By Unkie Dev
As April 1st approaches I’d like to highlight two books this week which will focus on the absurd, the silly and the wild. I’ll break it into two crowds, the Comic’s Journal elite and the Wizard reading masses.
Krazy & Ignatz in Tiger Tea, George Herriman, IDW press
In 1999 the Comics Journal rated the best comic strips of the 20th century. Krazy Kat came in at #1. Krazy & Ignats in Tiger Tea is the tip of the iceberg to Krazy’s charm, and the epitome of cartoonist George Herriman’s contributions to the art form.
WHY all the fuss over a scribbly comic essentially about a mouse that hits a cat in the head with a brick? Because Krazy Kat was creativity unbound! The simple premise and simple characters allowed for infinite creative ideas to flow, followed by gentle humor that spoke about ourselves, albeit in cute pigeon English.
In Tiger Tea, Herriman has his heroes drink a potent brew from a far away land. In a device to be stolen by every cartoonist afterward, hallucinations and bizarre visual flights of fancy ensue, making this ALREADY surreal comic strip the acme of strange for years to come.
If you like art comics, if you’d like to see how far the medium can be pushed or if you just want to look smart you NEED this collection from IDW press.
Nation X #4, Various, Peter Milligan (W), Mike Allred (A), Marvel
There’s always been silly superheroes but Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s unprecedented run on X-Force (later renamed X-Statix) stands as the defining weird and harrowing cape comic of the past ten years.
Milligan and Allred reintroduced superheroes in a post television world of marketing, licensing and paparazzi. X-Statix made Millar’s Authority look like “a nice try.” EVERY character was new, unique and strange, and none more so than Doop, a green floating smudge who could apparently destroy the world.
Rather than have their creations watered down, Milligan and Allred killed off all team members when Marvel pulled the plug on the book in 2004. Doop, the most iconic and absurdly beloved character has made a few brief appearances since then, including a Wolverine team up.
BOTH Milligan and Allred return for a Doop one shot in Nation X #3. And there was much rejoicing.
DC has some amazing books this week TBS, with Batman #698, Green Arrow #31, and Green Lantern Corps #46! I’ll be picking up IDW’s Last Resort TP, a mature title about zombies attacking an 80’s sexploitation set up.
Marvel, however, brings its own big guns in the form of 10-ton gorilla Siege #3 and Dark Avenger’s #15. There’s also a slew of fun Hulk books. Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1 (of 2) has the latest’s on Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s revamp of the fighting greek, and the Hulk war continues in Hulk #21 and Incredible Hulk #608!
All this and a NEW X-Factor book (X-Factor Forever #1) too?! You go Marvel!
COVER OF THE WEEK:
Kudos, btw, to Marvel for its Deadpool variant cover to Siege #3. It has a nice “We don’t take this $%@# seriously, why should you?” feel. To put that cover on the your expected best seller takes more chutzpah than I thought Marvel legal would let Marvel Publishing have!