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April 30, 2014

Atomic Books Comics Preview - April 30, 2014

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.

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
by Box Brown

With stylized and iconic art, Brown tells the story of the literally larger-than-life wrestler Andre The Giant. When I was younger, I was fortunate enough to see Andre wrestle live a few times. When I got older, I was surprised to discover he had a posse. Brown's story is an endearing and sensitive biography of a somewhat difficult icon while giving us some insight into the world of wrestling too.

Buddy Buys a Dump: The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from Hate Comics Volume 3 (2000-2013)

Buddy Buys a Dump: The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from Hate Comics Volume 3 (2000-2013)
by Peter Bagge

Do you know Buddy Bradley? He was kind of huge in the '90s. He was part of that same Seattle scene as Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, etc. Back then, when I was still in college, Buddy and I were pretty good friends. Yeah, he was a comic character, but we hung out on a pretty regular basis. By the 2000s, like most of my college buddies, we were hanging out less frequently as life got in the way. Ideally, I'd see him once a year, but, y'know, I was growing up, Buddy was growing up. I ended up owning a bookstore. Buddy ended up owning a dump. My point is this - Pete Bagge created a generational icon who I grew up with, and continued to grow up with even after I was a grown up. This book collects the last thirteen years of Buddy's life - and keeping up with him is like keeping up with an old pal from college who, while you still don't see them as often, you still miss dearly, and are always surprised at how much your life and theirs still overlap.

Love Bunglers

Love Bunglers
by Jaime Hernandez

Love Bunglers collects the landmark story from Love & Rockets: New Stories! I'll admit that Love Bunglers may not be the greatest graphic novel of all time. There are a number of other titles - Watchmen, Ghost World, Jimmy Corrigan, Black Hole, Maus and others who can battle for that title. No, what Jaime has achieved here is the perfect graphic novel. These are characters who have developed over decades of Love and Rockets comics, but it's not necessary to have read those stories to get this book. In Love Bunglers, you have a comics master in peak control of all aspects of the medium - the characterization is precise, the linework is impossibly perfect and the narrative is profound and emotionally devastating. Love Bunglers is the comics medium perfected.

Southern Bastards #1

Southern Bastards #1
by Jason Aaron / Jason Latour

While DC's Vertigo comics imprint continues to flounder from a lack of identity or direction, Image Comics continues to benefit from the talent it's shed and series it should be publishing. With a title like "Southern Bastards," how can you not want to pick up this book? So how is it? Based on the first issue, the formula is like this: Friday Night Lights + Justified x Sons Of Anarchy = Southern Bastards. We may be in a new Golden Age of television, but Image is in a new Golden Age of quality comics too - and so many of them, like Southern Bastards could be their own shows. Hmm... perhaps there should be an Image Comics cable network?

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
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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