Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Indies Preview Review for May Part 1 of 3

Lee: What a great month. There was so much out there that this is another oversized, 3 day smorgissss... big helping of books. Lots of girl friendly stuff, lots of all ages stuff, a couple of though provoking books, and even some awesome Godzilla goodness to be had. Read on and hold onto your wallet because this month is a killer!
Gwen: You can never have enough Godzilla goodness!

:01 First Second
Anya's Ghost GN by (W/A) Vera Brosgol
Anya would give almost anything if she could have a real friend. So she takes the first offer of friendship she gets - from a ghost! But things don't quite go the way she'd expected. 224 pgs. $15.99. Visit Vera here and read a 17 pg preview here.
Lee: I don’t know what it is about this that just screams “good” to me but it does. Maybe it’s the stylized cover, maybe it’s the smooth art, maybe it’s just the way that Brosgol seems to capture the female tween/teenage angst so quickly and perfectly in the preview. Who knows, but it looks great.
Gwen: This looks very cute - it reminds me a little of Neil Gaimen's Coraline theme-wise, but I loved the original Coraline story so that's a recommendation for me.

Adams Media Corporation
Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Could the Empire Kick the Federation's Ass? and Other Galaxy-Shaking Enigma by (W) Matt Forbeck
Could a Jedi knight use his light saber to deflect a beam from a phaser? Which aliens are cooler: the Cardassians or the Chazrach? Have any Federation ships ever made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs? And most important...in a fight between the Empire and the Federation, who would win? Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek have been debating these questions over the Internet for decades. Now, side by side, they can line up aliens, technology, story points, weaponry, and heroes from the two great science fiction/fantasy stories of our age. This book compares the two series, offering detailed information about both universes, as well as trivia, quizzes, quotes, and information drawn from the huge body of movies, television, and novels that have grown up during the past thirty years on these two iconic settings. 256 pg. $14.95
Lee: I can’t believe someone actually wasting their time writing this because we all know that Star Trek would win, hands down. One Vulcan death grip and Obi-Wan Potato Head would be putty. No contest.
Gwen: Oddly enough this was almost a debate when I had my friend Cathy as a roommate as I was a big Star Trek fan and she was a huge Star Wars geek. Although if the Ewoks could defeat the Empire I'm pretty sure the Federation would have little trouble.

Don't Eat Any Bugs Productions
Cupcakes of Doom GN by (W/A) Ray Friesen
Lousy Vikings have challenged our heroic-ish pirate pals to the ultimate baking contest, so Captain Scurvybeard and his crew embark on a quest to find the long-lost cupcakes of DOOM! With plenty of sword fights and sea serpents, this is an epic fit for silliness connoisseurs of all ages! $12.95 Read a review of Friesen’s other book, « Another Dirt Sandwich here and read an interview with him here.
Lee: I first talked with Ray back in 2008 and I have been a fan ever since! An outstanding creator with huge amounts of talent for producing outstanding all ages work. It’s the kind of material that I will always recommend! Order your copy today.
Gwen: This looks extremely amusing. Also I really want to know what cupcakes of Doom would taste like. Mmmm, doom.

Drawn & Quarterly
Paying for It HC by (W/A) Chester Brown
Brown calmly lays out the facts of how he became not only a willing participant in but a vocal proponent of one of the world's most hot-button topics - prostitution. Paying For It offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work - from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern-day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of clich├ęd street corners, drugs, or pimps. Complete with a surprise ending, Paying For It provides endless debate and conversation about sex work and will be the most talked-about graphic novel of 2011. 292 pgs. $24.95
Lee: 300 pgs discussing the sex trade for $25???? SOLD! Ok, all honesty aside, Brown is a fantastic artist/author and while I expect some controversy from this, I also believe it will be highly entertaining.
Gwen: This book will probably be useful for cultural anthropologists. I'll admit a certain fascination as far as being curious about this book with it''s controversial topic, but as there is so much other good material coming out this would be low on the list.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Martian Chronicles GN by (W) Ray Bradbury (A) Dennis Calero
The Earthmen came by the handful, then the hundreds, then the millions. They swept aside the majestic, dying Martian civilization to build their homes, shopping malls, and cities. Mars began as a place of boundless hopes and dreams, a planet to replace an Earth sinking into waste and war. It became a canvas for mankind's follies and darkest desires. Translated into gorgeous, full-color art by Dennis Calero, Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles: The Authorized Adaptation graphically translates fifteen of Bradbury's famous interconnected science-fiction stories, turning an unforgettable vision of man and Mars into an unforgettable work of art. Available in hardcover and softcover editions. 160 pgs. $17.95
Lee: This is the latest in a long standing tradition of adapting one of the greatest science fiction stories into comic book form. I am not sure how many times it has been adapted in but it’s a lot. And, I seem to love every version. Calero, artist of X-men Noir, is an excellent artist so if you don’t already have a copy, or three, on your shelf, now’s your chance.
Gwen: I really dislike Ray Bradbury. It's a personal thing and I know his Martian Chronicles are widely liked but I can't stand the man's writing. However for those of you who do enjoy Bradbury this looks to be a well done adaptation.

Image Comics
Breed Col Vol. 01: Book of Genesis HC (s/n) by (W/A/C) Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin's groundbreaking series, 'Breed, is collected into this must-read volume, 167 pages of blood-drenched action. Ray Stoner discovers that he's not exactly who he thinks he is. He's not human; he's 'Breed: half human/half demon and in trouble with just about everyone. $49.99
Breed III #1 by (W/A/C) Jim Starlin
'Book Of Revelations,' After being attacked by some of his fellow 'Breed, Ray Stoner realizes he can no longer hide from what he is: a monster. He returns to the mystical city Elsewhere and discovers much has changed. The struggle he is unwillingly part of has become extremely more dangerous and the stakes astronomically higher. #1 of 7. $2.99
Lee: This gives me mixed feelings. The original ‘Breed series was published in ’94-95, and I remember it being pretty good, but it’s been so long I am not sure that I care about it anymore. Heck, I don't think Gwen was even alive when this saw print. Anyway, I certainly don’t care enough to pay $50 for 170 pgs, that’s for sure. So, if I can’t muster the energy to re-read the original story, then do I have the energy for the new story?
Gwen: I like Jim Starlin's work an while I haven't read it I was definitely alive if it was published in the 90s having been born in '82. It looks like some pretty awesome stuff.

Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #1 by (W) Mark Andrew Smith, (A/C) Armand Villavert & Carlos Carrasco Welcome to Gladstone's School for World Conquerors, a top-secret academy for the children of the world's greatest super villains to learn the trade. Join us as Kid Nefarious, Mummy Girl, Martian Jones, Ghost Girl, and the infamous Skull brothers unearth the School's and their parents' hidden past. $2.99. Google the title and you can find a ton of previews…
Lee: This definitely has piqued my interest. MASmith wrote The Amazing Joy Buzzards from Oni, so he’s got a good handle on humor and knows how to write a good story. I’m not convinced about the art though. From the previews, the figure work was good and the composition made sense but the backgrounds were completely empty. The artist used color as a background and didn’t actually draw anything so the pages feel empty. This is a day of release decision for me.
Gwen: I'm a bigger story person rather than an art person but comics don't really work as well without a good balance between the mediums. I do like some of the character names though.

Vanguard Productions
Vanguard Frazetta Classics Vol. 02: White Indian SC by (W/A) Frank Frazetta Vanguard Frazetta Classics continues with The Complete Frazetta White Indian which collects the complete Frank Frazetta sixteen issue run of White Indian from the back pages of Durango Kid comics. Legendary illustrator Frank Frazetta leads us through the wild adventures of Dan Brand and his blood brother Tipi. Now in softcover, 200 pages of Frazetta's pre-Conan, pre-Tarzan, savagely-beautiful work are collected in full color for the first time. This is the definitive, official edition authorized by Frank Frazetta. $24.95
Lee: If you've never seen Frank Frazetta's amazing comic book work then this is a great, inexpensive way to see it. Vanguard has great repoduction values and this is a bargin. Not to be missed!
Gwen: As I really love Frank Frazetta's artwork this is very appealing to me especially as I'm only familiar with his paintings.

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