• Peter Bagges Other Stuff. Peter Bagge, Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Gilbert Hernandez, Alan Moore, et al. Fantagraphics. 136 pages. $19.99.
This previously uncollected compilation of one-off collaborations and odd solo work is a hoot. Funny, silly, incorrectly political and often tasteless, Bagges strips continue to amuse and entertain, and even though theres no single theme here, his work is surprisingly cohesive and consistent.
• Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo. Alex Raymond. Titan Books. 208 pages. $39.95.
The dialogue is stilted, and the poses seem stiff by modern standards, but the unmistakable artistry of Raymonds remains potent. The five stories here (by uncredited scribe Don Moore) seem trite compared to modern hyperbolic histrionics, though the mix of space opera and brash American heroics was popular when Flash Gordon originally ran from 1937 though 1941. But the restoration and reproduction of Raymonds highly influential pen work are gorgeous, and the stories campy beats are still enjoyable.
• Pantalones, TX: Dont Chicken Out. Yehudi Mercado. Archaia Entertainment. 120 pages. $19.95.
This funny, silly, fully realized all-ages adventure from animator Mercado looks like an elaborate storyboard presentation. Maybe it is, but its also a superb graphic novel with memorably outrageous characters, comical and colorful art, and frenetic storytelling. Too much fun!
Richard Pachter is a writer in Boca Raton.