Welcome to the Part-Time Fanboy picks of the week for November 19, 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.
By: Frank Cho
Publisher: Flesk Publications
Let’s face it…for many comic artists, presenting the female form can be a challenge. One of the things that’s often heard from beginning artists is how hard it can be to draw women in a dynamic and interesting fashion. Luckily Frank Cho has released this volume to help anyone who has a problem rendering those members of the sex with a somewhat curvier anatomy. Whatever you feel about Cho’s artistic style it cannot be denied that he has an ability to illustrate captivatingly sensual women. He’s practically built his whole career on it. So much like the old E.F. Hutton ads…when Frank Cho talks about drawing gorgeous women…you should listen. This is probably a book that just about every aspiring comic book artist should have in their library…at least those who prefer to draw their female fantasy figures with some sort of realistic anatomy that will get male (and some female) tongues wagging.
Publisher: Titan Books
A couple of weeks ago I recommended the latest Titan Books collection of Modesty Blaise and now I’m seeing that Titan is set to release a new James Bond collection of newspaper strips. I have some of the early editions of these Bond collections and I have to say that, much like the Modesty Blaise collections, I love these things. For fans of old comic strip art and fans of Bond these books are a must have. Most of the strips collected in these volumes are direct adaptations of the novels and books that created Bond in the first place. So if you’ve watched many of the films and been aghast at how many liberties they’ve taken with the character you should be picking these books up. These comics tend to be a more faithful version of Bond and his missions than the movies ever were or have been. The art in these strips is also terrific. There’s a consistent old school workmanship present on these pages that you don’t really see in modern comics anymore. Some of the stuff is a bit dated but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. These books are just all around great reads. You can click here for a review that I did of a story in a previous volume. If that doesn’t convince you to pick this up I don’t know what will.
Princess Ugg TPB
By: Ted Naifeh
Publisher: Oni Press
Take a sword and sorcery aesthetic, put a bit of a Harry Potter twist on it, drop a sprig of Red Sonja into it, and mix in a dash of teenage princess angst and you’ve got Princess Ugh. Courney Crumrin’s Ted Naifeh returned to comics with this adorable series about a barbarian princess sent off to finishing school. Much of my description is a bit too simplistic to encompass just how fun and charming this series is. I’m actually extremely excited that this book is finally being released in a trade paperback edition as it’s the perfect book to sit down and read with my daughter. Princess Ugg is the perfect protagonist for those little girls that are either growing out of the princess phase of their development or who have never really warmed up to it at all. Plus the art is just absolutely gorgeous. It’s powerful enough to suck in those of us who grew up worshipping at the altar of Frazetta and wistful enough to appeal to little girls everywhere. This is a trade paperback I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Valiant has been spreading its wings lately and with their latest book, Punk Mambo, they seem to be ready to jump into early Vertigo Comics territory. And if you’re going to jump into Vertigo Comics territory I can think of few writers better than Peter Milligan to go to to get you that feel. Punk Mambo is a comic that is poised to take the Vertigo universe into somewhat seedier and darker places than most of their books have been to before. Sure, they’ve had Shadowman and Doctor Mirage but Punk Mambo has the feel of a comic that wants to go into Hellblazer or Preacher mode…which is great because, as far as I’m concerned, you can never really have too much of that kind of comic. Mambo looks to be a book that’s ready to step outside the established norms of the Valiant line and embrace the edgier side of comics. It’s great to see Valiant taking a chance on comics like this but then Valiant’s been a company that’s always been able to impress me. Hopefully Punk Mambo is a book that will go in as crazy a direction as some of Milligan’s other books. If it does, it could end up becoming one of Valiant’s most interesting comics.