Honest to God, if Drawn & Quarterly hadn’t released a great reprint of the first 3 Aya Hardcovers, I would be looking at this list of Hardcovers & Trades and thinking What. The Hell.
Like the Aya book, this week features a lot of reprints of reprints– or collections of previously reprinted & collected material. Unlike Aya, most of the books and sets are made of useless tripe– engineered to get you to finally make the leap on something or worse– add yet another copy to your collection because you are a completist.
I wish we had some fireworks I could shoot off as you read this column– as this week marks the very first time since we started Inveterate Media Junkies that I didn’t buy a Marvel Collection featuring NEW material… Specifically because I’ve grown tired of reading inconsequential retconned stories (Hulk Smash Avengers! GN).
Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?
I know I’ve promoted Drawn & Quarterly’s glorious Aya Hardcover series before on IMJ… But the archives have grown so large I can’t even find the Pull List where I did. (More ambitious readers not under crushing deadlines, please feel free to help by adding the link in the Comments Section below.)
It’s enough to say, I think, that I adore these books. The three original Hardcovers– all in this new Trade Edition called Aya: Life in Yop City– are, Aya Volume 1, Aya Volume 2: Aya of Yop City, Aya Volume 3: The Secrets Come Out.
If you are remotely interested in the stories of Marguerite Abouet (Author) and Clément Oubrerie (Artist) and their exploration of life on the Ivory Coast circa 1978– this new volume is the perfect jumping on point… As the final three volumes of the Aya story will be collected in another Drawn & Quarterly trade called Aya, Love in Yop City– which will be released just a few weeks from now, in October 2012.
It’s truly a case where waiting gets you the best results… As you will be able to read of Abouet’s stories almost back-to-back. (How I envy you.) Still, I am not going to complain much, as I get to go back and re-read these treasures– in preparation for the final collection.
I could go on and on about how great and wonderfully crafted the stories in this book are… From Abouet’s fun, hope-inducing soap opera stories to Oubrerie’s perfect art and atmosphere… But I won’t. I did that last time. If you didn’t pick up these fantastic books the first time I recommended them, you’re getting something life rarely gives us… A second chance to experience something moving and monumental.
Buy Aya, Love in Yop City (or go pick up the original hardcovers– a few are still left on Amazon). If you don’t like it– or don’t think these works epitomize everything Independent Comics should be– come back here and tell me I’m an idiot– or worse.
I don’t expect to hear a damn thing from any of you.
Amelia Rules Vol 8 HC (S&S Edition)
Amelia Rules Vol 8 (S&S Edition)
Aquaman Vol 1 The Trench HC
Art of Marvel Studios Slipcase
Astonishing X-Men Gifted Prose Novel HC
Avengers Celestial Quest
Aya Life In Yop City - Hot Pick of the Week!
Batman Knightfall Vol 3 Knightsend (New Print)
Flash Omnibus By Geoff Johns Vol 3 HC
Fringe Beyond the Fringe
Ghostbusters Omnibus Vol 1
Glory Vol 1 The Once and Future Destroyer
Green Lantern War Of The Green Lanterns – Own the Hardcover
Grimm Fairy Tales Vol 12 – Been There, Disliked That
Hulk Boiling Point HC - Recommended (If you haven’t read it already)
Hulk Smash Avengers – Not interested in more retconned stories
Incognito Classified Edition HC – Own the Trades
Journey Into Mystery Vol 1 Fear Itself – Own the Hardcover
Manhattan Projects Vol 1 Science Bad
Marvel’s Avengers Black Widow Strikes
New Avengers Omnibus Vol 1 HC - This Week’s POS*
Normandy Graphic Adaptation D Day
Odyssey Bloomsbury HC
Prince Of Cats
Shakespeare’s Tempest Campfire
Spawn Origins Vol 7 HC – Own the Trades
Spider-Man Revenge Of The Sinister Six HC – Recommended
Stand Omnibus Slipcase HC – Own the Hardcovers
Stand Vol 4 Hardcases – Own the Hardcover
Starman Omnibus Vol 2 – Own the Hardcover
Strontium Dog Life & Death of Johnny Alpha
Superman Chronicles Vol 10
Syndrome Leather Bound Edition HC
Teen Titans Vol 1 It’s Our Right To Fight
Thief Of Thieves Vol 1
Thunderbolts Like Lightning
War Goddess Vol 1 (Signed) HC
War Goddess Vol 1
Wet Moon Vol 6
Bakuman Vol 14
Bleach Vol 46
Bleach Vol 47
Bloody Monday Vol 7
Chi’s Sweet Home Vol 9
Earl And The Fairy Vol 3
Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll Vol 5
Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden Vol 10
GTO The Early Years Vol 14
Hunter X Hunter Vol 28
Library Wars Love And War Vol 8
One Piece Vol 64
Oreimo Vol 1 – Locusmortis likes the looks of it! I’m in.
Oresama Teacher Vol 10
Otomen Vol 13
Pokemon Adventures Box Set Vol 2 Gold And Silver
Psyren Vol 6
Tezuka Message To Adolf Vol 1 HC - Manga Pick of the Week!
Vampire Hunter D Novel 18 Fortress of the Elder God
WINX Club Vol 3
I almost didn’t read this book. Why? I already bought it… Why not read it? Well, just before looking at this trade, I’d picked Dynamite’s Zorro Rides Again Volume 1: The Masked Avenger and began reading that one. Zorro was written by Matt Wagner– so I figured it was going to at least be a decent ride. But it was slow, real slow… Which caused me to do something that normally sounds the death knell to anything I’m reading– I started flipping through the pages to see if there was anything later in the book that would catch my eye and rekindle my interest.
And there were LOTS of “talking heads”… In a Zorro comic?
So when I picked up The Lone Ranger Volume 5 and saw it was drawn by the same artist, Esteve Polls– I let out a “Yikes!” But since I’m more of a fan of the Ranger than the “Z” inscribing swordsman, I thought, “Give it ten pages.”
Boy, am I damn glad I did.
The stories are all solid. (The first was even a one-and-done treat.) It was obvious from word one that writer Ande Parks had done his fair share of research on his subject and the time period– seamlessly weaving the fictional character into America’s Old West. The characters treat The Ranger as if he is every bit a regular lawman (albeit one with a mask on his face)… And that’s exactly the way it should be. People shouldn’t go “OMFG!” every time they see one of these characters– if you’re playing your premise for real.
Polls’ art is much improved from his Zorro effort. I don’t know which project he drew first (although, chronologically, that distinction would seem to go to the Zorro collection) but I’m guessing the heightened storytelling had a lot to do with the artistic improvement. I have seen Polls’ art in several of these Dynamite Western Trades and never had an issue with it before Zorro Rides Again Volume 1: The Masked Avenger. (Contrary to what you might think, unless an artist is a true blue HACK– they prefer to draw action sequences more than panels of dudes standing around talking.) Polls also seems to be channeling a bit of the late, great John Severin (known for, among many things, his mastery at drawing Western comics) in his LR work– which is a good thing.
In a rarity for me, I actually read the extras in the back of the book… And felt more entertained by doing so. (Normally, I might get through 10% of this stuff.) Ande Parks writes an effective Writer’s Commentary– every bit as fun as the actual comics. Rather than spit out the usual back-slapping corporate clap trap, Parks goes into great detail why he started off his Lone Ranger stint with a single, one-off story… And they even recreate this first script. He also hilariously recounts his reaction to various critics who took exception with his slight deviation from true historical fact. I’m totally with Parks for ranting about this. Rather than race to point out an inaccuracy, when will some Geeks understand they are reading fiction?
Finally, Parks’ Writer’s Commentary reminded me this is Volume 2 of Dynamite’s Lone Ranger series… A fresh start. So if you read LR before and stopped– but still yearn to read good comics about the character… Now is a great time to get back in. Things are certainly different and for the better in “The Unorganized Territory That Would Eventually Become Oklahoma”. (A joke taken from Park’s Commentary rant.)