Why review one book when you can speak to the ginormity of this week’s publication offerings as a whole? If you have even a cursory interest in the comic book medium, this would be a great week to visit Heroes! There are a whole mess of interesting-looking books coming out this week! If you take the time to look at the “New Releases” page you’ll see what I’m carrying on about.
Here are a few titles that stand out in my tiny, little, fan-boy mind:
• Look at all that Disney awesomeness! We get the whole stable of all-stars in the same week? Mickey, Donald, and the rest! Golly!
• A bunch of ALL NEW Marvel titles for Mutant and Avenger fans alike. Extraordinary!
• DC has a respectful amount of “Batty” goodness to counteract the flood of Marvel titles being released this week. Robin and Catwoman fans rejoice!
• Huck – I like this book. So far it proves Mark Millar actually has a heart. Maybe. There is still time for him to mess it up. Oddly enough, that’s kinda the reason I keep “tuning in”. Weird, I know.
• And finally, there are two little books that may have slipped under the radar I’d hate for the casual fans to miss out on:
– Marvel’s Secret Wars comes to its Battleworld-shattering conclusion! Oh man! What are we gonna do?! Oh yeah, the “All New, All Different Marvel” is already in full-swing. Sorry. I forgot for a moment.
– When you visit the store on Wednesday
you may find yourself thinking, “I can’t tell if that is a zombie or just an unwashed Plaza Midwood hipster” – either way, make sure she doesn’t get the last copy of Waking Dead issue #150 before you! It’s a big deal. Unhand that comic, you zombie freak!
Anyway, as you can see, this week is a fatty!
All are welcome to enjoy the one thing that unites all ages and walks! I’ll be the zombie-freak-unhipster drooling over the first issue of Agents of Shield.
HEATHER’S PICK :: BITCH PLANET Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine TP
Curious about the comic that has inspired fans across the globe to declare their allegiance with Non-Compliant tattoos before the first trade was even released? Now’s the best time to jump into the series with the release of Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine which collects issues 1-5.
While the title can be off-putting (I’ve had people visibly cringe when I first mention the name of the comic from which my tattoo comes from), Bitch Planet is an inspiring and empowering comic. Given the recent struggles in legislatures across our country, it’s not that far off to imagine a world in which women are sent to a prison planet once they have been deemed “Non-Compliant”. Where the “crimes” include not adhering to a set body standard and adultery (only if you’re a woman, of course), Bitch Planet sets the stage from the first issue of a world in which equality is meaningless.
Our story begins with the entry of several inmates to Bitch Planet and follows their processing into the system as well as the off planet politics behind the Non-Compliant system. As with our own criminal justice system, money has a lot to do with how “justice” is achieved. The stories of our inmates aren’t easy to read, yet those stories are engaging and compelling. The violence they endure, especially at the hands of the guards, is incredibly painful to read, and becomes more so as you get to know the women. Unfortunately, the treatment by the guards is an accurate portrayal of what occurs in prisons every day.
Bitch Planet doesn’t just give its readers a fictional commentary on our society, each issue includes an essay on current issues. The often overused saying of “Be the change you wish to see” is very apt for Bitch Planet, especially in a male dominated medium that the female form is portrayed in simply unattainable and even ridiculous ways. Add into that hostile environment, especially on the internet, when women speak up about what bothers them in comics, Bitch Planet has become more than a comic, but a safe place for discussion and change.
Given what Bitch Planet means to me as a comics reader and a woman, thank you, Kelly Sue DeConnick
and Valentine De Landro
, for creating a comic that is so much more than the words and art on the pages. Your inspiration goes deeper than my tattoo that is my daily affirmation that being true to myself and my convictions are more important than societal standards and other people’s perceptions about how I should behave.
ANDY’S PICKS: The Classic Comics Cavalcade is back. Save yourself some precious time and simply sign your paycheck over to Sir Justin, Manager of Heroesdom.
If you are searching for a good sampler of the great newspaper strips of the past, look no further.
KING OF COMICS HC 100 YEARS KING FEATURES SYNDICATE: IDW celebrates the Centennial of King Features Syndicate with a coffee table book that traces the history of the first, the largest, the most influential and arguably the best comic syndication of all time. Featuring Blondie, Steve Canyon, Beetle Bailey, Krazy Kat, Popeye, Prince Valiant, Barney Google, Johnny Hazard and that is just a handful off the top of my head.
CARTOONS FOR VICTORY HC: Then Fantagraphics offers up a retrospective on the comics of World War II. Featuring work from strip creators like Milt Caniff and Harold Gray as well as panel cartoonists from Colliers and The New York. Much of the material has not been reprinted for years.
The very best reprint books come from IDW and Fantagraphics. They care about the material and feel a responsibility to the discerning readers out there. These are two books that belong in every well rounded library or collection.
And if strips aren’t your thing (yet) don’t forget about
SHIELD BY LEE AND KIRBY COMPLETE COLLECTION TP
Fifty years of the second grouchiest one eyed leader in the Marvel Universe. (Don’t forget Odin for gosh sake!) Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #21, and material from STRANGE TALES (1951) #135-150 and TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #78. Plus, we’ll throw in a heaping helping of Dum Dum Duggan absolutely free!
Seth’s Pick:: Head Lopper #1: I greatly enjoyed Andrew MacLean’s last book, ApocalyptiGirl, and was impressed with how he pulled together so many apparent influences into his own unique artistic voice. More than that, though, was the clear exuberance in the work for the craft of making the comic. You can tell that MacLean was making the kind of comic that he enjoys reading. The joy continues with his new quarterly Image series, Head Lopper. While this series previously existed as MacLean’s own indie comic, it’s now available with an 80 page story plus a brand new pin-up gallery. That’s 96 pages of barbarian action, monsters, witches, swords, and all things metal, for only $5.99! Fans of classic Conan, Hellboy and Harryhausen won’t want to miss this one!
Bonus Pick: Descender TP vol. 1: If you missed out on the acclaimed first six issues of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s space opera, you can find them all in this week’s first volume Image collection for only $9.99! I found this to be among Lemire’s most poignant writing since Essex County, and Nguyen’s art is better than ever. In the endless sprawl of Image sci-fi comics being published today, this one certainly stands out, and is worth a close look.
RICO’S PICK :: PLUTONA #1: “Stand By Me” but with a dead superhero in place of the dead regular person is most likely an oversimplification of this new Image comic book but from what I can tell, that’s the catalyst here. The art from Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire looks great and expressive. You can see for yourself in these previews here and here. Not sure if it’s a 4 or 5 issue series but Lenox, Bellaire and writer Jeff Lemire have put together a great looking book with an intriguing premise and I can’t wait to read it.
GOOD GRIEF, MORE PEANUTS! TP (VOLUME 3: 1952-1956)
GOOD OL’ CHARLIE BROWN: A NEW PEANUTS BOOK TP (VOLUME 4: 1955-1957)
God bless Titan Books for reproducing these two paperback gems from the late 1950’s!
Hey kids, back in the day before man stepped on the moon and simple folk only needed 3 or 4 TV Channels this is the way we got our comic strip reprints. every family–and I mean every single household (don’t bother looking it up, I’ve already fact checked it for you!) had at least one or two of these Peanuts reprint books in their rec rooms. They are gems, they are dirt cheap and trust me yet again, theywill make incredibly cool stocking stuffers for any Bronze Age member of your family. But make sure you read them. Charles Schulz was nearing the first of many artistic peaks with these strips.
SETH’S PICK :: AMERICAN BARBARIAN: Tom Scioli has long held the reputation for being an artist who expertly pays homage to the canon of Jack Kirby. One of the things I most respect about Scioli, though, is how he not only captures and distills Kirby’s work in his own, but also channels other interests and influences. Case in point with this week’s long awaited complete collection of American Barbarian. Sure there are nods to Kirby, especially the excellent Kamandi comics, but there’s also a plethora of other monsters, robots and beings that could only jump from Scioli’s fertile imagination.
As with Scioli’s must read Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series, American Barbarian is full of unabashed love for all things sci fi, fantasy, film, comics and pop culture. It takes concepts that have at times been stereotyped as low, and raised them to high comics art. Thanks to IDW, American Barbarian is finally receiving a nice new complete hardcover collection. It’s unlike any other new book you’ll see on the stands this week, and I hope you’ll take the time to relish this work in all its glory.