Man, it’s another one of those really odd weeks where there are lots of noteworthy items, but precious few sure buys. As far as floppies go, I’ll definitely be picking up Stumptown Volume 2 #3 (Oni Press) from Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth. I was impressed by the first issue and slightly disappointed with the second, but at this point I’m committed to seeing it through. I’ll probably also pick up Shadowman #1 (Valiant). Even though I haven’t really enjoyed the new Valiant line (they all seem like generic stories and generic action with enticing cover art that belies sub-par interior art), for one reason or another I’ve managed to try the first couple issues of every title. So, part of it is just “why stop now?” But, really, this title which ran for 43 issues 17 years ago has the best chance so far at being something I might like. Justin Jordan is writing it, I hated his writing on Team 7, but loved it on The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m glad to see him getting some additional work after he wowed everyone with the debut of a stellar creator-owned project. Patrick Zircher is on art, who has an affable, if somewhat “Generic DC House Style,” quality to his work. Sheesh. Talk about a backhanded endorsement. Moving on… Manhattan Projects #7 (Image) is out this week, but I’ve been feeling slightly bored with it. It’s starting to feel like something I’d be happy catching up on with 50% off trades rather than supporting month to month. I’d like to buy Injury Comics #4 (Alternative Comics) from Ted May, but yeah, good luck finding that indie of a book on the San Diego LCS circuit. Colder #1 (Dark Horse) is out from Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra. While the creative pedigree is one I’m totally ambivalent toward, the cover alone is one of the most disturbing images I’ve seen in a while, so I’ll see if it passes the basic flip test on that alone. The sci-fi premise of Storm Dogs #1 (Image) also looks interesting, so I’ll peek into that and see if it does anything for me. 47 Ronin #1 (Dark Horse) looks interesting, and I now at least one person (paging Ryan Claytor…) who should be picking it up. It’s one of the best known tales in Japanese history regarding the samurai code of honor, and the solicit says “To know the story of the 47 Ronin is to know Japan.” That’s certainly got powerful potential. Written by Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, with art by the legendary Stan Sakai, and consultation from Lone Wolf & Cub’s Kazio Koike, it seems like a can’t miss type project if you’re into any of the creators or canon involved.
That brings us to the GN and collected edition portion of the program. First up, we have Danger Club Volume 01 (Image) at the introductory price point of just $9.99. In short, Danger Club is one of my favorite books of 2012 and I highly recommend it. It’s from Landry Walker and Eric Jones and you should buy it if you’re interested in any sort of post-modern Warren Ellis style take-down of 1960’s Teen Titans, with a clean austere Juan Jose Ryp meets George Perez energy to the art. The Scott Pilgrim Color HC Volume 02 (Oni Press) is also out. Now, I really didn’t like this book when it first came out in black and white. I didn’t understand the appeal at all. But then, I really liked the movie. Now, I’m totally in awe of the coloring by Nathan Fairbairn and the bonus content from O’Malley. So, maybe you can find it in your cold black heart to give things a second chance? Lastly, my pick of the week is actually the Blacklung HC (Fantagraphics) from Chris Wright. This young upstart delivered the super interesting Inkweed from Sparkplug Comic Books a few years ago and I’ve anxiously been awaiting a big splashy follow up like this. It seems like Fantagraphics is noticeably starting to pluck ridiculous talent like this (paging Noah Van Sciver…) out of relative obscurity and give them a broader stage, and until I start my own publishing company, I’m glad to see someone doing it with an eye for talent that occasionally lines up with my own.