Lee: Overall, a fairly light month but some a really nice mix between old reprint material and new. I have to say even a light indy month is better than what the big two put out.
Jim: I don't know if I would go as far as to say that, but as always the variety of material is much broader and therefore becomes more interesting then just one subject hammered to death.
MEN OF MYSTERY SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL VOL. 2: BLACK TERROR - B&W.
The Black Terror, one of the most dynamic Golden Age costumed heroes, stars in thirteen of his best vintage stories from the original 1940's Standard/Nedor run. With his eye-appealing all-black costume and no-nonsense, pulp-style approach to his fight for justice, The Black Terror inspired dozens of imitators! The dream team of Mort Meskin and Jerry Robinson craft eight of the stories herein, joined by such visionaries as Mike Suchorsky, Ruben Moriera, George Tuska, Ralph Mayo, Mort Lawrence, and Sheldon Moldoff. Includes material previously published in Black Terror's Tales #1 and Men of Mystery Comics #5-6, #9, #11, #28, #31, #40, and #48. 120 pages.
Lee: This is another one of those GA characters that always seems to have a buzz about him and this is a great way to see what it's all about. I would order this but AC has been playing with formats lately. They recently reprinted a bunch of GA horror that I really enjoyed. BUT, it was 120 pages stapled! It read great, it just doesn't look good. Hopefully they will square bind this.
Jim: I love a lot of Golden Age and Silver Age material, but realistically some of it is not that strong and borderline a waste of paper. So the allure to buy this type of material is hampered even more when I hear the reprint format is poorly done.
What began as a group of friends hanging around in
Lee: This is a strange little independent book that strikes me as interesting. The collection will gather the best of from the single issues so it should read really well. The link shows some previews and covers from the individual issues.
Jim: You should order this book if you like it. I did a little search on the book itself and read an article from July that Alternative Comics were in severe financial straits due to an outside vendor going bankrupt. Apparently Alternative Comics is just a one man show publishing these materials. As a side note I believe that Diamond is making harder and harder for the small press guys to be able to survive and it's a damn shame as Steve Geppi (Diamond's Owner) started out as a little comic store in the basement of someone's else business.
AMAZE INK/SLAVE LABOR GRAPHICS
PATTY CAKE & FRIENDS VOL. 1 SC (FULL COLOR ED.) – by Scott Robets
At last, Patty-Cake is in full color! After ten years and mulitple Eisner and Ignatz nominations, Scott Roberts' beloved Patty-Cake returns in full-color! This special trade paperback reprints the first three issues of Patty's long Slave Labor Graphics run (from way back in 1997) as they've never been seen before! 96 pages. (6x9) Previews at http://www.oklahoma.net/~silvrdal/patty.html
Lee: This looks great!!! The art appears influences by Bagge and the story appears part looney tunes part satire. The link has previews and a link to a story at the bottom so you can see what your getting into. .
Jim: One thing that I really enjoy about doing these preview reviews is the fact that Lee and I have different things that we look for and Lee really enjoys the old underground type of material. The art style of many of those artists never quite cut it for me, but I do appreciate their ability. And their are exceptions to that broad statement. The cover itself denotes the ability of the artist to convey emotions, joy, bewilderment and crass indifference.
PETER THE PIRATE SQUID - B&W. by Roman Dirge & Steven Daily
A swashbuckling tale of a pirate squid and his gaggle of oysters, sea horses, crabs, and other scourges of one-seventh of the sea. Inspired by the pirate who passed to and fro over their murky depths, this fishy band pursued their own pirate lifestyle and engaged human buccaneers on their own turf. which was kind of hard since these intrepid sea beasties were pretty small. Set sail on the tiny ship Barnacle Booty with Peter the Pirate Squid, and see feet slashed, confused maidens, slimy sword fights, and the never-ending quest for shiny baubles! 32 pages. (6x6)
Lee: Well, for those that don't know Roman Dirge is the creative genius (?) behind "Lenore" which is well received in the indy book world. and the Squid is Roman's other property. It sounds interesting and the reviews of it on the web were positive. Steven Daily is a really good artist and can be found at http://www.stevendaily.com/ (Warning: art not always suitable for kids). Some squid promo art can be found in the "news" section. Overall this looks like it is worth investigating.
Jim:Anytime someone has created something that I found enjoyable, I'm more willing to try out their other projects. I hate being pigeonholed myself, so I do not every want to type cast creators unless they have a vast amount of material out there and have shown strength only in one genre.
ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS
HYBRID BASTARDS #1 - [of 3] by Tom Pinchuk & Kate Glasheen.
Years ago, Zeus' wife cast a vengeful spell that made him fall in lust with every inanimate object in sight. Now, the king of the gods' hybrid bastards wander the world. Embarrassed, he dispatches goons to take care of these problem children, but a handful manages to escape. Now, Cotton, a smarmy cloth patchwork; Carmine, a timid automobile; Corey, a self-loathing apple; and Walter, a belligerent stack of bricks, seek their father's love. Through schemes both ingenious and idiotic, will they force their negligent father to recognize them? 24 pages. Previews at http://www.katiecrimespree.com/cover.htm
Lee: Everyone knows I am an art guy and I have to say that Kate Glasheen has issues. Let's get that out on the table right away. Based upon her website… she is one weird little girl. That said, her quirks makes for some really interesting art. Pinchuk has been writing for awhile so this has potential. And, I have to say that I love the concept.
Jim:Now here is a publisher that I fell in love with and then the last few launches have caused me to hesitant before I blindly sign up for almost any book with there name on it, still the vast majority of there material is interesting and I have to say this is one of the more unique concepts I have seen.
ROBOTIKA: FOR A FEW RUBLES MORE #1 - [of 4] Full Color. by Alex Sheikman & David Moran Niko, the Steampunk Samurai in search of a soul, returns, and he has brought Bronski and Cherokee Geisha back with him. Join the Three Yojimbos on their latest adventure as they journey deeper into the
Lee: The original Robotika series was one of the best illustrated books last year. It was gorgeous to look at. The story held up pretty well and had some really good ideas that panned out and some that didn't. It did well enough to make a comeback and is well worth checking out. If Sheikman has developed as a writer this has a chance to be an excellent book.
Jim:It was a beautiful book artwise, but I only looked at it and never read it, so I'll take Lee's word for it, For my personal taste the concept is not what I would be looking to read.
AVATAR PRESS INC
BLACK SUMMER: HORUS 8-INCH ACTION FIGURE –
straight from the pages of Warren Ellis' smash-hit series, Black Summer, Horus is now available as an action figure! The hero who killed the President is now immortalized in this retro-style 8 poseable figure. Styled after the popular 1970's type of toys, Horus comes with a cloth costume, complete with his emblem on the back. The packaging features all-new artwork by series artist Juan Jose Ryp on the front and back, and the package itself is a re-sealable clam-shell so that you can easily open and close it without damaging the plastic. Limited to just 750 units!
Lee: I'm all for small press cashing in but to do so they at least have to try and make a quality product. This looks awful AND cheap. AND, unbelievably enough, it costs $25. Someone should have a talk with the marketing director over there.
Jim: It looks like a left over Ken doll with "Horus" clothes added on. Really so horrible it could be the collector's item classic of this year.
With pinups by Juan Jose Ryp, Matt Martin, Daniel HDR, Gabriel Guzman, Rafa Lopez and many more, this special is so smokin' it might catch fire! This issue is available in several sexy new covers including the standard edition by Rafa Lopez, Wraparound by Richard Ortiz, Seeley by Tim Seeley, Premium by Daniel HDR, a leather cover by Matt Martin that is limited to 600 copies or the very-limited Jewel cover by Daniel HDR that features jewels on the actual cover, and ships in a special protective shell with a print run of just 350! 16 pages.
Lee: Now this brings back memories of the 90's. A swimsuit issue! I thought we were done with these. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!!!! For the real collector you can get the leather cover and super real collector you can get the "Very limited Jewel cover". This epitomizes pointless comic books.
Jim:Yes for those fanboys who live in Mom and Dad's basement and have decided that digitally enhanced and modified photos of real women are no longer enough, get in on pencil, inked and colored pictures and make believe characters to charge your batteries. LOL - What utter nonsense.
Former agent Eric Westfall has been called out of his perfect, complete-with-wife-and-kid suburban retirement to stop a rogue agent from auctioning a stolen hard-drive on the black market for $50 million. Eric's mission: Turn his target back into a loyal agent for the government, or kill her - despite the fact that the two of them were once lovers! Winding its way through some of the world's most exotic locales, Left On Mission provides non-stop excitement and intrigue, perfect for fans of gritty, dark espionage thrillers like Casino Royale and The Bourne Identity! 128 pages. (6x9)
Lee: Ummmm maybe you haven't heard but Jim really really really likes this book. And, if pressed, I would agree. But, enough about me, let's get right to the Jim fanboy gush. Take it away Jim.Jim: Look Lee picked every item this month (as I have been fighting a sinus infection and been dragging) and he left me a big present. Right now the final issue has not hit the stands, but after four issues this is the best mini-series of 2007 and probably the best comic you are not reading. If you have enjoyed Bourne Identity and James Bond movies, then you will enjoy this book.
D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Originally published in 1987 and created by Timothy Truman, Scout features the Native American hero, Emanuel Santana, and his one-man war against oppressive governmental forces in a post-apocalyptic
Lee: Boy oh boy was this buried in the previews. Sheesh. ANYWAY! Scout is to Tim Truman what Dreadstar is to Jim Starlin. And, I put both on the same excellent level of story. Truman weaved a long, complex tale that eventually came to a very satisfying conclusion. This is an outstanding series and I am glad to see it back in print. I would rather have the HC but I'll take what I can get.Jim: Lee and I are in agreement and to add to what Lee has said, Tim Truman is also one hell of a nice guy as we had a chance to chat with him at Baltimore Con. FYI check out the online comic site he is involved in and some of the great material there http://www.comicmix.com/.
DUNGEON VOL. 1 SC (NEW PRINTING) - Full Color. By Sfar & Trondheim.
The first volume of this epic humorous saga keeps growing in popularity and is back-to-press for a third printing! Discover the introduction of the frightful warrior Marvin the Dragon - a vegetarian! - and the blusterous, untalented but ever-so-lucky Herbert the Duck. 96 pages. (7x11)
Official site (en Francais) http://www.pastis.org/donjonland/
Art and positive review http://www.readaboutcomics.com/2004/09/21/dungeon-vol-1-duck-heart/
NBM site with previews http://www.nbmpub.com/humor/trondheim/dungeon/dung%20parade/paradepre1.html
Lee: First and foremost this is good comics. A far distant second, this is a great way to find out if Euro comics are for you. The bottom line, this is an EXCELLENT book written by two French comic book masters full of humor and interesting characters. This is one of the few books that you really, really need to read. Just as Stray Bullets never had a bad review, neither did this. This isn't about superheroes or crime or humor or anything else. This is all about good comic books. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy today.
Jim: Wow and Lee says I go overboard gushing about stuff. Still check it out, just because it is Europeon does not mean you won't like it. Believe it or not many people from foreign lands are very similar to you and me (okay too sarcastic, but you get the point).
ONI PRESS INC.
WASTELAND BOOK 2: SHADES OF
Lee: Jim has talked about this in the past saying how much he liked it. I finished the first trade the other night and he's right. This really is good. Treat yourself to this trade and Vol 1 and enjoy.
Jim: And in all honesty I beleive this book works better as a trade because the storyline is compelling and reads more like a novel.
PURE IMAGINATION PUBLISHING
This volume celebrates Wally Wood's greatest science fiction and fantasy art with 160 pages of black-and-white wash paintings of robots, aliens, spaceships, and babes taken from the Golden Age of Science Fiction magazines If, Galaxy, and more! Roughly 90% of this material has never been reprinted since its original publication. 160 pages. (7x11)
Lee: As Jim say "Lee loves his art books" and this is no exception. A giant book of paintings and pinups by the master Wally Wood. What's not to like???
Jim: Nothing. The more of Wood's material that I read and look at, the more I'm convinced he is one of the top ten artist of all time in comics.
RED 5 COMICS
With a mobile pyramid and solar powered deathray wandering the Egyptian desert, Atomic Robo and the Alpha Squad are authorized for violent science. In these situations, it's safest to assume mummies until proven otherwise! 32 pages.
Lee: A good little series from our friends at Red 5. I saw the art for issue 3 at the Baltimore Comicon. It was great and appears to maintain the high standards (and expectations) set in issue #1. GO BUY THIS BOOK…. And other Red 5 books too.
Jim:And issue #1 hits the stands this week-end. Plus they have all six issues completed already, so no delays (unless they run out of money). So buy it this Wednesday!
MODERN MASTERS VOL. 15: MARK SCHULTZ SC –
The mid-'80s was the age of independent comics. It was also the age of the dinosaur, thanks to Mark Schultz and Xenozoic Tales! Evocative of the master illustrators of the early 1900s, but with a decidedly modern flair, Schultz's artwork took off in Xenozoic Tales, and later spawned the Cadillacs & Dinosaurs cartoon and toy line. Schultz has also written Superman, Aliens, and Predator comics, as well as a novel featuring DC's Flash. Currently he writes the Prince Valiant newspaper strip. This book takes an exhaustive look into Schultz's creative process. Included is a career-spanning interview with tons of art, including many rare and unpublished pieces! 128 pages. (8x11)
Lee: This is a great way to learn about Schultz if you haven't read any of his other interviews. The Modern Masters series tends to be a little light on real insight but it's always a fun read with lots of pictures. This is a great book for the casual art fan who wants to learn more about an artist but not be overwhelmed with the details.
Jim: I'm sure Lee will enjoy this book.
Lee: Overall, this turned out to be a really good month. Mostly because there were more "gonna gets" than "just interestings". I am glad to Dungeon from NBM back in print and the latest Scout collection. Both are great reads and I can't wait until the get here.
Jim: The more you look the more you will find. I just hope that all fans of comic book look beyond the "major" publisher names and try and find the gems that are there to be found.