Friday, February 25, 2011

Indies Previews Review for April 2011 Part 3 of 3

Finally, the boobs....

One Peace Books
Tenken GN by (W/A/C) Yumiko Shirai
The world has been annihiliated and an evil bestial deity must be appeased. Saki, a young girl, finds refuge in an unusual and rough line of work. But she has been chosen for an unthinkable role - as a princess who must be sacrificed to the monster Yamata-no-Orochi at the 50-year Tenken Festival. Can Manaka, the man who loves her, follow her into the abyss to save her from her fate? Winner of the Japan Media Festival Arts Award. 328 pgs. $16.95 Something different, a review of the book can be found here.
Lee: I don’t like to link to reviews because I believe that people should make their own decisions. But this one was too good, and seemed to summarize the book so well that I had to include it. Basically, a beautiful novel, steeped in Japanese culture. Not for the meek, but rewarding read if you can do it.
Gwen: This looks amazing - I really enjoy Japanese myth-style stories ever since I did a research project on feudalism in Japan. It's always interesting to me to read stories with a cultural background so different from "western" civilization.

Image Comics
Undying Love #1 by (W) Tomm Coker, Daniel Freedman (A/C) Tomm Coker
A horror-action tale, equal parts vampire mythology and Chinese folklore, set in modern day Hong Kong. Ex-soldier John Sargent has fallen for a beautiful Chinese woman named Mei. The only thing keeping the star-crossed lovers apart: Mei's a vampire. To free Mei from the curse, Sargent sets out to destroy the vampire that made her. The only problem: Mei was turned by one of the most powerful vampires in history... $2.99 You can see a 5 page preview here.
Lee: As soon as I saw Coker’s name attached to the project I was sold. His art is toooo good, and too rare on the stands, to be missed. And, the previews just proved what I already knew. Yeah, it’s a vampire story but the art.. oh la la the art.
Gwen: Another cool mix of cutural and mythological contexts. On top of it the art looks to be very appealing. I also like the vampire human romance as American Vampire has opened up new aspects to the monster-romance genre.

Smurfs Vol. 06: Smurfs & Howlibird HC by (W/A/C) Peyo, Gos
When Papa Smurf tries to make a new fertilizer for his crops, it transforms an ordinary flower into a dangerous smurfivore plant. When two Smurfs try to get rid of the fertilizer by dumping it outside the Smurf village, a bird swallows it and becomes a huge monster - the Howlibird! Now, the Smurfs must figure out how to defeat the monster and save their village. Available in Softcover and Hardcover editions. $10.99
Lee: People are gonna laugh at this pick but, in terms of pure fun, you really can’t beat the Smurfs. Both the kids and I absolutely love this material, it is fun, entertaining, and humorous all at the same time. These are so good that the kids and I now read them in English and French! Highly, highly recommended. My only complaint, now that I am reading the full size versions in French, the art would be better served by a larger format, but even tiny, it’s great.
Gwen: Wow, the smurfs. The funny thing is I just recently watched a few episodes of the smurf because my fiance had never seen them before. While somewhat dated they are still fairly entertaining. Azrael is still the best character.

Pure Imagination Publishing
Fleagles: Classic EC Artists SC by Various
Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, Sid Check, Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, and many others provided artwork for the classic EC Comics books in the 1950s. This volume collects some of their work for other publishers, across a variety of genres, and each page has been Theakstonized for maximum reproduction. $25.00
Lee: If you have an extra dollar then I can’t recommend these collections from PI enough. I have several and they have never failed to entertain. If you love art then this is a must have.
Gwen: I'm not familiar with these but I'm always interested in more Frank Frazetta art.

Rebellion / 2000AD
Slaine: Lord of Misrule SC by (W) Pat Mills (A) Clint Langley, Greg Staples
Sent on a quest by the Earth Goddess to destroy the Blood God, Slaine has now been reborn in the time of the Normans as Robin Goodfellow, King of the Greenwood. First, he has to seek out his beloved Niamh (herself reborn as a Christian nun called Marian), and together they must learn the secret name of the beast so that Slaine can destroy it as the Lord of Misrule! 128 pgs. $24.99
Lee: I’ve been reading Slaine adventures since Bisley drew them and I have yet to be disappointed. In fact, I just finished reading a collection of his earliest adventures. This is one of the best, grisliest without being gorey, barbarian adventure stories on the stands. If you like real barbarian stories then this is for you. Great stuff.
Gwen: As i'm not a big fan of barbarian stories this is an easy pass for me.

Red 5 Comics
Moon Girl #1 by (W) Tony Trov, Johnny Zito (A/C) The Rahzzah
Based on the character created by Golden Age legends Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff! In the pulp New York of the 1950s, Moon Girl looks to a life beyond her role as champion of the counter-culture and social revolution. However, she is forced back into action when fanatics, inspired by her adventures, begin enforcing their own brand of justice. It's Mad Men meets The Dark Knight in this beautifully painted series featured in the FCBD 2011 issue! #1 of 5, $3.50. See preview pages here.
Lee: I looked at the preview for the first issue of Moon Girl and it looks pretty good. The story starts quickly and doesn’t let up. Lots of action, lots of adventure, and some pretty good art. If you’re looking for solid superheroes without a whole universe to bog it down, this is a good place to start.
Gwen: This is the first time in a while that I've really been interested in a new Red 5 book so I'm happy to see such cool looking material up and coming. Of course Atomic Robo is still fun but that's and ongoing series.

Titmouse Inc
Titmouse HC by (W/A) Dave Cooper, Andy Suriano, Dave Johnson & othersTitmouse Volume 1 is not a cartoon. It is also not a comic book, not a magazine, and it's not a book - it's a Mook, a magazine-book. Like Sushi, Mook is an addictive Japanese concept that will take the world by storm. We have assembled a team of weirdo artist-types to create this 100 page hardcover anthology and printed it in full color on fancy paper featuring comic strips, paintings, and interviews from some of the art world's most interesting individuals. It's 1/3 Heavy Metal, 1/3 MAD Magazine, 1/3 Juxtapoz, and 1/3 Ralph Bakshi film-on-paper, fancy paper. $24.99 Visit Titmouse here. The opening animation sequence alone is worth it.
Lee: Not many covers with farting death signs on the cover these days, nope nope nope. But after that, this sounds really good. At first, I wasn’t thrilled because I thought it was trying to do too much, then I watched the intro animation on the website and realized if the creators can capture, on paper, ¼ of the obvious nuttiness on the website, then this will be great. It’s worth a chance if nothing else.
Gwen: Wow, I am totally turned off of this material.

Top Shelf Productions
Liar's Kiss HC by (W) Eric Skillman (A/C) Jhomar Soriano
Nick Archer isn't much of a detective, but he's managed to get himself one pretty sweet surveillance gig: once a week he sends a jealous millionaire the photos that prove his wife is faithful, leaving Nick plenty of free nights to spend making a liar of both himself and the client's wife. But when the client turns up dead, his cheating wife is the prime suspect and it's up to Nick to clear her, except Nick has connections to this case that go deeper than anyone realizes. 120 pgs. $14.95 Visit Jhomar’s blog here.
Lee: I think Top Shelf is one of the better indie publishers so I always look forward to their listings. When I got there, this cover jumped right out at me. An incredibly sleek design, with a great swath of purple that will make this jumps off the racks. The story seems generic but I bet the art wins the day on this one.
Gwen: Very cool plot idea even if it's pretty despicable. Either way it seemed to be a pretty good deal for the private investigator.

Vertical Inc
Lychee Light Club Vol. 01 GN by (W/A/C) Usamaru Furuya
The Lychee Light Club is considered Usamaru Furuya's breakthrough work. Originally designed as an experiemental project, Lychee's themes of youthful rebellion, deus ex machina destruction, and attractive designs won over a generation of readers and critics, leading the way for Furuya to take on other high-profile projects. A surreal yet touching horror/comedy, The Lychee Light Club mixes elements of French Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol and with modern day pop-culture tropes. Shocking, sexy, and innovative, the The Lychee Light Club is at the pinnacle of modern day Japanese seinen manga. 320 pgs. $16.95
Lee: With a write up like that, it’s hard not to get excited about this book. And, since I looked up “seinen” and discovered this was aimed directly at men ages 20-40, I got even more excited. No touchy-feely manga for me, lets go blow some stuff up and have some man fun! YEEAAAHHHHAAAA.
Gwen: I'm glad Lee has found a word for a genre specifically targeting him.

Lee: Hum, after all these books, there really weren't any boob covers. It's kinda depressing. Luckily I still have Marvel picks so never fear. As for indies, this was one of the best months in a long, long time. There really was something for everyone.
Gwen: I'm sure Marvel will have plenty of boob covers for you Lee.

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