REVIEWS: For Your Consideration 05/31/07

by Jeff

Reprinted courtesy of Comic Book Commentary.

Free time is a precious thing. Don’t waste it reading bad comics out of habit!

This featurette has evolved over the course of the 2+ years I’ve been doing it, starting as a well-intentioned, straightforward listing of “Independent comics (and manga)” — aka, everything except Marvel & DC — shipping in a given week called “Try Something Different”, to the snarky, more open-minded commentary of its most recent incarnation as “On the Shelves”. In light of some recent changes in my buying habits and reading interests, and in the spirit of “be the change you want to see”, I’m changing things up once again, focusing on the increasingly varied offerings from publishers of all shapes and sizes, genres and formats — except for Marvel, DC and its imprints.

The “Big [Fish in Small Pond] Two have been giving me heartburn more often than not the past year, so I’m quitting them cold turkey, effective immediately, except for Fables, which I’ll continue to follow in trade, and any Essential or Showcase TPBs of interest that come down the pike, like the recently announced Suicide Squad. There’s plenty of other places to find tips on what they’re publishing in any given week, and I’m a firm believer in focusing one’s limited energies where one thinks they can make the biggest difference, and even moreso in spending their limited money on the things that give them the most pleasure.

With that in mind, each week I’ll offer up recommendations, speculations, and ruminations on comics that might not currently be on your (or my) pull list, or even your radar, but are worthy of consideration. Feel free to do the same in the comments, and point out anything I might have overlooked.

Without further ado, my weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday Thursday, 5/31/07. The full shipping list, as always, is available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]

PICK OF THE WEEK

mar063248h REVIEWS: For Your Consideration 05/31/07
Fun Home (TPB) (Houghton Mifflin)

AKA COMICS
Miscellaneous Adventures of Stykman #2, $2.95

You have to wonder what Diamond saw in this title that they thought there was a significant audience for it and saw fit to distribute it, but creator Jonnie Allan apparently busted his ass to get it done, so kudos to him. The first issue wasn’t bad, per se — I’d have no problem picking it up out of curiousity from Allan at a convention — but it’s not nearly ready for prime time and calls into question Diamond’s criteria for determining what will and won’t sell in the direct market. It’s almost like rejection sometimes means no, and sometimes means try harder. Nevertheless, I’d be surprised to see it still listed in Previews by its 4th or 5th issue.

APE ENTERTAINMENT
Black Coat or Give Me Death #1 (of 4), $3.50

The first Black Coat mini-series was a solid read featuring some outstanding artwork from Francesco Francavilla, and he appears to have noticeably improved in this second go-round of the Revolutionary Era Batman.

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Boys #7 (resolicited), $2.99
Boys Vol 1 TPB (resolicited), $14.99

I wasn’t reading The Boys when it was published by Vertigo, and I won’t be picking it up now that it’s with Dynamite, but the way the situation played out — along with that of Fallen Angel a couple of years ago — leaves me hopeful that other notable creators will take their pet projects elsewhere, risking the lower profile of a smaller publisher for the higher reward of expanding the market outward.

FANTAGRAPHICS
Our Gang Vol. 2 SC, $12.95

I was a HUGE Little Rascals fan when I was a kid, oblivious to the racist overtones of characters like Stymie, Farina and Buckwheat, so I’m curious how these comics hold up.

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
Fun Home TPB, $13.95

My curiousity was piqued when Time named this its Book of the Year last year, but not quite enough to pick up the hardcover. Now, in softcover, I can see what the fuss was about for myself.

IDW PUBLISHING
Fallen Angel IDW #16, $3.99

See, giving up Marvel and DC doesn’t necessarily mean I have to completely give up the work of creators I’ve enjoyed. While I’ll certainly miss X-Factor, Peter David’s doing equally interesting work here in Fallen Angel.

IMAGE COMICS

While they don’t have anything on my radar this week, I want to note that, after writing them off almost completely a little over a year ago, Image has come roaring back onto my pull list with the stellar likes of Casanova, Fell and Strange Girl now joined by Dynamo 5 and Gutsville. (Side Note: That’s 17% of my personal market share vs. Marvel and DC’s newly combined 0%.)

NBM
Nancy Drew Boxed Set (AA), $29.95
Nancy Drew Vol. 5 the Fake Heir GN (AA), $7.95
Nancy Drew Vol. 5 the Fake Heir HC (AA), $12.95
Nancy Drew Vol. 6 Mr Cheeters Is Missing GN (AA), $7.95
Nancy Drew Vol. 6 Mr Cheeters Is Missing HC (AA), $12.95
Nancy Drew Vol. 7 Charmed Bracelet HC (AA), $12.95
Nancy Drew Vol. 8 Global Warning HC (AA), $12.95

Very nice timing by NBM to leverage the release of the new Nancy Drew movie that looks like it should nail its target demographic. It’ll be interesting to see how many comic book-buying fathers take notice and pick up a copy or two for their kids who express interest in the movie.

PRISM COMICS
Prism Comics Lgbt Guide to Comics Mag 2007, $5.95

I bought last year’s edition out of curiousity and immediately wished someone would do something similar for Black and Latino comics. Then I started thinking about “Make the f**king comics!” again and got some ideas…

That’s my two cents this week. What looks good to YOU?

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