ANDY’S PICKS :: ROBIN THE BOY WONDER A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC
(W) Bill Finger & Various (A) Bob Kane & Various (CA) Jim Lee, Scott Williams
Happy Birthday Dick/Jason/Damien and according to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there are some who call him…..Tim? Regardless he still looks great…nice gams! And you have to tip your hat to the enduring concept of the Super-hero kid side-kicks. Again, I know nothing about the contents, but these DC Diamond Jubilee editions have been consistently good. And I’d be willing to bet $.15 (Sterling!) that a whole lot of Teen Titans can be found somewhere between these hard covers.
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: The Pixilated Parrot (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 9)
(W/A) Carl Barks
Two hundred pages of comics by the greatest of the great Carl Barks. You get Donald Duck, his Uncle Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey & Louie, great gags, break-neck pacing, exhilarating adventure that ads up to comic storytelling at its best. What more do you need? How about brief, insightful essays on every story from a number of knowledgable critics, authors and academics. Buy this volume or any volume. Buy some Barks NOW!
ANDY’S PICK :: SUPER VILLAINS UNITE TP COMPLETE SUPER VILLAIN TEAM UP: Collecting GIANT-SIZE SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #1-2, SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #1-14 and #16-17, AVENGERS (1963) #154-156, and CHAMPIONS #16.
No, they haven’t formed a Union, but it makes you wonder if the Beagle Boys and other henchmen received benefits.
Is there anything more supery or villainy than Doctor Doom? What if ol’ Vic was united with an angry, angry, angry Prince Namor who had just been unceremoniously booted from the Mighty Marvel monthly rotation? Add to this volatile duo a Dash of Red Skull, some fighting-mad Magneto along with some Avengers who have been enslaved by Attuma and you have a crew tough enough to defeat the Fantastic Four, the Legion of Doom and even the one-time ’70’s super- group of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Sacco and Venzetti. Only the Champions can possibly save the day. Or can they? This volume is post Lee and Kirby Marvel at its silliest and fun and it makes for big time rainy day reading.
ANDY’S PICKS :: THOR EPIC COLLECTION TP TO WAKE MANGOG
Collecting THOR #154-174. It just doesn’t get better than this. These are super hero comics at their most fun and free-wheeling. You get Thor, the rest of the Marvel Norse Pantheon along with Mangog a villian who just sounds grouchy already, but now he’s been woken up and he’s wielding the Odinsword– a weapon so big it could jimmy the lock on the door of the fortress of Solitude. Plus Galactus vs. Ego the Living Planet (the loser has to pay for lunch), the return of “Him” (who’s Him? Why Him is Adam Warlock that’s who) and the whole series comes to a frothy boil with the origin of Galactus. It’s Lee and Kirby at their best. The dialogue is beyond a hoot, it is magical; a joy to read. Plus several issues of Kirby’s best issues are inked by the incomparable Bill Everett!
ITEM..Conan the Avenger. Well, it’s about damn time. I mean Tigra and Patsy Walker and even the Two-Gun Kid (well, sort of) were all members of the Marvel Superteam at one time or another. Let’s hope Jarvis can get our favorite Cimmerian to wear a shirt at the next meeting. And just wait until Conan gets a taste of of 21st Century Pale Pilsner. By Crom, the barkeep will be in grave peril. What? Oops…sorry wrong “Avenging” all together. But this series from Dark Horse has been quite good and is worth a look.
Is Peanuts the greatest sustained work of comic art over the past 65 years? That is up for debate, but Charles Schulz 50 year run as sole creator is one of the most popular, endearing and recognizable comics of all time. The question for the Discussion group is why?
This will be the 3rd time we’ve tackled a bona fide comic classic; the other two were Tintin and Bark’s Donald Duck. At first we were going to have a vote as to which strip we would spotlight, but we quickly realized that if we are going to dive into the world of newspaper comic strips, Peanuts is unquestionably the ideal starting point.
As to why we’ve selected Volume 7 1963 – 1964 (Linus is on the cover!); it was the year when Peanuts grew into a phenomenon. Make sure you read the short introduction. It is worth the ten minute investment. But there are many more reasons why Volume 7 is crucial and we will mull that over throughout the afternoon.
So plan to join us on Saturday March 7th at NOON. As usual, we will meet at the store and repair to a local watering hole.
Topics will include:
- The pacing of a daily-as well as the Sunday- strip as opposed to a comic book page
- How reading a serialized strip in large doses changes the peanuts experience.
- Does the reader identify with the characters or react to them.
- Are they children or small adults and does it really matter?
- Preference: The gag a day strips in comparison to Schulz week long story-line
- Can you read the strip without identifying directly with the creator?
- And how-about that daydreaming dog of the round-headed kid.
We have read the notorious and controversial Schulz and Peanuts a Biography by David Michaelis and we plan to introduce a few of the choicest and most polarizing talking-points to see if you agree with the biographers assessment of the man and his art.
As usual, Heroes is offering The Complete Peanuts Volume 7 1963-1964 with the special 10% Discussion Group discount, just remember to mention it to the clerk when you buy it.
We look forward to having Peanuts fans, devotees and perhaps even a detractor or two. You are welcome to join us even if you have not read Volume 7, but experiencing this wonderful tome is recommended. We promise this will be one of the most fascinating afternoons we’ve ever had.
See you on Saturday March 7th at NOON, you BLOCKHEADS.
ANDY’S PICKS :: HELLBLAZER TP VOL 10 IN THE LINE OF FIRE: The classic run of everyone’s favorite unwashed misanthrope continues with the first eleven issues from the four year run of writer Paul Jenkins and artists Sean Phillips and Al Davison. Horror at its best.
THE ART OF JACK DAVIS! SC: This beautiful jam packed book features the best of the best of Jack Davis (perhaps the single most recognizable comic artist of the past 50 years!). This book has been out of print and in the past few decades has become a rather expensive collector’s item, but now it’s back and it’s very inexpensive. A must-have for any well rounded comic library.
LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 07: from Jaime we have the return of Maggie, Hopey and Ray. And if that wasn’t enough, Gilbert serves up Fritz as Morgan La Fey and then delivers a story about Luba’s mother, Maria. The brothers are peaking yet again. Don’t miss these great comics!
ANDY’S PICKS:: CRIMINAL TP VOL 01 COWARD| $14.99
Ah..where it all began for the noir comics team extraordinaire of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. If you’ve not yet entered the ink drenched world of heists and fatales and twists of the plot as well as the knife, here is your ideal entry wound (errr..entry point). Gullible characters will end up incarcerated or dead or both(!) and Justice is hardly ever served. As fun as a ’50s crime film and just as dangerous. Enjoy!
SHOWCASE PRESENTS BLUE BEETLE TP| $19.99
500 pages of Ted Cord’s superhero adventures from the creative team of writer Len Wein with art provided by Paris Cullins and Bruce Patterson. Featuring a nice early cross-over with The New Teen Titans and the return of The Question. Not great, but certainly a lot of fun- one of the last gasps for mainstream superhero comics before those talented Brits turned the spandex crowd on its revisionist ear. And before Giffen and DeMatteis turned our Azure clad scarab into a constant punchline for the wise-guy version of the Justice League.
POWERPUFF GIRLS SUPER SMASH-UP #01| $3.99
Life in the CNU ( Cartoon Network Universe) will never be the same after the events of the recently wrapped-up Super Secret Crisis War. But its time for a little post SSCW break for the greatest power trio since Rush released 2112. Join Blossom the orange leader, Buttercup the green one with anger management issues and our favorite Blue Bubbles ( imagine Rory Gilmore but with the power of Mon-El ) as they take a VIP tour of Dexter’s Lab and the afternoon unfolds swimmingly until Didi decides to follow along…..Big trouble. Big, Big trouble. Plus ( as if you needed any more! ) Courage the Cowardly Dog.
ANDY’S PICKS :: Classic comics old and new……
BATMAN SILVER AGE NEWSPAPER COMICS HC VOL 02 1968-1969| $49.99
(W) Whitney Ellsworth (A) Joe Giella, Al Plastino (CA) Peter Poplaski
The second half of the comic strip run of Batman that rode on the coat-tails of the popularity of the infamous albeit hilarious TV Series. Sure, It’s a relic but it’s also a riot and it features guest-stars Superman and Aquaman. Same Bat strip, same Bat creative teams.
BPRD PLAGUE OF FROGS TP VOL 02| $24.99
(W) Brian Augustyn & Various (A) Guy Davis & Various (CA) Mike Mignola
An ideal and inexpensive way to dive into the Mignolaverse. Collects B.P.R.D.: The Dead, B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame, and B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs. Plus the storytelling mastery of Guy Davis!
FABLES #148| $2.99
(W) Bill Willingham (A) Mark Buckingham & Various (CA) Nimit Malaviae o
Rose Red learns the truth about her mother, herself and her sister Snow White. As NFL Coach Dennis Green might say at a Post Fables press conference “They’re AREN’T who we thought they were” . There are only 2 issues left. The tension is getting pretty thick.
GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #01| $3.99
(W) Mark Evanier (A/CA) Sergio Aragones
It’s a year long series. Each month spotlights a supportive character whose life gets repeatedly destroyed by everyone’s favorite bungling Barbarian. This first issue features Captain Ahax. Things will get wet.
MMW UNCANNY X-MEN HC VOL 09| $75.00
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Various (CA) Paul Smith
Even though the earlier John Byrne era made The X-Men stars, it is this volumes era that sent the mutants and their scribe Chris Claremont into the stratosphere.Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN #168-175- artist Paul Smith became a star, Rogue became a hero, Cyclops became a husband and Professor Xavier became a Jerk. Also included is the MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #5 “God Loves, Man Kills” a true mainstream high water mark and WOLVERINE #1-4. Featuring art by rising superstar Frank Miller. Last and certainly least, THE UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #7 perhaps the single worst comic book in BRONZE AGE history. If you think I’m exaggerating, look at the last two pages. POP And POPsicles….yuck.
RUN LIKE CRAZY RUN LIKE HELL HC| $19.99
(W) Jacques Tardi, Jean-Patrick Manchette (A/CA) Jacques Tardi
Following the success of West Coast Blues and Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot (both highly recommended) Jacques Tardi third collaboration with famed crime writer Jean- Patrick Manchette is by all accounts, the best of the bunch. Hard boiled noir action, dark humor and page after page of Tardi. Tres Bien!
I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.
-Lucy Van Pelt
So here are some ripe ones:
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9 LIBRARY HC VOL 01| $29.99
(W) Joss Whedon (A) Georges Jeanty
Okay, so Buffy Season 8 was a bit of a let down, but with Season 9, the Creative-Scoobies really got it together. Our world is a world without magic and a new menace arrives–zombie Vampires! Willow is working overtime to bring the magic back to our earthly realm while Buffy has a serious personal crisis. This entire run is a blast. Collects Buffy Season 9 Volume 1 and Volume 2 in an oversized format; plus an Expanded sketchbook by the talented Messer. Jeanty.
FABLES THE WOLF AMONG US #01| $3.99
Reprinting Vertigo’s first-ever digital-first series, FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US which is a comic adaptation and expansion of the video game. This is an official prequel to Bill Willingham’s FABLES! With the series in the hands of Matthew Sturges (JACK OF FABLES) along with fellow scribe Dave Justus (HOUSE OF MYSTERY), and featuring art by Stephen Sadowski (JSA), Shawn McManus (FABLES/FAIREST), and Travis Moore (JSA ALL STARS) this looks like a solid offering to help fill our Mundane void.
LETS DANCE SNOOPY 65 YEARS OF PEANUTS TP
For those who can’t budget for the complete Peanuts reprint from Fantagraphics or for folks who want to let their kids read the adventures of the greatest daydreamer in comics history and want to keep their collected volumes from excess stickiness, this is a perfect single issue sampler. It’s not just the dog; it’s the WWI Flying Ace, it’s that gad about the Quad, Joe Cool, it’s the greatest unpublished novelist in America, it’s the world famous attorney, it’s the tennis partner of the terrifying Molly Volley.
It’s all Snoopy and it’s all great.
The votes are in and the winner is March of the Wooden Soldiers, the 3rd Volume of Fables comics. In all honesty, this is the right choice. It is the storyline where a good series with a clever premise became a great series with legs strong enough to carry it for 150 monthly issues, two spin off series, a prose novel and three stand alone graphic novels.
So plan to join us on Saturday December 20th at Noon (an hour earlier than usual) We know this is the busiest time of the year, but do yourself a solid by setting aside a few hours to break bread and talk comics.
March of the Wooden Soldiers collects Fables # 19-21 and # 23-27 along with the Prestige one-shot issue The Last Castle featuring perhaps the greatest swashbuckling hero of the last 40 years, Little Boy Blue. No, we are not kidding.
Thanks to the decree of our liege and manager Justinian, March of the wooden Soldiers is available at Heroes with the Heroes Discussion Group 10% Discount. Just remember to mention it when you check out.
Topics will include
- The choices writer Bill Willingham makes regarding characterizations of very familiar characters
- What sets Bigby Wolf apart from other popular feral characters…
- And of course, Prince Charming….would you vote for him in the Fabletown Mayoral Election
- Also, Why March of the Wooden Soldiers is (or perhaps is not) the ideal discussion choice.
We invite everyone-both new readers and devoted fans–to join us. We’d like to touch on later story lines as well as the Network TV ‘interpretations’ of the same concept: Grimm and Once Upon a Frozen Time, but if there are any discussioneers who attend and have not read beyond Wooden Soldiers we promise will tread lightly.
We will see you on Saturday December 20th at NOON and fair warning to the uninitiated, once you enter the world of Fables, it is tough place from which to escape.