by KC Carlson
Last week on 10 Things: KC was frustrated because Diamond forgot to send copies of Previews to his LCS. So here’s the non-DC-and-Marvel stuff.
I am so happy for my long-time friend (and occasional housemate) Jeff Moy, as he’s penciling the new Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes six-issue miniseries/crossover from IDW. What’s so great about this is that I just happen to know that Star Trek and the LSH are two of his most favorite things in the entire world! How often does a project like that land in your lap!? Jeff is joined by inker (and brother) Phil Moy and Eisner-nominated writer Chris Roberson for an adventure set in the 23rd Century — but in a universe not familiar to either group. The original Enterprise crew meets the Great Darkness Saga-era LSH. Bet you never saw that coming! (I sure didn’t!) Can’t wait for the sure-to-be-classic Mr. Spock/Brainiac 5 scenes. It’s also the first DCU/IDW-verse crossover and will feature regular covers by Phil Jimenez and variants by classic LSH and ST artists — including Keith Giffen and Gabriel Rodriguez for #1.
When you add in the previous series from other publishers, Usagi Yojimbo #141 (from Dark Horse) is actually the 200th issue of the rabbit ronin. And every single issue was written and drawn by creator Stan Sakai! This issue will be a special celebration of the Anniversary featuring a 200 theme, as a humble stonecutter receives a vision to carve two hundred stone figures in “200 Buddhas”. Just as he has finished the 199th, he encounters a long-eared stranger. Happy Anniversary, Usagi (and Stan)!
This year’s CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 looks to be both a barn-burner and a big money-earner for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Starting off with your choice of a stunning speechless Uncle Sam cover by John Cassaday or a new Matt Wagner Grendel cover (and interior story), the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 will be a 48-page collection of stories by J. Michael Straczynski, Frank Quitely, J.H. Williams, Steve Niles, Judd Winick, Mark Waid, Carla Speed McNeil, and many others, including the first-ever color story from Craig Thompson. Plus, Marvel and DC stars will be popping in for pin-ups, including Batman by Dustin Nguyen, X-Men by Greg Land, Green Lantern by Ivan Reis, and Avengers by Greg Horn. It’s all packaged by all-star editor Bob Schreck. All-in-all, a pretty painless way to donate to a fantastic cause.
Check out this exclusive preview of a fun, new all-ages comic — Princeless, written by Jeremy Whitley and drawn and colored by M. Goodwin. It’s a fun twist on a familiar fairytale scenario with some gorgeous cartooning. You’ve read about a princess trapped in a tower before, but this one is determined to rescue herself.
They hate what you hate — and they hate you! Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad is a 240-page collection of every single stupid Milk and Cheese cartoon that Evan Dorkin ever thunk up and doodled from 1989 to 2010, including tons of supplemental awesomeness and random pieces of Dorkin’s brain — assuming the scotch tape holds up. Featuring all the various Milk and Cheese #1s (you think I’m kidding, don’t you?) and all the rest of the junk, too. My favorite thing in the world is our collection of Milk and Cheese coasters which drive my in-laws crazy when they come to visit. And now I’ll have a big ol’ Milk and Cheese book to give them for Christmas! From Dark Horse (who should know better, although I’m looking forward to their Milk and Cheese distressed statuettes series). (Editor’s note: Not an actual product — but it should be!)
Meta Maus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus: In which creator Art Spieglemen comes to terms with the project that consumed him for over a decade — maybe. This 300-page hardcover — and its accompanying DVD — covers everything that you’d want to know about Maus, including the frequent questions: Why the holocaust? Why mice? Why comics? This looks to be one of the most comprehensive and emotional retrospective/deconstructions of a major comics work to date, and it has the potential to be just as affecting as the original work. Published by Pantheon.
The Quality Companion is the latest in a long line of excellent comics history books from TwoMorrows. This one features a comprehensive look at one of the best of the original Golden Age comics publishers, as well as following up on how their most popular characters — the Freedom Fighters (including Uncle Sam and Phantom Lady), Plastic Man, and the Blackhawks — fared in subsequent decades after being acquired by DC Comics. In their heyday, Quality publications featured some of comics’ best artists including Jack Cole, Will Eisner, Wally Wood, Lou Fine, Bob Powell, and Reed Crandall. The 256-page trade paperback is written by Mike Kooiman and Jim Amash and features copious illustrations.
I love quirky collections like Government Issue: Comics For The People: 1940-2000, a 304-page study of public-service comics produced by federal and state governments — by artists including Will Eisner and Milton Caniff. Walt Kelly’s Pogo informs parents about how much TV kids should watch, and Hank Ketcham’s Dennis the Menace shows us the dangers of poison (?!?). Plus, Bert the Turtle shows us how to “Duck and Cover!”, from the famous educational film. (One I actually saw in school!) Covers just about every aspect of American life from jobs, money, health, and safety to sex and drugs (what, no rock ‘n roll?). Features both complete comics and numerous excerpts, as well as a history of the public-service comic book.
I’m never quite sure about books like 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die, because you just never know what the criteria for inclusion was. Superhero fans should probably be aware that they won’t be all superhero comics, as it will draw from all of comics — including graphic novels, manga, and independently published work. This collection is almost 1,000 pages (960 to be exact), so it will be nice and thick. Personally, I’m hoping that I’ve already read all 1,001 of them — I hate homework!
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck by Carl Barks — I recently raved about Fantagraphics first Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson volume over at Comics Worth Reading, so you can probably imagine how excited I am by Frantagraphics’ new line of affordable, full-color, hardcover books featuring Disney’s other comic book star — Donald Duck — as written and drawn by “the Good Duck Artist” Carl Barks. This first volume features over 200 pages of vintage (and prime) Barks stories from 1948-1950, including Barks’ personal favorite “Lost in the Andes”. All the artwork has meticulously restored and re-colored for this collection. There are also detailed commentary/annotations for every story, written by the foremost Barks authorities around the world, as well as an introduction by Barks scholar Donald Ault.
SPECIAL NOTE: You may have heard recently that Fantagraphics is also re-packinging the classic EC Comics material, beginning in Summer 2012. Don’t be confused by the ad in the current Diamond Previews featuring volumes of EC material published by the previous publishers (Russ Cochran and Gemstone Publishing — although this is not mentioned in the ad). This advertisement is disingenuously placed right next to the Fantagraphics listings in the August 2011 Previews, and it may be confusing to fans who have heard the Fantagraphics/EC Comics announcements. The ad is re- soliciting (for what’s left of) the 2006-2008 Cochran/Gemstone versions of the EC Archives line — NOT the upcoming Fantagraphics collections.
Two Golden Age classic artists get their due this month from IDW. In Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist Edition, Woody’s EC stories and covers get the deluxe reprinted-from-the-original-art treatment. The material is reproduced at the original size, and since these pages are from the 1950s, that means “twice up” or twice the original printed size — making the dimensions of the 144-page book a gigantic 15” x 22”! Holy Moley! . . . Meanwhile, Craig Yoe is assembling a 148-page full-color hardcover collection of Bob Powell’s classic 1950s horror stories in Bob Powell’s Terror — part of “The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics” series and chock full of gruesome ghouls and gorgeous gals.
If You’re Cracked, You’re Happy: The History of Cracked is actually two volumes, totaling almost 1,100 pages of material from the “2nd Greatest Humor Magazine”, featuring work by John Severin, Jack Davis, Don Martin, Will Elder, Jack Kirby (don’t blink, he only did one piece), Steve Ditko, Al Jaffee, and many others — making this pretty close to all the Cracked you might ever need. But there’s also a history of the long-running magazine, creator interviews, rare photos and artwork, and a complete checklist of every Cracked issue– all compiled by historian Mark Arnold! NOTE: You may have already seen these books at your local bookstore — assuming your area still has bookstores…
Alter Ego #105 will be of interest to those interested in the now-defunct Comics Code. “Tales From the Code” will showcase a number of Before/After examples of some of the “best” of what the Code didn’t want you to see — featuring work by Simon & Kirby, Ditko, Buscema, Cole, Steranko, Krigstein, Williamson, Orlando, Heath, and many more!
I don’t follow figure/toy collecting much, but this month’s DC Superhero Figurine Collection Magazine from the UK is a Mr. Mxyzptlk/Bat-Mite Special with a very cute hand-painted Mxy/Mite figurine which is kind of tempting… It would have to be — the magazine itself is only 20 pages long! Yikes!
KC CARLSON: Only 17 days to a new DC Universe. Hope my little rocket is ready in time to get off the old one before it explodes.
As always, WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.