Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Indies Previews for November

Lee: Gwen is taking a slight leave so everyone, please welcome Thomm to the Indies review. Let’s see how much extra money I start costing him now.
Thomm: You wish you were that persuasive.

Fantagraphics Books
Cartoon Utopia HC by (w/A/C) Ron Regé Jr.
The Cartoon Utopia is a unique work of comic art that is part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto. Regé's work exudes psychedelia, outsider rawness, and pure cartoonish joy and displays a passionate optimistic idealism that sets him apart from his peers. 144 pgs, b-w, 10x12, $24.99 Visit the artist here
Lee: I’m all for more optimistic idealism. The world definitely needs more optimism. Based on the write up, if you’re into alternative comics then this should be great.
Thomm: I’d like a bit more on the substance of the book. Is there any semblance of story? Psychedelia has its uses but a story is necessary, for me.

Seven more below the break.  Read on!

Spacehawk Wolverton SC by (w/a/c) Basil Wolverton
Spacehawk features every story from the intergalactic crime fighter's debut in 1940 to his final, Nazi-crushing adventure in 1942. Infused with Wolverton's quintessential weirdness, Spacehawk is sure to satisfy Wolverton's fans who have clamored for this collection for years. 272 pgs, 9.25 x 13, FC, $39.99
Lee: This is one of the all time classic science fiction series! Yes, it’s gonna be slightly hokey because it was written in the 40’s but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. AND, more importantly it’s filled with rare Basil Wolverton art. If you’ve never seen it then you’re in for a treat.
Thomm: Much better chance of me getting this one. Selling point one is that it’s the entire story in one package. Being a product of its generation, I like the hokey. It’s not forced. It’s genuine to its era. And, there’s not enough good sci-fi out there in comics. This can fill that void.

Walt Disney Donald Duck Vol. 02: Xmas Shacktown HC by (w/a/c) Carl Barks
The third volume of Fantagraphics' reprinting of Carl Barks' classic Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge work focuses on the early 1950s, universally considered Barks' peak period. Featured are one of Barks' masterpieces (A Christmas for Shacktown) plus The Golden Helmet, The Gilded Man, and ten of his smart and funny 10-pagers - all supplemented with extensive notes and essays by the foremost Duck experts in the world. 240 pgs, 7.25 x 10 , FC, $28.99
Lee: These are really nice collections and are still some of the best all ages comics ever produced. I love them. My kids love them. You will love the too.
Thomm: This is an even better bet. Barks is universally recognized as the master of this form, and that much story, plus extras, for $30 is a steal.

Today, the Last Day of the Rest Your Life GN by (w/a/c) Ulli Lust
Today Is The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is the rollicking story of two teenaged girls' wild hitchhiking trip across Italy from Naples to Sicily. Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today is the Last Day... won the 2011 Angoulême Revelation prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers. 460 pgs, PC, 6.75 x 9, $35.00 Visit the artist here
Lee: Angoulême. I read the word and I order on sight. No questions asked. The Europeans are far more picky about their comics than Americans. So, when a book wins a prize from the convention it’s gonna be good. I have no problems recommending this.
Thomm: Is Lust really the surname of the creator? Don’t marry Anger. It’ll be volatile. Anyway, another excellent price to content ratio. I’m not as much the European comics guy as Lee, so I’ll leave the quality assessment to his expertise.

Gotham Books
Marbles, Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me: A Graphic Memoir by (w/a/c) Ellen Forney
Shortly before her 13th-birthday, Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would impair her creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity. Forney finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to cure an otherwise brilliant mind. Forney's memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist's work. 256 pgs, b-w, 6x9, $20.00 Visit the artists site here and read an excellent strip called “I hope to be listening to Led Zepplin when I die” here
Lee: WOW! This book is huge. But even better than that, it sounds awesome. The sample strips from her site are very funny and the art is engaging. For $20 it’s worth the risk.
Thomm: Definitely a good risk to take. I like interesting personal stories interestingly told, and this certainly qualifies. I wonder what the Marbles refers to? I guess the expression “losing my marbles” but the first thing that popped into my mind was Jenna Marbles, a YouTube sensation that my kids like. Not that I know anything about her other than that her last name is her dog’s name.

Humanoids Inc
Alliance of the Curious HC by (w/a/c) Philippe Riche
Three antique dealers team up to work on the most bizarre and obscure of cases. Their current investigation begins when they find a reliquary in the house of a deceased elderly woman. The box contains a mysterious skull and a hair whose DNA analysis reveal that both belong to a Neanderthal man, a contemporary one. 96 pgs, FC, 8x11, $29.95 Read an interview (In French) here with all sorts of images. Just go look at the pretty pictures already. 
Lee: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If Humanoids puts it in hc, then it’s a buy. Their tpb’s have been hit or miss but all of the hc’s have been great. Once again, the premise sounds good and the art looks great. What’s not to like?
Thomm: Hmm… Trying to make antique dealers interesting. That’s a big task. Of course, these ones are interesting because they’re acting like detectives. Apparently Neandertal DNA is in all humans who have any origins outside of Africa so maybe the premise isn’t so befuddling?

Rebellion / 2000AD
Ten Seconders: Amercian Dream GN by (w) Rob Williams (A/c) Dom Reardon
Earth, the near future. Humanity has been all but destroyed by a race of super-powered beings, who initially offered to help mankind, but really intended to rule them. Those that fought back against the tyranny of the Gods were nicknamed the Ten-Seconders - their name based on the average life expectancy of those brave enough to battle or face off against such powerful opposition. This is the story of their resistance. 144 pgs, FC, 7x10, $19.99
Lee: I love the title. I love the meaning behind the title. I am dying to figure out how Williams is going to pull this story off. Seriously, how long can characters last when they die within 10 seconds.
Thomm: I’m gonna guess they come up with a better plan. Otherwise there’s about 142 extra pages to the book. Was this book inspired by Invincible? There’s a similarity to the premise, with the exception being that the Invincible universe has super powered beings to oppose the invaders.

Valiant Entertainment LLC
Shadowman #1 (new) (regular Zircher cover) by (w) Justin Jordan (a/c) Patrick Zircher
The next epic expansion of the Valiant Universe starts this November in a new ongoing series by comics superstar Patrick Zircher (Captain America, Thor: Ages of Thunder) and Harvey Award nominee Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Team 7)! There's a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true. As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must embrace the legacy he was born to uphold. As Shadowman, Jack is about to become to only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But is the mantle of Shadowman a blessing or a curse? And what is the true cost of his otherworldly power? The rebirth of a Valiant icon starts right here, when Shadowman strikes this November! 32 pgs, FC, $3.99
Lee: If you aren’t reading the new Valiant books then you should be. Harbingers is excellent. X-O is good. Bloodshot after a slow start has cranked it up. This is becoming a series of books that is really fun to read. It’s taking comics back to their roots with good story telling and good art. Not overly complex. Not overly grim. A little bit bloody. But very good. This is the start of a new series so it’s a great place to start.
Thomm: The cover reminds me of The Psycho by Dan Brereton and James Hudnall, way back in 1991. Still my favorite book that other people aren’t likely to have heard of.

Thomm: Some persuasion. I may pick up a few of these. Good choices this month.
Lee: HEY I remember The Psycho!  I remember liking it but I can't actually remember if it was good.  Oh well.  A smaller selection that usual this month but some really good stuff. 

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