good this week

saga #13 : the book everyone has been waiting for.

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east of west #5 : the last issue was one of the best single issues of the year. hickman & dragotta are killing it.

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the true lives of the fabulous killjoys #3 : this series is starting to take off.

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the outliers #1 : erik johnson has crafted an intriguing piece of cartooning, telling the tale of a speechless young boy who encounters a strange beast in the woods. check it out.

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thor god of thunder #11 : the god butcher/godbomb story comes to a rollicking close. aaron and ribic have put their stamp on the god of thunder.

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wolverine and the x-men #34 : nick bradshaw goes to town this issue, with monsters romping across double-page spreads and everything looking sharp & full of fun.

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march book one : congressman john lewis’ remarkable story told by one of the finest cartoonists alive, nate powell.

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–chris stevens

good this week

jack kirby collector #61 : every issue of this magazine is a treasure chest of kirby goodness. thanks, john morrow.

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the little prince book nine : the timeless characters of the childhood classic get into new adventures in outer space in this charming children’s series of graphic novels.

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all new x-men #15 : an improbably fun x book that keeps on rolling. is jean grey gonna hook up with the beast?

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manhattan projects #13 : one of the best books month in and month out.

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catalyst comics #2 : ulises farinas goodness in a paul pope package.

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good this week

wolverine & the x-men #33 : jason aaron and nick bradshaw keep bringing the fun. this issue sports my favorite cover nick’s done yet.

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gamma one-shot : this book is rad. i want more comics like this.

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king the special edition : ho che anderson’s masterful biography of the great martin luther king collected in an affordable hardcover. good stuff, fantagraphics.

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copra compendium volume #2 : collecting issues 4-6 of michel fiffe’s badass exercise in indy superheroics.

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hawkeye annual #1 : the hawkeye crew keeps getting it right, with perfect-fit javier pulido joining matt fraction on this one.

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batman/superman #2 : jae lee is worth the price of admission alone. the man is on fire.

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it will all hurt : wonder. loss. ache. old worlds and new worlds. farel dalrymple gives it all to us the way only he can.

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–chris stevens

good this week

batman ’66 #1 : jonathan case nails the cornball aesthetic of the beloved/derided ’60s tv show with a flurry of clean lines, fake zip-a-tone, and wacky 3-d coloring.

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glory volume 2 : joe keatinge & ross campbell’s rob liefeld reinvention winds down right as it hits its peak, with keatinge’s characters having grown on you and campbell and colorist owen gieni becoming one of the best art teams in comics.

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kill all monsters volume 1 : what else do you need to know but this…

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the strange world of your dreams : a 1950s series produced by simon & kirby. i can’t help but wonder if the tagline ‘we will buy your dreams’ came to haunt kirby as he got older. this is a gorgeous book with top-notch production values and an opening essay on winsor mccay.

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good this week

the true lives of the fabulous killjoys #2 : the first issue killed it. looking forward to getting deeper into this world.

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hawkeye volume #2 : the second collection of this rock solid series has the much-talked about ‘pizza dog’ issue, which came out two short weeks ago, included. that’s gotta be some kind of record.

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the comedian hardcover : the BEFORE WATCHMEN books have taken a lot of heat, rightfully so i believe, but this book is a fine look into the life of the character i think is the most interesting new character of the last 25 years.

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the invincible haggard west #101 : this little chunk of paul pope’s upcoming BATTLING BOY is pure comics gold. pope kills every aspect of making a good comic, and i cannot wait to read the whole shebang.

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the best of ec comics artist edition : a true treasure trove of amazing, inspiring comic book art.

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–chris stevens

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

prophet volume #2 & prophet #36 : a double dose of the out of this world series reinvention from brandon graham & company. this second collection has some of the finest art farel dalrymple has done to date.

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mouse guard: legends of the guard #1 : david petersen’s newest anthology series spinning off of the charming all-ages MOUSE GUARD starts off strong, with petersen providing a framing sequence around some wonderful watercolor pages from stan sakai, a bang-up job by philadelphia’s own alex eckman-lawn, and a superbly delightful turn by ben caldwell.

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good this week

saga volume #2 : to know this book is to love it. this second volume ratchets up the tension while deepening our understanding of the characters at the same time. fine, fine comicbook making from brian vaughan and fiona staples. highest recommendation.

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brother lono #1 : azzarello & risso jump back into the dirty waters of 100 BULLETS with this 8 issue series featuring the nastiest of all the minutemen. there will be blood.

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sweet tooth volume #6 : the final volume in jeff lemire’s bittersweet quest story. lemire & colorist jose villarubia, along with guests like matt kindt and nate powell, crafted one of the most visually consistent series in recent memory, and the single-minded nature of the story propels the reader through a cruel world brightened by the developing love of one man for a deformed little boy. it all started with a chocolate bar.

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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