east of west #18 : as good as it gets in monthly comics right now.
ant-man #3 : nick spencer hits all the right notes in this family-oriented, funny superhero romp. fans of the taskmaster, delight.
star wars #3 : jason aaron and john cassaday are making star wars fans everywhere very, very happy.
the surface #1 : to quote from ales kot’s own words here, i have no idea whether this book is going to actually work, but the spirit that he and artist langdon foss brought to this opening issue make it worth it to find out.
howard the duck #1 : SEX CRIMINALS artist chip zdarsky turns out to be the perfect guy to bring the irascible duck into the 21st century. teamed with joe quinones on art, this is a book that any fan of the recent HAWKEYE, SHE-HULK, or SILVER SURFER series needs to check out.
silver surfer #10 : wonderful wrap-up to this all-new galactus trilogy from michael & aura allred and dan slott.
mouse guard: legends of the guard vol 3 #1 : devid petersen’s anthology featuring various creators playing in his mouse guard world is always a delight, and with stories from creators like mark buckingham and skottie young, this new series is off to a fine start.
ragnarok #4 : walt simonson’s grim, energetic return to the ground he built his own legend on is heating up.
tuki save the humans #3 : the same can be said for jeff smith’s new series, as this 3rd issue is the strongest one yet.
spider-gwen #2 : spider-ham! the vulture! that costume! fun stuff.
the fade out volume #1 : old time hollywood in the hands of CRIMINAL masterminds ed brubaker and sean phillips. this is about as good as noir gets, folks.
sex criminals volume #2 : what would you do if you could stop time when you orgasm? give this a read, it’ll help you figure it out.
abigail and the snow man #3 : is anyone better at this kind of innocently sophisticated cartooning as roger langridge? parents and the young at heart, start here and go to SNARKED and the wonderful MUPPET books roger did.
spider-gwen #1 : this book brings a lot of heat on the heels of the over-the-top fun SPIDER-VERSE storyline. there was a lot of talk about the batgirl costume redo from a few months back, and that was cool, but gwen’s webbed hoodie is one of the best new character designs i can remember in a long time.
ody-c #3 : whoah. this sci-fi gender-bent retelling of THE ODYSSEY is pure comics.
the manara library volume 6 : the final volume in dark horse’s fantastic collection of italian master milo manara’s singular work takes off on its own sci-fi flight of fancy. yes, it’s sexy.
curb stomp #1 : we’ve got the makings of the baddest girl gang since the lizzie’s here…
django/zorro #4 : matt wagner just flat out knows how to handle these characters, and an improbable pairing becomes a cracking good yarn in his hands.
silver surfer #9 : barreling along in what’s going to be one of the touchstone SS runs, this galactus-ized issue sets up a thrilling 3rd act to this book’s best arc yet. the inimitable art work of michael&laura allred is worth the ticket alone. and this cover has to be an early candidate for cover of the year…
the multiversity mastermen #1 : grant morrison continues to march across the entirety of dc’s history like adolph hitler thru 1939. wait a minute…that’s hitler on the toilet. thanks, grant.
she-hulk #12 : so, so sad to see this book go away. if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and check out what charles soule, javier pulido, and co. put together here.
bitch planet #3 : a world where women can wind up in an off-planet prison for…wanton obesity? but don’t worry, these ladies are about to fight back. another perfectly paced, involving episode of this early candidate for series of the year.
silk #1 : cindy moon was bitten by the same spider that bit peter parker. what else do you need to know?
eight #1 : the talented rafael albuquerque throws his hat into the sci-fi ring, with some good-looking early results.
darth vader #1 : marvel is 2 for 2 so far with their STAR WARS roll-out. this is a vader who is suffering the backlash of the death star’s destruction and feeling the first glimmers of awareness that a certain farm boy named luke might be more than he seems.
southern bastards #7 : blood, guts, and heart. jason’s aaron and latour have quickly established this series as one of those books you gotta read as soon as you get your hands on it.
the empty #1 : fantasy books are a tough road to hoe, but jimmie robinson won me over here with pleasing layouts and color work. i can’t think of another book right now that looks like this, and that’s a good thing.
transformers vs gi joe #5 : now, i’m friends with the mastermind behind this book, tom scioli, and gi joe was the thing i loved most from those golden years of boyhood say 8-12. that said, this is still the most improbably good book since brandon graham relaunched PROPHET. it’s obvious on every page that tom is all in, and there’s a joyous, anything-goes quality that only the best comics have.
fables complete covers by james jean : you need me to tell you why you need this? well, it is the first time all of james’ storied FABLES covers are in one place.
ps. this is actually the cover to the original, incomplete volume of jj’s covers. i couldn’t find the new cover online for the life of me.
40. FABLES vol. 20
Willingham & Buckingham’s seemingly-endless saga wends towards its conclusion, out of the darkness of its previous volume and back towards its heroic roots.
39. REMAINDER by Farel Dalrymple
The tour-de-force cartooning in this WRENCHIES side story would make Moebius proud.
38. KILL MY MOTHER
Jules Feiffer is one of the true architects of the comics medium — here, in his smoke-wreathed noir debut graphic novel, he shows that he’s still on top of his game.
37. This D&D Audiobook
Let Ice-T and Dan Harmon (sadly, not doing his impression of Ice-T) and friends read Dungeons and Dragons to you. It’s…something special.
Simon Hanselmann’s weirdly sociopathic stoner gag strip MEGG, MOGG & OWL, collected here by Fantagraphics, is a stealth delivery system for some terrifyingly dark character studies.
35. MULTIVERSITY #1
Bucking the shitty MOR trends of DC, shamanic comics mastermind Grant Morrison delivers a brain-blasting metacomic, with gorgeously detailed universes drawn by Ivan Reis. Surprising that the suits are letting the iconoclastic Morrison have this much fun with their precious continuity.
Chris is out of the game this week, but I didn’t want to let these books go un-called-out…
DARK HORSE PRESENTS VOL 3 #1: The grand old lady of comics anthologies is back in new & improved form. And what better way to kick things off than with a new Big Guy and Rusty story from Geof Darrow? Throw in some new Kabuki from David Mack and a color Sabertooth Swordsman tale from Gentry, Conley, and Bergin (among other fun stories), and yeah, this one’s a winner.
MS. MARVEL #7: G. Willow Wilson’s truly, deeply modern-day-superhero series continues to be a blast of fresh air and new thinking on an old formula. This is the second and last (for now) issue with charming guest art by Jacob Wyatt, who I hope we’ll see back the next time Alphona needs a break. Ian Herring deserves mention for keeping the book’s colors looking consistently great (and greatly consistent).
THE MULTIVERSITY #1: You were gonna read it anyways. Take the ride.
LITTLE NEMO: RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #1: The other loving, modern tribute to McCay’s world — this one in monthly, rationally sized form. I was wondering how McCay’s sleep-wake cycle would translate from single-page broadsheet strips to a 20-page comic, and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Shanower & Rodriguez maintain a brisk forward momentum through dreamtime that I hope continues through the story’s end, and Rodriguez’s cityscapes — not to mention cloudscapes — really shine. Bravo, guys!
DAREDEVIL #7: Mark Waid & Javier Rodriguez made me cry. With this issue and the last, the DD team somehow managed to use Marvel’s “Original Sin” framework to craft one of their best stories in an already incredible, landmark run (on a character whose history automatically sets a high bar).
– Andrew Carl
ok, we didn’t have a chance to read anything yet this week, but these are the books we really wanna read…
rocket raccoon #2
i was the cat
the complete elfquest vol. #1
the ring of the nibelung
jack davis drawing american pop culture
40. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE
The new Image series from McKelvie & Gillen, a sort of bottomless bonus track to their dark-magic rock opera PHONOGRAM, is one of the most promising series to debut in 2014.
39. This NSFW Spider-Man Statue
This baffling statue, atop a South Korean shopping mall, gives new meaning to the phrase “web fluid.”
38. CHARLES SCHULZ’S PEANUTS: ARTIST’S EDITION
This beautifully designed collection of unaltered original Peanuts artwork brings us Charles Schulz’s earliest strips just as he made them — raw, unfiltered, and a little bit mean.
The world-weary horror of Robert Kirkman’s story is brought to life by the atmospheric, choking tension of Paul Azaceta’s moody, worrisome artwork. A promising debut for what looks to be a truly frightening series.
36. This Animated Lobster Sculpture
Very lifelike. Keep it far away from butter sauce.
35. THE LEFTOVERS
This off-beat, darkly funny, sprawlingly intimate HBO series, based on Tom Perotta’s novel of the same title, follows life in a small town in the years following the Rapture.
saga #21 : things are getting slipperier for the families on both sides here. on another note, i want FRIENDO.
ragnarok #1 : YES. walt simonson back in the saddle, with john workman bringing the BRAKKATHOOMs.
avengers 100th anniversary #1 : james stokoe. need i say more?
transformers vs gi joe #1 : tom scioli pulls off a perfect evocation of all that made generations of kids spend countless hours on kitchen floors playing out action figure battles & plots.
batman ’66 #13 : the most enjoyable bat book of its day sees dean haspiel ride in and deliver pitch perfect storytelling chops and just the right amount of wink-wink this book thrives on.
tuki: save the humans #1 : where jeff smith goes, we follow.
mike mignola’s hellboy artist’s edition : seeing the master’s hand unadorned packs a punch.
Seconds : Bryan Lee O’Malley (with great help from Nathan Fairbairn) does it again with his new, beautiful, magical realist fable.
Street Angel HC : AdHouse Books has brought Jim Rugg’s modern classic, bar-raising series back in perfect form. Street Angel changed the way I looked at comics 10 years ago, and this new, handsomely produced edition (which includes a few bits and pieces old fans might not have seen) is the one it’s always deserved. Everyone who missed it the first time around owes it to themselves to read it now.*
*Diamond didn’t actually ship us our order of Street Angel HCs this week, but we’ll be getting them in soon. Regardless, this roundup wouldn’t have been right without her.
wonton soup collected edition : before ORC STAIN and GODZILLA: HALF CENTURY WAR, james stokoe was chopping it up like some loco iron chef of comics. this long out of print collection serves up the full 7 course meal of wonton soup goodness.
rocket raccoon #1 : as a long, long time fan of this little critter, i can tell you that skottie young has delivered a pitch-perfect take here. lots of fun, and a good mystery brewing.
robocop vs terminator : a wacky pairing all the way around, with walt simonson in top form working off a frank miller script.
the maxx maxximized volume #1 : one of the most influential books of the ’90s is back, in a hardcover edition that sees sam kieth’s seminal artwork recolored and looking better than ever.