Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday sale on graphic novels!

Starting today, Friday, November 26th until December 24th, Alternate Reality Comics will have a 20% off sale on all graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and hardcover collections! So if you're looking for a great graphic novel or trade paperback for someone on your gift list, come on down and say hi and we'll point you in the right direction to a graphic novel in any genre! Or if you want to treat yourself before or after going out to the Black Friday madness, Alternate Reality Comics will be a much more relaxed shopping environment than the big box stores.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Batwoman #0!!

I'm not going to be able to say anything about this book that will convince people to pick up Batwoman #0 as well as award-winning J.H. Wllliams III art does, so...

Well I was going to just let the art do the "talking" here, but I just got done reading the issue and it's fantastic! J.H. Williams III writes this with W. Haden Blackman and Madame Xanadu artist Amy Reeder, illustrates the Kate Kane sequences of this issue. As good as Greg Rucka's writing was on the Batwoman arc in Detective Comics, I think people are going to be very pleasantly surprised at what a post Rucka Batwoman is like!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Walking Dead v.13: special Tuesday release!!

I'm sure by now most everyone has heard of the Robert Kirkman / Charles Adlard zombie series called The Walking Dead, but if you haven't read it yet or watched the new, great AMC television series yet, all you need to know is that The Walking Dead is a great character book, with characters that just happen to live in a world that's become zombie infested. The Walking Dead is not just constant zombie chowing on people action, but it's never boring or predictable and when the zombies show up, it's way more dramatic and intense because you never know when the characters are going to come face to face with the zombies.

The television version of The Walking Dead has some similarities and some of the same characters, but there are several different characters and scenarios, but that's okay also, because it makes it not a rerun of the comic book experience. The fourth episode, which aired last night was written by The Walking Dead comic and graphic novel creator, Robert Kirkman, and it was the best episode yet. Sadly there are only two more episodes in this six episode season one, but it'll be back next year as it is the highest rated show ever on AMC (it beats the ratings of Breaking Bad and Mad Men).

This week the thirteenth volume of the trade paperback collection of The Walking Dead comes out and Image sent them to retailers last week so that comic book stores could have a special Tuesday release (the official release / street date). So if any Ich Liebe Comics! readers who also follow The Walking Dead series via the trades are in the neighborhood of my store, Tuesday, November 23rd, and don't want to wait until new comics Wednesday, I'll have said graphic novel raring to be given good homes! It's zombierific!

Grandville Mon Amour

Regular readers of Ich Liebe Comics! already know what a big Bryan Talbot fan I am and anyone who's read and marveled at his artwork in his previous graphic novels such as The Tale of One Bad Rat, Luther Arkwright, and Alice In Sunderland, also eagerly await new comic productions from Bryan Talbot. Well last week saw the release of Grandville Mon Amour, the second Grandville graphic novel and it's every bit as marvelous as the first one (and one doesn't have to have read the first one first).

Grandville Mon Amour is basically really really well drawn and written anthropomorphic crime fiction that has a very Sherlock Holmes vibe. A beautiful 100 page hardcover graphic novel for only $19.99, Grandville Mon Amour is a must read for people who love to see a cartoonist at the top of his game.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Saturday's party / benefit - a HUGE success!!

I couldn't be happier with my Alternate Reality Comics grand opening party / Three Square Food Bank benefit last Saturday - the whole day exceeded my expectations and was a LOT of fun!

Thanks especially to Brightest Day artists, Dave Beaty & Scott Clark and Dark Tower / Hellshock artist, Jae Lee for being my first superstar guests at my store's new location! Scott Clark is on the left here in this first photo and Dave Beaty is on the right, with lucky old me in the center holding the original Firestorm artwork that Dave Beaty did and donated as one of the grand prizes of my raffle! HUGE thanks also to my helpers / friends: Jim and Lora, Jason, and my lovely wife, Kate, for all they did to make the day run as smoothly and fun as it did!!

Scott Clark and Dave Beaty graciously did many fabulous sketches for people and here in this second photo are two great examples of their art magic!

This Galactus HUGE action figure that talks and lights up, was one of the other grand prizes of the raffles I had last week and the winner was lucky that he didn't get jumped by all of the people who hoped to be the winner (grin)!

Jae Lee was also doing sketches and in this fourth photo, Damien, is getting a Black Bolt one done up!

Combining Alternate Reality Comics new location party with a food bank benefit was the idea of artist, Dave Beaty, and I want to especially thank him for that suggestion and to EVERYONE who brought nonperishable food items for the Three Square Food Bank benefit! All of the boxes of food donations filled my Scion xb (Mother Box) to the brim and when I got to the Three Square Food Bank, they weighed the boxes on a pallet, which came in at a whopping 686 pounds (!!) of food that will definitely be put to good use here in our community going into the holiday season! I wonder who donated the can of squid pictured here in this last photo (grin)!?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

25% off graphic novel sale, party, benefit, raffle, FUN!

A reminder: the colored pencil image here of Firestorm (11 x 16) is by artist Dave Beaty, who along with his artist friend, Scott Clark, both are artists on DC's Brightest Day, and they will be at Alternate Reality Comics new location grand opening party / Three Square Food Bank benefit, today, Saturday, Novemeber 13th, from 11am-9pm! Scott Clark & Dave Beaty will be signing / sketching from 12pm-3pm and artist Jae Lee (Dark Tower) will be here from 12pm-1pm. Dave Beaty has generously donated his Firestorm art as one of the BIG hourly raffle prizes that people can win! Everyone who shows up gets a free raffle ticket and if you bring nonperishable food items to benefit the Three Square Food Bank, you'll get an additional raffle ticket!

Additionally, to thank returning customers of Alternate Reality Comics, and to thank new customers, I'll be having a 25% off sale on all trade paperbacks / graphic novels! And for every ten dollars spent today at Alternate Reality Comics, you'll get an additional raffle ticket (and you don't have to be present to win the raffles)! There will be at least three raffles every hour, with prizes such as gift certificates, hardcover graphic novels, CGC graded variants, art prints, mini statue busts, and a huge Galactus action figure!

I hope everyone remembers to bring nonperishable food items to benefit the Three Square Food Bank (as we head into the holiday season, helping those in our community experiencing hard times is even greater). Thanks to everyone who has ever been to Alternate Reality Comics these past sixteen years and I look forward to seeing you today for what's going to be a FUN time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two Generals; Scott Chantler

I just finished reading what I think may be my favorite original graphic novel of this year (it's certainly in my top five of 2010) - Two Generals, by Scott Chantler. The first thing one notices about Two Generals is that it is a very handsome production as the two images of the book I have here show (these images are from Scott Chatler's excellent research blog: I was really hoping that Two Generals wouldn't just be a pretty shell, with not much in the way of substance. We are fortuante that cartoonist Scott Chantler wrote and drew such a powerful graphic novel account of his grandfather, Law Chantler, and Law Chantler's friend, Jack Chrysler and their World War II experiences.

Law Chantler and Jack Chrysler were officers in the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, an infantry unit that played a BIG part in the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. I'm just writing this Ich Liebe Comics! entry to make more people aware of this great graphic novel, and I'm not going to go into why this is great, because as I've mentioned before when writing about great works in this medium, a reader should just go into a great work (of whatever medium) with as little knowledge of the contents as possible and discover them for themselves. I will say though, that before reading Two Generals, I didn't previously know that bicycles were used during WWII missions!

Veterans Day sale!

In honor of Veterans Day, today at Alternate Reality Comics, all war comics and graphic novels will be on sale for 20% off cover price! If you know someone who is or has been in the armed forces, I'm thinking they would love great graphic novels such as You'll Never Know, Alan's War, The Nam, Dong Xoai, Dear Billy, Two Generals, and Resistance. These are powerful stories that will resonate with everyone.

Please thank people in your life today for being a part of the U.S. armed forces because if you know anything about military life (both in combat and non-combat) you know that this is often not an easy life.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Alternate Reality Comics Saturday party & 3 Square benefit

As many of you already know, this Saturday, November 13th, from 11am-9pm, I'm going to have the Alternate Reality Comics new location / thank you to returning customers / welcome to new customers / Three Square Food Bank benefit. This morning I picked up the Three Square Food Bank barrel, so it's here at the store ready for people to bring in nonperishable food items to benefit people in need in our community, especially as we get into the holiday season. I'm having hourly raffles from 11am-9m, anyone who comes for the celebration will get a raffle ticket and by bringing nonperishable food items you'll receive an additional raffle ticket. The barrel is ready to be filled, so you don't have to wait until Saturday to bring donations and if you come by every day with food items, you'll receive an additional raffle ticket for that day and you don't have to be present to win.
The fantastic Firestorm colored pencil original art (11 x 17) here in this photo, was created by Brightest Day artist, Dave Beaty, who along with his artist friend, Scott Clark (another one of the fantastic Brightest Day artists), will be at the celebration from 12pm-3pm. Dave Beaty is generously donating this piece of art as one of the big raffle prizes that could be won on Saturday! Uber artist and uber nice guy, Jae Lee (Dark Tower, Hellshock, Inhumans, and Sentry) will also be at the Saturday store party from 12pm-1pm, so I hope everyone plans their Saturday carefully (grin)!

Some of the other raffle prizes that people can win are: the huge Galactus talking action figure with the San Diego comic convention packaging, the new huge Superman / Ali hardcover by Neal Adams, gift certificates, graded CGC variant comics, statues, Scott Pilgrim DVDs, assorted hardcover graphic novels, and yes, there will be more (click on photo here to better see some of the items)! There'll also be free food and a HUGE sale, so I hope to see a lot of my Alternate Reality Comics friends this Saturday. And I hope everyone brings nonperishable food items for the Three Square Food Bank benefit, because that way everyone wins!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking for a gift for me!?

I don't usually ask for gifts or even really like getting gifts as I have so much in my life already and at this point in my life love and friendship trump anyone getting me material gifts, but...

..the original art to the first page of Watchmen #1 is going up for auction soon and if Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons isn't going to own it, I can't think of a better person then myself to give it a home (grin)! So if any of my beloved Ich Liebe Comics! readers has a spare $15,000.00 or upwards under their mattress, well maybe you could turn that fire hazard into a piece of original art! Seriously though, how important is this page on an historical level (in addition to some incredible Alan Moore prose)!? I'm thinking it's going to go for at least $15,000.00, what do you think it'll go for?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Party & 3 Square Food Bank benefit, Saturday, November 13th!

To celebrate Alternate Reality Comics new location and to thank returning customers and welcome new customers, we're having a grand opening (new location) party, Saturday, November 13th, from 11am-9pm! In addition, we'd like to ask those attending to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the 3 Square Food Bank to help those in need in our community as we head into the holiday season.

For the party, we'll have free food, hourly raffles (some of the prizes are: hardcover graphic novels, gift certificates, original art, and Scott Pilgrim DVDs!), art guests Jae Lee (Dark Tower, Inhumans) from 12pm-1pm and Scott Clark & David Beaty (DC's Brightest Day) from 12pm-3pm), and a huge sale!

Anyone bringing in nonperishable food items for the 3 Square Food Bank Drive benefit tomorrow through Saturday at Alternate Reality Comics will receive an additional raffle ticket for Saturday's hourly raffles. Bring your friends and neighbors for what's sure to be a FUN time and the more people that bring nonperishable food items to benefit the 3 Square Food Bank, means that everyone wins.

If blog readers of Ich Liebe Comics! (thank you) are part of the facebook community and haven't already joined my store facebook page, I hope you consider doing so (it doesn't cost anything - grin!) and I created an event page on facebook for this party / benefit as well to hopefully really get the word out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegas Valley Comicfest tomorrow (Saturday)!!

Where is the fun going to be this weekend in Vegas? Well tomorrow, Saturday, November 6th, from 11am-4pm, the Clark County Library (on Flamingo, just behind my new store location at Maryland & Flamingo) is hosting their annual comic book festival, so if that doesn't spell fun, I don't know what does! I'll have a booth so I hope to see everyone there. For more info check out this link:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Acme Novelty Library - Lint

Today, via Fed Ex, I received my Alternate Reality Comics copies of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library v. 20 that I ordered directly from Drawn & Quarterly (and it is available for sale now, well during the hours I'm open!). Chris Ware has been creating, writing, and drawing these wonderfully depressing graphic novels for years and he hasn't run out of steam yet (Praise Promethea!).

Acme Novelty Library is the blanket title for Chris Ware's graphic novel and he rarely even titles the individual volumes, but this newest one is titled Lint, which is the last name of the central character, of which this volume is a chronicle of his life. All of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Libraries are separate stories that don't require one to have read previous volumes.

Ware is the master of the depressing narrative graphic novel and he does this with minute detail in his character's lives. Someone who hasn't read a Chris Ware graphic novel may ask why would they want to read a depressing book? I'd answer that when a cartoonist mines depression to such an expert pedigree as Chris Ware, that the reader will go away from reading one of his works with a greater understanding of the human condition and maybe get some insights into themselves or people they know.

Even though I hope to read many more Acme Novelty Libraries in the future, I hope that doing these graphic novels is a kind of catharsis for Chris Ware because I fear that he is too self aware or aware of the darkness within humankind and we all know what Fredrich Nietzsche said about staring into the abyss...

Acme Novelty Library - Lint, is highly recommended, like all of Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Libraries, many of which are sadly, oddly, not in print. Remember to have one of those full page magnifying glasses on hand when reading Chris Ware's graphic novels though, because even with reading glasses, I was straining to read some of the pages.

Great last couple of weeks of comics!

These past two weeks have seen quite the plethora of great new comics. I'm not going to give a shout out to all of them because there's not enough room here on my blog (grin) and I do have other behind the scenes type things to do here at Alternate Reality Comics! With this display here, you'd think that I'm getting a payoff from DC!

Two books I want to mention here from this display are the Superman Earth One original graphic novel by JMS and Shane Davis and the new hardcover version of Luthor by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. Superman Earth One is a great new version of the Superman mythos and besides the stellar creative team of JMS and Shane davis, the inking by Sandra Hope and coloring by newcomer (at least I think she's a newcomer) Barbara Clardo make this an incredibly nice production all around. This will make a nice gift for yourself or to turn someone else on to the wonderment of comics once DC gets more of these in the pipeline as it is selling really well (I still have a couple of copies, but I expect those to be gone today). Luthor is exactly what it sounds like, a Lex Luthor centric graphic novel by the creative team of Azzarello and Bermejo, which serves as a great companion book to their Joker graphic novel from a couple of years ago (they did Luthor first though).

Speaking of Lex Luthor, Paul Cornell has been writing Action Comics for the past few months and although my first thought upon hearing this was "oh great, more Lex Luthor" thinking he's been over-used, Paul Cornell's smart writing as made his Lex Luthor Action Comics one of the super hero comics I most look forward to each month. This past week's issue has Death stopping by and if you aren't already reading this, well this is one of those out of the ballpark comics! And the art by Pete Woods is top notch also!
Fantastic Four hasn't been as good as it's been these past few months since Jonathan Hickman stepped in as writer. Hickman, who also writes Shield and Secret Warriors for Marvel is turning out to be a great thinking outside of the box writers and his newest FF story, Three, in which one of the members is supposed to be taking the dirt nap for a while, is surely going to be a seminal Fantastic Four story that people will fondly remember for years.

Incognito Bad Influences is another mini series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips of their creator owned super-villain companion to their hard boiled Criminal creator owned series. Basically Inconito is just like Criminal, except the central characters in Incognito have super powers, but it has the same great crime fiction / noir tone. This first issue is off to a very strong start.
Abattoir is another great horror surprise from Radical Comics. Written by Michael Peterson, Rob Levin, and Troy Petri and drawn by Bing Cansino, this like Radical Comics' Driver For The Dead, has a fairly fresh premise. Abattoir means slaughterhouse and that's what happens here - a seemingly normal family man slices and dices his family and friends at his house party! One of the central characters of Abattoir is a real estate agent and one of the property he has to sell is the house where this horror happened. Along comes Jebediah, who wants to buy this house. Why? Well I'm going to hope we'll find out in the next five issues and I'm going to hope that I'm able to get more copies of the first issue of Abattoir next week here at the shop!

Fables is a comic / graphic novel that I hardly spend that much time talking about even though I really like this comic. I think part of this is due to the fact that Fables doesn't need real shout outs from me as a lot of people are already enjoying this book. But the newest Fables #99 is a great jumping on point if you don't want to wait for the trade collections or if you want to see what all of the fuss is about. The premise of Fables is that all of the fairy tale characters such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty actually live amongst us. With Fables #99, writer / creator Bill Willingham sets up the next big story arc with a spotlight issue on uber villain Mister Dark and I dare anyone to look at guest artist Inaki Miranda's work here and not want to take this home and stare at each panel. Regular Fables artist Mark Buckingham is, of course, great, but I definitely want to see more Miranda!

Madame Xanadu has been another great Vertigo series, which sadly is coming to a close next issue. But two weeks ago we got another great self contained issue of the Extra-Sensory story arc called A Taste Of Things To Come, in which the central character, Carly, develops a super taste ability that causes her to experience where what she's eating came from. Yes, this is kind of like the premise of Chew, but as I've said before, how much of anything is truly original and it's what you d with that concept that will set it apart. Writer, Matt Wagner certainly does this here and another new great artist, Marian Churchland, will definitely be an artist to look out for.

I want to give another shout out to two comics that have a very small audience, The Weird World of Jack Staff by Paul Grist and The Bulletproof Coffin by David Hine. These two comics take superhero comics' conventions and turn them inside out. I think the creators of these comics know these books are going to play to a very small audience, but I don't think they care, rather they just seem compelled to play in their weirdverses and damn the torpedoes! Jack Staff and Bulletproof Coffin really aren't just weird for weird's sake and they aren't as inaccessible as you may think if you haven't given them a shot already.

Another comic / graphic novel, The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, like Fables, certainly doesn't need my little Ich Liebe Comics! blog to find readers, but I want to say that for the two or three of you out there who haven't checked out The Walking Dead, it's not "just" a zombie comic, it's a book with strong characters who happen to live in a world largely populated by zombies. The Walking Dead is never predictable and it's one of those comics that will make you want the next issue right away after reading the last page of every issue. The Walking Dead television show which just started on AMC last night is getting incredible reviews and the early response seems to be overwhelmingly favorable, so hopefully it does well enough that we will get a Sopranos length television series out of it!