Good Comics Out March 14: Love and Crime

My personal book of the week is Showcase Presents Young Love (DC Comics, $19.99), because the way the week’s been going, I could use some mindless, kitschy, retro entertainment. Romance comics are great for that, and for seeing another era’s fashion and expected behavior.

If you’re into that kind of thing but want macho instead of girly, you might want to check out the first volume of the Crime Does Not Pay Archives (Dark Horse, $49.99). With a foreword by Matt Fraction, this volume collects the first four issues of the notorious pre-Comics Code series. (Or maybe #22-25, as the indicia says. They weren’t so fanatic about numbering back then.) The art is rough, as you’d expect from 1942-era work, and the stories fall into the mode of “spend all the time showing the sinning and then slap a moral not to do that on the end”. (What I think of as the Cecil B. DeMille style of storytelling, after the movies he made the same way to get around censor boards.) But it’s the medium’s history under hard covers.

I’ve already reviewed Uglies: Shay’s Story (Del Rey, $10.99), which I liked more than I thought I would. I quit reading Twin Spica because it wasn’t moving fast enough for me, but Sean Gaffney caught me up to date on Volume 12 (Vertical, $13.95), out this week and concluding the series. Publishers Weekly makes the case for Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea (Universe, $25) deserving to be more famous in the US than it is.

In comic issues, there’s another installment of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9. Issue #7 (Dark Horse, $2.99) is full of surprises … and vampire dustings, just in case you forgot the basics of the premise. I much preferred Buffy’s honesty with Spike, though, because that’s why I read the series. Andrew Chambliss is doing an amazing job with his dialogue, capturing the voice true to the character, while Georges Jeanty and Karl Story get the look just right.

I’m also looking forward to The Unwritten #35 (DC Comics, $4.99), even if it is bigger and costlier. It’s a good series, even if it could be called “Unspoken” for all I don’t hear anyone talking about it.

This post wasn’t up ten hours ago because I wanted to make clever comments about the six different versions of Avengers Assemble #1 out today, accompanied by the Oral History collection (really? why not just label it Bendis’ Fanfiction Notes?) and various hardcovers and trade paperbacks and posters all dedicated to the team, but I think the release list is just going to look like that until the movie comes out in May. So never mind.

3 Responses to “Good Comics Out March 14: Love and Crime”

  1. Mentor's Camper Says:

    I’ve got an older trade that collects some old marvel romance stories. For me, some things have to be read with color and the dc/marvel romance books are one of them. But I like that they’re collecting the romance stories. Just wish they’d do them in a cheap color format like Marvels “Classics” series.

    I haven’t liked the majority of Bendis’ Avengers stories. Like about 98% of it. But the oral history stuff was actually kind of interesting. It was like watching an interview where the subjects are really uncomfortable and don’t want to air their dirty laundry.

  2. Johanna Says:

    True, I would like it better in color. But I’ll take what I can get, since the older romances are difficult to find affordably.

  3. Ed Catto Says:

    I’m just loving DC’s Young Love Showcase. Such great art – I love the Romita stories and there is a Colan/Giordano story that’s breathtaking!




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