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July 31, 2013

Atomic Books Comics Preview - July 31, 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.

Animal Man Omnibus

Animal Man Omnibus
by Grant Morrison / Chas Truog / various

While Morrison is most popularly known for his work on Superman (All Star Superman) and Batman (Arkham Asylum, Batman Incorporated), back in the '80s he was making a name for himself by reinventing weirdo superheroes into something more relevant and interesting as part of a "British Invasion" of comics writers that also included Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. His Doom Patrol series was a lot of fun, and his original series The Invisibles was a technicolor, psychedelic, paranoid conspiracy trip, but, for my money, his run on Animal Man is his best work to date. And this Omnibus collects those early issues, including the ones were Morrison himself becomes a character in the book and interacts with the title character, Buddy Baker.

Optic Nerve #13

Optic Nerve #13
by Adrian Tomine

One of the last, still-active "alternative" comics from the '90s, Optic Nerve is also one of the last, ongoing "Alternative" comics period - as many publishers have forsaken the periodical format for the supposed glory of chain bookstore shelves. This might sound like the criticism of a Luddite - but it's very much the point of the previous issue of Optic Nerve (#12) and the conversation, through Tomine's introductory comic and the letter pages, continues here. Tomine consistently provides a sterling example of what a pamphlet/"floppy"/periodical could be. Optic Nerve #13 contains 3 stories - the autobiographical "Winter 2012", "Go Owls" about an abusive, criminal sports fan, and "Translated, From The Japanese" - about a young Japanese mother moving between two countries. Each story varies in subject, tone and art-style. Tomine is a master of this forsaken comics format.

Willard Mullin's Golden Age of Baseball: Drawings 1934-1972

Willard Mullin's Golden Age of Baseball: Drawings 1934-1972
by Willard Mullin / Hal Bock / Michael Powers

A collection of incredible baseball illustration art by the "Sports Cartoonist of the Century." Mullin is the Mickey Mantle of sports illustration.

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 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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