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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kyle's Comics Picks - September 26, 2017

My latest obsession, probably spurred from purchasing a run of Slash Maraud and the Jim Rugg black and white fanzine at SPX (along with hanging out with Michel Fiffe and Chuck Forsman) has me scouring back-issue bins for cult classic 80's comics, particularly those published by DC in that era. I've always been a big proponent of Robert Loren Fleming and Trevor Von Eeden's Thriller, but now I also own full runs of Peter B Gillis and Tom Artis' Tailgunner Jo, Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard's Vigilante, Michael Fleisher and Vince Giarrano's Haywire, and Andrew Helfer and Bill Sienkiewicz/Kyle Baker's The Shadow. I certainly won't stop there, as I'm excited to get my hands on the full-blown JLI omnibus that's coming out next month (I've read that series before, many times, but its greatness is stated for a reason). 

But reading through the first issues of Haywire especially, it's hard not to admire how risk-taking DC was during that decade. Publishing an untold amount of vanity projects, some preceding Watchmen, some after, was a move that could have only occurred during that timeframe. DC had experienced their imfamous "implosion" just a few years earlier in 1978, so in hindsight, one gets the sense they were open to anything that wasn't superhero comics - and man oh man, did they ever publish a ton of sci-fi/fantasy properties, with the occasional sprinkling of 80's unrest (Ronin, Power Lords, Omega Men, Electric Warrior, Spanners Galaxy, Wild Dog, Outcasts, Cinder and Ashe, Underworld, Camelot 3000, etc). 

It's worth noting that very few of these ideas have ever really been revitalized, Wild Dog is a Cave Carson supporting character, the recent Omega Men relaunch was a star-making turn for Tom King, and smart Frank Miller fans know that Ronin is his early masterpiece...but beyond that, I doubt we'll ever see Conquerer of the Barren Earth again.


Kamandi Challenge #9 - Tom King and Kevin Eastman team up for the latest of this "relay race" series, which I think has been largely pretty hit and miss, but King is the company's hot writer, and he does a lot of great work in a "one-shot" format. Eastman hasn't drawn a comic that I've been aware of in some time. This is an intriguing combo.

Black Monday Murders #7/Saga #47/Southern Bastards #18 - Really good week if you're an Image fan, BMM continues Hickman's best Image book since Manhattan Projects, Saga continues to inch toward its big issue 50, and Southern Bastards is just great - this time out, written by Jason Latour and Chris Brunner on art duties.

Mighty Thor Omnibus Vol 3 - In your "drop 125 bucks" category, here's the latest Marvel omnibus, this one picking up the finest Thor stories that Jack and Stan ever did - which might also be their best collaborations, depending on how I feel on the day of the week. Some nice art by Buscema in there too. Mangog! Galactus vs. EGO the Living Planet! Comics don't get bigger than that. (There's also a much cheaper Epic Collection out this week too, that collects some of the issues that precede this one)

Berlin #21 - Jason Lutes continues his long-running saga of pre-fascist WWII Germany. One of the strongest offerings D&Q has in their regular rotation.

Corto Maltese: Fable of Venice - IDW does great work with their EuroComics imprint and their launch title keeps on trucking. Beautiful sea-swept adventures here for those who'd like a change of pace from their superhero slugfests.

Gardens of Glass - Fantagraphics is reissuing Lando's collection of short stories. A must for the Euro sci-fi fan, just stunningly desolate stuff.

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