Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 23

Welcome, one and all, to this week’s edition of Waiting for Wednesday! Typically, I start these things off with some filler content, and I go on and on about who-knows-what, mostly because I feel like we need to fill the column with lots and lots of words.

You know, so as to justify writing one up every single week.

But this week, because of a crazy workload at the office and because, mostly, I’m tired and a little lazy, I’m going to forego my usual shtick at the beginning here and get right to the comics.

Many of you will undoubtedly enjoy the fact that I have little to say for once. Don’t get used to it, though, because I can all but guarantee that it won’t last. This time next week, I’ll be going off about some new obsession, or annoyance, or what have you.

But for now, let’s get right into this week’s comics--because, holy jeez--there are a lot of them. (Including a book I’ve been not-so-patiently holding my breath for, from Eric Powell. But we’ll get to that in a bit.)

As the publishers are wont to do, they pick one week per month to load up readers with mountains of product.

And today is one of those weeks. (You know what I mean.)

Marvel and DC have an insane amount of new product coming out today, and the smaller publishers seem to be following suit. Good for the eyeballs, bad for the wallet. I always wonder what comics shops think about weeks like this.

On paper, you’d think it’s a home run. But in reality, more books at one time mean that many costumers will be cutting back on the number of books they buy, simply because they need to not exceed their weekly budget.

Which is tough to do when the publishers group their product like this. Anyway, here’s just a tiny portion of what’s coming out today.

First up, we have the most obvious (and most mainstream) recommendation I can make. From DC, today the historic 700th issue of Batman hits shelves, and it’s over sized, priced at $4.99, and features a stunning cover by artist David Finch.
I have to be honest and say that I really haven’t read the main Bat book in a while (nor have I read much of Detective since Greg Rucka left the book), but I have been following Grant Morrison’s excellent Batman and Robin title.

And if that’s not confusing enough, I think there’s also something out there being written by Paul Dini.

All these Batman books, all without Bruce Wayne.

But this one--number 700, I mean--will feature Bruce Wayne. And, um, lots of other Batmen from different time periods. Written by the man himself (Grant Morrison, not Bruce Wayne), today’s issue also feature art by some of the best in the business, including Frank Quitely and Andy Kubert.

Check out the solicitation information from the publisher:

Grant Morrison returns to BATMAN with this over sized special! And he's brought an all-star roster of artists along with him including Andy Kubert, Tony Daniel and Frank Quitely to celebrate this milestone 700th issue featuring stories spotlighting each of the Batmen from different eras – Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne.

You won't want to miss this blockbuster story that paves the way for the return of Bruce Wayne and sports mind-boggling covers by superstars David Finch (BRIGHTEST DAY) and Mike Mignola (BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, Hellboy)!

As with any event-y, special edition of a book, there are a couple of variant covers on this issue--a 1 in 25 homage cover by Mike Mignola, and a 1 in 75 black and white version of that cover.

I’ll admit it--I’ve bought into the hype and hoopla surrounding this issue, and I’ll be laying down my five bucks this evening. Though I (probably) won’t be getting the Mignola cover...

It’s Grant Morrison on a major Batman issue during a pretty major run on the character. So check it out!

Next up, we have the complete opposite of a 700th issue from one of the Big Two publishers. From Antarctic Press , Chip, issue two, hits stands today and is written and illustrated by Richard Moore, a personal favorite creator of mine.
Chip tells the story of a minuscule gargoyle trying to learn how to be scary. The writing and art is whimsical and fun, and the book is truly an all-ages affair--something sorely lacking in today’s comics landscape.

Moore has the unique ability to be very funny on the comics page, and I’ve been a follower of his series, Boneyard, for several years now. He continually puts out some of the best comics on the market, but the mainstream seems not to care all that much.

Which is a shame, because we need more books like Chip (and Boneyard, for that matter). Anyway, here’s the blurb from the publisher:

Fan favorite Richard Moore (Boneyard, Far West, Fire and Brimstone) presents a ticklish take on the macabre with this new, ALL-AGES miniseries!
Chip, the 4-inch gargoyle from an upstate New York farm, is determined to prove he can scare with the best of his big-city brethren.

He thinks he's pinned down the problem: location, location, location. So, with the help of his fairy friend Ash (and an over-friendly farm cat), he's made his way into the spookiest spot he can find: a nearby old mansion. But when he faces what's inside, will he prove himself a tiny terror, or just terrified?

If your shop has a copy, do yourself a favor and give it a flip through. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Next up, we have an intriguing new hardcover from Vertigo...and, uh, Neil Young. Based on Young’s album of the same name, Neil Young’s Greendale is a 160 page original graphic novel written by Joshua Dysart and with art by Cliff Chiang.
I’ve read a couple of things about the book online, but really, other than the following (long) solicit information from Vertigo, I’m going into this on faith alone. I mean, Neil Young, comics, and art by the great Cliff Chiang? Looks like it was made with me in mind, actually.

Here’s the blurb from Vertigo:

Legendary singer-songwriter, musician and activist Neil Young brings one of his most personal albums, GREENDALE, to comics. Overseeing the work of acclaimed writer Joshua Dysart (UNKNOWN SOLDIER) and fan-favorite artist Cliff Chiang (HUMAN TARGET), they compose a graphic novel that explores a whole new dimension to the album that Rolling Stone voted as one of the best of its year.

In the Fall of 2003, as the nation gallops into war, a politically active teenage girl named Sun lives, loves and dreams in a small California town named Greendale.

Sun's always been different. There's been talk that the women in her family have all had a preternatural communion with nature. And when a Stranger comes to town – a character whose presence causes Greendale to, well, go to hell – she'll find herself on a journey both mystical and mythical. To face the Stranger, she'll unearth the secrets of her family in a political coming-of-age story infused with its own special magic.

I know we have some Neil Young fans here, so I wanted to be sure I mentioned this one today. Moving along, we have two more offerings for this week, and they’re both from Dark Horse.

First up is the collected edition of Mike Mignola and Richard Corben’s Eisner Award-winning Hellboy story, The Crooked Man.

One of the creepiest stories told in comics in a (very) long time, Crooked Man is Hellboy at its finest. As always, Mignola and Corben are outstanding, and this mini-series further solidified them as one of horror comics’ great teams.
The best part about this story is that you can pick it up and enjoy it even if you haven't read Hellboy since the character's very beginning. Crooked Man is truly a stand-alone tale that will leave an impression on longtime readers and newbies alike.

Here's the info from Dark Horse:

The Eisner Award-winning miniseries The Crooked Man, by Mignola and Richard Corben, teams Hellboy with a wandering hillman in a devilish tale of Appalachian witchcraft. This volume also includes the rare "They Who Go Down to the Sea in Ships" by Mignola, Josh Dysart (B.P.R.D.: 1947), and Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien: The Drowning), never before available for purchase; Mignola and Duncan Fegredo's "The Mole," from Free Comic Book Day 2008; and Mignola's most recent solo outing, "In the Chapel of Moloch."

* Also includes a look into the artists' sketchbooks!

* 2009 Eisner Award winner for Best Limited Series!

This was one of my favorite stories of 2009, and I've been not-so-patiently waiting for Dark Horse to collect the story.

And, finally today, we have a book that fans of Eric Powell’s The Goon have been waiting a long, long time for. Buzzard, issue one, ships today and features one of the Goon universe’s most popular characters--the undead and unnatural sheriff who can’t quite remember his real name, but knows that folks have taken to calling him Buzzard.
For Goon fans, this is one of those stories we'd all hoped Powell would someday get around to. Sure, I miss having the main series come out, but this mini will bridge the gap until Goon proper starts up again.

Here's the blurb from the publisher:

The mysterious man known as Buzzard is lost, wondering what manner of creature he is, following his brutal showdown with the loathsome Zombie Priest in Eric Powell's celebrated Goon Year.

Buzzard leaves home, wandering into the shadowy spirit realm of the forest. A dark path leads to a village living in fear of a bestial race of savages. More animal than man, these creatures hunt the villagers and drag them from their slumber in the depth of night.

As a bonus, readers will delight in the new Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities short stories, which revive 2005 series that paired Eric Powell with artist Kyle Hotz and leads up to the three-issue series launch in September 2010.

* Eric Powell, multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of The Goon, gives one of his most mysterious characters, Buzzard, his own highly anticipated four-issue miniseries.

That back-up, by the way, will be better than most "feature" stories in modern comics. I read the original mini-series when it came out, and loved it.

Anyway, I need to not be doing blog stuff anymore. Lots of work to do today, lots of work. But before I go, what are you Waiting for?


zharth said...

Not much to say other than Greendale is one of my favorite albums by Neil Young. I saw him perform it live in the summer of '03 - with the whole production reenacted on stage behind the band. It was great.

AJG said...

That must have been fantastic, zharth.

As for the book, I've flipped through it and it's really beautiful. I was lucky enough to grab the last copy, and I'm hoping to get to it soon.