Good Comics Out November 17

I’m giving up on the whole budget idea, because it’s not like I was holding myself to it anyway, and with it being the holiday gift book season, some of my most anticipated works were cover-priced more than $20.

Castle Waiting Volume 2 cover
Castle Waiting Volume 2
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Such as my book of this week, Castle Waiting Volume 2 (Fantagraphics, $30). The first Castle Waiting book was one of my Best of 2006, and I anticipate similarly great things from the followup. Linda Medley puts out a wonderfully fresh and modern take on fantasy conventions, including the title castle with its exotic and magical inhabitants.

If that’s not your taste (although you’re missing out), here are some other excellent hardcover graphic novels shipping this week:

Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia, $25), a new-style fairy tale about time stopping. Dapper Man himself Tim Gunn provides the introduction, which you can read at the link, or find out more about the book’s unique construction in this interview with artist Janet K. Lee.

Shockrockets (IDW, $25), the reprinting of the 2000 miniseries by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen that launched the short-lived Gorilla Comics line. I’m probably not remembering it in depth, but I recall lovely art telling a typical tale about a team of high-flying adventurers.

The Little Prince (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $20), retold in a comic adaptation by Joann Sfar, sounds gorgeous, an excellent gift for young and old alike.

75 Years of DC Comics cover
75 Years of DC Comics
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Although I’ve dropped the current series, my Legion fan heart loves the idea of a new deluxe edition of The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga (DC Comics, $40). The best known storyline from the largest super-team gets a new reprinting with more issues by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen added.

For your coffee table, Abrama ComicArts has a Chip Kidd-designed memorabilia book, Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal ($35). I’m curious to see it, just because it surprises me that the book exists. Now, when Captain Marvel is an also-ran, trotted out occasionally but usually considered a second-runner to Superman, it’s amazing to consider how popular he was in his heyday, with all kinds of merchandise produced and photographed here.

But if you’re really looking to be astounded, you want 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking (Taschen, $200). Yes, you saw that right — two hundred dollars for a super-sized (over 700 pages!) DC history book by former company leader Paul Levitz. My copy’s on order (at a significant discount!), so I’m hoping to have a review later this month.

So what about the pamphlet comics, which are much easier on the pocketbook? From Dark Horse, check out the Hellboy one-shot Double Feature of Evil, $3.50 for two stories illustrated by horror master Richard Corben.

Plus, Tiny Titans is always a fun and happy end to the week’s reading. Issue #34 is $2.99 from DC.

10 Responses to “Good Comics Out November 17”

  1. JeffG Says:

    Looks like a bit of a light week – although I’m picking up more (including TT), really looking forward to Northlanders the most. I’ve enjoyed every one of these arcs with totally distinct characters in each.

  2. Chad Says:

    Johanna, do you know if the second volume of Castle Waiting just collects the previously published comics, or if there’s some new stuff in there?

  3. Suzene Says:

    Ides of Blood #4 and Elephantmen #28 are all that are on my pull this week.

    Castle Waiting v. 2 and Return of the Dapper Men are definitely going on my Amazon list. As it gets closer to Christmas, I generally stop buying trades and HCs, so that when my family starts complaining about how hard I am to shop for, I can just point them at my wishlist. ;)

  4. Johanna Says:

    Chad, I’m afraid I don’t know, and I won’t be able to check the book until after the weekend. I *think* there is some new material, but I don’t have anything that says that.

    Suzene, great reminder! It’s getting to be that time of year.

  5. Grant Says:

    Great Darkness Saga. Finally! Oh yes, it will be mine.

  6. Rob Says:

    Any idea what additional story is covered in the new Great Darkness collection? I have the old collection, and want to know what the new version offers.

    (I’ve seen the list of issues collected, but have no idea what’s *in* those issues.)

  7. Johanna Says:

    I’m afraid not. Does not have enough of an issue summary?

  8. Anthony Says:

    Think part of Capt. Marvel’s problem for being an “also-ran/secondary to Supes” these days is that since the mid-80s’ “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, he’s forced (along with all 8 zillion other heroes) to live in the same single universe as Superman, and thus can’t help but be compared or diminished in stature, vs. the earlier days when he was clearly the top hero of his own, less-crowded world (hard to be the “World’s Mightiest Mortal” if Superman’s around). Much as I like Superman, I was disappointed that (SPOILER ALERT) the last issue of “Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!” had Superman (and the rest of the JLA) showing up. Had read it until then figuring it was a world where until Billy and Mary came along, there previously weren’t any other superheroes (and Billy didn’t need the “blessing” of Superman and Batman)…

    Maybe it’s akin to the NY Mets and their fans knowing there’s “that other team” with more fame coexisting across town… or if someone had moved the Yankees to Milwaukee and tried to pretend things weren’t any different stature-wise for the Brewers… :-p

  9. Dea ex Machina Says:

    I just got my copy of Castle Waiting volume two, and am finding it rather worrisome that Linda Medley’s name is missing from the book. It appears in the copyright info fine print, and on a small removable sticker, but nowhere on the cover or interior title page. What little information I can find online indicates that this was done at Medley’s request, but I can’t seem to find out why. Does anyone know anything more about this?

  10. Jim Perreault Says:

    My local library had a copy of “Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal” so I checked it.

    It’s a very fun read. I would call it a quintessential coffee table book, as it is mostly pictures with little text.

    The theme of the book is Captain Marvel merchandising, and there is a ton of unique stuff displayed. They really ran with the “kid transforming into mighty superhero” concept. It made me realize just how powerful and imaginative that concept is.

    The other thing that surprised me is that each character pretty much stood on their own. DC’s use of the characters, for the most part, always has them together as a team. I get the impression from this book that in the Golden Age, the team ups were rare. And that instead, each character had their own adventures with their own flavor to them.

    The book is organized into sections: the first one focuses on Captain Marvel himself. The remaining sections are (in order IIRC) Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, Spy Smasher, Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, Captain Marvel at War, and finally the lawsuit with National Comics.

    The end of the book is striking, as it shows the final covers of each of the Marvel family books.

    It’s not the kind of book I would normally keep around, but I enjoyed having it for a little while.




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