Today at The Journal, we've got Leonard Pierce checking in with a review of The Battle of Churubusco, Fantagraphics latest installment in their small (but sturdy) library of done-in-one graphic novels of action/action/action. Don't be scared by the history class sounding "American Rebels in the Mexican-American War"--according to Leonard, this one is all money shots.
If this all sounds like the stuff of a classic Western film, that’s because it’s designed to be. The whole thing is cinematic in the extreme, practically begging you to imagine it on the big screen with a John Ford type behind the camera. (There’s even a scene where the tough, steely Mexican señorita on the side of the rebels drags a wounded Rizzo through a massive thunderstorm gathering on the horizon which will make you positive you’ve seen this movie...even though there’s no movie.) Everything from the way Ferraris illustrates the stark southwestern vistas to the way he mixes his archetypical characters together is well-crafted pure genre nitroglycerine.
Yesterday, Image Comics announced a whole list of new titles, ranging from "Harry Potter meets Riverdale" to a print edition of Dean Haspiel's webcomic. The one that caught my eye was, in a surprising coincidence, the one related to Rob Liefeld. Following in the footsteps of that thing where Brandon Graham reimagined Prophet as a comic featuring anthropomorphic toilets that didn't make any sense, Liefeld's handed the reins of Bloodstrike over to comics titan Michel Fiffe, who kindly provided readers of The Comics Journal with a preview from the upcoming series.
The other big news from yesterday was the announcement of the LA Times Book Prize nominees, which has proven itself over the last few years to be genuinely interested in comics in a way that puts quite a few other newspapers with the word "Times" in their name to shame. The nominees include Gabrielle Bell, Yuichi Yokoyama, Leslie Stein, Connor Willumsen & Manuele Fior. (They even have the class to namecheck Fior's translator, Jaime Richards.) Go figure: if you bring aboard judges who actually like and read comics, the list they produce has the potential to reflect the breadth and depth of the medium.