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April 3, 2017

Atomic Books Comics Preview - April 3, 2017

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics, graphic novels, and books.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. He also runs the Mutant Funnies Tumblr.

Atomic Books has been named one of BuzzFeed's Great American Bookstores, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.

Audobon: On the Wings Of The World

Audobon: On the Wings Of The World
by Fabien Grolleau / Jeremie Royer

Back when the unsettled, unexplored wilds of an early America felt limitless, John James Audubon set out to explore them with a gun, an assistant, his art supplies and a passion for birds. This beautiful graphic novel adapts Audubon's own stories of his adventures into a gorgeously illustrated hardcover.

Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins

Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins
by Jeff Lemire / Dean Ormston

I really can't understand how writer/artist Jeff Lemire is capable of keeping so many excellent series going at the same time (Black Hammer, Descender, Royal City, A.D. After Death to name just a handful) and keeping them all interesting, but I'm glad he can. It's becoming clear that an argument can be made that he might very well be the greatest comic book writer of his generation. This volume, collecting the first story arc of his excellent Dark Horse Black Hammer series might be my most favorite of his current work. A group of quirky superheroes find themselves stranded on a farm outside a small town. How they got there and what prevents them from leaving is a mystery, but the team, over the years, very much forms into a dysfunctional family. Ormston's art is simply perfect and there's something in Lemire's story that echoes the Watchmen. I like to imagine that he pitched this story to DC (and maybe Marvel) and they said no, so he just created his own characters that reference so many others while still feeling new and unique - transcending their inspiration (much like Moore's characters in the Watchmen when DC stupidly and shortsightedly told him he couldn't use their acquired Charlton Comics characters).

Bookstores And Baseball: 9th Inning

Bookstores And Baseball: 9th Inning
by David LaBounty / Gabe LaBounty

Over the past five years, David LaBounty, with the help of his son Gabe, has turned an ongoing series of family vacations into a fun series of zines combining two of my favorite things - bookstores and baseball. Each Inning (or issue) focuses on a different region of the country where the LaBountys would visit baseball stadiums to see games and bookstores and book festivals. Part travel zine, part sports zine and part survey of America's greatest book places, Bookstores and Baseball has been, inning after inning, a remarkably satisfying read. I'm hoping this game goes into extra innings.

Weak Messages Create Bad Situations: A Manifesto

Weak Messages Create Bad Situations: A Manifesto
by David Shrigley

Artist David Shrigley has a completely-formed worldview. He has strong opinions on everything. And unlike those propagandists who use computer generated images and generic fonts, all of Shrigley's messages are hand-illustrated. And they are presented here to make you a better person. Oh, and they are also very funny.

What Parsifal Saw

What Parsifal Saw
by Ron Regé Jr.

Collecting his work from over the past five years, What Parsifal Saw is the gorgeous comics manifestation of psychedelic esoterica and alchemical spirituality.

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, Mutant Funnies

also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Atomic Books Comics Preview lists (weekly new comics & graphic novel highlights)

Online "Best of 2015" Book Lists

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
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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