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April 21, 2010

Atomic Books Comics Preview - April 21, 2010

In the Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights several new comics and graphic novels released this week.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. The Mobtown Shank is his blog, and his comic Said What? is syndicated weekly in the Baltimore Sun's B-Paper


The Culture Corner
by Basil Wolverton

Hands down, Basil Wolverton is one of the best illustrators of the 20th century. I put him right up there with Robert Crumb. This collection of strips from 60 years ago is a masterpiece of visual humor and a feast of Wolverton's trademark quirky wordplay. Now if someone would please just collect his grotesques (like Lena the Hyena) into one volume, I'd be in Wolverton heaven.


Death Trap
by Lane Milburn

Lane Milburn is part of Baltimore's famed Closed Caption Comics collective. Here he breaks off on his own (with some publishing help from a Xeric Grant) to put out this graphic novel of two stories. "Perceived Obsolescence" is a full color futuristic, sci-fi short story which also turns out to be a smart commentary on military contractors. "Death Trap" is a weird Creepy-esque horror story about kids going off into the woods to hang out and meeting murderous weird creatures in search of a (literally) captive audience to witness their experimental music. Milburn's style manages to feel both classic and thoroughly modern at the same time.


Kenk: A Graphic Portrait
by Rick Poplak / Nick Marinkovich

This is a fascinating piece of graphic journalism/illustrated non-fiction/or whatever you want to call a non-fiction graphic novel about Igor Kenk, the world's most prolific bicycle thief.


Undeleted Scenes
by Jeffrey Brown

This book collects a lot of Jeffrey Brown's shorter works, and as a result – it contains a lot of examples of Brown's different moods. If you want funny, it's here. If you want autobiographical, it's here. If you want self-parody, it's here. Undeleted Scenes shows a comic artist playfully experimenting with ideas.


Young Lions
by Blaise Larmee

Young Lions is a somewhat controversial book (which we're always happy to see) around the Atomic offices. Larmee's work, it seems, can be extremely polarizing. The illustration style is as wistful as the characters – urban youth who search for meaning in art and themselves. But is it pretty and heady or is it an ingenious put-on? Well, the fun of Young Lions is in figuring that out.


Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail benn@atomicbooks.com. If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.

Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books blog
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Said What?


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Atomic Books Comics Preview lists (weekly new comics & graphic novel highlights)

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)


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