Friday, December 19, 2008

Indies Previews Review for February - Part 1

Lee: This month is so crazy that I haven’t been able to really dig into the indies like usual. There’s still lots to choose from but it’s a shorter list.
Jim: And I was totally lazy and did not help pick at all, but I know Lee will find some gems and some odd ball selections that Lee will love.

Bodega Distribution LLC
Daybreak Vol. 02 GN
by Brian Ralph
The zombie apocalypse has arrived! There are few survivors in the barren wasteland, and those that have survived must fend for their existence. The reader is drawn into Ralph's story through a unique vantage point - the reader himself is a character in the story, the witness to the struggle for survival against the zombie hordes. Discover why Daybreak is one of the most compelling zombie graphic novels ever published!
Pages: 48, 7x10, SC, PC, $10.00
Daybreak Vol. 03 GN
Brian Ralph concludes his acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure in the third part of his zombie chase! Told from a unique first person perspective, Ralph draws the comics afficionado into his world with tense punch lines, soft explosions of character, and brilliant pacing. Part Road Warrior, part Lost, part Dawn of the Dead, without the gutless style copying so prevalent in the form. Pages: 48, 7x10, SC, PC, $10.00
Lee: A long time ago I picked part 1 of this series in the monthly previews. I got it and really enjoyed it. One thing I really liked was the characters broke the fourth wall for the entire story and treated the reader as part of the story. It’s a fun read and worth your time.
Jim: I give credit where credit is due and I think Lee's hype is better then the official hype. Lee sells it for me, now I just have to borrow this from him.

Largo Winch Vol. 03: Dutch Connection SC by Jean Van Hamme
The jeans-wearing billionaire is down and out in Paris! Largo is giving a cocktail party to launch his foundation for war orphans when a waiter brings out a colleague's severed head on a tray. He has been murdered by the drug traffickers Largo has pursued. In a matter of hours, the billionaire's life is turned upside down. In Dutch Connection, two policemen are shot down as they arrest Largo, and he is charged with the murders. On top of that, he's accused of being part of the international heroin trade. Largo flees to Paris and ends up in the homeless community, with little hope of escaping the dire fate that awaits him - a lifetime jail sentence! Pages: 96, FC, $19.95
Lee: I loves me some Largo Winch. I have Vol 1 & 2 and completely enjoyed them. This is another great read and worth your investment. I managed to locate a review of Vol 2 here
Jim: Lee is hopelessly European at this point, I'm surprised he reads any American comics.

Desperado Publishing
Common Foe SC
by Giffen, Denton, Dzialowski & Federico
Amid the blood and chaos of the Battle of the Bulge, a battered squad of American soldiers and a platoon of German infantry do everything they can to rip each other to shreds. But to survive the night, the two enemies must come together and unite against an ancient evil hell bent on destroying everything in its path.
Pages: 136, FC, $16.99
Lee: I don’t remember much about this series when it first came out but it looks interesting. Giffen seems to be able to churn out material, mostly good, at an incredible pace. I don’t know the artists but a war story with horror elements can’t be all that bad. It might be worth the risk.
Jim: This is an old story, if done well it can be entertaining. The whole credit stuff has gotten iffy to me, it is like if a name person breathes on a project they want that person's name in the credits to sell more books.

Fantagraphics Books
Comics Journal #296

Our annual Best-of the-Year issue, featuring interviews with the best cartoonists of the year about their work. Plus, TCJ explores the international comics scene with a sampling of edgy works by contemporary Finnish cartoonists.
Pages: 200, 7 x9, $11.99
Lee: If you like our monthly indies picks then this is a must have for you. The annual “best of Year” issue is always great and even I end up finding books that I missed during the year. Not many but a few. There are lots of people offering lots of opinions on what was good for the year. Highly recommended.
Jim: I wish I had the time to read more of the mags like Comic Journal and others. I'm worried that their circulation base is getting smaller and smaller and may disappear all together. I know the internet rules all, but I will still bemoan the passing of the print industry.

Hermes Press
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Vol. 2: Complete Newspaper Dailies GN
by Ron Goulart, Philip Nowlan & Dick Calkins
The saga of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the world's most famous science-fiction newspaper strip, continues with the second volume Hermes Press' complete reprinting of this ground-breaking title! See more exciting adventures of Buck Rogers and Wilma Deering in six complete self-contained stories published originally between 1930 and 1932. This volume also includes a special 16 page introductory essay by noted science-fiction writer and pop culture historian Ron Goulart and an afterword detailing interesting little-known aspects surrounding the strip. Pages: 320, 9x12, HC, PC, $39.00
Lee: I know *1* person who got Vol 1 of Buck Rogers but he lives in Minnesota or Wisconsin, or some other frozen, gosh-forsaken part of the country. I’m so gun shy from Hermes awful Star Hawks collection that I need someone to let me know if the printing quality is any good before I drop my money. Which is too bad because I’m really, really interested in this.
Jim: Lee and I are in total agreement with this, but I'm also gun shy because of Lee's review of their reproduction quality. I have a hard cover collection of this stuff done in a very small format and the strip is a wonderful strip.

IDW Publishing
Next Men Vol. 01 HC
by John Byrne (W & A)
In the 1990s, acclaimed writer/artist John Byrne created an all-new world of superheroes and explored their impact on the planet in a realistic way. And now, John Byrne's acclaimed Next Men series is presented in IDW's oversize Premiere hardcover format in glorious full color. This volume collects Next Men #0-10.
Pages: 312, FC, $50.00
Lee: Didn’t IDW just release the essential of this material a couple of months ago? The response must have been good because now we have the deluxe hc. I would like to get it but I already have too many hc’s on the list to start adding more. Jim: And while this was so good material from John Byrne, this is not one for the ages and therefore not worth $50 for 10 issues.

Sparrow: Jim Mahfood HC by Jim Mahfood (A & C)
This latest edition of the Sparrow focuses on Jim Mahfood, the fan-favorite artist who has worked on titles such as Clerks, the comic book, Grrl Scouts, Ultimate Marvel Team-up, and Spectacular Spider-Man. Pages: 48, 6x6, FC, $11.99
Lee: I’m pretty sure I won’t get this but I find it interesting. A mini art book is always a good idea and gets exposure for an artist. I would have preferred something bigger but I’m impressed that IDW is really starting to expand their offerings.
Jim: IDW seems to have a good solid financial base and uses their license material to fund their more diverse offerings. They remind me a lot of a smaller Dark Horse.

Tilting at Windmills Vol. 02 SC by Brian Hibbs (W) Ben Templesmith (C)
Brian Hibbs, owner of San Francisco's premier comic book store, Comix Experience, has joined with IDW Publishing to produce the second volume of his influential Tilting at Windmills columns. Containing useful guidelines for new and established retailers who sell comics in this pop culture-hungry world. Pages: 400, 6x9, B&W, $19.99
Lee: Is there anyone who hasn’t heard about Brian Hibbs? I didn’t think so. But, if you’re interested in comics, specifically the business of comic stores, then this is the book for you. He’s always right on with his observations and thoroughly entertaining.
Jim: It is good as a column on the internet and I find it very insightful, but I would not want to sit down and read all of this as it is usually very much a product of the time it is written.

Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse Vol. 01 HC by Ben Templesmith (W & A)
At last, a special hardcover edition of Ben Templesmith's (Welcome to Hoxford, 30 Days of Night, Fell) all-eerie and humorous series, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse. Collecting the original Wormwood story, "The Taster," plus the four-issue "Birds, Bees, Blood & Beer," in which we discover that things are awakening in the city. Things that have a nasty habit of leaving mutilated bodies in their wake. Also includes additional bonus sketches, art, and original comic pages from Templesmith. Pages: 160, FC, $24.99
Lee: Now this I didn’t see coming at all but I love it. I just got Vol 3 of Wormwood, and while not as strong as parts 1 & 2, it’s still good. The first story was by far the most entertaining. If, like me, you want this on your shelf for the long term, then start here.
Jim: An easy buy for me as I loved the Volume one material and have no qualms with buying this again and I will pass my trade on.

Part Two will be up on Christmas Eve. Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except a big indie mouse!


  1. I think it's still hard to top the Leprechauns and their golden showers. That's my favorite arc.

    I may do the hardcovers. Oh yes.

  2. The Leprechauns were good! I agree. Part 3, all squids all the time, was ok. Better than most books but not up to the high standards of the first two arcs.

  3. I like that the stories don't do the conventional thing. It makes it ok when it takes a left turn here and there.

    Has one of the most uniquely designed cast of characters ever.