Friday, August 22, 2008

Indies Preview Review for October Part 1 of 3

Lee: The indies preview became my favorite part of the month long ago. And, because of that this has become a three day posting. Oh well, I love looking at everything.
Jim: Plus by breaking it up it is not so overwhelming a post and gives us and readers a chance to look at the different selections. If you can’t find something different to read here you aren’t looking.

Absolute Tyrant
Nearly Infamous Zango #4
By Rob Osborne
Metrotown's greatest hero is dying! Lord Zango is to blame! And the Iron Ox wants revenge! He wanted to kill Atomic Pilgrim himself! But Zango is in no condition for a brawl! He's facing an intervention! The family wants him to confront his greatest fear! Don't miss this epic tale of the laziest super-villain alive! Pages: 32, B&W, $3.50
Previews of all issues here and Rob Osborne here
Lee: I always like starting the Indies Review with a humor title. It seems to set the tone. The story is already in progress but I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble catching up. From the previews, the art suits the material well.
Jim: Check out the previews, this is certainly an amusing read.

Adhouse Books
Notes Over Yonder HC By Scott Morse
The busy hum of the big city envelopes a lonely jazz musician as he deals with loss on the night of a big gig, and a world away a desolate beach bum pines for his lost lover as a call from beyond washes up at his feet. A mischievous cat and a haunted ukulele tie their worlds together as Notes Over Yonder presents a surreal, magical, visual sort of music. Award-winning author Scott Morse of Pixar Animation Studios combines these two quiet short stories into a uniquely woven tapestry of painted sequential images. Pages: 64, 5x7, FC, $12.95
Visit Scott Morse here
Lee: Scott Morse’s books tend to be slightly more expensive but they are a guaranteed good read. They are always well done and enjoyable. If you haven’t tried one you really should. And this is finally a nice hc so it’ll look great on your shelf.
Jim: I think you have to be a fan of his art and he has a unique style, that borders on cartoonish paintings for lack of a better description.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Space Raoul Vol. 01 GN By Jamie Smart
From the creator of Bear and Ubu Bubu comes Space Raoul! Part adventurer, part explorer, part space captain, and all-around chap, Raoul is the upholder of all that is good in the universe! Serialized in the pages of The Dandy, Space Raoul is the reddest space hero of all time. Equipped with just a small spaceship and his trusty green lump of a sidekick, Quibble, Space Raoul's adventures take him from one crazed situation to the next, as he struggles to keep evil in a headlock. Scampering about in his unique condescending manner, Raoul inevitably makes matters far worse before they get better. And if they don't get better, he can always run away! Pages: 64, SC, FC, $8.95 Visit Raoul here and sample pages here
Lee: File this book under general silliness, bad puns, and humor. I’m sold. I really like the simple style and the jokes are good too. This is definitely coming home.
Jim: Lee loves this stuff to death.

Tales to Suffice #1 By Kenny Kiel
Hey you! Yes, you - with the nice teeth and discriminating taste in graphic literature. Do you crave action? Suspense? Romance? Introducing Tales To Suffice, an all-new, all-thrilling anthology series guaranteed to knock your socks off! Damsels in distress! Men in tights! Zombies in neckties! This book takes everything you love about comics and mercilessly skewers it for your entertainment! Five senses-shattering stories for the paltry price of one, and sure to be a collector's item - so stock up on copies while they're cheap! Pages: 32, FC, $3.95
Visit the official site here and it has a 19 page preview
Lee: I won’t lie, I picked this book purely based upon the cover. I’m sick of Marvel/DC having giant pin-ups of their characters (Iron Man covers come to mind) that have nothing to do with the inside story. This sounds good and the art looks good for an anthology.
Jim: Props to these guys for putting out almost half of this book for free. Download the PDF file and you get a great idea of what you are buying. The comedy ads on the inside front cover was a great touch.

Antarctic Press
Fire & Brimstone #3 By Richard Moore
Angel Brimstone and demon Fire are still trying to make good on their little mistake from 5,000 years ago, rounding up all the devils and fallen angels they set free! Someone's about had enough of their antics, though, because they're about to go out of the frying pan and into the Forge! The former blacksmith to the gods, The Forge is now an invincible freelance assassin, and he's been hired to take out the delectable duo! Can they stand the heat? LS #3 of 5, Pages: 32, FC, $3.95
Lee: I’ve been enjoying Moore’s other series Boneyard for years now so I don’t know how I missed this the first time around. Anyway, it’s never too late to jump on a bandwagon. Moore is a great artist and an underrated storyteller. I am sure this is good stuff.
Jim: I tried to read a little of Boneyard and found it unreadable. PASS!

Weapons File Extreme Arsenal Supersized Vol. 01 SC By Guru-Efx
The industry's premiere weapon photo-reference title is taking another shot - hundreds of 'em! Hundreds of reference photos of the most popular and visually interesting firearms, photographed from 360 degrees and at three different points of view: worm's-eye, eye level, and bird's-eye. This book will enhance any artist's work, providing an easy-to-use guide for creating realistic depictions of widely used firearms. Pages: 144, 8x11, B&W, $24.95
Lee: I was thinking of buying this and sending it to Rob Liefeld for reference. What do you think?
Jim: I think the money would be better spent sending him an anatomy book.

Ape Entertainment
Attack of the Monstrology GN By Jungbluth, Tamlyn, Cruz, Schoening, Kelly & Various
Horrors rise from the deep, aliens descend upon humanity, and the cities of civilization are ravaged by maleficent monsters! Featuring nine stories from artists at DC Online, Udon, and more, Attack of the Monstrology is an action-packed thrill ride full of creatures inspired by classic B-monster movies! Pages: 128, 7x10, SC, FC, $19.99
8 page preview here
Lee: Since I grew up on the B-monster movies this is right up my alley. I always like anthologies because of the variety of art styles. In this case, based upon the preview, the art looks really good so I’ll be taking a chance on this.
Jim: This looks like fun.

Arcana Studios
Velvet Rope One-Shot
Admit one to a new collection of horrifying tales! Grab your popcorn and candy, as Velvet, the beautiful usher from beyond the grave introduces Arcana's brand of spine tingling horror in this annual anthology which includes deadly glimpses of upcoming Arcana titles Baker's Dozen, Club Vampire, and Daddy's Little Girl as well as an all-new Eve: Vampire Diva short. Featuring stories from some of the top up and coming creators around like Mark Poulton, Bruce A Brown, and Frank LaPerch, Velvet Rope is sure to make a killing at the box office! $5.95
Jim: The idea of doing anthologies seems almost like a death wish, but I love seeing small press guys doing this as it is a chance to give a lot or people a chance.
Lee: Lots of anthology titles this month. Unlike some of the others this is more for the horror fans. Something for everyone this month.

Blackhalo Productions
Almighty GN By Edward Laroche
A girl has been abducted, and a killer has been hired to find her and bring her home! It's a post-apocalyptic journey through the bleached landscape of a United States reduced to a Third World country, an America where militas and roving packs of motorcycle gangs rule without mercy. How will they survive the future? SC, B&W, $10.00
The official site with 8 page preview here
Lee: Another weakness of mine, the old post- apocalyptic world story. It’s not quite as overdone as zombies but it will get there. Until then sign me up.
Jim: Post apocalyptic stories are almost always a favorite of mine from Mad Max to Omega Man and back again. If done right it is a great way to frame a story without having to interact in the real world.

Twilight Zone: After Hours SC By Mark Kneece & Rebekah Isaacs
One of most ground-breaking shows in the history of television, The Twilight Zone has become a permanent fixture in pop culture. This new graphic novel series re-imagines the show's most enduring episodes, in all their original uncut glory, originally written by Rod Serling himself, and now adapted for a new generation. Submitted for your approval: Marsha White, a dissatisfied shopper with an unusual problem. This is one shopping trip that is marked Final Sale - Return Only to the Customer Service Desk in... The Twilight Zone! Available in softcover and hardcover editions. Pages: 72, 7x10, FC, $9.99
Twilight Zone: Walking Distance HC By Mark Kneece & Dove Mchargue
The Twilight Zone's most enduring episodes, in all their original uncut glory, are adapted for a new generation - a generation that has experienced Disney's Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror attraction, studied old episodes in school, watched the annual marathons, and paid homage to the show through the many random take-offs that show up in movies and TV shows everywhere. Destination: Homewood. Step off the beaten path as Martin Sloan takes the journey of a lifetime. Somewhere up the road he's looking for redemption - but he'll find something entirely different... in The Twilight Zone! Available in softcover and hardcover editions. Pages: 72, 7x10, FC, $16.99
Lee: This is great! I love the old Twilight Zone series and I look forward to seeing the comics adaptation too. I just wonder how many of the younger generation know about this series.
Jim: Nice idea, but I think Space Doubles from Th3rd World did a good job of being inspired by this type of show without just adapting.

Boom! Studios
Blood Bowl Killer Contract Vol. 01 HC By Matt Forbeck & Lads Helloven
Welcome to the hyper-violent hilarity of Blood Bowl, the graphic novel that puts the fantasy (as in elves, dwarfs, orcs, and ogres) back into football! Blood Bowl novelist Matt Forbeck brings his trademark twisted blend of humor and action to the first-ever Blood Bowl graphic novel, featuring the now-legendary Bad Bay Hackers in a grudge match against the ever-evil Orcland Raders! Join the Hackers as they begin their brutal march to their next championship game, filled with spiked balls, corrupt refs, and giant-sized barrels of Bugman's XXXXXX! Available in softcover and limited hardcover editions! Pages: 128, 6x9, FC, $49.99
Lee: WOW! $50 for 128 pages is pricey. Especially when the softcover is only $17. If you didn’t get the single issues I still recommend buying the trade but get the softcover.
Jim: Ouch! I love BOOM but that is too high a price for 128 pages.

Last Reign: Kings of War #1 By Walt Becker, Michael Alan Nelson & Lui Antonio
The world has been twisted into a rusting and forgotten dystopia - and a new type of knight rises from the ashes to make order out of chaos! Scripted by Michael Alan Nelson, the fan-favorite writer of Fall of Cthulhu.
LS #1 of 5, Pages: 24, FC, $3.99
Lee: Boom! enters the world of barbarians. I really like that Boom is going with different style books. I was worried they would start a superhero line to soon but this is far more interesting.
Jim: BOOM will only do a super hero book if it is interesting and a well done concept. I do not think BOOM has any self imposed limitations.

Candlewick Press
Tales of Despereaux Movie GN By Matt Smith & David Tilton
Kate DiCamillo's literary classic about Despereaux Tilling - a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea - has enchanted children and adults around the world! Published in 23 languages, with more than 2 million copies in print, and winner of the Newbery Medal, The Tale of Despereaux has now become a much-anticipated animated feature film, with voices from Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, and Sigourney Weaver. This fresh new format, with all new artwork inspired by the film, is destined to bring the award-winning classic, to an even wider audience and will attract older readers to this popular tale! Pages: 128, 6x9, SC, FC, $9.99
Lee: What the world needs is more mouse tales! Isn’t this the third or fourth title to do with rodents? Apparently all childrens books these days have mice in them. But, it appears to have sold really well and has some A list talent lined up for the movie. I might try it. The worst that happens is I give it to the kids.
Jim: Hey, Mickey Mouse did well enough and I hear rodents are all the rage. Did you catch the guest starring appearance of the hamster in The Boys?

Checker Book Publishing Group
Sojourn Omnibus Vol. 01 By Ian Edginton, Greg Land & Juston Ponsor
The fantasy comics genre is reborn in this collection of the first 24 issues of Sojourn! The dread tyrant Mordath has returned from the grave and conquered the Five Lands, crushing all opposition under his heel. But one woman, the archer Arwyn, has vowed to put an end to his terrible reign. Swearing vengeance after the deaths of her husband and daughter, Arwyn undertakes a quest that will lead her across the Five Lands in pursuit of the legendary Five Fragments. Aided by a charming rogue named Gareth and a mysterious and powerful woman named Neven, Arwyn is the lone hope of ending Mordath's evil. Sojourn is epic fantasy as you've never seen it!
Pages: 584, SC, FC, $ 34.95
Lee: WOW! I wonder if this isn’t a typo. 500+ pages in color for $35! That’s a bargin no matter how you slice it. Much of the CrossGen material was pretty good and I’m glad to see it getting back into print. I remember this was good if not glacially slow in development. But, at that price it’s worth taking a chance on.
Jim: Greg Land has become an artist that I no longer enjoy. I think it was during Sojourn when he started to trace everything and his art became more and more static. Still this is a good price as long as the reproduction is well done.

Aldebaran Vol. 02: Group SC By Leo
Return to Aldebaran, the planet where the first human colony in the solar system was founded. Mark and Kim, teenagers whose village was annihilated, met a woman named Alexia during their escape. A biologist, she is a friend to Driss, the man who knows a lot about the catastrophe, and shares his secrets. The government has taken notice of her, and they have sent soldiers to pursue her. While trying to help her, Mark is arrested and languishes in prison for 3 years. It's the mysterious Mr. Pad, an odd character Mark has already met, who helps him escape from prison!
Pages: 96, FC, $19.95
The official site, in French, here
Lee: Euro science fiction. I am so sold on this already. It will be very interesting to see how the French approach science fiction. Cinebook hasn’t sold me a bad book yet so I’m taking a chance.
Jim: I have to agree that a lot of the European comics we are seeing translated are good, but that makes sense as they are picking and choosing what to translate.

Melusine Vampires Ball SC By Gilson & Clark
Take out your nicest shrouds, dust off your coffins, and slick your spider webs - Melusine invites you to the great vampire ball! The little witch is back in a new series of gags, dreadfully funny as always. All her family is there: the witches Adrazelle and Cancrelune, of course, but also Mister and Madam, the owners of the haunted castle. Pages: 48, FC, $11.95
Two page preview here
Lee: And French humor is outstanding. It was hard to find any art previews anywhere but I did find the two pager. It looks great and I’m sure it’s funny so another easy sell for me.
Jim: Lee is bigger on humor books then I am, so this one is one to borrow from Lee.

As has become the norm for this post it will be in three parts. Look for part 2 on Saturday and part three on Wednesday with Gwen's post moving to Sunday and Lee’s post moving to Saturday.

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