Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Pull List (11-4-09): They call me Slim Pickin's

Hey, it's new comic book day! And yes, I realize it's late in the day and half of you have probably already gotten your books, but what about the other half, huh? What about them, tough-guy? Besides, I didn't want to go yet another day without posting because that's just getting ... ugh. So let's see what's on this week's list!

First, let me ask a question: Is the steady rise in the cost of monthly comics and the higher price for one-shots and limited series hurting you as much as it's hurting me? 'Cause seriously, it's getting so bad I'm starting to walk funny. Because of that, there aren't a lot of comics I'll be bringing home with me this time around. There are plenty I'd LIKE to get, but I'm on a budget, people! What am I going to do, borrow money from China?

Luckily, one of my favorite new comics is still at the $2.99 price point, and it's actually one I'd be happy to pay more for because it's just that good. Sweet Tooth #3 continues the darkly melancholy story of Gus, a boy with deer antlers making his way through a post-apocalyptic world with hard-edged killer and new BFF Jepperd. On the face of it, it all sounds a little goofy, but writer/artist Jeff Lemire is a master at telling a story that is really about much more than a kid with antlers coming out his head.

The writing gives readers an appropriately slow boil, unhurriedly but insistently raising the feeling of tension until you're sure something is bound to blow up. Language and dialogue also go a long way in helping establish character in Sweet Tooth, and Lemire handles it well enough that it becomes unnoticeable in the way that natural things do. And the scratchy, organic artwork strongly conveys the feel of the various settings, from the cool morning air of the woods to the cold, oil-stink grayness of an abandoned parking lot, making the environment as much a character as Gus and Jeppard.

There is really nothing about this book I don't like, and I hope Lemire is given plenty of time to tell his story. Sinister, sad and unpredictable, Sweet Tooth could be a template for almost any kind of coming-of-age story; thankfully, it's this one. Get a taste of the first three issues with the previews up at the Vertigo blog.

What else is on the list

Strange Tales #3 (of 3): I've really been enjoying Marvel's playful mash-up of superhero characters and indie comics creators, but at $4.99 an issue I'm kind of glad this is the last chapter.

Superman: World of New Krypton #9 (of 12): A lot of people have been giving writer James Robinson shit about his Justice League of America stuff (granted, deservedly), but I'd say give World of New Krypton a try. Co-written by Greg Rucka, this has been a title that's fun, wide-ranging and an interesting look at the guy who is equal parts Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman. A preview is available for download from the DC Web site.

X-Men Vs Agents of Atlas #2 (of 2): Jeff Parker writing about his beloved Agents of Atlas should be all you need to know in order to pick this title up. If not, you sir and/or madam, are a fool. The Agents (whether the original limited series, the regular monthly, THIS limited series, OR the upcoming continuation of the regular monthly title ... yes, it's confusing) is one of the best written team books available, period. The art by Carlo Pagulayan and Chris Samnee (hey, I was just talking about that guy) is pretty swanky, too. Check out a preview of the first issue here.

Other tales of interest

Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1

Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #1

Kill Audio #2

Stumptown #1

Think I'm missing an overlooked gem? Wondering what's going to have to wait until the trade? Care to point out my apparent weakness for lady-spies? Let me know what you think in the comments.


Maxo said...

Here's one I forgot myself: Eternal Conflicts of The Cosmic Warrior (one-shot), by Jack Staff creator Paul Grist!

Dan said...

Best pick up Assault on New Olympus #1, Max- it's a great Hercules story and he back-up is an Agents of Atlas that picks up right where X-Men vs. leaves off. Also, this month's Deadpool Team-Up is with Herc, and while I'm sick of Deadpool, it's written by Fred Van Lente, and a bunch of fun, well worth it. The first issue of DC's Great Ten was surprisingly good, too, about their Chinese nationalistic super-hero team.

Maxo said...

Aw, crap — I'd been saving the Hercules stuff for trade, but I might have to pick that up.

And you liked the Great Ten book, eh? I was kind of lukewarm about it because I loved the concept, but no one seems to know what to do with Grant Morrison's concepts. If you liked it, though, there's probably a good chance I will, too.

K and S said...

Glad to see someone else loves Sweet Tooth. It's my new favorite title. I hope other people discover this overlooked gem.

Maxo said...

I hope so, too, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will lead to more people discovering Lemire's other work.

Thanks for commenting!