Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Review: Wings

by Shinsuke Tanaka
Purple Bear Books, $14.95

There's just one word for Shinsuke Tanaka's silent manga Wings: adorable.

A farmer riding his bike finds a puppy abandoned in a box by the side of the road. But this is no ordinary puppy: he has wings! Farmer takes the puppy home, puppy grows up into a flying dog. Various adventures are had, some humorous, some harrowing.

There are no words in Wings; the story is completely carried by Tanaka's excellent artwork, done entirely in grayscale pencil. Quiet scenes, exciting flying scenes, and everything in between works. At an average of about one panel per page (some have two, otehres are 2-page spreads) it reads quickly. Some may bristle at paying $15 for a 5-10 min. read; but this resembles a good hardcover picture book as much as it does a graphic novel, and in that company it's not too expensive at all. Wings will also appeal to fans of Owly (though I'd say that Wings is more sophisticated).

If you're looking for a charming, delightful manga that's quite different from the norm, give Wings a look.

Rating: 4 (0f 5)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New This Week: November 29, 2006

RagmopBased on the NCRL list for this week's comics shipping from Diamond, here are a few things to look for at the local comic shop tomorrow:

The Pick of the Week is the collected edition (plus new material!) of Rob Walton's Ragmop. It's a political/religious/science satire with conspiracy theories, talking dinosaurs, and Richard Feynman, all done in a style like Chuck Jones-era Warner Bros. cartoons. If that sounds interesting to you at all, you'll want to fork over the $30 for this large (464 pages!) collection.

In other comics:

Boom! have the final issue of Talent (#4) and the first issue of the reimagined Whisper.

Carroll & Graf have the Mammoth Book of Best New Manga.

Dark Horse have the Dark Horse Book of Monsters anthology, and a new Goon collection: vol. 5, Wicked Inclinations.

DC have the Batman/The Spirit crossover; a fourth Ex Machina collection; the first issue of Howard Chaykin's Guy Gardner mini; and new issues of 52 (week 30) and Batman (#659).

Drawn & Quarterly have a new volume of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library.

Fantagraphics have a new issue of Castle Waiting (#3), and a new Comics Journal too (#279).

Image have new issues of The Emissary (#6) and Negative Burn (#6), plus the sixth Noble Causes collection. (hmmm, 6-6-6...)

Marvel collect the Barracuda story from Punisher Max; and have new issues of Captain America (#24), Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (#14), Nextwave (#10), Powers (#21), Punisher (#41), and Ultimate Power (#2).

TokyoPop have the sixth volume of Beck.

Enjoy your new comics!

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Library Comics: Week of November 20, 2006

Here are the comics we added to our library collection last week:

Bieri, Sean. Jumbo jape : a massive miniature collection one full decade in the making! : thrill to these comical masterworks /Hamtramck, Mich. : Sean Bieri, c2003.

Bieri, Sean. Overtime for business chimp /Hamtramck, Mich. : Sean Bieri, [200-?]

Boiled owl /[San Francisco] : [Boiled Owl], [1977?]

Broersma, Matt. Insomnia /Seattle, WA : Fantagraphics Books ; [Bologna, Italy?] : Coconino Press, c2005- no. 2

Campbell, J. Chris. Quitter /Greenville, SC : Wide Awake Press, c2003.

Cater, Donovan. Chucky : a 24 hour comic /Eastland, Muskegon, Mich. : Powernut Comics, c2004.

Cater, Donovan. Reg Maximum : inter-galactic real estate agent : a 24 hour comic /Muskegon, Mich. : Donovan Cater, [2005]

Cicerone, Michelangelo. Ozone Jones comics /[Dearborn, Mich.?] : M. Cicerone, c2003.

Espinosa, Rod. The courageous princess /San Antonio, Tex. : Antartic Press, 2000- vols. 2-3

Frost, Sean. A yearly treat /Manchester, MI : Hula Cat Comics, c2004.

Hiti, Samuel. The gallows noose /United States : La Luz Comics, c2004.

Miller, Jordan. Vikings are the new pirates /Ann Arbor, Mich. : Vikings Are the New Pirates, c2006.

Rebecca. Housewives and hot moms at play /Seattle, Wash. : Eros Comix, 2002.

Speed tunnel. /[United States?] : [s.n.], [200-?]

Starr, Chelsea. Weird Bob /S[an] F[rancisco] : Kapow!, c2001.

Dave Cockrum, 1943-2006

The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives vol. 10

As most of you have no doubt already read on other blogs, Dave Cockrum passed away over the weekend. (Tom Spurgeon unsurprisingly has the best rundown of his career.)

Most will remember Cockrum as the co-creator of the "All-New, All-Different X-Men," but I'll always best remember his work on the 70s-era Legion of Super-Heroes, and especially those funky costumes--why wouldn't teenage super-heroes of the future run around in their swimsuits? He also drew one of the greatest super-hero weddings ever, that of Bouncing Boy & Duo Damsel.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Monkey Covers

Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Today's cover comes courtesy of comics blogger extraordinaire Mike Sterling, who recommends the cover to Richie Rich & Jackie Jokers #19. It was one of the many Richie Rich comics his store got in a collection recently, and he says he thought of YACB as soon as he came across it. Thanks Mike!

(Standard disclaimer about giant apes not really being monkeys applies.)

A note: Monkey Covers will be going on hiatus for the next month or so as starting this Friday we'll have our annual Festival of Christmas Covers. Don't worry monkey fans, as Monkey covers will be back the last Sunday of the year.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

The Adventures of Pipsqueak #36

We here at YACB wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Unless of course you're a turkey; in which case: RUN!

(Cover to The Adventures of Pipsqueak #36 courtesy of the GCD.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Review: Pirate Tales #1

Pirate Tales #1Pirate Tales #1
Boom! Studios, $6.99

Pirates, so they say, are the new zombies. And thus it makes sense that the company best known for its Zombie Tales anthologies would put together an anthology devoted to Pirate Tales.

As with most anthologies, it's a mixed mag. The most visually interesting story here is "The Walk," with each page being both a panel of the story and a section of the deck of the pirate ship. Unfortunately the story by Joe Casey (who is always hit-or-miss for me) doesn't do much for me. "Wolf on the Wave," by Johanna Stokes and Julia Bax, puts a female spin on an old-school pirate tale; and John Roers & Lee Carter's "Namesake" gives us a tale of modern-day high-seas piracy.

My favorite story of the lot is the last one, "Rum & Inspiration." The art by the always wonderful Fabio Moon is great as expected, and Christopher Golden turns in a solid story of pirates in a bar, with a twist at the end.

In all, another solid outing from the team at Boom!

Rating: 3 (of 5)

(A review copy of this comic was provided by the publisher)

Monkey Covers Extra

Matthew Hoffman, librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Primate Research Center, wrote in to tell me that last year their Webpage featured a rotating gallery of comic book covers featuring non-human primates. They've since moved on to featuring movie posters, but he's put together all of the featured covers from last year on a single page for your viewing enjoyment!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mid-90s Inter-Company Crossovers That Never Were

Mid-90s Inter-Company Crossovers That Never Were.
#1 in a series?

Deathstroke vs. Deadpool

You just know that in 1994 this would've sold oodles of copies.

It might have gone something like this:

The Maggia hires Slade Wilson--aka Deathstroke, the Terminator--to take out Lex Luthor. After a near miss, Luthor hires Deadpool to pro-actively defend him by eliminating Deathstroke. Much combat ensues.

E-mail & Misc.

ITEM! So I stumbled across the fact that when I upgraded this blog to Blogger Beta, Blogger helpfully decided to list my Gmail address as contact information. Not anywhere on the blog itself, but on my profile page and in the feed. Problem is, I almost never check that Gmail address. So if you tried to contact me that way, and it seemed like I was ignoring you, I was actually just ignoring my Gmail. As always, should you wish to contact me, I can be emailed at my regular email address.

ITEM! Not much blogging last week at all. I'd like to say it was because I was hard at work on my script for NaGraNoWriMo, but sadly it was because last week was a hell week. In fact, I haven't been getting much writing done at all. There's no way I'm going to finish by the end of November, but I'll keep plugging along until I get done.

ITEM! I have, however, done much in the way of procrastination. Such as putting a good deal of work into the Comic Series Wiki, creating a bunch of new series pages. Why not drop by and help out by fleshing out information on your favorite series?

ITEM! I did manage to make a small but noticeable dent in my to-be-read pile over the weekend. I'm not really up for writing actual reviews, but I quite liked the second story arc on DMZ (issues #6-10) and thought it was better than the first, and the "Out of Egypt" story in Testament was good too. I read the first trade of Brubaker & Lark's Daredevil and it as fantabulous. I also liked the first issue of Jonathan Hickman's The Nightly News; it reminded me a lot of Brian Wood's early work, except that where Wood typically praises journalists, Hickman's comic has nothing but contempt.

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Library Comics: Week of November 13 2006

Here are the comics we added to our library collection last week:

Bernet, Jordi. Bernet /San Francisco, CA : Auad Pub., [200-?]

Caretta, Fernando. Insatiable /Seattle, WA : Eros Comix, c1998.

Cargo : comic journalism : Israel, Germany /Berlin : Avant-Verlag, [2005]

Corben, Richard. Edgar Allan Poe's haunt of horror /New York : Marvel, 2006.

Doucet, Julie, 1965- My most secret desire /Montreal, Quebec : Drawn & Quarterly ; New York : Distributed in the USA and abroad by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

Katin, Miriam. We are on our own : a memoir /Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly ; New York : Distributed in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

Moore, Alan, 1953- Lost girls /Atlanta : Top Shelf Productions, c2006.

Tanaka, Shinsuke. Wings /New York : Purple Bear Books, 2006, c2000.

Top Shelf asks the big questions /Marietta, GA : Top Shelf Productions, c2003.

Zee, Jennifer V. (Jennifer Vun-Wei) Biceps /[California?] : Jennifer V. Zee, c2006.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Monkey Covers

Agents of Atlas #2Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Gorilla Man graces Tomm Coker's cover of the recent Agents of Atlas #2.

(Standard disclaimer about gun-toting gorillas not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Library Comics: Week of November 6, 2006

Here are the comics we added to our library collection last week:

Andersson, Max. Bosnian flat dog /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Doran, Colleen, 1963- Knights of the angel /West Chester, Pa. : Whitford Press, c1989.

Dunlop, Rob. Tozzer 2 : special edition /London : Ablaze Media, c2005.

Fiering, Greg. I don't love you! : the best of Migraine Boy /San Jose, CA : SLG Pub., c2004.

Hoffmann, Heinrich, 1809-1894. Struwwelpeter /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Konig, Ralf. Dschinn Dschinn /Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 2005-2006. vols. 1-2

Laxman, R. K. Brushing up the years : a cartoonist's history of India, 1947-2004 /New Delhi ; New York : Penguin Viking, 2005.

Love and rockets (Fantagraphics Books) Love and rockets. /Stamford, CT : Fantagraphics Books, 1982- vol. 2 no. 17

McCubbin, Lauren. Pretty like a princess /Berkeley, CA : Penny Dreadful Press, c2002.

Minus, Walter. Darling Cheri /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Rennie, Gordon. The life and times of Ulli & Marquand and their misadventures in Mordheim, city of the damned /Nottingham : Games Workshop Publishing, c2002.

Umezu, Kazuo. Reflections /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Manga, 2006. vol. 1

Watase, Yu. Oracle /San Francisco, CA : Viz Communications, 1999.

Watase, Yu. Priestess /San Francisco, CA : Viz Communications, c1999.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Monkey Covers

Magilla Gorilla #4Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Magilla Corilla is juggling fish on the cover of 1964's Magilla Gorilla #4.

(Standard disclaimer about fish-juggling cartoon gorillas not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Back in the late 90s one of my favorite comics at the time, Tara Tallan's Galaxion, folded due to a hostile market. But now Tallan has brought Galaxion back as a Webcomic at Girl-a-Matic. The first page of a new story is up: go take a look.

(BTW: Tara, if by chance you're reading this: the 11 existing issues of Galaxion would make a killing I think as a 'manga format' collection...)

(link via Laura)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What American accent do you have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Barry M. Goldwater #1

John F. Kennedy #1

Barry Goldwater & John F. Kennedy remind all American comic readers to do your civil duty today and vote!

New Library Comics: Week of October 30, 2006

Here are the comics we added to our library collection last week:

Cendreda, Martin. Bare foot riot : a sketchbook compilation /[Los Angeles] : Giant Robot Books, [2005]

Daly, Joe. Scrublands /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Disney comics : 75 years of innovation : the official anniversary book. /[United States] : Gemstone Publishing, c2006.

Edwards, Jonathan. Aunt Connie and the plague of beards /[London] : Les Cartoonists Dangereux, c1999.

Howlett, David. The complete Bad moon rising /[Canada] : Guerilla Press, [200-?]

Kim, Miran. The fallen /New York : NBM, c1999-

Ottaviani, Jim. Wild person in the woods /Los Angeles, CA : Orangutan Foundation International, c1998.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Minicomics Monday: SNAP!

I had a good time at SNAP! on Saturday and picked up a lot of cool stuff. I'll do some real reviews of some of the comics in later editions of Minicomics Monday, but here are some highlights:

Easily the coolest thing I got this year was the collected edition of Cool Jerk & Homo Gal, the early minicomic from Sean Bieri featuring the titular Defenders of Detroit's Cass Corridor. I first read these way back in library school when Sara came bounding into class one day, thrust a bunch of the minis into my hands and told me to read them. I laughed then, and I'm laughing now. Plus, for $3 collecting the six minis it's a good deal too.

Matt Feazell was there too of course with a couple new issues of The Amazing Cynical Man, and Pam Bliss had a couple new Kekionga Miniworks, including the oblong-shaped "The Smell of Midnight" featuring everyone's favorite werewolf librarian.

I'm also ready to add Suzanne Baumann to my list of area minicomicsers whose work is not to be missed, as I'm really enjoying her work and she's nice and friendly and really seems to enjoy her cartooning. I picked up both issues of her As Eavesdropped... and laughed quite a few times.

Matt, Sean, Suzanne & Pam shared the middle aisle with Jim Ottaviani (though I see him once a week or so at work) and the kids from the U-M School of Art & Design with the second volume of their Empty Pockets anthology.

But enough with the old faves--how about some new stuff?

I was very impressed by Max Ink and his chapbook series Blink. His art is very good--reminiscent in ways of Alex Robinson--and based on the pages-in-progress he had on hand for his fourth issue he keeps on improving. Plus Max was very friendly and professional; he had a free 10-page minicomic he was giving away and was drawing sketches on the back for people whether or not they bought any of his comix. If he wants to make the leap to 'regular' comics I have no doubt that he'd be a success.

I was pleasantly surprised by Tom Williams' S.P.B.: Rise! I didn't care much for Williams' early work, but this chapbook with its addition of a sepia-toned color scheme brings it to an attractive new level.

Biggest pleasant surprise was Josh Johnson and his new hardcover book The Spindletons. Gorgeous to look at. Johnson also does a lot of handcrafted books which are pretty to look at (though a bit pricey).

In all we spent a couple of hours there. (We being myself and Annette, our Art & Design librarian who was buying items for the library collection. It was quite amusing to see the range of reactions from sellers when she asked them for a receipt!) Once again the fine folks at Green Brain Comics did a great job of putting on a good comic art show. Here's hoping this becomes an annual event!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Monkey Covers

Strange Adventures #108Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Gil Kane draws the cover illustrating "The Human Pet of Gorilla Land!", the feature story in 1959's Strange Adventures #108.

(Standard disclaimer about human-pet-keeping gorillas not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Friday, November 03, 2006

SNAP! Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday November 4, is the 2nd annual SNAP! Comics Arts Festival in Dearborn, MI. I had a great time at last year's SNAP!, so if you're in the Southeast Michigan/Northwest Ohio area I encourage you to visit this year.

The guest list includes Matt Feazell, Sean Bieri, Pam Bliss, Jim Ottaviani, David Petersen, and many others.

Come support your local comix scene!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

YAMR: Live!

To fill the gap between our Halloween Spooktacular and the upcoming Christmas Spectacular, this month Yet Another Music Radio is featuring a playlist consisting only of live tracks.

Over seven hours of music, including music by:

Abra Moore, Angie Paris, Antigone Rising, Asia, Barenaked Ladies, Belly, Ben Folds, Blondfire, Brandi Carlile, Bruce Cockburn, Bruce Hornsby, Burlap to Cashmere, Cat Stevens, Charlotte Martin, The Corrs, Damien Rice, Danielle Howie, Dave Grohl, Deanna Kirk, Dido, Enter the Haggis, Eva Cassidy, Evanescence, Fountains of Wayne, Barrison Starr, Guster, Indigo Girls, Jamie Cullum, Joss Stone, Kelly Sweet, Kim Richey, Kristy Thirsk, Loreena McKennitt, Los Lonely Boys, Lunik, Maura O'Connell, The Moody Blues, Moxy Früvous, Neil Diamond, Nelly Firtado, Oasis, Patty Griffin, Paula Cole, Phil Collins, Poi Dog Pondering, R.E.M., Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Rogue Wave, Rusted Root, The Sadies, Sam Phillips, Sarah Brightman, Sarah McLachlan, Shakira, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Son Volt, The Sundays, Swing Out Sister, Tara MacLean, Tegan and Sara, They Might Be Giants, Tori Amos, U2, Vienna Teng, The Waifs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Youssou D'Dour.

Over ninety live tracks for your listening enjoyment!

October was a huge month for YAMR, as the Halloween Spooktacular was a big hit. There were over 1000 streams just on Halloween Day! (A normal day has around 10 streams.) Probably back to normal numbers for November, but I suspect that things will pick up once I launch the holiday themed playlist for December.

NaGraNoWriMo Starts Today!

Today is the start of NaGraNoWriMo, and I'll be attempting to write the script for a 175-page graphic novel over the next 30 days. At least three other comic bloggers are joining me; how about you?

Sadly, this means that I'll probably have even less time to post to this blog than usual, so don't be surprised if posting frequency drops off a bit this month. (Or maybe I'll get stuck in huge writing blocks and I'll post like a madman to avoid actual writing...)