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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The Locust Moon Top 40: July 2013

40. SATELLITE SAM

Raymond Chandler meets Paddy Chayefsky, in Howard Chaykin’s sketchy, viciously sharp ink lines.SatelliteSam_2

39. Moebius Nemolnemo

Come back, Jean Girard. How are we supposed to make a proper Nemo tribute without you?

38. Tokidoki Donutella

Adorablicious.
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37. Our Anniversary Party

The Paper Anniversary has to be a lucky one for a comic book store.

36. NeverWet

One question: if you get this on your hands, how do you wash it off?



35. BEST OF EC ARTIST’S EDITION

IDW just won’t stop with these incredible collections of photographed artwork. Pre-code EC comics like you’ve never seen ’em before.
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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

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

The Locust Moon Top 40: May 2013

40. Copra Compendium
It’s finally here, courtesy of Bergen St. Comics. With a voice all his own Fiffe swipes liberally from Miller & Kirby, then high-tails it for the border.copra

39. Electric Light Orchestra
If there’s a better album to make comics to than ELO’s NEW WORLD RECORD, please tell me about it.



38. This Commencement Speech by Joss Whedon
Because YOU HAVE ALREADY BEGUN TO DIE.



37. Poutine
When this stuff finally breaks in the states, dozens of organic locally-sourced poutineries will start popping up all over Williamsburg & Silverlake.

36. Inky
We got a new cat. He’s a little monster, but also a kitten so we are legally and morally obligated to love him.

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TCAFfeinated

The boys here at Locust Moon are all still recovering from a wild weekend of comic-book glory in Toronto. Editor-in-Chief Andrew Carl, Director of Special Operations David B. Tanh and I, your humble scribe, Megabussed it up across the border in the dead of night, packed alongside a lot of other cartoonists including Annie Mok, Pat Aulisio, Matt Wiegle and Ramsey Beyer. I can’t say I really recommend the 12-hour overnight Megabus experience, but like all things, it was made better by being around other comic book people. Honest Ed'sWe arrived at 9am with a day to kill, and so despite a lot of miserable and rainy weather, we went on a little walking tour of the local comic shops, led by Stephanie Cooke – assistant to Bill Willingham, tour guide to the stars, and generally awesome human. It was our first time in Toronto, and the city struck me as clean, laid-back & friendly…and it also seems to be where all the book stores went. There seems to be a massive 5-story Barnes & Noble, or a tiny little beautifully curated rare book shop, or an outstanding comic book store on every block. The BeguilingWe were blown away, of course, by the absolutely insane cornucopia of The Beguiling. Overstuffed with incredible books obsessively jammed in every open space according to some detailed organizational system only the staff can understand, the place is just a swooning wealth of material. We were very pleased to find that they stocked 8 copies of ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE. And then there’s all the original artwork… Beguiling artOther great shops were the Silver Snail, a beautifully arranged & designed comic/coffee shop where they had a 12-foot topographical map of Middle Earth and fashioned some Adventure Time art in my latte, and The Comic Book Lounge, which seemed to be half comic shop and half event space, with a laid-back clubhouse vibe. Adventure LatteBadly drenched after hours of exploring the city on foot, we feasted on poutine, a first for all three of us, and tried to analyze why something made of fries, gravy and cheese is not popular in America. (We decided the word “poutine” is suspiciously French, has “poo” in it, and “cheese curds” sound gross. Just a branding issue.) PoutineLater on there were drinks at The Pilot, where a lot of cartoonists were unwinding. We had good chats & drinks with hometown heroes Box Brown, Pat Aulisio, and Daryl Seitchik, as well as Charles Brownstein and Frank Santoro. Late night Paul Pope showed up with a BATTLING BOY galley in tow and we got to look through it. I’m trying to find words to express how great it looked, but I can’t, so you’ll just have to wait until October and find out for yourself. We tipsily stumbled back to our hotel room, high on Molson and comics.

Which brings us to Saturday, and the show. TCAF was a thing to behold. Taking over two floors of the Toronto Reference Library and transforming them into a glorious megalopolis of books and prints and original artwork. It’s free to the public, and the place was thronged by more than 20,000 people eager to see everything there was to see and buy everything there was to buy. Books seemed to be flying off every table. TCAF 2013 animated gif by Joanna W
We were in a glass-walled room with the members of RAID (the Royal Academy of Illustration & Design), flanked by ‘Fearless’ Fred Kennedy & Adam Gorham, the righteous dudes from Big Sexy Comics, and local illustrator & printmaker Irma Kniivila, who was selling a whole bunch of gorgeous pieces with the help of her man Charlie. Andrew, reminded of his buddy back home, kept staring at this guy: Irma Kniivila cat printSaturday was the best single day of sales we’ve ever had at a convention, getting almost 100 copies of Once Upon a Time Machine into the eager hands of readers. The action at our table was so intense that we barely had any time to explore the festival floor or check out any of the programming – but that’s an awfully good problem to have.

A celebratory dinner that night was spearheaded by my trusty companions, both world class Asian-foodies, so it was ramen, poutine du japon (yup, that’s a thing), and then drinks at an izakaya, which is a Japanese bar where they bang a drum when you enter and bring you delicious snacks every 10 minutes while you drink; as far as I can tell, this represents total mastery of the drinking experience. ramenpoutine du japonWe closed out the night back at The Pilot, where a lot of very gifted cartoonists were busting out some gloriously ridiculous dance moves.

The next day, in true Sunday-at-the-con fashion, everybody seemed a little rough around the edges. It was sort of nice, though, that the energy level was lower, because it gave us more time to walk around and talk with people. I had nice conversations with Sam Hiti, Matt Kindt, Ross Campbell, Lilli Carré, Salgood Sam, Ed Piskor and many more, as well as old pals like Jim Rugg, Ben Marra, Brendan Leach & Paul Little. I picked up copies of Josh Tierney & co.’s gorgeous SPERA, Sam Hiti’s delightful children’s book WAGA’S BIG SCARE, and Frank & Becky’s TINY KITTEN TEETH, in which they drew this amazing Nemo sketch: Little Nemo by Becky and FrankThen dinner at this great tapas place in Kensington (Toronto has its own Kensington!), the TCAF afterparty at the legendary Lee’s Palace, and a soju-fueled karaoke blitz with Pope, Hiti, Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, Ivan Brandon, Frank Santoro, Steve Manale, Jimmy Aquino, and a few other awesome comics folks. Watching Dave & Paul duet on Let’s Dance was quite a way to end a pretty perfect comics weekend. One billion thanks to KILL SHAKESPEARE maestros Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery for hooking us up with the great cartoonist Ramon Perez, who helped us get our table despite missing the application deadline. This was the best convention we’ve ever been to, and we owe you guys big time.

Goodbye, TCAF, you beautiful beast. We will see you next year.

-Josh O’Neill

good this week

batman incorporated #11 : a wacky interlude written by regular series artist chris burnham and featuring the batman & robin of japan. burnham has definitely learned at the side of grant morrison, whose inventive, playful spirit is all over this one. a nice break in the midst of the sturm & drang fallout from the death of damian wayne.

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in the kitchen with alain passard : one of the world’s best chefs jumps into the comic book arena. subtitled A GRAPHIC NOVEL, WITH RECIPES , we will be cooking up some of these dishes in-store very soon.

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saga #1 ($1 edition) : get in on the best ongoing book there is for a measly buck.
(only sharing pope’s ghost variant cover to #7 to make sure we all get to see it.)

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godzilla the half century war tpb : 120 pages of james stokoe stomping through the gojira-verse. run for your lives.

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the property : i haven’t read anything by rutu modan. this book will change that. the gorgeous cover and evocative cartooning are calling me in.

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wally wood eerie tales of crime & horror : aliens and elephants. exotic villains and girls gone bad. monsters and men on the run. this book collects all the non-EC crime & horror work done by a young wallace wood. wood was the best artist comics has known–eisner was a better storyteller, kirby was a better creator, but no one could flat-out draw like wally wood. a treasure trove of comics power.

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–chris stevens

The Locust Moon Top 40

40. Unwritten vol. 7

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Just when you expect Gross & Carey’s literary-metaphysical magnum opus to start buckling down and wrapping up, it gets headier and wilder.

39. Waking Sleeping Beauty

An absolute love song to the guys who resurrected Disney’s majesty after a muddled, disappointing ’80s. The Howard Ashman stuff is inspiring and tragic.

38. Foxing Quarterly

Art directed by Jim Rugg, this might be the best-looking zine we have ever seen.

37. James Ensor

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The powerful works of this turn-of-the-century Belgian expressionist can be seen at the MoMA. The combination of tiny, obsessive detail with big, broad gestures reminded us of our own David Proch.

36. TCAF

We’re headed north again as the Time Machine travels across the border. Now if we could just find our passports…

35. Print Show

Instead of featuring one particular artist, in May we’re filling the gallery with beautiful low-priced prints from our books and our friends. Our buddies sure do make some pretty pictures here…

34. IDW’s Spirit Artist’s Edition

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Now that’s the spirit! Continue reading

good this week

miriam #1 : rich tomasso takes his pete & miriam saga into the eightball universe, formatting his first issue as a pitch-perfect tribute to dan clowes. but what comes off at first as cartoonist karaoke turns out to be a lot looser, sweeter, and more earnest than the eightball stuff. it’s like when some five-foot girl steps up to the mic, dials in hammer of the gods and totally makes robert plant’s howl her own.

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manhattan projects volume #2 : fresh off an eisner nomination for best new series & continuing series, the second collection of jonathan hickman and nick pitarra’s gets deeper, dirtier, vaster, and just plain crazier. i like to think if you were brainstorming ideas with a drunk nobel prize winner who’d just eaten mushrooms and wanted to make a comic that the result would look like this.

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batman year 100 : this book had me breathing hard, actually worried about this future batman, a freedom fighter in a shitty world where the government knows everything about everyone and uses teams of marauding super-cops and packs of cybernetic pit-bulls to keep the peace. paul pope is just a flat-out master. he puts batman in peril with a variety of stunning shots, dizzying angles, and superb body language…this guy’s just a guy, he’s being hunted, and there’s no guarantee he’s going to make it…it’s something you don’t get out of a batman book, it goes back to when bruce wayne first started fighting crime in gotham and he was getting his ass kicked too often…immediately this batman is the underdog and you’re cheering for him. and pope, with jose villarubia, creates an ugly dystopian gotham of 2039. the government presence, the creepy and outlandish group of characters introduced here, is personalized enough that it avoids the rut of dull satire or evil cabal. i won’t spoil any moments for anyone, trust me it’s a great book.

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marshal law the deluxe edition : this book was a bomb on the late 80’s comics scene, marrying post-watchmen blues with a nihilistic, absurd attitude that somehow still seemed romantic to my 13 year old self. what if frank miller’s batman ran wild through the marvel & dc universes, and he just didn’t give a fuck? brooding & mocking, intense & comical, with fine art from a pre-LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN kevin o’neill, this is a long out of print masterpiece dropped on your lap.

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happy : grant morrison’s dirty cop/imaginary friend mash-up is, to use the rather salty language of the book itself, fucking nutso. we loved it, and look for blue feathers falling wherever we go.

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house of secrets omnibus : a post-grunge coming of age series set firmly in the deep end of the VERTIGO pool, this was one of the more delicate & sensitive books produced by the now-failing but once mighty imprint. the series main character, rain harper, and her crew would have fit in just fine in the world of THE SANDMAN. steve seagle puts his heart into it and teddy kristiansen, in his only sustained american sequential work as far as i know, is sublime & creepy, delivering every day moments and supernatural chills in the gorgeous fashion he’s known for. highly recommended.

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