Blabber Blabber Blabber: Vol. 1 of Everything

By Lynda Barry
176 pages, black and white, with some color
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

Lynda Barry is one of those creators for whom I didn’t immediately gain an appreciation. The first couple of times I tried to read her syndicated strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, it just didn’t click, and I shrugged and moved on. But then her books One! Hundred! Demons! and What It Is were published, and the two made me a huge convert. So when Drawn & Quarterly announced their multi-volume collection of Barry’s comics, I was both intrigued and a little scared. Would these old comics of Barry’s finally connect with me, or would it just reinforce my earlier opinion of her work? As it turned out? The answer was both.

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Friends With Boys

By Faith Erin Hicks
224 pages, black and white
Published by First Second Books

I think most comic book readers have at least one creator whose works they’ve kept meaning to try out, but never gotten around to. Some of us even have lists; one of the people on mine for a while now has been Faith Erin Hicks. I’ve heard good things about her past books (writing and drawing Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, and illustrating Brain Camp), and so with Friends With Boys due to be released just around the corner, now seemed a good a time as any to finally give Hicks a whirl. Fortunately, this is one of those situations where it was worth the wait.

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Winter Soldier #1

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice
32 pages, color
Published by Marvel

Call it heresy, but I think I enjoyed Ed Brubaker’s issues of Captain America that starred Cap-replacement Bucky Barnes in the outfit more than when Steve Rogers was in the suit. And with Rogers helming Captain America once more an inevitability, I’m glad that us Bucky Barnes fans are getting our fix in the new series Winter Soldier. And so far, it’s exactly what I want from such a series: a mixture of black ops and crazy Marvel mayhem.

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Prince Valiant Vol. 4: 1943-1944

By Hal Foster
112 pages, color
Published by Fantagraphics

With the current wealth of classic reprint series, it’s easy to fall behind on your reading. (I don’t even want to admit how far behind I am on the Complete Peanuts books.) With the fifth volume of the Prince Valiant reprints scheduled for this spring, though, it seemed like a good a time as any to catch up on Hal Foster’s legendary newspaper strip. With a slight shift in the format of the strip in this volume, it turned out this was the perfect time to take another look at the series.

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