Chaland Anthology Vol. 1-2: Freddy Lombard

Written by Yves Chaland with Yann Lepennetier
Art by Yves Chaland
136 pages, color
Published by Humanoids Publishing

About three years ago, my local comic store got a huge shipment of French comic albums in. As each box was unpacked, the owner told me about the different artists that I might not have heard of before placing the books on the shelf. When he got to one box, though, he merely handed me one of each album and said, “Just take a look.” The four books were Humanoids Publishing’s Chaland Intégrale collections, and in just a matter of moments I could see just why he’d ordered them. Hopefully, now that they’re in English, a lot of other people are about to discover the same thing.

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Losers #1-2

Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Jock
32 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

If you’d told me ten years ago that the Vertigo line would be publishing an action-adventure thriller, I’d have laughed. It’s amazing how much the Vertigo line has diversified in the last decade, moving from just dark fantasy/horror and skewed superheroes into a line whose commonality seems to be a mature sensibility… in other words, a perfect home for The Losers.

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By Sara Varon
88 pages, black and white, two-color, and full-color
Published by Alternative Comics

Sara Varon is probably not a familiar name to most comic book readers. I’d never encountered her work until last year’s anthology Rosetta, but I found myself already hoping to see more of her comics before too long. Sometimes it’s almost like Alternative Comics’s publisher Jeff Mason is hovering over my shoulder and taking notes at moments like that, because now we’ve got Varon’s first graphic novel, Sweaterweather, collecting a great deal of her works to date.

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Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis

Written by Len Wein
Art by Berni Wrightson
240 pages, color
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics

When DC Comics announced late last year that they’d be reprinting Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis I remember hearing a lot of surprise that it was chosen to be next on the schedule instead of the final Alan Moore Swamp Thing collection. (Which did, indeed, show up a couple of months later.) Now that I’ve sat down and read the collection, it seems blatantly obvious to me; this is a collection of classic comics that should definitely be kept in print.

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Big O Vol. 1

By Hitoshi Ariga
208 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

Sometimes all it takes is a catchy premise to score a new reader. Take The Big O: a book set in Paradigm City, where 40 years earlier everyone lost their memories. Now people use pieces of the forgotten past to forge the future. Sounds great, right? Well, just keep in mind that a good premise does not automatically equal a good final product. You’ve got to take advantage of that potential and really turn it into something special.

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Frankenstein Mobster #0

By Mark Wheatley
32 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

I think the first time I really took register of Mark Wheatley’s work in comics was when he created the original Radical Dreamer series. Each issue folded out into a gigantic map-sized poster, with gorgeous painted colors and imaginative alien worlds and technology swirling around the page. It’s been a little frustrating, then, to see so much of his art lately in black and white; thankfully, that particular void in my life is about to be filled with Wheatley’s new Image series The Frankenstein Mobster.

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