Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Weekly Treats! Mrs Webers Omnibus, Multiple Warheads

Have you ever thought that Tamara Drew has something of a kinship with Bridget Jone's Diary? Well in 1977 Posy Simmonds began work on a regular strip for The Guardian about middle-aged, middle-classed life of three old school friends led by Wendy Weber which was hung around the format of a diary and included flights of fantasy that drew on fantasy sequences in the style of old girls adventure stories. Yes, it's Bridget Jones all grown up, with kids but before BJ had ever been written. As the strip progressed the diary format changed, the cast expanded but the warm, character storytelling was there from the outset. Mrs Weber's Omnibus (Jonathan Cape) collects the entire Weber strips, which ran for a decade, plus extra material taking it up to the early 90's and pushing the page count to almost 500 pages.

Along with Raymond Briggs, Posy Simmonds is an important name in British comics particularly as they have always operated outside of genre-specific fields of sci-fi, crime and fantasy, so it's a treat to see so much of her work collected in one volume. There's a wonderful article about Simmond's career written by Paul Gravett for a retrospective of her work exhibited in Brussels earlier in the year and featured on his website (see here).

In rather a sparse week for new release books, also out is Dancer (Image) by Nathan Edmondson and Nic Klein. The writer of Who Is Jake Ellis? brings us more Hollywood crime this time featuring a retired assassin protecting a ballerina from a familiar killer. And Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism (St. Martin's Press) is a new illustrated novel by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden set after WW II in a Church/orphanage that sees puppets come to life after dark...

No question for me that comic of the week is Multiple Warheads: Alphabet To Infinity #1 of 4 (Image) written and illustrated by Brandon Graham. If you've read his brilliant King City (see here) you'll already be frothing with anticipation. If you haven't, check out the solicitation description: Sexica and her Werewolf boyfriend Nikoli travel across a sci-fi, fantasy Russia smoking singing cigarettes. Meanwhile the organ hunter Nura is sent out with a severed head and instructions to find its body. There's a nice long interview with Graham in 2 parts on ComicsAlliance here and here. Absolutely essential.

Also no doubt inspiring tremors of anticipation is Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward's new animation project Bravest Warriors. Will lightning strike twice? Bravist Warriors #1 (kaboom!) begins the tie-in comic series of the heroes-for-hire warping to galaxies to save alien races in need of their help. More cartoon madness in the form of A-Babies vs X-Babies One-Shot (Marvel) written by Skottie Young and illustrated by Gurihiru. I'm not sure I can say anything about this - you either have a big silly grin on your face or are viewing it through heavy, cynical eye-lids... There's also Punisher: War Zone #1 of 5 (Marvel) by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto which details the bloody aftermath of Punisher #15 and #16 and finds Frank Castle facing off against the Avengers. And finally Talon #1 (DC) co-written by Scott Snyder and James T Tynion IV and illustrated by Guillem March. After many years on the run, Calvin Rose returns to Gotham City to investigate the fallout from Night of the Owls.

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