Thursday, June 24, 2010

Indies Preview Review for August Part 2 of 3

Drawn & Quarterly
Nipper Vol. 01 (1963-1964) SC by (W/A) Doug Wright
Last year's Doug Wright: Canada's Master Cartoonist introduced the world to Nipper, the mischievous little kid who starred in Doug Wright's ingenious and enduring comic strip. This volume covers a peak period in Wright's four-decade career as he comes into his own as an iconic cartoonist capable of documenting middle-class suburban existence in all its minute joys and indignities. Packed with period details and loaded with charm, this collection features an introduction by journalist Brad Mackay. 112 pgs. $16.95
Lee: In the past few years I’ve become a huge strip fan and I’ve become a fan of foreign cartoons. And, this book combines the best of both works. It’s certainly aimed more at the comic historian than the casual reader but it appears to be a more aggressive Dennis the Menace.
Jim: Yeah, I'm not there yet, so have fun Lee and let me know what it is like.

Palooka Ville Vol. 20 HC by (W/A) Seth
Palookaville Volume 20 is the first volume of the seminal comic book series to be published in book form. The expansion into hardcover from pamphlet is a parallel that illustrates Seth's growth into an award-winning cartoonist, book designer, hobbyist, editor, essayist, and installation artist. Part comic book with the ongoing serialization of Clyde Fans, part sketchbook, and part documentation of Seth's fictional town of Dominion City, this visual compendium will showcase Seth's varied creative passions. $19.95. Previews for a bunch of Seth stuff here.
Lee: Last year I read Seth’s book George Sprott and loved it! Now I am all out Seth. Seriously, I don’t know how I didn’t hear about this before. Anyway, I know about him know and I’m getting this. Actually, now that I know there are 19 other volumes, I’ll probably try to find those too. But, I have no doubt this will be good.
Jim: Just reading the description scares me away. It is too many things and not a straight up graphic novel or anything. I would have to read something else by Seth before getting this book.

Fantagraphics Books
Drunken Dream & Other Stories HC by (W/A) Moto Hagio, Matt Thorn (trans.)
A decades-spanning collection from the founding mother of modern sho-jo manga. Fantagraphics Books' first volume of manga is a collection of short stories by one of Japan's most influential and critically lauded comics innovators. $24.99
Lee: Ok, let’s start with the definition of Shojo, from wiki-land: “shōjo manga does not comprise a style or a genre per se, but rather indicates a target demographic, specifically a female audience roughly between the ages of 10 and 18.” Neither Jim, nor I, are anywhere close to this demographic. I was, in my younger years, but only in the most physical of senses. But, my love of comics far outweighs target markets. I truly enjoy reading the works of creators who transcended the medium and created something entirely new. I also trust Fantagraphics enough to provide me quality material. I have no doubt this will be very good so if you’re looking for something different then this will be a good book for you.
Jim: I'm more confused that Lee was a female when he was younger or at least he was in the most physical of senses? Did you smell like a girl, hit like a girl, I need more information.

Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec Vol. 01 HC by (W/A) Jacques Tardi
Both a rip-roaring adventure series set in pre-World War I Paris and a parody of same, Adéle has been enchanting, thrilling, and puzzling readers worldwide through four decades. Adéle becomes involved in a series of mysteries that involve a revived pterodactyl, a frightful on-stage murder, a looming execution by guillotine, and a demon from the depths of hell - plus of course moronic gendarmes, loyal (or perhaps traitorous?) henchmen, and a climax atop the Eiffel Tower. $24.99 Go here to see get a 10 pg preview of another Tardi book.
Lee: I’ve been getting all the new Tardi books and so far they’ve been great so I’m not stopping now. Tardi is one of the European masters and this is highly recommended.
Jim: I have been moving towards more of this type of material and I will gladly sign up for this book also.

Fire Water: Bill Everett - Birth of Marvel HC by (W) Blake Bell In 1939, brand-new Marvel's first-ever comic book featured an anti-hero named the Sub-Mariner, created by legendary artist Bill Everett. From the superhero and horror genre, to romance, crime, and suspense, Bill Everett was a master of the medium. Blake Bell's follow-up to Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, Fire and Water is the definitive biography of the man and his career. The main focus, however, will be the stunning display of artwork that few artists can match in breadth and quality- all on display in this coffee table art book that is destined to ensure Everett's place at the table of premier comic book virtuosos. $39.99.
Lee: Jim and I have known about this book for months, if not close to a year. It has been so delayed that I never thought it would actually see the light of day. But I’m glad it’s finally here. This should be good stuff.
Jim: First off I'm getting this book. The only problem I have that there has been serious critcism of Blake Bell and his lack of credibility. The Ditko book he did was torched by a reviewer as being total BS. Since Ditko is impossible to talk to and Everett was not known as a recluse maybe this will be better. I love Everett's art, so I want this book.

Special Exits HC by (W/A) Joyce Farmer
Special Exits chronicles the decline of Lara (Farmer's stand-in)'s elderly parents (Lars and Rachel)'s health. Set in southern Los Angeles (which makes for a terrifying sequence as blind Rachel and ailing Lars are trapped in their home without power during the 1992 Rodney King riots), backgrounds and props are lovingly detailed: these objects serve as memory triggers for Lars and Rachel, even as they eventually overwhelm them and their home, which the couple is loathe to leave. $26.99. More about Farmer here.
Lee: Wow, if this doesn’t sound like a heartwarming tale of… something. Anyway, Joyce Farmer, is one of the Grande Dammes of underground comix. I was on the edge before but now I’m sold.
Jim: The premise is not something that is of interest to me. I will have to let this one pass me by.

Image Comics
Aqua Leung Vol. 01 GN by (W) Mark Andrew Smith (A) Paul Maybury Introducing a new, ongoing series for ages 16 and up that breathes fresh air into the ancient story of Atlantis! An average boy named Aqua suddenly learns the truth about his origin, including his father's savage murder at the hands of those in fear of his power. He must now begin a journey to take back his father's kingdom from the evil shark king and restore himself as the one, true unifier of the seas. 200 Pages B&W $17.99. You can read Paul Mayberry’s completely unrelated online story ‘Party Bear’ here.
Lee: Image is so frustrating these days. I believe this was advertised last year or even longer ago. I’m still interested because Mayberry’s art looks cool but Image is killing itself with the lateness, or incompleteness, of it’s books.
Jim: I have the same problem with certain Image books. I got into The Great Unknown and Four Eyes but they are published once ever six months or so. It makes it really hard to follow a series.

Hellspawn Complete Collected HC by (W) Brian Michael Bendis, Steve Niles (A) Ashley Wood, Ben Templesmith
Hellspawn marked the return of Spawn; the guns blazing, take-no-prisoners warrior. This next step in the evolution of Todd McFarlane's hell-born creation featured the creative minds of industry greats Brian Michael Bendis, Steve Niles, Ashley Wood and Ben Templesmith, who redefined the mythos of the Hellspawn. The Hellspawn complete collection includes the entire Hellspawn series along with never-before-seen art, a cover gallery Hellspawn behind the scenes content in an oversized, hardcover format. $39.99
Lee: I’m pretty sure that I have all of these issues in storage somewhere in the US. And, from what I remember they were…. confusing? I have an inkling that the sum is far greater than the parts so I will get this. But honestly, it’s mostly because of the art.
Jim: I have never had and can never imagine having any interest in Spawn.

Nancy in Hell #1 by (W) El Torres (A) Juan Jose Ryp & Fran Gamboa Good girls go to heaven, right? But it seems like there are no good girls anymore. After her death, Nancy awakens in a creepy landscape to find decomposing lost souls, demons lurking in the shadows, outcasts, chainsaws, booze, and certain doom. Can Nancy escape from Hell? Amazing artist Juan Jose Ryp and writer El Torres (The Veil) take you on a white-knuckle tour of the underworld to find out! Warning: may not be suitable for all ages $2.99 #1 of 4
Lee: This is a guilty pleasure if there ever was one. I’ve seen some previews and it looked like porn stars in hell. But amazingly beautiful porn stars because of Ryp’s art. Other than the obvious dirty aspect I have high hopes for this. Torres last book, The Veil, was very, very good and Ryp’s art will be stellar.
Jim: It sounds like soft core porn with the horror element thrown in, which is what most of the hack/slash films are, I will also be checking out the first issue.

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