Give a graphic novel, big comics TP with our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide!

2020 Holiday Season is here!!

Tis season shall not to be stopped by the ongoing global pandemic. Many will shop, yet find ways to best stay safe and minimalize risks of infection. Online or local, there are ways to continue the joyous gift giving tradition of our Xmas and winter holiday season!

So, that’s where you come in reaching out to a local bookseller or comic shop, hopefully still open or have a pickup thing going on. Online also works, if local options are too inconvenient. Either way, The book-sellers, publishers, artists, writers, and creative souls that drive the sequential arts need your help! And they can help you in return, by helping to put something new in the hands of someone awesome in your life, most deserving!

But choosing can be tough, especially in this tough time of social distancing and quarantining So, I put together a shortlist of awesome, fresh current shelf reads that I know of, or heard of, or recommended by a respected peers. Much of this is fresh, creator-driven material. Some things are just fresh formats for older. more obscure material now reprinted.

These are mostly currently obtainable through major retail book chains, comic book stores, and wherever new books can be at least ordered. NOTE: Book info below is for the US and Canada retail shelves release.

So, dig in and consider perhaps gifting any of these for yourself as well.

The World of Black Hammer: Volume 1

Writer / Artist: Jeff Lemire / Dean Ormston (Illustrator), David RubÌn (Illustrator), Max Fiumara (Illustrator)
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Format: 256-hardcover
ISBN: 978-1506719955

An expanded look at the world of Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Eisner Award-winning Black Hammer universe, with two complete series drawn by David Rubín and Max Fiumara. Sherlock Frankenstein lies at the heart of the mystery of what happened to Black Hammer, Spiral City’s greatest hero, and Black Hammer’s daughter is determined to uncover his role. Doctor Andromeda, an aged crime fighter, desperately struggles to reconnect with his estranged son as he takes on personal demons and interstellar battles.

Collects Sherlock Frankenstein & the Legion of Evil: From the World of Black Hammer and Doctor Andromeda and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows in a deluxe, oversized hardcover format with a new cover, sketchbook extras, and more!

Get this for… Black Hammer fans of course, or someone who enjoys comics and perhaps super hero movies on a more intellectual level. The Black Hammer stories can often be enjoyed as self-contained, but also a celebration of the long-standing contributions of super-hero storytelling as literary, character building devices!

Under-Earth

Writer / Artist: Chris Gooch
Published by: Top Shelf Productions
Format: 560-page softcover paperback
ISBN: 9781603094771

The inmates of an extensive underground prison struggle to build meaningful lives in a broken system, in the most ambitious graphic novel to date from rising indie star Chris Gooch (Bottled and Deep Breaths).Under-Earth takes place in a subterranean landfill, hollowed out to serve as a massive improvised prison. Sunken into the trash and debris of the past — gameboys, iphones, coffee cups, old cars — we follow two parallel stories.

In the first, a new arrival struggles to adapt to the everyday violence, physical labour, and poverty of the prison city. Overwhelmed and alone, he finds a connection with a fellow inmate through an old, beat-up novel. While these two silent and uncommunicative men grow closer thanks to their book, the stress of their environment will test their new bond. Meanwhile, a pair of thieves pull off a risky job in exchange for the prisons’ schematics and the promise of escape — only to be betrayed by their employer. On the run with their hope for escape now gone, the two women set their minds to revenge. Yet as they lay their plans, their focus shifts from an obsession with the outside world to the life they have with each other.

Equal parts sincerity and violence, Under-Earth explores humanity’s inextinguishable drive to find meaning, connection, and even family — and how fragile such constructions can be.

Get this for… A good friend, someone looking for new positives in these tough times, and enjoys a good long read! Also, Chris Gooch’s art is awesome, with an modern tone that feels both expressive yet beautifully simple.

Accidents and Old Lace and Other Stories

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Writer / Artist:  A; Feldstein / Graham Ingels
Published by: Fantagraphics
Format: 232-page Hardcover
ISBN: 9781683963806

This volume collects short horror comics stories from Tales From the Crypt, Vault of Horror, Haunt of Fear, Crime SuspenStories, and Impact ― including a rare EC gem that hasn’t been seen since its original publication more than 65 years ago! These stories, which “Ghastly” Graham Ingels drew while he was at the pinnacle of his powers, include tales such as “Accidents and Old Lace.” Three sweet, little old ladies weave tapestries depicting the gruesome deaths of real people, but when an art dealer commits murder to get a tapestry of his own, he discovers just how closely art imitates … death. In “Marriage Vow,” a woman returns from the grave to fulfill her wifely duty to her murderous husband, until death does them … together; and in “The Sliceman Cometh,” an executioner during the French Revolution can’t escape the severed head of an innocent man.

Get this for… someone who loves good short horror stories from yesterday, lost but now found treasure in a book ol book. Some who loves scary movies, and needs to know where some of that stuff probably came from.

Lois Lane: Enemy of the People

Lois Lane Enemy of the People

Writer / Artist:  Greg Rucka / Mike Perkins
Published by: DC Comics
Format: 304-page softcover
ISBN: 1770463690

She uncovered the most dangerous secret in the DC Universe…now she just has to prove it! After a press briefing at the White House-and carrying a secret that could disrupt Superman’s life-Lois Lane embarks on a harrowing journey to uncover a threat to her husband and a plot that reaches the highest levels of international power brokers and world leaders. Bestselling writer Greg Rucka and acclaimed artist Mike Perkins team up for a tale of conspiracy, intrigue, and murder that tests the limits of tough-as-nails investigative journalist Lois Lane. As the mystery deepens, the Question hunts the people responsible for an attempt on the reporter’s life. But do they want her dead because of what she knows or to stop her from finding out more? Collects Lois Lane #1-12.

Get this for someone who loves journalism, or feels Lois Lane deserves better than how she is written in the movies. Someone who also enjoyed the Lois Lane comics in the 70s (daring reporter!) more than the 60s (Superman’s crazy girlfriend!).

Planet Paradise, Volume 1

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Writer / Artist:  Jesse Lonergan
Published by: Image Comics
Format: 128-page softcover
ISBN: 978-1534316980

To survive after crash landing on an alien planet, a vacationer must battle against a hostile environment, killer lizards, corporate bureaucracy, and the pessimism of her sole companion, the drug-addled captain of the ship.

Get this for… who loves a good hearted story filled with friendship and danger, with some surprise twists. Personal note: I absolutely loved this, and you should at least buy this for yourself.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Writer / Artist:  Tom Scioli
Published by: Ten Speed Press
Format: 208-page hardcover
ISBN: 1984856901

Told in vivid graphic novel form by a groundbreaking Eisner-nominated comics creator, the long-overdue biography of the legend who co-created Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and many more superhero favorites.

Get this for…someone who really loves comic books and loves the history that Jack Kirby has helped greatly shaped and influenced on. Tom Scioli brings a special storytelling style with his art, very detailed and stylized through each page!

Transformers/Ghostbusters: Ghosts of Cybertron

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Writer / Artist:  Erik Burnham / Dan Schoening
Published by: IDW
Format: 126-page softcover paperback
ISBN: 978-1684056200

Prime gets slimed! Crossing streams after 35 years, this action-packed graphic novel combines two of the most popular franchises in pop-culture history. After years of civil war, the Autobots fled Cybertron, leaving their home planet in the evil clutches of Megatron and his Decepticons. Years later and millions of miles away, the Autobots pick up a Cybertronian distress signal from a mysterious planet called Earth. The ghostly signal shouldn’t exist, and it’ll bring Optimus Prime and his team—including brand-new Autobot ECTOTRON—face-to-face with… the GHOSTBUSTERS!

Get this for…anyone who loves the golden age of 80s nostalgia through cartoons, movies, and toys.

Titan

Titan

Writer / Artist:  François Vigneault
Published by: Lion Forge Comics
Format: 208-page softcover paperback
ISBN: 1620107791

When MNGR First Class João da Silva arrives on the moon of Titan to take charge of Homestead Station, he finds the massive mining colony plagued by tensions between the giant, genetically-engineered Titan workers and the Terran management. As anger mounts, what began as a routine posting quickly turns into something far more dangerous.

Phoebe Mackintosh thought she left her fighting days behind her when she turned her back on the “mixing” circuit. Now, she finds herself caught between a past she’d rather forget and a future she can’t predict. Together, they must find a way to pull Homestead back from the brink of disaster… Or Titan might be the spark that sets the entire solar system ablaze.

Get this for… someone looking for something a little different in science fiction, probably watches Star Trek for the social commentary.

The Sacrifice of Darkness

Sacrifice of Darkness

Writer / Artist: Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne / Rebecca Kirby
Published by: Archaia (Imprint of BOOM!)
Format: 128-page hardcover
ISBN: 1684156246

New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay (World of Wakanda, Difficult Women) adapts her short story “We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness” as a full-length graphic novel with writer Tracy Lynne Oliver (This Weekend), and artist Rebecca Kirby (Biopsy.) Expanding an unforgettable world where a tragic event forever bathes the world in darkness, The Sacrifice of Darkness follows one woman’s powerful journey through this new landscape as she discovers love, family, and the true light in a world seemingly robbed of any. This young adult drama challenges notions of identity, guilt, and survival in a graphic novel for fans of On A Sunbeam and Are You Listening?

Get this for… someone who loves beautiful art mixed with thoughtful storytelling. Also, those into fresh young adult section finds!

Shuri: Wakanda Forever

Shuri

Writers:  Vita Ayala, Nnedi Okorafor
Artists: Leonardo Romero, Paul Davidson, Rachael Stott
Published by: Marvel Comics
Format: 224-page softcover paperback
ISBN: 1302923692

The Black Panther’s techno-genius sister stars in her own incredible adventures! T’Challa has disappeared, and Wakanda expects Shuri to lead their great nation in his absence! But she’s happiest in a lab surrounded by her inventions. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them down! So it’s time for Shuri to rescue her brother yet again — with a little help from Storm, Rocket Raccoon and Groot! But what happens when her outer-space adventure puts Africa at risk from an energy-sapping alien threat? Then, Shuri heads to America to investigate a lead, with Ms. Marvel and Miles “Spider-Man” Morales along for the ride! But with her people in peril, will Shuri embrace her reluctant destiny and become the Black Panther once more? Prepare for a hero like you’ve never seen before!

Collects Shuri (2018) monthly single issue comic series #1-10.

Get this for… for Black Panther fans and MCU of course, but further more, a fresh superhero journey that feels classic in its own way and stays with the reader longer after the last page.

Remina

Writer / Artist:  Junji Ito
Published by: Viz Media LLC
Format: 256-page Hardcover
ISBN: 197471747X

(note: due out on December 15th)

Another of Junji Ito’s classics, the sci-fi masterwork Remina tells the chilling tale of a hell star. An unknown planet emerges from inside a wormhole, and its discoverer, Dr. Oguro, christens the body “Remina” after his own daughter. His finding is met with great fanfare, and Remina herself rises to fame. However, the object picks up speed as it moves along in its curious course, eliminating planets and stars one after another, until finally Earth itself faces extinction… Is the girl Remina the true cause of the catastrophe? A masterwork of horror from Junji Ito, unfolding on a universal scale.

Get this forfans of Junji Ito! Also, someone who loves Japanese horror and science fiction on a much grander, cosmic scale. I haven’t check this one out, but the work of Junji Ito always breaks though and the imagination, and opens the reader to new and eerie dimensions.

Plutocracy

Writer / Artist: Abraham Martinez
Published by: NBM Graphic Novels
Format: 144-page hardcover
ISBN: 9781681122687

2051. The world’s largest company, The Company, has seized power on a planetary scale and runs the world as if it were a business. In a plutocracy, the richer one is, the more powerful one is. In this context, an anonymous citizen becomes compelled to uncover how the world came to this situation, without paying any attention to the official version. Several members of the government end up encouraging him to carry out this investigation by giving him access to all information. He decides to discover the true history of The Company and the various interests that are trying to influence his investigation.

Get this for someone who loves to talk about politics a bit too much.


That’s all for now. I tried for a wide variety, yet not beyond my own reading interests. After all, it’s my personal list. But, if you have something you would like to add to that list, post it in the comments below.

Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, set for graphic novel translation in 2020

Publisher BOOM! Studios recently announced a brand new graphic novel adaptation for Kurt Vonnegut’s American classic novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The acclaimed anti-war novel interpretation will be full color, and set for September 2020, under its Archaia imprint.

This work will be a first in graphic novel for the work, and done by Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Albert Monteys (Universe!) with color assistance by Ricard Zaplana, available.

Slaughterhouse-Five, also known as The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death was first published in 1969, and written by Kurt Vonnegut. The book follows the life of war vet Billy Pilgrim, from his early years to his time as an American soldier and chaplain’s assistant during World War II, to his later years. There is some abstract science fiction involved as Billy time travels throughout. Much of the story focuses on his capture by the German Army and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner-of-war. This reflects a personal experience by the author, having lived through that.

Slaughterhouse-Five would eventually receive worldwide attention, and very timely in a time of rising anti-war protests. It would be nominated for multiple awards, and adapted into multiple other entertainment formats, including film, theater, and a radio play. It would also end up challenged for censorship, and banned in places for its adult and “anti-Christian” content.

Ryan North is known for much current work, including Dinosaur Comics, the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Adventure Time comic series, the bestselling anthology series Machine of Death and best-selling Eisner-Award winning Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics published by Marvel. His latest book, How to Invent Everything, A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler is a humorous look at civilization, and worth checking out.

“Like most people, Kurt Vonnegut has been one of my favourite writers since I first read his books decades ago, and it’s been such an honour—and challenge—to adapt his most famous work for a new medium. Slaughterhouse-Five is a deeply funny and deeply moving book, and my goal with this project was to keep all of that, while still making something that feels at home in this medium,” said writer Ryan North. “I picture it as a window into an alternate universe where Kurt (and Kilgore Trout) worked in comics instead of prose. Every medium can do things that others can’t, I’m beyond excited to share this new version of Slaughterhouse-Five with you very soon.”

Albert Monteys is a Spanish graphic novelist and illustrator, best known for his work in El Jueves, a weekly satirical magazine that he directed from 2006 until 2011. Monteys also created the series Carlitos Fax for the children’s magazine Mister K. In 2014, he founded a satirical monthly publication Orgullo y Satisfaccion (Pride and Satisfaction) with several other cartoonists, and began to publish a science fiction comic, ¡Universo! (Universe!) in Panel Syndicate, winning a 2017 Eisner Award nomination for Best Digital Comic.

“What a challenge, what an opportunity! When I was presented with the chance to collaborate in the graphic novel adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five my first reaction was ‘this is one of my favorite books and it can’t be adapted.’ That was until I read Ryan North’s script, nodding enthusiastically at every great idea, every moving moment, every scene that made me want to grab my pencil right away.” said artist Albert Monteys in a recent press release from BOOM! “A good adaptation shines new light on the original, I hope we managed to do just that. I think we did, somewhat, in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore—which is what comics are, after all.”

Slaughterhouse- Five will be available in print form, for sale in September 2020 at local comic book shops, and direct from Boom Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from popular content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.

In the meantime, here is 7-page preview, courtesy of BOOM Studios for its graphic novel release…

Our SW Comics Holiday Season Gift Guide for 2019

 

Hey, thinking of brightening up someone’s holiday season with the awesome gift of comics?

Yes, do it! the gift of fresh sequential art gives more imagination and thought in your presents, better than gift cards and lame boring doorbuster junk. Give the gift of a graphic novel, or trade paperback volume, as the best gift form of comic stories. Such captures the visual attention, looks good on a shelf, invites literary curiosity, and can give a lasting impression on the creative senses.

To help choose, I put together a shortlist of great and fresh current shelf reads that I either read myself and enjoyed, or heard much through peer reviews (and checked out for myself). Some are new critically acclaimed work, with some reformatted reprints of older deeply appreciated but lesser-known work.

These are mostly currently obtainable through major retail book chains, comic book stores, and wherever new books can be at least ordered. NOTE: Book info below is for the US and Canada retail shelves release.

So, dig in and consider perhaps gifting any of these for yourself as well.

Frogcatchers

Frogcacthers

Writer / Artist:  Jeff Lemire
Published by: Gallery 13
Format: 112-page hardcover
ISBN: 1982107375

A man wakes up alone in a strange room with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. The padlocked doors and barren lobby reinforce the strangeness of this place. This is—as he reads from an old-fashioned keychain beside his bed—the Edgewater Hotel. Even worse, something ominous seems to be lurking in one of the rooms. But when he meets a young companion—the only other soul in this vast, enveloping emptiness—his new friend begs him not to unlock the door. There must be something behind it…but what? A haunted hotel on the edge of reality, an endless bridge spanning an infinite ocean, and a man and a boy looking for a way out. This is the setting for a boundary-pushing, genre-defying new work of fiction by one of comics’ master storytellers.

Get this forSomeone who loves the art and story of great moments, and not some overall story. Jeff Lemire is brilliant at this emotional expressionist style, focused on the beauty of the moment, pacing, movement of character leading to some haunting and melancholy moments.  For those not familiar with his work, they will be after reading this (and then move to his bigger masterpieces like Sweet Tooth and Essex County).

Bird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring Pigeons

Bird Brain

Writer / Artist: Chuck Mullin
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Format: 144-page softcover paperback
ISBN: 1975326539

Bird Brain is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness . . . using pigeons. When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled creatures—were the ideal subjects of a comic about mental illness. Organized in three sections—”Bad Times,” “Relationships,” and “Positivity”—and featuring several short essays about the author’s experiences, Bird Brain is a highly relatable, chuckle-inducing, and ultimately uplifting collection of comics for anyone who has struggled to maintain their mental health.

Get this for… Someone quirky, with a diverse sense of humor, and perhaps dealing with or know someone dealing with mental illness. Great for the coffee tables too.

The Complete Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Vol. 1

Writer / Artist:  Don Rosa
Published by: Fantagraphics
Format: 230-page Hardcover
ISBN:  9781683961741

From his shoeshine stand as a plucky young lad to his globe-spanning quests for long-lost treasures as an adult, Uncle Scrooge McDuck has lived a life of legend — a legend founded by Scrooge’s creator Carl Barks and rocketed to new heights by Don Rosa in his signature series, “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck!” Now you can read all 12 chapters of Rosa’s internationally acclaimed and Eisner Award–winning series, completely and meticulously restored under Rosa’s own supervision.Join Scrooge, a very young Donald Duck, the Beagle Boys, Flintheart Glomgold, and more for Scrooge’s epic life story — with plenty of guest stars along the way, including P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill, Geronimo, Jesse James, Jack London, Czar Nicholas II of Russia, Annie Oakley, Robert Peary, and President Theodore Roosevelt! 

Get this for… Ducktales, Disney Duck fans of course….but really, get this for someone who loves a good epic story that is both a character study and a true hero’s journey kind of long life adventure that tugs on the heart of what it means to live. Also, Don Rosa’s art is glorious.

Making Comics

Making comics

Writer / Artist:  Lynda Barry
Published by: Drawn and Quarterly
Format: 200-page softcover
ISBN: 1770463690

Hello students, meet Professor Skeletor. Be on time, don’t miss class, and turn off your phones. No time for introductions, we start drawing right away. The goal is more rock, less talk, and we communicate only through images. For more than five years the cartoonist Lynda Barry has been an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin–Madison art department and at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, teaching students from all majors, both graduate and undergraduate, how to make comics, how to be creative, how to not think. There is no academic lecture in this classroom. Doodling is enthusiastically encouraged. Making Comics is the follow-up to Barry’s bestselling Syllabus, and this time she shares all her comics-making exercises. In a new hand-drawn syllabus detailing her creative curriculum, Barry has students drawing themselves as monsters and superheroes, convincing students who think they can’t draw that they can, and, most important, encouraging them to understand that a daily journal can be anything so long as it is hand-drawn. Barry teaches all students and believes everyone and anyone can be creative. At the core of Making Comics is her certainty that creativity is vital to processing the world around us.

Get this forSomeone who not only is an aspiring creative but looking to think outside the norm on being creative. It’s inspiring, and great for those looking into the more cartooning direction of comics, and adapting their own style while appreciating the unique way Lynda Barry goes about this (see her other work).

Kabuki Omnibus, Volume 1

Writer / Artist:  David Mack
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Format: 400-page softcover
ISBN: 1-50671-606-7

Celebrate 25 years of David Mack’s Kabuki and immerse yourself in the inspiration for Sony’s upcoming Kabuki television series! A young woman, code name ”Kabuki”, struggles with her identity in near-future Japan. Working as an operative for a clandestine government agency known as ”the Noh,” Kabuki neutralizes dangerous individuals before they become national-level threats, but when the agency she works for, is compromised, Kabuki’s personal quest sends her down a difficult path to her own self-discovery, that may bring her in direct conflict with the powers she formerly served. The origin, the foundation of the story . . . the very beginning of the acclaimed series created by David Mack. This edition collects the first two original Kabuki volumes, Circle of Blood and Dreams, in an easy-to-read trade paperback . . . the perfect book for fans of Mack and Kabuki, and brand-new Kabuki readers! Note: set for release on December 11, 2019

Get this forsomeone who enjoys black and white well-inked art, action, character development, and cultural inspiration. David Mack has an awesome art style, which developed further through his well-known painted work later on. This is also great for long-time comic readers who appreciate his current work but maybe missed out on his very underappreciated older work. 

Monstress: Book One

Writer / Artist:  Marjorie Liu / Sana Takeda
Published by: Image Comics
Format: 528-page hardcover
ISBN: 9781534312326

A teenage girl struggles to overcome the trauma of war in an alternate, matriarchal 1900s Asia that’s brimming with arcane dangers. This task is made all the more difficult by her mysterious psychic link to an eldritch monster of tremendous power—a connection that will transform them both, and place them in the crosshairs of both human and otherworldly powers. Creator/writer Marjorie Liu (who made history as the first woman to win an Eisner Award for Best Writer) and creator/artist Sana Takeda present a deluxe, oversized hardcover edition of their beloved breakout comic in MONSTRESS, BOOK ONE. This massive edition features a striking new cover and includes never-before-seen sketches, script pages, and more for over 500 pages of award-winning content. Collects MONSTRESS #1-18

Get this forSomeone who is interested in fantasy, and enjoys comics…yet, looking for a new world to get lost in, with amazing colorful, rich art rooted in a mix of old cultures, ideas, and civilization.

New Kid

New Kid

Writer / Artist:  Jerry Craft
Published by: HarperCollins
Format: 256-page softcover
ISBN: 0062691198

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Get this forAny pre-teen reader who loves comic art with a creative soul, and being socially different (or for someone like myself, looking back) from being a person of color or coming from a very different cultured background. This story as a lot of heart from its creator, and that will be felt throughout its well-rounded story of early growing up.

Fearscape, Book 1

Fearscape.jpg

Writer / Artist: Ryan O’Sullivan (Author), Andrea Mutti (Artist)
Published by: Vault comics
Format: 160-page softcover
ISBN: 9781250178138

The Fearscape is a world beyond our own, populated by manifestations of our worst fears. Once per generation, The Muse travels to Earth, discovers our greatest Storyteller, and takes them with her to the Fearscape to battle these fear-creatures on our behalf. All has been well for eons until The Muse encounters Henry Henry-a plagiarist with delusions of literary grandeur. Mistaking him for our greatest Storyteller, she ushers him into the Fearscape. Doom follows. Collects issues #1-5.

Get this forSomeone who loves to write, but struggling and maybe not taking it as seriously…but still loves writing. This is a weird journey about the heart of the craft of ideas and story, with some interesting twists and turns, through a bizarre landscape that terrifies and delights.

Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope

Little Bird

Writer / Artist: Darcy Van Poelgeest / Ian Bertram
Published by: Image Comics
Format: 208-page hardcover
ISBN: 1534313451

Award-winning filmmaker Darcy Van Poelgeest teams up with Angoulême nominated artist Ian Bertram to bring you the highly acclaimed, dystopian sci-fi, Little Bird. With the same limitless scope as Star Wars, and the social-political explorations of A Handmaid’s Tale, Little Bird tells the story of a young resistance fighter battling against an oppressive American Empire while searching for her own identity in a world on fire. A gorgeously illustrated epic where one girl risks everything to save her people, their land, and the freedom they so desperately deserve. Collects LITTLE BIRD 1-5.

Get this for… Someone who loves very a mix of dark fantasy mixed with post-apocalypse, social commentary involving indigenous identity, great storytelling if they don’t mind some occasional violent imagery. The art is also amazing. 

Marvel Masters of Suspense: Stan Lee & Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 1

Tales of suspense

Writer / Artist:  Stan Lee/ Steve Ditko
Published by: Marvel Comics
Format: 688-page Hardcover
ISBN: 1302918753

Before Stan Lee and Steve Ditko revolutionized comic book super-heroes with the Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, they applied an incomparable storytelling mastery to taut suspense-thrillers. These chilling stories were cast with nervous-eyed dreamers and sweaty-palmed schemers, none of whom make it out with getting theirs. They were parables of wrenching psychological tension, expressed by two of comic book’s most unique creative minds, and they will leave you curled up and screaming for more — whether you like it or not! Marvel is honored to collect Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s complete stories of suspense in this, the first of two beautifully restored volumes. From Ditko’s very first Marvel work in 1956 through to his last five-page masterpiece, every iconic Silver Age short is collected in these incomparable Omnibus editions.

Get this forFor someone who loves the Marvel Comics movies, the characterization, maybe interested in learning more about humble beginnings of Marvel Comics, and what made them great that is far more about emotional storytelling than colorful heroic melodrama, all leading to imagination barrier breakers that build the House of Ideas. 

The Often Wrong

Often Wrong
Writer / Artist:  Farel Dalrymple
Published by: Image Comics
Format: 360-page softcover
ISBN: 1534313524

The Often Wrong is a meaty collection of new and old comic stories, paintings and illustrations, “behind-the-scenes” concept art for The Wrenchies, Proxima Centauri, Pop Gun War, It will all Hurt, and over 100 sketchbook drawings by comic book creator Farel Dalrymple.

Get this forFans of his work for sure, but also those who enjoy a stylish mix of moods, colors, complexities that made his art award winning and in a surreal world of its s own. Get this who enjoy a wide variety of art in comics, looking to expand on ideas for sequential telling, as this I feel inspires and expands.

Choke Gasp! The Best of 75 Years of EC Comics

choke gasp

Writer / Artist: Various
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Format: 528-page hardcover
ISBN: 1506715842

A premiere collection of the best stories of EC Comics, curated in a deluxe hardcover, just in time to celebrate the legendary publisher’s 75th anniversary! This volume collects stories from EC Comics’ most famous titles, featuring classic stories from the hands of legendary creators Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and more! Collects material from issues of Crime SuspenStories, Frontline Combat, Haunt of Fear, Impact, Shock SuspenStories, Tales from the Cry. (NOTE: Schedule for release on December 17, 2019)

Get this for… Someone who loves horror stories, and can appreciate the influence EC brought from its bold beginnings to many generations forward. 


That’s all for now. I tried for a wide variety, yet not beyond my own reading interests. After all, it’s my personal list. But, if you have something you would like to add to that list, post it in the comments below.

SW reviews: Superman Smashes The Klan #1

Superman Smashes the Klan

Superman Smashes the Klan

  • Writer: Gene Luen Yang
  • Artist: Guruhiru
  • Published by: DC Comics
  • Pages: 79, Publish Date: October 16 2019, Price: $7.99
  • Notes: The first of three books, published in a glossy thin paperback, traditionally sized for younger readers.

Synopsis:

“The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman! While Tommy adjusts to the fast pace of the city, Roberta feels out of place, as she tries and fails to fit in with the neighborhood kids. As the Lees try to adjust to their new lives, an evil is stirring in Metropolis: the Ku Klux Klan. When the Lee family awakens one night to find a burning cross on their lawn, they consider leaving town. But the Daily Planet offers a reward for information on the KKK, and their top two reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, dig into the story. When Tommy is kidnapped by the KKK, Superman leaps into action-with help from Roberta! But Superman is still new to his powers-he hasn’t even worked out how to fly yet, so he has to run across town. Will Superman and Roberta reach Tommy in time?
Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, The Terrifics, New Super-Man) presents his personal retelling of the adventures of the Lee family as they team up with Superman to smash the Klan…”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

Superman Smashes the Klan is a superhero story challenging and exposing of real-life racism-based terrorism. The story for which it’s loosely based on the old radio play, “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” exposed the growing white supremacist group to a wider audience for its evils and inner-workings, giving it a much-needed negative exposure throughout the USA during the Golden Age of comics.

But now, we have the revision of the story, which may not make as big of an impact, but still relevant to our time as racism is still a thing, with many sinister groups out seeking to carry on the original ideals of the KKK, and other hate groups inspired by such and similar.

Which brings about the question…what does Superman have to do with any of this?

And it’s not so much on the whole concept of Superman taking on racism, but his superpowered existence whose skin color and American face of the caucasian male. He lives that privilege of being more accepted in American society of the time. But, he also chooses to be the superhero that has to combat the evils in all its forms, including those who abuse that privilege and imposes it upon others as a symbol of nationalism, and genetic pride.

So, it feels great to have him start this story combatting a cartoonish Nazi villain, perhaps reestablishing the ideal of truth, justice, and the American way. And, he enjoys doing it.

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And that is the Superman I love.

Which, leads to a bigger story of where this goes, into the perspectives of the incoming Lee family, the newest immigrants to Metropolis of Chinese descent. They are like any new family moving into a big city, with two kids reacting to a new life ahead, and the father taking on a new job. Metropolis is well-known as this all-American city very similar to New York, and it’s where Superman lives. So here, sets up a dynamic of promise, that life will be exciting for the Lees.

And that’s where much of this story brings a smile to this reader, seeing Superman being more of a neighborhood hero to this large city. Eventually, we get to know the Lees through their perspectives on Superman, Golden Age Americana, and the immigrant reactions they face in Metropolis. This carries on the side story to the center, where the Lees seeks to integrate and become part of the American dream, which includes a typical suburban life and baseball. There is a fascination that what is real, and should be real.

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Meanwhile, the human side of Clark Kent deals with his own self of being somewhat a stranger from birth, feeling the inner conflict of being different. His reflection on his past, where the idea of an alien in a magazine is that of a scary monster. He looks to the present, seeing a reflection of might have been. Superman has the luxury of his appearance, but what if he did look more alien? How much would he have to hide, how much would society fear him before accepting him as the premier superhero?

So, the developing story leads to the Lee family being terrorized by the Klan, though their signature cross being burned on their front lawn. Its terrible act leads to elevated threats of lynching. This real-life horror cuts through this otherwise innocent setting of Golden Age heroism backdrop, as the Lees deal with this real problem. The stakes may not be as high as an evil scientist with world-domination plans, but there is a sense of urgency that Superman responds to.

And that’s what I love about this story. It’s Superman standing up for those in need, against a real-life threat to its time, that has changed and shifted into an evil that still festers today.

I also love the art, set for younger readers to enjoy with a slight manga appeal to it, but with solid coloring and traditional sequential art transitions. The facial expressions are defined, given a mix of liveliness and heart to Superman’s world missed in the most recent cinema incarnations. The settings of night and day, suburban and city, home life and work life, add a homely, identifiable nature to Metropolis. The contrast of the Klan presence as dark and fiery shows where the danger is, waiting for Superman to eventually expose it all, hopefully in upcoming chapters.

Superman Smashes the Klan is not a traditional comic book, in both its story and its format. Readers will find in a smaller paperback form similar to a young adult read, targeted for younger readers. There is less collector value and more reading value, and that’s welcome in any format and any age. Also, there is small yet very informative retrospect by Gene Luen Yang, with more a focus on the real-life history of organized racism in the US.

Overall, I like this short read and look forward to the next issue of this three-part series.

 

Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation art book coming to new book shelves soon.

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News from a recent release for Evangelion fans (myself included)…

Udon Entertainment recently announced a soon to be released hardcover release of Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection. Credited with revitalizing the anime industry, Neon Genesis Evangelion infused the genre with incredible depth and emotion, telling the story of a world on the brink of destruction and the teenagers that are tasked with saving mankind.

(See preview pages below)

The Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection collects the making of one of anime’s most influential series in the ultimate compendium of behind the scenes and archival design sketches for the 1995 television series, as well as the 1997 theatrical release. Draft artwork of characters, mecha, weapons, vehicles, as well as interior and exterior locations, are supported by the original artists’ detailed design notes. The Neon Genesis Evangelion television series revolutionized anime with its groundbreaking animation, sophisticated storytelling, and dynamic mecha designs. This massive 432-page tome is a must-have for any fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, animation production, and character design.

The Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection will be released in March 2019, with 432 pg, on an 11.75 x 8.25” hardcover, at a suggested retail price of $39.99 USD. Check your local comic store or retail book store for availability.

FLCL Archives, artbook for the anime classic is set for English release

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Good news for fans of FLCL, Gainax, or experimental anime classics…

UDON Entertainment recently announced the coming release of The FLCL Archives, translated in English for the first time.

FLCL, for those unfamiliar, is a mesmerizing, 6-episode series told at a breakneck pace, produced by studios GAINAX and Production I.G. It featured everything from giant, destructive robots, to a crazy, pink-haired, bass guitar wielding alien woman. Raising the bar to tell complex, fantastic stories in a short episodic run, FLCL’s continued impact on modern anime can still be seen today.

The FLCL Archives collects artwork from this landmark production, including key promotional art, character and location designs, and rough sketches in 248 full color, softcover pages. Early proposal sketches, concept art, and illustrator notes provide incredible insight into the making of this beloved and influential series.

The FLCL Archives will arrive in stores on March 19, 2019. Check with Udon online at www.udoncomics.com for more info.

New Tara McPherson “Wandering Luminations” art book set for 2019

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Recent Dark Horse Publishing news release

Extraordinary illustrations, vibrant colors, and bold fantasies fill the pages of artist Tara McPherson‘s most recent collection of work: Wandering Luminations: The Art of Tara McPherson.

The chaotic wonders of science, mythology, and the power of the feminine form are at the core of the works compiled in Wandering Luminations. This powerful collection showcases the artist’s most recent and ambitious creations from her Wandering Luminations solo exhibition, as well as works from her series of paintings: I Know It By Heart and Supernova.

This is the fourth collected volume of McPherson’s influential art and features paintings, prints, and her most well-known work: rock posters.

The dark, powerful femininity McPherson is known for shines through each page of the high quality, full-color hardback volume set to release in May 1, 2019 and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at your local comic shop.

 

Family Traits: The Fantastic Bestiary of a Father and His Sons, artbook set for 2019

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UDON Entertainment announced its new release its new hardcover English edition of the critically acclaimed Family Traits: The Fantastic Bestiary of a Father and His Sons  set for early 2019.

Family Traits: The Fantastic Bestiary of a Father and His Sons is the collective creative work of a family passionate about artwork, where animator Thomas Romain adapts the drawings of his two young sons into beautiful watercolor illustrations. Thomas Romain, an artist and animator whose credits include Bodacious Space Pirates, Macross Delta, Space Dandy, and Phoenix Wright spin-off Dai Gyakuten Saiban, discovered that sons Itsuki, age 9, and Ryunosuke, age 10, were following in his footsteps by creating original characters and the worlds they inhabited. A drawing by Ryunosuke provided the spark of collaboration. From there, father and sons began creating characters that showcased their love of adventure, robots, monsters and machines.

Family Traits features dozens of original character designs, creative commentary from both father and sons, rough concepts, bonus illustrations, and more!

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“I hope that – beyond the newbie and professional artists, beyond the fans of pop-culture and art lovers – this book will simply succeed in gathering around it parents and children,” Romain says. “Devour these few pages with great appetite, let yourselves be drawn in by its playful side – compare the images, choose your favorite characters, amuse yourselves by imagining other scenes, let your imagination run wild!”

Family Traits: The Fantastic Bestiary of a Father and His Sons is set for release on February 26, 2019. Ask for it your local comic store or retail bookstore. For more info, visit UDON at udonentertainment.com.

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Fresh, exciting graphic novel gifts for the 2018 holiday season!

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Hey gift shopper, here’s a cool idea…buy a graphic novel or trade paperback volume for that special person this holiday season.

Give the gift of lengthy sequential art that can be put on a shelf, or opened to reveal a new world away from the screens and work stress. You can give, but also take a risk in finding out later if hated or loved. Any thoughtful literature and art are worthwhile, for heavy time and love was put into its composition. And if enjoyed, then the book will be treasured far longer than a boring gift card.

However, there is a risk for those who appreciate such large comic book forms. There is a chance they either read or know enough of the most popular work out there to have read it already or no interest at all. Such can be a tough decision when works including Watchman, Saga, Ghost World, Batman: Killing Joke, Sandman, etc, are on the many top graphic novels lists out there.

So instead, be fresh and daring. Reach out for something less likely to have, yet may find stimulating. And maybe, get something interesting enough to borrow later.

Below, here are my nine gift picks for graphic novels and trade paperback volumes published in 2018. These still obtainable at major retail book chains, comic book stores, and wherever new books can be gained or ordered. I also have provided an Amazon link for those lacking the proximity or time to visit such wonderful places.

Take a look!

Devilman: The Classic Collection Vol. 1

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Devilman: The Classic Collection Vol. 1
Writer / Artist:  Go Nagai
Published by: Seven Seas
Format: 680-page Hardcover
ISBN: 162692757X

Hordes of demons, once thought entombed forever in the underworld, have now returned to Earth. Evil and corruption begin to seep into our world, as demons seize human hosts. Mankind’s only hope for salvation is to use the demons’ power against them–-and only a pure-hearted man like Fudo Akira can do so without losing his humanity. Once little more than a crybaby, Akira now wields the terrible power of a devil, yet holds the innocent soul of a man–-Devilman!

Get this forSomeone who appreciates horror and manga/anime in diverse forms. It’s not for kids, but also not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s light-hearted fun but with some violence and nudity at times.  Go Nagai’s art and storytelling style has a childlike innocence that shifts toward unrestrictive awesome horror, subversive for its time (originally published in 1973).  Also, very high-quality hardcover and page quality.

Amazon.com page link

 

Eleanor & the Egret

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Eleanor and the Egret
Writer / Artist:  John Layman / Sam Keith
Published by: Aftershock Comics
Format: 120-page softcover
ISBN: 1935002767

The most daring art thief in Paris has struck again, and the police have assigned their best detective to the case. His only clue? A single white feather left at the scene. Could this feather belong to the thief? To the thief’s accomplice, an oversized talking egret? Or will his investigation lead him to somewhere even stranger? (Answer: all of the above.)

Presenting a peculiar and unforgettable tale of birds and banditry, paintings and pets, larceny, love and…lamprey-wielding assassins? From the legendary creator of The MAXX and co-creator of Sandman, Sam Kieth, and the considerably less-legendary creator of Chew, John Layman!

Get this forFor someone who loves art, humor, with really strange and surrealness to the comics storytelling. Also, for those who enjoyed either the classic The MAXX comics and MTV series for its art and weirdness, also by the artist Sam Keith. The story itself is an awesome unraveling mystery, deeply involving a small cast of bizarre players. There are great unexpected concepts and twists throughout,  Overall, just a fun book that’s very different from the others.

Amazon.com page link

Sleepless, Volume 1

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Sleepless, Volume 1
Writer / Artist:  Sarah Vaughn / Leila del Duca, Alissa Sallah
Published by: Image Comics
Format: 168-page softcover
ISBN: 1935002767

Lady “Poppy” Pyppenia is guarded by Cyrenic, her faithful Sleepless Knight. But when a new king is crowned, an assassin threatens her life, ushering in a new and dangerous time. As Poppy and Cyrenic work to discover who wants her dead, they must navigate the dangers of life at court—and of their growing feelings for one another. Collects Sleepless #1-6

Get this forSomeone who loves fantasy and romance, but more focused on the drama, intrigue, and relationships. All here, with renaissance elements, rich environmental detail, detailed diverse characters, beautiful coloring with an immersive art style a reader can really fall into. The story is ongoing, giving the reader more to follow in later volumes. Personally, I feel this is a very underrated gem.

Amazon.com page link

DC Meets Looney Tunes

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DC Meets Looney Tunes
Writer / Artist:  various
Published by: DC Comics
Format: 248-page softcover
ISBN: 1401277578

DC’s iconic superheroes meet the wacky characters of Looney Tunes in some of the most surprising stories in comics in DC MEETS LOONEY TUNES! When Elmer Fudd sets his sights on Bruce Wayne, it’s a “wabbit hunt” you’d never imagine! Prospector Yosemite Sam strikes it rich, but can circus performer Foghorn Leghorn and bounty hunter Jonah Hex keep him alive long enough to enjoy it? Plus, Wonder Woman enlists the help of the Tasmanian Devil to save the Amazons; Lobo gets caught in the war between a mutated Road Runner and a wily super-genius of a coyote; and the last survivors of Mars fight over the fate of planet Earth! Finally, when the Legion of Super-Heroes needs help, a wrong turn at Albuquerque means the future’s survival depends on…“Super” Bugs Bunny! Worlds collide, courtesy of some of comics’ greatest talents, among them Tom King, Lee Weeks, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mark Texeira, Tony Bedard, Bill Morrison, Kelley Jones, Steve Orlando, Sam Humphries and more!

Get this forSomeone who loves DC Comics, but hasn’t stepped foot in a comic store in a long time, or at all. Also, anyone who looks really hard at old cartoons, for deeper meaning and philosophy. And wow, do these short stories deliver in a mix of madness, light and dark humor, and crossover insanity that will leave the reader speechless at times. As a hardcore DC Comics fan and somewhat Looney Tunes fan, I found this among the biggest surprise of both, leaving me laughing and amazed.

Amazon.com page link

The Book of Ballads and Sagas

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The Book of Ballads and Sagas
Writer / Artist:  Charles Vess
Published by: Titan Comics
Format: 240-page softcover
ISBN: 1782763325

This award-winning compendium of English and Scottish fairy tales and folklore returns to print in a sumptuous new collection! Beautifully illustrated by Charles Vess and featuring adaptations by Neil Gaiman – Vess’ collaborator on the hugely successful Stardust – and a host of famous fantasy writers, this new edition also boasts never-before-seen art and an amazing gallery of sketches!

Includes contributions from World Fantasy Award winner Charles de Lint (Moonheart; The Cats of Tanglewood Forest [illustrated by Charles Vess]); acclaimed fantasy writer Emma Bull (War for the Oaks; Bone Dance) and New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb (The Ballad of Frankie Silver; St. Dale; She Walks These Hills). 

Get this for Any fan of fairy tales and folklore, in the more unrestricted and less watered down forms. Also, fans of the movie Stardust, and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and other work. The painted and extremely detailed art of Charles Vess is stunning, grabbing appreciating eyes and pulling them to these fantastic other worlds of magic and creatures.

Amazon.com page link

On a Sunbeam

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On a Sunbeam
Writer / Artist:  Tillie Walden
Published by: First Second Comics
Format: 544-page hardcover
ISBN: 9781250178138

Two timelines. Second chances. One love. A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss. With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.

Get this for Anyone cool with young adult books and an open mind for abstract science fiction, queer relationships, stunning art through a lot of pages. Also, someone who likes to travel or enjoys adventure, and interested in meeting new people. It’s an epic tale that takes the reader through space, time, and the heart.

Amazon.com page link

Star Wars Lost Stars, Volume 1 (manga)

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Star Wars Lost Stars, Vol. 1 (manga)
Writer / Artist:  Claudia Gray / Yusaku Komiyama
Published by: Yen Press
Format: 256-page softcover paperback
ISBN: 1975326539

The Empire can be seductive, particularly if you’re an aspiring young pilot…Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree both know this very well when they enroll Imperial Academy, eager to pursue their dreams. When Thane discovers the darker side of the Empire, though, and defects to the Rebellion, the pair’s lifelong friendship will be put to the ultimate test. Will Thane and Ciena’s relationship — or even they themselves — survive this galactic conflict…?

Get this for Someone who loves Star Wars, but not the recent movies bearing its franchise (or, maybe they do). Also, for someone who likes manga with the usual black and white art, visual styles, and techniques. But more so, are the intertwining new characters set in the time of the classic Star Wars movies, with a few surprise appearances and events thrown in. There are fresh perspectives from the military and civilian lives of the overall space opera melodrama, leading to a new space opera within the space opera. Very engaging!

Amazon.com page link

Isola, Volume 1

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Isola, Vol. 1
Writer / Artist:  Brendon Fletcher / Karl Kershcl
Published by: Image Comics
Format: 141-page softcover
ISBN: 1534309225

An evil spell has been cast on the Queen of Maar and her Captain of the Guard will do anything to reverse it. Their only hope lies on an island half a world away—a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead. Gotham Academy creators Brendon Fletcher and Karl Kershcl reunite with series colorist Msassyk and letterer Aditya Bidikar for a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making. Collects Isola #1-5

Get this for Someone who loves the Studio Gibli/Miyasaki films for its complex themes and world-building. Also, for those into nature fantasy, and camping. The art is vibrant, moody, with excellent use of colors and inking to set the mood. The storytelling is mystical, daring and fresh. It’s not for everyone, but for those willing to step into strange new worlds and accept complexity…this is a real treat.

Amazon.com page link

Quantum Mechanics

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Quantum Mechanics
Writer / Artist:  Jeff Weigel
Published by: Lionforge Comics
Format: 208-page softcover
ISBN: 1941302661

On a nowhere asteroid on the far rim of the galaxy, two young alien girls—Rox and Zam—spend their days tearing apart and repairing clunkers in a spaceship junkyard. These aspiring gearheads yearn for the chance to test their skills on something besides rusted old rockets and broken-down planet-hoppers. Their big chance finally comes when the captain of a mysterious ship called the Quasar Torrent enlists the kids for some repair work. But what initially looks like a golden opportunity quickly becomes a nightmare when the young friends find they’ve been kidnapped by what turns out to be a band of space pirates! Rox and Zam find themselves swept up in the astro-buccaneers’ vendetta against a huge intergalactic corporation that’s forced this motley band of working stiffs from across space into a life of crime. Now the girls must choose: do they want the comforts of home and family, or the glamorous adventure of a lifetime—to be part of a crew of colorful misfits intent on plunder, revenge, and excitement? Their lives, friendship . . . and maybe even the fate of a galaxy . . . hangs in the balance!

Get this for Someone who loves campy, light-hearted science fiction surrounding young friendships and space adventure fantasy. It’s escapism in the purest form, with all the tropes and thrills from the days of pulp novels to Firefly, and beyond. Yet still fresh and different, and cheerful. The art and sequential art form are rich in detail and traditional form, adding to the awesome story and thrill ride for readers of all ages.

Amazon.com page link

That’s all for now. I tried for a wide variety, yet not beyond my own reading interests. After all, it’s my personal list. But, if you have something you would like to add to that list, post it in the comments below.

IDW rolls out Full Bleed, a new, upcoming comics and culture quarterly magazine

IDW Publishing recently announced at the Rose City Comic Con, a new project from its Portland office, with its new Woodworks imprint. This bold venture starts with its new division’s flagship publication, Full Bleed.

Full Bleed is a brand-new quarterly, print-only, 200-page hardcover magazine, curated and edited by IDW Publishing’s Dirk Wood alongside CEO and Publisher, Ted Adams. Bringing together the very best in comics, fiction, non-fiction, in-depth interviews, opinion, history, think-pieces, and more. Full Bleed will be a reading experience like no other. Shot through an international lens, but filtered through the unique perspective of the IDW:PDX satellite office in Portland, Oregon, Full Bleed will tackle all aspects of the creative culture, and beyond — comics, music, film, television, fine art, photography, design, politics, and more. Full Bleed seeks true and total diversity through its content, creators, and contributors, as well as genre and format.

Its début volume will feature an exclusive interview with Stephen King, an unpublished interview with Alan Moore, new strips from cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, and more.

Here is a trailer giving a bit more info, with a new campaign now on Kickstarter to boost awareness and support:

 

“IDW is always at its best when we’re breaking new ground and FULL BLEED is the latest example,” says Adams. “Not only is it a great magazine, but I’m also excited about the way we’re launching it. We’re not using Kickstarter to crowdsource funds in the usual sense, because IDW doesn’t need to raise money that way. We’re using Kickstarter to appeal directly to readers and, in an unprecedented and revolutionary way, we’ve worked it out so comic shops can order the books via Kickstarter and have them fulfilled by Diamond. We’re always looking for new ways to sell our books and comics, and we won’t stop until everyone on Earth with a bookshelf knows what IDW can do.”

“This project is a dream come true. Working with such an amazing group of creators, on such a labor of love, is so much fun,” says Wood. “If you think we’ve got a lot of crazy-good content lined up for the first one, just wait until you see what’s coming.”

Following the December launch, IDW & Woodworks will be creating a campaign to help Traveling Stories, a charity dedicated to children’s literacy and “outsmarting poverty one book at a time,” as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, to help with their continued work for literacy and libraries. Woodworks aims to make “smart books for smart people,” with the hope of “helping to make a few more smart people.”

Full Bleed launches on Kickstarter today. The first volume is scheduled for release in early December.