The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

August Previews Highlights: Erin’s Picks

In addition to Kerry’s picks, I’ve got a few of my own.

Pick of the Month:

Jew Gangster: A Father’s Admonition HC
IBooks – pg. 292; $22.95; 128 pgs. B&W
By Joe Kubert
From just the couple small sample pages provided in Previews, Kubert looks to have done a beautiful job with this story following a young man who turns to gangster life even though his father warns him about taking that path. “With the same intensity and detail that he put into ‘Yossel,’ Kubert recreates a time when even the most innocent person was caught up in the dark underbelly of society,” says the solicit.

Featured Comics:

Pyongyang: A Journey to North Korea HC

Drawn & Quarterly – pg. 277; $19.95; 184 pgs. B&W
By Guy Delisle
Nearly making my pick of the month, this GN provides a rare look into the country of North Korea. Delisle presents his observations of the country while living in Pyongyang for two months on a work visa.

Loveless #1
Vertigo – pg. 111; $2.99; 40 pgs. FC
Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: Marcelo Frusin
I’m not a fan of the Western, per se, but this new on-going looks amazing. The sample pages are reminiscent of Pia Guerra (Y: The Last Man) or Cliff Chiang (Human Target), and with Azzarello writing the series, this is a very promising addition to the increasingly impressive Vertigo line-up. Set post-Civil War, Wes Cutter is looking for peace after leading a so-far brutal life. His road to peace, traveled with his wife, looks to be just as harsh, though.

Top Shelf Conversations #2
Top Shelf – pg. 364; $4.95; 48 pgs. B&W
By Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka
I thought issue #1 was an incredible romp through the brains of two artists (Kochalka and Craig Thompson). Now Kochalka returns to take on Jeffrey Brown (one of my favorite creators) in the dueling-pages format of the series exploring art and comics along with, I’m sure, many other subjects.

The Return of the Elephant One-Shot
Adhouse Books – pg. 203; $6; 48 pgs. PC
By Paul Hornschemeier
Described in Previews as an “eerily quiet story of a solitary man and the ulterior motives involved in a visit from a longtime friend of the family.” Hornschemeier is an incredible talent, so I’ll be picking this one-shot up for sure.

Sunset City GN
AiT/Planet Lar – pg. 210; $9.95; 80 pgs. B&W
By Rob Osborne
Another solid bet is the combo of Rob Osborne and AiT/Planet Lar. In this graphic novel (which, by the way, is even less expensive than the usually reasonably priced GNs from the publisher), Osborne tells of Frank McDonald, a retirement community member who decides one day to come out of retirement and “takes life by the balls.”

Quick Picks:
Dark Horse will reissue The Goon #1 in a new edition for just 25 cents. This off-beat comic has been hit or miss for me personally—some issues I love, some not so much—but the comic is well worth a try for a quarter (pg. 28; $0.25; 32 pgs.).

Steve Niles pens this three-part prestige-format Batman tale titled “Batman: Gotham County Line” (DC; pg. 57; $5.99; 48 pgs.). The sample pages with art by Scott Hampton sold me on this story, though I’m not sure why DC likes to release three-part prestige-format titles, when they could just issue them as one GN. Oh well.

A 64-page “Tomorrow Stories Special" #1 is being released along with “Tomorrow Stories Book Two TP” from Wildstorm. Alan Moore, Steve Moore, Kevin Nowlan, Hilary Barta, Rick Veitch, and Melinda Gebble team up for these imaginative anthologies (pg. 108; $6.99 & $17.99; 64 pgs. & 160 pgs.).

I still need to read the first “Amazing Joy Buzzards” series, but since Kerry’s been raving about it, I feel comfortable recommending the new second series, issue #1 coming out in October (Image; pg. 134; $2.99; 32 pgs.).

Steve Niles shows up again in Previews with “The Lonely Tombstone” from Image Comics, which is a one-shot following Darla and her new friend, a tombstone (pg. 140; $5.99; 32 pgs.).

I’m just going to have to quote from Previews for the comic "Mr. Night" from SLG, Glen Dakin, and Phil Elliott: “The Enemy of Mankind takes a holiday in Greece, holds a discourse on love and human relationships, meets Pythagoras and discovers that no man is a triangle.” See what I mean? (pg. 222; $2.95; 24 pgs.).

“Lookit! Volume 1: A Cheese Related Mishap” GN looks like a silly and fun book featuring cartoon-like art and nonsensical circumstances (Don’t Eat Any Bugs Productions; pg. 276; $8.95; 96 pgs.).

As usual, Fantagraphics has more than a few promising offerings this month. One of which is “Acme Novelty Library #16” by Chris Ware (pg. 284; $15.95; 64 pgs. FC) and another is “Beg the Question” GN by Bob Fingerman (pg. 284; $16.95; 248 pgs.). The latter follows a 20-something couple in 1990s NYC.

Xeric-winner Alex Cahill is the creator of this one-shot “Something So Familiar” (New Radio Comics; pg. 317; $4; 48 pgs.). The wordless comic tells of a man driven to suicide, who jumps off a building and discovers he can fly.

Never forget to check the Books section of Previews, as there is usually a gem or two back there. This month one of the gems is “Animus,” a storybook by Emmy Award-winning animator Seonna Hong. Using paintings and “animated popup elements,” the book follows a little girl (pg. 400; $25; 34 pgs.).

Trade Treatment:

Catwoman: When in Rome
A collection of the gorgeous mini-series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.
DC – page 63; $19.99; 160 pgs.

Vertigo: First Offenses TP
Vertigo follows up their “First Taste” budget sampler trade with this new volume collecting “The Invisibles” #1, “Fables” #1, “Preacher” #1, “Sandman Mystery Theatre” #1, and “The Sandman Presents: Lucifer” #1.
Vertigo – page 119; $4.99; 168 pgs.

24-Hour Comics Day: Highlights 2005 TP
The best of 24-Hour Comics Day is showcased in this tome of a TP.
About Comics – page 199; $24.95; 496 pgs.

The Collected Sequential HC
The out-of-print seven-issue series “Sequential” by Paul Hornschemeier is collected in hardcover form.
Adhouse Books – page 203; $25; 256 pgs.

The Complete EC Picto-Fiction Library Set
This is the final component of “The Complete EC Library” and collects the series “Shock Illustrated,” Terror Illustrated,” “Crime Illustrated,” and “Confessions Illustrated.”
Gemstone Publishing – page 287; $150; set of four HC books in slipcase.

Elk’s Run
By Joshua Hale Fialkov, Nel Tuazon, and Scott Keating, this book collects the first three issues of the rare indie book of the same name.
Speakeasy Comics – page 325; $7.99; 80 pgs.

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