Coming Up: Books Due in July 2007

The impressively, weirdly funny webcomic The Perry Bible Fellowship has its first collection from Dark Horse, The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories (MAY07 0028, $14.95), in a slim hardcover.

It’s a great month for Wonder Woman fans, with a new volume of the Wonder Woman Archives (MAY07 0187, $49.99) and the first Wonder Woman Showcase (MAY07 0181, $16.99). The latter jumps ahead into the Silver Age, reprinting Wonder Woman #98-117, which should provide a cheesy slice of history. Unfortunately, the way the catalog works, we have to wait until August for the black-and-white reprint and the end of September for the color, even older stories.

Someone’s having a giggle… the text for the solicitation for Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #20 (MAY07 2101, $2.99) says “by page 22, Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again… again. And This Time, It’s Personal.” Doesn’t tell us anything, but it’s mildly amusing. Which one is writer Sean McKeever’s last issue, anyway?

A new Eric Shanower Age of Bronze is always welcome. Betrayal (MAY07 1856, $17.99) collects issues 20-26; a hardcover is also available. The series wins lots and lots of awards for good reason. It’s beautifully illustrated and obviously mythic.

Moving in a very different direction, there’s also a new Girl Genius volume: Agatha Heterodyne and the Golden Trilobyte (MAY07 3134, $21.95) is sixth in the series. I’m sure it’s going to be as entertaining and imaginative as the previous.

When I first saw “Frank Cho’s Jungle Girl” advertised by Dynamite Entertainment, I thought, “oh, what a perfect idea for a series.” That seems to be all he wants to draw, scantily clad big-breasted women and either dinosaurs or monkeys. But closer reading reveals that Cho is only contributing plot (snicker) and covers (with the expected variant “rare” editions), so never mind. Should fit nicely, though, in Dynamite’s stable next to their other bikini girl, Red Sonja.

Abigail & Rox in the Land of Enchantment (MAY07 3400, $3.99) is just like Alice in Wonderland (to the extent of using a white rabbit, a tea party, the Cheshire Cat, and the Jabberwocky [sic]), Abadazad (a girl’s fantasy reading turns out to be true, and darker than expected), and Lions, Tigers, and Bears (a child’s stuffed animal protects him). When Abigail sees her grandfather sucked into a magic book, she grabs her teddy bear and follows him. They have to beat various monsters to rescue him and get back home. The art’s better than the writing, but both are acceptable, even sometimes distinctive. At 23 pages of story, the problem is that it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. In order to achieve a relative stopping point, things move much too quickly for the reader to ever be involved in the events. Yet the book is setup for more potential adventures (presumably, if sales allow). The miniseries is a format near death, but I think it would have been a better choice; a much-lengthier single-volume better still. The art’s jumpy because it’s trying to convey too much in a short space of time, and key transitions (or reader hints as to what was actually happening) tended to get left out. There’s monster, escape, monster, rescue, backstory dump, monster, repeat too often.

Action Philosophers comes to a well-deserved conclusion with issue #9 (MAY07 3442, $2.95). I loved their announcement of the end and their new plans, because it was in keeping with the tone and appeal of the comic, with fake quotes from philosophers that added up to funny. Entertaining press releases are more memorable and thus better for getting your message out. Ones that are entertaining in the same way as your comic are even better.

Please note: The Comics Journal‘s price is misstated in the catalog at $9.95. The order form has the proper value, $11.95. That’s pricey, but since the Journal is more and more resembling a small book, I think it’s still a decent value. Especially since it isn’t really monthly. There’s certainly enough in there to read every issue.

Friends of Lulu is offering their newest anthology, The Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff (MAY07 3477, $14.95), featuring an amazing list of contributors, including Abby Denson (Tough Love), Lark Pien (Long Tail Kitty), Debbie Huey (Bumperboy), Rachel Nabors (Crow Princess), Tatiana Gill (A Strange Day), Yali Lin (With Love), and the very considerate MK Reed (who has been keeping me updated on the project). That’s only what I consider the high points; visit the link for the full list. I had thought that the theme was a poor choice, but I enjoyed the stories a lot, covering such subjects as punk rock, sports, dating, fashion, and of course, porn. Unusually, the art is almost all of very high quality — out of over 50 stories, there were only two where I thought “why’d they let THAT in?” That’s an incredibly high ratio for anthologies of this type. Particular favorites were the lovely Mulan retelling by Anita Cheng & Vicky Hsu, with its influences of Chinese painting; Liz Bailie’s life of Billy Tipton; the set of convention attendance tips by EJ Barnes; and the funny Cathy Leamy riffing on neckties.

If you weren’t able to get the Love & Capes Free Comic Book Day issue, now you can order it as #4 of the series (MAY07 3608, $3.95). It’s worth it. Great humor and romantic comedy.

Whew! I’m exhausted. Thankfully Mike at Progressive Ruin covers the merchandise every month, so I don’t have to.

6 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in July 2007”

  1. ~chris Says:

    Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #20 is Sean’s last issue. *sniff*

    Yay for a new Age of Bronze trade!

    After much consternation about The Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff‘ s subject matter, I hope others will give the book a try also.

    Did you miss Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief’s Tale while perusing your Previews?

    What a coincidence that much stuff is due out the month of Comic-Con. ;-)

  2. Lisa Lopacinski Says:

    Issue #20 is Sean’s last:

    You forgot the Wonder Woman action figures – of which I must have a full set.

  3. Justin Says:

    I am picking up the Girls’ Guide… 50 female creators. I am hoping it opens up my awareness a great deal. I want to see a new side of comics (for me). I am glad to hear it is stories… I know it might seem silly but I wondered if it would just be text recommendations or something.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Chris, thanks for the link. I didn’t want to go looking for all that history myself.

    Courtney Crumrin, sadly, doesn’t do much for me. And yes, good reminder about the timing.

    Lisa, I’m not much of a figure person. The only ones I have are custom ones (Dart, Cinnamon, Zot) a friend did for me.

    Justin, it makes sense to wonder… sometimes ordering is a crapshoot.

  5. ~chris Says:

    “Courtney Crumrin, sadly, doesn’t do much for me.”

    Fair enough. You had some positive comments about the first series, but I now notice that you did not list it as “Recommended.” (Here’s the part where I remind folks that the occasional disagreement in taste does not detract from the value of a trusted reviewer.)

  6. Johanna Says:

    That Recommended tag… I created it based on a reader request, but while setting it up, I didn’t realize just how many of them there’d be! There were plenty of good reads that didn’t quite make my cut for that. Based on the purpose of the site, I try to concentrate on good books anyway, so the additional filter was hard.

    With CC, I liked the first book, but I didn’t feel the need to continue with the series.




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