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July 7, 2010

Atomic Books Comics Preview - July 6th, 2010

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics and graphic novels.

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.

Blackest Night
by Geoff Johns / various

Like most comic fans, I love and hate large crossovers. I hate them because they are usually derivative of some other event/idea (even Blackest Night feels a little like Marvel Zombies which felt a little like DC's now-defunct Elseworlds imprint), and you have to struggle to keep track of the books in the series and try to read them in the right order which you can never do and... But I love them because it's fun to get excited for a big comic event, I do enjoy trying to keep up with the books, and every once in awhile, the crossover is good (as is the case with Blackest Night). This collection of DC's big event involves a rainbow of Green Lantern rings, wicked Black Rings, and the resurrection of dead heroes and villains intent on killing the living ones.

I Swallowed The Key To My Heart #1
by Liz Prince

Liz Prince mines her lovelife for our reading enjoyment in this new series of autobiographical romance comics. The larger format suits her style well. It's New Year's Eve and Liz is wrestling with three different boys. I Swallowed The Key To My Heart is pure indie comix joy.

Marvelman Family's Finest #1
by Mick Anglo / various

Marvelman (or known in America due to copyright reasons as "Miracleman") is the subject of some of the most coveted, discussed and hard to find comics to come about. Originally created in the UK as a cheap knockoff to Captain Marvel, in the early '80s the character received an "deconstruction overhaul" (I should copyright that phrase) at the hands of Alan Moore and later Neil Gaiman. An epic legal battle over the rights has kept the character and the comics in obscurity here for years. Last year Marvel acquired the rights to Miracleman/Marvelman and this title marks the beginning of the re-release of the best of the original series, with its original title.

Onikage: The Art Of Toshio Saeki
by Toshio Saeki

Saeki is an infamous "erotic" manga artist, but the works selected here are more disturbing than arousing - perversion, demons, violence, amputation abound. But this collection provides a gorgeous and lush insight into the workings of a Japanese master whose pieces have influenced the likes of Takashi Murakami. Pages with notes and beautiful color overlays show how Saeki created his final pieces.

The Playwright
by Eddie Campbell / Daren White

Eddie Campbell is perhaps one of the smartest cartoonists working today. To enjoy his work is to be challenged and mentally stimulated by it. Here he teams up with writer Daren White for a peculiar look into the sex life of a celibate, middle-aged man who enjoys watching birds dump on businessmen and who feels relief at the news of a friend with cancer.

Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail 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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