Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Indies Preview Review for April Part 1 of 3

Lee: I’m happy to see new indies but saddened by the new Diamond Structure. There’s lots of times that I pick things that were previously offered because I didn’t see them the first time around. My optimistic side says I’ll won’t miss them going forward because there will be less junk. My My pessimistic side says if I miss it the first time around I’m never going to see it again. Yeah, the back of the catalog is overwhelming but instead of cutting everything out with minimums how about some type of review board or something.
Jim: I'm wondering how 2009 will treat this segment of our industry. I'm worried that between Diamond's moves and the overall economy we may see a lot of publishers vanish and with it some of our favorite books.

Adhouse Books
Ace-Face Mod with Metal Arms GN by (W/A) Mike Dawson
From the pages of Project: Superior bursts Ace-Face: The Mod with the Metal Arms, a collection of stories by Mike Dawson (Freddie & Me) featuring everybody's favorite well-dressed crime fighter, doling out super-powered justice with his bionic limbs, and handling crises at home as a husband and father. $6.95 Visit Mike here

Lee: DARNIT! I want to make fun of this soooo bad then I went and read Mike’s blog and he sounded like a cool guy. Well, as cool as anybody with a blog who loves comics can be. But still. There are some previews and this looks to be equal parts silliness and adventure. I think I’m going to have to check it out.
Jim: It does look like fun and in this type of world we are dealing with right now, fun is high on my agenda.

Alterna Comics Inc
Jesus Hates Zombies: Lincoln Hates Werewolves Vol. 02 GN by (W) Stephen Lindsay (A) Steve Cobb & Daniel Thollin
In the second volume of this four-volume series, Jesus and a time-traveling Abe Lincoln join forces to save mankind from an apocalyptic zombie uprising, a zombified angel, and a werewolf with a grudge! Accompanied by his ever-faithful zombie sidekick Laz, and his newest companion, King (a male stripper), Jesus must unite any remaining humans in an effort to stop the zombie devastation. But with the world dying around them, will humanity still have faith in the Son of God?
Lee: I’m not sure if this is creative or just stupid. What’s next, GW hates civil liberties?
Jim: I read Volume 1 and I think stupid hits the nail on the head.
Lee: You actually read volume 1???? You're kidding right???
Jim: Wish I was, it was not a good thing.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Warlord of Io & Other Stories One-Shot by (W/A) James Turner
New from the creator of Rex Libris comes The Warlord of IO & Other Stories. The main story in this comic centers on Jon Jett, an unstoppable, unopposable hero in the mold of Flash Gordon. In this opening adventure he comes up against the emperor Zing in a fun and funny space adventure, with plenty of political commentary tossed in for good measure! Also featured in this one-shot is Hell Lost, a social satire that follows the spiritual journey of Muktooth, a demon serving in Hell's Police Department. Assigned to police crimes that exceed mandated punishment, as well as patron-on-patron (Hell is a service industry, after all!) related crime, he has a case book higher than Mount Everest! $3.95 There’s a preview of Rex Libris here which will give you a good idea about the art. And lots of preview art from James here

Lee: I’ve been reading, and enjoying, Turner’s other book Rex Libris so I’m excited about this. Libris is a very dense comic while this looks like a much lighter, and more accessible, read. Turner has a great sense of wit and this should be really good.
Jim: It's funny because a group of people I do a comic webcast with think I read everything, but Lee reads more then even I do. In one group I'm the indie guy, next to Lee I'm the mainstream guy.

Ape Entertainment
Walled In GN by (W) Roger Mincheff (A) Dennis Calero
The origin story of Malastraza, the brilliant, yet disturbed architect and sociopath in the upcoming feature film Walled In, starring Mischa Barton. In this chilling graphic novel of love, betrayal, and obsession the roots of his madness first take hold. From his humble beginnings as a precocious honor student in a Paris Academy, to his tutelage in the dark arts of occult architecture, Malastraza learns that many of the secrets upon which civilizations are built have been drenched in blood. When he is betrayed by his mentor and the woman he loves, Malastraza's obsession to create the perfect structure leads him down a dark path where victims must be sacrificed in service of his grand vision. $16.95 The official movie site here

Lee: Wow! Does this sound intense, or what? I don’t like the fact that it’s tied to a movie I probably won’t see but that’s a small nit pick. This sounds like one intense horror book. And, Calero is fresh from X-men Noir so you know he can draw!
Jim: Calero is a very strong artist and this book fits his style. It also reminds me of Mister X by Dennis Motter as that city has architecture that drives you made. This sounds very good.

Ardden Entertainment
Flash Gordon 75th Anniversary Special HC by (W/A) Various
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Alex Raymond's signature creation, Ardden Entertainment has put together a breathtaking roster of talent to chronicle the secret history of Mongo! After the events of The Mercy Wars, Flash explores this strange new world and comes across an ancient device that allows him to see into Mongo's recent past - revealing untold tales of Ming the Merciless, Prince Barin, Princess Aura, Prince Vultan and more! Writers Joe Casey, Denny O"Neil, Tom DeFalco, J.M. DeMatteis, Brendan Deneen, Jim Kreuger, and Len Wein join forces with artists Shawn McManus, Joe Staton, Mike Cavallaro, Omaha Perez, Shanth Enjeti, and Pedro Delgado to create an anniversary anthology truly worthy of one of pop culture's first, and greatest, heroes! Available both as a Regular Hardcover edition and as a Special Signed edition. $14.95

Lee: This sounds really interesting because of all the talent attached to it. I know Jim doesn’t like Flash Gordon but I think he’s more interesting than Prince Valiant. Dull dull dull to the Valli-Man. Anyway, with the talent writing and drawing this I’m sure it will be good whether you like FG or not.
Jim: I'm passing, but Prince Valiant rules and the first 30 years of Prince Valiant was one of the best strip comics work ever done.

Avatar Press Inc
Ignition City #1 by (W) Warren Ellis (A) Gianluca Pagliarani
Where did the space heroes go to die? A major new series by Warren Ellis, the writer who reinvented science fiction in comics, in the alternate-world style of the award-winning Ministry Of Space and Aetheric Mechanics - a retro-punk "future of the past" where spaceships still belched smoke and arguments were still settled with laser pistols. 1956. Personal space flight is becoming illegal all over the world. Grounded space pilot Mary Raven has to journey to Earth's last spaceport, the island of Ignition City, to recover her dead father's effects - and discovers, there in the lawless interzone of the ramshackle settlement raised inside the ring of launch pads, that her father died on the wrong end of a ray-gun. She's not going to leave until she finds out who killed Rock Raven, but there's a lot of people who"d rather feed her to the recycling chipper first! Ignition City is an on-going color epic told in five issue series featuring the art of Aetheric Mechanics" Gianluca Pagliarani and launching with a Regular and Wraparound cover by Pagliarani, a painted cover by Felipe Massafera, and a rare Design Sketch cover by Pagliarani! $3.99

Lee: Yeah, it’s a new series by Ellis so I’m going to get it but I almost wish that he would finish some of his other series first. How about an ending to Planetary? Or Desolation Jones? Or Fell? That’s the only thing that makes me nervous is that I most likely won’t get a conclusion.
Jim: Lee brings up a good point, but Planetary is finishing up, not sure what happened with Desolation Jones, but Fell I still hold out hope that there are more issues to come.

Blind Ferret Entertainment Inc
Vol. 01: This Is a Great Idea SC by (W/A) Tim Buckley
Video games, food, and sleep. These are the priorities, in that order, of Ethan MacManus, a twenty-something gaming enthusiast with a low tolerance for work, and a penchant for making up his own rules. Anything goes as Ethan and his best friend Lucas deal with life, pop culture, obnoxious customers, and more games than there are minutes in a day. Collecting the acclaimed webcomic, this collection will appeal to fans of The Office, Penny Arcade, and PvP. $12.95 Read CtrlAltDel online here

Lee: I like that more and more web comics are seeing print but I’m not ready to support every single one. I have to admit the strip is good and I enjoy but it’s so grounded in the gaming culture that I can pass.
Jim: Should be right up Gwen's alley as she is into gaming. Gaming is full of a bunch of geeks, not like us cool comic book kids.

Blue Apple Books
Long Tail Kitty HC by (W/A) Lark Pien
Lark Pien's clever, precise, and unique comics are favorites with graphic-novel fans, and Long Tail Kitty marks her debut in the children"s-book world. Meet Long Tail Kitty and his friends and neighbors - a bee who's friends with the flowers (at least, the nice ones); Good Tail Mouse, who likes ice skating; and a family of aliens who drop in for one night of fun. The warmth and visual wit of these stories are sure to win over young readers, who will want to return again and again to Long Tail Kitty's house, by the hill, by the meadow, by the lake, by the river, by the town, by the bridge on the street where he lives. $14.99 Visit the website here or the blog/sketchbook here

Lee: There are so many good childrens books that fit perfectly into many comic book collections and this looks like one of them. It all boils down to the artists ability. I’m really on the edge for this one but Pien art, as seen in his sketchbook, looks really good so I’ll probably get it. One thing I do know, if I was older and waiting for Grandchildren… like waiting for them to arrive any day now then I would definitely get this.
Jim: Ha, ha, f**king, ha. I don't think I have any grandkids in the pipeline. The shame of it is I'm officially old enough to actually be in that category (because I had my kids when I was 12). As to the book, I loved reading this type of material to my kids, if Lee could read I'm sure he would too.

Bluewater Productions
Insane Jane SC by (W) Zach Hunchar (A) Armando
Take youthful energy. Add in some over-active imagination. Mix in some powdered donuts. Sprinkle it with delusional disorder and you get Insane Jane, the kookiest action hero of the 21st century! Will Jane save the day? Will Jane destroy the world? Will she remember to take her medication? The sold-out comic series features the debut of the next generation of characters that have made Bluewater famous! $14.99

Lee: I'm having trouble getting a handle on Bluewater as a publisher. On one hand they offer the silly pirate girl comics and then they offer this. Which, oddly enough appears interesting, so I will have to check into it.
Jim: I have one question. If these are the characters that made Bluewater famous, how come I never heard of this company before?

Boom! Studios
Irredeemable #1 by (W) Mark Waid (A) Peter Krause
A comic book industry event: a new original ongoing superhero series from Mark Waid! Irredeemable dares to ask the question: what if the world's greatest hero decided to become the world's greatest villain? A "twilight of the superheroes"-style story that examines super-villains from the writer of Kingdom Come and Empire! Features a 1-in-50 variant cover signed by Mark Waid! $3.99

Lee: Mark Waid is definitely one of this generations greatest writers and this looks like it will continue the trend. I’m not sure why I picked this because it will be surrounded by an enormous amount of hype that it’s not going to be under the radar. I do like that the variant cover is actually signed by Waid. A nice change from the standard variant offering.
Jim: It still is "under the radar" because no matter what it is from BOOM and they are still looking to break barriers that smaller press publishers always have to break. 2009 looks to be BOOM's year, with the Pixar books and Farscape and now Waid doing what looks to be a great book.

Mr. Stuffins #1 (New Edition) by (W) Andrew Cosby, Johanna Stokes (A) Axel Medellin
"My teddy bear's a secret agent!" When a scientist succeeds in creating Artificial Intelligence, he discovers to his horror that the government plans on making it a weapon. On the run, he hides the program inside a mechanical toy bear. An unsuspecting family buys the toy bear and a little boy discovers a new best friend - a cute, cuddly toy bear who's got all the moves of James Bond! Chaos, fun, and mayhem ensue, from the Eureka creator Andrew Cosby and writer Johanna Stokes! All over the country, the original edition of Mr. Stuffins #1 has sold out at convention after convention as fans asked, "When will issue #2 come out?" Well, true believer, the bear is back in a completely re-drawn and re-colored first issue with all new art from hot newcomer Axel Medellin, and most importantly for retailers, guaranteed this time to be on-time and on-schedule! Features covers by David Petersen (Mouse Guard) and Joe Abraham. #1 of 3, $3.99

Jim: I LOVED THIS BOOK WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT. I can't wait for the re-stuffed version. The first time around it was fun, humourous and full of action.
Lee: And speaking of books that have never finished. I'm taking your advice and waiting for the trade to see if it finishes before I invest.
Jim: It is BOOM dude, not Image or some tiny, tiny publisher, it will be fine.


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