Monday, December 28, 2009

Indies Preview Review for February Part 1 of 3

Lee: Another month, another slew of Indies. The best part about February is the fact that Marvel/DC don’t announce to many new things. This allows people to try new things from the indies list. Well, hopefully, allows people to try new things.
Jim: It forces them to try things not from Marvel of DC. Darn it I'm tired of the soft sell. If you don't buy at least one of these picks over the next three days Lee will come to your house and mock your collection of comics. I'm not kidding he might maybe possibly do it. It could happen.

Aardwolf Publishing
Whorehouse Madrigals SC by (W) Hank Magitz (A) Mike Henderson
Hank Magitz (aka Clifford Meth, author of IDW's controversial Snaked) presents his most outrageous collection to date, a wild ride through the dark corridors of ill repute where you'll meet not only erotic ladies of the night but a variety of bad men you'll never forget. Features an introduction by rock-and-roll legend Handsome Dick Manitoba and the last cover ever created by Kelly Freas. (NOTE: This is a Mature Readers item.) $14.99 Visit Mike and some previews here
Lee: Here’s a shocker. A book with the word “Whorehouse” in the title is considered mature readers. Go figure! But, on to the book… This should be very good. Hank, or Clifford Meth, has written a ton of stuff and most of it was very good. Mike worked on the series Smuggling Spirits and was a good artist then. From his recent postings, it looks like he’s improved since then. Two creators who been around for awhile makes this a low risk, high reward item. I’m sold.
Jim: Gosh so Lee is sold on a Whorehouse. Personally I need to see the whores before I'm putting down my hard earned money and before I --- well you know.
Lee: Ok, enough about the book, let’s get to the obvious question.. Who the funhouse is Dick Manitoba???? Ok. Since no one knows, I looked it up. He’s the singer for a band called ‘The Dictators’ that were part of the early punk movement. Now that I know, I’m impressed but what does he know about comics?
Jim: Well he obviously knows about dicks, and without that how much fun can you have at a whorehouse.

AC Comics
Crypt of Horror #8
Classic reprints of the grisliest 1950's pre-Code comic book stories, including River of Blood, The Vampire Legion, The Painted Beast, The Last Man, and a dozen more, from masters of the macabre including Bob Powell, Wally Wood, Harry Harrison, Dick Ayers, Steve Ditko, Jack Kamen, and more! $29.95
Lee: I can’t believe this series of reprints has made it to volume 8. They are very, very good and contain some of the best pre-code horror out there. The stories still hold up and there is a ton of great art to be seen. It’s $30 for a b&w collection but it has a lot of pages. Highly recommended if you have some Christmas money left over.
Jim: I'm not disagreeing, but I have so much of this stuff in my collection I do not need anymore. I have all of the EC Archives they managed to produce, tons of the Atlas era and the Ditko archive and more and more.

Necessary Monsters GN by (W) Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (A) Sean Azzopardi
There exists a world of horrors beneath the one we know. Where the creatures of our nightmares stalk amongst humanity and play their games of vengeance, murder and intrigue. To police this world there is The Chain; a covert agency of monsters and killers, charged with keeping the human herd from ever growing too thin. But now a new threat to The Chains status quo has risen. The creature known as Harps Bane has gone rogue and its up to four of The Chains best agents - Gravehouse, Creeping Tuesday, Charlotte Hatred and Cowboy 13 to stop him. The stage is set for a terrifying chase across a hidden America as old grudges and older secrets come bubbling to the surface. Ancient terrors ride in black helicopters, psychotic cowboys walk the land and dead girls with killer smiles hide in the shadows. In this world of horrors there are no heroes and no villains; only monsters. Some more necessary than others. $12.95 Visit Azzopardi here
Lee: This is a tough call because I really like the cover and I really like the idea but I’m really not sold on Azzopaardi’s art. Then again, Goodbrey did write the Iron Man 2020 piece in the latest Astonishing Tales and is writing for Marvel’s Digital Comics so maybe the story will carry the whole package. I just can’t decide.
Jim: Here I am threatening people to buy your picks and you are hemming and hawing over this one. When in doubt throw the pick out. Seriously Lee and I buy so much that it should at least make us warm and fuzzy in the solicitation phase of the courtship.

Alterna Comics Inc
Big Bad Book GN by (W) Nikola Jajic (A) Giardo, Hershey, Cram & Kurowski
Why would Thor and Loki disguise themselves as a monkey and a clown? Why would an ordinary guy be tormented by other worldly forces and his perverted best friend? Why would the most beautiful woman in the world work as a receptionist? The answer is simple: they all do it because of The Big Bad Book! $11.99 Previews can be found here
Lee: I like the fact that other companies are using Thor and Loki in their books. It’s not like Marvel has ownership of the characters but it certainly seems like it. As for the book, it sounds intriguing. And the art in the previews is better than I expected. Be warned, the third preview page has a monkey shooting poop out its butt like a super soaker. So, if you like monkeys shooting poop this book is perfect for you!
Jim: Ewweee, thanks for that picture I can't get out of head. Not a strong sales job for me. I love monkeys and all, but you have to draw the line at poop shooting.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics
Birdhouse GN by (W/A) Vernon White
A servant attempts to poison the aged and despised King, and the King's only daughter despairs of life in the castle. She longs to return to a town she once visited, but she is forbidden to step outside of the castle walls. Her only hope falls on an absent-minded servant hired to do construction. With his help, she hopes to recapture the freedom she so briefly felt. With a fairy-tale-like setting, combined with modern themes of isolation, obligation, and longing, Birdhouse is a magical debut graphic novel from Vernon White. $10.95 There’s a video (?) trailer here. Thanks to Vernon for hooking us up with page previews. Go here to see
Lee: A video trailer??? Seriously? I know that comics can be considered movies on paper but this is ridiculous. Are we so short of imagination that we now require mini-movies to make our comic books more interesting? I understand this was made for the iphone generation but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Now, on to the book itself… it does sound good. And, the art… as it moved across my screen… looked nice. I still wish I had seen a static page so I could determine if the artist knew how to structure a page. Sorry, that’s just me complaining again. Oh well, it looks interesting enough to chance.
Jim: See the whole motion comic thing has many many problems. When you take a comic and try to make it into an animation you have to remember it is a different medium and you need to adjust to make it work. I watched Spider-Woman on Hulu and now I almost don't want to get the book anymore because the dialogue that reads so cool, sounded so stupid as to be something only a comic book character would say.

Ape Entertainment
A Second Chance at Sarah GN by (W) Neil Druckmann (A) Joysuke Wong
Johnny stares at his newborn son, a dying wife, and a demon's talisman and agrees to a macabre deal. Now he must relive a day from his teenage years before he met his wife. Can he uncover her secret past and prevent the selling of her soul in only 24 hours? $12.95 Visit Wong here and a 24 page preview here
Lee: Ape Entertainment is definitely a third tier publisher but they always seem to be have good offerings and this is no exception. The story sounds very good and Wong’s art is fairly strong. This could be worth investigating.
Jim: The problem with third (and that is being generous with Ape) is that they will never be a comic that is put on the rack of a store unless they give away five copies per store. Therefore their ability to actually publish what they solicit is suspect as they can't generate any impulse sales to make enough money to publish the next issue and rely on pre-orders.

Avatar Press Inc
Captain Swing #1 by (W) Warren Ellis (A) Raulo Caceres
From the sparking-mad mind of Warren Ellis comes an electrical romance of a pirate utopia thwarted: CAPTAIN SWING & THE ELECTRICAL PIRATES OF CINDERY ISLAND. This crackling new mini-series is illustrated in Raulo Caceres stunning woodcut style, and presented in full color. London, 1830: newly-minted copper Charlie Gravel keeps seeing things he's not supposed to. A crooked Bow Street Runner with a flintlock revolver, flying things that are not supposed to fly, and the violent Scientific Phantasmagoria that is christened Spring-Heeled Jack, but is known by other names. It is the time of Captain Swing and his Electrical Pirates, and history will never be the same. #1 of 4, $3.99
Lee: Is there ever a month that we don’t talk about an Ellis book from Avatar? Anyway, this sounds interesting. The art by Caceres will definitely be good. He was the artist on Ellis’ other was book, Crecy. Interestingly enough, Garth Ennis does war stories on the side. I wonder if Ellis will now start doing all the pirate stories?
Jim: Hey Ellis trying out a pirate story, what is not to love. I'm glad to see Ellis is playing around in different genres, he now needs to do a romance comic. An Avatar Romance comic. What would that be like? Lots of naked women and gyrating bodies with swords and entrails!

Continued tomorrow...


  1. Necessary Monsters

    Psst...My surname only has two a's. Thanks for the coverage. Interested in why you don't like the art, and where did you look at it. I'm not saying that you should, but interested.



  2. You can see static pages of Birdhouse here: I'm glad the book it piqued your interest.

    Video trailers for books -- both prose and graphic novels -- are actually quite common now. ( And I wouldn't call what the trailer for Birdhouse a "motion comic." That's something different.

  3. Sean-

    All apologies on the name typo. Sometimes when I'm doing these late & fast I make mistakes.

    I found your art on your livejournal page, even included a link for people to check you out and make their own judgment.

    Personally, it looked like a sketchbook and misc drawings that you had done. I couldn't really get a feeling for your story telling ability or what your finished art looks like. I think it's good. I think it's strong. But it's more of a 'think' and not a know. That's why I made the comment.

  4. Juniper-

    Thanks for the link... I updated the listing. I'm callin' yer bluff because I think yer splittin' hairs.

    What's the difference between a 'motion comic' and a 'video trailer'?

  5. Lee -
    No problem, thanks for the reply. If you go to, the whole book is online, and will give a better example. The live journal is indeed my sketchbook place, and once again, thanks for the link.