Friday, July 31, 2009

Asterios Polyp

A few weeks ago I received David Mazzucchelli's new amazing graphic novel, Asterios Polyp, here at my store, but somehow, until now, I haven't actually raved about how fantastic it is. Years ago, David Mazzucchelli, the cartoonist of Asterios Polyp, was most known for being the artist of Frank Miller's Batman Year One and Daredevil Born Again. Mazzuchelli could have continued doing super hero comics and named his own price tag from publishers, but he soon grew tired of that genre and went on to create the very eclectic comic magazine Rubber Blanket (it was probably too eclectic for most) and then he adapted Paul Auster's City Of Glass into graphic novel form (which is strangely out of print presently).
Rubber Blanket came out about sixteen years ago and Mazzucchelli's City Of Glass was first published about fifteen years ago, so Mazzucchelli can't be considered a prolific comic artist at all, but of course it's not about quantity, it's all about quality. Artistically Mazzucchelli's Rubber Blanket and City Of Glass was completely different from his super hero work, and now with Asterios Polyp, he's re-invented his art style again. As I mentioned in my blog entry yesterday about Jerry Moriarty's Jack Survives, the art style that David Mazzucchelli employs in Asterios Polyp is as different as anything being done in comics today, but at the same time it's not inaccessible. Hopefully the images I've included here from Asterios Polyp give people who haven't looked at this book yet, an idea of some of what Mazzucchelli is doing with his art in this book (and the color scheme is wonderful - the first thing I thought while reading Asterios Polyp is that reading this graphic novel in this form is not going to be something that can be replicated on a computer).
Asterious Polyp is the name of the central character of this graphic novel and Asterious is an architect but other than that, I don't really have any good description of what Asterious Polyp is about, other than stating that this is one of those rich multi-layered graphic novels from which the reader will discover new aspects of what Mazzucchelli had created upon revisiting this book. This will probably be the graphic novel that most gives Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter the biggest contest at next years Eisners for graphic novel of the year (unless The Hunter, being a novel adaptation gets put into a different category and they both win, which would be the way I'd play things if I got to call the shots).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jack Survives

This week Jack Survives, the definitive collection of the odd comic work of Jerry Moriarty, was released and published by Buenventura Press in a huge over-sized hardcover volume. Jack Survives is not huge in the page count sense, rather it shares dimensions with some of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library editions, Seth's George Sprott, and Spiegelman's In The Shadow Of No Towers. As Chris Ware states in his excellent introduction to Jack Survives, Jack Survives can be read in a very short period of time, but that doesn't make this a slight, forgettable work, rather it showcases how an artist can say a lot by showing very little in minimalist terms.

Jerry Moriarty, the author / cartoonist of Jack Survives, in his afterward, calls himself a paintoonist, which I think is a great new word for his kind of comic book cartooning. Moriarty was put on the alternative comic landscape map years ago by Art Spiegelman (Maus), in his comic alternative anthology Raw, and reading Jack Survives, I can't think of a better description for how to describe Moriarity's work (raw). Jack Survives doesn't have a "real" story structure (but it's not artsy-fartsy, just experimental unconnected images), instead Jack Survives gives readers a glimpse into a man going about his seemingly mundane daily life and like other great slice-of-life graphic novels, shows that daily life is often anything but mundane. I felt a wave of sadness wash over me after reading Jack Survives, but sad in a mostly good reflective way, tinged with just a smattering of remorse.

I couldn't find any online interior pages from Jack Survives to "borrow" here for this entry, but I'd like to encourage anyone who sees Jack Survives in their favorite comic book store to pick this book up and leaf through it as I think Moriarty's paintooning will speak better than the couple of hundred words I just typed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Marvelman / Miracleman - woot, woot!!

So this morning over on a comic rumor site mention was made that today Marvel would be making a big announcement today at one of their panels at the San Diego Comic Con and I read some speculation over on Bendis' forum that this announcement would involve Miracleman. Well sure enough, the big Marvel announcement was that Marvel had bought the rights to the character from Mick Anglo (who until fairly recently most people didn't know that he was still alive - he's like 93 years old, but from this interview I read on him he's still in great form )! This is not just the big Marvel news of the convention, I'd say it'll be the biggest news story coming out of the whole convention. Here's some background for those of you reading this unfamiliar with what became of this legendary character:

Marvelman was a British superhero character created in the 1950's when England, for some reason, could no longer receive the Captain Marvel (most people from the 1970's on knew this character by the title Shazam when DC later published this character and because of Marvel couldn't have the title "Captain Marvel" on the cover of their comics) comic, so they created their own version of the character because it was such a huge selling title. I haven't read much of the original Marvelman comics from the 1950's but the ones I've read (and from what I know from reading about the genesis of the character in England), it was a total copy of Fawcett's Captain Marvel (Fawcett was the name of the company that published Captain Marvel until DC somehow won a lawsuit that established that their character was an infringement of their tent pole character, Superman). So Marvelman of the 1950's was a solid superhero comic, basically a good Captain Marvel comic until...

Sometime in the late 1950's the British Marvelman comic stopped being published and just vanished until the early 1980's when Alan Moore came on the scene and revived the character in the British comic anthology Warrior (the same comic magazine in which Moore first wrote V For Vendetta). Moore had done some smaller comic work before Marvelman and V For Vendetta in Warrior, but it wasn't until those strips appeared that he started raising eyebrows and landing the Swamp Thing writing gig, which was followed shortly thereafter by Watchmen. As Alan Moore is a genius (and I'm not saying this lightly), as he later did with Swamp Thing, he took the character of Marvelman to an entirely new level that raised the bar for the kind of stories that super hero comics could tell (while at the same time not just discarding everything about Marvelman's past stories). Then one day Warrior folded and we didn't see Marvelman again until...

...1985, when Eclipse became the new publisher of Marvelman. Except Marvel decreed that Eclipse couldn't call the character Marvelman anymore (even though the character was called that since about 1954 and Timely didn't become Marvel Comics until 1961) so they retitled the character Miracleman and Alan Moore even made the new name for the character make more sense for the character. Alan Moore wrote sixteen issues of Marvelman / Miracleman which have long been impossible to find in back issue bins (there was three trades collecting the Moore run, but those are even harder to find). After Eclipse (the comic company) folded, Miracleman once again lingered in publishing limbo and because several people claimed ownership (lots of reeeeeaaallly convoluted legalese), it looked like no one would ever again be able to have (or read) Moore's legendary Miracleman treatment until..., when Marvel made the announcement that things have somehow been ironed out and now they will be publishing the character and he'll be called Marvelman again (as to how this is going to play with th way Moore reworked the character's name). I'm sure Alan Moore isn't super happy with the idea of Marvel publishing some of his work because he had some run-ins with previous managements after which he promised that he'd never work for Marvel, but I'm just glad that whole new generations of people will be able to read this amazing comic (and Moore will be paid, not that that is his primary beef). Seriously anyone who has read what Alan Moore did with Marvelman / Miracleman (especially book three, Olympus, with art master John Totleben) has never looked at superhero comics the same way - THEY ARE THAT GOOD! The above cover is from the ultra rare Miracleman #15 (art by John Totleben). I'm going to guess that by the end of this year or early 2010 we'll see Marvel's Marvelman and then new readers will see what all of the fuss over this seminal comic is about. Snoopy Dance time!

The Impostor's Daughter

Departing from the way I usually read my weekly comics, I started reading The Impostor's Daughter graphic novel before I'd even finished reading the regular comics that came out this week because it just jumped out at me from stash this week.

The Impostor's Daughter A True Memoir, is a new graphic novel (hardcover, in full color, 250 pages, published by Little Brown), written and drawn by Laurie Sandell. As the blurbs on the back of this graphic novel state, once you start reading The Impostor's Daughter, you will have a hard time not finishing it right away (or doing things you're supposed to be doing). The Impostor's Daughter is about Laurie Sandell's relationship with her father (of which the title speaks volumes), her struggles with commitment, and her addiction to sleeping pills. This book isn't angst-ridden though, rather it's a fascinating look at a man (Laurie's father) who lived a life filled with elaborate lies and through his genius level intellect was able to swindle huge sums of money out of people and how Laurie (the daughter and cartoonist of this book) feels the need to expose his true nature that has hurt so many people (including herself).

Laurie Sandell's "day job" is that of a contributing editor of Glamour magazine (she's also written for other style magazines), with The Impostor's Daughter being her first comic book work, but it reads like the work of a seasoned veteran of the medium. What a great year this has been so far for comic books and graphic novels (same difference!?)!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dethklock Versus Goon and....!

The comic of the week , in a week with some really great releases is Dethklok Versus The Goon. Dethklock is an uber funny cartoon that has been airing on Cartoon Network for a couple of years - think Spinal Tap times one hundred! The Goon, for those of you that aren't already reading this title from Dark Horse created, written and drawn by Eric Powell, is a hilarious hillbilly zombie romp, so Powell pairing his character with Dethklok is a total no-brainer for high octane fun. This one shot doesn't hit a wrong note and is also a great introduction to both of these fine entertainments.

The second issue of Doug Mahnke's stint as artist on Green Lantern also came out today and anyone who think they just need to get the main Blackest Night mini series to follow what's going on with this event, is wrong because Green Lantern, also written by Blackest Night mastermind Geoff Johns, is essential to the big things happening within Blackest Night (sorry to be such an evil capitalist, but it is that good and the art is at the head of the class in superhero renderings and action)!
A little known comic character called Spider-Man sees the release of his six hundredth issue today and even though in my opinion since the rebooting of Amazing Spider-Man with Brand New Day and all the lameness that came with that, this 600th issue is fat-packed with over one hundred pages of great comics. John Romita Jr. does the main sixty-two page story with one of my favorite villains Doctor Octopus, but the other short stories within are also entertaining (Stan Lee writes the second one with artist Marcos Martin).
The Incredible Hulk issue 600 also arrived today and
it's another big anniversary issue featuring the more than usual page count of artist Ed McGuinness doing his great Hulk / Red Hulk smashfest. Stan Lee also writes a story in this issue. Fun comics to keep those of us not going to the big San Diego comic convention (starting today through Sunday) entertained for hours (and no crowds to swim upstream into)!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blackest Night & other great comics...

This week is an obscene week for great comic books and graphic novels. Leading the pack as most anticipated comic in some time is Blackest Night by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Basically this Green Lantern event series (that looks like it's going to be an actual event that delivers on all fronts) deals with a kind of super hero zombie invasion of the DC universe. The first issue of Blackest Night is really strong out of the gate and people who get it will definitely be eagerly awaiting the next issue. This week's Blackest Night Tales of the Corps, a three issue weekly mini series featuring short stories pertaining to all things Green Lantern (two of the stories in the first issue are by Geoff Johns) and is also a good supplement to the Blackest Night experience. I also want to give a HUGE shoutout to last week's Green Lantern #43, which is new series artist Doug Manhke's first issue and as good as Blackest Night artist Reis is, I think Manhke sets the bar. Green Lantern #43 is also a great stand alone story featuring the origin of villain Black Hand and for my money Johns' writing is at his best when he's doing villain origins (see his four year run on The Flash).

The cover of this week's Captain America #601 is billed as "A Very Special Issue Of" and while at first I got to thinking about how television shows tout an episode of their show as such and how they're usually lame (jumping the shark), but this issue of Captain America is very special as it is entirely drawn by the legendary Gene Colan, who has been drawing comics for sixty years (Tomb of Dracula, Howard The Duck, Night Force, Batman, Daredevil, Iron Man, too many more...)! This issue of Captain America, written by regular Cap writer Ed Brubaker, is a great stand alone issue that focuses on Cap and Bucky in WWII and features vampires which wonderfully plays to Gene Colan's many artistic strengths.

Creepy was originally published by Warren Publications as a comic magazine throughout the 1970's, but this week it returns as a quarterly published fat-packed comic-sized horror anthology. Eric Powell (writer, artist, creator of the excellent funny zombie hillbilly comic The Goon) does the cover and the contributors within all serve up stories that do the Creepy name proud (there's also a classic Alex Toth story reprinted within).

This week's Walking Dead #63 is one of the strongest issues yet of this just about always great zombie series. Other notables this week (which I haven't read yet) look to be the comic adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? from /boom! Studios, X Factor, DC Comics' second issue of their new weekly top of the line creative teams Wednesday Comics, and Sherlock Holmes written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, published by Dynamite Entertainment. And let's not forget the newest issue of Brubaker and Phillips' great crime noir super villain title Incognito and my wife's favorite comic Artesia, which returns after being gone for way too long.

The top of the graphic novels heap that arrived this week (besides Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter) go to a new more affordable edition of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's artistic pornographic romp Lost Girls and Gaiman and Kubert's hardcover collection of their excellent Batman Whatever Happened to The Cape Crusader? (which also collects other Gaiman Batman stories) and is a great companion to the hardcover that came out last week of Alan Moore's even more excellent Superman Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine did a great version of the old British sci-fi character Dan Dare, which also gets the trade paperback treatment this week. Also worth checking out for those of you who haven't been reading the Madame Xanadu Vertigo monthly series by Matt Wagner and artist Amy Reeder Hadley, is the first collection of that title.

I'm sure that I've forgotten a few other titles, but the above is certainly more than enough to get discriminating comic readers to have to make tough pocketbook choices this week!

Graphic novel spotlight: The Hunter

A couple of months ago I was on of the lucky one hundred people selected to receive an advanced reading copy of Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker The Hunter novel and loved it then, but as nice of a production as that was, the final version which even improves on the duo tone color schematic and paper stock, is even better. Seriously, I know I'm laying on the hype pretty heavy, but when people see this book (and read it), they'll see that I'm not just talking out of my hat.

Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter is the finest in hard-boiled crime fiction, with no-nonsense characters - did I mention that the art is drop dead gorgeous!? Published by IDW for only $24.99 in hardcover, The Hunter will be the must have book of next week's San Diego convention.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

J.H. Williams III, Greg Rucka , & the Pope

After the second part of the Batwoman signing at Comic Oasis last night, we trekked over to Bucca di Beppo for the post signing dinner. Fortunately Rob made reservations because there was twelve of us and this place is always especially packed on weekends. From left to right: Wendy, J.H, and Greg Rucka trying to narrow down what he doesn't want to eat from the menu. We were uber lucky to get the Pope room, with the snazzy Pope lazy susan in the center of the table. Even though I don't have a religious bone in my body, being in the Pope room amused me greatly (as well as the rest of the group) and was a great enhancement to an all around great day!

Good friends Drea and Rob!

More good friends, from left to right: Bonnie, Heather, Wendy, and the lovely tattooed arm of Lauren! Probably some Pope humor has set off Heather!

On the other side of the table from left to right: Charles Holbert Jr. (artist and friend of us and Derrick Taylor of Comic Oasis), Derrick (overlord of Comic Oasis, also here in Vegas), me, Kate, and Drea. Good friends, great comic book visiting creators, good food & drinks, great conversations, and a great signing - I wish I could have invited everyone to join us, but alas... (seriously though, thanks to all patrons and friends of Alternate Reality Comics and if you have a big group you want to take out to dinner, make reservations a day before and request the Pope room at Bucca di Beppo!).
Charles gave me this awesome illo he did at the table - Batman and the Pope (already kids of this cell phone age who are reading my blog are wondering what that thing is on top of the Pope's head!)!

Batwoman signing pt. 2!

Greg and J.H. hard at work signing for all of the discriminating patrons of great art that showed up for the big Batwoman signing.

More people awaiting their chance to share with Greg and J.H. their adulations for their fine contributions to the sequential art medium! The only thing I lament about having great signings with great turnouts is that I don't get much of a chance to have a dialogue with those that came for the signing.
A close up of the Batwoman cake from Freed's Bakery towards the end of the afternoon. I was told by many that this was a very yummy cake.

The last flurry of people that came for the signing. Thanks again to everyone who came out, for buying books, to those that bought J.H. original art, and the great sales response to the Batwoman print which will greatly benefit Hero Initiative (and as I've said in part one of this Batwoman signing entry, I still have a few prints available for only ten dollars)!
Theresa (standing alongside J.H.) holding the two page Promethea original art she bought from J.H. Theresa is very ecstatic to finally have original art from one of her very favorite books (Theresa is my store's Sunday guy, Paul's girlfriend - Paul also bought a nice Prometha page, but the photo I took of him didn't come out that good). Thanks also to Paul, who along with Rob, helped greatly in making the signing yesterday flow without any turbulence.

Batwoman signing pt.1

Early yesterday afternooon I hosted the first half of the J.H. Williams III and Greg Rucka Batwoman signing (the second half was at my friend, Derrick's store, Comic Oasis, across town later in the afternoon). The entire signing was a rousing success! From left to right in this photo: J.H. (or Jim, the artist), Greg (the writer), Wendy (Jim's wife), and me, all ready to let in the line of people who showed up early.
People first lined up to purchase the limited edition Batwoman print that J.H. did for the signing, of which all the sale proceeds are being donated to Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization that helps comic creators in need. I almost sold out of all of the prints yesterday,, but I do have a few left (signed and numbered) here at the store, but at only ten dollars I expect they'll be gone by the end of the week. Pictured here, in this photo in the forefront, in the white t-shirt, is Jason, who bought Batwoman print number 1! Thanks to everyone who bought prints (and to those who will be buying the remaining ones), I'll be sending off a nice sized check to Hero Initiative tomorrow!
Right to left; Tyler (wearing the cap) and Rob (in glasses). Tyler purchased some J.H. Williams III art and having talked to him about some of the art he's purchased in the past couple of years, J.H's art is going to be in good company. Rob helped a great deal the day of the signing (and the days before) which really made everything run very smoothly.
The guy in the brown shirt at the far left in this photo is Dave an old friend of mine, who drove in from Bakersfield with his son, Spenser (busy with is Gameboy, at Dave's left). Glad you made it Dave!

Kate, with our friends Jennifer (in center) and Brandi (in the blue top). Kate was the official Batwoman cake server. She was trying to calm down Brandi who's the biggest Batwoman fan in the world - I jest, actually Brandi was there with her husband Dr. Todd, who's also a good friend of ours.

Part two of the signing will follow either later today or early tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Batwoman Las Vegas CityLife pick!

Less than two days away for the big joint Alternate Reality Comics / Comic Oasis signing with the Batwoman creative team of J. H. Williams III and Greg Rucka (this Saturday, July 11th, 11-2pm at Alternate Reality Comics, one block from UNLV and then from 4-7pm at Comic Oasis over at the Northwest side of town), so bring your much beloved Williams III and Rucka crafted books and they'll be happy to affix their names upon them! As a reminder, here at Alternate Reality Comics, I have all Rucka and Williams books on sale for 20% off through Saturday and I'll also have complimentary beverages and snacks on hand as well as the snazzy limited edition 11 x 17 Batwoman art print J.H. did exclusively for the signing (for only ten dollars!), of which all the sales proceeds benefit Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization helping comic creators in need. J.H. (or Jim) will also have original art (as well as an amazing print he did with multiple Eisner award-winning letterer, Todd Klein for a mere twenty dollars) for everyone to awe at and or purchase.

Today the latest weekly Las Vegas CityLife came out and Jarret Keene did a wonderful shout out "pick of the week, thing to do in Vegas this week" as well as an insightful interview with J.H. Williams III. Click on the following links to see how a real writer promotes a big signing:

The Nobody

This week, Jeff Lemire's new graphic novel The Nobody arrived and is his first work with Vertigo. Lemire popped up almost out of nowhere with his excellent Essex Country graphic novel trilogy that is going to be collected into one big volume this August by Top Shelf.

The Nobody is one of those books that the less said the better and I can't think of anything to say about it's content (other than it's mystery of sorts) without ruining the reader experience. So this entry just exists as a shout out for The Nobody and anyone who's seen Jeff Lemire's comic work will also enjoy this book. Lemire has a new Vertigo series debuting within a couple of months called Sweet Tooth that I'm sure will also be a title to keep your eyes peeled for as Lemire is a fairly new and upcoming comic artist with a unique voice.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Batwoman signing & sale &...!

Yes, this is another public service announcement about the Batwoman creative team of J.H.Williams III and Greg Rucka signing at Alternate Reality Comics this Saturday, July 11th from 11-2pm (and then later from 4-7pm at Comic Oasis across town). You can of course bring your own things for the lads to sign, but if you desire any Williams III and Rucka books you don't already have, Alternate Reality Comics is having a 20% off sale on all of their comics and graphic novels starting today through Saturday!

I also want to give another reminder that we are selling a limited exclusive Batwoman print by J.H. Williams III (see image in the blog entry below this one) for only ten dollars! This print will only be available at the signing and all sales of the print will benefit Hero Initiative, a non profit organization that helps comic creators in need.

I hope to see all the fine readers of my blog this Saturday from 11-2pm. I'm having a cake made that should be quite snazzy and there'll also be water, soft drinks and cookies for all to enjoy while they're giving ego strokes to J.H and Greg, getting books signed, and just being amongst others that share their love of fine comic book entertainment!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Eight days away!

Anyone who shops at my store here in fab Las Vegas, Alternate Reality Comics (one block from UNLV), and or who has been reading my blog for the past couple of months already knows that I'm having a huge signing next Saturday, July 11th, from 11-2pm, with J.H. Williams III and Greg Rucka, the artist and writer of the new excellent Batwoman being featured in Detective Comics. JH Williams and Greg Rucka will gladly sign anything that you bring that they've worked on over the years, but I'm going to limit items to be signed to five items per creator and if time and people flow permits, we'll allow people who have more books they'd like signed to form another line.

As if just having / seeing J.H. Williams and Greg Rucka in person upon the debut of their great new (I say this a lot, but it bears repeating) Batwoman series wasn't enough excitement, J.H. generously created the exclusive artwork featured here (click on image to see this art in its larger glory), which will be on sale as an 11 x 17 heavy stock print on the day of the signing. All of the proceeds from the sale of this print are being donated to Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization that helps comic creators in need The price of this print is so low that I'd rather not say what it is here on my blog, because we (Derrick of Comic Oasis and myself) wanted to have an affordable commemorative piece available for people that come to the signings, which at the end of the day when all the prints are sold will still add up to a good sized donation for Hero Initiative. Advance orders are not being taken for this print because we want this to be something people purchase at the signings (J.H. Williams and Greg Rucka will be at Comic Oasis, also here in Las Vegas, from 4-7pm on the same day), but we are producing a very healthy amount because we are expecting a very robust turnout.

Stay tuned to Ich Liebe Comics! (this blog, of course) towards the middle of next week as I'll have a couple of additional surprises to announce for the signing next Saturday!

How I read my comics

These past couple of weeks I've been really busy getting things fine tuned for the JH Williams III and Greg Rucka Batwoman (Detective Comics) creative team signing that's happening Saturday, July 11th from 11-2pm as well as doing the end of month ordering, making and entering new club subscription sheets, and processing the huge amounts of comic titles that have arrived (especially the crazy Marvel onslaught of last week). Somehow in between doing all of this I managed to read quite a few of the comics that came out. I'm happy to report that I still love reading comics, but I often lament that there aren't more hours in a day to read more comics.
Every week I generally read about twenty comics in addition to a couple of new mangas and or graphic novels amongst all the new releases. Reading twenty comics a week doesn't even come close to being most of a week's comic releases as every week sees forty titles on a slow week to around sixty titles on a large week (and this doesn't count manga or graphic novels). I don't think I would read every comic that came out even if I had the time because I think that would definitely lead me (or almost anyone) to burnout and want to just quit reading comics altogether.

On most weeks I have all the new comics that I want to read finished in two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) and over the next couple of days will read the handful of manga and or other graphic novels I've put aside for myself. I've also been the type of comic reader that had to get and read the new release right away and can't space them out over a whole week (and since owning my comic store I want to be able to be recommend titles so the sooner I read a tile that sooner I can recommend it - even though it's also true that just because I like or didn't like a book doesn't mean others will feel the same way, although I like to think I'm in tune with my customer base).

I remember actually having more time to read comics at the store, but it seems like for some time now I hardly get through any comics while I'm working the store. Do I regret this change? No no no! I'd much rather interact with people who come to my store who want to interact and I definitely don't want anyone who comes into my store thinking that they're interrupting my reading time - I'm here to help people find and purchase comics and graphic novels that they'll hopefully enjoy and will make them want to come back for further entertainment and enlightenment. When there aren't customers in the store there really is any multitude of tasks that can be done to fine tune the store for the next wave of customers and other assorted behind the scenes business things that need to be attended to, although to be sure, even the most "unpleasant" business type thing that comic store owners have to do is miles above what most people have to do within their occupations and I definitely know how fortunate I am to have one of my biggest passions in life as my job.
Every week I have at least one or two MUST READ RIGHT AWAY comic books so I read those first. After the handful of must reads I then read the other high profile titles of the week, but they can be mixed amongst other titles like Vertigo, alternative smaller press titles, and the B or C list titles that came out that week. To clarify, there are also Vertigo, smaller alternative press titles, and B and C list tiles that are also amongst my favorite titles, but sometimes they don't have the immediacy that the big books of the week have (but often for me the big buzz titles don't deliver and don't merit the re-readings that the "quieter" titles have). I like to mostly read on my main sofa, but have found over the past year or so that a good way to manage time is to combine working out with reading that weeks comics so I'll put in an hour on my indoor exercise bike while reading the new releases. Generally I don't read the weeks new comics or graphic novels that require deep concentration while working out, but I have read some "deep" comic works like Promethea and Alan's War and don't feel that my appreciation of those books or my workout were compromised. I like reading comics in the morning the best.
The comic covers featured here in this entry are from top to bottom: Viking published by Image, The Mighty published by DC, Irredeemable published by Boom Studios, and The Invincible Iron Man published by Marvel. I chose these comics, not because they were necessarily the best of all the comics that came out in the past two weeks (although certainly these four are very entertaining), rather I'm spotlighting them on the strength of their covers which I think are great singular works of art. Besides wishing I had more time to read more comics, I wish I had more time to talk about the many great comics that are being produced today (and that I had the writing chops to actually say anything new about any of those titles that others haven't said better). It's true that we live in an era of embarrassing riches, meaning there's A LOT of everything, be it comics, music, books, movies, etc., and as time is finite, it becomes increasingly more difficult to actually enjoy everything we want to. Money is also a finite resource for most people, so I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who choses to buy comics, especially those of you who do so at my store - Thanks!

My questions for my blog readers are: Do you have a certain order to reading your comics and or graphic novels when you buy multiple selections on a store visit or do you just grab what's on top? Do you have a favorite time of day and or place to read your comics?