Lee: Last month, I got to the Indies reviews far too late so I’m trying hard to complete them early this month. Lots and lots to see both in new books and fancy books about artists.
Jim: Early, you call this early. Let’s face it we maybe a little late in our terms, but we are talking about books that may (and I emphasis MAY) show up in August so we are early even in another 3 weeks.
You'll All be Sorry PB by Gail Simone
Wonder Woman's Gail Simone shreds comics' sacred cows in this first-ever collection of her humorous prose. In this mixture of new stories and classics from her long-running online column, Simone sends up websites, Watchmen, Whiteout, and Wizard, turning her sharp wit on characters, pros, and fans alike! Includes illustrations.
Pages: 160, 10x7, B&W, $11.99
Lee: I have the prose collections by Peter David and Mark Evanier and I love both of them. Some creators just have a great sense of humor and it really comes through. This should be a really fun read.
Jim: Her columns on CBR were almost required reading for me. Gail is obviously a professional writer and if you have never read these columns it is well worth reading.
ALTERNA COMICS INC
Chair GN by Peter Simeti & Kevin Christensen
Ten years Richard Sullivan has spent on Death Row, awaiting execution for crimes he claims he never committed. But of late, strange events have begun to occur within the prison, including a piling body count of inmates, a viciously sadistic warden, and enough twists and turns to make Sullivan question his own sanity. Can he prove his innocence before it's too late - or is there something else entirely going on?
Pages: 136, 7x10, B&W, $13.95
Lee: Here’s something we haven’t seen lately, a prison comic. There are lots of crime comics out there but few take place in a prison. This sounds interesting and the art looks pretty good to.
Jim: But have these guys really ever been in prison like you were Lee? One thing that is becoming apparent to me is that I need to have a comic store that is willing to carry a lot of graphic novels so that I can breeze through them at the store before buying. I find it very hard to pull the trigger for a $14 order with no knowledge of the creators or a recommendation from someone’s whose opinion I value. The preview is okay, but short for a 136 page book and never gives us what the story will be about. The art is okay and appropriate for this type of story.
AMAZE INK/SLAVE LABOR GRAPHICS
Babysitter GN by Andy Ristaino
By night, Setsuko Kagaku is the world's leading babysitter. Equipped with her trusty rocketpack, she jet sets all around the globe keeping the world's greatest resource - the children, silly - safe. But by day, she is just another teenager dealing with the same problems that any other Japanese schoolgirl faces: giant robots, big angry kaijubakumono (monsters), crazy science experiments gone awry, weird tentacled beasties, global conspiracies, and alien invaders - not to mention good grades, plenty of teen angst, and boys! Join Setsuko as she tries to deal with the panic and claustrophobia of living in a depiction of modern Japan that only a completely uninformed and rather stupid American could dream up! Pages: 112, 9x15, FC, $29.95
Pretty pictures here and make sure to browse the site, Ristaino has some great stuff in there.
Lee: There is so much to like about this preview it blows my mind. Crazy art which I love and super oversized book (9x15!!!!) to really enjoy the crazy art. BUT, it’s expensive for 112 pages. I’m torn but the previews on Ristaino’s site were so good I’ll most likely cave.
Jim: Not me, I can appreciate Lee’s sentiments, but that type of art style does not appeal to me as much as it does Lee.
Ubu Bubu #3 by Jamie Smart
As the apocalypse counts down, Ubu Bubu continues his reaping, sloughing and maiming in style! And the filthy soiled stench of death gets a sexy makeover as NubNub, daemon of perversion, thrusts his way into the world and begins a rampage of the most horrifically degraded morals! It all snowballs towards a cliffhanger ending as Ubu Bubu, his new and cute evil buddies, and the doomed innocents Henry and Sissy find themselves assailed and brought to destruction by not only the Nephilim, but a certain someone from Hell itself!
B&W Comic, $3.50
Preview pages here
Lee: I picked this just because I like saying Ubu BuBu out load there times fast. It’s like talking to my kids some days because it’s all I can manage when they make me mad. BUT, upon further investigation this might be fun. Definitely for lovers of Squee and Lenore.
Jim: Ubu BuBu, Ubu BuBu, Ubu BuBu – well that was fun.
ANARCHY STUDIOS/HARRIS COMICS
Vampirella: Crimson Chronicles Maximum SC by Archie Goodwin, Jose Gonzalez & Various
For the first time ever Harris Comics proudly presents a massive and affordable omnibus collection of the very first Vampirella tales! Never before have so many essential classics by Archie Goodwin, Jose Gonzalez, Steve Englehart, and more been collected all in one place for one low price! Includes every Vampirella story from the original Vampirella #1-37. Cover by Jim Silke.
Pages: 448, 7x10, B&W, $17.95
Lee: Currently, this is the only reprint of the original Vampirella comics available. A couple of years ago Harris reprinted Vampirella in a set of 4 tpb’s. This just looks like a repackaging of that material. But, the price is great and an easy way to see lots of Vampi’s early adventures at a reasonable price.
Jim: You just wanted a Vampy cover on the post, go ahead admit it. This was the sexiest comic book on the market that I was aware of as a young man. I guess the stories were okay.
ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS
God Machine #1- by Chandra Free
Guy Salvatore can't get a break. After his girlfriend Sith died, he can't seem to go through a morning without monsters coming out of the bathroom mirror, or being pressed at school with his friends' concern over his well-being. All Guy wants is to be left alone. One night after a bad dream, Guy seeks solace in the graveyard by Sith's tombstone, and is there confronted by an odd bunch of characters that will change his life forever with the promise that Sith might be alive! Meanwhile, a beautiful Goddess known as Good God has lost the key to heaven. She needs the help of her fellow compatriot, Evil God, to search for it down on Earth. But what starts off as a minor chore becomes more when Guy catches them in the graveyard, especially since Gods are supposed to be invisible to mortals! $3.95
Visit Chandra here
Jim: The premise sounds very cool and the cover art looks great also.
Lee: Here’s what I love about the monthly indies review, I would never have picked this book. I like the art but it reminds me of lots of similar stuff I’ve already read/seen. The story sounds ok but not great. But, it’s interesting that Jim would pick this. You’ll have to tell me about it later.
Flash Gordon #1 by Brendan Deneen & Paul Green
America's beloved sci-fi hero is back in a brand new ongoing series, based on Alex Raymond's original ideas but with a modernized twist for the 21st century! CIA Agent Dale Arden draws a reluctant Flash Gordon back into the world of espionage to track down the allegedly insane Hans Zarkov - who's been accused of creating a weapon of mass destruction. Elsewhere in the universe, Ming the Merciful's tyrannical shadow looms over Mongo, where an impending civil war is escalating! FC Comic, $3.99
Art samples here, not for F.G. but it’s Paul Green.
Lee: Unrelated to Flash Gordon, I find it interesting that J.M. DeMatteis is the EIC of Ardden! I never saw that coming. As for this comic, Flash Gordon is a great property and I’m glad to see it in print. I’ve got reprints of the original 1930’s Alex Raymond strip so that should tell you how big a fan I am. I don’t know the creators but Paul Green’s art is really striking. I’ll be giving this a try.
Jim: I have never really cared for Flash Gordon. I have Mac Raboy’s work on the strip that Dark Horse reprinted and that is enough Flash Gordon for me.
Bomb SC by Steve Mannion
Collecting issues #1-4 of The Bomb mini-series, this book has been described as Raiders of the Lost Ark meets MAD Magazine, with a dash of Stan Lee thrown in for good measure! Steve Mannion's signature brush style, colorful characters, and witty gag-writing have already netted the artist a solid underground following. This huge compilation features Fearless Dawn, Brownhole Jones, and Jungle Chick and the Dinosaur. For fans of The Goon, Wally Wood, and classic EC horror, this book is a must! Pages: 168, 7x10, Part Color, $14.95
Preview art here
Lee: I’ve been a fan of Steve Mannion for a very, very long time so this is an easy sell for me. His art is all about big cars, big guns, big men, and big women! It’s all over the top and hilariously funny.
Jim: This looks great and after looking at the preview I will have to give Steve Mannion’s work a try.
Warlash: Dark Noir Vol. 01 GN by Forte, Mannion, Kudranski & Ponomarew
Warlash, armored warrior of the apocalyptic future, returns! This issue reintroduces Warlash with four tales of hard boiled crime noir terror. In "Phlegm Fatale," Warlash battles a biogenic beast in the sewers below Pittsburgh. "Grubbs" introduces Warlash to the seedy underside of the city he is sworn to protect. In Wormwar, Part 1, a secret formula is stolen from an underground lab and Warlash must find out who committed the crime. Finally, in "The Demon," Warlash is confronted with a satanic rite and the hellspawned beast unleased!
Pages: 56, 7x10, FC, $3.95
Preview art here
Lee: An anthology that’s all about a zombie mutant massacre. What’s not to love? It’s got more art by Mannion which is a plus and Kudranski’s art looks great too. Let it never be said there were enough mutant zombie comics in the marketplace.
Jim: True, but I’m not a Mannion convert yet, so only The Bomb this month.
Crossed #0 – by Garth Ennis & Jacen Burrows
Garth Ennis has pulled out all the stops to write the most twisted book of his career, Crossed! Through ten heart-stopping chapters, Crossed is his horrifically visceral exploration of the pure evil that humans are truly capable of indulging. This gut-wrenching vision is brought to vivid - and more than a little disturbing - life by his partner in crime Jacen Burrows. Imagine, for a moment, the worst crimes against humanity. Picture the cruelest affronts to decency. Conjure your darkest nightmares - and then realize it could all be so much worse. When civilization crumbles in one terrifying moment; when people are gleefully breaking into unthinkable acts of violence all around you; when everyone you love has died screaming in agony: What do you do? There is no help. There is no hope. There is no escape. There are only the Crossed. Certain to be the most depraved and corrupt book of the year, this one is not for the faint of heart! This #0 issue is not a preview, it features the essential first chapter of the story.
Jim: I recently read Scars by Ellis and Burrows and it was a hard edge book about a cop who had seen too much in his life and now had to deal with a horrendous crime. Garth can go too far and this book sounds like it could be shock for shock’s sake, but I will try it out as I like Burrows and enjoy Ennis away from super hero books.
Lee: Now this just doesn’t appeal to me. It seems that Ennis (and Ellis too) use Avatar as their dumping ground for ideas that are too violent or too extreme or basically too anything for most of the public. I don’t need to read another Ennis “depraved and corrupt book” as the hype calls it. I’ve read that before I don’t really want to read it again.
COME BACK FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FOR PARTS 2 and 3.