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PG Previews:

November 2010

Below are the comics, manga and graphic novels I’m most looking forward to based on publisher advance listings due to be released in November 2010 (although actual dates may vary).

A Graphic Cosmogeny
by various
Nobrow Press

The publisher says:
24 artists and comic creators each deal with a tale of creation over the course of seven pages. Readers will be familiar with cosmic farts, oversized bearded men creating the universe in a week, cataclysmic divorces, giants with irritable bowel syndrome, master carpenters and galactic seeds. Now is the time to turn the reins over to another bunch of creative people to come up with more ludicrous answers to that timeless question: where did this all come from? 176-page colour hardcover.

Paul Gravett says:
By far Nobrow’s most ambitious production yet, a landmark in British art comics and their most emphatic commitment to encouraging illustrators to make narratives, this promises to be rich in both style and substance. Contributors include Jakob Hinrichs, Stuart Kolakovic, Jon McNaught, Luc Melanson, Ben Newman, Luke Pearson, Andrew Rae, Brecht Vandenbroucke and Nick White. And they’ve kindly asked me to pen the intro. There will be a launch exhibition at Nobrow‘s cool gallery/studio/shop in Shoreditch.

Acme Novelty Library Vol. 20
byChris Ware
Drawn & Quarterly

The publisher says:
Jordan Wellington Lint, 51, is Chief Executive Officer of Lint Financial Products, a company he began serving in 1985 as assistant and advisor before working his way up its corporate ladder to record-setting innovation in the fields of finance and high-yield investment. In his seven years as the head of Lint, Jordan has grown the company from a business lender and real estate speculator to a leading provider of network financial infrastructure services, all the while positioning Lint as a model of corporate integrity and high-yield, low-risk product. Lint’s vision has made him one of the most influential and widely sought-after leaders in the complex Omaha securities industry, and his fresh approach to an understanding of local problems, leadership and determination have enabled Lint to grow, outdistance and outpace its competitors. Lint graduated from UNL in 1981 with a BA in Business and briefly studied music and recording in Los Angeles before returning to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where he has continued his life journey ever since. In his ongoing role as Chief Executive Officer and his dual roles as public servant and father, Lint continues to put his creative leadership and vision to work in a variety of challenging settings. He is married and is the father of two boys. The ACME Novelty Library Number 20 comprises a contributing chapter to cartoonist Chris Ware’s gradual accretion of the ongoing graphic novel experiment “Rusty Brown.” 72-page colour hardcover.

Paul Gravett says:
With Ware’s latest book, you will hold a whole life in your hands. You may have come across Ware’s new character Lint in his contribution of one compact life-story to Zadie Smith’s The Book of Other People. If you are in New York, there is a show of the original drawings at the Adam Baumgold Gallery from 16 September to 23 October. Take a look at the site for images of the original line artworks and the colour double-sided poster for the show. Their press release explains further: ‘This installment of the “ACME Novelty Library” chronicles the life of Jordan Wellington Lint (b.1958) from cradle to grave, each year of Lint’s life represented by a few representative seconds of consciousness per page. As he grows from child to sullen teen to angry young man to repressed upstanding citizen - and moves towards his inevitable end - Lint adapts to his own social advantages, personal mistakes and the lies he tells himself to somehow end up feeling pretty okay about himself. Ware approximates Lint’s inner life at every stage through a muddled stream of overlaid thoughts, personal symbols and mislaid memories, providing insight into the mind of a bemused father, ineffectual businessman and aspiring rock musician.’

Axe Cop Vol. 1
by Malachai & Ethan Nicolle
Dark Horse Comics

The publisher says:
Bad guys, beware! Evil aliens, run for your lives! Axe Cop is here, and he’s going to chop your head off! We live in a strange world, and our strange problems call for strange heroes. That’s why Axe Cop—along with his partner Flute Cop and their pet T. rex Wexter—is holding tryouts to build the greatest team of heroes ever assembled. Created by five year—old Malachai Nicolle and illustrated by his older brother, the cartoonist Ethan Nicolle, Axe Cop Volume 1 collects the entire original run of the hit webcomic that has captured the world’s attention with its insanely imaginative adventures. Whether he’s fighting gun—toting dinosaurs, teaming up with Ninja Moon Warriors, or answering readers’ questions via his insightful advice column, “Ask Axe Cop,” the adventures of Axe Cop and his incomparable team of crime fighters will delight and perplex even the most stoic of readers. 120-page B&W trade paperback.

Paul Gravett says:
Webcomics boy-wonder Malachai may have been only five when he started inventing this nutso serial for his older brother Ethan to draw, but the inane, insane results prove that he’s got more uninhibited imagination (and some inevitable jubilant grossness) than most ‘hot’ grown-up scribes hacking out monthly pamphlets from the American ‘Big Two’.

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Being Bonkers

by Brick
Knockabout Comics

The publisher says:
The world is plagued by madness. With leaders bent on insane policies and too many citizens locked in crippling depression, normality seems elusive and questionable. Part travelogue, part indictment of mad medicine, Depresso is Tom Freeman’s hilarious journey through the vagaries of the system to emerged scathed but content with being ‘bonkers’. The story unfolds over several years, in China and the UK, during which anti-depressants reduce Tom to a zombie and alternative therapies drive him to comic re-examinations of his life, his work and relationships. A poignant and funny semi-fictional account of depression and medication. 256-page B&W paperback.

Paul Gravett says:
Brick’s semi-autobiographical memoir is funny, unflinching and ultimately triumphant, comics as art therapy for both author and reader. Extracts are already being used to assist depression sufferers. Brick has posted two whole chapters on his site: ‘What follows are two consecutive chapters sampled from Depresso, beginning with China Crisis and then Graveyard Shift. Depresso will be launched on 10/10/10 or 10 October 2010, World Mental Health Day, at the Comica Festival exhibition - full details to follow.

by Gerry Alanguilan
Slave Labor Graphics

The publisher says:
Elmer, the acclaimed graphic novel by Philippine cartoonist Gerry Alanguilan about talking chickens, will finally see print in the United States this November in a new edition released from SLG Publishing. A window into a world where chickens have suddenly acquired the intelligence and consciousness of humans, Elmer tells the story of a family of chickens who struggles to survive in a strange and dangerous world. While Elmer is basically a book about talking chickens, SLG Publisher Dan Vado says it should not be dismissed as funny animal book. ‘This is not about talking chickens the way Babe was about talking pigs’, Vado observed ‘Elmer has more in common with Animal Farm than any talking dog movie.’ Creator Gerry Alanguilan has worked in comics for some time on various work-for-hire projects from major publishers, but when casting around for ideas for his own project he looked no further than his own front window. ‘I’ve always been surrounded by chickens. I find them fascinating and I often found myself wondering what if… what if they could think like us and talk like us?’ said Alanguilan ‘What would they say? What would they do? It was a ridiculous notion, but I tried to approach it very seriously and see what I would come up with.’ Self-publishing the series in The Philippines, Alanguilan’s comic attracted attention internationally for its mirror-like look at the world we live in. Neil Gaiman called it ‘heartbreaking and funny and so beautifully drawn.’ You will never look at chickens the same way again. 144-page black-and-white graphic novel.

Paul Gravett says:
Forget Foghorn Leghorn, forget Chicken Run, forget Chicken Little. Elmer is in another realm, an unexpectedly challenging and moving allegory and a significant world-class modern graphic novel from the Philippines. I’ve been in contact over the years with Alanguilan and admired his work, especially his solo, self-generated stuff. This deserves to be his breakthrough. Get a free PDF of the first 30 pages of Elmer and judge for yourself.

H Day
by Renée French

The publisher says:
In H Day, Renée French explores, through metaphor and in pictures, her struggles with migraine headaches, marshaling troops of insects, beasts and humanoids to envision the processes that result in such hideous sensations. A sweeping, often tense narrative of invasion, repulsion and liberation, H Day can be read both as an oblique autobiography and as a suspenseful fantasy story. 200-page 6x7 inch hardcover.

Paul Gravett says:
That’s ‘H’ as in headache. Here’s another addition to the growing ‘Graphic Medicine’ genre, in this case a migraine sufferer’s own allegorical battle with and her victory over this debilitating illness. French’s unsettling gossamer pencillings belie their weighty symbolic and psychological clout.  Fuller review to come, but meantime you can read my 2007 review of her previous Top Shelf graphic novel The Tickling.

Heart Transplant
by Andrew Vachss & Frank Caruso
Dark Horse

The publisher says:
For more than three decades, best-selling author Andrew Vachss has fought the worst kind of bully: child abusers. In his law practice, he’s represented children and youth exclusively. As art director for King Features for two decades, Frank Caruso has developed a style that speaks to all ages, for all ages. Together, they invented the ‘triptych haiku’, which has proven unparalleled in its ability to communicate. It was their success in that collaboration that inspired them to develop Heart Transplant, a book that must succeed at the same kind of communication in order to achieve its goal: resetting the cultural software so that people change the way they think about bullying. The anchoring essay - by clinical social worker Zak Mucha - explains in detail what the reader has just experienced ... and why that experience could change our world.

School bullying is universally decried, bemoaned, and condemned.  And on the rise. Whether it’s a teenager committing suicide as a result of a Facebook posting or a group of schoolchildren taunting another child with autism and filming it for the “entertainment” of others, the longest-lasting, deepest-scarring impact of bullying is emotional, not physical. Failure to understand this has handicapped an already-insipid series of failed “solutions.” How many more teens have to kill themselves before we do something about it, beyond making it a new talkshow topic?

Heart Transplant is aimed at actually changing the way we deal with perhaps the most critical issue for children and parents alike today. To accomplish this mission, an entirely new medium was created. Neither a graphic novel nor a self-help book, it uses elements of both to reach parents and children alike. The intermingling of word and art is achieved so smoothly that it is experienced as one does words-and-music: you may forget the lyrics and hum the tune, but that very act evokes the lyrics. And if it’s the lyrics that stick with you, you’ll find yourself humming the tune. The anchoring essay (by clinical social worker Zak Mucha) explains in prose detail what the reader has just experienced. You’ll find this book in the “Parenting” and “Young Adult” sections of your bookstore. Why? Because there is no ‘Bullying” section. And if Heart Transplant hits either target, it will hit both. Nothing like this has ever been tried before. But if it works, the high risk will be rewarded by the greatest prize of all.

Paul Gravett says:
From the sample spreads I’ve seen, Vachss and Caruso are doing something important and hopefully effective with their mixage of the verbal and visual. You can watch a clip of a Vachss interview here. Is it a graphic novel or not? Who cares, if it gets its message across.

Henry & Glenn Forever
by Tom Neely.
Microcosm Publishing
New edition with ten new pages! Starring super-notorious musclebound punk/metaldudes Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins (with a little help from super-notorious soft-rockdudes Hall and Oates) Henry & Glenn Forever is a love story to end all love stories! The premise of this Cantankerous Titles-released comic is explained at the front of the zine: “Henry and Glenn are very good ‘friends.’ They are also ‘room mates.’ Daryl and John live next door. They are satanists.” What follows is ultra-metal violence and cryfest diary entries, cringing self-doubt and mega-hilarious emo-meltdowns. Who knew Danzig was such a vulnerable, self-conscious sweety-pie? Who knew Rollins was such a caring spouse? Who knew Hall and Oates were so infernally evil - yet so considerate? Well, illustrating/writing team Igloo Tornado (featuring super-awesome comixdude Tom Neely) did and they kicked down 66 fully-illustrated pages with it. Genius on all fronts. Terrifyingly cute. Cutely terrifying. As the real-life Rollins says, quoted on the back cover, ‘Has Glenn seen this? Trust me, he would not be impressed.’ 66-page square paperback.

Paul Gravett says:
This really is some pretty hilarious, subversive stuff. You can read loads of rave notices here. Not everyone likes this satirical strip, though - notably Glenn Danzig himself. Tom Neely has created a final colour strip recording Glenn’s response to being offered a free copy and has made it available as a poster. Neely comments: ‘This is the mostly true story of Glenn’s reaction to our comic book Henry & Glenn Forever. Thanks to J. Bennett at Decibel for lending me this story for my final HG4Ever strip, and for attempting to give Glenn a copy of our book that we all signed for him. As you can see, Danzig didn’t even wanna look at it. Sorry we made you sad Glenn.’

Jeffrey Jones: A Life in Art
by Jeffrey Jones

The publisher says:
Over the past 40 years, there have been few artists who have received as much acclaim and garnered as much attention as Jeffrey Jones. One of the most significant artists of the 20th Century is now one of the most significant artists of the 21st Century. From his early comic book work for Heavy Metal and National Lampoon, to his popular book covers for such authors as Dean Koontz and Andre Norton, to his move into fine art, Jones has inspired generations of painters and artists. This beautiful volume of his personal favorites will only enhance his reputation and cement his standing as one of America’s greatest living artists. 256-page full-colour hardcover.

Paul Gravett says:
Now this takes me back to those sensuous, surreal Idyll pages in National Lampoon, followed by I’m Age strips in the early Heavy Metals, that classy 1973 ‘overground’ comic Spasm, and of course the 1979 Dragon’s Dream artbook The Studio, named after the artists’ group, which lavishly showcased Jeff Jones alongside Barry Windsor-Smith, Mike Kaluta and Bernie Williamson, four of my absolute favourites at the time. Jones has since then gone through some considerable changes, from sexual reassignment surgery to a tragic breakdown, losing her home, studio and ability to work. Fortunately, since 2004 she has found her way back to producing new pieces including a new two-page comic ‘I Bled The Sea’. This collection reaffirms her status as, in the words of the late Frank Frazetta, ‘the greatest living painter’, an artist everyone should (re)-discover. Welcome back.

Krazy Kat & The Art of George Herriman
by Craig Yoe
Abrams ComicArts

The publisher says:
Krazy Kat & the Art of George Herriman is a tribute to one of the most influential and innovative comic strips and creators of all time. This unique collection of rare art, essays, memorabilia, and biography highlights the career of the first genius of comics, George Herriman, and his iconic creations, Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse. During its 31-year run, Krazy Kat was enormously popular with the public, as well as with influential writers, artists, and intellectuals of the time. This book includes original essays by Jay Cantor, Douglas Wolk, Harry Katz, Richard Thompson, Dee Cox (Herriman’s granddaughter), Craig McCracken, Bill Watterson, and authorized reprints of two seminal essays on Herriman by Gilbert Seldes and e. e. cummings, alongside newly discovered vintage essays by TAD, Summerfield Baldwin, and Toots Herriman. With Krazy Kat & the Art of George Herriman, Craig Yoe reveals this influential artist and writer for a whole new generation. 176-page full-colour hardcover.

Paul Gravett says:
This year marks the centenary of George Herriman‘s fascinating feline and Yoe celebrates it here with bravura panache!  A perfect accompaniment to Fantagraphics’ complete strip reprintings.

Lone Pine
by Jed McGowan
Adhouse Books

The publisher says:
A distraught man retreats to the woods with a simple question on his mind: why did his last relationship end? He’s soon deep in a world of cryptic messages, shadowy figures, guns and philosophical crisis. A page-turning mystery told with exciting formal invention, Lone Pine is Jed McGowan’s debut graphic novel and a 2010 Xeric winner.

Paul Gravett says:
Take a look at this preview of the sparse, moody scene-setting, presented, as the book will be, in black and a second-colour light blue, and you’ll see why McGowan’s debut has caught lots of people’s eyes. He even has some fun snaps of his book running off the Heidelberg Speedmaster at a local printers in Pasadena.

Pebble Island
by Jon McNaught

The publisher says:
Drawing from memories of a childhood home in the Falklands, Jon McNaught uses wordless comic strips and intricate prints to form a playful study of isolation and adventure: children gather in sprawling peat bogs where ruined military vehicles become secret bases, a fisherman settles down in his cluttered cabin to watch the Saturday night movie, and sheep thoughtfully wander the hills, grazing in the billowing grass. 38-page hardcover.

Paul Gravett says:
I have already singled out McNaught for special attention in a recent Article here for his Nobrow debut Birchfield Close and this book similarly expands on a suite of screenprints and a five-page comic strip you can look at here. Mature, understated and evocative.

Return of the Dapper Men
by Jim McCannJanet Lee
Archaia Entertainment LCC

The publisher says:
Long from now in a land called Anorev, there lived, well, to be honest, not many people. There were no adults, only children. Why? That’s coming. Patience is something that always needs learning. But it hadn’t always been that way. Nor had this always been the name of this place. Some thought the land was named after a book, but there was no way to tell. There were very few books left and those that remained were not used for reading at all but for standing upon, for there was much that was out of reach.And so begins Return of the Dapper Men, a tale of a world in between time, where children have played so long it’s almost become work, machines have worked so long they have begun to play, and all the clocks have stopped at the same time. This is how this land has remained, until 314 dapper-looking gentlemen rain down from the sky and set off in different directions to start the world again. Now Ayden, the only boy to still ask questions; Zoe, the robot girl all other machines hold dear; and the Dapper Man known only as ‘41’ must discover what happened that made time stop, understand what their true places are in this world, and learn what ‘tomorrow’ really means. The sun is setting for the first time in memory, and once that happens, everything changes. Return of the Dapper Men is a visually stunning fairy tale that combines steampunk with fantasy and science fiction with Renaissance style, brought to life from the minds of award-winning playwright and comic book writer Jim McCann (New Avengers: The Reunion) and critically acclaimed visual artist Janet Lee. Together, these two have created a world where J.M. Barrie, Lewis Carroll and Maurice Sendak meet Jim Henson and Tim Burton - all sharply dressed in a pin-stripe suit and a dapper bowler hat. Tick tock, time is about to start.

Paul Gravett says:
Now this all-ages original graphic novel looks different right away thanks to Janet Lee’s decoupage artwork. You can watch a short video interview with her explaining her technique.  And McCann, having made some buzz for finding some sparks of life scripting some of Marvel’s B-listers, will show what he can do when freed from properties and continuities and truly creating for himself. And all dressed up in a smart cover designed by lettering wizard Todd Klein. Archaia scored a big All-Ages hit with David Petersen’s Mouse Guard - this could well be their next.

Salvatore Vol. 1
by Nicolas De Crécy

The publisher says:
The best-selling and acclaimed author of ‘Glacial Period’ in the Louvre collection returns with a new series starring a dog auto repair mechanic so in demand, he can afford to move his garage to a distant hard-to-reach peak for peace and… privacy. The privacy, as it turns out, is to build a mode of transportation that can get him through earth and seas to his beloved far, far away. As unpredictable and totally original as ‘Glacial Period,’ this is a Plymptonesque tale filled with absurd, irresistible bittersweet humor.

Paul Gravett says:
Two volumes of De Crécy’s fabulous albums for Dupuis are compiled into one graphic novel here, shrunk down perhaps a bit too much to fully luxuriate in his resplendent illustrations, but still a wonder and finally in English. You can glimpse some textless pages here. A fourth in the French album series, Retour à Brest, is released from Dupuis on 17 September and is previewed here. You can also read my review of his wordless graphic novel Prosopopus.

Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist
by Sophie Crumb
Edited by Aline and Robert Crumb
W.W. Norton

The publisher says:
A groundbreaking work of striking originality that charts a young artist’s life through her own drawings-from toddlerhood to motherhood. Sophie Crumb’s startlingly expressive drawings track her development as an artist from age two to twenty-eight. Sifting through dozens of their daughter’s remarkable sketchbooks, our generation’s most celebrated graphic artists have, with their only child, Sophie, now selected more than three hundred paintings and drawings that depict her artistic and psychological maturation. Revealing how an original artistic sensibility is both innate and nurtured, the book features six separate developmental stages, including Sophie’s earliest drawings, the elaborate fantasy world of her childhood, her late adolescent rebellion, and her coming of age in the milieu of the Paris circus world and New York’s ‘seventh circle of hell.’ The drawings from her early twenties - of tattoo artists, dangerous men - reflect a personal anguish that finally ends with her becoming a mother and creating a family of her own. Illuminating and intimate, this book is a dramatic yet subtle statement on the evolution of personality as seen through art. 272-page colour hardcover.

Sophie Crumb says:
It has about 300 drawings from age 2.5 to now (28), all done in sketchbooks or whatever, loose paper. My parents archived the best of them in obsessive files, and we’d been thinking for a while that it would make an interesting book to compile a bunch of them. None of them were done for printing purposes, it’s all personal, spontaneous weird shit. The point of the book is not “Hey I’m Sophie, look at Sophie’s drawings, here’s a drawing of Sophie by Sophie, this my life, etc. etc.”, although it does have that personal aspect. We thought it could be meaningful to see this spiraling evolution, to see how the drawings evolve depending on where I was at the time, doing what… it’s intended to be kind of psychologically interesting in that way, I hope it is.

Paul Gravett says:
Sophie Crumb was one of the star international guests as the very first Comica Festival in 2003 and tattooed live on stage for us. This is an illuminating drawn chronicle of how one person gradually perceives and represents her world and her worldview.

The Caterer
by Steve Aylett
Floating World

The publisher says:
33 years after the spectacular collapse of Pearl Comics, a celebration of the cause of that collapse - Jeff Lint’s THE CATERER. FLOATING WORLD COMICS have now produced an expanded edition of THE CATERER issue 3, with bonus material. Described by Alan Moore as “the holy barnacle of failure”, The Caterer dragged Pearl into a legal hell when its hero spent the whole of Issue 9 on a killing spree in Disneyland. The smirking Jack Marsden became a cult figure and role model for enigmatic idiots in the mid-70s. His style and catchphrases were such an insider code that hundreds of people got beaten up by baffled or enraged onlookers. Steve Aylett and Floating World present a reprint of Issue 3: this stand-out issue includes the beginning of Marsden’s goat obsession, a fierce appearance by the ghostly Hoston Pete, a great example of the Marsden ‘stillness’ and no less than four classic Marsden hallucinations. The leaning Chief Bayard’s preoccupation with our hero results in the violent deaths of six people, and Jack delivers his infamous ‘lipstick for dogs’ diatribe. Color throughout - full use of the word ‘thru’, the term ‘strides’ for pants, and repetition of the phrase ‘stroll on’, never used by a single person in real life ever. For those who read LINT and those who love Lint, an artifact to baffle friends and scorch the eyelashes of one’s enemies. Includes ads and letters pages in the Caterer style, plus posters and short eds about The Caterer and Jeff Lint. This is an oblong gift to fans of 70s pulp and of cult author Jeff Lint.

Paul Gravett says:
‘Once again tatty curtains part on the true situation.’ Aylett eerily channels Marvel’s in-bred house style - think Don Perlin or Jim Mooney - and loquacious bombast - Don McGregor or Steve Gerber - and distills them - ‘All is equalised’ - into some dream artifact from the flared, pre-punk mid-Seventies. Be careful dipping into these intoxicating sample pages. The first taste always comes free.

The DFC Library
David Fickling Books
£9.99 each

The publisher says:
David Fickling Books is proud to present the second set of titles in The DFC Library, a bold new collection of comic stories - the most popular strips from the much-loved weekly comic, the DFC, in book form. Each book showcases a single strip from the DFC and features stand-alone content in full colour.

Monkey Nuts:
The Diamond Egg of Wonders

by The Etherington Brothers
David Fickling Books

Welcome to the Isla de Monstera, home of the world’s only tap-dancing, banana-loving, rust-fighting, coconut-talking, crimebusting organisation… Monkey Nuts! In their very first adventure, Sid, Rivet and Chief Tuft are forced to do battle against a horde of random oddballs and weirdos. When a mysterious signal begins to drive the local loonies into a crazy rage, the Monkey Nuts team have no choice but to grab their masks and get heroic.

Vern & Lettuce
by Sarah McIntyre
David Fickling Books

Welcome to Pickle Rye, home of best friends Lettuce the rabbit and Vern the sheep. Join them for baking, birthdays, bunny-sitting and a quest for fame in the big city. Vern and Lettuce reach for the stars, but danger is lurking just beneath their feet… Furry escapades from the one of the all-time favourite strips from the DFC.



Mo-Bot High
by Neill Cameron
David Fickling Books

Asha’s new school is insane. Everyone has giant robots that launch out of their mobile phones. She’s only been there five minutes when the school bully challenges her to a fight. So now it’s not just about figuring out who’s cool and who isn’t. She has to learn to pilot her Mo-bot. And fast. But while Asha gets to grips with her Mo-bot’s moves and customises her DMC, she’s being watched… Her piloting skills are about to be put to the ultimate test, and there’s nothing her new friends can do to help.

Paul Gravett says:
The DFC Library follow up their first three fine Spring launches with this triple whammy of compilations. Even if you’ve enjoyed these series already in the much-missed weekly comic, you’ll want them again in these deluxe hardbacks crisply printed on great paper. Each title is quite distinct in tone and appeal, whether it’s the full-on zaniness of Monkey Nuts, the funny-animal charms of Vern & Lettuce or the high-tech robo-riot of Mo-Bot High, but the whole trio represents some of the liveliest, loveliest all-ages comics you’ll find anywhere today. Choose from the six DFC Library albums and find perfect presents for every kid in your life, and the big kid in you.

The Extremist
by Peter Milligan & Ted McKeever
DC Vertigo

The publisher says:
Now, back in print! One of Vertigo’s first creator owned books, The Extremist stretched the limits of comics storytelling. From writer Peter Milligan (Hellblazer, X-Statics, Human Target) and artist Ted McKeever (Doom Patrol, Faith) the 4-issue mini-series took superheroics to their most risqué. Murder, sex, amorality - anything is permissible with the suit on. The Extremist follows three ordinary people who succumb to the allure of a mask and a costume and all the power that comes with it, creating a shocking and controversial exploration of the nature of freedom and sexuality.

Paul Gravett says:
I was surprised to realise that this 1993 mini-series had never been compiled into a trade paperback before and is finally gathered now as the second issue of the new Vertigo Resurrected project. This might not be quite so steamily controversial today seventeen years later, but it should stand up still as some of the best, unfettered expression from both of these creators.

The Last Days of American Crime
by Rick Remender & Greg Tocchini
Radical Publishing

The publisher says:
In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans in secret to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. To keep this from the public, the government creates a distraction, installing a new currency system using digital charge cards. Enter Graham Brick, a career criminal never quite able to hit the big score. In a grand scheme, Graham intends to steal one of the charging stations, skip the country and live off unlimited funds for the rest of his life. But the media has leaked news of the anti-crime signal one week before it was to go live… and now Graham and his team have just a few days to turn the crime of the century into the last crime in American history.

Paul Gravett says:
My manga pal Don Murray alerted me to this series which I keep missing in pamphlet form. Perhaps wrongly, a lot of Radical’s output has struck me as distinctly un-radical and more like fancy calling cards and low-cost pre-production designs for what want to be generic Hollywood schlockbusters. But Remender & Tocchini’s visceral sleaze-fest clearly delivers the grit, gore, guns, gangs and girls of the pulpiest, noirest crime fiction. To see if it appeals, take a look at this free sampler from the third issue online.

Tonoharu Vol. 2
by Lars Martinson
Top Shelf Productions

The publisher says:
As the months go by, Dan Wells settles into his life as an assistant junior high school teacher in the rural Japanese village of Tonoharu. Isolated from those around him by language and cultural barriers, he leads a solitary existence, until the day an unrequited crush extends him a dinner invitation. What follows shakes up Dan’s quiet life and expands his social circle into unexpected quarters. But do these new associates exert an influence that is beneficial, or detrimental? A 160-Page, two-colour hardcover with full-colour dust jacket with gold highlights.

Paul Gravett says:
I am looking forward to the second episode of four in this acclaimed largely autobiographical comic about alienation and connection. It gives rare insights into the experiences and emotions of a ‘gaijin’ living and working in contemporary Japan. Martinson has posted some enticing sample panels on his site.

Posted: September 12, 2010


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