Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

What I bought, read, watched, or otherwise consumed – August 2022

Everything that exists is necessary, rational, and real. (Vissarion Belinsky, from “Menzel, Critic of Goethe”)


The Rush by Simon Spurrier (writer), Nathan Gooden (artist), Addison Duke (colorist), and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (letterer). $17.99, 163 pgs, Vault Comics.

It’s 1899, and the Yukon Gold Rush is in full swing, and Nettie Bridgen arrives in Canada looking for her son, who went off with her husband to find his fortune, but when she found the husband, he was drunk in a saloon with no son in sight. Nettie arrives in the town of Brokehoof, where things are a bit weird. This is a cool horror comic from Spurrier, who knows what he’s doing, and Gooden, who ought to be better known. Nettie learns that there are strange monsters in the woods surrounding the town, and that no one can leave the town, except possibly her herself. She befriends the local Mountie, but he has secrets of his own, and she discovers clues about her son that lead her to believe he’s still alive, so she sticks around even though things aren’t very pleasant. Of course, Nettie has secrets too, and everything comes out eventually, with bloody and horrifying results. This is a keen comic, with Spurrier tapping into humanity’s baser instincts, and he does a nice job keeping us on our toes even though we can feel where the story is headed. He also cleverly ties it into “real” history, as the people in the book are concerned with the government and what they might be up to, so the book still feels grounded in the real world even though we get characters like that dude on the cover with the swirly face. Gooden’s art is terrific, as he does a wonderful job with the isolation of the town and how that could create madness, while his monsters are very nifty. He does a really good job of creating a sense of creeping evil, which goes along well with Spurrier’s script. This is an interesting, intellectual horror story, and that’s pretty cool.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Don’t have to tell me twice!

Swamp Thing volume 2: Conduit by Ram V (writer), Mike Perkins (artist), John McCrea (artist), Mike Spicer (colorist), Aditya Bidikar (letterer), and Ben Meares (collection editor). $16.99, 132 pgs, DC.

Ram V continues to play the hits, as Swamp Thing meets up with John Constantine, fights the Suicide Squad, and struggles with an old white man who wants to use his body, and Jason Woodrue is there. You might think I’m being cynical, but this is the second-best comic I read this month, so I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just that the long shadow of Alan Moore continues to fall over the character, even though Venkatesan tried something new by tying the avatar to an Indian person, so his perspective is a bit different. The plots and the way they unfold are well done, even with the familiarity – he throws Swampy into London, and Swamp Thing in the big city is always fun; he does some clever things with Parasite and the Squad; Swamp Thing’s nemesis, in many ways, is more his brother than Old White Dude, so that’s nice. In flashbacks, there’s a bit of tension between Levi and his father over the land and Levi’s companies attempts to buy it, but I wish there was a bit more, because it seems like Venkatesan isn’t totally writing it as if Levi’s father – who wants to hold onto the “old ways” – is 100% right, and I’m always interested in someone bringing a bit more nuance to the argument over “traditional” versus “modern” – read “American” – ways. Of course the Evil Old Capitalist is Evil, but it feels like Venkatesan has a bit more on his mind about what do with the land than just “it should stay the way it always has been.” We shall see.

McCrea provides the excellent art for the Constantine story, and then Perkins jumps back in for the rest of the book, and it’s stellar as usual. He does a really nice job making the vegetation menacing when Swamp Thing fights the Squad, and his design for Levi’s brother is creepy and powerful. Spicer’s lurid colors are perfect for a book that feels overloaded by the natural world, as the “green” feels like it’s exploding off the page as Levi fights for his life. It’s a gorgeous comic.

Despite the vague feeling of déjà vu (which is probably going to happen with every Swamp Thing story from now until the sun goes nova), this is a very good series so far. I hope it continues!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Yeah, well, rats aren’t stupid, so they get out of the way!

Newburn volume 1 by Chip Zdarsky (writer), Jacob Phillips (artist/colorist), and Allison O’Toole (editor). $16.99, 140 pgs, Image.

I don’t love everything Zdarsky writes, because occasionally it seems like he thinks he’s so clever that his ideas will just work without him doing any work, but when he doesn’t get cute, he can write a good story. This is one of them! He gives us Easton Newburn, who used to be a clean cop in a corrupt world who decided to quit and make some real money … so he became a private investigator for mobsters. He works exclusively for crime organizations, figuring out mysteries that involve their people and whether some gangster getting killed has anything to do with a feud or such within the criminals’ world or if it’s just something else. It’s an interesting conceit – Newburn makes sure that no one goes off half-cocked and starts a war, so the cops allow him to operate – and Zdarsky does a nice job with it. Newburn has the respect of the criminals, and while the cops don’t like him, they know he’s essential. In the first issue, he takes on an assistant (in a clever way, but I won’t spoil it), and “Emily” (not her real name!) becomes the POV character, as she tries to learn about her new employer and therefore, we learn about her new employer. The first several issues are ones-and-done, but then we get a longer story that involves Emily herself and why Newburn found her where she was in issue #1. Phillips does his usual nice work on the art, which is Phillips the Elder-lite (it’s not quite as harsh as Sean’s, and I mean “harsh” in the nicest possible way), and his colors are terrific, as always. It’s a comic that demands grittiness, and Phillips provides it.

This could easily be the only volume of Newburn we get, but it could also be the beginning of a long run. I certainly hope it’s the latter, because it’s pretty keen.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Don’t fuck with Newburn!

Farmhand #16-20 by Rob Guillory (writer/artist), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (colorist), and Kody Chamberlain (letterer). $19.95, 130 pgs, Image.

Farmhand is in the home stretch, as the next arc is the last one, so Guillory ratchets up the tension nicely in this one, as the “bad guy” from the first part of the series has taken over the town and turned everyone into human-plant hybrids, with an eye to expanding outward into the world. This arc sets up the new status quo and then shows why Zeke is so important to the plan and what he plans to do about it. I don’t want to give too much away, but Guillory does a nice job with it, and even though the very dramatic ending of the arc feels inevitable early on, it still packs a lot of power. What Guillory does more overtly in this arc is link the drama to racism, which is logical given that it’s about a black family in Louisiana, and that part of the book is quite strong, because it’s something that Guillory (presumably) knows quite a bit about, and the way he ties it to the main plot is very well done. It’s more overt than you might expect, and usually, I’m more of a fan of subtext (and in the early parts of the book, the racism was a bit more subtle), but it works here, because Guillory knows how to use metaphors and literalism quite well. The art, as usual, is terrific, and while the line work remains great, Beaulieu coming on board as colorist has helped, too. Taylor Wells colored the book early on, and his work was fine, but he started, I think, as a color flatter, and his colors are just that – flatter. Beaulieu is more skilled at rendering, it seems, and the art has a bit more depth and richness thanks to his colors. The tone of the book is darker now that the bad guy has “won,” so perhaps it’s just that Beaulieu is asked to do deeper colors and Wells wasn’t, but it just feels lusher than the first 15 issues. It looks great, in other words.

Guillory wrote in the back of issue #16 that he didn’t mean to take two years off, but, you know, COVID. But it’s nice that the series is back, and I’m looking forward to the final arc!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

I mean, that’s just not neighborly

King Conan by Jason Aaron (writer), Mahmud Asrar (artist/colorist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Travis Lanham (letterer), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Drew Baumgartner (assistant editor), and Mark Basso (editor). $17.99, 130 pgs, Marvel.

I bought this almost, but not quite, solely because of Asrar, even though I tend to like Aaron’s non-superhero work, but the story turned out to be pretty good, as well. I got the first issue when it came out, and I would have been happy with Conan slaughtering his way across a haunted island for 5 or 6 issues, but Aaron actually does have something else on his mind, which is nice. There is a great deal of slaughtering, and Conan kind of working with Thoth-Amon is interesting, but the story is really about Conan and his son, who mostly appears in flashback, and what happens when Conan decides that his son needs to experience life like Conan did or he’ll be unprepared to be king. It’s an interesting take on the situation – not exactly original, but still interesting – and it gives both characters good depth that suits the way they live. Of course, the main action of the book is on the island, and Asrar, naturally, draws the hell out of it, with Conan and Thoth-Amon having to fight zombies and monsters almost constantly. Asrar is a superb artist, so of course he does fine work with that.

The “Pocahontas” controversy has vanished, naturally, because Marvel and Aaron changed things. I do very much wonder how much of issue #3 – where we learn “Princess Prima’s” origin – was changed from the single issue, because while it wouldn’t have been difficult to cover her up (and, come on, putting her in a metal bikini in the first place should have raised red flags, even if you didn’t know the character’s name was Pocahontas’s real name), it’s very clear from this collection that she’s Aztec and the dude she fell in love with was a Spanish conquistador, and Pocahontas … was not. So in the original issue, were those pages different? Did Asrar have to draw completely new pages? Or was she “Aztec” in the original and Aaron just called her Matoaka because he’s an idiot (and come on, his claim that he didn’t know the name seems idiotic, because how did he come up with it – simply put random letters together and they happened to be the birth name of Pocahontas?)? I mean, I suppose that’s possible, although it’s kind of dumb. And why would you do that anyway? I know writers of Conan use vague historical analogs for their people, following REH’s lead, but Aaron isn’t stupid, so couldn’t he have just not followed the historical example of the Aztecs and the Spanish? I mean, doesn’t he have an imagination? I get annoyed when writers simply take the path of least resistance. Use your goldanged brains, and maybe you won’t piss off so many Indigenous people next time. Sheesh.

Anyway, the controversy aside, this is a good book. It’s beautiful, of course, and deeper than you might think. That’s neat.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Like a woman riding a tiger would stop Conan!

Marvel pulled some fancy wrangling to get Amazing Fantasy to a 1000th issue (did they count every Spider-Man solo issue and add them all up? NO MAN CAN SAY!!!), but what the hell, it’s their sandbox, and if numbers mean nothing in the sandbox, who am I to judge? It’s just an excuse, for Spidey’s 60th anniversary, to do a fun anthology issue, and the book delivers. In order, we get: a story by Anthony Falcone and Michael Cho in which a crook keeps trying to steal things during big cosmic events because he thinks he’ll get away with it, but Spider-Man is always there to stop him. Cho is a terrific artist, so the story looks great, although the timeline – it seems like Spidey has been stopping this dude for decades – doesn’t make too much sense. Dan Slott and Jim Cheung do a story about an elderly Spider-Man still fighting the good fight, with Mary Jane fretting about him as usual, and it’s a pretty fun tale. Armando Iannucci, of all people, shows up with a Ryan Stegman-drawn story about a dude who makes the Daily Bugle affirm everyone’s worst conspiratorial beliefs, and it’s up to Spidey to stop him! Rainbow Rowell and Olivier Coipel have a nice story about Peter trying to sell “slice-of-life” pictures to Jameson and getting shot down, naturally. Ho Che Anderson, of all people, has a story about a mental patient whom Spider-Man rescues from a fire, nicely drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Kurt Busiek and the Dodsons have a sequel to Amazing Fantasy #15 … with a twist! It’s fun, and typical of Busiek. Jonathan Hickman, unable to help himself, has a story about all the multi-dimensional Spider-Men, drawn very nicely by Marco Checchetto. Finally, Neil Gaiman has a nice autobiographical story – one most of us have heard before, I’m sure – about his relationship with Spider-Man, and it’s drawn by Steve McNiven in that weird style that McNiven seems to be doing these days. There’s a few pages of a never-published mini-series that a Marvel marketing dude pitched, presented here because he died recently, so this is a tribute. So that’s nice. Overall, it’s a pretty good package. Nothing too earth-shattering, but good stories about one of the best superheroes in the world. I got the J. Scott Campbell cover because all of the covers sucked, and this was the least sucky one. Which is kind of sad, as it’s not that great.

Moving on, we get The Closet, a psychological horror story by James Tynion IV, who’s been doing a lot of cool shit recently. It’s about a boy who sees a monster in his closet, and his father’s efforts to get him to stop. It’s pretty good, but it is a bit obvious, and it doesn’t feel quite as deep as Tynion wants it to be. Still, it’s a decent drama, with nice art by Gavin Fullerton. Cold Bodies is a clever idea – years after a killing spree, the “final girl” starts believing the killer is back – but Magdalene Visaggio kind of biffs the ending, which is too bad. Like a lot of Visaggio’s work, it’s good until it isn’t, and it’s frustrating reading her work because of that. Thanos takes over the Eternals in the second volume of the series, but he does so democratically, so they can’t do anything about it. This is one of those comics that’s very competently put together, but it leaves me a bit cold, because the Eternals themselves are archetypes, not real human-ish characters. It’s annoying. Philip Tan does nice work on the second volume of Ronin in the ashcan for the new Frank Miller Presents comics, while Dan DiDio’s prelude to his story about two ancient alien enemies trapped on Earth looks … fine, I guess. We shall see. Emmy is back in Tales from Harrow County, as she’s in the big city but she’s being hunted/recruited by people who claim to be part of her “family,” which she doesn’t trust. Emmy is an interesting character, so it’s cool that Cullen Bunn checked in on her. I like the second volume of Maniac of New York, but it did end in a slightly disappointing fashion. I don’t know if Elliott Kalan wanted to end it the way he did or if AfterShock couldn’t give him more rope, but it feels a bit truncated, and therefore a bit disappointing. Still, it’s a fun series. No Holds Bard is a bizarre, “What if Shakespeare was a superhero?” story that blends elements from his plays with some real-life stuff, and it’s fun but forgettable. The idea is neat, though. Pennyworth is an absolutely ridiculous spy story – the conceit that Alfred was a spy is inherently ridiculous – about Bushwacker-type monsters being created by bad guys and Alfred trying to stop it. It’s goofy but kind of fun, and Juan Gedeon is a good artist, so the book looks keen. I very much enjoyed Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body – it just missed the cut! – which is about four people enlisted by a Shadowy Government Agent to help with the Kennedy Konspiracy, and how they decide that maybe they don’t really want to be that involved. It’s a nice-looking comic that’s serious but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. Rogue Sun is about a kid whose dad left years ago and, as it happens, is a superhero. When Dad is killed, his son inherits his powers, and he needs to find out what happened to his father. It’s pretty good. Gene Luen Yang’s Shang-Chi continues to truck along, as our hero has to fight his father and his grandfather and Yang apparently brings it more in line with what is going on in the MCU, which I’m not sure is a good thing. Marcus To on art is always fun to see. A corporation rules the world in To the Death, and a soldier recently returned from service in a typical “forever war” has to figure out why he’s been targeted for extermination. It’s not a bad sci-fi story. It’s always great to see Victor Santos’s art, and Until My Knuckles Bleed is a pretty cool story about Cable (basically) grown old and still trying to fight the good fight in a world that doesn’t believe in heroes anymore. It’s a decent take on the concept of aging superheroes, and Santos, naturally, does wonderful work on the art.

You’ll notice I skipped over Odinn’s Eye, because I wanted to write a bit more about it. It’s a Bad Idea book by Joshau Dysart and Thomas Giorello, and it came out weekly (I guess?) in December, but my store had all five issues in a nice bundle, so I picked it up. It’s a Viking saga, in which a girl decides to find Odinn’s missing eye, the one he gave up for knowledge, and the problems she has finding it. The first issue is superb, and the rest are pretty darned good as well, but it ends fairly abruptly, with no indication that there will be more issues, so I can’t love it as much as I want to. The first issue costs 10 dollars, which issues #2-5 costing 8 bucks each. That’s a lot, but they are longer than regular comics, and they have interesting back-up stories, and the actual product is nice – the card stock they use is excellent, and the production values are just really well done. I still don’t get Bad Idea, though. My retailer is a bit peeved at them, because they keep changing the “contract” they have with retailers, and the fact that they deliberately keep their numbers down and put all these conditions on how their books get sold might keep them in business, but for how long? They’re hard to find, and they don’t want to make them available to a wider audience, and will readers move on if Dysart and Giorello ever come back to this story? It’s just a weird business model, and I can’t imagine retailers are too happy with it, so how long can this go on? I’d get into what my retailer told me about what they do, but I might get things wrong and I don’t want that. Ask your retailer if they carry Bad Idea books and what they have to go through to get them! Anyway, I know I didn’t write much about this actual comic, but until the final few pages when it becomes clear they’re nowhere near the end, this is really good. A fun story, and absolutely fantastic art. I just wish the Bad Idea people didn’t think making readers jump through so many hoops to get their comics is the way to go.


Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World by Hugh Pope. 413 pgs, 2005, Overlook Duckworth.

As you might recall, I’m a big fan of the Ottoman Empire, and Turks in general, so I thought this would be a pretty interesting book. Pope is a reporter who lived in Istanbul for years, so he was fluent in Turkish and was able to travel all across the so-called Turkic world to find out what was going on with the Turks in the fin de siècle era, when a good deal of that world was experiencing independence for the first time in centuries. Turkey, of course, had been independent for a long time, but the Central Asian countries – Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan – had been ruled by Russia for a long time, and Pope wanted to examine how they were handling their new independence and new re-integration into a “Turkish” consciousness. The book covers about 15 years, as Pope zips back and forth from China (where the Uygurs remain a persecuted minority in Xinjiang, the westernmost province of the country) to Europe and New York, where Turks have immigrated over the past 60 years or so. He examines the history of the region briefly, but generally stays in the present, looking at the politics, culture, and economies of these burgeoning countries. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are major oil producers, for instance, so they’re of interest to the rest of the world, and the continuation of the “Great Game” of the 19th century between Russia and England, with the U.S. now stepping into the British role, is a big part of the region. He tries to get into the “Turkishness” of the people, and finds that it’s a somewhat nebulous concept, even if people use it when it’s convenient. Islam, something else that might connect the people, is also fairly amorphous, thanks to Atatürk in Turkey, who secularized the country, and the Soviet Union, which suppressed religious expression. It’s an interesting part of the book that many devout Muslims find that they’re more accepted in Europe and the U.S. than in the “Turkish” countries, because Germans and Americans don’t know or care about divisions between Shia and Sunni and leave them alone.

It’s a pretty good book – Pope gets to meet several important people in the countries, including encounters with some of the dictators running things, and he interviews many, many people from across the region, but he does skip over some things, which I found odd. He claims that the Kyrgyz Republic (which is what he calls it; it seems most people call it Kyrgyzstan) is the most stable of the Central Asian countries, but he barely writes about it. He writes even less about Tajikistan. Space constraints, maybe, but it seems odd. The organization of the book is a bit odd, too – it’s not chronological, which is fine, but it’s not exactly categorical, either, so it seems like he whips around the region almost haphazardly through both time and space. He’s in Azerbaijan for their disastrous war against Armenia in the 1990s early in the book, for instance, and then much later, he’s writing about it again, almost out of nowhere. He’s doing it in context of Azerbaijan’s oil boom, true, but it still feels a bit disjointed. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but the book doesn’t flow quite as nicely as I would like, despite Pope doing his best to tie a chapter to the next one. But that’s a fairly minor complaint.

The problem with books like this, of course, is that they’re too timely. Years have passed and the situation has changed, of course, and semi-admirable people in the book, like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have become less so in subsequent years. Still, this is a fascinating look at a part of the world that often gets ignored, even as it grows in importance. Pope covers a lot of ground, and for the most part, he does a very good job with it.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆


The Sandman season 1 (Netflix). We only finished one show this month, because we’re in the middle of rewatching a longer series in preparation for the final season (I’m not saying which series!), so we only managed to get through Gaiman’s baby. I have read several semi-bad reviews of the show by smart people, (including old FotB Daniel Joyaux), that claim that because the show hews so closely to the comic, it’s not that great, and I get that. It is a bit frustrating that the showrunners – Gaiman included – don’t mess with the comic too much, but, you know, the comic is amazing, so maybe that’s a feature, not a bug? I mean, yes, I could just read the comic again, but I imagine that most people who watch this haven’t read the comic, so they get to experience some spine-tingling moments like Morpheus’s confrontation with Lucifer for the first time and realize what comics readers have known for 30 years. So I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing that they stay so close to the book. I’m actually a bit bummed they didn’t hew more closely to the book, because the “DC” elements have been scrubbed, for the most part, so John Dee is no longer a Justice League villain and Lyta and Hector Hall are no longer old-school DC characters, but that’s just a “me” thing. I do wish that Morpheus narrated the Death episode, because that writing in “The Sound of Her Wings” is so good. In general, though, this is a good start – we get the first two storylines, with the “surprise” 11th episode giving us the cat issue and the Calliope issue (I know they have to do the Shakespeare one, but I wonder if Element Girl will get relegated to the dustbins because she’s such a DC character) – and if Netflix gets its head out of its ass and continues the series, it seems like it’s in good hands. The casting is excellent – Tom Sturridge is broody and moody, but it works; Kirby Howell-Baptiste is good as Death, although I agree with some of the dudes at my comic book shoppe that she’s not quite “Goth” enough; Gwendoline Christie is weird as Lucifer, which is fine; Boyd Holbrook is interesting as the Corinthian; David Thewlis is always fun as Dee; Arthur Darvill is disturbingly convincing as Richard Madoc; Jenna Coleman is fun as Joanna Constantine (she plays her in the past and as the present-day analog for John, which I assume was done not to piss off the fanboys but so they wouldn’t have to pay two actors); Vanesu Samunyai is strong as Rose Walker; and Razane Jammal is tragic as Lyta. It’s a sprawling show, and the CGI doesn’t always hold up, but it’s still impressive, and while it’s not quite as horrific as the comic is (both Roderick Burgess’s fate and Rachel’s predicament are not as creepy as the comic, and “24 Hours” doesn’t approach the terror of the issue), it’s still weird in the right places, and it “gets” the characters pretty well. As I noted, Netflix is hemming and hawing about continuing it because it’s expensive, but even if it doesn’t continue, this season is pretty self-contained (with, of course, the many seeds Gaiman planted for the overall plot), so check it out!


Let’s take a look at the “classic” reprints I got this month!

The Complete Aztec Ace finally came out, from Dark Horse and It’s Alive, and it’s a nice package. My retailer said it’s not very good, but I get that Moench is an acquired taste, and I like Moench, so I’m hopeful. The art is very nice, so that’s cool. Marvel has a few nice collections – the Epic Collection, with more of the DeMatteis/Zeck Captain America and the Waid “Reborn” Cap, as well as the nice Conan the King Omnibus. Dark Horse has another EC collection, and those are always fun. Humanoids has a volume of The Jodorowsky Library, and while I don’t love Jodorowsky, I don’t hate him and a good chunk of this volume is drawn by Ladrönn, Moebius, and Travis Charest, so … yes, please. Finally, PS Artbooks has another softcover of their Golden Age reprints, and those are always fun. Good stuff from the “classic” archives!

Let’s take a look at the money!

3 August: $155.29
10 August: $291.53
17 August: $207.12
24 August: $237.69
31 August: $108.40

Money spent in August: $1000.03 (August 2021: $871.59)
YTD: $7258.83 (As of August 2021: $5341.27)

Inflation sucks, y’all.

Here are the publishers from whom I bought comics in August!

A14 Books: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Ablaze: 3 (3 graphic novels)
Abrams Comicsarts: 2 (2 graphic novels)
AfterShock: 1 (1 trade paperback)
Bad Idea: 5 (5 single issues)
Behemoth: 2 (2 trade paperbacks)
Boom! Studios: 3 (2 single issues, 1 trade paperback)
Clover Press: 1 (1 graphic novel)
ComixTribe: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Darby Pop: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Dark Horse: 7 (2 “classic” reprints, 1 graphic novel, 3 single issues, 1 trade paperback)
DC: 5 (3 single issues, 2 trade paperbacks)
Forged by Fire: 5 (5 single issues)
Frank Miller Presents: 1 (1 single issue)
Graphic Universe: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Heavy Metal: 1 (1 trade paperback)
Humanoids: 1 (1 “classic” reprint)
Image: 6 (4 single issues, 2 trade paperbacks)
Marvel: 7 (3 “classic” reprints, 1 single issue, 3 trade paperbacks)
PS Artbooks: 1 (1 “classic” reprint)
SelfMadeHero: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Titan: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Top Shelf: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Uncivilized Books: 1 (1 graphic novel)
Vault: 1 (1 trade paperback)
Viz: 1 (1 manga volume)

Breaking it down, we have:

7 “classic” reprints (46)
15 graphic novels (102)
1 manga volume (5)
23 single issues (106)
14 trade paperbacks (148)

So far this year, here’s the publisher breakdown:

A14 Books: 1
Ablaze: 7
Abrams Comicarts: 4
Action Lab: 2
AfterShock: 24
Ahoy Comics: 6
Amulet Books/Abrams: 1
Antarctic Press: 1
Archaia: 5
Archie Comics: 1
AWA Studios: 8
Bad Idea: 5
Behemoth: 5
Black Mask Studios: 1
Black Panel Press: 1
Bliss on Tap: 1
Boom! Studios: 16
Caliber: 1
Cartoon Books: 1
Centrala: 1
Clover Press: 5
ComixTribe: 2
Conundrum Press: 1
Darby Pop: 2
Dark Horse: 47
DC: 21
Dead Reckoning: 2
Del Rey: 1
Drawn & Quarterly: 2
Dynamite: 3
Epicenter Comics: 1
Fairsquare Comics: 1
Fanfare/Ponent Mon: 1
Fantagraphics: 13
Floating World Comics: 2
Forged by Fire: 5
Frank Miller Presents: 1
Gallery 13: 1
Graphic Mundi: 4
Graphic Universe: 1
Graphix: 1
HarperCollins: 2
Heavy Metal: 1
Hermes Press: 1
Holiday House: 1
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 1
Humanoids: 10
IDW: 6
Image: 65
Insight Comics: 1
Invader Comics: 1
Legendary Comics: 1
Little, Brown and Company: 1
Magnetic Press: 1
Marvel: 43
NBM: 2
NoBrow Press: 1
One Piece Books: 1
Oni Press: 1
Outland Entertainment: 1
Papercutz: 3
PM Press: 1
PS Artbooks: 8
Rebellion/2000AD: 5
Red 5 Comics: 3
Scout Comics: 6
Second Sight Publishing: 1
SelfMadeHero: 2
Silver Sprocket: 1
SitComics: 2
Soaring Penguin Press: 1
Source Point Press: 4
Titan Comics: 6
Top Shelf: 2
Tuttle Publishing: 1
Udon Entertainment: 1
Uncivilized Books: 1
Vault Comics: 4
Viz Media: 4
A Wave Blue World: 1
West Margin Press: 1
Z2 Comics: 1


Ugh. Going through some shit that is just no fun and is too much to write about, so I won’t get into it here. Needless to say, things are a bit shitty right now, but we always have hope! We did get our passports, which was good as we’re going out of the country in early October, so that’s settled. Looking forward to a vacation!

I found some stuff on the interwebs! This is pretty funny:

Over at the AV Club, they were pointing out all the people adding Linkin Park to the end of movies, and it’s pretty hilarious. Of course, many commenters were already annoyed by it, but those people suck, because so what if people want a little goofy joy in their lives?

Brian Hibbs has an interesting column up. I mean, Hibbs is usually interesting, but this one is particularly interesting. At least I thought so.

Lily Renee died. Last year I celebrated her 100th birthday, so you can take a look at some of her gorgeous art there, if you feel like it. It’s nice she started to get recognition for her amazing work, even if it was late in life.

I hesitated to link to this, because it’s so stupid and evil, but if you’re in the mood to know what conservatives think, Dennis Prager has a particularly idiotic take on women and how bad they are for society. Because they start all the wars and are polluting the environment? Uh, no. It’s because they’re allowing kids to explore gender fluidity and telling them that racism exists. Oh, the horror! God, conservatives have gone so far around the bend. It’s depressing.

I hope everyone has a nice Labor weekend, if you celebrate Labor Day this weekend or at all. College football has started (if you missed the Iowa game, it was … something, all right), pro football starts next week, and while I’m not as invested in it as much as I used to be, it’s still a fun way to kill some time in the afternoon. So that’s fun. Have a nice day, everyone!


    1. Bright-Raven

      Technically, Miller’s doing the breakdowns, Philip Tan’s doing the final art. And be thankful for that, as god awful as Miller’s art has been the past few years… *GAH!* (Did you SEE that THING cover for the new Fantastic Four relaunch?)

    1. Greg Burgas

      That’s what I’m here for, sir! To tell you things you could never, ever figure out by yourself!

      That column is really something else. I’d say it’s unbelievable, but in today’s climate, it’s pretty much par for the course.

      1. Darthratzinger

        Actually racism ended once and for all when (all) the Nazis were defeated in 1945. Since then it´s just progressives/globalists using the racism card to establish their left-wing dictatorship. At least that´s what I read in chatrooms all the time.
        Weirdly enough I will probably wait until all of Sandman has been released by Netflix or at least until they have announced they will not continue, even though this is the one show where I definitely know how it´s gonna end.
        I think You´re the only person next to Erdogan who claims to be a fan of the Ottoman empire.

        1. Greg Burgas

          What’s wrong with the Ottoman Empire? It’s a fascinating place!

          I just started reading a book on genocides of the 20th century, and the documentation the U.S. had available about the Holocaust is pretty staggering. It’s just depressing how little we care about genocide.

      2. Prager is a misogynist who thinks “We don’t approve of men just not showing up for work because they’re not in the mood — why do we think it’s okay for wives to refuse their husbands sex when they’re not in the mood?” makes sense. So that column was solidly on brand for him.

  1. Der

    Good to hear about your passports, at least that is a non-shitty part of your life and you can try to sleep from here till October so you go on a nice vacation when you wake up!

    August was such a mess of a month for us, we moved to our house and the kid finally started school last week, but at least she enjoyed it so that’s a win for us

    Unpacking is not fun time, specially because we want to paint before moving things, so we are currently sleeping in a room while we paint the others(and wait for the paint fumes to go away too) But that’s me just ranting about random household chores. I got good news this month:

    -I got a new(well, “new”) comic this month! Yay me!. I know that I was not going to have “fun for me only” budget so I decided to use the last part of my budget buying the Hellboy Library Hardcover Vol 6. woohoo

    I haven’t read the rest but come on, I’ve read the first hardcover and loved it so I decided to buy the rest, only Volume 3 is missing, let’s see if I can get it before the end of this year.

    And that’s it, it looks like no more comics for me for this year, but lots of painting walls, gardening and if I’m lucky, woodworking. Maybe

  2. Eric van Schaik

    I hope your shitty stuff stops very soon. Last wednesday was my last day at work. I hope to find a new job soon, but being 58 doesn’t help. They want someone with experience but you must be 21 or something. 🙁

    I only got all 5 of the Polar books and the latest Avengers Epic Collection. I hope Erik Larsen gets Savage Dragon back on the road.

    Thanks for the Dennis Prager link. What a laugh. Scary that such people have a platform…

    1. Greg Burgas

      Eric: That sucks. I know you’ve been anticipating it, but it still sucks. I hope you can find a job!

      Those Polar books are really keen.

      Unfortunately, a lot of people like Prager do have platforms, and they’re pretty big, so they can just spread their stupidity to many, many people!

  3. I read the first volume of Gillen’s Eternals. Confirms my feeling that ignoring all the recent Eternals series is the right move.
    Moench is very hit-or-miss with me but I really like Aztec Ace.
    If you like the Ottomans, have you read David Fromkin’s “A Peace to End All Peace?” It’s a good book on how European misconceptions about the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East in general helped screw up the region — did you know the Young Turks were really agents of the Jews?

    1. Greg Burgas

      Yeah, I wanted to like Eternals because it’s Gillen and Ribic, but it’s just not very good. Bummer.

      I very much enjoyed A Peace to End All Peace. It’s been years since I read it, but it was very good and very readable. And it’s shocking that Europeans screwed up a region they knew nothing about! 🙂

  4. mike loughlin

    Sorry to hear you’re dealing with problems, Greg. I hope they pass soon.

    I liked that recent Swamp Thing series. Beautiful art, good character writing & plots. I don’t know how the character will ever escape the shadow of the Moore/Bissette/Veitch/Tottleban run. Before that run, he was a monster who fought other monsters and evil humans. Moore & co. redefined his entire existence. Swamp Thing went to hell, space, and his own inner self. What’s left?

    The Gillen/Ribic Eternals series is the only Eternals comic I’ve ever liked, including the Kirby series (love Kirby, even late Kirby, but I never finished it). Thanos was actually menacing again! Different strokes, I guess.

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