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January 10, 2013

Atomic Books Comics Preview - January 10, 2013

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 has been 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.


Beta Testing The Apocalypse

Beta Testing The Apocalypse
by Tom Kaczynski

I have yet to encounter a Tom Kaczynski comics story I didn't love, and Beta Testing The Apocalypse collects 10 of them. With a well-honed architectural drawing style, Kaczynski deals with dystopias, in bleak, beautiful and sometimes downright fetid stories. There's heady stuff going on his work - notions of capitalism, communism and more - these are smart comics.


Black Incal (Deluxe Edition)

Black Incal (Deluxe Edition)
by Alexandro Jodorowsky / Moebius

Another Jodorowsky/Moebius joint gets the oversize, deluxe, limited edition treatment - it's the first volume of The Incal as John Difool tries to discover the mysteries of the artifact the book is named after.


Comics About Cartoonists

Comics About Cartoonists
by Craig Yoe (editor)

I hate novels about writers. I hate movies about screen writers. There are so many better subjects to deal with. But I love comics about cartoonists. I'm not sure how I reconcile this inconsistency, but Craig Yoe - a man who has nearly single-handedly ushered in an era of archival comics, makes it easy for me to not care with this book. Featuring Steve Ditko, George Herriman, Jack Kirby, Walt Disney, Jack Cole, Rube Goldberg, Harvey Kurtzman, Frank Frazetta, Charles Schulz, Basil Wolverton, Winsor McCay, Will Eisner, Jack Chick, Wally Wood and many more!


Eros Gone Wild

Eros Gone Wild

An anthology of famed European cartoonists and some of their erotic comics work. Lush, rich, and stimulating. Remember, it's not smut, it's erotica.


Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Chamber of Chills Volume 1 (Slipcase Edition)

Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Chamber of Chills Volume 1 (Slipcase Edition)
by various


Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Witches Tales Volume 1 (Slipcase Edition)

Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Witches Tales Volume 1 (Slipcase Edition)
by various

Gorgeous, deluxe, hardcover, slipcase editions of old Harvey horror comics from the UK now available in the US. It's more pre-Code awesome gruesomeness.


Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos And Lost Cause

Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos And Lost Cause
by Jack Jackson

Jackson is often credited with creating the first underground comic. He'd later become a founder of counter-culture comix publisher Rip-Off Press. And still later, he turned his attention to using his incredibly complex linework to tell historical comics stories. The stories here involve Texas-Mexican relations and The Reconstruction in the Lone Star state. Visually stunning, historically rich.


Jaguar God: Snake Brothers Revenge

Jaguar God: Snake Brothers Revenge
by Glenn Danzig / Simon Bisley

Danzig fans rejoice! It's a Danzig story with Bisely's art. Will barter for skulls.


Peanut

Peanut
by Ayun Halliday / Paul Hoppe

Customers are always asking me for "age appropriate" comics for their early teen kids. I'm not sure what "age appropriate" means - it's as empty a phrase to me as "family values." I was a Robert Crumb fan before I could drive. I've always thought kids should be reading things that adults wouldn't consider age appropriate. But that doesn't always fly with parents who just want to get their kids a great coming of age tale that isn't weird coming from them. Here Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe have solved my dilemma (thanks!). Ayun's story of Sadie, a girl who plans to make some friends by pretending to have a peanut allergy, is delightful, and Hoppe's art is dynamic and energetic with well-used spot color.


Problematic: Selected Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2011

Problematic: Selected Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2011
by Jim Woodring

Moleskines are the legendary blank journals that were favorites of Hemingway, Picasso, Wilde, Van Goh and Matisse. A few years back, they were brought back from oblivion and have since inspired a whole new generation of artists and writers who festishize them. It's virtually impossible to own a Moleskine and not write or draw in it. Here Jim Woodring collects art from his Moleskines and provides fascinating insight into the process of one of today's most unique comics creators.


Reset HC

Reset HC
by Peter Bagge

Guy Krause is a washed-up comedian who gets to (or is forced to) relive his life over and over via virtual reality as what seems part of a science experiment. Bagge uses this groundwork for his typical hilarity - put-upon characters responding oddly to what is often times self-created dilemmas and dramas. For me, Pete's artwork is at its best in black and white, and here it's as sharp as ever.


Slurricane #4

Slurricane #4
by Will Laren

I promise you, you will laugh at Will's weird comics. Page after page of grotesque people behaving weirdly - but what makes these comics so relatable is that whether it's the artwork or what's taking place, these comics are so close to people we know or things we've seen - until Laren's fertile imagination makes them veer off suddenly and wildly into bizarro land. Mark my words, Laren will be hugely famous one day. Most likely for his comics.


The Heart of Thomas

The Heart of Thomas
by Moto Hagio

Hagio is an early pioneer of the manga genre of "shounen-ai" or boys romance. Here the setting is a boarding school in Germany, sometime in the mid-1900s. Thomas sends a letter to another boy at school proclaiming his love and then falls off a bridge. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? And what's up with this new kid that shows up at school looking just like Thomas? This manga masterpiece is available to American audiences for the first time in a pretty hardcover in Japanese (right to left) format.


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)

the list of online "best books of 2012" lists

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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