Saturday, January 29, 2011

King of The Flies V.2

Last week, from Fantagraphic Books, the second volume of King Of The Flies was released and it's every bit as great as the first volume (released here in the U.S. last year) was.

King Of The Flies, by Mezzo and Pirus, is one of those graphic novels that is hard to describe, instead I find it's best to describe what it's like. As I mentioned in my Ich Liebe Comics! entry last year about volume one, King Of The Flies is like the creepiness and art of Charles Burns (Black Hole), crossed with Alan Moore's prose and insights into people and the world around us. While I was reading King Of Flies V. 2, I also think it reads like a really good, dark work of crime fiction, with David Lynch (such as Blue Velvet, one of my very favorite movies) aspects to the characters and story. So if you like any of these aforementioned creators works, I think you'll really like King Of The Flies. As with volume 1, volume 2 is part of a bigger story (and I don't know how many total volumes there are), but each volume reads like a complete story in its own way.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

David Boring; Daniel Clowes, revisited

The other day I somehow was between new comics / graphic novels to read, so I reread Daniel Clowes' David Boring graphic novel that collects three issues of his Eightball comic.

The collected David Boring softcover came out in 2000 (I didn't remember it being that long ago) and although I liked it when it first came out, I liked it even more this time around. David Boring is a fictional story about David Boring, whose absentee father was a minor league comic book artist (and no relation to Wayne Boring, an actual artist that drew Superman for years), and like Clowes' other comic book creations, features characters who are too self-aware and nihilistic (traits that I don't think are entirely bad qualities). Basically, if you've like other Daniel Clowes graphic novels like Ghost World or Ice Haven (my favorite of his work) and or the graphic novels of Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings, Summer Blonde), you'll enjoy David Boring, which is anything about boring.

I often lament not having the time to revisit favorite graphic novels because there is so much new stuff coming out, so when I get a chance to get reread old favorites, like David Boring, that makes me happy, and I encourage Ich Liebe Comics! to MAKE time to revisit some of YOUR favorite comics and graphic novels!

Monday, January 24, 2011

It Was The War Of The Trenches

Excellent!, Excellent, Excellent! Just last week, here at Alternate Reality Comics (where we're experiencing a heat wave in late January, here in Vegas!), I received what I thought was a new U.S. release of a great World War I graphic novel by French cartoonist, Jacques Tardi, called, It Was The War Of The Trenches (I'm going to call it Trenches for the rest of this entry so that I don't use up to much space here on the internet). Well it turns out Trenches was released last April here in the U.S. and I somehow missed it the first time around! I was going to call it the first great graphic novel of 2011 that I've read, but now I'm going to more correctly call it one of the VERY best graphic novels of 2010!

Trenches is a fictionalized account of some French and German soldiers in the trenches during World War I, but other than the fictionalized characters, everything else has an historical accuracy (not that I was there, but trust me, this reads as I imagine things played out during that war).

As you can tell from this interior page and the cover above, Tardi is a great cartoonist, but he's also a great wordsmith as illustrated by these two following passages:

"Dufour died at dawn, of course... He was given just a short moment's respite. His suffering abated for a few seconds, he regained a taste for life, and that's when he died. Condemned men quite often expire at dawn, after a whole night of pointless suffering."

"Fuck, why is it every last one of 'em is so obsessed with his mother? Mommy provides cannon fodder, the fruit of her loins, it squirts into the world dressed in a helmet and armed to the teeth...mother nature...that's what's human about it'...Not much to be proud of...all the way back to the Stone Age, everyone always has a club in their mitts, so to speak...not a hell of a lot of evolution goin' on, 'cept for the mustard gas, the shrapnel grenade or the incendiary bomb, little unimportant details like that...but always the same basic idea! You shouldn't throw little kids like us into the steaming-guts arena...Mommy, that wasn't a very nice thing to do!"

Powerful stuff, aye!?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Utopian / Shade Tree benefit - HUGE sucess!

On the left is Pj Perez, creator, writer and artist of The Utopian and on the right is Hernan Valencia, the cover artist for The Utopian graphic novel.

I couldn't have been happier with how The Utopian book launch, and Shade Tree (a local non profit organization that helps homeless and abused women, children, and pets) benefit played out today!
Just some of the many, many people who came out, to get Pj's The Utopian and donate to Shade Tree. It was great to see so many of my old friends, new friends, and people I haven't seen in a long time (and or who hadn't been to my store since I moved prior to today)!
Jason Lovin, a friend and one of my substitute worker bees here at Alternate Reality Comics, getting ready to get his Slider Truck lunch on! Of course the Slider Truck was a big hit! Today I had an idea to get a vegan food truck up and running here in Vegas, so I'm gonna call new Las Vegan vegan, Steve Wynn to finance this for me (I'm only half joking, so please loyal Ich Liebe Comics! readers don't let anyone steal my idea!)! I'm thinking that it could be called Vegas Vegans! and instead of a truck, it could be a tricked out VW bus!

Pj, Hernan, and myself, in front of just a very small part of the HUGE donations people made today at my store to benefit Shade Tree! Thanks and a tip of my hat to Pj for connecting with Shade Tree. My .25 cent back issue sale also generated BIG sales at the register and all proceeds from the back issues today will also be donated to Shade Tree, so thanks to all who picked up some great back issues for CHEAP that will help the community! A HUGE thanks to EVERYONE who came out today and made this event and benefit so successful and fun!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Utopian TP party / Shade Tree benefit / HUGE back issue sale, & the SLIDER TRUCK tomorrow!

I realize that I've had an Ich Liebe Comics! entry about Pj Perez' The Utopian graphic novel launch celebration and Shade Tree benefit (and back issue sale) already, but there's a new addition to the fun by the name of the Slider Food Truck, who'll be here for the entire event (12-3pm, Saturday, Jan. 22nd)!

Here in this first photo is the star of tomorrow, The Utopian graphic novel, which I like to describe in a sound bite as a little bit Kick Ass, mixed with a little V For Vendetta, and topped with a lot of honesty in terms of the focus on issues high school kids have to deal with, as well as the whole bullying subculture that exists and what one person does to try to change this.

Pj Perez, the creator, writer and artist of The Utopian, did this initially as an online comic that was also released in single issues, before its now definitive version as a full color graphic novel with extensive end notes. Pj Perez grew up and went to school here in Vegas and you'll appreciate his love of this city while reading his end notes. All sales of The Utopian graphic novel tomorrow go directly to Pj Perez, so that's definitely another way to support a local artist!

In addition to supporting local artists, we (Pj and myself) thought it would be a great idea to tie in this event with a benefit for Shade Tree, a local non profit organization that helps abused and homeless women, children and pets. To see a list of their most needed items (besides monetary donations) click here:

If you've never tried one of the hugely popular Vegas food trucks, well tomorrow from 12-3pm, one of the most popular ones, The SLIDER TRUCK (seen here in this photo), will be set up! Here's their menu: And all of my back issues that are normally one dollar each will be .25 cents each (one comic for only a quarter or four for a dollar!!), of which all of the sales will also be donated to Shade Tree!

This is going to be a REALLY FUN time, so bring not just your friends and family, bring your whole neighborhood! And thanks in advance for supporting local artists, local businesses, and local charitable organizations (like Shade Tree), who do so much for our community! And everyone who comes out and buys The Utopian graphic novel and or makes a donation to Shade Tree, will get a free raffle ticket for the many raffle prizes that will be happening tomorrow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to school for me!

This afternoon I got to take part in helping promote literacy at Will Beckley Elementary School, here in Las Vegas.

The theme was superheroes, so of course they had to invite a comic book store, and I want to thank Tracy and Meggin for having Alternate Reality Comics be that comic store! This first photo is me with Literacy Man!

This cool sign, made by one of the teachers, sums up the objective of their event!

These excited young lads were just three of the MANY elementary students of Will Beckley that got some cool free comics from Alternate Reality Comics that will hopefully encourage them to read more (and maybe become regular comic book fans - grin)!

I can't remember the names of these two large reading mascot characters behind these girls, but all of the kids loved that they were at the event! Actually the only bigger reaction of the entire event was a local team of fire fighters, who gave the kids a tour of their engine - they, along with police officers and doctors and SCHOOL TEACHERS, are the real SUPERHEROES!

Batwoman update & some J.H. cover art!

Some of you have heard that J.H. Williams III's new Batwoman series was supposed to start in February, well some of you may have also heard that the debut of this new series has been moved to April. Today, on his blog, J.H. clarifies why this is happening (and it's not because he's a video game junkie, because he's not - grin!). Click here:
The three images here on this Ich Liebe Comics! entry were also posted today by J.H. and are the covers of Batman Inc. issues #3, #4, and #5, sans logo. Sadly, Batman Inc., by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette, which has been highly entertaining, is also running late, but this lateness has nothing to do with J.H.

Damn, these are some fine, fine looking pieces of art, right!? Of course I'm with those of you who are sad to be waiting for Batwoman to start, but anyone who knows and loves J.H.'s art, knows that he doesn't take short cuts and when the issues appear, we'll all agree that it was worth the wait!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DC Comics new, lower priced comics!

This snazzy poster by Ivan Reis is now hanging up at my store and the first 100 people that come in to Alternate Reality Comics tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 19th, will get one of these posters free with your purchase of a DC comic! DC has lowered most of their comic book line to $2.99 (at least 85% of their line), so now is a great time to try out a DC comic that you've been wanting to try.

This display is of some of the DC Comics that came out last week. For the month of January, DC is going with a cover theme, which has the main character or characters of their various superhero comics in a striking pose alongside cool logo visuals on a white background. These comics really do stand out amongst the seas of titles out there and look great when displayed together. Here are some of tomorrow's DC's comics for your consideration, with equally cool covers: Superman / Batman, Supergirl, Batman, Brightest Day, Green Lantern Corps, Legion of Superheroes, and Justice League of America!

And after you pick up your free DC poster (with a DC comic purchase), I'd suggest hanging this in your house / apartment, and cutting out the area that says "Drawing the line at $2.99" (after you've appreciated DC for doing this) and draw yourself and your friends flying in the space above the other DC heroes!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Utopian TP release party & Shade Tree benefit!

Alternate Reality Comics (located at 4110 S. Maryland Pkwy. #8, next to Buffalo Exchange at the Maryland & Flamingo intersection, of course) is happy to announce that Saturday, January 22nd from 12-3pm, I'll be hosting Pj Perez' launch party for the trade paperback collection of The Utopian! We are tying in this fun time with a benefit for Shade Tree, a non profit local organization that helps homeless and abused women and children. For a list of items that Shade Tree is in need of in addition to donations, click here: Additionally I'll have the biggest back issue sale I've ever had at Alternate Reality Comics and ALL of the proceeds from that sale will be donated to Shade Tree!

For readers of Ich Liebe Comics! that haven't read the online version of The Utopian or the single issues yet, Pj put together a REALLY handsome collected version of his comic about a high school senior who takes it upon himself to fight the injustices he sees around him, for a mere $19.99 for 120 full color pages, with additional pages annotating every page of the story! So even if you have the single issues and or have read the online version, I think when people see the trade paperback version of The Utopian, they'll want to get this edition and then they can gift the single issues! So please enter Saturday, January 22nd from 12-3pm into your calendars, check out the link above to see what Shade Tree does for this community, and come on by for what's gonna be a fun time, with a couple of great local creative forces by the names of Pj Perez and Hernan Valencia (the collected edition cover artist)! There'll also be sketches and refreshments on hand!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Charles Holbert Jr. art!!

The art shown here is by Charles Holbert Jr., all around great guy and resident artist of one of Las Vegas' other fine comic book stores, Comic Oasis! Derrick (owner of Comic Oasis) had Charles make cartoon art images of several of the comic book store owners here in Vegas and then Holly made buttons for all of us. That's me on the left and Kate on the right, with Epstein (the Alternate Reality Comics mascot) in the middle - we couldn't be more pleased with our cartoon selves! Thanks Charles and everyone at Comic Oasis!

To check out more of Charles Hlbert Jr.'s art check out his deviant art page:

Friday, January 7, 2011

V.A.G.I.N.A. bake sale benefit for Red Rock graffiti clean up tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 8th from 10am-2pm, Alternate Reality Comics, will be hosting a bake sale to benefit the graffiti clean up at Red Rock!

The bakers, brains, and muscle on the front lines of this bake sale benefit for Red Rock is Stephanie Payne and her friends, who collectively call themselves, Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities (V.A.G.I.N.A.- nobody has a problem with that wonderful word, right, grin!?). V.A.G.I.N.A. is a fairly recently formed group with the only criteria to join being that you're a gal and love everything geekdom embraces (but guys can also be friends of V.A.G.I.N.A. because they're all inclusive!). So they'll be at my store, Alternate Reality Comics (4110 S. Maryland Pkwy. #8 at the intersection of Maryland & Flamingo behind the Long John Silver's, right next to Buffalo Exchange) and at both Maximum Comics locations from 10am-2pm to accept donations for their baked goods, of which all of the proceeds will go to the Red Rock graffiti clean up. Just another example that you can have fun and help the community at the same time!

Besides hosting the bake sale benefit, Alternate Reality Comics will be having a HUGE back issue sale and raffles to add to the fun! Everyone who donates / purchases baked goods from V.A.G.I.N.A. will get a raffle ticket! Here's how the back issue sale works: all of my back issues that are normally only one dollar (!), will be two for one dollar - that's .50 cents each!! And 50% of the sales from my back issue sale tomorrow will also be donated to the Red Rock clean up!

Some great gals into comics and all things fandom related, baked goods, cheap back issues, and raffles, you'll not find a more fun time in the Las Vegas valley, so pop over to Alternate Reality Comics and then go over to either Maximum Comics and see their own spin on fun (as they are hosting the bake sale benefit also)!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cape; Joe Hill

The Cape #1 (no relation to the upcoming NBC television show of the same name), is a one shot comic written by Jason Ciaramella, from a short prose story by Joe Hill (author of Locke & Key and son of Stephen King), drawn by Zach Howard, and published by IDW.

The Cape came out a couple of weeks ago, but I just got around to reading it yesterday and it made for a great first comic to read to kick off 2011. This is one of my Ich Liebe Comics! posts in which I talk even less about the actual story then I usually do (as regular readers of Ich Liebe Comics! may have noticed, my entries here mostly serve as a shout out for a comic or graphic novel that may have been overlooked by most people), because The Cape is one of those comics that the less you know about it the more impact it'll have when you read it. And I'm certain that everyone who reads The Cape #1 will want to read more, and although this is a one shot comic, at the end of this issue there is a notation that there will be more The Cape this year. This is a huge money back guarantee comic at Alternate Reality Comics!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Whatever happened to Big Numbers?

Over on facebook today a friend of mine, PJ, posted a link that has artist Bill Sienkiewicz, talking about what happened to Big Numbers, a series he worked on with Alan Moore, of which only three issues were ever completed (only two issues were ever published). I think that if Big Numbers had ever been completed it would have been one of the most amazing works ever in the sequential art medium we call comics.

The following piece by Bill Sienkiewicz is long, but it's great, honest writing on what stalled Big Numbers and has some of the most descriptive passages that I've read about what it's like working with wordsmith master, Alan Moore. Here's the link: