Monday, April 30, 2007

May is Free Comic Book Month 3 at YACB!

The last two years we ran Free Comic Book Month here at YACB, and both years it was a smash success, so I'm doing it once again this year!

May 5 is Free Comic Book Day, but here at YACB one day isn't good enough. We'll be giving away free comics every day of May!

That's right, free comics! Each day of May I'll pick someone to receive a free comic, taken from my personal collection: duplicates, things I have in trades, and other stuff. My goal is to match up people with a comic that they haven't read but that they may like. My tastes are wide and varied, so chances are I've got a comic for you.

And by free I mean free. Really. No cost, no shipping & handling, all free.

Here's what you need to do to enter:

By email, send me the following:

* Your name
* Your postal address
* Titles of five comics that you like
* Please include 'FCBM' in the subject line

That's it! For every day of May I'll choose at least one entry and try to match up that person with a comic, then I'll mail the comic to him or her. It's easy, and it's free!

Last year I gave away 150 comics to 62 different people!

Of course, there are a few restrictions:

* You must be 18 or older
* You must live in the United States
* You may enter at any point during May, but only one entry per person.

And a little bit of fine print:

* Persons receiving comics are chosen by me, based on whether I feel I can provide a comic to you
* I'll try my best, but there's no guarantee you'll actually like the comic I send
* All winners will be announced here on Yet Another Comics Blog
* At least one winner will be selected each day, but it may take me a few days to get to the post office, so please be patient
* I will not use your address to spam you, nor sell or give your information to others

But wait, there's more!

Each person who has a free comic chosen for him/her will also receive a copy of the special editions of either Sandman #1, Fables #1, or Star Wars Legacy #0. (Let me know if you have a preference, though no guarantees; and if I go overboard again his year and run out I may substitute something else.)

That's right, two free comics! How could you ask for anything more?

So what are you waiting for? Send in your entry today!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Monkey Covers

Superman #138Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Titano is real on Curt Swan and Stan Kaye's cover to 1960's Superman #138, a cover that was recently featured on Showcase Presents: Superman vol. 2.

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

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

Thursday, April 26, 2007

OMG! Yotsuba&! Is Back!

So there I am today, paging through the latest Previews, and what do I see on page 217? Yotsuba&! vol. 4! July cannot get here soon enough!

Update: Amazon has a listing for vol. 5, shipping in October!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just One Week Until FCBM3!

Next Tuesday will be May 1st, and longtime readers of this blog know that May is Free Comic Book Month! Just like the two previous years I'll be taking your lists of favorite comics and matching you up with a comic I think you'll like. Look for details on Monday the 30th.

New This Week: April 25, 2007

Based on the NCRL, here are some comics you may want to look at picking up at your friendly local comic shop tomorrow:

The Pick of the Week is Marvel's Agents of Atlas hardcover collecting the mini-series by Jeff Parker & Leonard Kirk. It's a modern adventure about retro characters, not at all depressing or horribly revisionist and a lot of fun. The hardcover has lots of bonus features too, including reprints of the first appearances of the various characters.

In other comics:

AdHouse premiere Fred Chao's Johnny Hiro.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor kick off a new story in Serena Valentino's Nightmares and Fairy Tales #19, with new artist Camilla d'Errico.

Archie have a new issue of Sabrina (#84).

Boom! debut Hunter's Moon and have new issues of Planetary Brigade Origins (#3) and Tag: Cursed (#3).

Dark Horse have a new volume of Path of the Assassin (vol. 6) and new issues of Rex Mundi (#5) and Usagi Yojimbo (#102).

DC have Cary & Bolton's new OGN God Save the Queen; a new collection of Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4); the start of Amazons Attack (#1); the final issue of Firestorm (#35); and new issues of 52 (week 51), Action Comics (#848), Astro City: The Dark Age (book 2 #3), Blue Beetle (#14), Catwoman (#66), Justice Society of America (#5), and Supergirl and the Legion (#29).

Dork Storm Press have a new issue of Dork Tower (#36).

Fantagraphics have Castle Waiting vol. 2 #6 and the latest ish of The Comics Journal (#282).

First Second have the GNs The Professor's Daughter and Tiny Tyrant.

Image have new issues of True Story Swear to God (#5) and The Walking Dead (#37).

Marvel have a big ol' Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus; a new Runaways digest (vol. 7); and new issues of Daredevil (#96), Powers (#24), Wisdom (#5), and X-Men: First Class (#8).

Plenty of comics for your enjoment this week!

CiL 2007 Cartoon Liveblogging

Derik Badman did liveblog cartooning for sessions at the Computers in Libraries 2007 conference. Very cool (if you're a geeky librarian, that is). I was at a couple of the sessions he covered and he does a spot-on summary of them.

(via Jessamyn)

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of April 16, 2007

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

Fito, Alex. Dia de Muertos en Mexico. /Inreves Edicions, 2004.

Celestelle. /Detroit, MI : Yul Tolbert/Timelike Line Productions, c1998- no. 3.5

You ain't no dancer. /Maple Ridge, BC, Canada : New Reliable Press, c2005- vols. 1-2

Wide awake (Greenville, S.C.) Wide awake. /Greenville, SC : J Chris Campbell nos. 3, 5

Charme. /Roma : Edizioni Lancio no. 733

Darling (Rome, Itlay) Darling. /Roma : Lancio vol. 2 no. 11

Kiss (Rome, Italy) Kiss. /Roma : Lancio vol. 2 nos. 7, 8; vol. 3 no. 19

Snakepit, Ben. The snakepit quarterly. /San Diego, CA : Yound American Comics nos. 11, 12

Melby comics. /Royal Oak, MI : Melby Comics, c2004- no. 1

McVey, G.A. Toddle town : daycare with humor and a heart. /[S.l.] : Quarter-Two, 2003?- nos. 1-2

McVey, G.A. Terra 2920. /Hamtramck, MI : Gem Studios, c2002- vol. 1 no. 1

McVey, G.A. Toddle town flip side. /[S.l.] : Quarter-Two Press, 2003?- no. 1

Steckler, Ben T. S. N. A. P. decision : 3 Halloween mini-comics /[York, PA?] : Ben T. Steckler, c2005.

Tezuka, Osamu, 1928-1989. Phoenix /San Francisco, CA : Viz, c2003- vol. 7

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Monkey Covers

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

Apes and monkeys know kung-fu! It's Bill Alger's cover to Cartoon Network Presents #8 from 1998.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Battle of the Century

So I'm flipping through the newest Showcase Presents: Superman (vol. 3) when I come across a story titled: "Krypto Battles Titano." Has there ever been a more perfect idea for a comic story? A dog with the powers of Superman battles a giant ape with Kryptonite vision! I almost don't want to read the story itself, because it cannot possibly live up to my imagination of it...

All a-Twitter

I've finally found a good use for Twitter: I'll be using my Twitter account to post updates on the comics I'm reading, as I read them. Think of them as really-mini reviews. I'm davereadscomics, so feel free to follow my Twitter feed in whatever way you like. You'll also find it in the sidebar of this blog.

Not terribly useful if it's just me, but if a bunch of you start doing the same thing, we can all merge together as a quick source for what's good (and not-so-good) in comics. So if any of you decide to do the same thing, please let me know so I can track you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Review: Living Statues

Living StatuesLiving Statues
by Emily Blair, $3.50

John Martin, a high school art teacher, has brought a group of students to Florence, Italy, on an educational trip abroad. John last visited Florence while in college, but he finds that the present-day Florence doesn't match the city of his memories. His general feeling of ennui moves towards depression as he fixates on one of the "living statues" in the city, a young man who lives in the same apartment complex where John and his group are staying. For John, this young Italian who plays at being Michaelangelo's David (a vastly overrated sculpture, in John's opinion) becomes the symbol of everything that is wrong with contemporary life.

Living Statues is a story about becoming enslaved to memory, living so much in the past that one cannot appreciate the present. Blair unfolds her tale like an onion, and her heavily inky artwork fits perfectly with the story she is telling.

Emily Blair may not produce comics very often (I reviewed her last comic, Soap Opera over two years ago), but when she does it's worth tracking down.

Rating: 4 (of 5)

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quick Boom! Reviews

Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #2
by Dan Abnett, Ian Edginton, & Greg Boychuk
Boom! Studios, $2.99

There's plenty of macho posturing and "glory of war" speechifying in between the battle scenes ehre--it's like 300, in space! Considering how unfamiliar I am with the Warhammer 40,000 game setting I managed to follow the story fairly well, though I suspect if I were a fan of the game and all its offshoots it might resonate with me a bit more. Competently done as a tie-in comic.

Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Mr. Stuffins #1
by Andrew Crosby, Johanna Stokes, & Lee Carter
Boom! Studios, $3.99

A top secret agent program is "liberated" from the company that created it and ends up getting installed in a child's toy: a robotic teddy bear. The bear becomes a super agent, protecting its owner, young Zach, and dodging the corporate goons who want it returned at all costs. It's a high concept comic and the creators pull it off, packing a lot of story and action into 22 pages.

Rating: 3 (of 5)

Tag: Cursed #1
by Mike Lieb & Chee
Boom! Studios, $3.99

A sequel of sorts to the previous Tag series, this first issue introduces us to Ed, a small town hardware store owner who is also the writer of the "Tag! You're It!!" blog that we saw the characters in the original series refer to. It seems that Ed was once tagged himself, and carries the guilt of having passed on the curse, a guilt that is beginning to manifest through hallucinations. So Ed decides to do something about it. There's a bit too much inner monologuing and set-up for my tastes, but hopefully with that all out of the way things will pick up in the second issue (and maybe a slightly brighter color palate as well--I know it's a dreary horror comic, but it could use a little variation imho).

Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

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

Sunday, April 15, 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.

Superman takes on a gaggle of mind-controlled super-apes on Ty Templeton's cover to Justice League Unlimited #29.

(Standard disclaimer about mind-controlled super-apes not really being monkeys applies.)

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

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Quick Top Shelf Reviews

Quick reviews of three floppy/pamphlet comics from the latest box of Top shelf review copies:

Please Release
by Nate Powell
Top Shelf, $5.00

A collection of four short autobiographical stories. The two that are most interesting concern Powell's day job working with developmentally disabled adults. Powell is a talented artist and his sense of design and layout is strong enough to make these potentially navel-gazing and text-heavy stories into works that are visually interesting to look at.

Rating: 3 (of 5)

Feeble Attempts
by Jeffrey Brown
Top Shelf, $5.00

Speaking of navel-gazing, here's a collection of short comics by one of comics' prime practitioners. Unfortunately Brown's chosen style for his autobiographical stories isn't all that interesting, and if you've read one Jeffrey Brown story about how he can't relate to his girlfriend(s) you've pretty much read them all. On the occasions when Brown breaks out of his usual mode and provides us with a super-hero parody or religious commentary the stories become interesting, but they're too few and far-between in this collection.

Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Superf*ckers Issue 279
by James Kochalka
Top Shelf, $5.00

I know that there are Kochalka fans out there who love this comic, but I really don't get it. A bunch of vignettes about twenty-something super-heroes with foul mouthes making potty and sex jokes. It's kind of like ''The Boys'' without a plot, humor, good art, or anything else worthwhile. Which maybe is the point of the comic, but it's a point I can do without.

Rating: 1.5 (of 5)

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Review: Lone Racer

Lone RacerLone Racer
by Nicolas Mahler
Top Shelf, $12.95

The titular Lone Racer in Austian cartoonist Nicolas Mahler's graphic novella is on the verge of being washed up. Facing the prospect of never winning annother race, he hangs out at the local watering hole with his best friend rubber and visits his chronically ill wife in the hospital. In the first chapter LR considers joining his mechanic on a bank heist. In chapter two he considers an affair with a damaged though recovering divorcee. And in the third and final chapter he attempts a comeback.

At first glace Mahler's artwork appears crude, as though drawn by a third-grader. But it's deceptively so; the pacing, structure and layouts are impeccable, and the childlike simplicity of the overt style belies the adult concerns of the narrative.

At just under 100 pages Lone Racer is a quick read, but a satisfying one that will stay with the reader.

Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

A review copy of Lone Racer was provided by the publisher.

New This Week: April 11, 2007

All Star Superman #7Based on the NCRL, here are some comics you may want to look at picking up at your friendly local comic shop tomorrow:

The Pick of the Week is Morrison & Quitely's All Star Superman #7, the best Superman comic in many years, even if it only shows up quarterly-ish. And if by some chance you've neglected to read the first six issues, you can pick up a handsome hardcover collection at the same time.

In other comics:

Antarctic have the final issue of Pirates vs. Ninjas (#4).

Boom! premiere both Mr. Stuffins and Two Guns.

Dark Horse have the second issue of BPRD: Garden of Souls.

DC have a collection of Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre (Cliff Chiang art!) and a fifth volume of Sandman Mystery Theatre; plus new issues of 52 (week 49), Fables (#60), and Stormwatch PHD (#6).

Don't Eat Any Bugs have the second volume of Ray Friesen's Lookit, Yarg and Other Stories. It has penguins. And pirates. (preview here)

Drawn & Quarterly have a new issue of Optic Nerve (#11).

Fantagraphcs have the 1963–1964 volume of The Complete Peanuts.

First Second have the Garage Band GN, the third volume of Sardine in Outer Space, and a hardcover of The Professor's Daughter.

Image have new issues of Fell (#8) and The Nightly News (#5); and a collection of Ferro City.

Marvel have new issues of Blade (#8), newuniversal (#5), and She-Hulk 2 (#17).

Renaisance Press have a new issue of Amelia Rules (#17).

TokyoPop have many volumes, including the debut of Dark Goodbye and the 16th volume of Fruits Basket.

Viz have even more volumes, including the 19th and final volume of Banana Fish and new volumes of Dr. Slump (vol. 12), Death Note (vol. 11) and Inu Yasha (vol. 29).

Between Amelia Rules, Optic Nerve and All Star Superman coming out this week, it's like a portent or something. Can this mean that Ultimates 2 or All-Star Batman and Robin aren't far behind?

New Library Comics: Week of April 2, 2007

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

24 Hour Comics Day highlights 2005. /Thousand Oaks, Calif. : About Comics, c2005

Baumann, Suzanne. You, only you /Hamtramck, MI : Suzanne Baumann, c2002.

Chippendale, Brian Ninja. /Corte Madera, CA : Gingko Press, 2007.

Grand hotel. /Milano : Edizioni Del Duca vol. 60 no. 40

Heatley, David. Deadpan. /[S.l.] : David Heatley, c2002- no. 1

Honey talks : comics inspired by painted beehive panels. /Slovenia : Forum Ljubljana, c2006.

Marina (Rome, Italy) Marina. /Roma : Lancio vol. 3 no. 19

Mineshaft. /Brattleboro, VT : Mineshaft, c1999- no. 16

Neal, Nate. The sanctuary. /Grand Rapids, MI : OM Comics, c2006- nos. 1-2

Twisted sisters comics. /Northampton, MA : Kitchen Sink Press, c1994- no. 1

Watasin, Elizabeth. Charm school. /San Jose, CA : SLG Publishing, c2002- vol. 1

Wheatley, Mark. Radical dreamer. /London, Great Britain : Blackball Comics, c1994- no. 0

Monday, April 09, 2007

Unofficial Top Shelf Week

This will be an unofficial Top Shelf Week here at YACB. Because:

A) On Friday I received a large package of review copies from Top Shelf. I reviewed one (Tales from the Farm) earlier today, and hopefully will get to at least a couple of the other books before the week is out.

B) This is Top Shelf's Tenth Anniversary, which you can read about over at CBR.

C) In conjunction with their 10th anniversary, Top Shelf is having a rather sizable sale, with many cool books at just $3 or $1, and discounts on many of their other books as well. I can highly recommend 2 Sisters ($10), and recommend Big Clay Pot ($3) and The King ($3) if you're pondering what to buy, and there's plenty of other good books at cheap prices as well.

Review: Tales from the Farm

Essex County, vol. 1: Tales from the FarmEssex County, vol. 1: Tales from the Farm
by Jeff Lemire
Top Shelf, $9.95

Tales from the Farm, the first volume in Jeff Lemire's proposed Essex County Trilogy, is an impressive, heartbreaking work.

Ten-year-old Lester, recently orphaned, has been sent to live on his uncle's farm in Southwestern Ontario. Lester is one of those sensitive boys who doesn't really fit in anywhere. He likes to read comics and dress up in a mask and cape. Uncle Ken doesn't know what to do with Lester--he only took the boy in because of a deathbed promise to his sister.

Lester strikes up an unusual friendship with Jimmy, the cashier at the gas station convenience store where Lester buys his comics. Jimmy was once a player in the NHL, but a vicious check ended his career and left him not quite right in the head.

Tales from the Farm has a timeless quality about it. The feeling in the story is of one that happened some time ago (the only hint we have is that Lester remarks that comics cost more than a dollar), but it really could be any time.

Lemire's art fits the mood and style of the story perfectly. It reminds me of characters by Ted McKeever living in a landscape drawn by Danijel Zezelj. It's all heavy on inks and appropriate dreary, though the flashback scenes are done in a watered style and there's a five-page section in the middle meant to be a comic that Lester has drawn, taken from a comic that Lemire actually did when he was nine-years-old.

Toss in a strange and ambiguous ending and you get a very satisfying comic experience. I won't be surprised to find Tales from the Farm on several lists of the year's best (including my own).

Rating: 4 (of 5).

A review copy of Tales from the Farm was provided by the publisher.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Video Review: Fall of Cthulhu #0-1

Trying something new here on YACB: a video review! Using the iSight camera on my iMac and the direct to YouTube video capture. So now you can hear and see how big of a dork I am:

That's Fall of Cthulhu #0-1 by Michael Alan Nelson & Jean Dzialowski, published by Boom! Studios at $3.99 ea.

Don't know if I'll do this again; the YouTube quality for showing off the images of the comics doesn't work too well. But it was an interesting experiment.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New This Week: April 4, 2007

Based on the NCRL, here are some comics you may want to look at picking up at your friendly local comic shop tomorrow:

The Pick of the Week is the debut of Mike Allred's Madman Atomic Comics from Image. It's super-heroes the fun pop-art way!

ADV have the tenth volume of Cromartie High School.

Antarctic have a new issue of Ninja High School (#148).

Boom! have Fall of Cthulhu #1 (actually the 2nd issue, since it started with #0 last month).

Dark Horse have the second issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Season Eight.

DC have collections of Paul Dini's Batman: Detective, Harvey Pekar's American Splendor: Another Day, Jonah Hex, vol. 2: Guns of Vengeance, and Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy; a Showcase Presents volume for Legion of Super-Heroes; the debut volume of the Time Guardian manga; and new issues of 52 (week 48), The All New Atom (#10), Detective Comics (#831), Jack of Fables (#9), Jonah Hex (#18), Justice League of America (#7), Justice League Unlimited (#32), Midnighter (#6), Supergirl and the Legion (#28), and Superman (#661).

Del Rey have a ton of manga, including the latest volume of Genshiken (vol. 8).

Dynamite Entertainment debut their new Savage Tales comic.

IDW have a new issue of Fallen Angel (#14).

Marvel have Joss Whedon's debut on Runaways (#25); and new issues of Hulk and Power Pack (#2), The Immortal Iron Fist (#4), The Irredeemable Ant-Man (#7), and The Punisher (#46).

Oni have the third issue of Maintenance.

Vertical have the sixth volume of the Buddha paperback edition.

Villard have the Elk's Run GN, finally completing the comic that was cursed through two different publishers.

Viz have a ton of manga, including the first volumes of Dragon Drive and Millennium Snow.

Lots of good stuff. Enjoy your new comics!

Rude Wonder Woman

Your 'awwww' moment of the day, courtesy of Steve Rude (via Dirk):

Wonder Woman loves kittens

DC need to find a way to get Rude drawing Wonder Woman, stat. Yeah, I know he's gearing up to do a new Nexus series, but after that they should sign him up to draw a presitge format WW series with a modern-retro feel (a la Jeff Smith's Shazam!)

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Library Comics: Week of March 26, 2007

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

Action philosophers! /Brooklyn, NY : Twin Comics, 2005- no. 3

Deitch, Kim. The stuff of dreams! /[Seattle, Wash.] : Fantagraphic Books no. 3

Hankeiwicz, John. Tepid. /Westmont, IL : John Hankiewicz 2003 Summer

Horrocks, Dylan. Pickle. /Cambridge, Ont. : Black Eye Productions, 1993- no. 9

Huizenga, Kevin, 1977- Or else. /Quebec, Canada : Drawn & Quarterly, c2004- no. 1

Kochalka, James. Conversation. /Marietta, GA : Top Shelf Productions, c2004- nos. 1-2

Kochalka, James. Super f*ckers /Marietta, GA : Top Shelf, 2005- nos. 271, 273

Moynihan, Jesse. The backwards folding mirror /Philadelphia, PA : Nonlocal Books, c2005- no. 1

Nilsen, Anders Brekhus, 1973- Big questions. /Montreal, Quebec : Drawn and Quarterly no. 7

Ryan, Johnny. Shouldn't you be working? /Seattle, WA : Fantagraphic Books, 2003- no. 1

Seth, 1962- Palooka-Ville /Montreal, Quebec : Drawn & Quarterly, 1994- nos. 1, 5, 7, 13-17

True porn. /Gainesville, Fla. : Alternative Comics no. 2

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Turtle Covers

Tuffy Turtle #1Sunday is Turtle Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a turtle on the cover.

A turtle scared of a frog? No! But an alligator? quite probably. It's the 1958 cover to Tuffy Turtle #1.

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