good this week

catalyst comix #1 : the most intriguing shot in dark horse’s latest superhero ramp up, this book has three features and three artists and is written by joe casey. with paul maybury, dan mcdaid, and ulises farinas each handling their own chapter, it’s a fine looking book removed from the cookie-cutter look that so many super hero books suffer from these days.

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mister x : eviction #3 : dean motter’s masterfully elegant cartooning put a special smile on our faces this month with a little nemo inspired strip and will eisner homage on the cover.

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satellite sam #1 : more and more, what turns me on in comics are books that do things other books don’t. it’s safe to say there aren’t too many comics like matt fraction & howard chaykin’s early 1950s live tv murder mystery.

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dexter #1 : i’ll be honest, i haven’t seen the show and i haven’t read this book. but i like the fact jeff lindsay, the show’s creator, is writing the series. projects like this are good for comics.

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grendel omnibus #3 : one of the great series in comics history is also, due to a long history of legal & publisher nonsense, one of the most criminally unknown amongst today’s audience. these priced-right collections from dark horse will hopefully change that. highly recommended.

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–chris stevens

good this week

the simon & kirby library – science fiction : a big book of jack kirby sci-fi, mostly from the ’50s and filled with fantastic little stories. al williamson inks kirby for most of the stories here, and he draws a couple, too. a trove of classic old-school sci-fi.

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primates : this ogn looks at the lives of jane goodall, dian fossey, and birute galdikas, three women whose remarkable contributions and dedication to primatology offers a wonderful example of the human spirit. the art style is simple and charming, allowing easy entry into the lives of these women and the primates they study and love.

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the manhattan projects #12 : this book has been on a roll. nick pitarra and jordie bellaire are looking good.

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savage wolverine #6 : joe madureira jumps back into the game with gusto in this fun romp starring spidey, wolverine, elektra, and the kingpin. zeb wells came up with a great hook here (i won’t spoil it) and joe mad looks good. fun stuff.

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guardians of the galaxy #3 : i love rocket raccoon. steve mcniven draws a badass groot. that’s enough for me.

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the true lives of the fabulous killjoys #1 : gerard way wrote some fun, zippy comics in THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY books. becky cloonan brings a joy for the medium and considerable chops to every project she works on. let’s see what they do together!

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wolverine & the x-men #31 : nick bradshaw returns for the first day of school at the hellfire club academy. one of the little treats in comics every month.

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-chris stevens

good this week

herobear and the kid special #1 : mike kunkel’s charming tale of a toy stuffed bear come to life as a cape-wearing hero who gets into mischief & adventure with his little boy best friend displays the ample cartooning chops at kunkel’s disposal; the easy wisp of a line that creates movement and voices characterization; the comedic timing and childlike imagination, where the every day becomes a playground for herobear & the kid.

fun stuff!

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east of west #3 : issue #1 was the best 1st issue in a long time. issue #2 was a little bit all over the place. this issue should let us know where we’re at with jonathan hickman & nick dragotta’s enticing new series.

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the hollows hardcover : the best looking sam kieth book in a long time. beautiful, sweeping vistas, strong settings that evoke an eastern feel, quirky, cute critters…welcome back, sam.

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the end : devastating. sad. realistic. you could call anders nilsen’s new book dealing with the death of his girlfriend any of these things, and you’d be right. but it’s also a graceful meditation on loss, and living, and a fine testament to the enduring spirit of love and partnership that’s at the center of the common human experience.

this cover kills me…

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lone wolf & cub new edition #1 : over 700 pages of this comic book masterpiece for 20 bucks? the folks at dark horse are bringing this samurai masterpiece to the masses in a big way. highly recommended.

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solo-the deluxe edition : one of the best mainstream projects of the 2000’s is finally collected in a hearty, handsome hardcover collection. DC COMICS editor mark chiarello gathered up some of the best artists in comics and gave them 48 pages to play with. darwyn cooke, tim sale, teddy kristiansen, scott hampton, sergio aragones, mike allred, richard corben, and paul pope are among the creators here, and they all take full advantage of the creative free rein, whether it’s with stories set in or outside of the DC universe. paul pope’s issue is worth the price alone, with one knockout story after another, from greek myth in ‘the problem with knossos’ to childhood magic in ‘life sized monster ghost’ to pure nyc pope in ‘on this corner’ to the james jean colored, eisner award-winning robin & joker story, ‘teenage sidekick’. darwyn cooke’s issue weaves in and out and somehow sews up a perfect single issue out of several short stories. neil gaiman writes a DEADMAN story for teddy kristiansen. mike allred runs around the dc universe like only mike allred could. and there are treasures to be found in each artist’s outing. one of the finest collections in a long, long while.

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–chris stevens