Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indies Preview Review for July Part 3 0f 3

Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
Part 3 for your reading pleasure.

IDW Publishing
Journey Vol. 01 SC by William Messner-Loebs (w/a)
A classic adventure series from Eiser nominee William Messner-Loebs, Journey, introduced the world to Joshua "Wolverine" McAlistaire and the Fort Miami settlement populated by both real-life and fictional characters. And now IDW is re-presenting this acclaimed work in two comprehensive volumes, the first of which collects issues 1-13. Eisner-winning writer/artist Sam Kieth, Messner-Loebs' partner on The Maxx, provides an intro. Pages: 424, 6.625 x 10.187, B&W
Lee: After Zot, Journey is one of my favorite Indies from the 80’s. This series was an absolute masterpiece of comic book story telling! This is the story of "Wolverine" McAlistaire in the American frontier of the 1800’s. Good, good stuff.
Jim: Sadly it is confession time and this is one of those known masterpieces that I have never gotten around to reading.

Snaked SC by Clifford Meth (w) Rufus Dayglo (a) Ashley Wood (c)
In a world of dirty politics, backstabbing friends and unfaithful women, Bill Timmons discovers that being a Snake is more than a metaphor... but he's unprepared for what will happen when he sheds his skin and the fangs start to show... and so is everyone else. Written by Clifford Meth, who Barnes and Noble called "one of dark fiction's best-kept secrets," this collection also includes a new foreword by Gene Colan and the original short stories the series was based on, as well as original illustrations by the incomparable Dave Cockrum! Pages: 104, 6.625x10.187, FC
Author here and artist here
Lee: Rufus Dayglo is a veteran of the British 2000AD series so he knows his art. I’m not sure who Clifford Meth is based upon the people that recommend him, it seems like he knows his stuff too. Finally, instead of a werewolf we have a weresnake. I’m all over this.
Jim: I think you might be snake bitten, this seems over hyped and probably the quote is from his brother who works at Barnes and Noble. Maybe they should send us a free copy so we can see. Okay this was a blatant try to get free stuff. Seriously I’m not as sold as Lee is.

World War Robot SC by Ashley Wood (w & a & c)
In World War Robot, a dwindling band of humans and robots face off in a battle that will likely end humanity as we know it... on Earth, on the Moon, and on Mars, too. Badass battles, really intense human/robot drama, and even a little black humor and political intrigue are the order of the day in this oversize (one foot long by one foot wide!), standalone epic courtesy of Wood.
Pages: 48, 12x12, FC
Lee: This is an absolutely huge book. I can’t believe the size on this thing. But, if you like Wood’s art then this is the way to see it. His Zombie’s v. Robots was fine so I’m sure the story will be adequate but this is all about the art.
Jim: A great art book, but the size makes it something I would never buy as I have nowhere to put it. I hate owning something that is just shoved away somewhere.

King Tractor Press
Family Bones Vol. 01 SC
by Shawn Granger, Orlando Baez, Kenneth Landgraf & Various
Family Bones is based on the true story of the oldest married couple on Missouri's death row, serial killers Ray and Faye Copeland, as experienced one summer by their unwitting nephew. Sean is trapped on the Copeland farm, a slave for his uncle. The heat simmers his skin to a full boil until the neighbor's beautiful daughter appears. Wendy quickly becomes his hope, desire, and fear; not to mention his one trusted friend. Together they discover each other and some very bloody family secrets. Collects issue #1-5 of the comic book series.
Pages: 176, 6x8, B&W Official site here
Lee: More true crime! I am always amazed at just how many really bad people there have been over the years that the general public hasn’t heard about. I’m sure this falls into the “either you like it or don’t” category but if you’re looking for something new in the horror department this looks good.
Jim: I’m always amazed by how bad some people are and then I realize that we have a tendency to think that the way we think is the way others think, so since we value life others must and they just don’t. That type of “true” horror is the scariest of all.

Metallic Rose Comics
Hoverboy (One-Shot) by Ty Templeton, Marcus Moore & Steve Molnar
The greatest hero of the Twentieth Century is back! Hoverboy, the Republican super-hero, and star of comics, films, cartoons and toys, is returning to the media that spawned him, in an all-new adventure by Eisner Award winning writer/artist Ty Templeton (Howard the Duck, The Exterminators, The Simpsons) and Steve Molnar (Avengers Adventures). With special appearances by George Bush, John McCain, and his Republican All-Stars, this is the Hoverboy comic to own! Full Color
Lee: Jill Thompson is always an art sell, and Ty Templeton is a 90% sell for his writing. He has a great handle on humorous situation and almost always entertains.
Jim: How did Jill Thompson get into this conversation? This does sound very funny.

Little Nothings Vol. 01: Curse of the Umbrella GN
by Lewis Trondheim
Another great albeit quite different blog! The great talent behind the new generation in Europe - the Dungeon series, A.L.I.E.E.E.N., and Mr. O - pours his heart out in funny snippets of everyday life. His paranoia, little annoyances, big annoyances, chase of rainbows, love of comics, travel impressions from around the world, dealing with kids, being a kid - it's all about life as we know it. A collection from his comics blog that expands his palette with full color painting, one can only be awed at Trondheim's uncanny sense of observation and relate to all his experiences closely.
Pages: 128, 6x9, FC
Lee: I pick this AGAIN because it was soooo good. I already have my copy and I devoured it in one day. This is a very humorous look at real life and real situations told by a master cartoonist. It is a joy to read.
Jim: You can’t pick the same book twice. There should be some sort of a rule against this.

Oni Press Inc.
Last Call Vol. 02 GN by Vasilis Lolos
Alec and Sam were lost and separated. But, when the pair finally find one another, it's not the reunion either one expects. Alec has aged ten years while Sam has only been on his own for ten hours! There's no time for the two to catch-up though! There's still the issue of who is murdering the passengers and how it's connected to the boy's appearance on the train!
Pages: 136, B &W
Lee: I recently picked up Vol 1 of this series and it was excellent. Luckily Vol 2 is close behind it. Make no mistake, this is a horror story with a great mystery wrapped around it. I’m torn because I hope this is a conclusion but at the same time I don’t want the story to end.
Jim: It sounds intriguing. I have recently been getting into Queen and Country and I understand the idea that you want it to end, but don’t want it to end.

Oog & Blik
Waiting for Food: Crumb Placemat Drawings Vol. 02 HC
by R. Crumb
Previously unavailable in the U.S.! You will never have to be irretated again if you are in a restaurant. You just bring this volume of Waiting for Food and your dinner will be served before you know it. This sort of thing, drawing in social gatherings, in restaurants, is my way of alleviating some of the stress involved in socializing... kind of like smoking.˜R. Crumb .
Pages: 96, 27x20
Lee: I like lots of Crumb’s older work so I am tempted by this. It looks like an easy way to get some crumb into my collection without having to worry if my kids read it.
Jim: I like Crumb, but not enough to really worry about getting any of his work. They may not make sense, but with all that I have I don’t need to collect stuff from people who I just like.

Red 5 Comics
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction #1 by Kevin Grevioux & Geraldo Borges
With public patience for Middle East casualties wearing thin, the U.S. military adopts a new weapon - Zombies! Air-dropped into hot zones, the walking dead indiscriminately infect everyone. Engineered to dissolve at daybreak, they create a safe combatant-free zone. What could go wrong? From the creator the of Underworld movie franchise!
Jim: Our friends at Red 5 are jumping into the Zombie band wagon. Given that everyone likes to do super heroes, I see no problem in everyone trying out a Zombie concept. The premise is great and from there we have to see if the execution is as good.
Lee: I’m still a sucker for a good zombie story and this seems to have all the right elements. And even though it’s a huge cliché, I love the phase “What could go wrong?” Red 5 has been a miniature hit factory so far and this looks like a fine addition.

Steranko's History of Comics Vol. 2 SC
by Jim Steranko
Artist/writer Jim Steranko chronicles the epic story of comics' Golden Age creators and super-heroes such as Blackhawk, Captain Midnight, The Flying Heroes, Captain Marvel, the Marvel Family, Plastic Man, The Spirit, Uncle Sam, The Ray, Kid Eternity, and others! More than 455 dynamite illustrations!
Size: 9x12, B&W
Lee: This is one of the best (and most dense) histories of comics ever written. Steranko interviewed everyone and anyone who was alive from the golden age of comics to write this book. It contains so many stories from the people that created comics as we know them that this is a must have for anyone interested in comics history. If you’re only getting started in comics history go “Comic Book Comics” from Evil Twin Publishing first then come here for real information.
Jim: First off Comic Book Comics is real information and well done, just because it ain’t high fluting and all that don’t mean it isn’t chock full of good info. Second this is a great series and I only wish it had been continued. Easily one of the best histories I ever read.

Vanguard Productions
Amazing World Carmine Infantino Revised HC
by J. David Spurlock
Carmine Infantino, the legendary artist that launched the Silver Age and co-creator of The Flash, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, and Deadman, tells all in this 180-page, heavily illustrated, autobiographic, career retrospective filled with his revolutionary accomplishments and anecdotes about his colleagues Jack Kirby, Julie Schwartz, Joe Orlando, Neal Adams, Joe Simon, Bill Gaines, and Stan Lee. Pages: 180, 11x8
Curt Swan Life in Comics SC by Curt Swan & Various
The elegant comic book art of Curt Swan defined the look of Superman for over 30 years. His amazing skills of storytelling, draftsmanship, and design brought a realism and sense of wonder to The Man of Steel's adventures, making them the best-selling comic books of their day. Filled with iconic and previously unseen pop art, this fascinating biography traces the artist's career from the beginning on features like Gangbusters to his rise as the top Superman artist. Engaging one-on-one interviews with Swan family members as well as comics legend associates like Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson, and dozens more, paint a portrait of the man as elegant as the artist's own work. Includes never-before-published Superman art and sketches.
Steranko HC by Jim Steranko & Various
This massive, full-color volume of the controversial creator's career explodes with hundreds of images - many never before collected in book form! The package reveals a multitude of behind-the-scenes stories and analytical insights about comics' most innovative artist, writer, and performer - unknown Marvel art; work with Steven Spielberg & George Lucas; the Secret Origin of Mister Miracle; a collaboration with Harlan Ellison; an annotated Shadow Gallery, and more, in high-quality hardcover format! Also available is a limited Deluxe Slipcased Edition with 16-page Bonus Folio and autographed by Steranko. Pages: 128, 8.5x11, HC
Lee: I lump all of these together just to show how much information on artists is available these days. Vanguard does some of the best artist bio’s on the market. I have the Infantino HC and I love it! While I’m not a huge Swan fan, the Steranko book is very very appealing.
Jim: I’m actually more interested in the Curt Swan book. Steranko was a very appealing talent, but was only in comics for a short time and Swan was one of the best artists in comics ever and I believe he never even realized how good he was.

Virgin Comics LLC
Brief History of Death One Shot
by Arjun Gaind Art by: Ram Soni
A young suicide bomber prepares to destroy a busy train station. But at the moment of impact he is frozen in time, and comes face to face with the God of Death, a creature known as Yama. But death waits for no one... except for those few to whom he gives the choice of life. Will the tale of Yama's own lost soul help the boy to change his mind? The only hope for life is Death himself.
Pages: 56, 7x10
Lee: Now this is something you don’t see everyday. The story of a terrorist told from his point of view.
Jim: Ands I hate to say it, but I think it is a valid viewpoint to look at. Of course you can’t interview a suicide bomber, so this is the next best thing. We label a large group of people as terrorists and they have certainly earned that badge, but just remember what we looked like to the British at one point.

Zenescope Entertainment Inc
Beyond Wonderland #0 by Raven Gregory
The much anticipated sequel to Zenescope's instant hit ‘Return To Wonderland’ has finally arrived! It's been six months since Calie Liddle escaped the hell that is Wonderland. Now she is living a new life in a new city under a new identity. But something from beyond this world is out there, watching, waiting and scheming for a chance to take back what it wants. And Calie can feel it closing in on her... Wonderland is coming to the Big Apple and only one girl will be able to stop terror that it brings. .
Jim: Return to Wonderland was really a strong series and it was the first time it made me take Zenoscope as a company who can do a higher level book, so now the real trick is trying to replicate that type of success.
Lee: If you can mention Zenescope every month then I can mention “Little Nothings” as often as I like. I know you love this stuff I really don’t see the appeal.

Jim: If I ever decide to really give up the massive list of comics that I get I can almost guarantee you that it will not include this material. In fact I’d rather read more of these books then most of the big two and also wish more of the excellent writers and artists from the big two would do an indy project now and again.
Lee: Another fine month of books. There’s certainly something for everyone. Since we’ve been doing this, my big two list has been steadily shrinking and I don’t mind at all.


  1. My brother is a Marine. He doesn't work for Barnes and Noble. The reviewer who made that comment was Matt Schwartz. Google him. We're not related. Neither am I related to Harlan Ellison, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Bloch, Bob Silverberg, or the other authors and critics who have nice things to say about my writings, though I do call Harlan "Uncle Harlan".

  2. Cliff - I was not trying to offend, we were trying to just kid around a little.

  3. Not the least bit offended. Please to meet you. You were right about Rufus being solid as a rock. You were also right that you didn't know me. I'm trying to change that.

    Visit me here:

  4. He gonna kick your @$$ Jim!!! Brothers a marine... and anyone brave enough to call Harlan Uncle Harlan has gotta be tough.

    He definitely gonna kill ya!!!

    Good luck Jim. I'll miss ya.

  5. Thanks guys for the Beyond Wonderland mention. Glad you're enjoying the books.

    Raven Gregory