Funnybook Babylon

October 28, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 29, 2008

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 by Brian Michael Bendis & David Lafuente (Marvel Comics): There comes a time in every young superhero’s life when someone decides to do an issue about their sex life. These “very special” issues have come with a range of tasteful comments from the creators:


I understand that teenage sexuality is a difficult subject for a lot of people. And, as is the custom, I won’t even mention black sexuality. But I don’t think that the people who read Static are afraid to explore storylines ground in the issues of contemporary life.

Dwayne McDuffie on the publication of Static #25


I called Bob Harras and said, “Excalibur #90, Kitty Pryde gets fucked.” He went deadly silent, then he said, “Just try and keep it tasteful.”

Warren Ellis on the publication of Excalibur #90

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Where will USM Annual #3 fall along the axis? Who knows, though it has the “added bonus” of being part of the MARCH ON ULTIMATUM, though I’m still not entirely sure what that means besides having a really ugly banner along the top.

Away from babies having babies in comics written for babies, two big fancy books by two sometimes-collaborators should be hitting the bookstore markets tomorrow:

Chip Kidd’s Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan (Pantheon) and Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library #19 (Drawn & Quarterly) are both familiar propositions from these two. The new Acme continues the sad tale of Rusty Brown, while Bat-Manga! follows Kidd’s Peanuts: The Art of Charles Schulz and the apparently out of print Batman Collected in being lovingly curated and photographed collections of art and ephemera dealing with a beloved cartoon icon. I don’t know if Ware contributed anything this time around.

Other bookshelf-ready pieces of graphic literature dropping this week that don’t involve people named C*** ****:

Bourbon Island 1730 by Lewis Trondheim & Appollo (First Second): What is it with Trondheim and ducks? Bourbon Island doesn’t appear to have any connection to Dungeon save for similarly ducklike protagonists: it’s an apparently well-researched historical yarn (foonotes and all!) about French colonists and pirates intermingling on the island now known as Réunion while an ornithologist (who happens to be a duck) tries to keep the dodo from going the way of itself. I picked this up awhile ago and have barely cracked it but it looks like the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from Trondheim and First Second. You’ll probably hear a podcast singing its praises in a few weeks, if history is any precedent.

Kill Your Boyfriend by Grant Morrison & Philip Bond (DC/Vertigo): This is a reprint of a one-shot originally put out under the “Vertigo Voices” banner, not to be confused with Vertigo Vérité, Vertigo Visions, Vertigo Pop!, V2K, Vertigo X, Helix, Paradox, Pirhanna, or Focus, though the surviving books from all of those imprints also got folded back into Vertigo after they shuttered. To put this in historical place in Morrison’s career, KYB was originally published in June 1995, about a year into The Invisibles, and right around the time fellow Glasweigians bis released their song of the same name. And while I loved Teen-C Power, at the time of KYB’s release I wasn’t loving “Arcadia” or this comic. It seemed to be part of the post-Tarantino/Marilyn Manson “edgy for the sake of it” zeitgeist more than Morrison’s typical borderline hippie line, and as an idealistic teen perhaps I saw myself more in the titular killed boyfriend than the roguish new boy. Since then I’ve come around on The Invisibles and read about how Morrison was trying to update the Dionysian myth, so I should probably give this another shot. Non-uptight-teenagers in our audience might even like it on the first go!

The Joker by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo (DC Comics): Hey, it’s the Joker! It’s the team that did Lex Luthor: Man of Steel! It’s DC dipping a blockbuster-movie-girded toe into the original graphic novel pond! Every single blog in the world besides ours got an advance review copy, so go ask them how the book is. The only one I have read is Eddie Campbell’s welcome insight.

Screamland volume 1 by Harold Sipe & Hector Casanova (Image Comics): I’ve touted this mini-series before, when it was coming out in singles. Everything I said about the first issue still applies; I look forward to Jonathan Hickman and Sipe having a series of green-screen video debates about creator-owned comics in 2014!

Speak of the Devil by Gilbert Hernandez (Dark Horse Comics): I never paid much attention to Gilbert’s extracurriculars outside of Love & Rockets, but after our Sloth love-in podcast I feel like I’ve been making a big mistake. Luckily, this mini-series gets collected just in time for me to make amends!

The Tick: The Complete Edlund by Ben Edlund (New England Comics): I was a big fan of most of the black-and-white comedy books of the 1990s: Steve Purcell’s Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot Comics, Kyle Baker and Evan Dorkin’s various projects and so on and so forth. One book I never got into was The Tick, though it went on to become probably the best-known b&w comic property since the Ninja Turtles. Creator Ben Edlund has since moved onto the green pastures of television, but here’s a collection of all his Tick comics. Has anyone read them? Is this collection worth picking up?

For that matter, anything else worth picking up this week?


  1. I don’t think I have *quite* all of the Edlund Tick stuff (I have the first three trades of “The Tick” series but I think he did some other stuff), but I really, really like it. It’s definitely more mature than the cartoon series (which I also loved), but still light reading. I’d recommend it, although I can’t say for sure if you’d enjoy it.

    Comment by EndlessMike — October 29, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  2. Speak of the Devil is not to be missed. If David Lynch teamed up with G. Hernandez to make a film it would surely melt all of our brains.

    Comment by Zebtron A. Rama — October 29, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  3. Really? Dionysian myth through Tarantino? That kind of explains why I liked it even though I didn’t understand it because I was into greek mythology at the time.

    I gotta reread that.

    Comment by Gary Ancheta — October 29, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  4. I know it’s no consolation, but I didn’t get an advance copy, either. Hey…I said it was no consolation.

    Comment by Kevin Huxford — October 29, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  5. Man, I hated Kill Your Boyfriend when it came out. But I was also really lukewarm about Morrison then. Time to revisit, I guess. I’d almost forgotten that Invisibles was already out around that time.

    Comment by Jamaal Thomas — October 31, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

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