It’s often famine or feast in the comics world. Last week had pretty sparse pickings, but this week has a wide variety of diverse projects that I’m interested in.
Books I Want to Buy:
Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects HC
by Mike Mignola; Dark Horse, $17.99
Having just worked my way through the totality of Mignola’s Hellboy, BPRD, and other associated comics in the last few months, I find I’m craving more. The only problem is, there’s not much more to be had. At least, until this book comes out. It features the Eisner-winning ‘Amazing Screw-On Head’ story, which has something to do with Lincoln, zombies, and a dog. This book also has a story called, ‘The Magician and the Snake’, which also won an Eisner.
Beyond that, the Dark Horse solicitation offers ‘fifty pages of brand-new material’, but doesn’t specify if this material consists of actual comics, or if it’s all the back of the trade sketchbook and character design stuff we usually get. Either way, I know that I’ll be picking this book up eventually, but I’d be much happier if it’s all stories (the DVD extra stuff rarely gets my attention, and is never justification for a high price in my books).
If you’ve not read any of Mignola’s comics, this is probably as good a place as any to get a feel for his approach, even though I suspect that this stuff is miles away from Hellboy.
Existence 2.0/3.0 TPB
by Nick Spencer, Ron Salas, and Joe Eisma; Image, $14.99
This was actually at my comic store this week, even though it didn’t show up on the Midtown Comics list (which I find usually to be more reliable than the one Diamond posts on their website) until this week.
Anyway, I’ve been recently quite impressed with Nick Spencer, whose Forgetless was amazing, whose Morning Glories caught a lot of (deserved) attention, and whose Shuddertown continues to mystify me, as my opinion vacillates with each new issue. This trade collects his two Existence mini-series (2.0, and 3.0). I don’t know too much about them other than that they have something to do with consciousness transfer, and that they got decent reviews when they were first published.
I feel like Spencer has it in him to be the next Jonathan Hickman (although to be fair, his Image work is not at the level of Hickman’s series like Nightly News and Pax Romana), and he’s already been snatched up by DC, where he is doing a Jimmy Olson back-up in Action Comics. I want to check out his work at the ground floor, and this trade is the best way to do that.
There is a preview of the book here.
28 Days Later Vol. 1 London Calling TPB
by Michael Alan Nelson and Declan Shalvey; Boom!, $9.99
I liked the two 28 Days Later films (even if I’m not in agreement with zombies that run), and have always been interested in stories about civilization pulling itself back together (hence the reason why I love The Walking Dead so much). This book is set between the two films, and follows one of the characters to England, as she travels with a bunch of war correspondents.
This is probably a tricky book to pull off (the spectre of Kirkman’s series must hang heavy over a project like this), but Nelson has established himself as one of the better Boom writers, and this series has been running for a while now, which must mean something.
And really, the book is only $9.99. I love that Boom does this with their series (see below), as it makes me much more likely to give something a try. It worked with Irredeemable, which I’m now patiently trade-waiting on.
Books I Think You Should Buy:
Strange Tales TPB
by a whole bunch of people; Marvel, $24.99
I’m sure that by now most people are familiar with this project – Marvel asked a number of well-known and up-and-coming ‘independent’ and comix artists to contribute short stories using the Marvel stable of characters. The three-part mini-series that is collected here (they were oversized issues), along with some short stories from other sources (like Michael Kupperman’s awesome Marvel the Robot stories) was very inconsistent in terms of quality, but had some very memorable strips.
The most memorable story is Paul Pope’s wonderful Inhumans story, but there are others that I remember fondly. Corey Lewis has a nice Longshot story, Stan Sakai has a good Hulk story, and I love Kupperman’s work.
I remember being quickly bored with Peter Bagge’s Incorrigible Hulk story, which got a lot of attention, but then Bagge’s work has never been my cup of tea. This is by no means a perfect anthology, but Marvel should be commended for trying something new and experimental.
Farscape Vol. 1 The Beginning of the End of the Beginning
by Rockne S. O’Bannon, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Tommy Patterson; Boom!, $9.99
Farscape is one of those TV shows you either love or hate. It was deeply bizarre, unpredictable, funny, and often exquisitely acted. It was never a show to be watched casually, and it makes sense that it wasn’t more popular. I only caught on right at the very end, and have watched the show on DVD. The one thing that I was left with after four seasons and a TV movie was a desire for more.
With this book, Boom reprints the original four-issue mini-series with an affordable $9.99 price point to introduce the title (or reintroduce the characters) to new readers. This comic is co-written and plotted by Rockne S. O’Bannon, the original show producer, placing it in the company of Buffy Season 8, as canon, as opposed to just being yet another licensed comic.
All the usual characters are around for this story set around Rygel’s desire to reclaim his throne. This story could never have been done on the show, as it would have necessitated hundreds of Hynerian puppets.
The story is decent enough, but I’ll warn you that the art is a little rough. The on-going book has improved by a few orders of magnitude since these earliest issues were published, but it’s always good to start at the beginning of things. O’Bannon and DeCandido lay down a few things in this book that are still affecting Moya and her crew.
So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?
Tags: Boom Studios, Dark Horse, Farscape, Image, MAX, Were Money No Object