Saturday, February 16, 2008

Independents Preview Review April Part 1 of 2

We like to break down this post into multiple parts due to trying to keep the post from being an overwhelming size and to give a little more time to highlight this material.

Lee: I look forward to the indies section of previews more and more every month. There is so much out there that people should be trying. Maybe we can find something new for people to read.
Jim: As always the indies has lots to choose from, but I was not as jazzed about this months selections as I was last month. Last month it was almost impossible to stop picking things.

- Full Color. by Cy Dethan & Paul Green.
Paul Green's Bad Blood storyline reaches its stunning climax! The crazed Lo'Phon pursues the survivors of Vanauken's Alpha Team as the jungle around them erupts with monstrous Arachnids. Outnumbered and outgunned on all sides, Vanauken leads her team through a nightmarish alien landscape in a desperate bid to reach the Federation outpost before time - and luck - run out! 28 pages.
Lee: I can’t believe I’m saying this but never underestimate the value of a cover in selling your comic book. This is especially true for small publishers. Small publishers don’t have the fan base that makes, for example, a giant eyeball cover like Iron Man recently did acceptable. That said, there’s a fine line between cover cheese and cover greatness. In this case, the cover looked good but the cheese quotient was high enough to make me want to pass. Then I looked at preview pages and it didn’t look half bad. It’s worth looking into.
Jim: Side comment: I get amused how Markosia has the AAA in front of their name to make sure that are one of the first publishers listed. As for the cover, it makes you look twice, but the “hot” girl in basically a swimsuit starting at the monster has 46 inch shoulders, which destroy the hotness factor. In order words, the cover makes you stop and look, but not want to buy.

(COMICS ED.) - B&W. by Dave Sim.
Master graphic novelist Dave Sim - the creator of Cerebus - returns! Glamourpuss is three comic books in one: a parody of fashion magazines, a history of photorealism in comics (starting with Alex Raymond's Rip Kirby in 1946), and the strangest super-heroine comic book of all time! Featuring the first appearance of Glamourpuss, her evil twin sister Skanko, and the heroine's long-time therapist Dr. Norm. Available with two covers - a Comics Edition with a classic EC-style cover, and a Fashion Edition that parodies fashion magazines. 24 pages.
Lee: Yeah yeah yeah, Sim’s got new material but why are there no Cerebus HC’s? I would love to own one or two and I can’t be alone in that. Hard to believe that Sim is actually missing out on something.
Jim: Why no Cerebus hard covers? My guess is dollars. You have to upfront the cost to the publisher and I’m guessing orders need be high enough to justify it. Plus how many would you have to do to collect the entire 300 issue run?
Lee: They’re doing it for EC comics. Would this be any different?
Jim: Less of a fan base, less historical significance, Gemstone publish versus self-publishing.

- B&W. by Various.
The first new Crossfire story in over a decade! The first new Journey story in print in over a decade and a half! The first new Licensable BearTM comics in a few months! Plus, Milx draws the first story in a new, silent all-ages concept, rounding out 32 all-new pages! 32 pages.
Lee: I pick this because it’s the first new Journey story in over a decade. Journey is the story of Wolverine McAlister as he hikes thru the American woods in the early 1800’s. It was one of the best books to come from the B&W boom of the early 80’s. That alone makes this book worth it.
Jim: I would have picked this book because to has a new Crossfire story. Crossfire was a non-powered hero, add in Licensable Bear and how can you go wrong.

B&W. by Jamie Tanner.
Enter the strange world of the Quiet Bird-Man: a world of mysterious corporations, foul-mouthed robots, drunken ghosts, amputee comedians, wealthy simian pornographers, and canine scientists; a world of disasters, murders, and masquerade balls. Jamie Tanner has been slowly weaving this dreamlike and darkly funny tale in anthologies and mini-comics for several years. 312 pages. (5x7) MATURE THEMES.
Lee: This is a relist but it is soooo good. I already have my copy and the hype doesn’t do it justice. If you liked David Hine’s Strange Embrace, then you’ll like this too.
Jim: Hmm…, I liked Strange Embrace, so maybe Lee will loan this to me to check out. You have the address buddy sent it on.

HELEN KILLER #1 - [of 4] Full Color. by Andrew Kreisberg & Matthew JLD Rice.
In 1901, twenty-one year old college student Helen Keller, with the aid of a fantastical device invented by her friend and mentor, Alexander Graham Bell, regains her sight and hearing as well as near super-human strength and agility. Helen is enlisted by the Secret Service to protect President William McKinley who has been targeted for assassination by Anarchists. As a deeper conspiracy to destroy America unfolds around her, Helen discovers that her new abilities come with a dark and terrifying price! 28 pages.
Lee: Just when I think the world has run out of ideas we have this. Helen Keller regains her sight and becomes a superhero!!! That’s just GREAT! Honestly, I love the concept.
Jim: I just hope whoever controls her estate did not authorize this, it seems a little ridiculous to me. On the other hand it does sound interesting, but….

WENDIGO #1 - [of 4] Full Color. by Sean O'Reilly & Pedro Del Gado.
An all-ages title from Arcana Kids! Tanu is a sasquatch lost in the Canadian wilderness who must face the Fearsome Creatures in order to find the clues that will lead him to his mother. Using his agility, speed, jumping ability and a mean snow-ball throwing arm, the young Sasquatch must find his way back home facing the most fearsome mythological creatures ever whispered about in the wild wilderness. 24 pages.
Lee: I will always tout new all-ages books. I think it’s important to the future of the medium. The sooner we get people reading the more likely they are to stay forever.
Jim: A valid point Lee. It has become more important as regular super-hero books are no longer appropriate material to get a new generation at a young age for the most part.

DEVIL'S PANTIES VOL. 02 HC - B&W. by Jennie Breeden.
The Devil's Panties is not in fact, Satanic porn. It is actually an autobiographical online comic strip about a girl in flame boots who works at a comic shop and occasionally hangs out with a pirate. Follow Jen as she goes kilt-hunting at conventions with her leaf blower and discovers sparkly butterfly toys that no child should play with. When her boyfriend has lan parties in their garage, she hits the clubs. Don't miss the geek auction, roller derby fun, and more in this page book of panties goodness! 296 pages.
The web comic can be found at
Lee: As general weirdness goes this qualifies! The life of a chick in a comic store has got to be full of all sorts of weirdness. I bet it makes for a great read.
Jim: The title just makes you not want to buy it. I have a hard time saying I can’t wait for the new Devil’s Panties to come out. Wrong on many levels. Still I'll check out the link to see the actual material and see if I can get over the title.

GRAVE DOUG FRESHLEY #1 - [of 5] Full Color. by Josh Hechinger & mpMann.
Once Upon a Time on the Range. Who are Doug Freshley and Bat McNally, and what sort of grim business do they have in Sweetwater? If you guessed revenge, you done guessed right. See who and see why in this yarn about friendship, vengeance, and not letting fatal head wounds interfere with your most solemn promises. 32 pages.
Previews at
Artist at ]
Jim: This looks to be humorous and a lot of fun. Archaia did not have a preview up on their website yet, but they are always good about doing that for fans. Archaia is one of those publishers who I will usually try almost any first issue they put out. I may not always like the material, but they really strive to give us a wide variety of books.
Lee: I am always up for humor books and this does look very humorous. Archaia does put out lots of good books so this is worth looking at.

ANNA MERCURY #1 (WRAPAROUND COVER) - [of 5] Full Color. by Warren Ellis & Facundo Percio. Warren Ellis introduces you to the sultry Anna Mercury in this all-new color series! Dancing amidst the spires of a city called New Ataraxia, there is a woman who can cloud men's minds, leap across buildings as if weightless, unerringly fire twin automatic pistols in the most insane conditions, and disappear in a crowded room. She fights against the political repression of an insane technocratic society, and she comes from a place that no one in New Ataraxia has ever heard of. And she has one hour to save the city from itself! A high-octane blend of The Shadow, Tomb Raider, retropunk science fiction and 21st-century weird pulp action, Anna Mercury is a headlong adventure serial about a beautiful and mysterious spy-adventurer who is not what she seems! Anna Mercury will be a series of mini-series, starting with this five-issue color series that features art by all-new talent Facundo Percio. This issue is available with a regular cover by Paul Duffield, a wraparound by Juan Jose Ryp, a painted cover by artist Felipe Massafera, and also a rare 1-in-15 Design Sketch Edition featuring the initial character designs by Ryp. 32 pages. MATURE THEMES.
Jim: Warren Ellis is everywhere anymore. Last year it was like whatever he wrote was a “can’t miss”, this year it is more hit or miss. Avatar seems to be his own private publishing company that he is helping to build into a real contender. It sounds like this could be interesting, but I do worry that without any real editorial constraint it maybe too self-indulgent in Warren’s technology obsession, which I don’t share.
Lee: It’s Ellis. It will sell no matter what we say. And, even as a miss, it’s better than most of the other material being published these days.

2 GUNS SC - Full Color. by Steven Grant & Mat Santolouco.A pulp story about cops and thieves and the men that are something in between. Trench has targeted a local bank to rob, and asked Steadman in on the job. Trench figures it's a great way to score - considering it's a cover for mob money. They'll be thieves ripping off thieves. But what Steadman doesn't know is that Trench is a DEA agent. And what Trench doesn't know is that Steadman's a Naval Intelligence officer. They're both cops! And neither one knows that they're not robbing the mob, they've been set up to steal $50 million from the CIA! A light-hearted crime romp in the vein of Ocean's Thirteen and The Italian Job from comics legend, Steven Grant! 128 pages. (6x9)
Lee: This was a great buddies, heist comic. It read well in comic book form but I am sure it will read better as a collection. Mostly because you can keep up with the double-triple crosses easier. Great stuff.
Jim: Well worth your time and dollars. Steven Grant's script was very clever and I think this will be a great trade.

ZOMBIE TALES #1 (COVER A) - Full Color.
The award-winning undead anthology rises from the grave - and this time it's monthly! Join top writers Joe R. Lansdale (Jonah Hex), Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night) and Academy Award nominee Kim Krizan (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset) for a trio of undead tales that will rot your head away! More great Zombie stories from more great writers and artists that you know and love. Now BOOM!'s bringing out the undead every month! 24 pages.
Jim: Anthology books can be a lot of fun and I understand why people are reluctant to invest in them as you are getting new short stories every month from unknown creators. That is also the appeal of it. With BOOM studios you have to trust the publisher to make sure it is quality material and BOOM has earned my trust.
Lee: The original Zombie Tales was fun. This should be too. Boom! has done a really good job with all their anthologies. It’s worth investigating.

VOL. 01: TAXING TRAILS SC - Full Color. by Stephen Desberg & Bernard Vrancken.
Larry B. Max is an unusual specialist from a little-known branch of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), the all-powerful tax-collecting agency of the United States. Reading into tax-evasion and money-laundering rings the way a virtuoso pianist would read a sheet of Mozart, Max has every technological method at his disposal to find links between high finance and high crime. He must look into a particularly delicate file belonging to a rich Jewish-American, known for his involvement in recovering items that were confiscated by the Nazis. Dissecting this billionaire's accounts, Max embarks on a dangerous journey to find the mysterious origins of the man's immense fortune! Includes The Hagen Strategy." 96 pages. (8x11)
Lee: Only the French would make a crime fighting IRS tax man. Only the French.
Jim: Only Lee would pick this book. Killer is a French comic being published by Archaia and it is very good, so the French can do more then food and wine.

Tomorrow Part 2.

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