Lee: Where did this month go? It seems like Christmas was just last week. And, if this is any indication of what is coming this year start saving your pennies people because there is a ton of very affordable books coming out!
Gwen: Um, yeah, this did sort of blindside me...
Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson by (W) Will Bingley (A/C) Anthony Hope-Smith
The great American writer, the great American iconoclast, the great American hedonist - however you choose to view him, Hunter S. Thompson remains the high-water mark for all social commentators worldwide, and a truly fearless champion of individual liberties. This is his story, the story of a troubled kid from Louisville who went on to become an international icon. A story that plumbs the darkest depths of American society and charts the now legendary adventures that birthed Gonzo Journalism, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and a lifestyle beyond imagination. $17.95
Lee: I’m sorry but I really don’t understand the appeal of Thompson. That’s not true, intellectually I get it but it just doesn’t resonate with me on a personal level. This looks interesting enough that I might give it a try to see if it explains what I don’t understand.
Gwen: Ugh... Hunter S Thompson. I know my sister got a bit into him but I never really saw the appeal.
Another 7 books below the break!
Siegfried Vol. 01 HC (W/A) Alex Alice
A three-part story inspired by Wagner's classic opera The Ring of the Nibelung! Siegfried, born of the love between a mortal man and a Valkyrie, is a young orphan being raised by Mime, one of the last of the dwarf-goblin Nibelungs, in a dark forest with only wolves for friends and family. While his foster parent only wants to live in peace and solitude, Siegfried yearns to discover who his real parents were and live amongst his own kind, not knowing that Odin, father of the Norse gods, has a destiny planned for him: to fight the dragon Fafnir, guardian of the Rheingold! $24.95 You can see Alice's blog here and there’s a interview here, in French BUT, great page samples.
Lee: I wasn’t going to get this and then I did some looking and now I can’t stop looking. The previews have some fantastic visuals that I cannot skip. I am such an art guy it’s pathetic.
Gwen: It's true, throw something shiny Lee's way and he can't resist. But everyone has their Achilles heel. The story concept has potential to be something I'd pick up but it's not too high on my list.
Nate Cosby (Jim Henson's The Storyteller) and Chris Eliopoulos (Franklin Richards) present Cow Boy, the story of a young bounty hunter determined to send his entire outlaw family to jail. He travels the Old West on a horse that ain't his, and won't stop 'til every onea his kin's in the clink. Also in this volume: Short stories by the likes of Roger Langridge (The Muppet Show), Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener (Atomic Robo), and Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space) and Colleen Coover (Jim Henson's The Storyteller). $19.95
Lee: This is calling out to me. I love all ages stuff and this looks to be some of the best. This is a who’s who of comic book humor so you can’t go wrong.
Gwen: This looks like some cute kid material. I know I'll buy a lot more indies once I have children to buy for as there seems to be more and more quality all ages material floating around.
Archie #631 by (W/A/C) Dan Parent
Another Love Song. The Pussycats are in town and Valerie has big news for her on-and-off-again boyfriend Archie: Her family is moving to Riverdale! Not everyone is thrilled with the news, however, as Betty and Veronica don't need the competition! The girls may have found the perfect boy to get their mind's off Archie, though - Valerie's brother! $2.99
Lee: Hello? When did Archie start dating Valeria???? There’s a fine line between play-ah and man-slut.
Gwen: Archie's been a man-slut for awhile - he dated that red-haired chick too. Besides, most guys like the cat suit thing for some reason.
Jurassic Park's got nothing on Nick Edwards astonishing solo debut: one part bande dessinée adventure, one part video-game homage, all parts dinosaur-inspired. Nigel is your average 13-year-old boy from Chipton. He loves reading fantasy/ sci-fi comics and playing video games, listening to heavy metal, and obsessing over his classmate Martha. Oh yeah, and he spends most of his time solving mysteries with his best friend Brian - a dinosaur with twin-mounted laser cannons on his back, naturally. Nigel and Brian are launched into the hunt for The Miracle Bird of Ndundoo: a mythical jewel-excreting creature living deep below the planet's crust. Racing against the clock, the Jurassic duo must beat their nefarious adversaries, Julian and his Evil League of Lizards, to the mysterious ancient prize! $7.99 Visit Nick Edwards here.
Lee: Blank Slate is becoming my preferred UK indie publisher. The art looks good. Actually the art looks really different in a fun, playful, comix way. The story sounds good. But best of all it’s got a dinosaur with twin-mounted laser cannons on his back! That is sooooo cool.
Gwen: Coolest best friend ever. I want one.
Kochi Wanaba is a quiet kid who loves nothing more than to draw secrets in his sketchbook. When the day of the annual Bee Festival falls upon his town, Kochi's loud, hyperactive girlfriend Lhys can barely contain herself. Unfortunately for Kochi, tolerating Lhys' excitement becomes the least of his problems as supernatural chaos breaks out all around them, threatening to change their lives forever. Rendered in Jamie Smart's characteristic illustration style that straddles the cute and the grotesque, Kochi Wanaba is a pencil-drawn graphic novel that combines all-out comedy with genuine, captivating emotional range. $22.99 You can read Corporate Skull, Smart’s webcomic here, if you like that there is a good chance you will like this.
Lee: This is for everyone that wishes Lenore would return! This appears to be a great mash-up of cute art and gross out concepts. I can’t wait.
Gwen: While I did enjoy Lenore I'd have to pass on this for now. Lee will have to let me know how it is.
1941. German pianist Eta Harich-Steiner arrives in Japan for a series of concerts. The guest of Ambassador Ott, she soon discovers the superficial social nexus of Western diplomacy at the heart of wartime Tokyo. As Eta journeys through this strange environment, one character in particular stands out: Richard Sorge, a charismatic and charming journalist. Sorge has a colossal secret: in reality, he's a Soviet spy channeling covert communications between Imperial Japan and Germany back to the Kremlin. A ladies man, unable to withhold expressing his hatred of the Nazis when drunk, it's only a matter of time before the Japanese authorities become aware of Sorge's activities and move in for the kill. $27.99 You can read about Kreitz here.
Lee: This book made many “Best of 2011” lists over in Europe. Krietz is award winning German writer/artist that is just getting noticed here in the states. This looks to be a excellent historical fiction tale so what better way to see a great new-to-me artist.
Gwen: I get a kick out of most historical fiction and this type of material is as close as I'm willing to go to war-genre type books.
Pete and Miriam GN by (W/A/C) Rich Tommaso
In his first full graphic novel since his Eisner Award-winning performance on Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, Rich Tommaso delivers another gem with Pete and Miriam. From the trouble caused by youthful impulses to exploring the seedier side of what life has to offer outside their suburban confines, Peter and Miriam forge their friendship through the odyssey of coming of age in America. This hot item at Angouleme is now available in the U.S. for the first time! $14.99
Lee: The first must have of the day! Satchel Page was a great book and Tommaso is a great writer/artist. Add that to the fact that this was well received at Angouleme, the French Comic-Con, this is an easy winner.
Gwen: Sorry Lee, I think dinosaur best friend with lasers trumps this. Honestly I'm having a hard time thinking of anything it doesn't trump.