Sunday, December 09, 2007

Independent Preview Review for February Part 2

Editor's note - Normally this would have been one post, but timing dictated two posts.

JENNY FINN: DOOM MESSIAH SC - Full Color by Mike Mignola, Troy Nixey & Farel Dalrymple Finally collected in one volume for the first time! From the mind of Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, comes this Lovecraftian tale of a mysterious girl who arrives in Victorian England leaving carnage in her wake. Is she evil incarnate or a misled child? Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah hits the shelves ready to take advantage of the Hellboy 2 film release! 128 pages. (6x9)
Lee: I’m glad to see this getting published but I thought that Dark Horse had the rights to this? Huuummm, very interesting. But, I’ve heard it’s good so I’ll be getting it.
Jim: This is a no brainer for me as I have really gotten back into Mignola’s work big time with BPRD, Hellboy and Lobster Johnson. Add to that how much I’m enjoying the Fall of Cthulhu and this book is an easy sale.

IRAQ: OPERATION CORPORATE TAKEOVER GN - B&W. Creators: Sean Michael Wilson & Lee O'Connor Description: An engaging documentary comic book made with campaigning charity War On Want. In the vein of work by Joe Sacco or Marjane Satrapi, Iraq: Operation Corporate Takeover exposes covert corporate goals in the Iraq War through the personal story of one young Iraqi man. 76 pages. (6x9)
Previews at
Lee: WOW. This book just reaks of anti-war preachyness. Not that there’s anything wrong with preachyness, but this will have to work really hard to tell a story and not just be a big preachy mess.
Jim: Actual it reeks of someone who has a political viewpoint that is unafraid to say it. Still (and I political speaking would be interested to hear what he has to say) as a comic fan this sounds a tad boring. It will be a challenge to make this a strong comic.

The Complete Little Orphan Annie is the second series to be released under IDW's The Library of American Comics imprint, edited and designed by Dean Mullaney. Volume One will contain more than 1,000 daily comics in nine complete stories, from the very first strip in August 1924 through October 1927. In the pages of "Will Tomorrow Ever Come?" readers will discover how Annie escapes the orphanage and is ultimately adopted by "Daddy;" how she finds that loveable mutt Sandy and rescues him from being tortured; how she meets the Silos, who become recurring characters throughout the series; how she joins the circus and first encounters Pee Wee the elephant; and how, broke and alone, she hits the road on a succession of dangerous yet spiritually uplifting adventures. This volume also includes an index, and a biographical essay by Jeet Heer. 368 pages. (11" x 8.5")
Lee: Anyone who reads this blog knew this was coming! Jim sent me the press release months ago. Another modern masterpiece and worth owning and reading.
Jim: OMG – the Complete Little Orphan Annie – I’ll be camped out at my store’s doorstep waiting for this one to come in. In some sort of bizzaro world alternative Elseworld’s What If version of me.

JELLABY VOL. 1 GN - Full Color by Kean Soo
Portia has just moved to a new neighborhood with her mom. Adjusting to life without a father in hard enough, but school is boring and Portia's classmates are distant. Then, one night, Portia discovers a shy, sweet-natured monster in the woods behind her house. When he tries to eat her flashlight, she brings him home and offers him a tuna sandwich. And just like that, Portia has a new secret best friend - Jellaby. Convinced that Jellaby is lost, Portia decides to help him find him home. But their only clue is a photograph of a mysterious door in a neighboring city. How can a ten-year-old girl and a huge, purple monster make their way to Toronto on their own? 160 pages. (6x9)
Tons of previews and art samples at:
Lee: For those that don’t know the indies reviews is one of the longest to develop. Mostly because, I pick, then I look for links, then I weed out the weak picks, then I send to Jim, who always wants to add silly books, and on and on and on. But, sometimes, when I go back, I can’t figure out what drew me to the book initially. In this case, the cover is good but not great. The story in interesting but not something that immediately draws me in, but then I saw the art. The previews are great and Soo has a fantastic style that will fit this tale wonderfully. I don’t know what drew me here to start but I’m glad I found it.
Jim: Usually I save Lee with finding additional gems that he had missed. I will give Lee credit that he does find some books that I would probably have dismissed without his incessant promoting of these titles. Plus the links that Lee adds are very helpful in giving you an idea as to what you are buying before buying it. The premise for this book sounds great and would be something that I would have loved to have had when my girls were younger and I could have read it to them. If there is one thing I miss most about my kids growing up is not being able to read to them anymore.

A collection of the very best Norwegian comics, including art from Jason, Lars Fiske, Tor Ærlig, Steffen Kverneland and Christopher Nielsen. 96 pages. (8x11)
Lee: Here I go again pushing diversity. Lots of links to lots of artists with lots of different styles. It’s worth looking at if only to expose yourself to something different.
Jim: Okay that is just too easy of a line to make a bad joke about, so easy that I will pass on the joke and the book. I understand that sometimes you have to give things a chance, but I also understand that I have a wide enough taste in art that I do not need to waste my $$ on something like this when I don’t have a strong interest in it. Lee does, so it may to money well spent, I don’t so I will pass. On the plus side what I have read of these comics has been good, just that I have borrowed them instead of buying.

DUNGEON MONSTRES VOL. 1 SC - Full Color by Mazan, Menu, Trondheim & Sfar
Welcome to the branch of Dungeon focusing on the great adventures of secondary characters and presented by leading guest artists! In this volume, Jean-Christophe Menu - best known as the head of the publishing company L'Association - presents Alcibiades the wizard in The Crying Giant. His all-seeing giant's eye cannot stop crying, flooding the entire dungeon. They must find the Giant who gave his eye to remedy this rather wet situation. Mazan also presents the story of John-John the Terrible, the monster split into two living halves. 96 pages.

Lee: And speaking of pushing diversity. Previously, I always said this was supposed to be good. But I finally got my copy and guess what… IT’S GREAT. Hilarious, all ages, send ups of the fantasy world.
Jim: Lee, I assume this works if you have ever dabbled or know of the fantasy world stuff and I’m afraid that was before my time.

TELEVISION #1 - B&W. by Ryan Alexander Tanner.
Young Love! Spectacula Dracula! A real-life interview with Kato Kaelin! Television #1 will change your life! Brought to you by a generous donation from the Xeric Foundation. 24 pages.Visit the artist at
Lee: Another Xeric grant. It’s worth investigating for that reason alone.
Jim: Okay I love you like a little annoying kid brother Lee, but Xeric grant does not always egual great book.

LAST CALL VOL. 1 GN - B&W. By Vasilis Lolos
While out on a midnight drive, two friends are hit by the Ghost Train, an inter-dimensional soul carrier. They wake to discover themselves stuck on the train with no way out and no ticket, which is a problem when the conductor comes around. As they desperately search for an escape, the boys uncover clues that lead them deeper into the train's musty cabins and into the path of a killer! 136 pages.

Lee: This is a “still available” selection but it looks really interesting. Actually, the art drew me in. I love the fine line and I love the deco style so this was an easy sell for me.
Jim: Oni is a publisher that I trust. I do not like all of the material they produce but it is always of a solid quality and usually has a good story to tell. This could be really good.

Featuring over 60 classics of the 1950's that caused a furor in the United States and sparked legislation to crack down on explicit horror, this volume also includes modern contributors. Plus, 64 pages of full-color illustrations! 448 pages. (6x9)

Lee: I got the Mammoth Book of Best War Comics and I enjoyed it. It was a nice blend of American and Foreign comics. I imagine this will be much of the same. It’s an easy way to see lots and lots of different style horror comics. My only complaint, this book is meant to be read and enjoyed and not sealed away. Keeping the book in mint condition is impossible. An investment of learning and reading, not future selling.
Jim: Lee is usually always worried about what he can sell in the future, I like to read what I buy and enjoy the stories and could care less about future value and actually mail off all of the regular comics to multiple people. Also I am buying all of the EC archives and that is where I will get this type of material from for myself.

In this special "Year in Review" issue, the most critically-acclaimed cartoonists of the year talk about their work and suss out the Best Comics of 2007 from a crowd of contenders; a crowd that includes the likes of Bryan Talbot, Grant Morrison, Adrian Tomine, Brian K. Vaughan, John Porcellino, Nick Bertozzi, Paul Karasik, Naoki Urasawa, Chris Ware, Gilbert Hernandez, Elvis Studio and Tony Millionaire! Plus - á la the Cannes Film Festival - last year's top creators give us their picks for this year's best comics. Alison Bechdel's literary graphic memoir Fun Home carried top honors for 2006 among Journal contributors, and who will earn that distinction in 2007? This issue also presents strips from the glamorous, panther-skin-suited debutante Miss Fury - the first super heroine created by a female cartoonist, Tarpe Mills, back in 1941. Noted comics historian Trina Robbins will provide an introduction detailing the fascinating facts of Mills' life. 200 pages.
Lee: A solid comic magazine.
Jim: I haven’t read this in years, but it was always well done.

Fully authorized figurines, teamed up with an amazing magazine, put this series in a super-league of its own! The hand-painted lead figurines are sculpted by master craftsmen and based on original pieces of Marvel artwork. Measuring 3 1/2 - 4 tall, each figurine is individually numbered, comes stamped with the Marvel official logo, and comes packaged in its own box. The magazine accompanying each figurine provides a detailed history and background on the featured character, including expressive images and interviews. This month, choose from #64: Dormammu and #65: Black Bolt! (Eaglemoss Publications Ltd) (NOTE: Figurines are made of lead.)
Lee: For the Marvel geek these things are just cool. Plus they’re made of lead so if you suck on them you get a buzz! BONUS!
Jim: And apparently Lee has been sucking on a lot of lead.

Partial Color Description: In this issue, behind a cover by Eric Pigors, find coverage of the Bronze Age of DC's horror comics, the comic book art of A.C. Hollingsworth, Tony Dipreta, Myron Fass's bad magazines, an interview with surreal artist Sean Madden, plus reviews of the latest horror comics and small press releases. (Soaring Penguin) 72 pages.
Lee: Another magazine I pick every time it’s listed. I DON’T CARE! If you like horror and the history of comics then you need to be reading this. Plus, a look at DC Bronze age horror which is sadly underappreciated.
Jim: I lived it, I don’t need someone else to tell me what happened.

Gustaf Tenggren - the Swedish artist best known for his work on Walt Disney's features Snow White and Pinocchio - is the subject of an in-depth feature with over 80 full-color illustrations from every phase of his long career. Mary rare and little-seen book illustrations are featured, as well as many productions shot from the original artwork. Also featured in this issue of Illustration is the work of legendary magazine illustrator Al Parker, the father of contemporary illustration. 112 pages.
Art previews
Lee: And finally, to learn about art in general you can’t do better than Illustration Magazine. There are so many other forms of art and illustration outside the comic book medium that are worth reading and learning about. This is a great way to learn about art that has influenced pop culture and more people than comic books have. Besides Disney, Gustaf was the illustrator for the classic “Pokey Little Puppy”. Now how’s that for a swing in styles!
Jim: Yawn!

Lee: I daresay a good month. Some highbrow stuff with the Xeric grants, some lowbrow stuff for the grunt reader. And lead for the rest of us. Uuuummmm lead!
Jim: This just solidifies that February is often the dullest month for new solicitations. I know February can be a slow month in term of sales, but by having so few new products it just makes certain that February will be slow, it is a chicken or the egg thing.


  1. The Last Call Vol 1 is a great little book. The only problem is that it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger. It would be nice to know just how far away the second volume is. It feels like a series that could go a while and it'd be nice to know it will actually end at some point.

    Another batch of good finds this month. Thanks guys.

  2. Hi all, this is the writer of the above mentioned book IRAQ: OPERATION CORPORATE TAKEOVER. thanks for adding on it, despite the rather negative comments!

    We did indeed make a big effort to combine the political points of the book with an engaging story and real characters. I think we pulled that off. Plus the artwork is really great.

    One thing though: its is NOT an anti-war book at all, there is not a sinlge sentence in it that is specificaly critical of the US or UK for being there. Its an attack on the big corporations that have followed in their wake and making huge profits for doing a bad job.

    Please check out more about it at my own blog. Which shows more of the artwork and links to video news clips about the book: