The only review of the Peanuts reprints to include the word “humdinger.”

§ May 5th, 2004 § Filed under this week's comics Comments Off on The only review of the Peanuts reprints to include the word “humdinger.”

Well, I finally finally finally got my copy of Fantagraphics The Complete Peanuts, and it’s a real humdinger. The strips are reprinted at a good size, the linework is nice and clear, and the design of the book is exemplary. And that index! “‘Good grief,’ first utterance of” can be found on page 215 (and it ain’t said by Charlie Brown).

Also out this week at the comic shops…the conclusion of the first Plastic Man story by Kyle Baker, which I thought was very entertaining, but it’s certain to tick off the people who probably shouldn’t be reading this version of Plastic Man anyway (you know, the people who are upset that this isn’t a serious superhero comic…oh sure, that makes perfect sen–wha huh?).

The DC 100 Page Super Spectacular reprint is pretty nice…it’s a duplicate of the 1971 giant, down to the text pieces and the key to the cover, with the exception of the addition of creator credits to the inside front cover (not the credits to the stories, but rather to the creators of major characters…still no mention of Bill Finger, not that I was expecting one). The other exception is the cover itself…as I was looking at it at the store, it seemed to be a little awkward to me. I chalked it up to the coloring job (which is a lot brighter than the original), but once I got it home and was able to compare it to my original copy, the differences were pretty obvious. There is a cover reconstruction credit (to Dick Giordano) inside the reprint, so clearly there was a great deal of work to be done to reprint this cover. However, a lot of the finer linework has been lost, some of the linework that remains is a bit cruder, and some of the facial features are a little askew (Black Canary now looks crosseyed, for example). It’s still a nice piece, but it really suffers in comparison to the original. I realize that the original art probably wasn’t available and that there was only so much they probably could do, but it’s still a shame. The actual story pages inside are nice, though, even if some of them have a slight “photographed from the original printed page” look to them (like the Checker Books Supreme trades had).

The long-awaited first issue of the new Firestorm series is now out, and although a bunch of comics message board people responded negatively to advance word on this new series because Firestorm was going to be “different” (i.e. “black” — I don’t know if that’s a racism thing or an “it’s different from what I’m used to, therefore it’s bad” thing)…well, you can safely ignore them (if you weren’t already) because this first issue was pretty good. And, when you get right down to it, it’s not all that different from the original: teenaged kid, with troubles at home and with school, does something stupid and ends up with super powers*. It’s all set-up, with almost no Firestorm action, but it’s got me intrigued. It has a nice cover, too…really stands out.

The last part of Sandman Presents Thessaly Witch for Hire is new this week (amusing and well-drawn), as is Swamp Thing (told y’all about it last week), the new Invincible (a series I’ve really grown to like), Shield: Spotlight (is anyone else reading this? I can’t be the only one), and some others I might write about when I’m not fighting a huge headache like I am now.

The new issue of Scurvy Dogs, quite possibly the best (okay, only**) funny pirate comic on the stands, is out today as well, and that reminds me…1) I owe Scurvy Dogs publisher AiT/Planetlar some more reviews — I haven’t forgotten, Big Larry, I promise! — and 2) there’s also a new contest regarding Ait/Planetlar’s title Demo, details of which can be found here. Win free comics, shirts, subscriptions…all kinds of goodies are being given away. And even if you don’t win one of the prizes…hell, it’s not like Demo is expensive; go buy your own copies.

* Though I kind of wonder how they’re gonna deal with the terrorism aspect of Ronnie Raymond’s Firestorm origin, particularly in this political climate.

** Unless you count El Cazador. …Ha, I kid!

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