Monsieur Ambassador, you are spoiling us …

A lot to get through today: Image solicitations, my comics for the week, some reviews and bits. It’s like buses …

Image solicitations for November
Award for most hilarious line of blurb goes to the Image Comics HC: ‘ALL PREVIOUS ORDERS HAVE DECOMPOSED’. This is part of the Image problem, it has to be said; going through the list, other titles that have the line ‘All previous orders cancelled’ due to rescheduling are Ascend Special Edition HC, A Distant Soil, Vol. 4: Coda TP, The Athiest #3, Deadworld #3, Expatriate #4, Gødland #5 and Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort #3. How are good titles going to get their audience if the audience can’t get their hands on them?

That said, the trade programme is going strong. Candidates include Girls vol. 1, Walking Dead vol. 4, Kabuki vol 5, Battle Pope and The Gift vol.2. And I will be getting all future Invincible trades, as I finally succumbed to pressure from Clandestine Chum Logan and got the first book and have to admit it is good stuff indeed.

Body Bags: The Hard WayJason Pearson will be writing and drawing new Body Bags, something that makes me happy, in a new one-shot, The Hard Way, which also includes colour reprints of Dark Horse material, to account for the rather hefty $5.99 price tag. Gulp.

Image does the Vertigo sampler with Image First TP, collecting Walking Dead, Girls, Sea of Red and Strange Girl #1s. I’ve heard good things about all of these, so it might be the best way to sample them all.

NYC Mech: Beta Love mini-series comes to a conclusion with a batch of quotes that should either be used for the start of the series or the ensuing collection. Rather odd, that.

Witchblade #92 is apparently the 10th Anniversary Special. I don’t know which is scarier; that Witchblade has made 10 years, or the bad mathematics …

Down #1Warren Ellis’s Down starts this month. Ellis hasn’t been pimping this in Bad Signal, which suggests a strange ambivalency towards this work, but I can’t resist his crime noir stylings with some Tony Harris and Cully Hamner art.

Was anyone crying out for Top Cow/Marvel: The Crossover Collection? To my shame, I already own the Ellis written book (Ballistic or something) but surely this is filling the cheap bins of shops and dealers across the land?

Comics being rewarded by my hoarding of them this week:

Authority: Revolution #11
Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch Boy #3

… and that’s it. The sound you can hear is my wallet’s sigh of relief. I’ll be waiting for the trade on Defenders, the second issue of which is out this week but, otherwise, a light week which gives me the opportunity to catch up on some trades and re-reading old books for blogging purposes and deciding to keep them.

Quick Reviews
100 Bullets #63
I’m missing out on some of the nuances as I read from issue to issue but I still enjoy my burst of 100 Bullets, with the dialogue, art and plotting providing the monthly buzz. I found myself wondering if someone would have a samurai sword capable of decapitating someone; wouldn’t new reproductions not be sharp enough or are we supposed to believe that he had an old one and kept it in excellent condition? Nevertheless, it was a spectacular action finale to the Machiavellian plotting, making me want to know more.

Fables #40
In which the Adversary is revealed … or is he? Or how Gepetto came to rule the Fable world. Nice bit of storytelling, even if Buckingham hasn’t progressed as an artist past his impression/acquiring characteristics of early Chris Bachalo (when on Shade, The Changing Man). I would like to discuss the historical links but I am stupid; I don’t even understand what Greg means when he calls him ‘realpolitik politician’ but it sums it up perfectly. That Greg sure is clever …

Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #3Too. Much. Information. Brain. Overload. Hyper-dense storytelling from Grant Morrison and delicious artwork from Ryan Sook – do comics get any better than this?

Gravity #3In which our hero gets some – wahoo! A wonderful coming-of-age story, told in the genre of super-heroes, in which Greg gets some priorities straight. A very enjoyable book all round.

Ultimate Annual #1Kevin Church calls it best:

Steve Dillon does draw the living shit out of it

which elevates this slight tale to something more. There’s something about the weight that Dillon gives a character that makes them so much more real, which adds to any story he draws. It makes me want to pick up the Bullseye story he’s just finished with Daniel Way.

My reviews are quick but, for almost identical thoughts on nearly the same books but written with more pep and pizzazz, check out Johnny B in his latest Last Call [EDIT: dead link] column: he even digs John Paul Leon from his Challenger of the Unknown work, just like I do! (And I should know, I had a letter published in that book.)

Some other quick bits’n’pieces:

Paul O’Brien’s article, well written and thought out, on boredom with comic news and why he doesn’t read manga:

It’s not that I have anything against manga. It’s simply that, psychologically, I don’t regard myself as a manga fan. I approach it as a wholly separate area that I’d be entering from scratch. And honestly, I don’t have the time or inclination to do that. I’ve got a ton of books, CDs and DVDs to plough through already. Like a lot of more mainstream comics fans, I’m here primarily because I’m a genre fan rather than because of a devout love of the theoretical possibilities of the medium.

That isn’t to say I’m not open to other types of comics, but it does mean I don’t have the sort of “this is a comic, I must explore it” attitude that leads others to try and read their way into manga. I’m sure a lot of it is absolutely fantastic, but I could say that about my local bookstore too, and I’ve got a ton of books that are higher up my list of priorities because… well, I actually want to read them already.

Which turned into a huge discussion over on the Fanboy Rampage comments section [EDIT: Haloscan comments are now dead] when he linked to it, with people wrongly accusing him of being bored with comics – it is one of the bizarrest things I’ve seen.

To lighten things up, you can see this post from Dave at his Long Box, which gave me a ‘Nostalgasm’. And with that, I shall leave you.

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