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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – January 19, 2011: Iron Man Gets His 500-Issue Chip

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

KEY:
* Sounds laid down by the underground
^ Told ya that I like to bite
% You appear to be in pain

* ALLEN GINSBERG VINYL FIGURE AND CD SET
No, really. Yes, of course there’s a comics connection: Archer Prewitt of Sof’ Boy fame designed it. Its accessories include an Uncle Sam hat, a beaded necklace and a little copy of Howl.

^ BPRD: PLAGUE OF FROGS HC VOL. 1
A nice, chunky hardcover containing the equivalent of the first three BPRD paperbacks.

^ % THE COMPLETE BAD COMPANY
$20 gets you the entirety of this Peter Milligan-written sci-fi war comic, drawn by Brett Ewins, Jim McCarthy and Steve Dillon, which ran in 2000 A.D. between 1986 and 1989, with a few subsequent eruptions in 1993 and 2001-2002. I only have vague memories of reading it the first time around, but I recall the gist being that war, even just war (the enemy here is called the Krool, no kiddin’), is so horrible that it’s effectively the worst psychedelic trip you could possibly be on. (On the Midtown list, not the Diamond list.)

* DENIS KITCHEN’S CHIPBOARD SKETCHBOOK
Denis Kitchen is one of those cartoonists more associated with an incredibly strong style than a particular work–maybe because he’s better known as the publisher behind Kitchen Sink’s various incarnations–but this $20 hardcover is a very welcome follow-up to last year’s retrospective The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen; it consists of a bunch of spontaneous pen drawings amassed over the years. Also out this week: a new edition of Drawing Comics Is Easy (Except When It’s Hard), a sort of how-to book written and drawn by Kitchen’s daughter Alexa Kitchen when she was seven years old. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since she’s published new work, too. I

% THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500
In which the current Iron Man series jumps to the number it would’ve had if it’d been numbered continuously since #1 in 1968. (Actually, that’d have been 503, by my calculations, but never mind.) This seems to be a cornerstone issue for Matt Fraction’s future plans for the series, bringing in the Mandarin plot he set up in last year’s Annual; the story appears to be set in four different time periods, with artists including Salvador Larocca, Kano, Nathan Fox and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Fraction also writes this week’s Thor #619.

* ^ MYSPACE DARK HORSE PRESENTS VOL. 6
The final volume collecting the online series; the bait as far as I’m concerned is Jaime Hernandez’s eight-page color story “Las Primas Controla.”

% SCARLET #3
Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev continue to stick it to The Man, or something.

^ WOLVERINE AND JUBILEE #1
Any comic written by Kathryn Immonen is worth a look–her sensibilities are not much like anybody else’s in mainstream comics right now (she actually reminds me of early Steve Gerber a bit). This miniseries pairs her with artist Phil Noto.

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