11th: The CHUD guys give it up for Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo's Seven Sons. You may know them now for the excellent job they're doing on Proof, but AiT stalwarts know where they heard of them first. "But part of what makes Seven Sons work as well as it does is the foundation of research laid out in the fascinating appendix, tracing the various versions and transformation the story has undergone through the years: it’s an exemplary bit of folkways study."
15th: Graeme McMillan takes a look at Jason McNamara and Tony Talbert's First Moon: "Worth checking out, anyway, and enough to make me think that McNamara, at least, is probably about to be poached by Vertigo or someone sooner rather than later."
16th: Yes, it’s mid-January, but we have the first contender for press release of the year... Honestly, I liked that one quite a bit; quite proud of that one indeed. "Press release of the year" at Week Two. Yes!
22nd: Hollywood Reporter guns the engine, announcing the Couries flick: "Rogue Pictures and Intrepid Pictures have picked up the movie rights to "Couriers," a series of action graphic novels, and have set writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach to adapt."
23rd: Augie De Blieck, Jr.: "Rock Bottom is the original graphic novel from Joe Casey and Charles Adlard that appeared in numerous Best Of lists at the end of 2006, but which sat unread on my shelf until a couple of weeks ago. My bad. My very very very bad. This is a book that deserved to be read ages ago, and that I should have recommended to you when there was a better chance for a stray copy to still be left on your retailer's shelves. The book isn't out of print, though. It might not be handy to grab one on Wednesday when you pick up the rest of your books, but you can still order it through your retailer and get it in a week or two. It's worth it."
24th: A copy of the Astronauts in Trouble hardcover makes it to the South Pole (courtesy of Keith Beattie), sits atop it for photos, and then takes up residence in the bathroom for the entertainment of everyone, forever.
26th: Demo is singled out for YALSA's Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens.
29th: Suzanne Bertz-Rosa's doc on AiT is posted to YouTube:
1st: Ambush Bug at Ain't It Cool News on Rock Bottom: "This is another stellar release from a company that seems to only release superior material, AiT/Planet Lar. Rock Bottom may not be the feel-good book of the year, but it is one of the most engrossing ones. Writer Joe Casey and artist Charlie Adlard give one of the best efforts of their careers as we follow down and out piano player, Thomas Dare as he finds out that he is slowly turning to stone. Part Kafka’s Metamorphosis, part slice-of-life, part Unbreakable, this story handles fantastic elements in a real and thoughtful manner. Anyone who enjoys the 'real powers set in the real world' genre along the lines of Watchmen, Heroes and Supreme Power will surely enjoy this quiet tale of a man coming to grips with his past, his present, and his own mortality. This is a truly wonderful book that will make you smile through tears in the end. Bravo to the creators for putting out such a marvelous story."
6th: H at The Comic Treadmill, on the unfortunate Lisa Marie Nowak: "Who would have thought that real life would throw Larry Young some competition with this non-fiction tale of an Astronaut In Trouble? Granted, this story isn't as sharply dialogued or nicely drawn as the AiT/Planet Lar modern classics, but then again, the AiT/Planet Lar versions don't have a disgusting adult diaper scene either."
8th: Renowned Internet personality Casey Ontiveros has an advance look at our April book, Last Sane Cowboy and Other Stories: "I will admit that most of them are very well written and have recycled soul of Julie Schwartz (Grant Morrison still hasn’t had the drugs that Schwartz had for breakfast) all over them. Short stories that have a beginning, a middle, and an end, something that has been missed much lately in the mainstream (ha ha ha!) comic book market which has arcs that go on for six issues to tell you that someone was in the can for six months taking a dump. And there still are minor plots that haven’t been resolved. LSC&OS is all about taking ideas and turning them weird."
13th: Dig that JK Parkin over at Blogarama: "Interestingly enough, if I’m not mistaken, the titles of the first two issues (of The Black Diamond) — 'Shake Hands With Danger' and 'One More For The Road' — are taken from 1950s driver’s education films. Shake Hands with Danger is a construction safety film that’s supposed to be a little chilling. One More for the Road, I believe, was a drunk driving film, but then again, maybe it’s just a reference to Lynyrd Skynyrd."
26th: Warern Ellis makes Matt Silady's day: "Superb, courageous cover design, too." re: The Homeless Channel
27th: Lefty Brown responds to Kevin Church: "If you want an action movie that doesn't disappoint, check out AiT/Planet Lar books. They are often well thought-out high-concept slam-bang action comics that put many single-note films to shame."
1st: Ambush Bug names us Best Publisher over at Ain't It Cool News: "Every book I have read from this publisher has resonated with me in some way. Be it the historical werewolf allegory in FIRST MOON or the cleverly futuristic CONTINUITY or the heart-breaking ROCK BOTTOM or the full-throttle adrenaline rush of THE COURIERS or maybe the thoroughly entertaining ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE TPB for which the company is named, AiT/Planet Lar has been publishing some of the smartest and most entertaining books in the medium. There are an awful lot of indie comic companies out there but none of them have been as consistently good as AiT/Planet Lar."
2nd: Mark Fossen calls it quits with the blogging, and says "If I learned one thing blogging in the Larry Young era ... it's staying on message. :)"
21st: Graeme McMillan calls me "comics' least-known softie."
26th: Booklist covers Smoke and Guns: "Ready to kick some butt with the boys? Then you need Smoke and Guns, by Kirsten Baldock. Hotsy-totsy cigarette girl Scarlett dons her French maid’s outfit and peddles smokes on the dingy streets of New York. Her-pistol-packin’ sidekick, Annie, a sexy Dirty Harriet, blows away Scarlett’s competition while astride a Harley. Great black-and-white drawings of killer babes who never smudge their lipstick even as they rub out the competition."
28th: H at the Comic treadmill, on Gian Robot Warriors: "It’s a story with meat and conflict, but told in a light-hearted manner where fun gets first priority."
29th: Matt Silady tells his Kiele Sanchez story.
2nd: Johanna Draper Carlson writes: "Larry Young is the best comic marketer of our time."
4th: Peter Rios and the guys at Comcis Geek Speak choose The Black Diamond as one of their Indie Spotlight Books, and I tire everyone out with my endless enthusiasm.
5th: Brian Domingos at PopImage calls The Black Diamond #1 "a perfect first issue."
9th: Neal Obermeyer on Astronauts in Trouble:: "The stories also manage to be everything you’d want a great comic story to be - action, adventure, commentary, insight. You get the hint that Young had a 'What I’d love a great story to include' fantasy list before he put pen to paper, but it works without coming off the least bit self-indulgent... I loved this book. So many comics commentators seem to mask superhero shame when they say 'Comics don’t have to be about muscle-men in spandex to be good.' Well if you’re afraid picking up a non-superhero book means you’re selling out and turning emo, don’t worry. This book will satisfy both camps - it’s smart and relevant, and it’s tons of fun."
14th: Andy Khouri on TBD: "Proctor's artwork is almost entirely unlike anything else on the stands today. Simple yet intensely stylized; distorted yet deliberate, Proctor's The Black Diamond work leaps off the page with a psychedelic urgency that's sure to get him noticed by more and more readers as the series progresses."
18th: "Muscle Cars Will Rule The Skies" is how SFist maestro Jeremy Nisen titled the interview we did about the upcoming Alternative Press Expo, the local San Francisco scene, my love for Dan Vado, the ball's-out upcoming book The Black Diamond, and comics in general. "Our conversation with Larry evoked much of what we love about storytelling via sequential art -- the passion of the creators; the limitless, imaginative worlds they create; and the validity of using that medium for any genre."
21st: Tim O'Shea interviews Daniel Merlin Goodbrey: "As far as I can tell, my readers appear to be a pretty sane bunch. I'm sure the crazy ones are out there, but they keep their correspondence to themselves so that The Conspiracy's thought machines can't track their movements. But, quickly, change the subject - I've already said too much."
24th: Sky Ape comes in at #112 on The Comics Should Be Good list of the 365 Reasons to Love Comics.
27th: Dorian Wright on DMG: "It's genuinely funny, but you're frequently left with a nagging suspicion that the story wasn't meant to be funny, but heart-rending. And then the next story is strongly emotionally evocative, but you half-suspect the joke's on you for not seeing the joke. In either case, it's a good kind of cognitive dissonance that's created, as the dream-logic world of Goodbrey's stories is compelling in any case. The art, which is in a high-contrast, starkly black-and-white, computer assisted style, grounds the work in a recognizably realistic and consistent appearance, which gives the needed veneer of reality to contrast the strangeness of the stories against. Which, all in all, is a rather needlessly complicated way of saying 'it was really weird, but really good, and I liked it a lot.'"
2nd: Bill Sherman reviews Last Sane Cowboy for Blogcritics: "A surprisingly poetic meditation on the power of grief, couched in a series of dream-like images and absurdist tactics: not exactly the kinda comic you expect from AiT/Planet Lar (which more typically traffics in more straightforward genre storytelling).
"But perhaps that fact adds to Last Sane Cowboy's lingering effectiveness. This isn't a graphic collection that you put down and easily forget. Once a map has been unfolded, it's never quite the same..."
3rd: Alasdair Stuart on The Homeless Channel: "The end result is a book which is so confident, so perfectly held together that it’s almost impossible to believe that this is Silady’s debut."
5th: Six pdfs to books we publish, from us to you for Free Comic Book Day.
7th: Lisa Fary and John Dallaire of Pink Raygun call me "six kinds of awesome."
8th: Brad Hatfield's video interview with me sells many copies of The Black Diamond.
11th: Matt Price: "Since Studio 60 might not be coming back, this may be your only chance to get that kind of dialogue... compares favorable to Bendis' work on Goldfish and Jinx and things of that nature... I think Matt Silady could become a well-known graphic novelist if he has some more ideas like this under his belt... it follows in the vein of a lot of other AiT/Planet Lar books; they just do a good job over there... AiT/Planet Lar: nice eye for quality... early work by Brian Wood first was there... Matt Fraction, kind of becoming a go-to guy at Marvel... did Mantooth and Last of the Independents for them... so keep your eye out for more Matt Silady in the future."
14th: "Demo is published by AiT/Planet Lar, which frankly has a hell of a library under its belt for being an 'indie publisher.' These guys like good comics, and Demo sure as hell is one of the best."
22nd: I use the occasion of Mimi's 38th birthday to wheedle her in public about names for our impending child.
23rd: Shawn Woz, at The Outhouse, proving that I can keep selling the good comics, no matter how "old" they are: "Channel Zero is one of the best political graphic novels to grace the medium. Set in a dystopian New York, the US government has passed the Clean Act, effectively ridding the United States of our right to Free Speech and turning our country into a place of controlled media and information. The book is prescient to today’s era of ‘truthiness’ where anything said by any media source becomes truth without fact-checking and with little criticism and where politics are a taken as a matter of opinion and preference in the same vein."
29th: Cory Doctorow enjoys Demo: "It only took me about five pages to get hooked on this thing. A lot of that is due to Becky Cloonan's wildly versatile illustration style which fearlessly changes from story to story, to suit each piece best. There isn't a single story here that I didn't love, that didn't make me think, that didn't thud home in my heart, though they hardly take more than five minutes apiece to get through."
1st: Scott Cederland has a new podcast, and talks about The Homeless Channel about halfway through: "A great; fantastic story; it's hard to believe this is his first one... the cover looks like it would be a actual book cover, it looks like it belongs in with all the other books; it doesn't look comic book-y... Silady doesn't get lost in the photo-reference... it reminds me a lot of what Tony Harris does..."
6th: I give up the secret of hand-selling comics.
Lisa Fary digs Proof of Concept: "To like Proof of Concept, you have to be willing to get the smallest taste of an idea and let it go. That’s also where the book is really worthwhile for aspiring writers because we’re going to have to learn to get to the point and pitch an idea, and that’s what we see Larry Young do here. He’s like Yoda. Full of wisdom, but hairier, he is."
8th: Graig Kent, of Rack Raids and CHUD and all reviews Last Sane Cowboy: "Like Timothy Leary hitching a ride with Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut, taking a detour through the minds of Tim Burton, Spike Jonze and Terry Gilliam, the short stories of Goodbrey are clever, high-concept, off-kilter and, at times, esoterically insightful."
11th: Chris Sims has some Fraction-love: "I’m not sure if I mentioned it back when I read it, but since Matt Fraction’s Last of the Independents is re-offered in this one, it’s as good a time as any for a quick reminder: This book is awesome. It’s like a crime-oriented action movie set to paper, which is only reinforced by the fact that it’s printed landscape style (but with a nifty slipcase so it doesn’t look out of place on your bookshelf), and if you’ve been reading recent issues of Punisher War Journal, you’ll probably already know that Matt Fraction does high-powered desert showdowns better than just about anybody. If you haven’t already, pick it up. And what the hey, grab The Annotated Mantooth! while you’re at it. That thing’s like the book version of girls making out with each other while things explode.*"
"*No seriously: That actually happens in this book."
14th: Hannibal Tabu on The Black Diamond #1: "A simple sci-fi conceit is presented in a smart and concise fashion, with solid artwork and a script as tight as Eva Longoria's backside..."
15th: The boys at ComiXtreme: "Larry Young is a man among men in the world of comics. As a publisher of comics, he writes the best press releases in the biz, and picks great titles to publish, and as a writer, he’s created a bevy of high concept creations – all the way from Astronauts in Trouble, to Planet of the Abes (man, everyone loves "Emancipating Lincoln from Proof of Concept, don't they --Lar) – that have been great fun to read – and The Black Diamond is the first full color serialized comic both he and the company have produced. The concept is great – in post-9/11 world, people crave safety. Thus, The Black Diamond is built. The Black Diamond is an elevated transcontinental eight-lane highway where people can be as reckless as they please – while the people below get to live in peace. Along with the occasional flaming vehicle flying off the road, delivering fiery death from above. Neat, right?"
21st: "And a tip of the hat to Larry Young for his expertise in timing the publication of this issue the same week that the Vatican has issued the Ten Commandments of Driving. There could be no clearer way of the Lord letting his people know that he wants a story involving the Pope Mobile on the Black Diamond and he wants it now. I can hear the sequel ideas churning in Young’s brain even now-and I’m all the way on the other side of the continent."
24th: My son was born.
28th: "I would give this book an 9.5; it wasn't perfect, but it was really freaking good. It had a little too much 'Car Jargon' to the point that I didn't know if the car had really existed outside the world of comics, but I liked the fact that I stopped paying attention around the time the Main Character did, too... The art is amazing and the team chooses interesting angles and panel designs that really fit and make the book stand out. Honestly the quality of this book was not independent. It far surpassed the norm of Indie comics; if it had been printed on better paper (which may have been intentional as a throwback to early comics) I wouldn't be able to tell it apart from Marvel Icon's Criminal in comparison to quality."
9th: For The Black Diamond: "Instead of action, we get character development and Young introduces what looks to be the supporting figures of the book. This is probably one of the toughest things to write, simply because you’ve got to find a way to make dialogue and exposition interesting. Since comic fans are somewhat conditioned to something blowing up or someone punching, and most of society has trouble paying attention to anything for longer than 10 seconds, this is quite possibly the hardest type of comic to write. Always a positive when you pull the above off. I would have to say that Young’s strength here is that he’s able to find ‘voices’ for each of his characters and make them different. The conversations have strength and meaning because they sound like real people. The other thing that I really liked with the dialogue was that he didn’t feel a need to club you over the head with the message... So for those of you who ignored me last issue and didn’t pick this book up, now you can probably find both and see what’s looking like one of the best mini-series of the summer."
12th: H at the Comic Treadmill: "Young has proven that he is a writer that can and will deliver a quality story with memorable characters and concepts. That said, he’s keeping his cards close to the vest as to what form the plot payoff is going to take in this story. Will it be all action? All wordplay? A combination of the two? Or something else entirely? I don’t know, which I can understand would be frustrating to those who demand immediate gratification. But Young’s given the reader ten fleshed-out characters in an atmospheric setting in two issues and set them on course for a collision."
"This book is what AiT/Planet Lar does best," says Brendan McGuirk on Pop Culture Shock. "With one part stoic lead, one part mysterious beauty, and about a hundred parts super gigantor chaos monsters you get the blockbuster that is Monster Attack Network. The concept is simple; huge monsters arise and destroy the island of Lapuatu, and M.A.N. rebuilds. When this happens once every month or so, it isn’t a problem. When it starts happening damn near everyday… well, that would be spoiling it.
"The story doesn’t give us any more than we need to enjoy ourselves. It has all the banter and action one would expect from a story about fighting monsters. The only trip up comes in the art. Nima Sorat has a unique style and vision for the book, and the characters manage to be familiar while remaining original. When we do see the monsters they are as horrific and awesome as they were when you were ten. The problems arise when the style overwhelms the narrative, and when the lack of consistency between pages impedes the transitions. The opening action sequence takes the knowledge that there are monsters for granted, and fails to give us that one big establishing shot. It evens out towards the end, progressively getting better.
"Don’t think too much about this one. You’ll love it."
24th: "Clearly, these are people who appreciate the beauties of a big ol' monster foot coming down on some fleeing unfortunates," quips Blogcritics' Bill Sherman about Monster Attack Network. "Written by The Highwaymen team, Marc Bernadin & Adam Freeman – and drawn with a heavy predilection for the big black brush stroke by new-to-me Nima Sorat – M.A.N. is a comic book tribute to monster rampage movies. Set on the wealthy tropical isle of Lapuata, the book follows the workings of a group of men and women hired to fend off the island's periodic monster attacks, a fairly regular occurrence that island inhabitants see as part of the price for living in a global economic powerhouse.
"Where the monsters come from is never explained, nor does it need to be. It's the Monster Attack Network's job to chase off each attacking creature (rarely, we're told, killing 'em), then rebuild ('And repave. And re-upholster. And re-spackle. And re-wallpaper') each trashed-out area. From the very first monster attack depicted – a flying beastie named Gygax that we only get to see as a shadow and a giant eye peering into an office building – it's clear M.A.N. has found a need and filled it."
Good ol' Greg Burgas, writing for the CBR's "Comics Should Be Good" blog, writes a love-letter to the present crop of good funnybooks and calls out nine AiT books as indicative of the quality and breadth-of-subject available in comic book form on the shelves today. Only DC has more books on the list, so for an independent publishing house of our size, that really is quite an impressive showing. In the comment section, Greg takes a barb chiding him for a dearth of kids' comics available, and, while not exactly making him bulletproof of the criticism, could at least have donned himself a Kevlar vest against it by mentioning our Jax Epoch volumes and the three best-selling Electric Girl trades, as well. Boy, we really do have something for everyone, don't we? Thanks for the mentions, Greg!
25th: A pretty extensive interview with me on Ain't It Cool News.
6th: First thing in the morning, San Diego:
7th: "In high concept comics, the thrill is in seeing how a crazy idea can be executed. Whether it's pirates stuck in the modern world, or Zombies fighting Robots, or a Robot and an Angel learning life lessons from each other, you're sucked into the comic from an always-farcical sounding pitch. The crazier, the better. The plot is important. The art is important. And the dialogue needs to match that level of energy.
"MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK has all of that in spades. The new original graphic novel from AiT/Planet Lar is the story of an organization much like Marvel's Damage Control, entrusted to protect a Pacific island from the monsters the humans cohabitate the island with, and then clean up any of their messes afterwards. The pitch from Marc Bernadin and Adam Freeman is killer, the kind of thing to spaek any comic reader's imagination. The art from newcomer Nima Sorat is a true discovery. I know nothing about Sorat, but the art looks like something a fashion design artist might render, complete with wonderful gray tones and a thick brush strokes. There's movement in every panel. While you could make an argument in a couple of spots that some storytelling suffers for it, there's always enough there that you get the gist, can follow the story, and have a good time without stumbling.
"On top of it all, though, Bernadin and Freeman didn't skimp on the dialogue. It would have been very easy for them to let the art tell the story and NOT add that extra spark. They didn't. There's great rapid-fire banter and one-liners throughout the book, all without dragging the book down. Characters are best defined by their actions, true, but you can learn a lot about them from dialogue that cleverly expresses their personality as much as their action. The authors never get lost in expository dialogue, or conversations that last too long. Nothing has a chance to overstay its welcome in this book, as it just moves too fast, and that's a good thing. This is an action comic about men fighting monsters. You don't need to weigh it down with expository dialogue. You don't need to deeply explore the monsters' motivations. (You see how well that did for the HULK movie.)
"MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK is the best offering from AiT/Planet Lar, I think, in some time. It's snappy, fast-paced, high-concept, and oodles of fun. It's available today for a mere thirteen of your hard earned greenbacks."
9th: Scott Cederlund names The Homeless Channel as his Number One book of the Year (So Far) near the end of his latest "Wednesday's Haul" podcast: "This is one I’m surprised I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about… but this has been my favorite graphic novel of the year… Silady’s art and story is just excellent; surprisingly so especially for being his first graphic novel."
15th: Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing, on Giant Robot Warriors: "There's obviously a lot of manga influence here, but the story is pure American, a masterful take on the funnybook hero stories about America's destiny to police and govern the world. The writer, Stuart Moore, describes the book as having been written during the brief flare of post-9/11 optimism that ended when the US squandered its international goodwill on pointless oil wars and security theater. Five years later, circumstances are still similar enough that Giant Robot Warriors still has political weight (unfortunately)."
20th: "Finally, there’s a four-page back-up story that reminds me why the world needs more back-up stories. Written by Jared Guenther with art by Daniel Warner, it’s a brilliant black comedy that jibes perfectly with the world of The Black Diamond."
30th: Astronauts in Trouble is reviewed by Alberto Calvo for Comic Verso: "En Live From the Moon la historia está ambientada en el año 2019. El hombre más rico del mundo, Ishmael Hayes, dueño de Hayescorp, está preparandose para celebrar el 50 aniversario del alunizaje del Apolo XI de una manera bastante peculiar: dirigiendo él mismo una expedición de regreso a nuestro satélite. Entre los planes preparados para la ocasión está incluída la participación de un equipo de noticias de Channel 7 con la intención de que se encarguen de asegurar la debida atención al evento, transmitiendo en vivo desde la Luna la cobertura del regreso del hombre a nuestro satélite natural. Pero lo que el equipo de noticias encuentra en la Luna no es lo que nadie esperaba, y las verdaderas intenciones de Hayes quedan al descubierto. Sumamos a la historia la participación de un grupo de eco-terroristas y de unos mafiosos armados con un proyectil nuclear y el resultado es una mezcla de noir, ciencia ficción, e intriga internacional."
4th: "larry young reinvented comics for the 21st Century" always gets everyone riled up.
13th: Tales of the Black Diamond artist Josh Boulet has a blurb on his webcomic over at the Dallas Observer. Josh is a genius, and I'm writing him a book right now. I'm gonna make this guy famous if it's the last thing I do.
18th: The New York Times gives The Homeless Channel a shout-out in a story about reality television. It got blogged all over the place, of course, because the Times really is the paper of record for the whole country, but I particularly liked Heidi MacDonald's take over at The Beat: "Perhaps the ultimate sign of the acceptance of graphic novels as a form of literature is when they are not spotlighted in a dog-on-legs way but merely as another example of the treatment of a theme as this NYT story on The Homeless Channel does..."
21st: Best of 2007, you say, and here it is, only mid-September? I am reminded of the best first line in any fiction, just barely edging out "Call me Ishmael" and "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel" for the Number One spot: "It was half-past September when the red phone rang." That's from Harlan Ellison's Kris Kringle/James Bond mash-up "Santa Claus versus S.P.I.D.E.R." in The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World and it has urgency and poetry and rhythm and mystery and makes you want to read the next sentence.
Oh, half-past September. Urgency and poetry and rhythm and mystery.
Scott Cederlund, back up at that link I posted before I got all lost in reverie and whatnot, nominates Matt Silady for Favorite New Creator and his The Homeless Channel for Favorite One Shot, Special or Annual.
2nd: The Johnny Dynamite show is announced.
12th: America's Most Beloved Ballpark meets America's Most Beloved Publisher. Go Sox!
16th: I turn 44 and my brother-in-law makes my Rocketeer helmet smell like rum.
"I'll tell you what I'm blathering about... I've got information man! New shit has come to light! And shit... man, she kidnapped herself. Well sure, man. Look at it... a young trophy wife, in the parlance of our times, you know, and she, uh, uh, owes money all over town, including to known pornographers, and that's cool... that's, that's cool, I'm, I'm saying, she needs money, man. And of course they're going to say that they didn't get it, because... she wants more, man! She's got to feed the monkey, I mean uh... hasn't that ever occurred to you, man? Sir?"
22nd: Rock Bottom is reviewed by Dan over at respected St. Louis-based Star Clipper: "This is not the usual gore-fest or super-punch-out story these guys are used to doing, but that alone I think made them work that much harder on it. Joe Casey's dialog just sings through it. The pacing is wonderful, slowly, gradually bringing you down the same path that Tommy walks before you. Charlie Adlard forgoes his usual style for a simpler pure line art. The only shading used in the whole book is that on Tommy himself to represent the rock. Fantastic. I highly recommend this tale."
24th: Ash interviews me over at the YMB.
26th: Jeff at Sequential Salon writes: "True Facts: Comics' Righteous Anger by Larry Young (the grand poobah of AiT/Planet Lar, comics publisher). It's a small book, but it's one of the best things you'll ever read."
8th: Steven Grant throws in The Black Diamond in his list of Ten Comics You Must Read Right Now: "...this series about people living on a future superhighway linking every state in the Continental U.S. is his best work since his original, name-making piece ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE. Sure, the concept is basically DEATH RACE 2000, but where Larry really makes it work is by letting the characters drive the story (as he did in AiT) instead of letting the story steer the characters (which he has done in pretty much everything else since). Artist Jon Proctor was a little shaky in the first issue but has been dead on confident ever since, and the series is a great reminder of how on Larry's work can be when he's on."
16th: The Black Diamond #5 gets read by Greg Burgas: "I will say that Young has done a good job in this series switching back and forth from crazy action to plot and character development, and after last issue, which ended with our hero’s car on top of a train, this issue focuses on how he’s going to continue now that his car is no longer in good shape to drive, as well as bringing the subplot of the stolen bag to a close in a humorous yet reasonable way. Dr. Don gets a new ride, everyone takes off again, and the army (as well as Dr. Don’s wife, who’s still being held hostage) move into position for next issue’s grand finale."
19th: "In this issue, the subplot of the runaway waitress is resolved, but not before some typical Young dialog that suckers the reader into thinking there’s more to the lead character, orthodontist Don McLaughlin, than meets the eye. But the punchline is, just when Young has the reader convinced there must be more to Dr. Don, there isn’t. Don’s just a rational guy thrust into an irrational situation out of devotion to his wife. At least that’s how it appears this issue. Who knows what Young has in store for next issue’s finale?"
14th: Monster Attack Network gets name-checked in Marc Mason's Best of 2007: "No book this year gave me a bigger nerdgasm than Marc Bernadin and Adam Freeman’s MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK (AiT/PlanetLar). An island where giant monsters attack all the time? Bitchin’! A special police force dedicated to diverting the monsters and rebuilding in their wake? Fuggin’A! That’s totally what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m not one to pant like a dog for sequels in any medium, but this book? It needs one. Right. Fucking. Now."
...and that's the highlights of the year, so far. I'm sure we'll get some good ones in before the 31st...