Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Indies Preview Review for May Part 1 of 3

Lee: Lots of books to pick from this month but I’m not feeling like my normal wordy self. In other words, short commentary this month.
Jim: I needed Lee to be Mr. Wordy as I'm pressed for time lately. Work (real world) has been busy and the last few weeks of books have given me the comic book blahs.

AAM Markosia
Hope Falls SC by (W) Tony Lee (A) Dan Boultwood
Twenty years ago they murdered her, and now she's back to even the score! Helen, a fallen Angel, returns to the town she died in to extract revenge on the four men who killed her. But in doing so, she learns the true reason for her murder and the truth about her killer, discovering an Angelic conspiracy that dates back to Jesus Christ. Will she succeed? Will God allow her to gain vengeance? Or is the Angel Michael right about her true purpose? Hope Falls collects the Eagle Award-nominated five-part series with an all-new introduction by Ben Templesmith. $15.95 Visit Boultwood here
Lee: Markosia always seems to have good offerings but their publishing schedule is weak. I wonder if this will actually make it to press. But, it's worth taking a chance on. It sounds very interesting and Boultowoods art reminds me of Ramos with a very angular style.
Jim: Even though I'm not very religious (read heathen), this book has a great premise and the price is right that I may have to add this book to my buying list.

Abrams Comicarts
Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow HC by (W/A) Brian Fies
Spanning the period from the 1939 New York World's Fair to the last Apollo space mission in 1975, it is told through the eyes of a boy as he grows up in an era that was optimistic and ambitious, fueled by industry, engines, electricity, rockets, and the atom bomb. An insightful look at relationships and the promise of the future, award-winning author Brian Fies presents his story in a way that only comics and graphic novels can. Interspersed with the comic book adventures of Commander Cap Crater (created by Fies to mirror the styles of the comics and the time periods he is depicting), and mixing art and historical photographs, this groundbreaking graphic novel is a lively trip through a half century of technological evolution. $24.95 Fies blog here
Lee: I have to admit this sounds really, really interesting. I like historical stuff, so mixing that with comic books is right up my alley. Fies wrote the well received book ‘Mom’s Cancer’ so I know he’s a proven writer/artist. I’ll probably check this out.
Jim: Are you kidding, this sounds great. I mean Fies is playing right into my heart. As a child and young man I was totally optimistic and failed to see what the world is like and at times wish I never learned. I love the concept and look forward to reading this book. Two for two to start out, this looks like an expensive month.

Alterna Comics Inc
Deadbeat GN by (W/A) Jeremy Massie
This "slice of super-life" graphic novel revolves around a down-on-his-luck former superhero and his estranged daughter as they come to terms with one another and the events that drove a wedge between them years ago. $6.95 Previews are here
Lee: Ahh, two of my favorite things, slice of life and superheroes. This could be interesting. I’m surprised there aren’t more of the bad super parent stories out there.
Jim: Two for three. I think this book would be more interesting without the super power aspect. To me this sounds like a mashed genre book that will miss the mark.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Nightmares & Fairy Tales Vol. 03: 1140 Rue Royale SC by Serena Valentino & Crab Scrambly
This tale belongs to the dead and the house they dwell in. Madame Lalaurie inflicted unspeakable acts upon her slaves at 1140 Rue Royale, and now their tortured souls seek revenge on the house's new occupants - elderly Victoria, and her young niece Rebecca. Rebecca must fight for their lives as she learns of the house's horrifying past, encounters monstrous nuns with a deadly secret in the attic, and becomes possessed by one of the spirits in her new home. $14.95
Visit Scrambly here
Lee: While this just appears to be more of Amaze Ink’s offerings for the goth set, I think the art sets it apart. It looks darker and more refined than most of the Amaze Ink stuff. Very Edward Gorey, which is a plus. I just might have to check this out.
Jim: LOL - Amaze Ink's offerings for the goth set. I did not realize they have a separate department for them. I guess they work at "Hot Topic" on the week-ends to keep current.

Ape Entertainment
Super Human Resources #4 by (W) Ken Marcus (A) Justin Bleep
Our heroes are updating their resumes, packing up their cubes and finishing their last days of crime-fighting. But who was responsible for the closing of SCI? Our temp Tim will solve this mystery with all the power of an associates finance degree. Don't worry, this is all more exciting than it sounds! $3.50, #4 of 4. Lots of art previews here
Lee: Yeah, this is a late pick since it’s already on issue 4 of 4, but it’s worth noting. Especially, in this day and age of temp jobs. It sounds funny and I like Bleeps art style. It’s very angular with an animated feel.
Travis: Hi guest commentary here. Just wanted to pop in and say love the name of this company - so buy their product.

Aspen MLT Inc
Dellec #0 by (W) Frank Mastromauro, Vince Hernandez (A) Micah Gunnell, Rob Stull
Sometimes, evil should be afraid. His name is Dellec. A working class family man. A highly skilled metal fabricator. A man who will be forced to risk everything - including his own existence, to purge the world of all its treacherous forms of ill repute. However, what if that evil he seeks to destroy is also the very same force that created him? And what if this being was more than mortal altogether? The blazing fires of damnation reign down upon one man in this epic tale of vengeance, loss, and despair as Dellec attempts to not only battle immortality itself, but also the very perception of faith its strength is built upon. Packed with loads of concept sketches and character designs, this 12-page #0 issue paves the way to the debut issue coming this July! $1.99 Lee: Soooo, maybe someone should talk to Aspen about how to run promo comics. Because, doing the math, 12 pgs for $2 is half price for half the comic. That’s no bargin. 12 pages for a dollar? That’s a bargin. Lots of fluff for a quarter like Marvel does? That’s worth it. This is just a rip off.
Jim: Agree, agree, agree. As a "free" comic on "Free Comic Book Day" this is a nice product, otherwise a load of crap for $2.

D. E./Dynamite Entertainment
Buck Rogers #0 by (W) Scott Beatty (A) Carlos Rafael
Join us as we present comicdom's first hero -- Buck Rogers... the first man out of time... the first man to be taken out of his present environment and put into the future! In the tradition of such best-selling introductory Dynamite launches as Red Sonja and Battlestar Galactica, Dynamite is launching the all-original #0 issue for just 25¢! Under a John Cassaday cover (Cassaday serves as series cover artist), writer Scott (Batman) Beatty and artist Carlos Rafael present an original 12 page comic book adventure - "The Death of Buck Rogers"! This is where it all begins and Dynamite's plans for Buck Rogers follow the model that they"ve followed over the years beginning with Red Sonja, embracing the history of such classic characters, but giving them a modern edge for today's audiences! All this, and for a quarter to introduce you to the new canon of Buck Rogers! Look for the Alex Ross Sneak Peek cover, featuring a look at Ross" cover to issue #1 of the Dynamite series! $0.25
Lee: And, this doesn’t look like Buck Rogers at all. It looks more like Adam Strange than Buck Rogers. This is a really bad costume design from Alex Ross.
Jim: OMG! I'm agreeing with Lee again, still I have always enjoyed Buck Rogers and plan to check this series out and a preview for a quarter is not bad.

Fantagraphics Books
Grotesque #3 by (W/A) Sergio Ponchione
In the second half of the two-part "Cryptic City" epic, Professor Hackensack continues his battle against the Wicked Barons alongside Inspector Doppiofaccio, the mysterious Lady Puzzle, and an unexpected ally from beyond the grave -- with the enigmatic Mr. O"Blique on the sidelines. This amazingly inventive work of fantasy from one Italy's hottest new talents is proving to be a sleeper hit! $7.95 A five page preview here
Lee: This is one of Fantagraphics creator owned book which is also magazine sized. These books are always full of lush art and great stories. And, based on the previews, you can see Ponchione influences from Crumb to Mad Magazine. I’m sold.
Jim: Look a book named after Lee's high school nickname. Bad joke, but I could not resist. It is always tough to go with a different format in comic and with the direct market as everyone is set to only showcase one size book, which is huge mistake as I enjoy the magazine size format.

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