Welcome to the Part-Time Fanboy picks of the week for October 8, 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: Black Mask Studios
OK…so I’ve written the review, I’ve conducted the interview…the truth is this is one fantastic looking comic and it’s got creepy clowns. Just buy the damned thing wouldya? It’s a perfect read for the Halloween season.
Publisher: :01 First Second
Paul Pope did a fantastic job creating his own unique brand of superhero comic with Battling Boy. This book is a prequel of sorts focusing on one of the female supporting players of Battling Boy, Aurora West. Miss West is the daughter of the numero uno superhero in the aforementioned graphic novel who meets a not so kind fate in the pages of that book. This comic centers on her life before the tragic events in it’s “sequel” and its a comic that looks to flesh out her backstory a lot more. Paul Pope is one of my absolute favorite comic creators and while this book isn’t necessarily illustrated by him the art by David Rubin is just as wonderfully brilliant as Pope’s is. Rubin’s style looks to be a bit more constrained and controlled than Pope’s but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. In all honesty, I’m a bit surprised by the solicitation date as I received my copy from Amazon about a week ago…I just haven’t had the chance to actually sit down and read it yet. By taking a quick glance through the book I can say that it looks to be just as, if not more, entertaining than the graphic novel it’s spinning off from. It also seems as if this is a book aimed for the “all ages” demographic which wins it points in my book. Another female superheorine for my daughter to be inspired by? Yes, sir…I’ll take as much of that as I can!
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Every year book publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases a best-of roundup of writing in various genres and themes. It started in 1915 with The Best American Short Stories, and expanded to essays, mysteries, and finally in 2006, comics. Up until this year’s release, The Best American Comics was shepherded by series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, with a new special guest editor each year. The duo really turned the comics anthology into one of the biggest releases. Getting included in The Best American Comics is now considered an honor because of the caliber of work selected with each installment.
This year, comics critic and educator Bill Kartalopoulos takes over the reigns as series editor, and he’s joined by guest editor Scott McCloud, one of the most influential thinkers in the comics world. His non-fiction books Understanding Comics, and its sequels Reinventing Comics and Making Comics have codified how we think about the language and art form of comics. Before those seminal works, he established himself with the superhero mash-up Zot!. He also helped create the 24-hour comic, which in turn spawned the now-annual 24-Hour Comics Day, which just took place last weekend.
McCloud’s choices range from an excerpt of Raina Telgemeier’s wonderful graphic novel Drama, an issue of the legendary Love and Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez, a selection of Richard Thompson‘s beloved comic strip Cul de Sac, and so much more.
If you’re looking for a way to sample the best that comics has to offer in a variety of styles, genres and formats across 400 pages, this is it. The finest comics buffet you’re likely to find.
By: Richard Sala
Genre: Humor, Adventure
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
The funny pulp adventure webcomic Super-Enigmatix gets its first book release. Like a modern day Pink Panther (but not the ones starring Steve Martin), Sala’s comic clips along with wit and looks twice as good.
The story features two retired police officers hot on the trail of Super-Enigmatix, a hidden mastermind manipulating crime throughout the city. Shenanigans ensue, and Sala’s wonderful watercolored style is irresistible.
The books also includes three short stories by Sala, who is a true modern gem of comics, which appear in print for the first time.