Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 25

Welcome to a (kind of) indy-rific edition of Waiting for Wednesday! I've been reading a lot of comics lately, and not too many of them have been "mainstream" books. So, very little capes and punching for me.

Which is a good thing.

Not that I'm down on the mainstream books, though. It's just that I'm really high on the not-so-mainstream books. I just finished re-reading (for the sixth or seventh time) Richard Moore's excellent Boneyard series, which is collected in trades by NBM Publishing.

And, while that book certainly doesn't fall under anyone's definition of mainstream, I decided to pick up some of the newer trades of a character who has slowly but surely moved his way into the mainstream.

Mike Mignola's creator-owned Hellboy comic has long been one of the jewels of the comics world. And the two most recent trades--The Wild Hunt and The Crooked Man--are among the finest work of Mignola's storied career.

The Wild Hunt combines ancient myths with Arthurian legend while The Crooked Man is a backwoods America folktale. Mignola has made a career of drawing from myths both famous and obscure, and in these two volumes, he delivers with compelling (and frightening) stories that add to the growing Hellboy canon.

Particularly with The Wild Hunt, longtime Hellboy fans will feel that, while many questions are answered, the answers bring more questions. And, of course, great anticipation for the next story.

After reading my Hellboy stash, I turned to a collected edition of--in my opinion, at least--one of the very best ongoing series in all of comics. From the fantastic Peter David and (the equally fantastic) IDW, Fallen Angel is a book that needs to be on more readers' radars.

Which leads me nicely into one of this week's two picks.

David's Fallen Angel began as a not-so-indy DC Comics book that more than alluded to the fact that the main character was actually Supergirl. However, DC cancelled the series (presumably because there was no time traveling, confusing narrative, and/or event tie-ins) after an amazing 20-some-odd issue run.
And, while the first dozen stories were collected in trade, the remainder of the DC run has been lost to the annals

Not so anymore, however, as IDW has brilliantly decided to pick up those issues and collect them all in one big, honking omnibus, which goes on sale today. (See? Told ya I'd tie that in nicely.)

Here's the solicitation information from IDW, which does a nice job in summing things up:

The complete original DC Comics run of Fallen Angel, created by Peter David and David Lopez, is collected in this massive omnibus! Collecting issues #1-21, experience the first chapters of this tale chronicling the sordid, shadowy world of Bete Noire, and its most recent inhabitant and apparent protector-Liandra, the Fallen Angel.

After the DC series was cancelled, David took it over to IDW, and started a whole new run of fantastic, gothic stories. Laden with heavy religious overtones, Fallen Angel is a compelling, interesting read, and it receives the Official Exfanding Stamp of Approval. And there's no better way to delve into the world of the series than by grabbing this omnibus edition.

Seriously. Go. Buy.

Next up (by which I mean, last up), we have another not-so-indy, indy book. From Dark Horse, Beasts of Burden, volume one, ships today in a beautiful hardcover collection.
I was able to flip through this book at BookExpo, If you trade-waited on this bad boy, nice job, because for $19.99, you really can't find a better package in comics.

A great supernatural, talking animal story from Evan Dorkin combined with stunning painted pages by the great Jill Thompson equals one of the very best comics series of the past year.

And, since they're no dummies, Dark Horse realizes just what they have on their hands with this property. Get a load of this solicit info--it's by far the longest I've ever seen:

Welcome to Burden Hill -- a picturesque little town adorned with white picket fences and green, green grass, home to a unique team of paranormal investigators. Beneath this shiny exterior, Burden Hill harbors dark and sinister secrets, and it’s up to a heroic gang of dogs -- and one cat -- to protect the town from the evil forces at work.

These are the Beasts of Burden Hill -- Pugs, Ace, Jack, Whitey, Red and the Orphan -- whose early experiences with the paranormal (including a haunted doghouse, a witches’ coven, and a pack of canine zombies) have led them to become members of the Wise Dog Society, official animal agents sworn to protect their town from evil.

This turns out to be no easy task, as they soon encounter demonic cannibal frogs, tortured spirits, a secret rat society, and a bizarre and deadly resurrection in the Burden Hill cemetery -- events which lead to fear and heartbreak as our four-legged heroes discover that the evil within Burden Hill is growing and on the move.

Can our heroes overcome these supernatural menaces? Can evil be bested by a paranormal team that doesn’t have hands? And even more importantly, will Pugs ever shut the hell up?

Adventure, mystery, horror, and humor thrive on every page of Beasts of Burden -- a comic-book series that will capture readers’ hearts and haunt their dreams.

Award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) first introduced these very special investigators in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and the other Dark Horse Book of . . . anthologies, for which they won coveted Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Painter.

Those first tales are collected here, along with the comic series Beasts of Burden issues #1–#4.

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't add anything useful to that! So, I won't! Instead, I'll leave you all with a comment, and a question.

First--please, please, please support the smaller press books. And second, what are you Waiting for?

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