I realise these weekly rundowns of the comics I'll be getting are almost certainly of no interest to anyone other than me, but it keeps me happy, and I got nuffink else to post today, so like it or lump it. Anyway, there's a fair clutch of new comics I'd like to get this week; at least four, possibly even five or six. Pretty good week then potentially. Top of the pops is this:
Batman #700. I love anniversary issues, even though they're almost always disappointing. But this should be a good'un: words by Grant Morrison, art by the likes of Andy Kubert, Frank Quitely, David Finch... and a variant cover by Hellboy legend Mike Mignola (the one on the right there; regular cover by David Finch on the left). Apparently this'll feature stories spotlighting Batmen of different eras: Bruce Wayne; Dick Grayson, the current Batman... and the future Batman, Damian Wayne, currently Robin. That last one was last seen in Batman #666, a future tale of a demonic Gotham where the world's gone to pot and Batman's equally mental, possibly Morrison's finest issue of his whole run.
For some reason Morrison seems to get a lot of stick online for his Batman comics, but in truth there are few mainstream superhero comics being published today with the scope and ambition of Morrison's excursions in the Bat-universe. He's been writing various Batbooks for four years now, which is a lot longer than I expected him to stick around, and he's still going strong, which makes his Batman comics the longest sustained run he's had since New X-Men. I'm looking forward to re-reading them soon; it's basically been one long, strange, twisting story.
Also from DC (or rather Vertigo) this week, I'll probably get Unwritten #14, which, as I've mentioned before, I'm sort-of-enjoying-although-it's-not-as-good-as-Lucifer, so I won't bother to throw a cover up here. Or, on the Marvel side of things, for Iron Man #27, 'cos I got nothing to say about it; S.H.I.E.L.D. #2, 'cos I'm not sure I'll get it anyway; or Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Nemesis #2, 'cos I can't really remember much about the first issue, which means I might not get this one either. But let's have a cover for this one:
Captain America #606. Yay for Ed Brubaker. And Baron Zemo's back too. What's not to love? Oh, and apparently this is out too:
Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6. Kupperman is an absurdist comedy genius, and there's usually at least a couple of strips in this that make me laugh out loud. For example:
It's the heightened, hysterical final panel pay-offs that do it for me. And that's about it for this week, although I might grab this if I see it:
A graphic novel adaptation of Donald Westlake's first Dortmunder book, The Hot Rock. I haven't read the original, although I plan to at some point, but I might give this a go in the meantime. Or I might not. I know, the suspense is killing you. And speaking of graphic novels, I picked up these in the last couple of weeks:
Jim Woodring's Weathercraft, and John Arcudi and Peter Snejberg's A God Somewhere. I read Weathercraft over the weekend, and it's very good: as strange and unnerving as Woodring's other Frank comics – possibly even stranger, as at one point I sort of lost the thread of what the hell was going on. There's an interesting look at the book here, along with some art from it, and some thoughts about the parallels between Woodring's comics and, of all things, Rupert the Bear.
I've started A God Somewhere, which is a tale of a regular guy who suddenly gains superpowers. Been done before, right? Well, yes, but this one seems to be a more realistic take on the idea. The characters are well realised, and Snejberg's artwork is, as usual (check out The Light Brigade or his Starman run if you don't believe me), terrific:
You don't see much from Arcudi these days; I really liked his run on Gen13 from about ten years ago, which again attempted a more realistic approach to superheroes. So we'll see how A God Somewhere plays out. One thing to note is it's an original paperback graphic novel, not a collection of previously released comics. I think we'll be seeing more of this sort of thing; sales are so low now on some periodical comics that they wouldn't even act as a loss-leader for an eventual collection. So kudos to WildStorm for at least trying something a bit different. It'll probably still sell bugger-all, but at least they're giving it a go.