Looking for a great indie read this week? We’ve got you covered every Monday with Indie Watch! In this column you’ll find quick hit previews of select indie titles due out each week. Stuff that’s worth a buy- or at least a look- when you visit your local comic book store for your weekly fix. From graphic novels to single issues, we’ve got our eye on indie!
It’s been months since Ron Marz has delivered us a new issue of Shinku, and my wife and I have been eagerly awaiting this latest chapter. Taking place in the present day and starring the last remaining samurai vampire hunter (called Shinku), this book is a must read for fans of the samurai or horror genres. Marz does a great job tying the two together and Lee Moder’s art is way hot. Hopefully your shop still has copies of #1 & #2 available. Published by Image.
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #3
This is another book we’ve all been anxiously awaiting, this time from Archaia. The Black Axe is the fourth installment of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard universe, and if you’re a fan of talking animals or fantasy, give this book a look. It’s basically the Knights Templar but with… mice. Petersen both writes and draws the series, and if you want to begin at the beginning, check out Mouse Guard: Fall and Mouse Guard: Winter. Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard is the third volume, and is an anthology book of different stories (featuring various artists) set in this beautiful yet dangerous world.
Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s latest series continues this week, and if I’m being honest I have absolutely no fucking clue what I read in issue #1. Even though it looked great, it was difficult to follow with the garbled, dumbed-down future speak and bizarre location shifts. I’m down for more weirdness in #2, but hopefully I’ll be able to follow along with with the plot and who these characters are supposed to be. 100 Bullets is still one of my favorite stories of all time (even if the ending left me a little flat), so I’ll be with Spaceman until the end. Published by Vertigo.
Bomb Queen VII: Queen’s World #1
Do you like big boobed women who beat up bad guys and lose more and more pieces of clothing as an issue progresses? If you even bordered on thinking “yes,” than you may want to give this book a glance on Wednesday. It’s a new jumping on point for this busty title character, as Jimmie Robinson debuts the 7th volume of Bomb Queen. Here’s an excerpt from the solicit from Image: “Forget what you know about Bomb Queen. 100 years in the future, the world has become a utopian paradise. Governments and religion are at peace, but that tranquility is threatened when Bomb Queen is unleashed out of her slumber, however her return won’t come easy when she learns the truth about the new world.” This one is definitely not for the kiddos.
Andie and the Alien TPB
Until I saw this book in Previews not too long ago, I had never heard of it, but it combines alternate history with aliens and a cool looking cover, so I’m totally down. Here’s the solicit info: “Over 500 years ago, an alien spaceship crashed in the undiscovered Americas. Rescued by the local natives, the alien promised to protect them by placing a force-field over the Americas — preventing exploration and colonization of their land — and altering the course of history as we know it forever. 500 years later, in a world without the United States of America, the Nazis have won World War II and rule absolutely. Until one day, a captured British scientist named Andie, with the help of Albert Einstein, hatch a plan to rescue the alien and save the future from the Third Reich.” Written by Philip Phillipson, art by Alex Nino. Published by Bliss On Tap.
Morning Glories vol. 1 HC
This hardcover collects issues #1-12 of Nick Spencer’s hot Image series (the equivalent of 2 trades), as well as sketches, characters studies, and more. When a group of kids make it to the prestigious Morning Glories Academy, they soon discover their lives are at the hands of the teachers and administrators – all of whom have very special, and particularly evil plans for these kids. Think Runaways meets Lost; what is the purpose of Morning Glories Academy, and how will these kids ever make their way back home? Art by Joe Eisma.
Rasl vol. 3 TPB
I plugged the latest issue last week, so there’s no way we’d overlook the release of the latest graphic novel collection! Jeff Smith (of Bone fame) continues his adult series featuring a dimension hopping scientist/art thief who is out to catch a killer, while simultaneously looking for his next big score. If you like science, mystery, noir, and a protagonist with plenty of faults, don’t skip this one.
Not to be confused with the ’80s comic of the same name, Rust is published by Archaia and is an all-ages adventure with super cool art, set in the American heartland. Here’s the solicit: “Jet Jones crashes into the Taylor family barn, chased by a giant decommissioned war robot! While the rest of his family may not trust the mysterious boy with the jetpack, oldest son Roman Taylor believes the secrets of Jet’s past may be the key to their survival. But are some secrets best left untold?” Written and drawn by Royden Lepp.
The Blue Dragon TPB
“In this stunning graphic novel adaptation of Robert Lepage and Marie Michaud’s play of the same name, East meets West, the personal meets the political, and old meets new. Claire, a Quebecoise art dealer, arrives in China to adopt a little girl. There she visits Pierre, her ex-husband, who after fifteen years in China has been absorbed into a life of bicycles, tea, and calligraphy and has begun to question the new directions his adopted country is going in. Claire and Pierre’s lover, the young Chinese artist Xiao Ling, become fast friends. Through this classic love triangle, The Blue Dragon looks at aging, cultural confusion, fertility, and creativity, and confronts some of modern China’s most intriguing paradoxes. Fred Jourdain’s gorgeous, colourful, and cinematic drawings do full justice to The Blue Dragon’s genesis as one of the Robert Lepage’s most dazzling theatrical constructions. A feast for the mind as well as for the senses, The Blue Dragon is a graphic novel for grownups.” Also, you’d be lying to yourself if you said the play didn’t look cool. Published by House of Anansi Press.
Doc Bizarre MD HC
By Joe Casey (Marijuana Man, Vengeance, and lots of other awesome weird stuff) and Andy Suriano (Star Wars: Clone Wars), this over the top horror/comedy may just be the surprise book of the year. Check out the solicit: “From monsters crippled with pneumonia or demons suffering from incontinence, only one man who claims to possess the skills and the training to cure what ails them… DOC BIZARRE, M.D.! He’ll make globe hopping house calls for sick creepers, medically challenged myths and ghouls at death’s door!” Published by Image.
Gumby’s Spring Specials TPB
Gumby was before my time as a kid (although I did own an action figure for some reason), but I’ll be picking up this book. Why? Because it has a fucking T-Rex chasing down a celery stick driving a car with a horse in the passenger seat. That’s why! Oh, and Art Adams does the artwork! Written by Bob Burden & Steve Purcell. Published by Gumby Comics.
Twitter: @yourfriendandy // @ComicAttack
Carrying with them more files for your mental storeroom, the Hideous Energy boys return for another installment of The Reasons Why. David and Austin sit down and talk about artist/writer Michel Fiffe, the creator behind the underground book “Zegas.” Oh yeah, they also talk about the dire situation awaiting you if you avoid indie comics, specifically your inability to give high-fives properly, which could potentially land you in jail. Seriously kids. Read.
Brought to you by Hideous Energy.
IMAGE EXPO is coming! Experience the creativity of the men and women making the best creator owned comics in America at this one-of-a-kind celebration commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Image Comics!
IMAGE EXPO is a three-day celebration of creator-owned comics happening at the Oakland Convention Center. Image partners Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino, will be the guests of honor, appearing throughout the weekend for signings, panels, and special events. Other special guests include Image founders Rob Liefeld, and Whilce Portacio, plus the creators of today’s best creator-owned comics, including: Joe Casey, Jay Faerber, Jonathan Hickman, Ryan Ottley, Richard Starkings, Fiona Staples, and Brian K. Vaughan.
IMAGE EXPO is Northern California’s premiere comic con experience in 2012. The three-day event takes place at the Oakland Convention Center in the heart of the bustling nightlife and restaurant center of downtown Oakland, CA on February 24-25-26.
IMAGE EXPO isn’t just about Image Comics, it’s a celebration of independent creativity in comics. The exhibit floor is open to anyone who makes creator-owned comics. We’re also going to be hosting unique programming for fans, aspiring creators, and library professionals. We’ll be continuing our tradition of supporting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s important work to protect creators and retailers by hosting special events including a massive benefit auction.
Get in on the ground floor and sign up for your exhibitor or artist alley space today! Contact info@ImageComicExpo.com for more information about the show and how to sign up to exhibit.
Frankly, the industry as a whole could use more books just like it. Echoes is a lot of things. It’s dark, horrifying and tragic. It’s brilliantly paced, wonderfully drawn and expertly crafted. What makes it so damn special is that you can give it to anybody. It’s the perfect book for somebody who has never read a comic or graphic novel in their life, joining the ranks of those give-to-your-friends-who-don’t-read-comics books like Y: The Last Man. It’s a gateway drug in all the best ways.
Writer Josh Fialkov and artist Rahsan Ekedal have crafted a tale about a young man’s decent into madness that feels like the best suspense movie you’ve never seen that transcends the medium. Plenty of comics these days boast about having a “cinematic” feel, but Echoes actually delivers. It plays with you and moves the way a well shot film does. It reads like a book and moves like a movie, all while embracing the comic medium one hundred percent. It’s hybrid that can fit on just about anyone’s bookshelf.
It’s the kind of book the comic industry needed. It’s a book that easily shows readers just how great the comic medium is and that there is life after tights and fights. The hard part is getting it out of your head once you’ve finished it, not that we mind.
It’s truly a comic book that a someone who has never read or experienced sequential art can enjoy. If the industry puts out and supports more books like Echoes, then there might be a future for comic books after all. To put it simply, buy this book and then share it with somebody. You won’t regret it.
Echoes can, and should, be found at your local Brick & Mortar shop or at the Top Cow Store.