Variant Covers: A Sweet Tooth for Hallucinations.

With alacrity, my good friends! This column is bursting forth from a strained cerebellum. It is at the point in the semester where I haven’t touched a comic book in two weeks, which makes the art of writing about what is coming out a bit suspect. Yet!, trust me. I bring forth the Variant Covers. The column where I harp on the dopeness that is dropping this week in the comic book world. I can’t catch everything, and thusly I encourage your collective bottoms to contribute what’s on your pull list in the comments section.


Joe the Barbarian #8.
I’ve begun to bemoan the weekly comic book format. While I snag shit on the weekly, I’ve begun to prefer reading pigs within the halls of a comfy trade paperback. There are the pros and cons of each format; the monthly expectation and happiness of snagging an eagerly anticipated. But at the same time, the narrative coherence of ingesting an entire storyline at once seems to pay dividends for me.

Case in point: Joe the Barbarian. The final issue comes out this week, and I cannot recall when the fuck issue #7 came out. Since then, I’ve rambled through possibly hundreds of issues of comic books, and my recollection of this series is hazy at best.

With that bitching aside, I’m excited for the title. Morrison’s diabetic shock-induced trip through an adolescent’s troubled childhood has been equal parts touching and haunting. Sean Murphy’s artwork has captured the playground horror show that is Joe’s mind perfectly, and I’m eager to see how this pig ends. I’m predicting the tears will flow.

I’m weepy, what can I say.


Ultimate Captain America #3.
Jason Aaron and Ron Garney’s fucking insane take on Captain America continues this week. I’m digging the fuck out of this comic. It’s violent, it’s hilarious, and it’s a different take on the Aryan Posterchild turned American Dream. Rogers is a profane bastard, and it’s nice to see him playing the bad ass as opposed to the boy scout.

I know, I know. Government agent turned rogue agent is a trope beaten to a paste and spread over an endless spread of burnt comics toast. But do it right and it excels. This issue sees Rogers fighting an entire village of super soldiers and throwing down with the disillusioned Captain America of the Vietnam era.

Bullets, stomach punches, and a morsel of political commentary equals a yes please from me.

Also From The Marvel Family:
While technically a Marvel title, one of the publisher’s branches is putting out Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Incognito: Bad Influences #4. This series is superpowered pulp at its best. Confession time: I haven’t read the third issue – one of the volumes of funny books whose spines are still waiting to be abused by my meaty fingers. I’m assuming its as dope as the first two. Listen!, I’m not perfect. Forgive me, we’re spittin’ over internet coffee. Just you, me, and the lurkers in the window.

I’m feeling the guilt, and when I consider the backlog I’m amassing, the anxiety attack thickens its presence in my throat. Drown it in caffeine and jelly beans, I say!


Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1.
I don’t have the attention span for web comics, and I don’t like the size that they’re serialized in. That’s why despite everyone and their favorite bang-slave raving about Axe Cop and it being collected in a trade paperback, I haven’t jumped on board. In case you didn’t know, this comic is the product of Ethan Nicolle and his five year old brother, which in it of itself is fucking righteous. The web comic is going mini-series through Dark Horse beginning tomorrow, and maybe this is the moment I jump aboard. Maybe.


Sweet Tooth #19.
I hope you’re reading Sweet Tooth. I really do. It’s one of the strangest comics coming out, and it continues to grow in its scope and quality by the issue. Lemire is at the top of his game, throwing laser bolts of awesome from atop whatever artist throne he rests atop. That said, this issue sees Lemire handing over the reins to a variety of indie artists for a stand alone issue. Fucking. Awesome. Of most interest to me is whatever Matt Kindt is doing within the pages of this installment. I caught wind of Matt Kindt through his work last year, Revolver. He’s joind by Nate Powell and Emi Lenox, giving Lemire a month’s breather.

What a great way to take a month off. Throw some love to indie creators giving them some exposure, and allow him to regroup and keep the quality high. I like.


What are you guys reading this week? Hit me.