Good evening, all. The stash this week is a little light, but none the less great. I’m still working my way through reading last week’s haul, and didn’t get to go out for new books, but that didn’t stop me from finding plenty to read, nor did it stop Mr. Jackson from trying to steal it from me. Let’s see what’s in the stash this week…
Like I said, I did not get to hit the stands this week and pick up any new books. I have been hard at work renovating the delapidated eastern wing of the mansion, and haven’t had time for such wonderful frivolities. But that didn’t stop my wife, the Widow Sunday, from surprising me this past Wednesday with the Kamandi Challenge Special #1! I don’t know how she manages to work all hours of the day and night at her mortician’s school and still find time to surprise me with sweet little gifts, but somehow she does. This 80 page special is spinning out of a limited series called The Kamandi Challenge, in which a lot of top name talent are taking turns writing and drawing some new Kamandi story. I don’t really care how that turns out, maybe I’ll read it some day. But this one-shot oversized special reprints two original Jack Kirby Kamandi issues, as well as two previously unreleased black and white stories by… who-cares, they’re not Jack Kirby. Kamandi was one of Jack’s creations when he worked for DC comics, following the titular last boy on Earth, navigating a post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by mutant animal men. It is a perfectly comic booky comic book, and immensely cool and fun.
Kamandi was the only new comic I got this week, but if I had to pick one, I couldn’t have done better. That very night however, a terrible blizzard raged outside while my fiendish family and I slept, and buried our humble swamp estate in two and a half feet of shining white snow. The Widow buried herself in her studies, while Mr. Jackson and I grabbed a lantern and headed up into our rambling, cobwebbed attic for the shovels. The attic spans the entirety of the central part of the mansion, it is a long, dark, drafty space, with a high slanted ceiling, and many an alcove amongst the heaped steamer trunks and ephemera we’ve accumulated over the years. The wind screams through the rafters during storms like this, and I shouldn’t be surprised that it managed to slam shut the trap door through which Mr. Jackson and I had ascended, with the key firmly in the lock on the other side. We were trapped up there. All of our howling and stomping did nothing to alert the Widow Sunday, studying hard on the first floor. Mr. Jackson and I set about looking for the shovels and crowbars by the light of the lantern, and it wasn’t a full three minutes before I tripped over a file box, falling forward and almost breaking my God damn neck on the fireplace. That’s when I remembered the auxillary attic hearth I had installed incase of being locked up there during a snow storm. I lit a small fire and opened the box that nearly killed me, and damned if it wasn’t full of my back log of unread comic books. Mr. Jackson and I curled up in the emergency fire-side recliner with the emergency brandy and the full run of Grant Morrison’s Klaus, the final 9 issues of B.P.R.D., and the final 19 issues of Abe Sapien.
B.P.R.D. has been my favorite monthly title for the last 13 years. It began as a spin off from Hellboy, and quickly became the flagship title in the Hellboy line of books, due mostly to the efforts of writer John Arcudi. A veteran workhorse of Dark Horse’s writing stable, Arcudi is no stranger to writing for intellectual properties other than his own. He has a body of great original work (The Mask, Rumble, The Creep, A God Somewhere, Dead Inside) and yet he can fill in stories for Aliens, Predator, Terminator, and Hellboy, and make them better than they need to be. He writes characters with nuance and voice to shame just about any self respecting writer, and still fits in tommy gun -wielding little people in devil masks and civil war era fish cults. The man’s a genius. So curling up with the culmination of this long beloved series, and it’s sister title Abe Sapien (written by Scott Allie, he deserves special mention too, illustrated by Max Fiumara, amazing Argentinian artist) was a special treat. It was a good way to spend a solid day trapped in an attic during a blizzard, for sure.
Eventually, Mr. Jackson got drunk enough to climb out the window and shimmy down the icy drain pipe to the front door, go up the stairs and let me down from the attic. But we had us a good day. And that’s all for this week, boils and ghouls, see you next time.