Night falls on the swamp where we make our home, and it’s time again for another overdue Giant-Sized edition of the weekly haul. We’ve been gone for a little while as our travels have taken us far and wide through the night lands of this country, but we’ve returned with a sinful amount of comics, as you can see Mr. Jackson making a nest out of them in the photo below. So let’s see what’s in the stash this week, shall we?
On a stark and stormy Saturday last week, as I raced a Thunderstorm down the coast to my brother Blackwolf’s house in a ’68 Dodge Charger I borrowed from Wesley Snipes (we play cards together) I couldn’t resist stopping in the old swamp trading post of the northern swamps. The old Fur Trapper who lives there and runs the business had just gotten in a few crates of new pelts, spices, and comic books. He and I got to talking, and of course, the storm hit, washing out the roads and temporarily trapping me there. I passed the time catching up with the old fur trapper, playing the indian knife game with an old German named Halfrid, and naturally, buying more comics than I could possibly need. Batlimore: The Red Kingdom #3, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954: Ghost Moon #2 The Visitor #2, and Lobster Johnson: The Pirate’s Ghost #1, rounded out my Mike Mignola fix. Lobster Johnson in particular was very good, and you can’t go wrong with ghost pirates.
I also Picked up Harrow County #21 & 22, which means I have about four issues banked in my reading pile, which makes for a great rainy night read soon. If you haven’t read Harrow County yet, it makes for excellent summer reading. Take a few issues out in the garden, a secluded field or abandoned barn, or row out with them to the middle of a lake, anywhere you’re sure to be alone, and enjoy the unease crawling up your spine as the silence around you turns from peaceful to menacing while you read. We also Got the latest issue of DKIII: The Master Race by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, and Andy Kubert, which I’ve not yet read, but features an army of Amazons fighting a Kryptonian death cult, and what else could you want from a comic book?
I picked up the brand new Batwoman #1 from the Rebirth relaunch by two writers I don’t know with art by Steve Epting. The initial Batwoman run in Detective years ago, and the subsequent solo series both by J.H. Williams III are favorites of mine, and while I haven’t followed the rain-soaked, monster-punching adventures of Kate Kane in a few years, this new series has stolen the artist from Velvet, another of my favorite comics, and demands my attention. Speaking of Velvet, another favorite comic of mine also featuring an ass-kicking spy lady just came to an end with Black Widow #12 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. I’m sad to see this excellent series end, but it was a good finale issue. And also, being a devoted husband, I didn’t forget to pick up Weird Love #17 for the Widow Sunday, which also features a cover story by Dick Giordano, of classic Bronze-age Batman fame.
Among the crates of newly acquired $1 comics in the trading post, I found an extensive run on late 80’s Flash by Mark Waid. I’ve sung Waid’s praises before, and in fact, not three sentences ago lamented the end of his most recent series Black Widow, how quickly you forget, dear reader. But Mark Waid fan that I am, I’d never read any of his famous Flash run before, so I grabbed the four most promising looking issues, which I’ve since read several days ago in my cramped cabin on tramp steamer in the north Atlantic ( I told you I’ve been traveling) and they were great. After a full hour had passed at the trading post and the Storm never let up, I wrapped my new acquisitions in an oilcloth and ran out into the storm, stowing my treasures in the car and hitting out south in spite of the weather.
It is here that I’m going to place my “honorable mentions” list. See, I’m not even done telling you how many comics I’ve bought since our last talk, but I acquired a whole mess more, either on lone or recovered from my own long lost collection. Two and a half hours after I left the trading post in the northern swamps and drove through flooded out roads and and marshlands, I arrived at my brother Blackwolf’s house, where our ghoulish clan was gathering for our Eostre celebrations. And here, my entire collection of Multiversity by Grant Morrison was returned to me. I also borrowed from Blackwolf’s library Batman and Robin vol. 1-3 by Grant Morrison, which I’ve not read since I lost my single issue collection of it, along with Promethea Vol. 1 and Neonomicon, both by Alan Moore. Abernathy Buckner, the old prospector with whom I shared a road trip back in January lent me Batman: The Cult 1-4 by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson, and on a recent trip to the smokiest bar in Philadelphia, Mildred Morse, the Scatwitch, finally returned to me my cherished copy of Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and other stories (my all time favorite Hellboy volume) once the proper spells were employed.
It was while I was roaming the cobblestoned streets of old city that the fever fell upon me, and I became suddenly convinced I did not have enough reading material. I hit two consecutive shops and went utterly apeshit snapping up trade paperbacks. Classic Star Wars Vol. 1 by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson rounds out my collection of possibly my favorite comic book incarnation of Star Wars, and I got it for half price. Kull: The Hate Witch, which sports my absolute favorite Robert E. Howard title (including Pigeons from Hell) was 75% off, and it was called Kull: The Hate Witch, for Danzig’s sake. And finally, I was able to pick up Paper Girls vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang, which I look forward to reading in one sitting, with Dance with the Dead’s The Shape album as the soundtrack, just as I did vol. 1. This is a batshit crazy sci fi comic and you should run out and buy it right now. I highly suggest reading it with the least possible context of what you’re getting into.
In yet another shop in town, I picked up Green Lantern/ Green Arrow by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. This is a book I’ve been meaning to read since Tricky Rick Dixon pitched it to me outside a Foreigner concert in 1978 as “Green Arrow’s an angry hippie and Green Lantern’s a right wing dickhead and they go on a road trip to ‘find America’“. You heard me, Only Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams could take two superheroes with nothing in common but a color scheme and come up with spandex-clad Easy Rider. I also picked up Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, another book I’ve meant to read for a while, being a particularly big fan of Andy Kubert, the greatest Batman artist of the last 15 or so years. And finally, back at the old swamp trading post, I’d also picked up JLA Vol. 3 by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter, an excellent series I’m discovering well after it’s heyday.
And you’d think that’d be enough, wouldn’t you? and yet my incredible wife, the Widow Sunday, came home from work as I am writing this article, and surprised me with Batman #21. This Issue, with it’s groovy lenticular cover depicting either Batman or The Flash holding the iconic bloodstained badge of the Comedian, begins the story arc The Button, which finally addresses the infamously left field twist which ended last summer’s DC Rebirth Special #1. Look at that God damned cover and tell me, love or hate the idea, you don’t want to know what the hell is happening. look at Mr. Jackson vibrating (like the Flash himself) with excitement as he tries to steal it away from me. What a gal, that Widow Sunday.
And that’s it for this week’s installment of the Weekly Haul. I don’t know why I say that’s all, that is an unreasonably large pile of comics. And if you’ve read all the way to the end of this giant-sized installment, God bless you. I’m off now to the clock tower to read some of this glorious pile. See you next time, boils and ghouls.