Book Review

Comic Books 101

EW reviews four new comic book titles -- We take a closer look at ''My Dinner with Lulu,'' ''Elk's Run,'' ''Four-Letter Worlds,'' and ''Desolation Jones''

EW reviews four new comic book titles

MY DINNER WITH LULU

To connoisseurs, the post-WWII Little Lulus are almost on a level with Carl Bark's Scrooge McDuck. John Stanley wrote playful, almost surreally simple plots that often evolve into baroque arcs of misunderstanding, while Irving Tripp's art is so clean it approaches the comic Zen of Nancy. Dark Horse's long-awaited reprints are cheap, plentiful (a new one every quarter), and, more to the point, excellent parent-child reading fodder. B+Ty Burr

ELK'S RUN

There's a small West Virginia town called Elk's Ridge, and its fresh-from-the-Vietnam-War founding fathers made a pact with one another: No one leaves. Ever. And those vets will do anything — including murder — to enforce that pact. Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Noel Tuazon conjure a tactile sense of dread in this eight-issue series, one that manages to tell the same tale from different points of view, yet make each as compelling as the last. AMarc Bernardin

FOUR-LETTER WORLDS

On the heels of its fanciful Flight anthologies, the House That Spawn Built continues to tweak its profile with a new story collection quartered into themed sections on love, hate, fear, and fate. Of the book's 16 stories, Jeff Parker (The Interman) delivers the standout, ''Bear,'' a slow-percolating twist on a beloved childhood tale. Worlds is more inventive in concept than execution, but does elicit the occasional damn, that's clever. BTom Russo

DESOLATION JONES

When fabled porn produced by Adolf Hitler is stolen, whoyougonnacall? The latest everything-and-the-kitchen-sink opus from scribe Warren Ellis (Planetary) follows an ex-British spy ghoulishly mutated by a military experiment. He now lives in L.A., an ''open prison'' for bad-seed cloak-and-daggers. It's James Bond in Chinatown (among 700 other things), popping with fantastic art by J. H. Williams III. The only thing missing: a little focus. B+Jeff Jensen

Originally posted May 30, 2005 Published in issue #823 Jun 03, 2005 Order article reprints
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