- Love & Rockets Sketchbook Two – I’ve been wanting this for a long, long while now, but just kept putting it off, trying to save a little money. But at 40% off, I could resist no longer. The first volume is apparently out of print; I’ve been keeping an eye out for it on eBay but haven’t even seen one listed in ages. With all of the other Bros stuff Fantagraphics has been releasing recently, these should really be brought back into print, preferably in one nice hardback collection a la Acme Novelty Datebook. Of course, it’s easy to sit here as a fan and say that, without any business perspective from a publisher’s standpoint. Oh well, I can dream…at least we have the Todd Hignite’s Jaime art book to look forward to this summer!
- Drawn & Quarterly Showcase vol. 4 – this is the one with Gabrielle Bell, Dan Zettwoch and Martin Cendreda; an exceptional lineup, so I was thrilled to get it for only $9.
- Scalped vol. 1 – after NYCC, several of us went out drinking and the consensus around the table was that this was the best Vertigo book in years. So, for only $6, I decided to finally check it out.
* I also picked up the latest Walking Dead (#58). I still like this series, but it does seem to be a little off track lately in the sense that there is less forward momentum than usual, and less overarching drama. And, maybe it’s just me, but there’s too many rape references for my liking. Last issue there was child rape, and now in this issue, there’s gang rape. I find this kind of writing a little cheap and cliched, though it’s not fair to exaggerate this one issue at the expense of the greater book. Overall, Kirkman is a solid storyteller and has hooked me for 58 issues, which is quite a feat for a mainstream comic, and I’m sure I’ll be back next month.
* I passed on the new Neil Gaiman Batman book. For one thing, I think it’s insulting that, with the economic crisis, DC would raise the price of this mediocre superhero book by a dollar (to $3.99!) just because they have a celebrity writer attached to the project. I mean, there’s no increased page count or anything special to justify such an increase. Anyway, if it’s any good, I’ll pick it up in the bargain bins sometime down the road.
* The only other comic I got was the new I Am Legion from John Cassaday. By comparison, this is a higher quality product, with thicker, glossier paper, and a card stock cover, as well as additional pages, for only $3.50. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks great, and makes me long for the conclusion to Planetary already.
* This past week I finished my second EC Archives collection – Shock SuspenseStories vol. 1. Since my EC experience is limited to this and the first volume of Two-Fisted Tales, I have no qualms saying that Kurtzman’s war stories are far, far better, but I liked many of the stories in this volume, too. I was especially fond of stories drawn by Jack Kamen, Joe Orlando and Wally Wood. Al Feldstein is a good writer, but his style is extremely prose-heavy, and felt cumbersome and overwrought in places. Also, some of the “shock” endings were fairly predictable. Overall, I thought the most effective stories were those that were written in the first person.