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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – September 21, 2011: Revenge of the Love Bunglers

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

KEY:
* Youth in revolt
^ What kind of animals?
% Black and white and/or red all over
¢ New wave soundtrack

% AVENGERS #17
Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. continue their “Fear Itself”-via-oral-history storyline. Is it just me, or is Sin’s new color scheme the same as the Vision’s? In other “Fear Itself” news, we also get Invincible Iron Man #508, which apparently wraps up the “Tony gets plastered and hangs out in a forge with the Norse dwarves” sequence.

% DAREDEVIL #4
I assume there’s some non-obvious reason that we’re seeing this issue one week after #3, although the obvious and totally acceptable one is “this way we get to see Marcos Martin’s artwork sooner.”

^ ¢ DARK HORSE PRESENTS #4
Apparently the big anthology series has now gone monthly; cool. Besides the ongoing Carla Speed McNeil and Howard Chaykin serials, this one’s got an Evan Dorkin/Jill Thompson “Beasts of Burden” story in it.

* ¢ EVELYN EVELYN: A TERRIBLE TALE IN TWO TOMES
This explanatory companion to Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley’s high-concept musical project is billed as a graphic novel, but it’s really more of a (two-part) picture book for adults (typeset text and full-page images), drawn by Cynthia Von Buhler, a very interesting artist who’s done some nifty children’s books, among many other projects outside the comics world. If the text were in a language I didn’t read, I’d expect it to be the sort of thing that might appear on a table of imported books at the MoCCA Festival.

% LOVE AND CAPES VOL. 3: WAKE UP WHERE YOU ARE
Thom Zahler’s good-natured superhero sitcom series is consistently enjoyable–I’d be very happy if more mainstream comics had anything like its sense of playfulness–but is it too much to ask the cosmos for its collected edition not to come out at the same time as Love and Rockets?

* ^ % ¢ LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES #4
I have now had multiple friends contact me to tell me that they’d just finished the conclusion of Jaime Hernandez’s story “The Love Bunglers” in this issue and had been crying and needed to talk about it with someone. If you thought “Browntown” in last year’s volume was emotionally brutal, well–this one tops it. Special bonus question for those of you who’ve read it already: can anybody explain what’s going on with the final two panels on pg. 88, or why Maggie and Ray apparently both get woken up by their phones in that sequence?

* MORNING GLORIES VOL. 2
The mysteries of Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma’s Lost-ish series about a sinister boarding school deepen.

* ¢ THE NEW TEEN TITANS: GAMES
Back around 1987, Marv Wolfman and George Pérez planned out this standalone Teen Titans graphic novel. And then, what with stuff, it kind of took a while. (Pérez drew 70 pages or so in the ’80s, supposedly at nearly double the scale of his usual artwork.) Anyway, it’s finally coming out. Between this and Holy Terror later this month, what’s next? I expect to walk into my local store in a couple of weeks and see D’arc Tangent #2 waiting for me.

% SHAKARA THE AVENGER
From the scattered episodes I’ve read, I’ve never been able to make any sense of this Robbie Morrison/Henry Flint sci-fi serial. It’s awfully nice-looking post-Nemesis the Warlock/Giger-ish stuff, though, with an effective two-tone palette.

* ¢ THE SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #17
The annual Halloween special of the comic is even more fun than the TV series’ version–it generally features some creators you wouldn’t ordinarily associate with The Simpsons, and this one’s no exception. Jane Wiedlin–as in the Go-Go’s–writes one story, the Top Ten team of Zander Cannon and Gene Ha collaborate on another, and a third is by the great Jim Woodring, who hasn’t to my knowledge worked on a licensed-property comic in a decade or so.

* ^ % SPIDER-ISLAND: SPIDER-WOMAN #1
Fred Van Lente and Giuseppe Camuncoli put a shim or two under a drooping corner of the franchise, and reintroduce Gypsy Moth, the supervillainess who has the mutant power to manipulate clothing. Really. Also this week: Nick Spencer and Emma Rios’ Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger #2.

% WONDER WOMAN #1
The pick of this week’s DC relaunches: Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, apparently recasting Wonder Woman as a horror series. That’s a new tack, anyway, and their Doctor 13 serial a few years back was pretty cute (despite its not-playing-the-”yes-and”-continuity-game vibe). I’ll look at anything Chiang draws.

% ZAHRA’S PARADISE
The pseudonymous team of Amir and Khalil’s graphic novel about contemporary Iran, whose online serialization recently concluded.

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