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July 20, 2011

Atomic Books Comics Preview - July 20th, 2011

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.

Atomic Books was recently named one of Bizarre Magazine's 51 geekiest places on the planet, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


It's the week before the big show - San Diego ComiCon - the Godzilla of pop-culture entertainment events. And traditionally, that week is usually pretty slow for comics/graphic novel releases. What usually happens is that many of my favorite publishers hold back, debut and and pre-sell a lot of their books to the folks fortunate (and dedicated) enough to be able to cram themselves into the San Diego Convention Center. For those of us who comprise a majority of the the rest of the world who don't live near San Diego or can't afford to go, well, we just have to keep on waiting for the books we know are coming and can't wait to get our grubby mitts on. Fortunately, there are still some awesome comic-y finds this week.


Alan Moore: Storyteller
by Gary Spencer Millidge

This is the definitive book on what many justifiably consider to be the greatest comics writer of all time. Millidge, with the cooperation of Moore (a man famously uncooperative), compiles interviews - many new and unpublished, rarely seen art and photographs. This is a beautiful book on a fascinating and curious subject. And, it also comes with a CD with excerpts Moore's multi-media shows and some of his songs. If you love serious comics, you love Alan Moore. And if you love Alan Moore - you love this book. And if you love his book, well, why don't you marry it, huh? Or at least peruse a copy as soon as you can.


How to be the Best Bubblewriter in the World Ever
by Linda Scott

Scott has created a fun workbook for all ages that will show you how to create your very own, hand-drawn alphabets. It's stimulating, instructive and the alphabets range from hairy-monster based to robot-based.


Morph Traits
by Daniel Higgs / Kyle Ranson

This collaboration is 16 years in the making, and 3 additional years in the finalizing - so really, it's almost like 20 years in the making. These drawings were an exercise between Higgs and Ranson, and now they're collected here. Limited to only 500 copies.


Sergio Aragones Funnies #1
by Sergio Aragones

Sergio Aragones is a genius. Plain and simple. His work for MAD Magazine is iconic. His Groo the Wanderer for Marvel is beloved. And he's returning to a monthly comics schedule with Matt Groening's (The Simpsons) Bongo Comics. You can't read Aragones and not laugh. It's a physical impossibility.


Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
by Grant Morrison

Like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison is also widely considered to be one of the most important comics writers of all time. In this work of prose he looks at our pantheon of modern gods - superheroes, and he explores what their adventures actually say about us mortals. I'm not a big superhero fan, but Morrison makes a good argument here about why superheroes matter and why they'll continue to matter.


Tank Tankuro
by Gajo Sakamoto

Publisher Presspop never makes anything that looks bad. Here they enlist the help of Chris Ware to design this collection of pre-World War II Japanese manga that reveals the roots of Astro Boy. Is Tank Tankuro really the first robot to ever appear in manga - a genre over-populated with robots? And who is it that the villain Kuro Kabuto reminds me of? Is it Darth Vader? Tank Tankuro could quite possibly be the source for much in contemporary science-fiction. Exactly how much did this comic contribute to the genre? You really need to get this slip-cased hardcover and judge for yourself.


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 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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