Miss Don’t Touch Me

Written by Hubert
Art by Kerascoet
96 pages, color
Published by NBM

One of the nice things about NBM’s program of translating foreign comics into English is that often they will combine two 48-page albums into one 96-page volume. That’s definitely to the advantage of Miss Don’t Touch Me, because it means that you get the entire story in one fell swoop instead of having to track down two separate books. In the case of Miss Don’t Touch Me, the second half is just different enough from the first that it’s an interesting experience having the two combined into one omnibus.

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Bad Dog #1

Written by Joe Kelly
Art by Diego Greco
40 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

Everyone knows the old "they fight crime" game; you take two radically different professions and adjectives, attach them to people, and announce that they fight crime. Just like that, you’ve got a movie or television pitch just waiting to happen. In the case of Bad Dog, I can’t help but think that Joe Kelly did just that but changed the ending to, "They’re bounty hunters." It would certainly explain a lot towards the genesis of this strange little comic.

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Garfield Minus Garfield

By Jim Davis, with Dan Walsh
128 pages, color
Published by Ballantine Books

When I was in elementary school, my mother made me and my younger sister take piano lessons every week. We’d both be dropped off at our piano teacher’s house, and for the half-hour that my sister had her lessons, I would read the books that our teacher had in the waiting area. Most of those books were the original Garfield collections from the late ’70s, and I remember liking those early, sarcastic strips. Over the years, as Garfield has become its own media empire, the comic strip lost its edge and I figured it would be completely off my radar. That is, until Dan Walsh came up with his Garfield Minus Garfield website.

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I Saw You…: Comics Inspired By Real-Life Missed Connections

Edited by Julia Wertz
192 pages, black and white
Published by Three Rivers Press

I freely admit, I love reading the "missed connections" listings on Craigslist. I used to read them religiously in my local alternative papers, but these days it seems to be the internet where you hit the missed connections pay dirt. Clearly I’m not the only person who finds these snippets of other people’s lives fascinating, because with I Saw You…: Comics Inspired By Real-Life Missed Connections, Julia Wertz has assembled an all-start collection of indy and alternative cartoonists to illustrate various missed connections postings. Just like the missed connections themselves, the results are variable but overall entertaining.

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My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill

Written by Jean Regnaud
Art by Émile Bravo
128 pages, color
Published by Fanfare/Ponent Mon

One thing I’ve always been impressed by is when a book can really depict what it’s like to be a child. So often, authors write children as nothing more than very short adults, using the same mental patterns and words that the author would use as well. So while that’s not the only thing that immediately struck me with Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo’s My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, the fact that Regnaud (and translators Vanessa Champion and Elizabeth Tierman) nailed it so perfect is alone reason to celebrate.

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Soul Kiss #1

Written by Steven T. Seagle
Art by Marco Cinello
28 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

I’ve been reading Steven T. Seagle’s comics for a really long time, and the one thing that has connected them all is an apparent willingness to keep from being pigeon-holed into a single genre or style. So while Soul Kiss may not have any specific hook or twist that you’re used to seeing in lots of other Seagle books, I somehow couldn’t help but feel that it was recognizably written by him. I guess when the closest you can get to a writing trait is, "Anything can happen," that’s not really a bad thing at all.

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Faces of Evil: Kobra

Written by Ivan Brandon
Penciled by Julian Lopez
Inked by Mark Farmer
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

As part of DC Comics’s "Faces of Evil" promotion—where the titles of the company have cover portraits and a special focus on the villains—a handful of one-shots also shipped, each focusing on a different villain. But out of all of the books, I have to admit that one of them really mystified me. In the case of Faces of Evil: Kobra, I found myself really wondering just what the purpose of this comic was.

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Umbrella Academy: Dallas #3

Written by Gerard Way
Art by Gabriel Bà
32 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I will be the first to admit that if you’d asked me what comic would be the spiritual successor to Grant Morrison’s acclaimed Doom Patrol run, my answer probably wouldn’t have been, "A comic written by Gerard Way, who’s better known as the lead singer for My Chemical Romance." As soon as the first issue of The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite was released, though, I learned just how wrong I was. And with each new issue of the follow-up mini-series, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, Way is proving over and over that he’s not a one-hit wonder. If anything, he just keeps getting better. Now how great is that?

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Vigilante #1-2

Written by Marv Wolfman
Penciled by Rick Leonardi
Inked by John Stanisci
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics

In this current market, it can be tough to launch a new series—doubly so if the book isn’t starring a pre-existing sales success like the Punisher. So when DC Comics announced they were launching a new Vigilante series, I was actually a little surprised. While there a Vigilante title years ago, this book stars a new character with the same name. So after two issues, is there enough of a hook to bring readers into a new title?

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Dead, She Said

Written by Steve Niles
Art by Bernie Wrightson
104 pages, color
Published by IDW

Does everyone remember those old commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, where two people’s personal peanut butter and chocolate collide and the end result startles them into how good the mixture is? Well, I blame those commercials for every sort of mixture of genres, tastes, or ideas. Fusion restaurants, rap/rock duets, you name it, I know the cause. I’m not saying that they’re bad, just that I know exactly where they’re coming from. And now, to add to that list, Dead, She Said‘s mixture of pulp noir and 1950s science-fiction. Two great tastes you may have never thought of mixing together.

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