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

KEY:

* You wait months, and then two show up at once

^ Seas of eyes

% Retrospectacle

* % 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.