Sunday 18 July 2010

Must Be Thursday 22/7/10

Ooh, you lucky, lucky people, you. It's my weekly round-up of the new comics I'll be purchasing this week – or at least thinking about purchasing – a whole two days early! Shit the bed! The reason for this being, Existential Ennui will be on its summer hols from tomorrow, probably for about a week, maybe longer depending how much I miss blogging (so almost certainly longer then), and I couldn't leave you without my incisive and witty thoughts on the week's slate of new comics. The only problem being I'm working from the unconfirmed list of comics, so things might change by the time Diamond Comic Distributors release their proper official list on Tuesday. But, y'know. Live fucking dangerously for a change, why don'cha?

So, to the comics! And it's a potentially interesting week for the indie publishers, a half-decent week for Marvel, and a rubbish week for DC Comics. Let's look at those indie titles foist:

Up top there is a new series from the one and only Alan Moore, Neonomicon (Avatar, regular and wraparound cover), which sounds like a convention for crusty dayglo ravers and probably isn't as big news as it maybe should be. It's a sequel to The Courtyard, also published by Avatar, which was a comics adaptation of a Moore prose story, and which I didn't read, chiefly because the comics weren't actually written by Moore himself. So that puts me at a slight disadvantage with Neonomicon. I did, however, read the preview, and that was about a couple of FBI agents who visit a madman who speaks in tongues. I think it's all something to do with Lovecraft, but we shall find out. So helpful, aren't I?

Also on an indie tip, there Jeff 'Bone' Smith's interdimensional action thriller Rasl (Cartoon Books), which has got a bit bogged down in a history lesson about Nikola Tesla of late but, judging by the cover, looks like it might be picking up again; and an anniversary issue for The Walking Dead (Image), #75 to be precise. Happy seventy-fifth birthday, Walking Dead! You don't look a day over, uh... no, can't think of a payoff for that one.

Moving on, here's the only comic being published by DC this week that I'm remotely interested in:

DC Universe Legacies
#3 by Len Wein, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Dave Gibbons. It kinda speaks volumes about DC's current output (the recently raved-about Action Comics and Grant Morrison's Bat-books aside) that the only DC comic I'm buying was put together by such an old skool collection of creators. And it's not like DC/Vertigo/WildStorm don't have any comics out this week; they do, around twenty-five of the buggers, plus sundry variant editions and graphic novels. It's just all so sodding pedestrian. I mean, who, exactly, is buying Azrael, or Supergirl, or even Justice Society of America these days? Er, says the man intending to buy DC Universe Legacies...

Things are slightly better over at Marvel this week, but only slightly:

That's Avengers #3 and New Avengers #2, both written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art from John Romita Jr. on the former and Stuart Immonen on the latter. Swings and roundabouts on these Avengers relaunch titles thus far; I like the fact that Hulk-of-the-future the Maestro is involved in Avengers (that's him behind Kang on the cover), but conversely I can't for the life of me recall what happened in New Avengers #1 right now, so a little from column A, a little from column B there. Other than those, it's shit like New Mutants and Lady Deadpool over at Marvel this week, but there is, also, this:

Amazing Spider-Man
#638, wherein Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada attempts to put right all the stuff he fucked up with that bloody awful 'One More Day' story from a few years ago and the subsequent misguided snoozefest the Spider-Man comics have been ever since. At least, that's what I'm hoping wll happen here, 'cos at this point it'll take a fucking miracle to get me reading Spidey comics again...

And that's yer lot for a wee while. As I say, I'll be back online in about a week, hopefully having read a few books, so maybe I'll waffle on about those 'pon my return. In the meantime, if you're really bored, you might find an old post you haven't read before if you click on the archived posts to the right there. I wouldn't recommend it myself, but takes all sorts. Cheerio.

Westlake Score: Anarchaos by Curt Clark

Here's a Donald E. Westlake curio to rank alongside that paperback biography of Elizabeth Taylor Adam got me for me birthday:

This is the US first edition of Anarchaos, a science fiction novel by Westlake, published under the pseudonym Curt Clark in paperback by Ace in 1967. It's been described elsewhere as 'Parker in space': a tough guy on a mission to the eponymous lawless planet to find the man who killed his brother. OK, not quite like a Parker novel then, and also it's written in the first-person, but there is at least a crime element to it. There are loads of copies of this online, probably because many of the listings don't mention Westlake at all, not having made the connection, but this copy's really nice; the page edges are orange and there's some rubbing on the spine, but other than that it looks unread, with no spine creases at all.

Anarchaos was actually collected along with some of Westlake's short SF stories in Tomorrow's Crimes, so I might try and pick that up too at some point. I like the cover illo on this paperback though; when you get up close to it you can see it's almost abstract – those 'cars' whizzing along the highways and the people at the base of the tower merely dabs of paint, while the spacecraft that's just landed looks like a paper plane. It's credited to "Lynch", about whom, as ever, I know nowt. Classy cover though.