Friday, December 08, 2006

Closing the week: something for the political and social thinker: Keith Knight's ARE WE FEELING SAFER YET?

Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday: something for someone who loves the classics. Fantagraphics is bringing the original, classic POPEYE strips back into print and they're great!

Go read about 'em.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Continuing our week of books for everybody, we turn our attention to young female readership, as TOTALLY SPIES makes the jump from Cartoon Network to graphic novels.

Stocking stuffers, anyone?


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My favorite manga: no doubt about it, it's NODAME CANTABILE.

Go see why.


Monday, December 04, 2006

A bit of a theme week starts today, as I take a look at books that are good for all audiences. First up: A BIT HAYWIRE, a cute look at a young boy who gains superpowers that he can't quite control.

Suitable for all ages.


Sunday, December 03, 2006


Welcome back to a new edition of the BLOG EXTRA. This week, two from Harris Publications, home to comics’ sexiest vampire, Vampirella!

VAMPIRELLA INTIMATE VISIONS: JOE JUSKO #1 is sort of the comics equivalent of a special edition DVD. The book reprints VAMPIRELLA: BLOOD LUST #1, which was written by James Robinson and drawn by Jusko, and along the bottom of the page, Jusko provides commentary about how he designed and painted the art. There’s also a lengthy interview and sketchbook at the back, as well as a step-by-step look at how Jusko goes from a sketch to digitally painting a cover. This is a nifty idea, for many reasons, and Jusko is an excellent artist to put through this process. As a side bit of fun for me, VAMPIRELLA: BLOOD LUST #1 was the first comic ever sent to me for review by a publisher, eons ago when I posted reviews on Usenet, so this was an unexpected blast of nostalgia. Back then, I was working from black and white photocopies, so it was a treat to finally see the book in color and on nice paper.

Multiple writers provide stories for artist Mark Texeira in VAMPIRELLA PRESENTS: TALES OF PANTHA, a trade paperback collecting the cat-woman’s best under one cover. Pantha was a product of one of comics’ darker eras: the rise of the “bad girl” character. The “bad girl” was known for wearing very little in the way of clothing, kicking a lot of ass, and twisting her body in poses only seen in the pages of HUSTLER. Real stories with plots and logic were hard to find in that era, and this trade gets off to a weak start because of that very phenomenon. Mark Millar pits Vampirella against Pantha, but there’s very little story to be had, just gore and cheesecake. However, the rest of the book is actually filled with sincere work. Writers David Conway and Steven Grant build a mythology around Pantha and give her adversaries that work within that mythology. Dan Jolley also contributes a terrific piece that uses Pantha for perfect effect and delivers a gut punch of an ending. These last bits are a perfect example for writers: a cheesecake book can work and be perfectly readable if you provide compelling character moments and plots worth the time to read. TALES OF PANTHA, minus Millar’s story, succeeds in doing so.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be here through the week for site updates, and back again next weekend with an all-new CWR WEEKEND BLOG EXTRA!