Saturday, June 24, 2006

Coming Soon: The Top 26 Books Shipping in July

Looks like July's going to be another good month. Here are the books I'm most looking forward to, or am just plain curious about...

The Adventures of Carrie Giver #1 - while I admit this is a longshot, the publisher's claims that this new female superhero book was created to "challenge ideas about mothers and other caregivers in our political, social, and economic life" certainly sounds intriguing. And the Neal Adams cover doesn't hurt either. Published by TR Associates.

All Star Superman #5 - is there anybody out there whose NOT reading this book?

Andru and Esposito: Partners for Life - this looks like a pretty good biographical retrospective book focusing on Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, two of the giants of early mainstream superhero comics.

Baobab #2 - the first issue was a thing of beauty, though it offered so little story, it was hard to take much away other than an aesthetic reaction. I'm hoping the second volume gives this story a little more context.

Batman #655 - Grant Morrison's first issue with artist Andy Kubert. Should be a big hit, regardless of quality, but I'm optimistic, given Morrison's run on All Star Superman that this will far surpass Miller's All Star Batman and Robin series.

Bluesman vol. 3 - this third and final volume of the excellent series about, well, a bluesman from the early days of American blues music. Rob Vollmar's script is original and deeply human. Among the best and most ambitious graphic novels in recent memory.

The Building Opposite - A new book from Fanfare/Ponent Mon is always worth checking out. This one, by Japanese artist Vanyda, is described as "a delightful 'slice of life' view of the occupants of a regular 3-story apartment block and their interactions in daily life." Check out the 4 page preview here.

Cancer Vixen - it seems like every few weeks someone publishes a "my experiences with cancer" book. There was Brian Fies excellent (and Eisner winning) Mom's Cancer, then came Miriam Engelberg's breast cancer memoir, Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person. Now we have Marisa Acocella Marchetto's Cancer Vixen, whose tagline, "cancer, I am going to kick your ass, and I'm gonna do it in killer four inch heels" seems, well, kind of trite I guess. I'm sure this book can and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to those who suffer from cancer, but personally I'm a little fatigued with these personal therapy journals.

Castle Waiting vol. II #1 - I'm not clear if this is reprinting the old Cartoon Books series, or if this is new stuff, but if its new, this is definitely on my list.

Daredevil #87 - Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark's run on this title has so far been outstanding. Could be the beginning of a classic in the making.

Detective Comics #821 - First issue by new creative team Paul Dini and J.H. Williams III. I'm undecided about this one. While I have no doubt that Williams' art will be stunning, I may go with Grant Morrison's Batman instead.

Drawn and Quarterly Showcase vol. 4 - this issue, which is starting to feel like D&Q's version of Mome, features Gabrielle Bell, Daniel Zettwoch and Martin Cendreda. While this latest volume lacks that unknown artist discovery that previous volumes offered, the lineup is nevertheless impressive.

Escapists #1 - if you haven't read Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay yet, then forget everything else on this list and go check it out. This new series focuses on Chabon's fictional character, The Escapist, and is written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Phillip Bond. Also, if I'm reading this right, the first issue is only $1.00?

Gumby #1 - I know this sounds crazy, but this book is illustrated by Rick Geary (Tales of Victorian Murder) and written by Bob Burden (Flaming Carrot). The preview pages over at the Great Curve actually look pretty good in that light-hearted, "all ages" sense. Could go either way, but its at least worth a look.

I Am Going to be Small - by now you know if you like Jeffrey Brown's autobiographical comics or not. However regardless of what you think, this is a vastly different type of project for Brown - a collection of "subversive, laugh out loud...gag cartoons." Interestingly, this book is 384 pages but small enough to fit in your pocket. I'm looking forward to seeing Brown do something different than his straight forward relationship stuff, and have high hopes for this collection.

Kramer's Ergot volume 6 HC - probably the most anticipated book this month is this anthology from Buenaventura Press. Volume 5 was outstanding both in terms of production and content, and from what little I've seen online, this one looks just as good. You've probably seen it by now, but there's a very good preview here.

The Left Bank Gang GN - a new graphic novel by Jason is always something to celebrate, especially when its in color as this one is. I already have this (got it at MoCCA) and I can tell you it's outstanding.

Niger #1 - another of Fantagraphics outstanding Ignatz titles, this one is done entirely in woodcuts by Nigerian artist Leila Marzocchi. Described as "a fascinating ecological fable...follows the life of a strange new being named "Pupa" born in the depth of a lake. Wandering about the surface among other creatures, she takes refuge in a glass and falls asleep. Some birds, curious for the event, organize themselves to protect this small, weak, creature to allow her to grow up."

Reflections #1 - I'm not sure if this will actually ship in July, though Fantagraphics website still lists it as "arriving in July," along with Niger and Baobab #2. At any rate, this is also an Ignatz book by newcomer (at least in America) Marco Corona, about a woman named Miranda's quietly dysfunctional life.

Sloth HC - new original graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez. From Vertigo. What more do you need to know?

Sudden Gravity TP - I reviewed this series way back when it first came out from Caliber. Most people were never able to read it given the difficulties in finding all 5 issues, and those who were may have found the story frustratingly cryptic, in that David Lynch sense. Now Dark Horse is collecting the entire series, and according to artist Greg Ruth, the script was rewritten to make more sense.

I know some of the Ignatz books that were due earlier are shipping in July, including David B.'s Babel #2, Matt Broersma's Insomnia #2 and Gipi's Wish You Were Here #2: They Found The Car. It also looks like Dan Clowes' latest reprint collection, Pussey!, and Anders Nilsen's long awaited Monologues For the Coming Plague are also listed on Fantagraphics' website, so those will probably also show up in July at some point.

So there you go. Did I forget anything?

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