Wrapping up the Indies Preview Review for October!
Richard Matheson's Hell House SC By Richard Matheson, Ian Edginton (W) Simon Fraser (A & C)
To help Rudolph Deutsch forestall his death and learn the secrets of the afterlife, a team of experts must survive a night in Belasco House, or as the locals call it, Hell House. Exerting its dark influence on the group as they unearth the wretched secrets from within its walls, will the house ever let them leave? Pages: 200, 6.625 x 10.187, B&W, $19.99
Visit Fraser here with some previews here
Lee: The original book by Matheson is outstanding and well worth the effort to find and read. It doesn’t contain pictures so it may take more than 10 minutes to get through but it’s worth it. And, in case you still aren’t sold, there are the two or three movies you can rent based upon the story. Or, just buy this excellent adaptation of a classic haunted house story.
Jim: Now I’m torn, do I find the book, rent the movie, get the comic or buy all three.
Steve Niles Omnibus SC By Steve Niles (W) Breehn Burns, Hector Casanova, Chuck BB, Chee, Milx (A) / Milx (C)
This HUGE collection of Steve Niles' graphic novels includes Aleister Arcane, The Lurkers, Secret Skull, and Wake the Dead (recently optioned by Holding Pictures). Niles' 30 Days of Night came to life last year on the big screen, and now fans have the chance to collect more of the dark fiction he's made a name for himself creating. Pages: 416, 6x9, FC, $24.99
Lee: The only other omnibus dedicated to a single person is the Fred Hembeck omnibus. I wonder if Niles realizes that Hembeck beat him to the punch..
Jim: Steve Niles is everywhere. He has been an extremely prolific writer and the vast majority of his material is very good. I often wonder how some writer don’t burn out.
Will Eisner's The Spirit: A Pop-Up Graphic Novel By Will Eisner
On the dead body of a police officer the Spirit discovers a note with the name Sand Saref, his lost childhood sweetheart. Saref has come to Central City peddling a deadly Nazi virus on the black market, but plans go awry when she is double-crossed by a scoundrel bent on destruction. In a twisted tale of betrayal, the remorseful Spirit must bring his long-lost love to justice and find the virus before it's too late! Born from shadow and mystery, Will Eisner's deathless hero returns in a recreation of The Spirit's final two issues. Coinciding with Frank Miller's upcoming film, Will Eisner's The Spirit: A Pop-Up Graphic Novel spins a noir tale of blackmail, murder, and espionage innovatively crafted into seven full-color pop-up spreads. Reborn, The Spirit breaks out of the conventional comic book frame, animating the vigor and dynamism of Eisner's original vision. Designed by renowned paper engineer Bruce Foster, Will Eisner's The Spirit: A Pop-Up Graphic Novel comes alive with expansive panoramic cityscapes, three-dimensional action sequence pop-outs, frame-by-frame expanding mini-booklets, and scene change pullouts. From the noir aficionado to the comic zealot, fans will celebrate this renaissance of Eisner's masterpiece, heralding the interactive ingenuity of a new format for sequential art. Pages: 16, 6x10, HC, PC, $34.95
Lee: Huh? A 16 page Spirit pop up book? And who is this for? Certainly not me. And it’s $35 to boot. Maybe Jim will get it.
Jim: Not unless I’m spending your money. It is one of those ideas that sounded great after a night of drinking, but once executed you probably wonder why you did it. Plus Spirit Pop Up sounds a little pornographic.
Yesterday's Tomorrows GN By Grant Morrison, Tom Dehaven & Rian Hughes
Rian Hughes, acclaimed as an illustrator and designer, collects some of his groundbreaking comics artwork in this remarkable collection. Writer Grant Morrison reworks of the classic British comics character, Dan Dare, set in a mass unemployment 1980's in which Dare is no longer sure of his place in the England around him. Science Service, co-written with John Freeman, allows Hughes full rein for his retro style. For Raymond Chandler's Goldfish, adapted by Tom DeHaven, he captures the noir shadows in a clever use of 2-color artwork. Also in the book are Really & Truly, also by Grant Morrison, from 2000 AD, and a selection of sketchbook pages. Pages: 256, HC, FC, $47.50
Lee: Interesting! Grant Morrison’s early 2000 AD work collected into a fancy hardcover. I want to say no. I’m trying to say no. But, I can’t help myself I’m going to end up getting this. Early Morrison is a real treat and I can’t miss the opportunity for a fancy hc of British comics.
Jim: $50 bucks is a big amount for early Morrison. If you get it, give us a review.
Nocturnal Conspiracies: Nineteen Dreams GN By David B.
The best-selling author of Epileptic and one of Europe's new generation of comics artists invites readers to experience nineteen of the most imaginative dreams he has ever experienced! Strange, scary, beautiful, funny, and with a sense all their own, these are the private tales of the inner psyche.
Pages: 128, 6x9, SC, PC, $14.95 Previews and art samples of Epileptic here
Lee: Epileptic was a great read so this easily is added to the must read pile. David B’s art is great and I imagine his dreams are quite strange. I can’t wait to experience them.
Jim: I had a dream also – do you want to hear about my dreams. You never ask about me, don’t you care?
New England Comics
Tick: The Complete Edlund SC By Ben Edlund
All 12 issues of Ben Edlund's original classic comic book series are collected in The Tick: The Complete Edlund, plus as a bonus the 13th Pseudo-Tick, what-might-have-been final issue! Extra materials include the first Tick story from the NEC Newsletter, rarely-seen backup stories, pin-ups, and original commentary by Edlund! Pages: 416, B&W, $35.00
Lee: If you haven’t read the Tick then you really are doing yourself an injustice. The Tick is a hilarious parody of superheroes! Done in the late 80’s/early 90’s the material is just as good today as it was then. This is highly recommended.
Jim: The Tick was extremely funny. It really was the best long term parody comic done.
ONI Press Inc.
Labor Days Vol. 01 GN By Philip Gelatt & Rick Lacy
Benton Bags Bagswell is doing nothing with his life. He runs a chores-for-hire business in London - and that's about it. That is, until the day his girlfriend dumps him, and he finds himself in possession of a mysterious videotape. Thrust into a dangerous world of deceit and betrayal, it's up to Bags to pack up his suitcase and hit the road in search of the truth! It's globe-trotting hijinks as the unlikely hero tries to grow out of his slacker lifestyle and bring some New World style to Old World Europe, all the while digging deeper into the enigma that's blown up his former existence! Pages: 128, 6x9, B&W, $11.95
Visit Lacy here
Lee: All I can say is the art intrigues me. It’s got a really nice feel to it and appears to be different enough to be entertaining. And, Oni is pretty discriminating about what it publishes so I’ll probably try this.
Jim: The premise sounds great and Oni is a solid publisher. Queen and Country is a favorite of mine and I missed it when it first came out. This is one to try.
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 02: Vs. the World GN By Bryan Lee O’Malley
Scott's life has taken a bit of a detour, but he's going to take steps to get everything back under control. There's Knives Chau, there's Ramona Flowers, there's his band, there's six or seven evil ex-boyfriends floating around, and there's a couple little things from out of Scott's past that might end up seeming a lot more important really soon! Pages: 200, SC, B&W, $11.95
Lee: I haven’t caused trouble in awhile so I’m feeling the itch. But, it’s not an overwhelming itch yet. If it was overwhelming I might say something like “Scott Pilgrim? No one reads this because it pointless drivel!” just to rile up the masses. But I don’t feel like causing that much trouble so I’ll just say it’s drivel.
Jim: Scott Pilgrim does have its fans and those who love it say it is the best thing since sliced bread. Let’s see if you rile up any of his fans. I have never read it and it does not interest me.
I Live Here HC By Mia Kershner, J.B. Mackinnon & Various
There are places on Earth where it is already too late. This book began with a desire to see more, to tell stories that have gone untold. Traveling to crisis zones around the globe, I Live Here bears witness to four different kinds of displacement - war in Chechnya, ethnic cleansing in Burma, globalization in Mexico, and AIDS in Malawi. A cut-and-paste documentary, I Live Here is a portrait of human crisis that is both global and as personal as young love, a lost pet, or an adolescent mistake that cannot be erased. The voices are those of the displaced, in their own words or in stories shared with and told by noted writers, artists, photographers, and graphics novelists. Through these stories we come to see that, in between the chaos of war, famine, and displacement, life continues. We begin to understand the ways in which we are all the same.
Pages: 240, 7x10, FC, $ 29.95
Lee: If you’re interested in events around the world then this is the book for you. I am sure the art is of varying quality but this book isn’t about the art. It’s about learning how others live and maybe appreciating how lucky you are to be able to read about it.
Jim:If well written this could be an excellent book and a real eye opener. I would love to see one of these stories released for free and then if I liked that I would get the book.
City of Dust #1 By Steve Niles & Zid
From the dark mind of Steve Niles comes a story set in the aftermath of our world's collapse. This chilling vision of the future unveils a world where the police patrol for crimes of the imagination. Religious beliefs, along with any tales of false heroes, idols, or gods, are illegal. Detective Philip Khrome doesn't enforce Imagination, he works Homicide. That's where the action is, and he's seen it all before. But criminals evolve, and the world is forever changing. When a killing spree hits his city sector, Khrome finds himself face-to-face with killers born of grim reality with Old World superstition - and everything is not as it seems! $3.99
Jim: A total no-brainer for me. Steve Niles – great writer, Radical comics quality publisher, great concept and I’m sold.
Lee: Yahoo! More Steve Niles. If I can’t pick the same books for six months in a row then we need to limit the “written by Steve Niles” picks too. Sheesh.
ABC Warriors: The Third Element - Robot War! SC By Mills, Walker, Flint, Sharp, McMahon & Cook
Mars itself has risen up against the human colonists, with earthquakes and storms attempting to rid the surface of the pestilence that has ravaged it. The Martians struggle against their human oppressors and, on their side, an unstoppable ally - the ABC Warriors! Pages: 112, B&W, $18.99
Lee: I love ABC Warriors! They have been a 2000AD standard for years and have only gotten better. In case you don’t know, the ABC Warriors are a group of super destructive robots that go where humans can’t. It’s all about robots and destruction. And with art by Liam Sharp I am sold!
Jim: THE ABC Warriors are massive amounts of carnage and fun. If you like Robots and carnage this is for you. Great stuff!
Slum Nation Vol. 02: Crazy of Love HC By Zalozabal
Doug wanders from one shady clinic to another, trying to recover his lost arm after he was left with only a cheap prosthesis. Then, Doug hears from a former Secret Service agent he thought was dead. Now she works for the new government, and she needs Doug's help in infiltrating the organ trade black market. But why is she so interested in something as ordinary as organ trading? And how come Doug smelled T.O.T. on her - a drug with dangerous psychotic side effects? Realizing he doesn't care and has nothing to lose, Doug agrees to help - until he discovers that she isn't interested in organ trafficking, it's nuclear weapons she wants! Pages: 48, 9 x 12, FC, $12.95
Nothing in English but go here
Lee: I have some books by SAF and the material is always good if the translation is sometimes weak. This is a nice, over sized book with really good art.
Jim: What an outlandish premise.
Top Shelf Productions
Essex County Vol. 03: Country Nurse SC By Jeff Lemire
The Country Nurse is the final volume in the critically acclaimed and award-winning Essex County trilogy of graphic novels, set in a fictionalized version of Lemire's hometown in Ontario, Canada. Follow a day in the life of Anne Morgan, the peculiar farming community's traveling nurse. As Anne checks in on her favorite patients, the story delves deeper into Essex County's mythology and past, and finally reveals how all three volumes stitch together to quilt a portrait of how loss and regret push and pull at the fabric of family in small town life. An amazing finish to the trilogy, and a story in its own right. Pages: 96, 6x9, B&W, $9.95
Lee: Last month Jim said I couldn’t pick the same books over and over and over again. So this month I pick VOL 3 of the Essex county trilogy. Which is completely different from the first book in the trilogy which I have picked many times before, so this is ok.
Jim: FOUL! FOUL! Come on ref, throw the flag. It is still a penalty! Instant replay!
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde GN By Adapted by Alan Grant & Cam Kennedy
Good and evil, right and wrong. Both are seen through the eyes of John Utterson, a lawyer and friend of the scientist Dr. Henry Jekyll. After hearing the alarming account of the horrendous trampling of a small girl "like some damned juggernaut" by a violent man named Mr. Edward Hyde, who also holds a connection to the lawyer's dear friend, Utterson's curiosity gets the better of him and he begins to investigate. As he probes further into the events and the hidden life of Mr. Hyde, Utterson slowly uncovers a terrifying and ghastly story. Pages: 48, 7x10, SC, FC, $11.95
Lee: Please note THIS IS AN ART BOOK! There is no other reason to buy this. But, I love Kennedy’s art and there is precious little of it out there so I’ll be getting this. Probably never read it but I’ll look at it a lot.
Jim: Why is this only an art book? Alan Grant is a very good writer and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic story.
Hawkman Companion SC By Doug Zawisza
Instantly recognizable among comic fans, Hawkman is one of the most iconic heroes ever created. Inspired by tales as old as mankind and those much more recent, this four-color legend has left an indelible mark upon the comic industry. Behind a fabulous Cliff Chiang cover, this collection contains interviews and commentary from many who have helped Hawkman soar through the ages, including Joe Kubert, Geoff Johns, Shelly Moldoff, Timothy Truman, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Rags Morales, Stephen Sadowski, Don Kramer, Ben Raab, Tony Isabella, Dan Jurgens, Roy Thomas, Steve Lieber, Murphy Anderson, and many other top comics creators. Also included is a copious image parade, profiles on the Hawks through the ages, as well as their allies and adversaries, and a timeline of Hawkman's storied existence throughout the DC Comics Universe. With insight into the character and the creators who made him what he is, The Hawkman Companion is certain to please any Hawkfan. Pages: 208, 8x11, B&W, $24.95
Lee: If Doug whos-z-name can accurately explain Hawkman continuity then I will be amazed. Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible anymore. But this should be informative no matter what.
Jim: I could probably explain Hawkman’s continuity right up until he had none. Hawkworld blew it up and the Zero Hour really screwed it up, then Johns tried to fix it, then Rann-Thanagar War screwed it up again and now Starlin was told to put it into the Bass-o-matic and see what we get.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes #1 By Dale Mettam & Erich Owen
Not since the super-secret invasion of Canada has military operative Mason Dixon faced such a grave challenge! They're red. They're high in lycopene. They are most certainly lethal - and they are already among us! Dixon and his team of highly trained specialists are all that stand between humanity and The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! LS #1 of 3, Pages: 32, FC, $3.25
Visit Erich here
Lee: A classic B- movie goes from the big screen to the comic book. I love it!!! The movie was so bad it was good so I can only hope that the comic can capture the same pointless stupidity that is Killer Tomatoes!
Jim: This will be a incredibly tough job to make this concept into a comic.
Alter Ego #81
Get ready for Alter Ego's ever-haunted Halloween issue! Behind a new Frank Brunner Man-Thing cover, Richard Arndt throws a spooky spotlight on the late-'60s black-&-white horror comic Web of Horror that featured early work by Brunner, Bernie Wrightson, Jeffrey Jones, Barry Windsor-Smith, Walter Simonson, Dave Cockrum, and Howard Chaykin - plus an interview with Web of Horror editor and award-winning science fiction writer Terry Bisson! Then, an amazing interview by Jim Amash with comics and fine artist Everett Raymond Kintsler! Plus, Roy Thomas' 1971 origin synopsis for the first Man-Thing story, and more of Bob Rozakis on "The Secret History of All-American Comics, Inc." $6.95
Lee: Alter Ego does one of the best Halloween issues in all of fandom! They are always great and a nice long article on the horror comic “Web of Horror” is fantastic. WoH was an independently published magazine to rival Eerie and Creepy and boasted one of the greatest collection of artists since EC. This should be great.
Jim: Lee is much more of a historian then I am, but I’m sure this material is interesting.
Lee: Another good month for Indies. I wish I was able to find some more previews but there are lots and lots to choose from. Happy hunting!
Jim: Always something different and something else to look at with the indies.