Tuesday 29 May 2012

Weekly Treats! The Graphic Canon, Chanel Zero...

Whoa there Nellie! Our menu is crammed with titles this week and the first choice on my list is a main course in itself.  The Graphic Canon vol. 1 (Seven Stories) brings together over 130 artists and illustrators including Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Molly Crabapple, Ryan Dunlavey and Peter Kuper who have each adapted 190 works of literature around the world from - as the subtitle puts it - The Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons. It's the sort of book you could return to for some time to come.

Fans of Brian Wood's back catalogue, ranging from more action orientated DMZ and Northlanders to character-driven Local and New York books, should be keen to see the re-release his of some of his early work that he both wrote and illustrated.  Chanel Zero: The Complete Collection (Dark Horse) is a politically charged punky sci-fi tale focused on youths in a police state.  Rough, sparse, edgy and includes an introduction by Warren Ellis.

Batman: Death By Design (DC) is an original hardcover graphic novel written by superstar designer Chip Kidd with sedate, grounded pencil work with the merest hints of colour by Dave Taylor.  There's a nice old-fashioned, 1930's feel to the story which deals with a series of catastrophes during major construction boom in Gotham City which suggest the work of a terrorist. 

One of the surprise success stories of the DC re-launch was Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman vol. 1: Blood (DC) which gets a hardcover release.  By quickly focusing on the Greek mythology first and then later drawing the character into more familiar surroundings, Azzarello has brought a grand sweep to the story especially with the themes of parenthood and legacy.  Cliff Chiang's unfussy illustrations kept the characters nicely grounded.

Other books worth mentioning: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Edition (Dark Horse) is a hardcover, over sized collection of the first two story arcs.  Adam Warren continues his black-and-white cheeky super-hero romp with Empowered vol. 7 (Dark Horse) and my eldest son will be well excited to learn about the release of Ninjago vol. 3: Rise of the Serpentine (Papercutz's biggest selling title apparently) just in time for half term.

Nearly there folks. Comic highlights this week include Batman Annual #1 co-written by Scott Snyder and introducing Mr Freeze to our still freshly-painted DC world - and oh look: he seems to have an association with the Court of Owls. There's also the Animal Man Annual #1 (try asking for that five times getting faster), another stand-alone tale detailing the epic struggle between The Red, The Green and the Rot. Also, The Ravagers #1 illustrated by our friend Ian Churchill and seeing the return of Fairchild from ye olde Gen 13 days (all three titles from DC).  And finally, one or two maybe interested in Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #1 (IDW).... Further information at Wired (see here) including preview pages and a few words from the writer Tony Lee.

Phew! All done. Full list of releases under the tab at the top of the page...

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