Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – July 27, 2011: Post-Comic-Con First-Person-Heavy Edition
Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.
* You wait months, and then two show up at once
^ Seas of eyes
* % ALAN MOORE: STORYTELLER
Gary Spencer Millidge has made something of a career of being an Alan Moore expert–he co-edited the Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman anthology a couple of years ago. This new volume by him is a very interesting-looking piece of Mooreana: an authorized biography (mostly organized by project) that has tons of quotes, script excerpts and artwork, as well as a CD of Moore’s musical performances. The thing that sold me on it instantly is a reproduction of (about 95% of) the much-mentioned, never-before-actually-published chart on which Moore laid out the character arcs for Big Numbers.
^ AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #666
Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli launch the “Spider-Island” event. If your comics store is a larger one, there might be something familiar-looking on the covers of the copies it’s stocking.
% CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #620
Mark Andreyko joins Ed Brubaker as co-writer for the retitled, re-focused series; Chris Samnee draws, following up on the work he did on the Cap/Thor special for Free Comic Book Day this year and the backups in the last three issues. Here: check out a couple of black-and-white Cap drawings by Samnee.
% DC RETROACTIVE: GREEN LANTERN – THE ’70S
I am apparently the target audience for this, since reunited creators Dennis O’Neil and Mike Grell were also responsible for the first comic book I ever bought (that would be Green Lantern/Green Arrow #109). The siren cry of nostalgia genuinely is hard to resist sometimes. Maybe we’ll even get to see the Silver Twist again! Or Itty! What’s Itty been up to?
% DISNEY MUPPETS PRESENTS MEET THE MUPPETS #1
This appears to be a reprint of the first four issues of Roger Langridge’s The Muppet Show Comic Book, for six dollars. And, as hard as it is to pull off a stage variety show in comics form, I can’t imagine anyone doing a better or funnier Muppet Show comic than this. Look at the Swedish Chef routine in the first chapter if you don’t believe me.
% GLAMOURPUSS #20
Ah, Dave Sim. Apparently this issue Glamourpuss finally gets around to the death of Alex Raymond, to which it’s now been building up for something like three years.
^ % KRAZY KAT AND THE ART OF GEORGE HERRIMAN: A CELEBRATION
Conflict of interest department: I wrote a short essay for this volume, which collects a bunch of unusual “Krazy Kat” artwork by Herriman, some of it previously unpublished–hand-colored strips, paintings, book-cover artwork, and so on. In other words, if you’ve been following the Fantagraphics reprints of “Krazy Kat,” there’s not a lot of overlap here. (On the Midtown list, not the Diamond list.)
* % THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY: 1969
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s fiction-as-a-more-interesting-history series continues. This one’s got a psychedelic palette, more sex than any Moore book this side of Lost Girls, and a whole lot of jokes that I bet you have to have much deeper knowledge of the Rolling Stones to get than I do (and I’m a music critic). Late-model Moore, in other words: the master playing the games that amuse him most, which are more about synthesizing bodies of knowledge in utterly ingenious ways than about connecting directly with an audience.
% SETTING THE STANDARD: COMICS BY ALEX TOTH 1952-1954
An anthology of early comics by the master-without-a-masterpiece, from the early post-superhero period of his career–romance comics, as well as more violent genres. Edited by Greg Sadowski, who’s really good at this particular kind of book. (On the Midtown list, not the Diamond list.)
^ XOMBI #5
The penultimate issue of John Rozum and Frazer Irving’s technological/supernatural/quasi-religious thriller. May their next gigs be ones where they’re both better appreciated.