Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Indies Preview Review for October Part 1 of 2

Lee: What a blah month! After the last couple of month chock full of goodies, this is a complete let down. There’s still good stuff, but not very much of it.
Jim: After draining my wallet in August for all the hard covers that came in I can live with a cheaper month.

Archaia Studios Press
Robotika Vol. 02: w/Dust Jacket HC by (W/A) Alex Sheikman (A) David Moran
Niko, the Steampunk Samurai in search of a soul, returns with Yuri Bronski and Cherokee Geisha. Join the Three Yojimbos on their latest adventure as they journey deeper into the Badlands of this bleakly dystopian future world, where sometimes the one and only currency that can satisfy a debt is blood. Welcome to the future! $19.95

Lee: Robotika has long been a favorite here at Comics And.. so you knew this pick was coming. I loved the first super, shiney hc and I’m sure I’ll love this one. It’s worth the extra pennies to get this in the nicer format.
Jim: Alex Sheikman pours his heart and soul into this work and it is worht anyone's time and money. Mark this hardcover with two copies sold from this blog.

Ardden Entertainment
Casper & the Spectrals #1 by (W) Todd Dezago (A) Pedro Delgado
Just in time for Casper's 60th anniversary, Ardden Entertainment proudly debuts Casper And The Supernaturals, an all-new take on the world's most famous ghost and his two friends, Wendy the Witch and Hot Stuff! There is a city within New York City known as Spooky Town, but most humans are unable to see it. Within this city live the Supernaturals, the ghosts, goblins, demons and witches of the world. When an ancient entity known only as the Volbragg threatens both New York and Spooky Town, Casper and his friends are forced to band together and defeat an unimaginable evil! $2.99

Lee: I admit that I like old school Casper but that’s really based on nostalgia more than anything else. My kids have no clue who Casper is and that makes this a tough sell to them. I hope this succeeds, I’m just not sure who the target market is.
Jim: Blechh, what a horrible idea. The original does not need updating for a comic book. This thing is a guaranteed loser as how does a little publisher like this find the proper audience.
Lee: And, let’s not even discuss how stupid the redesigned Wendy and Hot Stuff look. BLAH!
Jim: Lee is right. Horrible redesigns.

Dead Kingdom of Flies SC by (W) Alan Grant (A) Simon Bisley
Britain has fallen prey to a mysterious plague of flesh-crazed zombies. Corpses litter the streets. As far as Derek Wall and his team of firefighters know, their Oxford HQ might be the last bastion of unaffected humanity in the entire country. But with every day that passes, Derek's men get weaker, while the zombies grow in ferocity and numbers. It's only a matter of time before the zombies break in - or the humans break out! Collects issues #1-4 of the smash hit series. $15.00 The official site here

Lee: This book mystifies me. It’s got a solid author, an incredible artist, and yet it has no buzz what-so-ever! Nothing. I can’t pass on Bisley’s art so I’ll get it but I’m still shocked there wasn’t any buzz whatsoever.
Jim: No buzz is the US, but this is apparently a British only comic, which has no real distribution in the US.
Lee: In other news, if you go here you can download the first issue of “Church of Hell” by Grant and Glenn Fabry! As they say, the best comics is free comics. Or do they say that about beer? I can’t remember.
Jim: It's beer, I'm 99% sort of positive it's beer.

Boom! Studios
Giant Monster HC by (W) Steve Niles (A) Nat Jones
Long out-of-print, Steve Niles classic Giant Monster comes back into print, and this time in a deluxe full-size hardcover! Ever since the original 6 x 9 paperback sold out, retailers and fans have been inundating BOOM! to put the book back into print, so were doing it, but with a new sense of flair and a splashy new hardcover package! Astronaut Don Maggert's first space flight swallows him alive in the grip of intergalactic horror, transforming him into something that throws the entire planet into peril! Featuring over-size Kaiju action in a full-sized deluxe hardcover edition. $24.99

Lee: I think it’s cool that Boom! is jumping into the hc market but chosing this book makes no sense to me. If I accept the premise that fans have been demanding this (which I doubt), then I have to assume they were demanding a pocket size tpb that was 1/3 the price of this. I already have the tpb so I’m not sure I’m willing to spend the money to upgrade to a hc. If I’m not willing to upgrade (and I’ll buy anything) then who is?
Jim: Great point Lee. Did I send the trade to you? It was a great story and a fun book, but not $25 worth of fun. So if Lee and I are hesitant this is a hard sell. The description needs to tell me more details of what extras I get for the extra bucks.

Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck HC by (W/A) Don Rosa
Greed is good! BOOM! Kids proudly collects The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck in a gorgeous hardcover collection like nothing youve ever seen before. These stories, written and drawn by legendary cartoonist Don Rosa, chronicle Scrooge McDuck's fascinating life. See how Scrooge earned his Number One Dime and began to build his fortune! An Eisner Award-winning in its original publication. $24.99

Lee: Yahhooooooo it’s the return of the ducks. I haven’t gotten to pick this in months!!! The kids destroyed my first copy. They are working on destroying my second copy so now I’m upgrading to fancy hc. And, a full sized fancy hc. This is outstanding and highly recommended.
Jim: Lee is in duck heaven. It is awesome when something you love gets put into a great format.

Fantagraphics Books
Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons HC
Fifty-one, to be exact, but let's not quibble. Gahan Wilson is among the most popular, widely-read, and beloved cartoonists in the history of the medium, whose career spans the 2nd half of the 20th century, and all of the 21st. His work has been seen by millions -no, hundreds of millions- in the pages of Playboy, The New Yorker, Punch, The National Lampoon, and many other magazines; there is no telling, really, how many readers he has corrupted or comforted. He is revered for his playfully sinister take on childhood, adulthood, men, women, and monsters. His brand of humor makes you laugh until you cry. And it's about time that a collection of his cartoons was published that did justice to his vast body of work. When Gahan Wilson walked into Hugh Hefner's office in 1957, he sat down as Hefner was on the phone, gently rejecting a submission to his new gentlemen's magazine: I think it's very well-written and I liked it very much, Hefner reportedly said, but it's anti-sin. And Im afraid were pro-sin. Wilson knew, at that moment, that he had found a kindred spirit and a potential home for his cartoons. And indeed he had; Wilson appeared in every issue of Playboy from the December 1957 issue to today. It has been one of the most fruitful, successful, and long-lived relationships between a contributor and a magazine, ever. Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons features not only every cartoon Wilson drew for Playboy, but all his prose fiction that has appeared in that magazine as well, from his first story in the June, 1962 issue, Horror Trio, to such classics as Dracula Country (September 1978). It also includes the text-and-art features he drew for Playboy, such as his look at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, his take on our country's pathology of violence, and his appreciation of transplant surgery. Wilson's notoriously black sense of comedy is on display throughout the book, leaving no sacred cow unturned (an image curiously absent in the book), ridiculing everything from state sponsored executions to the sober precincts of the nouveau rich, from teenage dating to police line-ups, with scalding and hilarious satirical jabs. Although Wilson is known as an artist who relishes the creepy side of modern life, this three-volume set truly demonstrates the depth and breadth of his range - from illustrating private angst we never knew we had (when you eat a steak, just whom are you eating?) to the ironic and deadpan take on horrifying public issues (ecological disaster, nuclear destruction anyone?). Gahan Wilson has been peeling back the troubling layers of modern life with his incongruously playful and unnerving cartoons, assailing our deepest fears and our most inane follies. This three-volume set is a testament to one of the funniest - and wickedly disturbing - cartoonists alive. $125.00

Lee: Incredibly pricey but so worth it. It will crush my budget for two months (at least) but I have to get this. Three giant volumes of nothing but Gahan goodness??? What’s not to love. And, I can attest to his strength as a writer because I already have a collection of his prose. If you can afford it, this is highly recommended.
Jim: I too have to have it. Lee can attest to my knowledge of Gahan's cartoons. Hell I have most of them memorized. $125 is very steep, but I will be buying this baby. Mr. Wilson is one of the absolute best cartoonist ever.

Griffin Books
Nylon Road Graphic Memoir GN by (W/A) Parsua Bashi
In Parsua Bashi's graphic memoir, she paints a revealing picture of what it's like to be a young woman growing up under Shiite law in Iran. In the tradition of graphic memoirs such as Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, this is not only a look at a young woman's struggles growing up, but a window into a non-Western culture that we are still struggling to understand. Beautifully told and poignant, this is a powerful work about the necessity of freedom. $16.99 Some very small preview pages here

Lee: Gwen and I read Persepolis and loved it. Jim’s had a copy of the book for awhile and I’m sure he’ll like it when (if?) he reads it. Even though the previews are way to small the art looks good, and the story sounds fascinating. I’m sold.
Jim: I'm going to read it. You know eventually I will and you will get your book back. Once I read that I can have a more informed opinion on this book.
Part 2 Tomorrow!!!!


  1. Brendan Deneen9/02/2009 2:50 PM

    Wow, what a sad, cynical response to our Casper reboot. I'll bet you real money that you're way off base here.



    Brendan Deneen
    Ardden Entertainment

  2. Brendan,

    We can get cynical at times. I hope you are right. Send us a review copy and if we are wrong - we are happy to be proven wrong.


  3. Brendan-

    Jim's right, we tend to get cynical. But, I will stand by my comments, I hope you succeed BUT it's still a tough sell. All kiddie books are a tough sell these days. Actually, almost anything that isn't tights'n'capes is a tough sell these days.

    And that's the problem. Not your product so much as the marketplace.


  4. Brendan-

    The comment about the re-design was really harsh. I should have tempered that one. I'm an old school Wendy-Hot Stuff fan. Yeah, I know Hot Stuff wore a diaper but it worked.

    It's hard to see redesigns of kiddie characters into current fashion trends. It's shocking to say the least.