I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 3 new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Walking Dead – 42 (these have been coming out fast and furious lately)/li>
  • StormWatch Post Human Division – 11
  • Age of Bronze – 26
  • Invincible Ultimate Edition Volume 3 Hardcover
  • And now for some reviews of things I’ve read this week.

  • Studs Kirby “The Voice of America” by Peter Bagge
  • Here’s a volume that I pull off of my shelf every few years to check out again. It’s a collection of Peter Bagge’s “Studs Kirby” strips that first ran in the magazine “Neat Stuff” from 1985-1989. It’s not Bagge’s best known work (Hate, The Bradleys) but it sure is good.

    Studs Kirby is a conservative radio talk show host and a general all around hot head with an anti-social streak. He drinks beer, rants about the world, and fights with his friends. But he makes up with them so he’s not all bad.

    There are some long and short stories in this book and it’s not really a cohesive “graphic novel” or anything like that. It’s a collection of amusing comics for grownups. Peter Bagge’s art work is at it’s amusing best here too as Studs does a lot of shouting and ranting so we get tons of Bagge’s frantic, open mouthed, sharp teeth, spit flying, lightning bolt drawings. Those always make me laugh.

    I have the first printing of this from 1989 and they actually printed a couple of pages out of order in the first story. Hopefully they corrected this in later printings. Later printings even have a different cover so they must have. Anyway, this volume is always fun to read. “Studs Kirby is a Heartless Bastard” is still my favorite in this collection. Recommended.

  • “Lunch Hour Comix” by Robert Ullman
  • Here’s a comic I found on my shelf that I forgot even existed. And it’s only from 2004. “Lunch Hour Comix” is a small, mini comic sized, collection with a cover that’s designed to look like a waitress’s order pad. It’s a collection of autobiographical strips by Robert Ullman that were all done in under an hour.

    There is nothing earth shattering in this collection but it’s a nice read. It’s filled with the small things of life that make up a lot of our days. Stories of a comic con, installing a faucet, and playing hockey are all told in a handful of panels. I like comics about everyday life and this one is well done. It’s published by Alternative Comics so track it down if you can.

  • Atlas Era Tales To Astonish – Masterworks
  • Earlier this summer a buddy of mine asked me if I could find an early issue of “Tales To Astonish” for him. I poked around on the internet and found out that Marvel reprinted the first ten issues in a hardcover volume last year. Who knew?

    This book collects the first ten issues of “Tales To Astonish” which were originally printed in 1959-1960. It’s tough to review comics like these because they were never meant to be anything but a few moments of diversion in a kid’s world. Not that they are written for really small children but the stories are only six-eight pages long and are filled with wacky ideas and giant monsters.

    It’s the craft of the stories that is the appeal of this book. You get art by Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott among others. The drawing, the story telling, and the monsters are all well done and filled with imagination. It’s great to just flip through this book and take it all in. Otherwise read the stories in small doses. There is no big long plot, as we are used to today, to draw you in and keep you there for multiple issues.

    The covers are great on these issues too. They are all by Kirby and Ditko and are some of the best in the history of the genre. Lots of monsters and fleeing people all well designed and well drawn. I’d pick this one up now if you’re interested because I’m sure this one won’t be in print for long.