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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – February 22, 2012: Roy G. Biv Is a Colorful Man

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

* Eyes obscured by masks
^ Ears overwhelmed by sound
% Noses invaded by a byproduct of conflict

The first issue of David Hine and Shaky Kane’s returning homage to the weird old days of pulp comics was appealingly different from last year’s run; this one is subtitled “Tales from the Haunted Jazz Club,” and is apparently a fake issue of a lost EC-style jazz-horror anthology. I can’t wait.* ^ % 2000 AD #1766 and 1767
The intermittent American availability of the venerable British weekly–celebrating its 35th birthday this week!–continues. (These two issues appear on the Midtown Comics release list, not the Diamond Comic Distributors list.) John Wagner and Henry Flint’s episodes of the ongoing Judge Dredd “Day of Chaos” sequence (involving germ warfare) are the best thing at the moment, although I’m also pretty fond of Dan Abnett and Karl Richardson’s “Grey Area”: the storyline in here involves humans policing what’s essentially an alien dubstep festival. Also this week: Ian Edginton and Simon Davis’s Ampney Crucis: Vile Bodies, an occult-Sherlock Holmes-ish project first serialized in 2000 AD‘s pages.

Jen Van Meter and Roger Robinson’s Hawkeye serial concludes.

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato continue to make pretty, pretty superhero comics. My quiet hope is that they bring back my favorite Flash villain: Roy G. Bivolo, the Rainbow Raider. You know it makes sense.

Not comics, by any stretch of the imagination; I’m listing it here because it’s a Fantagraphics book and might be showing up in comics shops, and because it looks fantastic. This is Pat Thomas’s long, extensively researched photo-and-essay book about where the Black Power movement intersected with the recording industry. There’s also a soundtrack album from Light in the Attic, with long-unheard material by Eldridge Cleaver, the Last Poets, Bob Dylan (a single about George Jackson that’s been out of print for 40 years), and more.

^ RASL #13
Jeff Smith’s curiously free-form Tesla/art-theft/interdimensional-travel serial nears its conclusion. (Smith noted on his blog that he’d scrapped, rewritten and redrawn the last ten pages of an earlier draft at the last minute, after showing them to his collaborators at Cartoon Books; wonder how often that happens?)

This is, disappointingly, what’s left of what was going to be the Spider-Man: PSAs trade paperback, which would have collected 30 or so edutainment-type one-shots from the past few decades. It’s been pared down to a $25 book with three of them, the four-part Fast Lane insert, a Spectacular Spider-Man one-off from last year, and Stan Lee and Gil Kane’s Comics Code-defying Harry Osborn-on-drugs story from 1971. Oh, the camp delight that could have been.

Another volume in IDW’s gorgeous “reproduced from the original art” series. This one is pricier than the first few (some sources say $125, some $150), but also bigger (15 x 22 inches), since Wood’s EC comics were drawn big. This is actually one of two Wood-at-EC volumes coming out this year; later this year Fantagraphics is publishing a Shock SuspenStories Wood collection called “Came the Dawn” and Other Stories.

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