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Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Ahead to 2008 -- Here's some stuff I am looking forward to in the year ahead...

* STRANGE AND STRANGER: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO by Blake Bell (Fantagraphics). If The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus and the BBC Search for Steve Ditko special haven't convinced you the time is NOW for Ditko analysis and appreciation, I can't help you.

* B. KRIGSTEIN VOL. 2 by Greg Sadowski (Fantagraphics). Sadowski's earlier volumes (Vol. 1 and B. Krigstein Comics) are among the most treasured volumes in my library of graphic novels; I continue to see Krigstein as the visionary in the history of comic art, with anyone else you can mention a distant second at best. I cannot wait to read this concluding volume in Sadowski's lush, comprehensive biography.

* THE COLLECTED COLD HEAT by Frank Santoro and Ben Jones (Picturebox). The slow death of the comics pamphlet claimed this visionary series before it could reach its conclusion, but the year ahead should see the story finished and collected in 2008. And since it's a Picturebox production, the physical book itself should be as much a work of art as the comics contained within.

* KIRBY: KING OF COMICS by Mark Evanier (Abrams). Given Evanier's lifelong association with and love for Jack Kirby, this won't be the definitive, objective biography that Kirby's life demands, but it will still be required reading for any student of comic art and should be a blast to read.

* NEW FRONTIER SPECIAL by Darwyn Cooke (DC). If this isn't the best superhero comic DC releases in 2008, then it will be one of the final issues of Morrison and Quitely's All Star Superman, I would think, because that's about all they have going for them at the moment...

* UPDATED -- Here are a few more to add to the list...

* COMICS AS ART: WE TOLD YOU SO by Tom Spurgeon and Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics). The definitive history of the most significant and entertaining North American comic book publisher in history.

* THE EDUCATION OF HOPEY GLASS, THE TROUBLEMAKERS and AMOR Y COHETES by Los Bros Hernandez (Fantagraphics). Three collections/graphic novels by Los Bros; as always, must-reading.

* ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and JLA DELUXE VOL. 1 by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Howard Porter, et al (DC Comics). As noted above, current-era DC Universe superhero stories are mostly unreadable fan-servicing junk at the moment, but All-Star Superman is the exception, and the new collected hardcovers of Morrison's key 1990s JLA stories just further go to prove the point that the company's seen far, far better creative days.


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