Staff Picks: A kickass comic, a book about Lookout Records, and some Wisconsin eats

Nextwave

Life can be hard for someone who’s a fan of comics, but not the physical or mental detritus that comes with them: space-consuming long-boxes, story-dividing crossovers, decades of intricate, half-assed continuity. Which is why Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s award-winning 2006 book is essentially the perfect comic: compact, backstory-light, and shot through with an irreverent sense of fun that makes it stand out just as well now as it did when it was sharing rack space with dour nonsense like Civil War or DC’s Infinite Crisis. Starring a crew of D-list Marvel heroes, the world’s greatest Nick Fury parody—Dirk Anger, director of H.A.T.E.—and its own awful-but-somehow-also-great theme song, the book offers up a series of short, two-issue stories driven entirely by a simple principle: “Is this awesome?” And as my weather-beaten, annually reread, often-loaned copy of the collected series—purchased …

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