My brain is on comic book overload. I’ve been packing, shipping, printing and planning for San Diego Comic Con this week. Traveling with a manual credit card slammer isn’t normal, but for SDCC it is. If you’re going, visit me at booth 1718 for Fantagraphics! But if you’re not going, there’s plenty of comics right where you are! And way less crowded.
100th Anniversary Special #1 The Avengers– Holy fing moly. Besides the fact that Marvel decided to speed up time and pretend that they’ve already been around for 100 years, they’ve also decided to that the best way to celebrate one of their most successful series would be to have James Stokoe headline it with words and art. King of gradients, emperor of hyperlines, and owner of a brain that gives us some of the most original worlds we have ever seen and felt. Stokoe is known for original works like Orc Stain, Wonton Soup, and for the IDW Godzilla series (the good one), but picking up the mantle on familiar characters like Dr. Strange, Rogue and Beta Ray Bill, will definitely give you a different perspective on stories you thought you knew. Besides being set in 2061, the acid trip meets Aztecan atmosphere of a Stokoe Avengers world is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Mike Mignola’s Hellboy Artist Edition– If the Steranko Artist Edition book released last week was literally too much to handle, then the slightly smaller, but just as fantastic, Mignola Helboy book should be a perfect match for you and all your little monsters. For over 20 years, Mike Mignola has proven himself to be one of the most consistent and visionary artists with his titular, and fan favorite character, Hellboy. Shown in their oversized and rough stages, this book includes the first five issues of Hellboy in Hell, supplemental material, and work from Nextmen, The Corpse, and more. There’s no better way to follow the process and progress of your favorite artists than through their artist edition pages.
Groo vs. Conan #1– What happens when the ultimate parody goes to battle against the barbarian that spawned his arrival? The Mr. Magoo of the warrior sword clashing comic world, Groo has been one of the most successful original characters, created in early ‘80s by Sergio Aragones. But now he’s bumbled his way into battle against the King of Barbarians, Conan, the mightiest fighter. Will they be friend? Foe? Will Groo’s fate be left in the hands of Conan? The four-part miniseries that’s being written by Aragones, and Mark Evanier, and illustrated by Aragones with assist from Tom Yeates, sets out to settle one of the oldest questions to have ever plagued humankind, who would win a fight?
Zero #9– If you’ve been missing out on this series, this week should give you extra incentive to pick it up. Besides being the first new issue since May, and making it a good jumping on point (though you’re a fool to not pick up the trade), the official word came down last week that Zero is going to get to live on the big screen. Or the small screen. Depends on how big your TV is. There’s a long road from getting signing to production, but it’ll be exciting to see the espionage spy story, that’s really about male rage and the death of the American dream, be played out in a new medium. Ales Kot and his vast team of talents keep readers on their toes by mixing up artists, and dropping in unexpected twists and turns, just like the best spy stories.