§ October 14th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

What stinks about being sick is that I suddenly have more time to read, but I’m not able to easily concentrate on what it is I’m reading, which makes things a little difficult. So, of course, both the new issues of The Comics Journal and Alter Ego come out. I’m feeling a little better now, but there was no way I was going to be able to read these last night. Oy. TCJ contains a series of articles about Cerebus and its creator, Dave Sim, plus an interview with Ed Brubaker and reprints from George Carlson’s Jingle Jangle Tales. I own a handful of Jingle Jangle Tales, and they’re all demented and brilliant…if you’ve not seen this comic before, you have to take a peek at the new TCJ. Anyway, this new issue looks interesting, but I haven’t been able to do more than just skim it, unfortunately.

The new Alter Ego has more stuff about Frankenstein’s Monster in comic books than you’d ever want to see, ever…it does has a short Frankie-focused interview with Bernie Wrightson, plus a look at a comic I haven’t read enough of, Dick Briefer’s version of Frankenstein. This issue includes 25 daily strips by Briefer for a proposed Frankenstein daily, and they’re really something else.

Other new arrivals (possible SPOILERS):

Mad Magazine #447 – Sergio Aragones brings us “A Mad Look at Politicians,” which is great, as Aragones always is. The mag also includes a pull-out Alfred E. Neuman for President poster. Look for the Mort Drucker George W. Bush as the Cat in The Hat cover.

Punisher #12 – okay, okay, the story’s finally over, for all you people who got tired of it. I enjoyed it, myself. Sometimes I need a little morally-abhorrent mayhem in my comics reading, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Astro City – A Visitor’s Guide – eek, $5.95? But there’s a lot of material packed into this comic…lots of text pages that I’ll have to read later when I’m not so sick, a short comic by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Ben Oliver) and an extensive gallery of Astro City’s inhabitants by a variety of artists (including Howard Chaykin, Kelley Jones, Dave Gibbons, and Bruce Timm). I think you’ll get your money’s worth out of this funnybook.

Fallen Angel #16 – good as usual, and equally good is the news that Fallen Angel sales have bumped up a bit, with the possibility of a second collection. The promo comic helped, but I’d like to think a little online word-of-mouth (via comics weblogs and elsewhere) helped a bit, too.

Action Comics #820 – I read Superman comics, so you don’t have to…the art on this issue by Carlos D’Anda is nicely done, reminding me a bit of Art Adams (appropriate, given Adams’ work on the covers lately). But, really, the story didn’t really do anything for me…the villain’s M.O. seemed different from what I remembered, and the sudden focus on the guest-hero near the end of the book was admittedly interesting, but out of nowhere and out of place, I think.

Also: JSA #66 (a happy ending all around, I guess, as one of the “mistakes” of Zero Hour is corrected), Fables #30 (Snow White finally gives birth, and the winner of the Fabletown election discovers the cloud in his silver lining…very amusing issue), Ex Machina #5 (really, you need to be reading this comic), Challengers of The Unknown #5 (there’s nothing quite like a Howard Chaykin comic), and Tom Strong #29 (it’s an “everything you know is wrong” story, but at least for once there’s no pretense at trying to fool the reader that really everything we know is wrong).

Other arrivals: the SPX 2004 Anthology (the War issue, which has an alarming cover by Steve Lieber, featuring a tank rolling over the remains of comic characters, Charlie Brown’s shirt fluttering on the barrel), Secret War #3 (just took a brief glace through it…is it really half “S.H.I.E.L.D.” files?), and X-Force #3 (…I’m just still amazed this is actually happening).

We also received our incentive packs for our orders on the Dreadstar reprint volumes. Fortunately, we were going to order quite a few of the Dreadstar books anyway, so it’s not like we had to bump up our orders a lot to reach the incentive plateaus (like we had to on that most recent issue of Wolverine in order to get the variant…which arrived this week, finally). And it’s a good thing we didn’t, because we would have been pissed…included in the packs were four copies of the Battle of the Planets paperbacks that reprinted the Gold Key comic book series. You remember, the books that featured such terrible black and white reproductions of the comics that the publisher had to take returns on them? This is apparently how the publisher is getting rid of them again. Well, crud.

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