Saturday, August 23, 2008

Indies Preview Review for October Part 2 of 3

Continuing the Indies review. Remember to check Wednesday for Part 3!

Classic Comics Press Inc
Stan Drake Heart Juliet Jones Vol. 01 SC By Elliot Caplin & Stan Drake
Presenting the first volume in the reprinting of the complete run of Stan Drake's classic American comic strip The Heart of Juliet Jones, written by Elliot Caplan. Debuting on March 9, 1953, The Heart of Juliet Jones is the perfect companion to the Eisner-nominated series Leonard Starr's Mary Perkins On Stage. Volume 1 features dailies from March 9, 1953 to August 13, 1955, and is introduced by Leonard Starr. Pages: 272, 8x11, B&W, $24.95
More about Stan Drake here
Lee: There are so many people reprinting classic strips these days that it’s starting to get overwhelming. I’m interested in Juliet Jones because the art is supposed to be really good. But, I can’t get everything so I’ll have to pass.
Jim: Oh Lee says he is passing, but come on “The Heart of Juliet Jones”. How could that old romantic Lee really pass this up? I bet he gets it and reads it to his blow up girl, errr wife at night.

Desperado Publishing
Lonely Tombstone One Shot By Steve Niles, Nikki Niles & Ben Roman
Darla has a new friend - someone to listen to her, someone who understands. The only problem is that Darla's new buddy isn't human at all - or even alive! Darla's new friend is a tombstone. Join us on a quirky, nightmarish romp full of fun and scares in the style and tradition of Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy in this all-new picture book from Steve Niles! Pages: 32, FC, $5.99
Lee: More Steve Niles. I think we pick at least one or two books from him every month because he writes a massive amount of material. I’m not sure what to make of this because the three words, quirky, nightmarish, humor don’t fit all that well together. Quirky nightmare? Yeah, ok. Quirky humor? Yeah ok. All three? Not so much. Maybe it’s an chainsaw murderer with Spiderman type quips?!
Jim: Steve Niles is everywhere. I don’t think the man sleeps at all. One thing about Niles is that I will try almost any book by him and the vast majority of the time I’m glad I did.

Monsterpocalypse #2 By Stephan Nilson, Karl Waller & Rick Bonilla
Monsters from outer space rampage across the globe, dinosaur-like creatures attack power plants, and monstrous creatures from beyond appear with no other purpose than to cause death and destruction! If all this wasn't bad enough for the men and women of G.U.A.R.D., a new and mysterious army of giant robots are appearing around the world - but whose side are they on and what is their agenda? LS #2 of 3, Pages: 32, FC, $3.99
Visit Karl Waller here previews here
Lee: So this is a series about giant robots vs. giant monster? Is that right? How did I miss this before. YAHOOO! Go go Godzilla because I’m getting this bad boy.
Jim: I’m guessing it is a generational thing as giant robots have never been my favorite thing. Fantastic cover.

D. D. P.
Echoes of the Damned #1 By Writer: James Pascoe and Roger Robinson Art & Cover: Roger Robinson
Detective Dante Cortez is a serial killer profiler for the FBI. After staring death in the face for years Dante is desperately ready to leave the bureau and re-build his life. However, one terrifying murder sets off a series of events that pulls Dante into a deadly conspiracy! LS #1 of 4, Pages: 32, FC, $3.50
Lee: As far as crime comics premises go, this is pretty good. Kinda generic in the book world but not so much in comic book space. Robinson has been in the industry for years so the art will be good. This looks like a safe bet if you like crime stuff.
Jim: This is a definite add to my list. I’m enjoying the slow rise of the crime genre in comics and while this is a little generic sounding, it is all in the execution.

Digital Webbing
E-Man: The Idol (One-Shot) By Nick Cuti, Joe Staton & Matt Webb
Archeology student Nova Kane is asked by her professor to safeguard a recently unearthed, ancient idol rumored to possess great power. Will absolute power corrupt Nova absolutely? Not if E-Man and private eye Mike Mauser have anything to say about it! Behind the scenes features include Joe Staton's preliminary designs and pencil art. Pages: 28, FC, $3.99
Lee: E-man has been a favorite of mine for years because of Staton’s amazing art. I really love the original Charlton series from the 70’s and wish they would reprint that one day. In the meantime, I will settle for this one shot.
Jim: I picked up E-Man years ago and I believe First comics did a revival of it. It never clicked for me and at that time Joe Staton’s art was a little too cartoon like for my taste. As my taste has broadened I wonder if I would enjoy this material more the second time around.

D. E./Dynamite Entertainment
Garth Ennis' Battlefields: Night Witches #1 By Garth Ennis (W) Russ Braun (A) Covers: John Cassday, Gary Leach
Late summer, 1942. As the German army smashes deep into Soviet Russia and the defenders of the Motherland retreat in disarray, a new bomber squadron arrives at a Russian forward airbase. Its crews will fly flimsy wooden biplanes on lethal night missions over German lines, risking fiery death as they fling themselves against the invader- but for these pilots, the consequences of capture will be even worse. For the pilots of the 599th Night Bomber Regiment are women. In the deadly skies of the Eastern front, they will become a legend- known, to friend and foe alike, as the Night Witches. Pages: 32, FC, $2.99
Lee: Ennis is certainly everywhere these days! Some of Ennis’s best is his war stories so I am eagerly awaiting this series.
Jim: Ennis + War Story = SOLD!

:01 First Second
Gus & His Gang GN By Chris Blain
Chris Blain's vibrant artwork and vivid storytelling combine in Gus & His Gang to put a whole new spin on the Wild West, from bank heists to the women, the train robberies to the women, and the gun-fights to the women of a rag-tag trio of Wild West bandits! Pages: 176, 6 x 8.5, SC, FC, $16.95
Lee: I wanted to put at least one link to a preview with this book but I couldn’t find anything. There’s something about this book that makes me want to get it so bad but I can’t find any reason to tell people it’s going to be great. It’s just a gut feel and the fact that First Second produces great books. You’re just going to have to chance it.
Jim: Well you have a strong premise and a good publisher and a decent price, that is a lot of points in favor or taking the chance.

There's a Wolf at the Door HC By Zoe B. Alley and R.W.Alley
The fairy-tale wolf comes out to play in this whimsical comic! Face to face with three little pigs, the boy who cried wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, sheep who see instantly through his sheep's clothing disguise, and seven canny goslings who would rather not be eaten, the dapper, top-hatted lupine protagonist's attempts to secure himself a tasty dinner are constantly thwarted. But the clever wolf always bounces back from these dinnerless evenings with a cunning new plan! Illustrated in ink and watercolor, There's A Wolf at the Door is a hilarious read for kids of all ages! Pages: 40, 11 x 14, FC, $19.95 Visit R.W. Alley here
Lee: Talk about a big book! This thing is huge. Alley is a veteran artist of many childrens’ books so this should be great to look at. And, it seems to have a great humorous tone to it too. Pricey but worth it for the kids.
Jim: Sure it is for the kids. Are you sure you aren’t running for political office. It for the children. Everything we do is for you and the children.

Fantagraphics Books
Book of Mr. Natural SC By Robert Crumb
Robert Crumb's The Book of Mr. Natural is probably the most famous underground comix character of all time, recognizable even to civilians. Don't miss this opportunity to snatch up this jam-packed collection of comics from one of the all-time masters! Pages: 128, 8x11, B&W, $12.95
Lee: Last month, Previews offer the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, this month it offers Mr. Natural. It’s an Underground bonanza! I don’t have any Crumb in the collection so this is definitely coming home.
Jim: I know he is a classic. I know he is one of the “names” from that genre. I never cared for his work, let the stoning begin.

Greystone Inn Comics
Evil, Inc. Annual Report Vol. 03 GN By Brad J. Guigar
Eisner-nominee Brad Guigar takes the individual panels of his daily comic strip about a super-villain corporation (You can do more evil if you do it legal) and uses them to design a continuously narrative graphic novel. In this volume, Evil Atom's origin is revealed as he's presented with a Nemesis (Nemmy) Award! Pages: 84, 8x11, SC, B&W, $15.00
Visit the comic here
Lee: I like that more and more web comics are making the jump to the printed page. I don’t have time to weed through all the bad web comics to find the good ones. This is an easy way for me to see the latest-greatest material so I’m in.
Jim: Oh Lee, there are tons of web comics that don’t get printed that are good. I let Gwen find them and tell me about them. Except for PDF files of preview books I just don’t like reading comics on my computer screen. As things advance I reserve the right to change my mind.

Heavy Metal Magazine
Roninbebop SC By Various
Roninbebop is 224 page of madness, with six different tales of insanity brought to you from the twisted minds of Kevin Eastman, Simon Bisley, Eric Talbot, and Tom Skulan! It's got it all - nasty flesh eating aliens and monsters in Zombie War, body swapping serial killers in the lust drenched Infectious, over-the-top superheroes fight the evil Mental Head for the sake of planet Earth in Thump's Guts, convicted murders are transported into the middle of an off world war as their penance is No Guts No Glory, tiny mutant animals fight for their life and turf in The Very Angry Seven, and Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley's comic character alter egos come to line in the mad cap adventures of Biz and Buzz!" Pages: 224, 7x10, SC, FC, $19.95
Lee: Heavy Metal is certainly cashing in on their names these days. How many Bisley books have they reprinted recently? Lots in case you have forgotten. The problem is that they’re all pretty good. This material is Bisley completely unrestrained and that makes for some very entertaining reading.
Jim: I agree, but I also believe that once you have a couple of Bisley books in your collection that is enough.

Hill & Wang
United States Constitution: Graphic Adaptation HC By Jonathan Hennessey & Aaron McConnell
Our leaders swear to uphold it, our military to defend it. It is the blueprint for the shape and function of government itself and what defines Americans as Americans. But how many of us truly know our Constitution? The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation's cornerstone principles. Spirited and visually witty, it roves article by article, amendment by amendment, to get at the meaning, background, and enduring relevance of the law of the land. What revolutionary ideas made the Constitution's authors dare to cast off centuries of rule by kings and queens? Why do we have an electoral college rather than a popular vote for president and vice president? How did a document that once sanctioned slavery and denied voting rights to women transform into a bulwark of protection for all? The United States Constitution answers all of these questions. Sure to surprise, challenge, and provoke, it is hands down the most memorable introduction to America's founding document. Available in hardcover and softcover editions. Pages: 160, 6x9, FC, $35.00
Lee: I pick this for Jim, who has posted the entire Constitution on the blog.
Jim: Thanks Lee. It is important and our recent presidents all trying to run this through a shredder really has ticked me off.

IDW Publishing
American Freakshow GN By Steve Niles (W) Chee (A & C)
Just in time for Halloween, American Freakshow tells the story of the bizarre and cruel life of a carnival freak as he seeks redemption (maybe) and murder (definitely) in a Florida trailer park. Never appearing in comic book form, this is the first original graphic novel written Steve Niles.
Pages: 104, 6.625 x10.187, SC, FC, $17.99
Lee: I like Niles. I really like Chee’s art and the chance to get 104 pages of it is too good for me to pass up.
Jim: Steve Niles, I’ve heard that name somewhere else before. Let’s try and guess if he has not written for a publisher, has he done a Marvel book? Chee and Niles is a good combo.

Black Heart Billy SC (color ed.) By Rick Remender (W) Kieron Dwyer, Harper Jaten (A) Dwyer (C)
Meet Billy Black, an '80s hardcore scene refugee who's having a bit of trouble acclimating to modern life. While bludgeoning a band of Burning Man refugees with the skull of Jerry Garcia, Billy inadvertently becomes immersed in an evil Nazi conspiracy to turn the world into mindless hippie zombies in order to usher in the 4th Reich. "Hitler in Jerry Garcia's corpse-how can you say no?" - Warren Ellis. Pages: 120, 6.625 x 10.187, FC, $19.99
Lee: Believe it or not I actually have some of the original BHB comics. This has been around for a very long time and keeps getting reprinted in various forms. I know the art is very very good which is why I bought it. I seem to remember the story being somewhat uneven. I’ll have to dig the issues up for committing to this. Although I think the line "Hitler in Jerry Garcia's corpse-how can you say no?" tells you everything you need to know about the series.
Jim: This does sound amusing and I think it is something I would pick up on a lark, but I will not order it.

Legion of the Supernatural #1 By Rick Remender (W) Bret Blevins (A & C)
When our heroes fail us... we will turn to our monsters! The Legion of the Supernatural follows the last of the famous monsters in a world where superheroes have hunted their brethren to near extinction. When an army of starving inter-dimensional vampires returns to consume our world, only the Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, The Bog Creature, The Wolf-Man, Dracula, and Sister Arcane have the power to contest the coming darkness. Critically acclaimed scribe Rick Remender (Punisher War Journal) is joined by legendary illustrator Bret Blevins (X-Men, New Mutants) for the fully painted, ongoing adventures of this pulpy monster-mash starring the most unlikely team of superheroes. Pages: 32, FC, $3.99
Lee: When I was younger I didn’t appreciate Blevins art. Now that I am older I realize just how good it is. It’s wasted on Superheroes but it’s perfect for Monsters. Great art and Remender is a good writer so this is an easy winner.
Jim: This book is on my list. Rick (Fear Agent) Remender and Bret Blevins and an outlandish and fun premise.

Tune in Wednesday for the final segment of the October Indies Review.

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