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October 9, 2017

Atomic Books Comics Preview - October 9, 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.

Bottoms Up! True Tales of Hitting Rock-Bottom

Bottoms Up! True Tales of Hitting Rock-Bottom
edited by J.T. Yost

I love a solid comics anthology with a strong unifying theme, and here editor J.T. Yost delivers. Yost has collected real stories from people who've hit rock bottom, stories of addiction to alcohol, narcotics, sex, pornography, stories of people with body dysmorphia, and more. And then they've been illustrated by a group of great cartoonists, including Haleigh Buck, Kevin Budnik, Josh Burggraf, Max Clotfelter, Jordan Jeffries, Sara Lautman, John Porcellino, Holly Simple, Meghan Turbitt, Noah Van Sciver and many more. It's a remarkable collection made all the more powerful by the honesty of these experiences.

I Feel Like A Traffic Barrel

I Feel Like A Traffic Barrel
by Liza McElroy

The ubiquitous traffic barrel - I have to admit I've never much thought about them. That is, until Liza's zine where she illustrates a number of different traffic barrels she's spotted around town and reveals just how much character these omnipresent obstructions have.

Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed
by Paul Buhle / Noah Van Sciver

Here writer Buhle and artist Van Sciver give us a look into an American folk hero. This book will make many realize that maybe we didn't know much about Appleseed after all and, well, why didn't we? Not only does Johnny Appleseed reveal that John Chapman (his real name) spread more than just fruit tree seeds on his journeying around America, but it reveals much about a country in transition too. And appropriately so, this book presents some of Van Sciver's best, most intense art to date. Seriously, Noah. Hol-eee crap!

Rock Candy Mountain Volume 1

Rock Candy Mountain Volume 1
by Kyle Starks

One of my unexpected favorite comics this year is Kyle Starks' slightly supernatural hobo tale of a quest for hobo heaven. Full of humor, adventure and set in the first half of the twentieth century, Rock Candy Mountain is a charming, magical book. You'll feel good reading it.

Royal City

Royal City
by Jeff Lemire

This volume collects the the first story arc of Lemire's amazing story of a small town family dealing, quite literally, with the ghosts of their past, as well as other small town issues. Remarkably powerful, Lemire continues to prove he is one of the most important voices in comics today.

Screwed Up

Screwed Up
by Konstantin Steshenko

Jeremy and Steph have a complicated relationship. After a break, Jeremy thinks he can bully Steph into marriage via a very public proposal that goes horribly wrong - like somewhere between that Vincent D'Onofrio subway episode of Homicide: Life On The Street and that failed marriage proposal at Fenway Park earlier this year - but far, far worse.

Taking Up Space

Taking Up Space
by Adam Meuse

How much space does a person take up in life? That is what Adam Meuse's profoundly touching new comic deals with. Here he brings together an art school project, his brother's suicide and a portrait of his brother to ruminate on the space we take up and how it's measured - and of course, how big that space can feel when left behind.

Tongues Chapter 1

Tongues Chapter 1
by Anders Nilsen

Tongues beautifully begins an epic masterpiece by Anders Nilsen. Unique paneling mixes with gorgeous, wonderfully colored illustration that feels a lot like a modern update to the work of great European masters like Manara and Moebius. The story involves a bird eating organs from a god chained to a mountain, a boy hiking through a war-torn desert with a teddy bear strapped to his back, and a young girl with a mysterious cube on a journey accompanied by a talking chicken and a dickish monkey. Can't wait for chapter 2.

What's The Scoop? An Ice Cream Zine

What's The Scoop? An Ice Cream Zine
by Jordan Jeffries/Alessa Kreger

In this "dairy diary" Jordan and Alessa document their experiences exploring the wonderful world of ice cream while also making some political points. It's a testament to how, even when we're distracting ourselves with delicious treats from a variety of ice cream shops like Big Gay Ice Cream, Beacon Creamery and many others - all experimenting with flavors and styles - that the crushing reality of the world is still always with us. Each entry contains a vibrantly colored and delicious ice cream illustration, a synopsis of the trip to each respective ice cream joint, something that they love, and then an entry about problems they have with something they don't love: white supremacy. A portion of the proceeds of the zine go to The Southern Poverty Law Center. Think of it as a zine of ice cream radicalism.

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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