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Episode 27

Wow! I am having so much fun reading lately.  This episode, I have a couple of favorites from my pull list, and the next installment in the Wonder Woman series.  Firstly, her star-spangled self.

Wonder Woman – The Circle

I am so happy to be getting into the Gail Simone run of Wonder Woman.  After some frankly mediocre storytelling, we finally get some 3 dimensional characters with honest feeling human motivations.  The ladies of the Circle are flawed and frightened, but willing to fight to defend what they cherish.  The story continues on with some of the plot points from the prior stuff, but is much more satisfying.   The art is still exceptional and gorgeous with more work from the Dodsons’ as well as some very good stuff from Bernard Chang in the Green Lantern story in the back of the book.  I do feel like it could be confusing to try to pick up the Wonder Woman title with this book, and I am glad that I deferred to Andy’s suggestion to start with Who Is Wonder Woman. But this really is the good stuff.

Chew Vol 01

Next, I am so glad that Chew is finally out collected so that I can tell you to go and read it.  This is one of the weirdest books that I get, but I love it so much.  It has sold out every single issue so far, and for good reason.  Chew is the story of Tony Chu and his very special talent.  Tony is a cibopath.  That means he is a psychic who gets impressions from the things he eats.  Fruits, vegetables, meat.  People.  You know.  The story takes place in a sort of darkish future where chicken is outlawed, and only outlaws eat chicken.  Like I said – weird, but one of my very favorite things on my pull list.  Rob Guillory does the art, and as fun as the story is, I don’t think it would be half as successfull under a different artist.  Rob and writer John Layman should stick together, they make a great team.

The Unwritten Vol 01

Lastly, I have The Unwritten. This title, like Chew, I am subscribed to in single issues.  When I saw the first issue in Previews months ago, I knew that there was no way I was not going to sign up for it.  Written by Mike Carey with art by Peter Gross? Automatic addition to the pull list right there.  Combine that with a story about the power of stories and it goes right to the top of my stack every month when I take it home.  My only complaint about this series is the covers.  I actually like them as art, but as something to sell a non-reader on the series, they are disappointing.  If I were just scoping out the wall looking for something cool, I would almost certainly pass these by.  That would be a crying shame because this is one of my favorite titles since the Books of Magic series (also with art by Peter Gross).  This feels like the Vertigo stuff that got me to read comics in the first place.  Yay!

This was a fun podcast to do from a gear aspect as well.  I have a new microphone, and I really like the warmth I am getting out of it. Now I just need to work on my guitar playing and I can start writing angsty folk songs about the tragedy of secret identities, and how no one understands how alone super heroes are.  Or maybe I’ll leave the nerd music to talented people like Kirby Krackle.

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Episode 24

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. Candy, Costumes… Comics! Did I mention that Valley Manager Patrick has a Webcomic? And that he did a company portrait in the most recent one? I am so excited. I think this is the first time I have been Comicked. And though I had not really considered Ricki Barnes as a costume, it looks so cool that I might have to do that next year.

So it seems like every where I look in the last couple of weeks, I see Wonder Woman. No, not ladies in Halloween costumes, but comics, merchandise, new tpb collections, and my new personal favorite, Wonder Of Wonders, the column at Comic Books Resources edited by Gail Simone. There are 12 so far, and as I work my way backwards through them, I am absolutely loving them. I grew up idolizing Wonder Woman. I would put tinfoil on my wrists, and spin around until I got dizzy, trying to get my clothes to magically turn into her bustier and boots. (never worked. not once.)

Wonder Woman Vol 01 Who Is Wonder Woman Written By Allan Heinburg, Art by Terry and Rachel DodsonWonder_Woman_3_1
This week, I look at the first collection in the new reboot, Who Is Wonder Woman. This collection tells the story of Wonder Woman, post 52, as she tries to make sense of her place in the world after killing Max Lord in front of the whole world. She gets gets a new job and new secret identity, and she has some huge battles. Allen Heinburg brings his empathy and understanding of female characters to this book, writing well-rounded interesting women. I enjoy this book as a beginning, but I feel that they use too many villains at once, sort of diluting her and making her rogues gallery look sort of wimpy. I do like the bones of the story though, and I absolutely love the art. The Dodsons draw some beautiful, powerful women, and for all the eye candy, it doesn’t feel exploitative. It’s just good.
runaways_01Runaways Vol 01 Pride & Joy Written By Brian K Vaughn Art By Adrian Alphona
Speaking of good, let’s talk Runaways. I have a couple of series in my store that I can confidently hand to just about anyone. Fables, Walking Dead, Preacher. Solid stories with solid artwork. Great characters, compelling stories. Good Comics. Runaways falls very neatly into that category. I can send one person home with it, and a handful of their friends will come in to pick it up after borrowing the first one. I will say that I am annoyed that you can get the first collection in at least 4 different editions: digest, trade paperback, premier hardcover, and deluxe hardcover. For my new readers, that can be kind of a minefield. At the same time, being able to buy them collected in their original size is nice. I have the digests, but I covet the deluxe hardcovers.
Will you look at the time! It’s getting late and Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals is calling me. I can hear it from here, footnotes and all.

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Well everyone, It’s time for SDCC. It would be so awesome if I could be there, interviewing creators and readers, talking comics with some alpha nerds. Eating good sushi. But it is not meant to be. I’ll just have to live vicariously through all the people who’s blogs and websites I follow.

If any of you guys go, drop me a report. Or get Gail Simone to sign something to me or something.

Anyway, The Books!

Madame Xanadu Vol 01 Disenchanted
Written by Matt Wagner, Pencils by Amy Reeder Hadley

This title is Nominated for 4 Eisners this year, and I really think it has a good chance. I loved the story, but for me, this book’s big deal is the art. Amy Reeder Hadley’s previous manga style blends beautifully into a rich more western look. Little things from the attention to detail on Madame Xanadu’s jewelry, to the different emotions seen on the people’s faces in the mob at the beheading of Marie Antionette, give this piece an extra layer of depth. This book is one of my new favorites, and I’m going to be putting it into as many hands as possible. As soon as I get it back in stock.

Dresden Files Storm Front Vol 01
Story by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers
Art by Adian Syaf

I had a lot of fun with this. Having read the novel, I already had a good idea what I thought this story looked like. Jim Butcher writes in a very visually descriptive manner, so seeing it translated to page this way is really cool. I feel like they got the important details of the story in with visual storytelling, avoiding the common pitfall in bad novel adaptations of having tons of text explaining the significance of things. I am looking forward to more of this.

Yokai Doctor Vol 01
by Yuki Sato

This really feels like a ground laying first book. They tell the initial adventure twice, from the different perspectives of the 2 main characters, and it doesn’t feel like it goes very deep. That said, what is here is a fun, light story with pretty artwork. I would be willing to keep reading to see if it gets more involved, but without a little more going on in the story, this is not a must for me.

This will be a weekend of comics news, and I will be watching the blogs like crazy. People are promising big announcements, Warren Ellis is in town, and I am far away. At least I get to work in the garden.

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Hey all. So in this week’s newsletter from The Comic Book Shop, my boss gives me crap for not updating my podcast. Fortunately I cave easily to guilt, so here we are.I am doing another minicast tonight. I think it’s very likely that I will be doing these on a weeknight from here on out, I just need to figure out how to get all my ducks in a row. so to speak.

Any way…

Welcome to Hoxford – Story and art by Ben Templesmith.

I rather like this dark, blood drenched, prison romp. Not for younger readers, unless you want to have to explain necrophilia and cannibalism to your youngling. Gorgeous art and great creepy story.

Dynamo5 – Story by Jay Faerber, Art by Mahmud Asrar

Great superhero team book. The more I think about it, the more it feels like a chick book. The leader is a woman, one of the big villains is a woman, and the men are really beefcakey. I also love that the artist gives all of the characters unique bodies, even the women. No “same body, different hair-do”.

Ok, That’s all for tonight. Tomorrow is going to be an especially fun New Comics Day. Every one needs to go to their comic book shop (or mine) and get a Wednesday Comics from DC. I have been looking forward to this thing like crazy. There’s also a new Unwritten, and the beginning of the Green Lantern cross Blackest Night. So much nerdy coolness!

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I have functional equipment, and I have read some really great books.

First up is Bayou by Jeremy Love with colors by Patrick Morgan

This came out a couple of weeks ago, and I totally fell in love with it. Unfortunately, (for me) I sold it before I could finish reading it. This is one I have to have in my personal collection. I just need to get it back in stock so I can buy it. Dark and beautiful, and not really for little kids, this would make a good title for teens and grown-ups. Click the image for Bayou’s Zuda page to read it online.

Next up is Vertigo’s House of Mystery Vol 2

You guys may remember my love for the 1st volume in this series, and my passion continues unabated. This title is so much fun, and so creepy that I read it in one sitting and I can hear it calling to me from the next room for re-reading. I especially love that they are starting to reference Cain and Abel in this new series and the when Abel walks back in to the book, it’s like he has just been hanging out (at the House of Secrets?) and waiting. Sturges and company nail him perfectly, continuing to let this book settle into it’s roots.

I have lots more on my shelf, and right at the top right now are Planetary and Dynamo 5, so expect to hear on those coming up.

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