The brilliant conceit of composing a fresh new biography of Tintin's creator in his own clean-line, graphic novel medium was merely the first stroke of genius by Jose-Louis Bocquet, Jean-Luc Fromental, and illustrator Stanilas Barthélémy. With Spielberg's big-screen adaptation of The Secret of the Unicorn due soon, this insightful look into the genesis of the quiff-haired boy reporter should find an even larger, well-deserved audience.
The rollicking, ribald, free-verse exploits of alley cat Mehitabel and cockroach-incarnated poet Archy have passed in and out of the public's attention since their debut nearly a century ago, in the pages of the New York Evening Sun. This new assemblage of their ruminations and exploits will insure that a whole new crop of readers can embrace the hijinks of the sensitive-souled bug and his randy feline pal.
This latest installment in the exploits of Alan Moore's band of immortal protagonists from literature -- Haggard's Allan Quatermain, Stoker's Mina Harker, Woolf's Orlando, among others -- finds the crew far from the Victorian era of their birth and stranded in Swinging London circa 1969, at the mercy of a wicked, dying sorcerer looking to leap into a young body. The vivid, Day-glo counterculture captured in Kevin O'Neill's brilliant art proves as deadly as any black magic in the Altamont-style climax.
Just as Carl Barks was known as "the good duck artist" in his anonymous heyday, so too was Floyd Gottfredson regarded as the exemplary purveyor of Mickey Mouse's adventures, endowing the beloved rodent with more panache and pep than his Disney peers could see in the character. This first offering from Gottfredson's long tenure -- he chronicled Mickey's exploits for 45 years -- bundles a complete adventure with over 50 pages of supplemental material.
Coraline's Daddy, comics guy Neil Gaiman, curates a year's best collection which focuses on indy and "alternative" titles, leaving the capes-and-cowls crowd in the dust. Familiar names such as Carol Tyler consort with newcomers like Fred Chao, whose Manhattan-centric protagonist Johnny Hiro could be the next Scott Pilgrim.
R. Crumb's Mr. Natural is precisely forty-three years old this year?!? Never! The saucy sage is simultaneously forever young and forever ancient. For all those who found Crumb's Genesis a tad too tame, these outlandish American Zen tall tales will enlighteningly knock their socks off.
If you blended the sexy and insouciant Han Solo, the disreputable, self-centered Charlie Allnut (Bogart's role in The African Queen), and noble Southern fighter John Carter of Mars, you might get the figure of Captain Easy, Roy Crane's flyboy adventurer who had a knack for finding lost kingdoms, beautiful women, treasures galore, and commensurate dangers. This first volume out of four reprints, at generous dimensions and with vibrant colors, the "world's first adventure newspaper strip," still as enjoyable as at its birth.
May 25: On this day in 1938 Raymond Carver was born. Carver's poem "Luck," about a nine-year-old who wakes to an empty house and the leftovers of his parents' party, is all too autobiographical: "What luck, I thought. / Years later,…