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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good and bad from DC reprint department

Todd Klein, who constantly posts great stuff on the process of creating comics on his blog, mentions and posts examples of the new lettering he's doing for the upcoming larger-sized reprint of DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING. So good for DC, seeing the need for the change to maintain quality and being willing to pay for it. Hopefully that example will seep down to the concept of including all the words in their reprints that retail for under $99.

On the other hand, someone care to explain this to me?


Written by Gerry Conway; Art by George Pérez with Frank McLaughlin and John Beatty; Cover by George Pérez
The first half of artist George Pérez's 1980s run on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA is collected in this new hardcover featuring issues #184-186, 192-194 plus Pérez's very rare JLA postcard set! Don't miss the team's battles with Darkseid and The Secret Society of Super-Villains, as envisioned by the artist of FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS!

Huh? I can kind of see, if not excuse, skipping #183, Dick Dillin's final issue, even though it's the first part of a three-part story. It's an artist themed thing, not a story one, so opening with 25 pages of Dillin would be weird. But 192-194 aren't even the Secret Society of Super-Villains story mentioned (and that cover shown is from 197). Honestly, does anyone working on the sub-$99 reprints at that place pay any attention? Plus, gotta say, given that the remainder of Pérez's work on JLA after this book (whichever storyline it really includes) would be a bit over 100 pages (assuming you follow the dropping-183 pattern and only reprint his pages from 200, not the whole thing), I'm not sure who would think it's better to split this into two thin books rather than one decent sized one.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More on Gaiman and PRINCE OF STORIES

Well, as long as I still got Gaiman on the brain(and I want to write something about THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, which is as of right now my favourite of his novels. And he has a new book with drawings by Charles Vess that I need to read), there was some discussion recently over at Steve Bissette's site about how little notice some of the noteworthy bits revealed in PRINCE OF STORIES have gotten in the comic press. Here's a bit more about two of them [later edited to add some names and numbers now that they've been posted elsewhere online].

Regarding Miracleman, there are actually several bits I didn't know revealed in the discussion of the legal situation regarding the character, but the most important is the identity of a heretofore unrevealed player in the game, a company named Emotiv which has recently (in 2007) signed a deal with Mick Anglo for his rights to the character and which is working to untangle the situation, and Gaiman's statement that he's talked to them and "wish[es] them well", which reading between the lines you'd have to assume means he can see working with them to at least reprint and maybe continue the series at some point.

So that's good news. I long ago decided that, absent anyone being able to produce signed paperwork saying he isn't, Anglo is the only one with a clear claim to Marvelman/Miracleman (with the individual writers and artists having claim to the rights of the actual pages they worked on), so hopefully something that affirms that will stand. The actual dollar figure (or rather, pound figure) that Gaiman quotes Anglo as selling for (£4000) seems a bit low for the value of the franchise, so hopefully Anglo also has some continued participation in future profits, and hopefully there will be such future profits.

Anyway, that's the first real good news on that front in a while, and while a resolution may still be some distance away, it's a light in the tunnel.

(Steve Bissette indicates he's less optimistic, knowing more than he could include in the book. So it's possible I read things between the lines that weren't there, or that I just assume people will behave in a rational way, never a good assumption with some of the people with skin in this game. And my completely unfounded speculation on the nature of Emotiv over here)

Less good news comes in the long interview with Gaiman in the back of the book, where he discusses the continued absence of a "Sandman issue zero" comic book series he was hoping to write, which builds on the backstory of what Morpheus was doing before the first issue of the series to be so exhausted that he could be captured as he was. Gaiman's made a few brief public statements before about the series not being done because he couldn't work out a deal with DC, but this is the first place I've seen him go into detail on that, which is a fascinating, if frustrating, look behind the curtains of the backwards world of comics.

In simple terms (and with some commentary and wisecracks by me), Gaiman figured the work to do the series would be about the work he'd do to write a full-length novel, so wanted to make a comparable amount of money (after having already accepted a pitifully low advance and royalty for ENDLESS NIGHTS as a "charity project" a few years before), while DC seemed happy to stick with their 1987 rate and royalty plan, from back when the market was completely different, when the idea of comics staying in print in perpetuity was crazy talk. Not expecting DC to actually pay the kind of advance that's routine in other publishing for such a high-profile almost guaranteed hit, he tried to come up with a deal that would increase his royalties (from 4% to 6%) on the whole SANDMAN library enough so that over the next 16 years, if sales held up at their current pace, he'd get as much extra as he would have for a prose novel, to justify taking the time from other projects to write it (note the 6% is still small compared to what he gets for his prose books, even considering the artists' share). DC countered with an offer considerably less than that (the same numbers Gaiman was asking, but only for 18 months, so effectively less than 10% of what Gaiman proposed), and thus we didn't see the book last year, and won't until enough key people at DC change their minds or depart (and to be fair, Gaiman mentions that several people at DC were willing, but some weren't, and he still gets along with them fine).

Which is a shame, since that's a book I kind of want to read. Maybe it's for the best, since it would be hard for it to be as good as I'm imagining, so it would almost by definition be a disappointment, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.

A Tale of Three Coralines

So, I read Neil Gaiman's novel CORALINE back around 2002 when it was published. I liked it well enough, not as much as some obviously did (winning as it did several major awards, including the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker awards), but then I'm kind of not the target for the book. I did find it suitably creepy and imaginative, and would certainly recommend it as a gift to a bright 10-year-old girl (which was eventually the fate of my copy). By contrast, Gaiman's recent THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, strikes right at the heart of the dopey 10-year-old boy in me.

Anyway, with Gaiman on the brain lately I decided to check out, in order, the recent comic book adaptation of CORALINE by P. Craig Russell, the film adaptation by Henry Selick and, during my driving time the last few days, the audiobook of the novel read by Neil Gaiman (and though obviously not part of the audiobook, still intrinsically tied to the Dave McKean illustrations from the print book, which I just discovered I can see, along with several ones not included in the book, on my computer screen with a downloadable copy I've just borrowed from the library without leaving my desk. Ain't technology grand?).

(as an aside, this is the first time I listened to an audiobook in the car. I guess there's an art to it I haven't mastered yet, since I'm not sure I would have absorbed a substantial amount of it if it wasn't a story I was already familiar with. I suppose that comes with practice)

Anyway, it's kind of bizarre experiencing the same basic story in such different versions in such a small period of time, and I got to thinking about the very different approaches to adaptation between the comic and the movie. As you'd expect if you're familiar with Russell's prior work, he maintains a great deal of fidelity to the original, following the structure of the prose story closely, using substantial amounts of the words straight from the book, cutting out some stuff where the images do the job of the description, taking advantage of the comics form, and other stuff no doubt for space constraints or simply because it wouldn't have as much impact in comics as it did in prose.

The movie is a much looser adaptation. The biggest thing is the addition of a whole new major character, the boy Wybie, so everything dealing with him is original to the screen story. And that, really, I just didn't get. Maybe if I didn't know that he didn't belong he wouldn't have been as jarring, but he really didn't fit. There's much more though, things added, taken out or changed all over the place, until you can barely recognize it.

I'm really not sure what I think of the movie at this point. I can't really say I liked it. I'm sure I'd have liked it more if I hadn't been familiar with the original story, but I'm not sure even then it would have risen to the level where I liked it. Appreciated it on a technical level, sure, and liked some parts of it, but it just felt off, somehow.

I mean, I hate to be that guy, as they say. That guy who complains about every little bit of a film adaptation that deviates from the original of a beloved favourite. The "Where's Tom Bombadil? It's a travesty without Tom Bombadil!" guy. For one thing, CORALINE obviously isn't a beloved favourite for me, it's a book I kind of liked. And for another, I kind of expect and want an adaptation to take liberties. That's kind of the point. To pick one of several examples that come to mind, I love the novel SHOELESS JOE, but I like the movie FIELD OF DREAMS even more (in that case I did see the movie first), and I'm always fascinated by how almost every single thing that they changed was for the better, how things that wouldn't work as well on film (like the twin brother) were eliminated and compensated for. Mostly I'm impressed by how the two versions of the story feel the same despite their differences.

And that's what I think I don't get about the film CORALINE. The novel, on paper or read by Gaiman, and Russell's comic book version, those feel like the same story being told. A dark, creepy, dreamlike story, full of quiet horror, designed to make you feel uneasy. I like that. The movie, on the other hand, is loud. It's bombastic. It takes everything that even hints at noise in the original story and amplifies it, turns it up to 11. Which is obviously Selick's style, this is a movie very much in line with his previous movies I've seen (NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH).

I just end up wondering why make an adaptation which feels so different from the original. Oddly, the last movie I remember wondering about was also based on a Gaiman story, the film version of the Gaiman/Vess novel STARDUST. My reaction then was that the film-makers seemed to want badly to make a movie like THE PRINCESS BRIDE, and twisted the quite different STARDUST until it fit that role (whereas THE PRINCESS BRIDE is another great example of a film which remained true to its source in remarkably clever ways). And this isn't any kind of an "affront to the author" thing, I know Gaiman participated at least in the promotion of those movies, and maybe in some levels of the production when those changes were made, and seems quite happy with them. It's just that liking CORALINE and STARDUST, I'd kind of like to see someone make a movie that does what they do.

I'm rambling at this point. I had more of a structure in mind when I started typing this, but now it's become more of an excuse to muse on such things. Anyway, as of today I think my favourite version of the story is Russell's adaptation, which feels right, keeps the right bits, makes some smart cuts and looks just gorgeous (and out in paperback for a bargain price of $10 in just a few weeks, still available in a nice hardcover for not much more). I still like the prose version, on paper or read out loud, maybe even a bit more now than when I first read it. But I guess the movie just isn't for me, as pretty as it sometimes is.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big Numbers #3 (with cover?)

Pádraig Ó Méalóid has, with Alan Moore's permission, posted scans of photocopies of the complete 40-page story from the unpublished BIG NUMBERS #3. Fully lettered, too, unlike the unlettered photos of several pages floating around before.

Be warned, though, that there has long been a lot of bullshit going around about what exactly these pages are, and what exactly the fate of BIG NUMBERS was, so take the pages for what they are and don't believe anything you read about them or the book in general without questioning your source.

My understanding (and apply my caveat in the previous paragraph doubly to me) is that this third issue is primarily Sienkiewicz art, with perhaps varying levels of assistance from Al Columbia, and that the issue which Columbia took over was #4, and that's the one where the fate of the artwork is much rumoured about and in dispute.

(I'm not sure if the art above was from an ad for #3 or was to be the cover or what)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have to say, I've found Eddie Campbell's trio of books published by First Second over the last three years to each be somewhat of a disappointment, though in widely different ways. On the other hand, they had quite a high bar to clear given Campbell's earlier work, and they're still kind of pretty and interesting as Eddie Campbell failures go. I'll take disappointing Campbell (except maybe some super-hero stuff he co-wrote) over most creators' average.

I mean, FATE OF THE ARTIST, had some moments that were quite brilliant, which made it a worthy next stage to Campbell's "Alec" stories, but that stuff made up less than half the book, and most of it left me cold, which "Alec" never did. THE BLACK DIAMOND DETECTIVE AGENCY, now that was weird. It was Campbell's slightly ambitious adaptation of what appears to be a thoroughly unambitious unproduced screenplay for a by-the-numbers western movie. Surprisingly, I think it was the best of the three, despite its origins. I mean, part of Campbell's reputation when working with someone else's writing (mostly Alan Moore) is managing to succeed with stuff which should be impossible, so it's not surprising he can succeed with something more bland. It's a thoroughly readable book, but not too memorable.

And now I've read Campbell's third First Second book (that's a weird sentence...), THE AMAZING REMARKABLE MONSIEUR LEOTARD, co-written with Dan Best. It manages to be both the best and worst of the three. It's certainly the most daring, a radical departure from both Campbell's previous work and from the genre standards that BLACK DIAMOND is based on. A plain plot description is odd enough (the nephew of a famed 19th century circus aerialist inherits his uncle's name and act, taking him and his trope of oddballs through historical events like the siege of Paris and the sinking of the Titanic), but doesn't begin to address the oddness of the storytelling. Parts of it work quite well for me, but more often then not it doesn't. Whimsy is a hard tight-rope to walk at the best of times, and I have to consider that if I read it in the right mood and at the right time it would work perfectly.

But I didn't, so for now I can't really say I like it. A few chuckles, a few groans, very few laughs. I'm more than open to pulling it off the shelf and dusting it off ten years from now, and have a completely different impression, and I'll still always admire its ambition, if not its execution.

And of course I'll probably be around for whatever Campbell does next. It looks like definitive editions of his ALEC and BACCHUS work are in the pipeline, so I'll happily line up to get what's probably my third of fourth (but hopefully final) copy of many of those stories.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Open Letter to DC Comics, re: Quality Control

Since DC seems to not have any public editorial e-mail address

To anyone at DC Comics who might care,

You know, I really want to like DC Comics. You currently control the publishing rights to some hundreds of thousand of pages of great comic book stories, and despite some misgivings I'm pretty happy to hand over my money when you reprint some of that stuff. By comparison, I have to figuratively hold my nose when buying reprints that, for example, Marvel puts out.

Unfortunately, you don't make it easy.

A case in point, the recent hardcover SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING Volume 1 (ISBN 978-1401220822). Now, this reprints some great comics books, and you finally had a chance to fix up any number of things from the previous edition, and you made a good start. You finally include #20 of the series, the first one Alan Moore wrote. You include all the covers, absent from the paperback edition. The paper is pretty good for the colouring (though perhaps still less than the quality of the work deserves, but I understand if the sales you expect don't warrant wholly new colour separations). The cover was quite nice, thankfully not any of the covers you used when soliciting the book.

But for some reason you can't resist mucking it up. For example, I can't fathom why you would take out Moore's text introduction from the paperback (and the accompanying John Totleben illustrations). That just makes it less of a book. Was it really an either/or for including the introduction or the covers? Would adding a half-dozen pages really have broken the bank?

But most importantly, this is page 23 of THE SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #24:

In case you missed it, this is the last line of the story:


You wouldn't know that from your new "deluxe" edition, which omits that line, ending the story in mid-sentence. The equivalent of having the last scene of KING KONG be "Well, Denham, the airplanes got him." and muting the next line.

Anyway, that's among the reasons I find this new edition unacceptable. If it was done right, I was perfectly willing to buy it, and the subsequent volumes, despite having most of those stories in both their original serializations and the paperback editions. So that's about US$150 retail you won't see from me. And while I won't pretend that I'll stop buying any DC books, I think as of now the company joins Marvel as a company I have to hold my nose to buy from.

[Adding... Artist of that page Steve Bissette posts about it here and here, also confirming that the lettering is directly on the original art boards, making its disappearance even more baffling]


Just a few recent things round the net I thought were worth a mention.

If you haven't read them, Todd Klein's logo studies are some great fun, tracing the evolution of various classic comic book logos through the decades.

Steve Bissette has been posting (and selling) some amazing new artwork on his site this year. All the Bissette faves, dinosaurs, zombies, Swamp Thing, Godzilla, and some unexpected stuff. Start here for a good one and follow the links.

Rick Veitch has been posting some great old and new stuff, as well. Boy, Bissette, Veitch. There really needs to be a Totleben blog to complete the set...

In the meantime, we do have Scott McCloud's new blog, and that's not nothing.

Harry Mendryk looks as the early issues of Simon & Kirby's BLACK MAGIC in his indispensable S&K Blog, which is a good way to get ready for the authorized S&K reprints coming from Titan in a few months.

Neil Gaiman on his recent appearance on THE COLBERT REPORT (for Canadian viewers, see here). I'm pretty impressed that it was done without preparation. I assumed watching it that there was a pre-interview of some sort, where things like Tom Bombadil were mentioned, so that's why Colbert was ready with the song, but no, I guess he's actually that much of an Lord of the Rings fan...

Chuck Dixon has a dozen pages of a Punisher western drawn by Russ Heath that was never published.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BOOKHUNTER by Jason Shiga

Being old, cranky and set in my ways, I mostly like my comics old, or at least done by the same creators who did the comics I already like. Still, I do try to read a bunch of new and different stuff, often with the help of the Toronto public library system, which I highly recommend. I'm often disappointed with the random sampling of stuff I get from there, but fortunately that doesn't cost me anything but time, of which I have more than enough, and sometimes I come up with a gem.

That's the case this time, with BOOKHUNTER, a 2007 book by Jason Shiga, published by Spark Plug Comics. As you might guess from the fact that I went into all that stuff in the first paragraph, the book is about libraries. Specifically, it's about library police. Yes, it's set in a weird and wonderful world where the library has its own police force, with all the trappings of standard fictional police forces, including firearms and labs. The most relevant modern description would be to imagine it as CSI: LIBRARY, though it's probably closer to the 87th Precinct police procedurals of Ed McBain (which, of course, were an obvious influence on the CSI type shows), especially since it's set in the early 1970s, so the level of technology is closer to the McBain books when they were good (1956 to around 1980) than to CSI when it was good (2001 to 2004, original show only).

Anyway, from this premise, Shiga manages to tell a brilliant (if insane) story about Special Agent Bay of the Library Police investigating the theft of a rare Bible from the Oakland Public Library. In the course of the investigation, we get a fresh look at all the common tropes of the procedural, like a locked room mystery, ridiculous twists, unnecessarily complicated criminal plots and red herrings, a lot of specialized jargon that may in fact be complete nonsense but which is delivered with such confidence that you can't help but believe it. Really, I can't do justice to how well Shiga manages to capture the rhythm and texture of one genre and apply it so seamlessly to his bizarre premise.

And the art works perfectly as well. Within a few pages I bought in to the world he was showing us completely, and he manages to nail both the action and the expressions better than most professional cartoonists.

This is one of the best books I've read by someone I've never heard of before in ages, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Shiga actually has the complete book online (and in quite a clever format), along with a lot of other comics, but I suggest you see if you can get a print copy first, maybe from your local library, to get the full effect.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My favourite referrer log term...

I just want to say, to whoever it was who found my site with the very specific search term:

peanuts "emotionally bankrupt"

God bless you, sir or madam. God bless you.

(I've updated the original post slightly to point to the strip in the official Peanuts archives, so you know it's real, and so you can see the surrounding days to see the strip really was out of left field)

EC - A Little Stranger! (Ingels)

Haven't done one of these in a while...

A Little Stranger!
art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein
Haunt of Fear #14 (1952)

A nice little bit of horror narrated by the Old Witch, and appropriately (you'll see why by the end of the story) Ingels really goes to town with her opening half-page portrait. In this story some violent deaths show signs of both vampire and werewolf attack, vexing the villagers until they realize that this must be the ultimate horror, the two creatures stalking the night together. And right they are, as we see the couple, Elicia and Zorgo, and we see Zorgo's dreams of their first meeting.

Of course, things can't last forever for the star cross'd lovers, and they're soon captured by the villagers and buried in the Devil's Graveyard. Unfortunately, I guess the villagers weren't up on their monster killer lore, since the creatures are alive as they ever were, and attended by the various ghouls and corpses of the graveyard they wed, and a year later arrives their daughter, who of course would grow up to be the Old Witch.

In 1953 we would find out that the Crypt-Keeper is the child of a mummy and a two-headed corpse who fell in love in a side show. I don't think the Vault-Keeper ever got an origin, did he?

Anyway, a couple of great images by Ingels in this one, in addition to the Witch's portrait opening the story, the wedding scene in the ruined old cemetery is just loaded with atmosphere.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PRINCE OF STORIES by Wagner, Golden & Bissette

Been reading through PRINCE OF STORIES, the recent book by Hank Wagner, Christoper Golden and Steve Bissette about the various works of Neil Gaiman in comics, prose, film and music/poetry. Lots of great stuff in there, and it got me to finally re-read the whole run of THE SANDMAN and related comics for the first time in one short period, which proved to be quite a different experience from either the original not-quite-monthly reading or the piecemeal re-reading I'd always done before.

I haven't read the whole book yet, I'll probably save the bits on the novels and films until sometime after I read or watch (or re-read or re-watch as the case may be) them in some vaguely planned future date, but a few highlights:

The section on Miracleman has a very clear summation of the legal situation surrounding the incomplete and out-of-print status of the series, and even had a few very noteworthy bits of information that I, as a more-than-casually interested observer, didn't know before, and which point to a possible resolution of the situation being somewhat closer than I expected (though maybe still a few years away). So that's good news.

The book also has a 50-page interview with Gaiman conducted by Wagner and Bissette, which covered a lot of general background on Gaiman and his work. Of particular interest was the information on a book that we unfortunately didn't see last year and won't see in the near future, a "Sandman issue zero" story of the sometimes vaguely alluded to background of what Morpheus was doing prior to being captured for 70 years in the first issue of the series. I had read Gaiman mentioning before how he wanted to do that story last year but couldn't come to an agreement with DC, but in here he goes into quite a bit more detail than I'd heard before about the disagreement which is a fascinating look at the sometimes short-sighted nature of the comic book industry. Still, it's a story I'd like to read someday, so hopefully sometime in the future people will change their minds or be replaced at the same time that Gaiman is interested in writing it.

In addition to the useful notes on Gaiman's work, the book also has an excellent selection of some rare, sometimes previously unpublished, bits of Gaiman's work that he made available to them. "Blood Monster", a 4-page horror story from TABOO drawn by Marlene O'Connor is vaguely unsettling without being explicit. Gaiman's extensive and amusingly fannish "Notes Towards a Vegetable Theology" is a treat, and a glimpse at what might have been if he'd had a run at Swamp Thing as was once planned. An unseen bit of his early journalism, describing a 1984 fantasy convention is enjoyable. Gaiman's original proposal for the various Tekno Comics series which carried his name are a lot more detailed than I expected, I'll have to take a look at the handful I have to see how much of that was intact.

There are also some short bits by various Gaiman collaborators which shed an interesting light on his work.  The most entertaining is an interview with Dave McKean, and Gaiman's reaction to it. Lots of stuff of interest comes out in the bits with Charles Vess, Craig Russell, Mark Buckingham and Jill Thompson. The short bit written by Mike Dringenberg is fairly enigmatic, and I always get the feeling that there's a lot more going on there that probably won't come out for years, if ever.

So all-in-all a highly recommended book if you're interested in several aspects of Gaiman's varied career.

Happy Birthday to Steve Bissette

Steve Bissette turns 54 today, so best wishes go out to him.

Friday, March 13, 2009


OPTICAL ALLUSIONS is the latest book by Jay Hosler published by his Active Synapse Comics. Two of Hosler's prior books, CLAN APIS (the life story of a bee) and THE SANDWALK ADVENTURES (Darwin explains the basics of evolution to a follicle mite) are among my favourite modern comics, mixing some great art, imaginative storytelling and good humour with solid science to tell stories that also inform. Or as his company slogan says, "Probably Good For Your Brain".

As you'd guess from the title and cover, Hosler's newest book takes a look at the workings and evolution of the eye. It follows the quest of a walking brain named Wrinkles to find the lost eye of his bosses, going through time and space and learning things as he goes. Along the way he encounters Charles Darwin, the super-hero Cow-Boy (from Hosler's comic strip and one-shot comic book), pirates, characters from Greek myths and mad scientists. It's all very strange, but entertaining, and informative as well. I did think that in the last few chapters some of the technical details bogged down the story and didn't flow as naturally as they did in the first half, or throughout Hosler's previous books, but then he's trying to describe something quite intricate.

A major change in this book from the previous two is that it makes a big shift towards the educational in the form of illustrated text chapters between the comic story chapters to explore the concepts in greater detail. I mostly skimmed through those the first time through the book, but they seem pretty clearly written at a grade-school level and with some good humour and real-world examples to keep it from being as dry as science texts can be. Truthfully, being pretty far removed from the age those are aimed at, I'd have preferred to see a lot more comics and a lot less textbook (it's about a 50/50 mix), but I think both sections of the book will work for the intended audience.

Hosler's cartooning is great throughout, very expressive, with imaginative character designs of some of the most absurd things, while still remaining very realistic for the more science oriented stuff.

Overall I recommend the book, although with a few more reservations than I would CLAN APIS or THE SANDWALK ADVENTURES. Definitely check those two out, and if you like what you see get this one too.

Here's a page I really enjoyed, from the Darwin chapter:

You can read more about the book, including a preview of the first six pages, in articles at Newsarama and Comic Book Resources.
Weblog by BobH [bobh1970 at gmail dot com]