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November 27, 2013

Atomic Books Comics Preview - November 26, 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.

Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground

Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground
by Stan Lee / Denis Kitchen / John Lind / various

Decades ago, Marvel was a very different company than it is today. Sort of. In the early 1970s, Marvel, helmed by Stan Lee, sought to bolster its "cool" profile (which would rapidly evaporate and result in a company now representing the very opposite of that today) by tapping into the growing underground comix scene. According to Lee's introduction, the idea was to create a faux underground comic series, setting limits on what the artists could draw and the language they could use. According to Denis Kitchen's introduction, this also coincided at a time when he happened to be desperate for cash. So Comix Book began a short-lived print run (5 issues in a year, 3 actually published by Marvel). Once you get past the authenticity issue, Comix Book is a rather fascinating experiment that, with hindsight, was doomed to fail despite featuring work by Art Spiegelman, Justin Green, Alex Toth, S. Clay Wilson, Kim Deitch, Harvey Pekar, Michael Ploog, Trina Robbins, William Stout, Skip Williamson, and Basil Wolverton.

Celebrated Summer

Celebrated Summer
by Chuck Forsman

Forsman's Celebrated Summer is a pitch-perfect tale of two aimless teens on an LSD adventure. It's a lysergic coming of age tale that makes those who have taken such trips melancholy with nostalgia for a celebrated summer.


by Matthew Thurber

Thurber's Infomaniacs is a masterful digital critique disguised as an absurd, Marlow-esque detective comic.

Life Begins at Incorporation: Cartoons And Essays

Life Begins at Incorporation: Cartoons And Essays
by Matt Bors

This collection of political cartoons and essays is the very definition of cutting. Laugh at the horrors of modern life. So good. So spot-on. So eviscerating. It's books like these that keep many of us sane in times like these.

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)

Online "Best of 2013" Book 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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