Saturday, May 04, 2013

Free Comic Book Day and Other Incoming Books

I've been lazy about writing about, well, just about everything lately. (It's mostly because slow-on-the-uptake Andy realized a year to eighteen months ago that his Underpants-Gnomes style plan to get back into the SF field -- Part One: blog so that everyone can see how brilliant and special you are. Part Two: ??? Part Three: Profit! -- was fatally flawed and that I likely will spend the rest of my life selling stuff to accountants. Not the happiest realization one can make.)

But every day is a new day, and this day was Free Comic Book Day, so I drove my two sons (who are now huge and remarkably mature at 15 and 12) to Joker's Child, the shop with the best FCBD shindig close by. Besides the free stuff, I also bought a few books, since I do like to throw money to people who provide free stuff. And, as long as I'm telling you about those books, I'll also mention two other bundles of comics-related book-shaped goodies that I bought over the past few weeks, all thrown together:

Matt Wagner's Grendel Omnibus Vol. 2: The Legacy reprints the first dozen-plus issues of the major Comico run of Wagner's Grendel in the '80s -- the Pander Brothers-drawn Christine Spar storyline, the short followup with Bernie Mireault art, and the quick single-issue stories that Wagner drew himself -- plus the more recent Diana Schutz-Tim Sale miniseries about Stacy Palumbo (adopted daughter of the original Grendel, Hunter Rose, and mother of Christine Spar). Putting all of the Grendel stories into internal-chronology order makes sense, but I worry that it tends to leach the power out of the best of those stories -- the original short Hunter Rose story, now almost an afterthought in the first omnibus, and the visually exciting Spar story here (which, at least, dominates the volume with its length). However, I'm happy to have a way to get new copies of these stories that I lost in the flood, and doubly so that they're in big, attractive omnibuses. (So I can only quibble so much.)

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth: Vol. 3: Russia is credited to series creator Mike Mignola (co-script), John Arcudi (the other half of the script for many years on B.P.R.D.), Tyler Crook (art), and Dave Stewart (colors). I'm two Hell on Earth volumes behind on reading this -- and there are, I think two more volumes out or almost out as well. (That's because, I think, my comics-reading life slammed to a halt with Hurricane Irene, and still hasn't come back -- but I still think and hope and buy books like it will.)

Love and Rockets: New Stories, No. 3 was the new book from The Hernandez Brothers three years ago, and contains the devastating Jaime story "Browntown." I'm still slowly re-gathering the complete Love & Rockets for a re-read, though it's taking longer than expected. (And I reviewed this back when it was published.)

Nemo: Heart of Ice is the latest "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" story by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, spinning off from the main story to follow Captain Nemo's daughter and her time captaining the giant sub and its piratical crew.

Julio's Day is a brand new graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez, related to his Palomar stories (as I understand it), but not closely.

There finally was a big fat Marshal Law collection -- subtitled The Deluxe Edition -- collecting all of the late '80s - early '90s stories by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill, the nastiest and most vicious of the revisionist superheroes of that first era of revisionism. (We've since seen some writers that I won't name try to write stories with characters like Sleepman as the heroes, but you can't blame Mills and O'Neill for that -- they just pointed out the disease; they can't cure those who want to stay sick.)

Awkward Universe is an obscure book by Andy Garcia (who's probably pretty obscure now himself, unfortunately). I loved his Oblivion City comic in the mid-90s, and this was a spin-off; his books are ones that I want to replace post-flood, unlike a lot of superhero drivel that can stay in the landfill.

Similarly, I got the second collection of Scott Saavedra's wacky series, Dr. Radium And The Gizmos Of Boola Boola! Saavedra seems to have left comics -- I suspect it was actually the other way around, which happens a lot -- but he did some great stuff when comics had space for the nutty and weird.

And speaking of nutty and weird, I also got the sixth trade paperback of Bob Burden's indescribable Flaming Carrot Comics, published by Image in 2006. This one reprints a later series of stories, not the series's brain-twisting original run, but I also need to rebuild my Bob Burden shelf entirely.

The Legend Of GrimJack, Vol. 8, by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, which I got for the same reason. (As an aside, was the ninth volume ever published? I see there was an ISBN, but I don't see any used copies floating around, which usually means a book that never saw the light.)

And last is the big Ambush Bug showcase volume, with stories mostly by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming and Bob Oskner. (I reviewed it for ComicMix when it was originally published.) I still wish there was a color reprint, but, again, I'll take what I can get.

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