Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?
Here’s some brand new stuff that came out last week that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.
Disclaimer: For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.
If there is one constant throughout most of Earth’s historical nations, cultures, and religions, it is the threat and the destruction of the Great Flood. In the wake of the recent Indian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and alarm over global warming, the award-winning creators of THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS return to plumb the depths of the world’s great myths with this four-issue, all-ages mini-series, exploring how this legendary fear may be more relevant now than ever before. Like Noah, sea-bound Ziusudra and other heroes across time must strive against the coming Floods and the baffling will of the gods.
This publisher saw fast growth with a high quality catalog, but unfortunately their growth kind of got away from them. They’re still in the midst of restructuring and reorganizing themselves, so their website is a little outdated. Unfortunate for this release, which could use any support possible. Writer A. David Lewis is a somewhat under-appreciated scholar of the comics world, and his work deserves more attention. Here is a 9-page preview available.
Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales – $6.95
By J.T. Yost
56 pages; published by Birdcage Bottom Books
J.T. Yost’s first collection of comics is alternately humorous and quietly devastating, but is consistently brutally honest. Story themes include animal abuse, a widower’s internal struggle, and a bizarre junior high-school prank. Winner of a 2009 Xeric Award.
The Xeric Award is a grant given out for new comic creators. To my knowledge, it is the only grant of its kind. It is incredibly expensive to get a comic published. The vast majority of comics published do not even make their money back. So this kind of thing is immensely valuable for giving a chance for us to hear talented and independent voices. According to writer/artist J.T. Yost, Old Man Winter is “loosely based on a (real) old man who breaks my heart every time I see him”. I really like his art style. A 10-page preview is on his website.
The Big Kahn – $13.95
By Neil Kleid & Nicolas Cinquegrani
176 pages; published by NBM Publishing; available at Amazon.com
Rabbi David Kahn has lived a forty-year lie: he is not, nor has he ever been, Jewish. When at his funeral, the “rabbi’s” grifter brother reveals the truth, it forces the Kahn family to struggle with grief and betrayal as their congregation examines their every move and question their very faith. His son, Rabbi Avi Kahn, the heir apparent, spirals down in an affair with his rebellious sister Lea’s non-Jewish roommate. Lea rethinks the religion she’s run from, strong enough to alter her father’s life, while Eli — the youngest Kahn — inherits his father’s long-forgotten legacy. Somehow, with the help of the uncle he never knew and his slowly re-awakening sister, he attempts to return faith and order to his family and community and reinstate his father’s good name. Neil Kleid, Xeric Award winning author of Ninety Candles and NBM’s Brownsville, and illustrator Nicolas Cinquegrani offer a drama about loss, lies, belief and renewal in this dramatic graphic exploration of a family secret so well-hidden, it questions the very nature of faith.
Not a lot this week, but good stuff nevertheless.
Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?
Here’s some brand new stuff coming out this week that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.
Disclaimer: While it may seem like it, I do not live in the future. For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep #1 – $3.99
By Philip K. Dick & Tony Parker
32 pages; published by Boom! Studios
THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED THE FILM BLADE RUNNER COMES TO BOOM with backmatter by Warren Ellis!
Worldwide best-selling sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick’s award-winning DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? has been called “a masterpiece ahead of its time, even today” and served as the basis for the film BLADE RUNNER. BOOM! Studios is honored to present the complete novel transplanted into the comic book medium, mixing all new panel-to-panel continuity with the actual text from the novel in an innovative, ground-breaking 24-issue maxi-series experiment!
San Francisco lies under a cloud of radioactive dust. The World War has killed millions, driving entire species to extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic fakes: horses, birds, cats, sheep… even humans. Rick Deckard is an officially sanctioned bounty hunter tasked to find six rogue androids — they’re machines, but look, sound, and think like humans – clever, and most of all, dangerous humans. Rick Deckard, Pris, The Voight-Kampff Test, Nexus 6 androids, the Tyrell Corporation: join us for the publishing event of the year!
Oh and the by the way, this story inspired the movie Blade Runner.
Interesting idea. Usually when something is adapted to comic book, there’s a writer to re-work the source material. But this comic is apparently taking the original novel word-for-word and having an artist illustrate it out. Here’s a preview, so you can get a feel of what this will be like in execution. I’m not completely sold on the concept but I like that it’s something different, and it’s worth noting. And I’m sure sci-fi fans will want to check this out.
Creepy Comics #1 – $4.99
By a bunch of people
48 pages; published by Dark Horse Comics
What’s black and white and clawing its way onto your reading list? It’s the newly resurrected Creepy, of course! Now, don’t fret, my putrid pets — these new terror tales are cut from the same cursed cloth as the outlandish originals, telling contemporary horror stories with gorgeously ghoulish art from a lineup that’ll make you lose your head!
Original Creepy artist Angelo Torres teams up with devilish Dan Braun on “Hell Hound Blues”; Michael Woods and artist Saskia Gutekunst serve up a dose of “Chemical 13″; Neil Kleid and Brian Churilla provide “All the Help You Need” at a weird weight-loss camp; and jaundiced Jason Shawn Alexander brings his phenomenal painting skills to Joe Harris’s “The Curse”! Plus Bernie Wrightson, the return of “Loathsome Lore,” and more. All this, plus one classic story from Uncle Creepy’s dank dungeon, and you’ve got 48 freakish pages of terror to bring home to mummy!
In 1964, Creepy magazine resurrected the horror genre (huge in the ’50s) using a massively talented collection of artists and writers. Dark Horse is now resurrecting that resurrection. A bit derivative? Maybe. But modern comics have a host of very talented individuals who have injected new life into today’s horror stories in comics. Here’s a preview.
The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind—to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!
Darwyn Cooke, the Eisner-Award-winning writer/artist of such classics as DC: The New Frontier, Selina’s Big Score, and The Spirit, now sets his artistic sights on bringing to life one of the true classics of crime fiction: Richard Stark’s Parker. Stark was a pseudonym used by the revered and multi-award-winning author, Donald Westlake.
Darwyn Cooke is fantastic. Here’s a preview. Classic hard-boiled crime. I can’t wait to get this.
Franklin Richards: School’s Out – $3.99
By Chris Eliopoulos
32 pages; published by Marvel Comics
Enough of the pencils, enough of the books, enough of teacher’s dirty looks! It’s summertime and school is out of session which gives Franklin more time to get into trouble. Join Franklin, his robot nanny, H.E.R.B.I.E., his teleporting dog, Puppy, in more adventures and laughs. Put on your shorts and come out and play!
This fun all-ages read is like if Calvin & Hobbes took place in the super-hero filled Marvel Universe. Lots of fun yet smart enough for older readers too.
That’s it for this week.