Sardine in Outer Space is a science fictional story written by Emmanuel Guibert and drawn by Joann Sfar that’s much more goofball than y’know, serious speculation, but is also a tonne of fun. Sardine is a little girl who travels around in space with her pirate uncle Captain Yellowshoulder as they fight the terrible villain Supermuscleman in a collection of short episodes.
There’s lots of travel to one-note worlds where they deal with aliens and the stakes are always very high, loads of traps and clever escapes. It’s exactly the kind of thing I wished I’d had to read as a kid, like Spaceman Spiff adventures, but packed into a book. It’s translated from the French by Sahsa Watson but feels very natural in its voice.
Joann Sfar is of course responsible for the grownup comic The Rabbi’s Cat, but also for the kids comics Little Vampire and Dungeon which I also recommend. Sardine is much more madcap and targeting younger readers than the Dungeon series.
Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All Star Superman is a good Superman book. I mean, it doesn’t shy from the craziness of Superman. He’s lifting quadrillions of tonnes and flying into the sun and yawning his way through arm-wrestling matches with other superheroes (in a story about giving Lois Lane super powers that felt more than a little condescending towards women) and doing interviews with Lex Luthor (as Clark Kent) and slowly dying.
I think the best part of this book is how the differences between Superman and Clark Kent are visually represented. They’re both huge but Kent looks flabby and Superman looks like Superman. It’s really well done. I like Grant Morrison’s weirdness so the writing was fine. It really brought out the silliness in some of the Superman conceits while taking them seriously.