Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Thanks for this!

I was in my LCS today, I’d seen the Giant Days: Not On The Test vol 2 and Watchmen Deluxe HC in there last week and had decided to go in on them both today, but they’d both gone when I got there. At the time I wondered what the comic gods were trying to tell me, and now it becomes apparent that they were saving me £20 by making me hold off until now.

And it’s finally time for me to read Watchmen.


Couple of interesting books:

It’s worth noting that both are from Magnetic Press, a relative new company. The hardbacks they’ve done and for Warship Jolly Roger are very nice, high quality, oversized eitions.


An east-west manga tale that starts off as a weird future SF mystery. it becomes something quite other as it goes on and ends. The east-west combination extends to the art, which though manga to a degree also has a Gimenez influence and feel at times.


A graphic adaptation of a Chinese series built around tomb-raiding, this sees an intriguing fusion of art styles, with it switching between digital imagery and more traditional art. A lot is packed in here - character histories, various agendas and mystic concepts, but it it manages to pull it off.

I got lucky on both, having got each for £12.50 when the RRP is £27 and online discounted price £17-20 depending on where you look.


Judge Dredd: Dark Justice

Well Joe, it’s been a while and you’re still the same hard bastard you ever were, this time head butting Judge Death no less! Yep, that’s one great sequence in this story, with the corn chipper being the top one. That’s simply awesome - both in the art and the economy of the story-telling.

I enjoyed this. A bunch of rich bastards decide to leg it away from the now broken, post-Day of Chaos Mega City One only to have the Dark Judges stowaway and crash their utopia.

I can well understand Wagner’s reluctance to return to the Dark Judges, after all, what is left to say about those bastards? On the other hand, their frequent defeats have undermined the sense of sheer menace they once possessed and that’s what got Wagner back in. He decided to try to restore that lacking sense of menace and, with Staples’ glorious painted art, really succeeds.

It’s also quite surprising that this oversized hardback is still set at RRP £14.99, it could have easily gone higher. As it is, I got a great big hardback for just under a tenner.


Kill Or Be Killed: Volume 3

This book really shouldn’t work. As a narrator and lead character, Dylan really is a piece of crap. A lying piece of crap too maybe. But this is also why the book works - Brubaker’s story gets the balance just right, Dylan’s a piece of crap but he’s interesting one and he’s put up against far worse. At the same time there’s all these so very clever pages from Phillips - varied, innovative and every single page is perfectly constructed for telling that single piece of the story. It’s a masterclass in collaboration from a pair of creators at the top of their game.

Vision OHC

I’ve been hot and cold on Tom King - Sheriff of Babylon was a bit too cold a tale for my liking, while his Batman varies - it can be great, but it can also not be. Thus I haven’t embraced him with the rapturous applause showered on him by others.

But this? Oh yes, this lives up to its reputation and then some. It also shows up what Marvel lost when DC poached King.

A tragedy in 12 chapters, it is a superb exploration of and meditation on human nature, normalcy, responsibility and society. King aims high and, on this story, consistently nails it. He does so in a way he hasn’t yet elsewhere. In the process he also skewers much of American society - the suburbs, high school and so on.

Yet, from the off, it is made abundantly clear that Vision’s experiment never really has a chance because people will not give it one. In this story, time and again, it is humans who are the aggressor, who refuse to expand their outlook, who refuse to change - up to the point of preferring violence instead. It is notable that, across the course of the story, it is Vision’s family that arguably demonstrate more responsibility while the humans pass the buck and seek to evade it.

Then there are the questions that linger long after the story has concluded - should the Avengers, quick to judge Vision for striking back against those that hurt him, not done better to foster a world that would be more welcoming? In this respect Vision has much in common with the X-Men, for it appears to be quite fine for people to loathe them both, while other forms of hatred are fought. The one thing that Vision never considers, so conditioned has he become, is whether his goal of ‘normalcy’ was ever achievable. Indeed, what is the nature of ‘normalcy’ ?

Walta’s art is also excellent and is all the better for being so restrained.

The extras included are absolutely superb.

Which brings me to the one great tragedy of this book - Marvel have not been as smart as they should have been and I doubt they will be in how they keep it in print. I don’t expect them to. The great shame is that the paper is too thin, it doesn’t show the quality of the work off the best it can and it would have been so very easy to do so. A minor upgrade would have made for a far better book. At the same time, this is a work that, by reputation alone - and its quality - command enduring interest - if Marvel were smart enough to keep it in print. Again, I doubt that they will. Marvel’s track record here is not good. They have the material to really sell trades, they just don’t care about the market.

Still, despite that, this is a superb book that deserves to be read no matter what. It really demonstrates what can be done both with Marvel’s characters and comics as a medium.


Your review of Kill or be Killed is an excellent synopsis of why this series works. Well done, Ben. :grinning:


jeez I should have been following this thread years ago.
you know your stuff Ben. Kudos where its due.


Both the Magnetic Press books were people flogging second-hand copies cheap in Amazon Marketplace / Ebay - sometimes you get lucky!


It’s the best thread on the board, man. Come on, where have you been?


Also the most financially dangerous!


Tell me about it. I’m going to have to look into Zaya.


Speedy Hen look to be best for anyone interested in the Frank Quitley sketchbook. Isn’t live yet though.


Brave and the Bold: Lords of Luck
More 00s DC (and another series where I didn’t get around to more than the first volume) and this is such a great love letter to the DC universe that even someone who only skims it like me can enjoy it. Waid takes the premise of a two character team up book and expands it into a vehicle for a wide-ranging story with a varied cast from which characters can drop in and out (much like the best runs of Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two In One). What starts with just Batman and Green Lantern quickly expands to Supergirl, Adam Strange, Lobo, the Legion, Blue Beetle and more and it all works.
It reminds me of Kurt Busiek’s Avengers run in its unfiltered love for the universe it’s set in. But also because it’s drawn by George Perez. Perez is an amazing artist, he can make anything feel legitimate and right. If you want to sell your crazy new redesign of a comics character, just get George Perez to draw it and you’re golden. There are so many characters for which he is my definitive artist and more are added here. I should really get the second volume.

Batman: Cat and the Bat
It’s a DC story and it’s from the 00s! This is a Batman Confidential arc set in the early days of Batgirl’s career and her first meeting with Catwoman. Fabian Niciezia spins a fun story, helped by competing narration from the two leads. What really lifts it though is the art from Kevin Maguire. We all know Maguire’s a master of facial expressions and that’s ably demonstrated here. His work really sells the disdain Barbara and Selena have for each other.


How’s this mate?
Uncanny Avengers Omnibus £43.40 inc postage


God yes, every Moon Knight has gone on temporary hiatus, I’ve gnashed my teeth angrily. Luckily, it’s only gotten better with each return. Sick stuff. One of my look-forward-tos each month.


I’m not stating anything that isn’t considered common opinion, but I was down sick for two weeks and the only good thing about it was getting a tremendous pile of backlogged comics and trades read. Sitting with “Kingdom Come,” I just can’t praise it enough. I felt like many of my opinions on theology were validated and that gave me such a boost while recuperating. Definitely one of the greatest comic minis in history.


Who’s flogging it at that price?

Grab it.


Oh it has been grabbed.
Some other steal below as well me thinks


Heh, l’m not surprised. That one tends to go for plus sixty quid.


I read 2 Donny Cates books in the last few days

Redneck Volume 1 and God Country

Both were ok but neither fully clicked with me, despite really strong first issues and concepts.
I’m not sure what it is that I find they are lacking, I think it’s maybe just his writing style.

Redneck is maybe actually too compressed as opposed to a lot of the decompression that goes on in modern comics.
I felt the first issue laid out a really good foundation, the simple but effective concept being a family of vampires in the Deep South, keeping themselves to themselves until an incident threatens to change their way of life.

I think he could have held a bit back and that it rattled thru the events without giving the reader time to chew on them.

God Country starts off really well with a grandfather with alziemers who apprears from the wreckage of his tornado destroyed house with his memories back, but also holding a rather large sword

It’s all done in one volume and while I enjoyed a lot of it it didn’t quite hit me as hard as I think it should have.

There’s a good writer in here and these books are enjoyable enough but I think they could have been better and don’t have a strong urge to see what happens in the next volume of Redneck although I’ll maybe pick it up in a sale or something.


Dealer Alert

Now available:

Jimmy’s Bastards Volume 1 - Books Etc - £8.76


You getting it?


Is this an ongoing or a mini? I’m really tempted.