LOOKING AT SEPTEMBER
You all know the drill by now. I’m looking at some of the trade paperbacks and hardcovers being released in September. There’s a lot more stuff besides just that coming out in comic shops as the school year begins, though, so consult a copy of PREVIEWS for yourself. Remember that pre-ordering is your friend, and that you can share your picks for the month at the Pipeline message board.
Dark Horse: We’ll start with THE CURSE OF DRACULA, a new trade paperback from Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. Dave Stewart colors. It’s a new vampire story from the team that brought us all those classic THE TOMB OF DRACULA stories 30 years ago. This is listed as a trade paperback, but I think it would also qualify as an “original graphic novel.” It’s 80 full color pages for $10. Should be worth a look. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more written about it yet.
For those with far too much money on their hands, FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY LIBRARY Volume 1 is a slipcased hardcover set of the first four volumes of Miller’s series. They’re oversized, hardcover, and printed on “high quality paper stock.” Sounds nice. For $150.00, though, it’s not nearly nice enough for me. This is an easy way to “save” money by just not spending it. Even with a discount, it’s a tad pricey.
Mark Millar’s CHOSEN gets the trade treatment for $10 on October 12th. I enjoyed the story, though a lot of people didn’t like the twist in it. I have to admit that I’ve forgotten most of it since I read it a few months ago. I remember that it was an entertaining and capable read, though. (That sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, doesn’t it? Crud.)
Ron Marz and Luke Ross reunite for SAMURAI: HEAVEN AND EARTH ($15, 120 pages) on October 26th. THE ART OF COMIC BOOK INKING gets a second edition for $25. SAMURAI EXECUTIONER is up for its eighth volume at the end of November. (You have to love how far in advance Dark Horse plans and solicits.)
DC: We start with the pricey CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION. This one chimes in at a hefty 464 pages, but will set you back $100. I’m still smarting from the last limited edition hardcover release that turned out to be a not-so-limited edition. Plus, it’s just not my thing. You have to really love a lot of old-time DC characters to get into this one. Perez’s art is impressive, but it’s not enough to keep my attention for 12 issues of universe crunching tedium. The format is nice, though.
The return of Hal Jordan gets a hardcover with GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, and Prentis Rollins. That’ll suck $25 out of your wallet in mid-October.
The third collection of George Perez’s WONDER WOMAN run is titled BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. It’s another $20 from your bank account. DC is kind enough to make sure the first two volumes are also still available.
The most curious release of the month goes to JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED: JAM-PACKED ACTION. It’s a “cinemanga” approach to the JLU cartoon on Cartoon Network. The part about this one that makes me laugh is that it grabs screenshots and dialogue to adapt “For the Man Who Has Everything” episode. I don’t think Alan Moore’s original comic is all that inappropriate for an all-ages audience, is it? Basically, this is a comic book adaptation of a fairly faithful animated adaption of a classic comic.
The last SLEEPER collection, THE LONG WAY HOME, brings us the last six issues of that series. EX MACHINA gets a second volume. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE gets a new edition in time for the movie’s release. Michael William Kaluta draws LUCIFER #66, almost getting me to the point of wanting to read the series.
Marvel: MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR has been cancelled and resolicited for November now. Re-order your pre-orders today. What a delightfully screwed up world we live in.
I know it’s not a trade, but I’d be remiss in completely ignoring WOLVERINE #33, just for the art team of Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira. Remember the white hot days of GHOST RIDER and the glow-in-the-dark fifteenth issue’s cover? While their art isn’t perfect, it is fun to look at. It should be worth a look.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR PRESENTS FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS collects the backup short stories from the recent POWER PACK mini-series. Chris Eliopoulos and Marc Sumerak present the world according to Mr. Fantastic’s son, in which no gizmo is safe from a child’s imagination. This one includes a new short story and retails for $2.99. It’s fun for all ages.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN gets its sixth oversized hardcover collection for issues #60-#71 of the on-going series. This includes the Carnage and “Superstars” storylines for $30.
The Marvel Premiere Edition format is used this month for BLACK PANTHER: WHO IS THE BLACK PANTHER. It collects the first six issues of Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr.’s new series for $22.
PUNISHER MAX Volume 1 is a bit of a surprise. I thought Marvel was done with the hardcover collections of Garth Ennis’ series, but I’ve now been proven wrong. This collects the first 12 issues of the Max series, with art from Lewis Larosa and Leandro Fernandez. If they had kept the original numbering up, this would be the fourth volume of the series. It’s $30.
HULK VISIONARIES: PETER DAVID Volume 2 collects HULK #340-348, which includes Todd McFarlane’s memorable turn drawing a Hulk/Wolverine clash. Erik Larsen and Jeff Purves also draw issues in here. It’s $20 for the package.
Image: THE BLACK FOREST 2 is solicited this month, timed perfectly after I reviewed the first volume a couple weeks ago. I love it when stuff like that happens. It’s the same creative team, but this time they promise a better printing job.
Ovi Nedelcu, the wonder who brings us PIGTALE, has an art book out called DESENE: SKETCHES & SCRIBBLES. It’s a $30 hardcover in full color.
The Beckett titles are moving to Image, and September will give us RONIN HOOD OF THE 47 SAMURAI, a complete 96 page full color graphic novel. Craig Rousseau and Wayne Faucher provide the art to a story that only needs a title to explain what it’s about. It sold me. This is the story that was used for a Free Comic Book Day title. It’s ten bucks.
From the “Wow! That Was Quick!” department, SHADOWHAWK: BORN ANEW collects the first four issues of the latest series, plus its predecessor, THE RETURN OF SHADOWHAWK. The 144 page volume will run you $15.
SAINT GERMAINE: SHADOWS FALL is a new graphic novel from the folks at Desperado. The solicitation of it is thin, but I do know that Vincent Locke and Guy Davis will be contributing art. That should be enough for my $15 to sample it. The full book is 168 pages in black and white.
In the wake of San Diego con, Top Cow’s solicitation for RISING STARS: VOICES OF THE DEAD #5 (of 6) gave me a good laugh for the oddest reason. The penciler is Staz Johnson. Once upon a time in comic convention land, there was a fan of Johnson’s who would go to Batman panels in San Diego and demand Staz’s reinstatement as the artist on ROBIN. It became a running joke. Perhaps unfairly, that’s the story that always comes to mind when I see his name.
After Hours Press offers up two first issues. 7 DAYS OF FAME #1 is Buddy Scalera’s latest, a look at a reality show about suicide. It appears to be a slightly sarcastic look at the reality television genre. $4 gets you 32 full color pages.
Chris Eliopoulos’ SHERMAN’S ROOM #1 should delight those who liked his recent FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS stories. It features a young boy, his alien pal, and a torturous sister. It’s 24 black and white pages for $3. Previews are available on Eliopoulos’ website.
AiT/PlanetLar features SMOKE & GUNS, a new graphic novel from writer Kirsten Baldock and artist Fabio Moon, he who drew URSULA. The short preview of the book in the back of the recent preview issue of THE BLACK DIAMOND stole the show. The hook is strong enough to interest you, but the art will blow you away. I can’t wait to see a full 104 pages of noir type art from the guy who did such a fine job on a strange fairy tale before this.
Update: Since I wrote this, I picked up the book in San Diego. It’s a beautiful book with a thin story, though an entertaining one. There’s a problem with world-building that needs to be addressed, but I’ll save that for a future review.
Alias gives us something new with a full color issue of Tom Bancroft’s OPPOSITE FORCES. This is the book that can’t settle on one publishing format. If you liked the pencils-only version and the full inks version, you might just enjoy the full-color style. The price is still just $3.
Bongo Comics lets loose with the latest edition of the annual treasure, BART SIMPSON’S TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. This eleventh edition features work from the likes of John Severin, Mark Schultz, Bernie Wrightson, and Gene Colan. These 56 pages will only set you back $5.
Dynamic Forces gets the prize for most expensive comic book of the month. They have the ABSOLUTE CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS book signed by Wolfman,Perez. Giordano, Ordway, and Carlin. As if that wasn’t enough, it also has two head sketches drawn in it, although it’s not listed in the solicitation who is drawing them. It’s signed and numbered. Final price? $499.99.
Fantagraphics has the fourth installment of their PEANUTS collections, as well as DAYDREAMS AND NIGHTMARES: THE FANTASTIC VISIONS OF WINSOR McCAY. That’s a new softcover and oversized (12 x 16 inches) art book of sorts. If it’s half as good as the recent ART OF SCHUITEN book distributed by NBM books, then it’ll be worth looking at. It’s only $25 for the 176 pages in black and white.
iBooks is resoliciting the much-anticipated third volume of BLACKSAD, which is an art book and not a new story. It’s still $13.
IDW has both the third volume of their JON SABLE collection series as well as a new collection of the recent GRIMJACK: KILLER INSTINCT mini-series. Both are just $20. If that’s not enough for you, another $25 will buy you the 24 TPB, collecting all the one shots starring Jack Bauer and friends.
NBM has a really nice offer for those of you who haven’t sampled the works yet of Nabiel Kanan. You can buy his two graphic novels, LOST GIRL and BIRTHDAY RIOTS, together for just $8. They’re normally $25 if you bought them separately. I prefer LOST GIRLS, but they’re both interesting reads, and Kanan has a great art style that I would like to see more of.
Oni gives us a new edition of J Torres’ story of a homesick Canadian in Japan, LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, plus the debut of Ted Naifeh’s POLLY & THE PIRATES.
Titan Publishing is attempting to fill the STAR TREK vacuum by reprinting DC’s THE NEXT GENERATION series. Their first collection, HERO FACTOR, is 160 pages from Michael Jan Friedman and Pablo Marcos. I think that would be the original six issue mini-series they tried before starting the on-going series with roughly the same team.
Top Shelf gives the greatest gift of all: More OWLY. The third volume is titled FLYING LESSONS, and will run you another $10. This is a great all-ages book, with charm to spare. Give it a shot. There’s no continuity, so jump right in wherever you’d like.
Vanguard continues their love affair with Jim Steranko by publishing his HYPERTYPE softcover book. It promises to be an “innovative” how-to book on how to use type manipulation in graphic design. It’s 148 pages for $25.
W.W. Norton begins their collections of the works of Will Eisner in September with a hardcover compilation of A CONTRACT WITH GOD, A LIFE FORCE, and DROPSIE AVENUE. This time, they’re being presented in a 7 x 10 inch hardcover book for $35. The total package will run $35.
Check back here on Tuesday for pictures from the San Diego convention of the past week. Subscribe to the podcast to hear a soundseeing tour recorded on the floor of the big con. Check the Pipeline message board for further updates on the Pipeline Comic Book Podcast.
More than 600 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They’re sorted chronologically.
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