Saturday, July 26, 2008

Indies Preview Review for September Part 1 of 3

Lee: Another month, another late indies post. The blame is all mine but it’s really everyone else’s fault for having so many good offerings.
Jim: It is a little late, but still this is for stuff coming out in September and with independent publishers that could be October or November.

Aardwolf Publishing
Meth, Colan & Other Theologians SC By Clifford Meth & Gene Colan
From the possessed mind of author Clifford Meth (IDW's Snaked) and legendary artist Gene Colan (Daredevil, Tomb of Dracula) comes the reprise to the team's arresting dark-fiction collection Perverts, Pedophiles & Other Theologians (a Barnes and Noble "Horror Pick of the Week"). This new volume contains everything that was in the first collection plus two new stories co-written by Meth and Colan. Introductions and afterwords by Mark Evanier, Marv Wolfman, Gail Simone, and the late Steve Gerber. Proceeds from this book will help the ailing comics legend Colan and his family. Available in Regular and Signed softcover editions.
Pages: 110, 6x9, B&W, $14.99/$22.99
Lee: I posted a short snippet about this book here but I wanted to mention it again. Gene Colan is sick and anything I can do to pay him back for all the hours of entertainment he provided me I will gladly do. There is also a $23 version of the book if you want to give more!
Jim: Agreed. Seldom do we get a chance to give back to people who unknowingly gave us so much, here is one such chance and you get entertainment also.

Al Jaffe's Tall Tales HC By Al Jaffee

Tall Tales was an innovative newspaper strip syndicated internationally by the New York Herald Tribune from 1957-1963. Whereas newspaper strips are square, single-panel, or multiple-panel horizontal gag cartoons, Al Jaffee, known for the Fold-In in MAD Magazine, once again altered the format of his work to create a vertical strip - the first, and last, in newspaper history. Tall Tales contains the best 120 wordless strips out of over 2,200, scanned from the original files. The book features a new preface by Jaffee and an introduction by Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Pages: 128, 4x9, B&W, $14.95
Lee: Jaffee is one of the Mad Magazine originals. I know that I have loved his material for years this is an excellent chance to own some of his material. I’m really looking forward to this.
Jim: Al Jaffee is a name well known to any Mad Magazine fan from the sixties into the eighties at least. That is when I stopped getting that magazine. A truly original cartoonist.

Fritz Lang’s M HC By Jon J. Muth
Fritz Lang, the visionary genius behind Metropolis, produced his first sound film in 1931, M. Star Peter Lorre delivers a haunting performance as a serial killer, a whistling pedophile hunted by the police and brought to trial by the forces of the Berlin underworld. In 1990, a young artist, Jon J. Muth, continued his rise in the comic book industry by adapting Fritz's story into four comics published by Eclipse Comics. Long out-of-print, the adaptation has never before been collected. Pages: 192, 7x10, FC, $24.95
Lee: This is a really nice book with some great production values. And, it is gorgeous to look at too! I’m torn because I love Muth’s art but I’m not sold on the story. I understand that “M” is a classic of the silent screen but do I really want to read the story.
Jim: This is an easy call for me; I really want Lee to buy it so I can borrow it. Jon Muth’s early art is enough to make me want Lee to buy it.

Manga Shakespeare: Julius Caesar SC By Shakespeare, Appignanesi & Mustashrik
In William Shakespeare's enduring tale of ancient Rome, Julius Caesar stands at the height of his powers - but there are men plotting his destruction. Is Caesar a tyrant or a dynamic leader? Are his enemies greedy or noble? The Manga Shakespeare adaptation of this important work maintains the language - and the fierce political intrigue - of the original while including a fresh perspective through the style of modern manga.
Pages: 208, 6x9, PC, $9.95
Lee: Basically this is Classics Illustrated for Manga heads. As always, I find it interesting that this is produced. With all the Manga already available, is there a real market for this? Or is it just an attempt to legitimize the hobby. It should be noted there’s a Manga Shakespeare Macbeth too.
Jim: This looks to be a total farce.

AC Comics
Crypt of Horror #5 By Various
The classic horror comics of the 1950's, those published before the implementation of the Comics Code Authority; have become synonymous with an unequaled level skin-crawling revulsion, and a large volume of very interesting work in the genre was done during this period. The Crypt of Horror reprints series collection of 1950's horror masterpieces! Thrill to gruesome goodies with titles like Let The Past Lie Buried, The Death Ship, She Monster, The Evil Eye, and Anything Can Happen. With art by Jay Disbrow, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers, Sheldon Moldoff, and others on more than a dozen creepy classics! Pages: 120, B&W, $24.95
Lee: These AC reprints are expensive but they are so worth it. I love them! AC collects some of the best 1950’s horror stories printed with great artists from that era.
Jim: 120 pages in B&W for $25, when I’m buying every EC Archive, will have to be a pass for me. I’m getting to the point now where I will never get around to reading everything I want to read.

True Facts SC By Larry Young

Larry Young began his series of columns on comic book self-publishing for the comic book criticism website Savant. True Facts was a how-to for self-publishers, written by the Johnny Appleseed of Comics. With step-by-step instructions, each column provides the nut-and-bolts information that you need to produce and publish your own comic book. From the execution of the concept, to definitions of pre-press and printing, from distribution and branding of your comic to the mechanics of writing effective press releases, every column is printed here in its entirety.
Pages: 128, 5x8, B&W, $9.95
Lee: This is another how to book. Larry Young has been a successful publisher for years and has lots of lessons from the school of hard knocks. If you have any interest in self publishing or are just starting this is a good book for you.
Jim: I’m sure this is good information, but I would just go out to our friends in the small press world and ask them.

Alterna Comics Inc
Jesus Hates Zombies (Featuring Lincoln Hates Werewolves) In: Yea, Though I Walk Vol. 01 SC By Stephen Lindsay & Steve Cobb
The zombie plague has swept across the Earth, and Jesus has been sent down to take care of it. Along with Laz, his loyal zombie sidekick, Jesus must unite the remaining humans to stand up and defeat the zombie menace. With a time-traveling Abraham Lincoln at his side, and a zombified Angel hot on their heels, can this mish-mash of heroes save humanity - or themselves?!
Pages: 64, 7x10, #1 of 4, B&W, $7.95
Visit the official blog here and lots o’preview pages here
Lee: I laughed at Helen Killer but that was good. I’ve never read Battle Pope but that launched Kirkman’s career. I’m laughing at this and I wonder what future superstars are coming. And, after reading all the previews and what do you know… it’s pretty darn good.
Jim: Check out the preview pages. Love this quote “First time I was here to save your souls, now I’m here to save your asses.” Looks like this is going to be a very good book.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery SC By Roman, Ho, Wang, Zornow & Telgemeier
Agnes Quill is the story of a teenage detective, the haunted city of Legerdemain she lives in, the strange cases she solves, and the ghosts who help, hinder, or annoy her. Agnes' adventures include confrontations with trapped spirits, cursed souls, possessed relatives disappearing pets, decapitated scientists, ambitious zombies, and a mess of supernatural oddities!
Pages: 120, 6x9, B&W, $10.95
Visit Roman here, Wang here
Lee: Since I have little girls I’m always looking for books that I can give to them. Either now or later but something comics related that they might enjoy. This falls squarely into that category! It looks to be a wonderful all ages story.
Jim: I understand Lee’s sentiments, but that time is gone for me as my little girls are 26 and 22 years old.

Tupelo Vol. 01 SC By Matt Degennaro & Phil Elliott
In 1977, Famous Monsters - led by the eccentric Captain Tupelo - burned up Greenwich Village's punk scene. When the Monsters broke up, rumors spread of a strange street avenger. They called him Captain Tupelo. Today, few remember the story. Until one night - and one murder. This edition collects the original 4-issue run and includes a Famous Monsters music CD!
Pages: 144, B&W, $16.95
Visit Phil Elliott here with a four page preview if you dig around some.
Lee: Comics and punk rock are two of my favorite things so this is an easy sell for me. It’s certainly different than anything else out there which is a huge plus too.
Jim: See Lee is a big music nut and fan. I love a lot of music, but not to the same level as some people (hell I have around 2500 songs on my computer). So this sounds too much like whipped cream and beer nuts, a combination I find unappetizing.

Punk Rock & Trailer Parks SC By Derf
Derf, the creator of Trashed and award winning cartoonist of his syndicated strip The City brings stories us growing up in a small town, the day-to-day weirdness of the trailer parks tucked away therein, the power of music, specifically the punk rock of the late 1970's which redefined, transported, and ultimately, perhaps disappointed a generation. Punk Rock and Trailer Parks conjures up the mystical power of the counterculture to turn outcasts into heroes and, most of all, the transcendent experience that is punk rock.
Pages: 144, 7x10, B&W, $15.95
Lee: Speaking of punk rock, we have the latest from Derf! Whereas Tupelo appears to be an artists view of punk, Derf is all about being a punk. I read his book Trashed and laughed my butt off. I’m sure this is more of the same and filled with all sorts of real life insanity.
Jim: For Lee this is a cultural experience.

Andrews and Mcmeel
Prince Valiant Vol. 01 SC By Gary Gianni & Mark Schultz
Originally created by Hal Foster and now sketched by award-winning creators Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz, Prince Valiant is an epic comic adventure that has maintained a continuous story line since its debut in 1937. Noted for its realistic panoramas and its intelligent, humorous narrative, Prince Valiant depicts events taken from various time periods spanning from the late Roman Empire to the High Middle Ages. This collection follows Prince Valiant and his son Nathan as they prepare for battle following King Arthur's abdication. The knightly father and son encounter danger and adventure as they right wrongs throughout each step of their journey. Meanwhile, Aleta, Valiant's true love, holds court back at Camelot while facing challenges of her own. Prince Valiant appears weekly in more than 300 newspapers nationwide. Strips dating from November 21, 2004, to May 11, 2008 are included within this collection.
Pages: 192, 8x11, FC, $19.99
Lee: Jim is more of a Prince Valiant fan than I am but I love Gianni’s art. A great action adventure story with outstanding art if you are interested.
Jim: I do love Prince Valiant, but I’m only a fan of the Hal Foster period. For me it is the original or nothing at all. One great thing about Prince Valiant is it is a story of a man’s life. Prince Valiant gets married, has kids, gets older, etc. Something they should do in comics. Still it is Gianna and Schultz and only $20 for full color, oh hell why not.

Ape Entertainment
Return to Point Pleasant SC By Chad Lambert & Various
Time traveling scientists journey to Point Pleasant, West Virginia in search of the Mothman! From the Revolutionary War to the 1967 Silver Bridge disaster, 200 years of paranormal folklore comes to life in fully-painted color. Ray Bradbury calls Lambert's story "superb and frightening! Bravo!" Based on true events. Pages: 72, 7x10, FC, $9.95
Visit Lambert here and preview pages here
Lee: Time travel, spooky stuff, and folklore, what more do you need in a good story. The sequential preview pages look better than the splash pages which is great too. This might be worth a quick peak.
Jim: I don't know, this is missing the mark for me.

Arcana Studio
Corrective Measures SC By Grant Chastain & Fran Moyano

Less than 30 miles off the coast of Florida is an island. And if you're one of the few that get to see it, it's likely you will never leave! This is San Tiburon, home to beautiful white sandy shores, crystal-blue waters - and the world's most dangerous maximum-security penitentiary. For 185 of the world's most dangerous super-powered criminals, it is their final home. They will reside within these walls until their sentence is served - or they meet their end. There are no escapes. There are no bargains or compromises. There is only San Tiburon. Enjoy your stay. Collects issues #1-6 of the limited series. Pages: 152, 7x10, FC, $14.95
Previews here
Lee: There has definitely been a run of prison comics lately. But, this looks like it has super villains instead of ordinary schmoes which sets it apart. I’m actually kinda interested to see this because of the villain aspect. I wonder if Chastain will go with the Honor-among-thieves or they’re-all-psychos route.
Jim: Arcana has been high on my radar lately and while they have not had what I would call an “A” level book, they have had solid “B” and “C” level books that are fun and entertaining. I missed this as a series; it has possibilities of me trying it out as a graphic novel.

Marlow: Soul of Darkness #1 By Aaron Thomas Nelson & Mathew Reynolds
Accidentally turned into a zombie by nanotechnology meant to cure his war-torn psyche, Marlow now works for the pharmaceutical company that mutilated him. In exchange for the medicines that keep him from reverting to a zombie state, Marlow does all the dirty work the Company asks him to do out of fear of transforming into a terrible creature. The Company's latest assignment sends Marlow and his team to a research site in Romania to destroy human experiments, forcing Marlow save the man who made him, and defeat a feared assassin known only as The Russian. This leads him to question the life he's chosen, and wonder if he must suffer the consequences of his mutilation to be truly human. Inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Pages: 48, B&W, $4.95 Previews here
Lee: This looks like a new twist on the an old theme. I’m not completely sold on the art from the preview but it sounds interesting enough.
Jim: For me the art had a nice vibe to it. I also liked the premise so mark #1 down as ordered for me.

Avatar Press Inc
Black Summer HC By Warren Ellis & Juan Jose Ryp

The eight issue series that was the biggest event of 2007 has now been collected in this deluxe trade paperback with a brand new cover! Warren Ellis' eight-issue opus of masked hero revolution, Black Summer, perfectly complimented by the stunning and explosive art of the genius Juan Jose Ryp, is nothing less than a sequential masterpiece. The world goes black in this epic story of super-powered heroes and villains. The story begins when the political situation in the United States becomes more than Horus can stand, and he moves to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, not all of his other team-mates are quite so eager to throw the world into chaos, and an epic conflict forms.With Horus and the rest of the surviving Guns facing off against the military and each other, no one is safe as the bodies start to fall. Whether you collected each of the eight issues as they hit the stands, or you somehow missed this incredible event, the Black Summer trade is a must-have for your shelf! Also available as a Hardcover edition with an all-new cover by series artist Juan Jose Ryp that is limited to just 2,000 copies!
Pages: 192, 7x10, FC, $32.99
Lee: People either loved or hated this series or I’m sure the HC will be just as well received. As for me, I loved it and I’m in for this HC. It’s not all that much more than other HC’s and it’s worth it just for Ryp’s art.
Jim: Yeah, this book is coming to my house to live also. Great series.

Boom! Studios
Galveston #1 By Tom Peyer and Mark Rahner, art by Greg Scott
True fact - fabled pirate Jean Lafitte spent his last years not on the high seas, but in Texas. Guess who his best friend was? Jim Bowie. What adventures must a swashbuckling corsair and an American frontiersman have had together in the Old West? It's Deadwood with pirates, man. Pirates! $3.99
Jim: Who the frell knew this stuff was happening back then. Looks to be great fun and sort of educational, plus I enjoy Greg Scott's art.
Lee: Someone has read, and studied a lot more history than I. That is for sure. I have to admit I’m very curious about this series.

Dead #1 By Simon Bisley, Alan Grant & Glenn Fabry

Most of Britain has fallen to an invasion of zombies. There is no escape from their insatiable appetite for living flesh. But in Oxford, city of the dreaming spires, an unlikely alliance between a crew of firefighters and a pair of misfit soldiers has allowed them to survive. Now, with the city virtually overrun, it's time to strike back! $3.95
Lee: Just reading the names of the people making this book has me sold! Grant’s a great writer, Fabry’s a great artist, and Bisley needs no introduction. If anyone can do Zombie mayhem to perfection it’s this trio.
Jim: Agreed!

Once again we are doing this as a series of three posts. Look for parts 2 and 3 soon.

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