- Posted by Johanna on January 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm
- Category: Shopping Guide
Books I Recommend You Consider
|Channel Zero: The Complete Collection||An Elegy for Amelia Johnson|
|by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan||by Andrew Roslan and Kate Kasenow|
|Dark Horse, $19.99||Archaia Entertainment, $14.95|
|JAN12 0092, due May 30||JAN12 0826, due March 14|
|It’s fascinating, once some time has passed, to look back at both near-future science fiction and a respected author’s early work. In the first case, you can see how the world turned out differently; in the latter, growing pains can be insightful and charming. What I remember of Brian Wood’s angry take on the media involves impressive design skills. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is included in this collection of the series, the prequel (which is the part illustrated by Cloonan), two design books, and extras and rarities.||I’ve already reviewed this release, but as part of Diamond’s well-intentioned but disturbingly executed “Women in Comics” month, it’s been relisted.|
|Hark! A Vagrant||Anya’s Ghost|
|by Kate Beaton||by Vera Brosgol|
|Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95||First Second, $15.99|
|JAN12 1099, due March 21||JAN12 1131, due March 21|
|D&Q lists a new printing of one of my top ten of 2011, to make it easy if you haven’t ordered your own copy yet.||First Second does the same with another of my 2011 Best Graphic Novels, Anya’s Ghost. Additional relists this month include Smile (Graphix, JAN12 1143, $10.99, March 21), Magic Trixie (Harper Collins, JAN12 1145, $8.99, March 21), and Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, JAN12 1158, $13.95, March 14).|
|The Coldest City||Monsieur Jean: Singles Theory|
|by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart||by Phillippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian|
|Oni Press, $19.99||Humanoids, $24.95|
|JAN12 1214, due May 16||JAN12 1160, due March|
|If you miss Queen & Country now that Greg Rucka has moved on, you might find this spy comic a welcome substitute. (Johnston even wrote the third Queen & Country Declassified: Sons & Daughters.) It’s set in Berlin just before the collapse of the Wall. I found it a little too sparse and remote for my taste, but I think devotees of the genre better appreciate those qualities.||It’s been five years since I’ve last enjoyed reading about Jean, so I am optimistic about this volume, promised to be “published in English for the very first time”. It’ll be a good reminder to reread the previous stories, too.|
Additional Thoughts and Reminders
I don’t care for a lot of what Dark Horse does — I’m just not the audience for Star Wars comics or the latest horror/sci-fi concept (a greatly overplayed category in comics these days, and one that I now sadly lump the Hellboy/BPRD franchise into) — but they’re worth watching for what I think of as their rescue program. As with Channel Zero, over the past couple of years, Dark Horse has been responsible for bringing some amazing work back into print in attractive, affordable editions. Some of my favorites include Scary Godmother and Blacksad. They’ve also picked up some very talented creators previously published elsewhere, including Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder series and (a much longer time ago) Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo. As long as they keep putting out these amazing works, it doesn’t matter to me how many other of their releases do or don’t interest me.
I knew Larry Young was still around, because he was kind enough to send me a Christmas card. As for AIT/PlanetLar, they’re relisting in this catalog two graphic novels originally released in 2007, The Homeless Channel and The Last Sane Cowboy And Other Stories. I didn’t care for either one, but if you’re interested, hey, doesn’t matter when they were first put out if they’re new to you.
Bravo to Archie for releasing the Archie Meets KISS collection (JAN12 0832, $12.99, April 11) promptly, with it scheduled to come out just a month or so after the four-issue storyline from Archie #627-630 concludes. Even better: this time, their plans for a deluxe hardcover collector’s edition (JAN12 0831, $29.99, April 11) are revealed at the same time the standard paperback is solicited, so buyers won’t be confused. (It will include 48 extra pages containing KISS photos, comic scripts, and other bonuses.) This demonstration of learning from history almost makes up for how their female-led titles are disappearing. This month, the only periodical comics offered are Archie, Jughead, and Kevin Keller. Oh, and the launch of Stan Lee’s Mighty 7 (previously Stan Lee’s Super Seven, then Stan Lee and the 7, but originally an eight-year-old cartoon pitch; JAN12 0848, $2.99, March 21).
As I’ve noted before, it’s a bad sign for a company when they ship multiple issues on the same day. If it’s not a thoughtless attempt to get more money in the same month, then it’s a sign of bad planning and inconsideration for customers and retailers, or possibly an attempt to get ahead of an unfavorable contract restriction (such as a release requirement or an expiration date). Ardden Entertainment is the latest to succumb, with two issues each of Wulf and Phoenix, all scheduled for the same day. They’re all resolicited, too, which suggests being overcome by deadlines.
I knew an Avengers movie would mean the typical deluge of Marvel product, but I didn’t expect that seeing all these collections and reprints and tie-ins and miniseries and series launches would tire me out to the extent that I want to be done with all of it. I was looking forward to seeing the movie, but now, I’m not so sure. May is a long time away to put up with all of this.
Ramblings on DC Comics
So much for expecting to enjoy Birds of Prey. Issue #7 (JAN12 0246, $2.99) is promoted as “the comic for people who think there’s not enough fighting in comics.” I think I’m the exact opposite.
Static Shock gets a new writer, Marc Bernardin, with issue #7 (JAN12 0282, $2.99), so I’ll be checking it out again. I’ve appreciated the former EW editor‘s honesty about comics in the past, and I really want to like this series, since I’ve always had a fondness for this character, so a fresh jumping on point is a good idea — even if it’s not being strongly promoted as such.
On the other hand, I’ll probably continue drifting away from Legion Lost. I don’t particularly follow Fabien Nicieza, former writer, so it’s not some loyalty thing, but I don’t recall any stories by new writer Tom DeFalco as particularly enjoyable or memorable, so I’ve got no reason to stay.
I’m really impressed by how much formerly forever-hidden material is being reprinted by the new regime at DC. This month alone, there are stories from a tabloid — DC Special Series #26, part of the Superman: The Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude collection (JAN12 0313, $19.99, April 18) — a Showcase black-and-white reprint of the first 18 issues of All-Star Squadron (JAN12 0315, $19.99, April 18), the series that first got me into the depth of DC history, and the troubled Secret Society of Super-Villains Volume 2 hardcover (JAN12 0312, $24.99, May 16). I say “troubled” because the first volume was originally solicited to contain the material now split across two books (thereby nearly doubling DC’s take). The Amazon.com reviews are, as a result, justifiably harsh, calling it a bait-and-switch rip-off. This second book is now planned to have all the extras and goodies — with one exception. The first volume reprinted issues #1-10; this book completes the series with #11-15 and adds DC Special #27, DC Special Series #6, Super-Team Family #13-14, Justice League of America #166-167, and a story from Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2. The missing item is the originally promised Amazing World of DC Comics #11, which contained an alternate version of the first issue of the series. It would have been a lovely bonus to the book set, so it’s disappointing to see that DC has apparently changed its mind on including it.