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Monday, October 06, 2003

 

The Week in Comics -- It looks like a small week for me at the comics shop, but thankfully The Comics Journal is among the items on my retailer's invoice. Here's what I'm picking up this week:

FANTAGRAPHICS

COMICS JOURNAL #255 $6.95 -- You can check out the full list of contents at the magazine's website, but news pieces on CrossGen's downward spiral, and the MOCCA festival, and Rich Kreiner's review of the godawful Cusp are among the items I am most interested in. How much do I love The Comics Journal? If I were on a deserted island could only get TCJ and Forlorn Funnies, I would still be a happy comics reader. That's how much.

THE NORM

THE NORM MAGAZINE #1 $4.95 -- I always enjoy The Norm, a sardonic and occasionally insightful look at romance and life in Our Modern Times. It's a fun strip, and I hope this new magazine is a huge success.

DARK HORSE

DRAWING ON YOUR NIGHTMARES HALLOWEEN 2003 SPECIAL $2.99 -- I think there's some Steve Niles in here, which is reason enough to pick this up. There's no better writer doing horror in comics right now.

DC COMICS

BATMAN DEATH AND THE MAIDENS #3 (Of 9) $2.95 -- Ra's al Ghul is the only Batman villain that doesn't make me cringe when I see him on the page, and I really like the work of both Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson. So far this series is keeping me entertained and intrigued.

TOM STRONG #22 $2.95 -- If I were on that deserted island, and got the chance to widen that circle of comics by one creator, Alan Moore would be the one. ABC titles like Tom Strong, Promethea, and Smax show that Moore is retiring at the very top of his abilities, with recent issues of each being among the very best he's done.

WORLDS BEST COMICS THE GOLDEN AGE DC ARCHIVES SAMPLER $.99 -- Picking up a few of these for my kids and for general activism purposes. While my activism goals (getting kids to read comics) are different than DC's here (getting adults to plop down $50.00 for the upscale hardcover editions), I still appreciate this being available. It collects four classic stories featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Plastic Man, in case you were wondering.

MARVEL

KINGPIN #5 $2.50 -- Other than the art, I really am not enjoying this book at all. And I really wanted to.

ULTIMATE SIX #3 (Of 6) $2.25 -- Last issue had some nice, creepy moments in it, although it's clearly paced for the trade paperback collection, as nothing much happens in any one given issue. This sea change in mainstream comics is perhaps the most shameful thing about the current state of affairs, guaranteed to turn off casual readers and really not much more encouraging even for longtime dorks like myself. I miss the days when every, single issue was required to have a satisfactory set of dramatic beats that made every comic you bought at least moderately entertaining most of the time. Now, that type of thinking can generally only be counted upon in books like Optic Nerve or Peanutbutter and Jeremy. Gee, I wonder why those titles have such devoted fans, while I debate every month whether to pick up this or that Marvel or DC title, and more and more drop off the pull list every month?

ULTIMATE X-MEN #38 $2.25 -- Ditto.

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