Saturday, May 01, 2010

Incoming Books: 1 May

Today was both Free Comic Book Day -- how did you celebrate it? -- and the day my local library told me they had a stack of graphic novel special orders for me. So nearly a dozen new comical books wandered into my house over the course of a busy day, and they were:

B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs, the twelfth collection of the series. I'd thought -- from the title -- that this might be the big conclusion of the current story, but it's not: it's a flashback to about a decade ago, and collects a series in which each issue was illustrated by a different artist (Herb Trimpe, Guy Davis, John Severin, Peter Snejbjerg),, though all were written by creator Mike Mignola with John Arcudi. But a new B.P.R.D. is a nice treat, no matter what part of the story it's telling.

Grendel: God and the Devil is part of Dark Horse's plan to reprint all of Matt Wagner's original Grendel series (from the turn of the '80s into the '90s) without at any time referring to that original publication or its publisher (Comico), other than the minimum required copyright notice. (It also tries to stand completely alone, providing no explanation of where it fits in the Grendel sequence -- which I'd say is a greater mistake.) This story originally appeared in issues 24-33 of Grendel, back in the dark ages, and is written by Wagner, with art by John K. Snyder III, Jay Geldhof, and Bernie Mireault.

Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels is another Hellboy spin-off, like B.P.R.D., but this launches what might be yet another sidebar series about a historical investigator of the supernatural -- this Grey chappie, who works for Queen Victoria in the 1870s. Mignola wrote this one solo, with art by Ben Stenbeck.

Nil: A Land Beyond Belief is an allegorical story from James Turner about the titular nihilistic country. Turner's art is his usual quirky fun -- severe and precise black-and-white drawings that appear to be assembled in Flash or a similar computer tool -- and I'm willing to give his writing another chance, even though I wasn't overly impressed with Rex Libris.

Rick Veitch's graphic novel Can't Get No, from 2006, aparrently tells one story in its pictures and another in its captions. Veitch has always been one of the wild men of comics, and I've been interested in this since it was originally published -- now, I finally have it in hand and can read it.

90 Classic Books for People in a Hurry, by Henrik Lange, retells the stories of 90 well-known books -- mostly novels -- on a single four-panel page each. It looks deeply, deeply quirky, and I can't imagine why my local library system picked this -- but they did, so I have to read it.

The Unwritten has been one of the most critically successful recent comics series (about a young man whose father made him the star of a massively successful series of fantasy novels when he was younger), so I decided to take a look at the first collection -- despite the fact that it's from Mike Carey and Peter Gross, whose Lucifer I bounced off a few years back.

Mercury is a new historical graphic novel -- set in a couple of fictional Nova Scotia towns in 1859 -- from Hope Larson, whose Chiggers I liked quite a lot last year.

I know almost nothing about R. Kikuo Johnson's Night Fisher, but it's an original graphic novel published by Fantagraphics and I could get it from the library, so that's good enough to get me to try it.

I know possibly even less about Britten and Brulightly, since this graphic novel (by Hanna Berry) was published by Holt's Metropolitan Books imprint, which does not have a massive reputation for finding great comics. But it's a detective story that aparrently was highly accliamed when originally published in the UK, so why not read it?

And last was Charley's War: 2 June - 1 August 1916, by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun, which reprints the beginning of a highly praised British series from the late '70s and early '80s about WW I. Sometimes old comics are heavily praised due to their age, or their power at the time, or some other reason that doesn't hold up decades later -- I hope that isn't the case here.
Listening to: Cordero - Sea Captain's Daughter
via FoxyTunes

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