The folks on the other side of the comic shop counter tell you what’s hot:
Aimee LoSecco, JHU Comic Books, 32 East 32nd St., between Madison & Park, Manhattan
Sergio Aragones Funnies #10, Bongo Comics. There’s a reason Sergio is the greatest living cartoonist of our time – and I say that with all due respect to the amazing cartoonists out there. Sergio is the king. If you’re not familiar with his iconic Groo series, you’ve undoubtedly seen his work in Mad magazine with his silent strips and marginals. Funnies is a grab-bag variety book in the truest sense. It reads like Highlights for adults: There are autobiographical stories, one-page gags, a “find the ten differences in the two pictures,” “find the matching pair” activity pages, and short fables or parables (as Sergio is famous for executing). Every issue stands alone, and after the long hiatus of being out of commission due to surgery, Funnies is a welcome respite from the superhero/serious/edgy books in your regular pile of comics.
“R. Crumb: The Weirdo Years 1981-’93” (on the shelves as of 10/12/13), Last Gasp. This gorgeous and affordable hardcover (only $29.95!) collects the best of all 28 issues of Weirdo, with color cover reprints. Crumb’s work is as diverse as the stories — recurring strip Mode O’Day, Omaha sendup “Wichita,” the Life of Philip K. Dick, and all the hysterical, hypersexual hijinks you expect from R. Crumb. Although Weirdo was an anthology book, this hefty tome collects all of R. Crumb’s contributions to the series. Definitely not for the faint of heart or easily offended, The Weirdo Years is chockablock Crumb, just the way you like it.
Dimitrios Fragiskatos, manager, Midtown Comics’ Grand Central location, 459 Lexington Ave., corner of 45th St., Manhattan
Uncanny X-Men #13 (Battle of the Atom, Part 8), Marvel. Battle of the Atom has been building up since the conception of All-New X-Men. The original X-Men have been brought from the past to the present by the Beast, to show his former leader Cyclops how far his ideologies have veered from his original path. But as everything in science fiction has taught us, inserting something from one time period into another always has dire consequences to the time stream, as we now have TWO groups of X-Men from the future, fighting for the destiny of these teenagers, along with Cyclops’ and Wolverine’s present day-factions (you follow?). Despite the complicated plotline, the characterizations in the story have been great, and we don’t know what’s going to happen next (unless you were at the panel at NYCC)!
Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #15, Valiant. It’s an all-new world, as psiots and other super-powered things are running around wreaking havoc. Who doe the US Government call to take down these unwanted threats? H.A.R.D. Corps! Valiant continues it’s streak of offering awesome, continuity-driven sophisticated stories. And although they seem to be against the rest of the Valiant Universe, you can’t help but root for these characters in this storyline!
Menachem Luchins, owner, Escape Pod Comics, 302 Main Street, Huntington, L.I.
Courtney Crumin Special Edition Vol. 4, Oni Press. These deluxe, color reprints of Ted Naifeh’s YA series are just fantastically put together books, featuring wonderful stories that balance horror and humor perfectly. Even if you haven’t read the rest, Courtney is a delight and can be read at any point in her adventures. That being said, any store that’s going to have these will most probably have the previous three, and they’re great buys as well!
Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake Trade Paperback (Ka-Boom) is another great all-ages read. The trade collects the hit mini-series from early in the year in one volume. Written and drawn by Fionna creator Natasha Allegri, the story expands the world of a character we’ve only seen on two episodes of the show in a delightful way. This volume also features the back-up stories from the original series by such indie darlings as Lucy Knisley and Kate Leth
Zero #2, Image Comics. Ales Kot’s Edward Zero is on yet another secret mission, and it’s sure to be as slam-bang fantastic as the first issue. Issue #1 is already on it’s way to a second printing and this one almost certainly will be too. Try to pick it up the first time around, though, you won’t regret it!
Ted Alexander, manager, Midtown Comics’ Downtown location, 64 Fulton St., corner of Gold St., Manhattan
Batman Superman #4, DC. I’m not sure if it is either me, waiting in anticipation, or because of a delay, but it seems like it’s taken forever for this issue to come out. Greg Pak’s really nice crafted story comes to a close. I’m looking forward to see how he explains that either Bruce or Clark can’t remember this first meeting.
Superior Spider-man, Marvel. Dan Slott’s love of Doctor Who really has come through in this arc. Time travel stories can be a chore to believe, but he has done it flawlessly so far with the past couple issues. I can only imagine how good a Doctor Who comic written by Slott would be. (Are you hearing this IDW? Please make it happen.)
Mike Zapcic, AMC’s television show “Comic Book Men” and Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, Red Bank, N.J.
Guardians of the Galaxy #7, Marvel. Angela joins the team!
Hawkeye #13, Marvel. I love this series! Hawkeye acts like I did before I got married. Boy, was I a jackass …