1. For reasons that have never been quite clear to me, anthologies don't sell in the United States. They seem to work in Europe and Japan but, who knows why?, not here. So it's fun to see a publisher try one; a few years back, Marvel was publishing black and white anthologies centered around particular characters (Daredevil and Dr. Strange being the two I remember), but, at this point, the one that I hear about most often is Dark Horse Presents, which, three years after its resurrection, is relaunching over the summer in a slimmed down format. Unlike DHP, Vertigo's new anthology, CMYK, is quarterly, and the first issue, "Cyan," launches this week. Among the writers and artists involved are Fabio Moon, Joe Keatinge, James Tynion and Jock, and the stories were all prompted by the color blue, whatever that means. Moon's story alone is sure to be close to worth the $7.99 entry price, and, with 80 total pages of content, there's bound to be some other stuff of interest in there. As the other planned issues of the quarterly are released, we'll see how they sell; maybe American audiences are more willing to pay the extra $ for 80 pages of comics if its released less often than once a month. Preview here.
2. Crime comics just haven't been the same since Scalped ended a couple of years ago. Jason Aaron's been off writing two or three of Marvel's best titles during that time, most notably his recently concluded run of almost 50 X-men comics, maybe the best run on those characters since Joss Whedon. I did wonder, just after he was put on Thor, how wide Aaron's writing range was. He could write the hell out of a crime comic, his superhero team stuff was excellent, but could he handle epic fantasy? Of course he could! Most of that Thor stuff is great. I shouldn't have doubted. His return to crime, then, is a victory lap and not a retreat. Importantly, he's got Jason Latour working with him on this one; unlike R.M. Guerra's Scalped work, Latour's art is big and spacious, with a thin line, and he's got an eye for style. This is going to be a good one.
3. Technically, this is a reissue of a book that came out four years ago, but who's counting? Rafael Grampa is part of the same group of Brazilian cartoonists that includes Moon, his brother Gabriel Ba, Rafael Albuquerque and Gustavo Duarte, each of whom I am enormously found of. Looking at the preview, Grampa's work here is design heavy and features unusual compositions in a few large panels per page, with a characteristic greasyness in detail and character design that's just this side of Paul Pope. And it stars an ex-boxer and Elvis impersonator. How can you say no?
4. Hot on the hells of a game changer of an issue, Kieron Gillen's what-if-superheroes-had-been-invented-by-the-Nazis series moves from the realm of historical fiction into straight up speculation; two of the major historical players are dead, and many of the characters that are left are unknown quantities. Gillen is in top form here and, if you can tolerate the gore and violence of an Avatar book, I think that this may be the one to try, particularly at a good jumping on point like this.
5. Hey, look, Peter Parker is not-dead.