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The week after #SDCC is usually a little slim after
publishers dump all their latest high profile projects and announcements into
the bazaar, and that’s a good thing because I’m exhausted! It was a blast
rolling with the Comics Bulletin crew this year as Jason Sacks, Chase Magnett,
Daniel Elkin, and I scoured the con floor, caught up with creators for
interviews and networking, hit the after parties, saw old friends, pursued our
diverse individual projects, and made #BarCon and #FoodCon just as much of a
priority as the comics.
As usual, I had fun playing San Diego Tour Guide and hitting
some of my favorite spots. We had lunch and drinks at Queenstown Public House! We had
tacos and horchata at Lucha Libre! We stopped in for a drink at The Regal Beagle! If there’s an Eisner Award for drinks, I’d
bestow it upon the refreshing and smooth Cucumber Gin Gimlet at The Lion’s
Share and the “Mother’s Ruin” Punch Bowl at Craft & Commerce for the name
alone and the sheer spectacle of a big block of ice floating in a bowl of
alcohol. Anyway, there’s really no better crew to roll with at #SDCC.
Comics! Let’s go with an oldie-but-a-goodie this week and
spotlight Astro City #25 (DC/Vertigo) by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson.
Busiek is a real-deal veteran writer with a diverse body of genre work who’s
capable of capturing the type of authenticity that lesser writers often try to
unsuccessfully emulate. Astro City is
perhaps his opus, a title that’s been a constant through decades of ups and the
downs in the industry, a creator owned book before that term became cool again,
and favors deep-dive examination of the personal and hidden corners of a shared
superhero universe concept, sometimes to grand deconstructionist results.
I’ll also recommend Drifter #6 (Image) by Ivan Brandon
and Nic Klein, a great sci-fi romp that’s as insightful about character as it
is wondrous about setting and design. There’s Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees
#11 (Image), which often goes in unexpected ways, focusing on the
socio-political implications and individuals relationship dynamics of the
setting instead of the high-concept hook that sets up the actual world. Charles
Soule and Alberto Alburquerque also continue their West Wing meets Independence
Day sci-fi affair in Letter 44 #18 (Oni Press).
The only other book that caught my eye was Godzilla
In Hell #1 (IDW), which I’ll pick up as long as Godzilla: Half Century War alum James Stokoe is involved, an attitude
that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the series because I think he’s only
doing the first issue.