Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Indies Previews For June Part 1 of 3

Continued from yesterday!

Lee's just kidding - this is actually part 1.

Fantagraphics Books

Beta Testing the Apocalypse GN by (W/A/C) Tom Kaczynski
While Tom Kaczynski's comics share many of the obsessions found in the prose work of J.G. Ballard, with riffs on dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technology, Kaczynki's visual storytellingadds an architectural dimension that the written word alone lacks. Beta Testing The Apocalypse includes 10 short stories, depicting the immense political and technological structures and spaces we inhabit that subtly affect and define the limits of who we are and the freedoms we presume to enjoy. Tom Kaczynki is a new, unique voice in the comic firmament. $19.99  Visit the artist here.
Lee: Ok, here's what you need to know, Tom K is a new, unique voice.  Translated that means this is pretty much unlike anything you've read recently.  Meaning, it's gonna be out there.  If you like you comics off kilter and out there, then this is for you.
Gwen:Well I don't know if I like my comics off-kilter per say, but the concept does look as if it has potential to be very interesting.

Seven more below the break

Crackle of the Frost HC by (W) Jorge Zentner (A/C) Lorenzo Mattotti
Following in the wake of Fantagraphics' publication last year of the extraordinary Stigmata and The Raven, Lorenzo Mattotti ups the visual ante with The Crackle Of The Frost, a graphic novel masterpiece of love and loss featuring panel after panel of sumptuous full-color paintings, as if Edward Hopper had suddenly decided to jump into comics. 120 pgs $19.99 Visit the artists blog here
Lee: OOOOHHHH this was an order on sight book for me. FB’s last Mattotti Stigmata (Long review here.) was AMAZING. Yes, that’s an all caps amazing.
Gwen:Sure, the art looks gorgeous but it'd be nice if we had a little bit more of a plot synopsis to work with.Well I guess Lee doesn't need that but I don't usually buy stuff just for the art.

EC Kurtzman: Corpse of the Imjin and Other Stories HC by (W/A/C) Harvey Kurtzman
MAD would have been enough to cement Harvey Kurtzman's reputation as one of the titans of American comics, but he also created two other landmarks: the scrupulously-researched and superbly-crafted war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Like every book in the new Fantagraphics EC line, Corpse on the Imjin! will feature extensive essays and notes by EC experts - but Kurtzman's stories, as vital, powerful, and affecting and as when they were created 60 years ago, make this a must-have. $28.99
Lee: If you like then you need this because Kurtzman's war stories are classics!  To this day these remain some of the best stories of war that you will find.  This is your sugar coated Sgt Rock.  This is hard hitting, people really die, war stories.  And, because it's this nice little format you can get them all at once. 
Gwen: I'm not into war stories and I'm also not a Kurtzman fan so this is an easy pass for me.

EC Wally Wood: Came the Dawn and Other Stories HC by (W/A/C) Wally Wood
From the legendary Wally Wood, Fantagraphics proudly presents one of two premiere releases in our highly-anticipated new EC reprint line. Ranging from supernatural shockers from the Tales from the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear to pointedly contemporary crime thrillers from Crime SuspenStories, these compelling and superbly crafted classics will be accompanied by extensive essays and notes on these historic stories by EC experts. $24.99
Lee: Fantagraphics is on a roll with reprints this month and this is another easy winner.  If you've ever wondered what all the hub-bub about Wally Wood was then look no further.  This is a collection of some of his greatest work and well worth the investment. 
Gwen: I'm not even sure who Wally Wood is, but Lee's a lot older than me so maybe it's just not from my generation.

Meskin: Out of the Shadows SC by (W/A/C) Mort Meskin
Out of the Shadows collects the very best of legendary Golden Age comics artist Mort Meskin's stories from the 30s, 40s, and 50s and features work in every genre Meskin worked in: super-hero, adventure, kid gangs, romance, crime, westerns, science fiction, and horror. Meskin set a new a high bar for comics in the first three decades of the medium, and this book will be a revelation to both the casual graphic novel reader and the ardent fan. $22.99
Lee: And so ends the trifecta of awesome GA art books!  Meskin is under appreciated and certainly lesser known but he was a heck of an artist.  If you have any interest in art, then this is a must have.  If you're just curious about  different styles in comics then this is a great place to start. 
Gwen: This looks like it would be fun to flip through but I'd be more likely to borrow it from someone than to purchase it myself.

Jack Jackson’s American History: Los Tejanos and Lost Cause HC by (W/A/C) Jack Jackson
After creating what many consider the first underground comic, God Nose, in 1964 and co-founding Rip-Off Press in 1969, Jack Jackson began writing and drawing short historical comics about Texas history. Fantagraphics is proud to bring his graphic histories back into print, beginning with this first volume, reprinting two of his long-form histories: Los Tejanos, which chronicles the Texas-Mexican war between 1835 and 1875, and Lost Cause, which documents the violent reaction to Reconstruction by Texans. Jackson's work is as known for its rigorous research as for its chiseled, raw-boned visual approach, reproducing the time and place with an uncanny verisimilitude. $35.00
Lee: This is an excellent collection of historical fiction. I am reading Lost Cause right now (because I already have it!) and I love it. It’s a heavy on facts and reads more like a history book with pretty pictures vs. historical fiction. I have learned a lot and this is a very honest depiction of early mid-western life. If you like history this is not to be missed. Please note, this isn’t sugar coated history so it’s plenty violent.
Gwen: I actually do enjoy historical fiction. Texas does have an interesting history and the Texas-Mexican War is something I'd like to know more about.

Humanoids Inc
Zombies That Ate the World Vol. 02 HC by (W) Jerry Frissen (A/C) Guy Davis
In Los Angeles in the year 2064 the dead have risen and corpses live again, cohabitating peacefully among us. Well, somewhat. This second volume presents more wacky adventures from these beloved characters from both sides of the grave. $24.95 Read my long review of Vol 1 here.
Lee: I loved the first collection of this material and I am sure I will love the second. It has fantastic art by Davis and a solid story by Frissen. You can’t go wrong. Read my long review (linked above) and you can read more about it.
Gwen: I am a bit burnt out on zombies at the moment but this looks like a lot of fun, especially based on what I've heard about the earlier collection. This would be in a "I'll read it later" pile.

Paris Soirees HC by (W) Philippe Petit-Roulet (A/C) Francois Avril
Drawn and written in by the artsy creative team of Avril and Petit-Roulet, Paris Soirees is an intellectual yet ironic journey through the City of Love as told through a wordless collection of short stories surrounding the many different types of nights one can enjoy in the French capital. 64 pgs. $69.95 Read about the author here and visit his site (in French and English) here.
Lee: Ok, this is as much of an art book as it is a comic book. The art is absolutely fantastic and I am sure it’s going to be something special. The price.. oh la la the price. But, sometimes you just have to pay it to get something unique.
Gwen: This looks fantastic - but out of my price range at the moment.

Part 2 tomorrow!

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