Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday is New Comics Day

Every Wednesday we run down the 5 most interesting comics or graphic novels coming out for the week.

Written by Darwyn Cooke, Walter Simonson, Gail Simone, Jimmy Palmiotti and others; Art by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone, Chris Sprouse, Jordi Bernet, Eduardo Risso and others
DC Comics
$24.99 | 176 pgs

Will Eisner's The Spirit, a classic and highly influential comic strip from the Golden Age of comics, has become open to artistic interpretation of late. Frank Miller will have his take on the big screen soon but there's no way it's going to be as fun or as great to look at as Darwyn Cooke's take in DC Comics' new ongoing The Spirit book. This second hardcover volume collects issues #7-13, completing Cooke's run on the series.

In addition to Cooke's take on the character here we also get short stories from folks like Chris Sprouse, Jordi Bernet and Eduardo Risso.

Written by Jonathan Ames; Art and cover by Dean Haspiel
DC Vertigo
$19.99 | 136 pgs

Jonathan Ames is a novelist who, in addition to some fiction work, has published three collections of non-fiction columns originally written for The New York Press about his life experiences. In his first graphic novel, The Alcoholic, he writes about the fictional "Jonathan A." who wrestles with writing and drinking and other out-of-the-ordinary daily problems that may or may not be similar to exploits the non-fictional Jonathan A. has experienced himself. Dean Haspiel, who has done some great work on Vertigo's Harvey Pekar books as well as his own web comics over at ACT-I-VATE should be expected to do some outstanding work here too. See for yourself.

By David Heatley
$24.95 | 128 pgs

Like last week's release, Sublife from John Pham, we get another graduate of the MOME school of artists (as well as other anthologies like Kramers Ergot and McSweeney's) entering the publishing world in a big way with his first hardcover collection of stories. David Heatley is a weird egg who uses his simplistic-looking art style to tell brutally honest, at times cringe-inducing stories about himself. For instance, one story collected here entitled "Sexual History" obsessively details every sexual encounter Heatley has had since grade school. Another, called "Black History" examines his feelings about race by obsessively detailing every encounter he's ever had with a black person. Heatley also, to great effect, has a number of dream diary stories like those that have appeared in MOME. Once again he's not afraid to put every embarrassing thing he dreams about onto paper.

By Jesse Reklaw
Dark Horse
$15.95 | 256 pgs

Speaking of dreams, Jesse Reklaw found a unique way of getting some bang out of the narrative buck of dreams. As a cartoonist for the alt-weekly comic strip, Slow Wave, Reklaw asks his readers to email him their dreams and he turns them into 4 panel comic strips which he publishes with the dreamer credited as co-author. The Night of Your Life collects these little dream stories which contain familiar favorites like the one where you show up at school with no clothes on or the one where you're in the Old West and Teen Hitler pulls a knife on some girl you just met.

Check out a few samples here.

1. TOP 10 SEASON TWO #1 (of 4)
Written by Zander Cannon; Art and Cover by Gene Ha
DC Comics
$2.99 | 32 pgs

When you say that title out loud it just sounds like numerical gibberish doesn't it? If you're not familiar with the original Top 10 series or any of it's various spin-offs it's a superhero book done in the style of a police procedural drama like Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue and set in a world where everyone has superpowers. It's the brainchild of Alan Moore who unfortunately is not the writer of this new series but original series artist Gene Ha does return for this new "season". Writer, Zander Cannon, will be familiar to Top 10 fans as the artist of spin-off series Smax among other related books. Some familiar characters join some new additions like a new police commissioner and a rookie cop who will no doubt help lead new readers through this world.


Joe Kelly and Max Fiumara begin a new series about a boy in Depression-era Brooklyn who is befriended by a dragon. Probably not the best time to put out a comic about the D-word but don't hold that against these guys.

Another unique look at the dark side of superheroes from Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp. This one is about people that will do anything to get superpowers.

This year's anthology is notable for it's distinct lack of Paul Pope's Batman Year 100 because DC's legal department apparently felt it wasn't "best" enough to stand with the likes of Chris Ware, Seth, Alison Bechdel and more.


Shawn Reynolds said...

Joe Kelly and Max Fiumara begin a new series about a boy in Depression-era Brooklyn who is befriended by a dragon. Probably not the best time to put out a comic about the D-word but don't hold that against these guys."

D-word? You mean dragon?

Andy Mansell said...

Actually, it is an event that occurred in 1961-- coinciding with my birth.. a tragic time known as
The Great Digression.
Is it still going on?
Of course it is...........

Rusty Baily said...

DeRn Shawn-you took my comment....

Rich Barrett said...

Ha. Very funny guys. Go ahead and laugh but a dragon ate my 401k and I don't think that's a laughing matter.

Vee ! said...

I had the pleasure of being at Atomic Books when Jesse Reklaw did a "reading" of a few of the strips from his book. I haven't had the chance to read it yet as I was too busy reading Crogan's Vengeance by Chris Schweizer. It's due to be released in stores towards the end of the month and everyone needs to read it.