STAFF PICKS :: CAPTAIN VICTORY AND THE GALACTIC RANGERS #1 :: AUGUST 6, 2014

August 01, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: CAPTAIN VICTORY AND THE GALACTIC RANGERS #1: One of Jack Kirby’s last great series gets a shot of new energy this week. It’s written by Joe Casey, who wrote one of my favorite series in recent history, Dark Horse’s Catalyst Comix. Similarly to that book, Captain Victory teams Casey with a variety of talented artists to tell an offbeat sci-fi superhero story. This time around Casey teams up with Nathan Fox, Jim Rugg, Ulises Farinas, Ben Marra, Farel Dalrymple, Michel Fiffe and more, all creators who happen to make some of today’s most consistently inventive comics.  The preview pages suggest that these artists brought plenty of joy and enthusiasm to Kirby’s world, and I can’t wait to see their work on this underrated property.
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STAFF PICKS :: TRANSFORMERS VS. G.I. JOE #1 (AND MORE!) :: JULY 23, 2014

July 21, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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SETH’S PICKS: The week of San Diego Comic Con is always one where publishers unload lots of big titles. This week is no exception. In fact, there are so many notable titles that I couldn’t limit my Staff Pick to a mere single book. Let the lightning round begin!

1) Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1: As with most ’80s children, I loved both of these toy-cartoon-comics. The adult in me, however, hasn’t paid much attention to either franchise. Leave it to writer/artist Tom Scioli to be the creator to pull me back in. Aside from Scioli’s always impressive Kirby-inspired art, I must say that it was his obvious enthusiasm for this project that he displayed in conversation at HeroesCon that makes this the book I’m most looking forward to this week. transgij1

2) Street Angel HC: Jim Rugg is a creator whose work always demands attention. Though this is a new repackaging of Street Angel, it’s printed in a larger format than the original collection. If comics can do with more of anything, it’s larger Jim Rugg art. Plus, since this new collection is brought to you by Adhouse Books, you know it’ll be a handsome publication. streetangel2

3) Avengers 100th Anniversary Special: James Stokoe writes and draws this one shot. It features future versions of Doctor Strange, Beta Ray Bill and Rogue. That’s about all you need to know about this one. If for some reason you aren’t familiar with Stokoe’s Orc Stain and Wonton Soup, here’s your opportunity to discover a comics giant-in-the-making.

4) Ragnarok #1: This is Walt Simonson’s new creator owned project for IDW. It happens to be a Norse-themed book, which we all know Simonson to excel at. I could go on, but do you really need another reason to look at this besides Simonson?

5) Supreme: Blue Rose #1: Warren Ellis writes this new chapter of the Supreme saga. While that alone will be enough to entice some readers, the art is provided by Tula Lotay. Some of you may not be familiar with her beautiful work, but you will be soon enough. Don’t forget that Lotay will be signing at Heroes next Tuesday, July 29, so make sure to pick up your copy this week. TulaLotaySigning

6) Hellboy Artist’s Edition: IDW continues their barrage of epic artist editions with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. Giant format Mignola art painstakingly reproduced from the original pages? If that doesn’t warrant a spot on your bookshelf, I don’t know what will.

7) Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Abnett and Lanning Collection vol. 1: We’re only a week away from the Guardians of the Galaxy film. This series was a primary influence on the new film, and since speculators have driven the cost of the single issues and original collections sky high, here’s an affordable chance to see where it all started. In my opinion, this was a fun, inventive series that never got its due when first published. Even if you don’t care about seeing the movie, I think this is the Guardians series most worth your time.

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STAFF PICKS :: GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS :: OCTOBER 9, 2013

October 08, 2013 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS : This is comics. Unbridled imagination and compulsion. [adult swim] without the brackets. I can’t really tell you exactly what Ryan Browne‘s God Hates Astronauts is “about”; I can tell you it is one of the most wildly entertaining (and therefore endearing) books I’ve read in some time. This is the comic that that Axe Cop kid would make if he had access to an unsecured Internet connection and a time machine. GHA falls vaguely under the “superhero” umbrella, and while it may have a parodic tone, it’s not taking the piss. Rather, it’s a love letter to a vilified sub-sub-genre, much like Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca‘s exemplary Afrodisiac. This will not please readers of extreme indie or mainstream bias, as it’s a Frankenstein’s Monster of the two, but fans of humor and creativity will be delighted. I mean, the cast includes a character called King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger. If that doesn’t entice you, I’d suggest you stop reading comics altogether and take up a more meditative hobby, such as soap making, or maybe carp farming.

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SHELTON DRUM “TMSIDK” INTERVIEW ON BOING BOING

August 15, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, HeroesCon, Interviews

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Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (TMSIDK) is the interview podcast hosted by cartoonists Jim Rugg, Jasen Lex and Ed Piskor at Boing Boing. This year the TMSIDK guys had the rare opportunity to sit down with our fearless leader Shelton Drum and talk about his career as a comics retailer and convention organizer. It’s a great talk so check it out; you may even learn something you didn’t know about Shelton! Thanks to TMSIDK, Boing Boing and our tireless Panel Coordinator Andy Mansell. The great sound on this recording is provided by Adam Daughhetee

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HEROESCON 2013 :: NEW STORE ARRIVALS!

June 17, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Feast Your Eyes, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News, NEWS, Now Read This!

Every year during HeroesCon, we try to find time to run through Indie Island and pick up a few things we think should be in our store.  This year we managed to obtain a few excellent new items that we hope you’ll consider picking up during your next visit.

First up is an assortment of Michael Deforge books from our friends at Koyama Press.  Among them are Lose #2-4 and his newest collection, Very Casual.  Deforge’s art is interesting, trippy, and somehow still capable of appealing to all ages readers, as evidenced by his contributions to Adventure Time.

Speaking of Adventure Time, we stopped by Boom Studios‘ booth and picked up 43 – that’s right – 43 different covers from various Adventure Time comics.  More accurately, we picked up copies of Fiona and Cake #1-5, and Adventure Time (Finn and Jake) #1 – 16 plus copies of this year’s annual.  And, as I mentioned, there are multiple covers for many of these issues, including sought after ones by artists like Scott C., Maris Wicks, Joe Quinones, Stephanie Buscema, the aforementioned Michael Deforge, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka and more!

It wouldn’t be a HeroesCon if we didn’t stumble on a new small press book, and this year we found two from Galactic Press, a small Georgia-based company that introduced us to their books Galaxy Man and Hero Cats of Stellar City.  These are both fun all ages titles, with Galaxy Man offering up a twist on the Father/Daughter super hero team, and Hero Cats being…well…kind of self explanatory in its title.  We picked these up for our young customers, so if you’ve got young readers at home who are bored with the same old kinds of all ages stories, let them take a look at these during your next trip to Heroes.

As with every year, we had to stop by Adhouse Books.  Not only have they been a longtime anchor of Indie Island, and not only are they really great people, but they always have fascinating books on their tables.  This year we picked up another copy of the dense, epic masterpiece Duncan the Wonder Dog.  We’ve had this book in the past, but I couldn’t resist.  It’s really something to see and read, if you haven’t yet taken the plunge.

We also picked up copies of Pulpatoon Pilgrimage by Joel Priddy (outstanding cartooning), Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain by Debbie Huey(a fine all ages book), Ace Face: The Mod with the Metal Arms by Mike Dawson (another book with an aptly descriptive title), and Nobrow’s The Wolf’s Whistle by Bjorn Rune Lie and Co. (Think a European take on nursery rhymes filtered through the lens of Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox).

Also at the Adhouse booth I saw recent works from the guys behind Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, one of our favorite comics podcasts.  We picked up signed and sketched copies of Jim Rugg’s Drawings 030413.  If you liked last year’s Notebook Drawings, you’ll love this new sketchbook.  Jim continues to impress us with the virtuosity of his work, and his latest offering Supermag only solidifies the fact that he’s one of the most diverse cartoonists working today.  His podcast-mate Jasen Lex also had some books on display, and we picked up copies of Henchman, Washington Unbound #1, and The Bottom Feeders #1.  He’s another creator with a seemingly natural sense of design.  While I didn’t pick up any new books from their podcast-mate Ed Piskor, I did see even more of his pages from his upcoming Hip Hop Family Tree.  You might remember my interview with him about it HERE.  Trust me when I say that this is not only the visual history of a revolutionary genre of music, but one of the finest examples of cartooning I’ve seen of late.  If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, let us know and we’ll make sure you get a copy.

Finally, as Sunday was winding down, the talented Maris Wicks stopped by the Heroes booth and we made sure to pick up a few copies of her (and Jim Ottaviani‘s) excellent new graphic novel Primates.  This book focuses on the work of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas, how they changed the science of Primate study, and brought an increased awareness to these astounding animals.

You can find all of these books and more in our store right now.  Thanks to all these companies and creators, and be sure to pick up some of these titles the next time you visit Heroes.

 

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REVIEW :: SUPERMAG by JIM RUGG

April 08, 2013 By: Craig Fischer Category: DISCUSS, Feast Your Eyes, Looking Ahead, Reviews

The most important aesthetic breakthrough in comics in the 21st century is the increased attention (by both artists and critics) to the picture plane, the exploration of comics as a rapturous visual experience as well as a vehicle for narrative. The book most responsible for this shift is the anthology Kramers Ergot #4 (2003), which juxtaposed the deliberately crude, resolutely non-narrative aesthetics of Fort Thunder cartoonists like Mat Brinkman and Leif Goldberg with such story-based work as Jeffrey Brown’s autobio strips, Sammy Harkham’s Poor Sailor, and early excerpts from Frank M. Young and David Lasky’s Carter Family graphic novel. This mix of approaches made reading Kramers #4 a disorienting experience, a book that, in critic Bill Kartalopoulos’ words,

was clearly packed with a range of comics and art that included things I was comfortable with, things I was uncomfortable with, and things that I didn’t really know how to categorize. I bought it, without much equivocation. It seemed like I had to if I really wanted to know what was going on in comics.

Part of “what was going on” was a generation following Gary Panter’s example, dedicated to elaborate margins, psychedelic colors, ironic appropriations of mass cult logos and symbols, and mark-making independent of a line’s narrative function. It was suddenly OK to draw rough and be bold.

The Fort Thunder/Kramers paradigm shift has cross-pollinated comics culture in various ways. The newfound emphasis on design and decoration has snuck into some more mainstream direct-market books—I’m thinking of the Fort Thunder-meets-Heavy Metal success of Brandon Graham over at Image—even while Kramers #5 (2004) published my favorite narrative comic novella of the last decade, Kevin Huizenga’s “Jeepers Jacobs.” And then there’s Jim Rugg, an artist uncannily able to toggle between straight-forward storytelling and wild explorations of what Rugg himself, in the introduction to his new Supermag, calls “the narrative collapse.” (more…)

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HEROESCON 2013 :: GUEST LIST UPDATE

February 14, 2013 By: Rico Renzi Category: Guest List, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! You’re going to L-O-V-E this update! So many great guests are coming to HeroesCon this year but we don’t want to make your heads explode by telling you all their names at once. I think 10 is a good safe number to avoid head explosions.

 Eventbrite - HEROES CONVENTION 2013 :: 3 DAY REGISTRATION

ANDY BELANGER – Writer/Artist:  Black Church, Kill Shakespeare, Swamp Thing, Bottle of Awesome
NATE BELLEGARDE – Artist: Nowhere Men, Atom Eve, Hector Plasm
BECKY CLOONAN – Writer/Artist: The Mire, Batman, Wolves, Conan

TOM FOWLER – Artist: Hulk, Mysterius the Unfathomable, MAD Magazine

ED PISKOR – Writer/Artist: Hip Hop Family TreeWizzywig
JIM RUGG – Writer/Artist: Afrodisiac, Street Angel, The Guild, The PLAIN Janes, One Model Nation
TOM SCIOLI – Writer/Artist: American Barbarian, Godland, Captain America: Hail Hydra

ARTHUR SUYDAM – Artist: Marvel Zombies, Deadpool, Batman, Army of Darkness
CORY WALKER – Artist: Invincible, Destroyer, Shadowpact
LEE WEEKS – Artist: Daredevil, Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man

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