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 ( 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 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!

Like A Sniper Lining Up His Shot

Like A Sniper Lining Up His Shot is an EXCELLENT new hardcover graphic novel written by crime fiction novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette and illustrated by one of the masters of sequential art illustration, Jacques Tardi. The central character of Like A Sniper... is a mercenary turned contract killer, named Martin Terrier, who is forced out of retirement, and the way his return to his line of work unfolds ranks at the top with any hard-boiled crime fiction I've ever read. Anyone who had enjoyed Tardi's adaptation of Manchette's West Coast Blues will definitely love Like A Sniper... and if this is your introduction to Tardi and Manchette, you're in for a treat!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Batwoman #1 & J.H. Williams III upcoming signing!!

This week another thirteen titles of DC Comics new 52 titles arrived and amongst them was one of the most anticipated - Batwoman #1, beautifully drawn by Eisner Award winning artist, J.H. Williams III, and co-written by J.H. and W. Haden Blackman! This new DC company wide relaunch has exceeded expectations and all of the titles are flying off of shelves everywhere, with all of the titles going to a second print! Batwoman #1 is no exception and even though I ordered at really high levels I'm very close to being sold out (this fact isn't helped by my store getting shorted one third of my order with no replacement copies at the distributor level - arrrgghh!). I do have a line on some more from other stores that should be arriving next week (Alternate Reality Comics club members who haven't picked up their reservations yet, fear not, they're tucked away for you!). Seriously, I had what I thought was at least a two month supply of this first issue, but the new DC is really bringing in new faces in droves!

So is Batwoman #1 any good? No ------- it's GREAT! Seriously, it's illustrated by J.H. Williams III, so of course it's the top of the top of the greatest in sequential art! For a lot of people, Batwoman #1 will be their first exposure to J.H.'s writing, but I already knew it would be good because he has written with collaborators before. The first issue starts off with Batwoman already having had some adventures, as this isn't her first appearance, but newbies who haven't read Batwoman Elegy (the graphic novel by J.H. Williams III and writer, Greg Rucka, collecting their run with this character from Detective Comics) may be a little confused, but they won't be bored as they read how J.H. and W. Haden Blackman re-introduce Batwoman into the DC universe! And there's some special guest new supporting characters that have joined the party!

As many of you who have been at Alternate Reality Comics these past two months and have seen the announcements, we are ecstatic to bring back J.H. Williams III for another signing (his first time at my store's new location)! Mark your calendars for Saturday, October, 1st from 4-7pm as Alternate Reality Comics and our beloved patrons / friends show J.H. how much we love the art magic he does! Earlier that same day (Saturday, October 1st), my great friend, Derrick, will be hosting J.H. Williams III at his store, Comic Oasis (in the Northwest side of town), from 11am-2pm! Anyone who has already been to Comic Oasis already know it's one of Vegas' finest, but if you haven't been there yet, here's your chance to check out Derrick's shop and meet J.H. Williams III (and then head over to my shop a couple of hours later and meet him again - grin!)! Here at Alternate Reality Comics, we'll have a big sale on J.H. Williams III graphic novels such as Batwoman Elegy, Batman Black Glove, Promethea (!!), and Desolation Jones, so if you don't already have these gems, this will be a great time to get them (Saturday, October 1st from 4-7pm)!! And just wait until you see the special raffle prizes we've got lined up for the signing!

In addition to J.H. Williams III coming to Alternate Reality Comics and Comic Oasis on Saturday, October 1st, here at Alternate Reality Comics, we'll be having a big selection of original art on display from J.H. that will be up from September 23rd through the end of October at our Artist Spotlight original art gallery section of our store! J.H. Williams III will be selling original art also, so this will be a great chance for you to purchase objects of beauty that will greatly enhance your abode and be the envy of all of your friends!

Saturday, October 1st at Alternate Reality Comics and Comic Oasis with artist / writer, J. H. Williams III is guaranteed to be the best way you can kick start the fabulous month of October!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Swampy Munny, by Michelle Irish!

My friend and Alternate Reality Comics artist, Michelle Irish, recently did her first Munny (well kind of her first, but that's a long story for another day - grin!) and I think it's a beauty! This is of course the DC character Swamp Thing that was just reintroduced into the DC universe again last wek with a new first issue, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Yanick Paquette (the other Swamp Thing book here in this photo is one of the hardcover collections of the excellent Alan Moore run). The new Swamp Thing series is great, but I won't go on about that anymore here until I get copies of the second print in (the new DC is REALLY taking off!).
Michelle with Swampy (me and Alec Holland, aka Swamp Thing go back a long way, so he's okay with me calling him Swampy)! Yay! Michelle will be doing more Munnys and for anyone who wants to try their hand at arting up one of these figures, we have them at Alternate Reality Comics for a mere $9.99! And anyone who would like to create their Munnys with their art supplies in my store would be welcome to do so, cause I like to see art being made (and I think others would as well)!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Damaged; high calibur crime fiction from Radical Comics!

A few weeks ago, Radical Comics released another top notch title in their small line of quality titles, Damaged, written by David Lapham, illustrated with the hard boiled / horror edge that Leonardo Manco excels at, and beautifully colored by Kinsun Loh, Jerry Cho, and Sansan Saw. Anyone who has read a Radical Comics title, such as Driver of the Dead, Abattoir, Time Bomb, Earp, or Legends, already know that they are going to get a comic / graphic novel with top notch production values. Radical Comics aren't just all style though, their titles also has great story content and I believe their high success rate of quality titles, such as Damaged, is due to their commitment to not just produce numerous titles to carve out a market share, rather focusing on quality over quantity.

Damaged is a hard boiled crime fiction comic (a six issue mini series) set primarily in San Francisco, involving vigilante justice and the outcome of diverging path of life choices that were made between two brothers (one of them, is a police officer). Anyone who has read Damaged writer, David Lapham's Stray Bullets, knows that he can write a crime fiction comic with the best of them and I look forward to seeing how Damaged unfolds and I think many other Ich Liebe Comics! readers will also! Check out Damaged the next time you visit Alternate Reality Comics!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kiss & Tell; MariNaomi

This past week saw the arrival of a new graphic novel published by Harper Perennial called Kiss & Tell, written and drawn by MariNaomi. Basically Kiss & Tell is exactly what the title says it is, additionally explained by the subtitle, A Romantic Resume Ages 0 to 22, about the cartoonist and her early adventures into sexual discovery.
The art in Kiss & Tell, by MariNaomi, isn't Daniel Clowes or Adrian Tomine good, but it's got a unique flavor of its own and perfectly illustrates MariNaomi's sexual awakenings / encounters. I enjoyed Kiss & Tell on a voyeuristic level (and jealous that my youth wasn't as colored with similar sexual adventures - I know, TOO much information and I'm sure that I'm romanticizing her experiences in the grass is always greener on the other side perspective), but I wish there was a little more self insight other than what almost amounts to a listing of encounters she had during this period of her life, but this is MariNaomi's story and not mine, so of course she can tell / not tell the things she wants to. And although it may sound like I am lukewarm on Kiss & Tell, it's actually a really solid 330 page autobiographic graphic novel for people who like this genre.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Heaven Can Wait Benefit / Anniversary Party!

This past Saturday, Alternate Reality Comics and five other Vegas comic book stores hosted the Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities bake and craft sale to benefit Heaven Can Wait, a local no kill animal shelter. To say it was a resounding success would seriously be an understatement! The turnout was soooo tremendous all day at Alternate Reality Comics and I want to sincerely thank everyone who came out and supported this animal shelter at my store and stores around the valley. Because of your contributions, many animals will now have an easier time.

These cool Princess Leia cupcakes were made by Sewit Mesfen, one of the V.A.G.I.N.A. gals that was at my store and they were very popular! Actually there was a really varied selection of baked goods that the VAGINA gals made as well as some cool craft items that went fast like Yajaira Vasquez' superhero coasters and Maria Bement's kool-aid coin purses! I want to give huge hugs and kisses to all of the Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities for doing this benefit, but especially to Sewit Mesfen, Maria Bement, Yajaira Vasquez, and Erin Hemmeter for being at my store almost the entire day on Saturday helping out and to uber cool head / founder of V.A.G.I.N.A., Stephanie Payne, for all she does in uniting the Vegas comics community to help the community at large and have FUN at the same time!

Just some of the people who came out for the Heaven Can Wait benefit / store anniversary party! I was really quite moved with the turnout in support because I know there are many worthy charitable organizations here in Las Vegas, and I'm elated that people think Heaven Can Wait is among those worthy charitable organizations. Individual people don't have to donate a large sum to any individual charity, all it takes is a good number of people donating a small amount to equal a large amount, and that was illustrated very strongly this past Saturday!

Besides the very healthy monetary amount raised for Heaven Can Wait, people also brought a lot of pet food and bedding for animals in need here in Las Vegas!

This is my friend Kim, who is hammering another of my friends, Ethan, with the Thor action figure she won in one of the several raffles (which helped inspire people to make more donations) we had in celebration of Alternate Reality Comics' 17th year anniversary (one year at the store's new location)! We also had a back issue sale,
of which all of the sales went to Heaven Can Wait and that also raised a great amount!

Such a great day, Saturday was! Thanks to Michelle, Jim, and Paul, my very very great friends and great help in making everything run so smoothly at Alternate Reality Comics! I can never say the following enough: Thank you, thank you, dear beloved friends / patrons of Alternate Reality Comics for your tremendous part in making my store the wonderful place it's been for comic book wonderment these 17 amazing years! And there's lots more photos of the fun this past Saturday on my personal facebook page, Ralph Mathieu, so please friend me if you haven't already!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Green River Killer graphic novel

Last week, Dark Horse Books released an excellent true crime graphic novel called Green River Killer A True Detective Story, in a really nice hardcover package (and it doesn't have an annoying dust jacket), 234 pages, at $24.99, and although that's pricey, it's worth every penny!

Green River Killer, is of course about the serial killing of women that took place up in Seattle that Detective Tom Jensen investigated for twenty years. Written by Jeff Jensen (senior editor of Entertainment Weekly) and starkly illustrated by Jonathan Case, Green River Killer is as engaging as the best crime fiction novel graphic novel, but all the more fascinating because it's a true story, with an added element of interest being the fact that Jeff Jensen is writing about a case his father worked on while he (Jeff) was growing up. To my knowledge, this is Jeff Jensen's first foray into writing a graphic novel, but he and artist Jonathan Case, have come out of the gate very strongly and Green River Killer gets my and Kate's highest recommendation!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tuesday's midnight Justice League #1 release!

As many of you probably already know, this week DC Comics started the relaunch of their superhero universe with the release of Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee! Comics stores were allowed to have a Tuesday midnight release of JL #1 and the final issue of Flashpoint (which sets up the new DC universe in a really dramatic story). Here in this photo are some of my friends who helped out with the celebration: Warren, Kit (she does the best Harley Quinn I've ever seen!), Brice, Jason, Brieanna, and Heath (Michelle, why aren't you in this photo!?)!

Just some of the MANY people who stayed up past my bedtime to celebrate this historic moment for comics, specifically for DC Comics! Totally worth me getting just three hours of sleep! I'm pretty confident that a big majority of the people who read Justice League #1 will be back for the next issue and this comic will also be a great gateway comic for future fans. JL #1 is a great start to the new DC, which really kicks into full gear next Wednesday, September 7th with Action Comics #1 (by Grant Morrison), Batgirl #1(written by Gail Simone), and Swamp Thing #1 (written by Scott Snyder, one of my new favorite writers), and 10 other new first issues, so I really believe there's going to be a new DC title that will push just about every comic book lover's buttons! I believe I've ordered pretty strongly on all of these debuts, but I'd like to encourage everyone to come by Alternate Reality Comics and ask me how our reserve club subscription service works.

This is Stephanie Payne, head of Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities with her uber cool drawing of her papa, Magneto, drawn by local artist (and good friend), Warren Wucinich! Warren was joined by Brice Gielgens, another great local artist, who drew a lot of cool illos (sadly I didn't get a chance to get a photo of any of the sketches he did) for people that came out for our midnight Justice League #1 / Flashpoint #5 release celebration. I saw SO many friends and patrons (same difference) of Alternate Reality Comics along with a number of newbies, so I think the future of DC Comics looks very bright! For new Ich Liebe Comics! readers, I also have a store facebook page, Alternate Reality Comics, Las Vegas!, just do a search with that title as I have many more photos there!