Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New This Week: March 1, 2006

A Distant Soil: CodaBased 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 A Distant Soil: Coda, the fourth volume in Colleen Doran's fantasy epic.

In other comics:

Abstract Studios have a new issue of Strangers in Paradise (#80).

Antarctic have the third Gold Digger Color Remix, plus a print version of David Hutchinson's Mischief & Mayhem: Field Trip To Heck.

Boom! Studios have the debut of War of the Worlds: Second Wave.

Dark Horse have the Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic 25 Cent Flip Book--just two bits!

DC kick off One Year Later with Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis (#40), Detective Comics (#817), JSA (#83), and Outsiders (#34); but they're still back in the previous year with the delayed final issue of Adventures of Superman (#649) and the latest Infinite Crisis (#5); they also have new issues of Jonah Hex (#5), Ex Machina (#18), Swamp Thing (#25), and Y, the Last Man (#43); a second collection of Garth Ennis's War Stories; and two collections of the Dini-verse Superman Adventures (vols. 3 & 4).

Devil's Due have the fourth issue of Elsinore.

Fantagraphics have a new issue of The Comics Journal (#274).

IDW have four hefty collections, including the fourth volume of The Complete Jon Sable, Freelance; plus a new issue of Fallen Angel (#3).

Image have a new issue of Gødland (#8); and, if you missed them, 3rd printings of the first two issues of Fell.

Marvel weigh in with the second issue of the fun Next Wave; the phone-book sized Essential Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition vol. 1; and new issues of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (#5), The Punisher (#31), X-Factor (#4), and Ultimates 2 (#10).

Oni have the fourth issue of Local and the long-delayed final issue of Queen & Country Declassified vol. 2 (#3).

Seven Seas debut a new OEL manga title, Captain Nemo.

Speakeasy have what may be their final comic: Beowulf #7.

TokyoPop have the second volume of I Luv Halloween, and also the second volume of Telepathic Wanderers.

Top Shelf have Max Estes' Coffee and Donuts.

Relatively big week this week (since you and I might think it's the first week of March, but for Diamond shipping purposes it's really the last week of February...)

Reader Mail

Sometimes we get mail from our readers here at YACB; sometimes I'll share it with you:

Todd Frye from Tennessee writes:
Hello -

When you have time, please visit my site


and if you like it, I'd appreciate a mention in your


Consider it mentioned, Todd.

Ray Tomczak wrote in to let me know about an error that creeped into my SNAP! round-up:
I came across your "Yet Another Comics Blog" while running a vanity search on Google. Under other circumstances, I would be thanking you for the mention, but in this case the comic that you attribute to me--Are We On Mars Yet?--is not one of mine. It is in fact the work of Yul Tolbert, who lives not all that far from you (closer than I do, at least) in Detroit.

If my name is on it, it's because Yul was at the time a member of the Small Press Syndicate, a club for small press comics publishers of which I served as chairman from January 2001 to December 2003.

Also, I will soon begin posting my comic strip Wasted Potential on my blog--just as soon as I get the scans back from my friend Joe.

Sorry about that Ray. Thanks for the info--I've made the correction.

Stephen Frug writes to let us know about a unique project he's undertaken:

I've written a comics script, and released it under a creative commons license. What this means is that anyone who wants to can play with it (illustrate it, rewrite it, or whatever), and publish the result non-commercially (so long as I'm given credit, and so long as they release it under the same license). I think this is the first-ever creative commons comics script -- there have been comics before, but not a script, afaik... The info & script downloads are here: http://stephenfrug.googlepages.com/ContinuityIntro.html

So if you're an aspiring comic artist looking for something to draw, Stephan's got a script for you to play with.

Finally, Phil Ward, who was the manager at my former comic shop, The Underworld, back in the days when it wa a great comic & game shop (it is since deceased...) writes to tell me that he's now at Heroquest Comics and Games in Howel Michigan: 2608 East Grand River Ave, Howell MI 48843, 517-540-9790. I haven't been there yet, but Phil ran a good shop back when he was in Ann Arbor, so if you're in Livingston County it might be worth stopping by to check out what they have to offer.

(some letters have been edited for length or clarity)

Monday, February 27, 2006

New Library Comics: Week of February 20, 2006

Here are the comics we got in for our library collection last week:

Amano, Masanao. Manga design /Koln ; Los Angeles : Taschen, 2004.

Amrapali and Upragupta /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1997.

Ancestors of Rama /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

Battle of wits : a Jataka tale /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

Blood orange. /Seattle, WA : Fantagraphics Books, 2004- no. 1, 3-4

Burns, Charles, 1955- Black hole /New York : Pantheon Books, c2005.

Draupadi /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

Gravett, Paul. Graphic novels : stories to change your life /London : Aurum, 2005.

Mahiravana /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1997.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Monkey Covers

Super Friends #30Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

On the cover of 1980's Super Friends #30, Ramonda Fradon & Bob Smith draw Gorilla Grodd up to his old tricks, trying to turn people into gorillas. What is it with that guy?

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

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

Saturday, February 25, 2006

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! LEGO Pinball (via Steve Jackson)

ITEM! Wired has an article about the trials and tribulations of Richard Linklater's roto-animated adaptation of A Scanner Darkly: "Trouble in Toontown ".

ITEM! Chris Butcher is blogging up a storm out at the New York Comic Con. It's the next best thing to being there.

Friday, February 24, 2006

YAFQ: Fire!

Yet Another Friday Question:

There's a fire at your place of residence. You of course have first made sure that your family members, loved-ones, and pets are safe, and have already rescued your picture albums, heirlooms, and important documents. You have time to grab just one more handful of things before it finishes going up in flames, so which comic books do you grab to save from fiery destruction?

Me, I'm saving three things that are nearly irreplacable: the Flex Mentallo mini; Tales of the Beanworld; and my Curt Swan original Superman art pages.

How about you: which comic items would you save from the flames of fate?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Yet Another Music Moment

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins(I've pretty much given up on Yet Another Media Blog, as I was hardly ever updating it and no one was reading it when I was. So you'll all have to put up with me rambling on about music and tv and movies and books and whatnot from time to time over here on YACB.)

Who knew that listening to NPR could be so expensive? After hearing an All Things Considered story on singer Jenny Lewis, I hopped on over to iTunes and ended up not only purchasing her new album Rabbit Fur Coat, but also the album More Adventurous by her regular band Rilo Kelly. (Darn iTunes makes buying new music too easy!) Both are rather good, so hop on over and give a listen when you get a chance.

You Say It's Your Birthday?

Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!

Other people who share our birthday (courtesy of WikiPedia):

Pope Paul II (1417)
W.E.B. DuBois (1868)
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (1932)
Peter Fonda (1940)
Howard Jones (1955)
Dakota Fanning (1994)

(Update: See the Wikipedia article on the birthday paradox.)

(modified cover to The New Adventures of Superboy #1 by Kurt Schaffenberger & Dick Giordano, courtesy of the GCD. Clark Kent's actual birthday is February 29, but this is close enough!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Review: War of the Worlds: Second Wave #1

War of the Worlds: Second Wave #1
by Michael Alan Nelson & Chee
Boom! Studios, $2.99

The basic story of War of the Worlds is probably familiar to just about everyone, if not through H. G. Wells' original novel than via one of he many other media adaptations: Martians invade Earth and wreck destruction upon humanity until finally they are wiped out in a rather anticlimactic fasion via common Earth germs.

This first issue of this new Boom! Studios series retells the basic WotW story, set in modern day middle America, from the perspective of Miles, a self-professoed unheroic suburban everyman who just wants to survive. In the process Miles loses his wife to the Martian's onslaught, and he vows revenge. He may get his chance, as the last page of the comic reveals (and I don't think I'm spoiling anything here, as it is the main premise of the series) that a week later the Martians return.

Therein lies the main problem with this first issue: it's all set-up. Worse, it's set-up that we basially already know. The interesting story, the *real* story, is what happens during the Second Wave, and how Miles will respond. While the set-up is important, it probably should have been condensed way down to four pages or so, and perhaps moved into a flashback.

As for the art, the uni-named Chee has solid storytelling abilities, and during the action scenes brings a good level of tension to the story. There's room for improvement with the figurework, especially in the case of Miles' wife Gina, drawn in many panels looking more like an 11-year-old girl than a twenty-something woman (which caused this reader at least a bit of confusion in the opening).

On the whole, War of the Worlds: Second Wave is off to a somewhat flawed but promising start. It's hard to judge, given that the real story doesn't kick off until the last page. But I'm interested enough to want to see where the story goes from here, so I'm looking forward to the real story kicking off in the second issue.

Rating: 3 (out of 5)

A review copy of this comic was provided by the publisher.

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! If it's February, it must be the start of awards season (which goes for what, six months?) Nominees have been announced for the Shuster Awards (Canadian creators), the Glyph Awards (Achievement in black comics), and the ISPie Awards (Indy & Small Press).

ITEM! This week, the Detroit Free Press is running a survey asking readers which comics in their comics section should stay and which should go. Vote now and send Mallard Fillmore to the early grave it deserves!

ITEM! Scholastic are apparently considering a line of manga targeted at elementary kids. (Follow along with the discussion for inersting responses about kids & comics in libraries.)

ITEM! Newsarama have up preview pages for 3 of the DC OYL comics: Aquaman, Catwoman, and Hawkgirl. Spoilers ahoy, especially for Catwoman. Tom Spurgeon has some interesting comments regarding DCs latest creative direction/marketing ploy. Success will hang, I think, on not just the quality of the comics, but whether or not sales increase enough to justify the costs of the high-profile creative teams involved in many of the titles. If not, look for second- and third-tier creators coming on-board in 2007.

ITEM! We're suffering under a massive denial-of-service attack on campus today, as apparently are many other institutions, which is making Web surfing slow to a crawl sporadically. Kind of makes my 100Mbs connection kind of worthless right now...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New This Week: February 22, 2006

Mouse Guard #1Based 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 Mouse Guard #1 from Archaia Studio Press. Yes, its story of mice in a fantasy-like world is somewhat derivative of Redwall, but the art is charmingly realistic and well-done. It's a funny shape though (square) so don't miss it.

In other comics:

Aardvark-Vanaheim & Win-Mill have another installment of comics criticism with Following Cerebus #7.

Alias have collected editions of both Lions, Tigers & Bears and Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker.

Antarctic have the last issue of Oz: The Maga (#8), although I think there's also an epilogue on the way.

Boom! Studios have Zombie Tales: Death Valley #2.

Dark Horse have a new issue of Usagi Yojimbo (#91).

DC have the earliest adventures of the Man of Steel in Superman Chronicles, vol. 1; debut issues of John Ridley's American Way and Jones & Sears' Warlord revival; and new issues of Catwoman (#52), JLA Classified (#17), Legion of Super-Heroes (#15), Lucifer (#71); and the final issue of Wonder Woman (#226).

Fantagraphics have a new issue of Luba's Comics and Stories (#7).

Marvel have the return of Whedon & Cassiday's Astonishing X-Men (#13); the final issue of Black Widow 2 (#6); and new issues of Captain America (#15), Book of Lost Souls (#5), Kabuki (#6), Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (#3), Supreme Power: Hyperion (#4), and Ultimate Spider-Man (#90).

TokyoPop have a ton of books, including volume 3 of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad.

That about does it. Looks like DC wasn't able to ship an issue of Infinite Crisis during February--that's really going to hurt their dollar share...

Monday, February 20, 2006

New Library Comics: Week of February 13, 2006

Here are the comics we got in for our library collection last week:

Atangan, Patrick. The silk tapestry and other Chinese folktales /New York : NBM Pub., c2004.

Atangan, Patrick. The yellow jar : two tales from Japanese tradition /New York : NBM Pub., [2002]-

Atangan, Patrick. Tree of love /New York : Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine Pub., 2005.

Birbal the clever /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1997.

Dasharatha /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

Dead herring comics /Tel Aviv, Israel : Actus Independent Comics, [2004]

Jataka tales : bird stories /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1997.

Kaulfersch, Ron. Van Von Hunter /Los Angeles, CA : Tokyopop, c2005. v. 1

Krishna /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

Kurtzman, Harvey. Playboy's Little Annie Fanny /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Comics, 2000-

Mansukhani, G. S. Guru Nanak /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

McCay, Winsor. Little Nemo in Slumberland /Palo Alto, CA : Sunday Press, c2005.

Noisy outlaws, unfriendly blobs, and some other things that aren't as scary, maybe, depending on how you feel about lost lands, stray cellphones, creatures from the sky, parents who disappear in Peru, a man named Lars Farf, and one other story we couldn't quite finish so maybe you could help us out /San Francisco : McSweeney's, c2005.

Pekar, Harvey. The quitter /New York : DC Comics, c2005.

Sala, Richard. Mad night /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2005.

Tatsumi, Yoshihiro, 1935- The Push Man, and other stories /Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly ; New York, NY : Distributed in the USA by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c2005.

The hidden treasure : a Jataka tale /Mumbai, India : India Book House, 1998.

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! "I'm always sorry to have to rush to the defense of idiots." Joe Sacco, along with Art Speigelman, discusses the Danish cartoon controversy on The Nation.

ITEM! Linkology: How the Most-Linked-To Blogs Relate from New York Magazine. And not a single comics blog among them.

ITEM! Infuze magazine has the entire first issue of David: Shepherd's Song available online (free registration required). I previously reviewed this comic favorably.

ITEM! Over on Newsarama, Andy Diggle interviews David Lloyd about the V for Vendetta movie (Lloyd's take is quite different from Alan Moore's...) and his upcoming graphic novel, Kickback (with sample pages!)

ITEM! On this weekend's Speaking of Faith, host Krista Tippett speaks in-depth with American Muslim scholar Vincent Cornell about the Danish Cartoon Controversy. It's very interesting, but missing from the conversation is any mention of the inflamatory fake cartoons.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Monkey Covers

Adventure Comics #196Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Win Mortimer draws the cover to 1954's Adventure Comics #196, featuring Superboy facing off against the improbably-named Kingorilla.

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

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

Friday, February 17, 2006

100K Contest Winner

The winner of the YACB 100,000th Visitor Free Comic Giveaway Contest--randomly chosen via a die roll out of the 19 entries I received--is Nate Atkinson.

Congratulations to Nate, and thanks to everyone who entered. There will be plenty more chances to win free comics in May when we have our 2nd Annual Free Comic Book Month here at YACB.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Time is Running Out!

There are less than six hours remaining to send in your entry for our 100,000th Visitor Free Comic Giveaway Contest. Don't miss out on your chance to win a bunch of cool comics, all for the cost of a single emai

The official 100,000th visitor hit the site at 5:41pm EST, following a link to the contest from P. Jarvinen's Comic Book Wife blog (thanks for the link!) If this person was you, email me with enough identifying information that I can match you to the site meter (e.g. your ISP and city where you live) and I'll send a special prize your way.

100,000th Visitor Free Comic Giveaway Contest!

Sometime today YACB will have its 100,000th visitor.

To celebrate, I'm offering a special prize package to one lucky YACB reader.

What's in the prize package? I'm glad you asked!

It consists of two graphic novels:

  • Sea of Red, vol. 1: No Grave But the Sea by Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer & Salgood Sam. It features pirates, vampires, and vampire pirates.

  • A Trip to Rundberg by Nate Southard & Shawn Richter. It features zombies, zombies, and more zombies.

Plus a set of recent #1 issues of the following comics:

  • Fury: Peacemaker #1 by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson & Jimmy Palmiotti

  • Generation M #1 by Paul Jenkins, Ramon Bachs & John Lucas

  • Jeremiah Harm #1 by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant, & Rael Lyra

  • Loveless #1 by Brian Azzarello & Marcelo Frusin

  • Planetary Brigade #1 by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, & friends

  • Revelations #1 by Paul Jenkins & Humberto Ramos

  • Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1 by John Layman, Aaron Lopresti & Norm Rapmund

  • Team Zero #1 by Chuck Dixon, Doug Mahnke & Sandra Hope

  • Underworld #1 by Frank Tieri, Staz Johnson & Tom Palmer

  • Vigilante #1 by Bruce Jones & Ben Oliver

And that's not all--I'm also tossing in a DVD of 10 classic Fleischer Superman cartoons!

What do you have to do to enter for a chance to win this prize package? It's simple!

Just email me with a note saying that you want to enter, and include '100K Contest' in the subject line. That's it! All entries must be received by Midnight tonight (EST). Tomorrow morning I'll randomly choose a name out of the winning entries, and that person will win the prize package detailed above.

Of course, there's some fine print:

* The decision of the winner is solely at my discretion--it will be chosen at random--and my decision is final.

* Only one entry per person.

* All entrants must live within the United States.

* All entrants must be at least 18-years-old.

* If you are chosen to win, your name will be used on this blog for the announcement of the winner.

Remember, you have to enter today if you want to win, so enter now!

And thanks to everyone for reading this comic book blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quick Boom! Reviews

Planetary Brigade #1
by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, Joe Abraham, Cynthia Martin, Eduardo Barreto, Mark Badger, & Chase Conley.

When I first heard that Giffen & DeMatteis were doing their own super-hero team book, it was cause for excitement. With their recent Not the Justice League stories showing that they still knew how to bring the funny, bringing their brand of humor to a super-team of their own creation seemed like the logical next step. Alas, Planetary Brigade largely disappoints, as this first issue never gels together. Part of the problem is that, unlike in their Justice League work, these heroes are unknown to us. They can't rely on short-hard with the characters' personalities, and there's no humor by playing against type because we don't know what their normal characteriation is supposed to be. The artists involved are all fine in their own right, but smooshing them all together in this comic really doesn't work (especially Mark badger, who I generally like but here seems out of place). I won't give up on this comic just yet due to the track records of the creators, but this comic is on a short leash.

Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Zombie Tales: Death Valley #2
by Andrew Cosby, Johanna Stokes, & Rhoald Marcellus

I never read the first issue of this two-issue series, but it hardly matters as the comic rapidly brings us up-to-speed with its standard issue zombie plot: all of Los Angeles has been transformed into Zombies, except for a plunky band of misfit teenagers who need to fight to survive and escape. The comic largely survives on the quick characterization work from Stokes and the slightly cartoony artwork from Marcellus. It's mostly well-paced and well-drawn--in other words, a perfectly competent zombie comic. But there are a lot of those around for choosing these days, but if you need even more zombie bashing this prestige-format comic should do the trick.

Rating: 3 (of 5)

(review copies of these comics were provided by the publisher)

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?

You scored as Moya (Farscape). You are surrounded by muppets. But that is okay because they are your friends and have shown many times that they can be trusted. Now if only you could stop being bothered about wormholes.

Moya (Farscape)


Serenity (Firefly)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

New This Week: February 15, 2006

Kid EternityBased 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 Kid Eternity trade, collecting the early 90s mini-series by Grant Morrison & Duncan Fegredo. Not a major work in Morrison's oeuvre, but still a good story and of interest to those interested in his formative career.

In other comics:

Antarctic Press debut Rod Espinosa's Alice in Wonderland adaptation.

Boom! Studios debut Planetary Brigade.

Dark Horse have new issues of Conan (#25) and The Goon (#16).

DC debut Paul Pope's Batman: Year One Hundred; continue the story of Kal-L in Action Comics #836; and have new issues of Birds of Prey (#91), Hellblazer (#217), JSA Classified (#9), The Losers (#32), Manhunter (#19), Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy (#2), and Testament (#3).

Fantagraphics have two Blab Storybooks: Darling Cheri by Walter Minus and Struwwelpeter & Other Distrubing Tales by Bob Staake.

Heroic debut Roy Thomas' Anthem.

IDW debut Brian Wood & Kristian's Supermarket.

Image have a new issue of Noble Causes (#17).

Marvel have Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark's debut on Daredevil (#82); A big thick Essential Moon Knight vol. 1; and new issues of Runaways (#13), She-Hulk 2 (#5), and X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl (#2).

MR Comics have the second issue of Revolution on the Planet of the Apes.

Which wraps things up for a rather light week. Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! Apparently TokyoPop's Kingdom Hearts is doing big business in the bookstores. It's also a rather bad comic. I wish I could be surprised at that.

ITEM! Freaky: Real people, manga-fied. (via BasuGasuBakuhatsu)

ITEM! At the current rate, I'm anticipating that we'll hit our 100,000th visitor milestone on Thursday this week, and thus we'll probably be having our Special 100K Visitor Give-Away Contest that day as well. Stay tuned...

ITEM! The new DC Solicitations are out today, and two things immediately jumped out at me: 1) Following Marvel's lead, DC are increasing all of their remaining titles to $2.99 (except for Johnny DC titles and 52); 2) Cynthia Martin is the guest artist for Blue Beetle #3--a name I haven't seen on a comic in a long, long time, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing her drawn a comic again.

ITEM! Andrew Pepoy will be doing a Katy Keene feature in Archie and Friends. I don't really know a thing about Katy Keene, but I usually enjoy Pepoy's work very muchly (I don't think he's written & drawn a feature since Simone & Ajax) so I'll be checking this out.

New Library Comics: Week of February 6, 2006

Here are the comics we got in for our library collection last week:

Cibos, Lindsay. Peach fuzz /Hamburg ; Los Angeles : Tokyopop, c2005- v. 1

DeCarlo, Dan, 1919-2001. The pin-up art of Dan DeCarlo /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2005.

Great comic cats /San Francisco, CA : Pomegranate, c2001.

Komikwerks presents rockets & robots. /Boston : Komikwerks, 2004.

Masters of American comics /Los Angeles : Hammer Museum : Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles ; New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, 2005.

Matsumoto, Reiji, 1938- Galaxy express 999 /San Francisco : Viz Communications, 1998- v. 1-3

Nishiyama, Yuriko. Harlem beat /[Los Angeles, CA] : Mixx Entertainment : Tokyopop, c1999- v. 1-4

Takahashi, Rumiko, 1957- Maison ikkoku /San Francisco, CA : Viz Comics, c1993- v. 11, 13

Takahashi, Rumiko, 1957- Ranma 1/2 /San Francisco, CA : Viz Communications, c2003- v. 21

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Monkey Covers

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

Today we feature Art Adams' cover from Martian Manhunter Annual #2. As part of the JLApe crossover (really, the best annuals crossover event ever!) A gorilla-fied Martian Manhunter (Martian Apehunter?) faces off against everyone's favorite evil primate, Gorilla Grodd.

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

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

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Quick Comic Reviews

Jeremiah Harm #1
by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant, & Rael Lyra

From the writers who once brought you DC's Lobo comes another comic featuring intergalactic badguys beating the snot out of each other. A couple of nasty SOBs escape from a prison satellite, so the warden lets out Jeremiah Harm--a prisoner with a mad-on for the escapees--to bring them back. The story is solid and sets up the situation with enough violence for the die-hard violence fan, but it could have used a bit more humor for my tastes. Lyra's art is appropriately grotesque for the story. Bottom line: if you've been missing Lobo, this may fit that hole for you.

Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

JLA #125
by Bob Harras, Tom Derenick & Dan Green

And so it ends. Not with a bang, or a whimper, but with a solid thud. Six issues of Batman and Green Arrow grimmacing at each other, and The Key doing, um, something. JLA was once a big idea super-hero spectacular, but it ends on such a sour note I'm glad to see it go. Let us hope that when Meltzer's new Justice League of America starts up later this year that he restores the bigness.

Rating: 1.5 (of 5)

Supergirl #4
by Jeph Loeb, Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund

Yet another issue-long fight scene, with an evil black suited Supergirl split-off battling Lex Luthor and then the Justice League. Is this what the kids want these days? I guess it doesn't matter as long as Kara is wearing her midriff-bearing costume.

Rating: 2 (of 5)

Superman #226
by Joe Kelly, Jeph Loeb, Ed Benes, Mariah Benes, Jerry Ordway, Howard Chaykin, Tim Sale, & Renato Guedes (whew!)

Now this is a comic. In the midst of Infinite Crisis, we get the start of an overview of the career of Kal-L, Superman of Earth-2. It kicks off with a scrapbook of young Clark Kent by Loeb & Sale, recalling their work on the excellent Superman for All Seasons. Howard Chaykin provides the art for Superman's depression-era debut and WWII adventures, and Renato Guedes illustrates the JSA vs. HUAA portions. We even get the return of the old-style logo on the cover. An enjoyable and classy product all around. Let's hope the remaining two chapters unfold just as well ov erhte next two weeks.

Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

(A review copy of Jeremiah Harm was provided by the publisher.)

Friday, February 10, 2006

YAFQ: Are You Spending More or Less?

Yet Another Friday Question:

Are you spending more or less on comics these days than you have in the recent past?

For me, my monthly orders through DCBS had been going down; I was spending about 20% less than I was a year ago. But for this month's orders it shot way back up, mostly due to several high-ticket items.

What about you--are you spending more or less on comics these days?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Always Remember

Rex Libris... Will Come Looking for You

Yeah, I know that the meme has pretty much run its course, but I couldn't resist one more.)

Review: A Trip to Rundberg

A Trip to RundbergA Trip to Rundberg
by Nate Southard & Shawn Richter
Frequency Press, $11.95

Do you like zombies?

More specifically, do you think that zombies are best used as cannon fodder in an action/horror fest? (As opposed to a metaphor for the human condition or some such nonsense...)

If so, then A Trip to Rundberg is the graphic novel for you!

The situation is set up in the first 10 pages: A mysterious zombie plague has swept the land, but the small rural Indiana town of Millwood has been spared, mainly due to the fact that they're a small rural Indiana town. But food supplies are running low, and with winter fast approaching, they need to restock. So a group of volunteers (a term used rather loosely in a couple of cases) are selected to travel to nearby Rundberg to raid their food stores.

What follows then is a combination of interpersonal conflict and action zombie violence, complete with exploding zombie heads and dudes getting gnawed on, all in the best tradition of late-night cable tv.

Southard and Richter previously brought us Drive, and A Trip to Rundberg is in that same action-packed tradition. Richter continues to bring a action-movie quality to his art, using three 'widescreen' panels per page to give it a cinematic feel. His action-based storytelling is clear and never loses the reader--a definite plus in this type of story. His figure work is a bit improved though still rough in places on the humans, but he draws some pretty damn good zombies and imbues them with a touch of individualism--before they get their heads blown off by a shotgun.

So if the above description sounds like the sort of zombie comic you'd like, you probably will want to check this out.

Rating: 3 (of 5)

(a review copy of A Trip to Rundberg was provided by the publisher)

Viz OOP sale

Viz is having a sale on their out-of-print backstock. Most of these are older volumes done in their pre-manga-boom style: they read left-to-right and are slightly larger. A lot of the stuff also doesn't fit the current in-style mode (e.g. action comics for boys, shojo for teen girls, and fan service-heavy plot-thin books.) The books were also more expensive in those days, but the sale brings many of the titles closer to the expected $10-$11 range that many mainstream manga fans seem unwilling to cross, no mater the quality of the book.

There are several titles offered on sale that receive the YACB stamp of approval. They are:

2001 Nights by Yukinobu Hoshino
A, A' by Moto Hagio
Adolf by Osamu Tezuka
Benkei in New York by Jinpachi Mori and Jiro Taniguchi
Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka
Dance Till Tomorrow by Naoki Yamamoto
Eagle by Kaji Kawaguchi
Mai the Psychic Girl by Kazuya Kudo & Ryoichi Ikegami
One Pound Gospel by Rumiko Takahashi
Rumic Theater by Rumiko Takahashi
Rumic World by Rumiko Takahashi
Sanctuary by Sho Fumimura & Ryoichi Ikegami
Uzumaki by Junji Ito

And there's plenty of other stuff on sale too.

I'm not shilling for Viz here, just trying to help you all find some good manga reading before it's no longer available. It's also a crying shame that the market cannot support quality titles like these staying in print.

(Thanks to Chris for the heads-up on this.)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Free Talking Monkeys!

Johnny Bacardi is giving away his extra set of Banana Sunday, the YACB pick for best mini-series of 2005. Go visit his blog for all the details on how to enter.

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! Mike Sterling looks at the odd back-issue buying habits of customers.

ITEM! Heroes of the Information Age -- Librarian Super-heroes!

ITEM! Still on the fence about picking up The Middleman? You can download the entire first issue from Viper Comics and decide for yourself. (via Newsarama)

ITEM! This makes me sad. I loved reading the Curious George books when I was a kid (which probably contributed to my love of monkey comics), so the thought of it being made into a mediocre animated feature and marketed and licensed ad nauseum is very disheartening.

ITEM! Chris Sims looks to romance comics for How to Get a Girl in Ten Days. Only six days until V-Day though, so I'd better get cracking...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New This Week: February 8, 2006

The Middle Man, vol. 1: The Trade Paperback ImperitiveBased 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 Javier Grillo-Marxauch & Les McClaine's The Middle Man, vol. 1: The Trade Paperback Imperitive, collecting the loads-of-fun mini-series from Viper Comics. And if you like that, the first issue of volume two can be picked up at the same time for just 99 cents!

In other comics:

About comics bring a classic William Messner-Loebs story back into print with the Welcome to Heaven, Dr. Franklin one-shot.

Aeon have the fourth issue of Matt Howarth's Keif Llama: Xenotech.

Arcana finally release 100 Girls #7.

DC have a Showcase Presents The House of Mystery; the 200th issue of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight; George Perez & Paul Levitz on the NYT-hyped JSA #82; the put-it-out-of-its-misery final issue of JLA (#125); and new issues of 100 Bullets (#69), Captain Atom: Armageddon (#5), DMZ (#4), Fables (#46), Jonah Hex (#4), Majestic (#14), and Earth-2 Superman (#226).

Evil Twin have the Action Philosophers World Domination Handbook.

IDW have the Spike: Old Wounds one-shot.

Image have the debut of Jimmie Robinson's new series, Bomb Queen, and a new issue of Invincible (#28).

Marvel have new issues of Black Widow 2 (#5), New Thunderbolts (#18), and Ultimate X-Men (#67), and an new Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius one-shot.

It's Viz'z turn to dump a bunch of manga on the market, including new volumes of Banana Fish (v. 12), Hikaru-no Go (v. 6), Maison Ikkoku (v. 15), and Nana (v. 2).

Enjoy your new comics!

Missing Hellblazer Online

Someone has posted the 'missing' Hellblazer story online. Titled "Shoot," it's by Warren Ellis & Phil Jimenez. Originally scheduled to be released as Hellblazer #141, it was pulled due to the Columbine shootings.

(lin via Sid at Across the Counter)

YACB Bulletins

Multimedia edition!

ITEM! Rivkah at Ushicon & ALA Midwinter (with photos), two very different conventions :)

ITEM! Alison Bechdel in a short but informative interview on BBC Radio 4.

ITEM! On this past weekend's On the Media, Susan Caskie talks wth host Bob Garfield about the Danish "cartoon controversy," giving a precise rundown about what exactly happened, and when.

ITEM! George Takei interviewed for the Archive of American Television, free on Google video. Nearly 3 unedited hours of Mr. Sulu!

ITEM! Cthulego Mythos (via Tegan)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Dave's Dozen: Collections/GNs

Concluding my look through the February Previews (for items supposedly shipping in April), here are a baker's dozen collections and graphic novels that I feel are worth your attention:

X-Men and Power Pack: The Power of X Digest
(Marvel, $6.99, p. M87)
Really, at only sveen bucks, there's just no excuse for you not giving this a go. Unless you just don't like fun, well-drawn, all-ages super-hero comics. The first digest is available for reorder too, so you can double your Pack for just $7 more.

Eden: It's an Endless World! vol. 3
(Dark Horse, $12.95, p. 40)
The first volume was a pleasant surprise: an intelligent science fiction manga with good art and an intriguing story. This series should appeal to those of you who enjoyed Planetes or Akira, even though it is a different sort of story than those.

Y: The Last Man, vol. 7 – Paper Dolls
(DC/Vertigo, $14.99, p. 123)
Another quality speculative fiction series, available in reading-size chunks with no ads for crappy rock bands. Plus, we get to check in on what's been going on with Ampersand the monkey, and monkeys always make comics better.

The Tourist
(Image, $9.99, p. 146)
Originally scheduled to come out from Ait/PlanetLAR, this OGN from Brian Wood and Toby Cypress finally makes an appearance under the Image banner. Action, drama, and cool drawings of oil rigs.

Lost in Space: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul
(Bubblehead, $37.95, p. 242)
IIRC, this more adult take on LiS by Bill Mumy and Michal Dutkiewicz only saw six of its planned twelve issues come out before Innovation folded way back when. So despite the hefty price I'm anxious to see the conclusion after all these years.

Shades of Gray Comics & Stories
(Century Comics, $24.95, p. 244)
Jimmy Gownley cut his comics teeth on this self-published comic about teenagers in outer suburbia. It was a bit rough at times, especially the earlier issues, but it was very earnest and heartfelt, and rang true to those of us who grew up in such an environment.

A Patch of Dreams
(Fanfare/Ponent Mon, $22.99, p. 278)
I know next to nothing about this comic by Hideji Oda, but with F/PM's track record I have faith that it'll be good.

The Complete Peanuts, vol. 5: 1959-1960
(Fantagraphics, $28.95, p. 278)
The comprehensive Peanuts collections reach the end of the first decade, and I'm in it for the long haul. This features the debut of such long-time Peanuts themes as Lucy's Psychiatric booth, The Great Pumpkin, and sally, plus one of the most famous Peanuts strips ever.

Adventures in Oz
(IDW, $39.99, p. 292)
Finally, all of Eric Shanower's original OZ albums get collected into one place. Shanower manages to capture the magic of Baum's original stories in lush graphic narrative. Not to be missed.

Little Star
(Oni Press, $19.95, p. 306)
For those of us who were wating for the trade on Andi Watson's latest, here it is. I haven't read it yet, but it's gotten good reviews so I'll be picking it up.

Kat & Mouse, vol. 1
(TokyoPop, $5.99, p. 329)
Alex de Campi & Federica Manfredi team up for an OEL manga about myserty solving boarding school girls. Aimed at tweens, but I'm young at heart!

Kings in Disguise
(W. W. Norton, $16.95, p. 361)
I've heard a lot of good things about this classic series set in Detroit during the Great Depression, but I've never been able to read it, until now.

The Cartoon Guide to (Non) Communication
(Harper-Collins, $16.95, p. 379)
This classic by Larry Gonick is probably my favorite out of everything he's done, and it's a must read for anyone involved in Web work and the information professions. I'm very happy to see this book back in print.

Yeah, that's a baker's dozen. Deal with it.

That concludes Dave's Dozen for this month (previously I covered mainstream comics and indy comics). Come back next month for 36 (or 37 or 38...) picks.

New Library Comics: Week of January 30, 2006

Here are the comics we got in for our library collection last week:

Chiarello, Mark. The DC Comics guide to coloring and lettering comics /New York : Watson-Guptill Publications, 2004.

DeFelippis, Nunzio. Skinwalker /Portland, OR : Oni Press, 2003.

Groth, Gary. Drawing the line /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, c2004.

Hornschemeier, Paul. Stand on a mountain, look back /Columbus, OH : I Don't Get It Graphics, 2001.

Knight, Keith. Dances with sheep : a K chronicles compendium /San Francisco : Manic D Press, 1997.

Knight, Keith. Fear of a black marker : another K chronicles compendium /San Francisco : Manic D Press, 2000.

Knight, Keith. Red, white, black & blue : a (th)ink anthology : cartoons /San Francisco, Calif. : Manic D Press, c2004.

Komikwerks. /Boston : Komikwerks. v. 1-2

Sadogawa, Jun. Noodle fighter Miki /Houston, Tex. : ADV Manga ; London : Diamond [distributor], 2005. v. 1

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Monkey Covers

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

Primate returns on the cover of 1997's Explorers #2 by Al Bigley & Bill Neville, one of those titles that was sadly lost in the Caliber/Tapestry implosion.

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

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

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dave's Dozen: Indy Comics

Continuing my look through the February Previews (for comics supposedly shipping in April), here are a dozen indy comics that I feel are worth your attention:

Superior Showcase #1
(Adhouse Books, $2.95, p. 207)
Spinning out of Project: Superior, it's an anthology series of indy cartoonists doing their take on super-heroes. This first issue features the talents of Nick Bertozzi, Mike Dawson & Dean Trippe.

Tron: The Ghost in the Machine #1
(Slave Labor Graphics, $3.50, p. 212)
Another comic springing out of the strange alliance between SLG & Disney, this sequel to the groundbreaking film takes place in teh present day. It'll be interesting to see what changes they make now that 'cyberspace' is something that many more people are actually familiar with, and the computer landscape has changed so much.

Horrorwood #1 (0f 4)
(Ape Entertainment, $3.50, p. 218)
It's a mystery set against the backdrop of Hollywood, and I find the art attractive, so I'll probably give Brandon Terrell & Brent Schoonover's new comic a try.

Mouse Guard #2
(Archaia Studios, $3.50, p. 220)
I've read the original black and white version of the first issue of Mouse Guard, and it's intrigued me enough that I'll be giving this color series a go.

Warren Ellis' Wolfskin #1 (0f 3)
(Avatar Press, $3.99, p. 229)
Surely it won't be at the level of Nextwave or ay of Ellis's other major works, but with full-color art from Juan Jose Ryp this barbarian tale is bound to be full of plenty of good-looking senseless violence.

Cthulhu Tales #1
(Boom! Studios, $6.99, p. 240)
Six new comic book tales based on Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos. While I prefer the tales presented in their original style, the mythos have shown to be easily adapted into other types of stories too, so no matter what the take is here I imagine it'll be enjoyable.

Or Else #4
(Drawn & Quarterly, $5.95, p. 275)
Or Else #2 was quite possibly the best single issue of last year, and by now you've surely read all the praise that's been heaped on Huizenga's recent Ganges. If you're already on board, this is a no-brainer. If not, well, this'll give you the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss is about.

Action Philosphers: Hate the French!
(Evil Twin Comics, $2.95, p. 278)
Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey take the Larry Gonick approach to make comics that are both irreverant and informative, showing that educational comics can also be a lot of fun.

Dorothy #7
(Illusive Arts, $5.00, p. 294)
This photocomic for the 21st century continues the intriguing modern take on the Wizard of Oz.

Buckaroo Bonzai #1 (of 3)
(Moonstone, $3.50, p. 298)
Adapting the never-produced tv pilot script into comic book form, this is the return of the great 80's cult hero. (It's in full color, which I think will improve the B&W art from the preview issue.)

Monkey vs. Lemur: Crisis with Infinite Critters #1
(Silent Devil, $3.95, p. 310)
Assuming this extra-sized issue equals the madcap wanton combat of the first special, it should be a lot of fun. I just wish that the monkey wasn't the 'bad guy'.

The Middleman volume 2 #4
(Viper Comics, $2.95, p. 353)
While most tv writers who slum in comics turn to the mainstream publishers, Javier Grillo-Marxuach has taken the road less travelled and teamed up with Les McClaine to produce a creator-owned story of secret agents protecting us from the unexplainable.

That wraps up my look at indy comics. A couple of days ago I highlighted mainstream comics, and ina few days I'll put up my Collections/GNs picks.

Friday, February 03, 2006

YAFQ: Favorite Non-Super-Hero Comic Movie

What is your favorite comic book-based movie that is not super-hero related?

For quality I'd opt for American Splendor, but for sheer entertainment value it would have to be Josie and the Pussycats, which took the Archie comics property and turned it into a funny, biting satire of the music industry.

What about you: which non-super-hero comic book movie is your favorite?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

And all this time I thought I was Clark...

Well, at least my alter-ego tied for a distant second...

Your results:
You are Spider-Man
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Dave's Dozen: Mainstream Comics

Gone is Previews-O-Rama, and in its place is Dave's Dozen. I'll be going through Previews each month, highlighting twelve items worthy of attention in three categories: Mainstream Comics, Indy Comics, and Collections/GNs.

So first up for the February Previews (comics supposedly available in April) are the following dozen mainstream comics picks:

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #5
(Marvel, $2.99, p. M12)
For some reason I thought this was a four-issue mini? I'm pleasantly surprised then to find that it's going beyond that, as McKeever & Miyazawa have found the perfect series for their style and sensibility.

Avengers and Power Pack Assemble! #1 (of 4)
(Marvel, $2.99, p. M33)
More Power Pack? Yes! More bright, colorful fun with Marvel's youngest super-hero team.

Star Wars: Tag & Bink Episode I--Revenge of the Clone Menace
(Dark Horse, $2.99, p. 24)
Kevin Rubio brings his loving but irreverant look at the Star Wars universe to the prequels, telling the story of hapless Tag and Bink as kids in this one-shot. Should be fun.

BPRD: The Universal Machine #1 (of 5)
(Dark Horse, $2.99, p. 36)
Is it wrong that I like the BPRD comics by Mignola, Arcudi & Davis more than I like Hellboy proper? This series promises to reveal secrets of the organization's past.

Infinite Crisis #7 (of 7)
(DC, $3.99, p. 78)
Unsurpringly there's zero-content in the solicitation copy. So we'll just assume that this final issue will make fanboys squeel with glee and/or piss them off to no end, whilest detatched bloggers look on with scorn.

Checkmate #1
(DC, $2.99, p. 82)
Greg Rucka reunites with Omac artist Jesus Saiz to give us metahuman espionage in the DCU. Should be right up his alley.

Jonah Hex #6
(DC, $2.99, p. 90)
Nuns with Guns! I've never been much of a western fan, but I'm liking how Palmiotti, Gray & Ross manage to deliver stories that are done-in-one each month yet still manage to have a feeling of scope.

Seven Soldiers #1 (of 1)
(DC, $2.99, p. 96)
It all comes down to this, as J. H. Williams III returns to finish off Morrison's anti-crossover.

Bite Club: Vampire Crime Unit #1 (of 5)
(DC/Vertigo, $2.99, p. 118)
I'll buy just about anything with art by David Hahn (though I'm still hoping he goes back to his own Private Beach someday), and I liked the story from the first mini enough to go for this follow-up.

Rocketo: Journey to the Hidden Sea #7
(Image, $2.99, p. 136)
Speakeasy's biggest critical hit escapes to a more hospitable publisher. Based on the preview art I'm assuming that this will still be done in landscape format.

(Image, $6.99, p. 138)
This one-shot by the uni-monikered Nilson about a crash-landed astronaut looks lovely and cute.

Angel Spotlight: Illyria
(IDW, #3.99, p. 290)
As she's essentially a blank slate, it ought to be interesting to see what Peter David makes of Illyria's post-Angel wanderings on Earth.

Look for the other two parts, Indy Comics & Collections/GNs, sometime over the next week.