Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Indies Preview Review for June Part 1 of 3

Lee: I thought this month would a little bit lighter than usual. I was wrong. There’s a ton of good and unusual stuff to be had.
Jim: Unusual, that could be Lee's code word for stuff only he would love. Truth be known I wish I had the time to read all of this stuff just so I could judge on the material and not just the solicitation copy.

Antarctic Press
Last Zombie #1 by (W) Brian Keene (A) Joe Wight (CA) Fred Perry
Check your fuel tanks, weapons and supplies; buckle down tight; and get ready for a thrill ride that may leave you breathless-or not even breathing! Brian Keene, the horror novelist acclaimed as one of the major forces behind the new era of zombie popularity, is bringing an all-new fright-filled feature to Antarctic Press! Follow the frantic journey of a man seeking his one ray of hope in a post-apocalyptic nightmare United States. The zombies have come and (mostly) gone, but the disease is still out there, threatening the survivors. The country swarms with roving packs of wild animals-and worse, desperate humans-ready to do whatever it takes to survive. Through it all, one man must drive from California to New York to reunite with the woman he loves...before it's too late for either of them! Shocker Award recipient and two-time Bram Stoker Award winner, Keene known worldwide for his novels and short stories of the shambling undead! Keene teams up with A.P. powerhouse Fred Perry (Gold Digger, Fred Perry's Legacy, The Littlest Zombie) to tell a terror-tinged tale for the ages! #1 of 5, $3.99
Lee: When I see that a published novelist is entering comics, it always makes me excited. I think it’s because in some way, it legitimizes our hobby. That said, it looks like Keene has published a number of beach-read zombie/horror books. So, he’s a writer, but not a major name. Based on his experience, and the fact that Joe Wight has been around for awhile (see Twilight X) you have proven creators. So, if you’re looking for a new horror story then this could be worth checking out.
Jim: A published writer is not any guarantee they can write a comic book. I worry because so often a strong editor is the missing part of the equation to help bridge the gap from novelist to comic writer.

Boom! Studios
Grasshopper and the Ant HC by (W/A) Harvey Kurtzman Forty years ago, the late comics genius Harvey Kurtzman created a marvelous beatnik take on the ancient Aesop fable that appeared in Esquire magazine, where the panels were reproduced small and blurry. The story remained forgotten and unknown, even to most Kurtzman fans, until Denis Kitchen Publishing released this rediscovered gem in a Smythe-sewn hardcover in 2000. Now BOOM! Town, in association with DKP, offers readers a second chance to own this Kurtzman classic. Selected as One of the Best 100 Graphic Novels in Steve Weiner's book of the same name, this 10 square hardcover is shrink-wrapped to assure mint condition. Introduction by Denis Kitchen. $25.00
Lee: This is an excellent book and an awesome read. I already have the DKP version so I won’t be getting this, but it’s worth the money. It’s outstanding.
Jim: This sounds like a winner and a book that belongs in my collection, so sign me up.

Pale Horse #1 by (W) Michael Alan Nelson, Andrew Cosby (A) Christian Dibari BOOM! Studios re-invents the Western - and you've never seen the Old West like this before. Ex-slave and former Union soldier Cole has spent the years following the Civil War building a reputation as the most fearsome bounty hunter in the land. But when the tables turn and a bounty is placed on Cole's head, all hell breaks loose. Finding himself unable to protect the thing most precious to him - his family - Cole goes on a rampage of revenge, leaving only a trail of blood in his wake. With nothing but his horse, his one surviving son and his gun, Cole's rampage leaves no stone unturned and no culprit alive! Covers by Leonardo Manco and Robert Adler. #1 of 4, $3.99 See a 10 page preview here.
Lee: We seem to be in the midst of a big Western revival. Between this, Jonah Hex, Lone Ranger and others the market hasn’t seen this many Westerns on the stands since Jim was a kid! It looks very, very good and I can’t wait to read it.
Jim: Not sure it re-invents the western, but it looks like a good story. The Western has been having a revival of sorts and now if only the movies will go back and make some more.

D. E./Dynamite Entertainment
Bullet to the Head #1 by (W) Matz (A) Colin Wilson Never before available in the US Market! A crime saga in comic book form as the story centers around buddy crooks and buddy cops and one unlikely official in the middle - with a target on his head! Issue #1, newly translated for the US comics market! $3.99 You can read about Wilson here.
Lee: This is sweet! Wilson is a very prolific british artist who’s worked on Judge Dredd, amongst others for years. His style is excellent and this should be very, very good.
Jim: Matz is the author of Killer coming out from Archaia and that was also a good story, so this has all the right credentials.

4th Dimension
Lackadaisy Vol. 01 GN by (W/A) Tracy J. Butler St. Louis, 1927. Prohibition has sparked the engine of organized crime. Fueled by the fortunes of bootlegging, gangsters rule the city though speakeasies - Speakeasies like Lackadaisy. Competition is fierce, and in this city, you're either holding the gun, or taking the bullet. But with all the cunning, tenacity, and sly ingenuity they can muster, the Lackadaisy gang might just have a chance! $19.95 There are several previews pages here.
Lee: I was prepared to mention this, but not love it, until I saw the previews. Butler is obviously influenced, or works in, animation. This reminds me of Aristrocats with drugs, drinking, and guns. What’s not to love????
Jim: The art is great, but I'm not looking for a cartoon book with this type of premise.

Fantagraphics Books
Lucky in Love: A Poor Man's History HC by (W) George Chieffet, S. DeStefano (A) S. DeStefano
I was fifteen in 1942, and I was five foot three, which is the tallest I ever was. I had jet black hair and a smile as big as day. Readers and moviegoers have read and seen many growing-up-in-the-big-city-then-being-drafted-into-World-War-II tales, both real and fictional, but none with the visual pizzazz and feisty humor of Lucky in Love. Co-created by George L. Chieffet (script) and veteran cartoonist and animator Stephen DeStefano (plot and art), Lucky in Love is almost the flipside to dramatic works on the same theme such as Alan's War and You'll Never Know. Elegantly drawn in a supremely confident, lively, cartoony black-and-white style that recalls Milt Gross as well as classic Disney animation and comics, Lucky in Love is a unique coming-of-age story that follows its lovable eponymous hero Lucky Testatuda from his rascally teen years in Hoboken, New Jersey's Little Italy to his induction into the air force and subsequent wartime experiences. Lucky in Love shows what happens when a feisty young man merges his erotic fantasies with 1940s film myths: Moving from the 40s to present day (from which an aged, present-day Lucky looks back on his life), the book contrasts Lucky's vivid fantasy life with the darker reality of World War II (including a masterful set-piece sequence that echoes Harvey Kurtzman's classic EC war comics) as well as his first fumbling, cash-on-the-barrelhead sexual experiences. Ultimately the poignant discoveries Lucky makes on his way to adulthood bestow upon him a very different kind of heroism than that of which he had dreamed... The second and concluding volume, Lucky in Love: Lucky for Life will be released in 2013. $19.99 Visit DeStefano’s blog here.
Lee: All I needed to know about this was that DeStefano was involved. As the creator of ‘Mazing Man, one of the greatest comics of the 80’s ever made, I was sold. The art will be absolutely stellar and the story sounds great. What’s not to love?
Jim: What's not to love - IT WILL BE RELEASED IN 2013 for the concluding volume. I'll be luck to even notice it by then.

More tomorrow...

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