Thursday, July 23, 2009

Indies Preview Review for September Part 1 o f 3

Lee: At first, when Diamond announced the new thresholds, I was worried about a drop in quality books. But, if anything the books are just as good as before. If not better! There are so many good things this month I might not be able to get them all.
Jim: I think we are seeing that perhaps what Diamond was dropping was rarely something that caught our eye and/or companies are finding ways around the new cut off.

Abrams Comicarts
Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness GN by (W/A) Reinhard Kleist
'The Man in Black,' Johnny Cash, was a 17-time Grammy winner who sold more than 90 million albums in his lifetime and became an icon of American music in the 20th century. Graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist depicts Johnny Cash's eventful life from his early sessions with Elvis Presley, through the concert in Folsom Prison, his comeback in the 1990s, and the final years before his death. Already a bestseller and award-winner in Europe, Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness vividly portrays the unpredictable life of a loner, patriot, outlaw, and music rebel. $17.95 Visit Kleist here with lots of previews.

Lee: I’m sold. I’ve really started to like the biographical comics and this sounds great. I’m not a huge Cash fan but I respect what he did musically. And, Kleist has a great artistic style that seems to fit the material.
Jim: I'm sold too. I like the Johnny Cash story and enjoyed the movie and would like to read this graphic novel of his life also.

Abstract Studios
Strangers in Paradise Omnibus (limited ed.) by (W/A) Terry Moore
At last, the definitive SiP collection has arrived! Twin 1,074 page hardcovers contain every page of Terry Moore's Eisner Award-winning story, while a third hardcover collects all fifteen years of color covers. All three books come in a beautiful slipcase. Limited to 1,250 signed and numbered units worldwide, the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus is sure to be the jewel of any collection. Item Notes: 1250 copy print run, Orders are Not Guaranteed, allocation may occur. $159.95

Lee: Now this is tricky because it sounds cool. But it is also ridiculously expensive. $160??? On the other hand, if you’re one of the lucky few to get a copy then it might have high resale value later. I won’t ever know but maybe Jim will.
Jim: I will never, ever, ever buy another book that is so riduculous huge. I have the Spider-Man Omnibus that is over 1,000 pages and it is basically unreadable due to the clunkly nature of the book.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Biff Bam Pow #1 by
(W) Evan Dorkin (A) Sarah Dyer
Evan Dorkin's humor anthology is jam-packed with all the things that make the universe go 'round - superheroes, monsters, monkeys, and the neverending battle between the good, the bad, and the stupid! All this and a Nutsy Monkey gag strip from the pages of Nickelodeon Magazine. $2.95

Lee: This isn’t new but it looks so good I had to pick it. Dorkin great sense of humor, combined with monkey jokes has gotta be a winner!
Jim: Geez I want to say passs, but Evan Dorkin and monkey jokes damn hard to let this one slip by, plus I missed this material before, so it would be new to me.

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer GN by (W) Van Jensen (W/A) Dustin Higgins
After seeing Geppetto die at the hands of vampires, Pinocchio swears revenge in this darkly funny graphic novel. As the vampires plot the enslavement of mankind, only a one-puppet army stands in their way. But will a wooden boy and his endless supply of stakes, courtesy of plenty of lies and his elongating nose, be enough to save the day? Filled with tongue-in-cheek dark humor, fans of Nightmares & Fairy Tales will swoon to this twisted take on the tale of Pinocchio. $10.95

Jim: I have already burnt out on this type of material from Zenoscope and I'm barely following the Wonderland stuff from them to the end, but this vien of material is basically mined out for me.
Lee: This is a pass for me too but I can't remember if this was the same group that did Helen Killer. It's fine. I agree it seems awfully similar to Zenoscope material but someone must like it.

Anarchy Studios/Harris Comics
Vampirella: Second Coming #1 (Stegman cover) by (W) Phil Hester (A) Daniel Sampere
Like Marilyn Monroe and Betty Page, Vampirella is a cultural phenomenon now woven into society's DNA, a symbol of sensuality and power. So thinks a group of women who become increasingly and inexplicably fascinated with her, getting Vampi tattoos, researching her story and seeking each other out to celebrate her. But as a virus ravages Washington, possessing any man it comes across and liberating their darkest desires, these women feel a call from something - or someone - to battle this new threat. Is Vampirella real after all? $1.99

Lee: Let’s be honest, the world wasn’t demanding the return of Vampirella but I like what Harris is doing. They are offering a new comic in the so-called slimline or Fell format (20 pages, self-cover with subtly thinner paper stock). Maybe this will work and comics will start to come down from the $4 price point. Probably not but I’ll support this just to make a statement.
Jim: Support away. I may buy it when it hits the stands, but Vampy was never a great book from my memory, it is just the drop dead sexiness of the character that I liked.

Archaia Studios Press
Okko Vol. 02: Cycle of Earth HC by (W/A) Hub
Okko and his faithful companions arrive at the City of the Blasting Powder. While seeking a guide to help them cross the perilous chain of the seven monasteries, they learn of strange events in the mountains. And so Okko and his companions seek the Forbidden Libraries of the Eighth Monastery on the Roof of the World, and the ancient powers of the earth demand a blood sacrifice when awoken. $19.95 Previews here

Lee: Okko is a great sword and sorcery story. I have the first book, “Cycle of Water,” and I loved it. There are great characters, lots of action, and fantastic art. I’m eagerly awaiting this.
Jim: I have to sit down and read Cycle of Water as I have only read parts of it, but I'm glad to see this book actually get published (I hope). It is very good material.

Secret History Book 07 by (W) Jean-Pierre P├ęcau (A) Igor Kordey
Our Lady of the Shadows. 1914: Almost a century has passed since the death of Napoleon at St. Helena. Though believed defeated, the archon Dyo and the revenant William reappear in Sarajevo, guiding the hand of a terrorist who will plunge Europe into flames. What are the true aims of the red brethren and the Archon of the Chalice? Will World War I mean the end of the world or the birth of another? Limited Series $5.95

Lee: Since I went to France, I was able to check out French comics. Much to my surprise, there were a ton of Secret History books. Little did I know there were over 40 books in this story! At first I wasn’t sold on the concept, but for some reason now I’m intrigued.
Jim: I dropped out after the fourth book. I'm not steeped enough in history to catch and know all of what is going on and the books were very dense and at time obtuse.

Logicomix GN by (W) Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou (A) Alecos Papadatos, Annie Di Donna
This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers while his most ambitious goal, to establish unshakable logical foundations of mathematics, continues to loom before him. Russell persists in the quest that threatens to claim both his career and his personal happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity. Logicomix is a story about the conflict between an ideal rationality and the unchanging, flawed fabric of reality. $22.95

Lee: Another book that sounds great. I really enjoyed the Action Philosophers, and even though this isn't humorous, I'm thinking I will like a long discussion on logic and life. If you're looking for a break from capes then this is a good book.
Jim: God I hate you sometimes Lee. This book does sound interesting and I have to say that philosophy has become more interesting to me the older I get. Now I may have to buy this book.

Boom! Studios
Unknown: Devil Made Flesh #1 by (W) Mark Waid (A) Minck Oosterveer
Mark Waid brings another installment of the world's greatest detective! With only six months to live, Catherine Allingham's condition is terminal. But nothing will stop her from trying to solve even more mysteries. It's international suspense and hair-raising macabre as time runs out for our detective. Interior art by superstar Minck Oosterveer. Covers by Erik Jones and Alexander Stojanov. $3.99 Visit Oosterveer here

Lee: I can’t believe I missed this before but somehow I did. Maybe the hype wasn’t that good last time. Anyway, Waid’s writing another detective story that sounds similar to Ruse from Crossgen. But Oosterveer’s art looks outstanding. Another winner from Boom.
Jim: This cracks me up. I covered Unknown #1 and did a review of it and even linked to Ooserveer's webiste. It is obvious that we don't always read each others post on the blog.
Lee: My excuse is that I was traveling! After I loaded this, I noticed you had reviewed it. My mistake.
Jim: Key term EXCUSE!

Walt Disney's Comics & Stories #699 by (W) Riccardo Secchi (A) Stefano Turconi
One of the longest-lived, greatest comics in history comes to BOOM! Studios! A direct market event - the title that was host to Walt Disney's most cherished characters that helped build a decades-spanning global empire, originally launched in 1942, has come to BOOM! Kids! Ever wondered what would happen when all the superheroes of the Disney comics universe star in an epic clash against all the super villains with the fate of the world at stake? Join The Duck Avenger, Super Goofy, and the man himself Mickey Mouse for an all-new team of heroes, an all-new era in Disney publishing! $2.99

Lee: When Gemstone lost the publishing rights to Disney material, I always wondered if we would see this material again. And, what a coup by Boom!. They are slowly but surely becoming a big time player in second tier publishers. I’m glad to see the material back in print and now maybe we’ll start seeing some fancy hc’s! Especially of the ducks, because Ducks are cool.
Jim: Quack, quack, quack. Lee has a thing for ducks. It is quite a coup for BOOM and I think they will probably do a better job with it them Gemstone.

Conundrum Press
Hipless Boy GN by (W/A) Sully
Say for a second you're just a normal person. You live in a hipster neighborhood but you're not a hipster. You're hipless. This is the premise behind this collection of interlinked stories done in a graphic novel format, originally published as a weekly column in the McGill Daily. The protagonist here tries to live his life like an open heart, and a curious cat, meeting and mingling with a collection of Montreal oddballs. Crisp linework resonating with clean writing, the short stories collected here reveal an inter-woven community of new adults, struggling to find families of their own making. 224 pgs, $19.95 Preview pages here

: I have to say that a lot of good slice o-life comics come out of Canada, and this looks to be a fine addition. Not to mention a whole lot of story for a cheap price.
Jim: You know as I'm reading the solicitation text I was getting bored. The art on the cover looks great, but I have a feeling this will be a "Best Book I Never Read" post that Lee does for another website.

Drawn & Quarterly
Fixer & Other Stories SC by (W/A) Joe Sacco
The complete softcover collection of the Bosnian War stories from the author of Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde. The Fixer and Other Stories is a new softcover that collects Joe Sacco's landmark short stories on the Bosnian War that previously comprised the hardcover editions of The Fixer and War's End. $19.95

Lee: This has been in print forever and then some. But now it’s being collected into a nice softcover for people like me. I’ve heard & read so many good things about ‘The Fixer’ that I can’t turn this down. You won’t read a bad review on the net anywhere so there isn’t any risk in buying this because it will be good.
Jim: I may have to follow suit and just take a flyer on this book also.

D. E./Dynamite Entertainment
Lone Ranger Comic Strip Collection HC by (W) Cary Bates (A) Russ Heath
Presenting a deluxe hardcover collection of Cary Bates and Russ Heath's timeless Lone Ranger comic strip. Features over 500 comic strips originally syndicated from 1981 through 1984, complete with an overview and introduction and historical material. $39.99

Lee: OOOHHHH an entire book filled with Russ Heath art???? I might not be able to pass this up. I still believe Russ was at his peak late 60’s/early 70’s but this was still very, very good art from him.
Jim: Lee, you should not pass up this book as it was Heath at his best. I have to like the material and not just the art, so this is a pass for me. Lee art guy, me story guy.

Look for Part 2 Tomorrow

1 comment:

  1. Johnny Cash - Best Country Music ever. Actually, just about the only country music I like, so better to say his is amongst the best music, period.