Coming Up: Books Due in April 2007

Mouse Guard cover
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152
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David Petersen’s beautiful adventure series Mouse Guard (Archaia Studios Press, FEB07 3160, $24.95) is collected in hardcover. I’m sure the package will be as lovely as the series is.

Evenfall: Soul to Keep cover
Evenfall: Soul to Keep
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Pete Stathis has moved Evenfall to his own Blue Feather Press. Volume 2: Soul to Keep (FEB07 3257, $9.95) collects issues 5-7 with another unpublished issue’s worth of material. In case you’re not familiar, the story deals with a woman’s suicidal soul voyaging through a fantastic symbolic land, almost like an indy Sandman. Volume 1: Lay Me Down (FEB07 3119, $9.95) is still available from Slave Labor.

I’m impressed by two things about One Last Song (Brain Scan Studios, FEB07 3275, $2.95) — the premise, engaging the topic of government restrictions on free expression in the story of a rebel musician, and the promotion. You still have a week to enter the contest to be one of the “disappeared” dissidents in issue #1 of the six-issue miniseries; the deadline has been extended to February 20. I’m curious to see the whole thing after reading the preview.

Lookit Volume 2: Yarg and Other Stories cover
Lookit Volume 2:
Yarg and Other Stories
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I don’t know much about Lookit Volume 2: Yarg and Other Stories (Don’t Eat Any Bugs Productions, FEB07 3404, $11.95), but the website is full of all kinds of options: preview pages, daily webcomics, and the opportunity to buy the book now at a $2 discount (which covers shipping) instead of waiting two months. It’s got pirates and penguins, what else do you need? The penguins are really cute, too, with chubby cheeks.

Garage Band cover
Garage Band
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First Second presents its new “season” of books, but this year they’re spacing them out a bit more, two a month. The first debut is Garage Band (FEB07 3470, $16.95) by Gipi. The idea of teens coping through music seems perfect for graphic novels, with soft watercolor art.

IDW offers again the limited-edition Adventures in Oz hardcover by Eric Shanower (FEB07 3561, $75). If you didn’t get it the first time around, be sure not to miss out now — it’s a gorgeous book, well worth the price. Full of good storytelling for all ages.

Adventures in Oz cover
Adventures in Oz
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I’m really enjoying the Omaha the Cat Dancer reprint series (link NSFW). I started buying it out of a kind of nostalgia — friends in college were huge fans — but the sexy soap opera is addictive. Here’s the writeup for Book 6:

Omaha, the cat dancer, is losing her heart to her small-town lover, while his world begins to crumble as the search for the killer of loathsome Senator Bonner complicates the lives of everyone Omaha left behind. This volume contains three classic episodes which uncover sordid secrets, reveal new couplings, and reach a pivotal decision — plus the bonus tales “Rob Steps Out” and the never-before-reprinted “A Strip in Time.” Collects the Omaha comic book’s issues 18-20.

Beautiful cover, too, with the Japanese influence. (I’m not running it here because of the character’s toplessness.)

David Lewis’ Empty Chamber, a two-issue miniseries, is available again from Silent Devil Productions (FEB07 3713 and 3714, $2.95 each). It’s an intelligent thriller, with some of the sense of fun I remember from Gotcha!. Loved the refs to the Porkchop Express and the way Sam kicked butt. Amazing how well-clothed she was, too. I didn’t think powerful women did that in adventure comics any more. Art is by Jason Copland.

Owly: A Time to Be Brave cover
Owly: A Time to Be Brave
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I’m always thrilled to see another volume of The Kindaichi Case Files, because I’m never sure how much longer the series is going to run. If you enjoy mysteries, please check out Volume 15 (Tokyopop, FEB07 3805, $9.99), Graveyard Isle, in which the young detective once again finds himself trapped in a deserted setting where murder occurs.

Another Owly book is another reason to celebrate. A Time to Be Brave is the newest entry in the charming series, featuring a new visitor to Owly’s forest.

The Plain Janes cover
The Plain Janes
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Now that’s interesting. DC’s big promotion this month is the launch of its Minx line. The first page in their section is text introducing the line and its books. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that DC is launching this effort as a way to do graphic novels for girls. Yet here, in material aimed at the direct market, the first paragraph only talks about “the new young adult graphic novel imprint” and “smart, sequential stories for the teen reader.”

The second paragraph, consisting of quotes from Senior Editor Karen Berger, does say “MINX will definitely appeal to the many young women who have been introduced to graphic novels through manga and books like Persepolis.” But the rest of the article goes back to talking about “something for every teen’s taste… exclusively for young adults.” Apparently, targeting girls as customers is a big no-no for comic retailers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ordering the first book, The Plain Janes (FEB07 0235, $9.99), but at this point, it’s mostly because I like the art by Jim Rugg (Street Angel).

Fell: Feral City cover
Fell: Feral City
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Fell: Feral City (Image, FEB07 1889, $12.99? (Previews price) $14.99? (Image PR)) collects eight issues of the new-style detective comic by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith. None of the “backmatter” (editorial notes) will be included, but that’s not a huge loss, since so much of that material was a product of when the issues were coming out. If you really miss it, read Warren Ellis’ message board, and you’ll get pretty much the same effect. If you’d like a more prestigious package, there’s a limited edition hardcover for $10 more. The comic stories are great, by the way, tight little tales of freaks in a city gone feral.

It’s a double-team team-up! Wonderfully whimsical writer Jeff Parker and awesome artist Mike Wieringo (gracious, see what reading Marvel solicits does to me?) bring us the four-issue miniseries Spider-Man/Fantastic Four (FEB07 2112, $2.99). The ad copy made me loopy, but it doesn’t matter, because the creative team is all I need to know. But really, “the world’s greatest super hero and the world’s greatest super team collide”? What does that make the Avengers, then? Oh, right, they’re the mightiest. Did someone say “time to protect the trademarks”? Even better, in terms of a solicit that will excite me, it’s “set nowhere near a CIVIL WAR”.

This month, Parker also writes Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #12 (FEB07 2136, $2.99). This is the best Avengers comic Marvel puts out, in large part due to Parker’s fun adventure stories. I like them best when he takes classic Marvel concepts that are already wacky and then makes them even wackier. Like issue #9, where the team all became MODOCs, or this one, where living planet Ego apparently falls in love with Earth. (Am I the only one who thinks Ego looks like Warren Ellis?)

10 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in April 2007”

  1. Rob Barrett Says:

    I believe that’s Ego the LOVING Planet, Johanna. :)

  2. Johanna Says:

    Bwa ha ha! Apparently, every joke can be improved upon.

  3. W. Rowntree Says:

    I’d be interested to know what you think of the other covers in the Omaha reissues series–focusing as they do on, shall we say, one aspect of the series over another. That is, people ought to be reading this book primarily for the, stories rather than for the T&A, but the covers are 100% T&A from what i’ve seen. Wasted opportunity?

  4. James Schee Says:

    Hmm I’m going to be really tempted by that Oz book, because I love Shanower’s work.

    I’ve been wanting to try Mouse Guard after hearing so much praise. Is this the entire series, or just what’s been out so far?

  5. Sebastian Says:

    Re: Mouse Guard
    It’s what’s out so far and it’s the entire series at the same time. The first mini only had 6 issues and a second one isn’t scheduled yet (though planned), AFAIK. The trade apparently also has some extra material (192 – 6 x 24 makes 48 additional pages).

    From the Previews catalogue:

    by David Petersen
    Saxon, Kenzie, and Lieam, members of the fearless Mouse Guard, are dispatched to find
    a missing merchant mouse. Their search through dangerous terrain for the missing mouse
    reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard’s own
    ranks. Collects the first acclaimed Mouse Guard series with special bonus material. (C: 0-
    HC, 8×8, 192pgs, FC
    SRP: $24.95

  6. Johanna Says:

    W, I think the covers are honest portrayals of something about the book that some audiences/retailers will find touchy (so to speak). I like that you can’t buy the series without knowing that you’re going to be exposed to explicit art, even if it does make it difficult to shelf and promote the title. And they’re lovely pieces.

  7. ray friesen Says:

    That YARG! book looks hilarious. I’d buy a copy if I didn’t allready have one. I’m the author, though, I got my copy for 1/2 off.

  8. Rachel N. Says:

    MINX: I am not surprised. It always seemed to me that this was a unisex line for young adults. I don’t think they originally wanted this to be a girls line or DC is back pedaling/hedging its bet after the responses the initial press releases received. I do think this would make a better unisex YA line. If this were marketed solely at teenage girls I would expect a heckuva a lot more prettiness (tried and true with shoujo covers), not necessarily pink flowers on everything but something a little less neutral than what I’ve seen. And, of course, the lack of female creators. Who starts a chicks’ comic line with only one and a half chicks?

    As a YA line, it’ll kick ass. Quick, DC! Change the “MINX” name to something that won’t ick out the boys!

  9. Villard Graphic Novels » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] that they’ll be publishing the Mouse Guard paperback (although the hardcover is still planned for the direct market). The book is scheduled for February 2008 at $19.95 […]

  10. Minx No More: DC Cancels Girls’ GN Line » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] I knew the DC line of graphic novels for girls young adults (as DC puts it, and that wishy-washiness may have been one of its problems) wasn’t getting a lot of attention, but I expected it to […]




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