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

KEY:

* Revival house

^ I guess Pop was right

% Coming of age

% ALL NIGHTER #1

This David Hahn project was originally announced as a Minx graphic novel; since that line went kaput, it's turned into a five-issue Image miniseries. This issue's available for free in digital form, too.

* % THE COMPLETE WENDEL

For the better part of the '80s, Howard Cruse wrote and drew "Wendel"--an ensemble-cast comedy serial about urban gay male life--as a biweekly strip in The Advocate. This hefty paperback collects its whole run, along with a bunch of other "Wendel" art Cruse has drawn over the years: really nice-looking stuff, built on the template of underground comix but smoothed-out, feathered and rubbery. (On the Midtown Comics list, not on the Diamond Comic Distributors list.)

* DARK HORSE PRESENTS #2

The second issue of this 80-page anthology is here on the strength of Carla Speed McNeil's "Finder" story, basically. I mean, Howard Chaykin and Neal Adams and Richard Corben and so on are in there too, as well as new episodes of "Concrete" and "Mr. Monster." But I did find myself wishing, as I read the first one, that it included more creators and projects I couldn't have seen in a similar anthology 25 years ago.

* ^ FORGOTTEN FANTASY: SUNDAY COMICS 1900-1915

Sunday Press keeps mining the depths of early-20th-century newspaper comics for gorgeous stuff. This one includes cartoonist/fine artist Lyonel Feininger's complete comics oeuvre ("Wee Willie Winkie's World" and "The Kin-der-Kids"), as well as work by some amazing artists I hadn't heard of before (the complete run of Charles Forbell's "Naughty Pete") and some I hadn't associated with newspaper strips (John Gruelle of "Raggedy Ann and Andy" fame), all reproduced at the usual mammoth tabloid size with explanatory notes. You have $125 burning a hole in your wallet, yes? (On the Midtown list, not the Diamond list.)


^ % GINGERBREAD GIRL

Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover's graphic novel about a young woman with a mysterious past and an equally mysterious present is really wonderful--fresh, original, charming, very smart. And the whole thing's been serialized online over at Top Shelf 2.0 if you don't believe me. Also out this week: Tobin and Matteo Lolli's Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #15, which involves Dr. Doom.

* LOW LIFE: PARANOIA

Yet another Judge Dredd spinoff, this one about a squad of undercover Judges. It's written by Rob Williams--whose work I don't know well, but he's apparently newly Marvel-exclusive--and drawn by Henry Flint, Simon Coleby, Rufus Dayglo and D'Israeli. (Some of it was previously collected in Mega-City Undercover.)

* ^ UNCLE SCROOGE: THE MYSTERIOUS STONE RAY & CASH FLOW

One of the marvelous standard plot devices of Uncle Scrooge stories is a device that does some kind of pseudoscientific thing, which somehow offers Scrooge an opportunity to make a bunch of money or threatens the money he has. This one-shot has takes by both Carl Barks and Don Rosa on that premise: Barks' "The Mysterious Stone Ray," from Uncle Scrooge #8, and Rosa's "Cash Flow," a sort of sequel to it, from Uncle Scrooge #224.