Digital comics: What's hot on the small screen

The digital comics scene continues to be a bit of a mishmash.

Every week, I get an e-mail from comiXology listing all of its new issues for the week, but the order seems to be somewhere between alphabetical and random. Viz Media also does a nice job of letting me know what's new on its app. Graphicly sends a chatty e-mail featuring a couple of titles, but the company doesn't put them front and center in its app, so I have to go looking for them (and it's not the most intuitive interface). And while I know the iVerse folks have been busy, they don't update their blog or (as far as I can tell) send out e-mails. This is all my way of saying that while the following may seem heavy on comiXology content, that's not because I'm biased — it's because comiXology has more titles and is doing a better job of promoting them.

That said, I thought it would be helpful to sift through this week's offerings and pull out some good weekend reading.

A couple of classic series are debuting on comiXology this week. Having attended both the Vertigo panel and the Bill Willingham spotlight panel at C2E2, I was interested in seeing more of Fables, so it's a happy coincidence that Jack of Fables #1 is up there for free. It's just as clever as the main series, and Tony Akins' supple penciling is a treat for the eyes. (One of the things I enjoy about Fables is that there is plenty of eye candy for the ladies as well as the guys.) Sometimes the free samples are kind of mingy, but not here: This is the whole first issue of Jack of Fables, and if that whets your appetite, Issue 2 is up there for $1.99.

Also new this week, although, sadly, not free, is Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's Batman and Robin. The first six issues, comprising two complete story arcs, are up this week.

For less than a buck you can jump in to the Archie Marries Veronica saga with Archie #600, which kicks off the first story arc (in the second—spoiler alert!—he marries Betty). Oh, and here's that Wonder Woman #600 that Tom was just talking about.

There were three same-day-as-print releases this week, Walking Dead #83, World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgren #5, and Jughead #206. Also, they are offering half off on Elephantmen comics.

Finally, here's a comic that's a little offbeat: Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner, by Bret Herholz and Rori Shapiro. It's from Alterna, and done in a sort of Edward Gorey style, which fits the subject matter rather nicely. At $1.99 for 130 pages, it's a real bargain if that's your cup of tea.

Viz gets ahead of the day-and-date game by releasing the fourth volume of Bakuman this week, a week ahead of the print release. Created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Death Note), this is the story of two would-be manga creators, and with its clean-lined style, it's a nice read even if you're not a fanatical manga fan. (You can check out the first chapter for free at the publisher's website.) Also new on the app this week are Vol. 19 of Naruto, Vol. 19 of One Piece, Vol. 11 of Bleach, and a handful of others, skewing heavily toward shonen action series.

Over at Graphicly, the newsletter was promoting Ryan Cody's Icarus, but there is only one issue up so far (Robot 6 began serializing Icarus just this week). This week's featured comics are a decidedly mixed bag: Archie and Friends #153, Incorruptible #15, and the Bluewater Oprah Winfrey bio-comic. I think the Archie and Friends, with its demonic Reggie face dominating the cover, would be my pick from that bunch. There are also three very indy-ish comics up there for free: Bondage #1, Think Weasel #1, and Warlash: Dark Noir #1.

On iVerse's Comics + reader (sorry, no links as these are not posted on its website), this week's new comics include two issues from IDW's Infestation crossover series, Star Trek: Infestation #2 and Transformers: Infestation #2. Also worth a look: Kill Shakespeare #9, which is leading up to a major story twist the creators have promised in issue 10, and Pocket God #6, just because it's so cute.

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