Sunday, September 30, 2007

Spider-Man Comics Magazine #1 - Jan. 1987

sgRight after DC had given up on the digests, Marvel decided to give it a go. Since Dennis the Menace wasn't quite able to jumpstart a line of digests, Marvel wisely went to their biggest star--Spider-Man!

This first volume reprints three classic Lee/Romita issues of Amazing Spider-Man:
"In the Clutches of the Kingpin" (ASM #51), "To Die A Hero" (ASM #52), and "Enter: Dr.Octopus" (ASM #53)

...I wondered why Marvel was running these sequential stories when they were already doing it in Marvel Tales, then Digest Fan(still gotta work on that) Chris Franklin pointed out this was when MT made the switchover from reprinting the Lee/Romita stories to issues of Marvel Team-Up, so presumably Marvel thought they could just continue them here.

Fine idea, the only problem being the printing in these books is atrocious--the printing is so light in some place its impossible to read the words, and a lot of the coloring is faint and blotched out. And unfortunately, things would only get worse.

This issue also comes with a cute Daily Bugle page, giving you brief rundowns of what's going on in all the Spidey titles.

A shaky start.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Star Comics Magazine #1 - Dec. 1985

sgAnother odd little diversion in Marvel's publishing history was Star Comics--a briefly-running line of kids comics featuring licensed characters like Heathcliff, The Muppet Babies, Ewoks, and some "original" characters(I put that in quotes because--c'mon, Marvel--"Royal Roy", a comic about a rich kid, drawn by Warren Kremer, no less? How'd that not generate a lawsuit?)

While I thought Marvel should've been commended for trying a new line like Star, as it is in many cases like this, the execution was perplexing--the titles were mediocre at best, and were the kinds of little kids comics that might've been popular twenty years earlier. But by 1985, they seemed woefully oldhat, even by little kid standards.

But Marvel did try, and as you can see they even put together a Star anthology title, Star Comics Magazine, which lasted a whopping thirteen issues--tied with Spider-Man Comics Magazine(showing up here tomorrow) for the title of Marvel's longest-running digest book. So it worked for a little while!

Stories include:
Heathcliff in "The Cat-Napping Caper" by Joe Edwards and Warren Kremer
Ewoks in "The Rainbow Bridge" by Dave Manak, Kremer, and Marie Severin (these stories are canon, right Mr. Lucas?)
Top Dog in "The Dog-Gone Beginning" by Lennie Herman and Kremer
The Muppet Babies in "The Haunted Nursery" by Stan Kaye and Severin

...points to Marvel for trying!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dennis The Menace #3 - August 1982

sgThe third and final Dennis digest--hey, I just noticed--Marvel Digest Group? What's that about?

Stories include:
"The Case of the Soggie Doggies", "Rough & Tough", "The Day The Sun Went Out", "Ruff's Family Tree", "Short and Sweet", "Movie Mischief", "Ring Around A Margaret", "Ruff the Beachcomber", "Dog Days", "The Quitter Sitter", and "A Ruff Life."

Was Marvel maybe thinking of a whole digest line? If so, grabbing the rights to a comic strip that was past
its prime seemed like an odd way to go--Garfield Comics Digest woulda been a smash at the time--so this title remains an obscure blip in Marvel's publishing history.

Ketcham's art, however, remains cool--even if this stuff is ghosted from his style(thanks for the tip Craig!).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dennis the Menace #2 - June 1982

sgOne thing you could say about these Dennis digests--they had really handsome covers. I love the white background strong central image. Nicely drawn and composed.

Stories include:
"High Steaks", "Unfinished Business", "Not Quite Suitable", "Strictly Against The Birds", "The Guessing Game", "On Your Market", "All Boxed In", "Butterfly Business", "The Texas Stranger", "Surprise", "For Goodness Sake", "The Big Flap", "Dennis Mows 'Em Down", and "Energy Crisis."

There's also some puzzle pages on the inside covers, something Marvel never did much of. Maybe these were reprints or material prepared by others for another purpose?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dennis the Menace #1 - April 1982

sgMarvel's first real foray into digests didn't star Spider-Man, Hulk, the X-Men, or any other staple of the House of Ideas, but Dennis the Menace!

Dennis had just received his own monthly title from Marvel a few month earlier, and I guess the initial sales were strong enough for them to give the little tyke a second title. Unfortunately, neither Dennis title lasted too long--the monthly regular book ended with #13, and this digest only ran three issues.

As a kid, I never gave a second thought to Dennis the Menace as a comic strip--I didn't think it was funny and the art did nothing for me. But as I've gotten older, I've come to really appreciate Hank Ketchum's beautiful linework and sense of design. And while I still don't think Dennis is funny, looking at the strips themselves is a joy to behold.

These Dennis stories though are not strip reprints--they're long-form comic book stories that are(as far as I know) original, either done by Ketchum or(more likely) a stable of assistants and ghost artists. The stories included are: "Tag-Along Trouble", "Dennis the Golfer", "The Kitty Catchers", "All Gummed Up", "The Amazement Park", "The Compact Car Caper", "Always a Lady", "Cake Walk", "The Dog Snatchers", "A Case of School-itis", "Dennis the Salesman", and "Dennis Vs. The Zoo."

This first issue even has a one-page Margaret strip and a "How to Draw Dennis' Dad" feature page, making for a fun package.

Update: As DigestFan Craig Wichman pointed out in the comments section, what the heck is a DC plug doing on the UPC code of a Marvel comic? I can't believe I missed that!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Die Fantastischen Vier #13 - Marvel

sgI thought since we ended our loooong run of DC digests with a foreign-market edition(well, almost), I could make a nice smooth transition to Marvel digests(as few of them as there are) by talking about one of their foreign editions. How'd I do?

This book is a whopping 164 pages thick, with only a handful of ads, reprinting a whole series of issues from John Byrne's delightful run on The Fantastic Four(around #s 242-247).

I like the old school FF on the logo("Dr. Reed Richards, Susan Richards, Ben, das Ding, Johnny, die Fackel") and the mis-colored Daredevil so he looks a lot like Captain America.

Byrne's clean, simple artwork reproduces down just wonderfully, and the story moves along at such a clip I wish Marvel, like I wish DC had yesterday, had reprinted Byrne's FF run as a digest comic in America.

Strangely, on the inside back cover, there's an ad for Epic Illustrated, of all things, and on the back for Masters of the Universe Comic-Magazin, headlined with the phrase "Bei der Macht von CASTLE GRAYKSULL"...some things are just universal, I guess.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #47 Unused Cover - 1984

sgWe were just a few hours away to switching from DC to Marvel digests; but this last minute, call-from-the-governor-style stay of execution is courtesy Alex Johnson, previously exclusively a contributor of material to in the form of swell Sheldon Mayer Rudolph original art.

But Alex found this open auction of an original Sheldon Mayer piece that was originally meant to be the back cover for
Best of DC #47 , but was not used for some reason.

Alex is superb at finding this neat stuff; and he offered to look for more if I wanted to see it. Absolutely, sir!

As usual with a Sheldon Mayer piece, its beautifully composed with great lights and darks and smooth-as-silk linework. Nice find, Alex and nice work, Mr.Mayer.

Ok, tomorrow--Marvel digests, no foolin'!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Batman Pocket NR.1 - 1979

sgYou find the oddest things on ebay!

This is a digest-sized collection of Batman tales from Brave and the Bold(plus two Robin solo stories), completely in Dutch! As you can see, they left off all the cover copy, so this cover, with the Teen Titans beating the crap out of Batman as Robin eggs them on, is even weirder than it was originally.

The stories reprinted are:
"Look Homeward, Runaway" by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo(Bats and the Titans, B&B #149)
"Today, Gotham, Tomorrow the World!" by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo(Batman and Superman, B&B #150)"Disco of Death" by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo(Batman and Flash, B&B #151) the two Robin solo stories, by Bob Rozakis and Juan Ortiz and Rozakis and Kurt Schaffenberger, that I couldn't quite find the sources for. If only I'd spoke Dutch...

The paper stock is much nicer than the regular digests at the time(it's closer to the bright white Mando stock DC would eventually move onto in a few years), and it makes for a really handsome collection. I wish DC had done a
Brave and the Bold digest collection of some of this material for those of us who can't read Dutch!

This is, for all intents and purposes, the
last DC digest to be indexed for the blog. There are a few more volumes of the aforementioned Cartoon Network titles I didn't get to, but I don't really see the point of hunting them down. And now that DC has retired the format(again!), I think we can safely say there won't be any new DC digests...for a long time, at least.

I had thought about wrapping it all up with yesterday's
Tarzan, since it was DC's first ever digest and that would've been nice, in a complete-the-circle kind of way. But I decided to not be so melodramatic and go out silly with this.

Starting tomorrow we'll talk about Marvel's brief foray into digests, and hopefully I've still got a few surprises left before I pack up and turn off the lights at
Digest Comics.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tarzan Digest #1 - 1972

sgI probably should've started this blog here, since its DC's first-ever digest, released in 1972 collecting a whole bunch of Russ Manning Tarzan Sunday strips that DC didn't have anything to do with!

Clocking in at a whopping 164 pages, it must not have set the world on fire, since they never did another Tarzan collection, or any other digest, until 1979. This single release remains an odd little curio in DC's publishing history.

There are only three stories in this thick book, but they're all pretty long. They include:
"Tarzan and the Rite of the Great Apes"
"Tarzan and the Ant-Men"
"Tarzan and the Attack of the Beast-Men" little featurettes like "Tarzan's Jungle Lore", "Tarzan's Illustrated Ape-English Dictionary"(!) and two full-page ads for DC's current Tarzan titles, Tarzan the Ape Man and Korak, Son of Tarzan.

The spiffy cover, repeated on the back as well, is by Joe Kubert. (cue Tarzan yell)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tarzan Digest Ad - 1972

sgThis sweet ad for DC's sole 1972 Tarzan Digest is courtesy Craig Wichman, who holds the distinction of contributing material to all three of my blogs, a Blogging Hat Trick, if you will.

Craig is a member of F.O.A.M.(Friend of AquaMan), a BWFF(Black and White Friend Forever), and...whatever designation is appropriate for here, I've yet to come up with something(sorry, Craig).

Anyway, it's a way cool ad, and probably the only one DC ever ran for the book...they generally advertised the digests much less than they did
the treasuries.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Daffy Duck #1 - 2005

sgNot to be outdone, Daffy Duck got his own digest volume. And like Bugs', just this one issue. I've always loved Daffy Duck--I just wanted to say that.

Stories include:
"The Trouble with Mars", "A Pizza On My Mind", "Wise Quacker", "The Devilish Desperado", "Speed Trap", "One for the Books", "Be My Pest", "Stiff Upper Beak", "All's Weight That Ends Weight", "The Midnight Ride of Duck Revere", "A Vase in the Crowd", and "So You Want A Million Bucks, Eh?"

...and that's it for the modern-day digests DC tried their hand at during 2004-2006. Like I said when we started these, I bought every one that came out either for myself or to give away.

I wanted this digest format to work out so bad that I bought books I would normally not get, and I'm frustrated at the weird choices DC made on how to market these--limited distribution, erratic publishing schedule, and high price-point. Now that the newest collections are standard TPB size, I guess we officially say the digest format at DC is done and gone.

But who knows? Maybe some future comics superstar who grew up on the digests will come along and demand his or her books be put in a digest, like Alex Ross did for the treasury-sized comic. I won't hold my breath, though.

Tomorrow we go back to the past and talk about DC's very first digest!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bugs Bunny #1 - 2005

sgThere was time when Bugs Bunny was a staple of comic book publishing, appearing as regularly as Mickey Mouse, Tarzan, or Superman.

Sadly, that time is long past and even though Bugs still does appear in the monthly DC Looney Tunes title, that book is done by official decree from the higher-ups at Warner Bros. and all the enthusiasm that comes from being forced to do something. DC once admitted to Kyle Baker, who expressed interest in doing some Bugs material, that the book doesn't make a dime and they only do it because they have to.

That led Baker to muse(in an interview with The Comics Journal about five-six years ago) that if you're an up-and-coming creative, you'd give your right arm to create a character a tenth as popular and enduring as Bugs Bunny. He said his kids love Bugs Bunny, and that any company that can't make money from Bugs "should get out of the business." Well said, Mr. B.

Anyway, on that sad note, Bugs and the other Looney Tunes star in:
"Working Out the Bugs", "Hari-ed By The Mob", "Hat Trick", "Precious Cargo", "Bad Hare Day", "Rocky Road", "The Old Brawl Game", "Twuce or Consequences", "X Marks the Bugs", "Femme Fatale", "Ten Pin Alley", and "Rabbit Recovery."

This was the only volume published, sadly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cartoon Network Block Party! #1 - 2005

sgI'm not sure what the difference was supposed to be between this anthology book and the earlier Cartoon Cartoons, since it contains pretty all much all the same features as that book.

Stories include:
Dexter's Labratory in "Beast Master" and "Dee-Dee Fo-Fum"
Ed, Edd, and Eddy in "Eds on Wheels" and "Luck of the Ed"
Courage the Cowardly Dog in "Vegan Invasion!" and "Small Problem"
Johnny Bravo in "To Sea or Not To Sea" and "Twinkle Toes"
Grim & Evil in "Central Junction: Where's Your Function?"
Kids Next Door in "Operation A.I.R.P.L.A.N.E.", "Operation G.R.A.N.D.A.D.", and "Operation S.O.D.A."

This title lasted four issues, again published at an erratic rate. The last one came out in 2006, so I assume if they ever did another one it would be in the standard TPB format DC is now using for Cartoon Network collections.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Secret of the Swamp Thing - 2005

sgLike the Sgt.Rock collection, this was another digest release that seemed to slip out DC's back-door, onto the loading truck, and crawled its way onto the shelves of a few comic book stores, unbeknownst the the store owners themselves.

It was listed on DC's website for months, and never came out, to the point where I had just forgotten about it. Then I saw one copy sitting on a shelf in a comic store I don't normally go to, so I grabbed it.

It's a damn shame this wasn't promoted more, since this obviously collects the classic tales by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson, from Swamp Thing #'s 1-10, although oddly all the story titles have been removed from the splash pages. I guess this is to make it more like one long story, but who buying this book hasn't read the original comics a hundred times already?

I would've loved to have seen a whole line like this--a color, afforadble line of manga-ish collections of some of DC's best material. Howabout digest-sized versions of The Dark Knight Returns, JLA/Avengers, Kyle Baker's Plastic Man, or Batman: Year One? Man, those woulda been sweeeet...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sgt. Rock's Combat Tales #1 - 2005

sgNow this was a perplexing release. Back in September 2005, DC solicited this digest-sized collection of Sgt.Rock tales, and I got so excited that this might be the beginning of a whole other line of digest titles, reprinting the metric ton of classic material they have in their archives.

September came and went, no Sgt. Rock. October, November, December...nothing. I asked the swell folks at my local store if they'd heard anything, and they hadn't. This book was in some sort of limbo, a Phantom Zone if you will.

I had all but forgotten about it then, while I was in another comic store up in North Jersey, there it was! I snapped it up, but thought this was a funny way to run a railroad. I hard could this book have been to put out on time? It's reprints of Sgt.Rock comics, not Watchmen.

Anyway, once I got the book the questions continued. The stories included are:
"The Rock" by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert
"The D.I. and the Sand Fleas!" by Kanigher and Kubert
"The Rock and the Wall!"
by Kanigher and Kubert
"Laughter on Snakehead Hill!"
by Kanigher and Irv Novick
"Gun Jockey!"
by Kanigher and Novick
"Calling Easy Co.!"
by Kanigher and Kubert
"The Hard Way"
by Kanigher and Jerry Grandinetti
"Silent Fish"
by Kanigher and Russ Heath
"No Shot From Easy"
by Kanigher and Grandinetti
"3 Stripes Hill!"
by Kanigher and Kubert

DC put a "1" on the spine of the book, indicating this was to be the first of (hopefully) more volumes. Obviously this didn't sell well enough to continue(gee, I wonder why), but the choice of material seemed odd to me.

Unless they were planning on reprinting Rock stories in order ala the Archives series, why go for this early material when Kanigher and Kubert were just finding their creative footing on the character? Why not go through the back issues and pick the cream of the crop? Hit the ground running, and maybe you'd have stirred up enough interest in future volumes? As it stands, this is not a bad book, but hardly the home run it could've been.

Easy Company deserves better.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Scooby-Doo #1 - 2003

sgDC's biggest Cartoon Network comic star, beloved icon to several generations, it's Scooby-Doo! Scooby is such a star that his book is still being published, even though most of the other CN books have long since ended. They just celebrated their 100th issue, leaving big-time heroes like Aquaman, Hawkman, and the Atom in the dust.

Stories in this first volume include:
"Scooby in the Booby Hatch" by Terrance Griep, Ned Sonntag, and Gary Fields
"Scooby Snooze" by Chris Duffy and Ivan Brunetti
"The Roswell Riddle" by Griep and the legendary Ernie Colon!
"Stubble Trouble" by Duffy and Tim Harkins
"The Truth" by Griep, our pal Joe Staton, and Andrew Pepoy
"Wax Attacks" by Barbara Slate and Bob Smith
"The Old Ways" by Griep and Colon
"How I Spent My Winter Break" by Sam Henderson and Harkins
"Legend of the Silver Scream" by Dan Slott, Staton, and Pepoy further show what an enduring star Scooby is, this digest title lasted six issues, longer than any other. More than Superman, Batman, or the Justice League! Zoinks!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Powerpuff Girls #1 - 2003

sgBetween this and a lot of the other shows on Cartoon Network, I feel like kids nowadays really get some high-quality shows to watch. Sure, there was The Super Friends and Scooby-Doo when I was a kid, but we also had the Happy Days cartoon and Rubik The Amazing Cube. Yeeesh.

Anyway, like the Cartoon Cartoons book, this collection is from the regular CN title, and features lot of fun stories. Also like
the Cartoon Cartoons book, it only lasted two issues, sadly:
"Squirrely Burly" by Jenifer Moore, Sean Carolan, and Phil Moy
"Buttercup's Boyfriend" by Abby Denson, Dan Fraga, and Mike DeCarlo
"Power Play" by Moore, Carolan, and Moy
"Video Maim" by Denson, Stephanie Gladden, and DeCarlo
"Holy Molar"
by Moore, Carolan, and Moy

...I remember being at a con and seeing PPG penciler Moy at a table. I dig his work so I approached him preparing to ask for an Aquaman sketch, figuring it'd be really cool to have one in his style.

I introduced myself and told him I "love the Powderpuff Girls", making a slip of the tongue. To which he snapped back "that's the Powerpuff Girls."

I didn't ask him for a sketch.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cartoon Cartoons #1 - 2004

sgA gen-u-ine anthology series! A lost art in comics nowadays.

Cartoon Cartoons stars Dexter's Labratory, Johnny Bravo, Ed, Ed, and Eddy, A Sheep in the Big City, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Cow and Chicken. Shouldn't the CW get them all together and do a new version of the Laff-A-Lympics?

Anyway, stories include:
Dexter in "Comic Relief" and "Meanwhile"(the first is really fun, where Dexter enters a comic book world and all of a sudden looks like he was drawn by Jack Kirby!)
E3 in "Last Nail in the Edhouse" and "Half-Baked"
Johnny Bravo in "Johnny On The Spot", "See No Johnny", "Johnny in Paradise", and "Johnny Big-Foot"
Courage in "The Gods Must Be Nosy"
Cow and Chicken in "Who Are Baboon?" and "Chicken and the Beanstalk"
Sheep in "Sheep in the Big City"

This was another title I bought to give out to the kids I know. Definitely a fun book, a real shame it only lasted two measly issues!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Batman Strikes! #2 - 2005

sgThe title that replaced Batman Adventures across the board, Batman Strikes!

I watched a few episodes of the show but it left me sort of cold, but it seems to be quite popular. From what I've heard they're going to work Aquaman and other DCU heroes into the new season, so maybe I will tune in again.

Anyway, even though the show didn't do much for me, I liked the comic; it had the same basic fresh-yet-classic approach to the Batman the previous tie-in book had.

Stories in this issue include:
"The Cat's Prize" by Bill Matheny, Christopher Jones, and Terry Beatty
"Ice Storm" by Matheny, Jones, and Beatty
by Matheny, Jones, and Beatty
"Sanity Plea"
(guess which villain this story centers on?) by Matheny, Jones, and Beatty
"Illumination" by Matthew Manning, Wes Craig, and Beatty

...I had all the issues of this series but gave them away to Trace's nephew since he digs Batman. I had forgotten that when it came time to index this series, so I rebought one of the issues to post it. See how hard I work for you digest fans?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Teen Titans Go! #5 - 2006

sgTeen Titans Go! managed to last longer than any other DC superhero digest, longer than Superman, Batman, or the JLU. Props to the Titans.

Stories include:
"Garsaurus Rex!" by J.Torres, Todd Nauck, and Larry Stucker
"The Book" by Torres and Sean Galloway
"Knockoff!" by Torres, Mike Norton, and Stucker
"Power Failure!" by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker
"Secret Santa"
by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker

These DC digests seemed to be published...erratically, at best. There'd be none for months and then three or four titles in one week. Like I said earlier, I admire DC for trying them again, and especially for aiming them at younger readers, but I think they shot themselves in the foot by the odd publishing schedule, price point, and relatively limited availability to the target audience.

Obviously, all that and more took its toll, since it seems this digest format is all but officially dead. DC is currently soliciting a
sixth TTG! collection, but it is not a digest, its a standard-size trade paperback.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Teen Titans Go! #4 - 2006

sgThe cover is by Sean Galloway, and looks like a cell from the show. Interesting effect, even if the coloring is a little dark and muddy. C'mon, give us some bright reds and yellows!

Stories include:
"Beauty and the Wildebeest" by J.Torres, Mike Norton, and Larry Stucker
"Anger Management" by Torres, Norton, and Stucker
"When Chibis Attack!" by Torres, Todd Nauck, and Stucker
"Song of the Dead" by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker
"Secret Moves"
by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker

..."When Chibis Attack!" is especially cute, since we get to meet alternate, lil' kid versions of the Titans, called the Tween Titans.

Trust me, it reads funny.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Teen Titans Go! #3 - 2005

sgSay it with me--Teen Titans! Teen Titans! Teen Teen Teen Titans!

Stories include:
"Countdown" by J.Torres, Todd Nauck, Larry Stucker
"Magic and Misdirection" by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker
"What Time Is It, Mr.Wolf?"
by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker
"If You Can't Beat 'Em..."
by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker
"Pop Quiz"
by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker

The "Beat 'Em" story brings Speedy into the TTG! universe, but I best most of Roy's other behavior won't be included in a Cartoon Network title...that boy ain't right.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Teen Titans Go! #2 - 2004

sgMore Teen Titans fun!

Stories include:
"Storm" by J.Torres, Todd Nauck, and Larry Strucker
"How You Play the Game" by Torres, Nauck, and Strucker
"Naked City" by Adam Beecher, Erik Vedder, and M3TH(?)
"War Machine"
by Torres, Nauck, and Strucker
"Finding Nero"
by Torres, Nauck, and Strucker, introducing Aqualad into the TTG! universe

These stories also add Thunder and Lightning and Starfire's sister Blackfire to the world, in their usual fast-paced, loony style.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Teen Titans Go! #1 - 2004

sgI have to admit I'm a little confused as some of the very negative reactions I've seen to the Teen Titans Go! cartoon--from the little I've seen of it, it looks to me like a solid, well-done show, keeping the basic elements of the characters but putting them in a context and a language more attractive to a new generation. But a lot of fanboys like me seem to hate it. Curious.

The comic has the same tone and energy that the show does, and even though it doesn't really appeal to me all that much, I can understandy kids and teens really took to it. Stories for this first volume include:
"Demo" by J.Torres, Todd Nauck, and Larry Stucker
"The Beast Boy Who Cried Wolf" by Torres, Nauck, and Stucker
"Lame-O" by Torres, Tim Smith, and Stucker
"My Crummy Valentine" by Torres, John McCrea, and John Hodgkins
"Monster Zit" by Torres, Smith, and Stucker

...the comic has these occasional "joke" asides during the action, that remind me of Sergio Aragones' Mad Marginals:

I also enjoy how they work in other elements from the Teen Titans universe--Deathstroke, The Fearsome Five, even Trigon! A fun show and a fun comic.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Superman Adventures #4 - 2006

sgThe final Superman Adventures digest...*sniff*

Stories include:
"Never Play With Toyman's Toys" by Mark Millar, Aluir Amancio, and Terry Austin (to me, this Toyman was the coolest, creepiest version of the character, in any medium)
"This Is A Job For Superman" by Millar, Amancio, and Austin
"Clark Kent, Public Enemy"
by Millar, Amancio, and Austin
"If I Ruled The World"
by Millar, Amancio, and Austin
"Reunion" by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Bret Blevins, and Austin, guest-starring Supergirl, who Dorkin and Dyer seemed to have a real affinity for

Fun stories all. I wish DC had continued the Superman Adventures digest and reprinted the entire regular comic's run. Give any of these to a kid for the first time, and they'd come away being a Superman fan!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Superman Adventures #3 - 2006

sgAfter an almost two-year hiatus, the Superman Adventures digests returned for two more issues. Only Brainiac could figure out such an odd publishing schedule...

Stories include:
"Family Reunion" Parts 1 and 2 by Mark Millar, Amancio, and Terry Austin
"Sullivan's Girlfriend, Lois Lane" by David Michelinie, Neil Vokes, and Ron Boyd
"Clark Kent is Superman--And I Can Prove It!" by Millar, Vokes, and Austin
"Sanctuary" by Millar, Mike Manley, and Austin

This issue features guest appearances by Batman and Dr. Fate, another thing the Superman animated show did well--incorporating other members of the DCU. Who else is ready for Dr.Fate: The Animated Series?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Superman Adventures #2 - 2004

sgMore adventuresome fun with the Man of Steel!

Stories include:
"(Almost) the World's Finest Team" by Mark Millar, Mike Manley, and Terry Austin
"Yesterday's Man of Tomorrow" by Millar, Aluir Amancio, and Austin, featuring probably the best of the animated show's reimagined villains, Mr. Mxyptlk, and a sweet tribute to Joe Shuster
"How Much Can One Man Hate?" by Millar, Amancio, and Austin, a really fine Luthor story
"Jimmy Olsen Vs. Darkseid" by Millar, Manley, and Austin
"Bride of Bizarro"
by Millar, Amancio, and Austin, guest-starring everyone's favorite inappropriate character for a kid's cartoon, Lobo!

Again, solid stories, solid art. Another fine collection.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Superman Adventures #1 - 2004

sgI found myself enjoying Superman Adventures--the cartoon and the comic--just as much as Batman Adventures, even though I've always been a much bigger Batman fan. I thought Timm and Co.'s take on the Man of Steel was nearly flawless, and I think the show was underappreciated. The comic was, to my mind, equally consistent, something these digest collections make clear.

Stories include:
"Clark Kent, You're A Nobody!" by Mark Millar, Aluir Amancio, and Terry Austin
"The Bodyguard of Steel" by Millar, Amancio, and Austin
"War Games" Parts 1 and 2
by Millar, Amancio, and Austin
"Power Corrupts, Super Power Corrupts Absolutely"
by Millar, Amancio, and Austin

Supes takes on soem of his biggest, baddest villains, like Luthor, Brainiac, and Parasite, all streamlined and reinvigorated and distilled to their baddest essences. Perfectly fun Superman adventures!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Justice League Unlimited #3 - 2006

sgThe final JLU digest(there was no official announcement, but I'll get into why I think so in a later post), featuring another nice cover by Ben Caldwell. Nice job getting Zatanna in there!

Stories include:
"Postcard From The Edge" by Adam Beechen, Carlos Barberi, and Walden Wong (starring Aquaman!)
"Old School" by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong
"Nuts and Bolts"
by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong
"Everybody Limbo!"
by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong (featuring Deadman taking over Wonder Woman's body, a priceless set-up if there ever was one)
"Urban Legend"
by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong

...again, more heroes from the far-flung corners of the DCU get a chance to shine, like Stargirl, the aforementioned Deadman, The Demon, Dr.Occult(!) and even Vibe(!!).

Its also nice that every story is by the same creative team, giving the book a nice consistent feel. Ah, it almost takes you back to the days of Gerry Conway and Dick Dillin on the original JLA book...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Justice League Unlimited #2 - 2006

sgMore JLU, and it's a nice bonus to see Aquaman featured so prominently on the cover by Ben Caldwell!

Stories include:
"In the Dimming Light" by Adam Beecher, Carlos Barberi, and Walden Wong
"Orphans" by Beecher and Ethan Beavers
"The Island" by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong
"Castle Perilous"
by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong
"Madness, Madness...They Call It Madness!"
by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong

...even more members of the DCU get some playing time in these stories, like Red Tornado, Fire, Orion, The Shining Knight, Vixen, Starman, and two Ditko characters, The Question and The Creeper!