MIKE MIGNOLA (HELLBOY: THE STORM AND THE FURY/WITCHFINDER: LOST AND GONE FOREVER) [Dark Horse] - Mike Mignola has built a varied universe around Hellboy. While they all deal with the supernatural, he has slowly built a great fantasy epic out of the main title. In "The Storm and the Fury", Mignola again hands off the art chores of his signature character to Duncan Fegredo, but Fegredo is the ideal partner who doesn't make us wish for Mignola to return to the art (though he will next year). Hellboy must save England from an apocalyptic army created by the mad witch Nimue. Hellboy, despite his appearance, grounds us to the story with his humanity and no b.s. outlook.
In "Lost and Gone Forever," we follow 19th century occult investigator Sir Edward Grey to the American Wild West. Co-written with John Arcudi, Grey faces Native American shaman magic as well as the undead. I mention it mainly because it was the final work of comics legend John Severin. Severin, a veteran of many Western comics, had a craft that was undiminished at age 90. It was a perfect fit for this solid story, and kudos to Dark Horse for hiring him for this assignment.
SAGA #1-8 [Image] - What is this thing? I don't really know. A mix of alien races and technology and magic. Two people in love from different worlds journey through the galaxy with their newborn daughter and ghostly nanny. The big hitch is that multiple forces would like to see them all dead. Writer Brian K. Vaughan had me for five years with his last opus, "Y: The Last Man." I plan on being with this one for the duration.
STEVE CANYON VOLUME 1: 1947-1948/STEVE CANYON VOLUME 2: 1949-1950 [Library of American Comics] - What more can I say about Milton Caniff? Plenty, but for this I'll just say, "The master at his peak." 'Nuff said. P.S. He had a about a decade long "peak."
glamourpuss #24 - 26 [Aardvark-Vanaheim] - And so the bizarre experiment comes to an end. Dave Sim enlivened the final issues with the inclusion of Zootanapuss, a Zatanna lookalike, making a mockery of elite fashion. The other half of the book was spent concluding his saga of the strange death of cartoonist Alex Raymond. This was the meat of the book for me, combining historical fact with Sim's sometimes bizarre speculation. Having spent what seemed like a year building up to it, Raymond and Stan Drake finally got in the damn car to take the joyride that would end Raymond's life. I hope that his plans to collect this storyline and expand on it someday come to fruition, though there is a sad lack of interest in Sim's work. Sim chronicles the end of this series and his ongoing financial woes here.
SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE LOSERS [DC] - This is a long-awaited collection, as I've been trying to collect the "Losers" stories by artist John Severin over the last few years. This book has all of them, as well as their earlier adventures, collecting the Losers stories from "Our Fighting Forces" #123-150, and their first appearance from "G.I. Combat" #138. While the Kanigher/Severin run deserves the DC Archives treatment (in color on better paper), this will thrill for now.