Vertigo Spotlight: Postcards from the Ledge (No. 6)

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The NFL playoffs are in full swing, and this fan is in football heaven this weekend. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn my back on my other obsession: Vertigo comics! Well, it also helps that my favorite team was defeated in the first wild card game... Anyway, this installment of "Postcards" will include a preview of this week’s Scalped #13, which is the beginning of the much anticipated "Dead Mothers" arc. You already know my opinion on this excellent series, so this preview is an extra special one for me, though it may be a little too raw for the kiddies. Get a parent’s permission before continuing!

Before we get started with the preview, I want to thank all of you who wrote me with comments about my Power Rankings for December 2007. While all of the e-mails I received were positive, some of you expressed some concerns about where I placed certain titles in the rankings. For instance, a few messages reproached me for putting Jack of Fables ahead of DMZ. “How can you rate an inferior spinoff of Fables ahead of Brian Wood’s best series?” “Are you on Willingham’s payroll?” “Lay off the crack!” The last comment was in a positive e-mail, I swear! Hey, all I can say is that I love DMZ just as much as the rest of you, but I’ve got to go with the mojo. Yes, that was a thinly veiled attempt to avoid a straight answer... Also, some fans took me to task for rating American Virgin and Testament so poorly. This ranking is not a reflection of the quality of these titles, since I have been a huge fan of both from the very beginning. My opinion was influenced by the impending cancellation of both series, especially the turbo-charged manner that American Virgin is being put out of commission. Two issues this month? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Thanks again to all of those fans who wrote in response to the column. Now, shoot me an e-mail before this month’s ranking, so we can get a more reader-centric view of the state of Vertigo.

Now, after a short absence, here are the Vertigo Trends of the Week:
  • Rugged Titles: Northlanders #2 and Vinyl Underground #4 both had very manly sounding titles this week: “Caledonia’s Hardy Sons” and “Mule Train,” respectively. Time to break out the Beech Nut and the six shooter! Where’s Beau Smith when you need him? One final thought: when I saw the word Caledonia in the Northlanders title, I thought of the horrendous Robin Trower song, which definitely threw me off the manly vibe. Fortunately, "Mule Train" reminds me of Frankie Laine and Lee "Scratch" Perry, so I’m cool...

  • Severed Heads: Gross! Vinyl Underground has the ubiquitous head with diamonds for eyes that has driven the first four issues, while Northlanders features a head-on-a-pike warning. Hmm, that’s an idea to keep solicitors away...
And now, the main event! Here are the first seven (seven!) pages from Scalped #13, which will be in comic book shops this Wednesday. Jason Aaron is crafting some of the best tales in comics right now, so if you haven’t read this series yet, Issue #13 looks like a great spot to jump in. For those of you who read this series and want more Aaron’s fine work, keep in mind that he is about to take over the scripting chores on Ghost Rider with Issue #20 and a four-issue run of Wolverine starting at #61. Of course, these aren’t Vertigo titles, but if you’re a fan, what else are you gonna do? Here’s Vertigo’s official write-up for Scalped #13. Enjoy!
"Dead Mothers" Part 1 of 5. The day after the grand opening of the Crazy Horse casino, the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation wakes to find that two women have been murdered during the night, leaving undercover FBI agent Dash Bad Horse to search for the killers and in the process perhaps come to grips with his own history and identity.
Vertigo | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US | Mature Readers
On Sale January 9, 2008

Jason Aaron and RM Guera have definitely turned the volume all the way up in this issue! The bottom of page 5 had me cringing in male sympathetic agony. Yipes! This combination of visual power and raw dialogue continue to make this series one of the benchmarks of comic literature today. If this preview doesn’t pump you up for this week’s issue, I don’t know what will! However, if these Scalped pages didn’t ring your bell, shoot me a line and let me know what will. You can always reach me at [email protected] While you’re writing, send a good mp3 file so I can get this damn Caledonia song out of my head... Well, that’s all for this installment of "Postcards from the Ledge."

Thanks for reading,


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