I'm running a little later with Can't Wait for Wednesday this week, so in the interest of getting it out before I have to change the name to Can't Wait for Thursday (or Friday, or Valentine's Day, or whatever), I'm going to skip my usual intro and jump right into this week's books. Which means you get to see what Kevin's pick of the week is "before the fold," as they say ... how is that for service?
Don't forget to tell us what you're getting this week in the comments section.
Kevin Melrose's pick of the week: Lola: A Ghost Story
I've been a fan of writer J. Torres' work for a while now, from Jason & the Argobauts and Alison Dare to Teen Titans Go! and Days Like These. So whenever his name is attached to a comic -- often a fun all-ages title -- I make sure to give it a second look. Or a third even, as is the case with Lola: A Ghost Story; I've gone over this preview several times already.
As the title suggests, the 112-page hardcover (with artist Elbert Or) is a supernatural mystery, one involving a boy named Jesse who can see ghosts, demons and other beings that no one else can see. Well, no one except his ailing grandmother, who has long used her ability to help people in her rural town. When his grandmother dies, Jesse is forced to face his demons -- both psychological and supernatural, I presume. (Oni Press)
JK Parkin's pick of the week: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31
I mentioned in a post earlier today that the revelation of who Twilight really is was enough to keep me interested in this book. What really gets me jazzed, though, is when Joss Whedon writes it, as he did with this issue. That's not meant as a knock against the creators who have been working on it, but Whedon is the guy who gave all these characters their distinct voices and personalities, and you can tell a difference when he gets a little more hands on than his executive producer role would allow.
In this issue, titled "Turbulence," bridges the gap between Jane Espenson and Brad Meltzer's runs on the book and according to Whedon, features "a conversation between Buffy and Xander that I'd wanted to put in there for some time." (Dark Horse)
Chris Mautner's pick of the week: Calamity Jack Vol. 1
Well now, here's a pleasant surprise: The official sequel to one of the best children's comics of 2008, Rapunzel's Revenge, a book that longtime Robot 6 readers may recall I labeled as one of that year's most "criminally ignored" books. This time the focus is on Rapunzel's boyfriend Jack, who's out to save his city from the evil giants that took it over. If it's as half as good as Rapunzel's Revenge, it will be worth getting. (Bloomsbury)
The Goon, Vol. 0: Rough Stuff
Kevin: Dark Horse re-releases this collection of Eric Powell's earliest Goon stories, originally self-published in black and white. The "re-mastered," colored edition contains an expanded sketchbook section, creator notes and early character designs. (Dark Horse)
Blackest Night: Catwoman #83
JK: There's been some confusion over who the creative team is for this book; per DC, it is by Tony Bedard, Marcos Marz and Fabrizio Fiorentino. In this Blackest Night tie-in, Catwoman faces off with the original Black Mask, who she killed. (Dc Comics)
Blackest Night: The Power of Shazam! #48
Kevin: DC continues its somewhat-clever gimmick of reviving canceled titles as one-shots under the aegis of the successful "Blackest Night" crossover. In this instance, the '90s series The Power of Shazam! picks up where it left off more than a decade ago -- only without writer-artist Jerry Ordway. (DC Comics)
Nation X #2 (of 4)
Kevin: I imagine the appeal of this issue depends largely upon how one feels about the characters Gambit, who story is written and illustrated by avowed Gambit fan Becky Cloonan, and Northstar, who in a story by Tim Fish finally (officially) gets a boyfriend. (Marvel)
X-Men Origins: Cyclops
Kevin: Cyclops takes his turn in the origin spotlight. I just hope we get to see his dad, Corsair, in full-on Dave Cockrum-designed Starjammers costume mode. With the '70s hair, please. (Marvel)
The Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Vol. 9 1944-1945
Chris: Flattop, The Brow, Breathless Mahoney, Shakey and a host of other classic villains take center stage in this latest volume. Man, that Brow story is something else too. There's a sequence, where he has this torture device that drives spikes into a person's leg, but he gets his head caught in it, and the only way he can free himself is to ... well, I won't spoil the book any more for you. (IDW)
The Muppet Show #1
Kevin: After a zero issue, Roger Langridge's monthly series gets a proper start as the performers leave the familiar setting of the theater and take the show on the road, leaving Kermit to fret over property rent, a missing tiger, a displeased Piggy, and a certain furry stand-up comic who decides to set out on his own for a while. (BOOM! Studios)
Chris: Despite its problems, I did actually enjoy Warren Ellis' and Juan Jose Ryp's previous collaboration, Black Summer, so I'm looking forward to checking out the trade collection of their latest work, another cautionary tale of supeheroes run amok. Word on the street is it's better than Summer, though more gruesome. (Avatar)
Torpedo Vol. 1
Chris: Oh, here's something I've been looking forward to: a nice, hardbound collection of tales involving Eurocomicker Jordi Bernet's amoral gangster, with a little help from such notable Americans as Alex Toth and Jimmy Pallmotti. Torpedo's one of those comics that folks have to introduce to the American comic-buying public every decade or so. Maybe it will stick this time, especially with crime comics being so hawt right now. (IDW)
Weekly World News #1
JK: IDW publisher Chris Ryall and artist Alan Robinson bring Bat Boy and several other characters you might have seen in the Weekly World News to the world of comics. The book also reprints some Bat Boy strips by Peter Bagge, which is a cool bonus. (IDW)
Yakitate Japan Vol. 21
Chris: More bread is baked in the latest volume of this ongoing shonen series. Lots more bread. (Viz)
Check out Diamond's list over on their website, and let us know what you plan to buy.