Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Short List of Manga I'd Like To See Translated Into Engish

A note to any manga publishers: I'd most likely pay good money for any of the following series were they to be translated into English and made available:

  • Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (This is available in a bilingual Japanese/English edition, but only in Japan!)
  • Palepoli by Furuya Usamaru
  • Genju Jiten (Hungry Wolf Story) by Taniguchi Jiro
  • Yomi Henjou Yawa by Okano Reiko
  • Tengoku-Kyu (Crazy Heaven) by Takaya Miou
  • Ame Miya Yuki Kohri (Rain, Princess, Snow Ice) by Tsuno Yuko
  • Louise by Hiroki Mafuyu



New This Week: January 31, 2007

The Grave Robber's DaughterBased 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 later today:

The Pick of the Week is Richard Sala's new graphic novella, The Grave Robber's Daughter, from Fantagraphics. Sala's stories are nearly always fun-spooky, and worth both your $$$ and your reading time.

In other comics:

Asbtract have the latest Strangers in Paradise (#87)

Antarctic bring the GD love with three comics: Gold Digger #81, GD Sourcebook #2, and Gold Digger 15 Year Anniversary Special #2. There are also new issues of Ninja High School (#146) and Dinowars (#2).

Archie have a new issue of Sabrina (#82).

Dark Horse have the 100th issue of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo.

DC have the 5th collection of Grant Morrison's classic Doom Patrol, and well as the final volume of Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory (vol. 4). There are also new issues of 52 (week 39), Blue Beetle (#11), Ex Machina (#26), Hawkgirl (#60), Jack of Fables (#7), and Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters (#7).

Image have new issues of Elephentmen (#6), Negative Burn (#8), and The Walking Dead (#34).

Marvel have the third collection of Whedon & Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men; a collection of the very fun Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Defenders; and new issues of Daredevil (#93) & Kabuki (#8).

Meisha Merlin have the second collection of Robert Asprin & Phil Foglio's Myth Adventures.

Plus Del Rey, TokyoPop & Viz all have tons of manga volumes dropping this week. I know that Diamond doesn't care about the manga that much, but couldn't they try a little to spread things out a bit more?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cliff Chiang Totally Rules

Cliff Chiang Totally Rules

Human Target

That is all


New Library Comics: Week of January 22, 2007

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

Amano, Shiro. Kingdom hearts /Los Angeles, CA : Tokyopop, 2005-2006. vols. 2-3

Attitude 3 : the new subversive online cartoonists /New York : Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine, c2006.

Bernet, Jordi. The best of Jordi Bernet's Clara /San Francisco, CA : Big Wow Art and Auad Publishing, 2006.

Busch, H. The adventures of Edgar Mudd and Elaine /[Port St. Luci, FL] : Wet Earth, 2001- vols. 1-2

Calt, Stephen. R. Crumb's heroes of blues, jazz, & country /New York : Abrams, 2006.

Castells, Ricard, 1955- Poco /Madrid : Sinsentido, c1999- vol. 2

Cordoba, Sergio. Malas tierras /Bilbao : Astiberri, 2004- vol. 2

Crane, Jordan, 1973- The last lonely Saturday /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, c2000.

Crumb, R. The sweeter side of R. Crumb : being a delightful collection of adorable heart-warming and lovingly rendered drawings which, I promise, will not make you feel threatened in any way, and will put you in a state of warm and fuzzy and cuddly towards the artist and life in general. /London : MQ, c2006.

Dimona. /[Tel-Aviv : Dimona Comix Group, 2003-] vol. 3

Duran, Luis. Antoine de las tormentas /[Spain?] : Astiberri Ediciones, [2003?]

Gaiman, Neil. The absolute sandman /New York : DC Comics, 2006- vol. 1

Garcia, Camille Rose, 1970- The magic bottle /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Gerber, Steve, 1947- Hard time : 50 to life /New York, NY : DC Comics, c2004.

Griffith, Bill, 1944- Are we having fun yet? : Zippy the Pinhead's 29 day guide to random activities and arbitrary donuts /Seattle : Fantagraphics Books, 1994.

Henderson, Sam. Magic whistle /Gainesville, FL : Alternative Comics, 1998- vol. 2 no. 10

Hickee /Gainesville, FL : Alternative Comics, [2003]- vol. 3 nos. 1-2

Howard, Josh. Josh Howard's Dead@17 : The complete first series /Dallas, TX : Viper Comics, c2004- vol. 1

Inguine mah!gazine. /Roma : Coniglio editore, 2003- no. 3

Ito, Junji. Museum of terror /Milwaukie, Or. : Dark Horse, 2006- vol. 3

Kotegawa, Yua. Line /Houston, Tex. : ADV Manga, 2006.

Kramers ergot. /Corte Madera, Calif. : Gingko Press, 1999- vol. 6

Lanza en astillero : el caballero don Quijote y otras sus tristes figuras /Toledo : Junta de Castilla-La Mancha, c2005.

Max. Espiasuenos ; Chasseur de Reves ; Dream Spy (1973-2003) /Barcelona : La Cupula, Ediciones, c2003.

Meathaus. /New York, N.Y. : Meathaus Press, [2000- no. 8

Millionaire, Tony. Premillennial Maakies : the first five years /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Odgers, Chris. Mule /Cornwall, Great Britain : Sawhorse Books, 2005.

Remender, Rick. Black heart Billy /San Francisco, CA : AIT/Planetlar, 2002.

Rubber frame. Strips, toons, and bluesies : essays in comics and culture /New York : Princeton Architectural Press ; St. Louis : Washington University, [2006], c2004.

Stathis, Pete. Evenfall /San Jose, CA : SLG Pub., 2004- vol. 1

Takahashi, Rumiko, 1957- Ranma 1/2 /San Francisco, CA : Viz Communications, c2003- vol. 36

Tezuka, Osamu, 1928-1989. Ode to Kirihito /New York : Vertical, c2006.

Tomine, Adrian, 1974- Optic nerve. /Montreal, Que. : Drawn & Quarterly Publications, 1995- nos. 2, 4, 8-10

Vance, Steve. Simpsons comics extravaganza /New York : HarperPerennial, c1994.

Sunday, January 28, 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.

Beefcake and bones on Alfredo Alcala's 1976 cover to Adventures on the Planet of the Apes #9!

(Standard disclaimer about damn dirty gun-toting apes not really being monkeys applies.)

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

Friday, January 26, 2007

"Why Aren't You Ladies Reading Supergirl?!"

Superman Adventures #21Perhaps the most funny/sad thing I've read in a while is this week's DC Nation. In it, editor Eddie Berganza implores female readers to please please please read the current Supergirl comic.

I can understand why Berganza would be worried. Once one of DC's top selling titles, sales on Supergirl have recently begun to plummet. This corresponds with a perceived change in direction for the title, with Berganza, writer Joe Kelly, artist Ian Churchill, and asst. editor Jeanine Schaefer trying to make Supergirl more girl-friendly. But their plans seem to be backfiring, as apparently many of those previously buying the title are leaving.

If Berganza & DC are serious about creating a Supergirl comic that appeals to females, they need to completely change direction. A good start would be hiring the team behind the "Supergirl Adventures" issue of Superman Adventures: Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, & Brett Blevins. (Actually, a good artist capable of an animated and/or manga-influenced style would be perfect if Blevins isn't available.) They must also be prepared for the book to sell far less in the direct market, more in the realm of a Johnny DC book. Because most of the fanboys who bought the early issues won't buy it, and most of the ladies will prefer to buy it in bookstores.

If DC wants a Supergirl comic that appeals to teenage boys (and creepy middle-aged men...) then fine. But don't expect the same comic to appeal to female readers in any great number.

Monkeys in Space!

Oni's James Lucas Jones sent along this promotional piece for James Vining's upcoming First in Space GN:

First in Space

Normally I don't post such blatant ads, but how can I resist monkeys in space?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Yet Another Music Moment: Best of Bootie

I'm a casual fan of the mash-ups; I don't care enough to go seeking out the latest, but I enjoy a clever bootleg mash-up when I come across it.

If you're like me then, you'll want to DL the Best of Bootie 2006, a compilation of 21 mash-ups from the past year (+10 bonus mash-ups). As with all mash-ups your mileage may vary, but for my taste they're an interesting batch. My favorite is the Chemical Brothers vs. Velvet Underground vs. U2 vs. Sugababes vs. MARRS track "Don't Hold Back, Sweet Jane."

(via Digital Music Weblog)

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of January 15, 2007

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

Bilder zum Text. /[Germany?] : [s.n.], [200-?]

The bizmar experiment : bunnyinsectzombiemonkeyalienrobot-- : 6 elements, 17 stories. /San Diego, Calif. : Young American Comics, c2003.

Boots in "Someone to love!" /[United States?] : [s.n.], [19--]

Brown, Chester, 1960- Ed the happy clown. /Montreal : Drawn and Quarterly Productions, 2005. nos. 2, 4, 7, 9

Burgoon, Charles. Charles Burgoon's Epidermolysis bullosa narcissus. /Coldwater, MI : Ghost Train Press, [200-?]- vol. 1

Cicerone, Michelangelo. Introducing the kid konjurer Wizzah! : a free comic book day mini comic! /[Dearborn, Mich.?] : Michelangelo Cicerone, c2005.

Corby, Bob. Adjustable /Columbus, OH : Back Porch Comics, c2005.

Cuti, Nicola. Spanner's galaxy /New York, NY : DC Comics, 1984-1985. nos. 1-6

Estep, Joanna. Jungle love /[United States?] : Joanna Estep, c2005.

Gregg, Lydia. Cannibulimic : incomplete rejection /[Grand Rapids, Mich.?] : Mental Note Press, c2003.

Gregg, Lydia. Chimera /[Grand Rapids, Mich.?] : Mental Note Press, c2005.

Gregg, Lydia. Morning on the inside : a waiting-room read /[Grand Rapids, Mich.?] : Mental Note Press, c2004.

Hansen, Lance Christian. Don't cry /Philadelphia, PA : KettleDrummer Books, c2006.

Holton, Emily. Osoyoos /[Toronto?] : Emily Holton, c2003.

Kobayashi, Makoto, 1958- What's Michael? /Milwaukie, Ore. : Dark Horse Comics, 1997- vols. 10-11

Macisaac, Steve. You can tell us anything /[California?] : Steve Macisaac, c2001.

Mineshaft. /Brattleboro, VT : Mineshaft, c1999- no. 18

Morse, Scott. Noble boy /Emeryville, Calif. : Red Window, Inc., c2006.

Palm, Marc. Quasioctix /[United States?] : MonsterHead, [2005]

Palm, Marc. The reclusives /[United States?] : MonsterHead, [200-?]

The return of the bizmar : 13 more bizarre tales of bunnies, insects, zombies, monkeys, aliens and robots! /[San Diego, Calif.?] : Young American Comics, c2003.

Rich, Jamie S. 12 reasons why I love her /Portland, Or. : Oni, 2006.

Rowntree, Winston. Bush vs everyone! : George W. Bush dies on every page! /[Toronto, Ont.?] : Virus Comics, c2004.

Steiner, Elke. Doc + Doctrix im Hochmoor : ein 24-Stunden-comic : 10.11.2002 1400 Uhr bis 11.11.2002 1400 Uhr /[Germany?] : [Elke Steiner?], [2002]

Takahashi, Rumiko, 1957- InuYasha /San Francisco, CA : Viz, LLC, c2003- vol. 27

Thorne, Frank. Ribit! /Norristown, PA : Comico the Comic Company, 1989. nos. 1-4

Uncle Phil in "Blah." /[United States?] : [s.n.], [19--]

Sunday, January 21, 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.

Oh no, a mischievous monkey has stolen Veronica's purse on Dan Parent & Hy Eisman's 1989 cover to Veronica #5!

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

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Yet Another Music Moment: Tift Merritt

This week's music pick is a singer songwriter with an alt-country flair. Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Tift Merritt first cut a (mostly covers) EP with the band Two Dollar Pistols before striking out on her own with her first album Bramble Rose in 2002. That album, picked as one of the year's best by both Time Magazine and The Times (of London), featured the great "Virginia, No One Can Warn You" as its lead single. Here's the also spectacular video for the song (in craptacular YouTube quality):

(If you want to shell out $2 you can get a better quality version from iTunes.)

And yes, that video is one continuous shot.

She followed up with Tambourine, which was less country and more bluesy. No sophomore slump, it featured the singles "Stray Paper" and "Good Hearted Man."

In 2005 she released a live album, and in early 2006 was on Austin City Limits.

She writes, she sings, and she's stunningly beautiful. Oh, and apparently she also does improv comedy too!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

December Sales Figures

One of the essays/rants that's been running around in my head for some time now, yet has never cohered enough to be written, is about how I think that obsessing over the monthly Diamond sales figures is unhealthy for comics.

That said, I'm now going to obsess over the Diamond sales figures for December. I am nothing if not inconsistent in my beliefs.

Bad news for those who don't like Brad Meltzer's minutia-dwelling new JLA, as the 4th & 5th issues place as #1 & #2 on the charts. So don't look for things to change unless/until Meltzer wants to leave. (Justice League Unlimited, which is the sort of title that outspoken online JL fans say they want, sells less than 10% of JLofA...)

No issue of Civil War in December, so Marvel's missing a bunch of sales, both for the main title and all of the tie-ins that had to be pushed back as well.

I continue to be surprised though that Civil War: Front Line sells near 100K each month. (Happy though for pal Steve Lieber, as hopefully the payment he gets will allow him to do something less super-hero-y.) Look for DC to try to replicate Front Line's success on whatever their next big crossover is.

Looks like 52 fatigue is starting to creep in, as sales on the weekly comic dip below the 100K mark.

Sales on Supergirl are plummeting. Not that 56K is horrible, but this book used to sell over 100K back when it was plagued with delays.

Sales on newuniversal #1 were 43K, which is good for a Warren Ellis take on the old New Universe.

The Spirit #1 only moved 35K, which is darn near criminal.

Warhammer 40K moves nearly 10K units, which I think is the most that a Boom! title has ever done? Esp. good since the true market for this comic will most likely be looking for it in a trade edition outside of the direct market channels.

Poor sales on WildStorm's new licensed horror titles. I'm sure they're hoping for collected edition sales in the book market, but if those don't materialize look for these to be toast.

In fact, the whole chart shows, as it does most every month, the inability of the direct market to support a midlist (we proved this with graphs a few months ago). Comic sales may be up a healthy 15% for 2006, but that's mainly due to a few top performers in the form of event-driven super-hero comics. So look for DC & Marvel to continue to pursue that strategy for the near-to-mid-future.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Review: Fun Home

Fun HomeFun Home: A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel
Houghton Mifflin, $19.95

As a general rule I don't care much for autobiographical comics. Actually that's not exactly true, as I really enjoy a well-done autobio comic. But while I can to a certain extent enjoy a mediocre super-hero comic, a mediocre autobio comics leave me cold.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I approached Alison's Bechdel's lauded graphic novel Fun Home. I have on occasion enjoyed Bechdel's regular Dykes to Watch Out For comic (which, to be honest, is borderline fictional autobiography itself), but would she be able to pull off a long-form graphic novel about her family?

Thankfully, the answer is yes, most definitely.

In Fun Home, Bechdel shows a true command of the comics form. There is nothing demonstrably innovative or flashy; yet she expertly weaves together a non-linear narrative that gives insights into facets of her life and that of her family's, and in total is greater than the sum of its parts.

The Fun Home of the title is a funeral home, the family business. But since they live in a small community, Bechdel's father--a distant, seemingly loveless, slightly effeminate man--works his main job as a high school English teacher. While the narrative is about the relations of the entire family, it focuses mainly on Bechdel's relationship with her father, and how she learned in bits and pieces his background and what he really was like.

'Fun Home' is also an ironic title, as life in the Bechdel house was--while not normally abusive--certainly lacking in familial love. There's a telling scene midway through the book when Bechdel is relating the events of her 'year of obsessive-compulsion': A ten-year-old Alison ends every night before going to bed by giving each of her stuffed animals a goodnight kiss, affections she points out that she never remembers receiving from her parents.

What impresses me the most about Fun Home is that Bechdel is able to make me relate to her situation and empathize with her family, even though her circumstance and upbringing were quite far apart from mine.

I think that there's a good deal of 'depth' to the narrative in Fun Home, which at some point I'd like to take apart and examine to see how it ticks. But for now after a first read-through I'll just settle for calling it one of the best comics of 2006.

Rating: 4.5 (of 5).

New Library Comics: Week of January 8, 2007

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

Barnes, Bill, 1967- Book club : an Unshelved collection /Seattle, WA : Overdue Media LLC., c2006.

Big fat little lit /New York : Puffin, c2006.

Bouden, Tom, 1971- In bed with David & Jonathan /Berlin : Bruno Gmunder, c2006.

Brown, Chester, 1960- Louis Riel : a comic-strip biography /Montreal : Drawn and Quarterly ; New York : Distributed in the USA by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.

Chaykin, Howard V. Mighty love /New York : DC Comics, c2003.

Cicerone, Michelangelo. Ozone Jones : space worms /[Dearborn, Mich.?] : Michelangelo Cicerone, c2005.

Espinosa, Rod. Rod Espinosa's New Alice in Wonderland /San Antonio, Texas : Antarctic Press, c2006- vol. 1

Feiffer, Jules. Passionella and other stories /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Fingerman, Bob, 1964- Recess pieces /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Books, 2006.

Fish, Tim, 1970- Something fishy this way comes-- : a collection of off-beat mini-comics /Los Angeles, CA : Poison Press, 2006.

Fraction, Matt. Five fists of science /Berkeley, Calif. : Image Comics, 2006.

Giardino. Rapsodia ungherese : una storia di Max Fridman /Roma : Lizard edizioni, c2004.

Lewis, Jon. True swamp : underwoods and overtime /Gainesville, Fla. : Alternative Comics, 2000.

McCloud, Scott, 1960- Making comics : storytelling secrets of comics, manga and graphic novels /New York : HarperPerennial, c2006.

Morrison, Grant. Doom patrol : down paradise way /New York, NY : DC Comics, c2005.

Morrison, Grant. Doom patrol : musclebound /New York : D.C. Comics Inc., c2006.

Myrick, Leland. Missouri Boy /New York : First Second, 2006.

Pinsent, Ed. Primitif /Glasgow : Kingly Books, 2006.

Sfar, Joann. Klezmer /New York : First Second, c2006- vol. 1

Shaw, Dash. The mother's mouth /Gainesville, Fla. : Alternative Comics, [2006]

Starger, Steve. Wally's world : the brilliant life and tragic death of Wally Wood, the world's second best comic book artist /Somerset, N.J. : Vanguard, c2006.

Ware, Chris, 1967- Jimmy Corrigan : or, the smartest kid on earth : in the final explosive installment of our amateur 'nouvelle graphique' /Seattle, Wash. : Fanta-graphics Book Concern, c2000.

Ware, Chris, 1967- Jimmy Corrigan, smartest kid on earth : handy synopsis of our story /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics Book Co., c1998.

Wilson, S. Clay. The art of S. Clay Wilson. /Berkeley, Calif. : Ten Speed Press, 2006.

Zezelj, Danijel. Stray dogs : a story in eight chapters /Milano : Charta ; Boston (USA) : Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2005.

Sunday, January 14, 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.

Look, it's a giant purple bow and arrow-wielding gorilla on Bob Brown's 1966 cover for Tomahawk #107.

(Standard disclaimer about giant purple gorillas masquerading as Native American stereotypes not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the The Gorilla Cover Gallery. Click on the image for a larger version.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Slave Labor Dominates Sales Charts

I know you all read ¡Journalista! before coming here, so you've probably already seen Dirk's link to the Cold Cut Top 300 of 2006.

Slave Labor Graphics dominates, taking the first 36 positions on the list, with perennial seller Johnny the Homicidal Maniac taking 8 of the top 10. JtHM #1 is the top seller, a comic that first came out over a decade ago.

Unfortunately Cold Cut doesn't include actual sales figures, so we can't do a long tail analysis. I assume that most comic shops that use Cold Cut are doing so because the get better service (and price?) on back issues for the non-front-of-Previews stock than they can from Diamond.

Just a reminder that the true state of the comics industry sales-wise cannot be determined by looking at Diamond's sales charts alone. The true formula is:
Total Sales = Diamond + Cold Cut (and others) + Book Market + Newsstand + Subscriptions + Direct to Consumer (online and otherwise) + Foreign Sales

Not all comics-like-things make use of all of those distribution channels; but I imagine that Slave Labor is making a good deal of their sales through places other than Diamond.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yet Another Music Moment: Matraca Berg

Matraca Berg is probably my favorite Nashville-based songwriters. Heck, she's one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters period.

Most of you right now are saying "Who?"

Here's Matraca singing her CMA-winning song "Strawberry Wine" (originally recorded by Deana Carter):

See what I mean?

Her 1997 album Sunday Morning to Saturday Night--long out of print--is spectacular. If you listen to "Back When We Were Beautiful" and don't shed a tear, you're not human.

Here's her official Website: where you'll find a few more videos and lots of other info.

She almost never tours these days but sometimes appears at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. If you live in Glasgow or South Yorkshire then I'm very jealous because she's appearing in a couple of weeks with Gretchen Peters & Suzy Bogguss for a couple of concerts.

Quick OEL Manga Reviews

Snow vol. 1 by Morgan Luthi (TokyoPop, $9.99) features one of those galactic future milieus where humans and aliens exist side-by-side, and an oppressive galactic empire seeks to run roughshod over the various worlds for no apparent reason. The empire's key weapon is The Ghost, a humanoid being that is dropped onto an uncooperative planet and runs roughshod over everything. On the ass-end of the universe is The Hub, whose newest arrival, Snow, bears a remarkable resemblance to The Ghost. Luthi--another of TP's Rising Stars finalists--manages to work in libertarian ideas without being too obvious or preachy, or leaving out the many warts. In fact, there are a lot of good ingredients here; but they don't quite gel into a comprehensive whole, and the story is a bit too obvious in places.

I shouldn't have liked Nathaniel Bowden & Tracy Yardley's Riding Shotgun vol. 1 (TokyoPop, $9.99) for it's senseless, over-the-top violence, but it was gleeful and charming enough to win me over in its nihilism. Set in an alternate world where assassination is legal and regulated, Doyle Harrington and his partner Abby are up-and-coming assassins looking to make the jump to the big leagues. But their plans go awry when one of their targets turns out to be Doyle's old high school girlfriend. Yardley's art is appropriately energetic. The car chase sequence that runs for about 17 pages at three-quarters of the way through is one of the best I've seen represented in comics. Riding Shotgun doesn't quite measure up to Bambi and Her Pink Gun in the ranks of violent nihilistic comics, but it's a good read for fans of that sort of stuff and I'll be looking forward to the next volume.

With Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness (Oni, $11.95) I think I'm finally getting into the groove of Brian Lee O'Malley's video games-meet-emo world view. I laughed quite a bit, and actually looked forward to the crazy fight scenes that pop in to resolve existential and emotional conflicts. I'm a bit concerned that the plot doesn't seem to be moving forward much, but we get enough drama, back story, action and humor to carry us through this volume at least. And I still feel sorry for poor Knives Chau, whose only mistake was falling for the charming but self-centered Scott.

Snow vol. 1: 2.5 (of 5)
Riding Shotgun vol. 1: 3 (of 5)
Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness: 3.5 (of 5)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quick Boom! Catch-Up Reviews

I've fallen way behind on my review copies sent by Boom!, so here's an attempt to get caught up:

Talent #3-4 bring the miniseries by Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski & Paul Azaceta about Dane--the lone survivor of a plane crash who has the abilities & memories of all the other passengers--to a satisfactory close, although it is left open enough for the story to continue should the creators & Boom! so desire. The story here is as much about the various groups that seek to control Dane as much as it is about Dane's compulsions to make things right in the lives of those he has 'absorbed.' Paul Azaceta's art--definitely in the Michael Lark-style mode--fits the story being told well, and hopefully we'll see more from him in the future. Hopefully Talent will continue as well in some form; its high concept seems perfectly suited to be a television series so maybe some enterprising Hollywood producer will give it a go (just as long as it doesn't meet the same fate as Global Frequency...)

Second Wave #6--by Michael Alan Nelson & Chee--would also seem to be the end, as AFAIK there have been no further issues announced. This series has been plagued from the beginning with a format chnge from color to black & white (which appeared to be unknown to Chee when he was doing art on earlier issues) and a title change seemingly every other issue as well. At least there are tones and backgrounds in most of the art in this issue, which I'm guessing means that Chee was finally planning on his art being reproduced in black & white, and the art is definitely improved for it. The story about a second alien invasion from Mars (following up on the initial War of the Worlds) started out strong, but along with presentation issues the story also degenerated into clich├ęs and by now I've pretty much lost interest.

I expected to lose interest in Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #1 within the first three pages, but surprisingly I didn't. I have virtually no familiarity with the tabletop miniatures game on which this comic is based; as is typical with these sorts of thins there appears to be a huge amount of world building and back story to the game with which I'm sure its adherents are intimately familiar but casual readers are not privy to. Surprisingly writers Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton provide just enough information so that I'm not totally lost (and there's a two-page text feature at the end with background info should I care to learn more). It would seem that there's a galactic war going on, with the factions combing backwater planets to recruit warriors to fight for them. It's overly violent, which is to be expected from this sort of thing, and ale illustrated by Lui Antonio. At $2.99 it's cheaper than Boom!'s typical output, so I'm assuming that they're planning on increased sales from a known licensed property to make up the revenue. Let's hope that's the case because I'd hate to see the production quality take a nose-dive like it did with Second Wave.

What Were They Thinking: Monster Mash-Up #1 is another of those comics where they take old comic stories and re-mix them with new dialog. It's pretty much the standard stuff you'd expect, and would be completely forgettable if not for blogger Kevin Church's "Hairy Grrls," in which a frustrated narrator to the story is the real star, with laugh-out-loud bits in nearly every panel. Worth the $4 for those seven pages alone.

Talent #3-4: 3.5 (of 5)
Second Wave #6: 2 (of 5)
Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #1: 2.5 (of 5)
What Were They Thinking: Monster Mash-Up #1: 3 (of 5)

(Review copies of the above comics were provided by the publisher.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! Sara Ryan lets us know (via her blog) that there's a second issue of Flytrap in the works, with art this time out by Ron Chan. (Character sketches at the link.)

ITEM! Jorge Cham memorializes Ramen Noodle inventor Momofuku Ando (1910–2007) in Friday's edition of his Piled Higher & Deeper strip.

ITEM! Your local Borders has all Viz manga at Buy 3 Get the 4th Free through Jan 29th!

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of January 1, 2007

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

The art of My neighbor Totoro /San Francisco, CA : Viz, 2005.

Barr, Donna. Stinz : the bobwar /Seattle, WA : MU Press, c1995.

Saudelli, Franco. Otto Porfiri : red moon /Milwaukie, OR : Venture, Dark Horse Comics, 2002, c2001.

Yoe, Craig. Craig Yoe's Weird but true toon factoids! /New York : Gramercy Books, c1999.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Monkey Covers

Monkeyshines Comics #8Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

We kick off monkey covers for 2007 with a monkey reading ghost stories on the cover of Monkeyshines Comics #8 from 1945.

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

Friday, January 05, 2007

YAFQ: How Do You Read YACB?

The return of Yet Another Friday Question:

How do you read Yet Another Comics Blog? Do you have it bookmarked? Do you follow a link on your or someone else's blog? Do you use a feed reader?

I'm just curious...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Comic Book Movies in 2006

From Box Office Mojo, here's the list of 2006 movies based on comics and how they performed in domestic release:

Rank Title Domestic Gross
---- ----- --------------
3 X-Men: The Last Stand $234,362,462
5 Superman Returns $200,081,192
9 Over the Hedge $155,019,340
33 V for Vendetta $70,511,035
94 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties $28,426,747

New This Week: January 4, 2007

All Star Superman #6Based 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 later today:

The Pick of the Week is, of course, All Star Superman #6 by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely. Sure it only comes out once in a blue moon, but when it does it's always a treat. Sure to be your best reading for your hard-earned $2.99 this week.

In other comics:

Antarctic debut Dinowars: Jurassic War of the Worlds, and have a new issue of Gold Digger (#80).

Boom! have the fourth issue of X-Isle.

DC have a second collection of Manhunter; and new issues of 52 (week 35), All New Atom (#7), Jonah Hex (#15), Justice League Unlimited (#29), Manhunter (#27), Midnighter (#3), Superman (#658), and Superman Confidential (#3).

Fantagraphics have the latest issue of The Comics Journal (#280).

Image go all Paul Grist with collections of Jack Staff (vol. 3) and Kane (vol. 6); plus new issues of A Distant Soil (#38) and Fear Agent (#10). Plus there's finally the hardcover of the Hellshock Definitive Edition (any idea when the paperback is due out?)

Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Modern World hits comics shops (though it was in bookstores last week).

Marvel have Civil War #6 (if you're not on the West Coast...); and new issues of Civil War Front Line (#10), Irredeemable Ant-Man (#4), newuniversal (#2), Powers (#22), Punisher War Journal (#2), and Spider-Man and Power Pack (#3).

That should be enough comics to kick off your new year right!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Best of 2006 (That I Haven't Read Yet...)

With the old year behind us and the new one just begun, it's time to look back at 2006 and pick the year's best.


I find that this past year there were many heralded GNs that I didn't get around to reading. Such as:

Fun Home. I'm actually two chapters into this, having started it over the weekend. I really like it so far, but it is an exhausting read (in a good way).

Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness. Also started this over the past weekend; halfway through.

Curses. Forgot to order from DCBS; but I got Amazon gift script for Christmas so it's been ordered!

Chicken with Plums. Checked out from the library to read over break but didn't get to it.

Lost Girls. Have it, but haven't been in the right mood yet to read it.

Ode to Kirohito. On order for the library.

Cancer Vixen. Reviews have been mixed; I suspect perhaps I am the wrong age/gender/whatever to appreciate it.

The Drifting Classroom. Escaped my notice when it first came out, but a lot of people are raving about it. Is it true?

American Born Chinese. Library copy is at the bindery.

Abandon the Old in Tokyo. Just haven't got around to it yet.

Finder: Five Crazy Women. Gah! I'm behind on my Finder reading.

Ghost of Hoppers. Ditto for Love & Rockets.

Making Comics. Own it; I've read maybe a quarter of it so far.

Cartoon History of the Modern World. Just got it this past week.

Anything in there that I should defintely read before too long?

New Library Comics: Week of December 18, 2006

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

Crumb, R. Pioneers of country music /Amherst, Mass. : Denis Kitchen, 2005, c1985.

De Haven, Tom. Green candles /New York (1700 Broadway, New York 10019) : Paradox Press, c1995. vols. 1-2

Disney comics : the classics collection. /New York : Disney Editions, c2006.

Herriman, George, 1880-1944. Krazy & Ignatz : "there is a heppy land, fur, fur awa-a-ay" : comprising the complete full-page comic strips, 1925-26 /Seattle : Fantagraphics Books, c2002.

Kressbach, Karl. Stop /Grand Rapids, Mich. : Mental Note Press, c2005- no. 1

Monday, January 01, 2007

Minicomics Monday

Pirate ShortsTwo minis by artist Shelli Paroline are both quick but fun reads.

The Solar Event (co-written with Chris Knowles) is a six-page wordless story about a group of elementary kids who go out to view a solar eclipse along with their teacher. Of course, it's no fun to not be able to directly look at the sun!

Pirate Shorts is a collection of short stories, all with a (sometimes loose) pirate theme. The centerpiece of the comic, a retelling of "The Tortoise and the Hare" where the race is between pirate ships, utilizes a four-page fold-out; and the mini is wrapped in a one-third height blue plastic second cover simulating water.

Paroline's art is cute and fun, and she knows how to use the comics form to tell her stories with little or no dialogue.

These comics and others can be had via her Website Fool Proof Art.