For Real This Time

Shuddering wheezingly back to life, time waits for no one, and Joe McCulloch is here with his weekly guide to the best-sounding new comics available in stores. Devoted readers of the comics form will know what to do.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, an incomplete collection of links from the past two weeks:

[UPDATED TO ADD:] —News. This morning, IDW announced their acquisition of Top Shelf. More on this soon.

—Best of 2014 Lists. These of course proliferated recently, and I only collect a few of the ones which have appeared during our break. Some are interesting either because the recommendations are actually solid, personal lists, others merely for helping to gauge the online zeitgeist. In no particular order: Michael Dooley at Print, Nick Gazin at Vice, Brian Cremins, a slew of lists collected by Forbidden Planet, various contributors at Robot 6, Comics Alliance, Wired, Marc-Oliver Frisch. There are surely more of these to come. Also, the Beat polled comics industry professionals and named Raina Telgemeier as the person of the year.

—Interviews and Profiles. Tom Spurgeon got his annual holiday interviews slate going with Jesse Jacobs. Noah Berlatsky spoke to Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger. Brigid Alverson talked to Ryan Sands about his rotating-artist anthology series Frontier.

—Funnies. Anders Nilsen on optimism. Connor Willumsen's "Sunset People". Gabrielle Bell's "The Dishrack".

—Reviews & Commentary. Paul Karasik analyzes a classic Charles Addams gag. Tim O'Neil hopes you don't overlook Jules Feiffer's Kill My Mother (and is himself deeply confused about Crumb's Genesis). Michelle Dean reviews Jeet Heer's new essay collection, Sweet Lechery. Abhay Khosla looks at The Valiant #1.

—News-ish. Speaking of Valiant, Abraham Riesman profiles the company for Vulture.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the expanding and diversifying readership of comics.

SAW has added some nice rewards (4CP cards from John Hilgart, etc.) to its fundraising campaign.