New Comics Day Hauls, Reading & Reviews

Comics Haul Week Of 4.27.22

Ah, Wednesday, that most awaited of days. Like a Christmas that comes every week, and also that you have to pay for yourself, and also you know what you’re getting; that was a half-goof but let us not kid ourselves: you can actually have some pretty decent yuletides that way if you plan it right, and the same goes for New Comic Book Day. Regardless, let’s see what Ol’ Me-Claus managed to wrangle up this time; make sure to chime in with what you’re picking up today and also what the best holiday present you ever got yourself was!

Decorum, by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston

“There are many assassins in the known universe, this is the story of the most well-mannered one.
Collects DECORUM #1-8″

I’m a simple man; I see the Jonathan Hickman, I hit ‘preorder’ on the Jonathan Hickman. The Manhattan Projects? East of West? The goddamn Black Monday Murders? The man doesn’t do bad work. Is it always work like, for me? No, but it’s always work I’m glad I’ve read, like how Sweet Tooth was a huge fucking bummer but I don’t for a second regret being an absolute slut for Jeff Lemire.
I must admit the descriptions on this one are sparse (though I’m 100% here for a polite assassin, gimme that Discworld shit immediately), and when the listing for the trade finally came up more than a year ago, my main question was why does this thing cost thirty fuckin’ dollars, jeez, but it turns out: because it’s almost 400 pages, and honestly that’s an extremely satisfying answer. This one has been a long time coming, and at this price-point and page-count one hopes it’ll be worth the wait, but I’m confident we’re in good hands with Hickman and I can’t wait to be proven right.

The Department Of Truth, Vol. 3: Free Country, by Tynion, Simmonds, Bidikar, Charretier, Hollingsworth, Boss, Titov, Pearson, Romero, Sampson, Fornes, and Bellaire.

Six acclaimed guest artists join Eisner winner JAMES TYNION IV (Something is Killing the Children, Batman) and MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy) to uncover the deep, tangled roots of the Department of Truth…and Lee Harvey Oswald’s rise to its top position. From the Phantom Time Hypothesis to Mothman, find out what terrible secrets are waiting in the archives. Collects THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #6-7, 14-17″

God I love The Department Of Truth, I’m knee-deep in the second volume right now and it is–wait, why does this list as including issues 6-7 and 14-17, what–YO WAIT WHAT HOW AM I ONLY JUST NOW REALIZING THAT VOL. 1 ENDS WITH ISSUE #5 AND VOL. 2 PICKS UP WITH ISSUE #8, FUCK DUDE, I’M TOO DUMB FOR THIS BOOK
Ahem. My apologies. In any event, the upshot of The Department Of Truth is that reality is, to a degree, democratic, and that if enough people believe hard enough in something–say, that the Moon landing was fake, or Reptilian aliens in our government, or THE DEVIL–it can become a truth, if not necessarily THE truth, and that’s where the Department comes in: they keep reality what it should be, by killing Bigfoot again if necessary. I love this book and I can’t imagine it will go on too terribly much longer, but it’s worth it because every page is all-gold, no filler.

Locke & Key: The Golden Age (Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone Book 7), by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Jay Fotos

Unlock moments from Keyhouse’s long history, expanding the saga of the Locke family in this collection of stories, which includes the epic crossover with DC’s The Sandman Universe! For two hundred years, the Locke family has watched over Keyhouse, a New England mansion where reality has come unhinged and shadows are known to walk on their own. Here they have guarded a collection of impossible keys, instruments capable of unlocking both unparalleled wonder and unimaginable evil. Take a glimpse into the lives of Chamberlin Locke and his family in the early 20th century as they use the keys to fight battles big and small. From a giant spider inside Keyhouse to the killing fields of Europe during WWI and the depths of Hell, the Lockes are in a constant struggle to keep the dark forces of their world at bay. Collects three standalone tales, “Small World,” the Eisner-nominated “Open the Moon,” and the never-before-seen “Face the Music,” along with the 3-part “…In Pale Battalions Go…” and the epic 80-page crossover with The Sandman Universe, “Hell & Gone” all from the co-creators of Locke & Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez!

If that seems kind of all over the place: Correct. As I imagine the good reader knows if they know enough about Locke & Key to be confused, it’s a series that ended literally a decade ago, but just in the past year or so (or maybe more! Time is weird now and I’m actually sincerely scared it’ll never regain its former elasticity, but that’s a different post) these weird little standalone stories have been coming out, in addition to the aforementioned and frankly kinda whozawhatsit Sandman crossover, although at least Sandman is still running…kind of? The Sandman Universe at the very least is still going strong with it, John Constantine: Hellblazer, The Dreaming: Waking Hours and Nightmare Country titles, and apparently Locke & Key: Hell And Gone now falls under its aegis, which I’m certainly not mad about. In any event it’s a hell of a weird thing, but honestly both Sandman and Locke & Key have always been deeply weird things, and have only grown ‘normal’ as they’ve been canonized in our articles of faith, so it’s cool to see them work together and hopefully bring something new and wild to the table. For my part I finished my semi-annual Sandman reread a while ago and still haven’t caught up with all the new Universe titles, but I think I’ll at least give Locke & Key a re-read before I dive into this bad boy.

So that’s what I found in my stocking today! Sound off with what you snagged yourselves, what you think of these, and what you leave yourself instead of milk and cookies, and I’ll see you all next week for the new haul!

—The Bageler

the moment you came to, I swore I would change

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