Sean Maher's Quality Control

Thursday, January 12, 2006

PREVIEWS for March: The Indie Love

This list is based, for anyone who might be curious, entirely on my reading of the Previews phone book. I haven't been checking out the comics news sites a lot lately, so everything I looked at was based entirely on the impression the Previews solicit made in the printed form.

Yesterday, I looked at The Big Four. Today I'm checking out the "Comics and Graphic Novels" section. Lots of fun stuff, so let's jump right in:

METHo.d.: Mean Little Stories SC (Aardwolf Publishing, p.207)
Don't know a damn thing about this, but Steve Lieber does art for one of the stories. If I find this on the shelf at the ol' LCS, I'll be sure to pick it up and take a look.

Noble Boy One-shot (Adhouse Books, p.209)
I was mighty excited about this when it was announced in November. Hell, I'm still excited to see it. But $13 for 32 regular-sized pages? That's a ripoff no matter how you look at it.

Sky Ape: King of Girls One-shot (AiT/PlanetLar, p.215)
Lots of love for this one over at The Engine.

Warren Ellis' Blackgas #3(Avatar, p.231)
Sounds like a fun book, and I'll pick it up in trade for sure if they do one. I'm not paying $4 an issue for anything, really, but this should be a good read. Is the art still by Jacen Burrows? Who's Max Fiumara?

War of the Worlds: Second Wave #2 (Boom! Studios, p.238)
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, this looks like a really damn promising series. Can't wait for issue #1.

The First Kingdom, Volume One TP (Century Comics, p.240)
Looks intriguing, but I'd like to know a little more about the actual content of the comic itself. The solicit text here does grab my attention - "considered by many as the first independently published graphic novel" is a nice hook, but they shouldn't assume I know anything about that. Has anyone here read this, maybe have a couple words to say about it?

Red Sonja #10 (D.E., p.244)
How the hell did they get to issue #10? I don't think I've read past issue 2 or 3. Anyway, the news here is that the series is ending with issue 11, which is cool 'cause hopefully it means we'll have one big story at the end. I wish this book would come out more regularly - I've been enjoying it.

How to Self-Publish Comics ...Not Just Create Them #2 (of 4) (Devil's Due, p.256)
Sub-titled "Building Your Creative Team", this sounds kinda neat. There's kind of a drought for material like this - the only folks who've put out successful books in this area are Larry Young and Dave Sim, to my limited knowledge, so this might be worth taking a look.

Streets of Dublin SC (Dublin Comics, p.264)
See, I don't normally think admitting your influences up-front is a good idea, but this solicit text got me pretty damn interested: "Clearly influenced by Robert Crumb and an undeniable love of Dublin, Hunt and colorist/designer Bren B. paint and irresistable tale of drugs, violence and horses!" Just too interesting a combination of elements for me to ignore.

Runaway Comics #1 (Fantagraphics Books, p. 270)
Just looks like it has promise. Can't really explain why.

Uptight #1 (Fantagraphics Books, p. 270)
Sort of a unique format - each issue of "Uptight will include two self-contained short stories plus a chapter from Crane's next graphic novel, 'Keeping Two'." Hell, that and a $2.50 price tag is good enough for me. Cover art looks kinda neat, too. I'll try it.

Toupydoops #1 (Lobrau Productions Inc, p.288)
Looks like a comedy about comic book characters becoming movie stars, or struggling actors, anyway. Art looks pretty appealing. Got a quote on their ad from Alex "Box Office Poison" Robinson. All together, that's enough for me to try issue #1.

Banana Sunday TP (Oni Press Inc., p.299)
I got the first issue of this book and didn't end up collecting the other three, being in something of a budget crunch at the time, but I remember it being really charming and fairly funny. Anyone with a soft spot for talking monkey humor would do very well to give this a look.

Queen & Country #29 (Oni Press Inc., p.299)
Fantastic. I'm glad to see Rucka's coming back to the title, and without anything corny like a new issue #1. Q&C is probably the best and most important thing Rucka's ever written, so this is cause for celebration.

Queen & Country: Declassified Volume 3 TP (Oni Press Inc., p.299)
This, I'm curious about. It's written by Antony Johnston, whose work I enjoyed on the western train-heist book "The Long Haul". Has the trade for Volume 2 been solicited or come out yet? I may have missed it.

Pariah #1 (Revolution Comics, p.304)
I'm just gonna step out of the way and let the solicit text speak for itself: "After incurring God's wrath for commiting an unpardonable transgression, angel David Howard is banished from Heaven to roam the streets of Oakland, CA." That's issue one coming my way, thank you very much. This could be pretty cool.

Death Comes to Dillinger #1 (of 2) (Silent Devil Productions, p.305)
Using Death as a character in a dark Western comic, with artwork this pretty? Yeah, that's worth the three dollar gamble to me, easily. (Thanks for the preview link, Franck.) Ooh, and it's edited by Josh Fialkov, writer of Elk's Run! Very cool.

Sawed-Off Mojo #1 (of 6) (Speakeasy Comics, p.316)
Writer Dan Jolley impressed me a lot on his short-lived Bloodhound series for DC, drawing some really powerful characters with deceptively broad strokes. I was disappointed by his subsequent project, Hell, Michigan, but the cover artwork and the premise both seem to be more up-to-snuff here. Sort of a Preacher-esque thing going on here. I'll be looking forward to it.

Hyp-No-Tech: The Insiders #1, What Are You Doing After Work? (360ep Inc., p.316)
Dude, this fucking comic costs seven cents. I'll get one. Also, isn't 360ep that new publishing house that Bill Jemas was starting? That guy got some good Marvel books printed, didn't he?

Surrogates #5 (Top Shelf Productions, p.340)
This has been an interesting alternate-future-history world-building excercise, based on the idea that the next world-transforming technology (coming next in line after the printing press and the computer) will be cyborgs that people will use to live their daily lives by proxy, sitting at home with the virtual reality helmet on. I reviewed issues #1 and #2 back when I did Top Shelf Week back in October.

And that's the Diamond Previews catalogue for comics coming in March, top to bottom as I read it. Did anyone catch something I might have missed? Anybody got something to say about the books I did mention?


  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger Ariel, the Jaded Jade said…

    1) When you mentioned "War of the Worlds: Second Wave #2" you said "I can't wait for the first one to come out" ... that confuzzelled me.

    2) "Death Comes to Dillinger" looks dead sexy. I'm going to have to pick that up if I can remeamber to next time I'm in SF ((Spring break... *cry-cry*.. how sad))

  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Hi, Ariel!

    1) Ah, I see what you mean. It's not the first wave I'm looking forward to! Ha ha! No, I just meant I'm looking forward to the first issue of the series, but it's issue #2 that's in the solicit catalogue.

    2) Amen.

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Franck Mars said…

    Looked for some info on Sky Ape and added it to my buying list. Thanks, mate!

    QUEEN & COUNTRY: DECLASSIFIED Vol. 2 was solicited last month, by the way. Two Q&C TPB in a row. That just looks too good to be true.

  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Franck - Hot damn! Can't believe we're getting so much Q&C goodness lately...

  • At 5:45 PM, Blogger Mimi said…

    Larry tells me to tell you that "This list is based, for anyone who might be curious, entirely on my reading of the Previews phone book." and then pointing to The Engine post he made is what the academics call "mutually exclusive" what with The Engine post not being in the Previews "phone book."

    But he's a real binary thinker. He loves Yoda's "do or do not" speech, you know. I'm just glad you pointed people to Sky Ape. :) :) :)

  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Mimi - See, the list itself was built using my reading of the phone book. I noticed Sky Ape in the catalogue and in the ad AiT took out, then did a little research after interest was already sparked by what I found therein. I figured the odd outside link might be helpful to my readers.

    It's nice to know, though, that Larry values moral consistency and laser-focused logic more even than the promotion of his own books. :)

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