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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – February 1, 2012: Vacky Vobbler

Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY:
* Not quite (meant to be experienced as) comics
^ Out of time
% Creator behind the wheel
¢ Technology solves every plotting problem

^ % MADMAN 20TH ANNIVERSARY MONSTER
You can’t accuse Mike Allred of being poorly connected. This oversized $100 hardcover includes new material (mostly one-page stories and pin-ups) from a Murderer’s Row of creators, including the Hernandez brothers, Jeff Smith, Craig Thompson, Dave Cooper, Peter Bagge, Paul Pope, Matt Wagner, and so on, as well as a new story by Allred himself, and a bunch of reprints of older guest-artist images. Also out this week: Chris Roberson and Allred’s iZombie #22.

^ ¢ ACTION COMICS #6
Grant Morrison writes, Andy Kubert draws, there’s a backup by people who are not named Morrison or Kubert, the Legion of Super-Heroes is involved. And next issue it’ll pick up where it left off two issues ago. Anyone want to place any bets about the issue order in the eventual collection?

¢ DEFENDERS #3
The first two issues of this Matt Fraction/Terry Dodson relaunch of the venerable Marvel “non-team” franchise have been a lot of fun–so far, its tone seems to be an updated version of the anything-goes Steve Gerber incarnation. I’m very fond of the running metacommentary at the bottom of each page, too.

* ^ % ¢ FRANK READE: ADVENTURES IN THE AGE OF INVENTION
Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett follow up 2009′s wonderful Boilerplate with another volume of faux-historical faux-non-fiction, packed with convincing faux-archival visual artifacts. The secret word is “steampunk.”

* ^ JOHN ROMITA SR.’S AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: ARTIST’S EDITION
Romitaphiles: this $125 IDW reprint of six of his best late-’60s issues (and some covers) is a gorgeous thing, reproduced directly from his original art at what I believe is the original size.

% SERGIO ARAGONÉS FUNNIES #7
I wonder how long it takes Aragonés to write and draw one of these suckers. I have a mental image of him wandering the streets, having wacky adventures that he can recount twenty or thirty years from now, then getting home, realizing that it’s 4:15 PM and the new issue is due by 5:00, having a cup of coffee, taking care of a little bit of laundry, then finally pulling out a stack of Bristol board, knocking out 22 pages in six and a half minutes, and grimacing when he realizes he’s gone way over his best time.

* V FOR VENDETTA WACKY WOBBLER
Creators should not be afraid of their publishers. Publishers should be afraid of their creators.

^ % ¢ XOMBI
John Rozum and Frazer Irving’s fine short-lived series from last year–two Zs in the creators’ names, none in the title–gets collected. If this thing had been part of the New 52, y’all would be lapping it up like it was Frankenstein, at least. Instead, it lasted six issues before getting the hook. Super-powered Catholic nuns! Incredible color technique! How did you miss this? Because you did.

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