Lee: Ya know…. This is getting out of control. Every month, it's an effort to find something new and interesting between Marvel and DC. Then I come to the
Jim: It is an expensive indulgence at times, but the more that I look at stuff in more detail; the more I see potential and things that look like too much fun to pass up. We need to get on more comp lists so we can at least review the material for others and save us from going broke or our wives divorcing us.
Deaf child Nestor Gudfred inexplicably creates utter silence around him, which compels the people near him into each others pasts and memories. As his religious rural community looks to him as a prophet, the story follows Nestor and a diverse cast of richly imagined characters as he comes of age, falls in love, and begins a search for his father. 36 pages.
Preview at http://www.5minedfields.com/main
Lee: The art definitely has a Dave McKean, George Pratt, John Van Fleet feel to it. If you like painted experimental art this looks like a good place to start. The story sounds very interesting too.
Jim: The preview is worth a look. I agree with Lee's description that Hagler is the Pratt / Van Fleet stylistic school of artwork, where the coloring is as important to conveying mood as the actual art. The premise itself also sounds like a very interesting story that would seem to be examining religion as well as a coming of age story.
TERRY MOORE'S ECHO #1 - Full Color. By Terry Moore
Terry Moore is back with a new series, and this time he's going nuclear! Julie Martin is taking photographs in the desert when she witnesses a massive explosion in the sky. Covered in the bizarre, metallic fallout, she races home to find a chunk of the mercury-like metal came with her. When the metal becomes attached to her skin, Julie is unaware that she is host to a new symbiotic technology: a living bomb! The first printing of this issue will feature a special silver-embossed cover! 32 pages.
Jim: I missed out on Strangers in
Lee: I'm with you. I missed Strangers the first time around this is a good jumping on point. SiP in some ways reminds me of Cerebus and Love&Rockets. Huge followings that were very successful but the authors never achieved the same level of success afterwards.
An unsuspecting college student falls heir to the powers of the Green Lama, in a darkly contemporary version of the AC Universe! World War III has come and gone, demons run free in the streets- and only the Green Lama can restore order. 40 pages.
A preview (whole comic?) can be seen at http://www.comicspace.com/james_ritchey_iii/
Lee: It's interesting to see Green Lama under the AC banner because Kruger & Ross are using him in the SuperPowers series from DF. It makes me wonder how many of the GA heroes that have fallen into public domain are going to be showing up. I guess it's easier to work with an established property but at this point (and given how few really know about Green Lama) wouldn't it be easier to start with a new hero?
Jim: I have to agree with Lee on this one. I'm getting the Green Lama Archive more for the MacRaboy art then any love for an unknown character. If I'm publishing a public domain character and tell the best story ever I never have the ability to fully exploit any success I could generate for said character.
Omaha Perez' vicious skewering of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic literary creations is finally collected! This version of the Sherlock Holmes mythos expands on Dr. Watson's revelation that Holmes was a narcotics addict. The World's Greatest Detective is a maniac completely out of his head on drugs at all times and DR. Watson, his own personal Dr. Feelgood, isn't much better off! Appearance meets reality as the duo must cope with their handicaps while recovering composer Joseph Haydn's missing skull. 104 pages. (6x9)
Art at http://www.omahaperez.com/ and once you get there previews at >gallery >comics >pick the holmes image. Yeah it's buried but there's preview pages!!!
Lee: Then again, for as little as the AC Green Lama interests me, this revisioning of Holmes and Watson does interest me. A classic mystery, dope addled heroes, what's not to like? The previews show a sequence where Holmes is dressed as a woman and acting generally silly. It definitely has potential.
Jim: I'm also tempted as Sherlock Holmes is a great character and seeing a different version of the character, especially this premise sounds interest, but I find it hard to pull the yes trigger when I'm betting $13 on the unknown.
Connie Bremen's got a problem. Actually, he's got plenty of 'em: an oil baron he's on the wrong side of; the boss' daughter who wants to be under him; the FBI and the CIA who want to talk to him; some chump named Oswald; and how to get out of having President Kennedy in his rifle scope's sights. 144 pages.
Lee: This is a classic miniseries that is still available. Steven Grant and Vince Giarrano do a great job with a great conspiracy theory story.
Jim: Two strong and proven talents on a mini-series that I missed. It sounds good, but I have read and seen too much on
In the last months of 1916, a private in the Italian Bersaglieri returns to his childhood home in the Trentino mountain range to find it no longer a place of adventure and wonder as it was in his youth, but a place of death and despair. Amongst the weapons of both armies, none is more feared than the White Death: thundering avalanches deliberately caused by cannon fire - which, like war itself, consumes everything in their path.
Lee: More historic fiction. AIT is one of the better small press companies, Adlard is a good artist, and I like historical war fiction, there is a strong chance this is coming home.
Jim: Thanks Lee for finding this little gem, because I'm sold. I love historical fiction and WWI is an era that I really do not know as much about as I probably should. Add to the Charles Adlard as the artist and it is already ordered from my comic store. Since it is a graphic novel that has been around I should have it in a couple of weeks.
AMAZE INK/SLAVE LABOR GRAPHICS
SUPER SCARY MONSTER SHOW FEATURNING LITTLE GLOOMY VOL. 01 SC - B&W By Landry Walker & Eric Jones.
Little Gloomy lives in a big scary house in the town of
Lee: What can I say, I have a weakness for good natured all ages humor books. Anyone who can sneak Cthulthu into a Disney magazine has got to be doing something right. That alone makes it worth looking at.
Jim: I agree wholeheartedly with Lee's sentiments, but as nice as this material appears to be I will pass as it is not something that I would read. Of course I will borrow from Lee one day.
ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS
Under the high seas lead a cursed girl to mythic creatures, gnarled and crusty pirates, and ghostly apparitions in this new six-part series of thrilling swashbucklers, wonderland journeys, and unimagined dangers! Cursed Pirate Girl befriends the Governor's daughter Apollonia, as the two prepare to begin Cursed Pirate Girl's journey to be reunited with her own father. Unfortunately, Governor Maygun considers Cursed Pirate Girl to be a bad influence on his daughter, and hires a thug to take care of her permanently! 32 pages.
The artist at http://www.jeremybastian.com/
Jim: This book has two things going for it from the jump. First off it is from Archaia Stuidos and while I do not always like all of their books, they find and seek out material that is never cookie cutter. Second the premise sounds like fun. The element that seals the deal for me is the artwork that I have seen, which looks terrific and is loaded with details. You can see a preview of the book here.
Lee: Speaking of great finds. The looks great. Archaia does seem to have a nack for finding really different material.
Writer at http://www.comicspace.com/robertcurley/
Art at http://sliney.blogspot.com/
Lee: It looks a lot like "Agents of Atlas" from Marvel which I really enjoyed and a golden age/silverage vibe which I like. This might be worth checking out.
Jim: It looks like it could be fun, but with an unknown writer and artist and it is in b&w, I would rather see a copy before buying it.
AVATAR PRESS INC
It's never a dull day, being a Magician. The mad mind of Warren Ellis is once again unleashed on combat magician William Gravel, this time on a full-color, on-going monthly series! Magic. Everyone thought that he was dead, including the Minor Seven, the secret enclave of
Lee: I wonder if all of Ellis's new work will show up at Avatar. I like Ellis but this is a pass. I didn't think Strange Kiss and Killings were all that good to begin with. Actually, I wish Ellis would just finish Planetary.
Jim: I read Gravel #0 and also heard the earlier stuff was not that good, but Gravel #0, was good enough to keep me coming back for more. Warren Ellis was on a golden run for awhile where every book he did was fantastic with
D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
LONE RANGER VOL. 02: LINES NOT CROSSED HC - Full Color. By Brett Matthews & Sergio Cariello.
In Lines Not Crossed the thrilling adventures of the Lone Ranger and Tonto continue from writer Brett Matthews, art director John Cassaday, and interior artist Sergio Cariello as the masked man and his Indian companion find themselves in between frontier justice and a condemned man, all while continuing to make things difficult for Cavendish, who's becoming more unhinged by the actions of this lone ranger! This limited hardcover printing also features a complete Cassaday cover gallery plus additional artwork by Paul Pope! Collects issues #7-11. (7x10)
Lee: I really liked the first collected edition so this is coming home too. Cariello did a great job on the art and it was a great western to boot.
Jim: I bet it read better in a trade. This book lost me as I read it as single issues and it was too slow moving and as a monthly boring. No matter how good the artwork was (and it was very good) it lost my interest. In addition to other elements how you experience the material makes a big difference.
BODEGA DISTRIBUTION LLC
DAYBREAK VOL. 01 GN - B&W. By Brian Ralph & Tom Devlin.
This is a post apocalyptic tale like no other, told from a first-person perspective, allowing the reader to put themselves into the story and really experience the end of times. Daybreak examines the human condition and how man reacts to loneliness. How do we maintain the will to live while we scrape along, barely surviving in a hostile world? 100 pages.
Brian Ralph continues his acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure! Told from a unique first-person perspective, Ralph draws the comics aficionado into his world with tense punch lines, soft explosions of character, and brilliant pacing. Part Road Warrior, part Lost, part Dawn of the Dead, without the gutless style copying so prevalent in the form. A new volume of this series will appear every year! 48 pages. (7x10)
Brian Ralph at http://bralph.com/
Bodega at http://newbodega.blogspot.com/
Lee: Another book that just looks interesting. The cartoony nature of Ralph's art is in direct contradiction to the themes presented. I bet that will make the story even better.
Jim: I almost hate Lee for pointing this type of material out to me, do you realize how much he is costing me.
CTHULHU TALES #1 - Full Color. By Steve Niles, Michael Alan Nelson & Various. Cthulhu has called and Steve Niles has answered!
Lee: Another weakness of mine is anthologies. And this will be no exception. Boom! did a great job with their zombie anthologies so I have high hopes for this too.
Jim: Plus with Steve Niles and Michael Alan Nelson as featured writers it is bound to be good. I also love anthologies and even the stories that miss usually have some redeeming quality (i.e. strong art, a good character).
SEEKERS INTO THE MYSTERY VOL. 01: PILGRIMAGE OF LUCAS HART SC - Full Color. By J.M. Dematteis, Glenn Barr & Jon J. Muth.
Angels and aliens, faeries and demons, alternate realities and multiple personalities. Once Lucas Hart would have laughed at these things; but when this cynical, burned-out screenwriter's repressed memories of the past invade his present, Hart's vision of reality is completely shattered. As a child, seeking escape from horrible abuse, Hart would leave his body and astrally travel with otherworldly beings who filled his wounded soul with light. Now, having recovered these memories, he's on a quest to find the Magician whose legacy of mystery and hope might move the human race to the next level. Embark on a journey into the mysteries of the human spirit that won't soon be forgotten. 128 pages. (6x9)
Lee: I bring this up to discuss or warn people about this book. It is DeMatteis at his absolute most introspective. Remember there is Giffen/DeMatteis funny and there is DeMatteis looking for the meaning of life. This is big and preaching and presents ideas WAY beyond superheroics. I purchased the original series because I thought it would be another "Books of Magic". It wasn't.
Celebrate 8 years of Jim Balent's smart, sexy, and strong spellbinding witch, Tarot, with this Collector's Edition photo cover of Tarot #49! This enchanting photo cover features Fiona Horne and Holly Golightly as photographed by creator Jim Balent. The issue will be signed by artist/creator Jim Balent and model/colorist Holly Golightly, and will come bagged with a Certificate of Authenticity. Limited to a print run of 1,000. 32 pages.
Lee: I can't believe this book lasted this long. Unbelievable! But, I like that Balent took the cover photo himself. The ultimate fanboy experience.
Jim: I have to laugh a little bit that this book has lasted as long as it has. Jim Balent seems to be known mainly for the overly endowed woman that he draws. Given that he was the long time artist for Catwoman first DC series, it is good to here that he seems to be happy doing this work and is successful enough to keep publishing it. Having said all that, it is not a book that interests me at all.
IZNOGOUD VOL. 01: WICKED WILES OF IZNOGOUD GN - Partial Color. By Goscinny & Tabary.
Legend has it that in
Lee: I've never read any of Iznogoud but apparently it's huge in
Jim: This appears to be a humorous book, but the official hype does not tell me a damn thing about this book. At $12 for 48 pages this is an easy pass.
Largo Winczlav, born in
Jim: I don't know why Lee picked this, an easy pass for me. $20 for 96 pages is way too much.
Lee: Again, as part of my "learning European Comics" phase I picked this. I agree that it is pricey but that's the cost to learn and know more about this material. And, it's gotta be better than the Heavy Metal t&a so I am going to try it.
PATH COMX ED. GN - Full Color. By Gregory S. Baldwin.
The first release from Com.x in three-and-a-half years! In a harsh, desolate landscape, Doppler, a lone rabbit, narrowly escapes his imminent demise when near-sighted elephant Dodge falls from his foiled cliff-side climb onto Doppler's assailants. Dodge and Doppler agree to unite in their quest to escape their inhospitable surroundings, thus embarking on the adventure of their lives! 88 pages.
Jim: This sounds like such unbelievable fun and if I had the first 10 pages to look at, I may even buy it. If it had a chimpanzee in it, that would be perfect. Still $13 for 88 pages is a little on the high side for a total unknown, put still the premise sounds great.
HOWIE ACTION COMICS GN - B&W.
You'll laugh despite yourself at Howard Chackowicz's twisted, funny, yet surprisingly poignant cartoons. A mix of New Yorker gags gone awry, underground comix and nightmarish kids' books illustrations, Howie Action Comics represents many years of the artist's output. Often called a "cartoonist's cartoonist" Chackowicz was nominated for a Harvey Award for his early work on Dennis Eichhorn's Real Stuff, and his painted comic mural art was officially selected for the Angoulême comic festival in France. Besides working in his artfield, he has taught cartooning and comics in a variety of institutions over the years and his hilarious appearances on the CBC radio show "Wiretap" have led to a broadcasting award. Howie Action Comics is the third release in the conundrum press BDANG imprint. (8x11)
Lee: This past weekend I read "My Life as a Foot" from Conundrum Press AND IT WAS GREAT. Canadian Underground Comix are excellent. It obvious that I like comics so I have sampled most everything from Golden Age (Platinum Age actually) all the way through the Undergrounds. If you like the twisted sensibilities and "rail against the system" attitudes, (Long time reader Shawn.. I'm talking to you!!!) then this is a really good place to start.
Jim: I can see the appeal for some people, but not for me.
CRAVE WORLD (NEED SIGNED NVS)
Ryan Haskell knows something is wrong with the world, and he's pretty sure it's the President of the
Preview pages at www.craveworld.com
Jim: The premise sold me, because I'm a revolutionary at heart and shaking up the status quo in today's political arena is truly needed. Now the method I would disagree with, but with him accidentally saving the President it just sound like a blast. Then the preview art is very strong, so this book is ordered and I awaiting its publication.
Lee: I didn't pick this because of the title and thematic elements BUT I did talk to Joe and we are working on a review for him. So, you will see more of this right here later.
DEVIL'S DUE PUBLISHING
Swing into the Golden Age of comics with this spectacular collection of classic SHEENA: QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE! Featuring digitally-remastered classic artwork by Will Eisner/Jerry Iger studios and over 10 of the best SHEENA stories from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, this collection is a must-have for fans of classic comics! Over 144 pages of digitally-re-mastered classic stories of SHEENA from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s - Reprinting stories from JUMBO COMICS and SHEENA COMICS. Featuring an essay by current SHEENA writer Steven E. de Souza (Die Hard, Commando, Tomb Raider)! 144 pages.
AND for double your pleasure
SHEENA: QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE STICKER SET
Lee: I love the fact that more and more publishers are reprinting Golden Age material. Sheena was actually one of the better comics of the day and you can never go wrong with art from the Iger shop. It's worth you time if you have an interest in the Golden Age.
Jim: I want this and the sticker set. Sheena is a poor man's Tarzan in a dress, but even the current series is just out and out fun. I'll reluctantly skip the sticker set, but the reprint is coming home.
DF SPIDER-MAN ONE MORE DAY PREMIERE SIGNED HC - Full Color.
Signed by cover artist and Marvel Comics EIC, Joe Quesada! The most-talked about - and controversial - comics event of the year is collected in one hardcover volume, brought to you by J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada! Collecting Amazing Spider-Man #544-545, Sensational Spider-Man #41, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24, Spider-Man: One More Day Sketchbook and Marvel Spotlight: One More Day/Brand New Day. (7x10)
Lee: I picked this for Jim. He loved it soooo much.
Jim: Oh yeah, this is a book I can not live without having a signed version. Blechh!
EVIL TWIN COMICS
You only think you know comics history! The epic - and insane! - story of comic books, manga, and graphic novels, told as a comic, in the inimitable, irreverent, and award-winning Action Philosophers style, begins here! Before there could be comics, there has to be newspaper strips, animated cartoons, and pulp magazines. Thrill to publishing giants William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer duking it out over The Yellow Kid! Tremble at the war between Walt Disney and Max Fleischer for animation domination! Follow the bizarre trail of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's first superhero from sci-fi pulp to comic strip to the birth a new medium! Plus, the early years of Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Winsor McCay, and Joe Simon! 40 pages.
Jim: The guys from Action Philosphers are back and doing their magic for comics history. The people who started this industry have some shady pasts and with Van Lente and Dunlavey working their particular view point and teaching us history at the same time, we are in for a great comic.
Lee: I didn't realize this was action philosophers at first but now that I do know… SOLD!
EVERYBODY'S DEAD #1 - Full Color. By Brian Lynch (W); Dave Crosland (A & C)
College can be tough. Making new friends, falling in love, being one of the few people left on Earth who isn't a bloodthirsty zombie... welcome to the world of Everybody's Dead! Ten friends remain the only ones on campus who have survived an overnight apocalypse. Now they must fend off legions of the undead and restart civilization in their own image! (Civilization, of course, is doomed.) From Brian Lynch, writer on the blockbuster hit Angel: After the Fall, and artist Dave Crosland, from the critically acclaimed Scarface: Scarred for Life! 32 pages.
Lee: IDW does horror very, very well and Crosland is a force with pen and ink. Between his work on Puffed and Scarface I am sold on the art alone.
Jim: The premise is extremely amusing and IDW has high productions values, worth a look at issue #1.
GENE SIMMONS' ZIPPER #5 - Full Color. By Tom Waltz (W); Casey Maloney (A & C)
Gene Simmons' stranger-in-a-strange-land tale continues, as Denizen Xeng Ral and the Etherian Hunters face off in an epic fight to the finish through the streets of
Lee: So I wonder how many nights Gene sat awake thinking this title up. Almost as stupid as Marvel's "Kick Ass". I can hear Jim talking to his wife when she gets home from work "Hey honey. I was just looking at Gene Simmons Zipper"
Jim: Yeah or you telling you kids that line.
In "It Only Hurts When I Pee," the second collection of Eisner Award-nominated storyteller Ben Templesmith's Wormwood, the tale of the Gentleman Corpse move beyond the simply bizarre into the sublime lunacy of Lephrechaunia. Wormwood and his eclectic posse search for the Leprechaun Queen, the only being capable of lifting the terminal curse that our hero has contracted - but if the rabid leprechauns and dimension travel hasn't already set your head spinning, that'll be taken care of by the Squidmen, a terrifying collective of "gatherers" hell-bent on ingesting everything they get their tentacles on. Did we mention they've had it out for Wormwood ever since he committed an unspeakable genocide against their species? This collection includes issues #5-7, along with a special one-shot,. 120 pages. (7x10)
Lee: This isn't a very big collection but I'll take it. Wormwood is very very good.
Jim: This is Ben Templesmith at his absolutely best. Not for the faint of heart but a great book.
Writer/creator Wayne Osborne and artist John Byrne present FX, an all-new, six-part series introducing a new hero for the ages. Struck down by a mysterious accident, Tom Talbot awakens to find that playing pretend has suddenly become all too real. He now has power limited only by his imagination-but will it be enough to stop the savage Silverback? 32 pages.
Lee: Weeee, more Byrne. If I understand correctly, a fanboy paid Byrne to draw the story. Good for him but I really wonder if it will be any good.
Jim: If that is true, then you are saying IDW just rolled with the fanboy fiction? It maybe a good concept and the writer knew who he wanted to draw it and decided to self finance.
ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS VS. AMAZONS HC - Full Color. By Chris Ryall (W); Ashley Wood (A & C)
The Eisner Award-losing team of Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood took the "vs" concept as far as they could with the original Zombies vs. Robots, right? Wrong! They push things much further this time, introducing the latest combatants to mix it up with rotting flesh and rusting steel: Amazons! Not to mention the threat of... the zombie minotaur? This special collection compiles the sold-out miniseries, and a full art gallery by acclaimed artist/painter Wood. 80 pages. (9x13)
Lee: The first series was pure fluffy fun. I expect no less from this. But, what really sells me on this is the oversized HC that really showcases Wood's art. It's beautiful to look at and looks great on the bookshelf.
Jim: I can not sign up for just an art book.
CASTLE WAITING HC - B&W. By Linda Medley.
A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that's not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil - but about being a hero in your own home. For the first time, Fantagraphics'collects the entire Castle Waiting story into one mammoth volume - including the concluding chapter written and drawn especially for this volume. 448 pages. (6.5x8)
Lee: An absolute must read! I picked up one of the trades from the local library and was sold on it ever since. A wonderful story in the vein of Bone and Love & Rockets.
Jim: Which surprisingly enough if it is in that vein, then I will pass.
COMICS JOURNAL #289
Bring out your dead! They won't want to miss our interview with Robert Kirkman (Marvel Zombies), whose career has encompassed Battle Pope and Invincible. Plus, an essay on Kirkman's The Walking Dead. Next, pull up a barstool and let underground legend S. Clay Wilson tell you about the biker lesbian pirate demons that drive his art and disturb our sleep. Also unearthed, in this issue's comics gallery - Ed Whelan's rarely seen Minute Movies, serial strips of the 1920's based on popular movie genres of the day. 200 pages.
Lee: I pick this because of the Kirkman interview. TCJ does some of the best in depth interviews ever and if you want to know what makes Kirkman tick then start here.
Originally published in 1995 and distributed only to comic book specialty stores, Daddy's Girl was ahead of its time - Drechsler's account of her abuse at the hands of her father, told from the point of view of an adolescent, is one of the most searingly honest, empathic, and profoundly disturbing uses of the comics medium in history. Drechsler's meticulous brush lines gather into heavy textures that suggest the claustrophobic tension of the environment that threatens her pre-teen and adolescent female protagonists. Characters such as Lily, who can't escape her father's abuse, and Franny, a girl whose desire to be accepted leads her into dangerous territory, struggle not to be visually and emotionally overwhelmed. Central to this quasi-memoir is Lily's relationship to her father - a confused jumble of fear, trepidation, and love.
Lee: If you're ever in the mood for a good cry, start here. This sounds so moving and poignant that I am very interested.
Jim: Sounds like very hard material to read, but often makes for compelling stories.
JESSICA FARM GN - B&W. By Josh Simmons.
Hot on the heels of his first graphic novel, House, Simmon's Jessica Farm fuses serialized adventure, fantasy, and psychological horror and stamps it with his signature macabre sensibility in his atmospheric new graphic novel. Like a Lynchian take on Alice in Wonderland, Jessica Farm opens with an exterior of what could be any Midwestern farmhouse. Once inside, we track the titular heroine as she bounds out of bed on Christmas morning and goes about her routine, eventually breakfasting with her grandparents. The banality of the situation is subverted by a ratcheting sense of dread, as we discover that Jessica's increasingly nightmarish house is filled with creatures around every corner - some whimsical, some sexual, some despairing, and some malevolent. 96 pages. (6x9)
Lee: Wwwweeeelllll this is just bizarre. The hype reads well and if the comics samples (follow the link) are any indication this will be some really twisted fun. I HIGHLY recommend you follow the link and read one of the strangest takes on Batman I have read/seen in a very long time. It will give you a flavor of what you are getting into.
Jim: Check out the link. At least you will get a real feel for what you are buying.
Part 2- Coming Soon!