Thursday, April 30, 2009

Indies June Part 2

Continued from yesterday..

:01 First Second
Tiny Tyrant Ethelbertosaurus GN by (W) Lewis Trondheim (A) Fabrice Parme
The Tiny Tyrant returns: bigger and better than ever in the new, kid-friendly format! Though he has a handful of advisors, this miniscule monarch is the one who really calls the shots - demanding to see Santa Claus, testing out his new bodyguard, and replacing all the kids in the kingdom with robot doubles of his own royal self! Hilarity and hijinks abound when you enter the world of the Tiny Tyrant. $9.95. Read and excerpt here
Lee: Imagine a small boy having the wealth of Richie Rich, the personality of Bart Simpson, and no authority figure in sight and you have the Tiny Tyrant. You can’t imagine the trouble that he gets into! This very, very good and laugh out loud funny.
Jim: Cute and all, but not the type of stuff that I have an interest in anymore. That is not a condemnation of the book, just a viewpoint for me.

Fantagraphics Books
You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation SC By Fletcher Hanks
Fletcher Hanks was the first great comic book auteur. That is, he wrote, penciled, inked, and lettered all of his own stories. He completed an astonishing 48 stories in three years from 1939-1941. As a one-man-cartooning-band, his work packs the wallop of a unique and unified artistic vision. He was a true comics visionary. In the earliest days of the comic book, before censorship, it was anything goes!-and in the tales of Fletcher Hanks, anything went! The superhero Stardust gazes down at evil-doers from space and doles out ice cold slabs of poetic justice with his wizardry. A villain out to kidnap all the heads of state gets turned into a giant head, body, just a head! The jungle protectress, Fantomah, looks like Jean Harlow in a skin-tight black negligee. But when she sees an evil scientist drugging gorillas to become slaves, her head transforms into a flaming skull and she tosses the villain to the gorillas who proceed to graphically tear the guy limb from ragged limb. Although the early comic books were meant for the kiddies, todays mature readers are stunned by their pop surrealism and outright violent mayhem. The first volume of Fletcher Hanks stories, I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets! (now in its fourth printing) was an Eisner Award-winning smash hit and a staple on Best of the Year lists. Comics fans were thrilled to come upon a cartoonist of this caliber whom they had never heard of before. Non comics fans who read about the book in The Believer and other journals were stunned to discover an Outsider Artist in comic book form. Edited by cartoonist Paul Karasik, this second volume You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation, collects all of the rest of Hanks comic book work. Thats right... ALL! The 31 tales in this book (more than TWICE as many as in the first), when combined with the first volume, will comprise The Complete Fletcher Hanks! $24.99
Jim: The Fletcher Hanks stuff will make you think Morrison’s material is totally coherent, but it has a madness that is just enjoyable.
Lee: These are such great stories! It really is amazing the insanity that was published in the 1950’s. This is easily as good as any underground comix material published today! It’s well worth your investment.

IDW Publishing
Captain Canuck Vol. 01 HC by (W) Richard Comely (A) George Freeman
Canadas first superhero returns! Captain Canuck has influenced Canadian cartoonists for more than 30 years, and now the best-selling opus returns with the first of two beautiful hardcover editions. Volume 1 collects issues #4-10. Hardcover. Full Color. 152 Pages 6.625 x 10.187 $24.99
Jim: Never read Captain Canuck, but I’m very tempted to try out volume #1, but fearful that the material may not be that strong.
Lee: I’m with you, never read the material, but interested in it. The main draw for me is Freeman’s art. He was/is an excellent artist and he did so little comics work that this is the best way to see it. On the other hand, I have little to no expectations for the story.

Leo Pulp GN by (w) Claudo Nizzi (a) Massimo Bonfatti
Leo Pulp lives in the times when detective stories and the tough-guy persona were all the rage. Like hardboiled private investigators in classic noir stories, Pulp has a knack for smelling out the intrigue of 1940s Hollywood, and getting in over his head. TPB Full Color. 300 Pages 6.25 x 8.25o $27.99 See samples of Bonfatti’s art here
Lee: I love Bonfatti’s art. I’ve never seen it before but I love the previews. This looks like it’s going to be fun. It’s interesting too that IDW is starting to reprint Euro comics.
Jim: IDW is fast becoming the new Dark Horse of comics. They have a strong base of license books, but also experiment with a lot of other material. IDW is always a publisher that I look at their solicitations.

Kettledrummer/Diabolo Edicione
Young Lovecraft GN by (W) José Oliver (A) Batolo Torres
Young Lovecraft, the web comic that took Spain by storm, makes its English language debut in this hilarious graphic novel by José Oliver and Bartolo Torres. Oliver and Torres explore the childhood of H.P. Lovecraft, the genius of literary terror who gave us the Cthulhu Mythos story cycle, and forever changed the landscape modern horror. Join the young Lovecraft on his macabre and comical adventures! $14.95. Go here for a whole bunch of sample strips.
Lee: Speaking of Euro comics, it’s not often a Spanish webcomic makes it to print in America. That alone is enough to make me want to read this. It reminds me of the other daily strip Lio in many ways.
Jim: Since I have started to read Lovecraft's stuff and read about him as an actual person I would stay away from this until I finish reading the "Best of" Anthology that I have started, so it would not color my perception of the man in anyway.

Lapin Factory
When We Fall GN by (W/A) Mr. Clement
Petit Lapin travels through time to collect a spaceship filled with cookie crumbs of broken relationships. Never running out of tragic missions, actions, romance and violence, Lapins space travel finds himself tumbling through human misconnections. When We Fall envelopes these autobiographical fictions in an empty swimming pool of love where unattainability is abundant. (NOTE: Books are hand bound and ship individually bagged with a poster of Astrolapin figure) $18.75 Visit Mr. Clement’s strange little blog here or the official site here
Lee: What a strange little book this is. I’m not sure that I can adequately describe it in the three sentences I’m allowed here. But, take a look at the links. It’s very interesting and completely different from most everything else out there.
Jim: I await your review of this odd offering.

Lawdog Comics
Bring Out Your Dead Vol. 01: It Tolls for Thee GN by (W/A) James Heffron
Cyprus, 1208 CE. Plague has defiled a seaside dominion, and carts filled with the dead rattle through the cobbled streets. With supply lines dwindling, a tyrannical Counts desperation mounts. Worries of plague and provender suddenly give way to new horrors, when loved ones thought lost return - as something else. A farmers daughter, a Templar Knight, an Eastern ambassador, a nun, an executioner - what could call upon such diversity to defend a dying village? Ask not for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for thee! $9.95 See a 12 page preview here
Lee: Well, it certainly has a creepy enough cover to be a good horror book. And, what better than zombies and mutants set in medieval times. This has possibilities.
Jim: It does have a certain "charm" to it, doesn't it. A great cover that should draw people in.

Treasury 20th Century Murder Vol. 02: Famous Players HC by (W/A) Rick Geary
Its the early days of Hollywood, movies are just starting to come of their own and gain in popularity. New Stars are made. The movies are still silent but their stars certainly are not, in the scandal sheets. Amidst this new boiling cauldron, William Desmond Taylor, a successful director at the upscale Famous Players Studio is found shot in his home. Could it have been the star Mary Miles Minter or a former butler? But then, what about that strange past Taylor had? $15.95
Lee: I mention Geary’s Treasury of 20th Century Murder books almost as often as I mention the Ducks. But, they’re always good and great to look at. If you are a true crime/history buff then you shouldn’t miss this.
Jim: The first time I got one of Geary's books it took me months to sit down and read it and then I was hooked. The true crime stuff is great and Geary does a superb job.

New Reliable Press
Jan's Atomic Heart by (W/A) Simon Roy
Frankfurt, the far future. Earth recovers from a brief war against Lunar Separatists. Jan, a computer analyst, has been fitted with an old lunar-made body in the aftermath of a brutal car wreck. Fear sets in as similar-style lunar bodies are used in terrorist attacks staged by a rogue group of Lunar Separatists, which leads Jan to believe that he may be an unwilling pawn for a terrorist attack. $5.95 See a 22 page preview here
Lee: This reads really, really well. Apparently this is Roy’s first published work. I’m surprised because the preview reads really, really well. This appears to be an interesting science fiction tale from a bright new talent. Get this and you can say “I knew him when” later.
Jim: This has tons of promise, but really facing an uphill battle in today's market to even get published. This type of book is usually solicited before it is published to see if they get enough orders. I fear it will never see the light of day.

True Loves Vol. 02 GN by (W) Jason Turner, Manien Bothma (A) Jason Turner
Its been one year since True and Zander moved in together and life couldn’t be better. However, there appears to be trouble in paradise as old flames reappear, interests drift and schedules clash. Can love endure or are our heroes headed for disaster? $8.95 See a 25 page preview here
Lee: Usually, relatively new publishers might have one good offering. Or at least one worth taking a chance on. Surprisingly enough, New Reliable Press appears to have two books that are worth looking at. This appears to be a better than average, slice of life, book. The arts slightly cartoony but it fits the story.
Jim: Slice of life Lee loves, slice of life Jim avoids it like the plague.

Poseur Ink
Side B GN by (W/A) Various, CoverArt: Lucy Knisley
Created by veteran and ingenue artists alike, Side B contains over 200 pages of lost lovers, rocking out, spirit guides, ghosts, and dinosaurs - its like an action adventure comic for the music lover in all of us. Including the creative talents of such comic icons as Jeffrey Brown (Clumsy), Brandon Graham (Multiple Wareheads), Ryan Kelly (Local), and Jim Mahfood (Clerks). Whether you’re an audiophile or a comic nerd, this unique and electrifying read will show you how music touches our lives every day as an influential and defining part of every generation, every culture. $22.99
Lee: It’s all about the mythical link between music and comics! But, the artists listed are really, really good so even if you don’t buy the premise it should be pretty to look at.
Jim: Lee and the music comic connection, Jim avoids it like the plague.

Lee: It’s a really light month. There’s still plenty of interesting things but it makes me wonder if things are really going to start slowing down.
Jim:I think things are going to slow down a lot. Between the advent of the e-comic market, Diamond changing its structure and an economic downturn the small press is going to be squeezed harder then ever. To see some of the original and unique stuff that was available before we will have to search the internet as I think more and more stuff will go free first and then find a botique publisher to do a collection down the road.


  1. Jim: Fear not. Jan's Atomic Heart has already been printed and is sitting, waiting to be shipped to store.

  2. Good to know - makes it much easier to order knowing it actually will come out.