Sunday, August 23, 2015

Incoming Books: sometime around 8/20

I bought books twice last week -- a shipment of graphic novels came in from my long-time buds at Midtown Comics, who had a 40% off sale (always a good way to get me to put in a big order), and then I made it to the Strand on Friday after realizing that was my last possible Friday to do so [1]. I'm not going to get to all of that in this post, but I think I can run through the box of comics-related stuff. So I'll do that, and try to post about the other clump in a day or two. These are in alphabetical order by author, since that's the way normal people organize books most of the time. (And here I'm scowling at all of the comics shops that shelve by publisher or title or both or in some arcane fashion known only to the local neckbeards.)

Eddie Campbell's other great solo series (the one that isn't Alec) is getting collected again, in two big books that match the format of Alec: The Years Have Pants. First up is Bacchus Omnibus, Vol. 1, and of course I had to get it. (I had all of the previous, Campbell-published collections, but lost them in the flood.)

Displacement is a new travel/memoirish thing from Lucy Knisley, who seems to be developing a new genre out of those pieces. (She goes somewhere, usually with part of her family, and turns the results into comics -- see An Age of License and French Milk and, less fitting that description, Relish.) This time out, I believe it's a cruise with her grandparents. Knisley draws lovely little watercolors and is much more insightful than someone I still think of as being super-young should be: she's not a navel-gazing memoirist, but more like the classic travel writers: going to interesting places with interesting people to find things to say.

Another piece of the massive wall of Hellboy-verse comics came out: AAbe Sapien Vol. 6: A Darkness So Great, written by creator Mike Mignola with Scott Allie and drawn by (in turn) Max and Sebastian Fiumara. And I'm still along for the ride.

Speaking of along for the ride, there's finally a hardcover of Miracleman Book 3: Olympus, the climax of the definitive mid-80s superhero deconstruction by "The Original Writer" Alan Moore and the artistic collaborators who can't be listed on the cover because Moore is a grumpy self-important crank with a mania to erase his credit from anything he did and doesn't utterly love thirty years later. (Showing Alan Moore still has some things to learn about the human condition.) This is the bloody, horrible part of this particular story, and I haven't revisited it for twenty years -- I hope it holds up to the memory.

Speaking of '80s revisionist superheroes, also along for the ride is Zenith: Phase Three from Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell. As I recall, the last time this was reprinted -- also a good twenty years ago -- phase three was hard to find and phase four didn't make it, so I'm not clear how much of this I actually read. This time out, I'm planning to get the fourth book and just read them all straight through -- see of that works.

I almost bought Margaux Motin's But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist the first time I saw it, last year, but didn't. Now I have: she has a wonderfully expressive line and what looks like a new angle on some very typically feminine concerns: family, fashion, shoes, career, friends. (And this is from Self-Made Hero, the British comics-publishing outfit that hasn't steered me wrong yet.)

There is a third volume of Young Lovecraft, the webcomic (originally in Spanish, of all things) by Bartolo Torres and Jose Oliver, and now I have it. (See my reviews of the first and second collections.)

I'll follow Roger Langridge nearly anywhere, so I grabbed Popeye, Vol. 1, collecting the first four issues of the new series, which Langridge wrote. (Art is by a bunch of people, including Tom The Blot Neely.) No one else quite did Popeye like, or as well as, his creator E.C. Segar, but that doesn't mean other Popeye stories can't be good in their own way.

And then there's The Complete Peanuts: 1991-1992, famously entirely by Charles M. Schulz. I've gotten a bit behind on the last books in this reprint series, but I might be able to catch up by the big finish (which is coming very soon, I think).

Dash Shaw's most recent book -- I think; he's very prolific -- is the slim graphic novel Doctors, which I'd been vaguely thinking about buying for a while., Now I have it, and I'll probably read it soon.

And last is Matt Wagner's Grendel Omnibus Volume 4: Prime, finishing up the reprint project of the original "run" of his Grendel stories. (It was from three companies over more than a dozen years under a number of different titles, but it was a thing that existed and then ended, so I guess it counts as a run. But I do wish Wagner would write new Grendel stories that aren't about that boring psychopath Hunter Rose.)

[1] Did I mention the new job has summer hours? It does. And it's very weird that I had to get out of publishing to get them.

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