The Books I Want to Buy:
Finder Library Vol. 2
by Carla Speed McNeill; Dark Horse, $24.99
My knowledge and experience of Finder is limited to the Voice graphic novel which I read this summer, and the four short stories that have been printed in the new Dark Horse Presents, but I feel safe in saying that I’m hooked by Carla Speed McNeil’s amazing saga. Finder is a science fiction series set in a world where people have divided into strictly delineated clans.
They live in gigantic cities that are built layer upon layer, and which are tremendously complicated. Sunlight is something that has to be paid for, so many of the lower levels are always dark. As I said, I don’t know much about the early parts of this story, but I know that these Finder Library editions that Dark Horse are putting out collect the earlier, self-published stories in chronological order, and contain McNeil’s hefty annotations and explanatory notes.
I really need to get the first volume and get into this story properly.
The ‘Nam Vol. 3
by Doug Murray, Michael Golden, Wayne Vansant, and Sam Glanzman; Marvel, $29.99
Okay, these comics aren’t all that hard to find for fifty cents to a dollar each, so paying $30 for the trade seems pretty hefty. It is, however, nice to see that Marvel is making these stories available to readers on nicer paper, and collected in one place. I stupidly ignored The ‘Nam as a kid, having only recently rediscovered the series. In its earliest form, this book strove to portray the war one month at a time, staying faithful to events as they occurred, while featuring fictional characters.
The big draw of this book, even for an avowed fan of war comics like me, is the art by Michael Golden, who uses a cartoonish style for the characters, while managing to evoke a realistic depiction of military hardware and the difficulties of this war.
Grave Doug Freshley
by Josh Hechinger and mpMann; Archaia, $19.95
I first pre-ordered this some years ago when it was supposed to be a monthly mini-series, which never came out. I could be wrong, but I think this book was also solicited once before as a graphic novel, or was promised to come out as part of Archaia’s $10 line that never went anywhere. It’s been so long, who can even remember?
Anyway, I think this is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek Western or something. I don’t know that I ever read the solicitation text for this book. It’s being drawn by mpMann, and that’s enough for me. I have enjoyed everything he’s done so far (The Lone and Level Sands, Some New Kind of Slaughter, Inanna’s Tears, and something else I’m forgetting right now).
Archaias books, when they finally come out, are almost always worth the wait, so I’ll be adding this to my wish list for sure.
The Book I Think You Should Buy:
Alpha Flight Classics Vol. 2
by John Byrne; Marvel, $29.99
Contained in this book are some of the best Marvel comics of the 1980s. I remember being blown away by John Byrne’s Alpha Flight. This collection covers issues 9 through 16, which means it has the pivotal twelfth issue, which had a surprise ending that was played perfectly. I still remember being shocked by the last couple of pages, although I actually prefer the way in which the after effects of that event were explored in the subsequent issues.
Alpha Flight has enjoyed a resurgence lately, with their new mini-series being expanded into an on-going, thanks to the excellent work being done by Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak, and Dale Eaglesham. My only complaint with the new series is in how they portray Heather Hudson, who Byrne put so much effort into in the comics collected here. She became one of the most real comics characters of her era, and it is in this book that that happened. Highly recommended.
So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?
Tags: Alpha Flight, Archaia, Dark Horse, Finder, Marvel, Were Money No Object