Coming Up: Books Due in June 2006

Customer orders from the latest Previews catalog are due to your comic shop today, so I hope you’ve ordered some of the following. (If not, ask your retailer very nicely about the possibility of an advance reorder.) Many of the links below are to sites with preview pages, a very nice trend I hope continues.

Midnight Sun #1 (Slave Labor, $2.95, APR06 2883) is pretty enough that I’d give it a try if I still bought miniseries. Ben Towle was Eisner-nominated for his previous book, Farewell, Georgia. Like his art style, the subject here is unusual, too: an Italian flight to the North Pole has vanished, and a reporter tries to find the story. Interesting that the solicit text says six issues and the order information says five.

The gorgeous fantasy series Artesia is returning with a new miniseries, Artesia Besieged (Archaia Studios Press, $3.95, APR06 2923). This is a fascinating portrayal of a fantasy world that struggles with the question of whether a warrior-witch can be queen, and author Mark Smylie doesn’t shy away from adult questions or portrayals of nudity, sex, or violence. All of the previous books are also available again.

There’s a new Flight anthology, with volume 3 ($24.95, APR06 3014) moving the series from Image to Ballantine Books. They’re lovely to look at, with an astounding sense of color developed from many of the contributors having experience as animators or web cartoonists, but in the past books, the stories haven’t lived up to the quality of the art.

Little White Mouse cover
Little White Mouse
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One of my favorites, Little White Mouse (Café Digital Comics, $24.95, APR06 3036), is collected into an omnibus edition containing almost 450 pages. The overall plot is about a spunky heroine rescuing herself from an abandoned space station, but within that framework, creator Paul Sizer tells a variety of types of stories, including family-oriented slice-of-life, science-fiction adventure, and action-oriented cartoon-like chase.

I’m thrilled to see that Drawn & Quarterly is releasing two Dupuy and Berberian books — I’ve been waiting for more by them to be translated into English since I read the wonderful stories included in the Drawn & Quarterly anthology volumes (which are conveniently reoffered). Get a Life ($19.95, APR06 3127) is a collection of Mr. Jean stories, while Maybe Later ($16.95, APR06 3128) is a “making of” about the team’s creative process. Their artistry is such that their stories flow without pause; it’s such a high level of skill that it makes itself invisible.

Maybe Later cover
Maybe Later
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Oni Press continues as my favorite publisher by offering two anticipated books this month: a sequel to Wet Moon and a new romance series. Ross Campbell’s Wet Moon: Unseen Feet ($14.95, APR06 3295) continues the story of Cleo and her college friends in his unique style, while Love the Way You Love ($5.95, APR06 3293), by Jamie S. Rich and Marc Ellerby in the format used for Love as a Foreign Language and Northwest Passage, looks at romance among the rock’n’roll set.

I read part of Tim Fish’s Strugglers (Poison Press, $10, APR06 3310) when it was a minicomic called “Meet Me in Saint Louie”. It’s a coming-of-age story about several young adults looking for love and accomplishment, done in Fish’s appealing, Archie-meets-Hanna-Barbera style. I’m glad I get to see how it ends in a graphic novel version.

Fool's Gold cover
Fool’s Gold
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I know some have given up on Tokyopop’s OEL line, but I’ve been looking forward to Fool’s Gold ($9.99, APR06 3362) by Amy Hadley ever since I said favorable things about the first preview chapter last year.

Wow, I never expected to see such a handsome edition of Grease Monkey (Tor Books, $27.95, APR06 3418). I have the two comic issues Kitchen Sink put out ten years ago, but it seems that Tim Eldred kept working on more regardless of publisher plans. Now there’s 350 pages of comics coming out in hardcover (not softcover, as the solicit says, which explains the higher price). It’s a about a boy working for a monkey mechanic in the future, and it combines science fiction, comedy, and young love with art done in a classic, easy-to-read style.

Grease Monkey cover
Grease Monkey
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The Viz section is an oasis for me after getting through the rest of the comic catalog, as I get to see which entertaining series have new versions. This month, it’s Hikaru no Go volume 7 ($7.95, APR06 3440); Baby & Me volume 2 ($8.99, APR06 3464); and Tokyo Boys & Girls volume 5 ($8.99, APR06 3467).

Peter David’s had something of a comics career renaissance over the past couple of years, and now he’s going to share his secrets in Writing for Comics with Peter David (Books, $19.99, APR06 3606). I’m glad to see a writing book from someone who’s also a best-selling novelist.

If you’ve ever wanted your own spinner rack, check the very end of the Collectibles & Novelties section — no price available, though.

Writing for Comics with Peter David cover
Writing for Comics
with Peter David
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Showcase Presents the Elongated Man ($16.99, APR06 0236) reprints a whole passel of stories featuring DC’s version of Nick and Nora Charles, only with added stretching power. Ralph and Sue Dibney solve crimes around the world while bumping into other superheroes. This is the kind of series Showcase is made for — a collection of oddball short stories featuring a fan favorite.

Why is Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer #3 ($5.99, APR06 0246) solicited in the Johnny DC kids’ section? That’s not right! But since I’m talking about it, KC and I had the pleasure of stopping by the Simonsons’ recently, and Walt gave us a sneak preview of pages from the upcoming issues. Gorgeous! Since I’m not a Michael Moorcock fan or familiar with the mythos, he also took the time to bring me up-to-date on the story behind the story, including an Easter egg in the art. I’m now looking forward to this issue with new eyes.

How not to write a blurb part one, from Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men Annual #1: “How does [Storm] react to T’Challa’s proposal of marriage? How will it affect her role with the X-Men? […] This leads into next month’s Black Panther/Storm Wedding!” Well, that answers the question for us, doesn’t it?

How not to write a blurb part two, from Zoom Suit #3: “Fans of comics like The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe will enjoy this issue as we get a firsthand look at the power source of alien technology…” No, fans of comics that read like accounting textbooks won’t enjoy any story featuring characters they haven’t been familiar with for more than the last decade.

6 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in June 2006”

  1. James Schee Says:

    Yeah I agree with you on Flight, I found myself really flipping through the second book especially. It was very pretty, but I just wasn’t interested in the stories. Perhaps my library will get a copy of the new one though.

    I ordered the Get a Life book, because I too fell in love with the Mr. Jean stories. Maybe Later I’ll wait for reviews on first. Plus Amazon was cheaper than DCBS anyway.:)

    Strugglers sounds interesting, will it be at Amazon as well? I love the art description you use, though I hd a different image pop to mind.

    Grease Monkey sounds interesting, and it is neat to see something I’d never heard of before. When did Tor Books start publishing comics though?

    I am so excited about the EM Showcase book, as I really fell in love with those characters a few years back. I’ve always wanted to read their original stories, but money and availability kept my from doing so.

  2. ~chris Says:

    The excellent Wet Moon tells the story of Cleo, not Chloe. :-)

  3. Johanna Says:

    Yikes! Thanks, I’ve made the correction above.

  4. Lyle Says:

    Fish’s appealing, Archie-meets-Hanna-Barbera style

    I’ve been trying to find the words that describe Fish’s style for a while, none of them sounding as good as I meant it to sound. This sums Fish’s visual appeal so nicely.

  5. Johanna Says:

    James, I dunno whether Strugglers will be listed there or not.

    Lyle, thank you for the compliment.

  6. Joshua Macy Says:

    Btw, thanks for pointing out the Showcase: Elongated Man–I might have missed it otherwise…




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