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June 19, 2014

Atomic Books Comics Preview - June 19, 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.

Dust And Grooves: Adventures In Record Collecting

Dust And Grooves: Adventures In Record Collecting
by Eilon Paz

This is an impressive book of photographs of record collectors with their collections. It's fascinating to see the different ways in which people actually gather their records. It also contains interviews with collectors to give us a look inside what motivates them. Going through this book feels a lot like digging through bins at a local, awesome record shop.


by Paul Pope

This long out-of-print, Paul Pope classic (still waiting on that THB collection) about an escape artist gets a gorgeous, deluxe treatment. The colors are vibrant, the art is exciting, and the story is pure Pope.

Kingdom Of Wenramen

Kingdom Of Wenramen
by Wendy Pham

This is an art book of 20 detachable prints from Australian tattooist and painter Pham. It's an epic series of fantasy paintings, all tied back to noodles!

Portable Not My Small Diary

Portable Not My Small Diary
by Delaine Derry Green

Delaine has been publishing her autobiographical comics anthology for almost 20 years now - and here she collects some of the best stories from over that timespan. While self-publishing her own book for that long is an amazing feat unto itself, so is the quality of talent she has wrangled into revealing their lives. This best of includes stories by John Porcellino, Ayun Halliday, Ben Snakepit, Ramsey Beyer, Julia Wertz, Max Clotfelter, Alec Longstreth, Sarah Oleksyk, Kurt Wolfgang, Hellen Jo, Roberta Gregory, Derek Ballard, Lark Pien, T Edward Bak, Donna Barr, Missy Kulik, Sam Spina, MariNaomi, Carrie McNinch, Lucy Knisley, Johh Isaacson, Noah Van Sciver, Liz Prince, Jesse Reklaw, Raina Telgemeier, Dan Zettwoch, and too many more to name here. Over the years, I even contributed a story or two - thankfully not included in this collection.

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey
by Nick Bertozzi

Few do historical adventure comics as well as Nick Bertozzi. This story of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition is custom-made for Bertozzi's pen. It's very cool reading for a hot summer's day.

Soft Flesh And Orgies Of Death: Fiction, Features And Art From Classic Men's Adventure Magazines

Soft Flesh And Orgies Of Death: Fiction, Features And Art From Classic Men's Adventure Magazines
by Pep Pentangeli

This men's adventure magazine anthology collects art from post-code era, "Adults only" magazines for men. It features a lot of vintage bondage, women with guns - y'know, your 1950s take on sadism, torture and savagery - accompanied by a decent variety of vintage pulp stories. It's like a deluxe mens magazine - or pulp as art.


by various

This isn't so much a book as it is an event. I love it when Fantagraphics delivers these deluxe, multi-volume hardcover comics collections - it's as much a statement of publishing principles as it is a comprehensive comics artifact. One of my all time favorites by in this format was their Harvey Kurtzman Humbug collection. Wally Wood's Witzend is just as impressive - with hours of page-turning glory. This was an early indy comics anthology that provided a lot of amazing artists the opportunity to publish personal work without worrying about the commercial side of comics, and it features work by Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Bill Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson and many more.

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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