<i>Siege</i>, <i>Demo</i>, <i>Buffy</i>, <i>Ultimo</i> and more hit comic stores this week

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: Crogan's March

This is the follow-up to the Eisner-nominated Crogan's Vengeance, the first in Chris Schweizer's century-spanning series of graphic novels that detail the lives and adventures of various members of the Crogan family tree. Vengeance focused on the family's pirate, while this one stars a member of the French Foreign Legion.

Schweizer's art style has a great narrative quality that's both cartoonishly fun and stylistically detailed, and the story was a hell of a lot of fun. I have no doubt this one will live up to the same level of quality he set in that first one. Check out a preview of the first 26 pages here. (Oni)

Chris Mautner's pick of the week: Smile

Having done her time in the land of the Babysitters Club, Raina Telgemeier ventures into autobiography land with this all-ages tale of her junior high years and how she endured them despite losing her two front teeth and having to wear a series of increasingly elaborate braces and headgear. Telgemeier has a breezy cartoonish style that I like, and the story, though perhaps a bit familiar and not on the "big subject" level that most graphic novel memoirs truck in these days, should resonate with anyone who had to wear a retainer. (Scholastic)

Kevin Melrose's pick of the week: DEMO Vol. 2 #1 (of 6)

More than five years after the critically acclaimed first miniseries concluded at AiT/Planet Lar, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan return with a much-anticipated second volume. While the 2003 version focused primarily on young people with superhuman powers, Wood says this six-issue sequel will have a more supernatural flavor. (That suits me just fine, as my favorite story from the original DEMO is Issue 6, "What You Wish For," featuring the boy with the resurrected dog.)

This first issue, "The Waking Life of Angels," centers on a woman has recurring visions of a person falling from a great height. So she sets off to find the person and stop the accident from happening. It sounds like a good start to what's sure to be a solid series. (DC/Vertigo)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32

JK: Brad Meltzer joins the creative team this issue as the identity of Twilight is revealed and Buffy learns how to use her new super powers. If the plot details aren't enough to get you interested, I hear from a reliable source who has already read this issue that it's a return to form for the series. (Dark Horse Comics)

Milestone Forever #1

JK: Dwayne McDuffie and a host of the original artists who worked on the Milestone line revisit that universe one more time, explaining how Dakota and all these characters ended up in the DCU. It isn't often that a canceled line of comics gets a chance at closure. (DC Comics)

Showcase Presents: Secrets of Sinister House trade paperback

Kevin: DC Comics collects the four issues of The Sinister House of Secret Love and 14 issues of its successor, the better-known Secrets of Sinister House, two of the publisher's countless early-'70s horror anthology. You know it's Sinister House because it's hosted by Eve -- issues 6 through 16, anyway -- rather than by Cain or Abel. The series featured the talents of such creators as Sergio Aragones, Nick Cardy, Howard Chaykin, Ramona Fradon, Dick Giordano, Michael Kaluta, Joe Orlando and Mike Sekowsky. (DC Comics)

Criminal: The Sinners #4

Chris: This is one of the few monthly titles I pick up at my local shop anymore, partly because of the back essays and other material that isn't collected in the trades, but also because I simply can't wait for the book collection with this one.(Marvel)

Marvel Heartbreakers #1

Kevin: This Valentine's Day-themed one-shot features Elsa Bloodstone, Dazzler, Snowbird, Monica Rambeau, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson in short stories by the likes of C.B. Cebulski, Kathryn Immonen, David Lopez, Jim McCann, Junko Mizuno and Rick Spears. (Marvel)

Siege #2

JK: Marvel's big crossover to end all crossovers -- or at least wrap up many existing plotlines -- promises a big battle and the death of an Avenger. (Marvel)

Ultimate Comics X #1

Kevin: Art Adams obviously is the selling point of this new bimonthly series as, after The Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum, it certainly isn't Jeph Loeb. (Marvel)

Little Lulu Vol. 22: The Big Dipper Club

Chris: Well, I know what my big purchase of the week is. There's no way I can pass up on a new Lulu volume. It's like a black hole of comics, sucking me in its sphere, every three months. But in a really, really good way.

The Boys #39

Chris: Having delved into everyone's secret origin (jut about). The Boys starts a new storyline where, judging by the cover, the crap hits the fan in a big way. (Dynamite)

One Piece, Vols. 29-33

Kevin: Monkey D. Luffy's conquest of North America goes unchallenged as Viz Media continues it accelerated release schedule for Eiichiro Oda's bestselling adventure-comedy manga. (Viz Media)

Sarah Winchester #1

JK: Dan Vado and Drew Rausch tell the story of the Winchester Mystery House, the San Jose, Calif. tourist attraction owned by the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune. To give you a little background from a very under-educated South Bay transplant (I've never been to the house, but my wife has taken visiting relatives a couple of times ) ... in 1884, Sarah Winchester moved to California and purchased a farmhouse that she immediately began renovating and adding onto, with work continuing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 38 years. Legend has it she was "haunted" by the spirits of everyone killed by a Winchester rifle, and a medium told her to build a house where they could all live. Supposedly the medium also told her that if she ever stopped adding onto the house, she would die.

It's a fascinating story, and there's a lot more to it than just the legends that paint her as being cuckoo, which I'm sure Vado will get into as the series progresses. I also saw some preview pages of this in San Diego last summer, and they look really nice. (SLG)

Ultimo Vol. 1

Chris: I confess. I'm burning with curiosity to see how Stan Lee's hyperbolic writing style fits in the Mighty Manga tradition, represented here by Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei, who handles the art and co-plotting chores. It could be that Lee didn't provide more than the barest bones of plot and left much of the heavy lifting to Takei, but even then I'd hope there was enough of Lee's mannerisms that made it through to the final version. Can I at least hope for an "Excelsior?" More details here. (Viz)

Komiks: Comic Art in Russia

Chris: Your University Press of Mississippi offering for the week. Author José Alaniz examines the history of Russian comics, from the Soviet days to modern times. A must for anyone interested in what folks do with words and pictures outside our borders. (University Press of Mississippi)

Check out Diamond's website for a list of everything that'll be available in stores, then let us know in the comments what you plan to buy.

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