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comicsweek 8dec10

This week, new comics are being released to specialty comics stores on Dec 8 in North America and Dec 9 in the UK and elsewhere. Unless your region has been snowed in. In which case it’s anyone’s guess.

NORTHLANDERS reaches #35. NORTHLANDERS is probably my favourite book coming out of DC right now. NORTHLANDERS is essentially a banner title for the serialisation of discrete graphic novels about Vikings. If you don’t want more graphic novels about Vikings in your life… well, I don’t know why you’re even here. #35 begins a short, two-part novella by series writer Brian Wood and guest artist Becky Cloonan entitled “The Girl In The Ice.”

Set during a period of civil war, an Icelandic fisherman finds the body of a young girl embedded in the thick ice ringing his lake. Unable to leave her, he goes to great lengths to excavate the corpse and vows to solve the mystery of her death. But when warriors associated with the local clan come around, he’s driven to conceal the body…

Viking crime story. That’s what you want. Check out this preview image (click for the correct, full size):

I didn’t see the first issue of anthology comic POOD, but I did just watch a preview video for #2, out this week, and it looks like an enormous amount of fun. You should really keep an eye out for this.

SHADOWLAND: AFTER THE FALL #1 is a post-event/crossover thing at Marvel, but the first page has a catch-up, and writer Antony Johnston never does anything that’s less than rock solid. It’s another of those “breaking Daredevil” things, and they’re usually fun.

DRAWN & DANGEROUS: ITALIAN COMICS OF THE 1970s AND 1980s is an academic volume by Simone Castaldi, emanating from the University Press of Mississippi.

Exploring an overlooked era of Italian history roiled by domestic terrorism, political assassination, and student protests, Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s shines a new light on what was a dark decade, but an unexpectedly prolific and innovative period among artists of comics intended for adults.

I’ve read the intro and first chapter of the book in Google Books, and it seems very good. It’s not an area I have deep knowledge of, so I will be grabbing myself a copy of this in time.

James Stokoe’s demented fantasy series ORC STAIN gets its first collection, where I trust it will find a whole new audience. Stokoe’s been releasing massive amounts of comics on his website — go and take a look, see if you find his flavour of mental illness tasty.

Hardcover book Steve Ditko Archives Vol 2: Unexplored Worlds would be the Xmas gift for the hardcore comics buff in your life, collecting as it does the famously dank and sweaty pre-SPIDER-MAN horror comics of the beloved and cranky artist. His pages never looked richer than in his period.

In personal whorebaggery notes, something called Wildstorm Presents Planetary Lost Worlds #1 is being released, in one of those floppy $7.99 jobs, containing two of the three 48-page PLANETARY crossover specials I wrote. I haven’t been consulted or even informed about the project, so I can’t imagine why they’re doing it. Presumably, unlike the JACK CROSS collection they flung together to retain the publishing rights, DC will actually “remember” to put my name on the cover this time.

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