Welcome to the Part-Time Fanboy picks of the week for August 27, 2014! Each week some of the crew at PTF will pick their most anticipated books for that Wednesday’s releases based on their own individual tastes. Hopefully this list will help give you, the discerning comic book reader, some ideas on what to pick up at the comic shop during that particular week.
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Things continue to go crazy-town in the pages of this fantastic comic this week. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone knows I’m a big fan of the Kill Shakespeare comic but, really, can you blame me? With each subsequent mini-series the Kill Shakespeare crew expand on their universe even more adding new and interesting characterizations and plot twists. This issue is no different. Kill Shakespeare is a comic that constantly impresses me in every aspect and this issue looks to continue that winning streak. If you’re not reading this comic you should be…it’s got everything a comic fan could want…action, romance, intrigue…plus it’s got Shakespeare in the title so it’ll make your friends think you’re smarter than you actually are. It’s a win-win!
By: Martheus Wade
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Action Lab has a really great track record when it comes to producing comics for girls. With books like Princeless and Molly Danger this publisher has proven that they are aggressively expanding their demographic beyond those of us challenged with a Y chromosome. This looks to be another release that could captivate the attention of the little female in your home and be non-threatining enough so as not to worry the parents about inappropriate reading material. I mean, female ninja princesses…what could go wrong? The only negative detail I’d call out about this is that it seems a bit too much like Naruto only with a female lead…but, then again, is that really something negative? Looks like a book that could be a lot of fun.
I’m back to cheating with my picks again. This week, I’m all about the trivia and hardware.
By: Various Writers
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DK Children
DK is a young readers line published by Cosmic Times that covers topics targeting boys from 7-13. They’ve got some great books covering Star Wars, Legos, and Lego Star Wars.
This hardcover presents scenes from the Star Wars Saga in chronological order. Each scene is presented in a “pop up fact” fashion that features details about the droids, weapons, and vehicles shown in the scene. In addition, behind the scenes facts are presented that introduce the reader to the world of filmmaking.
I would have eaten this up if I’d had it when I was a kid. It combines novelization, instruction manual, and behind the scenes narrative. I know lots of kids who treat these DK books like reference bibles. They’re fun and informative with lots of pictures.
By: No Writer Listed
Publisher: Eaglemoss Publications Ltd.
The Marvel Comics Fact Files is a hybrid magazine that presents comic characters and includes schematics and details on vehicles, weapons, and technology. Think the old “Handbook of the Marvel Universe” combined with the “Marvel Age” magazine in a glossy magazine format.
I chose this one because it examines Moon Knight, one of Marvel’s strangest and most interesting characters. He’s been everything from a Batman-style vigilante to a vengeful godlike avatar. Walking the line between day and night, madness and sanity, Moon Knight has proved to be a surprisingly flexible character who has been most recently explored by Warren Ellis.
Moon Knight has plenty of toys and weapons, and this magazine is a great place to start exploring the character.
By: Jules Feiffer
Genre: Noir, Crime
Publisher: Liveright/W.W. Norton
This is one of those big deal releases. At 85 years old, Jules Feiffer already has several careers under his belt. In the ’50s, he was a best-selling author with Sick, Sick, Sick: A Guide to Non-Confident Living, a collection of his comic strips in The Village Voice. In the ’60s, he won an Academy Award for the animated short Munro, to which he provided the screenplay and storyboards. In the ’70s, he won an Obie Award as a playwright for the off-Broadway production of Little Murders. In the ’80s, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons in The Village Voice, which ran his cartoons for over 40 years. In the ’90s, he provided a comic strip for the op-ed page of The New York Times, a first for the respected paper. He is in the Will Eisner Awards Comic Book Hall of Fame and a recipient of the National Cartoonist Society’s Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. Much of his original cartoons and illustrations have been donated to the Library of Congress. He’s written novels, illustrated children’s books (The Phantom Tollbooth), and in 1979 released one of the earliest graphic novels, Tantrum. That latter work is mostly forgotten among his other accomplishments; indeed much of the press and even Feiffer himself in interviews are treating Kill My Mother as his first graphic novel. But seeing him return to the form is just as exciting.
In many ways, Kill My Mother is an energetic celebration of his early days and inspirations. Feiffer began his career at 16 years old as an assistant to Will Eisner’s influential The Spirit and this book revels in the noir devices of that comic strip, as well as noir films and novels of the same period. In fact, there are multiple Easter eggs for fans of the genre. Appropriately set in the 1930s, the story stars a rebellious daughter gunning for her mother (hence the title) and plot twists abound. You might not expect a frenetic and fast-paced adventure from an octogenarian but that’s what we’re going to get. The LA Times and NPR are already taking notice, and the book has enthusiastic praise from Art Spiegelman, Neil Gaiman, and Chris Ware.
By: Yvan Pommaux
Genre: Mythology, Adventure
Publisher: TOON Books
I am not shy about my love for TOON Books. They are a savvy publisher of graphic novels for children and their newest release looks to be a wonderful adaptation of the classic Greek myth. Yvan Pommaux is a popular children’s author in France (three schools have been named after him!). It’s hard to believe this will be his first book published in English. He provides historically accurate details with a bit of a wink to accompany his clean and beautiful art. Supplementary material like character cards (with pronunciation guides), maps, mazes, an index, and bibliography makes this book an excellent teaching supplement. This is a really fun way to learn about or revisit this classic story.