Sunday, November 11, 2007

Independent Preview Review January

No real prologue this month, we are just diving head first into the indy pool.

- B&W. by Captain Billy Fawcett. Discover what your great-grandparents laughed at, in this re-presentation of the February 1922 issue of Captain Billy's Whiz Bang. Considered racy then - and politically incorrect now - this collection of humorous prose, poetry, and essays launched the Fawcett publishing empire that created Captain Marvel. Warning: Racist and other offensive material has not been excised from this facsimile reprint. 64 pages. (5x7)
Jim: With so many books being sanitized this reprinting sounds interesting if only as a picture of what was considered okay to publish back 85 years ago.
Lee: I'm sure it's interesting because books like this always are. On a side note, this just reminds me that I am less and less impressed with Big Brother protecting us from ourselves and our history. I think we can learn more by reading the older material and understanding why it was offensive than we can by being sheltered from it.

– FC by Paul Pope
PulpHope collects the art of Paul Pope (Batman: Year 100) from manga, to erotica, to rock posters. This is his artistic manifesto. In America, Paul's been called the Comics Destroyer. In France, he's been called the Jim Morrison of comics and Comics' Petit Prince. His work is translated into a number of languages on three continents. He's one of a handful of young cartoonists to be consistently gaining critical praise and media attention, appearing on Sci-Fi Channel, Much Music, and elsehwere. He's been in everything from Spin to the Village Voice, and he's the only American cartoonist to have worked for Japan's largest manga publisher (Kodansha) for five-plus years. 224 pages. (9x11)
Lee: Paul Pope is a great artist and this is an easy way to get a big helping of his art. I saw the book at Baltimore Comic Con and it was amazing. BUT, it isn't a comic book, it's a big book about an artist. If you want to learn more about Pope or just really like his stuff, than this is a good place to start.
Jim: Paul Pope is an artist whose style has to grow on you. My first look at his art was that is was too much of a singular style and I was put off by it. Still I continued to read the Batman series and appreciated the energy and vibrancy that he puts into his art. I will not say I'm a fan of his work, but I will say that he is an interesting artist and has a lot of ability.

- FC by Branco, Cannonier, Madeiros & Breyfogle
Meet Boss Aman, mysterious man of action! Following WWII, this RAF pilot was ready for his next mission - leading the Danger's Dozen to defend the earth in the wake of a terrible storm shattering the walls of reality! Will he succeed? Better call the Dozen! Bonus story by Nexus creator Mike Baron! 32 pages.
Jim: This is an example of something that will be hard pressed to be a success in my opinion. Lee and I are all about trying to check out different material, but as a publisher you have to reach out to the community to get attention also. The potential has promise, but I would need to see this before agreeing to buy it.
Lee: I don't know. It looks like second tier G.I. Joe to me. If I am going the indy route then I want something different. This just doesn't feel different. It might be really good but it doesn't look like it's covering any new ground.

SC (NEW PRINTING) - B&W by Mike Kunkel.
A young boy inherits a magic bear and a stuffed pocket watch from his Grandfather, only to realize that things aren't always how they appear. Filled with extra pages, sketches, stories, and fun. 220 pages. (7x10)
Art at
Lee: I have the originals but somehow I never got the trade. BUT I am sooooo getting this. If you haven't read this wonderful, all ages, story you don't know what you are missing. And, even though this has the dreaded "all ages" label at its core it's a good comic with hints of Christmas spirit thrown in for good measure.
Jim: A lot of people enjoy Mike Kunkel's work, but I don't know if I would go out of my way to try this book. I enjoy some amount of all age material, but I guess I'm at my limit right now as this book has appeal, but I'm still passing on it.

LADY DEATH VS. PANDORA #1 (SUPER SEXY ED.) - FC. Creators: Brian Pulido & Gabriel Guzman
It doesn't get any hotter than this lady-loving new cover by Juan Jose Ryp. Limited to 750 copies. 16 pages.
Jim: A) This is the embarrassed to be in the comic store buying this cover. B) 16 pages for $5.99 – why not just sell it to a porno store. C) Only 750 copies because there are only 725 perverts who will buy this book. D) The fetish edition cover has 1,000 copies being made, 250 more then the "Super Sexy Edition" this worries me on many levels. Avatar I thought was getting beyond this as they have slowly become the publishing arm of Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis when they have any idea at all they want to print. This goes back to their roots which are not very pretty.
Lee: Soooooo… you're saying I can have your copy? There's only 750 so I want to make sure I am getting a copy. Uuummm because of the highly collectible nature of the book of course.

LADY DEATH 2007 SWIMSUIT SPECIAL (TAKE A BITE ED.) - FC. By Juan Jose Ryp, Matt Martin & Various.
The lucious queen of the dead is back on the beach! This fiesty fish has gotten a good nibble on this sexy new cover from Matt Martin that is limited to just 750 copies! 16 pages.
Lee: Check it out. She's got a fish up her butt. That skips embarrassed and goes straight to awesome. I hope the have gold embossed, pleather edition that I can get framed to hang on my wall.
Jim: This is why comic book fans have the type of reputation that we have with some parts of society.

– FC by Mosher, Francavilla & Thomas
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)
Jim: You skipped the mini-series and ended up missing the best mini-series of 2007. So now pick up the trade, if you enjoy great stories about spies and espionage, or just enjoy a well written book that has great characterization, compelling plot and terrific art, you will love this book.
Lee: You have raved about this enough (4 issues of raving to be precise) that I shall give it a try. Good to know it maintained quality throughout.

NORTH WIND #2 - [of 4] FC by David Digillio & Brett Weldele.
Climate change has seen the earth's temperature change due to damage to the environment. Where there was once a lush, thriving planet, there is now only ice and snow. What cities are left are buried under the surface in ice caves. Skinrunners trade valuable pelts for rations and warmth and survival. Into this violent, damaged world, a hero will rise - a new post-apocalyptic hero in the vein of Mad Max and The Road Warrior! 24 pages. Art at
Jim: All the post-apocalyptic books out on the market I read I enjoy, so I'll certainly try one more. Right now I have Wasteland, Walking Dead and Zero Killer, hopefully North Wind will be another one worth reading.
Lee: Like you, I'm a sucker for the post A- books. I really can't get enough of them. Of course I used to say that about zombie books to. Weldele was the outstanding artist on the Top Shelf gn "Surrogates" so the art should be really good.

The comics master at his best! Collected here in a convenient set are the Checker Editions of Alan Moore's Supreme: Story of the Year (voted by Publishers Weekly as the Best Graphic novel of 2004), Supreme: The Return, and the highly sought after Judgment Day!
The first five volumes of Checker's reprint series of the classic Gold Key Star Trek comics are collected here! Featuring Spock, Bones, Chekov, and of course Captain Kirk leading the way going where no man has gone before, no fan of the final frontier will want to miss out!
Lee: There are two ways to read this solicitation. #1, Checker is trying to reduce inventory and offering some good deals. That's the positive aspect. #2, slightly less positive is the THEY'RE DOOMED! GOING UNDER I SAY aspect. Who knows but Alan Moore's Supreme is an excellent, excellent series and this is basically a buy 2 get 1 free sale. As for Star Trek. Either love it or hate it, it's 60's Dell.
Jim: The Alan Moore story maybe worth it, but the 60's Dell Star Trek - I don't think so,

- B&W by Tom Horacek.
Tom Horacek's characters possess the hydrocephalic proportions of Playmobil people, but they've traded the colorful plastic environs of childhood for a bleaker, twisted landscape where insanity, loneliness and death are fodder for laughs. Heard from their pinhole mouths and seen in their beady eyes is fear, desperation, resignation, and pure misanthropy, all presented across a single-panel canvas. Join in the fun with this first collection of Horacek's bitingly bitter gag cartoons, All We Ever Do Is Talk About Wood. 88 pages. (7x7)
Jim: What a funny damn cover. The cover alone almost makes me want to order this book.
Lee: The hype seems to be directed to lovers of Far Side and Perry Bible Fellowship. Based on the cover alone, this has potential to be really funny.

In 1977, NASA inexplicably sent four hamsters into space to investigate a strange mass of radioactive gelatin that was hovering over the Earth. Due to exposure from the radioactive mass, the four hamsters quickly changed, evolving into something new. Something adolescent. Something radioactive! Crash landing in the Himalayas, the Hamsters were found by a hidden monastery of monks who nursed them back to health, training the group in the martial arts.Now they're back and Dynamite has them! Under the watchful eye of original series creator Don Chin, writer Keith Champagne (Countdown: Arena) is joined by artist Tom Nguyen for a comic book series unlike the world has ever seen! Ninjas! Barbarians! Huns! Monks! Hamsters! This one's got it all! Look for the special Hamsters alternate cover by Mice Templar's Michael Avon Oeming! (NOTE: Ships with 2 covers, 1 by Tom Nguyen and 1 by Michael Avon Oeming in equal ratio) 32 pages.
Lee: And why is this being published? Seriously, the Hamsters original B&W series back in the 80s was a rip off of the Turtles. A bad rip off at that. So, why is this coming back? Was there really any demand for this schlock?
Jim: I never even looked at this book. I have to wnder if they will even generate enough orders to publish this book.

SUPERPOWERS #1 - [1 of 6] FC by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger & Carlos Paul. The story of Superpowers begins here! After the super-selling #0, Dynamite launches Alex Ross' Superpowers #1! Can the modern world handle the greatest heroes ever lost to history? This powerful series is overseen by Alex Ross who has designed every hero within these pages; scripted by Jim Krueger with art by Carlos Paul, this is the most powerful comic book event of the year! Cover by Alex Ross! Look for the Michael Turner variant incentive cover as well! 40 pages.
Lee: This is one of those books that screams "I'm gonna be great" and when you actually read it… it stinks. I really like the cover but Krueger's writing has never impressed me. At least it didn't on Earth X or Footsoldiers. And it really, really bothers me that there's all sorts of hype and promo for the Alex Ross art but I can't find anything on Carlos Paul. That just doesn't bode well.
Jim: This is just treading over territory that has been done over and over and over again and trying sell it based on Alex Ross' name alone. Nothing to see here, move along.

– FC by Paul Hornschemeier
Let Us Be Perfectly Clear collects Paul Hornschemeier's full-color short stories and shows off his playful experimental side. With almost every page, we see a new style, a new direction; with the resultant effect being that of an anthology by creators of vastly contrasting sensibilities. Let Us Be Perfectly Clear demonstrates Paul Hornschemeier's versatility and breadth in an elegantly produced book that will appeal to connoisseurs of contemporary, cutting-edge cartoons and graphic novels. 136 pages. (7x9)
Page samples at (lower left corner)
Lee: This sounds really interesting to me because I like when artists push themselves. I like when they try different art styles and story telling techniques. But, I can also see where that wouldn't appeal to everyone. From the samples (use the link) it really is all over but it reminds me of Adrian Tomine and other slice o'life comics.
Jim: Yeah and I'm one of those that this does not appeal to. I guess my feeling is feel free to experimnet and sell it to me when you have a style down pat.

- FC By Joann Sfar
A musical saga begins in Klezmer, a wild tale of love, friendship, survival, and the joy of making music in pre-World War II Eastern Europe. Five misfits come together to play music - and the music they create is something entirely new. See how creator Joann Sfar explores his Ashkenazi roots with this artistic and literary triumph painted in startling, loose watercolors. 144 pages.
Previews at
Lee: I mention this again because it's still available. I splurged for the HC and loved it. This really is a classic story about music and the people who make it. It's a wonderful character study with absolutely amazing art. This isn't Jim Lee, or even Jack Kirby. This is something uniquely it's own and well worth the price.
Jim: See the premise does not grab me and I have to be at least interested in the premise.

- B&W by Frederik Peeters
At a house party one summer's night, Fred met Cati. Though they barely spoke, he vividly remembered her gracefulness and abandon. Years later they meet again, and their connection is instantaneous. But when things become serious, a nervous Cati reveals that she and her three-year-old son are both HIV-positive. Peeters traces the development of their intimacy and their revelatory relationship with a doctor whose frankness allow them to fully realize their passionate connection. Then Cati's son becomes sick, bringing Fred face to face with death, forcing him to question the meaning of life, illness, and love - until a Socratic dialogue with a mammoth helps him recognize that living with illness is also a gift, allowing him to savor his life with Cati. A brave and unsentimental romance, Blue Pills will resonate with anyone whose love has faced great obstacles and triumphed. 192 pages. (6x9)
I think this is Peeters site… it has a cool animation and his email address but not much else,
Some art samples at
Lee: When women just need a good romance book they read Nora Roberts or Judith McNaught. When men need an emotional book they read Playboy… no no no I mean they read books like this. This really, truly sounds thoroughly depressing but at some level it sounds sooo good. I'd bet money this doesn't have a happy ending but I think that's ok. Art wise, I have to say I am really interested. My latest kick has been EU comics and this is right up that alley.
Jim: Lee and I have very different taste when it comes to some books and I trust that Lee has a valid reason for being interested in this title, but this is another pass for me.

ASCEND: SPECIAL ED. SC – FC by Keith Arem (W), Christopher Shy (A)
Welcome to the post-apocalyptic Purgatory Wars, where the battle over "harvested" human souls has destroyed Heaven and Hell. Sebastian, a young human, who is tragically killed and unwillingly drafted into the war. He is reunited with his deceased brother, Gideon, the most powerful angel in the Legions of Heaven, who plans to lead a coup to regain power and restore order. Realizing he holds the key to ending the war, Sebastian must face his brother, before Gideon destroys the cycle of life on Earth. Ascend: Special Edition features 70 added pages, and a completely re-written story taking the reader further into the post-apocalyptic Purgatory Wars. 200 pages.
Art at
Lee: I know it's the marketing people's job to sell a book but someone should mention a statement of "completely re-written" isn't a big seller. In fact it scares me. To me, this says the story was so bad the first time they had to go back and fix it. What would lead me to believe it will be any better the second time?
Jim: The hype is actually counter productive. As you read it you think maybe, maybe and then you hear completely re-written and think forget it.

SCARFACE: DEVIL IN DISGUISE SC – FC by Joshua Jabcuga (W); Alberto Dose (A & C)
The definitive prequel to the 1983 cult-classic film! Before Tony Montana came to America, he cut his teeth as a young military assassin in Cuba, and rose up as a hustler in Havana. He knows the world is his, and he craves the American dream. But first, he's gotta get out from Castro-imposed solitary confinement. Add to this Molotov cocktail mix the CIA, La Cosa Nostra, and the scumbag who gave Montana his infamous scar. Make a deal with the devil. just know which devil you're dealing with first. Hell hath no fury like the ghetto opera brought to you by the outlaw team of Joshua Jabcuga (Doomed) and Wizard magazine's Heat Index artist Alberto Dose (Desperadoes: Buffalo Dreams) 104 pages. (7x10)
Art at
Lee: I read IDW's last Scarface trade and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so true to the movie with the over the top violence it was a ton of fun to read. In addition, I really like Alberto Dose's art so this is a no brainer for me.
Jim: This is one of those books that I'm passing on for now, but will be getting at some future date. I;m not sure why I have that type of cateogry in my head, but I do.

CLASSIC TRANSFORMERS VOL. 1 SC - B&W by Budiansky, More (W); Perlin, More (A)
Re-live the original TRANSFORMERS stories that started it all! Presenting over 300 pages of classic TRANSFORMERS comic book stories in one affordable volume! Pulling from the earliest of the '80s Marvel material, this first volume offers some of the most beloved stories from the past, including the seminal "The Last Stand," "The Worse of Two Evils," "I, Robot Master," and many others. The TRANSFORMERS have undergone many changes over their 20-plus-year reign over pop culture, but this retro, black-and-white collection showcases the beginnings of their dynasty. 312 pages. (7x10)
Lee: The words "classic" and "Transformers" don't go together. Seriously, even in my teen years when I purchased these original issues I recognized how truly bad they were. I can't believe they are being collected. AND, I think this is the original Marvel run.
Jim: With the sucess of the movie and maybe a sequesl the publisher is hoping that book stores will want something easy to carry about Transformers and this would be a possibility.

THEREFORE, REPENT! SC – FC by Jim Munroe (W); Salgood Sam (A)
What if the religious right. are right? Therefore Repent! is a graphic novel set in a Chicago neighborhood after the Rapture. Once the Christians have floated bodily into the sky, life goes on pretty much as usual for the immoral majority.... except that magic works, if you're willing to risk demonic mutations. CNN reports that Mr. Christ and Mr. Bush are on a speaking tour of the red states. And an angelic army appears to have been deployed to mop up the sinners. But through it all, outsiders Raven and Mummy face the possibility of a bigger problem than the end of the world: the end of their relationship. In the tradition of The Book of Revelations, Therefore Repent!, courtesy of novelist Jim Munroe (Flyboy Action Figure Cimes With Gasmask) and acclaimed artist Salgood Sam (Sea of Red) is a lurid, dark fantasy tale. By taking the apocryphal scripture as literal truth - as the American powers-that-be claim to do - the story also explores the political and spiritual ramifications of God abandoning humanity. 160 pages. (6x8)
Art and previews at
Lee: This just sounds like such a great concept I am 3/4 sold. Then I went and looked at Sam's art (follow the link!) and was sold. This is sooooo coming home with me. It might not have monkeys but I think it has a talking dog which should sell Jim too!
Jim: Here we have an interesting premise to start off with if well executed could be a winner. A talking dog never hurts.

SUCKULINA: VAMPIRE TEMP GN - B&W by Chris Yambar & George Broderick Jr.
Suckulina is the sexiest Torture Princess in Hell's history! Her techniques are so smoking hot that there's a sign up list of fallen souls just praying to taste a lash from her unforgiving whip. Even Satan has to take a number to get his butt paddled. But poor Suckulina has grown bored with her wicked ways and is hungry for a career change that she can really sink her teeth into. She's packed up her bags and has headed to the surface world where she has found the perfect career change, that of a common office temp worker. How long can even she last before yelling, My Job Sucks!? 40 pages.
Art samples at
Lee: Besides art, I really like humor books. And, this is right up my alley. The art looks clean, the concept is simple enough to have lots of jokes. What can I say, it just looks like fun.
Jim: In a perverted sort of humor way it does sound fun. By seriously it sounds so freeling funny,

–by Diamond & Ash.
It's the final race of the season, the one that will determine the NASCAR Nextel Champion, but Jimmy Dash and his Kung Fu Grip crew are nowhere near the track - they're still facing off against Jack Diesel and his evil super-dog! Will they be able to defeat this monstrous mutant hound and its master? And even so, would they be able to take Diesel on the oval? He's vowed to win at all costs, and still has a lot of dirty tricks up his black fire-suit sleeves! 24 pages.
Lee: Oh my! Talk about bad comics. A nascar book. I'm not sure nascar fans can read but someone is marketing a comic book at them. Go figure.
Jim: The hype even sounds stupid as heck. I mean take Nascar, a sport I don't care about, and add creators I never heard of and you have a book that actually made it to issue #3? Who is buying this book?

– by Lewis Trondheim.
The great talent behind Mr. O pours his heart out in funny snippets of everyday life. His paranoia, little annoyances, big annoyances, chase of rainbows, love of comics, travel impressions from around the world, dealing with kids, being a kid - it's all about life as we know it. A collection from his comics blog that expands his palette with full-color painting, Trondheim's uncanny sense of observation relates his experiences closely. Another touch of genius by one of today's best and most influential comic artists. 128 pages. (6x9)
Lee: And, this month's European recommended read is Little Nothings. I have seen samples of the art and story and it's great. I wish I could find a good link to better sell the idea and concept but trust me, it's really really good.
Jim: Lee loaned me Mr. I and it was a cute strip type book. Still it is certainly worth a look.

MISTER I VOL. 1 HC – FC by Lewis Trondheim.
After the subversively goofy Mr. O, here comes another batch of gags crammed with little frames showing th mishaps of Mr. I, who, no matter what he tries, always ends up killed. Poor fellow, he's a walking disaster!
MR O VOL. 1 HC by Lewis Trondheim.
Goofy silent one page gags crammed with little frames showing Mr. O, a round doodle of a man, desperately trying to get over to the other side, and just never quite making it. Everyone else can do it, why can't he? Readers will be in stitches for pages. In the words of The Onion: Trondheim's sick, hilarious visual gags seem like creative new twists on Wile E. Coyote's famously unsuccessful obsession..."
Lee: And, this is pure twisted fun. It's Itchy and Scratchy with more humor. I loaned my copy of Mister I to Jim and he liked it. HE LIKED IT. Jim really really liked it. And If Jim likes it anyone will like it.
Jim: I did enjoy it, but it is still comic strip type work and not a regular comic book, so if you enjoy that fromat and you have a slightly warped sense of humor, this material will appeal to you.

STRANGE DETECTIVE TALES: DEAD LOVE #1 #2 & #3 B&W by Jesse Bausch & James Callahan.
Los Angeles, 1958. When the horror movie craze hit, every monster has moved to Hollywood. But they discovered a greater evil - the Hollywood executive! Enter Renfield and Igor, two hard-hitting private dicks who wander L.A.'s dark underbelly. Renfield has a case - the trail of an old flame who may or may not want to be found! What does the Little Green Mafia want? Can Renfield and Igor save the monster underworld? 48 pages.
Art at and
Lee: I'm not sure what enticed me to originally pick this but I am glad I did. With a little internet research I found that I really like the art by Callahan and the series even had some favorable reviews. The art really sold me on this one.
Jim: In looking into this the one thing that made me really want to look at it was Mike Mignola saying it reminded him of Gahan Wilson and he was the best there ever was at the horror cartoon.

- B&W by Robinson, Hall, Wright, Chan & Ellis
A retro-double feature showcasing some of the hottest upcoming talents in comics, Space Doubles is presented in a flip-format with each half of the book telling an original sci-fi tale! Justin Robinson's Sympathizers questions humanity on an Earth populated with aliens and robots, while Jason Hall's A Saucerful of Secretes takes readers to a futuristic Earth where the internet allows everyone to be an entertainer and poor ratings equal death! (NOTE: Flip cover.) 32 pages.
Jim: After reading issue #1, can't wait to see issue #2.
Lee: In case you missed it… there's a review of Space Doubles here and you can read why we liked it so much.

- B&W by Various.
The Drunk Duck Anthology brings to print fifteen of the best stories, by fifteen different creators, of the Drunk Duck online community. Although these stories were voted on by the community, this volume features all-new original content never-before-seen by either the print or online community! 144 pages.
The site
Lee: Obviously, web comics are a growing aspect of the medium and one that I don't explore very often. I spend enough time in front of the computer without reading lots and lots of webcomics. BUT THIS… this is a good way for me to see what is out there. And, it might be a good way for you to find out more too.
Jim: I find that I do not read the web comics that often, but with more and more out there, it seems to be the wave of the future. Still I'm glad to see some of this getting the print treatment as I enjoy actually reading the book then just seeing it.

Discover some of the edgiest comics of the earliest days of the medium in this collection of 160 pages of pre-Code stories including Satan's Cigarettes, Hopped-up Killer, What if They Call Me 'Chicken', I Was a Come-On Girl for Broken Bones Inc., And Gang Sweetheart. These stories have been Theakstonized for the best possible reproduction. 160 pages. (8x11).
Lee: One of my all time favorite covers, this really is a classic. And for the younger readers in the audience, yes, this was on actual cover on the stands in the mid 50's. And you wonder why all those mothers got upset about comic books. But, Greg Theakston always cherry picks the stories for these collections so this will be great. It will have some of the best art from the 1950's and some of the best stories too. Highly, highly recommended.
Jim: A nice alternative if you are not getting some of the hard cover collections of pre-code material, but with my siging up for all the EC Archives I will be passing on this material.

MEGA CITY UNDERCOVER VOL. 1 - B&W by Andy Diggle, Jock, Simon Coleby, Henry Flint.
Lenny Zero was tired of life as an undercover Judge, and wanted to flee Mega-City One with the woman he loved. But she proved to be Judge Kramer of the S.J.S., and she sentenced him to life on Titan! Lenny blew her hand off and fled - hunted and heartbroken, Lenny's in big trouble, and it's only going to get worse! These are the stories of the undercover judges, a specialist division working the underbelly of the Big Meg. 192 pages.
Lee: I like a lot of the Judge Dredd stuff but I really like the creators on this book. Andy Diggle has turned in some good work lately from Losers to HellBlazer he can flat out write. Throw in art by Jock (losers) and Henry Flint (art for the recent Omega Men mini) and you have a collection worth reading.
Jim: With that line-up of talent it really is a no-brainer, this is a collection worth buying.

– FC by Jimmy Gownley
Amelia McBride is going to her first dance - with a boy, no less! - but she's not the only one with a date. Is Amelia's mom seeing someone too? Perhaps Reggie - aka Captain Amazing - can shed some light on the situation. But it's not all fun for the 10-year-old spitfire. A good friend reveals that her father will be sent to a dangerous country with his job in the military, and Amelia begins thinking of her own family, her past, and what both means for her present. The Amelia Rules! series is winner of 2007 Cybil Award for Best Graphic Novel, 12 & under. Available in Softcover and Hardcover editions. 176 pages.
Lee: A couple of weeks ago I picked up the first trade of Amelia rules and… IT WAS GREAT! It was one of the best books I have read in a long long time. The premise is simple enough, Amelia is a 10 year old who happens to get into trouble. What set the book apart from Archie Comics fare out there was the fact that her parents were divorced and she dealt with that issue inbetween the silly tales. So, it boiled down to very funny situation juxtaposed between serious issues that kids these days deal with. There is enough sentimentality to keep it real and not schlocky. If you aren't reading this you really should be.
Jim: Nice sales job Lee, I really will have to pick up that first trade now and check this book out. One thing I really enjoy about doing these reviews is Lee finds more stuff for me to enjoy and spend my money on.

PETE P.O.'D POSTAL WORKER: CHILDREN'S BOOK SICK & TWISTED – FC by Michael Smith & Marcus Meleton, Jr.
He's heavily armed, skinny legged, and dangerous. He's Pete the P.O.'d Postal Worker! Through rain, sleet, and dark of mood, he perseveres. With teeth clenched and eyes darting, he confronts his exacting coffee-break-filled work day, his oppressive four weeks of paid vacation, the onerous guarantee of a generous government pension. Is it any wonder that rages builds within him until like a mail bomb he frequently - publicly! - violently explodes? Pete delivers - with extreme prejudice. And in this, his very special children's book for adults, Pete delivers macabre laughs for the sick and twisted child in all of us. 38 pages. (6.5x8)
Lee: What can I say, occasionally I like pointless, gratuitously violent humor. This falls into that category.
Jim: Occasionally? I have been out with Lee in public places and he sometimes tries to incite pointless, gratuitous violence.

– FC by Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo
The first three Asterix stories are collected in one volume! In Asterix the Gaul, meet the indomitable hero and his friends as they try to defend one small village in Gaul from being conquered by the legionaries of Rome who surround them. In Asterix and the Golden Sickle, Getafix the druid's golden sickle is broken, which means no more magic potion, so Asterix and Obelix set out for Lutetia (Paris) to buy a new one. In Asterix and the Goths, Getafix is kidnapped by the Goths who want to invade Rome and Gaul, so Asterix and Obelix have to ride to the rescue! Available in both hardcover and softcover editions. 144 pages.
Visit to learn more
Lee: And, the theme of this months indies in the EU. Another overseas book Asterix has been around forever and has a huge following. He even has a good size following in the US. For those that frequent our comic store… Rusty the owner has Asterix books at his house in his permanent collection and he hates everything which should help put it in perspective. Good stuff.
Jim: I think I'm burnt out on Europeon comics Lee! Not really Killer is a translated French comic, Metabarons was a great EU book.

B&W by Christian Slade.
Christian Slade, a former Disney animator, has created a gorgeously illustrated woodland fantasy about a young girl Ivy, her dog Sprout, and their amazing adventures in Korgi Hollow. This amazing combination of adventure and fantasy will appeal to anyone who loves Andy Runton's Owly and Jeff Smith's Bone. 80 pages. (6x9) Art at

SPIRAL BOUND GN - B&W by Aaron Renier.
With an ensemble cast straight from a box of Animal Crackers, this delightful tale of ambition, morality, and self-discovery is the first major work by extraordinary newcomer Aaron Renier. 144 pages. (10x8)
Art at
Lee: The other theme of the indies this month is the all ages book. In this case, I mention these books because Top Shelf is a great publisher of all ages books. I have seen previews of Korgi and it is beautifully illustrated. For as cartoony as Owly is, this is equally good but in a fine line style. As for spiral bound, visit the link and you will see what people are talking about. Both are recommended.
Jim: Also Top Shelf is a publisher who seeks out different material, but it usually is a high quality also, so they are a small press publisher that you can trust.

FOX BUNNY FUNNY SC - B&W by Andy Hartzell
The rules are simple: you're either a fox or a bunny. Foxes oppress and devour, bunnies suffer and die. Everyone knows their place. Everyone's satisfied. So what happens when a secret desire puts you at odds with your society? Starting from a simple premise - and without using a single word - Fox Bunny Funny goes on a zigzag chase in and out of rabbit holes, and through increasingly strange landscapes where funny animals have serious identity problems. The tale swerves from slapstick to horror and back again! 104 pages. (6x9)
Art at and six page preview at
Lee: The nice thing about Top Shelf is they also publish material targeted to the older audience. And Fox Bunny Funny looks great. You can tell from the previews that this is going to be a strange and wonderful ride. I'll probably miss all the subtext about change and blah blah but I really like the pictures.
Jim: I admire Lee's willingness to go for just the pictures. I think Lee and I should have a debate as to what makes a comic book worthwhile.

- FC. Creators: Bob Burden, Rick Geary & Steve Oliff.
When Gumby helps some mistreated clowns from the Circus he's not prepared for the trouble and fun he lands into along the way getting them back, and the little green boy of clay feels the first pangs of a crush! Next, Gumby wants a cool pair of Uber Boots to impress the girl next door, Cuddles, so he has to get a job. Then, he falls under a spell and becomes a Golem. Can the man in black save Gumby before it's too late? And Gumby, Pokey, and Geranimo search for the Ringmaster who hypnotized Gumby's parents. They find him and more battling to save Earth! Collecting issues # 1-3, as well as a peek into Rick Geary's sketchbook and unpublished Gumby artwork. 120 pages.
Lee: I am really looking forward to this because the first issue read so well. Bob Burden brought all of this "Flaming Carrot" humor and managed to tell a tale that was simple enough for my kids to enjoy and layered with enough complexities that adults can enjoy it too. AND, if you've never seen Geary's art you're in for a treat because it's great.
Jim: Lee got the first issue for me (Thanks!) and I agree that the artowork is worth the price of entry, but I need a story or enough humor to compel me to come back again and it just missed the mark. It was slightly surreal, but also a boring and bland story.

Lee: During my travels I finally saw a real copy of this book. In case you were wondering, it really is as stupid and bad as it sounds. YES I LOOKED! I couldn't help myself.
Jim: So is that an endorsement or a condemenation?

Lee: I have to say this looks like a really good month. There is lots of stuff to enjoy and even more importantly for me lots and lots of different art styles to appreciate.
Jim: There is alot of material as there is with every month. The more I learn about the different material the more I have an interest in trying it out. Often it just takes a little more effort to find this type of material.


  1. I suppose comic book porn makes sense. After all, if your girlfriend finds your closet full of comic books, she'll think you're a big dork. If she finds your closet full of playboy, she'll think you're a big pervert.

  2. I bought the first three HCs of Ameilia Rules at the comic-con this year and we just got around to reading the first one this weekend. I was reading part 2 this morning where Reggie is explaining what a secret origin is to his teacher and I about busted a gut laughing. It is a fantastic series. The only draw back though is it's filled with real kid language that's banned in our house: Stupid, Heck, Shut Up, etc. So, while I'm reading it to them, I've got to remind them that we shouldn't talk that way to others and we should deal with our anger better. Still they've got plenty of friends that do talk this way. Jim, you can borrow one if you want to try it first. We should be finished by the end of the week.

    I have a request about the "embarrassed to be in the comic store covers" -- why now provide a link to the cover, so some of us don't have to "be embarrassed to be reading this blog". The ones in this post were really awful.

  3. Matt - you maybe right, on second review those covers porbably crossed a line. We will try and keep it tamer in the future. I'll pass on the loaner as I have way too much to read now as it is, but thanks for the offer.

    You are free to borrow anything out of my library.

  4. arielle - I think Lee's wife and my wife think we are both!

  5. Thanks for mentioning Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters in your blog, even if you aren't riding high on it. I hope you'll give the new Dynamite Comics book a chance and read it.

    You can also download most original ARBBH books for free on I'd recommend "Clint The Hamster Triumphant" and "ARBBH: Fight Of The Century" if you liked #1.


    Don Chin
    ARBBH Creator