Is there one book that is a “must have” collected edition that came out this week? My friends Andy Tom (@AndrewJTom), Chris Campbell (@ChrisCampbell8), Marc Diefenderfer (@Dief88), Shane Hannafey, Adam Besenyodi (@adambesenyodi), Joey Nazzari (@CaptDS9E), Wallace Ryan (@ReverendLove) and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @AndrewJTom
Battling Boy Volume 1 HC
Published by :01 First Second
There were many different concepts introduced a couple of years ago when the Nu52 launched from DC comics. Many of these were the typical DC fare done by “big names”. Some were old favorites done by new talents. Fortunately for us, there were a few of these books that were old favorites (or dream projects) done by highly respected creators. Among those books were OMAC by Keith Giffen and Frankenstein by Jeff Lemire. Now, neither one of these books survived the marketplace for very long; but for the short time we had them, they were some of the most enjoyable comics on the stand. The rumor amongst comics fandom (keep in mind that this is just rumor, and I have no basis to ground this story; but it IS entertaining) is that the uber-talented Paul Pope wanted to do a Kamandi comic (this may or may not have been during the Nu52 launch). Upon Paul’s request to be given the keys to the Last Boy on Earth, DC editorial unceremoniously told him “NO” and “it wouldn’t sell” because “kids don’t read comics”. In my mind, I see Paul marching out of DC’s office with a cloudy thought balloon over his head declaring that he was “going to write and draw Kamandi regardless”. Fast forward to October of 2013 and we have Paul Pope’s Battling Boy. Battling Boy is about a young boy deposited on a world with a mission to liberate it from the vicious monsters that inhabit it. I’m so excited for this book that I stopped at DCBS on my way home last night for fear of them running out, and having to wait for a re-order. The solicit for this book just screams “inspired by Jack Kirby’s Kamandi”. That, combined with the genius and raw artistic talent that is Paul Pope makes this a “must have book” for any comic fan.
Picked by @ReverendLove
Creepy Archives Volume 17 HC
Collects Creepy #78-83
Published by Dark Horse Comics
I remember with great fondness the Warren magazines “Creepy” and “Eerie” as the forbidden fruit of the comic book world from my youth and love Dark Horse’s line of hardcovers that collects these lost gems of the comic book arts. The books sit there on my shelves, bristling with horror, violence and a healthy does of nudity, all of which enthralled my teenage mind.
Today I picked up the 17th volume in the “Creepy” archives line and once again, I was deliriously happy with my acquisition. This book covers issues 78 to 83 and it starts out with a bang with a couple of great stories from Alex Toth and a team up of Wally Wood and John Severin. Subsequent issues feature the artistic talents of such giants as Russ Heath, Esteban Maroto, Richard Corben, Al Williamson, Berni Wrightson and many others who got to experiment with stories you couldn’t find at the Big Two at the time. This all star line-up of artists dovetails perfectly with a top notch squad of writers that includes Archie Goodwin, Bill DuBay, Bruce Jones, Doug Moench and several other sequential scribes who crafted some great tales of terror, suspense and slow death.
The Warren magazines were truly ahead of their time, treating this still young art form of comics with the reverence and respect it would not get from the general public for a couple of decades.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Marvel Comics The Untold Story SC
Published by Harper Collins
Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a warts-and-all account of what went on behind the scenes as the company evolved from upstart to innovator to bankruptcy to industry giant to becoming a part of the Disney family. When originally released in hardcover last year, the book was on every Marvel fanboy’s “must read” list, and with good reason. It shines a light into even the darkest corners of the iconic company. The prevailing themes seem to revolve around the idea that artists don’t make good businessmen, the fascinating phenomenon of fans transitioning to the creator role in the ’70s, and the soap opera carnival that was the bullpen. The result is a 50+ year history page-turner of Marvel Comics. The main criticism I hear about the book is the lack of accompanying illustrations or photos. But here’s the thing: This is a non-fiction prose book. If you’re looking for an illustrated, “single issue milestones” account of Marvel’s history, I would highly recommend complimenting Howe’s book with DK’s Marvel Chronicle: A Year by Year History. Either way, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story should be on your reading stack.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Lazarus Vol. 1 TP
Collects Lazarus #1-4
Published by Image Comics
Other then East of West which I picked a few weeks again, my other favorite Image book this year is Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. In the future, something unknown to us has happened to the US, and mob like families run everything. Some of the remaining population works for them , and the rest are pretty much treated like dirt. One of those families is the Carlyle’s, and their enforcer is a female Lazarus named Forever. Forever like other Lazarus’s have many special abilities which we discover some of in this volume. Doing whatever work her “father” needs her to do, she is as loyal as anyone can be. However this makes many other family members jealous, which leads to a lot of internal family conflict, and backstabbing. Add in dealings with some of the other families, and we have our self a very good mob drama with all these Sci-fi/post apocalyptic elements mixed together. Forever is one of the most interesting female characters I have read since Rucka did his run on Batwoman, and before that Tara Chase in his series Queen and Country. Rucka just writes great woman. This is also my favorite artwork that I have seen from Lark, and he has done some great stuff over the years .I left a lot out of the description because frankly this is one of those books that I don’t want to spoil anything as one little thing could give something away. Give it a chance, the trade is only $9.99 retail.
Picked by Shane
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 2 TP
Published by Dark Horse Comics
I bought the first volume based on a fellow CCL reviewer’s write up and it had to be one of the best reads I’ve had all year. I have been highly anticipating this second volume’s release because of it. The first volume was a smorgasbord of lost Star Wars delights. Stories I grew up with in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Some of the stories were from Pizzazz magazine. Some were backup tales from Marvel’s UK comics. I Remember finding some of the UK comics in bookstores and grabbing them. Mostly they were the same stories from the U.S. editions, but they were oversized and also had backup tales and usually something special like a cut out tie-fighter you could put together. These are fond memories and if Dark Horse didn’t reprint these tales, those memories would be just that. There were even comics that were printed for inclusion in toy packages and cereal boxes. These stories are really fun reads. The best part about it was that the stories were about the characters I grew up with; from episodes 4-6. This new volume seems to crossover into the newer stuff, but I cannot wait nonetheless. I really applaud Dark Horse for diving in deep into the Star Wars treasure chests and reprinting every possible story they can find. All of the Dark Horse Star Wars Omnibuses are worth owning, but these Wild Space volumes are especially interesting as it is the stuff you might normally skip over or have never heard of. Give them a read. If you are a fan of Star Wars, I think you’ll love them!
Picked by @ChrisCCL
God Hates Astronauts, Vol. 1 TP
Published by Image Comics
I first met Ryan Browne at the Summit City Comic Con in Ft. Wayne, in a few years ago. Walking by his table, his stack of creator owned work was eye-catching and upon a quick glance it was both funny and strange. But was even stranger was our connection. While talking with Ryan I found out that we attended the same high school – Grosse Pointe South, in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI and even though I’m 10+ years older then him, we had mutual friends. Well right there I had to buy up all his mini-comics including Blast Furnace and something called God Hates Astronauts. Now imagine my surprise when, in 2012, I came across a Kickstarter campaign by Browne for a full size, hardbound collected edition of GHA. I immediately donated and picked my book up at the 2013 C2E2 in Chicago. Shortly after the con, Image solicited this softcover and now all the world can enjoy this wildly off-beat and hilarious comic that includes some of the most imaginative characters ever created. But what exactly is God Hates Astronauts? Well, it’s a bit complicated so I’ll give you the official blurb:
GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS follows the story of a group of incompetent, small-minded, super powered narcissists called ‘The Power Persons Five’ who are hired by NASA to stop all farmers from launching themselves into space in homemade rocket ships. Unfortunately for NASA, this goal is scarcely even addressed and the book focuses more on extramarital affairs, bank-robbing owls, big gross swollen heads, ghost cow heads, olde tyme boxers, tigers eating cheeseburgers in the Crab Nebula, buffalo judges and tons of aggressive swearing. Not so much a superhero book as it is a parody of basically everything and a celebration of weird that is jam-packed with references to RoboCop and Die Hard.
Sold? You ought to be. BLITZKRIEG!
Now it’s your turn. What books that came out this week do you recommend? Take a look at the sidebar to see this weeks collected edition releases.