House of Mystery Vol. 2: Love Stories for Dead People


Written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham. Art by Luca Rossi and José Marzan Jr., and David Peterson. Cover by Esao Andrews.

Jul 10, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Vertigo/DC's House of Mystery is the new ongoing series that reinvents the classic "Suggested For Matured Readers" franchise. This second volume, subtitled Love Stories For Dead People, collects issues #6-10. The romance-themed sequel to Room & Boredom has the same premise: a group of five strangers are trapped within a supernatural tavern where strange patrons pass the time regaling each other in outlandish yarns. The stories told across the bar stools this time pale in comparison to the five previous installments. The overarching plot, revolving around the secrets buried underneath a clandestine basement, fares much better. More

Far Arden

Top Shelf

Written and drawn by Kevin Cannon

Jul 07, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Kevin Cannon's Far Arden is an unassuming series of masterstrokesan adventurous yarn that came into fruition from a bet between friends. Steven Stwalley, founder of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy and fellow local cartoonist, challenged Cannon to create one 24-hour comic every month for an entire year. You heard right. That's a 24-page comic, created during the span of 24 hours.


Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories


Written by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and Glen Murakami, Art and cover by Bruce Timm, Various

Jun 17, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Devotees of Batman: The Animated Series will no doubt recognize writer Paul Dini and artist Bruce Timm's seminal Batman one-shot, Batman: Mad Love. Mad Love and Other Stories' centerpiece recounts Harley Quinn's dark origin. This tale of obsessed love was later adapted into an episode of the series and finds Quinn at her emotional nadir; trying to impress her "Puddin'" (The Joker) by offing ol' Bats. Once a psychologist for Mr. J, her insanity reveals some surprisingly adult-oriented sexuality. More

The Walking Dead: Compendium One


Written and created by Robert Kirkman; Art by Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, Cliff Rathburn, and Rus Wooton

Jun 15, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Image's The Walking Dead: Compendium One is a hulking 1088-page softcover graphic novel that collects Robert Kirkman's ongoing zombie masterpiece. The "compendium" series collects the first 48 issues in one shot and it's a worthy edition to any discerning comic book enthusiast's library. The astonishing fact that Kirkman's post-apocalyptic comic can spawn yet another repackaging testifies to its hardcore fans, who will probably pick it up even if they picked up the smaller volumes along the way. This series is still salient. Another batch of potential fans could pick it up at their local shop and devour it like the rest of us did the first time. More


Drawn and Quarterly

Written and drawn by Diane Obomsawin

Jun 05, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Diane Obomsawin's inaugural graphic novel in English is Kaspar, a sadly truncated volume that unveils the life of Kasper Hauser. The Canadian filmmaker and cartoonist's envisage of this unbelievable narrative is told frankly in comparison to the more extravagant tones already lended to Hauser by the likes of Werner Herzog and Harlan Ellison. No mention of the controversy of whether Hauser is just a snappish fraud is discussed nor is even much revealed about his death. Obomsawin favors the part of the man-child's life where he was introduced into bourgeoisie society. After all, the other side of erudite culture studies that as well. More

Green Arrow/Black Canary: A League of Their Own


Written by Judd Winick, Art by Mike Norton and Wayne Faucher

Jun 02, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Wedded superheroes live the kind of abnormal domestic lives you’d associate with Hollywood darlings, so when a resurrected Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) and Black (Dinah Lance) got hitched, fans of the resultant team-up DC series knew to expect tragedy to assail the duo. Writer Judd Winick and illustrators Mike Norton, and Wayne Faucher stir up enough internal calamities for the GA family. More

May 05, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

House of Mystery was a staple DC anthology of the mid-1950s. Over the years the faces have changed but the premise remains fairly the same: put a bunch of people into a big scary house with plenty of mansards and macabre. This 2008 reboot by Jack of Fables writers Mathew Sturges and Bill Willingham infuses plenty of novel ideas and characters into this rather stale horror trope. The malignant caretakers of the 1968 iteration of House of Mystery, aptly named Cain and Abel, make a quick cameo at the beginning of Room & Boredom. From then on, readers are introduced to the small cadre of patrons that inhabit their strange environs: a bar "at the crossroads of reality." More

May 01, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

This fourth JSA volume collects Justice Society of America #19-22, and the Thy Kingdom Come specials Magog, Superman, and The Kingdom. Picking up where part two left off, the Justice Society begins to disintegrate as Gog vows to bring peace to Earth. Some are terrified by this course of events, while many heroes are optimistic, after being healed of their ailments by Gog. Thom Kallor (Starman) is no longer a schizophrenic, Grant Emerson's (Damage) scarred face is restored, and Sanderson Hawkin's (Sand) night terrors have ceased. Gog's helping hand comes with a moral price tag as the old JSA squares off against the new. More

Apr 25, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Mark Millar is quickly becoming a pop culture institution (if he wasn’t already there). The creator behind such controversial projects as Kick-Ass, Wanted, War Heroes, Marvel’s Civil War, Ultimates, and Superman: Red Son raises some more eyebrows with American Jesus. Chosen was originally published in 2004 by Dark Horse, but this is a new trade paperback collection from Image Comics. Compared to something like Preacher, it’s a fairly tame pre-apocalyptic tale, seen through the eyes of the pubescent Jodie Christianson (the initials are a dead giveaway).