Welcome once again to Can’t Wait for Wednesday, our weekly look at what you can expect to find in your local comic shop tomorrow. To see what Kevin, Chris and I have to say about this week’s comics, read on …
JK Parkin’s pick of the week: American Vampire #1
Typically when we make our picks of the week we’re pretty much hypothesizing about how good a comic will be, based on previews, previous issues, the creators involved, interviews and whatever else has appeared on the ‘net about a comic before it is actually available.
In the case of American Vampire, though, Vertigo sent me a copy of the first issue, so I don’t have to guess — I know that I really, really like this comic. Scott Snyder and Stephen King each pen related tales set decades apart, both sharing a common character and drawn by Rafael Albuquerque — actually, let’s stop right there. This book has gotten some decent media coverage due to the fact that best-selling author Stephen King is involved, but the real shining star in this first issue is Albuquerque. His artwork is pretty incredible, and I particularly like how he gives each of the tales and the time periods in which they take place their own distinct visual flair.
And that’s not to take anything away from Snyder and King, who manage to make the now-tired vampire genre their own. I mean, these guys did create Skinner Sweet, the common character in both their stories, who doesn’t actually do much in the two stories except smile, eat some candy and exude a dirty creepiness with every word he says. Already he’s the guy I wanna know more about; he’s gonna be fun to watch.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of King, or Albuquerque, or vampire tales like Near Dark and True Blood, or even stuff like Deadwood, then you’ll probably enjoy this. (DC/Vertigo)
Kevin Melrose’s pick of the week: Mysterius the Unfathomable trade paperback
Wildstorm collects Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler’s offbeat, and thoroughly entertaining, 2009 miniseries about an enterprising, if not necessarily ethical, newspaper reporter who becomes the assistant to a difficult and, yes, somewhat mysterious sorcerer/detective. The two form a sleuthing, paranormal Odd Couple, facing technicolor demons, satanists and the terrors of a Burning Man-style festival in what should be, by all rights, a continuing series. And maybe a television show. It’s a nice trade paperback that includes text pieces from a 1935 issue of (the fictional) Diabolic Tales pulp magazine plus Fowler’s lovely original covers. It’s certainly worth picking up for fans of Parker’s higher-profile Marvel work who may have overlooked the original miniseries. (Wildstorm)
Chris Mautner’s pick of the week: Krazy & Ignatz in Tiger Tea
I believe it says somewhere in my Official Comics Critic membership card that I must make every any George Herriman book my pick of the week when it comes out, right next to the part about never recommending any comic that comes with a foil variant cover. This book, from IDW’s Yoe Studios imprint, collects the only ongoing story that Herriman ever did in his seminal Krazy Kat strip, about an amazing substance that, when drunk, gave Krazy and his friends amazing strength, or something like that. It was originally collected by Raw magazine back in the day. Since it may be a long while before any daring soul attempts to collect all of the Krazy dailies, I’d recommend getting this as a nice place filler in the meantime. (IDW)
JK: Tony Daniel reveals who the Black Mask really is. (DC Comics)
Green Arrow #31
JK: Spinning out of the recently completed Cry for Justice comes “The Fall of Green Arrow.” Guy can’t catch a break … (DC Comics)
JK: As noted earlier this week, this is the last issue of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s brief take on Jessica Drew hunting aliens as a member of S.W.O.R.D. She’ll next appear in the Bendis-written Avengers relaunch later this year. (Marvel)
X-Factor Forever #1
JK: Is it amazing to anyone else that not only can Marvel successfully publish a ten-years-after-the-fact continuation of Chris Claremont’s X-Men stories, letting him pretend like he never left the franchise back in the 1990s, but also that X-Men Forever would end up being successful enough that they’re willing to try it again with Louise Simonson and X-Factor? This gives me hope that one day ABC will ask Lynch to finish Twin Peaks. (Marvel)
Backing Into Forward: A Memoir by Jules Feiffer
Chris: Not comics per se, but anyone interested in the art form should want to check out this book, Feiffer’s memoir about his life and work, from his childhood in New York, to apprenticing under Will Eisner, to doing a daily strip, to churning out screenplays for folks like Mike Nichols and Robert Altman. I can’t see how this could not be a great read. (Random House)
Green Hornet Year One #1
JK: Following hot on the heels of the first issue of Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet series comes a “Year One” tale written by Matt Wagner that promises to bring Green Hornet and Kato to “their basic roots.” (Dynamite)
Mome Vol. 17
Chris: Paul Hornschemeier concludes his “Life With Mr. Dangerous” story, Dash Shaw and Tom Kaczynski collaborate, and Kurt Wolfgang, Laura Park, Rick Froberg, Sara Edward-Corbett, T. Edward Bak and others contribute the usual amount of snazzy high-brow tales in this new volume of the quarterly anthology. (Fantagraphics)
Chris: The latest entry in Viz’s SigIKKI line, Ristorante concerns a young girl who tracks down the mother who abandoned her years ago and finds her the co-owner of a classy restaurant. Melodrama ensues. From the creator of not simple. (Viz)
Sand and Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure
Chris: Ho Che Anderson (King) drifts shies away from the fictionalized biography genre to move into more supernatural waters with this horror-tinged, modern update on the Celtic Banshee myth. Lots of kinky sex and blood in this one. If you need the incentive. (Fantagraphics)
With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child Vol. 6
Chris: Hikaru starts attending junior high school in the latest volume by the sadly now deceased Keiko Tobe. (Yen Press)
See what else is coming out this week on Diamond’s website.