Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 3, Issue 20

Oh. Right. It's Wednesday. Huh. Will you look at that.

Well, lessee. Um. I say we skip the preamble this week and head right to the comics. Because they're just that good, and that important this week. And because I had zero time in which to sit down and write today's column.

So. Right to it, then.

There are a number of new, interesting titles shipping today, including a spat of first issues. And this makes me happy because it allows me the opportunity to suggest books that you don't need to have a decade's worth of continuity knowledge to be able to pick up and enjoy.

Which is a Very Good Thing for comic books.

There's really an eclectic mix of books today, and we'll start with the latest issue of what may well be my favorite series of 2011 so far. From Image Comics, writer S. Steven Struble, and artist Sina Grace, The Li'l Depressed Boy, issue four, hits stands today.
I've talked about the series before, and while a fourth issue is never the greatest jumping-on point for new readers, retailers seem to have caught on to the fact that this book rocks.

There was a second printing of issue one, and at least in my local shops, there are copies of issues two and three also available. If you can't find the books, though, not to fear. There's a trade collection coming out in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, for those picking this up issue to issue, here's the solicitation information from Image for today's issue four:


After birthdays, concerts, bowling and house parties, The Li'l Depressed Boy feels closer to his dream girl more than ever before. In this issue: A new friend, some fried rice, and a kiss.

If you haven't been able to find this, or if you've held out, please do give the trade a chance. I love slice of life comics, but I HATE slice of life comics that follow the same, boring patterns.

LDB definitely doesn't follow those patterns, and it's a book we should celebrate.

Next up, we have our second Image offering in Drums, issue one, the latest horror series from the publisher. Written by El Torres and with art by Abe Hernando and Kwaichang Kraneo, Drums is one of those books that I pre-ordered on a hunch from Previews.
The cover looks great, and the description of the series had enough there to convince me to plunk down my $2.99. Here's the blurb from the publisher:


In our world there exists an ancient religion with many names and many disguises: Candomble, Palo Mayombe, Santeria... Voodoo.

FBI agent Martin Irons is sent to investigate the sudden deaths of an entire gathering of followers at a ceremony, an assignment horrible enough before one of the mangled corpses rises and leads him on a sinister path. A new horror story with possessions, santeros, zombies... all set to the thunderous boom of drums!

With these Image books, if it looks good, I order it. Because when I don't I can't get the first issue after the day of release. As long as the books hold steady at this price point, I will be very willing to continuing trying out these new series from Image.

I haven't been burned yet, and I really am looking forward to what's next.

Speaking of new series, let's move on to one from IDW. Talk about a blast from my childhood. Today, Rocketeer Adventures, issue one, hits stands with an impressive array of creators on a character that I adored as a kid.
Now, sadly, I am woefully uninitiated with the classic Dave Stevens comics stories featuring the character, but, man, I loved the heck out of the movie when I saw it in the summer of 1991.

So I'll happily pick this issue up, and here's hoping the series--which appears to be in an anthology format--sticks around for some time. Here's the (longest, ever) solicitation info from IDW:

The Rocketeer Flies Again!

Dave Stevens unveiled the Rocketeer nearly 30 years ago to instant acclaim, and in all the years since that auspicious debut, respect for Dave’s talent and his greatest creation have only continued to grow.

Last year, IDW had the honor of releasing the complete Rocketeer saga in several editions, showcasing the work of this great artist as it was always meant to be seen—completely remastered, with nearly every page scanned directly from the originals and recolored by Dave’s hand-picked colorist.

Today we are able to celebrate Dave’s talent once again, with an all-new Rocketeer anthology miniseries written and drawn by some of the finest creators in comics, and with the full cooperation of the Stevens family.

The first star-studded issue of The Rocketeer features a gorgeous cover by Alex Ross, and terrific stories by John Cassaday, Mike Allred, Kurt Busiek, and Michael Kaluta, plus outstanding pin-ups by Mike Mignola and Jim Silke—all paying tribute to the continued legacy of Rocketeer and Dave Stevens!

Whew. That's a lot of talking. And, if all that talking didn't sway ya, you can check out a free preview over at Comic Book Resources.

That's a great cover, too. Looking forward to this one.

Finally, we'll end today with a character everyone knows--Batman. Now, I can hear you saying, "But Alex, Batman has 75 years of continuity behind him!" And you're right about that. But today sees the launch of a brand new mini-series by writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire), entitled, Batman: Gates of Gotham.
Apparently, this series will have ties to the Grant Morrison story, The Return of Bruce Wayne, but I'm hoping that Snyder's issues will be accessible to readers just coming on board now.

Here's DC's blurb for the book:

When a mystery as old as Gotham City itself surfaces, Batman assembles a team of his greatest detectives – including Red Robin, Owlman, I-Ching and others – to investigate this startling new enigma.

As clues are discovered and the mystery deepens, Batman's team soon finds itself on a journey that explores different eras in Gotham's history and touches upon notable Gotham families including the Waynes, Kanes, and Elliotts.

This miniseries spins out of recent events in the Batman titles and sets the stage for several exciting storylines in 2011. Additionally, this limited series touches upon mysterious story elements introduced in Grant Morrison's RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE.

Featuring many exciting Batman Family guest stars!

This book sounds great, and Snyder is quickly compiling one heck of a track record. His American Vampire series is flat-out fantastic, and his Detective Comics run has been the best on that character in quite some time.

He's one of those writers who is perfectly suited for the Dark Knight and his world. So check it out. And tell 'em Exfanding sent ya!


Uh huh. Definitely time for me to go. Before I do, though...what are you Waiting for?

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