Were Money No Object on Dec. 21

The Book I Want to Buy:

Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand

by Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl, and Ramon Perez; Archaia, $29.95

So someone found a screenplay written by Jim Henson, and they decided to have it adapted as a graphic novel by the fine people at Archaia.  Apparently, the story is about some guy who doesn’t know where he is, but is chased across a desert by all sorts of strange creatures.

I think this is going to be one of those books where plot and story become secondary to cool visuals and art.  Ramon Perez has received a lot of praise for his work on this book, and everyone loves the madness that can come from the late Jim Henson’s mind.

I know this is a book I want to check out.

The Books I Think You Should Buy:

Officer Downe: Bigger Better Bastard Edition Hardcover

by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham; Image, $17.99

Officer Downe first appeared in it’s original prestige format incarnation in July of 2010.  Here’s what I had to say about it at the time:

If I say that this is a graphic novella by Joe Casey about a hardcore cop who can’t stay dead, fighting crime however he feels like it, is that enough of a description to totally understand the concept and make enough of an informed decision about whether or not you would enjoy it?  Basically, they had me at Joe Casey, but perhaps a more discerning reader would need more incentive…

How about that the book is set in Mother****ing L.A (as the first words in the book tells us)?  Or that it’s drawn by Chris Burnham, who assisted Casey so well on the brilliant and under-rated Nixon’s Pals a couple of years back?

Maybe you’d need to know that Officer Downe is resurrected through the efforts of hundreds of men with degenerative neurological disorders?  Or that the LA crime scene is under control of the Fortune 500 – a group of animal-headed criminals?  Maybe you’d need to know that the Fortune 500 hires the assassin Zen Master Flash and his cadre of students dressed in Kick-Ass’s track suit to kill the good officer?

If that’s not enough for you, maybe you should be aware of the fact that this book is like reading a strange mix of Marshal Law and Hard-Boiled.

If none of that convinces you to go pick this up, then you’re beyond help, because this is a balls-out fun comic to read, and proof of the fact that Casey is in a class of his own as a writer (when not working for the Big Two).

Nothing I said then has changed, except for the fact that Burnham has gotten himself a lot of attention drawing Batman Incorporated, and that the comic is now going to be Bigger, Better, and more bastard-y.  It kind of makes me wish I’d waited…

Strange Girl Omnibus

by Rick Remender, Eric Nguyen, Jerome Opena, Nick Stakal, and Peter Bergting; Image, $59.99

Rick Remender’s name has become a big one at Marvel these days, what with his popular and well-regarded Uncanny X-Force, his taking over Secret Avengers after Warren Ellis, and his original takes on characters like Venom and The Punisher.  Remender got his start in the independent world, with his Fear Agent being his best-known title.  One series that impressed me, which hasn’t received as much attention, is his Strange Girl.

It’s been a while since I’ve read this, but from what I remember, a young woman has found herself stuck between the forces of good and evil in a world that has been ruined by the Rapture, which happened some ten years before.  She has a small demon sidekick, and is searching for the last gateway to Heaven, where she is hoping to talk her way in.  This makes sense, as the world has become Hell on Earth, basically, and she doesn’t want to stay there anymore.

Strange Girl is full of dark humour and some surprisingly emotional moments.  Remender’s trade-mark ‘anything goes’ approach to writing comics is in full effect here, and the whole run of the comic was pretty unpredictable.  The best thing about this comic though, is the art by Eric Nguyen.  The book has a very abstract look through its earliest issues, and it looks great.  After Nguyen left the comic, there were a string of perfectly acceptable artists who were not quite as accomplished or unique as Nguyen, but who managed to take the series to its conclusion nicely.  I’d forgotten that Jerome Opena, who is absolutely killing Uncanny X-Force these days, was on this book.

This hardcover contains the entire series (all 18 issues), and is worth checking out.

So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?

Write in with your best Boxing Day finds, if you are the type to brave the line-ups and crowds.  I always gather up a ton of stuff in the days after Christmas…

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