"For Weyland, mighty Weyland, was advancing to the bat."

Fables had an odd 2009. It started off incredibly strong with The Dark Ages storyline, which brought the book's first mega-arc to a close quite nicely, then trudged into The Great Fables Crossover, which ranged from mediocre to OHMIGODITBURNS and then strolled right back into quality with the Witches arc which, despite its weak start, had, in the development of Bufkin, one of the most satisfying character arcs in a series full of such work.

Starting off 2010 with a break, then, makes a lot of sense and a break is exactly what Fables #92 is. With regular artist Mark Buckingham taking a well deserved vacation, David Lapham takes over the pencils on this issue and, while his work is easy to distinguish from Buckingham's, it's familiar enough as not to be jarring. Furthermore, Lapham is a great storyteller for this kind of tale- a little bit whimsical, a little bit criminal, all fabulous. (Sorry.)

Bill Willingham is no slouch here, either. Although he's taking a break from the seriousness that's overwhelmed the Earthbound Fables as of late, he certainly isn't turning down the quality of his writing- this story is just right. (The fairy tale puns stop now, I promise.) In a way, it's about where Fables is, right now, as a book- this is a story about what it means to be victorious and, as things continue to fall apart in the wake of a war's end, the Fables as a whole seem to be having a hard time dealing with the fall out of a hard victory. The price, for those on the Farm, may seem to have become too high.

What we have here, then, is a tale of the difference between a post-victory hangover and what it means to be a real victor. This means it is a tale with a moral which, of course, makes it a Fable. Kudos to Willingham and Lapham for taking some time to remember their source material, and just how broad it is (considering the "Casey at the Bat" homage that makes up the issue's first half and also the title of this review). If you're looking for a good point to hop on to this ship, I think this is probably it- it's a nice little tale, nothing more or less than it has to be.

Comic Creator's Alliance Fights Human Trafficking

We all know that comics are wonderful things, that's why we read and write about them. They're amazing art that expresses stories, emotions, and the world in a way that is so accessible. I'm proud to be part of this community. However, there are times when I forget just what comics and comics creators can do. Then I see something like this and it always makes me so happy when I'm reminded of the great potential of comics and their creators.

This morning, as always, I visited the wonderful webcomic Girls with Slingshots for my daily dose of slice-o'-life comedy (with a bit of surrealism thrown in) and I discovered a new blog post by the creator Danielle Corsetto. Ms. Corsetto recently participated in a project orchestrated by The Dreamer creator Lora Innes. Innes gathered together 87 Comic Creator's Alliance artists to do a wallpaper image of their female characters that is offered as an incentive in a donation drive that will benefit two charities that fight against Human Trafficking internationally and right here in the United States.

This is taken from the main page of the donation drive website:

"There are currently 27 million enslaved people worldwide- more than double the number of enslaved Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children every year are sold into slavery, most of it sexual. The US Department of Justice estimates 16,000 victims of human trafficking are brought into the United States every year."

To read more about this you can check out Innes's mission statement letter here. It's very moving and you can tell that this is a cause that means a lot to her. The proceeds of this donation drive will be divided between two charaties, Love146 and Gracehaven. I spent time looking at both websites and was very impressed by what they do and I intend to donate.

Comic creators have a lot of power. We have the power to affect individual people and, as Lora Innes and the members of the Comic Creator's Alliance are proving, we have the power to affect the world on a wider scale. I personally am very excited to check out the work of all 87 creators who helped with this project and discover some great webcomics. Here's to art and activism going hand in hand!

To donate or learn more visit:

And to see who's involved in this project, check out the list here.

Thank you so much to Lora Innes, Danielle Corsetto, and all of the artists who are involved in this project. I'm proud to be in the same community of artists and writers as you!

Gorga's Looking Forward to Wednesday 1/20/2o1o!


And thus follows the perfunctory pull-list post of what I'm thinking of getting this Wednesday in my weekly comic-book store visit:

"the Amazing Spider-Man" #618
"Amazing" has been consistently good for about four months now. And that means a lot more than usual because it comes out three times a month. That's really more like a year's worth of stories from any other title. I ain't complaining.

"Web of Spider-Man" #4
It's the Spider-Man title that doesn't really feel like a Spider-Man title. Yeah his name's on it and yeah he shows up sometimes, but basically it's the villain of the month book now. I'll probably pass on this again.

"Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas" #1 of 4
I think this looks delightful. I haven't read much of Agents of Atlas, but Josh speaks well of it and I'm really getting even more into the Avengers as "Siege" ramps up.

"Incredible Hercules" #140
Continuation of "Assault on New Olympus", Marvel's other-other-other crossover 'event'.

"Spider-Woman" #5
So the new Avengers might be in here... or they might be more skrulls or whatever. We'll see.

"Dark Avengers" #13
Like Josh, I feel the siren song of the crossover 'event'. I want to know what Bendis will feel the need to hide in "Dark Avengers" that he doesn't put in "Siege".

"The Brave and the Bold" #31
The idea of the Atom and the Joker quote-unquote teaming-up makes little to no sense, but since JMS is writing it that actually means it's probably going to be remarkable.

"Cowboy Ninja Viking" #3
"Cowboy Ninja Viking" #4?
Or nothing. Both issues have been solicited for this week. Between the erratic release schedule and erratic tone of this title I'm falling further and further out of love with it.

"RASL" #6
"RASL" #6 might be coming out. This is another series that arrives when it feels like although it's far more worth the wait than "Cowboy Ninja Viking".

"Joe the Barbarian" #1 of 8
I can't help thinking "neato!" Because I'm sure twelve-year-old Jon Gorga would be absolutely enthralled by this title. We shall see what twenty-three-year-old Jon Gorga thinks of it.

Mind you I have no idea what I will really be able to afford... Check back here to find out!

UPDATE: 1/22/2o1o
So... this past Wednesday was a job searching day. I went to some of the comic-book shops in NYC I hadn't been to yet and as I wanted to make it clear that I read comics and love comics I bought a few at every store I visited while I dropped off resumes.

Long story short I'd spent more than I usually do on a Wednesday before I even got around to buying my new books. Mind you, I got some good deals. But money being tight I scaled back my purchases for the week to:

"the Amazing Spider-Man" #618

It was really the only essential buy for me this week anyway. Next week perhaps will be more exciting.

Already Tired of Tuesday...Cap is Back!

Hey guys! Big week this week, so let's jump right into it, shall we?


You can tell why I'm excited, right? With issue #602, CAPTAIN AMERICA IS BACK- and I don't mean Steve Rogers- I mean his comic book. Reborn has come and gone (ok, not really, but it's supposed to be over), so we get to go back to reading the adventures of Captain America. I was pretty happy with the end result of Who Will Wield The Shield?, so seeing Ed Brubaker get back to telling the sort of relatively down to earth Cap stories that I've become so fond of is, well, kind of like a really cool Independence Day present (or something). Anyway, the tale looks to be the best sort of Captain America tale; the kind that's about what it means to wear the Flag, what it means to represent America. This is exactly the kind of story I'm a sucker for- and I'm ready for them to be back.

I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to pony up for Dark Avengers #13. I want to get the full picture of Siege and, while I'm not made of money, buying the books that Bendis is writing (along with those titles I would buy anyway, like Thor) will probably give me the best idea of what he thinks I need to see- it is his story, after all.

With that said, Incredible Hercules #140, Uncanny X-Men #520, Starman #81, Joe the Barbarian #1 and Fables #92 are all definite pick ups. A couple of notes on the last three: 1) I haven't been reading Blackest Night, but it's hard for me to pass up on an issue of Starman, even if I'm not sure it really counts, 2) Grant Morrison is writing Joe the Barbarian, which makes it automatic pick-up (this puts the Scottish Scribe in some very exclusive company) and 3) a Fables story about baseball and murder? What could be bad?

Like a S.W.O.R.D. Thru My Heart...

Don't do it, Marvel.

Don't cancel Kieron Gillen's S.W.O.R.D.

It's your best new series. It has the most interesting premise. Come on, guys! You'll just be coming off of Siege, sure to be a huge moneymaker. Take a risk, if for just a few more issues. Please?