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Wednesday is New Comics Day

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Every Wednesday we run down the 5 most interesting comics or graphic novels coming out for the week.

08FC.jpg5. 08: A GRAPHIC DIARY OF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Written by Michael Crowley; art by Dan Goldman
Three Rivers Press
$17.95 | 160 pgs

The 2008 campaign already seems like last year's news, which I guess it is, but now is the time to start examining what really happened and recapping all it's iconic moments. Whether or not a graphic novel is the best way to do this or not I'm not so sure, but this new book attempts it with a nice, newsy sense of graphic design. Artist Dan Goldman (Shooting War) takes all the now-classic imagery that made up the last two years worth of news cycles (Palin's wink, Joe the Plumber, the crazy chick with the backwards B on her face) and recreates them in a style that mixes pop art with CNN info-graphic overload. Here Goldman teams with Michael Crowley, a journalist from the New Republic, as they give the '08 campaign the old 9/11 Report treatment.

Check out a bunch of pages.
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AOATLAS001_COV.jpg4. AGENTS OF ATLAS #1
Written by Jeff Parker; art by Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
Marvel
$3.99

Jeff Parker's original Agents of Atlas mini-series from a few years ago was a surprise hit with fans and critics alike. Therefore he now gets a shot at an ongoing series starring the members of a supergroup consisting of characters from the pre-silver age of Marvel (back when it was called Atlas) who have been brought to present day as a top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. task force. The team consists of little known 50s-era characters Namora, Venus, Marvel Boy, Gorilla-man and M-11 as well as the team leader, Jimmy Woo.

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9780307408532.jpg3. I SAW YOU...COMICS INSPIRED BY REAL-LIFE MISSED CONNECTIONS
Edited by Julia Wertz
Three Rivers Press
$12.95 | 192 pgs

Here's a good idea if I've ever heard one. Take a personal ad from a local paper or from Craigslist and turn it into a short comic. As the solicitation for this book suggests "these posted stranger sightings and chance encounters lay bare the truths and oddities of real-life loneliness and attractions and bring out the voyeur in the best of us." Julia Wertz, creator of the auto-bio webcomic The Fart Party, has assembled a collection of creators that range from newcomers like Laura Park to veterans like Peter Bagge for this anthology of stories of love connections, both heartfelt and strange. With contributions from folks like Gabrielle Bell, Jeffrey Brown, David Malki, Alec Longstreth, Aaron Renier, Jesse Reklaw and many more.

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SWARRRS001_COV.jpg2. SECRET WARRIORS #1
Written by Jonathan Hickman and Brian Michael Bendis; art by Stefano Caselli
Marvel
$3.99

The recent Secret Invasion mini-series brought classic espionage tough guy Nick Fury back in full force to the Marvel Universe and Secret Warriors brings him back on a monthly basis as he leads a new team of top secret superhumans in a post-Invasion world where villain Norman Osborn is in charge of Fury's former agency, SHIELD.

The interesting thing about this series is that it brings Jonathan Hickman, writer of the highly acclaimed independent series Nightly News, into Marvel's stable of creators. Here he teams up with Brian Michael Bendis on plot, most likely so that Bendis can pull in specific plot threads that he's been devising for years within various Marvel books. My guess is that the title of this series probably alludes overtly to Bendis' Secret Wars series which dealt with a lot of secret-ops stuff going on in the MU. Hickman is one of the most exciting new creators out there and joins people like Matt Fraction and Bendis himself in a group of talented writers that have proven themselves on their own books and are now leading the direction of the entire line of Marvel books.

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onibk_368.jpg1. SCOTT PILGRIM VOL. 5: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE UNIVERSE
By Bryan Lee O'Malley
Oni Press
$11.95 | 192 pgs

Probably the first highly anticipated book of 2009 hits the stands this week. If you haven't tried out Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series yet then by all means start with volume one and catch up quickly. The fifth volume comes out this week in the continuing story of the affable 20-something Scott Pilgrim who has fallen in love with the cute and mysterious Ramona Flowers but in order to win her heart he must defeat her evil exes in classic video game style.

This book has it all - martial arts, a video game-like points system, romance, rock and roll, recipes and a very modern and unique manga-like sense of storytelling.

In this penultimate chapter in the Scott Pilgrim saga, things start to fall apart for our hero as Ramona's exes begin to pair up and his own exes start to stir trouble of their own.

AND THEN THERE WAS...

I AM LEGION #1
Second try for us Americans on this series. A few years back DC published a graphic novel of the first part of this European science fiction book illustrated by John Cassady(Planetary). But they never finished the reprints. This time Devil's Due Publishing starts small by reprinting it in floppy format.

JERSEY GODS #1
A nice Jersey girl meets a God of War and they get married and move down the street from her parents. Some nice looking Jack Kirby meets Darwyn Cooke art from Dan McDaid graces this odd new Image book.

CAPTAIN AMERICA THE TRUTH HC
A new hardcover collection of this newsworthy mini-series that retcons the history of Captain America by showing that before Steve Rogers was injected with the Super Soldier serum it was first tested on African American soldiers. Artwork by Kyle Baker in his most cartoony style.

ASTONISHING TALES #1
A new anthology series from Marvel. The first issue features the daring choice of launching a series with a Wolverine/Punisher team-up. Who'd have ever thought of putting those two characters together, huh? What a risk Marvel is taking there.

INDIANA JONES FURTHER ADV OMNIBUS TP VOL 01

Dark Horse delivers a huge volume of reprints from the old Marvel book that came out in the post-Raiders era. Features art from people like John Byrne and Howard Chaykin.

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