An Indie Eye on Previews: November

Yesterday I took a look at last month’s Previews (yes, I know, I’m late).  Now I am back for a look at the November Previews.    Again, I am looking at collected editions and one-shots from independent companies.  While there may be some exciting projects out there on a monthly basis, I am a wait for the trades guy!

Womanthology: Heroic (IDW, $50)  I really don’t think there is anything that I can say about this project that hasn’t already been said elsewhere (and probably better than I could!).  Now it is time to see if the book lives up to the circus that surrounded it!  Plus the proceeds go to charity.

Crawl to Me (IDW, $17.99) Crawl to Me takes place in an isolated country town during the frigid winter months. The story centers on a young family as they cope with a series of disturbing events that force them to question their relationship, their faith and their very existence. When husband and wife, Ryan and Jessica, move into their first home together, strange things occur. Half-eaten animals and other remains are found inside the basement’s crawl space. The family dog disappears within the house. Distant voices and singing are heard from beneath the floorboards. The couple begins to think that an evil entity is living inside their walls. Nothing can prepare them for what they’ll discover, and Ryan and Jessica soon realize that they must set aside all they believe to be real, in order to face the inevitable truth.

This sounds like it could be pretty good.  I have become more and more impressed with the horror genre in comics.  It all started with Welcome to Hoxford from IDW, so that is a pretty good pedigree.  However, Crawl to Me is being solicited as coming from a musician.  I have never been a big fan of creators from non-writing professions trying their hand at comics.  It never seems to end well.  So this one is a toss-up.    I found this by way of a preview:

My Friend Dahmer (Abrams Comicarts, $17.95)  We all have that one school friend– the strange kid, the class freak, the guy whose antics amused and entertained, maybe even alarmed us. The one who sticks in our heads even with the passing of the years. That classmate is invariably left behind when we graduate into the adult world, vanishing into memory, filed away with our old yearbooks and other teenage mementos. But every now and then, we wonder, whatever happened to that friend? For one man who grew up in a small town in Ohio, that question was answered by every media outlet in the world on July 22, 1991. For the friend in question was… Jeffrey Dahmer!

MY FRIEND DAHMER is the haunting, new graphic novel by Derf Backderf, an award-winning cartoonist and comix creator. In these pages, Backderf tries to make sense of the iconic monster who shared the same school hallways, cafeterias, libraries, and compulsive car rides. What emerges is a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling helplessly against the ghastly urges bubbling up from the deep recesses of his psyche. The Dahmer recounted here, universally regarded as an inhuman monster by the rest of the world, is a lonely oddball who, in reality, is all too human. A shy kid who is sucked inexorably into madness while the adults in his life fail to notice.

Ok.  I knew a few kids in school that I was pretty convinced had spent some time torturing small animals.  But I really don’t know what I would have done had it turned out one of them was responsible for truly ghastly murders!!!  Serial killers are a strange fascination of mine.  I wonder what it is that makes them tick.  How can someone kill over and over again (let alone once!!!)?  This seems like an interesting glimpse inside a little-understood period of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s life.

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes (Amulet Books, $10.95)   Explorer The Mystery Boxes Sc is an Urban Collector pre-order. Explorer is an exciting anthology of short graphic works by established artists and innovative newcomers in the comics and animation fields, who have each created a unique story on a central theme: a mysterious box and the marvels – or mayhem – inside. Collected and edited by the New York Times bestselling comics creator, Kazu Kibuishi, these well-written, beautifully-illustrated stories reflect a range of styles from the humorous to the fantastic.

Could there be anything less appropriate to follow a book about a serial killer???

The first Explorer book introduced us to Zita the Space Girl and Missile Mouse.  I can’t wait to see what this all-ages title has to offer.

Warren Ellis Atmospherics Color Edition (Avatar, $7.99)For the first time, comics legend Warren Ellis and painter Ken Meyer unleash the terrifying alien tale of Atmospherics in full color!  She’s in a hospital… or it may be a police station.  She’s been traumatized… or possibly she’s being held for questioning.  She’s either the only living witness of a cattle-mutilation style attack on humans, or a multiple killer whose psychotic reaction to heroin led to massacre.  Who is this mystery woman?  And will her interrogators survive the discovery of her true identity?

Warren Ellis?  Self contained?  I’m there!!!!!

Fantastic Life (Big IF Comics, $9.95) Fantastic Life is the critically-acclaimed Xeric Award-winning new graphic novel which follows the misadventures of a young slacker who begins to question his own sanity against the backdrop of punk rock, quantum mechanics, and the living dead.

Another Xeric Award winner.  I really don’t know much about this title, but the combination of the Xeric Award and the solid copy has me thinking I will check this out.

Neil (Cackling Imp Press, $15.00) Neil, our anti-hero, sifts through the maelstrom of his troubled life, looking for meaning in this modern-day fable, a black “dramedy.” His life is full of high jinks, love and loss. Mostly loss. As Neil feels increasingly taunted by his own life and surrounding environment, is he going mad? Or is someone, or some thing, out to get him? As his world starts to unravel, Neil unwittingly finds himself in the drivers’ seat of his own storybook, and he must choose how to end it!

Good to see our friend Jon Ascher gets his book in to Previews!  It is a haunting book that is beautiful to look at.  Ask for it by name!

The Avalon Chronicles (Oni Press, $19.99) When Aeslin Finn was a little girl, her parents read to her from a magical book called THE AVALON CHRONICLES. But that was a long time ago. Now a teenager, Aeslin is about to discover just how magical she and that book really are. Transported to the world of Avalon, she discovers a kingdom in need of a Dragon Knight – and the last dragon, Blue Moon, is waiting for her!

You had me at DeFilipis and Weir.  The fantasy element throws me a bit, but I am willing to give it a shot for those two.

Girl Genius Omnibus Volume 1 (Tor Books, $34.99) Girl Genius, the multiple Hugo Award–winning steampunk webcomic by Phil and Kaja Foglio, now collected in hardcover! The Industrial Revolution has become all-out war! Mad Scientists, gifted with the Spark of genius, unleash insane inventions on an unprepared Europe. For centuries, the Heterodyne family of inventors kept the peace, but the last Heterodyne disappeared twenty years ago, leaving their ally Baron Klaus Wulfenbach to maintain order with his fleet of airships and army of unstoppable, if not very bright, Jaeger Monsters.
At Transylvania Polygnostic University, Agatha Clay dreams of being a scientist herself, but her trouble concentrating dooms her to be a lowly minion at best. When her locket, a family heirloom, is stolen, Agatha shows signs of having the Spark in a spectacular, destructive fashion and captures the attention of the Baron—and the Baron’s handsome young son, Gilgamesh.

I must confess to not having read any of this series.  But this seems like an opportunity to start!  I love steampunk, and I am always on the lookout for books that I can share with my daughters.  Definitely giving this one a shot!

Tezuka’s Dororo Complete Edition (Vertical, $24.95) Dororo’s unique story, set in a swashbuckling environment, made it a shoe-in for live action film adaptation, and its potential for providing such story content in the U.S. is only natural. This action-filled tale of vengeance revolves as much around an Oedipal urge to punish the abandoning father as it does around the characters’ confrontations with ghosts and monsters. An edge-of-your-seat manga of redemption.

880 pages of Tezuka storytelling for twenty-five bucks?!?!  That is a steal!  Tezuka’s storytelling continues to be fresh and relevant today. Despite the fact that this was originally published fifty years ago, I am confident that I will enjoy it.  Kudos to Vertical for making the effort to get all of Tezuka’s works in print!

Twin Spica Vol. 11 (Vertical, $13.95) Graduation looms for what is left of the Tokyo Space School’s first class. As the teens focus on their final days in school, many of them take the opportunity to finally share some long-hidden feelings and settle a few differences. And finally, Japan’s first student astronaut is selected. Will Asumi finally be able to drive the rocket of her childhood dreams?

The best manga series (heck, the best COMIC) being published today comes to a close with this final volume.  I was there at the beginning and I will be there at the end.  This book has never failed to impress.

That’s it.  Another great month of independent books.  Visit your local comic shop and order some great books!

This entry was posted in Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>