Saturday, January 31, 2009

Indies Preview Review for March Part 3 of 3


IDW Publishing

Desperadoes Omnibus SC (W) Jeff Mariotte (A) John Cassaday, John Lucas, John Severin, Jeremy Haun, Alberto Dose
Over the course of its decade-plus lifespan, the Western/horror series Desperadoes has traveled some long, strange trails. Since its hard-riding heroes first met while tracking a ritualistic murderer whose crimes gave him supernatural powers, they've experienced quarantine in a haunted town, a reanimated dead boy with a thirst for revenge, a spiritualist's nightmare, and a bizarre quest to the birthplace of the buffalo on behalf of Geronimo himself. Nearly 500 pages of Desperadoes badness in this special volume. $24.99

Lee: Desperadoes is an excellent series. It’s always had outstanding art but Mariotte’s writing really put it over the top. I’m looking forward to this.
Jim: These were are great stories. Jeff Mariotte created some great characters and this is a western series that had a supernatural bent to it. Great stuff and well wroth your time.

Spaghetti Bros Vol. 03 HC
(W) Carlos Trillo (A/C) Domingo Mandrafina This ongoing tale of Italian immigrants continues as Amerigo, Frank, Carmela, Tony, and Caterina move past their family infighting and learn that their family bonds are stronger than ever. Appealing to fans of the Godfather saga, Spaghetti Bros. is a tale of love, lust, jealosy, and the ever-present chance of redemption. Hardcover W/Dustjacket. $24.99

Lee: This is great story in a great format! I have Vol 1 and I love it. Spaghetti Bros is a brutal crime fiction/family story that easily matches Brubakers Criminal and other classic crime comics. If you like crime fiction then you can’t go wrong with this.
Jim: Alright then I will have to get this. I have heard nothing but good things about it, but I'm starting with Volume 1. Carlos Trillo has written a lot of good books and often was paired with Eduardo Rizzo.

New England Comics
Tick: Big Blue Destiny Complete Works SC (W/A) Eli Stone
At 320 pages, this massive tome contains the complete comics of the legendary Tick series, Big Blue Destiny! In addition to the five part story by Eli Stone, the most popular Tick creator after Ben Edlund, the volume includes The Tick's Back #0, The Tick: Big Blue Destiny Ashcan, and the entire Tick Bin trilogy! In the course of these outrageous adventures, Big Blue Destiny, with Ben's approval, explored the mysterious secrets lurking in the Tick's background and history! $29.95

Lee: I’ve been a fan of Edlund’s Tick for a very long time. Unfortunately, I never read Stone’s work. I’m fond of humor comics and the Tick is one of the best but the price seems steep to me for some reason. Maybe it’s because the Showcase and Essential lines are ½ this price for similar B&W material. I hate to be cheap but I can’t afford everything.
Jim: I also never read Eli Stone's work on the Tick. And if this is in black and white, then Lee is right, it is not even close being priced competitively.

Classics Illustrated Vol. 03: Through the Looking Glass HC by Lewis Carroll & Kyle Baker
Kyle Baker's adaptation of the madcap sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is truly inspired. It begins when Alice wonders what's on the other side of the mirror, and is actually able to pass on through to the other side. Along the way she encounters talking flowers and such unforgettable characters such as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn, and Humpty-Dumpty, while somehow becoming the White Queen in a surreal chess match against the Red Queen. All the inspired lunacy of Lewis Carroll's classic book comes alive in this beautiful graphic novel. A graphic masterpiece by eight-time Eisner Award-winner Kyle Baker! Hardcover W/Dustjacket. $9.95

Classics Illustrated Vol. 04: The Raven & Other Poems HC (W) Edgar Allan Poe (A) Gahan Wilson
'The Raven,' 'Annabel Lee,' 'Eldorado,' 'The Sleeper,' 'The Haunted Palace,' 'The Conqueror Worm,' 'The City in the Sea.' These are some of the world's most fascinating, best-loved poems. Edgar Allan Poe's verses - masterpieces of mystery, horror, melancholy, and haunting melody - grip the imagination and fuel the emotions. World-famous cartoonist Gahan Wilson brings the perfect, surreal touch to Poe's elegantly dark poems. Hardcover W/Dustjacket. $9.95

Lee: These look great! Back in the mid-80’s, First Comics did a relaunch of Classics Illustrated with top creators doing the stories and I think this is a reprint of that material. Gahan Wilson does so little collected work, Vol 4 is worth it for that alone. Hopefully they will also do the Bill Sienkiewicz version of Moby Dick which is just breathtaking! Yeah yeah yeah… it’s off topic but you can see lots of Moby Dick pages here and see why I rave about it!
Jim: I love Gahan Wilson, but I was burned by Papercutz on the quality of their stuff and will not trust them sight unseen again. Since my store would not order this unless someone ordered it, I will never see it.

Pantheon Books
Chicken with Plums SC (W/A) Marjane Satrapi
When celebrated Iranian musician Nasser Ali Khan, the author's great-uncle, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures. Over the course of the week that follows, readers discover vivid scenes of his encounters with family and friends, flashbacks to his childhood, and flashforwards to his own children's futures. As the pieces of his story fall into place, understanding of the breadth of his decision to let go of life deepens. Marjane Satrapi, the author of Persepolis, rendered the events of her life and times in a uniquely captivating and powerful voice and vision. Now she turns that same keen eye and ear to the heartrending story of her great-uncle, a celebrated Iranian musician who gave up his life for music and love. $12.95

Lee: I’m glad to see Satrapi is still producing books but I’m not sure I’m ready for this one. Persepolis was a masterpiece but her work since hasn’t been nearly as strong. I’m interested but I might wait for some early reviews. If you’ve never read her work then start with Persepolis.
Jim: Even reading the hype I started to gloss over it and get bored. Definitely not to my taste.

Pure Imagination Publishing
Alex Toth Goes Hollywood SC (W) Greg Theakston (A) Alex Toth
Alex Toth recreates adventures on the silver screen and the small screen in this collection that features 160 pages of stories including Roy Rogers, The FBI Story, The Lennon Sisters, Range Rider, 77 Sunset Strip, Gale Storm, The Sea Hunt, and more! $25.00

Lee: I love Pure Imaginations reprints but occasionally I wonder about their choice of material. Toth’s Hollywood output???? Really? I like Toth as much as the next person but the subject material leaves me very, very cold. Since I know little to nothing about the TV series being written about I’m not sure I want to invest the money.
Jim: I have enjoyed Pure Imagination's reprints also and recently got two of the Alex Toth reprints and as much as I love Alex Toth, I have to want to read the stories and this does not cut it.

Simon & Schuster
Edgar & Ellen Graphic Novelty SC (W) Charles Ogden (A) Rick Carton
Now that Edgar and Ellen are stars of TV animation, the comic seems the perfect format for their continued misadventures. Graphic Novelty includes five hilarious graphic adventures, an epic poem featuring Pet, and a collection of wordless one-page Heimertz cartoons. $7.99 Visit the official Edgar & Ellen web site here
Lee: While Slave Labor may have cornered the market on older kid goth, it appears that Simon & Schuster are going for the kiddie goth market. E&E reminds me of Charles Addams and The Addams Family. It looks like good natured fun for that creepy little kid in your life.
Jim:The artwork is very appealing and as Lee had introduced me to a strip called Lio, this material has more appeal to me then it would have before.

Titan Publishing
Best of Wallace & Gromit (W) Dan Abnett, Simon Furman (A) Jimmy Hansen & Various
Wallace & Gromit, beloved by children and adults alike in the UK and stars of their very own Oscar-winning movie, return for more exciting comic-strip extravaganzas, along with Shaun the Sheep and Feathers McGraw! In the first of four incredible adventures Gromit is kidnapped by Feathers, forcing Wallace to rob a bank! There's more inventions madness when Wallace's creations go haywire; our heroes get mixed up in the hunt for a UFO; and finally there's mind swap mayhem as Shaun and Gromit accidentally switch brains! $12.95

Lee: I love Wallace and Gromit and if this is half as funny as the movies and shorts then it will be well worth the investment. I can’t wait to get my copy!
Jim: Wallace and Gromit are fantastic some of the best claymation ever done. I actually like the shorter features better then the movie. Not sure I want the comic book version.

Funny Misshapen Body GN (W/A) Jeffrey Brown
Best-known for his autobiographical comics Clumsy and Unlikely, Jeffrey Brown returns with Funny Misshapen Body, his first comic memoir in several years. It chronicles Jeffrey's coming-of-age as a comics artist, from his obsession with superhero comics as a kid to trying to fit in as a cartoonist at the snooty School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Drawn with the trademark simplicity that has made Brown's name in the comics world - drawing the attention of everyone from Ira Glass to USA Today - it also recounts how Brown survived high school, abdominal surgery and the difficulties of living with Crohn's Disease, college, binge drinking, friendships, drug experimentation, coffee shops, and his ultimate decision that comics are just as important as traditional art. $16.00 There are some sample of Jeff’s art here

Lee: To say that Brown’s art is simplistic is an overstatement. When I first saw his art I thought my eyes were going to fall out of my head because I disliked it so much. But after reading Clumsy, not only did I appreciate it, I really liked it. Brown is a great writer and his comics are always entertaining. Don’t let the art scare you off. If you’re taking a chance on a new book this month start here (or with Clumsy).
Jim: There are a lot of artists who are deceptive like that, because you are not used to their style you think they have no artistic ability. Beyond the actual art story telling and design are also important in telling a story with pictures.

Likewise SC (W) Ariel Schrag
Delving deep into the anxious heart of a teenage girl's quest for self, Likewise is a graphic story of high school in all its awkward, painful glory. It chronicles cartoonist Ariel Schrag's senior year at Berkeley High School in California in the mid-90s. Discovering James Joyce's Ulysses opens up a whole new world - and artistic style - for Ariel, and she uses the new approach to document her major longing for her ex-girlfriend (who has headed off to college), her anxiety over the college-admissions process, her parents' post-divorce relationship, the valuable life lessons she's learning from her beloved art teacher, and-as always-the personal and social complications of writing about her life as it happens. $16.00 Visit Ariel here to see more
Lee: This looks like a top-notch autobiographical comic. Since Ariel has written three other books chronicling her high school years I have to believe that these are very good.
Jim: This does sound good and I would buy it, but for the time to actually get around to reading it. Lee can attest to the fact that it takes me months to read stuff he loans me.

Transfuzion Publishing
Miskatonic Project: HP Lovecraft Bride of Dagon SC (W) Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc Lofficier (A) Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack
Before X-Files, before Torchwood, there was the Miskatonic Project! The Deep Ones have risen and their dark god Dagon awaits his bride - a member of the Miskatonic Project! Determined to break the growing power of Cthulhu, The Miskatonic Project battles slime-dripping monstrosities from the bottom of the sea! $15.99

Lee: Now this is interesting because I’ve never heard of it. Thomas and L’officier are very good writers. Mack is a very good artist. AND, to my surprise Bendis is listed as an artist! Don’t get me wrong, Bendis is a good artist, but I am surprised to see his name attached to this. I wonder if it’s any good.
Jim: I will never know, because I get my Lovecraft fix from BOOM and Roy Thomas and JM Lofficier with Bendis and Mack sound pretty bad.

Girls of Gaming Vol. 01
Play Magazine, the premier lifestyle magazine of video game culture, brings readers Girls of Gaming, a celebration of the female form in video games, anime, comics, and more! More than just a pin-up book, Girls of Gaming celebrates gaming's vast line-up of heroines, from the cute, to the sexy, and everything in-between! From Lara Croft to Aerith Gainsborough, from Vanessa Schneider (P.N.03) to Farmer (Dungeon Siege), the 'girls of gaming' are brought to life through CGI renders, concept artwork, and commissioned and exclusive original artwork. Each volume of Girls of Gaming features hundreds of full-color images, interviews with creators, gamers, and the girls themselves, plus game information and more. If you love games, you'll love Girls of Gaming! $9.95

Lee: Wow, this is such tough call. Do I want the “Girls & Corpses” magazine or this one? Decisions, decisions, decisions. And, I’m sure this is full of insightful articles.
Jim: I'm more concerned about who is buying this. What is their circulation 150 people.

Art of Monsters vs. Aliens HC
The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens is a full-color visual companion book celebrating the first animated film to use the new Stereoscopic 3-D process from start to finish. Lavishly illustrated, the book features over 400 images, including concept sketches, preliminary drawings, architectural plans, watercolor and oil paintings, and digital artwork. It also details the creative process behind developing this irreverent, modern-day action comedy that reinvents the classic '50s monster movie. $40.00

Lee: Now this is a movie I can’t wait to take the kids too! It combines my love of animation and 50’s B-movie monster flicks! Hopefully the kids will like it when I drag them to it. This book should be pretty cool too but I’m more excited about the movie right now.
Jim: This is a movie that I will have to force my wife to go to see, but I will as my kids are too old to use as cover and neither live in the same state as dear old Dad (me).

Lee: Honestly, this was an up-n-down month. There's lots to choose from but not as much as usual. But, there's enough to be excited about and that's all that matters.
Jim:I agree this was not the strongest month, but as always if you can't find something that might interest you here, then you are not looking.

WE GOT ALL OF THE MARCH PREVIEW REVIEWS IN JUST UNDER THE WIRE. We try to do our preview reviews a little while after they are released and still months before they are released so you can go and order them from you favorite comic store.

1 comment:

  1. I'm waiting for my Monster vs Aliens art book. Should be any day now.