Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Indies Previews for December Part 1 of 3

Thomm: This ought to be interesting. Lee picks but I comment first. Mostly first.
Lee: Well, nothing really new here, I got caught behind so I figured Thomm could read my mind and try to figure out what I was thinking.  Let's see how he did.

:01 First Second
Tune Sumo GN by (w/A/C) Thien Pham
Scott is a washed-up football player who never made it, and whose girlfriend abandoned him along with his dreams of playing pro football. But things have a way of working out, in this sweet, poetic tale - and a new chapter in Scott's life begins as the old one ends. Offered a position in a Japanese sumo training stable, Scott abandons his old life, his old name, and even his old hair color, and becomes an aspiring sumo wrestler. And in so doing, he begins to find some kind of center in himself, a center that had seemed lost for good. 112 pgs, 6x9, FC, $14.99
Thomm: And that center is rice. Lots and lots of rice. Well, that’s usually a sumo’s diet. Hard to get a read on whether this will be good. It’s a small look at life kind of thing, which is appealing and can be very good when done right.
Lee: This looks really cool.  I am totally getting sucked in by the cover art but that's nothing new for me.  The story sounds good and the art looks like a minimalist-cartoony blend.  It's certainly worth checking out.

Ardden Entertainment
Wulf SC by (w) Steve Niles (a/C) Nat Jones
Join superstars Steve Niles and Nat Jones as they bring Wulf the Barbarian into the 21st Century - literally! A fearsome and legendary warrior, Wulf finds himself fighting a powerful enemy who has tapped into a deadly new magical energy force. Meanwhile, in present-day New York City, grizzled cop Sam Lomax is having a rough day. What he doesn't realize is that it's about to get a lot rougher. How are Wulf and Lomax's fates tied together? And what does the mysterious warrior named Iron Jaw have to do with this unfolding mystery? Find out in the WULF trade paperback, which collects issues #1-6 and includes an assortment of exciting bonus material! 160 pgs, 7x10, FC, $19.99
Thomm: Wait, wait…. Let me think. What could possibly bring a cop together with a guy out of time, running around with a sword? What could possibly have a cop interested in that guy? Who writes these blurbs? I’ll be Niles’s writing is a whole lot better.
Lee: Niles and Jones are good creative team so this could be good.  It's too bad Ardden's books never managed to catch on.  Maybe it'll find new life now that they are releasing trades.

Art of Fiction
Dames in the Atomic Age Vol. 01 GN by (w) Christopher Ryder (a) Various
Follow private investigator Andrew Fisch into the underbelly of post-atomic Los Angeles where Science is king, and nothing is as it seems. A unique pulp tale filled with blonde bombshells, aliens, and rayguns that pays homage to the B-movies and crime magazines of yesteryear. Featuring art by Ragnar, Andy Suriano, Marc Sandroni, Rahsan Ekedal, Tone Rodriguez, Tony Fleecs, Mark Dos Santos, Chris Moreno, Mike Vosburg, and more! 64 pgs, 7x10, FC, $8.95
Thomm: See, this is what I’m talking about with blurbs. Post-atomic means post 1945, or in the more apocalyptic tales, post everyone being blown up by nukes. Either way, the pulp tales are from the ‘30s, before the atomic age. In neither era was science king, so my only conclusion can be that the whole thing takes place in some alternate reality.
Lee: I've always been a sucker for the art of B-movie posters, old pulp novels, and so on.  This appeals to the inner me.  But I am not sure what is going on with 8 artists and one writer.  I need to see it before I can commit.

Boom! Studios
Deathmatch #1 by (w) Paul Jenkins (a) Carlos Magno (C) Whilce Portacio
THE SUPERHERO BATTLE ROYALE YOU CAN'T GET FROM MARVEL OR DC! A powerful and mysterious supervillain has imprisoned the world's greatest superheroes, forcing them to fight to the death until there is but one victor. It's kill or be killed as we settle the score on all those hypothetical superhero match-ups in the ultimate Deathmatch. Written by industry legend Paul Jenkins (Sentry, Inhumans) and drawn by comics superstar Carlos Magno (Planet of the Apes, Transformers), Deathmatch is a dark, psychological deconstruction of the superhero genre that can't be missed. 32 pgs, $1.00
Lee: I am so sick and tired of Hunger Games comics. Marvel is doing its own version which I have faith will stink. This could be better since all the characters are basically cannon fodder. Jenkins is good enough to pull it off… but I really am sick of this concept.
Thomm: I am not sick of the concept, probably because I haven’t be reading all the derivative crap that’s out. The $1.00 price gives it a good chance at being sampled, and the knowledge that everyone is fair game, not to be revived by the next writer to come along, is a selling point, too. I’m not impressed by the bibliography of the creators, though. Right now I’m looking at a teaser for Marvel’s Secret Wars, except everyone might actually die. Now what would be novel would a light, airy deconstruction of the superhero genre.

Spooks Vol. 01: Fall of Babylon GN by (w) Xavier Dorison (a/C) Christine Rossi
Members of the East Coast elite have died under mysterious circumstances. To investigate this delicate problem, Richard Clayton calls upon a man named Morton Chapel for his unorthodox methods and peculiar associates. As they begin to uncover strange, vanishing marks on people's bodies, unexplained changes in behavior and hints of widespread corruption, the team reforms around the name Ulysses S. Grant himself gave it years earlier: his SPecialists in the Odd and the OCcult - his SPOOKS. 48 pgs, 9x12, FC, $11.95
Lee: Cinebook reprints Euro books in magazine sized format (close to the original size), on shiney stock, and in English. Overall it's a very nice package and a cheap way to try Euro books.  This is certainly a good enough concept to take a winger on.
Thomm: Goofy name notwithstanding, this has potential. I like Grant being the originating president. He was always viewed as one of the worst. What if that was just a cover? But then there’s the blurb linguistics again. How does the name Morton Chapel represent unorthodox methods and peculiar associates? Am I missing something in translation?

Babble GN by (w) Lee Robson (A/C) Brian Coyle
Carrie Hartnoll is a girl going nowhere fast, until a chance encounter with an ex-boyfriend affords her the opportunity of a new career in Ivy League America, working as part of a research team attempting to resurrect the language of Babel, a language that can be understood by any human, from anywhere in the world. As Carrie pieces together her fractured life, she becomes embroiled in the mystery surrounding the apparent suicide of the project's original team leader, which propels her to uncover the horrific truth about the language and why it was written out of the history books.128 pgs, 7x10, FC, $16.99
Thomm: Now this sounds very interesting. The Tower of Babel’s a familiar myth story but not one that’s thought of as hugely significant by most Americans, just another example of the arrogance of man akin to Icarus. But what if it meant more….
Lee: Sounds very, very interesting.  I wish I was more impressed with Coyle's art because that would make it a must buy.  But, the hype is good enough to pique my interest.

Creators Edge Press
Blade of the North Wind GN by (w/a/c) Jeong-Mo Yang
Set in the fantastical land of AtharĂº, Blade of the North Wind tells the coming-of-age story of a sheltered boy must grow into a battle hardened warrior in order to save his people from a group of bloodthirsty invaders. 73 pgs, FC, 7x4, $12.99 Preview images here.
Thomm: This is an art guy’s book, me thinks. Otherwise it seems like another version of Conan the Barbarian, and we’ve had lots and lots of those.
Lee: If you didn't see it, please note the size of the book because it’s very odd. It's almost like a newpaper reprint.  The pictures look very Japanese wood cut-ish which will make this very, very pretty.  I think the uniquness of the art is sucking me in. 

More tomorrow!

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