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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – November 23, 2011: The End of Lulu

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

KEY:
* Numbers
^ Exodus
% Genesis
¢ Colossians

^ % BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR HC
Scott Snyder, Jock & Francesco Francavilla’s double-headed Batman/Commissioner Gordon serial from Detective Comics was one of the chief attractions of the pre-reboot DC (and had a lot of impressively over-the-top artwork), even though it was kneecapped a little by the series reverting from 30 to 20 pages of story very shortly into its run. I’m looking forward to reading it all in one place.

* DARK HORSE PRESENTS #6
Fabio Moon contributes a new story (and one version of the cover); we also get more of Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s “Beasts of Burden,” more of Carla Speed McNeil’s color “Finder” serial, and so forth.

* ¢ FANTASTIC FOUR #600
But how can this be? A year ago Fantastic Four ended forever and ever! Anyway, to celebrate the re-retitling and re-renumbering of FF, we get something around 100 pages of new material. Jonathan Hickman writes; at least four artists draw, but the one I’m really excited about is Farel Dalrymple, whose work on Omega the Unknown pointed toward a direction for superhero comics that I wish more artists would explore.

¢ THE FLASH #3
Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato’s series has the best-considered look of any of the DC reboot titles this side of Batwoman; that’s going to keep me reading for a while, at least.

* INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #510
I guess Fear Itself #7.3 wasn’t, in fact, this month’s Iron Man. It also appears that artist Salvador Larrocca is even more of a speed demon than I thought, since he drew that too. Matt Fraction writes.

* % KAPOW GUINNESS WORLD RECORD SPECIAL
A one-shot by upwards of sixty creators, written and drawn in under 12 hours, starring Superior, from a plot by Mark Millar, created at the Kapow convention in London in April. See, Millar can hit deadlines when he feels like it!

^ ¢ LITTLE LULU VOL. 29: THE CRANKY GIANT AND OTHER STORIES
A reprint of two more of the Lulu giant-sized specials, concluding the Dark Horse reprint of the entire John Stanley/Irving Tripp Lulu cycle. (I think they have a bit of Tubby left to go, though.)

% ¢ POGO: THE COMPLETE SYNDICATED STRIPS, VOL. 1: THROUGH THE WILD BLUE WONDER
Fantagraphics has been promising a complete reprint of Walt Kelly’s wonderful comic strip for four years or so now (after reprinting the first few years’ worth in paperback in the ’90s). They apparently had some difficulty finding high-quality sources, but they’ve really gotten it right–this looks fantastic. And this volume actually delivers more than its title suggests: besides the 1949 and 1950 syndicated strips (daily and Sunday), it includes Pogo‘s four-month run, from October 1948 to January 1949, in the New York Star.

^ RASL #12
Speaking of Pogo, I believe Jeff Smith’s name was initially attached to the design of the new Fantagraphics reprints, although he doesn’t appear to be involved with the final product. Anyway, as far as Smith’s own work goes, he’s speeding toward the conclusion of his dimension-hopping-art-thief thriller, for some value of “speeding.”

% ¢ RICHARD STARK’S PARKER: THE MARTINI EDITION
We don’t get a new full-on Darwyn Cooke Parker adaptation this year, it appears; what we get instead is this oversized, $75 hardcover containing the first two volumes, an art gallery, and a new eight-page story. Not called “The Table Service Edition” for reasons of anachronism, possibly.

% ¢ SHOWCASE PRESENTS GHOSTS VOL. 1
A fat black-and-white reprint of the early years of one of the many, many supernatural titles DC was publishing in the early ’70s, this one largely written (early on) by Leo Dorfman, with a lot of its artwork provided by the young Filipino cartoonists who were entering American comics at the time.

* TANK GIRL: CARIOCA #2
The format question’s been resolved: this Alan Martin/Mick McMahon continuation of the adventures of Martin and Jamie Hewlett’s iconic tough chick is a three-issue miniseries. I like seeing McMahon’s artwork with a square binding and super-nice reproduction, but there’s also something about it (and the character) that seems like it would be appropriate for the cheapest possible paper and ink.

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