Thursday, August 04, 2005

Stuff of Interest - October 2005

JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #44
Mythadventures rule in JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #44, focusing on KIRBY'’S MYTHOLOGICAL CHARACTERS, including THE DEMON, THOR, ATLAS, ETERNALS, and others! There'’s a rare interview with KIRBY, never-seen by most comics enthusiasts! MARK EVANIER answers Frequently Asked Questions about Jack in his regular column, while our other regular columnists give their take on all things Kirby! There'’s also two Kirby pencil art galleries; one of THE DEMON, and another featuring some of his other classic mythological characters (both at whopping TABLOID SIZE)! Just in time for Halloween, there's a never-reprinted BLACK MAGIC story from the 1950s! Also, we present an interview with Kirby Award winner and family friend DAVID SCHWARTZ (with tons of little known anecdotes and info about Jack and Roz), a new Kirby Demon cover inked by MATT WAGNER, and more!

Should be another winner, with a good variety of eras and the usual features. Looking forward to the BLACK MAGIC story most.


JEW GANGSTER: A FATHER'S ADMONITION HC
With his father's words, "Don't be a Jew gangster," still ringing in his head, a young man finds himself doing just that, as no other path in life opens for him. In New York City, criminals rule, getting everything they want no matter what the price, or who pays it.

With the same intensity and detail that he put into Yossel, Kubert recreates a time when even the most innocent person was caught up in the dark underbelly of society.

New Joe Kubert is always noteworthy. I might wait for the softcover on this (softcover of YOSSEL is also solicited this month). Or I might not.


THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: THE ART OF JIM APARO SC
For a generation of comic-book readers, Jim Aparo is considered the greatest Batman artist of them all. Aparo together with Batman, made a team worthy of the title, The Brave and the Bold. But while the Batman team-up book was where fans could most commonly find Aparo'’s work, he first made his name on such series as Aquaman, the controversial Spectre, and the mysterious Phantom Stranger, and is considered by many to be the definitive artist for each. Now, Scott Beatty along with Eric Nolen-Weathington turn the Bat Signal onto the life and work of one of comics'’ finest: Jim Aparo. From his time in the world of advertising art, through the heyday of the '’70s, and beyond the death of Robin, Aparo'’s career is finally given the attention it so richly deserves. The book is lavishly illustrated with Aparo'’s work -— including many rare and previously-unpublished pieces. Introduction by award-winning comic book artist, Alan Davis!

It's a shame that Aparo won't be around to see the actual book, but obviously he was aware it was in production so had some sort of evidence of his influence in his final days. That's a nice thought. Should be a good looking book.


NEXUS ARCHIVES VOLUME 1 HC
Mike Baron and Steve Rude
216pg, b&w & FC
On the distant moon of Ylum, an enigmatic man is plagued by nightmares. He is forced to dream of the past. He dreams of real-life butchers and tyrants, and what they have done.

And then he finds them, and kills them.

The year is 2841, and this man is Nexus, a godlike figure who acts as judge, jury, and executioner for the vile criminals who appear in his dreams. He claims to kill in self-defense, but why? Where do the visions come from, and where did he get his powers? Though a hero to many, does he have any real moral code? These are but some of the questions that reporter Sundra Peale hopes to have answered. Collecting Nexus #1-3 (Vol. 1., black and white) and Nexus #1-4 (Vol. 2, full color), from Capital Comics.

I'm a big fan of Rude's work on this stuff, but this is kind of overpriced for my interest. I wish that they had a separate book for the B&W magazine run, as I haven't been able to find those and would have been happy to pay $25 - $30 for a handsome hardcover of those.


USAGI YOJIMBO #88
World-renowned storyteller Stan Sakai treats his readers to an all-out samurai brawl in this issue of Usagi Yojimbo! Fans of the rabbit ronin are well accustomed to Sakai's deft hand with dynamic fight scenes, and this issue gives him plenty to work with-Usagi and Tomoe, captured and forced to work in Lord Sanada's illegal gold mine, lead a slave revolt! But they face Tomoe's murderous cousin, Noriko "the blood princess,"and with her a horde of Sanada's deadly samurai. To make matters worse, the slaves only have shovels and hoes in their battle against lethal steel swords! And in the ensuing chaos, someone will be trapped inside the mine ... find out who in part six of "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains"!

New Usagi, always good.


THE ORIGINALS SC
by Dave Gibbons
Lel and Bok, two best friends,— want nothing more than to join the Originals, the top gang on the streets. Through them, they'll meet the high-speed world of hover scooters, all-night clubs, and, for Lel, the girl of his dreams in particular. But with the fast life comes tough foes, and tribal loyalty will teach them the unforgettable meaning of unforgivable loss.

Looked like a decent book but not worth the hardcover price. Might pick up this softcover version.


SUPERMAN IN THE FORTIES TP
Written by Jerry Siegel, Bill Finger, Don Cameron and others
Art by Joe Shuster, Wayne Boring, Jack Burnley and others
Cover by Shuster
The latest in DC's decade-by-decade celebration of the best stories featuring the Man of Steel collects stories from ACTION COMICS #1, 2, 14, 23, 64, 93, 107, SUPERMAN #1, 23, 40, 53, 58, 61, SUPERBOY #5, the Superman daily newspaper strip, Look magazine and WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #37, covering his 1938 debut through the 1940s!

I've enjoyed the previous volumes in this series, and always like a look at the early Superman stories.


SHOWCASE PRESENTS: METAMORPHO VOL. 1 TP
Written by Bob Haney and Gardner Fox
Art by Ramona Fradon, Jack Sparling, Mike Sekowsky and others
Cover by Sal Trapani
This massive black-and-white volume collects all Metamorpho'’s Silver Age adventures, from THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #57-58, 66, 68, METAMORPHO #1-17, and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #42! Guest-starring Batman, the Justice League of America, the Metal Men and more!

Wow, what an awful choice for the cover image. Is that just because the "Element Girl" appeared in SANDMAN? Anway, haven't read much of this, but for the price I'm looking forward to it, and it's good to see they've included those various guest-shot stories so it's just about every 1960s Metamorpho story.


PLASTIC MAN ARCHIVES VOL. 7 HC
by Jack Cole
Another amazing volume of peak-period Plastic Man stories by Cole at his zany best! This volume collects PLASTIC MAN #7-8 and Plastic Man'’s adventures from POLICE COMICS #66-71. Plas and Woozy travel way out West, meet Stretcho the India Rubber Man, visit Hollywood, tail a homicidal hat and more!

On the other hand, that's a great looking cover. I don't really like the DC Archives cover design, I think the best thing I've ever said about it is that it doesn't suck as much as some of Marvel's Masterworks designs, but this is a great use of the original art with this design.

Not sure I'll pick this up right away, but maybe eventually (I've got the first four volumes and like those). I will say at this point they've gotten more than enough restored material for an affordable BEST OF COLE'S PLASTIC MAN volume. Three or four from each volume as a sample, giving a good overview of Cole's long run.


MARVEL MONSTERS one-shots
MARVEL MONSTERS: DEVIL DINOSAUR
MARVEL MONSTERS: FIN FANG FOUR
MARVEL MONSTERS: WHERE MONSTERS DWELL
MARVEL MONSTERS: MONSTERS ON THE PROWL

Marvel doing four one-shots featuring some of their old monsters in new stories, plus Kirby reprint back-up in each issue. I might take a look at them, the new material looks like it might be fun, and worth picking up separatel or when they're collected a few months later.

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