Coming Up: Books Due in September 2006

Dark Horse has done some nice horror-themed anthologies with impressive creative lineups — The Dark Horse Books of Haunting, Witchcraft, and The Dead. The fourth volume is offered here, The Dark Horse Book of Monsters. Just in time for Halloween, right? Wrong. It’s on sale November 22. Way to miss an opportunity. Or maybe they’re relying on people assuming that something ordered in July will certainly arrive by October — but remember, this is Dark Horse.

Dream Corridor 2 cover
Harlan Ellison’s
Dream Corridor 2
Gorgeous Brian Bolland art

Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor Volume 2 (JUL06 0023, $19.95) is due the same day, with contributions from Eric Shanower, Mark Waid, Gene Ha, Steve Rude, Richard Corben, Gene Colan, and more, including, I quote, “the very last work ever by Superman artist Curt Swan”. And the book only took ten years! (Does this mean The Last Dangerous Visions is right around the corner?) I fondly remember this anthology series from when I got seriously back into comics; now I just have to find the previous issues to remind myself of how good it was.

I’m glad to see the True Story, Swear to God series relaunch at Image with a #1 (JUL06 1674, $2.99), because Tom Beland seems to really want to do a series and is happy to be at that publisher, who will handle lots of the business details for him… but I have to wonder how well it’s going to do with their core audience. I’m probably wrong to be looking for things to worry about; I should just call this another sign of how Image aims to diversify.

Crazy Papers cover
Crazy Papers
Buy this book

Jim Dougan writes and Danielle Corsetto draws Crazy Papers (Chatterbox Comix, JUL06 3013, $6.50). It’s a brief little graphic novel about what happens when a free-spirited friend comes to town and hooks up with entirely the wrong guy. I’ve enjoyed Corsetto’s artwork on her webcomic Girls With Slingshots, so it’s a pleasure to see her first print comic. She does a great job with borderline-crazy women, and also with the normal one. (I wanted to see a lot more of her, but she works best as the background anchor.) Some of the scenes are clever, but overall, I didn’t find the entire story as compelling as I’d hoped, probably because I don’t know or understand people that act that drunk or impulsively. In his back cover quote, Dean Haspiel compares the book to Sex in the City, which seems accurate enough.

The Day of Revolution cover
The Day of Revolution
Buy this book

I just read a preview copy of DMP’s Day of Revolution (JUL06 3098, $12.95), and while I wouldn’t recommend it, I was impressed by how commercially clever the creator seemed: she’s come up with a story that combines yaoi (boy/boy love), yuri (girl/girl love), AND shôjo romantic comedy. Boy Kei finds out he’s a hermaphrodite and decides to become the girl he should be, which causes both his old guy friends and his new girl “trainer” to hit on him. I think I would have liked it better if it had been a lot longer than a two-book series; as it is, it doesn’t seem like it has enough space to do much of anything (although the artist made space for two near-date-rape scenes, one more serious than the other).

Popeye Volume 1 cover
Popeye Volume 1
Buy this book

I’m not going to preorder the Popeye reprint (Fantagraphics, JUL06 3133, $29.95) for two reasons. I want to look through it to see how much I’ll enjoy reading it — I acknowledge the artistry, but that doesn’t mean I need to own it — and Amazon has been having some good deals on these kinds of books if one is patient enough to wait a few months. I am always tickled by Popeye’s introduction, though: “Are you a sailor?” he’s asked, to which he responds, “Ja think I’m a cowboy?”

First Second releases their Fall line with another group of diverse and unusual stories with an emphasis on history and distinct location. I’m embarrassed to say that I still haven’t read any of their first bunch, but I’m confident enough in their quality to point them out to you.

What’s wrong with Diamond, exhibit #2983417: In order to order the paperback edition of The Baby-Sitters Club from Graphix (JUL06 3182, $8.99), which is highly recommended, I have to find it nestled among a variant cover of busty, half-naked Bloodrayne and a whole line of something called Prohibited that features even more naked women touching themselves.

Little Nemo cover
Little Nemo
Buy this book
Dramacon Book 2 cover
Dramacon Book 2
Buy this book

Since I was speaking of classic strip reprints a few paragraphs ago, I must point out a new printing of the classic Little Nemo in Slumberland (Taschen, JUL06 3427, $29.99). Over 400 pages of comic history for $30 means an excellent deal!

Dramacon Book 2 (Tokyopop, JUL06 3440, $9.99) is out! Happy happy happy! It’s a great romantic comedy with a unique setting, and lots of fun to read.

Be sure not to miss Scott McCloud’s latest manifesto, Making Comics (JUL06 3708, $22.95) back in the Books section. There are few enough useful educational works on comic craft, not to mention that anything by the author of Understanding Comics is a must-buy.


20 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in September 2006”

  1. Joshua Macy Says:

    Squeee! I’m so excited by the Popeye reprint! I’ve been looking to buy these for ages, but they’re basically $80 and up per volume for the out-of-print 1990 Fantagraphics reprints, if you can even find them. I’ve got two of them that I picked up years ago, remaindered at Borders, and I thought I’d scored one volume for only $25 on ABE–but the seller turned out not to actually have it.

    I read Jeff’s complete set when I first moved back to Philly, and they’re just fantastic and hilarious comics story-telling. Now if Eyebeam comes back into print, I’d be all set….

  2. Johanna Says:

    That’s really cool, to hear such enthusiasm. Do you mind elaborating a little bit on what’s so cool about the strips for those not so familiar with them?

    I’m with you on the Eyebeam! I don’t have much hope, though. Not enough people know about it to drive the demand.

  3. Ralf Haring Says:

    I would have missed the Making Comics listing if you hadn’t pointed it out.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Yay, I helped! Me too, actually — I was tired and most of that stuff (trading cards, toys, games) I just flip through. I’m really glad it caught my eye.

  5. Dan Coyle Says:

    DH is also republishing Ellison’s brilliant novel Spider Kiss.

  6. Lyle Says:

    Drat, Day of Revolution sounds like it has a lot of potential that goes unrealized.

  7. James Schee Says:

    Cool, I’m hoping my library gets the popeye book like they got the Dennis and Peanuts one.

    I don’t think the Image I really means as much as it once did. The various studios are more important than the I these days. When I look at books like Witchblade or Cyberforce I think Top Cow, Spawn I think McFarlane and Savage Dragon I think Larson. The I just lacks the impact.

    I’ve never read any comics by ellison. What’s worth tracking down in particular?

  8. Ray Cornwall Says:

    Hey, I can recommend some books too, right?

    Don’t Go Where I can’t Follow, Drawn & Quarterly-
    by Anders Nilsen. In early 2005, Cheryl Weaver, girlfriend and partner of cartoonist Anders Nilsen (Big Questions, Dogs and Water, Monologues for the Coming Plague) was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system). Despite an initially positive outlook, the illness failed to respond to chemotherapy, and in November, Cheryl died. Don`t Go Where I Can`t Follow is a collection of travel stories and minor disasters, of grappling with illness, and of a farewell. It is told in a rich combination of writing, comics, a photojournal, postcards, and drawings, most of which are artifacts from the history of the relationship, in which both partners were artists and storytellers.

    Diane DiMassa of Hothead Paisan has a new book out with Daphne Gottileb: Jokes and the Unconscious. It’s a bout a 19-year old working in the hospital where her father worked before he died. It’s from Clies Press.

    IDW’s putting out a Chicanos collection of Eduardo Russo’s work- the 100 Bullets artist teams with Carlos Trillo to tell the story of a Mexican woman who longs to be a PI in the States.

    Marvel’s got a collection of FF stories with some great Karl Kesel one-shots (FF: The Life Fantastic). DC’s putting out another Teen Titans archive (pricey but beautiful), the first Desolation Jones TP (which might be his best work since Transmetropolitan and Orbiter), and the third League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book, The Black Dossier.

    Almost forgot- Kim Deitch has a new book at Fantagraphics- Shadowland.

  9. Johanna Says:

    Dan, I saw that. Strangely, they’ve got a second print imprint set up for it, M Press. (Ha ha)

    Lyle, good way to put it. Once you get past the key premise, the other situations are also resolved in predictable ways.

    James, the Dream Corridor books would be my recommendation.

    And I agree with you about the Image I. That’s the flip side of the diversity they’re aiming for, that their brand no longer has as strong an impact.

    Ray, thanks for adding some items! I’m looking forward to browsing that Nilsen book, since I haven’t read any of his other works. I was disappointed by Desolation Jones, though; after a strong start, it fell apart, I thought.

  10. Joshua Macy Says:

    Well, in re Popeye, you first have to forget most of what the cartoons did. Popeye in the comic strips didn’t use spinach to get super-powers, didn’t spend almost all of his time fighting with Bluto over Olive Oyl, didn’t have nephews, etc. Popeye was basically an anything humor/adventure strip, in a lot of ways similar to Li’l Abner with its anything-goes approach to plot and an ever-growing cast of bizarre characters going on fantastic (e.g. exploring the Valley of the Goons) and not-so-fantastic (e.g. Olive Oyl deciding to become a movie star) adventures.

    I think what I really admire about Popeye, besides the fact that I find it funny, is Segar’s inventive dialogue. It’s far from naturalistic, but it really sticks with you. Besides the famous “Ja think I’m a cowboy?”, and J. Wellington Wimpy’s signature “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” it’s chock full of gems like “I thrill at your proximity” (Wimpy to any woman he is wooing), “Pooey to you from me” (pretty much anyone), “My name is Jones…I’m one of the Jones boys” (starting with Wimpy, but later anyone denying their identity) and “Oh, you big fathead me!” (Toar, brutish servant of the Sea-Hag who eventually reforms).

  11. James Schee Says:

    Yeah and that’s why I wonder sometimes at creators who go to them expecting it to mean more success. I just wonder how many comic shops still order everything with the Image I these days. There are a lot of traditional Image series that don’t get very many orders at some shops I’ve visited.

    I’ll look for Dream Corridors, and thanks for the heads up on the MccLoud book too. I’ll have to see if DCBS or Amazon will have the better deal on it.

    Anyone know anything about:

    KINO NO TABI BOOK ONE O/T BEAUTIFUL WORLD VOL 1

    or

    EARTHLIGHT VOL 1 GN?

    They are really cheap on DCBS, and the premises at least sound kind of neat.

    Oh and I the only one that finds it odd to see a novelization of Infinite Crisis?

  12. Johanna Says:

    Joshua, thanks for the explanation. Your comparison to Li’l Abner is intriguing and makes me much more interested in seeing Popeye, both as strip and movie. :)

    James, Earthlight is the Tokyopop OEL written by Stuart Moore, right? I just wasn’t sure enough about it to order it, and I haven’t seen any preview material anywhere.

    DC seems to be trying more licensed prose paperbacks, but they all don’t end up coming out.

  13. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] I left Sidescrollers (Oni Press, JUL06 3349, $11.95) out of my July Previews writeup because it was labeled a “prose novel”. This online preview shows otherwise; it’s a graphic novel by Matthew Loux, who previously illustrated F-Stop. [...]

  14. Joshua Macy Says:

    I know people who love the Popeye movie, and while it has its charms, a) it went with the spinach as super-power schtick from the cartoon (probably felt that the audience would insist on it), and b) Altman’s trademark overlapping, muffled dialogue was irritating and inappropriate. The songs, except for “I’m Mean,” are completely forgettable–almost deliberately so, being oddly experimental and devoid of rhyme.

  15. Johanna Says:

    It’s so visually faithful, though. At least, what I remember… it’s been a long time.

  16. Dan Coyle Says:

    Popeye was one strange, strange movie. I can’t really say it wasn’t faithful to its source, though.

  17. myk Says:

    Johanna, you can read the first chapter of Earthlight (ed: link no longer available) on the Tokyopop site. I only stumbled upon it by accident, which shows they’re not really good at promoting their online previews; it’s mentioned in Previews but not on the title’s page on their site.

  18. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for the pointer — I’ll check it out!

  19. Joshua Macy Says:

    Popeye was faithful to the look of the characters, and bothered to include characters who never appeared in the cartoon, although it didn’t really do anything with them. I don’t think it was at all faithful to the kind of dialogue, or the sense of whimsy of the strip. One of the strange things about the movie was just how humorless the whole thing was. It’s a real exercise in “What the heck were they thinking?”

  20. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] That’s one less comic I will be buying later this year… I will not buy Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor 2, as I had planned, because the toad groped Connie Willis on stage at the Hugos (via). [...]




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