Good Comics Out January 4: Screamland and Sandman

This week, I’m most looking forward to Screamland: Death of the Party (written by Harold Sipe and Christopher Sebela, art by Lee Leslie, Image Comics, $16.99). I enjoyed the previous collection, and I liked reading the first couple of issues reprinted here, but when I knew I wanted to follow the story, I switched to waiting for the book format. (So much easier to re-read — although the trade-off is, since I’m getting my copy through Amazon, I have to wait another couple of weeks. That seems to be happening more and more often these days.) Anyway, fun take on burned-out celebrities and convention culture, combined with a scandal-filled murder mystery, all using classic monsters as the cast.

If I hadn’t already heavily recommended Wandering Son Volume 2 (by Shimura Takako, Fantagraphics, $19.99), that would have been my pick of the week. It’s a touching and insightful look at the daily lives of two transgender teens.

I’m no longer writing for them, but the latest issue of Hogan’s Alley (#18, $6.95) looks like a good one, with articles on gorillas in comic books and how Franklin integrated Peanuts, plus a post-retirement interview with Cathy Guisewite and Alvin Schwartz’s final interview. You can preview some of those articles here.

I’ve already reviewed Larry Gonick’s Cartoon Guide To Calculus (Harper Collins, $18.99), the young adult novel Archvillain by Barry Lyga (Scholastic, $6.99), and Aya Takeo Volume 1 (Sweatdrop Studios, $12.99), if you’d like to know more about those books, all out today. I was hoping to have also covered DC’s Annotated Sandman Volume 1 ($49.99), but there was some kind of mix-up with the review copy over the holidays, so I’ll have to wait to see it on the shelf like everyone else. I can’t think of a better series to get that kind of in-depth examination revealing “commentary, historical and contemporary references, hidden meanings and more”.

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