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


* Stuffed animals

^ Alternative energy sources

% The perils of maturity


Oh, Chris Onstad. This is another collection of the early, hungry years of Achewood--it's going to be a while before we get to the really prime stuff--but it was never less than good. The recent once-or-twice-a-month update schedule is getting to me, though, I have to admit. It's nice when it arrives, but I'd gotten used to it being a multiple-times-a-week strip.^ ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #13

Paul Cornell writes two flashback-style Lex Luthor stories, drawn by Marco Rudy and Ed Benes. At this rate, Cornell will be writing the entire DC line by next August. I'm okay with that prospect, actually.


An Osamu Tezuka book about which I know nothing, but it's hard to go wrong with Tezuka.


A collection of the three John Wagner/Carlos Ezquerra serials that ran in Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000 A.D. about a (male) mob boss who becomes pregnant to negotiate a tricky situation with various mafia families. It works from the premise that if you run through every gangster-flick cliché ever invented, but stick a huge pregnant belly on the lead gangster, they suddenly become hilarious. As it turns out, that's true a decent amount of the time. I don't think anyone would quite rank this with the other two notable Wagner/Ezquerra co-creations, Dredd and Strontium Dog, but it's always fun to see a creative team this comfortable with each other's capabilities stretch out a little. (Only on the Midtown Comics list, not the Diamond list.)

* iZOMBIE #8

More Chris Roberson/Michael Allred monster-a-go-go.

^ % RASL #9

You know, if you'd asked me in 1992 what the self-published black-and-white serial comics landscape would look like eighteen years later, long after the end of Cerebus and Bone, I probably wouldn't have guessed that the keepers of the flame would be Jeff Smith and Dave Sim. Or, rather, I'd have hoped that other people would have started carrying the torch too. Still, this is a consistently impressive series, and it's great that Smith seems to be taking it wherever the hell he feels like from issue to issue.


Remember the days when Vertigo would do an annual stand-alone anthology with original pretty good stories by big-name talent? At this point, we get... a reprint of some of that material that hasn't been reprinted before, including pieces by Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Paul Pope, Sean Phillips, etc. I'm crossing my fingers for the Invisibles paper dolls. Eight bucks.