Mar 23rd 2010 By: Douglas Wolk
and "Reading Comics
" author Douglas Wolk
runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.
* Sex and/or pistols
¢ Love and/or rockets
¥ Spirit and/or flesh
£ Spiders and/or flies
* ¥ £ 120 DAYS OF SIMON
A fat little paperback by Swedish cartoonist Simon Gärdenfors about four months he spent couch-surfing across Sweden, smoking, snorting and screwing basically everything in his path; he's one of those confessional cartoonists who are very interested in themselves but not particularly interested in making themselves look good. He's got a clean, appealing, design-y graphic style, although it's almost entirely focused on "iconic" renditions of his characters--I think there are about six panels that include, say, a few trees in the background.
¢ ¥ THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ: THE SECRETS OF LIFE AND DEATH
An oversized, wholly gorgeous book about the Love & Rockets mastermind's artistic evolution and process, with a lot of long-out-of-print and previously unseen work (and roughs! and reproductions of original art!), plus explanatory text by Todd Hignite and a complete reprint of "La Maggie La Loca," the story that the New York Times Magazine serialized a few years back (which also appeared in L&R vol. 2 #20).
* ¥ BACKING INTO FORWARD
Jules Feiffer's autobiography, which came to some comics stores last week and is coming to others this week: anecdote after anecdote about growing up in the Bronx, working with Will Eisner (he's apparently under the impression that the first "Spirit" story he wrote was "Ten Minutes," but let that pass), drawing "Munro," creating "Sick, Sick, Sick," writing "Little Murders," etc. Rambly but fun.
¢ £ THE COMPLETE PEANUTS VOL. 13 1975-1976
Words cannot tell you how much I love this era of Charles M. Schulz's masterwork. So forget it. If you really need a preview,here you go.
* £ GLAMOURPUSS #12
Dave Sim's bizarre little series about the continuity-strip cartoonist/playboys of the '50s and '60s strolls onward.
¥ GREEN LANTERN #52
Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke wrap up the specifically Green Lantern component of Blackest Night, with the big Sinestro-as-White-Lantern windup for next week's conclusion. It's going to take some doing to make sure there's 22 pages worth of goings-on here whose absence won't be noticed by people who are only reading the mothership miniseries, but two double-page spreads in the first five pages might help with that.
* HELLBLAZER #265
Simon Bisley returns to drawing the long-running series for a Peter Milligan-written story involving "anarcho punks who worship a powerful effigy of Sid Vicious." Which means it could be terrible, or... terribly amusing.
* ¢ ¥ HEY PRINCESS
Mats Jonsson's small but thick account of being a mid-'90s sensitive indie-rock dude with issues around women, who nonetheless manages to get laid pretty much constantly. Apparently, Jeffrey Brown is now a genre. (Actually, the cartoonist Jonsson's artwork reminds me of most is Mike Diana. Mike Diana if he were really into Belle & Sebastian and burst into tears at the thought of offending anyone.)
£ PETER PARKER #1
The first of a five-issue miniseries collecting Bob Gale and Pat Olliffe's digital Spider-Man comics, apparently re-edited for the printed page (and previewed here). They are, as you might expect, pleasant, inconsequential stuff that fits in with the current Amazing Spider-Man continuity. But it's nice to see Olliffe drawing Spider-Man again--the Untold Tales of Spider-Man series he and Kurt Busiek did back in the '90s was a lot of fun. The additional selling point here is a new "Petey" story by Fred Hembeck: Peter Parker as a kid, by way of "Little Archie."
¥ £ THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE & KIRBY
The hardcover version of the recently serialized, restored, modern-fancy-colored version of the occasionally ersatz Norse myth shorts that were Lee and Kirby's backup feature in their Journey Into Mystery/Thor run's early years. Not their most coherent work, and not historically accurate in any sense, but pretty! Also out this week: a one-dollar edition of the JMS/Coipel Thor #1.
¢ £ ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PETER PARKER
Ultimate [Comics] Spider-Man is the series where Brian Michael Bendis shines most consistently--it lets him get into the closely observed character work that the Avengers franchise doesn't leave much room for, and has the strong supporting cast that Spider-Woman lacked. This hardcover collects the first, David Lafuente-drawn arc of the recent relaunch. Also this week in Peter-Parker-in-high-school stories: Paul Tobin and Christian Nauck's Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #61, the final issue before that series relaunches next month.
¢ UNCANNY X-MEN #522
Fans of the initial Image generation should note that Whilce Portacio is drawing this story, in which Matt Fraction brings back Kitty Pryde. (There's also a backup story drawn by Phil Jimenez: an embarrassment of riches!) Preview.