Oct 012011

Okay, I fouled up.  To be fair, not unheard of.  But this time I really did.  I did, because last week I forgot to mention two massive graphic novel releases.  The first being…

Habibi by Craig Thompson, writer of Blankets.  This book has Eisner Award all over it.  Playing out as a modern day fairy tale in a Middle Eastern-style land, the book deals more with the dark overtones of a Grimm-style fairy tale than a Disney-fied one.  Following a young girl named Dodola across an over 600-page odyssey.  Graphic novels like this are where true comic creation are born.  Sure there’s the cosmic insanity and otherworldly hijinks of your Marvel and DC superhero fair, but these works, works created of passion and intense scrutiny, are were true experimentation is born.  Craig Thompson’s artwork/storytelling in Habibi is astounding in its ability to shift between styles and panel arrangements.  If you are a fan of timeless works like Asterios Polyp, Blankets, and Bone, there’s no reason you won’t fall head over heels in love with this book.  And if you’re not, branch out and give it a try.

The second gross omission was Frank Miller’s long awaited, long agonized over Holy Terror graphic novel.  Originally intended as a Batman graphic novel that was basically Batman versus terrorism in Gotham, the story has become a larger echo of the Batman ideal, and superheroes in general, versus those threats that torture us in real life.  If that sounds too high-brow to be a Frank Miller book, think of it as Batman mixed with 300 mixed with Sin City mixed with nationalistic propaganda.  I believe that translates as, “violent violence violented with violent violence violent”.

Alright, now that my mea culpa is out of the way, we can move onto the stuff that’s actually coming out this week.  Namely, this gigantic Thanos Museum Statue.  I’m sure the museum part of the name has some industry significance or statue lingo connotation, but I’m going to assume it stands for the fact that this piece of artwork could be displayed in a museum.  Standing fourteen inches tall and sculpted by industry famous Bowen Designs, this is the closest you’ll ever get to seeing Thanos in person.

Fresh off his new 52 issues (I, Vampire and Supergirl) Joshua Hale Fialkov launches a new Image series called Last of the Greats.  Here’s the pitch:  a bunch of super powered beings landed on Earth years ago, wanting to change things for the better, but humanity didn’t want their help.  Present day brings about the death of the penultimate of these beings, leaving only one alive.  Thus, the Last of the Greats.  Fialkov has a fresh, inventive take on the cape and cowl genre, infusing it with spectacle rather than sorrow.  Don’t be the one to miss out on the next big Image series in line with Chew, Butcher Baker, and Severed.

In the same vein as the above, Strange Talent of Luther Strode has been receiving an ample amount of buzz leading up to its release.  Snuggily placing itself into the classic fantasy of every bullied, ostracized high school nerd out Strode follows one of these teens who sends off for a special serum that increases his speed, strength, stamina, all the basic Superman-esque stuff, while also giving him the ability sense his opponents’ weaknesses.  Obviously, he uses this to go on a rampage against all of those that break the law, mistreat him, or generally fall on his bad side.  Newcomers Joshua Jordan and Tradd Moore could be the next big thing, so if you want to find yourself regaling tales to your grandkids about the time you chose to pick up their first big book, nab a copy this Wednesday.

Sep 232011

If it’s Comic List Highlights and it’s Pulp Fiction, then it’s time for your New 52 Update.  In the New 52 Update we, the comicly nerdy, employees of Pulp Fiction tell you, the hungry for information, customers which DC Relaunch books ship this week with a one word description of each.  Last week of this, by the by.  DC decided to end with some wordy titles.  Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man?  Really?

*All-Star Western – Howdy  *Aquaman – Seahorse

*Batman The Dark Knight – Gritty  *Blackhawks – Leather  *Flash – Speeding

*Fury of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man – Hothead

*Green Lantern New Guardians – Rayner  *I, Vampire – Non-sparkle

*Justice League Dark – Constantine  *Savage Hawkman – Mace

*Superman – Bachelor  *Teen Titans – GO!  *Voodoo – Hoodoo

Sure, sure, DC had its whole relaunch thing going on this month, but the real news is that Dennis Hopeless and Kevin Mellon’s long awaited Lovestruck graphic novel is finally shipping!  Some of you out there probably know that Dennis used to work at Pulp Fiction, back in the day, and Kevin has been a frequent customer since the paint was still drying.  Since that point, the two of them have refined their craft to a science and are steadily rising up the ranks at Marvel and Image, respectively.  If you want to be in on the ground floor of a book that will become a collector’s item in the future, in the same way that Five Fists of Science did, pay attention to Lovestruck.  What other book will you ever read that has a bunch of battling, punk cupids.  Oh, and the Ramones are literal gods in the book.

If debauchery and rock n’ roll isn’t your thing (or you don’t think your kids would cope well with all that insanity), then DC is there for you.  Launching a string of kid-friendly books in the vein of Tiny Titans (same artist, too), DC is covering all their bases this month.  This line of books is called DC Super-Pets and stars all the animal counterparts of DC‘s most popular heroes.  For instance, Powerful Pooches with Ace the Bathound and Krypto the Superdog.  Or Fastest Pet on Earth with Wonder Woman’s pet kangaroo.  If you’re trying to teach your child how to read, get them into comics, or to get something fun to read to them at bedtime, the DC Super-Pets books are a perfect option.

Ending with an oldie, but a greatie tonight.  Even though this collection has already been released a couple years ago in a hardcover edition, it’s such a milestone of comic writing and DC history that a softcover release of it (especially when the hardcover isn’t being printed anymore) is worth noting.  This hallowed book is known as the JLA by much respect writer Grant Morrison.  During Morrison’s JLA run, every one of the main seven characters (Aquaman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Superman) gets a defining moment and a clean, concise portrayal.  So, basically, what I’m saying here is that this is perfect starter book to learn about all the DC Big Guns.  Quite the fitting companion piece to all the relaunch books currently shipping.