- Posted by Johanna on November 20, 2013 at 8:04 am
- Category: Shopping Guide
Today, there are a number of great releases scheduled to appear at your local comic shop. I’m highlighting some notable titles worth paying attention to.
Book of my week is The Cute Girl Network (First Second, $17.99). It’s a New Adult modern romance in graphic novel form by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood, and I really enjoyed reading this story of how Jane and Jack meet, fall in love, and put up with those who think he’s not good enough for her. (While being glad I was no longer that young or unsure of myself anymore.)
Fantagraphics is releasing Trina Robbins‘ latest and last history of women in comics, Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 ($29.99). I’m really interested in reading it, as Robbins often hunts out previously unknown creators, and the book has plenty of art samples as well.
Dark Horse has been actively promoting The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, but I didn’t think it lived up to its promise. While Andrew C. Robinson’s art is gorgeous (you can mostly ignore the Kyle Baker credit, since he only contributes a handful of pages), I think Vivek J. Tiwary, as a new writer, could have used a bit more help with structure and explaining his story to non-devout Beatles fans. While the standard edition is $19.99, there are several upgrades available, as well, with a Collector’s Edition ($49.99) and a Limited Edition ($99.99). The first includes an extra “section of bonus materials including Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia, artist sketches, and alternate covers” while the limited-to-1500-copies edition “features a tip-in sheet signed by creators Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker, along with a twenty-four-page bonus section including rare Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia and behind-the-scenes sketches… and a special slipcase”.
The TwoMorrows magazine Back Issue celebrates its tenth anniversary with a super-sized 100-page issue #69 ($9.95). Articles inside cover famous anniversary issues, such as Superman #300 and #400, Wonder Woman #300, Avengers #300, Detective Comics #500, and more. Back Issue is a great history read about comics of the 1970s and 1980s, often with behind-the-scenes information from those who were there.
The second issue of Afterlife With Archie (Archie Comics, $2.99) is out. Its launch last month was surprisingly successful, given that the comic is about “what if the Archie characters became zombies?” Sometimes, with these high-concept titles, the curious are satisfied after a small taste, so it’ll be interesting to see if the praise and press continue as the story does.
DC Comics is teaming up two long-time, well-known media properties as Batman and Robin guest-star in the first issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up ($2.99). Retailer Mike Sterling calls it “light and fun and certainly a much-missed version of Batman”, which sounds right up my alley.
For a very different audience (adults only!), there’s Sex Criminals #3 (Image Comics, $3.50). It sounds ridiculous — a couple discovers that time freezes when they orgasm, so they decide to commit crimes with their superpower — but it’s really strong storytelling from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. The first two issues were origin stories exploring the couple’s background, and Fraction selects some key incidents that are really true and heart-breaking. Great comic reading, if you’re old enough!
Mysterious Strangers wraps up its first run to be collected with issue #6 (Oni Press, $3.99). Chris Roberson and Scott Kowalchuk’s retro-hip superhero team face down space aliens (of course). I see echoes of the original Doom Patrol here, with a group of misfits who are really cooler than those who reject them, but it’s the distinctive look of the book that keeps me reading. It’s streamlined, but with echoes of 60s design, particularly in the character appearances. Read it with a cocktail lounge soundtrack!