Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett reports on some great new comics he found while convalescing.

A while ago I confessed I had broken my elbow (see “Confessions of a Comic Book Guy -- Television’s Next Breakout Star.”).  I was told that 9 times out of 10 this sort of break heals on its own; so, naturally, I turned out to be the 10th.

So last week I underwent surgery where an object that (I swear) looks for all the world like a knob from a universal weight machine was placed inside my arm to keep the bones from connecting.  Admittedly, this was surgery of the minor league, outpatient variety, but it still managed to be major enough to put my left arm completely out of commission.  Which, in case anyone was wondering, is why I haven’t written one of these things for the last two weeks.

Since you apparently can’t put a cast on an elbow, my injured arm was swaddled in a bulky wrapping composed of Ace bandages, layer upon layer of gauze, and a metal bar to keep it immobilized.  In those two weeks I did absolutely nothing because I could do absolutely nothing, meaning no cooking, cleaning, or typing.  I couldn’t cook.  It probably tells you all you need to know about me that it was being incommunicado (keeping my snarky comments to myself) which I found to be the most frustrating.

All I could do was sit and "heal," which I’ve come to discover is basically a mindful form of doing nothing.  While I’m loathe to think of this ordeal as being some kind of an "opportunity," I must confess the experience came me the chance to catch up on my comic book reading, and now that my arm is in a bendable brace* this week I’ll finally get the chance to write about some of them.

Even though it’s become an essentially impossible task, ever since I started selling comic books I’ve always made the effort to try and read everything that comes out every week.  Because free (to me) comics, sure, but also because always lurking somewhere among the New Releases is the possibility of the unexpected, not only comics you couldn’t have imagined, but couldn’t have imagined liking.

Case in point, BOOM! Studios Hi-Fi Fight Club by Carly Usdin and artist Nina Vakueva.  It’s a period piece set in 1998 where Chris, the new hire at a hip record store, discovers its staff doubles as "a teen girl vigilante fight club" that uses their martial arts skills and cool secret headquarters to solve minor key musical mysteries.  It’s a premise preloaded with plenty of wish fulfillment made somewhat convincing due to the way Usdin has grounded it in relatable characters and real world situations, with Vakeuva’s beautiful art making the results even more appealing.  As much as I liked it, due diligence compels me to reveal that at no time does the gang beat the crap out of each other, so the group cannot in good conscience be considered an actual "fight club."  It makes for a cool title, though.

You generally know what to expect from a Disney comic, but I found myself both surprised and impressed by the first two issues of the new IDW DuckTales comic.  Even if, as the headline of the piece on i09 puts it, "The New DuckTales Comic Is Missing Some Vital Ingredients From The Show."  Those 'ingredients' being Scrooge, Launchpad, Webby, etc.  Instead, for some reason, the comic features some pretty standard Donald Duck stories where, thanks to the absolutely lovely art by  Luca Usai, Gianfranco Florio, Giuseppe Fontana, and Dario Calabria, he and Huey, Dewey, and Louie look as they do in the new version of the show.  I like what I’ve seen so far, especially the nicely orchestrated bits of physical comedy that have an actual animated feel, so here’s hoping the rest of DuckTales cast will be appearing presently.

Which, finally, brings us to Fu Jitsu.  As I keep saying, while I love just about every kind of comic book, I do have a special place in my heart for the outliers, the ones with larger than life characters and high-rise concepts that use the heroic tradition and America’s proud pulp heritage to produce something wild and weird.  I’m always on the lookout for next Hellboy, Atomic Robo or Paul Pope’s Battling Boy out there somewhere on the horizon.

Which is why the CBR piece "AfterShock Expands With Fu Jitsu, a 'Comic Book for Comic Book Readers'" got my attention.  In it, Jau Nitz, "best known for Dark Horse Comics’ Dream Thief and as the co-creator of the Chato Santana incarnation of El Diablo" is interviewed about his new comic about Fu Jitsu, the "un-aging world’s smartest boy" who battles the forces of evil.  Or, as the official description of the first issue puts it: "From Einstein and the Wright brothers, to Gandhi and Johnny Unitas, Fu has met everyone in history while protecting Earth from Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, and his dangerous magi-science" — but his mission is put in jeopardy after he exiles himself to Antarctica following a break up with his girlfriend, and a time-traveling Wadlow sends James Dean to kill Fu (at which point, presumably, things continue to get weirder)."

In the piece Nitz says, "It’s a comic book for comic book readers.  Fu Jitsu has more in common with early Hellboy than it does with End-Around-Movie-Pitch-as-a-Graphic-Novel.  Wes St. Claire and I are here to make comics.  We are sequential storytellers.  We want to knock your socks off with a comic the way Walt Simonson or Howard Chaykin or Jim Starlin knocked you on your butt with the power of words and pictures.  That’s our goal."

That’s a lot of hype to live up to, but having read the first issue of Fu Jitsu, I can tell you that it does.  This might not be the next big thing, but it absolutely should be.  Do yourself a favor and read it for yourself.

* Now I just have to wear the damn thing 24/7 for the next two months (even when I sleep).  With some luck and physical therapy, hopefully by Christmas I’ll once again be able to use my dominant hand to lift objects over five pounds.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of