Lady Killer #1

I’ve long admired the work of Joëlle Jones, who’s drawn, among many other things, You Have Killed Me, Token, Troublemaker, and 12 Reasons Why I Love Her. Now, she’s drawing AND cowriting a new miniseries with long-time collaborator Jamie S. Rich.

Lady Killer #1

Lady Killer will launch in January from Dark Horse Comics. (Today’s the last day you can preorder it from your local comic shop with code NOV14 0021. It’s going to be five issues.) It’s tag-lined as “Betty Draper meets Hannibal” because it’s a story, set in the 1960s, about a homemaker who’s also an assassin for some secretive organization.

I got an early look at the first issue, and I loved the period touches, from Josie’s smart suit to her cute pillbox hat. I’m curious to find out how she got into her particularly odd profession; I hope there’s space for it in later issues. This one brings us a scene demonstrating Josie’s determination and creativity — when her poisoning plan goes awry, things get more hands-on, with a well-staged sequence of butchery in the kitchen. And the idea of a killer Avon lady, while likely disturbing to the cosmetic company, tickles me.

The theme of nasty doings under the polished facade of mid-last-century domestic bliss isn’t a new one, although Lady Killer takes things further than Mad Men does. This one is more visceral, more pointed in the details, wringing humor out of the small moments. Jones captures all the small moments without the slick surface that would make it too superficial. There’s grit underneath her images, and that’s well-suited to her story.

Josie’s got a handler, an attractive man who pushes her beyond her comfort level, as well as a suspicious, hostile mother-in-law who will be causing trouble in future, I’m sure. Next issue features Josie undercover at the Kitty Cat Club — you can guess what that costume looks like, only the tail is longer than a fluffy bunny’s.

The creators talk about their inspirations in this interview, if you want to learn more.

Poorcraft Sequel Now on Kickstarter

I’ve previously recommended Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less, an advice-heavy graphic novel by C. Spike Trotman and Diana Nock covering all kinds of personal finance information. Now, there’s a sequel.

Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here cover draft

Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here changes things up. It’s again illustrated by Nock, but this time, it’s written by Ryan Estrada, a seasoned traveler who’s going to give us advice on vacation and travel on a budget. Spike returns to run the Kickstarter, which has various bundles of the new book and the previous. (Note that shipping is extra, depending on your location.) The project is almost a third funded after one day, so this looks like it will be successful.

The original Poorcraft is being serialized online, and beginning today, that site is featuring a preview of the new book, which has already been drawn.

This is a fascinating idea for a burgeoning franchise — maybe, continuing on from a chapter in the first book, we’ll see an illustrated Poorcraft cookbook in the future!

Guardians of the Galaxy Featurette Clips

Although the home video release is next month, tomorrow marks the release of Guardians of the Galaxy digitally. And to promote it, Marvel has been releasing a ton of clips from the extra features. Here they are, starting with the Blu-ray release trailer. (I found it interesting that instead of critics, they use quotes from celebrities. A new frontier in marketing?)

Here’s director and co-writer James Gunn talking about his vision, with the prelude of a fake video game.

Of course, we have to mention the music, with Chris Pratt talking about filming the opening scene.

Pratt also talks about the final showdown/dance-off.

Remember Benicio Del Toro as the Collector?

You can watch Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket Raccoon

and Vin Diesel as Groot

or footage of a real-life raccoon named Oreo, used as inspiration

or my favorite, designing Baby Groot.

Another Way to Get Batman: The Complete Series on Blu-ray

There’s been lots of talk about the Batman Complete Series Limited Edition Blu-ray box set, which is expensive because it comes with various collectibles, including a cute little Batmobile. Some fans have asked how they can get the episodes on Blu-ray without the extras.

Complete Classic Batman

Turns out that there’s a direct-response website where you can order that. It’s the “Complete Classic Batman Collection”, and it’s $175 (or $150 if you want DVD format). That’s the same price Amazon is selling the Limited Edition for right now, after discount, but this other set also includes the 1966 Batman movie, “Adam West Naked on DVD: Watch as Adam Takes You Behind the Scenes of Your Favorite Episodes!”, a copy of a show script, and a “personal letter from Adam West to you!” So if you haven’t ordered yet, and you like these extras better than the toy car and trading cards, here’s another option.

Disney Fairies Get an Adventure Hero Branch

You may be familiar with the Disney Fairies, the little-sister franchise to the Princesses that has a number of animated movies and a variety of merchandise available. The newest release, Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast, will be out March 3, 2015. I found it interesting for two reasons: the voice talent involved, and that they’re introducing a gang of more adventurous fairies, expanding the concept.

TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST

The film features the Scout Fairies, a fearless group who protect Pixie Hollow. They are “agile and athletic with a keen ability to spot trouble before it gets out of control.” The movie focuses on Nyx, voiced by Rosario Dawson, “a true professional who takes her job very seriously — maybe a little too seriously — allowing facts and logic to guide her every move. Driven to succeed, Nyx is often willing to let compassion take a back seat.”

Rosario Dawson as Scout Fairy Nyx

The film also features the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin (Fawn), Mae Whitman (Tinker Bell), Megan Hilty (Rosetta), Lucy Liu (Silvermist), Raven Symone (Iradessa), and Angelica Huston (QueenClarion). That’s quite the cast. The plot involves the NeverBeast, a mythical creature which I’m sure the fairies come in contact with. Fawn is an animal fairy who wants to help it, while the scout fairies want to capture it to prevent it damaging Pixie Hollow. Here’s the trailer:

Yen Press Rescues Kaoru Mori’s Emma

Emma by Kaoru Mori

This was announced last month at the New York Comic Con, I think, but the book is now available for pre-order. I’m thrilled to hear that the manga Emma is coming back into print from Yen Press. They currently release A Bride’s Story by the same author, Kaoru Mori, as well as a one-shot of her shorter pieces, Anything and Something.

Emma was previously published in the US from 2006-2009 by CMX, the now-defunct manga imprint of DC Comics. It’s the story of a Victorian maid and the young man of good family who falls in love with her. They struggle to overcome class differences while Mori draws the details of their life and her work in attractive, well-researched detail.

Yen will be publishing it in hardcover volumes. The first is due out next May. The list price is currently $35, which is a lot, but I’m unclear on whether it will contain the equivalent of two or three paperbacks. There were 10 volumes published previously, plus a related single volume, Shirley, which contained short stories done before the longer series. Yen might be doing five two-book volumes or four three-book ones with extras. Either way, I’m glad to see it available again. It’s a good read that I’m sure more people would like to enjoy.

We Talk Recently Read Manga in Bookmarked!

I was honored to be asked to participate in this week’s Bookmarked!, a column where Kate Dacey, Brigid Alverson, and a guest talk casually about what they’re reading this week.

Learn what I thought about the fifth volumes of the series What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Genshiken Second Season, and Judge, as well as a quick take on The Garden of Words. There’s also talk about Legal Drug and some other Vertical titles.

Adam West Talks About Making the Batman TV Show

To commemorate the release of Batman: The Complete Series, Warner has released these short clips of Adam West discussing favorite topics about the show.

Driving the Batmobile:

Working with Cesar Romero, who played the Joker:

The show’s campy nature in pop culture:

And dancing the Batusi:




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