What’s SHOOT THE MESSENGER?
Well, AICN COMICS: SHOOT THE MESSENGER is your weekly one stop shop for comic book news that’s dropped in the previous week. Thanks to Newsarama, CBR, Wizard, etc. for reporting it as it breaks. Click on the links for the original stories. This column cuts the crap to run down all the vital information for those of you who don’t follow it as it comes in, and serves it all up with that special ingredient of @$$y goodness. It’s also the place for interviews, previews, and special reports.
Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. Before we break out the eggnog and start with our X-M@$$ list, let’s take a look at a few sneak peeks coming out this holiday season.
First up is ROBIN #181. This comic has been smoldering under the radar for a while. After Dixon left the book, it fell into the capable hands of Fabian Nicieza who is amping up the action and angst for the Boy Wonder. Check out this 5 page preview.
ROBIN’s been surprisingly good under the writing talents of Fabian Nicieza. Be sure to check out the friggin’ anarchy this Wednesday.
THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST is the latest book released by Studio 407, a publishing company who have been putting out some quality horror stories for a while now. Check out this gothic nightmare of a story in this 8 page preview.
I love the art on this book. Very reminiscent of Tom Mandrake. Check out THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST #1, coming soon from Studio 407.
Wednesday is a very special day for Vertigo fans. HELLBLAZER reaches it’s 250th issue--the first Vertigo comic to do so. The book is written and drawn by some of your favorite Vertigo creators. Check out this extra special preview which features the first page of each story.
Check out this Vertigo milestone on Wednesday!
Finally, we creep into the crypt for another spooky tale from Bluewater’s VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS. Issue #4 is a Poe-esque cautionary tale featuring Mr. Price playing a Bluebeard character. Don’t read this issue with the lights out. Well, you wouldn’t be able to read it with the lights out, but you know what I mean…
Find out the rest of this creepy tale when VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #4 hits the stands this week.
Thank you, Father Christmas. You got me just what I wanted most: the gift of not being digested by a bear.
-- Stephen Colbert: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!
AICN COMICS: Ye Olde Christm@$$ Wish List
The Holidaze are almost upon us, which means if you’re anything like these @$$holes, you haven’t even started shopping for presents yet. Thankfully (or, depending on your point of view, unfortunately,) the various contributors to AICN’s Comic Book division have rattled off a list of all the best swag to give to the comics fiend on your list.
We’re all on your list, right?
Well, firstly let me recommend SEAGALOGY from our friends at Titan Books and written by everyone’s pal Vern. It’s a mostly hilarious and occasionally insightful trawl through Seagal’s career that’s worth a read even if you wouldn’t watch one of his movies once. And Vern watches them a lot more than that. Highlights include the chapter on his energy drink.
A Stones Throw Shopping Guide
It’s a WATCHMEN Christmas this year. Rereleased # 1s, ABSOLUTE editions, making of books, the lot. I even got the inflatable Rorschach vs. Big Figure lawn display. But no one seems to be talking about the real inspiration behind the book. The little guy who made it all possible. That’s right, Alan Moore’s favorite superhero. I remember Herbie Popnecker from a distant childhood, and that interview’s certainly got me intrigued to take another look. Dark Horse released volume one of the HERBIE ARCHIVES earlier this year, so I see no reason not to.
Otherwise, if there’s any comic book fans who want to find out a little more about the history of our medium, I’m with them in not being able to wait to read David Hadju’s TEN-CENT PLAGUE: THE GREAT COMIC BOOK SCARE AND HOW IT CHANGED AMERICA. And I’d certainly never buy one of these for myself, but that’s why ‘tis the season.
For the Batfan on your list: I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but BATMAN: THE COMPLETE ANIMATED SERIES Limited Edition Collection is a must-have for any Batman fan—it’s the truest vision of the Dark Knight ever to be put on screen (sorry, Christopher Nolan) and marks the beginning of the Golden Age of DC animation. This set includes the material from the four previously released Batman boxed sets along with a new documentary disk. Of course, if you really want to be a completist you need to include BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM with this set…and BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER UNCUT EDITION… and the SUPERMAN series, BATMAN BEYOND, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED…
BottleImp’s Bag of Goodies
For that friend who wasn’t really into comics but enjoyed that copy of WATCHMEN that you lent them but hasn’t found any other comics that they like: Try THE TWELVE—J. Michael Straczynski’s and Chris Weston’s tale of twelve WWII era heroes who were cryogenically frozen and revived in the present day shares a similar deconstructionist theme with Moore’s and Gibbon’s classic, but manages to delve into issues and situations that make it stand apart from the Citizen Kane of comic books. Great art, great characters, great murder-mystery plot, and THE TWELVE is constructed in such a way that no prior knowledge of comics is necessary to enjoy this series. The only downside is that since it’s as-yet unfinished, the trade collection only contains the first six issues of what will ultimately be a twelve issue series—but hey, you could look at it as a setup for a future birthday or Christmas gift, right?
For the lifelong fan of the FANTASTIC FOUR comic who was devastated when their childhood was raped by the two FANTASTIC FOUR films: First, get them DVDs of FANTASTIC FOUR and FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (you can probably get them cheap at any used DVD place—I got my copies for less than $7 for the pair). Then go to www.rifftrax.com and download the Rifftrax mp3s for these cinematic turds. These commentary tracks (written and performed by former MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 stars Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) actually make watching the FANTASTIC FOUR movies an enjoyable experience and ease the pain of having Dr. Doom be reduced to a smarmy CEO and watching Jessica Alba try to act like a brainy scientist.
And for that person who is excited about the upcoming SPIRIT movie but is unfamiliar with the source material: Just get them DC’s THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT trade paperback and convince them to stay home and read instead of going to the movie. It’s like two presents in one, ‘cause you’ll be exposing them to the genius of Will Eisner as well as saving them eight bucks and a heaping helping of disappointment at what looks to be one of the biggest steaming piles of crap to hit the screen this year.
So instead of listing some things that are cool to get this holiday season I'm going to list three things I WANT - and are still cool for the season. This way if you go out and get one - get two and SEND ME ONE!
Ryan McLelland’s LIST O' WHATIWANT
#1 - SPACED DVD My favorite sitcom of all time is FINALLY available here in the U.S. only seven years after the last episodes aired. Way to be on top of things BBC! Better late than never I say, as you introduce yourselves to Jessica Stevenson (now Jessica Hynes) and Simon Pegg as two roommates sharing a London flat, their wacky neighbors and friends, stolen tanks, paintballing, Darth Maul, Robot Wars, Resident Evil, and so, so, so much more. The comic connection? Pegg's Tim Bisley is an aspiring comic book artist who also works at a comic book shop where he scolds young children for wanting to buy Jar Jar Binks action figures (as every clerk should). The series is so witty that to this day I still find new things I never noticed yet is simple enough to draw you in after just an episode. Did I mention that all the episodes are directed by Edgar Wright, who directed Pegg in such classics as Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz? If you've never seen it you are truly missing something and once you own it you'll never regret it.
#2 - ELEKTRA Omnibus I love these collections that Marvel are putting out (thanks for HOWARD THE DUCK, but can we get some GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY or NEW UNIVERSE Omnibus releases) and the latest I need for my collection is the ELEKTRA Omnibus. The ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN mini-series and ELEKTRA LIVES AGAIN graphic novel are joined by single issues of BIZARRE ADVENTURES and WHAT IF. All are written here by creator Frank Miller back when the man was truly getting into his prime. Here we get into some of the origins of the super-hottie assassin and segue into her coming back to the Marvel Universe once again. Because the only person who stays dead in the Marvel Universe is Bucky. Wait...he's back. Um...Captain Marvel! He's still dead, right? Anywho, this collection features some phenom art by legends like Bill Sienkiewicz, who did such an amazing job on the ASSASSIN miniseries. Now this hardback omnibus is a bit pricy ($74.99) so it's always better to snag your (and my) copy from Amazon, but seeing Elektra long before she got her own movie (shudder) is well worth the trip.
#3 - MR. SCOOTLES TPB I can't rave enough about this indie series which has FINALLY been collected in trade paperback from Alterna Comics. It's a comic book tale you've seen focusing on two kids accidentally opening up a gate to hell on Earth while releasing a long-forgotten about cartoon character into hell itself. Forces from Heaven and Hell get into the fray as the whole thing could cultivate into doom for everyone on Earth. Can Mr. Scootles escape Hell and save the day? Can the day even be saved? Creator H.C. Noel has made something so special and unique that you'll never find anything like it anywhere on shelves. Hands down the best use of an anthromorphic character since Cerebus, this is one Christmas present you'll never regret getting yourself (or me).
This year there’s yet another freaking sweet edition of WATCHMEN available. This hardcover edition, while no Absolute, is a well put together volume. Plus, it’s easier to carry around than the gigantic Absolute, with several of the same bonus features, making this a nice tradeoff between the deluxe Absolute and the ubiquitous paperback. Of course, with the economy the way it is, not many people can afford to spend 40 bucks on one present, so there’s…
Vroom SockoSees You When You’re Sleeping…
THE WATCHMEN #1 that just came out this week. (Look for a full review from me next column.) This is the perfect way to hook those people who got a kick out of The Dark Knight this summer, but had no idea what that crazy-ass trailer in front was all about. And at the original 80’s cover price of $1.50, this is the best comic book value for your buck in years. Then again, you don’t want to be considered a cheapskate for only spending two bucks on a gift, so you could also throw in…
THE COMEDIAN’S SMILEY FACE BUTTON, COMPLETE WITH BLOODSTAIN. Oh come on. You KNOW you always wanted one!
And now, a poetic interlude…
The Night Before Crisis,
or A Few Reasons I Can’t Think of A Single Comic Book From This Past Year to Recommend for Christmas
‘Twas the night before CRISIS
When all through the multiverse
Dan Didio’s hand reached for your purse.
The lies were all spun by marketing with care,
In hopes that great profit soon would be there.
The middle-aged knuckle-draggers were hunkered in front of their Dells.
Watching nude visions of Power Girl with strategically placed bells.
And wife with her eyerolling and I with my cash
Had just settled down for a continuity bash.
When right out of the gate confusion set in,
I ran to the computer to see what was the matter.
Away to the internet I flew like the Flash,
First Lying in the Gutters, and then headquarters of @$$.
The distraction of the breasts of the pop-up ad girl
Just fed into the problem of my own A.D.D….now where was I?
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an insulting and increasingly late series by one insane writer and a round of beer,
With a bald, mustachioed EIC, so power drunk and so sick;
I knew in a moment he might be a dick.
More vapid than Britney his cogs they came.
And he meddled and dangled cash while he called them by name;
“Now, Morrison! Now Ross! Now Robinson and Johns! Move On, Dixon! Move on Kitson! Move On, Shooter and Waid!
You first four stay here and do what I want, by gosh!
But, dash away dammit! You last four get lost!
Like a La Brea mammoth in the tarpit sinking,
Or course J.G. couldn’t meet deadlines, what the hell was he thinking?
So out to the stores the increasingly late sack of monkeyshit flew
With tie-ins galore and R.I.P. too.
And what the hell’s up with that Japanese team?
Kirby’s Fourth World replaced by a bad dream?
As they drew a head,
With a mohawk and pinched expression,
Downward I spiraled into utter depression.
And then the finale of R.I.P. was just a ploy not funny
With an ending yet to come,
I wondered just how big of dumbasses us fans have become,
To support such blatant manipulation with our hard earned money.
Wait for the trade
Had once been the mantra you see,
But now even that format
Can deliver a complete story.
Didio’s eyes how they twinkled! His moustache so hairy!
His beer glass half empty, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth could speak out of both sides at once,
And present an illusion of planning but every friggin’ time punts.
FINAL CRISIS ties in to R.I.P. which leads into
BLACKEST NIGHT which springboards into SECRET ORIGIN which prompts a BATTLE FOR THE COWL.
FOURTH WORLD begets FIFTH WORLD which returns to the THIRD WORLD and into the DREAM WORLD and infringes upon DISNEY WORLD,
It’s amazing what peyote can do.
He spoke many words, but contradicted himself always because it’s his work,
And filled all the press releases with half-truths and lies revealing himself to be a jerk.
So flipping his middle finger to us, he gave a nod
And somehow held on to his job.
He sprang back to the bar and called together his team,
And they planned and they plotted the next money-making scheme.
But I heard him exclaim as he stumbled into the night,
“FINAL CRISIS was just a precursor to more and if you don’t like it you can just SUCK IT!”
By Prof. Challenger (with apologies to Clement Moore)
JOKER Original Graphic Novel: Probably the easiest and most universally appealing recommendation I can make for this Holiday season, JOKER was also simply one of the most engaging comic book reads I had all year. Capitalizing on the phenomena that is the Joker, and an apt depiction of him much more in line with the late Heath Ledger's version of the character, this Original Graphic Novel was a fantastic character study of a being that lives to defy convention. Brian Azzarello did a great job of presenting the character at his most raw, as well as in a story with the appropriate amount of dirtiness and criminality, and Lee Bermejo's pencils and paints were exceptional at bringing the whole ordeal to life as we go through the day-to-day life and glimpse the psyche of one of the most darkened and yet shockingly charismatic characters in all of comics history. Best part is, given the success of THE DARK KNIGHT, this is a book that could easily be handed off to the casual or even non-fan alike and still probably be met with as much enthusiasm as the movie itself has been both this summer and recently in the box office and Best Buy alike. This one is a complete no-brainer.
Humphrey Lee’s Alcohol Addled Shopping Spree
LOCAL Complete Edition: If there's someone in your special circle that would be the more indie-centric type, then there's almost no reason not to wrap this doozy of a collection up for them. Not only has LOCAL been one of the best comics out there period these past couple years but this edition is probably the best deal you're going to find in comics pretty much ever. Oversized and loaded with near 400 pages of material for just thirty bucks, this collection of LOCAL is just brimming with great characters, fantastic art, and an excellent concept that really brings a lot of atmosphere to its pages as it spans the continental U.S. and draws energy from all its settings. Overall, this is an excellent comic in an excellent collection that is a testament to the medium and the kinds of emotions it can evoke and the kinds of stories that can be told in it with just a little innovation and that extra human touch.
LOCKE & KEY Vol. 1: WELCOME TO LOVECRAFT: One of the biggest surprises for me this year, mostly in how under the radar this book flew considering both its quality and the pedigree of its "princely" scribe, LOCKE & KEY is a great gift idea for those that are big on the horror/thriller genre. The story is deceptively intricate--while at the surface it's that of a supernatural ilk involving a mansion with charmed rooms that cause certain events to occur as you cross their thresholds, there's also a deep rooted and mysterious past surrounding the household itself and the lineage of the family that has occupied it for several generations. Reveling in the suspense and tragedy involving the current inhabitants of the Lovecraft area, and not afraid to bring on the gore which is all wonderfully detailed by Gabriel Rodriguez' pencils, LOCKE & KEY is ideal for those who like their comics to slowly nudge them to the edge of their seats.
THE STARMAN OMNIBUS, Vol. 1: Quite possibly the best superhero comic I've ever read, James Robinson's STARMAN has finally made its Hardcover debut. While sadly not oversized, this new edition of the DCU classic is still a fantastic compilation, both from an aesthetic standpoint with the excellent wraparound cover and sturdy binding and content as it includes seventeen issues’ worthth of material - all chronological unlike the trade paperback editions - for a mere fifty bones. With an excellent lead character in Jack Knight, son of the original Starman and quite the everyman/intrepid hero, and reveling in both the history of the DCU and the culture of the fictitious Opal City that he calls home, STARMAN is bound to win over all your diehard (yet uninitiated to its pages) Capes and Tights crowd and your Universe fanatics, all the way down to those who don't have a clue in the slightest as to the history of this lineage but just want to read some heartfelt comics with the occasional bits of ass-kickery. STARMAN is one for the ages and likewise one that should be on every shelf. Do yourself a favor and make sure it's on your loved one's as well.
THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPCIAL with Riff Trax: Top of my list is something really not that expensive. Awhile back for a “Christmas Card” I sent out a dvd double feature: na MST3K Christmas movie (Is there anything better than a Christmas movie featuring Satan?) and The Star Wars Holiday Special. This Christmas I’m saying… enjoy both things at the same time. A good quality copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special can be found online at a site that sounds a lot like Doogle Kiddeo. The entire special including all the commercial breaks in one file. Once you get that, head over to Riff Trax.com, the site run by a bunch of the former MST3K folks where they’ve continued to mock movies via mp3. While most of the Riff Trax are for commercial releases they actually have a Riff Trax for The Star Wars Holiday Special, one designed to sync up best with the downloadable version mentioned above. The only thing more fun than staring in shock at Grampa Wookie getting a VR sex machine for Christmas is hearing Mike Nelson and company’s stunned reaction to the same thing. The video is free, the Riff Trax is just four bucks. Awesome cheap fun.
Jinxo’s Jigger of Gifts:
DOCTOR WHO on DVD: I’m also going to recommend the new Doctor Who on DVD. All four seasons are out on DVD and it’s a great show for comic geeks. Each season is better than the one before. It embraces the original series’ continuity as well as meshing its continuity with that of its two spin off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. With each season building off of ALL that has gone before, the more you watch the more you are rewarded in later seasons. I’ve currently hooked a friend of mine on Dr. Who and Torchwood to the extent she is accusing me of being some sort of DVD crack dealer. In the U.S. the sets the sets aren’t the cheapest. In stores you’re likely to see the different seasons selling for $80 to $100. For a 14 or 15 episode season that’s a bit pricey. But Amazon has the various seasons currently priced down to around $50 to $65 apiece which isn’t too bad. And for full impact you do want to check out Torchwood too. If you have a geek you like a WHOLE lot, empty your wallet and buy them the whole shebang including the spin offs. If you have a geek you don’t like quite that much, just get him Doctor Who Season 1 and just get him hooked.
Sonic Screwdriver: While I’m at it, for those of you already with a Doctor Who geek in your life, go over to Amazon’s toy area and buy him a sonic screwdriver. So silly but it really is a good replica of The Doctor’s favorite gadget. Has all the bells and whistles you’d want. So stupid but I have one and…I love the damn thing. Other geeks revel in having a lightsaber, I dig on the sonic screwdriver. It also writes in invisible ink that can be revealed by the screwdriver’s blue light. I actually use it to keep certain passwords hidden yet handy. That Post-It note might look like it’s there so I have my friend’s phone number handy but in point of fact… For twenty bucks it’s a fun stocking stuffer.
SPACED on DVD: One more Brit DVD set. Not intentionally pushing UK stuff, really. Just I think most folks are already aware of much of the U.S. stuff I’d recommend. What would even be the point of recommending The Dark Knight? Who doesn’t know about that? But it is possible some folks aren’t aware of something like the UK show Spaced. It’s a show made by geeks about geeks for geeks. Here’s the premise: aspiring comic book artist Tim has broken up with his girlfriend. Aspiring writer Daisy’s boyfriend is away at school. They both need a place to live and discover a great cheap apartment but the landlord only wants to rent to a married couple. Next thing you know Tim and Daisy pretend to be married. Having established that Three’s Company-ish premise the show promptly ignores it in favor of smarter pop culture humor. The characters on this show will likely remind you of people you know. Truth be told I’m guessing most AICN readers are nearly as aware of this series as they are of THE DARK KNIGHT. But these DVDs has been out for awhile so it might not be on the top of your mind to buy someone for Christmas. It should be. Have a friend who loved the original Star Wars trilogy but felt betrayed by the prequels? Buy this series for them and let Tim vent their pain for them.
The Paul Pope Trifecta: HEAVY LIQUID, BATMAN: YEAR 100, and PULPHOPE: THE ART OF PAUL POPE For the comic fan with slightly more varied tastes. Paul Pope is a fantastic artist with an equally impressive imagination. Here are three great choices for every type of comic/media fan. If your tastes run a bit outside of the weekly grind of mainstream comics then HEAVY LIQUID is the perfect choice. But if you like the mainstream fare with a bit of a twist BATMAN: YEAR ONE HUNDRED might be what you’re looking for. Still, if you could care less about story and just want to see some great artwork PULPHOPE may be just up your alley. In either case, one or all of the Paul Pope Trifecta is sure to make any comic fan happy on Festivus morning.
DEAD SET DVD: Love THE WALKING DEAD? Who doesn’t? Love 28 DAYS LATER? Who doesn’t? Well, if you’re as crazy about good zombie/apocalypse fiction as I am then you need to check out this series. Quint mentioned it in his holiday list and said he hadn’t had a chance to see it. Well, I have and it’s frakking great. Five episodes of terrific zombie/infected/whatever gore/action/tension. One problem: it’s British so you can only get it and watch it in the U.K. Solution: get yourself a region free DVD player and order it off of Amazon.co.uk. It’s worth every penny of the exchange rate.
THE CREAM OF TANK GIRL: My review of this book comes out this week but I just have to add this to my holiday list. For any cartoonist who wants to see a master at work and anyone interested in comics outside the norm. This book is the bee’s knees.
CAMELOT 3000, Deluxe Edition: One of the great, mostly unsung mini-series of the 1980’s finally gets the hardcover treatment. Here is a book that doesn’t get enough credit for its original take on an old idea or its breathtaking artwork by Brian Bolland. While history has lauded THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and WATCHMEN with deserved praise CAMELOT 3000 almost never gets talked about these days. Maybe it wasn’t gritty enough. To which I say: who gives a crap? It was entertaining as hell without making me feel like the people I was rooting for were miserable bastards. Remember when comics were like that?
The first two Very Special Douchey Christmas Comic Book List items come straight from you, the TalkBackers. For every post that merely slams our reviews, tastes, mothers and sexual orientation, there are other posts that expand the dialogue and offer up some choice titles that might be of interest. Thank You TB for the following stocking stuffer ideas.
Optimous Douche Checks it Twice
THE INVISIBLES by Grant Morrison – Volumes 1-???? I have a confession to make. I quit on comics during most of the 90’s. It was a dark time and I simply could not watch something I loved so much disintegrate in front of my eyes. So my first exposure to Mr. Grant Morrison was not until after 2000, where I watched him shake the X-Universe to the core. He then followed things up with kicking the teeth out of the tired old Superman stories. Well, sadly it was not until we started eviscerating FINAL CRISIS that his staunch defenders stepped up to bat and offered a treasure trove of past works that would titillate at the same level of All Star Supes. Time and again THE INVISIBLES has been thrown out as some of his greatest work. Give ‘em to me. Some have stated that the wheels fell off this series after volume three and I appreciate that advice. But I’m going to work. Start me at 1 and take me to the end please. If it’s half as good as ALL STAR SUPERMAN I will be a happy man.
JOKER by Brian Azzarello I get angry each time I watch The Dark Knight on DVD -- since this is it. This is the only time we will ever see Ledger and Nolan’s interpretation of the clown prince on film. I think I’m with most fans in saying that we wouldn’t want to see this nightmarish vision seep into regular continuity, but I think it’s also safe to say no one wants to see this vision die simply because of a tragic accident. After we ran the review of this book there was a resounding chorus saying that Heath was alive and well again in the pages of this title. Even if the Joker is simply partaking in a sadistic sewing circle, I want to see more of what has kept me enthralled through repeated viewings of The Dark Knight.
Deck the Walls I’m generally a word guy when it comes to comics, but there are three artists that make me stand back and simply stare at the beauty and/or mad genius they put on a canvas. In no particular order may I present the works of James Jean, Alex Ross and Frank Quitely that I would be proud to hand in my man cave.
James Jean is the mad genius behind the exquisite FABLES and UMBRELLA ACADEMY covers. If you can find one that isn’t sold out and afford the $2,000 price tag I recommend some of his original work. However, if you are a poor working schlub like me, his prints will have to do. In the $50-80 range these works of art will horrify and amaze.
Alex Ross’ original artwork would beautify any collectors’ den, while also breaking their bank. His original pieces range from the price of a small car to a house down payment, but man they sure are pretty.
Now, for anyone not rolling around in millions of dollars may I present the more attainable way to obtain Ross’ work in giant size. Go to Amazon and type in Alex Ross POSTERS.
I was pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Quitely to be the most affordable of the original art work hawkers. With pieces ranging in the hundreds as opposed to thousands, it actually made me believe I could own an original at some point in my life. The following are simply panels. But if anyone knows how to obtain giant size Quitely original work, please drop me a line.
Since they haven’t invented the Universal Translator yet so I can understand the writings of Grant Morrison a little better, I guess I’ll have to settle for these picks.
What Ambush Bug would have gotten this year if he hadn’t been so damn naughty…
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: APOCALYPSE SUITE HC LIMITED EDITION: This honking monster of a book would be perfect for comic book fans, emo kids, and just about anyone with some sense of good taste. The miniseries introduces us to a set of unique characters that used to defend the world as children and are brought together as adults to deal with the death of their adoptive father. Madness and mayhem ensue in this surprise hit by Gerard Way with exquisite art by Gabriel Ba. This hardcover edition reprints the book on oversized pages allowing you to enjoy the story and art even more. Additional material also includes an introduction by Grant Morrison and a huge sketchbook showing the evolution of the characters.
On the obscure front, no desk would be complete with the SUPER MAXI-PAD GIRL Plush Doll. I’m reviewing this indie treat in this week’s Indie Jones section and while I was doing a bit of research on the book, I stumbled upon this cool as hell doll. It’s a tampon that fights the evil-doings of the dastardly Period! Follow the link and pick this one out to piss off your girlfriend.
Every year, I reward myself with a Bowen Designs mini-bust. I’ve only picked up a few of them, but it’s a habit of mine that is becoming increasingly hard to break because the guys at Bowen do such a damn fine job with both the detail and durability of these little masterpieces. The other cool thing is that they showcase some of Marvel’s more obscure characters. This time around, I think the Cloak & Dagger mini-bust is going on my Christmas list. Sure, technically they aren’t busts since it looks as if both Cloak & Dagger are sporting arms, but who gives a shit? It’s still one of the finest looking mini-busts around.
My final addition to this list o’ wishes is Image Comics’ beautiful comic book achievement COMIC BOOK TATTOO. I got this book a while back and have yet to finish it, but from what I’ve seen, it’s one of the most poetically written and gorgeously drawn comic book compilations ever. Inspired by lyrics and songs by Tori Amos, this hardcover is one of those books that you can pick up anytime when you’re in the mood for inspiration and close the book feeling satisfied, entertained, and affected. I believe it’s also available in a softcover version for those of you who don’t want to fork over the moolah for the hardback.