Thursday, December 24, 2009

Incoming Books: 23 December

Yesterday was a very quiet day in the office. No, quieter than that, even. I managed to get done everything I'd wanted to accomplish before the holidays, and even the usual torrent of e-mail slowed to one corporate announcement every hour. And so I left early, in part so my assistant could also leave to catch a train, and in part to hit a comics shop in Manhattan on my own way home.

And here's what I found there:

Awesome 2: Awesomer, an anthology published by Top Shelf, edited by (it says here) "Charlito and Mr. Phil," and benefiting the Center for Cartoon Studies and the Indie Spinner Rack podcast. I'd never heard of it, but Midtown Comics had it on their sale shelves for less than a third of the regular price. It has a lot of short strips by many people -- including Alex Robinson, Miss Lasko-Gross, Julia Wertz, and Jeff Lemire, just on the first page of the table of contents -- so I'm sure it'll be worth at least what I paid for it in reading time.

Dungeon Parade, Vol. 1: A Dungeon Too Many by Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim and Manu Larcenet. I've been thinking lately that I need to gather all of the scattered "Dungeon" books -- I already have three or four of them, though some are probably in my sons' rooms right now -- and read them through, so I'm planning to gather the ones I'm missing to do that.

Ex Machina, Vol. 8: Dirty Tricks by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. It's been so long since I read Vol. 7 that I thought I might have missed one, but, no, this is the next book. Hope I haven't forgotten everything....

B.P.R.D., Vol. 11: The Black Goddess by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis. I don't know if this has been published as long as I've been looking for it -- I may have been jumping the gun -- but I finally found it. (And there's a new Hellboy collecting coming in a couple of months, too!)

The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. by Dash Shaw. It's a collection of shorter comics stories (plus storyboards and other materials for an animated something-or-other of the same title) by the author of Bottomless Belly Button, which was definitely last year's major debut. (If not one of the best graphic novels of 2008, or of a longer period than that.) I don't know where Dash Shaw came from -- he seemed to me to come out of nowhere -- but I'm definitely keeping an eye on him now.

Alec: "The Years Have Pants" by Eddie Campbell. It's finally published! This is a massive omnibus of all of Campbell's "Alec McGarry" semi-autobiographical comics, from the original '80s Alec strips to brand-new material. Campbell is easily one of the best creators working in comics today, though he doesn't always get credit for that, and I expect this is one of the best comics volumes of the year...though I wonder how many of us will manage to read it before it's 2010.

And last is Bryan Talbot's new (and very odd-looking) graphic novel Grandville. I managed to miss seeing it in stores until yesterday, even though it came out a few months ago. But that's OK, since Midtown had it on their sales shelves already, so I got it for half price. (I wonder if comic shops are a little too eager to mark things down? Or perhaps that's what you need to do when you buy non-returnable.) Anyway, from what I can tell, Grandville is a furry Victorian murder-mystery thriller. And Talbot is definitely talented enough to make that work, so I'll see if he did.

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