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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – June 22, 2011: Time Machines and Other Pseudoscience

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

* Revival house
^ I guess Pop was right
% Coming of age

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.

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.)

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.

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.)

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.

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.)

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.

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