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Fukui San

Astro City

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Kurt Busiek's ongoing masterpiece. He basically creates and lovingly simulates 70 years of a fully formed comic universe's continuity just so he can insert character pieces in the margins and blind spots of that universe.  What does a super hero battle mean to the average joe whose house gets knocked down?  How does Superman go on a date if he's needed to save the world every moment of the day?  

It's many trades into it's stop and start run. Busiek's health sometimes delays production.  For my money, Confessions is the single best trade of this series, though the events it covers was set in motion in the first trade, Life in the Big City.  There's a mini-issue titled "The Nearness of You" which is incredible in its economy and which packs an emotional punch.

There are a lot of Superhero with a Twist types of series out now, tweaking the formula in various ways. Astro City is the most thoughful of them all, and really a lot of fun.

 

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I've only read the first trade, but that first story with the Samaritan is one of my favorite Superman stories. Even though it doesn't even have Superman in it.

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While I don't consider Astro City to be "appointment reading" these days, I still think that it's a great deconstruction of the superhero genre. Most of the stories are gems in their own right. It's a pity that Kurt Busiek had so many health problems to hinder his book's progress.

 

I've gotten two sketches from series artist Brent Anderson: Jack-In-The-Box and Junkman. Seeing how I've only seen Anderson twice, I've sought out other artists to sketch AC characters . . . Silver Agent, Winged Victory, Crackerjack, Hanged Man, Samaritan, and (so far) one-shot character American Chibi.

 

Curious . . . is anybody here familiar with Kevin Nowlan? I'm not sure what to expect when he takes over art chores on the book.

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His name sounds very familiar, so I took a look at his credits.  I swear I must have seen some of his ABC work for Alan Moore, but I'm not sure exactly which. An image search of his name seems to show some solid, expressive art which would fit right in with what we've seen with Brent Anderson.

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Just checking to see if anybody is reading the book. I got to meet Kurt Busiek yesterday. I asked if there was going to be anything special for the book's 20th anniversary next year. He said that it would be embarrassing to go twenty years having done (by his count) 80 issues. He's also been healthy, so he should be plugging away on Astro City for some time.

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I've only read the first trade, but that first story with the Samaritan is one of my favorite Superman stories. Even though it doesn't even have Superman in it.

Is that the one where he basically spends all his time rescuing people and basically has an alien computer do his daytime job because he feels guilty about not saving people? I loved that story, and I always thought it would be cool is the actual superman looked into that aspect of his life. 

 

I read most of the trades from the first run of the series (up to Tarnished Angel), would love to get back into it but it seems the trades for the Dark Ages Storyline (at least book 1) is out of print.

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Is that the one where he basically spends all his time rescuing people and basically has an alien computer do his daytime job because he feels guilty about not saving people? I loved that story, and I always thought it would be cool is the actual superman looked into that aspect of his life. 

That's the one! I also liked how it highlighted that all he dreams about is flying carefree (and naked) because it's the only time he can relax.

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That's the one! I also liked how it highlighted that all he dreams about is flying carefree (and naked) because it's the only time he can relax.

Wasn't there another Samaritan story where he is out on a date with the AC version of Wonder Woman and it sort of touches on how for him to take time and go out on a date, he basically has to ignore all of those people out there who need his help.

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In Samaritan's defense, Honor Guard more or less pushed him into the date with Winged Victory, going so far as to cover his rounds (along with the First Family).

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Just checking to see if anybody else is reading the series. Tomorrow kicks off an arc featuring Quarrel, whom Kurt Busiek considers to be his favorite Astro City character. Should be interesting to see how that translates, especially since she's been in the background for most of the book's run.

 

ETA: Here's a preview of the issue. It also includes the fate of another Honor Guard member that often got overlooked in stories.

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Bumping up to see if anybody is reading the Quarrel story. Also, I unearthed three binders' worth of Astro City comics. I'm missing the "Tarnished Angel" story, some stuff before and after that, and a few "Dark Age" books, though. The stuff holds up well, and I'm not just saying that because I've gotten my letters printed in the letter column three times. In addition, I've printed out four pages of reference for sketches. I don't know when my next event will take place, but I'll be ready.

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I wonder if any of these new volumes coming out will push whoever to put Dark Age Book one TBP back into print. I would really love to start reading Astro City again but I don't feel like paying $60 or so for a trade. 

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Damn, really? I think DC Comics just put out the first volume of the series, and I reckon they would cover the rest of the books . . . though it might be a while before either of the "Dark Ages" books comes out.

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Yea I have checked out Amazon (US and Canada) and a bunch of other places. No one has Dark Age volume one, except for secondary sellers and they are all asking crazy prices. It is weird because all the other trades are readily available.

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While we wait for the finish of the Quarrel storyline (and seeing Crackerjack screw a kennel's worth of pooches), there's this solicitation for May's issue:

 

ASTRO CITY #23
Written by KURT BUSIEK
Art by BRENT ANDERSON
Cover by ALEX ROSS
On sale MAY 13 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
What do you do when you’re a talking gorilla, and all your life you’ve wanted nothing more than to be a drummer in a rock & roll band? That’s right, you go to Astro City. But from there, well, things are never all that simple. Also featuring the First Family, Honor Guard and more. Part 1 of 2.

 

Anybody else love Kurt Busiek right about now? Talking, drumming gorilla. That's a Silver Age idea worth reviving.

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I've now read the Winged Victory TPB (Good, though it feels like a lesser version of Confessions. Good to see the new Confessor at full steam), but haven't seen the Quarrel TPB.  Is that after Victory?

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