Tuesday 8 March 2011

Weekly Treats! Night Animals, Weapons of the Metabaron & Supersized

After writing here about the wonderful The Wrong Place (D&Q) by Brecht Evens and bemoaning that I missed it on its release, I'm putting his next release Night Animals (Top Shelf) at the top of the recommended pile for this week. Although it was completed before The Wrong Place it seems to be a suitable follow-up as, unlike it's rather more grounded predecessor it's a tale of a surreal journeys described by Evens as a walk on the Where The Wild Things Are side. The art is a little more traditional (in that there is line work over the luminescent watercolours) and it's also wordless so it's probably appropriate that I shut up and post up Top Shelf's preview art.

For over thirty years Les Humanoides Associes has been publishing cutting edge sci-fi in comics co-founded by Moebius. With the work being foreign language, they have previously relied on producing Heavy Metal magazine to serialise work and then in the late 90's Humanoids Publishing was founded. Struggling to reach a appropriate level of sales Humanoids faded trying, in later years deals with DC and then Devils Due. Last year Humanoids went it alone again promising to slowly release titles from it's influential back catalogue.

This week sees the release of a spin-off title from the Metabarons series created by filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky which had itself spun out of a series he created with Moebius entitled The Incal, which came about after they failed to get their version of Dune to the screen - phew! Anyway Metabarons was a richly imaginative, sprawling epic that took place over centuries (see here for a distillation of the story's rich world) and generations of said Metabarons. Weapons of the Metabaron (Humanoids) focuses on how one such Metabaron amassed his heavy-duty collection of weapons (generally not found at Argos).
The bonus here is that the book gives us a rare serving of interior art from Travis Charest who has always promised much quality but delivered so little quantity due to his meticulous style. Indeed in this book the art duties were were eventually passed on to Zoran Janjetov who had worked previously with Jodorowsky. See here for Charest's online Spacegirl strip.

In 2004 Morgan Spurlock turned stomachs with his Oscar-nominated documentary about the fast food business. I know what it's like; it's Saturday, you're pushed for time and there's a fast food joint right next to where you're shopping. And really, it's been six years, surely things are better now. Well out comes Spurlock and Jeremy Barlow's reminder but this time it's in comic form. It's titled Supersized: Tales From A Fast-Food Culture (Dark Horse) and it contains new stories as well as expansions on the original movie. Contributing artists include Ron English and Tony Millionaire.

And finally there's the paperback edition of Gotham Central volume one (DC) which is similar in concept to Powers (cops in a precinct embroiled in superhero goings-on) but was even more grounded thanks to Michael Lark's artwork. Crime dream team Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker took turns writing the series which kept it fresh.

And of course some Weekly Treats including Venom #1, Batman Inc., and Walking Dead.

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