Thursday, December 22, 2011

Daredevil #7; Mark Waid & Paolo Rivera

This week, another great issue of the new Daredevil arrived and like the previous six issues of the relaunch, it's FANTASTIC! After two great long runs by Bendis and Bubaker, they were followed by writer, Andy Diggle, for a run that didn't leave much of an impression on too many people. Now we have a Daredevil comic that is lighter in tone (Daredevil works really well with a grittier, dark tone, but it's been time for a change for a long time) written by Mark Waid and drawn by Paola Rivera (with some alternating issues by the also excellent Marcus Martin - actually his last issue was #6 as he's going to be doing a creator-owned title with Brian Vaughn next year) and is one of the best reviewed comics of the past year.

If you haven't read this new Daredevil series yet, the first collection comes out in late January (and here at Alternate Reality Comics, I have most of the issues in stock), but this latest issue, is a great stand alone story that a person could read without having read the preceding issues. Daredevil #7 is also a wonderful story that is perfect for the holiday season and works as a great chaser after reading Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon's dark, demented, Punishermax (which is also fantastic, the best Punisher ever, in my book!)! Waid & Rivera's Daredevil will most certainly receive multiple nominations from the Eisner Awards next year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Miracleman #9; Alan Moore & Rick Veitch

Sorry to be continuing to tease people (well those of you who haven't / aren't able to read Moore's seminal superhero epic Marvelman / Miracleman) - see entry below for an earlier tease - but I just reread Miracleman #9 (that fell off the back of a truck - grin!) and I wanted to share some thoughts upon having done so. And before I go on, I'm not going to get into the long sordid reasons of why Marvelman / Miracleman is not in print (please go over to Wikipedia for some details) and no, I don't have the whole run to sell here unfortunately.

Miracleman #9 is the issue in which Michael Moran's (Miracleman) wife has their baby and in only sixteen pages, Alan Moore and artist Rick Veitch really toke the sequential art medium to a new level of greatness, beauty, and maturity. Consider the following descriptive prose by Alan Moore of Mike Moran delivering his baby:

"The moment swells, an organ chord, deep and prolonged, adrenaline sharpens my perceptions until each instant glitters like a diamond."

Another thing I'd like to share from Miracleman #9 is the inside front cover publisher editorial page called The Penumbra, written by Catherine Yronwode (similar to Marvel's old Bullpen Bulletins page), in which one of the items was about Alan Moore: "This popular writer, once known among long-suffering editors for his ultra messy manuscripts, has bought a new typewriter!" - This comic came out in 1986, so obviously this was before computers (and even before word processors) replaced typewriters as that upon which practically everyone uses, but reading an item like that really reminds one of how much has changed in just 25 years! For you kids reading this, who don't know what a typewriter is (grin), you can look that up on Wikipedia also!

The Silence of Our Friends; advance tease, no spoilers

Today I got an advance copy of The Silence of Our Friends, a new graphic novel about the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, written by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos and drawn by Nate Powell, published by the fine folks at First Second. The Silence of Our Friends doesn't come out until the end of January, but having read it just now, I want to strongly suggest that you look for this graphic novel, based on true events, when it hits finer comic book stores next year.

While I'm being a graphic novel tease, I also want to put out a little advance tease for some exciting changes that will be happening on my Alternate Reality Comics website and Ich Liebe Comics! blog by early January 2012. I haven't been posting here as much as I'd like and I really do appreciate all of my Ich Liebe Comics! readers and would like to apologize for my lackluster posting here of late. Having said this, my Alternate Reality Comics website, which will be newly designed by my artist friend, Ron Horsley, will definitely turn this all around in a positive way (actually I'm happy with the way my website and blog look presently, but the new versions will be less static) so I hope you all are looking forward to these changes as much as I am to share them with you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mi Barrio; Robert Renteria & Shane Clester

Mi Barrio is a new graphic novelette (it's only 55 pages in length and I think only works greater than 100 pages should be called a novel or graphic novel) written by Robert Renteria and illustrated by Shane Clester from Renteria's novel, From the Barrio to the Board Room. Mi Barrio is about Robert Renteria's growing up in one of the poorest areas of Los Angeles and how he was able to transcend his environment and not repeat the cycle that so many of those in his situation succumb to.

While Mi Barrio isn't very long it still is a good, inspiring story of what is possible through hard work and determination.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Alternate Reality Comics' Black Friday Sale!!

Alternate Reality Comics will be opening this Friday, November 25th (Black Friday), at 8am to get our Black Friday sales going! We'll also have FREE vegan donuts from Ronalds and FREE beverages on hand as part of our appreciation for Alternate Reality Comics' patrons / friends!

Here's the lowdown on Alternate Reality Comics' Black Friday sales! (going on from 8am until 7pm)!:

All graphic novels / trade paperbacks / hardcovers, will be on sale for 25% off the entire day!

A special display within the store will be devoted to graphic novels / hardcovers that are on sale for only ten dollars (this section isn't part of the 25% off graphic novel sale because of this sections already low price)! Buy two of the ten dollar graphic novels / hardcovers and receive a third one for FREE!!

ALL action figures will be on sale for $14.99! Buy any four (any combination of figures) for only $54.99!!

Our variants editions are normally low priced, but on Black Friday they'll be on sale for 50% off the marked price!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving Day and I hope to see you for our biggest Black Friday sale to date! A great selection of comics and graphic novels, along with free donuts and beverages, is there a better way to get in the mood this gift-giving season (and I like to think you'll also find some great priced items for your own gratification!)!?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photos from Warren Ellis Documentary screening & Nathan Edmondson signing!

This past Friday, here at Alternate Reality Comics, we had our first screening, the Vegas premiere of Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts, directed by Patrick Meaney (who has also directed a Grant Morrison documentary). This Warren Ellis documentary really enhanced my already high opinion of the mind and writing of Warren Ellis and I now SOOOO want to find a block of time to re-read his excellent Transmetropolitan (collected in ten volumes).

Everyone who came had a great time and I'd like to thank those who were able to make it as this was a lot of fun experiencing with people who truly appreciate the high octane weirdness of Warren Ellis. Part of me laments that more people who were planning to make it, didn't, but I also realize that often life gets in the way, and I am more a quality of group person, rather than a quantity of group person. I'd also like to thank my friends, Jim and Lora, for their projector use and set up), the trailers they made before the feature (and all of their other nuts and bolts help), as well as them making the popcorn happen (tip of the hat also to Drew for his loan of the popcorn machine). Thanks to Suzanne also from the Clark County Library, for the use of chairs. And HUGE thanks to director, Patrick Meaney, for including my store in his Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts documentary screening! I highly recommend both his Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison documentaries as great explorations of these two giant minds of the modern comic book era. Check out http://www.respectfilms.com/ for some looks at these films and other works Patrick Meaney is involved with.

This past Saturday, along with Comic Oasis, I hosted writer, Nathan Edmondson, and a good time was had. Here in the photo from left to right is Nathan Edmondson, Derrick, the grandmaster of Comic Oasis, and Pierce (holding a sketch that Scott Clark did for him - the sketch Nathan is holding is one he did of Warblade, from Derrick's description!). Nathan Edmondson (Who Is Jake Ellis?, Olympus, The Light, and Grifter) is definitely a new voice in comics that is going to be getting a lot of attention with all of the projects he's got on tap for next year (actually starting with the release of The Activity from Image December 21st)!

The lovely lass seen here, is Electra, talking to Nathan and artist Scott Clark (who will be drawing the next two issues of Nathan Edmondson's Grifter).

The young lad on the right here is Andy Alvarez, a huge Nathan Edmondson fan! No, they didn't call each other about what shirts they should wear that evening (grin)!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who is Jake Ellis? & Nathan Edmondson signing!

This week the trade paperback collection of Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic's Who Is Jake Ellis? was released and a mighty fine production it is for a mere $16.99! Who Is Jake Ellis? is an espionage / thriller story and really that's all you need to know, other than that the mystery that unravels is done in a masterly fashion by writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Tonci Zonjic that if one didn't know that these were two fairly new comic book creators, you'd think this was a work of seasoned cartoonists. Who Is Jake Ellis? wouldn't be the page-turner that it is without the fantastic minimalist art of Tonci Zonjic that evokes Alex Toth, Cliff Chiang and Marcos Martin, with some really FANTASTIC coloring also done by Zonjic!

This Saturday, November 19th, here at Alternate Reality Comics, we're hosting writer, Nathan Edmondson, for a signing from 5-7pm, followed by a meet and greet at Freakin Frog (4700 S. Maryland Pkwy., just a half mile from my store) at 7pm, where we'll also hook up with people from Comic Oasis (who are hosting Nathan Edmondson earlier tomorrow from 2-4pm)! We hope that a lot of Ich Liebe Comics! followers will join us for the signing at one or both stores and at the Freakin Frog at 7pm!

For those of you wondering what else Nathan Edmondson has written, presently he's writing Grifter as part of DC's new 52 title launch (three issues out to date), and he's got two collections out of previous mini series from Image called The Light and Olympus. In December Nathan Edmondson has a new super hero title coming out from Image called The Activity, drawn by Mitch Gerads, and I'm thinking this is going to be one of the sleeper hits of the year (so come out to the singings / Freakin Frog meet up and try to get info from Nathan about this series!)!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Fracture of the Universal Boy

So what is The Fracture of the Universal Boy? Well it's a new gorgeously drawn over-sized graphic novel by Michael Zulli, that has some of the best lettering I've seen outside of Todd Klein, has a title that suggests a big story, and production values that most graphic novels would be highly jealous of. What is lacking from Zulli's The Fracture of the Universal Boy is anything resembling a coherent story, unless you like narratives that resemble dreams in "structure". I think a story can be interesting even if it has a a dreamlike structure, but with Universal Boy, it seemed to me that there were several good ideas that were struggling to actually become well developed, but even though this clocks in at almost 200 pages, never really amounts to anything.

I don't normally feature negative reviews here on Ich Liebe Comics! because there really is a lot of comics and graphic novels I could comment upon in the positive column and "one person's trash is another person's treasure" (as horribly
neutral as that adage can be, it's also true), but with The Fracture of the Universal Boy, I had such high expectations and the art really is that beautiful. Anyone who has seen Michael Zulli's Sandman arc, The Wake, and his Puma Blues, knows what I'm talking about. Maybe he shouldn't be writing (sorry that sounds so harsh), actually Michel Zulli pretty much says the same thing in his afterward of this book that he had worked on for six years. Seriously though, if you just want to see some lush sequential art that evokes Barry Windsor Smith at his artistic height, then you need look no further than Michael Zulli's The Fracture of the Universal Boy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MetaMaus

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Art Spiegelman's Maus, his Pulitzer prize-winning Holocaust memoir of his father, and Pantheon recently released a new edition (there's no new content, this just being a really nice hardcover edition with a new cover and no annoying dust jacket). Maus, is not only an account of how Vladek, Art Spiegelman's father, survived the Holocaust, it's also a look into a father and a son, who couldn't come from two more distant worlds and how they relate (or don't) to each other.

Maus, like no other account of what the Holocaust was that I'd been introduced to in school or in other media (and before the early 1980s, there was very little out there that was shared), opened my eyes and mind to the horror that people are capable of towards other people. And Maus could have just been a sentimental, very horrifying, and sad account of this part of the world's history, but Art Spiegleman, in Maus, redefined what autobiographical / biographical graphic novels could be, hence his winning the Pulitzer prize, which no other sequential art creation has been awarded. Maus is every much as important (and not in the it's a chore to read sense) graphic novel as it was when it first debuted and I firmly believe that if you only read one graphic novel ever, Maus should be that book (and it's an excellent introductory graphic novel to share with your loved ones).

Also recently released by Pantheon is MetaMaus, Art Spieglman's incredibly dense hardcover archive of what went into his creation of Maus. MetaMaus also comes with a DVD that includes some of his interviews with his father, drawings, photos, and other essays). I'm only on page 75 of this book (300 pages with lots of preliminary art and photos, with color throughout) and haven't gotten to experience the DVD yet, but this is obviously as entirely engaging as anyone who has read Maus would imagine it to be and is also a MUST read for people who want to learn more about the Holocaust and the creative process itself.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day remembrance sale & my top 11 war graphic novels!

Today is Veteran's day, a day in which we give thanks to men and women who have served in the military. Today is also 11/11/11, so I'd like to list my top eleven graphic novels that have war as their theme:

1. Alan's War (WWII), 2. Two Generals (WWII) 3. Code Name Geronimo (Navy Seals Bin Laden mission) 4. Dong Xoai (Vietnam War) 5. The Nam (three volumes, fiction, but still realistic) 6. You'll Never Know (WWII) 7. War Stories (two volumes of realistic fiction, each with four stories about separate aspects of WWII) 8. Dear Billy (fiction WWII revenge story) 9. Enemy Ace (WWI fiction) 10. 303 (Afghanistan) 11. SGT. Rock (WWII fiction)

And all of these and every comic and war graphic novel will be on special for 20% off cover price today at Alternate Reality Comics, so if you haven't read this and or if you'd like to gift one of these to someone you know who has served, here you go!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vegas Valley Comic Book Fest 2011 was wonderful all around!

Previous years of the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival have been great, but this year was miles above the previous ones in being the best all around show, in respect to diversity of programming, guests, volunteers, and the great flow of attendees throughout the day! Even V showed up in honor of the festival being on Guy Fawkes Day this year, and he's got the lovely Mary Jane Watson (Brieanna Brock Randall, Vegas' cosplay model supreme!) along for the party that it was!

The FABULOUS Very Awesome Girls Into Awesome Activities were also on hand to help make the day run as smooth as it did, seen here in their fantastic outfits!
Two of this years very special guests were they dynamic duo of Colleen Coover and her hubby, Paul Tobin. Earlier this year they released their first graphic novel together, Gingerbread Girl, and it is wonderful! I bought a nice small color Clea sketch at the show from Colleen because I LOVE her artwork (in a perfect world, Marvel would let her do a Clea mini series!)!
Returning musical guests this year (seen here in this photo) are the two guys that make up Kirby Krackle, the finest in nerd rock! Most of their songs are about superheroes and other popular culture targets, but a person doesn't have to know what they're singing about to enjoy their music - of which Alternate Reality Comics now stocks all three of their albums!

I want to throw out some thank yous to the many people who made the Fourth Annual Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival SUCH a great time!: The biggest thanks goes out to EVERYONE who showed up to have a fun time and share their love of comics, thanks to Suzanne Scott, the special events manager at the Clark County Library who spearheaded this entire show, Steven and Ashley and the VAGINA gals and all of the other volunteers, all of the local comic stores that came out and showed the Vegas comic community how awesome we all are (because we have such awesome patrons / friends), Katherine Keller (my lovely wife, naturally) for holding down the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table (and explaining to newbies what that is and taking donations), the lads who made this years comic book anthology, Tales From Fremont Street (now available at Alternate Reality Comics!), and all of the guests and vendors that came out to show Vegas comic book lovers a fun time! If I've forgotten anyone, I'd like to apologize in advance!

See you next year on the first Saturday of November next year for the Fifth Annual Vegas Valley Comic book Festival, which really has a lot of pressure on it to top this years funfest!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tales From Fremont Street & Comicfest tomorow!

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 5th, from 10-4pm, the fourth annual Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival will be happening and it won't be as fun if you're not there! At tomorrow's Vegas Comicsfest, you'll get the chance to be the first on your block to purchase Tales From Fremont Street, a new anthology crime fiction comic that takes place here in Las Vegas and is created by Vegas comic book creators! All of the writers and all of the artists, except for Eric Dent (who moved to New Mexico), will be on hand to happily sign your book (only five dollars), the proceeds from which go to benefit the library and this event.

At the Barrick Museum on the UNLV campus, adjacent to the UNLV Library, there's an excellent exhibit of the original art from Tales From Fremont Street and I'm here to tell you that this is one of the BEST presentations of original comic book art that I've seen! Here in this first photo on either side of Kate, are the Fillbach Brothers, who illustrate the first story. The first story was superbly written by Ed Hawkins, who also outlined the framework of this entire comic.
Closing this anthology (with not a dud in the bunch!), we have artist Warren Wucinich, who illustrates Pj Perez' story, Coda, which wonderfully brings together all of the stories within Tales From Fremont Street!
And here's artist F. Andrew Taylor, who also wrote the fourth story, The Clerk. This is my favorite sequential art piece that I've seen by F. Andrew Taylor!
Did I mention that all of the artists who contributed to this anthology really turned up their game!? Well nowhere is this more true than the art pages that artist Deryl Skelton contributed in the third story, The Fallen Countenance, also written by Jarret Keen (I think that's what Deryl told me, even though Jarret isn't in the credits for this story)!

Artist Victor Moya, who illustrated the second story, Pleasurezone, written by Jarret Keene. Victor, like all of the artists in Tales From Fremont Street, really turned up his art quite a few notches!

Hope to see all of my Ich Liebe Comics! readers at the Vegas Valley Comicsfest tomorrow, just remember to wear a sweater or jacket!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Vegas Valley Comic Festival in 4 days!

This Saturday, from 10am-4pm, at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Rd., right behind Alternate Reality Comics!), the annual Vegas Valley Comic book Festival will be happening! Amongst the guests will be the Fillback Brothers, digital color artists Brian & Kristy Miller, Katie Cook, who will be hosting a how to draw Star Wars panel, geek musicians Kirby Krackle (if you missed them last year, you HAVE to treat yourself this year!), and Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, creators of the graphic novel, Gingerbread Girl! There'll also be portfolio reviews, panels throughout the day, food trucks, a courtyard marketplace featuring many Vegas comic book stores and the debut of Tales From Fremont Street, a new comic book anthology written and drawn by local writers and cartoonists (you could also see the original art from this comic at the Barrick Museum, at 6pm Wednesday, right next to the UNLV library)!

This years Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival is happening on November 5th, which is of course Guy Fawkes Day, so they'll be showing V For Vendetta (FREE!) in their theater! This event is a fun way to celebrate comics and pop culture, so make sure you bring your friends and neighbors so they can see why we love being the geeks / nerds that we are so much!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Book of Human Insects

The Book of Human Insects is the newest hardcover graphic novel manga thriller by Osama Tezuka, recently released by Vertical. This was originally serialized in Japan in 1970 / 1971, but like Tezuka's MW, and Apollo's Song, The Book of Human Insects is in not dated in any respect, instead it is one of the many graphic novels that Tezuka has done that shows why he's so highly regarded both in Japan and here in the U.S.

The central character of The Book of Human Insects is Toshiko Tomura, and this graphic novel traces her journey as she wrecks the lives of the rich and famous through her conniving, grifting persona that is horrific and exciting to watch unravel. The Book of Human Insects is a very rich graphic novel in terms of length (364 pages) and being ahead of its time and I rank it amongst the very best of Tezuka's large body of work.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

FreakAngels V.6 & Neonomicon!

A couple of weeks ago, Avatar released two great graphic novels, FreakAngels and Neonomicon, of which I'd like to write a few words upon. No Spoilers following!

FreakAngels Volume 6 is the concluding volume of Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield's online comic they started back in February, 2008. For those of you who haven't read the previous volumes, FreakAngels takes place in England, where twelve young people (the FreakAngels), who were born at exactly the same time 23 years ago, are the frontline defense for their country. Yes, these twelve FreakAngels have powers, but they don't don costumes and they don't all have the best interests of the survival of their country in mind. The final volume of FreakAngels, like the previous volumes, is excellent, and greatly brings the various plot lines together into a totally gratifying conclusion. And anyone who has seen Paul Duffield's amazing artwork, already knows what a visual delight his art is and it'll be exciting to see what he does next!

Long time Alternate Reality Comics visitors may remember when we had Warren Ellis at our store as part of his 1997 October Revolution Tour, well we're not going to have another in person visit from Mr. Ellis in the near future, but we've got something happening Friday, November 18th that should make Warren Ellis fans VERY happy (more details next week)!

The other great Avatar graphic novel release from a couple of weeks ago is Neonomicon, which collects the Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows four issue mini series along with The Courtyard, which was a prequel to Neonomicon. Neonomicon is one third Silence of the Lambs, and three quarters HP Lovecraft, equaling 100% weirdness and VERY adult subject matter that will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering how this ends (and there is an ending / closure, but if Moore and Burrows wanted to, they could definitely go forward - and I hope they do)!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seth's new graphic novel...

Seth (cartoonist of the excellent graphic novels, It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken and George Sprott), just released a new graphic novel through Drawn and Quarterly, titled The G.N.B. Double C The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, which actually makes for a fine companion piece to his Wimbledon Green graphic novel. Like Wimbledom Green, The G.N.B. Double C is not one of Seth's more formal narratives, rather it's a cartooning work he took on to give himself a break between finishing Clyde Fans (which still seems as if it will be a long time before we see a new chapter), and it's in the same small hardcover format with a nine panel grid per page.

Even though this isn't one of Seth's weighter comic book narratives, even a "lesser" work by Seth is still a happy day for those who appreciate something different in their sequential art entertainments. The G.N.B. Double C is narrated by one of the members of this Canadian cartoonist enclave and exists as a kind of mediation on cartooning / cartoonists / people who like this medium. Another excellent graphic novel that mines this theme is Dylan Horrocks, Hicksville, but the tone of The G.N.B. Double C is entirely different (and in his introduction, Seth, admits to being a huge fan of Hicksville, but hadn't thought of that graphic novel when working on his graphic novel). Definitely a big thumbs up for people who enjoy alternative comic books and or for people who like to think about the comic book / comic strip medium beyond just their escapist qualities!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Batman Year One animated, GREAT!

Last night I watched the recently released Batman Year One animated DVD feature and it was every bit as good as I'd hoped it would be! This is as good as adapted comics to film / animation get, with a great story, animation, and great voice work and this Batman Year One animated feature ranks at the very top of the many excellent animated features DC animation has done (especially New Frontier and Batman Under the Red Hood). This is a straight / faithful adaptation, so it is a great way to revisit this seminal story and share it with others.












Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli wrote and drew Batman Year One right after Frank Miller's Batman The Dark Knight Returns (Batman Year One being, of course, about when Baman first came onto the scene and Batman Dark Knight Returns taking place when Batman comes out of retirement) back in the mid 1980's, but it is still one of the best Batman stories ever. Actually in a lot of ways, Batman Year One (both the comic and the animated feature) is more about James Gordon rising to become police captain of Gotham and is more of a crime fiction story than it is a story about the fantastical villains Batman usually encounters and even though this was written and drawn back in the 1980's, Batman Year One is not dated in any respect and is HIGHLY recommended by Ich Liebe Comics! and Alternate Reality Comics (same thing - grin)!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Death-Ray; Daniel Clowes

The newest graphic novelette hardcover, published by Drawn & Quarterly, by Daniel Clowes (most people will know him from his Ghost World graphic novel which was also made into a good movie) is titled Death-Ray and is an over-sized hardcover representation of Eightball #23, published by Fantagraphic Books in 2004.

Death-Ray features more of Clowes' trademark nihilistic world view, this time filtered through wish fulfillment lenses. A quote from Time Magazine on the back of Death-Ray, sums up this graphic novelette better than I can: "Like Holden Caulfield with his phaser set on kill - phonies beware." If you haven't already read this, Death-Ray is a great addition to one's Daniel Clowes library and if you have, it's great to read and see this in this nice over-sized hardcover edition!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saturday Boys & Girls Club benefit / artist event!

This Saturday, October, 15th from 11am - 5pm, Alternate Reality Comics will be hosting an artist / cosplay event benefiting The Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas! Visiting artists from Arizona include Andy Bohn (creator, writer, artist of The Elvatron Chronicles) and Michael Stewart (who has penciled Magdalena for Top Cow), who will be joining local artist, Brice Gielgens, in sketching as well as having exclusive prints for sale! For eye candy in fabulous copsplay costumes, local favorite and Zenescope Girl of the Year, Brieanna Brock, will be joined by Agelica Virgie and Anna Von Winter!

There'll be a raffle for original art and other fabulous prizes (including gift certificates) and a HUGE .25 back issue sale, with the money raised from the raffle (raffle tickets only $1.00 each) and the back issue sale being donated to The Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas to raise money for their art program.

We'll also be providing free snacks and beverages, so we hope to see a lot of our friends (and your friends and neighbors!) this Saturday, October, 15th from 11am-5pm for a fun time with some great up and coming artists and cosplay performers, raffles, and a back issue sale benefiting a great local organization, The Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas!

And if you want to kick off the fun that Saturday will be, tonight (Thursday) over at Buffalo Wild Wings (190 West Craig Road, close to Craig and Commerce) from 8:30pm until whenever, there will be a drink and draw with the whole gang! You can come to drink, draw, and or just socialize!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stargazing Dog; Takashi Murakami

Looking for a good sad story? Well you need look no further than a new graphic novel release from NBM, called Stargazing Dog, written and drawn by Takashi Murakami.
Stargazing Dog is a guy and his dog story and what happens to them that causes them to embark on a road trip and the extra sadness of the tale in this graphic novel is that it is mostly narrated by Happie, the dog. While Stargazing Dog is sad, it's not overwhelmingly depressing and has many layers of beauty within its tale (no pun intended).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Habibi by Craig Thompson, a masterpiece!

NO Spoilers following:

Habibi is the new graphic novel opus by Craig Thompson and it is very much worth the long wait in every respect! Published by Pantheon, this is one of the most BEAUTIFULLY designed graphic novels I've seen in some time (and there has been quite a few really nice ones the last couple of years) and at 660 pages, its price of $35.00 (hardcover with no annoying dust jacket) is something you won't flinch at when you see its grandeur!



When you see a physical copy of Habibi, I'm pretty sure that like myself, you'll not want to know much about what it's about, rather letting its magic unfold as you read it, but here's my little sound bite for those of you who don't already know that a new graphic novel by Craig Thompson (Blankets, Good-Bye Chunky Rice, Carnet de Voyage) is to be celebrated from rooftops everywhere!:

Habibi is, at its core, a graphic novel about two slaves / orphans, about love and horror, and about Islam. Habibi is one of those graphic novels that will be read, shared, and studied for years and it is very much a high water mark of the graphic novel / sequential art medium. There's no way that Habibi isn't going to win the Eisner next year for best original graphic novel!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Uber artist JH Williams III Batwoman signing FUN, FUN, FUN!

From left to right: Michelle Irish, Alternate Reality Comics' resident artist and great friend, Wendy and JH Williams III, me (Ralph), and Paul, another of my great friends and a big part of what makes Alternate Reality Comics so great (Paul primarily works on Sundays so stop by and say hi to him)! Behind us is of course amazing original art from Promethea and the ENTIRE first issue of Batwoman #1 by JH Williams III! This exhibit will be in our Artist Spotlight section of Alternate Reality Comics through October, so if you didn't make our JH signing / reception this past Saturday, you still have almost a whole month to see this in person (and as fantastic as it looks in color, the black and whites and gray washes HAVE to be seen in all of their large 11x17 and double page spread glory!)! This will be the last chance for anyone to see all of the original art of Batwoman #1 in one place because JH and Wendy will be selling these pages in November (thanks to my friend, Jim McKenzie, for suggesting I ask JH to send an entire issue and for JH for allowing my store to have this honor).

As many of my Ich Liebe Comics! readers already know, this past Saturday, Alternate Reality Comics once again was honored to host JH Williams III for a signing, celebrating the debut of Batwoman #1. Actually this was a joint venture with Comic Oasis, who hosted JH and his wife, Wendy, earlier in the day (Derrick, owner of Comic Oasis, and myself do this together because we're both huge JH fans and we wanted to give more people in Vegas a chance to come out to either of our stores depending on their schedules to meet JH and see his original art).

This cake, with an edible JH Williams III Batwoman image upon it, was made by Bakery Magic, a new bakery just down the sidewalk from my store. Everyone who had a piece said it was great and this almost tempted me to stray from my vegan diet!



We've had many many great signings at Alternate Reality Comics over our 17 years and especially this past year at our new bigger space, but I'd have to say that this JH Williams III signing / original art reception surely ranks at the top (we do love all of or signings though and shouldn't pick our favorite kid - grin!)! The entire three hour event had a great flow of people getting JH William III illustrated comics and graphic novels signed, people chatting with JH about his art process and what's coming up with Batwoman, and basically people just showing up to give this great artist some much deserved ego strokes! My only lament about the store being so busy with so many people, was that I myself barely had a chance to look at all of the original art that JH and Wendy brought (but I did see some of the art for upcoming issues of Batwoman and I'm here to tell you that you've only just begun to see what an amazing artist JH is!).

This is Derrick Taylor, owner of Comic Oasis, with his cohort, Holly. Derrick told me that the first part of the JH Williams III signing at his store earlier in the day also was really busy so he wasn't able to make his Bloody Marys at his store. When I heard that he'd be coming over to my store to continue to visit with JH and Wendy, I told him to bring his stuff over to liquor up my customers / friends! I had forgotten that Derrick was a bartender in one of his former lives and had no idea that he'd have the serious set up / ingredients that he had! He made me a Greyhound (grapefruit juice with vodka) and while it was great, to my light-weight ass, it seemed to be three drinks in one! The Bloody Marys Derrick made looked like a meal in a cup, with bacon and celery as just two of the foodstuffs they contained! Thanks Derrick (and Holly), for making my JH Williams III event that was already buzzing, REALLY buzz!

Seriously, my biggest thanks is going to go to all of my fabulous friends / customers for coming to this event and sharing the love with JH Williams III and his wife, Wendy (artists really do appreciate the support and feedback), AND to JH and Wendy for being such a FANTASTIC ARTIST and such wonderful people! More photos from this event can be seen at my store facebook page, just do a facebook search on Alternate Reality Comics, Las Vegas!

To further celebrate being able to display JH's Batwoman #1 art, Alternate Reality Comics is going to extend our 20% off sale on all JH Williams III graphic novels through the end of October, so treat yourself and that special someone in your life to some great sequential art! I want to close by reminding people that they can buy the original art from Batwoman #0 and #1 beginning in November by heading over to JH Williams III's website: http://www.jhwilliams3.com/ and clicking on "store" where you'll also find some of his other original art that is ready for loving homes!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tonight from 6-9pm at the Barrick Museum at UNLV!

The Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival is producing two art exhibits this Fall in conjunction with UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum to raise awareness of both sequential art and the museum itself. The first of these exhibits, “Seduction of the Innocent,” will feature a visual history of comic book censorship throughout the decades in honor of Banned Books Week, but we’re not just opening it with some boring wine-and-cheese reception. No, the Comic Book Festival and the Barrick Museum have partnered with Yelp to present a fun-filled event capping that website’s “Yelp Geeks Out” month on Friday, Sept. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.

In addition to guided tours of the exhibit itself, guests can peruse comics and related merchandise at one of several retailer booths, taste delicious food cooked up by local restaurants, enjoy libations of both the adult and all-ages varieties, and even have their caricatures drawn. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore all that the Barrick Museum has to offer, meet local comic book creators and experts, and pick up a copy of Yelp’s Geek Guide, a handy digest to help you find all the raddest places to geek out on games, toys, comics and more in Las Vegas.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you please RSVP on Yelp (bit.ly/BanComics) as space is limited, and you don’t want to miss out on this first satellite event leading up to the 2011 Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival!

Hope everyone is able to attend this event which will launch a month of comic book events, continuing with JH Williams III, Saturday, Oct. 1st (4-7pm), at Alternate Reality Comics, two other October artists event signings also done jointly by Alternate Reality Comics and Comic Oasis, and ending on Guy Fawkes Day (Saturday, Nov. 5th), at the Clark County Library for the Vegas Valley Comicfest!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Saturday, J.H. Williams III!!

Alternate Reality Comics is ecstatic to host BATWOMAN artist and co-writer JH Williams III for our second Artist Spotlight!! Among the original pieces we will also be exhibiting DC's Batwoman #1 in its ENTIRETY (all 22 pages hand drawn/painted)!!!

JH Williams III is the Eisner Award winning artist of Promethea, Desolation Jones, Batman: Black Glove, Chase, and MANY others; his most recent and high-profile work is as artist and co-writer of DC's new award winning series Batwoman.

In conjunction to being our second featured artist JH will be signing books and receiving ego strokes from 4pm to 7pm!

As well as getting to have a meet & greet with this remarkable artist you will also be able to pick up ANY of his graphic novels for 20% off!! This includes Promethea, Desolation Jones, Batman: Black Glove, Batwoman... Elegy, and of course the NEW Batwoman #1!!!

Along with the festivities we will be raffling off some wonderful JH-centric prizes!

**JH will have pieces for purchase!!!

Gonna be a blast, tell your friends, loved ones (and not so loved ones), and neighbors!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Americus

Americus is a new graphic novel from publisher First Second, written by MK Reed and drawn by Jonathan Hill, about a small town (Americus), in which a group of people are trying to get a series of fantasy books banned because they think that they promote witchcraft and cause young people to make bad life choices.

The only thing I didn't like about Americus, is its cover, because while I think it is an image that will stand out on shelves, I don't think it is an image that will have many people wanting to check it out.















Americus has great characters and really nice art and is perfect for all ages as a celebration of reading and the turbulent time that is high school. While Americus is a work of fiction, sadly its theme of banned books still happens across America and Americus being released towards the end of September is fitting as this coincides with Banned Book Week, a week in which libraries across the U.S. spotlight books that have been on banned book lists over the years. At the Barrick Museum on the UNLV campus, next week, starting on Friday night, September 30th, there will be an exhibit of banned comic books and banned comic book art.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Optic Nerve #12!!

Last week writer / artist Adrian Tomine released a new issue of Optic Nerve, the first new issue in years. Optic Nerve never really came out with any regularity or great frequency, but it was always a special treat when a new issue would arrive and Optic Nerve #12 is no exception, other than in my opinion, it may be Tomine's best Optic Nerve ever. Tomine is most know for slice of life people stories such as his Summer Blonde and Shortcomings (both of which were serialized over several years in Optic Nerve).

Optic Nerve #12 contains two complete Adrian Tomine stories, Hortisculpture and Amber Sweet, has two pages of letters, and an autobiographical two-pager by Tomine, in which he talks about why he has released another issue of Optic Nerve instead of just releasing these stories as graphic novels. Optic Nerve #12 is 41 pages in length, but with the number of panels per page, this issue's stories will get a nice hardcover graphic novel treatment and no one who buys the stories in a hardcover presentation will feel that they've not gotten their bang for their dollars. I want to salute Adrian Tomine for going against the alternative comics grain and first making his two new stories available for only $5.99 - this is definitely the deal of the day!

Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/16/17 - Big Metal #1 release, Kirby 100th B-Day Celebration local artist opening tonight (with a HUGE Kirby cake), & Very Awesome Girls LV Book Drive / Bake Sale this Saturday edition!!

 I hope everyone has stayed off of the interwebs and not had this first issue spoiled! After these three photos showing some of the comics...