Alphabetical Index of IDW / Top Shelf

Long Distance #4

Well, that was unexpected. I wasn’t sure how this romantic comedy about a long-distance relationship was going to play out, since I wouldn’t put it past author Thom Zahler to break my heart. Thankfully, we get a satisfactory ending, but one I couldn’t have predicted. A lot is lumped into this issue. After Carter and Lee met and fell in love, they had to figure out how to make their separation work for them — what with Carter co-running an […]

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Long Distance #3

Long Distance #3 continues the comic romance by Thom Zahler in just the right ways. At first, Carter and Lee are floating on air. They’ve hit a major new point in their relationship, and their exhilaration at sharing their joy with friends floats off the pages. (It’s a modern romance, in that whether or not to say “I love you” is more significant than swapping bodily fluids.) I like the way there’s a whole cast here, with co-workers and family […]

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Bravo for Adventure

Alex Toth is rightly recognized as a genius artist, with a particular facility for dramatic black areas. Bravo for Adventure was an aborted comic series about pilot Jesse Bravo, a swashbuckling adventurer, with everything related to it collected here in a handsome, oversized hardcover. The presentation is everything a history buff could ask for. Editor Dean Mullaney’s introduction lays out the project’s checkered past (with plans to publish interrupted) for those readers, like me, who’ve never heard of it before. […]

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Long Distance #1

Out today is the first issue of Thom Zahler’s new project, after a lengthy run on Love and Capes, a terrific superhero romantic comedy. It’s Long Distance, and this four-issue miniseries drops the genre trappings to tell a straightforward romance. As you might guess from the title, it’s about a situation many of us have been in (or thought about). Carter is an ad agency art director from Columbus, Ohio; Lee is a NASA research scientist (and bravo to Thom […]

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Jem and the Holograms #1-2

Never having watched the cartoon show, I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy the new licensed comic. I shouldn’t have worried — writer Kelly Thompson and artist Sophie Campbell do a terrific job setting up and refreshing the premise for today’s audience. I want to call particular attention to Campbell’s art and the coloring by M. Victoria Robado. (You can see preview pages online.) The book’s style is clean, open, and exciting, due to the candy colors and the expressive, […]

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Rocketeer / The Spirit: Pulp Friction

Out next month is a dynamite pairing of two comic properties with old-fashioned flavor. Rocketeer / The Spirit: Pulp Friction works so well because the creators know their stuff. The characters sound right (and different from each other), their histories are acknowledged (without leaving out readers who don’t know them), and the look is nicely retro, clear and easy to read. It’s 1941, and the Spirit, Commissioner Dolan, and Ellen Dolan go to Los Angeles, where they run into Cliff […]

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The Bojeffries Saga

The Bojeffries Saga is my favorite Alan Moore title. It’s got a strong sense of humor, for one thing, and while the writer is almost single-handedly responsible for shaping the dark and introspective US comic market from 1986-1993 (with Watchmen, which launched the grim’n’gritty trend; Swamp Thing, a key title responsible for the Vertigo imprint; and V for Vendetta, among other works), many of his comics are too depressing for me to truly love them. (And thankfully, this book doesn’t […]

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Alone Forever: The Singles Collection

I thought Liz Prince’s first book, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?, was charmingly cute in its portrayal of hipsters in love. But it’s been almost ten years since then (with Delayed Replays along the way), and Prince is now single and grumpy. Alone Forever: The Singles Collection collects her webcomic strips on the subject. The style is still raw and hand-lettered, as though we’re peeking into her sketchbook journal, but the figures and panel construction […]

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