Sunday, February 17, 2008

Independents Preview Review April Part 2 of 2

Onward to Part 2

- by Gary Reed, Vince Locke & Dalibor Talajic. The introduction of the classic horror series, Deadworld, for a new audience! Considered by many to be the original zombie comic, Deadworld ripped into the undead with intelligent zombies on a mission and the poor teens riding in a school bus desperately try to stay one step ahead of the King Zombie. Death, mayhem, and a touch of supernatural evil made Deadworld a classic and now here's your chance to get into the story! Collects Deadworld #1-6. (7x10)
Lee: The original zombie book is back in print. This has been a cult hit for so long that I think I will by the trade just to see what all the hub-bub is about. And, art by Vince Locke doesn’t hurt either.
Jim: Let me now what you think as I have never read it. Classic maybe a little overboard way to describe it, but it is hype.

For the first time ever, a retrospective volume devoted to the entire career of one of most influential artists of the last 35 years, Michael Wm. Kaluta! This book offers readers and fans a chance to witness his immense and phenomenal career from start to present, offering glimpses of previously never-before-seen material from his files and sketchbooks, his enormously popular comic work, art from his career in book publishing and illustrating album covers, as well as beautifully reproduced images of his personal favorites with insights into his life and creative process. Brought to you by the publishing house responsible for the Eisner Award winning The Art of Brian Bolland and The Art of P. Craig Russell. Available in regular and signed editions.
Jim: I was shocked that Lee did not pick this book. Kaluta is really an illustrator of the highest order. He has a ton of detail and line work in all the art of his that I have seen. I’m amazed he was able to ever do any comic book work.
Lee: Actually, I am somewhat burned out on illustrator books. There are just so many out there. But, if you are going to get one this is a great one.

ANOTHER DIRT SANDWICH GN - Full Color. by Ray Friesen. Feeling a bit peckish? Try Another Dirt Sandwich! It's a graphic novel of the humorous persuasion with all the fixin's: Swindling! Mustard! Birds wearing hats! It's just chock-full of cartoony goodness! This book chronicles the rambling adventures of inept ostrich con-man Tbyrd Fearlessness, and his gullible rube-turned-sidekick Hopalong Cassowary, in their search for fame and fortune (or at least lunch) A must-read for kids and kids-at-heart. If you like silly, then giggling is guaranteed! If you eat only one book this year, make it this one. *Chomp* Mmm! You can barely taste the gravel! 100 pages. (10x7)
Slow to load but worth the wait
Lee: Let me get this straight… a book call “Dirt Sandwich” from a company that doesn’t want me to eat bugs. OOO-kay. But if the book is half as silly as it professes to be, I’ll love it. And based upon the previews… there are bad puns galore.
Jim: Bad puns are something that always amuses me, but not my wife. Every time I see a horse and I saw why the long face and laugh, my wife just sighs.

- Full Color. by Philippe Dupuy & Charles Berberian.
For twenty years, French cartoonists Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian have collaborated on every aspect - sharing both the writing and drawing - of their highly acclaimed Mr. Jean short stories, creating one of the most endearing, clever, and readable series in contemporary French comics. Get a Life is a collection of the early Mr. Jean stories where the reader is introduced to the life of the titular character, a laconic, single Parisian male struggling through the usual calamities of life: bachelorhood in his twenties and early thirties and the impending responsibilities of marriage, kids, and deadlines for his publisher. 148 pages. (7x9) MATURE THEMES.
Lee: Ah, slice of life books from another country. I really like these because they are classics from other places. It’s always interesting to see how other counties use the comics to tell stories.
Jim: I wish I had more time to read all of this type of material because it does give you another person from another culture’s perspective.

HAUNTED HC - B&W. by Philippe Dupuy.
Ten years after finishing the original French edition of Maybe Later, Philippe Dupuy set out on his own again with Haunted. Gone are the tightly constructed narratives and urbane, elegant graphics of his projects with collaborator Charles Berberian. In their place, roughed-in drawings give an urgent, spontaneous feeling to a series of hallucinatory stories and dreamlike sequences that register the raw distress of solitude and self-doubt. A jogging Dupuy runs around and sometimes through the stories of the misfit characters that haunt him: a self-amputating dog, a Left Bank artist in search of emptiness, an art-collecting duck, Lucha Libre wrestlers, and a group of single guys at the watering hole imagined as the anthropomorphic "Forest Friends." Heart pumping, gaze turned inward, the ground occasionally giving way beneath his feet, this alter ego concludes that sometimes you need to cross the line to figure out where it is. 208 pages. (7x10).
Lee: I know this is by the same guy who wrote the choice just above this but it sounds really interesting. I always like to see artists stretch themselves and going from a structured slice of life to this should be really good. Anyway, there are two books for you to try, just pick one.
Jim: There are times when I feel like I could abandon almost every book from the big two and just get this type of material. Both books sound good.

KAPUT & ZOSKY GN - Full Color. by Louis Trondheim.
Kaput and Zosky are the most mayhem-inducing, the most screams-of-terror provoking, the most rotten, ruthless aliens in the entire galaxy! And they have the biggest weapons, too! So why can't they ever be first across the finish line? They're even losing at hopscotch! Mayhem and hilarity abound in this thirteen stories! 80 pages. (7.5x9)
Lee: I have yet to read anything bad by Trondheim which is why I pick one of his books every month. More American’s need to be reading this material. That includes you, Jim.
Jim: So loan me one of his books so I can see for myself without expending any more money!

TINY TYRANT GN - Full Color. by Lewis Trondheim & Fabrice Parme.
Welcome to Portocristo and its clear skies, sandy beaches, bustling streets - and its spoiled rotten, six-year-old King. The little despot is grouchy, whiny, and demanding, but in Portocristo, anything he says goes, no matter how bizarre or hare-brained. With wacky, inventive writing and madcap art, these stories about the zany adventures of the Tiny Tyrant of Portocristo will delight and enchant younger readers. 128 pages. (6x9)
Lee: This is one of the great reads of 2007. Think Richie Rich meets Calvin (& Hobbs) but without his parents to tell him ‘no’. It’s insane fun.
Jim: Lee you should write their hype. I want to read more after your description then theirs.

- by Tony Millionaire.
Billy Hazelnuts is back for the first time since his acclaimed 2006 Eisner Award-winning debut. Life has settled back to normal in the old house. Becky and her mom are getting used to having Billy around, despite his strong odor. Nothing could be better, aside from a jumpy relationship with the cat. One day Billy heard screeching in the backyard and runs out to find a very large owl attacking his housemate. Billy chases off the owl, but soon discovers the owl has left an egg in its nest. When the egg hatches, it's up to Billy to reunite the baby owl with his mother, and the two head off into the deep, deep woods in search of her. 144 pages. (6.25x9)
BILLY HAZELNUTS HC - B&W. by Tony Millionaire.
Brewed by the tailess mice from the walls of Becky's kitchen, Tony Millionaire's Billy Hazelnuts fuses the darker spirit of ancient fairy tales with a Lewis Carroll-esque absurdist sense of adventure. The moon is missing! Be careful! There's a steam-driven alligator right behind you! Don't forget the seeing-eye skunk! 100 pages. (6x9).
Some strip samples at
Lee: Tony Millionaire is a master at the strange. And Billy Hazelnuts is no exception. A great place to start if you’ve never experienced (and it is an experience) Tony Millionaire.
Jim: He also did a book about sock monkeys, which is oddly enough a toy all of the children in my family had and we loved them. Hmmm.. maybe this started my whole obsession with monkeys.

(GULACY COVER) - Full Color. by Fabian Nicieza & Mark Sparacio.
The super spy master of disguise is back again for the first time! Led by the original Captain Action, the A.C.T.I.O.N. Directorate fought the Red Crawl for decades. The alien threat was thought long vanquished, so no one notices when Earth is conquered. Literally, no one notices it! He wakes up to learn the father who fired him is dead, and the job he never wanted is his. He has to save a world that doesn't know it needs saving. He has to reclaim his identity while impersonating others. He has to become the very thing he tried his entire life to avoid - Captain Action! Choose from either the "retro-cool" cover by Master of Kung Fu superstar artist Paul Gulacy or the "hip-alternative" cover by Eisner-trained Hero for Hire artist Mark Sparacio! 16 pages.
Art at
Lee: Now this is interesting because, unlike most new books, I can’t tell who the target audience is. Captain Action is a toy from the early-mid 60’s. He was a boy’s version of Barbie. BUT, how many twenty somethings know that? Very few I imagine, so what is the audience? But, beyond that Nicieza is a proven writer and the cover is pretty so I’ll probably try it. Guess that makes old farts like Jim and I the targets.
Jim: DC had a Captain Action comic book in the sixties and I think it ran just 3 or 4 issues, but was actually an okay book if memory serves. Still this is a pass for me.

by Marjane Satrapi.
Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, she tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. 352 pages. (6x9)
Lee: If you haven’t read this, then you really should. I purchased Persepolis for my wife years ago and she really liked it. If you are at all curious about growing up in a strict Muslim country this is a great place to start. Not to mention that it’s an excellent coming-of-age story.
Jim: Coming of age stories...blech..I have seen to many of those.

- B&W. by Bill Ward
The first three issues of Bill Ward's classic cutie, Torchy, are reprinted here for the first time! Also included is her first appearance in Modern Comics. Foreword from comics historian, Greg Theakson. 160 pages. (8x11)
Lee: 1950’s cheesecake from one of the masters of cheesecake. I have a couple of the originals and this is great Betty & Veronica adventures for older boys.
Jim: LOL – Betty & Veronica for older boys, great premise Lee.

- Full Color. by Charles M. Schulz
Packaged in an adorable replica of Snoopy's red dog house, this one-of-a-kind collection contains all eight, classic Peanuts titles (Christmas is Together Time, Happiness is a Sad Song, Happiness is a Warm Puppy, Home is on Top of a Dog House, I Need All the Friends I Can Get, Love is Walking Hand-in-Hand, Security is a Thumb and a Blanket, and Suppertime!), as well as The Peanuts Cookbook, available for the first time in over 30 years! 648 pages. (10x8.5)

Lee: If you really want Peanuts buy the HC’s from Fantagraphics but this is a great package. I have some of these books and I share them with my kids and they love them. But, I really, really like the packaging.
Jim: I have never been a fan of Peanuts.
Lee: What? How can you not like Peanuts? Granted most of the material past 1980 is forgettable but the late 50’s is incredible. Not like Peanuts???? That’s un-American. Maybe this is your way of letting the rest of the world know you’re a terrorist.
Jim: Dude - I just don't like Peanuts.

- Full Color. by Dave Dwonch.
Gnomes are real! Believed to be simple yard decorations, these Garden Gnomes once roamed the Earth as its greatest protectors. Long ago a curse was laid upon them, petrifying them until the day they were needed to protect the Earth once more. In 1956, the world was in peril - and one lonely gnome answered the call! 64 pages. (6x9)
Lee: This is right up there with the Helen Killer idea. Garden gnomes that protect the world. There is no lack of creativity, that’s for sure.
Jim: Difference is I want to read the Helen Killer book, this one not so much.

- Full Color. by Various.
Uncle Pat has been killed by the sentient skin cancer and an Irish funeral prepares the return of the Zombie Biker! The rock-and-roll legend Recalcitrant Jones & the Dead Beats returns. This special issue include a 14-track CD featuring music from the Students of the Unusual song contest, plus bonus tracks. 48 pages. MATURE THEMES.
Lee: I have no idea of this is any good but I really like the preview art that I saw. Plus, free music. How can you go wrong with that?

- B&W by Willie Patterson & Sydney Jordan. Thought of as one of the most influential and intelligent comic strips ever published, Jeff Hawke is a high point in adult-oriented science- fiction storytelling! Jeff Hawke is once more forced to be an ambassador for humankind, as strange aliens make contact with humanity in The Ambassadors; a mysterious alien toys with time and becomes the Pastmaster; and an excavation unearths mysterious artifacts of incredible power in The Immortal Toys - plus two more strange sci-fi tales, The Gamesman and A Test Case! Willie Patterson's scripts make Jeff Hawke's plots and characters truly compelling, and Sydney Jordan's groundbreaking artwork fully capture the peculiarities of the aliens in Jeff's universe! 128 pages. (9x12)
Lee: “Classic” 1950’s Sci Fi. From what I can learn on the internet, this is supposed to be good. And, I have a weakness for American 1950’s sci-fi so I’ll probably try the British version too. But, admittedly, this isn’t for everyone.
Jim: Still look at Judge Dredd, Warrior Magazine and other material from England, lots of good stuff.

- B&W. by Larry Hama & Michael Golden.
Bucky O'Hare and his valiant crew of the Righteous Indignation battle against the Toad Menace while facing the decimation of Warren, the home-world of Captain Bucky O'Hare! Bucky and his crew must save the rabbits before they are sent to the green-sludge ball that is the Toad home-world, where they will work their fur-covered paws to the bone! The Toad Menace will not give in easily, but bring all their slimy, wart-covered forces down on the furry rebels. If Bucky wishes to survive, his only choice is to marshal his own allies and construct the greatest weapon the Aniverse has ever imagined - the Harecraft Carrier! 196 pages. (5x7)
Lee: AWFUL awful awful. Bucky O’hare has come great Michael Golden art at his prime. This is a reduced size B&W reprint shoot from color pages. It’s muddy. It’s dark. It’s bad. I actually just threw my copy away it was so bad.
Jim: Wow, that is just a shame. Why reprint something if you can do it credit.

- Full Color. by Layton, Shooter, Quesada & Windsor-Smith.
This digitally recolored and remastered Valiant special edition collects the full X-O Manowar origin story from issues #0-6 for the first time ever, and includes an all-new The Rise of Lydia story by Bob Layton and a new cover by Sean Chen! Aric Dacia is a Visigoth barbarian captured by spider aliens and enslaved aboard their starship until he steals their ultimate weapon - the X-O Manowar armor. Aric returns to Earth only to find that 1600 years have passed. Now, the most primitive man on the planet wields the most technologically advanced weapon in existence! Features explosive artwork by Barry Windsor-Smith and Marvel EIC Joe Quesada and a story by legendary creators Bob Layton and Jim Shooter! 192 pages. (7x10)
Lee: I love the fact that these old Valiant stories are getting reprinted. They were good at the time and they are still good today.
Jim: I just hope it is a higher quality reprint then Harbinger was. I wonder if the first 12 issues of Valiant’s Magnus run can every get reprinted. I know that has Gold Key rights also involved.

DAN DARE OVERSIZED UK SPECIAL VOL. 01 HC - Full Color. by Garth Ennis Art by: Gary Erskine Cover by: Bryan Talbot.
GROUNDBREAKING COMICS WRITER GARTH ENNIS BRINGS CLASSIC DAN DARE BACK TO LIFE IN A BOLD NEW SERIES! Virgin Comics is compiling the first three issues of the landmark Dan Dare, written by Garth Ennis, into a Special Hardcover Edition. Whether you're joining the adventure for the first time, or a collector, this volume containing Dan Dare #1, #2 and #3 is the perfect addition to your comics Library. The 80-page hardcover book contains the first three issues with interior artwork by Gary Erskine, and the five covers from Bryan Talbot, Greg Horn, Jonathan Higgins, Brendan McCarthy and Garry Leach. Dan Dare was once a hero. He brokered peace with alien races, pushed the frontiers of space, and saved the planet from total annihilation... repeatedly. But now, his Space Fleet has disbanded, the United Nations has crumbled, his friends scattered to the solar winds. Britain is once again the world power, but Dare, disillusioned and disappointed in his once-precious home country, has quietly retired. But there's trouble mustering in Deep Space. The H.M.S. Achilles is picking up strange signals when, suddenly, an enormous fleet of hostile ships ambushes the destroyer. As the crew struggles to stay alive, they realize with horror that the hostiles have brought a weapon of unimaginable power. Dan Dare, pilot of the future, has been called out of retirement! 80 pages. (8x11)
Lee: I am enjoying this series so much that a nice big oversized hc is perfect for me.
Jim: Wow, this is a good series, but I do not want two hard covers for one seven part series.

Lee: Another great month. Not much more to say than that.
Jim: This is always the best post of the previews almost every month as you can find things you are never expecting (Helen Killer). This month was no exception.

And the new solicitations for May are already coming out. Sheesh!

1 comment:

  1. Don't like Peanuts? Let me guess... You don't like Carl Barks Ducks, Mickey Mouse, or Archie comics either... AND if given the opportunity kick small dog (and children) as they pass you in the street.

    Who doesn't like Peanuts???