Saturday, March 22, 2008

Independent Preview Review for May - Part 1 of 2

Lee: Indies really is my favorite preview of the month these days. Between Infinite Crisises and Skrull Invasions it’s nice to have something else to turn to.
Jim: This month Lee did all the heavy work by picking all the books and adding all the links that make these picks even more enjoyable. I did the dirty work of formatting grabbing pictures and such, but I was too busy to really give the indies a good perusal. Since Lee always picks some great stuff it is another good month.

BREATHE HC - Full Color. by John Sheridan & Kit Wallis.
China, the late 1700's. High in the mountains, in a poverty stricken village, lives a young girl. On a bright sunny day she's called home to discover that her whole family have been slain in a vendetta attack. Could it be the local Bao Gang, known for their bullying antics, opium smuggling, and employed by a wealthy farmer to stop the village from rebelling - or someone closer to home? Collecting the four issue mini-series in a deluxe hard cover format. 100 pages. (7x10)
Art at
Lee: I really, really like the sleak lines Wallis has. I know at some point I saw preview pages of this but I can’t seem to find them anymore. Anyway, it looks pretty enough that it just might be worth the investment.
Jim: I picked up this mini-series and the book was very light as far as actual story goes. After reading all four issues I was expecting a lot more. Still it was a decent story and the art carried the day. The line work is very nice and it captures an almost ethereal feel to the art. For $20 it is well worth it.

DARK MISTS COLL ED. SC - Full Color. by Eade, Garbett, & Yi.
While a shroud of impending unrest hangs over 1930's Europe, in Japan the number of Yakuza members is close to outnumbering the Japanese army. In a government experiment, a group of geisha ladies are recruited to inform on the conversations they observe between the murderers and politicians. However, the geisha's actions result in one of their member's brutal and bloody murder. 100 pages.
Art at
Lee: I find it interesting that Garbett, the artist, also did the art on “The Highwaymen” miniseries. I don’t know if this was before or after than but the art is definitely stylish and strong. And, the story sounds very interesting too. It will be a hard decision to get this or the Breathe HC.
Jim: Not for me this is a pretty easy decision I will be getting this soft cover. First off because I have read Breathe already and second because I’m a fan of Garbett’s work and I’m betting it was pre-Highwayman.

ROBOTS GN - B&W. by Various.
Mad, bad, and dangerous to know! Discover the truth about robots' uneasy relationships with man, 'life', the universe and toast in this stunning anthology of new and exclusive strips and contributions from Leah Moore (Albion), John Reppion (Red Sonja), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Kieron Gillen (Phonogram), Andy Bloor (Wolfmen), Isotope Award-winner Daniel Goodbrey (Merlin), Frazer Irving (Gutsville), and many more, exciting talents! 204 pages. (7x10)
Lee: As we all know anthologies are hard to get right but the list of talent in this thing. WOW! And, at least robots are zombies so it’s an entirely new subject. Another title worth checking out.
Jim: I agree we never see any material on Robots and Zombies. Zombies are so over done. The talent line up on this book certainly makes it one that looks like it could be a real winner.

Partial Color. by Joshua W. Cotter.
Observing the isolated existence of an adolescent cat, his younger brother and their overactive imaginations in the American Heartland, Skyscrapers of the Midwest serves as an intimate chronicle of their stories of childhood hope, panic and loss. Filled with belligerent cowboys, lumbering automaton deities, and wide-open spaces, this comic gives voice to a highly respected new creator in the field of sequential literature. Skyscrapers of the Midwest was awarded the 2004 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics, and was nominated for both an Eisner and Ignatz award during its serialized run. 288 pages. (6x9)
Art at
Lee: I’ve read issues 3-4 of the original series and it’s… it’s… well, it’s comiX. I tried it because the art looked so good. But, once I got into it, it seemed very strange, but I kept thinking about the book and what it was talking about. It actually stayed with me for several days while I thought about it and that is a grand achievement for any comic. If you don’t want to plunge into a hc, then I suggest one of the single issues because it is worth your time.
Jim: It certainly looks and sounds intriguing and it was noticed by a lot of critics to get the nominations. Also Lee saying the book actually staying with him is a real plus. Still I just can’t pull the trigger on this book. One day I think I will abandon more and more of the big two and spend more of my $$ in the indie world. This material will be something I will look for when the Balto-Con c0mes to t0wn.

GREEN MANOR VOL. 01: ASSASSINS & GENTLEMEN GN - Full Color. by Vehlmann & Bodart. Impossible investigations, perfect crimes, a série noire whose plot draws the reader into the mystery! A cup of tea? A drop of milk? A spoonful of poison? At first sight, nothing would make the very select club called Green Manor stand out from any other English club. Yet behind its thick walls, sunk into its deep chairs, hides the biggest bunch of con artists, bandits, and murderers that Queen Victoria's England has ever seen! 56 pages.
About the artist
Art samples at
Lee: Aaahhh, more pricey foreign material. I LOVE THIS STUFF! Anyway, I’ve been reading more Euro comics and they have been significantly better than the American comics I have read. This just looks like a fun read so I’m sure I’ll get it.
Jim: I’ll have to pass. $14 for 56 pages is just too damn pricey for my blood. Lee, it almost sounds like you are saying if it from Europe it must be good and I ain’t buying that logic.

SABRE 30TH-ANNIVERSARY HC - B&W. by Don McGregor & Paul Gulacy.
First time in hardcover! In anticipation to the upcoming new original SABRE graphic novel and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ground-breaking release of the comic that changed the marketplace forever, Desperado is proud to offer this deluxe hardcover of Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy's epic tale of the most explosive hero in comics! Includes a look back at the creation of the project from series creator Don McGregor. 48 pages. (7x10)

Lee: Now, let’s see, I have the Eclipse reprints, I have the Image trade (signed by Gulacy), and now there is a hc. This is a tough call because, obviously, I really like the material but do I need yet another version of the story? And, it is a good story with art by Gulacy when he was at the top of his game.
Jim: But did this material age well. For Lee the art work alone makes it worth his while and I love great art, but I want a good story also.

- B&W. by Cyril Pedrosa.
Three shadows stand outside the house, and Louis and Lise know why the spectral figures stand there. The shadows have come for their son, and nothing anyone can do will stop them. Louis cannot let his son die without trying to prevent it, so the family embarks on a journey to the ends of the Earth, fleeing death itself. 272 pages. (6x8.5)
About the artist at
Exclusive excerpt at
Lee: It appears that every month I am picking more and more Euro stuff for people to try. The best part is that means there is plenty of material for people to pick from. The art looks great and the story seems just an enticing. This will definitely be coming home.
Jim: I’m going to be trying a lot more of this material in the future, just not this month.

LITTLE VAMPIRE GN - Full Color. by Joann Sfar.
When Michael finds his homework mysteriously done every morning, he knows that something supernatural must be up. Investigating, he finds that the kid doing his homework isn't a person at all, but a vampire! So begins a surprising friendship, and exciting nightly adventures for Michael and Little Vampire. Meet Little Vampire, Michael, and a whole gang of monsters in the three stories in this book - the New York Times-bestselling Little Vampire Goes to School, the hilarious Little Vampire Does Kung-Fu! (an Eisner Award nominee), and the never before published Little Vampire and the Canine Defenders Club." 96 pages. (7x10)

Lee: I love all all ages material. Actually, I love humor books and they always seem to be categorized as “all ages”. Oh well, I have read plenty by Sfar and I know I like his writing. And, I couldn’t find a single bad review anywhere so another book comes home.
Jim: Maybe since my kids are grown the amount of all age material that I find appealing is drastically reduced. This will not be coming home.

POCKET FULL OF RAIN SC - Partial Color. by Jason.
An anthology of masterful shorts from the creator of "I Killed Adolf Hitler." This multifaceted anthology collects Jason's early 1990's work, including his remarkable calling card, the novella-length thriller "Pocket Full of Rain," which has never before been published in English. Like a number of his initial stories, "Pocket" is drawn with realistic human beings instead of blank-faced animal characters, a true revelation for Jason's fans. This book showcases three distinct styles - his earliest "realistic" drawing style, used to unsettling effect in some particularly creepy stories; an intermediate "bighead" cartoony style that still features humans, used for both humor and drama; and the "funny-animal" style he's now best known for. All this, plus much more, including a color gallery and God cheating at Trivial Pursuit. 184 pages. (7x10)
Lee: I recently picked up the trade of Norwegian underground artists and Jason was in it. I don’t know how I missed this along the way but it’s great stuff. A nice big part-color trade is a perfect way for me to get more of this material.
Jim: This material is great. I have read about two or three of his graphic novels are they are entertaining, well drawn and just out and out fun. Hard to go wrong with Jason.

The first critical retrospective of the work of the reclusive Spider-Man co-creator! Steve Ditko is best known as the co-creator, with Stan Lee, of Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and other classic Marvel and DC characters. But, in the context of Steve Ditko's 50-year career in comics, his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg. Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko is a coffee table art book tracing Ditko's life and career, his unparalleled stylistic innovations, and his strict adherence to his philosophical principles, with lush displays of obscure and popular art from the thousands of pages of comics he's drawn over the last 55 years. 220 pages. (9x12)

Lee: There isn’t much to say about this other than BUY IT! This along with the new Kirby book belongs on every collectors shelf.
Jim: I love Steve Ditko’s work and I find this to be the most exciting solicitation of the month. An easy book to order.

Part II – Tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Little Vampire reminds me alot of Hipira, a sweet and charming take on vampires for a younger audience by Katsuhiro Otomo, the man who wrote Akira. If you find Little Vampire to your liking you could always take a look at Hipira, it's beautifully illustrated, even though I myself would have liked there to be more material all together, the story was a bit on the thin side...