Good Comics Out September 7

Publisher of the week for me is First Second, with three outstanding reads out today: Bake Sale ($16.99), Feynman ($29.99), and Americus ($14.99). I’ve been meaning to review the last two for weeks now, but it’s much harder to recommend a good book than to trash a bad one. Hopefully, those posts will be coming soon. In the meantime, check out any or all of the three — they’re great reads.

Also out this week are these books I found enjoyable: Domo in the World (Abrams, $12.95) and Usagi Yojimbo #140 (Dark Horse, $3.50). Not so recommended are Anne Steelyard’s The Garden of Emptiness Volume 3 (Penny Farthing Press, $14.95) and Butterflies, Flowers Volume 8 (Viz, $9.99), concluding the troublesome shojo series.

I’m looking forward to a new issue of Screamland, with #4 out this week from Image ($2.99). Also from Image is the particularly timely Big Lie #1 ($3.99), a story by Rick Veitch revolving around time travel to save someone from the 9/11 disaster. I won’t be reading it, since I’m not sure I find it in good taste, although it’s an obvious plot to choose for a medium that often involves science fiction and fantasy, so I can understand why someone’s doing it.

In terms of superheroes, Marvel, with its motley collection of standard issue releases, seems to have conceded the week to DC’s first big #1 rollout. (Stay tuned later this week as KC reviews them all!) In addition to DC’s table of 13 launches — of which I’m particularly curious to see Static Shock #1, Stormwatch #1, and the reaction to Batgirl #1 (all $2.99) — I’d like to draw your attention to the reprint of Astro City: Life in the Big City ($29.99 hardcover or $17.99 paperback). It’s a wonderful set of stories that launched Kurt Busiek’s series about the superheroes he read and loved.

DC was also supposed to be releasing the long-awaited New Teen Titans: Games hardcover, a retro project by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, but it looks like that’s been pushed back a couple of weeks. Probably best not to distract from the all-new 52 DCU launch — it’s kind of opposite that direction.

5 Responses to “Good Comics Out September 7”

  1. Thad Says:

    Interested in Feynman (I just finished reading Surely You’re Joking) but will probably wait for the paperback.

    Static Shock should be good; hoping they don’t run out before I make it to the shop.

    Will probably grab the Veitch book. I love his art and he’s done fantastic, non-exploitative work about 9/11 before (Can’t Get No), and I AM morbidly curious about how he’s going to play the “truther” angle. Ostensibly he’s going for an EC/Twilight Zone thing.

    Poor taste and exploitation? Yeah, probably. But that’s how I see most of the commemoration coverage on TV. I had my fill of watching those buildings burn a decade ago, and there’s something pornographic about showing it over and over again. At least Veitch is open about it.

  2. Johanna Says:

    I’d be interested in hearing more about reactions to the Big Lie. I hope you’ll let us know what you think after you read it.

  3. Thad Says:

    Well, it’s not very good.

    Not just the conspiracy-theory stuff (which leads me to wonder if Veitch actually believes this stuff or is just engaging in some epic trolling and cashing a paycheck while he’s at it) — I can read and enjoy Mr. A even though I totally disagree with its message.

    (Actually, there are quite a few bits that Veitch gets exactly right — the warnings that went ignored, the PNAC’s reference to “another Pearl Harbor”, and so forth. Which makes the leap of logic to “inside job” more frustrating; I’m strictly a Hanlon’s Razor guy and think the Bush Administration was asleep at the switch and missed the warnings, but once the attack hit it saw the justification it needed to go to war in Iraq. Equating that — rather reasonable, IMO — belief with the idea that there were explosives planted in the towers makes it much easier to confuse legitimate criticism of the Bush Administration with out-to-lunch conspiracy mongering.)

    But anyhow, all that aside, it doesn’t make for a good comic. The dialogue is heavyhanded and riddled with typos. The plot is obvious, and something we’ve seen a thousand times before (time traveler tries to prevent a tragedy but nobody believes her). The setting, too, is suitable for a low-budget episode of Twilight Zone or Hitchcock; most of it takes place inside a meeting room. And as such, the issue suffers its biggest flaw: Veitch’s art, which should have been the highlight of this book, just isn’t very impressive. It’s talking heads, broken up by pictures that look like they’d be more at home as clip art in a Truther’s PowerPoint presentation. Some of the layouts are quite nice, but by and large it’s just blah.

    For all its flaws, I quite liked Army @ Love. It had weird, offbeat characters, goofy tech, and even though it was about the wars in the Middle East it didn’t seem to have any overwhelming political message or propaganda purpose (or, if it did, it didn’t leave enough of an impression on me to remember it). This is missing all those things.

    I would really like to see Veitch just go nuts with a Tales from the Crypt homage series, and that’s what I was hoping we’d get here beneath the Truther facade. But beneath the Truther facade there’s nothing. I’d say the book is exactly what it says it is, but even that’s not quite true — because it doesn’t even live up to the over-the-top promise of the agonized, flag-waving, giant Uncle Sam standing over the Twin Towers on the cover.

    Basically, its cardinal sin isn’t its message — it’s that it’s just utterly mundane.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Thank you very much for that review. I flipped through a copy and was rather shocked at the assertion that the buildings were full of planted explosives. That was enough to know “definitely not for me”, beyond the shoddy craft. Sounds like this is aimed firmly at one particular audience, and most others should leave it alone.

  5. Stan Says:

    I just read Batgirl#1 and was disappointed to enjoy it so much. Afer spending so much time wanting to hate it, (being a huge fan of the Stephanie Brown Batgirl series) it surprized me and made me want to read more.




Most Recent Posts: