Coming Up: Books Due in August 2006

Lots of relists from small publishers this month, as everyone plans to recover from convention season. For the non-traveling reader, that means it’s a good time to check out titles you may have missed earlier. I particularly recommend Halo & Sprocket (Amaze Ink/Slave Labor, $12.95, JUN06 2811), one of my ten all-time favorite comics.

Halo and Sprocket cover
Halo and Sprocket
Buy this book

Also available again:
Moped Army (Fiery Studios, $12.95, JUN06 3125)
Dead West (Gigantic Graphic Novels, $14.95, JUN06 3144)
The Interman (Octopus, $19.95, JUN06 3297)

The last issue of Dork was four years ago, but I’m sure #11 (Amaze Ink/Slave Labor, $2.95, JUN06 2814) will be worth the wait. Evan Dorkin excels at humor, insight, and all-around great cartooning.

I’ve talked about Athena Voltaire #1 (Ape Entertainment, $4.50, JUN06 2854) already. When it comes to adventure comics, you could do a lot worse.

I try to keep up with the Archie comics, as regular readers know, but it only just now struck me — why would anyone buy a 32-page comic with four stories for $2.25 when you can get 192 pages with, I dunno, 20 or 30 stories for $2.49? That probably explains why the digests sell roughly 10 times what the issues do.

The Origin of Sparky (Awakening Comics, $2.99, JUN06 2953) is an odd little jam comic that includes contributions (which could be as small as part of a panel) from Alex Robinson, Zander Cannon, Matt Feazell, Roberta Gregory, Jamal Igle, Dave Sim, and others.

Fallen Angel cover
Fallen Angel
Buy this book

Boom! Studios brings back Steven Grant’s Whisper ($3.99, JUN06 2973) with a new first issue. (Strangely, it’s numbered 1 in the catalog and 0 on the order form.)

I appreciate the idea of trying to be kid-friendly, but a $50 slipcased hardcover doesn’t match MY definition. The format and packaging of the Disney Comics Classic Collection seems aimed at adults, regardless of the content.

IDW isn’t making the mistake DC did — they’re not being shy about releasing Fallen Angel collections. The first ($19.99, JUN06 3215) reprints the first five issues of the series.

Amelia Rules! previously had two collections out from ibooks. With that company’s dissolution, they’re now republishing the books with the addition of hardcover editions. I’d like to have the books in sturdier binding, but since I’ve already bought the first volume twice (before ibooks, it was self-published as In With the Out Crowd), I’ll pass. For long-time readers like me, there’s a new collection of the most recent six issues, Superheroes (Renaissance Press, $14.95, JUN06 3337).

Lost Girls cover
Lost Girls
Buy this book

Interesting. Tokyopop used to give almost every book at least a third of a page, with cover, description, and selling points. Now, once you get past the volume ones and the art books, everything else gets a cover, basic descriptive text (ISBN, price, page count, category, rating), … and nothing else. No plot description, no reminder of the series concept, nothing. I guess they figure that if you’re not in for the series with the first book, you don’t care. The only exception is their OEL title Peach Fuzz, which offers book two ($9.99, JUN06 3383).

And here I say something that retailers hate to hear… I suspect Top Shelf will have Lost Girls ($75, JUN06 3440, three hardcovers in a slipcase) on sale at conventions this summer before it arrives in shops. I think I’ll wait and see what it looks like in person before committing to it. I like the idea of the project, but over 250 pages of Victorian-influenced porn using other people’s characters from children’s stories may be wearying.

Yakitate Japan cover
Yakitate Japan
Buy this book

My beloved Hot Gimmick concludes with volume 12 (Viz, $9.99, JUN06 3503), which creates bittersweet anticipation.

New from Viz this month is a much-anticipated title, Yakitate Japan ($9.99, JUN06 3514), about a boy who dreams of making a uniquely Japanese bread that his countrymen will enjoy more than rice. It combines the competitive quest structure with a welcoming and homey topic, baking.

Pride of Baghdad (DC/Vertigo, $19.95, JUN06 0255) sounds like the kind of story I read comics for — imaginative, timely, and thought-provoking. Brian K. Vaughan writes about lions escaped from the zoo during the US bombing of Iraq, and the blurb promises to use their story to explore issues of sacrifice and liberation. The art by Niko Henrichon is simple, direct, and captures the beasts’ grandeur and confusion well. In a book about talking animals, it’s important to be realistic without being pompous or silly.

Pride of Baghdad cover
Pride of Baghdad
Buy this book

Mike Barr’s Batman: Son of the Demon is coming back into print (DC Comics, $5.99, JUN06 0155). Originally an oversized 96 pages, it’s now a standard-sized paperback listed at 80 pages (a typo, I hope), so it’s probably going to more closely resemble a Prestige Format issue. It’s not a particularly great comic, but the idea of Batman having an unknown son has seized the imagination of many fans and creators, the latest being Grant Morrison in his concurrent story running in Batman. That results in the following promo copy for Son of the Demon: “the classic work tying into the Batman story”. Well, no, the Batman ties into this earlier work; better phrasing would have been “the classic work that inspired the Batman story”. As for that title, even if it is by Morrison, it strikes me as more of the fanboy-targeted navel-gazing that’s made superhero comics so uninteresting these days, as they shamelessly stripmine their history of recent decades for anything that will keep the obsessives buying.

Hmm, it also seems that DC’s collecting certain titles much more rapidly than they used to. Batman: Face the Face collects Batman #651-654 and Detective Comics #817-820, and it’s being offered at the same time as Batman #656 and Detective Comics #822. Superman: Up, Up, And Away! is running at a similar pace, collecting Superman #650-653 and Action Comics #837-840.

5 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in August 2006”

  1. Ray Cornwall Says:

    If you don’t want to spend $50 on Disney comics, why not check out the “Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion” from Gladstone? All sorts of lovely stories, from what I’m told, from Don Rosa.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I need to read the first collection before the companion, I think, but thank you for pointing that out.

  3. James Schee Says:

    Gosh, I see your recommendation for Interman, and just realized I’ve had it in the bottom of my dresser drawer unread for years. (I was cleaning up one day and was just shoving things in places)

    I was a bit concerned about the Amelia Rules! books blurb describing them as remastered. I have the books already so I sort of wonder what that means. Though I will be ordering the superheroes one.

    I’m curious about Lost Girls, but living in Texas I’m sort of afraid of getting arrested if I bought it. I’ll wait and see what kind of furor it causes, if any, then try and pick it up afterwards if turns out to be something worth getting.

    I want to support DC doing more original graphic novels. Yet BKV can be so up and down for me. Maybe I’ll see what the reviews are like and then backorder through Amazon.

    Son of the Demon book has been one of the more higher priced back issues I’ve looked into. I think it a bit sad that they are making and promoting it as being more like your standard comic in size. Since I happen to like oversize comics myself, and a pure reprint would have gotten an order sight unseen from me.

    I’m glad to see DC making a faster turnaround on the collections too. I’m not a big Robinson fan, but hopefully the Morrison All-Star Superman will be collected fast as well. (since I’ve been wanting to read that after seeing those nifty covers)

  4. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, “remastered” can mean so many things. It’s tough as a previous owner to know if it’s worth the trouble to rebuy.

    The Lost Girls situation is going to get much more interesting, I fear.

  5. Jimmy Gownley Says:

    Hi guys! “remastered” (at least in the case of Amelia Rules!)means that we tweaked the coloring, particularly on the first book, cleaned up some of the lettering, fixed the 4 zillion typos, and reformatted the pages for the new books dimensions (6″x9″). I think they look great, but obviously I’m biased.

    The story remains the story however as I only changed about three lines of dialogue. One because I though it was needlessly combative, and two because they were already very dated.

    Hope that helps.




Most Recent Posts: