Not a lot of time here, so let’s start things off with the Milo Manara image of the week:
PLEASE NOTE: What follows is not a series of capsule reviews but an annotated selection of items listed by Diamond Comic Distributors for release to comic book retailers in North America on the particular Wednesday, or, in the event of a holiday or occurrence necessitating the close of UPS in a manner that would impact deliveries, Thursday, identified in the column title above. Not every listed item will necessarily arrive at every comic book retailer, in that some items may be delayed and ordered quantities will vary. I have in all likelihood not read any of the comics listed below, in that they are not yet released as of the writing of this column, nor will I necessarily read or purchase every item identified; THIS WEEK IN COMICS! reflects only what I find to be potentially interesting.
Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow: Being a new 9.75″ x 7.5″ hardcover edition of artist Anders Nilsen’s 2006 account of knowing his fiancée, Cheryl Weaver, pasted together from things they shared from the time when they were together. From Drawn & Quarterly, 96 pages, with a new afterword by Nilsen. Note that Fantagraphics will release an 80-page expansion of this work’s companion piece, The End, sometime next year. Preview; $19.95.
Sharaz-De: Tales from the Arabian Nights: In which Archaia presents a 224-page, 9″ x 12″ hardcover edition of color and b&w works dating back to the late ’70s by Italian master Sergio Toppi, who died just this past August. I believe this is an all-in-one edition of two separate albums. Toppi is none too familiar a presence in English-translated comics, so this and the publisher’s upcoming compilations of Toppi’s The Collector and Scenes from the Bible should prove welcome. Introduction by Walter Simonson. Preview; $29.95.
The Magic Whistle #12: From the revived Alternative Comics comes a welcome sight – a new 32-page comic book release by Sam Henderson, sure to cure what ails you, by which I mean every known disease. Preview; $3.99.
The Alliance of the Curious: Beyond some stuff in the ’00s revival of Métal Hurlant, I can’t think of any exposure North American readers have had to writer/artist Philippe Riche, so consider this all-in-one Humanoids translation of a 2006-08 series a longform introduction. It’s an 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover, 96 pages in color, with a scenario following antique dealers who get all up in some mysteries. Samples; $29.95.
Iron: Or, the War After: Don’t-know-what-this-is-but-it-looks-pretty (Archaia div.) #1 – a 152-page color graphic novel by New Jersey’s Shane-Michael Vidaurri, seeing a bunch of anthropomorphic critters involve themselves in postwar intrigue. Preview; $24.95.
Cursed Pirate Girl Vol. 1: And #2 – a 152-page barrage of pirates, creatures and ghosts from one Jeremy Bastian, who’s apparently been working at this series for a while in different forms. Preview; $24.95.
Country Ass-Whuppin’: A Tornado Relief Anthology: A couple days ago a friend told me a lot of upcoming comics folk seem to hail from the southern states; no explanation was provided, or perhaps possible (although this friend was also from down south, so maybe it was a matter of regional pride). Nonetheless, sweet validation has arrived in the form of a “uniquely southern anthology” pledging 100% of its proceeds to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Expect 48 pages of “tall-tales and true stories” from Jason Aaron, Cully Hamner, Brian Stelfreeze, Nathan Edmondson, Jason Pearson and others. From 12 Gauge Comics; $5.99.
Judge Dredd: The Garth Ennis Collection: This is another Simon & Schuster compilation of 2000 AD material, specifically a 160-page ‘best of’ compendium for some of the popular genre comic writer’s early material – thrown the keys to the head feature as an early twentysomething! Unless some of his later work shows up here as well; I don’t really know what’s in it. Ennis doesn’t speak highly of a lot of this stuff, and for good reason, but maybe a sampler will someday prove to be all the curious types need; $19.99.
Judge Dredd: The Complete Brian Bolland: Meanwhile, Rebel*OH, EXCUSE ME – IDW has a 248-page, 9.25″ x 12″ hardcover collection of basically all of 2000 AD superstar Bollad’s interior Judge Dredd art, excluding the ones that got ‘em in trouble (I don’t know if it’ll have any of the bits of storylines Bolland contributed to but didn’t complete on his own). In glorious b&w! Samples; $49.99.
Django Unchained #1 (of 6): Finally, Gary Groth can declare his love for the Quentin Tarantino oeuvre in the forum of comics! Well, actually, this looks to be a new Vertigo adaptation of Tarantino’s screenplay to the upcoming feature film, drawn (and, in lieu of a more specific credit, I’ll presume adapted by) R.M. Guéra of Scalped, with flashback art by Jason Latour. May contain scenes not in the final cut, True Believer! Preview; $3.99.
Sparrow Box Set: Ashley Wood: One of the only other recent Sergio Toppi releases I can think of for North America was the 2009 twelfth volume of Sparrow, a 6″ x 6″, 48-page mini art book line from IDW, originated by Ashley Wood. This is a four-book boxed set of just Wood’s contributions to the series, which should prove supple and convenient; $49.99.
Before the Incal: Classic Collection: Following Humanoids’ usual pattern of de-deluxeing its limited edition releases, this is a 7.7″ x 10.5″ hardcover collecting the entirety of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s & Zoran Janjetov’s somewhat aimless but occasionally rewarding 1988-95 prequel to the Moebius-drawn classic. Note that all 304 pages are now in their original publication color. Foreword by Final Incal artist José Ladrönn. Samples; $44.95.
Danza: Usually it’s Viz dishing out the Natsume Ono comics, but this 2007 short story collection (not an unlicensed manga biography) was released by Kodansha, and so they do the same in English; $12.99.
Vagabond VizBig Vol. 11: But you know what Viz does have? Vols. 31-33 of Takehiko Inoue’s swordsman saga, packing in 632 pages of stuff. You’ll be waiting a long while for the next one in this format – the solo vol. 34 isn’t set to drop in Japan until next week, with an English translation at some point in early 2013; $19.99.
Dorohedoro vol. 8: And this thing’s up to vol. 17! Fantasy world antics as Q Hayashida likes it; $12.99.
Paradise Kiss Vol. 2 (of 3): Wishes for the future, huh? It’s still a little cloudy as to what ever happened to Ai Yazawa – her Nana lays abandoned, with murky suggestions of health issues left to float. Still, Vertical has his handsome re-packaging of an earlier (2000-04) series going right now, and with its 264 pages the dream that fashionable living can continue unabated; $19.95.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST RESERVOIR: All who hungered for an enormous 9.25″ x 13″ color softcover compiling the entirety of Basil Wolverton’s Spacehawk will have their fill in this latecoming Best of 2012 Reprint Project, I’m not kidding; $39.99. Fans of lush cartooning and wordplay, however — not really exclusive tribes there — can satiate themselves with Pogo – The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: “Bona Fide Balderdash”, which I’m told ain’t malarkey; $39.99. And then – Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948, for the all of us in all of us; $26.99.