Coming Up: Books Due in October 2006

Project: Romantic (AUG06 2903, $19.95) is the latest in AdHouse’s series of outstanding anthologies, after Superior and Telstar. Of course, this one is themed around “love and love stuff”. Creators include (with links to previews) Big Time Attic, Joshua Cotter, Mike Laughead, Hope Larson, and Joel Priddy. There’s also a 500-copy limited edition hardcover available for order.

Project: Romantic cover
Project: Romantic
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Slave Labor collects webcomic Agnes Quill (AUG06 2936, $10.95), written by Dave Roman (Quicken Forbidden), about a teenage detective in a ghost-ridden city. Sounds like it’ll be great for fans of Nancy Drew or Case Closed.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that Rob Walton is collecting Ragmop (Big Bang, AUG06 3113, $29.95) in a thick (460 pages) single-volume book. If you like humor, conspiracy, great animation-influenced art, political satire, women’s issues, or time-traveling dinosaurs… or if you just like terrific comics… buy this. I’m very very excited to see it finally completed.

Well, now, that’s interesting. Tom Devlin wound down his respected art-comic publisher Highwater Books a few years back. The stock wound up with online store Bodega Distribution, who is now publishing (or at least distributing) new comics by Brian Ralph and Tom Devlin, among others.

Agnes Quill cover
Agnes Quill
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One of those Bodega titles appears right above the solicitation for Bohemian Press’ Tails. Both are labeled as “for fans of independent comics”, which struck me as an odd phrase. “Fans” these days seems to me a more relevant term for superhero comics or manga — are there still such things when it comes to the ever-expanding field of non-genre comics? I know it’s quibbling, but “readers” seems to be a much better word. But then, we are talking about those dedicated enough or forced to read through Previews, so maybe that’s obsessive enough to qualify.

Two books from Century Comics are reoffered this month. I have both, so I can say with confidence — do not buy them. The content is great, but the reproduction quality isn’t good enough to spend money on. (Honestly, the publisher should be ashamed to release books that look like this at those prices.) One of the titles doesn’t have any black in it. There are areas that are supposed to be black, but the best it ever gets is dark grey. Terrible quality, which is a huge shame, because both stories are good reads.

Project X: Seven Eleven cover
Project X
Seven Eleven
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Based on the fun I had reading the two previous Project X manga — 240Z and Cup Noodle — I’m betting the Seven Eleven volume (Digital Manga, AUG06 3254, $12.95) will also be worth a look-see.

There are very few series I want to follow in serialized stapled form any more, but Action Philosophers is one of them. The latest issue, It’s All Greek to You (Evil Twin Comics, AUG06 3286, $2.95), has the typical three stories, this time covering Aristotle, the Pre-Socratics, and Epictetus the Stoic.

I don’t know very much about Dr. ID: Psychologist of the Supernatural (Indie Ink, AUG06 3403, $2.95), but when a friend showed me an early preview copy a few months ago, I liked it enough to want to read more. It’s a 32-page one-shot with seven short stories, set “in the self-obsessed 70s” by Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri. Coincidentally, the Action Philosophers writer recommends it.

I’ve been asking for more josei, manga targeted at adult women, but now that Tokyopop is listing new titles as “appealing to fans of Tramps Like Us“, one of my favorites, I don’t trust them. Mostly because everything they recommend sounds like it’s about broken, emotionally disturbed women. Ick.

I also don’t like the way Tokyopop has quit providing any description for its many volume twos. I may have overlooked a title when the first book was offered, so I don’t understand why Tokyopop wouldn’t want a second chance at my attention, if only to describe the series premise. I am glad to see new volumes of two mysteries from them, though. I’m looking forward to more Kindaichi Case Files and Kat and Mouse.

Unshelved: Book Club cover
Unshelved
Book Club
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Unshelved, the library webcomic, has a new collection available, Book Club (AUG06 3894, $17.95).

Dark Horse is celebrating its 20-year anniversary with a book called, unsurprisingly, Dark Horse Comics: The First Twenty Years. It’s over 400 pages for $24.95. Problem is, I don’t know what it is. A prose book? Story reprints? History? Fiction? Non-fiction?

It says that it will have writing by Frank Miller and Paul Chadwick and art by Mike Mignola, Arthur Adams, and more, but are those pinups? Memories? Stories? New or reprint? All the ad copy says is “we take a look back at the writers, artists, and characters who have made Dark Horse the international publishing presence it’s become, and a look ahead at the up-and-coming talents who will influence generations to come. … A one-of-a-kind collection featuring the industry’s top writers and artists…. Coffee table book.” (I eliminated the text that was even more puffy and content-free.)

It’s not due until December, so maybe Dark Horse itself doesn’t know what’s going to be in it yet. I’m not inclined to commit my money to something so nebulous, so Dark Horse should hope that some store near me gets in a shelf copy or two, and that I’m still curious in four months.

This month, DC is promoting its latest “stunt casting” — Richard Donner, director of the original Superman movie, will be co-writing Action Comics #844 with Geoff Johns. To draw attention to this project, they’ve used one of their Previews cover slots… where they are running a dirt brown, murky mess of a cover by Adam Kubert. It wasn’t until writing up this entry that I realized, after seeing it half-a-dozen times, that it’s a shot of Superman from his eye sockets to mid-chest, with the chin in deep shadow. I thought it was some kind of Batman homage, with the Dark Knight’s silhouette.

No wonder all the superhero comic wannabe creators are turning out dark, muddy crap — they’re just echoing what the big guys slop out.


7 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in October 2006”

  1. John Platt Says:

    RAGMOP! Best unfinished comic ever! But now to have the whole story complete in one volume … better news could not be possible.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I don’t know whether to thank you or curse you Johanna.:) I couldn’t find much of anything to order this month, so I was going to order the Absolute Sandman book.

    Yet now I’ll probably get Project: Romantic, Agnes Quill and Ragmop instead.

    On the DH 20 years thing, I actually got a 25 cent book with a very similiar tile which was all pinups. That really ticked me off, as I thought it was a sample book.

  3. Bill Says:

    I thought the same thing about the cover. It wasn’t until I saw the listing itself that I realized what the cover image really was.

  4. Lea Says:

    Agnes Quill!
    I can’t wait.

  5. Sebastian Says:

    I hope you don’t mind me listing some other books I noticed this month:

    The Ice Wanderer [OT: Tôdo no Tabibito]
    by Jirô Taniguchi
    $21,99 (SC) / 240 pages / b&w
    Fanfare / Ponent Mon
    Taniguchi probably doesn’t need an introduction anymore, just more works in print. I bought this one last year, when the French edition was published, and it’s quite a nice collection of one-shots. Preview pages can be found at the French publisher’s site or with Ponent Mon (in Spanish).

    Babysitters Club, vol.2
    by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
    $16,99 (HC) or $8,99 (SC) / 144 pages / b&w
    Scholastic / Graphix
    I’m still miffed that Diamond originally solicited the first volume as HC only and didn’t list the SC until last month, but now I’ll stick with the hardcovers. It is that good. Unfortunately the publisher’s preview pages aren’t up yet.

    Degrassi: Extra Credit
    vol.1 – Turning Japanese
    vol.2 – Suddenly Last Summer
    by J. Torres and Ed Northcott
    $10,99 (SC) / 128 pages / b&w
    Pocket Books
    Not by Arune Singh, as Previews apparently believes. I don’t know anything about these books apart from the one page shown here, but that looks easily good enough to make me try the first volume. Also Mr. Torres is a writer I have liked on quite a couple of other series.

    All-Action Classics – Dracula
    by Michael Mucci and Ben Caldwell
    All-Action Classics – Tom Sawyer
    by Tim Mucci and Rad Sechrist
    $6,95 (SC) / 128 pages / full color
    Sterling Publishing
    I liked Caldwell on his own Dare Detectives, even though the story was a bit chaotic. And the preview pages he has on his site look very nice.

    Gypsy [OT: Gipsy]
    by Thierry Smolderen and Enrico Marini
    $14,95 (SC) / 164 pages / full color
    Heavy Metal Magazine
    SF Action/Thriller. I remember reading a couple of the early volumes at the library when I was younger (some 8-10 years back). I remember it as being quite good (though I suppose I was more intrigued by the art than by the story), but I never had the chance to reread it. Interesting to see this collection of the first 3 albums (of 6 to date) out now. The HM site doesn’t have any previews (that I saw), but the covers can be viewed here and Dargaud, the original publisher, does show some pages from the sixth album.

    ~Sebastian

  6. Bill Angus Says:

    RE: Degrassi

    Previews also has incorrect information about the art on these books.

    Ed Northcott is illustrating #1 – Turning Japanese.

    However, Ramon Perez (ButternutSquash.net) is illustrating #2 – Suddenly Last Summer.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Sebastian, I don’t mind at all — especially with so many helpful links, thank you. I can’t imagine why I overlooked the Baby-Sitters Club book, because I loved the first one. I do wish Ponent Mon were able to drop the price on their books, though — they’re lovely, but they’re just expensive enough to make me think hard about whether I want to spend that much.




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