Come Travel Light: This American Drive

Hooray! This American Drive is here! Halifax comic book superstar and Living Between Wednesday BFF Mike Holmes made a book, and I finally have it in my greedy little Gollum hands. I've been super stoked about this awesomely illustrated and brilliantly designed book, so I'm now cradling it in my arms and whispering "my precioussss." You know, treating it how I normally treat the cat.

This American Drive was originally a comic that appeared in Halifax's alt weekly, The Coast. The graphic novel is fattened up (like it's been eating too much White Castle) with a more in-depth story, including Mike's charming prose and more great illustrations.

The book follows Canadian, Mike, and his Texan girlfriend, Jodi, on a three week road trip across America. Mike perfectly captures of the unique experience of Canadians traveling in America. It's so similar and yet so different, like you accidentaly met yourself when you went back in time and you forever altered the future world. The USA is Canada Earth 2.

Mike and Jodi travel from the Halifax to Texas, taking in all that America has to offer.

His observations are spot on—they get waved through the boarder with barely a glance at their passports after weeks of worry, they squeeze into tiny but shockingly cheap hotels rooms on the side of the interstate, the drink $1 PBRs and they have a better time at Cooter's than at the Grand Old Opry.

We all know that the best part of any road trip is sampling the local cuisine and This American Drive serves up some delicious junk food porn, as Mike describes every barbequed rib dinner, plate of biscuits and gravy and basket of deep fried pickles that he and Jodi eat.

The title is an homage to the most essential of road trip items—podcasts of This American Life, and like its namesake, the book reminds us of the beauty and humour that can be found in the mundane, from a great cheeseburger to a funny looking cactus.

Invisible Publishing is taking This American Drive on their own little road trip. It'll be launched this Sunday at Word on the Street in Halifax (and your LBW writers will be there too with Strange Adventures and Nimbus Publishing), and in Ontario and Quebec next week.


This Week's Haul: Superman looks good in a uniform.

A bit of a light week for me, but an awesome one nonetheless.

World of New Krypton #2

I would say that the awesome Gary Frank covers are a tease, but I actually really love Pete Woods' art. So it's win-win. And you know what else? Greg Rucka and James Robinson are doing a great job of writing this series! It would be a lot of fun to dive right into Krypton as a writer (or two) and really develop it as a place. What we have learned so far is that Kryptonians are dicks, which only further proves that Superman owes a lot of his awesomeness to Ma and Pa Kent.

Also, I really like Superman in that soldier's uniform. Rrrrow!



Wolverine: Weapon X #1

Jason Aaron returns to Wolverine writing! Yay!

I would not normally buy a comic with 'Weapon X' in the title, or even 'Wolverine,' but if Jason Aaron is writing it, I will buy a comic called "Azrael and Cable: Dark Reign Battle for the Cowl Countdown Arena Fathom." I really would.

Fortunately, I instead got to read this comic about Wolverine killing dudes. Lesson learned: do not try to mug Wolverine on a subway.


Batman Confidential #28

The only bad thing about this comic is that it's the last one in an amazing three-part story. Seriously, if anyone asks why I love Batman, or even comics, so much, I am just going to hand them these three issues (or, if DC is clever enough, the eventual trade of this story).

Batman is awesome in this story, the Riddler is awesome, and there is a brand new Bat-villain. Impressive all around! Plus amazing art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Kevin Nowlan. We need more Batman comics like this one!


Green Lantern #39

Mmmm...delicious citrus-flavoured Lanterns!

We are formally introduced to yet another Lantern Corps in this issue, the avarice-ridden Orange Corps! These guys are total assholes.

Green Lantern is consistently one of my favourite comics each week. I have really enjoyed every part of the long build-up to BLACKEST NIGHT, which I expect will be very rad.


Secret Six #8

Even without Nicola Scott on art this month, SECRET SIX was totally rad. First of all: Deadshot in a suit. Secondly, he and Scandal were gettin' romantic (not with each other). Thirdly, there is a TINY TITANS parody at the end of this comic!

 I also really like that this kind of counts as a Wolverine cover? Like all those Wolverine covers that Marvel is doing all month?


Showcase Presents: The Doom Patrol


Ever since Showcase Presents started I have been waiting for this one for two reasons:

1. I haven't read much Doom Patrol because it only is available in expensive DC Archive books;

2. This is exactly the kind of comic that should be collected in a black and white Showcase book. This is fun reading.

My favourite thing about that cover: none of them seem to be looking at that gorilla with a gun. There is something more interesting on that screen off panel!

 Things I bought but haven't read yet: EXILES #1 and SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE #5. Looking forward to them!


This Week's Haul: Namor!

Hey everyone!

I got a whole lot of comics this week. Really, too many comics. But my computer is fixed and Photoshop is reinstalled, so I am able to share my thoughts with you once again. Here we go with a small selection of what I read this week.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #2

Namor fans rejoice!

I have been buying Uncanny X-Men every month for the better part of a year now. I have really enjoyed Matt Fraction's writing on the title, and have tried to overlook the artwork in the Greg Land issues.

This issue tells the sexy history between Emma Frost and Namor. And it's frigging beautiful! Both Daniel Acuna and Mitch Breitweiser provide stunning artwork, but you don't have to take my word for it!

Oh Namor. I missed you so.

Superman/Batman Annual #3

Blowing? Tandem? It must be Superman/Batman!

Len Wein steps in to write this year's S/B Annual (typically the only issue of S/B ever worth reading). It's a re-telling of the Composite Superman/Batman story and it is really entertaining. It kind of emphasizes my point that Superman/Batman should be a series of one-shots by a different creative team every month. Even if it was just re-telling of Silver Age stories, it would still be a much better comic than it is right now.

Getting back to this issue: great art, great banter, a couple of unfortunate and somewhat confusing colouring errors, but those are easy to overlook.

Especially when Superman is looking so cute leaning on a wall!


And Batman asks a tough question:

Um, that you mention it...

Dr Doom and the Masters of Evil #1

Hey! A new all-ages comic by Paul Tobin! Sign me up!

I love stories from the villains' point of view, especially funny ones where they are paling around. This book has plenty of that.




Mysterio asking to borrow a car so he can get his computer fixed really cracks me up.

This is going to be yet another really great Marvel all-ages title, as far as I can tell. But, like many all-ages books, it will mostly be enjoyed by aged comic nerds.

Ghost Rider #31

Yet another totally awesome issue of Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron. Much like Captain America, Daredevil, or Jonah Hex, it's so good every month that I really don't have anything interesting to say about it.

Except...HOT Ghost Rider on Ghost Rider Action!!!!

Green Lantern #37

The Red Lanterns have really been grossing me out, I'm not going to lie, so I wasn't too excited about this issue. But it was actually pretty awesome. For one thing, Ivan Reis really threw down some great art. And the Hal Jordan-Sinestro rivalry was entertaining as usual.





Mysterius: The Unfathomable #1

Jeff Parker has a new series! And it's for...Wildstorm?!

Well, I don't usually have much reason to buy Wildstorm comics, but this is a good one. A really good one, as far as I can tell.

A mystic and a plucky young journalist-turned-assistant. That's a solid combination. Parker is one of my favourite writers, so it wasn't a tough decision to pick this up. And the art, by Tom Fowler, is really beautiful.

New original series are exciting!

The Winner!

The hockey/comic art contest I have been running for the past couple of weeks is now closed. I randomly drew a winner and it is...


I am very happy that she won because this was one of the best entries for sure! Look at how awesome that is!

Send me an email, Sally, and you will be receiving a signed copy of Darwyn Cooke's fabulous new art book, courtesy of Strange Adventures!!

To see the rest of the entries, check out the comments thread of the original post.

This Week's Haul: New Format

Here are some comics you shouldn't miss this week:

Jonah Hex #35

Why?: Because JH Williams III does the art. And that's all the reason you need. But if you need more, then how about the fact that Palmiotti and Gray come up with a story that takes full advantage of the artist's incredible talent.

Plus...a couple drugs Jonah Hex and attempts to rape him. Yeah, that's what I said.

Green Lantern #34

Why?: Because it's the penultimate issue of Geoff Johns' awesome Secret Origins story, and Hal and Sinestro are pretty entertaining in it. And because Hal tells Sinestro "#$%& you," which Sinestro's ring is unable to translate.

And Ivan Reis continues to throw down fantastic art.

Secret Six #1

Why?: Because it's back! And it's an ongoing! And it's Gail Simone with Nicola Scott (and Cliff Chiang covers, at least for the first couple of issues)! And Catman and Deadshot go shopping for ice cream for Scandal's birthday. And because Deadshot is hilarious.

Manhunter #34

Why?: Because this series is great and if you don't buy it they will take it away again.

Amazing Spider-Man #570

Why?: Venom vs Venom...and it doesn't even suck! Plus Romita Jr's been rocking the art.


Showcase Presents Superman Volume 4

Why?: Because the cover is worth $16.99 alone. Look at it! I could look at that all day.

And besides that, it's 500 pages and every single panel will blow your mind.



How's this for a new format? I want to do weekly comic reviews, but I don't have time for all the scanning that I used to do. I also don't have the webspace for it anymore.

This Week's Haul: Too many awesome comics aaaaahhh I'm gonna explode!

A perfect storm of comic books.

It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's always exciting, and makes for a busy day at the ol' comic shop. This week was one of those weeks. Plus, I live in Canada so I actually got my comics on Wednesday!

Before I even begin, let's look at the all-star line-up of writers we had serving up the good stuff this week: Not one, not two, but three books by Grant Morrison, two by Geoff Johns, two by Ed Brubaker, plus books by Joss Whedon, Jeff Parker, Sean McKeever, Will Pfeifer, and Matt Fraction. Truly an awesome week.

Here are my thoughts on some of what I read:

Final Crisis #1

I hear people saying things like "Yeah, I don't know about Final Crisis...I guess I'll just see how the reviews are." To those people I say: guys, seriously. This is a sure thing. It's Grant Morrison and it's J.G. Jones. This is as safe as betting that I will never, ever see the Sex in the City movie.

The first issue was great. Really great. It was exciting, original, insane and laugh-out-loud funny at times.

And the art was beautiful. And most of the tie-ins are going to be written by Geoff Johns! What more do you want?!

Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1

The most eagerly anticipated book finally hit the shelves this week. This exceeded my high expectations, I don't know about you guys. Just an awesome read. And long! With no ads! I enjoyed having Joss Whedon writing some of the extended Marvel universe characters who show up in this book, including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Dr Strange, and Iron Man.

I also enjoyed John Cassaday drawing them.

I don't care if that facial expression is physically impossible. I LOVE IT!

What if they teamed up for a 3-issue arc on Amazing Spider-Man?! Oh man!

Anyway, this was a very good comic. Worth the ridiculously long wait.

All-Star Superman #11

I can't believe this is almost over. I actually can't stand the thought of a world without new issues of this series. It's heartbreaking. Almost as heartbreaking as this issue was. Man, it was so good.

This series features my very favourite Lex Luthor ever. He's just perfectly written. So arrogant and so brilliant and so funny.

Really, every character is perfect. So as much as I can't wait for the next issue, it's going to be a sad day when it comes.

Batman #677

I don't know how into this event I am as a storyline with tie-ins, but I will reserve judgement. I am really liking the two issues of Batman so far in this story, though. As much as I don't care about Jet Jezebel as a character (her biggest flaw: she's not Catwoman), I did enjoy her sensible opinions about Bruce's probable insanity in this issue.

Seriously, Bruce. She has a point.

I especially loved that she mentioned witnessing the brutal murder of her own father, and how she didn't respond to it by becoming a vigilante in a bat costume.

Overall, this storyline is just really damn interesting, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Action Comics #865

Geoff Johns sets some things right in the world of Superman in this issue. Most importantly, he cleans up this whole Toyman mess that has been happening for decades. He brings Toyman back to being one guy, with one look. No more crazy interpretations. It's well done. And I appreciate it because, yeesh, that shit was getting confusing.

He also is bringing Cat Grant back to Metropolis! Yay!

This really was an awesome issue. I know it's going to get buried under all the other awesome this week, but you'd do well to pick it up.

Green Lantern #31

Geoff Johns again! I've been enjoying this Secret Origins arc because, as I've said before, I'll never get tired of reading Hal Jordan's origin story. And Johns' sense of humour really makes for a great re-telling.

Plus, y'know, gorgeous art. I can't wait until this is collected into a trade and I can sell it to people who want to be introduced to Green Lantern. Although, New Frontier is pretty much unbeatable for that too. But this brings in Sinestro, and these days that's all that new Lantern fans care about.

I loved this panel too:

Oh, Hal, honey. We know.

Daredevil #107

Dakota totally rules. She's just saying what we're all thinking.

Uncanny X-Men #498

Hey, look what I'm reading now!

I think it was the cover with Cyclops and Emma in the sixties get-up from last month that got me interested. Or maybe I was just bothered by the fact that there was a Brubaker title on the shelves that I wasn't reading. Or maybe I just needed a fix while waiting for Giant Size Astonishing. Whatever the reason, I added this title to my pull list and have been enjoying this story arc immensely so far. I also immensely enjoyed the extreme beefcake bondage cover this week. Oh Wolverine. Always getting tied up with your shirt off.

I read an unprecedented number of X-Men books this week, I think. And they were all really good. Besides the ones I'm writing about here, I also enjoyed Wolverine First Class and, as always X-Men First Class (complete with yet another adorable Colleen Coover back-up!).

Blue Beetle #27

Will Pfeifer steps in to guest write this issue and does a great job. It's a fun, wacky story that perfectly suits the title. Plus, there's lots of Traci Thirteen, which I am pleased about. Will Pfeifer rules.

And the cover, by Rafael Albuquerque, is really beautiful too.

Man, how is next week going to live up to this week?! It's just not possible!