. Panter imagines a Mars where Japanese and Texan culture have collided and the result is a dizzying and absorbing mix of more or less intelligible jokes, non-sequiturs and surreal eruptions that can engulf the entire panel in scribbles. Most of these strips were only published in Japan and are being published in the US for the first time!”

Pre-order Dal Tokyo h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:31/05/12

 

The Rinse s/c (£10-99, Boom! Studios) by Gary Phillips & Marc Laming.

Featuring a brand new branch of Page 45! Yes, apparently we’ve opened in San Francisco now and I’m not managing it. Hint: look for the logo – we’ve gone green.

“There’s nothing like the air in the countryside.
“The smell of money is much sharper out there.”

Jeff Sinclair is a man who plans and keeps the map of any money trail hidden in his head. His job is to disperse vast sums of cash so that they can never be found, and certainly not traced. He is discreet, cautious, meticulous and methodical. Unfortunately for Jeff, not everyone he encounters is half so sage and in the space of one short day in sunny San Francisco three key encounters look likely to sully his otherwise clean bill of wealth. It’s about to get brutal.

Welcome back, Marc Laming! It’s been 15-odd years since he joined fourteen other artists here to sign at our second Independents Day, and if I knew he’d be returning in such fine form I’d have missed him even more. So many artists skimp on the details, leaving their figures stranded weightless and lifeless in limbo; but here every car, every bar, every single street awning is rich in texture and light, while each individual negotiating this living, breathing city must do so in step to its beat.

There’s also a renewed softness to Marc’s forms, a love of deft smiles, and the way Jeff subtly adjusts his glasses or keeps close watch from beneath their upper frames makes all the difference in the world. As for his women, I offer you evidence of precisely why you need this series on Marc Laming’s own blogspot. I own that original piece of art. It’s framed above my sofa. Lastly, Francesco Mattina has done a cracking job on colours. The rain is really pouring down in this one-page preview of THE RINSE #4!

Pre-order The Rinse s/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:30/05/12

 

Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1 (£2-99, IDW) by Steve Niles & Bernie Wrightson.

Whoa! Bernie Wrightson’s back on Frankenstein – check out the new art! It’s not quite the majesty of Bernie’s original FRANKENSTEIN h/c but the volcano I’ve seen is glorious. Better still the glacial, facial close-up… very cool use of blue.

Pre-order Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:23/05/12

 

Cursed Pirate Girl vol 1 h/c (£14-99, Archaia) by Jeremy Bastian.

A new edition – finally! We sold out of the old one ever so fast!

“What business does one so small have afloat those dark waves?”
“What was that? You may think me a spring shower, sir. But I’ve a hurricane in this heart that’d sink the Royal Fleet. So if your old bones would be so kind there’s a pirate here that needs to be squeezed through yer pretty door.”

What a refreshing, exuberant and intoxicating read! Jeremy A. Bastian, as if giddy on grog, liberates himself from all constraints – be they the laws of physics or so many comicbook formulae – to deliver a fantastical romp both above and below the Caribbean high seas which is so rich in detail that you’ll be scanning its nooks and crannies for hours. The lines are ridiculously fine yet as smooth as silk, as shrimp-strewn seaweed swirls to frame the pages or the Pirate Girl is lowered down the starboard hull of a galleon in a cage fashioned in the form of an enormous, ornate teapot. It’s not just ornate, this is bursting with inspiration and imagination, the pages populated by James Gillray grotesques, Sir John Tenniel hybrid creatures; and yes, while I’m think about it, there is more than a little of Lewis Carroll’s fantastical mischief here combined with the anarchy of Tony Millionaire (Maakies etc.), whilst the cluttered galleys and captain’s quarters o’erbrimming with jewel-encrusted treasures are delineated with fine lines as classy as Bernie Wrightson’s FRANKENSTEIN.

Charles Vess, Mike Mignola, David Petersen and Gary Gianni line up to praise the book’s originality as the Cursed Pirate Girl and parrot Pepper Dice take a deep breath and dive onto and into a fish, respectively, to journey underwater past fish made from wicker and squabbling swordfish siblings to rise in search of the girl’s missing father, one of five Captains sailing under the Jolly Roger flag in the Omerta Seas. Each ship they board presents a different challenge with new friends or foes, but the Cursed Pirate girl has boundless energy, a quick wit and at least one keen eye, while by the end of this first foray ‘x’ will mark the spot of the other.

Pre-order Cursed Pirate Girl vol 1 h/c (£14-99, Archaia) by Jeremy Bastian from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:30/05/12

 

Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation #1 (£2-99, IDW) by Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Tony Lee & J.K. Woodward.

In which the boldly go-ers encounter the ultimate spatial anomaly: the Tardis. Unusually for IDW’s DOCTOR WHO, it appears we will actually be allowed this in the UK as comics, though I wouldn’t be too surprise if there was a last-minute course correction. Featuring the Borg and the Cybermen. Engage, make it so etc.

Pre-order Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:30/05/12

 

Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens h/c (£18-99, D.E.) by Grant Morrison & Mukesh Singh.

Written by Grant Morrison. Honestly. If I’d blogged this on April 1st, you’d have doubted its authenticity, wouldn’t you? But just look at Mukesh Singh’s dinosaurs! Yowsa! We’re talking Steve Bissette. I would never type that lightly.

Pre-order Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:23/05/12

 

Batman: Earth One h/c (£16-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank.

Original graphic novel and long-awaiting follow up to SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE which sold out the day before publication and which, two years or more on, shows no signs of materialising as a softcover. What I’m saying is that if you know you want this, please help us gauge numbers in advance by pre-ordering, not necessarily on the website – by phone or email is just as good for me – but you may want to take a look at Gary Frank’s cover. It’s a beauty:

Pre-order Batman: Earth One h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:07/07/12

 

Fury Max #1 (£2-99, Marvel) by Garth Ennis & Goran Parlov.

The last time Ennis wrote Nick Fury he turned out a burlesque and it was very, very funny. This time? No idea.

“In the wake of World War II, Fury is fast running out of battles to fight. But the world’s superpowers are gearing up for a new kind of war and they’ll need a man like Fury to win it.”

Pre-order Fury Max #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:02/05/12

 

Moon Knight Vol 2 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev.

Uh-oh. Now he really loses it, and someone pays the price. Of Moon Knight vol 1 (of this particular series) I wrote in part:

“From the creative team behind SCARLET (ooh, look, interior art up on our site!), ALIAS (nothing to do with the TV series but possibly the best thing ever from Marvel), SPIDER-WOMAN (lurid!), and definitely the best-ever run on DAREDEVIL… a 7,205th attempt at Moon Knight to coincide with the number of personalities battling away in his nocturnal noggin. You can add three more here, and they’ll be readily familiar to you.”

There’s way more if you click on the title back there. Seriously recommended.

Pre-order Moon Knight Vol 2 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:16/05/12

 

X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong/Warsong Ultimate Collection (£22-50, Marvel) byGregPak & GregLand, Tyler Kirkham.

First time if was ENDSONG, now it’s WARSONG. Next time out, I’m fully expecting it to be LAPSONG SOUCHANG. It might go something like this, with Cyclops and Wolverine strolling down the hall and Professor Jean Luc Picard calling from afar…

[Off camera] “To me, my X-Men!”
“Did you hear something…?”
“Eh, you know how these corridors echo.”
“Well, I’m just going to take a look. It’s been months since the funeral, and not a word from Jean.”
“Dude, it was Jean’s funeral.”
“Exactly.”
[Off camera] “To me, my X-MEN!!!”
“There we go; he’s on the crazy paving again.”
“Professor!  Are the grounds breached?”
“Has your blanket slipped?”
“Are we under attack?”
“Do you need changing?”
“Scott, I’d dropped my saucer! My tea was getting cold.”
“You can’t drink tea from your cup?”
“Yes, but you see, Scott, I like to pour it — into my sauce-er.”
“From your cup…?”
“Before drinking it, yes.”
“But, Professor, that’s what makes it cold…”
“And listen, Chuck, can’t you just ask nicely? All this, “To me, my X-Men!” It’s a little –”
“Shakespearian…? Melodramatic…? Morrison-esque…?”
“Rude!”
“Yes, yes,Logan, I see, I see… How about “I’ve dropped my saucer, my X-Men, do come and see that it’s righted!””
“Haven’t we forgotten a little something…?”
“’… Do come and see that it’s righted right now!’”
“…”
“’… Do come and see that’s it’s righted, my dears…?’”
 [Strolling away]
“By the way, who’s that guy in the purple cape and helmet, with his gloved mitts in the mansion’s Milk Tray?”
“One of the new teachers, I think.”
[The Diary Room]
“Hello, Eric, this is Big Brother. How are you feeling today?”
“Vain, supercilious and monomaniacal.”
“Sorry, Richard, I thought you were somebody else.”

[In-Joke Apologies: this was originally written during the 2006 season of Big Brother and Morrison’s run on New X-Men. I can’t even recall who that Richard was anymore.]

Pre-order X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong/Warsong Ultimate Collection from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:30/05/12

 

Loads More Dc Graphic Novels Here

Loads More Marvel Graphic Novels Here

In fact, there are loads more comics and graphic novels for May onwards in our full on-line version of Diamond’s PREVIEWS here!

This has been a Terribly Tardy Production presented to you by a seriously sozzled Stephen L. Holland. So sorry!

February Previews for April 2012

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Highlights include Guy Delisle’s JERUSALEM, a collection of Deadline’s HUGO TATE, a new series from Peter Bagge, a new book from NIGHT FISHER’s R. Kikuo Johnson, full-colour BEANWORLD, a spy thriller from Millar & Gibbons, and AMERICA’S GOT POWERS by Jonathan Ross and Bryan ULTIMATES Hitch! Also, quite obviously, this…

Comics & Graphic Novels for April 2012



Are You My Mother? s/c (£12-99,JonathanCape) by Alison Bechdel.

“My parents are most real to me in fictional terms.”

That was the telling quotation I pulled to headline my review of Bechdel’s previous triumph FUN HOME, one of the most literate autobiographies in comics, as well as one of the most fascinating, candid and revealing, in which Bechdel first sets out her dysfunctional family life in all its bizarre artifice before intertwining her personal development with her father’s past to explore what might lie at the heart of each. I relished it even more than my dearly beloved PERSEPOLIS, and you can read the full review with interior art by clicking on the title above.

This one obviously concentrates on her Ma, a “voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter goodnight, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.”

Pre-order Are You My Mother? s/c from Page 45by cutting the online apron strings and actively emailing page45@page45.com or phoning 0115 9508045.

Due:03/05/12

 

Jerusalem h/c (£18-99, Drawn & Quarterly/JonathanCape) by Guy Delisle.

Guy Delisle writes the best travelogues in the business. Witty, observant and beautifully drawn, PYONGYANG, SHENZHEN and BURMA CHRONICLES brought each city and country to daily life because, crucially, he didn’t just visit, he lived there. The man has a keen eye for the absurd and compassion for this fellow man. What, then, will he make of contemporary Jerusalem? It’s one of the most anticipated books of the year for me, especially after seeing all these sketches and photos on Guy Delisle’s blog whilst staying in Jerusalem. I should warn you that those book reviews linked to above are substantial. I love, love, love Delisle!

Pre-order Jerusalem h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12– possibly

 

The Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde vol 5: The Happy Prince h/c (£12-99, NBM) by Oscar Wilde & P. Craig Russell.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and so very poignant. This should be on every book shelf young and old, and in every school library. NBM is always good enough to post an interior-art preview, so here it is: THE HAPPY PRINCE. Easily my favourite of Oscar’s fairy tales, even reading the solicitation copy brings a lump to my throat.

“The Happy Prince is arguably the most famous and well loved of Oscar Wilde’s nine fairy tales, rivalled only by The Selfish Giant. It is also a very timely tale at a time of controversy over the increasing chasm between rich and poor…The Happy Prince has lived a life of opulence but has died young and his soul inhabits a beautiful ruby encrusted statue covered all over in gold leaf. From his perch high above the city he is witness to all the poverty, misery, and hopelessness in which his people have been living. When a small barn swallow in flight to the warm south ahead of the approaching winter stops to rest upon the statue the Happy Prince prevails upon him to delay his travels in order to remove his gold leaf a piece at a time and shower it upon the poor citizens. Out of love for the Happy Prince the swallow does his bidding. As the days pass the Prince’s beauty is stripped away and as winter sets in the bird’s fate is sealed. In the spring the townspeople finding only a dull statue with a broken lead heart and a dead bird consign the worthless objects to the ash heap. Only an emissary of God recognizes them as the most valuable treasures of the city and brings them to the gardens of heaven.”

Also available once more: vol 1: The Selfish Giant And The Star Child, vol 2: The Young King And The Remarkable Rocket, vol 3: The Birthday Of The Infanta, vol 4: The Devoted Friend And The Nightingale And The Rose.

Pre-order The Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde vol 5: The Happy Prince h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due25/04/12

 

Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes And Scams (£11-99, Myriad Editions) by Darryl Cunningham.

Scott McCloud says: “Darryl Cunningham continues his comics crusade to untangle lies, myths, and misconceptions with a new book defending the science that’s grown fromDarwin’s theory of natural selection. As usual, he does so with wit, charm, and quiet persistence.”

We say: Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales was so good we made it Comicbook Of The Month. It’s been one of those books swept up by casual comics and non-comics browsers alike: relevant, accessible and humane. Here he deals with homeopathy, the MMR vaccine, electro-convulsive therapy, the moon landing, and science denialism. Honestly. Denial is just a river I’ve never seen. Here’s a preview of SCIENCE TALES I applaud with a passion.

Order Science Tales by emailing page45@page45.com, phoning (0115) 9508045, dispatching a carrier pigeon or just praying to God. See which one works best.

Due:26/04/12

 

Idyll (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Amber Albrecht.

Take a look at Albrecht’s beautiful, intricate art posted by Drawn & Quarterly. The shapes and the colours are so clean and delicate. I don’t actually care what this is about, I want it already. Given that you may want a hint, however… “Much of Amber Albrecht’s work is inspired by the dreaminess of childhood, whether expressing her cloudy recollections of the storybooks she read as a child or the forested West Coast landscapes that surrounded her. On the pages of Idyll, a series of interconnected myths emerges fully formed, each myth articulating a sense of wistfulness for a past that never was. Idyll employs female iconography in myriad way – many of these works feature female figures, the lushness of the natural environment, and female-associated textures. Albrecht’s Idyll communicates questions about loneliness, passivity, and loss through investigations of femininity and nostalgia for an imagined past.”

Pre-order from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12

 

Reset #1 (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Peter Bagge.

HATE’s Peter Bagge returns to the realms of virtual reality. First there was the identity crisis of OTHER LIVES (highly recommended), now it’s that eternal question about whether – given the opportunity to relive major moments – you’d change any decisions you made in your life: things you did, things you said that you can never take back. Now you can, or at least washed-up actor and comedian Guy Krause can, after he signs up as a research guinea pig for a virtual reality experiment. Thing is, is he only going to make matters worse?

Pre-order Reset #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:18/04/12

 

Tales Of The Beanworld 3.5 h/c (£10-99) by Larry Marder.

First full-colour collection of a series so beloved by Mark that he built eye-popping papier mâché figures of these most peculiar creatures for our window. How peculiar? There’s a preview of the BEANWORLD HOLIDAY SPECIAL here. This includes brand-new pages which begin the Summer Cycle of stories and collects the BEANWORLD HOLIDAY SPECIAL, plus rare material from ASYLUM #1-6 and the online-only MYSPACE DARK HORSE PRESENTS #14. So why are we so excited? Here’s this from my review of BEANWORLD VOL 2:

Larry Marder created a unique world with a fully realised ecosystem which operated with its own radically viable laws for construction, reproduction and sustenance. Its several species of inhabitants had their own hierarchy, its individuals their own roles, aspirations and priorities. They even had their own terminology/slang. With their passion for play, exploration, art and invention, if I were to try to capture the series in a single word, I’d try “Celebration”. If I were allowed a second word, it would be “Cooperation”. Both those concepts lie at the heart of any healthy and fecund friendship or sustainable ecosystem, so there were lessons to be learned way back then that would have put the human race much further ahead of the game than it currently stands. I’m going to stick my neck out to say something typically stupid too: it’s like a platform game. The Beans’ learning process is like a platform game. “Oh, this is what I need to find/create and fit in there in order to make progress…!”

Pre-order Tales Of The Beanworld 3.5 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:27/06/12

 

The Shark King (£9-99, Toon Books) by R. Kikuo Johnson.

From the creator of Night Fisher so many moons ago (think David Lapham’s STRAY BULLETS, only quieter, more introspective), a young readers’ book that looks pretty powerful, and I’d expect nothing less from R. Kikuo Johnson. There’s an early preview on THE SHARK KING on Toon Books’ blog and I spy a certain Hernandez influence on the bottom page. “Meet Nanaue, a boy craving to be who he truly is. From the islands ofHawaii comes the electrifying tale of Nanaue, who has to balance his yearning for Dad’s guidance with his desire for Mom’s nurture. Award-winning cartoonist R. Kikuo Johnson transports young readers to the lush tropical shores of his nativeHawaii. Fluent or not, young readers will be thrilled when they experience the transformative powers of a stirring literary work.”

Pre-order The Shark King from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/04/12

 

Courtney Crumrin #1 (£2-99, Oni Press) by Ted Naifeh.

Brand-new series and in full-colour too! Oni Press are about to start republishing the older volumes in colour, but our old reviews are still up for you to gauge their flavour, like Courtney Crumrin vol 3.Meanwhile: “Welcome to a world where magic and Night Things lurk behind every corner and nothing is as it seems. This is the world introduced to Courtney by her dear Uncle Aloysius – a master mage of unknown age and even more mysterious motivations. What started the Crumrin clan down the dark path and is Courtney strong enough to follow it all the way down?

Please note: I’ve seen a preview, and you may find your young ones take great delight in learning and then repeating as often as possible an endearing new phrase: “Bugger off.”

Pre-order Courtney Crumrin #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/04/12

 

The Boy Who Made Silence (£17-99 AAM Markosia) by Josh Hagler.

Elements of Kent Williams in the hues, wash textures and some of the line work give way to some David Mack (i.e. Bill Sienkiewicz) tricks including collage and those familiar old triangles down the side of some panels. Fortunately, like Bill in his introduction to KABUKI, Mack likes what he sees and said so on the back of #1. See what I mean in this AAM Markosia preview. Here’s how the issue kicks off:

“When Nestor was ten years old, he fell from a bridge and into the river that swallowed his hearing, never giving it back. Whether Esme, the twelve-year-old girl who brought him out of the river, saved his life or gave him a new one, remains a point of contention among those who discuss such notions.”

The first chapter is actually a very interesting exploration of what it might feel like for the world to suddenly stop telling you things, floating on a ground that no longer audibly acknowledges your foot steps. When you can no longer hear your mother (“she is without the power she once had – the power to make all sharp things soft”). She doesn’t exactly seem the kindest of mothers in the first place, but there you go. I don’t know what the floating cat is all about, but yes, this did make me think. Whether the intentions have changed since the first few issues appeared in 2008, I know not, but my original preview spoke of a boy who ”creates silence around him which compels those nearby to experience each others’ memories. Hailed as a prophet by his local religious community, he comes of age, falls in love, then goes in search of his father.” Here’s Josh Hagler’s blogspot.

Pre-order The Boy Who Made Silence from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/04/12

 

Deadenders (£22-50, Vertigo/DC) by Ed Brubaker & Warren Pleece, Richard Case, Jay Stephens, Cameron Stewart.

Surprise release of the long-lost Ed Brubaker series much beloved, I believe, by SCOTT PILGRIM’s Bryan Lee O’Malley. There’s a preview of DEADENDERS on DC’s website.

“In this stylish science fiction epic from award-winning writer Ed Brubaker, a drug-dealing car thief must discover the secret behind his visions to save the world. Twenty years after the devastating Cataclysm, society has been separated into sectors in which the rich are able to enjoy machine-generated weather and sunlight while the poor are forced to live an eternally dank and dark existence. Banished to the dismal Sector 5, the angst-ridden Beezer discovers that the corrupt city police are hunting him because of his experiential visions of a pre-apocalyptic world. Now Earth’s reluctant saviour must learn his true origin and the meaning of his visions before he is captured and killed. For the first time, Vertigo collects the entire sixteen-issue run of DEADENDERS, along with a tale from WINTER’S EDGE #3.”

Pre-order Deadenders from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:16/05/12

 

Hugo Tate (£14-99, Blank Slate) by Nick Abadzis.

If the definition of DEADLINE hell was the day the UKmagazine folded DEADLINE heaven will be day that its HUGO TATE is reprinted. Dubbed “Britain’s LOVE & ROCKETS” by the Comics Journal itself, this complete collection from the creator of LAIKA includes a glowing introduction by Garth Ennis. There’s a preview of HUGO TATE on the Blank Slate website.

“Beginning life in 1988 as an acerbic humour strip featuring an eponymous stick man protagonist living in a figuratively-drawn world, Hugo Tate evolved into an intelligent look into the lives of a complex web of characters stretching fromLondontoNew Yorkand beyond. This collection includes the critically-acclaimed final story arc O,America!, in which Hugo finds himself on a drug-fuelled road trip across the nightmarish underbelly of theUnited States. Featuring a gallery of rare extras and all-new commentary from Abadzis and Deadline editor Frank Wynne.”

Pre-order Hugo Tate from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: May.

 

Departures (£10-99, Blank Slate) by Pierre Maurel.

Now that’s what I call an urban jungle! It’s like Swamp Thing’s come to town. Leaves, leaves, leaves. You know how we feel about leaves. Make sure you click on the link at the bottom to see the full DEPATURES preview here. “In his English-language debut, Pierre Maurel explores the effects of the global recession through three tales of twenty and thirty-somethings struggling at the bottom of the social ladder. An unemployed man suspects he is going insane as his everyday life is invaded by visions of sprawling vegetation, a bookseller debates joining a union the media describes as ‘local terrorists,’ and a couple prepares to begin a new life on the road together. All faced with the opportunity to make a difference in their lives, will they accept their situation or attempt find a new way of living?”

Pre-order Departures from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12or thereabouts

 

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score h/c (£18-99, IDW) by Darwyn Cooke.

Crime friction. Third book in the series following PARKER: THE HUNTER then PARKER: THE OUTFIT both reviewed and relished there by Jonathan. The Comics Journal’s Tom Spurgeon too poured praise on Cooke’s lavish treatment in this illustrated interview with Cooke and Ed Brubaker. “Parker becomes embroiled in a plot with a dozen partners in crime to pull off what might be the ultimate heist-robbing an entire town. Everything was going fine for a while, and then things got bad. Considered one of the best in the Parker series, The Score is the perfect vehicle for Darwyn Cooke to pull out all the stops and let loose with a book that has all the impact of a brutal kick to the solar plexus!”

Pre-order Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:16/05/12

.

Lost Dogs (£7-50, Top Shelf) by Jeff Lemire.

Originally published by Ashtray Press back in 2005 long before ESSEX COUNTY broke Jeff’s name to the general public, I took a punt and liked what I saw, previewing it thus…

You really need to see this guy’s art. The cover itself said Ted McKeever to me, but it’s a lot more fluid than that, and really hefty. The brush is laden with ink in places, as it’s swept across the page, and the cart scene at the docks is beautiful – a real sense of light, the scenery distilled to all that’s necessary. Fine use of grey as well, and I like the pale red on Ulric’s vest. So who is Ulric? He’s a hulk of a farmer, effectively mute, who finds his idyllic rural existence with his beautiful wife and daughter torn apart after a confrontation in the coastal town. I’m not entirely sure about the confrontation itself – I think the whole thing would be more powerful without any of the minimal script at all – but we’ll see where it goes.

You too can see a preview of LOST DOGS on Top Shelf’s website.

Pre-order Lost Dogs from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12

 

The Adventures Of Jodelle h/c (£33-99, Fantagraphics) by Guy Peellaert & Pierre Bartier.

Oh, Tom is just going to love this! Primary-coloured passion as evidenced here: beware, there be boobage! “Fantagraphics proudly presents Guy Peellaert’s long out of print 1960′s Pop-Art masterpiece The Adventures of Jodelle in a lush, oversized hardcover edition. A satirical spy adventure set in an eye-popping psychedelic ancient Rome of horsedrawn Cadillacs, billboards and vampires, Jodelle has been re-translated and re-coloured and features a huge annotated bonus selection of never-before-seen archival art and photographs.”

Pre-order The Adventures Of Jodelle h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12

 

New York Mon Amour h/c (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Jacques Tardi, Benjamin Legrand, Dominique Grange & Jacques Tardi.

“Many years ago, Jacques Tardi was introduced to American audiences with “Manhattan,” a grim and grimy story of depression, madness and suicide inNew York Citywhose appearance in the premiere issue of RAW magazine was instrumental in defining both that magazine’s virtuoso aesthetic and its dark sensibility. Three decades later, New York Mon Amour collects “Manhattan” and three other tales of the Big Apple — rendered by Tardi with just as much panache and you-are-there detail asParisor the trenches of World War I in his other books — in one spectacular volume. Aside from “Manhattan,” the centrepiece of the book is the graphic novel “Cockroach Killer,” written by Benjamin Legrand. This violent, surreal conspiracy thriller, starring a hapless exterminator named Walter, features a striking two-colour black-and-red technique unique in Tardi’s oeuvre, and remains one of the cartoonist’s most startling, confounding works. New York Mon Amour is rounded off with two short stories that have never been published in English, both written by Dominique Grange: “It’s So Hard” (starring John Lennon — but not that John Lennon) and “The Killing of Hung” (a story of revenge and redemption).”

Pre-order New York Mon Amour h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12

 

3 Story: Secret Files Of The Giant Man (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Matt Kindt.

The secret history of the world’s unlikeliest, skyscraping spy! From the creator of Vertigo’s Revolver and the artist on Pistol Whip, an affordable introduction to 2009’s 3 Story: The Secret History Of The Giant Man graphic novel in the form of material previously only available online.

Pre-order from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:18/04/12

 

The Pterodactyl Hunters (In The Gilded City) one-shot (£7-50, top Shelf) by Brandon Leach.

As seen in BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2011 (now sold out!), Matt Madden (99 WAYS TO TELL A STORY) writes: “”Leach starts from a wacky premise, but once he sets it in motion he takes it seriously, and as in the best genre stories this comic is ultimately not about monsters but about family and finding your place in the world.” Preview Brandon Leach’s interior pages here.

“THE PTERODACTYL HUNTERS tells the story of Eamon and Declan Sullivan, young members of New York City’s Pterodactyl Patrol, a municipal organization protecting the city from the menacing pterodactyls that plague its evening hours. As theNew York Cityof 1904 moves into the modern era, only a few vicious pterosaurs remain. While Eamon makes headlines eradicating the final beasts, young Declan faces a future without the pterodactyl infestation, and without his anticipated role in a new generation of Pterodactyl Hunters.”

Pre-order The Pterodactyl Hunters from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12

 

Secret #1 (£2-75, Image) by Jonathan Hickman & Ryan Bodenheim.

This three-page SECRET preview looks pretty nasty! “A man gets shot in London, a law firm gets broken into in Washington, an accountant gives away the password to his computer, and something put to sleep 20 years ago awakens. What is the unsavoury relationship all these things share, and how could it bring down two of the largest governments in the history of the world? From the creators of A RED MASS FOR MARS, SECRET is an espionage thriller that takes a deep look into the shadow world existing between the government and private security firms.”

Pre-order from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/04/12

 

Baltimore vol 2: the Curse Bells h/c (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden & Ben Stenbeck.

Okay, we’ve learned our lesson: have you? The first volume’s hardcover shot out of the shop and straight out of print. We then had to wait months and months for a softcover. Of BALTIMORE VOL 1 Jonathan wrote (in part – click on the link for the full shebang):

“Is someone there?”
“You’ve made a terrible mistake…”

BALTIMORE PLAGUE SHIPS gives us the pustulent story of Lord Henry Baltimore, a man with more stiff upper lip than the troutiest, poutiest cosmetic surgery victim could ever wish for, and a never-say-die attitude to match. And it’s precisely that sort of British bulldog resilience that’s landed him in the living nightmare he now finds himself. Knocked unconscious on the field of battle in WW1 during a suicidalmidnightover-the-top charge, ordered by the idiotic top brass safely tucked away behind the lines at HQ, he’s appalled to come round and find gigantic bat-like creatures with glowing red eyes literally draining the blood from his dead and dying comrades strewn around him.

When one particularly loathsome specimen notices the waking Lord Henry and decides to make him the next tasty treat, he manages to fend the creature off with a bayonet in a last-ditch, desperate act, gouging the creature’s eye out in the process. Even so, were it not for the fast approaching sunrise, he’d still have been easy pickings for the enraged creatures who seem unnerved by the rapidly increasing light levels and flee the battlefield. Subsequently coming to in the middle of the night in a field hospital, minus an amputated leg, he’s approached by a cloak-clad fiend missing an eye who chillingly informs Lord Henry that whilst he and his vampiric brethren had previously been content to merely hide in the shadows, feeding on those who were dead and dying, that thanks to Lord Henry’s intervention, they are as of now at war with humanity…

Superb horror writing from Mignola and Christopher Golden, with appropriately atmospheric art from Ben Stenbeck, who appears to have followed the unwritten rule of illustrating a Mignola story, which is to evoke Mignola’s own art style.

Pre-order Baltimore vol 2: the Curse Bells h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:13/06/12

 

The Secret Service #1 (£2-25, Icon/Marvel) by Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons.

From the artist on WATCHMEN and the creator of the super-stylish The Originals and the writer of my all-time favourite superhero series (ULTIMATES SEASON ONE volumes one and two and ULTIMATES SEASON TWO volumes one and two), this is, quite simply, a super-spy book but with an added political dimension. Millar writes that’s it’s “the ramifications of [how] America is struggling on the world stage, funding is being seriously undercut to balance the books and some people are trying their best to take advantage of the fragile global situation.” There’s a great big illustrated interview on Mark Millar’s THE SECRET SERVICE here, and it looks soooo slick.

Pre-order The Secret Service #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:04/04/12

 

America’s Got Powers #1 of 6 (£2-25, Image) by Jonathan Ross & Bryan Hitch.

From TV’s Jonathan Ross and the artist on my all-time favourite superhero series (ULTIMATES SEASON ONE volumes one and two and ULTIMATES SEASON TWO volumes one and two):

“Welcome toAMERICA’S GOT POWERS! It’s the biggest TV show on Earth, where the chance to win fame, fortune and get laid are dangled in front of a generation of super-powered teens. All they have to do is WIN. Who is the fastest, the strongest or the greatest? Who survives? Young Tommy Watt’s dreams of being the greatest hero of them all might just be shattered when the greatest show on the planetbegins to reveal its dark heart.”

Excerpt from a much bigger, illustrated Comicbook Resources illustrated interview with the pair: “Ross, who originated the concept, added that there’s an ugly undercurrent to the reality competition craze which fuels “America’s Got Powers.” “What interested me here is the exploitation of those who are encouraged to take part,” he said. “In ‘AGP’ there’s more than just a little pressure on them – these kids with powers don’t have that many other options in a society that finds them fascinating and irresistible but ultimately scary. So it deals a little I hope with the dark side of these shows – the way talent is used up and, when it no longer feels novel or fresh, thrown away. As for superheroes, well, as readers we love to see them in action, fighting, protecting the weak and smiting the strong. In this scenario, that’s a given. Like ‘Rollerball’ or ‘The Running Man,’ it’s built into the format – a certain amount of danger, of blood and guts. But it’s when it escalates and people get to see the REAL purpose of the show that things will get interesting.”

Pre-order America’s Got Powers #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Pre-order America’s Got Powers #2 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/04/12and25/04/12

 

Animal Man vol 1: The Hunt s/c (£10-99, DC) by Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman, John Paul Leon.

Bad dreams in the night – in  black, red and white. Now that’s what I call capillary action! This isn’t a superhero book. Anyone worth their salt is going to make a Buddy Baker book all about family, and ESSEX COUNTY’s Jeff Lemire has written about family extensively there and even to a certain extent in SWEET TOOTH. Sure enough Buddy’s wife, son and especially his daughter Maxine are centre-stage as Maxine, forbidden a living, breathing pet, decides to exhume those buried round the neighbourhood and bring them back to some semblance of life. At the same time Buddy’s own powers go on the fritz, his family come under attack and it’s all very creepy. What’s wrong with the Red? Grant Morrison’s own three-volume run on ANIMAL MAN is an absolutely essential read, especially if you’re on board for this.

Pre-order Animal Man vol 1: The Hunt s/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:23/05/12

 

Batwoman vol 1: Hydrology h/c (£16-99, DC) by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman & J.H. Williams II, Amy Reeder.

BATWOMAN: ELEGY has been phenomenally successful and here its artist returns in an even more successful DC New 52 book. “Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her?”

Pre-order Batwoman vol 1: Hydrology h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:13/06/12

 

Stormwatch vol 1: The Dark Side s/c (£10-99, DC) by Paul Cornell & Miguel Sepulveda.

A very different dynamic from the old days of STORMWATCH and the subsequent AUTHORITY. The Engineer remains firmly at the helm and Jack Hawksmoor is in charge. Jenny Q is still new but JLA’s Martian Manhunter has now joined them along with a few extras I’m unfamiliar with. The Moon is attacking Earth, there’s a giant horn in theHimalayas. So where are Apollo and the Midnighter? Apollo is a determined loner they’re finding it difficult to recruit. Recruiting theMidnight, on the other hand, will be murder. For more DC New 52 books see link at the bottom of the blog.

Pre-order Stormwatch vol 1: The Dark Side s/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

 

The Shadow #1 (£2-99, D.E.) by Garth Ennis & Aaron Campbell.

Not a project I would have expected from Ennis! “1938: The Shadow returns in a tale of blazing action and deadly intrigue, as a night of carnage on theNew Yorkwaterfront plunges the mysterious vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. As storm clouds gather across the globe, American Military Intelligence meets with a certain Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a host of spies and assassins to the greatest prize of all… but what that might be, only the Shadow knows.”

Pre-order The Shadow #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/12

 

Punisher: Homeless h/c (£14-99, Marvel Max) by Jason Aaron & Steve Dillon.

I will read and relish anything – anything – drawn by PREACHER‘s Steve Dillon. Even if it’s a shopping list. The Kingpin hires Elektra to keep the Punisher at bay, but becomes preoccupied with getting her into bed. The Punisher doesn’t have a bed: he’s homeless. Also, broke and without weapons. That’s not really going to stop him, though, is it?

Pre-order Punisher: Homeless h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:11/04/12

 

Wolverine & The X-Men vol 1 h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo, Nick Bradshaw.

In which a visit from the Department of Education school inspectors passes without incident. <snort> Everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong on the first and possibly last day of term at the new Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, and teachers will surely empathise. There is, however, a great deal more that can go wrong in a school full of mutant misfits which boasts the most dangerous boys’ bathroom in history. That Kitty Pryde is headmistress is not unexpected; that Wolverine’s a headmaster is insane. The Toad is their janitor, by the way, and will be spending some considerable time cleaning up that bathroom later on.

Following directly on from the mini-series X-Men: Schism (also by Aaron along with Vertigo’s SCALPED) wherein Cyclops and Wolverine stopped seeing eye to eye, there has been a mass evacuation from their island haven just off San Francisco, Wolverine opting to educate the children rather than have them fight. Joining their faculty is the Beast who stopped enjoying Scott Summers’ increasingly militant company quite some time ago plus Iceman, Gambit, Rogue, Rachel Grey, Cannonball, Chamber, Husk, Karma, Frenzy and Doop. Yes, Doop. He of the translatable alien language.

The schism was engineered by Kade Kilgore, school-aged son of a wealthy arms manufacturer who’s just inherited a fortune and multiplied it considerably by selling Sentinel technology on the back of the some pretty successful scare-mongering. It also secured him his seat as Black King of the Hellfire Club. His next move, then, is something of a surprise.

The whole of the first issue is played purely for laughs, and long may that continue. There’s even a school prospectus in the back complete with courses (Algebra Sucks: I Know, But You Still Have To Learn It is, of course, delivered by ‘Professor’ Bobby Drake who couldn’t even spell quadratic equation let alone solve one), extracurricular activities, special events and the proud school motto, “The best there is at what we do”. Chris Bachalo (DEATH, SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, GENERATION X) plays the perfect co-conspirator with cartoon comedy postures and expressions against backgrounds with an enormous attention to detail.

Pre-order Wolverine And The X-Men vol 1 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:18/04/12


Reminder: these are our picks from the current crop, but you can read the whole of Diamond’s own comic and graphic novel PREVIEWS here. They’re divided into comics and graphic novels and then into publishers so if you’re only interested in particular publisher it’s all quite easy to digest. Apart from Marvel’s offerings this month which is: basically one big, convoluted cat’s cradle of AVENGERS V X-MEN tie-ins. Make sure you pre-order Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons’ THE SECRET SERVICE, though!

Caveat: I rather suspect that the last week in each month, when given as a due date, is Diamond’s way of saying “No promises!”

- Stephen

Comics & Graphic Novels for February 2012

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

At last! Brandon Graham’s KING CITY collection! Also, new Nicolas De Crécy, Joe Sacco journalism, Harvey Pekar’s last work (which may prove his best!), a Kevin Huizenga reprint, and a collection of 1950s British comic for girls! There’s Cloonan on CONAN,,Mark Millar’s SUPERIOR, and the first collection of the brand-new Ultimate Spider-Man.

These are my picks from the current crop with proposed publication dates, but you can read the whole of Diamond’s own comic and graphic novel PREVIEWS here.

 

Journalism h/c (£17-99,Metropolitan) by Joe Sacco.

From the most widely celebrated creator of comicbook reportage (PALESTINE, Footnotes In Gaza etc.), a collection of Joe’s shorter, previously uncollected work from the last decade, definitely including the material in The Guardian when Joe followed the American troops on patrol. Also “In ‘The Unwanted,’ Sacco chronicles the detention of Saharan refugees who have washed up on the shores of Malta; ‘Chechen War, Chechen Women’ documents the trial without end of widows in the Caucasus. Other pieces take Sacco to the smuggling tunnels of Gaza; the trial of Milan Kovacevic, Bosnian warlord, in The Hague; and the darkest chapter in recent American history, Abu Ghraib.”

Pre-order Journalism h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

The Celestial Bibendum h/c (£24-99, Knockabout) by Nicolas De Crécy.

Breath-taking art and architecture, De Crécy has captured the Mediterranean light to perfection here as you can see on Gosh!’s own blog. The American edition is a prohibitive £52-99, so thank God for Knockabout’s exclusiveUK deal whereby all this oversized edition will cost you is £24-99. It looks tremendous. Being aUK edition, however, it won’t be in our online previews store so…

Pre-order by emailing page45@page45.com or phoning 0115 9508045

Due: early 2012

 

Gloriana h/c (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Kevin Huizenga.

First it was a self-published zine, then OR ELSE #2. From the creator of GANGES, THE WILD KINGDOM etc., now it’s reproduced as a 6 x 8 h/c. Here’s a preview of GLORIANA from 2005 (!) and here was Mark’s review:

One of the problems facing comic artists is what should be left in and what should be left out. Jeffrey Brown, in AEIOU, shows us a relationship but leaves out important facts in the same way that his character was not told the whole story. There’s a track by Love where words are left off the end of lines but it’s obvious from the rhyming pattern as to what’s left out and it brings more attention to them. In Kill Bill, the main character’s name is bleeped out, again forcing our attention to what’s missing. Some comics give you a single page and you’d swear that you’d read ten. The opposite side of this is that we’re never given the whole truth of a moment. If you want to truly understand any moment in time you’d have to have all the facts presented to you.

The central story of this issue (“The Sunset”) gives 20 pages over to a split second of Glenn Ganges looking out of a library window, seeing a feather fall and catching the full blast of the rays of the setting sun. One line, ”Earlier I was at the library and the sun was setting…” is chopped up and repeated throughout, pulling us back and forth throughout the moment. We see different views, people in the library, birds outside and the images left on his optic nerve as the light pours in. It’s a dizzying experience and quite a trick to pull off. If that was the only section of the book it would have still made my ‘best of 2002′ list when it originally came out. Even the way he segues into the final chapter’s calm after the storm is wonderful (“The Moon Rose”).

The first part has Glenn & Wendy unpacking the groceries. Wendy is pregnant and their minds drift to the future, when the baby is a year or so old. Both end up worrying that something bad will happen but realise that there’s a way out of it.

“Come here. She’s kicking. There. Did you feel it?”
“No.”
“… Then?”
“Nope.”
“You don’t feel that?”
“Uhh… Nope”
“Here… wait a second.”

Then we cut away and then back to find that it’s Glenn carrying the baby before we’re onto the next panel where they’re both sitting down at the dinner table, talking about relations. Then the phone rings and it’s just Glenn unpacking the groceries & he’s been daydreaming about him and his wife daydreaming about the baby. By now we’re all disorientated and possibly in the right frame of mind for “The Sunset”. Viewing this book in isolation we’re not sure if Wendy is pregnant or if Glenn is actually married. It’s Wendy that’s phoned him, so she’s real enough. Outside of this book, in “28th Street” (from DRAWN & QUARTERLY SHOWCASE VOL 2) they’re still trying to conceive and in OR ELSE #1 they appear to have had a miscarriage or lost the child in infancy.

This is a grand book and I’m glad that it’s been reprinted. Huizenga is definitely one to watch.

“Huizenga is definitely one to watch.” Funny. That’s why we never, ever doubted Mark!

Pre-order Gloriana h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

King City (£14-99, Image) by Brandon Graham.

Oh, but this title’s had a tumultuous history, and at one point we thought we’d never be able to sell it as a book again. But here it is, bigger and better than ever at 424 slightly oversized pages just like the individuals issues and including all the covers, games and puzzles. Here’s a 2009 interview with Brandon Graham full of interior art which should go some way to explaining out devotion. That one’s illustrated but this interview with Brandon Graham is riiiiiight up to the minute. Here’s Tom on the first of these twelve issues:

Joe is a hardboiled cat master. After training in the mountains for serious time, he’s back inKingCity cracking vaults for chump change. Just him, the cat and a belt full of hypodermic needles. See, the cat isn’t your ordinary Ragdoll moggie; he’s the pinnacle of spy technology. Impressively intelligent, highly skilled, and cute as a button to boot, but inject it full of enough cat juice and it can do anything. But despite his skills something smells fishy about his latest heist: for a start it was too easy and secondly he was just shot off a moving train and into the sewage-ey depths ofKingCity’s waterworks by his own booger, and that snot funny!

Without a doubt, Brandon’s brazen style and blunt enthusiasm for comics is exactly the shot of magic comic juice I’ve been craving. His blog, when he posts, is a joyous thing. A scrolling love letter to the medium full of cool old manga, weird ‘80s action comics, beautiful bande dessinée, and the more curious corners of his mind. There’s elements of all of these ingredients in KING CITY, from Joe’s hard-boiled anti-hero demeanour lifted straight from only the most bad-ass of Euro-comics, to his ultra powerful (and cute) companion, a staple of Shonan-Manga. Brandon has churned these together with a smattering of pop-culture free associating and delivered them hot to the address of the western world’s collective pop-consciousness.KINGCITY is about as perfect as a “rolled up back pocket adventure” can be.

Pre-order King City and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:22/02/2012

 

Sharknife vol 2: Sharknife ZZ (£8-99, Oni Press) by Corey Lewis.

Of SHARKNIFE VOL 1 Tom wrote:

“SHARKNIFE? Really fucking good. Go to a comics shop and buy it today. It is Fight Comics.” -Warren Ellis

This is not, nor is it anything like, SCOTT PILGRIM. I want to make that very clear from the offset. It’s good. Not absolutely god-spankingly amazing. Just good. And that’s just fine; it is his first book, after all. Though his style grew on me, I didn’t wet myself with enjoyment when I first saw O’Malley’s work in HOPELESS SAVAGES. So maybe Corey will grow on me too. According to Warren Ellis’ Bad Signal both this and SCOTT PILGRIM use what he calls “Game Logic” and describes it thus:

“Things happen because they happen. Maybe two lines of plot inform the entire concept, and everything else happens because it happens, and you either ride with it or you don’t.”

Okay. Isn’t that basically every comic? Go ask any fanboy, “Why can Superman fly?” “Cos’ he’s Superman, Idiot! Duh! He’s, like, from Krypton and our yellow sun gives him powers.” Because that makes sense! When I reviewed SCOTT PILGRIM I wrote two paragraphs of what the plot was, saying nothing of why it was the best fucking comic I’d read for years. I edited this down to a quarter of what it was and I still felt I gave too much plot away. I could write the plot for SHARKNIFE in a couple of sentences and give everything away. But that would just ruin it for you.

I could also stick it in a pigeon hole called “Game Logic” but I work forPage 45, not NME. It’s not some concept to be safely grouped together. It’s how everybody under the age of 25 – who, like me, spent way more time playing beat’em ups than is healthy – thinks.

Pre-order Sharknife vol 2: Sharknife ZZ and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:28/03/2012

 

Best Of Girl: Sister Paper To Eagle (£14-99) by various.

Ah, there will be much mirth, to be sure, just as I gleaned from THE BEST OF EAGLE itself. First published in 1951 this was girls’ own adventure at its most wholesome starring ‘Susan Of St. Brides – Nurse Of The Year’ and Lettice Leefe, the greenest girl in school. Articles a plenty plus practical and spiritual advice columns which will no doubt have feminists rolling their eyes, shaking their fists or at least making our beds a bit better. You can that a hospital corner?!

There’s a short article on GIRL here.

Pre-order in the old-school way by hand or voice: it’s aUKitem so we have nothing to link to!

Due: 2012

 

Jinchalo s/c (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Matthew Forsythe.

Silent sequel to OJINGOGO (click on the link for my review), “Jinchalo” is the Korean for “Really?” and Drawn & Quarterly posted a preview of JINCHALO here (24/11/11). The same little girl returns for more morphing dreamscapes, bizarre beasties and sundry transmogrification.

Pre-order Jinchalo s/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Folly: The Consequences Of Indiscretion (£13-99, Fantagraphics) by Hans Rickheit.

With a title like that, many of us may be wincing our way through this collection of comics previously self-published but now taken on by the publisher of the SQUIRREL MACHINE much loved by our Jonathan. Please take the time to check-out these very cool dioramas featured in Rickheit’s summer exhibition.

Pre-order Folly: The Consequences Of Indiscretion and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland h/c (£16-50, Top Shelf) by Harvey Pekar & Joseph Remnant.

From the writer – and star – of AMERICAN SPLENDOUR, with an introduction by Alan Moore, this is Harvey’s last pronouncement on those around him and the city he and they inhabited. Harvey Pekar and Cleveland were inseparable, and this is part-autobiography, part-history. There’s a four-page preview for CLEVELAND here with some of the finest art ever to grace a Pekar project: incredible detail and a real spirit of place, vital for a project like this. Which is a relief, because some of the artists Pekar’s worked with over the years have been awful. Very, very much looking forward to this.

Pre-order Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

The Complete Crumb vol 1: The Early Years Of Bitter Struggle new expanded edition (£18-99, Fantagraphics) by Robert Crumb.

From the king of the underground comix scene. The success of Crumb’s THE BOOK OF GENESIS ILLUSTRATED seems to have sparked a long-overdue series of reprints starting with THE BOOK OF MR. NATURAL and now Fantagraphics are going back to the beginning with a reprint of their Complete collections which have only ever been available in sporadic fits. The expansion comes in the form of “a never-before-published, 48-page ‘home-made’Arcade comic from 1962. This previously undiscovered work shows many flashes of the direction in which Crumb was heading and features the first quintessential ‘Crumb girl,’ Mabel.”

Pre-order The Complete Crumb vol 1: The Early Years Of Bitter Struggle and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Cinema Panopticum s/c (£12-99, Fantagraphics) by Thomas Ott.

From the creator of R.I.P. and THE NUMBER, Fantagraphics’ comparisons are spot-on though I often reference Roald Dahl myself.

“T. Ott guides us through a funhouse of fear with five graphic horror novelettes, each executed in his hallucinatory and hyper-detailed scratchboard style. Dark, stark and grimly funny, Ott’s plot twists will delight fans of classic horror like The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Crypt and his artwork will haunt you long after you’ve put the book down.”

Pre-order Cinema Panopticum s/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Kolor Klimax (£22-50, Fantagraphics) by various.

Scandinavian anthology commended to you in detail by The Comics Reporter. There it bemoans the death of the comics anthology, but in the last three weeks and from Britain alone we’ve seen SOLIPSISTIC POP vol 4, THE STRUMPET #1 and Nobrow 6 arrive, the first of which sold fifteen copies here in just over a fortnight! So what will you make of this? I’d seriously check out The Comics Reporter article linked to above.

Pre-order Kolor Klimax and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Emitown vol 2 (£18-99, Image) by Emi Lenox.

Yay! A strong seller here which I thoroughly enjoyed, here’s some of what I wrote about EMITOWN volume one:

“I’m useless, but not for long, the future is comin’ on…”

Exuberance, self-doubt, crazy coffee attacks, sleepless nights, the comfort of clothes, accosted by wonky-eyed weirdoes who want to bum a cigarette, and getting served last at a bar. Don’t you just hate that? These are the sort of things young Emi Lenox encountered on a daily basis for a year between 2009 and 2010. She loses her mobile, loses her house keys, loses her rag when someone insults her friends, but she never, ever loses her courage, optimism or glee. Hey, we all have our black-hearted days and so does Emi, but that’s what the Gorillaz are for, no?

The cartooning here is a black, white and blue/grey joy, laid out with plenty of space as Emi endures, stoically supported by a pair of belligerent cats in Dad’s Army helmets on the battlefield of love. It’s easy to see whyJeffrey Brown, Jeff Lemire and Brandon Graham all fell for these daily diary entries. There’s something more immediate compared to structured autobiography, with room for random reactions and idle speculation but also secretly heartfelt truths.

“I LOVE getting text messages! It means someone thought of you! Except a mass text… you’re just one of the herd… Jealous? Mmmhmm.”

Pre-order Emitown vol 2 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:22/02/2012

 

Friends With Boys (£11-99, First Second) by FaithErin Hicks.

Young Adult Literature. Of Faith’s THE WAR AT ELLESMERE which we really must and will restock, I wrote:

“Apparently I’m going to school in aDisneylandpostcard…”

Our own dorms were nothing like that and wouldn’t have looked at all out of place in a Romanian orphanage, but I take her point: private boarding school is an artificial environment cut off from the real world culturally, economically and socially by its own barriers erected in order to rarefy. If by “rarefy” you mean perpetuating privilege and breeding elitism without being bothered by any sort of social conscience. Still, they always look so lovely, don’t they, with their Arcadian grounds and olde school buildings?

Into this devil’s playground, then, comes Juniper, a scholarship winner who’d be more comfortable at state school, but accepts that with its connections to the very best colleges ahead, this all-girls school is the swifter route to becoming a doctor. Resentment from the rich kids is immediate, but June isn’t one to take it lying down, especially when the brats start bullying her new Bambi-esque friend Cassie whom they’ve dubbed “Orphan” – not because she is one, but because she might as well be one given how little attention she receives from her parents during the holidays. And she can really hold her own, can our Juniper, so within seconds it’s WAR!

I read this from start to finish without a second’s break. It’s more like Courtney Crumrin than Hope Larson’s CHIGGERS. This doesn’t have the same depth or breadth of subtle nuances involved in adolescent life for girls that CHIGGERS magically evoked, but it takes perceptive note of enough of them as the two factions battle for supremacy, we learn Juniper’s weak spot, and an unlikely local legend surprisingly comes true.

Instead it’s Faith’s storytelling that kept me compelled. She knows the beats instinctively and hers is a consistent cross between Bryan Lee O’Malley, Andi Watson circa GLISTER and yes, I absolutely maintain, Nabiel Kanan with those hooded eyes, pert noses and lips. I spy Hope Larson in the foliage as it were (although Faith in fact inspired Hope, as Hope points out in the introduction), but Faith doesn’t switch between these: it’s a flawless meld of its own.

Pre-order Friends With Boys and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Conan The Barbarian #1 (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Brian Wood & Becky Cloonan.

How to quadruple monthly sales in an instant here: let loose the writer of NORTHLANDERS, the artist of AMERICAN VIRGIN and the team behind DEMO. Here’s an illustrated interview with Cloonan on CONAN.

Pre-order Conan The Barbarian #1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:08/02/2012

 

Northlanders vol 6: Thor’s Daughter (£10-99, Vertigo/DC) by Brian Wood & Simon Gane, Marian Churchland & Matthew Woodson.

Speak of the devil! The Siege of Paris. The Viking stories continue with some gorgeous art from Marian the BEAST Churchland (she won’t thank me for that description) and Simon PARIS, DARK RAIN Gane.

Pre-order Northlanders vol 6: Thor’s Daughter and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:14/03/2012

 

Black Orchid Deluxe Edition h/c (£18-99, Vertigo/DC) by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean.

In which Neil kills the lead character in the opening sequence… Ah, but Alec Holland didn’t last long in SWAMP THING, either, and look what happened to him! One of the creators’ earliest collaborations, lush in purple and green, when McKean was still using more traditional painting methods, this could benefit tremendously from a more modern printing process. Oversized edition.

Pre-order Black Orchid Deluxe Edition h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:04/04/2012

 

Shooters h/c (£16-99, Vertigo/DC) by Eric S. Trautmann & Steve Lieber.

Original graphic novel about one of the most insidious developments in modern warfare.

“Today’s battlefield isn’t just about the uniformed soldier in service to his country; there’s also the contractor, who answers to the corporation. Call them mercenaries, soldiers-for-hire, or private military operators, they are a new breed of combatant in today’s conflicts. SHOOTERS is the story of Terry Glass, a warrior whose spirit and soul has been hardened in countless battles. When a horrible accident shatters his world, Glass finds himself waging a private war on several fronts – against his career, his marriage, and ultimately, his faith.”

Pre-order Shooters h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:18/04/2012

 

Thief Of Thieves #1 (£2-25, Image) by Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer & Shawn Martinborough.

Collaborative effort from the writers of WALKING DEAD and EXISTENCE 2.0/3.0.

“Conrad Paulson lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. There is nothing he can’t steal, nothing he can’t have… except for the life he left behind. Now, with a grown son he hardly knows, and an ex-wife he never stopped loving, Conrad must try to piece together what’s left of his life, before the FBI finally catch up to him… but it appears they are the least of his worries.”

Pre-order Thief Of Thieves #1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:08/02/2012

 

Genetiks TM vol 1 h/c (£14-99, Archaia) by Richard Marazano & Jean Michel Ponzio.

Depending on which art style Ponzio’s using, this could be spectacular. Could look like this, or it could look like this. From the publishers of THE KILLER, another French title. “Genetiks is a pharmaceutical company on the cutting edge of biological science. Thomas Hale is one of thousands of employees in the Genetiks labs. Like his colleagues, he had agreed to give a drop of blood to his employers – a drop of blood that will allow the researchers at the company he works for to decode his entire genome. Genetiks is a topical story on the intersection between commerce and biological science, touching on many hot-button issues such as genetic manipulation and the rise of corporate power.”

Pre-order Genetiks TM vol 1 h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Pandemonium vol 1 (£14-99, Humanoids Inc) by Christophe Bec & Stefano Raffaele.

More European quality as evidenced by Stefano’s own website. We’ll definitely be having some of this. “In 1951, a mother and her young daughter entered one ofAmerica’s most prestigious institutions for the treatment of tuberculosis, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. The events that befell them shortly thereafter, both of a supernatural and criminal nature, were some of the most sordid of the times. Based on real events.”

Pre-order Pandemonium vol 1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/02/2012

 

Alex Delaware vol 1: Silent Partner (£16-99, Villard) by Jonathan Kellerman, adapted by Ande Parks & Michael Gaydos.

Hey, it’s Michael Gaydos (Bendis’ ALIAS) doing crime. Not read the original, but I’m definitely having some of this!

“New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman makes his debut in the graphic novel world with a graphic adaptation of his noirish Alex Delaware thriller Silent Partner with stylish, black-and-white, noir-inspired art from award-winning artist Michael Gaydos. In Silent Partner, Alex investigates the murder of his ex-lover, a mysterious, alluring woman with a troubled past. His investigation will take him to the seamy side ofHollywoodand its glamorous ultra rich… to the dark and twisted corridors of the mind.”

Pre-order Alex Delaware vol 1: Silent Partner and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:07/03/2012

 

The Wolf Man (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by Richard Appignanesi & Swava Harasymowicz.

Quite a mouthful there, but this isn’t a Hammer Horror full-moon ravenous man-beast adaptation but an interpretation of Sigmund’s case study of Sergei Pankejeff which became a cornerstone of psychoanalysis in which Freud tries to get to the source of the man’s obsessional neurosis partly by interpreting a dream of a walnut tree full of white wolves as being “a memory of parental intercourse a recto”. Which seems like a bit of a leap to me! Did Freud divine tea leaves as well?

Pre-order The Wolf Man by email or phone because it’s a UKitem therefore we’ve nothing to link to except this SelfMadeHero page with cover and a bit of interior art.

Due: September 2012?! Can’t be right!

 

Hellcyon (£9-99, Dark Horse) by Lucas Marangon.

Someone clearly loves their Shirow! For Appleseed fans, a full-colour, clean-lined piece of combat-suit sci-fi with impressive cityscapes. HELLCYON interior art preview here.

Pre-order Hellcyon and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:25/04/2012

 

Jennifer Blood vol 1: A Woman’s Work Is Never Done (£14-99, D.E.) by Garth Ennis & Batista, Marz, Baal.

“Treated myself to a manicure (toes only for obvious reasons). I was reading Guns + Ammo in the nail bar and it struck me how many articles were about 9mm weapons. Beretta, Glock, Sig-Sauer, Heckler + Koch – it was 9mm this, 9mm that, there wasn’t a single mention of a .34 or .45. What on earth’s the point of having twice as many bullets it you have to use three times as many to actually put someone down? Honestly.”

I think a garage mechanic may recently have enraged Mr. Ennis, either by leching over his wife or else overcharging them for some minor pimpage. For such is the second target here of model housewife Jennifer who tucks her kids in at night before donning a wig and going off like a grenade in whichever backyard she fancies, introducing local criminals to Mr. MP5 and his 10mm children. Her own kids are sedated, of course, but that’s de rigueur these days, helping to make Prozac a household name.

The art, like Robertson’s on Garth Ennis’ BOYS, is appropriately sturdy, though Ennis insists that compared to THE BOYS, this is just a bit of fun. What distinguishes this from the average lethal vigilante series is the voice, a series of diary entries in which Jennifer mulls over her methods with ridiculously reasonable detachment and a signature shrug of mild despair.

I mean, honestly!

Pre-order Jennifer Blood vol 1: A Woman’s Work Is Never Done and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:22/02/2012

 

Superior h/c (£19-99, Titan) by Mark Millar & Leinil Francis Yu.

A superhero book which proved far less predictable than its initial premise suggested: young boy in a wheelchair transformed into the perfect specimen of superpowered might. It’s another one in which the protagonists refer to superheroes as fictional comicbook characters for that’s what they are. Simon Pooni and best pal Chris have just been to see Tad Scott star in the fightSuperiorfilm:

“What do you think?”
“Meh. The effects are okay, but Superior’s been around since my papa was a kid. I’m kinda bored with these old superheroes. No wonder this guy can’t get any other work… I’m not saying his powers aren’t cool. He’s just too much of a Boy Scout for people these days. They need to make him more bad-ass like Bond or Jason Bourne.”
“Seriously? I always liked the fact thatSuperior doesn’t kill people. Being a nice guy is what makes him different to Wolverine and all that stuff.”
“No, that’s what makes him lame. Look at his costume, dude. He looks like freakin’ Santa Claus. I told you we should have sneaked into the Statham movie.”
“Oh shit.”
“Hey, faggots. You have a nice time making out in the back row?”
“Just ignore him, Chris.”
“I hear the basketball team’s really missing you these days, Pooni. Still, the way you guys play, they might as well have a cripple up front.”
“Drop dead, Sharpie. Stop being such a dick.”
“Ooh, look who’s getting all brave. Your boyfriend can’t protect you anymore, fuck-wad. Not unless he’s got some ground-to-air missile thing going on in that wheelchair.”
“Haha! That would be awesome. Imagine he could press a button and like, fire fucking machine guns.”
“You’re an asshole, Sharpie, and you’ve always been an asshole. If I wasn’t in this chair, I’d kick your ass all over the mall.”
“Yeah, well. I got news for you, Simon… you kinda are in that chair.”

Yeah, Simon kinda is in that chair. Multiple Sclerosis snuck on him with particular aggression; he’s even lost the sight of one eye and on bad days he can barely talk. There are days of remission, weeks even, but nothing permanent and yeah, Millar knows his stuff. My one worry was that this, Millar’s riff on Superman/Shazam, ran the risk of insulting the plight of those who can’t say “Kimota!” and transform into perfect superhuman specimens but have indeed lost the use of one side of their body, or their peripheral vision rendering them unable to scan more than one word at a time (comics with their narrow speech balloons are actually perfect for that, as they are for dyslexia).

Anyway, Millar doesn’t fall into that trap because this ain’t as straightforward as he first made out being more of a Faustian pact with twists. I think I’ll leave you to discover exactly what happens for yourself largely because I’ve forgotten the details, but a talking monkey at the bottom of your bed isn’t exactly conducive to an easy night’s sleep.

Lovely art from Travis Charest – sorry, Leinil Yu (but you can see what I mean in this illustrated interview!) – on both the boys, the Mom, the monkey and whatever the hell it is Simon has found himself transformed into.

Pre-order Superior by phone, email or on the shop floor. It’s another UK item so we’ve got zilch to link to.

Due: 2012

 

Avengers: The Crossing Omnibus h/c (£75-00, Marvel) by various.

The Age Of Atrocity! Dismal! Abysmal! And seventy-five quid!

“One of the nineties’ most notorious narratives!” I think ‘narrative’ is stretching it. Also by ‘notorious’ they mean it truly fucking awful. It co-starred Force Works, for a start. “Who?!?” Quite. Timelines as their most tangled with Kang The Constantly Conquered. Collects AVENGERS #390-395, AVENGERS: THE CROSSING, AVENGERS: TIMESLIDE, IRON MAN #319-325, FORCE WORKS #16-22, WAR MACHINE #20-25 and AGE OF INNOCENCE: THE REBIRTH OF IRON MAN. 792 pages. Rated: rank.

Pre-order Avengers: The Crossing Omnibus h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: at Page 45? Never.

 

Silver Surfer: Parable h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Stan Lee & Moebius, Keith Pollard.

At last a reprint of the Moebius classic originally published under the Epic banner, alongside SILVER SURFER: THE ENSLAVERS which I don’t actually remember. Check out the excellent new cover by following the link below!

“A star falls to earth. Panic grips the planetas mankind prepares for its inevitable end. But the star is a ship, and inside is a god. All he asks is adoration. Overcome with relief, man rushes to obey. There is only one voice of dissent that will not be silenced: the Silver Surfer, who recognizes the ‘god’ as his former master. But why has Galactus encouraged mankind to live down to his darkest nature? From Stan Lee and Moebius, one ofFrance’s living treasures, comes a bewitching tale of man’s folly and nobility. Plus: Almost every hero on Earth has fallen before the unexpected power of Mrrungo-Mu, the alien leader of the Enslavers. All except the Silver Surfer. But what chance does even he have against such power?”

Pre-order Silver Surfer: Parable h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:02/05/2012. That isn’t a typo

 

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis vol 1 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli.

Third series following the death of Peter Parker, now starring Miles Morales as an even younger Spider-Man, it’s a breath of fresh air with some clear, tender art by Sara Pichelli. You can start from scratch here, but long-time readers will be far from insulted because there are surprise ties to the previous series which a make a great deal of sense, and an increasing number of very familiar faces.

Peter Parker is dead, leaving a city in mourning and those who worked with him bereaved, including his female clone. So when new school boarder Miles Morales is reluctantly persuaded by his best friend that his newly acquired abilities – so strangely similar to Spider-Man’s – must be put to good use in a cheap Halloween replica costume, he encounters more than a little opposition from those considering it in bad taste. Far from predictable, I assure you. As to the cover… you’ll get there! Collects #1-5.

Pre-order Ultimate Comics Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis vol 1 h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:15/12/11

 

Ultimate Comics Ultimates by Jonathan Hickman h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Esad Ribic.

Completely different atmosphere picking up elements from ULTIMATE COMICS DOOMSDAY then ULTIMATE COMICS FALLOUT. The words of Aunt May have hit home, and the Ultimates are a key man down just as entire new race of genetically engineered meta-beings suddenly emerge seemingly out of nowhere and claim vast chunks of the world for themselves. They won’t be denied, and in truth there is little that can be done to stop them. Half the fun of the Ultimate universe is discerning which elements of the original Marvel universe are being overhauled, radically, and this is no exception. This being S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Jonathan Hickman, however, you will need to keep your wits about you: he doesn’t write for half-wits.

Pre-order Ultimate Comics Ultimates by Jonathan Hickman h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:29/12/11

 

Absolute Final Crisis slipcased h/c (£75-00, DC) by Grant Morrison & J.G.Jones, more.

“There! Can you hear it Superman? So small and far away. That’s the sound of you failing everyone you promised to save!”

Still available as a softcover reviewed by Jonathan, FINAL CRISIS was DC’s block-buster event from 2008. This Absolute edition is as usual a massive book at over 8” x 12” and includes not just the mini-series itself but also FINAL CRISIS: SUBMIT #1, FINAL CRISIS: SUPERMAN BEYOND #1-2 and the FINAL CRISIS SKETCHBOOK, all written by Grant Morrison, and that vital pair of 3-D glasses for the relevant pages.

Pre-order Absolute Final Crisis slipcased h/c and read the publisher’s preview here
Due:18/07/2012

 

Flashpoint: The World Of Flashpoint Featuring Batman s/c (£13-50, DC) by Brian Azzarello, Peter Milligan, more & Eduardo Risso, George Perez, more.

See this month’s DC graphic novel previews for the rest of the FLASHPOINT collections (four more), but if there was one FLASHPOINT add-on we really enjoyed it was Azzarello & Risso’s BATMAN: KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE in which the man under the cowl is even more driven, more haunted than the one you’re used to, and with very, very good reason. Also collects DEADMAN AND THE FLYING GRAYSONS #1- 3, DEATHSTROKE AND THE CURSE OF THE RAVAGER #1-3 and SECRET SEVEN #1-3. “This is Flash Fact: When Barry Allen wakes at his desk, he discovers the world has changed. Family is alive, loved ones are strangers, and close friends are different, gone or worse. It’s a world on the brink of a cataclysmic war – but where are Earth’s Greatest Heroes to stop it?”

Pre-order Flashpoint: The World Of Flashpoint Featuring Batman s/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due:14/03/2012

 

Please note: publication dates are supplied by Diamond in any case in some publishers’ cases they often prove more of an aspiration than a date set in stone!

Merry Christmas, everybody!

 

 - Stephen

November Previews for January 2012

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

New Tom Gauld, old Warren Ellis! Racism and rough justice; at school with Jeffrey Dahmer! Colleen Doran, all-ages fantasy, and Grant Morrison’s take on TV’s The Avengers. Also, Kieron Gillen goes Gaiman and there are some ridiculously affordable Marvel h/s at the bottom!

These are my picks from the current crop with proposed publication dates, but you can read the whole of Diamond’s own comic and graphic novel PREVIEWS here.

Fatale #1 (£2-75, Image) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.

This will be the very first comic I read in 2012. Could the year possibly get off to a better start? I think not!

“GUNS! SEX! SECRET CULTS! AND MONSTERS! Nothing the creators of SLEEPER, CRIMINAL and INCOGNITO have done so far will prepare you for the explosive debut of FATALE! A reporter in 2012 stumbles on a secret that leads him down the darkest path imaginable… to a seductive woman who’s been on the run since 1935, a mobster who may be an immortal demon monster, and the stories of all the doomed men who’ve been caught in their decades-long struggle. FATALE blends noir and horror to tell a riveting epic unlike anything you’ve seen before.” Great big illustrated interview with Ed Brubaker on FATALE here.

If you want a cover with tentacles (that’s tentacles, not testicles) then Order Fatale #1 Here but me, I prefer Sean Phillips’ sultry ladies. (Ladies with guns, not testicles).

Pre-order Fatale #1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 04/01/12

Goliath h/c (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Tom Gauld.

Yay! New Tom ‘As Seen In The Guardian’ Gauld! All those petit packets of mini-comics are long out of print so here’s hoping some kind publisher collects them soon. In the meantime…

“Goliath of Gath isn’t much of a fighter. Given half a choice, he would pick admin work over patrolling in a heartbeat, to say nothing of his distaste for engaging in combat. Nonetheless, at the behest of the king he finds himself issuing a twice-daily challenge to the Israelites. Day after day he reluctantly repeats his speech, and the isolation of this duty gives him the chance to banter with his shield-bearer and reflect on the beauty of his surroundings. This is the story of David and Goliath as seen from Goliath’s side of the Valley of Elah. Goliath’s battle is simultaneously tragic and bleakly funny, as bureaucracy pervades even this most mythic of figures.”

Pre-order Goliath h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Although blatantly you just did. It’s stuff we have to write.

Due: 25/01/12

Gone To Amerikay h/c (£18-99, Vertigo/DC) by Derek McCulloch & Colleen Doran.

Colleen Doran (Warren Ellis’ ORBITER, SANDMAN, THE BOOK OF LOST SOULS, and A DISTANT SOIL) has upped her game again for this period piece that may well appeal to Will Eisner fans of social history. You can see the cover and interior art to GONE TO AMERIKAY on Colleen’s own website as she shakes her head at one comic blogger getting the whole plot wrong. It is, in fact, as follows.

“This sweeping, century-spanning graphic novel explores the vivid history of Irish émigrés to New York City via three intertwined tales, from a penniless woman raising a daughter alone in the Five Points slum of 1870, to a struggling young artist drawn to the nascent counterculture of 1960, the year America elected its first Irish-Catholic president.”

Due: 28/03/12

Pre-order Gone To Amerikay h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Is That All There Is? h/c (£25-99, Fantagraphics) by Joost Swarte.

Complete 1972 archive of this Dutch master much beloved by Page 45’s interior designer, the legendary Huw Feather (Soft Cell & early Marc Almond single and cover artist and video designer). First time in English. You need to see the ingenuity of this cover:

Pre-order Is That All There Is? h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

The Silence Of Our Friends (£12-99, First Second) by Mark Long, Demonakos & Nate Powell.

Racism and rough justice: the American civil rights struggle in this semi-autobiographical tale set in 1967 Texas. Five students are charged with the murder of a policeman. They are black, yes, and they clearly did not do it.

Nate is a known quantity here responsible for SWALLOW ME WHOLE and ANY EMPIRE etc. but his art has grown softer (though the subject matter hasn’t) and there’s some seriously great lettering later on in this preview to THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS. And isn’t that just one of the best titles to any graphic novel?

Pre-order The Silence Of Our Friends and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 18/01/12

My Friend Dahmer s/c (£13-50, Abrams Comicarts) by Derf Backderf.

Imagine if one of the mates you hung out with at school turned out to be a serial killer. That’d give you pause to re-evaluate all the time you shared together! So it is here with Derf and Jeffrey Dahmer. Derf’s very much of the old-skool underground style as you can see from his TRASHED web comic. You can also access his blog from there which might feature some interior art from DAHMER by the time you look at it. He may have switched styles if this cover is anything to go by:

Pre-order My Friend Dahmer s/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 15/02/12

The Sincerest Form Of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics (£18-99, Fantagraphics) by various.

Mad Not Mad. Other comic work instead by the likes of Jack Davis, Will Elder, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Al Hartley and Bob Powell.

Pre-order The Sincerest Form Of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes s/c (£8-50, Amulet Books) by Kazu Kibuishi & co.

From the creator of AMULET, the young ladies’ favourite, and editor of the Flight and FLIGHT EXPLORER fantasy anthologies, a collection of short stories edited and I think written by Kibuishi about a mysterious, floating cube. Can’t find any interior yet but here’s Kazu Kibuishi’s website with loads of AMULET art and a trailer.

Pre-order Explorer: The Mystery Boxes s/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Hardcover Available if you prefer.

Due: 15/02/12

The Avalon Chronicles vol 1 h/c (£14-99, Oni Press) by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir & Emma Vieceli.

All-ages magical fantasy from the writers of THREE STRIKES (crime fiction I adored) and The Tomb with art by VAMPIRE ACADEMY and DRAGON HEIR’s Emma Vieceli.

Pre-order The Avalon Chronicles vol 1 h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 21/03/12

Bone: Quest For The Spark book 2 novel (£8-50, Cartoon Books) by Tom Sniegoski & Jeff Smith.

Of book one, I wrote… First in a trilogy of BONE novels from Jeff’s Smith’s collaborator on BONE: TALL TALES with plenty of full-colour illustrations by Jeff Smith himself. I spy flying ships, Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures, and someone very familiar making a surprise appearance right at the end. Don’t actually have time to read it, sorry!

Pre-order Bone: Quest For The Spark book 2 novel and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 18/01/12

Undertow new edition (£14-99) by Ellen Lindner.

The previous edition direct from STRUMPET Ellen Lindner is out of print, but Jonathan fell in love with it and wrote this:

Ahh, partly due to being a massive fan of Walter Hill’s seminal classic film The Warriors, I’m a guaranteed sucker for all things Coney Island-related. And here we have a glimpse of what life was actually like for 1950s poor working class New York youth whose only respite from a pretty austere and rather tough existence was to head to the beaches and amusement parks of Coney every weekend and cut loose. Hard drugs, gang fights, unsafe sex all helped to temporarily assuage a general feeling of pointlessness to their lives. They could see the rich kids with all their advantages making good and moving onwards and upwards whilst they got left further behind and stuck, usually for life, in the poorest boroughs of New York with little real prospects of their own.

UNDERTOW’s main character is the sassy Rhonda, a smart girl already suffering emotionally and physically at the hands of her alcoholic parents, and on top of that now struggling to come to terms with the unexpected death of her best friend. At this uncertain time she finds herself strangely attracted to the rich Chuck who has come down to her neighbourhood to do some social work as part of his college education. It provides a stark contrast between the lives of the haves and have-nots at the time, and a poignant example that despite what successive governments throughout the ages may trumpet out, social mobility has never been an easy thing to achieve and if you really want to better yourself, it’s up to you to do something about it. Others may be able to provide help, albeit slightly pious and perhaps self-serving, if well meaning help, but you have to believe you can make the change for yourself. Rhonda is a typical example of someone smart enough to be able to help herself but, beaten down continuously by her surroundings, she’s finding it hard to believe she can actually do it. But as Rhonda’s budding romance with Chuck shows hints of blossoming further, is one of them perhaps using the other, or are they actually falling for each other across the social divide? Can a romance started on such shifting ground ever succeed at all or will the inevitable tides of class and money pull them apart again before it even really begins?

I loved UNDERTOW; this is great piece of period fiction, where the main protagonists all perfectly fit the time and place without feeling the slightest bit stereotyped or caricatured. Lindner expertly captures the simultaneously bleak and grubbily hedonistic feel of lower working class ’50s New York. UNDERTOW isn’t merely a romance story, although it does deliver that key aspect of a good romance – you willing the characters to get together whilst they ebb and flow to and fro, towards then away from each other – but it’s also a great piece of social history too. Her art style is perfect for this story, as these characters aren’t people who hide their emotions but display them for all to see. She certainly does an excellent angry girlfriend and sheepish boyfriend! I loved the attention to period detail too, with the huge cars, the hair styles, the boys’ leather jackets and the girls’ skirts, and the ever-present, slightly worn but kitsch interiors. The palette of black and white with very light blue tones helps to convey the ’50s Coney Island mood perfectly.

Pre-order Undertow and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 11/01/20012

Womanthology: Heroic h/c (£37-99, IDW) by various.

All female anthology with a creative line-up 140 women-strong (love to see Jonathan type those up on arrival!), with words on making and breaking into comics. If you’d prefer something a bit more anarchic, try the all-female STRUMPET,

Pre-order Womanthology: Heroic h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

B.P.R.D.: Plague Of Frogs vol 1 (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Geoff Johns, Michael Oeming & Guy Davis, Ryan Sook, Michael Oeming, more.

Alert! Collects the first four softcovers in one. Of the first, I wrote:

B.P.R.D. is the organisation Hellboy works for, so the main story here stars his co-workers Abe Sapien & co., and picks up and resolves threads previously left dangling in Mignola’s main book.

The bureau didn’t trust Roger, so they shoved a bomb inside the 500-year-old Homunculus, “just in case”. Unfortunately for the bureau, the other operatives found out. Hellboy resigned in disgust, and with amphibious Abe Sapien and the hapless Roger close to the end of their tethers, the only thing able to keep the bureau together is a fiery vision of ex-employee Liz Sherman, desperate for rescue. New recruit Johann joins their race to the Artic Circle, but it may already be too late. The scene setting’s anything but boring, there’s a chill in the air throughout, and Sook’s Ural mountains are luminous with snow against pitch-black rock. In fact his pencils and inks are as close to Mignola’s as Al Columbia’s were to Bill Sienkiewicz during Alan Moore’s tragically curtailed BIG NUMBERS.

Pre-order B.P.R.D.: Plague Of Frogs vol 1 and read the publisher’s preview here.

Due: 28/03/12

Atmospherics Colour Edition s/c (£5-99, Avatar) by Warren Ellis & Ken Meyer.

I definitely reviewed this once, but I think it was before computers were born.

“Warren Ellis and painter Ken Meyer unleash a totally re-mastered and fully-painted colour version of this terrifying alien tale! She’s in a hospital. Except it may be a police station. She’s been traumatized. Or she’s been arrested. She’s the only living witness of a cattle-mutilation style attack on humans. Or she’s a multiple killer who has a psychotic reaction to heroin use. Who may not survive discovering who she really is? This graphic novel also features a gallery of stunning paintings Ken Meyer produced for the series, a special section focusing on how Ken creates his work, and an introduction by Warren Ellis!”

Pre-order Atmospherics Colour Edition s/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

Steed & Mrs. Peel #1 of 6 (£2-99, Boom! Studios) by Grant Morrison & Ian Gibson.

Re-release of the Avengers mini-series from 20 years ago. Don’t really remember much about it except the English countryside. Nota Bene: originally a three-parter, each issue has simply been split in two.

Pre-order Steed & Mrs. Peel #1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

Mondo #1 of 3 (£3-50, Image) by Ted McKeever.

Still reeling from attempting to review Mr. McKeever’s META 4. Please…

Pre-order Mondo #1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 04/01/12

Whispers #1 (£2-25, Image) by Joshua Luna.

From one half of the fraternal collaborators on GIRLS (nekkid lady zombies), THE SWORD and ULTRA.

“A mentally troubled man is suddenly empowered with the ability to leave his physical body in ‘ghost’ form and manipulate people in strange and disturbing ways. With this incredible power, will he control his demons…or discover even more? Joshua Luna of the Luna Brothers makes a solo debut with a dark, supernatural thriller that questions free will and explores the obsessions, addictions and urges we all have and may not have control of at all.”

Here’s an interview and preview with Joshua Luna about WHISPERS. Not sure I like the more opaque colouring, but it’s brilliantly written and adds a completely new dimension to the solicitation copy.

Pre-order Whispers #1 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 11/01/12

Prophet #21 (£2-25, Image) by Brandon Graham & Simon Roy.

From the creator of KING CITY and PILLOW FIGHT, ignore the #21 and imagine #1. <Sigh> I’ll let Brandon Graham explain in his blog with loads of interior art.

Pre-order Prophet #21 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 18/01/12

Afrika h/c (£11-99, Dark Horse) by Hermann.

Fully painted art from the enormously popular Belgian artist. Something a bit different.

“A misanthropic European expatriate, Dario Ferrer, acts as guardian of a Tanzanian wildlife preserve. Accompanied by Charlotte, a naive European journalist, Ferrer discovers a village under fire from mysterious agents of the foreign-backed government. Ferrer and Charlotte must fight not only to protect the preserve, but to expose government corruption-and survive to see another day.”

Pre-order Afrika h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 14/03/12

Axe Cop vol 3 (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Malachai Nicolle & Ethan Nicolle.

Good God there’s more, and this is its first printed appearance. Witness the crazy, all-over-the-place result of a fertile imagination unfettered by any desire for artistic success, egged on by his brother at play and loving every second off it! That’s what’s transcribed here: hours of interactive play. It’s not actually ‘written’ as a comic by Malachi, but written up and then illustrated by his brother. See here for a full review of AXE COP vol 1 with interior art. Huge success here.

Pre-order Axe Cop vol 3 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 28/03/12

Fear Itself: Journey Into Mystery h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Kieron Gillen & Dougie Braithwaite, Rich Elson.

A quiet and beautiful thing, this a sparklingly literate comic from a writer well versed in mythology and with such an evident love of storytelling that it put me in mind of Neil Gaiman. Loki’s quest, for example, to find himself – quite literally – was both wise and witty and far from obvious.

For this is Loki as a young boy who only now finds out what his elder self was up to after the last survivor of a flock of Magpies sets him on a most unusual treasure hunt. But after years as a trickster and revolutionary no one in Asgard trusts the young lad. Only Thor acts as his benefactor, his protector in a hostile environment. He’s like a kindly foster father and it’s this new dynamic which makes the book. Here Thor’s caught Loki texting on a Stark Phone he bought with the proceeds of gambling:

“… Were you cheating, Loki?”
“Yes! But they were too! Cheating was the game, and I triumphed unfairly most fairly.”
“I do not think I approve.”
“There was no harm! Unlike this! The humans of the internet are uncouth. When I said I was an Asgardian God, they called me a troll!”

Braithwaite’s judged the young lad’s expressions to perfection and Thor’s body language, leaning down conspiratorially as he points out Loki is a half-giant, is actually quite touching.

“Why did you buy a phone?”
“I want to learn. If Midgard is to be our home, I would know of it. I’ve primarily discovered that mortals like to rut, and chronicle the experience pictorially.”
“I’m not sure I approve of this eith – - “
“How do you know about Stark phones?”
“Stark is my comrade-in-arms. He does like to talk. While I play the stoic, some of it can’t help but sink in…”
“No matter how much you stare into the distance and imagine you’re smiting fire-giants.”
“Exactly.”

Thor ruffles the boy’s hair.

“You are not as wicked as they think.”
“I’d have to try terribly hard to be that terrible.”

In the hands of Kieron Gillen of PHONOGRAM fame, Loki as a mischievous and eloquent tyke is infinitely more appealing than he was as a malevolent adult. There’s nothing else quite like this in comics right now and, no, you do not have to read FEAR ITSELF to get the most out of this. Illustrated interview with Kieron Gillen here, conducted as began work on the series.

Pre-order Fear Itself: Journey Into Mystery h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 18/01/12

Ultimate Comics Hawkeye h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Rafa Sandoval.

From Jonathan Hickman, creator of NIGHTLY NEWS and writer on ULTIMATE COMICS THOR, the current, stupendously clever run on FANTASTIC FOUR and so much more. Quality, basically, but full review on arrival. In the meantime…

Pre-order Ultimate Comics Hawkeye h/c and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 18/01/11

Uncanny X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga h/c (£6-99, Marvel UK) by Chris Claremont & John Byrne.

First of two ridiculously affordable Marvel hardcovers (the softcover is £18-99!) and you’re promised extras on top of the story itself, but it does say “introductory price” so I’d get your orders in now.

Jean Grey and Cyclops’ love is finally flourishing, but she’s being slowly corrupted by a charming man in her waking dreams. And that’s bad news for everyone because the true power of the Phoenix – virtually limitless – is not something Jean could control, hence the mental blocks Charles Xavier has carefully installed in her mind. Now these blocks are being chipped away at, and the result will prove devastating for everyone. Meh. This is a preview. More on arrival because it really is something special: some of the X-Men’s very best issues until Morrison, Whedon and Ellis came along.

These won’t be up online with our Diamond previews because for the moment they don’t list UK books, but you can always place an order with us by phoning 0115 9508045 or emailing page45@page45.com

Due: they don’t say

Iron Man: Extremis h/c (£9-99, Marvel) by Warren Ellis & Adi Granov.

Best IRON MAN story ever told. The US hardcover (admittedly larger than the standard Marvel size) is currently £18-99, while the softcover is out of print. Rather than clog up this column, please, please read my review of IRON MAN EXTREMIS here.

Due: they don’t say.


Big love to DC comics for a) the whole new DC New 52 but also b) not soliciting anymore DC Universe #1s this month. For that they get the dedicated message that you can read about all DC’s January 2012 release comics here, but also all DC’s graphic novels for January 2012 onwards which I may not have covered here.

How do you think Marvel behaved? Quite well for once actually so go on, then: all Marvel’s January 2012 release comics here (take a quick look at Brian Woods’ new Wolverine And The X-Men: Alpha and Omega mini-series, and that mountain of Marvel January 2012 Graphic Novels which I will not have covered here.

Navigate through the whole of Diamond’s previews for comics and graphic novels from January 2012 here.

 - Stephen

October Previews for December 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011

A reminder of your two options: my highlights below, often with external links to previews or interviews followed by a link to where you can pre-order the books from us online (unavailable for UK books, I’m afraid.) Alternatively you can read the whole of Diamond’s own comic and graphic novel PREVIEWS here.

Can’t believe DC is finally collecting Grant Morrison’s FLEX MENTALLO!

Graphic Novels For December 2011 onwards

Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes h/c (£14-99, Jonathan Cape) by Mary Talbot & Bryan Talbot.

“Claims about men being unable to express emotion irritate me no end. My father did anger very well.”

The next graphic novel from the legendary Bryan Talbot is to be DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES written by media, communications, language and gender author Dr. Mary Talbot. I’ve read the entire book, cover to virtual cover, and I can confirm unequivocally that the brilliances of it are manifold.

DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES is a personal memoir of Mary growing up under the fiery gaze of her “feary father” James S. Atherton, a renowned Joycean scholar, and draws remarkable parallels and striking contrasts with James Joyce’s relationship with his own titular “dotter” on whom he doted.

The segues between the two colour-coded narratives are fluid and deft, the parallels between the two time frames perfectly accentuated. The art captures the chic of the period if you were privileged as well as the dowdiness if you weren’t, and the cream-on-watercolour texture is gorgeous. There are superb visual portraits of Joyce himself, and pages 37 and 83 are magnificent in every way.

It kicks off one morning on February 2nd when Mary, at home, stumbles upon the ration book and social security card of her now deceased father. This catalyses a day’s reverie illustrated by husband and visual chameleon Bryan Talbot who has shifted styles yet again from the multi-media, photo-montage of ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, the slick, computer-coloured anthropomorphic steampunk of GRANDVILLE and the watercolour Lake District landscapes of THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT accentuated by black lines on an acetate overlay, to soft washes over pencil and ink in two distinct, colour-coded palettes representing very different past periods in time.

What unites them is what I loved most about Raymond Briggs’ ETHEL & ERNEST: the candour and humanity which will resonate with readers. There’s an eternal and – I would have thought – ubiquitous fascination in the relationships between parents and offspring, and of school life often suffered under duress: everyone makes comparisons to their own. Like ETHEL & ERNEST it’s also an infectious double-dose of vital social history brought alive for those of us who take so much for granted these days, like contraception and birth before marriage. So many of my friends have children without bothering to get married and we think nothing of it but go back but a couple of decades and it was a very real social stigma. Did you know that James Joyce left it years into his daughter’s life to even consider marrying Lucia’s mother? I didn’t. Very brave of them both and almost certainly why they swiftly eloped from Dublin.

There’s one halting sequence in which Mary gives Caesarean birth which I was first presented with in portfolio form by Bryan and Mary over dinner. Also present: Jonathan whose wife was due to give birth within the month. I tucked those pages back into Bryan’s bag very swiftly indeed while outwardly smiling, “Nothing to see here!” Please, please don’t read this book if you are about to give birth until after the stork has delivered.

But it is as well to remember these things: sectarian divides still far from united, gender segregation, and the suffocating sway that any family can have over you. Like the LOGICOMIX graphic novel about Bertrand Russell which sold out of its first UK printing in under a week, DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES will strike chords far beyond those interested in James Joyce and his own creativity; but it will be additionally fascinating both for those devotees and followers of Bryan Talbot, for there are insights to be gleaned into the comic creator’s teenage years when first meeting Mary, and their shared trepidation of life under the threat of nuclear annihilation.

DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES is to be published by Jonathan Cape on February 2nd 2012. It’s a significant date, being the 130th anniversary of Irish author James Joyce’s birthday and the 90th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s Ulysses.

In the meantime I’ll be “In Conversation With Bryan Talbot” at Thought Bubble in Leeds on Saturday 19th November at the Bury Theatre in Leeds from 2.15pm to 3pm, and we will definitely be discussing this book!

Pre-order Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes h/c and read Page 45’s preview with interior art here. Yes, interior art you can enlarge. Looks so beautiful!

Due: 02/02/12

 

Flex Mentallo: Man Of Muscle Mystery Deluxe Ed h/c (£16-99, Vertigo/DC) by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely.

Quick! Before the Charles Atlas foundation protests once more and DC get cold feet, pre-order this missing comicbook legend! From the pages of DOOM PATROL and out of legal limbo strides the old advertisement’s Hero of the Beach to investigate The Fact. Is truth stranger than fiction? In Grant Morrison’s eyes it probably is, but little is stranger than Grant Morrison’s fiction!

Pre-order Flex Mentallo: Man Of Muscle Mystery Deluxe Ed h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 01/02/12

 

Criminal vol 6: The Last Of The Innocent (£10-99, Icon/Marvel) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.

Sixth self-contained series of my favourite crime comic bar none, so you can start right here or, if you prefer, read Page 45’s review of CRIMINAL VOL 1: COWARD with interior art here. This was me extolling the virtues of the first issue…

It’s all about the humanity and – crucially for noir – the first-person narratives are compelling, convincing and full of flawed individuality. For any successful first-person narrative you have got to want to spend time and then more time in the self-absorbed heads of these particular protagonists and that’s where Brubaker excels. That the intricate plots are so devious, the delivery so adroit (Brubaker knows how to write a great punchline) is of course icing on a multi-layered cake, and – you can check my reviews of CRIMINAL vol 5, SLEEPER, INCOGNITO etc – I have for over a decade pronounced Sean Phillips the finest draughtsman in this most twilight of genres. His faces stay cast and masked in a permanent semi-shadow. You’ll never trust anyone drawn by Sean Phillips, so do not ask Sean to sketch you: you’ll be riddled with self-doubt for years.

Momentarily, however, it’s all very different for Riley Richards is feeling nostalgic.

Summoned home by his father’s illness, he has ditched the city of his sins which have begun to cost him dear, and travelled back to the town of his youth. It was a sunlit life immersed in the relatively innocent pleasures of comics with his best friend Freakout; meeting down the diner where a stoned Freakout with monumental munchies would break records for scoffing ice cream. Then there was sweet Lizzie Gordon, the girl who lived literally next door: the girl all assumed he would marry…

But his life changed course dramatically upon the arrival of Felicity Doolittle, bringing with her the alluring, honey-pot cocktail of novelty, sophistication, self-confidence and sexual availability. Riley succumbed and then he made a mistake: he married her.

Now he is a man who witnesses the world around him at a remove, as if it’s not his own life at all. He’s become so detached that he doesn’t know how to feel at his father’s funeral; he just calculates what’s expected of him. He’s become so detached that when he caught his wife shagging Teddy, the man he loathes most, he concludes that it simply makes sense. He’s almost immune to his father-in-law’s long-voiced contempt.

But returning home has reminded him of how promising it all once looked. No one can reload their life and choose a different path like we can on PS3. Yet that doesn’t mean mistakes can’t be rectified, that they cannot be fixed, and it occurs to Riley now as he surveys what his life has become, that there may well be a way to reverse all his fortunes in one single swoop and set his life back on a course that actually means something to him.

Allowed for once to play in the suburban sunlight rather than the metropolitan grime, Sean Phillips appears to have had much fun not only in capturing a much younger, less tainted crowd, but also in the flashback sequences: snapshots (as they always are) of memory rendered here in Archie Comics innocence, even when the style beautifully belies the content under Felicity’s prom-night gown. You’ll note how Teddy’s also pictured alongside Riley when Felicity first flies into town.

Attention to detail: another of Brubaker’s and Phillips’ fortes.

Pre-order Criminal vol 6: The Last Of The Innocent from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

Kramers Ergot Vol 8 h/c (£22-50, Picturebox) by various, edited by Sammy Harkham.

The last edition of this fridge-fresh anthology wasn’t one of those coffee table art books – pop a few bricks underneath and it was a coffee table! Enormous! This edition is somewhat smaller than the average soccer pitch, measuring 6”x9” and includes some of our favourite creators: Kevin Huizenga, Gary Panter, Gabrielle Bell, C.F., Ben Jones, Jason T. Miles, Sammy Harkham, Leon Sadler, Johnny Ryan, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, Anya Davidson, Ron Regé Jr., Ron Embleton, Frederic Mullally and more.

Pre-order Kramers Ergot Vol 8 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 21/12/11

 

The Life & Death Of Fritz The Cat h/c (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Robert Crumb.

Bravo, Fantagraphics’ for beginning to build a more coherent Robert Crumb library. We already have THE BOOK OF GENESIS and THE BOOK OF MR. NATURAL while you’ll also find him. Here every single Fritz story is reprinted along with sketchbook pages and an introduction by Crumb. These certainly aren’t your Dad’s anthropomorphics. Oh wait – yesthey are!

Pre-order The Life & Death Of Fritz The Cat h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 28/12/11

 

Keep Our Secrets Board Book (£11-99, McSweeneys) by Jordan Crane.

Oh, heat-sensitive ink which reveals secrets when you rub the black spaces! Here’s video footage of KEEP OUR SECRETS being tested on a toddler!

From the creator of THE LAST LONELY SATURDAY, THE CLOUDS ABOVE and Uptight, a children’s book that can’t fail to delight from the publishers who brought you the magnificent MCSWEENEYS anthology:

“Two young children tour their noisy house with fresh eyes, discovering along the way that all is not as it seems. Featuring heat-sensitive, colour-changing ink on every page, this book contains dozens of delightful surprises. Among them: a giant dog slumbering in a piano, a wishing puddle full of dimes, a raccoon that is actually a robot, and a camera that is secretly made of cheese.”

Pre-order Keep Our Secrets Board Book from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

Same Difference Special Edition h/c (£12-99) by Derek Kirk Kim.

“Kim captures the ups and downs of early adulthood with sensitivity and gentle wit…. (And also) captures the small but significant moments that define young adult personalities.”

- The Comics Journal

“No American cartoonist has more promise in 2003 than Derek Kirk Kim.”

- Scott McCloud

Of its original printing Mark wrote:

The main story has two friends who should really get together, they’ve got such a good spark. Simon tells of an almost-romance he had with a blind girl at school and how he bottled it at the last moment. Nancy has been misleading a guy through a postal romance after opening a letter meant for a previous tenant. The two Korean-Americans decide to set off to sneak a peek at the deceived Romeo. Derek keeps the beautifully toned artwork simple and direct, taking some cues from manga without straying near the amerimanga that I’ve seen too much of recently.

You can read an extract of SAME DIFFERENCE here.

Pre-order Same Difference Special Edition h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

The Muse h/c (£22-50, Humanoids) by Denis Pierre Filippi & Terry Dodson.

From the writer of JOHN LORD and the artist of UNCANNY X-MEN: BREAKING POINT etc., and there’s an absolutely gorgeous preview online here: LINK

“The sexy, dreamy adventures of one Coraline, a beautiful young lady who serves as governess to wealthy and always mysterious homeowners. Muse is a lyrical and titillating ride through reverie and nostalgia.”

Pre-order The Muse h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 28/12/11

 

Before The Incal Deluxe, ltd ed. (£75-00, Humanoids) by Jodorowsky & Janjetov.

Now that THE INCAL with Jonathan’s monumental review is finally available at a more affordable price, here’s its prequel at a price that isn’t!

Pre-order Before The Incal Deluxe, ltd ed. from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 28/12/11

 

Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary h/c (£13-99, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Keshni Kashyap & Mari Araki.

“Tina M., sophomore, is a wry and endearing observer of the cliques and mores of Yarborough Academy. (‘The name makes it sound fancier than all the public schools in the area. You’d really think the Prince of Wales attended.’) And of the foibles of her Southern California intellectual Indian family. She’s on a first-name basis with Jean-Paul Sartre, the result of an English honours class assignment to keep an ‘existential diary.’ From Tina getting dumped by her smart-girl ally to a kiss on the mouth from a cute skateboarder, Neil Strumminger, Tina’s Mouth answers the pressing question: Can an English honours assignment be one fifteen-year-old girl’s path to enlightenment?”

Couldn’t find specific pages online but Sonia Saraiya writes about it here while this is Mari Araki’s website.

Pre-order Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 04/01/12

 

Polly & The Pirates vol 2: Mystery Of the Dragonfish (£8-99, Oni Press) by Ted Naifeh.

Hugely successful and beautifully drawn high-seas skulduggery, VOLUME ONE was reviewed by Tom with relish.

Polly Pringle reunites with her pirate crew at long last! Honour-bound to rescue Emperor Norton from his unfair imprisonment, Polly escapes her cosy boarding school and returns to the high seas! But Polly and the Emperor have stumbled onto the fiendish plot of a foreign power, which endangers not only their own lives, but everyone in the Americas!

Pre-order Polly & The Pirates vol 2: Mystery Of the Dragonfish from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

 

The Intrepid Escape Goat (£9-99, Th3rd World) by Brian Smith.

From the co-writer of THE STUFF OF LEGEND (vol 3 also available in December Here), an all-ages adventure featuring a goat. Who escapes! See full-colour illustrations with this interview: LINK.

Pre-order The Intrepid Escape Goat from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 21/12/11

 

The Cartoon Introduction To Economics vol 2 (£13-50, Hill & Wang) by Yoram Bauman & Grady Klein.

Yoo-hoo! *waves*

Yep, you were going to skip right past this, weren’t you? Don’t! THE CARTOON INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS VOLUME ONE was riveting, funny, accessible and applicable to us all in practice. Unlikely, I know, but I promise.

Pre-order The Cartoon Introduction To Economics vol 2 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 21/12/11

 

Mush! Sled Dogs With Issues h/c (£13-50, First Second) by Glenn Eichler & Joe Infumiari.

“Venus wants Buddy to quit asking her to ‘make puppies.’ Buddy wants Winston’s help wooing Venus. Winston wants Guy’s respect. Guy wants Dolly’s job. Dolly wants to know the meaning of it all. Nobody knows what Fiddler really wants, not even Fiddler. But mostly, these sled dogs just want to run. Sounds simple? It should be, but even dogs have their problems. From Colbert Report writer Glenn Eichler comes a post-modern tale of heroism on the tundra, epic romance, and yellow snow.”

You can read an excerpt of MUSH here.

Pre-order Mush! Sled Dogs With Issues h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

Ningen’s Nightmares (£9-99, Dark Horse) by J. P. Kalonji.

From the creator of 365 SAMURAI AND A FEW BOWLS OF RICE:

In ancient Japan, a witch seeks to use the warrior-monk Ningen’s enlightened body and spirit to resurrect a demon-samurai and unleash an era of chaos on an already-troubled country. After leaving the safety of his temple to protect poor commoners who are caught in bloody battles between feuding warlords, Ningen soon finds that several colourful bounty hunters are on his trail-seeking his head and his very lifeblood for the witch’s twisted spells!

Pre-order Ningen’s Nightmares from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 15/02/11

 

Hellboy vol 12: The Storm And The Fury (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo.

There be rubble! Oh, so much rubble! And the best stairwell in comics. Concludes Fegredo’s magnificent stint on the book.

Pre-order Hellboy vol 12: The Storm And The Fury from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/03/11

 

American Vampire vol 3 h/c (£18-99, Vertigo/DC) by Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque, Sean Murphy, Danijel Zezelj.

Vampires come to World War II in this series which constantly surprises from the writer who’s just had the most monumental hits with DC’s relaunch of BATMAN and SWAMP THING. Sean Murphy you may know from Si Spencer’s exceptional HELLBLAZER: CITY OF DEMONS. Unbelievably this contains both AMERICAN VAMPIRE #12-18 and the 5-issue mini-series, SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. Page 45 Review Of America Vampire vol 1 Complete With Interior Art.

Pre-order American Vampire vol 3 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 01/02/12

 

Unwritten vol 5: On To Genesis (£10-99, Vertigo/DC) by Mike Carey & Peter Gross.

Mind-boggling series from the author of the ten LUCIFER books. From Jonathan’s review of UNWRITTEN vol one (yes, now with interior art!)…

“Tom Taylor’s father is responsible for the best ever selling series of fantasy novels (making Harry Potter look like small change) featuring a boy wizard called Tommy Taylor. Unfortunately for Tom, the fictional Tommy has been so closely modelled on him that obsessed fans have decided to virtually worship him as though he actually were the boy-wizard Tommy Taylor, something Tom professes to find particularly embarrassing and excruciating. Unfortunately for Tom, the circumstances surrounding his father’s mysterious disappearance a few years previously mean he’s not been able to touch a penny of his father’s vast wealth, hence he’s reduced to scratching a living touting himself round fan conventions, signing autographs and glad-handing fans as Tommy Taylor. Although, his reluctance to get a proper job which actually seems like a little too much effort for him, suggests perhaps deep down Tom is actually slightly addicted to his Z-list fame. However, when a sequence of strange occurrences begins to cause some fans on internet forums to suggest that Tom might really be the boy-wizard made flesh in our world, he begins to find himself drawn into a sinister conspiracy that reaches back far further than we can imagine…”

Pre-order Unwritten vol 5: On To Genesis from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due 11/01/12

 

Sweet Tooth vol 4: Endangered Species (£12-99, Vertigo/DC) by Jeff Lemire.

Ah-hah, the Page 45 review of SWEET TOOTH vol 1 now has interior art!

At the same babies have been born with animal characteristics, America has been hit by some sort of plague which has ravaged its population and turned those that remain into pretty brutal bastards. Sweet Tooth himself has the antlers of a deer but is unique, so far as we know, in missing one key body part: a belly button. He’s neither an innie nor outie, so what does that mean? His parents might know but they’re now both dead. Fortunately they left behind clues to a life Sweet Tooth knew nothing about.

Pre-order Sweet Tooth vol 4: Endangered Species from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

 

 The Walking Dead vol 15: We Find Ourselves (£10-99, Image) by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn.

Monster zombie hit which was enormous here long before the TV series, so I really don’t need to tell you any more than that it’ll be in on Wednesday 7th December. Yes, before Christmas!

Pre-order The Walking Dead vol 15: We Find Ourselves from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

Spontaneous h/c (£18-99, Oni Press) by Joe Harris & Brett Weldele.

From the artist responsible for the luminous zombie book THE LIGHT, Antony Johnston’s JULIUS and SURROGATES etc., another thriller:

“Phenomenon, conspiracy, or delusion? ‘Kelvin’ Melvin Reyes was only three years old when Spontaneous Human Combustion took his father from him. He’s since devoted his life to exploring the mystery behind the phenomenon, searching for a pattern and predictors so that he might save others from that same fiery fate. But the closer he gets to his goal, the further things lead down a well of secrets, horrors, and terrible truths? Is SHC real? And, if so, can it be stopped?”

Pre-order Spontaneous h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 29/02/12!

 

The Red Wing (£10-99, Image) by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Pitarra.

From the creator of NIGHTLY NEWS and current writer of Shield and FANTASTIC FOUR, a science fiction series and a second stab at time travel, this one with far more space and lighter on the text. Here we’ve jumped back to the Tithonian Age where the slim ships have to navigate past vast, feeding dinosaurs:

“Just look at that, Captain. Over twenty tons of vegetarian monster the likes of which the world has never seen again… I wonder what they taste like.”

So much for evolution.

“Time travel should have ushered in the golden age of scientific discovery — It should have ushered in the golden age of MAN. Instead, we were reduced to using it for war. And in war total victory is not defined by simple dominance of the battlefield. Overcoming the enemy is not enough. In many ways, victory simply means bitterness and bile for the defeated — The genesis on a deep-seated hatred that is always seen again.”

That’s certainly how WWI turned into WWII, and there’s plenty more to give you pause for thought in the first chapter alone, for if you can wage war in four dimensions – if a battle really isn’t over until you say it’s over as long as you can cling to the technology to travel back in time and change its outcome repeatedly – when do you stop? At what point do you decide enough is enough for any given battle and at which point of time do you begin or go back to start your temporal chain reaction? Also, if your enemy is similarly equipped, surely the only option is to bomb them back into the Stone Age or obliterate them completely or they’ll just reboot things themselves? That’s a whole new frontier you’d need to constantly patrol: you’d need to defend not just your finite, physical borders but an almost limitless number of chronological borders too.

As it transpired, the series ran in a different direction I never foresaw. The focus is on Dominic, a new recruit flying in the wake of his father who went missing in action and so presumed dead, for no one has survived a shield failure during time travel. Mathematically it is so improbable as to be practically impossible.

“But ask yourself: isn’t a statistical improbability a massive number when standing in contrast to all of space-time?”

So what happened to Dominic’s father?

Pre-order from The Red Wing Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 14/12/11

 

Moon Knight by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev vol 1 h/c (£2-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev.

“Oh, my God. Put your gun away.”
“You take your gun out.”
“If you show them your gun, that is a declaration of –“
“It’s a declaration that I have a big gun.”

From the creative team behind the best-ever run on DAREDEVIL, plus SCARLET (ooh look, interior art there – cracking book), ALIAS (nothing to do with the TV series) and SPIDER-WOMAN too, a 7,205th attempt at Moon Knight to coincide with the number of personalities battling away in his nocturnal noggin. You can definitely add three more, and they’ll be readily familiar to you.

Finally after 50-odd years of Marvel continuity, some of the supervillains have figured out that if 963 superheroes have chosen to live in Manhattan and only one in Los Angeles, they’d be 963 times less likely to get busted if they relocated to L.A.. Marc Spector happens to be in L.A. now, overseeing the launch of his Legend Of Khonshu TV show, so the Avengers call on him to scare the bejeezus out of the criminal community there… IN HIS MIND!

Lo and behold, however, a new Kingpin has indeed set himself up – one with a power level that makes Mr. Hyde’s look puny. That’s pretty unfortunate for Marc because Moon Knight barely survives a dust-up with Hyde. Instead he’s deep under Hyde’s yacht when the two villains confront each other, and when they do there’s little left of Hyde or the yacht, so Spector retreats with the prize he’s salvaged from the boat: the head of an Ultron. Obviously Moon Knight is way out of his league – this is going to take a whole team of Avengers. Shame, then, that they’re ALL IN HIS MIND!!!

A clever new twist in Marc’s long-standing mental illness and whilst Maleev is being far more economical with the art here than he is in SCARLET, there are some exceptional light effects under the water and high above the smoking remains of the yacht.

Pre-order Moon Knight by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev vol 1 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 14/12/11

 

Fear Itself h/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Matt Fraction & Stuart Immonen.

“People are mad right now, and broke and they’ve been lied to and ripped off – And when people who’re already mad get scared then all hell kinda breaks loose.”

After enduring a United States under Norman Osborn (or George W. Bush – read it how you will), and with the economy in freefall catalysing mass unemployment and the repossession of homes, the American people are fractious. They’re raw and hurting. When Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter are caught in the middle of a riot they cannot control, they’re alarmed to discover there’s no foul play involved: no unusual energy signatures, no enchantments, nothing toxic in the air or water. It’s just how the temperature is.

So what will happen, do you think, when the Serpent arises? When the Red Skull’s daughter lifts the hidden Asgardian hammer her father could not, is transformed into something else, and frees the ancient Skadi, the real All-Father, from the mystic bonds of Odin? What will happen when The Worthy summoned by Skadi touch down in Pacific Ocean, Brazil, China, Manhattan and the small town of Broxton where Asgard lies in rubble?

That’s where the Avengers – both overt teams – are gathered today, to launch a new Stark initiative to further the bond between Gods and man and put 5,000 Americans back to work by designing and then building a new Asgard here on Earth. But Odin isn’t happy. Disdainful of the creatures he is more used to being worshipped by, he is adamant that Asgard should be rebuilt by enchantment far from this blue and green marble. And when he senses that Skadi is loose upon the world, he orders it so, even if it means dragging Thor behind them in chains.

With robust and shiny art – like John Buscema inked by Jimmy Cheung – this is something rather different from recent superhero events. SIEGE, SECRET INVASION, Blackest Night and even CIVIL WAR to a certain extent, had all been brewing for a while. But this is about to hit our heroes out of nowhere and they don’t even know it yet. All they know is that the Gods have left them to fend for themselves, and if that wasn’t enough, Odin is prepared to destroy the whole of planet Earth just to get rid of the threat. As their fear rises, Skadi grows stronger fuelling further panic.

This year’s Marvel blockbuster includes major Avengers fatalities and the prelude by Ed Brubaker & Scot Eaton.

Pre-order Fear Itself h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 04/01/12

 

Spider-Man by Mark Millar Ultimate Collection (£25-99, Marvel) by Mark Millar & Terry Dodson, Frank Cho.

The complete Mark Millar saga which amply answered J. Jonah Jameson’s broken record of a question: “If he’s such a great guy, why does he need to wear a mask?” Because the mafia like to know where your family live.

Aunt May has been abducted by someone who obviously knows who Spider-Man is, but there’s a limit as to who could or should have known and what they could possibly gain. The most obvious culprit is Norman Osborn, The Green Goblin, but he’s under lock and key and swears he has nothing to do with it.

Hampering Peter in his desperate search – harrying him, it seems, at every juncture – is a virtual “Who’s Who” of his worst and oldest enemies, some of them remarkably enhanced since their last encounters. Is this a coincidence, or part of a larger scheme? And could Peter’s worst mistake have been to put his greatest threat behind bars? Because if the stakes are that high, don’t you make contingency plans? If you’re a businessman, don’t you take out insurance, especially when your own life is in danger? It all goes back to control, to the early days of the first superheroes, when those were used to being in charge – politicians and businessmen alike – found these self-appointed crusaders for justice getting just a little too close for comfort, and a little too enthusiastic about their moral crusade. They’re not going to take it lying down, they’re going to provide… distractions.

Sexily drawn by the Dodsons, Millar pushes all the fanboy buttons whilst delivering on the entertainment rather than just stuffing the stocking for the sake of it. It’s the classic Spider-Man tale so far. If you like your Spider-Man you will love this: a rollicking good read with moments of true emotional rather than just splash-page drama, and some clever, logical thought behind it.

Pre-order Spider-Man by Mark Millar Ultimate Collection from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 14/12/11

 

Stormwatch vol 1 h/c (£29-99, DC) by Warren Ellis & Tom Raney, Jim Lee, more.

THE AUTHORITY in gestation. Oh yes! Unavailable for a very long time now, this is where Ellis first came alive, remaking a rubbish Wildstorm/Image series in his own iconoclastic image, slowly replacing the team’s ranks with Apollo, Midnighter, Jenny Sparks, Rose Tattoo et al. See one of comics’ undeniable giants do for clapped-out superheroes what Alan Moore did for DC horror with SWAMP THING, sowing all the original seeds for Vertigo. It takes a while to work out, but work out it did and, if you ask me, Warren was far more of an influence on Mark Millar than Morrison ever was, whatever Grant may say.

Pre-order Stormwatch vol 1 h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 08/02/12

 

Catwoman vol 1 (£22-50, DC) by Ed Brubaker, Darwyn Cooke & Darwyn Cooke, Michael Allred, more.

Hopefully the beginning of a concerted effort to reprint all the Ed Brubaker CATWOMAN material. Someone asked for it just the other day. Reprints CATWOMAN #1-9, DETECTIVE COMICS #759-762 and CATWOMAN: SELINA’S BIG SCORE about which I wrote:

The first person to bring some serious style to Catwoman since Siouxsie Sioux donned a black skin-tight leather leotard for the Banshees’ Batman II single, Cooke also has an eye for crime somewhere between Bruce BATMAN ANIMATED Timm and David STRAY BULLETS Lapham. It’s a heist affair as Selina finds herself presumed dead, and so cut off from her fortune. Her desperation for money compromises both her judgement and her scruples.

Pre-order Catwoman vol 1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 25/01/12

Cartoons, Art Books etc.

Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons h/c (£16-9, Fantagraphics) by Flannery O’Connor.

One of America’s great Southern writers of the 20th Century once sought a career as a newspaper cartoonist, and there’s an excellent article from The Guardian anticipating this collection here: LINK

Fantagraphics says:

“Flannery O’Connor was among the greatest American writers of the 2nd half of the 20th century; she was a writer in the Southern tradition of Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, and Carson McCullers, who wrote such classic novels and short stories as Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away, and “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” She is perhaps as well known for her tantalizing brand of Southern Gothic humour as she is for her Catholicism. That these tendencies should be so happily married in her fiction is no longer a surprise. The real surprise is learning that this much beloved icon of American literature did not set out to be a fiction writer, but a cartoonist. This seems to be the last well-kept secret of her creative life.

Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons, the first book devoted to the author’s work in the visual arts, emphasizes O’Connor’s most prolific period as a cartoonist, drawing for her high school and college publications in the early 1940s. While many of these images lampoon student life and the impact of World War II on the home front, something much more is happening. Her cartoons are a creative threshing floor for experimenting and trying out techniques that are deployed later with such great success in her fiction.

O’Connor learns how to set up and carry a joke visually, how to write a good one-liner and set it off against a background of complex visual narration. She develops and asserts her taste for a stock set of character types, attitudes, situations, exaggerations, and grotesques, and she learns how to present them not to distort the truth, but to expose her vision of it.

She worked in both pen & ink and linoleum cuts, and her rough-hewn technique combined with her acidic observations to form a visual precursor to her prose. Fantagraphics is honoured to bring the early cartoons of this American literary treasure to a 21st century readership.

For an audience resistant to your views, O’Connor once wrote, “draw large and startling figures.” In her fiction, as in her cartoons, these shocks to the system never come without a laugh.”

Pre-order Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons h/c from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 28/12/11

 

Terry Moore Sketchbook vol 1: Hot Girls & Cold Feet (£8-50, Abstract Studios) by Terry Moore.

From the creator of RACHEL RISING, STRANGERS IN PARADISE and ECHO. Black and white, swoon at will. Terry Moore’s sketches are gorgeous.

Pre-order Terry Moore Sketchbook vol 1: Hot Girls & Cold Feet from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 28/12/11

Comics For December 2011 onwards

Berlin #18 (£350, Drawn & Quarterly) by Jason Lutes.

One of comics’ greatest accomplishments, and I do believe this is Jonathan’s personal favourite. He certainly went to great lengths eloquently reviewing BERLIN VOL 1 and BERLIN VOL 2. Anyway, historical fiction with one heck of a backdrop.

“A new chapter of Berlin: City of Light, the final volume of Jason Lutes’ epic trilogy. Confronted by the hatred and fear that has begun to seep through the cracks in the Weimar Republic, Kurt Severing retreats into drink and despondency. Across the city, Silvia Braun has fallen in with a gang of young Communists, who are dumbstruck when she single-handedly attacks two Nazis in the street. Meanwhile, the idyllic nocturnal escapades of Marthe Müller and Anna Albrecht are shattered by a police raid on one of their favourite nightclubs, which leaves their relationship in ruins.”

Pre-order Berlin #18 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

Streakers (£4-99, Mean Dog Comics) by Nick Maandag.

Comedy about three friends determined to accomplish the “perfect streak”! Illustrated interview here: LINK. Preorder here:

Pre-order Streakers from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due 07/12/11

 

The Defenders #1 (£2-99, Marvel) by Matt Fraction & Terry Dodson.

I can’t believe I just typed that! Top-tier team on this supergroup of oddities, The Hulk, Dr. Strange, The Silver Surfer, Namor, now with added Iron Fist and whoever that Red She-Hulk turned out to be. Was it Betty Banner? I’m sorry, I couldn’t endure Loeb’s HULK beyond book one. I very much hope it’ll be played for laughs.

Pre-order The Defenders #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 07/12/11

 

The Strain #1 of 11 (80 pence, Dark Horse) by Guillermo del Toro, adapted by David Lapham & Mike Huddleston.

“When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Centre for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event: an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.”

Better than covering it in Marmite.

Pre-order The Strain #1 from Page 45 and read the publisher’s preview here

Due: 14/12/11


Page 45 Previews written by Stephen. Thank you for reading!

September Previews for November 2011

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

A reminder of your two options:

My highlights below, often with external links to previews or interviews followed by, wherever possible, a “LINK” to where you can pre-order the books from us online. (Unavailable for UK books, I’m afraid.) Alternatively you can read the whole of Diamond’s own PREVIEWS with no commentary or quality control from me, split by Jonathan and Dominique into digestible chunks. Went up a fortnight ago:

Books For November 2011 onwards

“I also happen to know that in the third issue Page 45 will find itself with a brand new branch in The Bay. Yes, apparently we’ve just opened in San Francisco!”

– Stephen on The Rinse #3. We seriously are in this comic. Buy it and treasure a piece of Page 45 history!

The Sigh h/c (£7-50, Archaia) by Marjane Satrapi.

Huge news! The hugest of news, yet I discovered this only by using our own search engine on Sunday!

Known as LE SOUPIR in French, this is the first colour work from the creator of PERSEPOLIS, Embroideries and CHICKEN WITH PLUMS. Both constituent parts of PERSEPOLIS were my books of the year when originally published separately. We sold several hundred copies before the animated film was even proposed – over 50% of them to women – and we’ve had a three-dimensional display of it in our window for two or three years now.

“Rose is one of three daughters of a rich merchant who always brings gifts for his girls from the market. One day Rose asks for the seed of a blue bean, but he fails to find one for her. She lets out a sigh in resignation, and her sigh attracts the Sigh, a mysterious being that brings the seed she desired to the merchant. But every debt has to be paid, and every gift has a price, and the Sigh returns a year later to take the merchant’s daughter to a secret and distant palace.”

Due: 30/11/11

Nelson (£18-99, Blank Slate Books) by… oh, just pick your favourite creator and they’re here:

Paul Grist, Rob Davis, Woodrow Phoenix, Ellen Lindner, Jamie Smart, Gary Northfield, Sarah McIntyre, Suzy Varty, Sean Longcroft, Warwick Johnson–Cadwell, Luke Pearson, Paul Harrison–Davies, Katie Green, Paul Peart–Smith, Glyn Dillon, I.N.J.Culbard, John Allison, Philip Bond, D’Israeli, Simone Lia, Darryl Cunningham, Jonathan Edwards, Ade Salmon, Kate Charlesworth, Warren Pleece, Kristyna Baczynski, Harvey James, Rian Hughes, Sean Phillips & Pete Doree, Kate Brown, Simon Gane, Jon McNaught, Adam Cadwell, Faz Choudhury, JAKe, Jeremy Day, Dan McDaid, Roger Langridge, Will Morris, Dave Shelton, Carol Swain, Hunt Emerson, Duncan Fegredo, Philippa Rice, Josceline Fenton, Garen Ewing, Tom Humberstone , Dan Berry, Alice Duke, Posy Simmonds, Laura Howell, Andi Watson, and Dave Taylor.

Yes, you read right: even Posy Simmonds.

This isn’t, however, an anthology: it’s a single story told by a relay race of writers and artists somehow coordinated by Woodrow Phoenix who’s a bit a legend at Page 45 on account of RUMBLE STRIP, SUGAR BUZZ and WHERE’S IT AT, SUGAR CAT? 250 pages.

“London, 1968. A daughter is born to Jim and Rita Baker. Her name is Nel. This is her story, told in yearly snapshots. Each chapter records the events of a single day, weaving one continuous ribbon of pictures and text that takes us on a 43- year journey from Nel Baker’s birth to 2011.

Part exquisite corpse and part relay race, Nelson spans decades of British history and a myriad of stylistic approaches in telling the story of one woman’s life by 54 creators, in 54 episodes, detailing 54 days. The result is a surprising and compellingly readable book that is sad, funny, moving, poignant, ridiculous, heartfelt, and real. This is a story like none you have seen before. All Profits from this book go to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.”

Here’s a brief interview with Woodrow: LINK

Due: November.

LINK?

No, it’s a UK item so email page45@page45.com to order!

The Adventures Of Hergé h/c (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Jose-Louis Bocquet, Jean-Luc Fromental & Stanislas Barthelemy.

“The Adventures of Hergé is a biographical comic about the world-renowned comics artist Georges Prosper Remi, better known by his pen name, Hergé. Meticulously researched, with references to many of the Tintin albums and complete with a bibliography and mini-bios for each of the main ‘characters,’ the biography is appropriately drawn in Hergé’s iconic clear line style as an homage to the Tintin adventures that have commanded the attention of readers across the world and of many generations. Seven-year-old Hergé first discovered his love of drawing in 1914 when his mother gave him some crayons to stay out of trouble. He continued drawing in school when he fatefully met the editor of XXe Siècle magazine, where Tintin first appeared. His popularity skyrocketed from the 1930s through post-WWII. Hergé was perceived by some to have aided the Nazi government in Belgium by continuing to publish Tintin in a government-sanctioned magazine, and he was briefly imprisoned in the aftermath of the war and narrowly escaped execution. Also covered are his marriage troubles in the 1950s and subsequent affair with Fanny Vlamynck, who went on to become his lifelong partner; his late career in the 1960s, as his interest in Tintin waned and he occasionally ‘disappeared’ for weeks at a time as he contemplated giving up his career to become a fine-arts painter; and a recounting of a humorous encounter with Andy Warhol.”

Due 09/11/11

LINK

The Eyes Of The Cat h/c (£52-99, Humanoids Inc) by Jodorowsky & Moebius.

At a whopping 12” x 16” this luxurious edition limited to 750 copies comes with a whopping price to boot. But to have these masters’ first collaboration in print at all in the English language is a minor miracle. Feast your eyes on that miracle with this preview: LINK

The textures! Oh, the textures!

Due: 30/11/11

Rasl vol 3 (£10-99, Cartoon Books) by Jeff Smith.

RASL appears in two formats. These album-sized beauties or the pocketbook two-in-one version. I repeat: this is the album-sized version. Of book one I wrote:

“No” is the answer to that most commonly asked question, “This is nothing like BONE“. You had nine books of that, so don’t you think it’s well past time for something completely different? This is about as refreshingly far from the brilliant BONE as Dave Sim’s JUDENHASS is different to GLAMOURPUSS. One-trick ponies there are aplenty, but Jeff Smith isn’t one of them.

This is a brutally noir piece of extrapolated science set over several fictional worlds in which the art-thief hero, I infer, stole the technology he’s been using to hop between dimensions because it could have been used as an electromagnetic weapon. Unfortunately someone or something is hot on his tail, has murdered his girlfriend and is on verge of murdering her counterpart if Robert can’t take the fight back to them. There’s a real physicality to the protagonist with slightly simian looks, his big mop of hair, his compacted, body-builder physique and the fountain of sweat that sprays off his face. Even the way he pulls up his slacks is sexually charged. You imagine he might have a growl like Tom Waits, and he sure likes his liquor bars and strip joints.

It’s too early to judge where this is going yet, but where it’s coming from involves parallel universes, conspiracy, Native American symbolism/spirituality and knowing your Bob Dylan. Well, it does for “Rasl” Robert, which is why he knows he made the wrong turning at the pandimensional traffic lights. Some clever scenes where he’s caught off his guard by the seemingly familiar, and finds it not so.

Due: 14/12/11

Athos In America h/c (£18-99, Fantagraphics) by Jason.

All-new, all-colour, and from the artist on our Comicbook Of The Month, ISLE OF 10,000 GRAVES.

“The title story is a prequel to the graphic novel THE LAST MUSKETEER, in which the ageless swashbuckler tells the tale of playing himself in a film of The Three Musketeers. Also included are ‘The Smiling Horse,’ ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf,’ the Bukowski pastiche ‘A Cat From Heaven,’ ‘Tom Waits on the Moon’ and ‘So Long Mary Ann,’ a prisonescape love-triangle story. Dry, mordant and all very Jason!”

Due: 30/11/11

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele-Blanc-Sec vol 2: The Mad Scientist / Mummies On Parade (£18-99, Fantagraphics) by Jacques Tardi.

Of volume one, Jonathan wrote… a lot! Here’s some of it:

The Adele Blanc-Sec material has some common themes running throughout with occultism, mysticism, mentalism and pseudo science-fiction of the Houdini-esque type prevalent in the pre-WWI era, frequently being the driving force behind the stories, but Tardi also takes the opportunity to take a few satirical swipes and occasionally make a serious point about themes such as corruption and nationalism. He also continues the great French theme in comics of portraying the police as a bunch of bumbling idiots which, let’s be honest, is always good amusement value when done well.

What is really great about this particular Fantagraphics release is we get Tardi in colour again for the first time, with a rather eclectic palette of colours (I’m not sure pterodactyls really were burgundy*) enriching some outstanding fine line penmanship. The ligne claire school of artistry, including the typically detailed backgrounds and slightly cartoonish aspect to the characters, is therefore considerably more evident here than on the more heavily penned black and white material released by Fantagraphics before now.

I’m not making a statement that one style is better than the other, far from it. What it does demonstrate though is that Tardi is obviously an extremely accomplished artist as well as writer. Still, one could spot his hand at a distance of a thousand yards, irrespective of the particular stylistic approach he has chosen to employ. The nice thing though for those of us who’ve come to appreciate his work, is that we know it to be the hallmark of quality.

* I was merely middle-aged at the time, but I can assure you that pterodactyls were indeed burgundy, as was my choice of vino – Ed. (Partial to a little of the blanc-sec myself.)

Due: 30/11/11

Nobrow 6: The Double (£15, Nobrow) by Tom Gauld, Kevin Huizenga, Luke Pearson, Jon McNaught, more.

120-page anthology whose production values will be, I promise, magnificent.

“The theme of this issue The Double explores the sinister concept of the Doppelgänger, one which has appeared in literature and mythology since our earliest written records. From Greek and Norse Mythology to Shelly, Dostoyevsky, Donne and Goethe the idea has held the human imagination, fascinating and terrorising us in equal measure. Now we turn it over to 60 illustrators and graphic storytellers to interpret it as they wish, each, taking on one ‘double’ page spread.”

Here’s the cover on their website: LINK

Sandcastle h/c (£14-99, SelfMade Hero) by Pierre Oscar Levy, Frederik Peeters.

“None of us can leave.”

Known in France as Château De Sable, and you may already be familiar with Peeters given how many copies of the poignant BLUE PILLS we’ve sold. The publisher writes:

“Early morning on a perfect summer’s day, people begin to descend on an idyllic, secluded beach. Amongst their number, a family, a young couple, a refugee and some American tourists. Its fine white sand is fringed with rock pools filled with crystal clear water. The beach is sheltered from prying eyes by green-fringed cliffs that soar around the cove. But this utopia keeps a dark secret.

A woman’s body is found floating in the waters, which brings these thirteen strangers together to try and unravel the riddle of the sands and escape the beach alive in this tense, fantastical mystery.”

Beautiful cover and a couple of interior pages: LINK

Krazy & Ignatz vol 1922-1924 Drim Of Love.

“With our 13th volume, the award-winning project of publishing every single Krazy Kat Sunday created by Herriman comes to a close. With its fantastically inventive language and haunting desert decor, Krazy Kat has been rated the best comic strip ever created. The book includes 10 rare full-colour strips, a ‘DeBaffling’ section explaining period references and in-jokes, a selection of recently-unearthed samples of Herriman’s very first published comic strip, and the entire full run of the never-before collected 1920s full-colour Us Husbands strip. And as with the previous 12 volumes, Chris Ware has provided the superb covers.”

Also this month. Krazy and Ignatz: First Sundays 1916-1924.

Due: 30/11/11

Siegfried vol 1 h/c (£18-99, Archaia) by Alex Alice

“A three-part story inspired by Wagner’s classic opera The Ring of the Nibelung! Siegfried, born of the love between a mortal man and a Valkyrie, is a young orphan being raised by Mime, one of the last of the dwarf-goblin Nibelungs, in a dark forest with only wolves for friends and family. While his foster parent only wants to live in peace and solitude, Siegfried yearns to discover who his real parents were and live amongst his own kind, not knowing that Odin, father of the Norse gods, has a destiny planned for him: to fight the dragon Fafnir, guardian of the Rheingold!”

If only Dark Horse would reprint P. Craig Russell’s version. In the meantime Alex’s website is well worth a look: http://alexalice.com/

Due: 30/11/11

A.D.D. h/c (£18-99, Vertigo/DC) by Douglas Rushkoff & Goran Sudzuka, Jose Marzan Jr.

“The Adolescent Demo Division are the world’s luckiest teen gamers. Raised from birth to test media, appear on reality TV and enjoy the fruits of corporate culture, the squad develop special abilities that make them the envy of the world – and a grave concern to their keepers. One by one, they ‘graduate’ to new levels that are not what they seem. But their heightened abilities can only take them so far as the ultimate search for their birth families leads to an inconceivably harrowing discovery. Written by Douglas Rushkoff, world-renowned media theorist, Frontline TV correspondent and author (Ecstasy Club, Media Virus and Program or Be Programmed, TESTAMENT).”

Due: 25/01/12

Monster Truck (£10-99, Image) by Shaky Kane.

From the artist on BULLETPROOF COFFIN.

“Taking its stylistic cues from the silver age of comics, this graphic road movie by comics legend SHAKY KANE, pans out over 50 continuous panels, taking the reader on a hallucinogenic journey into the very hinterland of popular culture. Deluxe, recolored, remastered second printing of the Wishbone Studio cult classic. ‘The world in a blender, all the tastiest parts shaken, rattled, and rolled into a Technicolor mind-warp!’ Matt Seneca, Death To The Universe.” Interior art etc. here: LINK.

Due: 23/11/11

Rocketeer Adventures vol 1 h/c (£18-99, IDW) by various.

Not to be confused with Dave Stevens’ original ROCKETEER material currently in stock, this is the recent tribute anthology with a stellar line-up of creators. Of the first issue, I wrote:

“Cliff Secord, where have you been?!”

Dave Stevens would be very proud.

Three short stories, each faithful in their own individual ways to different aspects of Dave Stevens’ rocket-fuelled retro with the luscious Betty centre-stage in each. John Cassady’s lifts off right in the middle of a military heist/blackmail/kidnapping which feels very early-Superman complete with our Lois Lane substitute giving the Rocketeer a right roasting for being late/impulsive/accommodating. On top of that, being Cassady, it is as lush and shiny as hell. Allred’s is a breathless and far more romantic affair which takes full advantage of the Art Deco, star-themed crown of the Chrysler Building for its sense of wonder and air-born liberation. Busiek and Kaluta, however, as you might expect, go for heart as Betty, very much the successful stage star in her own right, eschews the superficial rewards fame lays on for her each and every night to immerse herself in letters sent from the frontline of WWII by her beloved Cliff Secord flying alongside an air force squadron who of course have Betty Page painted on most of their planes’ fuselages. He makes light of the danger but she sees right through him, and suddenly – for days, weeks then months – the post stops arriving and Betty starts to fear for the worst…

One of my favourite Alex Ross pieces in ages graces the front cover. The colours are rich, the perspective a perfect piece of foreshortening; and the different leather textures and metallic sheens all suggest a sunshine up above which fills the space before brightening up the green fields below.

Due: 02/11/11

Elektra Assassin h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Frank Miller & Bill Sienkiewicz.

Oh-ho! A visual game-changer, was this, and not just for Marvel Comics. It inspired David Mack’s entire KABUKI career! Here’s Mark – yes, our Mark – on a Marvel Comic!

“Deadly but beautiful ninja action from 1987. Bill’s art begins to approach the wild invention of STRAY TOASTERS with lashings to photocopies, splayed paint, collage, stickers and time-saving short cuts. The first chapter alone seems to have given David Mack his current tortoise-like career. Frank’s splintered storyline uses multiple voices to give a sense of confusion in both the narrative and their own minds.

“We begin with Elektra escaping from the asylum, controlling her memories and trying to keep the ninja training at the forefront. Throughout the book, this discipline is responsible for many great plot twists – mind-swapping, lightning-quick reflexes, mind-control, everyday objects used as weapons. There is a great beast looking to bring the destruction of the world by controlling the mind of the next president of the United States and Elektra must stop him. Although this was published by Epic, it references Miller’s earlier DAREDEVIL storyline but the only Marvel bleed-through we get to see is a big-gun-obsessed Nick Fury along with several disposable S.H.I.E.L.D operatives.”

Due: Ist February 2012!

Ultimate Comics Death Of Spider-Man: Fallout h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Bendis, Hickman, Spencer & Bagley, Pichelli, Larroca, Tan, Crain.

Please note: this is a reprint of ULTIMATE COMICS: FALLOUT, not the actual death of the Ultimate version of Spider-Man. It’s the mini-series which followed that, and which leads into the three current Ultimate series. As such it is both epilogue and prologue and the Bendis/Bagley/Pichelli sequences with Aunt May lost at a state funeral are gutting. I could have read an entire six issues of that and wish that I had.

Due: 23/11/11

Batman: The Dark Knight vol 1 – Golden Dawn h/c (£18-99, DC) by David Finch, Grant Morrison & David Finch.

Grant Morrison alert! For those following his run on Batman, this contains the vital one-shot he wrote before BATMAN INC which set up the whole Leviathan epic. Of BATMAN: THE RETURN, then, I wrote:

David Finch, as you’d expect from the artist on NEW AVENGERS: BREAK OUT, does it full justice making it the finest-looking Batbook ever. And let’s face it, there’s some pretty impressive competition out there, especially since Bolland went and recoloured KILLING JOKE. Bruce Wayne is back in residence and has gathered his cohorts together. This the beginning of something new, fighting ideas with better ones and constructing a more coherent campaign against crime on a number of carefully coordinated fronts technologically, geographically, corporately. Just as well because Leviathan is rising from the deep and I don’t think it bodes well for Damian if the Yemen incursion is anything to go by.

Also contains Finch’s own BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1 to 5 sparked off by the murder of one of Bruce Wayne’s childhood friends, and featuring Etrigan the Demon.

Due: 04/01/12

Boys vol 9: The Big Ride (£18-99, D.E.) by Garth Ennis & Russ Braun, John McCrea.

Big ten-issue chunk from #50-59. Of volume one I wrote:

“Unadulterated carnage.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up, cheers.

Writer and comedian Simon Pegg provides the introduction in which he offers the experience that, as an actor, you rarely switch on the TV to find yourself starring in a series you hadn’t performed for. I mention this because he – or a character with his exact likeness – is the star of this particular show in which his love-life is literally torn apart by a couple of squabbling super-freaks. Great timing, that panel. This makes him easy pickings for Billy Butcher, a man with a mission to bring down the high-and-mighty but secretly down-and-dirty super-thugs and super-sluts who enjoy the adulation of millions and the support of the authorities (although decidedly less so in Glasgow), yet whose team leaders like The Homelander emotionally and sexually abuse their fresher cohorts.

Together with The Frenchman, Mother’s Milk and The Female, Billy and Wee Hughie (the naive Pegg-alike), Billy Butcher embarks on his first new mission to covertly film a teen team in the all-together doing the unmentionable. They’re not going to expose them, though, they’re going to blackmail them into self-destructing in public: it’s about making these conceited celebrities with their polished media profiles squirm and turn on each other.

Little is left to the imagination as Garth and Ennis trawl through an A to Z of what Wertham worried about and Marvel and DC have never allowed to be shown in superhero comics. So it’s little surprise that DC dropped the title; the only astonishing thing is that it took them so long! It’s crude, it’s lewd, but the lascivious relish is infectious, and I can’t wait to see what happens when The Boys start climbing the ladder to take on the equivalent of the Justice League of America. They won’t go down so easily – except on each other.

Due: 23/11/11

Other Books Scheduled:

Yes, you can read the entire contents of Marvel or DC books scheduled here, and do so separately with covers etc. or simply skip to Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Viz etc. instead:

Art & Prose For November 2011

Art & Prose, see here:

Comics For November 2011

Heaven All Day (£2-99, Adhouse) by John Martz.

Oh, the most beautiful of blues! This could be an absolute gem!

“The lives of a lonely factory worker and an abandoned robot become intertwined as the man struggles to complete his life’s work – a mysterious contraption that he must keep secret from the outside world.”

Several page preview online, alternating between the two stories like an electric current. Tantalising! Infuriating! What happens next?!?! LINK

Preorder:

Thought Bubble Anthology #1 (£2-25, Image) by Andy Diggle, Antony Johnston, Stuart Gordon & Duncan Fegredo, D’Israeli, Charlie Adlard.

Will you be at Thought Bubble? I will!

I’m “In Conversation with Bryan Talbot” or something. On stage! I can’t recall which brief drunken evening that sounded like such a good idea. Details of the enormous Leeds convention can be found elsewhere on the following site after you’ve taken a look at their preview to this very anthology: LINK

Due: 09/11/11

The Rinse #3 (£2-99, Boom!) by Gary Phillips & Marc Laming.

Page 45 appears in this actual issue!

“There’s nothing like the air in the countryside.

“The smell of money is much sharper out there.”

Jeff Sinclair is a man who plans and keeps the map of any money trail hidden in his head. His job is to disperse vast sums of cash so that they can never be found, and certainly not traced. He is discreet, cautious, meticulous and methodical. Unfortunately for Jeff, not everyone he encounters is half so sage and in the space of one short day in sunny San Francisco three key encounters look likely to sully his otherwise clean bill of wealth. It’s about to get brutal.

Welcome back, Marc Laming! It’s been 15-odd years since he joined fourteen other artists here to sign at our second Independents Day, and if I knew he’d be returning in such fine form I’d have missed him even more. So many artists skimp on the details, leaving their figures stranded weightless and lifeless in limbo; but here every car, every bar, every single street awning is rich in texture and light, while each individual negotiating this living, breathing city must do so in step to its beat. I also happen to know that in the third issue Page 45 will find itself with a brand new branch in The Bay. Yes, apparently we’ve just opened in San Francisco!

There’s also a renewed softness to Marc’s forms, a love of deft smiles, and the way Jeff subtly adjusts his glasses or keeps close watch from beneath their upper frames makes all the difference in the world. As for his women, I offer you evidence on August 30th of precisely why you need this series: Marc’s own blogspot: LINK

Due: 30/11/11

Our Love Is Real one-shot (£2-99, Image) by Sam Humphries & Steven Sanders.

I can’t remember which unlikely creator first alerted me to this months and months ago. Finally available through Diamond Distributors rather than direct from Mr. Humphries himself, this has been such a hit that we started receiving pre-orders over a month ago!

“Plantsexuals riot in the streets for equal rights. Humans fall in love with dogs. And crystals are more than just jewellery. A chance encounter on the job changes a riot cop’s life forever as he finds himself caught in a bizarre love triangle that blurs romance, crime, and lust beyond recognition. OUR LOVE IS REAL is a bold new sci-fi one-shot written by Sam Humphries and illustrated by STEVEN SANDERS (FIVE FISTS OF SCIENCE).”

Praise and Preview here: LINK

Due: 02/11/11

Stitched #1 (£2-99, Avatar) by Garth Ennis & Mike Wolfer.

Garth Ennis has written and directed a film! A film we can’t have right now due to the whole British ratings thang! But we can have the comic!

“From the mind of Garth Ennis comes the modern chapter of an ancient horror. Ripped straight from the debut of his first-ever writing/directing effort comes the ongoing comic book continuation of the acclaimed short film, Stitched! The three survivors of an American military helicopter crash discover that there is something even more deadly than the Taliban controlled countryside they find themselves trapped in. Garth Ennis weaves a tale that combines today’s headlines with his trademark vision of the supernatural into a modern horror masterpiece.”

Due: 23/11/11

Guns And Dinos #1 of 3 (£2-25, Image) by Frank Cho.

Oh, Cho’s going to have a riot with this! Here’s an illustrated interview on the series: LINK

“With a catastrophic fossil fuel shortage looming, several scientific and military groups are hard at work trying to find alternative fuel sources and modes of transportation to keep the United States military machine running. A small group of quantum scientists and engineers have made a breakthrough in transportation: space folding. Things go awry on its maiden voyage, though, and instead of teleporting the soldiers across the lab, it sends the entire military base back in time – with disastrous results!”

Due: 16/11/11

Mudman #1 (£2-75, Image) by Paul Grist.

From the creator of KANE and JACK STAFF. I tweeted about this a week ago saying how cute the cover was. Grist replied that he was going for “gritty”. That’s Paul Grist all over, bless.

“It’s the first day back at school for Owen Craig, and it’s not going too well. He’s been run over, got detention, and his police officer father has been taken prisoner by armed bank robbers. And now his body seems to be turning into mud…”

Here’s an interview illustrated with interior art: LINK

Due: 16/11/11

Victor Von Doom #1 (£2-25, Marvel) by Nick Spencer & Becky Clooan.

Yes, it’s Becky Cloonan! At Marvel!

“The teenaged Victor Von Doom defends his life…in Hell. The undergrad who’ll grow to become Dr. Doom is an abrasive young genius surrounded by collegiate buffoons, wastrels, and dilettantes – like that insufferable Richards. But Doom knows he’s destined for greater things, and from his dorm he journeys fearlessly to Hell to save the spirit of his mom…and his struggle to get there, the trials he faces, and his subsequent failure will make him the man he’s to become. Nick Spencer and Becky Cloonan pull back the cloak to reveal the youthful, angsty, exuberant side of Victor Von Doom!”

Point One (£4-25, Marvel) by Bendis, Brubaker, Fraction, Lapham, Van Lente, Loeb, Van Lente & Hitch, Dodson, McGuinness, De La Torre, Stegman, Pulido.

And more, apparently. Could you possibly squeeze any more cooks into that kitchen?

“Seven all-new stories that set the stage for everything coming your way in 2012.”

Everything?! Fantastic: Marvel are finally culling their comics to more manageable seven comics per month – you heard it first here.

“YOU CANNOT MISS THIS.”

There, that’s told you.

“Catch a tease of THE BIGGEST CHANGE TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE IN OVER 35 YEARS!”

Or, you know, since the last time you claimed that five weeks ago. Heigh ho, up to you.

Due 6/11/11

Fear Itself #7.1: Captain America, Fear Itself #7.2: Thor, Fear Itself #7.3: Iron Man (£2-99 each, Marvel) by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction & Butch Guice, Adam Kubert, Salvador Larroca.

Since each of these is written and drawn by their regular series’ creators, you’ll get ‘em automatically if you’re down for those titles. You won’t receive them if you’re down for FEAR ITSELF so please order separately. In the aftermath of FEAR ITSELF (the current big Marvel event), Steve Rogers is mourning **** ******, Odin’s pretty pissed, and so is Tony Stark – on Asgardian mead. Which is unfortunate given that the man is a raging alcoholic. Pivotal issues, I’d have thought. Also, pivotal “issues”.

I hadn’t really enjoyed FEAR ITSELF until this week’s issue #6 which was a belter and made everything preceeding it all the more poignant. Preorder:

Six Guns #1 & #2 (£2-25, Marvel) by Andy Diggle & Davide Gianfelice.

It’s Diggle & Gianfelice.

“’Don’t set them up if you can’t take them down!’ Times may have changed since the days of the Old West, but in the war-torn South American state of San Diablo, the law of the gun still holds sway. When former hero-for-hire Maria Vasquez, alias Tarantula, finds herself wanted for murder south of the border, Texas Rangers Division lawman ‘Tex’ Dawson is assigned to bring her in. But they’re on a collision course with the outlaw Black Riders biker gang, who plan to make sure she never makes it to trial alive… Classic Marvel gunslingers Tarantula, Tex Dawson, Black Rider, Matt Slade and the Two-Gun Kid are given a modern-day makeover in this hard-bitten tale of blood and bullets by the Daredevil: Reborn team of Andy Diggle and Davide Gianfelice. Five heroes, six guns…against six hundred!”

Preorder:

Other Comics Scheduled:

Don’t want your hands held? Then see what I have to wade through every month. Just press Dark Horse, DC, Marvel or whatever:

There is no section for “whatever”. Oh wait, there is: IDW!

- Stephen

August Previews for October 2011

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

A reminder of your two options:

My highlights below, often with external links to previews or interviews followed by, wherever possible, a link to the cover where you can pre-order the books online.

Alternatively you can read the whole of Diamond’s own PREVIEWS with no quality control/commentary from me, split by Jonathan and Dominique into digestible chunks:

Books For October 2011 onwards

Milk & Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad h/c (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Evan Dorkin.

Massive upgrade for barely more money, so much of this material has never been collected before and the extras are unbelievable!

Love them with money or they’ll hate you with hammers. These dairy products gone bad are educating America – one moron at a time! This isn’t a review, it’s a misappropriation of Dorkin’s own comedy. If you love Jamie Smart (BEAR, UBU BUBU) then you need this book: scathing satire, mass destruction, and if you’re an old-skool comic shop selling nothing more than superheroes to the painfully maladjusted, then you are in for a kicking. Dozens of short strips which are effortlessly insane with comedy. We’re talking ART D’ECCO on amphetamines, SUGAR BUZZ on a sugar buzz.

We used to have the gorgeous vinyl figure set in stock which included implements of devastation. On the back was the first new Milk & Cheese strips in yoinks although you could probably guess what happened (see “implements of devastation”).

On top of the previously collected strips, these are the upgrades:

80 pages of comics that have not been collected before.
A 24-page coloir section featuring all the color M&C strips, a cover gallery, pin-ups, merchandise art, trading cards, etc.
A 24-pg B&W supplemental section featuring pin-ups, t-shirt designs, and other art, etc.
The rare 1997 M&C Special Edition 16-pg mini-comic featuring the expanded “Darth Vader Overdrive” strip and extras.

The only M&C-related comic that will not be in the collection is the M&C/Pirate Corp$! strip from Munden’s Bar Annual #2.

You should also follow the man on Twitter. One of my favourites: “Oh, comic book industry. You’ve gained so much experience, when will you level up?”

A most excellent Christmas present.

Due: 21/12/11

Everything: Comics From 1978-1981 h/c (£18-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Lynda Barry.

A treasure trove of archive material from the creator of PICTURE THIS and Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month WHAT IT IS.

“Lynda Barry has been part of the North American alternative comics scene for over thirty years. EVERYTHING collects all of the seminal Ernie Pook’s Comeek and includes her earliest comic strips (‘Two Sisters’), her very first book, GIRLS AND BOYS, and features an introduction penned by Barry, complete with photographs.”

Due: October

Nordguard: Across Thin Ice (£14-99, Sofawolf) by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet.

Very surprised by the quality of art in this snowbound, anthropomorphic adventure. I don’t think fans of GRANDVILLE or BLACKSAD will be at all disappointed. I haven’t read it yet, mind, but I honestly thought the lush painting on the cover was some way of disguising a lacklustre interior. Couldn’t be more wrong. You can read more about the details and view interior art at the top right here: LINK

Pre-orders are invaluable, either in the regular fashion by phone, email, tweet or in person, or in our website here:

Due:05/10/11

Troop 142 (£14-99, Secret Acres) by Mike Dawson.

From the creator of FREDDIE & ME, I remember hearing acclaim for this over half a year ago, possibly from The Comics Journal. It’s a pretty brutal encounter between boy scouts that makes any conflict in Hope Larson’s beautiful CHIGGERS look positively restrained. Or…

“Join the Boy Scouts for a week of outdoor camping, merit badge courses, group showers, and merciless hazing at Pinewood Forest Camp, New Jersey, in the summer of 1995. Troop 142, the Ignatz Award winning story from Mike Dawson, author of Freddie & Me, reveals the hilarious and brutal truths about boys and men, the hypocrisy of institutional morality and the resilience of the human spirit. Be prepared.”

There’s a dedicated website for this and the key to using it is to click on any given day of the week and then ‘NEXT’ to the right, not the next day of the week until you’re finished with the whole sequence of interior art: LINK

Due: 26/10/11

Captain Swing And The Electrical Pirates Of Cindery Island (£13-50 s/c £20-99 h/c, Avatar) by Warren Ellis & Raulo Caceres.

In which Warren reminds us that few relinquish power voluntarily. Take our esteemed Magistrates of the early 19th Century and their Bow Street Runners, former mercenaries whom aggrieved parties would dispatch to track down thieves and recover stolen valuables (optimum C.V.s for the job should include “casual murder” ”artful extortion” and “general experience in nicking stuff myself”). They weren’t exactly happy when Sir Robert Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police. However shambolic and ill-equipped the Peelers were (no walkie-talkies, just a football rattle!), they still posed a threat in that they were not answerable to the Magistrates.

All of which we learn in short breaks between the action which sees 1830′s dark London nights crackling with electrical energy in the form of a flying rowboat, the boots of a roof-hopping Spring-Healed Jack and the bullets he fires, tipped like lightbulbs. The police want to catch him and one Bow Street Runner in particular wants him dead. The future, after all, can be frightening…

“The future is whatever in this world I have decided not to kill.”

A secret history from the creative team on CRECY.

Have a preview: you’ll like! LINK

s/c h/c

Due: October

Wasteland vol 6: The Enemy Within (£10-99, Oni Press) by Antony Johnston & Christopher Mitten, Remington Veteto.

Highly recommended, each volume is permanently in stock.

“Mysteries within mysteries and an original mythology to become immersed in,” wrote Warren Ellis before this meaty, post-apocalyptic fiction first hit the stands, and now that I’ve read further than the first issue which merely hinted at the heart and depth of what’s been created here, I can see exactly what he means.

There’s a constant dread of danger in this catastrophically damaged world. The various factions and indeed a whole semi-industrialised, mountainous city teeter precariously on the verge of violence, under threat as they are from ruthless political power-play, religious intolerance, and the very terrain which is barren and broken. Whether it’s the environmental armageddon we currently face, the lorry loads of immigrants smuggled then sold into slavery, the destructive politics of tyrants like Mugabe or wilfully ignorant racism that doesn’t even bother to lurk beneath the surface of our societies, Johnston has found novel ways of building them into his depraved new world, giving it far more bite than most.

Read more or my review of book one here: LINK

Of volume 6:

“After the Sand-Eater attack, the city of Newbegin is in turmoil as the Sunner rebellion gathers strength and Marcus seems to lose interest in the council. Follow the next six months through the eyes of Jakob, Skot, Yan, Dexus, and Golden Voice, with a chapter dedicated to each point of view.”

Due: 16/11/10

Hark! A Vagrant h/c (£12-99, Jonathan Cape) by Kate Beaton.

Witty jabs and stabs at history, literature and contemporary life in digestible, bite-size pieces which ring true each time and seldom fail to make me laugh. Her cartoons have appeared in both the New York Times and LA Times. “She’s making jokes about everything we learned in school, and more.” Fire up some random examples at its dedicated website here: LINK

Please note that if you order here it will definitely be the less expensive £12-99 Jonathan Cape version you receive:

Due: 03/11/11

Glitz-2-Go s/c (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Diane Noomin.

Forty years of comics I’ve never seen before! It doesn’t sound as if it’s aged one jot!

“If Didi had a dollar for every Mai-Tai she’s imbibed she’d be living in the Fountainbleau Hotel in fabulous Miami Beach which is where she truly belongs rather than the existential suburban nightmare America she is now miserably dwelling in with only her rebellious teenage daughter, Crystal, and her contact paper to keep her company. She is reduced to Rum and Diet Coke cocktails with an occasional maraschino cherry for cheap thrills. So she constantly dreams up far-fetched schemes to fulfill her desperately tawdry cravings for glamour and glitz.

“DiDi is a suburban Sysiphus striving futilly to redecorate her life. She thrives on highly charged emotional scenes, valium and pepperoni pizza. She scrupulously examines and catalogs her physical flaws and any sign of incipient aging sends her into a panic. Wrinkles, dewlaps, crowsfeet, cellulite, flab and grey hairs are all featured in her self-flagellating litany of disgust.

Her best friend is Loretta, a full-figured, bee-hived, beak- nosed, over-sexed brunette bombshell. Loretta favors skin tight toreador pants and lots of cleavage. DiDi’s widowed mother, Irma, lives in Miami Beach. Irma favors Mai-Tais, muu-muus and beach boys. Not necessarily in that order.”

Due: 26/10/11

Underwire (£7-50, Top Shelf) by Jennifer Hayden.

“Sometimes you just gotta pick yourself up by your brastraps. UNDERWIRE collects the wise and witty autobiographical comics of an captivating new voice: Jennifer Hayden, cartoonist and politically incorrect mother of two. She may not have all the answers, but she’s not gonna let that stop her from enjoying the prime of her life — her forties!”

Gabrielle Bell is a big fan. Preview: LINK

Pre-order:

Due: 26/10/11

The Someday Funnies h/c (£35-00, Abrams) by various.

Legendary.

“The Someday Funnies is the long-awaited collection of comic strips created in the early 1970s by world-famous artists and writers such as C. C. Beck, René Goscinny, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Art Spiegelman, and Gahan Wilson. What started out as a special insert for Rolling Stone took on a life of its own as writer/editor Michel Choquette traveled the world, commissioning this visual chronicle of the 1960s, only to find himself without a publishing partner or the financial support to continue. Forty years later, readers finally get to experience this legendary anthology as Choquette celebrates the birth, death, and resurrection of The Someday Funnies – 129 previously unpublished strips by 169 writers and artists.”

Due: October

Best American Comics 2011 h/c (£18-99, Houghton Mifflin) edited by Alison Bechdel, Jessica Abel & Matt Madden.

More comporarily, an annual anthology that never lets us down. Fresh and eclectic, it may be all reprints but some of the original sources are so obscure that you may not have seen the work here of even the highest-profile creators. It’s also a superb primer for those wishing to expand their horizons in search of comicbook excellence. Last year the curator was Neil Gaiman, this year it’s the creator of one of Page 45’s customers’ all-time favourite books, FUN HOME.

Due: 05/10/11

Salvatore vol 2 (£10-99, NBM) by Nicholas De Crecy.

I think perhaps this may well be Nicolas De Crécy’s finest work to date, once again featuring a whole host of anthropomorphic oddballs, including our central characters… the myopic, heavily pregnant sow Amandine and the reclusive kleptomaniacal canine mechanic Salvatore. Amandine’s short-sightedness provides us with frequent slapstick humour in addition to unexpected plot developments, whilst Salvatore’s pining for his distant love in South America provides us with the heart of our story…

… wrote Jonathan of volume One and you can read more of his review there.

Preview interior pages of vol 2 here: LINK

Order here:

Due: 26/10/11

Billy Fog: The Gift Of Trouble-Sight h/c (£18-99, Archaia) by Guillaume Bianco.

Or Billy Brouillard, as he is known as in France. Infinitely better. See July 10th downwards here: LINK

“Like some other kids his age, Billy Fog has to wear glasses. But when he takes his glasses off, he sees all the things that other kids can’t: ghosts and ghouls, vampires and monsters, a world of darkness and danger and above all the thing that kids aren’t supposed to see: death. A new kind of graphic novel: part storybook, part fable, part gazetteer and bestiary of the horrible and fantastic, inspired by the likes of Tim Burton and Lemony Snicket.”

Due: October

The Annotated Sandman vol 1 h/c (£37-99, Vertigo/DC) by Leslie S. Kilnger.

“In-depth, informative and entertaining, THE ANNOTATED SANDMAN is a fascinating look at the New York Times best-selling series by Neil Gaiman. Edited by and with an introduction and notes by Leslie S. Klinger, the expert researcher and editor behind the Edgar®-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and the critically acclaimed New Annotated Dracula, THE ANNOTATED SANDMAN is a panel-by-panel journey through every issue of THE SANDMAN. Beginning with issues #1-#20, this volume provides commentary, historical and contemporary references, hidden meanings and more, presented side-by-side with the series’ art and text. Using scripts and hours of conversation with Gaiman, Klinger reveals fascinating details of THE SANDMAN’s hundreds of unforgettable characters and its place in literary history. The first of an incredible four volume series, the ANNOTATED SANDMAN Vol. 1 is a must-have for every Sandman fan!”

In the sample page provided we learn the precise nature of a bezoar, its roll in the creation of “caveat emptor”, and the reality of the “Rapunzel syndrome”.

In the spirit of “caveat emptor”, however, this is in black and white!

Due: 28/12/11

Scalped vol 8: You Gotta Sin To Get Saved (£13-50, Vertigo) by Jason Aaron & Latour, Furno, Guera.

A series so exceptional I’ve reviewed every volume. Try SCALPED VOL 3.

“Red Crow takes on a new challenger for tribal leadership, Dash pursues his mother’s murderer, and Officer Falls Down faces a most unusual captivity.”

SLH

Vertigo Resurrected: The Eaters (£5-99, Vertigo/DC) by Peter Milligan & Dean Ormston, Eduardo Risso, Duncan Fegredo.

“Reprinting the 1995 epic of the Quills, an average suburban family who just happens to consume human flesh. Plus: Tales from HEARTTHROBS #3, WEIRD WAR TALES #4, STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 and WEIRD WESTERN TALES #4.”

Personally I only consume organic human flesh. Most of my friends may be free-range but they’ve been treated with so many chemicals that they’re perfectly safe. From me, not to eat.

Due: 05/10/11

DC Comics Presents: Superman – Secret Identity (£5-99, DC) by Kurt Busiek & Stuart Immonen.

Originally released @ £14-99, this is an absolute steal and I beg you to pre-order because these versions don’t stay in print.

Until Grant Morrison and Frank Quitley produced the note-perfect All-Star Superman four years later, I wrote that if you were ever going to buy any Superman book, this should be it. Even though (or perhaps because) it’s not about Superman at all.

It’s about a boy called Clark Kent who grows up in Kansas and whose parents really weren’t thinking when they christened him. All his life he’s had to endure jibes about his name and birthday/christmas presents focussing almost exclusively on the Superman theme just because he shares the comicbook character’s name. It’s not as if he has superstrength; he can’t hear whispers several miles away; he can’t even fly. Or at least he couldn’t. Then one night, much to Clark’s teenage surprise, he finds that he can.

So what you have here is a clean slate with someone whose powers echo Superman’s, but who then has to navigate his way through a real-world context of education, careers and relationships, and a real-world context of the CIA and American military who you just know would do anything to lay their hands on someone they would consider either an asset or a direct threat to their national and geopolitical interests. Either/or. “There ain’t no neutral ground”. They cannot just leave him alone, they’re constantly trying to track and trick him, but Clark doesn’t want to end up their pawn and cannot afford to endanger his family, and you really do spend most of the series anxious about the consequences.

There are some writers who really don’t fare well in standard superhero comics but who shine on their own pet projects, and Kurt is one of them. This harbours all the affection and thought that he pours into Astro City, and I think much of that has to do with the fact that if there’s no continuity, no context other than that of his own choosing, and he’s particularly interested in the perspective of ordinary human beings when confronted with the extraordinary, which is where this succeeds.

What do you tell your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife? And at what stage of the relationship? What, if anything, do you ever tell your family? How would any of these people react? And what would you do with your gifts? What would it actually be like, to suddenly discover you could fly?

I think Immonen gives you a pretty fine description, visually, with some awesome midnight scenes above the Kansas countryside, and this is leagues above anything I’ve seen him submit before. He’s on colouring duty as well, and uses that to soften the forms, retaining as much pencil as possible.

Due: 19/10/11

Flashpoint h/c (£116-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Andy Kubert.

What has happened to Barry Allen and the world that suddenly surrounds him?

How is it that his mother’s alive, that Iris Allen is now Iris West, and that Atlantis and Amazonia are vying for control over the entire globe having already sunk Western Europe in the case of Emperor Aquaman or seized Great Britain as its own? 100 million people were killed during the former catastrophe after 32 million suffered under the hands of Wonder Woman et al. How is it that Superman and the Justice League failed to intervene? Why has no one heard of the Flash? Above all, given the Batman who turns his back on the ragtag ensemble gathered together by Cyborg to draw the line under these atrocities, what happened to Bruce Wayne?

Not bad at all, and it may have meant more to me had I known anything of the Flash’s history. I don’t. There’s never anything to complain about when it comes to Andy Kubert’s art, either.

Due: 19/10/11

DC Comics: The New 52 h/c (£110-00, DC) by various.

Well, you get to save ten quid.

All 52 of September’s new DC #1 titles originally marketed as a radical relaunch full of new suits and ties, secret origins and such, but which has left creators already established on titles begging their existing audience to understand that in so many instances nothing whatsoever has changed except the numbering. “Come back!”

As to this particular package: why?

Due: 07/12/11

Jack Kirby’s Fouth World Omnibus vol 1 (£29-99, DC) by Jack Kirby.

Intrigued enough by Grant Morrison’s SUPERGODS to want investigate the material Grant fell in love with here? Didn’t know where to start? Reprints SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #133-139, FOREVER PEOPLE #1-3, NEW GODS #1-3 and MISTER MIRACLE #1-3! Featuring the debuts of Orion, Darkseid, Mister Miracle and more!

Due: 30/11/11

Nursery Rhyme comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes h/c (£13-99, First Second) by various.

Craig Thompson transform’s Edward Lear’s The Owl And The Pussycat and if you think he has given it anything but his all, take a look here: LINK

Joining him are: Nick Abadzis; Andrew Arnold; Kate Beaton; Vera Brosgol; Nick Bruel; Scott Campbell; Lilli Carre; Roz Chast; JP Coovert; Jordan Crane; Rebecca Dart; Eleanor Davis; Vanessa Davis; Theo Ellsworth; Matt Forsythe; Jules Feiffer; Bob Flynn; Alexis Frederick-Frost; Ben Hatke; Gilbert Hernandez; Jaime Hernandez; Lucy Knisley; David Macaulay; Mark Martin; Patrick McDonnell; Mike Mignola; Tony Millionaire; Tao Nyeu; George O’Connor; Mo Oh; Eric Orchard; Laura Park; Cyril Pedrosa; Lark Pien; Aaron Renier; Dave Roman; Marc Rosenthal; Stan Sakai; Richard Sala; Mark Siegel; James Sturm; Raina Telgemeier; Richard Thompson; Sara Varon; Jen Wang; Drew Weing; Gahan Wilson; Gene Luen Yang; Stephanie Yue.

Scroll down here for other interior examples:

Due: 12/10/11

Other Books Scheduled:

Yes, you can read the entire contents of Marvel or DC books scheduled here, and do so separately with covers etc. or simply skip to Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Viz etc. instead:

Art & Prose For October 2011

1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die (£20-00, Cassell Illustrated) by Paul Gravett.

From the author of the indispensible GRAPHIC NOVELS: STORIES TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE, you can tell the man wrote his own blurb!

“Over the centuries, comic books and their offshoots, such as graphic novels, and bandes dessinees have evolved into a phenomenally popular, influential, and unique art form with which we can express our opinions, our fantasies, our nightmares, and our dreams. In short: comics are emphatically no longer just for kids. This diverse, constantly evolving medium is truly coming into its own in the 21st century, from Hollywood’s blockbuster adaptations of super-powered caped crusaders to the global spread of Japan’s manga and its spinoffs, and from award-winning graphic novels such as Maus and Persepolis to new forms such as online webcomix. But comics also have a long and rich history, dating back at least to the Swiss teacher Rodolphe Topffer in the early 19th century, and far earlier in China. 1001 Comic Books You Must Read Before You Die is the perfect introduction to this dynamic and globally popular medium. There have been other guides to the best comic books, but none has embraced every genre and scoured the globe to glean the very greatest works of sequential art, graphic literature, bandes dessinees, tebeos, fumetti, manga, manhwa, komiks, strips, historietas, quadrinhos, beeldverhalen, and plain old comics. This authoritative guide is organized according to the year of first publication in the country of origin. An opening section acknowledges pioneering pre-1900 masterpieces, followed by sections divided by decade, creating a fascinating year-by-year chronicle of the comics medium worldwide.”

Order direct from us by phone, email, twitter or in person and we’ll make sure you receive the UK version @ £20-00 rather than the US version in Diamond’s Previews @ £27-99.

Interview: LINK

Due: October.

Metamaus: A Look Inside A Modern Classic, Maus h/c (£25-00, someone in England) by Art Spiegelman.

“The cartoonist re-enters the book that consumed him for over a decade to talk about his survivor parents, the oxymoron of picturing life in a death camp, his guilt-ridden success, racist imagery, and his beloved medium. Witty, intimate, and revelatory, MetaMaus tells the story of how and why a work of art is made, as it grapples with the questions that Maus has most often evoked: Why the Holocaust? Why mice? Why comics? In this book and its accompanying DVD, Art Spiegelman provides an onscreen reference copy of The Complete Maus linked to a large archive of audio interviews with his father, memories of his mother by those who knew her during the war, essays about cartooning, scholarly essays about Maus, thousands of preparatory sketches and drafts, scans of his private Maus notebooks, and much more.”

My interpretation of that is that the 300 pages here, whilst almost identical to that of MAUS itself, is dedicated to prose while the graphic novel itself is available to view onscreen as part of the DVD hyperlinked to tonnes of additional material. I could be wrong.

Due: 12/10/11

Stan Lee’s How To Write For Comics s/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Stan Lee.

“Okay, so hey! First you create some guys, and they can be, like, friends or enemies and maybe one wears glasses and gets picked upon. Maybe he has his eye on a girl. Maybe she has her eyes on him but doesn’t want to give herself away! Women, eh?

“Now, if you want a super-team they should be mainly guys. Girls can’t fight. They can be captured, sure, and they can be used as bait so you should definitely have one on the team. Who else is going to flutter their eyes outside their relationship? Thor certainly wouldn’t! Captain America certainly wouldn’t! Iron Man certai – watch how you go with moustaches. Oh, heh, yes I have a moustache. Silly me. Moustaches are wonderful.

“Now, the villains! The villains must all be men! Girls are just too pretty to be bad. They can be late. They usually are late, aren’t they? Powdering their noses and whatnot. No, I tried to create a supervillainess once. I called her Medoossa and she had very long hair. That was her superpower: prehensile hair. It meant that she could do all sorts of things like hold a dozen mirrors up at once and apply her foundation and dry her hair, and put on some lipstick and comb her hair – all the same time! But she just wasn’t popular enough as a villain so I made her a good gal after all – and I gave her a husband so we really wouldn’t have to see much of her at all, heh heh heh.”

Due: Pre-Feminism.

Comics For October 2011

Jason Conquers America (£3-50, Fantagraphics) by Jason et al.

From the artist on Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month, ISLE OF 100,000 GRAVES and the creator of ALMOST SILENT etc, a round-up of previously unpublished strips, artwork, an FAQ interview and tribute pages from other artists. Doesn’t appear on our system so you’ll need to order it the old-fashioned way by phone, email, tweet or in person, just as you can everything else here, if you prefer.

Due: October

Feel Better Now one-shot (£2-99, Image) by Jonathan Hickman.

Hickman’s back on art as well as writing and readers of NIGHTLY NEWS will know precisely what that means: intense designwork and a great deal of mischief.

“If you’re a highly qualified psychologist in Los Angeles, the fake problem capital of the world, sometimes you get bored. And, sometimes, this means you screw with your patients. For the first time in three years, JONATHAN HICKMAN is writing and drawing a creator-owned comic. Known for the boundary-pushing stories like THE NIGHTLY NEWS and PAX ROMANA, this one-and-done book is the first of three PLUS! stories, will not be collected for over a year, and is intended to have a shelf life of several months.”

Have a great, big, illustrated interview:

LINK

Then order here (please):

Due: 26/10/11

CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 (£3-50, Image) by Craig Thompson, more.

Craig BLANKETS Thompson provides his first-ever full-colour story in this anti-consorship benefit book. It won’t be long, mind for this is 48 pages and you should see the full line-up of contributors here:

Due: 12/10/11

Spaceman #1 of 9 (80 pence, Vertigo) by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso.

From the creators of 100 BULLETS, a new series with a mere eighty pence entrance fee!

“Set in a post-apocalyptic near future, SPACEMAN tells the story of Orson – a hulking, lonely loser who spends his days collecting scrap metal and dreaming of the startrekking life he was promised. That is, until he finds himself at the center of a celebrity child kidnapping case. Seeing his chance to be a hero, Orson takes matters into his own hands…but will his actions only cause more heartbreak?”

Due: 26/10/11

The Unexpected #1 (£5-99, Vertigo/DC) by Dave Gibbons, Brian Wood, Joshua Dysart, more & Dave Gibbons, Jill Thompson, Emily Carroll, more.

I suspect it’s a one-shot but DC have this annoying habit of adding redundant “#1”s even to their VERTIGO RESURRECTED and DC COMICS PRESENTS complete collections. This is all-new material:

“With nine tales of horror, suspense, and some unexpected twists, this latest from Vertigo showcases a fantastic blend of stories from comic legends and the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow. Plus, don’t miss a preview of Vertigo’s next smash-hit monthly series: a macabre and magical saga of voodoo gods and mortals in the death-soaked streets of New Orleans!”

Due: 12/10/11

Orchid #1 (80 pence, dark Horse) by Tom Morello & Scott Hepburn.

“From the mind of musician Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman) with art by Scott Hepburn (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), Orchid is the tale of a teenage prostitute who learns that she is more than the role society has imposed upon her. When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Welcome to the world of Orchid.”

Rolling Stone magazine provides interior art with a few clicks:

LINK

Preorder on our site here:

Due: 12/10/11

The Shade #1 of 12 (£2-25, DC) by James Robinson & Cully Hamner.

James Robinson returns to his STARMAN epic after all this time! Never read it myself, but it was one of the few superhero series twenty years ago which was much praised by those I respected.

Due: 12/10/11

X-Men: Regenesis one-shot (£2-99, Marvel) by Kieron Gillen & Billy Tan.

Following the somewhat catastrophic events of Jason Aaron’s X-MEN: SCHISM (which I hope you’ve been picking up; issues in stock and reviewed here: LINK), the X-Men have split in two and this, written by UNCANNY X-MEN’s Kieron Gillen, is the link between the old and the new including a brand-new UNCANNY X-MEN #1 and Wolverine and The X-Men #1 by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo. Guess which of the infinite number of extant X-Men titles they’re cancelling to make way for that? THEY’RE NOT!!!!

Please order either of those separately. UNCANNY X-MEN #1 still by Gillen with be automatic. The others won’t be.

Due: 12/10/11

Other Comics Scheduled:

Because You Fell For It!

“Exploding from the pages of one of the last five books to explode from the pages of one of the last twelve spin-offs we span off the previous spin-off because you demanded it (In Our Minds)…!”

I’ve been keeping you safe with my cynicism for 20 years. Now you can fend for yourselves. Every single Marvel Comic this month. Just press Marvel or DC or whatever:

Amused by the prospect of HELLRAISERS from SelfMadeHero @ £14-99 in which everyman Martin witnesses the drunken escapades of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed. In volume 2 it’s me, Jeffrey Bernard, Bettie Page 45, and Patsy & Edina from Ab Fab.

- Stephen