Books I Would Like to Buy:
Nam Vol. 2 TP
by Doug Murray, Michael Golden, John Severin, and Wayne Vansant; Marvel, $29.99
I somehow never managed to read this comic when it was coming out (I was pretty young), but I did read an old collection a couple of years ago, and I liked what I read. The Vietnam war is of a lot of interest to me, as are war comics in general, so it would seem that this comic, set during the war, and purporting to be a realistic portrayal of what was going on, would be something I’d like. Add to that art by comics legends Michael Golden and John Severin, and this has to be good (even though most of the ten issues collected here are drawn by Wayne Vansant, who I’m not familiar with).
I think there should be a place for war comics that are set in periods other than during the Second World War. As much as I like Ennis’s Battlefields series, it’s time to explore some of America’s less morally imperative forays into armed conflict.
Note: I couldn’t find the cover image for this book anywhere, so I used the cover of the comic collected within that I like the most.
by Mark Waid and Minck Oosterveer; Boom!, $9.99
If there’s any comics writer you can trust to deliver a well-written tale, it’s Mark Waid. Since joining Boom!, he’s put out some very interesting comics, from Irredeemable to Potter’s Field. He’s been increasingly critical of the comics establishment as well, so a smaller project like this becomes a good opportunity to test his views on creativity and ingenuity.
This project looks to be about yet another female private investigator as she tries to solve the only case that has stumped her. It sounds like a pretty standard set up, so it would be interesting to see how Waid handles this.
I pretty much ignored this comic when it came out, and don’t remember reading any reviews of it. In fact, I think I skipped the preview pages that were run in a recent issue of Farscape, so I’d be coming into this title blind. As far as I’m concerned though, it’s by Waid and it’s only $9.99 in softcover, so it’s worth a risk.
Books I Think You Should Buy:
by Dave McKean; Dark Horse, $29.99
Cages was originally published in a ten-issue magazine-sized format by Tundra, back in the early nineties. It took six years for the various issues to come out, and I remember being absolutely fascinated (and frequently confused) by it. I’ve always meant to re-read the series in one sitting, but have never gotten around to it.
Cages is not an easy comic to describe. Dark Horse, which is the publisher of this new collected edition, summarizes it by saying, “It chronicles the intersecting lives of a painter, a writer, and a musician living in the same apartment building, and is a profound rumination on art, God, cats, and the cages we build for ourselves.” That works for me.
What stuck with me is the sense of wonder this comic gave me. McKean draws most of the book, but there were some painted pages as well. I remember really liking the original covers; I hope that Dark Horse includes them in this collection.
Note: I never once referenced McKean’s collaborations with Neil Gaiman to describe this comic intentionally – he can stand on his own as a writer and an artist.
Wildcats Version 3.0: Year One TP
by Joe Casey and Dustin Nguyen; Wildstorm, $24.99
It’s about time that DC/Wildstorm realize what a wonderful series they had in this, and start to give it the recognition it deserves. Wildcats Version 3.0 is the best incarnation of Jim Lee’s team ever published, and it is an amazing read.
With this book, Casey took a completely different approach to the team, and set up Spartan as the CEO of Halo Industries. He starts to position the company as a leader in environmental technology, as it begins to produce batteries that never run out of energy, and cars that run on them.
There is still plenty of action and intrigue, as new characters are introduced, and old ones, like Grifter, stick around to see what happens. Many of the ideas that Casey played with here are still influencing recent comics – it’s impossible to read Matt Fraction’s run on Invincible Iron Man without thinking of this comic.
Casey’s writing is as sharp as ever, and it’s easy to see from this why Dustin Nguyen’s become one of the best artists in the DC stable. I can’t recommend this book, which collects the first two, out-of-print trades (reviewed here and here) enough. Wildstorm famously canceled this book (and it’s sort-of sister title Stormwatch: Team Achilles), only to replace them later with less popular versions that did not sell as well. I think it’s easy to read into this new publication an admission of error, as this stuff is really cool.
So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?
Tags: Boom Studios, Dark Horse, wildcats, Wildstorm