Lee: This was a huge month for new books. My first cut was sooo long, that I’ve been forced to drop some books. Overall, this is good for everyone because there’s lot of quality material this month.
Jim: It is certainly good for me as I end up buying too darn many of the books that Lee selects.
Night Bookmobile GN by (W/A) Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger, the New York Times bestselling author of The Time Traveler's Wife, has crafted her first graphic novel. First serialized as a weekly column in Britain's The Guardian, The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a wistful woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing library on wheels that contains every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. But her search turns into an obsession, as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and memories. $19.95 Go here to see samples of Niffenegger’s art. Go here to read the first installment of the story.
Lee: I love this concept. The idea of finding all the books that you’ve ever read in one place is just fantastic. And, she’s already a proven writer so this is really a no-brainer. This should be very, very good.
Jim: Sounds too much like a "chick flick" to me. I would need a recommendation after people have read it to jump on this bandwagon.
Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Friendly Game GN by (W) Lindsay Hornsby (A) Jose Pimientelle, Lauren Affe
Friends play many kinds of games with each other: cops and robbers, checkers, tag. The best of friends will make up their own games. Todd and Kevin's friendship is built on such a game. However, the rules and premise are far from the typical childhood games. A dispute amongst the two splits them into very different directions: one sees the game for the cruel act that it is, while the other decides it must move to the next level. $14.95 Visit Jose here and the official page here.
Lee: I have to say that I am exhausted from trying to find preview pages from this story. Sheesh! You would think that SLG might actually have a link or something helpful on their site. Double sheesh. That said, this sounds interesting in an old school, House of Mystery sort of way. Joe’s art seems too happy for the theme of the material but that may help shock value based upon the concept. It appears worth checking out.
Jim: Lee brings up a good point. In today's marketplace when you are soliciting a book and you have sites like ours willing to talk about this books and give them some spotlight, shouldn't you make it easy to give people a preview?
Sisters Luck GN by (W/A) Shari Chankham
Just by touch, Umbra can steal good luck from people, while her twin Antumbra gives bad luck. So long as they are together, their abilities cancel each other out, so neither knows of her power until they go to different universities. There, things became ridiculously easy for Umbra, while Antumbra lived the life of an outcast. Antumbra can only live a normal life if she's near her sister, but Umbra has been using her power to gain fame and fortune and wants nothing to do with her twin. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Antumbra fights to regain her sister's love and fix the balance of luck in the universe. $12.95 Visit Shari here and read her online comic here.
Lee: Now I’m just frustrated. Again, another good concept that has, by all appearances, a creator whose been published before. This should be a no-brainer but I had to work my ass off to find anything about this book. Actually I couldn’t find anything about the book and barely managed to find the creator. Again, that’s just poor marketing for a book that actually sounds interesting.
Jim: I love this concept and the cover alone makes the art appealing. Again why make this a chore? You are trying to sell something, a commercial project needs to be supported. In the internet age this should be easy.
Archaia Entertainment LLC
Fraggle Rock Vol. 01 HC by (W/A) Various
Collects the spectacular first three issues of Archaia and The Jim Henson Company's Fraggle Rock series, featuring work by a talented mix of newcomers and indie superstars! Includes all the activity pages contained in the single issues and, as a bonus, Fraggle Rock content from the Free Comic Book Day issue is included as well! $14.95
Lee: Out of all the FCD books, my kids loved this the most. I wasn’t planning on getting this but I think I am now. And, for the record, it was very good. It’s the kind of book you buy now and read to grandchildren when they visit.
Jim: No grandkids yet. The Henson company has certainly produced a lot of characters and different things that I enjoy, from the Muppet Show to Farscape, so I'm sure this is good.
Syndrome GN by (W) Daniel Quantz, R.J. Ryan (A) David Marquez
When a rogue neuropathologist makes a startling breakthrough - literally isolating the root of all evil in the recesses of the human brain - he'll stop at nothing to advance his theory. With the help of a naïve Hollywood actress, a tormented motion picture director and a condemned serial killer, Dr. Wolfe Brunswick launches a bold experiment in the Nevada desert, the outcome of which could transform humanity forever. $19.95 Visit David Marquez here and see lots of preview pages.
Lee: This sounds and looks very, very interesting. The art looks solid and while it didn't have words I was able to make an educated guess about the story. If you like the horror genre then this has potential.
Jim: I'm on this book. Archaia is hit and miss, but thier hits are tremendous and I'm willing to gamble $20 with a strong concept like this one.
Hokusai Demons & Other Tales of the Fox Mother SC by (W/A) Al Davison
Hokusai: Demons & Other Tales of the Fox Mother is a full-color collection of dream comics with a Japanese theme by award-winning graphic novelist Al Davison, also known as The Astral Gypsy. Says Alisa Kwitney of Davison: He is possessed by demons. How else to explain his art, which can be as lyrical as a Japanese fairy tale, as gnomic as an opium dream, and as gothic and sensual as a Victorian's secret stash of erotica. Introduction by Neil Gaiman. $17.99 Visit Al here.
Lee: You may not recognize the name, but Al Davison has been in comics a very, very long time. He’s worked on both ‘The Dreaming’ and ‘Hellblazer’ so he has a handle on how to work supernatural stories. His art is great and this appears to be the type of material he would excel at. I’m gonna try it.
Jim: I have two reasons to pass on this book. First I'm unfamilar with the artist and have no clue as to his skills as a writer, second I have no clue who the publisher is and have been frustrated before ordering a book that never shows up.
Dante's Divine Comedy HC by (W) Dante Alighieri (W/A) Seymour Chwast
Seymour Chwast has long been influenced by Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, having first explored the metaphysical tale of Heaven, Hell, and redemption with a series of posters in the 1960s. In this, Chwast's first graphic novel, Dante and his guide Virgil don fedoras and wander through noir-ish realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, finding both the wicked and the wondrous on their way. From the multifarious torments of the Inferno to the host of delights in Paradise, Chwast's inventive illustrations capture the delirious complexity of this classic of the Western canon. $20.00 128 pages. 11 x 8 in. Visit Chwast here.
Lee: Chwast art is modern art at it’s best. Part style, part advertising art, and a wide mix of influences make it very, very enjoyable. But, who knows if he can tell a story. Ahhhh who caress! I want to see the pretty pictures.
Jim: Lee is the art guy and will take the chance for pure art reasons, as the story guy an easy pass for me.
Dracula: Company of Monsters #1 by (W) Kurt Busiek, Daryl Gregory (A) Scott Godlewski
He's back from the dead and starring in a new ongoing horror series from the mind of Kurt Busiek. A powerful, predatory corporation acquires a valuable asset - Dracula! They think they own him, but no one can own the Son of the Dragon. There's a monster in their midst that puts Hannibal Lecter to shame - and he plans to gain his freedom in blood. It's bloodsuckers vs. bloodsucker, as Busiek brings an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos. Joining Busiek is award-winning author Daryl Gregrory (Pandemonium) and rising star artist Scott Godlewski (Codebreakers). The epic journey starts here, so don't miss the debut issue of Dracula: The Company Of Monsters, the next breakout ongoing series from BOOM! Studios! $3.99
Lee: If anyone can make this work it’s Busiek, and for that reason, and that reason alone, I’ll give the first issue a try. But, I’m not convinced. Then again, I just might be bored with vampires too.
Jim: I have to agree without Busiek and the Boom name on this book I would probably pass as right now American Vampire is doing the Vampire thing so well, the rest looks boring.