Wednesday's New Things: It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's a DC Comic I Actually Want to Read?!

1. I don't know when the last time I read a DC comic was, or even what it was-- it has to be two or three years ago already, and it was either Wonder Woman or Batman, Inc. The latter ended, and the former was excellent, the only new 52 book I ever really liked, I just lost track of it. This new John Romita Jr. Superman comic, though is pretty tempting, even if I've been burned by star turns on this particular book before. With Geoff Johns doing the writing, the story will be decent but not spectacular; Johns sells a lot of perfectly competent, crowd pleasing comics, but JRJR is really the big draw for me. There's not a whole lot of pleasingly blocky art that still has motion-- Chris Samnee also comes to mind-- but, given that JRJR is the godfather of that kind of style, that's exactly what you'll find here.

2. This is something else I've lost track of, but my lovely lady has been reading it regularly and likes it ok. Avatar has been doing this sort of internet first publishing for a stretch already, with one of its Crossed spin-offs, but we'll see if this six months of free online comics into one $20 trade paperback translates into sales for a property without an already established fanbase. Si Spurrier is an excellent writer of comics and has an extraordinary range, while German Erramouspe is surprisingly dynamic given that he's hampered by the Avatar house style. One of the things that I pointed out when Disenchanted debuted in October was the way that the square presentation of the comic online was hampered by the fact that the pages were obviously drawn for a typical, rectangular page. It'll be interesting to track if Erramouspe has adapted to this weird double form over the last six months. 

3. Lane Milburn's weirdo science fiction/adventure comic Twelve Gems looks like a live one. From the preview, the plot seems to be an 80s cosmic cartoon bent through the lens of Fletcher Hanks, while the art has R. Crumb's loathsome doughiness reigned in by an affinity for shading and dark space-- it's hard to tell on the preview, but the dark color seems to be bluer than a true black-- straight out of Charles Burns. 

4. This collection of The Hypo artist Noah van Sciver's early work features a preface by cape comics artist Ethan van Sciver, who happens to be Noah's much older brother. That's the kind of detail that I always wonder about, but rarely have the desire to actually go and investigate its veracity. The younger Van Sciver's work is nothing like the older one's; the lines are few, many of the characters are ugly, designed to show human frailty sickness than the fantasy of physical will to power. There's a fair amount of alt-comics weirdness here, too, although its wrapped up in a neatly into the stories at hand. Preview here.

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