COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS: FOR FEBRUARY ’14 books
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KC Carlson, so good, he edits with a Sharpee.
by KC Carlson
PICK OF THE MONTH
The Bojeffries Saga
The Bojeffries Saga (Top Shelf): just your average tale of an eccentric British family of vampires, werewolves, monsters, and other creatures, including a baby that puts off enough thermonuclear energy to power all of England (and Wales!). Do you like the Addams Family? The Bojeffries will kick their arses!
This is no common “saga”. The tales span decades and include a Christmas story, a chapter written as light opera, and other insane bits. originally created by Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse in 1983 for the legendary UK Anthology Warrior, the unconventional series had to be outstanding to compete with the likes of its anthology-mates: Marvelman (soon to become Miracleman) and V For Vendetta. It was soon my favorite, since I was instantly taken in by the sheer insane audacity and quirkiness of the series. I was heartbroken when Warrior unceremoniously ceased publication, leaving all their features (at least temporarily) unfinished.
Thus began the equally eccentric publishing history of the Bojeffries, next landing in the also late and lamented Dalgoda series from Fantagraphics in 1986, and then jumping to Atomeka Press’ anthology A1 (and its bizarre A1 true Life Bikini Confidential special) between 1989 and 1991. In 1992, Kevin Eastman’s Tundra press collected the existing Bojeffries material, plus a handful of short illustrated stories (and a recipe) in The complete Bojeffries Saga. It quickly sold out.
In 2004, some early reprints were re-presented in the A1: big issue Zero as a sampler for an A1 relaunch in 2005 — which never happened — along with an announced (and previewed) three-issue A1: Bojeffries terror Tomes series — also not appearing.
At this time, Parkhouse suggested that there would be no more Bojeffries stories. in 2008, artist Kevin O’Neil contradicted this when he mentioned that Moore was taking breaks from league of extraordinary Gentlemen: Century to finish the finale of the Bojeffries Saga, which was subsequently announced for publication by top Shelf, making us all crazy for the next five years waiting for it to happen.
Apparently, in March 2014, it’s actually going to happen. The Bojeffries Saga will be published by top Shelf, with all the previous material included, as well as an all-new 24-page story. Moore definitively explains (kinda) in an 2009 interview with forbidden Planet:
“Yeah, I have written a final Bojeffries –- well, I don’t know if it’s a final -– but I’ve written a kind of, it wouldn’t hurt if it was the last one, although maybe me and Steve will want to do some more with them.
“What we’re going to do is, we’re going to collect up, with top Shelf, all of the Bojeffries material that’s appeared to date, and we’re going to cap it all off with a twenty-four-page story called “After They Were Famous”, which is the Bojeffries in 2009, existing side-by-side with culture as it is now, as opposed to culture as it was in the eighties and the early nineties.”
So now you know as much (or less) as we do. cross your fingers (or talons or whatever) for March 2014!
MARVEL’S all-new and NOT-SO-NEW graphic NOVELS
Amazing Spider-Man: family Business
Amazing Spider-Man: family business is an all-new original graphic novel written by mark Waid and James Robinson with painted art by Gabriele Dell’otto with Werther Dell’edra. After 50 years (publication time) this book introduces a long-lost member of Peter Parker’s family — a sister he never knew about! And, in confrontation with the Kingpin of Crime, does she turn out to be his greatest ally — or the one that damns him? 112-page oversize color hardcover graphic novel.
Wolverine: Japan’s most Wanted
Not quite new, but “new to paper” is Wolverine: Japan’s most Wanted, a 168-page graphic novel previously available online as Wolverine: Japan’s most wanted infinite Comic #1-13. It’s written by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour and pencilled by Yves Bigerel and Paco Diaz. Wolverine is Public enemy #1 in Japan and on the run from the authorities — and it’s all Sabertooth’s doing. The secret book of the Hand stands revealed and the Silver Samurai, Sunfire, and the mysterious Osen (who has connections to both Wolverine and the Hand) all enter the fray as uneasy alliances and mutual foes. It’s ninja vs. ninja with a nation’s fate in the balance. 168-page color hardcover.
QUINN YOU beat THIS?
Harley Quinn: welcome to Metropolis
DC is spotlighting the recent revamping of the ever-popular Harley Quinn character with two amazing collections of her classic stories. first up is DC Comics Presents: Harley Quinn #1 collecting Batman: Harley Quinn #1, Joker’s Asylum II: Harley Quinn #1, and stories from Batman: Gotham Knights #14 and 30, Countdown #10, and Batman Black and White #1, by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm,Ronnie Del Carmen, Joe Quinones, and others, including a cover by Alex Ross. That’s a 96-page color softcover. Then, in March, there’s a new Harley Quinn: welcome to Metropolis collection reprinting issues #14-25 of the extremely fun HQ series by Karl Kesel and Terry and Rachel Dodson. That’s a 288-page color softcover. Plus, check out the new, designed-by-Bruce-Timm Batman Black & White Harley Quinn Statue this month (shipping in may 2014).
Batman Black & White Harley Quinn Statue
THIS MONTH IN classic COMIC book COLLECTIONS
Airboy Archives volume 1
Airboy Archives volume 1 (IDW): first collection for this wonderful 1980s revival of the golden Age aviator series, originally published by Eclipse Comics. Well-written by Chuck Dixon, and with art by Timothy Truman, Stan Woch, Ben Dunn, Tom Lyle, and others, this series revives the classic Airboy, Valkyrie, and Skywolf characters in high-flying, nail-biting adventures. Collects the first 16 issues, plus the back-up Skywolf stories which began in issue #9. Bob Greenberger will have more details soon, right here at the Westfield blog. 308-page color softcover.
Cannon (Fantagraphics): Wally Wood’s legendary cold war spy comic strip is collected again, but this time — due to the discovery of newly unearthed source material, combined with Fantagraphics’ usual fastidious production and design — it will be the biggest, baddest, and best-looking Cannon collection yet! Unburdened by the usual syndicate censors and editors, since it was originally published in the us military newspaper overseas weekly for two-and-a-half years in the 1960s and distributed worldwide, wood pulled out all the stops. He produced a thrilling and salacious cold war spy serial run amok with brutal violence and titillating sex, all in an effort to boost morale and support our troops! John Cannon is the perfect agent, the exploitative American answer to James Bond. initially brainwashed to be “the perfect assassin” for the Red forces, Cannon is eventually rescued and brainwashed (again) by the CIA until he has no emotions whatsoever. filled with men’s men and women with no clothing allowances, Cannon is classic Wally Wood. 292-page oversize (10.75 x 7.5) B&W softcover.
EC Archives: weird fantasy volume 1
EC Archives: weird fantasy volume 1 (Dark Horse): more digitally remastered classic EC science fiction comics by bill Gaines, Al Feldstein, Harry Harrison, Gardner Fox, Jack Kamen, Harvey Kurtzman, and Wally Wood! new foreword by Walter Simonson. Collects weird fantasy #13-17, plus #6. 216-page color hardcover. available in April 2014.
The Simon and Kirby Library: Horror
The Simon and Kirby Library: horror (Titan Books): the latest in this exemplary series spotlighting the early work of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. this time up: their scariest and oddest comic book work from Black Magic (which was displayed during the Senate committee on Juvenile Delinquency, back in the the 1950s) and the experimental strange world of Your Dreams, featuring odd stories of dream analysis and astrology. much of this work has never before been collected, nor presented as beautifully restored by the S&K Museum’s Harry Mendryk. Recommended. 320-page color hardcover. available in March 2014.
Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex volume 2
Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex volume 2 (DC Comics): classic Hex fans (especially Wayne Markley) will be overjoyed by this new collection of Jonah Hex stories from the 1970s. Jonah deals with forces of the supernatural, a shotgun wedding (no, not to a shotgun), as well as deadly battles with both U.S. troops and native Americans alike. This is the classic era of Jonah Hex, featuring work by writer Michael Fleischer and art by Dan Spiegle, Dick Ayres, Tony Dezuniga, and others — including José Luis García-López, who proves the cover. Collects weird Western Tales #34-38 and Jonah Hex #1-22. 544-page blood-spattered B&W softcover.
Avengers: Falcon (Marvel Comics): designed to complement the Falcon’s increased visibility in upcoming animation and film projects, this is a collection of his earliest appearances, including his origin. Bob Greenberger will have more details soon, right here at the Westfield blog. 216-page color softcover.
The Chronicles of Conan volume 26
The Chronicles of Conan volume 26 (Dark Horse): Collecting Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #199-205 and Conan annual 12. 232-page color softcover.
Crime Does Not Pay Archives volume 7
Crime Does Not Pay Archives volume 7 (Dark Horse): Collecting #46-34 of the popular 1940s true-crime comic title. 280-page color hardcover.
Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil volume 8
Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil volume 8 (Marvel Comics): Collecting Daredevil #75-84 plus Black Widow material from remarkable Adventures #1-8. features work by gene Colan, with John Buscema, Don Heck, Barry Windsor-Smith, Jon Romita (cover), Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and others. 312-page color hardcover.
Marvel Masterworks:fantastic four volume 10
Marvel Masterworks: fantastic four volume 10 (Marvel Comics): Collecting FF #94-104, closing out Jack Kirby’s active contribution to the book, although this collection also includes the completed original version of the “lost” FF issue by Stan & Jack. also features art by John Romita and Ron Frenz, as well as essays about the Stan & Jack era. 288-page color softcover.
Zero hour and other Stories
Zero hour and other stories (Fantagraphics): featuring 22 of the best of artist Jack Kamen’s stories from the classic EC science fiction titles. 168-page B&W hardcover.
THIS MONTH IN classic COMIC strip COLLECTIONS
Popeye: The classic newspaper Comics by Bobby London volume 1: 1986-1989
Popeye: The classic newspaper Comics by Bobby London volume 1: 1986-1989 (IDW/LoAC): It was big news when former underground artist Bobby London (Dirty Duck, Air Pirates) took over the Popeye syndicated strip in 1986. He went on to produce six years of acclaimed material, not only updating the strip to reflect current pop culture, but also creating a wonderful homage to Elzie Segar’s original Thimble Theatre storytelling and characters. Roger Ash will soon have an interview with The cartoon Art Museum’s Andrew Farago discussing the strip and this project in-depth. 344-page B&W hardcover, the first of two volumes.
Walt before Skeezix: 1919-1920
Walt before Skeezix: 1919-1920 (Drawn & Quarterly): Collecting the earliest comics from Frank King’s beloved Gasoline alley strip, focusing on the adventures of Walt wallet and his friends before Walt finds baby Skeezix on his front steps, and his life (and the comic strip) changes forever. These entries offer a fascinating time capsule of life in the days when early automobiles shared the roads with horses and buggies, as the country evolved from rural farm communities into an urban, industrialized society. designed and edited by Chris Ware. 400-page B&W (w/color) hardcover.
Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy volume 16
Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy volume 16 (IDW/LoAC): more classic stories and crazy characters including Rughead, Oodles, George Ozone and his wild boys Neki and Hokey, “Nothing” Yonson, Joe Period, and policewoman Lizz. also features the first return of a previous (and presumed dead) character — Mumbles! Plus, one of Gould’s best and most mature stories, starring Flattop Jr. 260-page oversize (11 x 8.5) B&W hardcover.
Prince Valiant volume 8: 1951-1952
Prince Valiant volume 8: 1951-1952 (Fantagraphics): Fantastically produced collection of Hal Foster’s legendary comic strip. 120-page oversize (10.25 x 14) color hardcover.
Annihilation Omnibus (Marvel Comics): In the last few years, marvel has done a terrific job reviving and pumping a lot of new energy into their “cosmic” characters, including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, Silver Surfer, Galactus, and Thanos, the mad Titan. Keith Giffen and later DnA (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning), as well as other artists and writers, built upon cosmic concepts originally created by Jim Starlin beginning in the 1970s. This new volume collects the original Annihilation storyline from 2006 featuring these works: Drax the Destroyer #1-4, Annihilation: Prologue, Annihilation: Nova #1-4, Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4, Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1-4, Annihilation: Ronan #1-6, Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1-2, and Annihilation: Nova Corps Files. primarily written by Giffen and DnA, with art by Mitch Breitweiser, Scott Kolins, Ariel Olivetti, Mike McKone, and many others. Cover by Gabriele Dell’otto. Heroes fall as Annihilus rises! also features Quasar and Gamora. 880-page oversize color hardcover. available in may 2014.
Jack Kirby new Gods Artist’s Edition
Jack Kirby new Gods Artist’s edition (IDW): thanks to the Jack Kirby Estate, “The King” now has his first ID