Coming Soon to A Spinner Rack Near You: Eleanor Davis

From the Fantagraphics tumblr: It’s a great pleasure to reveal the final cover artwork for one of our most anticipated books of 2014. How to Be Happy collects short comics by Eleanor Davis and it will floor you with its beauty and depth. You’ve seen some of this work in Best American Comics, Mome, Nobrow, and Lucky Peach (if you’re tuned in to the hip print outlets) and on the web (if you’re tuned in to Tumblr), and now it’s collected in one gorgeous book, due out this Summer.

Wednesday's New Things: Pretty Happy

1. After an extended delay, the first arc of Pretty Deadly is coming to a close this week. Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios's work here is simply stunning; although the first few issues could be a little confusing, everything has started coming together quite nicely. At a time when there's a lot of, maybe even too much (?!) good stuff coming out every week, this book is among the best. Check out the comic's tumblr, where you can all kinds of good preview goodies, and some fan art, too. 

2. Inhumans was a book I was sort of looking forward to, but, by this point, it just seems like Marvel is trying to hard. Any solicitation that invites you to "get in on the ground floor" after the publisher fired the original writer is a solicitation for a series that's not going to get many floors up. I'm still not convinced that these are characters which will have a wide following, particularly with Black Bolt out of the picture. There are more problems than that, though: reading through the preview, you can see the Fraction in it. Charles Soule is a good writer, but he'd be better off trying to find his own voice, rather than trying to ape his predecessor's. 

3. It's a good time to be Simon Roy. His collection Jan's Atomic Heart was reissued last week, to very positive reviews, and now he's got this new thing, called The Field, out from Image, written by Ed Brisson. I love Roy's line, which has a softness that, for reasons I can't quite put my figure on, reads to me as European. It's like Frank Quitely's or Nick Pitarra's, but with a little less give. If you're not convinced, take a look at the preview and pay attention to the way he draws the wheat; the way it disappears into the horizon mimics the way that wheat fields actually appear at their edge, or in the middle, transforming the setting from mundane to extraordinary, even as he keeps it realistic. The story details are sketchy, but the solicitation is, well, more than intriguing: "A man wakes in a field wearing nothing but his underwear. He's got no idea who he is or how he got there. His only connection to the outside world a cell phone on which he receives mysterious texts warning him of impending danger. Danger like Christian, an ex-bible sales-man in the middle of crime spree fueled by Christian Rock, dirty sex, meth, murder and keeping this underwear clad, nameless and pastless man close by his side." My current policy on miniseries is to buy them in trade; this is a definite future purchase. 

4. Boom's last original crime series Hit, was excellent, mostly on the strength of artist Vanessa Del Ray. It's newest one, Dead Letters looks fun; like Hit it as a sort of hackneyed initial premise (in this case, a man wakes up in a motel but can't remember anything), but there the similarities sort of stop. Chris Sebela's plot appears, from the preview to the solicitations for issues #2 and #3, to transcend the initial premise in part by embracing how cliched it is, and replacing specifics with general types (the location of the comic is called "Here," it features a crime boss called "The Big Man.") Newcomer Chris Visions is on the art, and his work alone might be worth the price of admission. Although it's very complex, occasionally too much so, it's also deeply varied, and interesting. At one point, the main character effectively "drives" into his last memory. Potentially, this is one worth watching. 

Cartoons: Dash Shaw