Friday, September 16, 2011
WHOSOEVER HOLDS THIS HAMMER
Many comics bloggers write about Diamond’s Previews catalog every
month. Though I sometimes find this interesting, it’s one of those
things I honestly believed I’d never do here. Others would include
speculating about comic books before I’ve read them...or going to
a comics shop every Wednesday and then rushing home to quickly read
whatever I bought so I could write about it that night. I like to
savor the comic books I read, carefully consider their quality or
lack thereof, and write about them when I think I have something to
say about them that I would want to read if I weren’t writing it.
I’m a crazy old rebel, I am.
My resistance has wavered this month because the September Previews
had four items that so tickled me I wanted to comment on them. If
I managed to post the image correctly, you have doubtless seen the
first of them at the top of today’s blog.
Marvel: Thor’s Hammer Sculpted Bottle Opener [$22]. It’s a bottle
opener and Thor’s hammer. That’s just cool. I might need to get
a few of these for myself and for holiday gifts. It even comes in
a collector’s case, but, verily, by the power of mighty Mjolnir, I
would be sore disappointed in any mortal who, on receiving such a
treasure, did not immediately use it to open a cold one.
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is more than just
one of my favorite programs. It’s intelligence therapy in the midst
of a country getting dumber by the minute as the right continues to
confuse greed, insanity and intolerance with leadership.
Given my high regard for The Daily Show, how can I not be excited
to see a solicitation for Shame Itself [$3.99], a one-shot written
by the writers of that program? Especially when one of the writers
is Wyatt Cenac, the most brilliant young comic to hit the airwaves
in years? My funny bone throbs in anticipation!
The third item also comes from Marvel: Essential Sgt. Fury Vol. 1
[$19.99]. The 544-page tome reprints issues #1-23 as well as the
15-page story from the first Sgt. Fury Annual in which the Howling
Commandoes reunite for a Korean War mission. All these stories are
written by Stan Lee with art by either Jack Kirby or Dick Ayers.
It’s a huge chunk of entertaining reading with a couple stories I
would rank as classics. I’m looking forward to it.
I only spotted the fourth item because I’m obsessive about looking
through the entire catalog every month. Which isn’t easy given the
tedium of sections focusing on some prolific publishers. More than
often than not, I’m gasping for air by the time I get through low-
class outfits like Bluewater, though, to be fair, my low opinion of
that company is based partly on their deplorable talent contracts.
But I digress.
From Lerner Publishing Group comes Lily Renée, Escape Artist: From
Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer [$7.95] by Trina Robbins
with art by Anne Timmons and Mo Ho. While I knew Renée’s terrific
art from Fiction House features like Jane Martin and Senorita Rio,
and from romance stories for St. John, I’ve only recently learned
of the path that brought her to America (fleeing from the Nazis as
a teen) and very little of her life before, during, and after her
comics career. Though the 96-page book is aimed at younger readers
(ages 9-12), Robbins is one of the leading historians in comics and
THE leading expert on women cartoonists. Any book she writes has a
place in my comics library.
I’m off to Columbus to celebrate my daughter Kelly’s 20th birthday.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella