Sean Maher's Quality Control

Friday, February 17, 2006

Indie Solicitations for April, Part Four

Techie Question: Is anybody else getting my navbar, usually on the right, all the way down the page? Used to only happen when I had big images on the page, but there's nothing on top right now larger than 400 pixels wide. What gives, anyone know?


Hey, I've got an EDITORIAL CORRECTION for y'all!

After yesterday's post, in which I called out Eric Shanower's upcoming Adventures in Oz trade, I got an e-mail from Exuberant Ed Brubaker, whose run with artist Michael Lark on Daredevil launched this week, letting me know that the stories included in the trade are from a series of ORIGINAL graphic novels Shanower did in the late 80's and early 90's. Sort of a "Lost Tales of Oz" kind of thing going on here? Well, Ed informs me that most of the Oz books are like that, which is news to me.

Ya learn something every day. It's not every day you learn it from the writer of the best mini-series in the last four or five years, though. Cheers, Ed. Hitting up the ol' LCS later today and can't fuckin' wait to see what you guys are doing with the trials of Matt Murdock.


So, on with the love, yeah?

What grabbed my eye about the solicit for Free Fall (Narwain Publishing, p. 298) was the name of former Rex Mundi artist EricJ, whose Revisionary I looked at a few months ago and whose amazing work I like to follow when I can. But then I read the solicit text, and frankly, I'd've been excited about this without knowing anybody on the creative team - I mean, Jesus, just read this:

It's almost Christmas, and Tim Bradley and his gang plan the robbery of the century: enter one of the biggest banks in the State, in broad daylight, without masks, and get away with ten million dollars. All without firing a single shot. The only problem: it's impossible to do. Unless they find a distraction to pull attention away from them at the moment of the heist... Sean, a hopeless boy with suicidal tendencies, is the perfect "distraction," and Bradley brings him in to kill himself at the same moment of the robbery, all in exchange for Sean's family to be cared for after his passing. But will everything go according to Bradley's plan?

That is one hell of a crime noir pitch. Awesome. The trade collects the three issue mini for ten bucks, which sounds reasonable, but I do have to make a quick criticism; Narwain's website is a bitch to navigate and wouldn't let me copy out the cover image. I mean, don't you guys want people to have access to your cover art, so we can pimp your shit out for free? I ended up finding a really cool site with cover art for all sorts of indies and some crazy alphabet at the top, right here: - anyway, that cover art:

Narwain is also publishing Albert #1 (p. 302), launching a four issue mini about a scientist who just happens to be named Albert "continuously working on a formula that will give him the ability to live longer... Albert will find a way to control time and avoid death, but at what price?" I don't think I've read any Narwain books, so I don't have a track record, but this is two home-run high concepts in a row, just this month. I think this'll be a lot of fun, though I'm a tad concerned about the vampire-lookin' thing on the bottom-left corner of the cover. Good lord, I'm tired of vampires, but nonetheless, this looks like it's got too much potential not to try.

Finally (from Narwain, anyway), we've got Steel City Hawk #2 (p. 302) from the Expatriate team of B. Clay Moore and Jason Latour. I'm curious why they didn't just take this to Image, but no matter - I'm always interested in seeing what Jason Latour is up to. Looks like kind of a superhero book, with the mandatory Dark Twist that's become so popular. This is another one pushing at my "no four dollar comics" rule; I'll have to look at it in the store before I'll buy it, but that's a start, ain't it? Beautiful cover by Latour, of whose work I'd love to see plenty more.

The Last Island GN (New Radio Comics, p. 306) is written and drawn by Alex Cahill, who did a one-shot called Something So Familiar that I enjoyed a while back... anyway, this is a 64-page "silent" comic about two kids stuck on an island who hate each other until "strange objects from the sea and sky arrive to complicate their rivalry." Sounds clever, and there's a big honkin' preview up at the New Radio website, right here, as well as an interview here on Comicon. I'll more than likely pick this one up - the six dollar price point is right, and the concept sounds kinda fun.

I thought Ojo was Sam Kieth's strongest work since The Maxx, so it's kinda cool to hear that it might've been just the first book in a loose trilogy that continues in My Inner Bimbo #1 (Oni Press, p. 307). I flashed some preview art a couple weeks ago, and I'm still interested, but I'll likely end up tradewaiting so it'll sit nicely next to my Ojo trade. Worth pointing out, though, that the issues will likely have some nicer paper and a larger sheet size, so it may be worth checking out the singles anyway.

It's no secret what a fan I've always been of Elk's Run, so I'm psyched to see issue #7 in the Speakeasy section on page 312. The story's built into something really epic and huge; I can't wait to see how things turn out!

I mentioned Sawed Off Mojo when I discussed the March solicits, and I'm still waiting to see what writer Dan Jolley can bring to this one and curious about issue #2 (Speakeasy, p. 320). Jolley did great work on Bloodhound, combining elements from investigative cop drama, super-heroics and the supernatural/horror school, and this looks like a similar project, so I've got my eyes peeled. Should be at least worth a first-issue purchase.

I kinda go back and forth with Jeffrey Brown, but at any rate I find him interesting, so I'll be taking a look at Every Girl Is The End of the World For Me (Top Shelf Productions, p. 346), which is billed as an epilogue to his "Girlfriend Triology", crossing my fingers that Brown brings some of his sly humor and some wider perspective to this one. At eight bucks for a hundred pages, I'll probably pick it up either way.

Finally, though I've never been as big a Will Eisner fan as the everyone else in the world seems to be, I'm pretty curious about The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (W.W. Norton, p. 361), about a blueprint for Jewish domination of the world that was later proven to be a fake designed to, well, make people think the Jews wanted to take over the world. I sure know Molly's dad would love to read this one - he's always on and on about the anti-Jewish media - but I think I might enjoy reading it, too. The softcover treatment it's getting here for fifteen bucks might be just the ticket.


Well, that's my indie love for the back section of Previews in April. Hell of a list, ain't it? I'm really groovin' on reading this thing, I have to admit. Anyway, can't wait to see how these books turn out, and now it's time to go pick up this week's comics and get to some reading. See y'all soon.


  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger Greg said…

    Don't hold your breath waiting for the Free Fall trade. I've pre-ordered the issues, and only the first has come out, and it's pretty good, as you surmised. But I have no clue when the next one is coming out.

    The Plot is pretty good. Not great, but pretty good.

    And in response to your earlier post, shame on you for missing the first three issues of Action Philosophers! Some of the best (and funniest) issues of last (and early this) year.

  • At 2:31 AM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Greg - Thanks for the update on "Free Fall"; I'll just sign up for it and takes it when it comes. Most publishers, unfortunately, don't take Brian Hibbs' admonition to re-solicit late books and simply ship 'em as originally ordered whenever the hell they get their act together. I don't know much about Narwain, but I *do* know that some *major* publishers have been Hibbs' "Asshat of the Week" lately, offering the latest non-resolicited books. So I'll put in the order and it'll come when it comes, eh? ;-)

    If "The Plot" is just pretty good, is there anything you'd say IS great in Eisner's catalogue? I've been giving some thought to the recent Best of The Spirit collection...

    And as for "Action Philosophers", well, shame on me indeed! I'll look forward to checking it out now that I'm getting another chance.

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger Greg said…

    I must shame-facedly admit that The Plot is the first thing by Eisner I've ever read. Yes, I must turn in my comics-reading card immediately. The problem I had with it is that it was simply a basic history of the Protocols, with very little dramatic tension. Maybe because I'm a historian, I know more about the Protocols than the average person, but I knew it all already. If you know nothing about them it's pretty fascinating, and the art is nice. But I just wanted more of a story.

    Some day I'll buy more Eisner. Eventually.

  • At 1:35 PM, Blogger murm said…

    best of the spirit might be good (here i say with a straight face that i discovered will eisner at about eleven, before i had an inkling of his stature). the spirit can be very beautiful & entertaining, if you hit it when it's actually being written & drawn mostly by eisner.

    my favourite graphic novel of his remains "to the heart of the storm." i thouroughly recommend it.

    & i am finding, to my consternation, that i don't actually have your address since the isotope boards went down... could you email it to me? realgonegirlstudios at gmail.



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