Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Indies Previews Reviews for January Part 1of 3

Note we are going a little out of order this month with our Preveiw Reviews as the Indies will be up this week and Dark Horse and Image next week.

Lee: Looking forward this is an odd month for indies. Usually, I end up with 1/3 crime-horror, 1/3 humor, and 1/3 younger audience. This month seems to be more serious stuff. I doubt that it’s a long term trend but it shows how the selection changes from month to month.
Jim: This month Lee got so far ahead that I just reduced to commenting as none of the selections were mine. Work has been busy for me as I handle auto claims and once gas prices went down claims went up.

Aardvark Vanaheim
Glamourpuss #5 (Zombie variant) by Dave Sim
Where's glamourpuss? Fortunately most of this issue was in the can before Comics' Greatest Fashion Maven went missing. Cover preview for the proposed glamourtween title, gammagpooz hosts the 3-page fashion horror story, The Thinker, plus a cameo appearance by Cerebus (don't blink or you'll miss him) in his Porsche Carrera 1984 sports car. And Aardvark-Vanaheim continues its outreach to the undead with its second zombie cover, written in the Zombie's own distinctive and emotive language! Pages: 24, B&W, $15.00

Lee: Now this is a great zombie cover! Leave it to Dave Sim to make fun of the big two. I love the cover blurbs as a series of grunts and howls.
Jim: Glamourpuss actually has a fair amount of decent satire in it and this is a satire product, but he is still trying to make way too much money as he laughs at the people who buy it.

American Mule Entertainment
Public Enemy Vol. 01 SC by Chuck D & Adam Wallenta
Public Enemy is a world-famous Hip-Hop band that has crossed genres and influenced a generation with their lyrics and beats. What the world doesn't know is that they are members of a secret network of global freedom fighters known as the Underground Railroad. When a young runaway seeks out Public Enemy's help, the group uncovers a government conspiracy to use the homeless as guinea pigs for illegal human experimentation. What they don't realize is these experiments are designed to create genetically-enhanced super soldiers that will be used to build an unstoppable army. Public Enemy quickly realizes they are in way over their heads as they fight for their lives against the powers that be! The Mule website with Public E webisodes and more here
Pages: 144, FC, $22.99

Lee: I like music and comics. I’ve made no bones about that. But this is just silly. Let me break out my inner homie and shout out “Yo Yo Yo Chuck D. My man. You be betta dan dis!” Jim… How did I sound? Did I sound authentic? Is my street cred still viable? Jim: A) If you are looking for me for street cred with rap music you are SOL. B) Aaargh - stop with the music and comics stuff

Avatar Press Inc
Alan Moore's Light of Thy Countenance SC by Alan Moore, Antony Johnston & Felipe Massafera
Alan Moore, master and magician of storytelling, tears back the veil of one of the most arcane of enchantments - the Magic of Television. Part grimoire, part grim invocation of things that are all too ordinary, this beautiful 48-page novella is stunningly painted by Felipe Massafera. Maureen Cooper is not real. She is an apparition summoned to screens, into homes, into the hearts and mind of the viewing audience by Carol Livesly. But Carol Livesly is not the god that creates the illusions that capture the mind and bind the soul. She is only a servant of a higher power. A higher, hungry power, as old as the world and eternally new. As, perhaps, are we all... Light of Thy Countenance, an original and breathtaking story by Alan Moore, has been adapted to graphic novella format by Antony Johnston preserving every word, and each page has been painstakingly painted by Felipe Massafera to create this comics masterpiece. Available in a standard SC and a limited edition Hardcover, of just 2,000 copies, both with covers by Massafera.
Pages: 48, 7x10, SC, FC, $7.99

Lee: While, Ennis and Ellis have written some great material for Avatar, I never felt that Moore was at his best here. It seems that Ennis and Ellis leftovers are just too violent and-or gorey for mainstream publishers. Moore’s work just strikes as just too random and out there. I love Moore and have most everything he’s ever written but I will pass on this.
Jim: Plus it is a crap product and overpriced. I love a lot of Moore's stuff, but some of it is way too self indulgent.

Church of Hell #1 by Alan Grant, Wayne Nichols & Simon Bisley
They say if you repent your sins, you'll be forgiven. They say if you're truly sorry, your evil will be cleansed away. But it's not only God who loves a sinner - and when you enter the Church of Hell, you don't come out with a smile on your face, unless the Devil has cut you a new mouth! The four-issue event begins here! FC, $3.95

Lee: I’m not sure how long Berserker will be publishing comics, but I like what they are offering. Grants a great writer. Bisley’s a great artist. This has the makings of one great horror story.
Jim: I agree, but I will wait for the trade before worrying about it.

Cartoon Books
Bone Color ed. Vol. 09: Crown of Horns HC by Jeff Smith
It's full-fledged war as Briar, the rat creatures, and the Pawan army storm the city of Atheia where the Bone cousins, Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben are up in arms to defend the royal city. When Thorn hears a voice urging her to seek the Crown of Horns, she and Fone Bone embark on another dangerous journey as they race to find the one thing that may save them all! Now available in color for the first time, this breathtaking conclusion to Jeff Smith's epic graphic novel series is available in both SC and hardcover editions. NOTE: Available only in the United States and Canada.
Pages: 224, FC, $19.99

Lee: Now this is awesome. These hc’s are currently going for over $50 on ebay so a second printing is just what the doctor ordered. And, since this is the last one I need to complete the series, I’m even happier.
Jim: I never got into Bone and I know tons of people who love it. Not sure why, just never did.

Checker Book Publishing Group
Ruse Collection SC by Scott Beatty & Butch Guice
Mr. Simon Archard and his partner, Miss Emma Bishop, are all the stand between the criminal underworld and populace of the gaslit city of Partington! Collecting the final issues of Ruse, Crossgen's most acclaimed series, set in the fantastical steampunk realm of Arcadia, the Ruse Collection collects issues #18-26. Pages: 232, 7x10, SC, FC, $21.95

Lee: I was very, very happy about the first Ruse collection. I’m not so sure about this one. Mark Waid wrote the first issues which were great but this is the end of the run and I don’t know anything about it. I might get this if I hear some great things about it.
Jim: Another series that never caught my attention, but I would try Part 1 with Waid and probably skip this one.

Dealer Comics
Him & Hers Smuggling Vacation GN by Jason Wilson & Tony Spencer
It's the all-swearing, all-smuggling true crime suspense comedy that made controversial headlines in Britain when British Member of Parliament Khalid Mahmood called for it to be banned from British prisons. The tale of two Brits Abroad who become drug smugglers will have you cheering them on as they argue their way across Europe's borders pursued by a vengeful criminal gang and tipped off customs and excise officers. The result of a two-year collaboration between storyboard artist Jason Wilson and his estranged father - the incarcerated drug smuggler and previously Britain's most wanted - ex-smuggler Tony Spencer, this unique book mixes crime and comedy in a truly groundbreaking fashion. Pages: 76, FC, $11.95 Visit the official page, with lots of sample art here

Lee: I seem to remember Rich Johnston, of LITG fame, talking about this book. It looks great! I really like the art and the previews that I read were pretty funny. It’s a tad expensive but I just might have to try it.
Jim: Let me know what you think, the premise is not making me all giddy.

Drawn & Quarterly
Baloney GN by Pascal Blanchet
Following White Rapids - named Best Comic of 2007 by The Onion - Pascal Blanchet brings us Baloney. Winds swirl and darkness reigns over a hamlet perched atop a craggy peak. Russian fatalism sets the tone as Blanchet orchestrates the tale of a village butcher, his disabled daughter, and her tutor in their doomed uprising against the swaggering Duke Shostakov, local governor and owner of the only heating company in town. In a graphic novel about love and despair that is also a homage to the music of the 1930s and '40s, double bassists and trombonists lean into the frame, striking up a score that blends vaudeville with Kurt Weill and Russia's great modern composers. Rendered in two-color, red-and-black chiaroscuro, light struggles to emerge from darkness and endurance makes way for heroism, all to no avail. Read Baloney as a reverie composed to the melodies of Prokofiev and Shostakovich - a beautiful conjuring of moods, or a call to arms against the exorbitant utility rates. Visit Blanchet here (look under Portfolio) and see previews of White Rapids here. Pages: 80, 6x8, SC, PC, $16.95

Lee: I have to say this about D&Q books, they are always visually stunning. Somehow, D&Q always manages to find graphic artists that are unique and so different from anything else on the market. The problem is sometimes the artists don’t know how to tell a story. If you can accept that this has potential of being an “art only” book then go for it. If you need both story and art, then proceed with caution.
Jim: It is almost this publisher niche. I have read some D&Q stuff that had both, but Lee is right on about this one.

Kaspar GN by Diane Obomsawin
May 28, 1828, marked the beginning of the official life of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who appeared mysteriously in the streets of Nuremberg and died of knife wounds five years later under equally mysterious circumstances. Europe's child, as pamphleteers referred to him, captured the imagination of salon society. Allegedly raised in a dark cellar and deprived of human contact until the age of sixteen, he became the proof of a concept for theories about natural man, original sin, and the civilizing mission of culture. Rightful heir to the throne of Baden or a fraud? Redeemer of man's sins or ambulatory automatist? The curious circumstances and significance of his life have been disputed ever since. Quebec cartoonist Diane Obomsawin draws on Hauser's own writings, and contemporary accounts, to tell the foundling's strange story.Gentle and poetic, naïve and profound, Obomsawin's first book to appear in English translation has a quiet and compelling charm.
Pages: 96, 6x9, SC, B&W, $12.95

Lee: I’m sure Obomsawin is an excellent artist but the raw… stick-figure-ness… of the art gives me hope that my scribblings can be published too.
Jim: Only if you are an artist. You know phony up your resume and give yourself a goofy name and then submit and be discovered.


1 comment:

  1. i got into Bone because i have a soul! Haha