Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is there a 12-step program?

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Showcase Doesn't Present

Some major changes to DC's Showcase Presents black and white reprint series were quietly announced in a press release early today.

Namely, the following volumes have been canceled (to be resolicited 'at a later date'): Captain Carrot vol. 1, The Great Disaster vol. 1, Suicide Squad vol. 1, Secret Society of Super-Villains vol. 1, Jonah Hex vol. 2.

In their place, three volumes are being rush solicited: World's Finest Comics vol. 1, Sgt. Rock vol. 1, and Supergirl vol. 1; and two volumes will be retro-solicited in the October Previews: Brave & The Bold Batman Team-Ups vol. 2 & Justice League of America vol. 3.

I must admit that I was surprised when the now-canceled volumes were initially solicited. They all come from a period (the late 70s through the mid-90s) when for various reasons the reprint rights aren't clear cut. My understanding is that because of the work-for-hire contracts in use at DC at the time the reprint rights must be renegotiated or else the costs of reprinting are so high as to make them unprofitable. This is why we see so few DC comics from that time frame collected; it's doable, just time consuming; and unless DC has a current good relationship with the creators it can get sticky.

I had figured that DC had figured out a way around the legal quagmire; apparently DC did too, but with this batch of cancellations it would appear that they were wrong. Hopefully there's a solution forthcoming; I for one would love to have The Great Disaster and Secret Society volumes, and I know that there are many people who never read Suicide Squad the first time around who were looking forward to the Showcase Presents volume of that title.

Edit: Here's the relevant quote from Bob Greenberger:
DC pays a royalty based on a percentage of the cover price to writers, pencillers, and inkers to all material published prior to 1976 and after 1997. For the period in between, the vouchers that were in use called for a set reprint fee to be paid. In some cases, the amount of contractually obligated reprint fees makes the budget for a proposed collection unprofitable. In those cases, DC will either scrap the project or ask the talent involved to waive the reprint fee in lieu of the standard royalty arrangement. If the parties agree, then everyone benefits.

Edit 2 (Sept 10): According to Bob Wayne, the canceled volumes will "reappear sometime in the second half of 2008."


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New This Week: August 29, 2007

What looks good this week?

Run, don't walk, to your friendly local comic store to buy Matt Kindt's Super Spy, a sure-to-be-wonderful graphic novel of multiple interlocking stories about spies during World War II. Based on the preview book Top Shelf sent out a while ago, and Kindt's previous GN 2 Sisters, I have high expectations for this.

There's the third Manhunter collection from DC, so you can see what you missed the first time around.

Fantagraphics have a new hardcover OGN from Gilbert Hernandez, Chance in Hell.

HarperCollins have Nightmare Factory, new comic adaptations of stories by Thomas Ligotti, one of the few modern horror writers that I actually like.

There are tons of manga volumes (must be the last Wednesday of the month!), including the second volume of Anike Hage's global manga title Gothic Sports.

What looks good to you?

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of August 20, 2007

Here's a list of the comics we added to out library collection last week:

Bác Ba Phi : un genio del futuro / Flemington, Vic. : Dead Xerox Press, [1998?]

The Beast : golfers go berserk! / [Australia] : Dead Xerox Press, [between 1990 and 2005]

Bertozzi, Nick. The salon / New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2007.

Drawing the line again / [Toronto] : Fengsuli Press ; USA : VEI Press, 2006.

Drooker, Eric, 1958- Flood! : a novel in pictures / Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Books, 2007.

Gipi, 1963- Appunti per una storia di guerra / Bologna : Coconino Press, c2004

Indovina, Mike. Hercules : choose your destiny : a choose-your-own-adventure based on the Labors of Hercules / Oak Forest, Ill. : Satyr Play Productions, 2006

Toffolo, Davide. Carnera : la montagna che cammina / Bologna [etc.] : Coconino press, [2006]

Trondheim, Lewis. Tiny tyrant / New York : First Second, 2007.

Valentino, Serena. Nightmares & fairy tales / San Jose, Calif. : SLG Publishing, c2004- vol. 3

Van Lente, Fred. Action philosophers! : the lives and thoughts of history's A-list brain trust told in a hip and humorous fashion / Brooklyn, NY : Evil Twin Comics, 2006- vol. 1

Wall paper. / Flemington, Vic. : Dead Xerox Press, [1998?]

Weeks, John. Quickdraw. / Torrance, Calif. : John Weeks ; Flemington, Vic. : Dead Xerox Press. no. 1

This listing is now available as an RSS Feed!

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of August 13, 2007

Here's a list of comics we added to our library collection last week:

Arf forum / Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics ; London : Turnaround [distributor], 2007.

Braddock, Paige. Jane's world : collection. Sebastopol, Calif. : Girl Twirl, 2006. vol. 1

Braddock, Paige. Jane's world / [Sebastopol, Calif.] : Girl Twirl Comics, 2003- vol. 6

Buzzard (Hudson, Mass.) Buzzard. Hudson, MA : Cat-Head Comics nos. 4, 17, 19

De Pieri, Erika, 1979- La saponificatrice : cronaca a fumetti / Ponte di Piave (Treviso) : BeccoGiallo, 2005.

Deitch, Kim, 1944- Alias the cat! / New York : Pantheon Books, c2007.

Drawn & quarterly showcase. Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly, 2003- no. 4

Guibert, Emmanuel. The professor's daughter / New York : First Second, 2007

Hernandez, Gilbert. New tales of old Palomar. Seattle : Fantagraphics Books, c2006 no. 1

Hot Mexican love comics 2006 / [S.l.] : Hot Mexican Love Comics, c2006.

Ink, Max. Blink : experiencing creative difficulties / Columbus, Ohio : OnwardStudio, 2006.

Ink, Max. Blink : let it be as it is / Columbus, Ohio : OnwardStudio, 2006.

Ink, Max. Blink : space to breathe / Columbus, Ohio : OnwardStudio, 2006.

Ink, Max. Blink : up leaves fall down / Columbus, Ohio : OnwardStudio, 2005.

Lafler, Steve. BugHouse / Marietta, GA : Top Shelf Productions, 2000- vols. 1-2

Nanni, Giacomo, 1971- Storia di uno che andò in cerca della paura / Bologna : Coconino Press, c2006.

Porcellino, John. King-Cat classix : the best of King-Cat comics and stories / Montreal : Drawn and Quarterly ; New York : Distributed in the USA by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Potlatch prjoect. Westminster, Md. : Angry Dog Press, 2005, c2004. vol. 4

Pyle, Kevin C. Blindspot / New York : H. Holt, 2007.

Slate, Barbara. Yuppies from hell / New York : Marvel Comics, 1989

Stuck in the middle : seventeen comics from an unpleasant age / New York : Viking, 2007.

Wolfman, Marv. Homeland : the illustrated history of the state of Israel / Skokie, Ill. : Nachshon Press, 2007.

Yuri monogatari / [United States] : ALC, c2004- vol. 4

This listing is now available as an RSS Feed!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Review: The Dreamer

Time travel romance seems to be a big thing these days in the world of popular romance fiction, so it was only a matter of time before it made its way to the world of comics.

Near as I can tell, The Dreamer—a Webcomic by Lora Innes (not the actor, I presume), hits all the right notes for the genre. Beatrice is a pretty and talented high school theater geek who is having vivid dreams of romance and adventure back in 1776, complete with a dashingly handsome soldier.

At only 18 pages in I can't be sure where the story is going for sure. But the art is attractive and the set-up for the coming story is done well.

The only problem I have with The Dreamer is the problem I have with most long-form Webcomics: reading pages as they come in dribs and drabs over a length of time isn't my preferred way to read comics. I'd suggest to Innes that she make an RSS feed to announce when new installments are available, as I fear I won't be the sort to " Check back regularly" to see if there are any new pages. But should she finish all three 'issues' and collect them into a trade paperback, I'll be there.

Rating: 3.5 (of 5).

(discovered from JC via Dirk)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New This Week: August 22, 2007

What looks good this week?

Top Shelf releases Death By Chocolate: Redux, a re-worked collection of David Yurkovich's stories about agents Swete and Anderson and their investigations into bizarre food-related crimes.

Long-awaited new issues of Jimmy Gownley's Amelia Rules (#18) and Kevin McShane's Toupydoops (#6).

The debut issue of the new Mouse Guard: Winter 1152.

The final Strangers in Paradise collection (vol. 19: Ever After).

And the first Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman volume.

(Plus The Complete Peanuts, 1965-1966, which was apparently delayed from last week.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Monkey Covers

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

This week's Action Comics #854 by Brad Walker features Superman & Jimmy Olsen battling a giant Kryptonite ape!

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

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

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of August 6, 2007

Here's a list of the comics that were added to our library collection last week:

Abel, Jessica. La perdida / New York : Pantheon Books, 2006.

Bates, Cary. Wonder Woman no. 213 / New York : DC Comics, 1974.

Beyer, David. Worthless comix no. 6 / Milwaukee, Wis. : Beyer Beware Productions, [200-?]-

Big ol' book of bizmar : a bunny, insect, zombie, monkey, alien, robot experiment. /[Lansing, Mich.] : Young American Comics, 2006.

Black, Steve. Mini ring king no. 1 / [Columbus, Ohio] : Jury Rigged Comics, 2006-

Bliss, Pam. Kekionga box set : six minicomics / Valparaiso, Ind. : Paradise Valley Comics, [2005]

Campbell, Ross. Wet moon vol. 1 / Portland, Or. : Oni Press, 2004-

Feazell, Matt. Junior librarians / [S.l. : AvailableLightWorkshop], 2006-

Kurkoski, Bettina M. My cat Loki. vol. 1 / Los Angeles, Calif. : Tokyopop, 2006.

Marcej, Richard. Action Figure ; From the Journals of Richard Marzelak. no. 1 / Audubon, PA : Baboon Books, 2006.

Morris, Steve. Blessed thistle / Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse, 2007.

Pak, Sang-sŏn, 1974- The tarot café : vol. 1 / Hamburg : Tokyopop, 2005.

Panel (Columbus, Ohio) Panel vol. 3. / Colmbus, OH : Panel, c2003-

Panter, Gary. Jimbo's inferno / Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics Books, 2006.

Pencil Fight number 3 : When plants attack / Portland, OR Grass Hut

Sala, Richard Delphine. no. 1 / Seattle : Fantagraphics Books, 2006.

Sartori, Leonora, 1978- Villarbasse : la cascina maledetta : cronaca a fumetti : [l'ultima condanna a morte (per fucilazione) in Italia] / Levada di Ponte di Piave (Treviso) : BeccoGiallo, 2006, c2005.

Sfar, Joann. Dungeon twilight vol. 2 / New York : NBM Pub., 2006-

Shickley, Melody Nadia. In the hands of boys no. 1 / [S.l.] : M. Shickley, 2005.

Williams, Tom. S.P.B. rise no. 1 / Columbus, Ohio : Crash Comics, 2006-

This listing is now available as an RSS Feed!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So I was reading all the latest hullabaloo about the art on Supergirl, and then thought to myself: "You know who I bet would be good on Supergirl? Mike Wieringo!"

Then I remembered. And got a bit sad. Dammit.

(Image from Ringo's sketch blog)

Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest Results

Using an advanced random selection process (there were six entries, so I rolled a die...) the winner of the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest has been chosen.

The recipient of a copy of The Best American Comics 2006 is: Paul Abbamondi.

And as runners-up prizes, everyone else who entered will receive a copy of a comic from Boom! Studios.

I'll have the prizes in the mail sometime next week. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Undiscovered Gems 2 Day 5

One final entry for the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest:

Devi #1From Iris Acosta:
Recommendation: Devi by Siddharth Kotain

Devi was a celestial warrior goddess created by the gods to fight the renegade god Bala in the second century of man. When Bala rose again to threaten the universe, Devi was reborn within the body of a young woman named Tara Mehta.

Thanks to Iris for her recommendation; she's been entered into the drawing for The Best American Comics 2006. I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow.

Undiscovered Gems 2 Due Today!

Entries in the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest are due today by 6pm EDT! Don't miss out on your chance to win a copy of The Best American Comics 2006.

Edit: Submissions are now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated. I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New This Week: August 15, 2007

So, what looks good this week?

Fantagraphics have a new volume of The Complete Peanuts, 1965-1966. The strip hits what many consider to be its sweet spot, with many classic, well-remembered strips such as Snoopy's first dogfights with the Red Barron, and the debut of Peppermint Patty.

The latest Minx offering is Good as Lily by Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm.

Phil & Kaja Foglio have the latest Girl Genius collection (vol. 6).

Those looking for a good overview of international art-comix will probably enjoy the third C'est Bon Anthology, under a cover by fave James Jean.

Boom! collect their enjoyable X-Isle series into a trade.

I'm sure it'll be pure continuity porn, but I'm on-board for the new Booster Gold series by Geoff Johns and original creator Dan Jurgens.

And there's lots and lots of manga, which may be why your FLCS proprietor is quietly sobbing when looking at this week's invoice.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Undiscovered Gems 2 Day 4

Another entry for the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest:

Paul Abbamondi writes:
Actually, I don't read that many comics, and so I'm not too sure of what is technically discovered or undiscovered, but my recommendation has to go to Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred. The story revolves around Robin Plotnik, a young assistant mechanic who has just arrived on the Fist of Earth for duty. In this era, over half the human population has been killed. To fill the void, a race of aliens offer intelligence first to the dolphins (they turn them down, bunch of bottle-nosed snobs!) and then next to gorillas (who gleefully accept). Robin quickly learns that he'll be working under Mac, a sentient gorilla. Action isn't the name of the game here, with the focus being more on the budding relationship between Robin and Mac, human and accelerated animals, and together these two will share some sometimes silly adventures and some sometimes downright serious ones. Regardless, I found both the writing and artwork to be top-notch. The hint of war never really blossoms into anything other than background drama, but with Mac looking for love and Robin yearning to find his place a battle in space is the last thing on their minds. A really fun read, one that I always tell people should check out. The entire series of comics has been published by Tor Books as a graphic novel.

Thanks to Paul for his recommendation; he's been entered into the drawing for The Best American Comics 2006, which will be awarded next Wednesday. There's still time for you to enter!

New Library Comics: Week of April 16, 2007

Here's a list of the comics we added to our library collection 2 weeks ago:

Bieri, Sean. Cool Jerk & Homo Gal : the collected mini-comics, 1992-1997 / Hamtramck, Mich. : [S. Bieri], c2002.

Burden, Bob. Flaming carrot comics / Eugene, OR : Dark Horse Comics, [1997]- vol. 6

The coevolution quarterly. /Sausalito, Calif. : POINT, 1977. no. 14

Derian, Evan. Insignificant gods / Detroit, Mich. : Deadcity Comics, 2002- nos. 1-5

Howarth, Matt, 1954- Caroline : circle vs. square / Seattle, WA : Aeon, c1998.

Kanan, Nabiel. The drowners / Berkeley, Calif. : Image Comics ; Norcross, Calif. : Desperado Publishing, 2006.

Mad super special. /New York : E.C. Publication, Inc., no. 46

Marshall, Kenjji. Eden preview / Detroit, Mich. : Sigma6, 1997.

Marshall, Kenjji. The days and nights of Kid Shade / [Detroit, Mich.] : Detroit Comic Alliance, [199-?]-

Science : sequential art annual 2006 / Savannah, Ga. : Savannah College of Art and Design, c2006.

Simpson, Don, 1961- Bizarre heroes / Pittsburgh, Pa. : Fiasco Comics, 1994- no. 1

Simpson, Don, 1961- Bizarre heroes / Princeton, Wis. : Kitchen Sink Press, 1990-[199-?] no. 1

Simpson, Don, 1961- Megaton Man /Princeton, Wis. : Kitchen Sink Press, 1984- no. 1

Simpson, Don, 1961- The return of Megaton Man / Princeton, Wis. : Kitchen Sink Press, 1988.

Simpson, Don, 1961- Yarn Man / Princeton, WI : Kitchen Sink Press, 1989.

Spudd 64 / [Ohio : M. Kish, 200-?- ] no. 4

Young, Ethan. Tails / [United States] : Bohemian Press, 2006- vol. 1

This listing is now available as an RSS Feed!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Undiscovered Gems 2 Day 3

Two more entries in the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest:

Clan ApisThe Dane writes to tell us:
Clan Apis is a wonderful book for two reasons. In the first place it fulfills all the typical demands of storytelling. It's funny, exciting, interesting, and emotive. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Et cetera. In the second place, Clan Apis does something amazing. It actually comes off as a work of non-fiction, explicating and illustrating the secret lives of bees. And doesn't bore the reader into giving up partway through. I had read the back cover on several visits to my local seller and put the book back on the shelf several times. It just didn't sound interesting. At last and after a great many months later, I decided to purchase it as I had already gone through most of the books my seller stocked. After that, it sat on my to-read pile for another month or two. Then I finally read it and was...surprised. I was engrossed. Jay Hosler had created something amazing and no one had told me. I've since read it multiple times and given it to my wife's students to enjoy as well. Good stuff!

And Joe Szilvagyi writes:
My recommendation for the undiscovered gems list is The Surrogates written by Rob Venditti with art by Brett Weldele published by Top Shelf. The writing paints an incredibly credible view of the future where people choose to experience life through surrogate androids that transmit all sensory information to the user. It manages to run through a crime story that explores the benefits and drawbacks of this technology without coming across as preachy or too technical. Best of all, the art is quite solid with well thought out colour schemes and dynamic compositions.

Thanks to Joe and The Dane for their recommendations; they've been entered into the drawing for The Best American Comics 2006, which will be awarded next Wednesday. There's still time for you to enter!

Monkey Covers

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

Bow tie-wearing monkeys and surfing space heroes go great together on the cover to Kid Blastoff #1 by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bassoon Manga

I do believe that this is the first ever appearance of a bassoon on the cover of a comic:

Cover to Nodame Cantabile 11 by Tomoko Ninomiya.

(Why yes, I was a bassoon player in high school...)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Undiscovered Gems 2 Day 2

I received one further entry in the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest:

Bill Burns writes:
Hey Mister, by Pete Sickman-Garner

A series of bizarre comedies focusing around a family unit of three unrelated characters: the dissipated loser Mister, the weird-looking child Young Tim, and Aunt Mary, the toughest woman in comics. Sickman-Garner (the best-named writer in comics) intersperses an occasional tale of his own creative process, one of which features Chris Staros demanding "I want wall to wall women and I want them greased up, strapped on, spread out and going down or you've drawn your last comic for Top Shelf." Hey Mister's humor is surrealistic and outrageous, but Sickman-Garner's affection for his characters makes them more than caricatures. The comics have been collected in three volumes from Top Shelf: Afterschool Special, Celebrity Roast, and The Fall Collection.

Thanks to Bill for his recommendation; he's been entered into the drawing for The Best American Comics 2006, which will be awarded next Wednesday. There's still time for you to enter!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Undiscovered Gems 2 Day 1

Only one entry received so far in the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest:

Redhead Fangirl writes:
Image Comics
Art: Mike Hawthorne
Written by: Steve Murphy
A female forensics investigator in Iceland, with situational anxiety disorder discovers a mysterious skeleton in a cave… if this plot does convince you it’s not the average comic storyline, maybe the two Harvey nominations will. Absolutely deserves a wider audience (and I said so at the Vertigo panel).

Thanks to RHFG for her recommendation; she's been entered into the drawing for The Best American Comics 2006, which will be awarded next Wednesday. There's still time for you to enter!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest

In honor of my 3rd blogiversary next Wednesday (August 15), I'm having another contest!

The Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest will operate a lot like last year's anniversary contest. This year the grand prize is a hardcover copy of The Best American Comics 2006, edited by Harvey Pekar. It includes works by a number of luminaries in the comics field, including Kim Deitch, Alison Bechdel, Joe Sacco, Chris Ware, Rebecca Dart, Jamie Hernandez, Alex Robinson, Jessica Abel, Rick Geary, Tom Hart, Linda Barry, Robert Crumb, and many others.

There will probably also be some runners-up prizes, though I'm not sure yet how many or what they will be.

So how do you enter? I'm glad you asked!

Simply email me your recommendation of a comic that you think is worthwhile, but that you don't think that very many people have read. What I'd like to do through this contest is give you all the opportunity to share an undiscovered gem with the rest of the comics Intraweb. Thoughout the next week until the end of the contest on the 15th I'll be posting here on YACB the picks that you send me.

Your entry should include:

  • Your name (tell me if you wish your name to be used when I post your pick)
  • Your address (I won't share your address or your email with anyone!)
  • Your pick, with a sentence or brief paragraph describing why you recommend it.
  • The phrase 'Undiscovered Gems 2' in the subject line

On the evening of August 15th the winners of the Undiscovered Gems 2 Contest plus the runners-up prizes will be selected at random, and announced here on this blog.

The fine print:

  • You must be 18 or older and reside in the United States to enter. (If you are outside the U.S. you can still send your recommendation pick, but you will not be elligible to win a prize.)
  • Only one entry per person
  • Deadline for entry is 6pm EDT on Wednesday, August 15, 2007.

So go ahead and enter today! (Or tomorrow, or anytime before next Wednesday.)

(You may receive an auto-reply saying that I am out of the office. Be assured that I have received your entry; there is no need to send it again to any other email.)

(Last year's undiscovered Gems: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6.)

Friday, August 03, 2007

YAFQ: Final Crisis?

One of the big announcements at CCI last weekend was the creative team for DC's next big crossover, Final Crisis: Grant Morrison & J. G. Jones.

Given that DC's recent Countdown (and to an extent Amazons Attack) have pretty much sucked the momentum of excitement right out of their super-hero line, this creative team might be just the thing to get people interested again. Morrison is extremely popular amongst the super-hero intelligencia, and has shown that he can do big crossovers in the past with DC One Million. Jones is a highly regarded artist of capes; he has a reputation of being a bit slow, but it sounds like they;re giving him plenty of lead time.

So our Friday question to you this week is:

What do you think about DC's upcoming Final Crisis?

Are you looking forward to it, or are you all crossovered out?