Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Independent Preview Review for September

Well this is a little late and normally Lee is the one who does the first draft. Unfortunately Lee’s stay at the sanatorium, errr, I mean vacation came at an inopportune time and I was forced to try and channel Lee’s essence in order to do the Independent picks.

Pretend Lee: Not the best month for the Independents, but as always some excellent stuff if you only like art work and do not know how to read.
Jim: Since we focus on new series or material normally it is a little lighter then normal but many great mini-series and unlimited series have their normal issues coming out.


SUPER #1 - [1 of 6] Full Color. Creators: Justin Newberry & Gilbert Cuevas Description: Explore how confining the word hero can be in this new limited series that follows a super-powered being born into today's cultural climate. Paying homage to the standards of the genre while simultaneously panning them, Super is a book for readers who want a little thought with their Saturday morning cartoons. 32 pages. Publisher Rating: Mature Audiences.
Pretend Lee: A good parody book is always tough to find and the concept behind this one certainly seems to show promise.
Jim: It sounds intriguing enough, but I would want to read a preview of it before making the financial commitment to buying it.


BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #154 -. Full Color. Creators: Various. Description: Bad Boy Trouble Part 4": It all comes down to this: the months and months of debate over and media coverage surrounding Betty and Veronica's new looks culminate in a climactic conclusion as the "Bad Boy Trouble" saga draws to a close! The world will finally learn whether rough-and-tumble Nick St. Clair is a true "wild hog" on a souped-up cycle, or merely a misunderstood Romeo worthy of Veronica's affections. You won't want to miss the heart-thumping answer, so be sure to reserve your copy of this much-anticipated issue, drawn in an all-new realistic style that has everyone talking! Plus, puzzles, games, and pin-ups! 192 pages.
Pretend Lee: I can’t believe they are making Betty out to look like a slut. Plus she must have almost “D” cups now, how can they give her a boob job. And she is dating that bad boy type, no way Betty would be like this. They are destroying my childhood icons and high school “special” dream girl. I can’t take this, I will have to buy all new clothes for my Betty doll.
Jim: Geez, Lee a little modernization is not all bad. The world has changed, whether we want it to or not.


STARKWEATHER: IMMORTAL #1 - [of 4] Full Color. Creators: David Rodriguez & Patrick McEvoy. Description: Today witches are hunted at every turn. The Twelve Great Houses have collapsed under betrayal and infighting; they have abandoned their charges, forsaking the very source of their gifts. They teeter on the brink of extinction and their best chance at survival - a five-year-old boy with enough power to topple mountains - disappeared fifteen years ago. That boy has become a man who doesn't remember what he was. The very spell that was woven to hide him from the world also has hidden his true self, leaving him a directionless disappointment who wants nothing more than to spend his life in wonderful obscurity. It is Alexander Starkweather's destiny to restore the Divine Blood to power and lead them into a new age. But before he can become a witch, he must learn what it means to be a man. 32 pages. Publisher Rating: MATURE THEMES
Pretend Lee: This sounds like it might be interesting, but hard to tell.
Jim: Very iffy.


LEFT ON MISSION #5 - Full Color. Creators: Chip Mosher & Francisco Francavilla. Description: It's all over. Eric catches up with Emma, but is he too late? As she meets the Russians to create the transaction, will the agency kill her to prevent their secrets from getting out? Can Eric save Emma before she imperils herself and the entire western world? 24 pages.
Pretend Lee: Wow this has been a great book and I’m glad that I’m reading it. The sad part is this is the last chapter of this book.
Jim: Based on the beginning of this series this has been one of the best mini-series of the year. Hope to see more from both of these creators.


ALEX RAYMOND'S FLASH GORDON VOL. 1 HC - Full Color. Creators: Alex Raymond Description: Available again. These archival-quality volumes feature the work of legendary cartoonist, Alex Raymond, who was credited with inspiring generations of artists to try their hand at comic strips. These volumes are presented in stunning full-color, in a landscape format that does much to highlight Raymond's gorgeous, sprawling scenery and cinematic layouts. Volume 1 collects the introductory 1934 to early 1935 period of the strip.
Pretend Lee: If you are serious about reading comics at all, then you have to also buy the comic strips. No ifs, ands, or buts, this is one of the landmark series and this book collects the beginnings. A must buy.
Jim: I know that is what Lee thinks, but I rather borrow this book then actually own it.


DRAFTED #1 - Full Color. Creators: Author: Mark Powers / Artist: Chris Lie / Cover Artist: Chris Lie Description: It begins as a day like any other. However, in a heartbeat, everything changes... Today, we learn we aren't alone in the universe. Governments cease to exist. Borders disappear. Old hatreds are forgotten -- and the people of earth, finally united as one, are drawn into a conflict of unimaginable proportions - Today, WE HAVE BEEN DRAFTED! 32 pages.
Jim: The preview was good and I like the premise, so I will try this series out for a couple of issues.
Pretend Lee: Not high brow enough for me.


EXPLAINERS HC - B&W. Creators: Jules Feiffer Description: In 1956, a relatively unknown cartoonist by the name of Jules Feiffer started contributing a strip to the only alternative weekly published in the US, a small radical newspaper called The Village Voice. It was the first time the American public had been subjected to a weekly dose of comics that so uncompromisingly and wittily confronted individuals' private fears and society's public transgressions. Explainers is the first of four volumes collecting Feiffer's entire run of weekly strips from The Village Voice. This edition contains approximately 500 strips originally published between 1956 and 1966 in a gigantic landscape hardcover format. 528 pages. (9x5)
Pretend Lee: This is what I’m talking about! An obscure cartoonist that no one but I have heard of that must have been a brilliant creator because he was published in what was a really cool newspaper.
Jim: It does sound interesting, but a pass for me.


30 DAYS OF NIGHT: BEYOND BARROW #1 - Full Color. Creators: Steve Niles (W); Bill Sienkiewicz (A & C) Description: After years of attacks, and several without, the citizens of Barrow have become united against random attacks on their city by the undead. Unfortunately the same does not apply outside of Barrow or the rest of the mysterious Arctic Circle. Co-creator Steve Niles and legendary artist Bill Sienkiewicz take the 30 Days of Night mythos and turn it on its head in a terrifying new graphic series. Forget everything you ever thought you know about 30 Days of Night. 32 pages.
Jim: Wow the movie has generated a lot more of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith being re-involved with their creation. Also I’m curious to see what Bill Sienkiewicz’s art looks like today.
Pretend Lee: Well with a known “artist” this could be good.


NANCY DREW VOL. 11: MONKEY WRENCH BLUES SC - Full Color. Creators: Petrucha, Kinney & Murase Description: When Bess and George help Nancy pick out a dress for Deirdre's big party, little do they suspect it's the identical dress Deirdre will be wearing! After a minor altercation with the perturbed hostess, Nancy leaves the party only to be grabbed by a dark figure, tossed into a van and kidnapped! That leaves Bess and George, with some help from Ned, to try and solve the mystery of exactly what happened to Nancy. Things get complicated further when Bess and George's number one suspect, Deirdre, is kidnapped, too! 112 pages.
Pretend Lee: My favorite childhood series brought to life as a graphic novel. I also wanted to be Nancy Drew.
Jim: TMI


THE ARRIVAL GN - B&W. Creators: Shaun Tan Description: In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life - he's leaving home to build a better future for his family. In this wordless graphic novel Shaun Tan captures the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images allowing the reader to experience the main character's linguistic isolation and his ultimate joy. Enter the world that Jeff Smith, author of Bone, calls Shockingly imaginative. One of the best graphic novels of the year!" 128 pages. (8x11)
Pretend Lee: This looks to be an actually graphic novel (no words) and some fantastic art work.
Jim: I actually will probably buy this book.


SILVER AGE SCI-FI COMPANION SC - Partial Color. Creators: Mike W. Barr Description: In the Silver Age of Comics, space was the place, and the Silver Age Sci-Fi Companion critiques and lovingly recalls the classic DC Comics science-fiction series edited by Julius Schwartz and written by Gardner Fox and John Broome! The pages of DC's science-fiction magazines of the 1960s, Strange Adventures and Mystery In Space, are opened for you, including story-by-story reviews of complete series such as Adam Strange, Atomic Knights, Space Museum, Star Rovers, Star Hawkins and others! Learn which series crossed over with each other, behind-the-scenes secrets, and more! Features rare art by Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson, Gil Kane, Sid Greene, Mike Sekowsky, and many others, plus a glorious new cover by Alan Davis and Paul Neary! 160 pages. (8x11)
Pretend Lee: The history of comics is a fascinating subject and this publication looks to be an excellent examination of the silver age science fiction work. Often this work is overlooked by today’s fans.
Jim: Lee and I agree, except I want to see more and more of the actual work be republished in quality formats.


LEAVES ONE-SHOT - Full Color. Creators: Written by Kevin J. Walsh Art by Ashwin Chikerur Cover by Ashwin Chikerur Description: Doctor Max Mellick seems to have the universe at his fingertips - a world-renown heart surgeon with a striking girlfriend and extravagant New York lifestyle. When he travels halfway across the world for a friend's funeral in Bombay, India, however, something changes within him. An obscure Indian fortune-teller identifies Max as an evil being and Max is suddenly forced to escape the country -- to save his own life, but more importantly, to preserve his destiny. Inspired by the real-life Naadi fortune-tellers of India and one man's visit to them. 64 pages. Publisher Rating: Mature Audiences
Jim: A different premise and since it is a one shot, I will check it out.
Pretend Lee: As always Jim finds all the gems, his brilliant mind and quick wit always captivates me.


BILL MAULDIN'S UP FRONT GN - B&W. Description: Throughout World War II, cartoonist Bill Mauldin documented the adventures and misadventures of dogfaces Willie and Joe, symbols of the hard-pressed infantry, the group which gives more and gets less than anybody else. In Up Front, Mauldin joins an absorbing narrative account of just how hellish combat is to a selection of those cartoons. Reading through this powerful book, one sees why Mauldin, in demythologizing the war, was often accused of undoing the efforts of the morale officers and politicians who assured the home front that our boys were having a fine time of it in Europe. No, Mauldin replied through Willie and Joe that our boys are being maimed and killed every day. 240 pages. (6x9)
Jim: On a totally serious note, my Dad had a collection of some of Bill Mauldin’s work and I have memories of reading this as a young child and I enjoyed the cartoons that Maudlin did. I’m very anxious to get this book so I can understand the deeper meaning behind the work that I missed as a young child. Really can’t wait for this book.

Jim: Really not a lot to comment on this month, but there are so many series that are ongoing that we passed on commenting on that hopefully we have addressed before.
Pretend Lee: That wraps up the September Preview Review columns. October is around the corner.


  1. you know, in the future, I could do comments for you as opposed to you arguing with yourself =P

  2. B6 - You can join in with Lee and I next month if you want. If you have time. We normally do a fast turnaround. Let's trying adding you in for DC for the October Preview Review.

  3. Too much funny...brain melting....nice work. MORE PRETEND LEE!

  4. 'The Leaves' by Virgin looks exciting. Make sure to check out their latest contest to win a signed SADHU TPB:

  5. Hey there, Justin Newberry, owner of Aberrant Press and writer of Super here. If you need to see a preview of Issue One, just ask your friendly neighborhood comic shop and they should actually have a rare preview copy on site (we sent them out them Diamond a couple of weeks ago). If not, you can always look us up online ( and see the first 18 pages of Super on there!

    Though the order cut-off for Issue One has already passed, Issue Two is now available and you may be able to get your retailer to re-order the first, since we'll be overprinting every issue!

    Either way, thanks for talking about us and we hope to give us a shot,

    Justin Newberry,
    Aberrant Press

  6. Justin,

    Thanks for the heads up. Seeing preview pages is a huge help.

  7. You might enjoy this Mr. Media podcast interview with cartoonist Jules Feiffer, who talks about the new collection of his comic strips from the Village Voice, Explainers, getting his start with Will Eisner on The Spirit, his plays (Little Murders), his movies (Carnal Knowledge, Popeye), the Disney musical adaptation of The Man in the Ceiling, and his forthcoming memoirs.