Good Comics Out October 3

Apparently, I last did one of these posts back in May. I hope someone cares to see it again, although I apologize for being almost a day late. (Nowadays, as a working adult, I wind up shopping more on the weekend than Wednesdays, anyway, so maybe some readers out there act similarly.)

What spurred me back to action was the number of good comics out today, and other comments I wanted to make about the releases. Let’s start with books I’ve previously recommended.

From Amulet Books, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword ($9.95) is a re-release, since the sequel, How Mirka Met a Meteorite is due out later this month. Both are recommended as exciting fantasy grounded in a loving family that’s part of a unique society.

From Vertical comes a re-release of the outstanding Paradise Kiss manga ($16.95 for the first oversized volume). It’s a short run series (originally 5 books, now only 3) that combines fashion, first love, jaded self-awareness, and coming of age in an addictive blend.

(I also read Vertical’s The Drops of God: New World ($14.95), but I wasn’t as impressed by that volume, which may be the last in the series.)

For younger readers, Toon’s A Trip to the Bottom of the World ($12.95) is a charming adventure that adults will enjoy sharing as well.

All those were enjoyable, but the book of the week for me is Hope Larson’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time ($19.99). It’s a gorgeous work that brought new insight to a beloved story, but I have a full review coming later this week.

An odd note for a long-established publisher: Archie today released Archie #637 ($2.99), a forgettable blend of fairy tales and the Riverdale characters. I note this because the last stapled comic Archie released featuring their core characters came out August 22, with Archie #636. There were no Archie periodicals published in the month of September — just digest reprints, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, and their superhero attempt New Crusaders: Rise of the Heroes, with its four variant covers.

A certain audience segment may be interested in Transposes from Northwest Press ($19.99), an anthology of stories featuring queer transgender men by Dylan Edwards. I was intrigued by the description, but in the preview I saw, there was too much “preaching to the choir”. By that I mean that the stories didn’t explain enough about being transgender to the uninformed reader — I was sometimes unaware of the context of the conflicts portrayed or I got lost among the characters. (I refuse to say “had a hard time keeping the characters straight.”) A particular segment of readers, though, will find this book long overdue and welcome seeing portrayals of people like them or those they know.

Last, there’s a handsome classic comic collection. Titan Books has released an oversized hardcover, Flash Gordon on the Planet Mongo ($39.95). This first volume of “The Complete Flash Gordon Library” collects all of Alex Raymond’s Sunday strips from January 1, 1934, to April 18, 1937, newly restored.

Alex Ross writes the introduction, about the legacy of the classic sci-fi adventure character and his various appearances in media; I would have rather read more about the strengths of Raymond’s art. Doug Murray provides some information on the artist’s life and the world he was working in, although I thought the piece was shallow. The strips themselves show the fuzzy registration and visible-dot color faithful to the original printings. Raymond’s dynamic illustration still shines through, though — and although the story is well-known (and a bit ridiculous) these days, that’s the primary appeal of this archive.

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