Showing posts from August, 2013

Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/28/13!! Big FUN day!! New Artist Spotlight, benefit for Hero Initiative, Read Comics In Public Day, & lots of great NEW comics!

First off here's the details on our Artist Spotlight Opening Reception happening from 5-8pm!:  (new comics tease after these announcements!)
Wednesday, August 28th, our Artist Spotlight opening reception will debut 12 (!!) new paintings by local artist Ed Nesmith from 5-8pm! This is happening on an especially exciting day as it is Jack "King" Kirby's birthday (the artistic mind that co-created over half of Marvel's characters)!

To further celebrate Kirby's birthday, back in 2010, Read Comics In Public Day was established to increase awareness of the greatness of this medium! In conjunction with Jillian Kirby's (Jack's grand-daughter!) Kirby4heroes, we'll be donating a portion of the day's sales to Hero Initiative, an organization that helps comic creators in need! This will be a great way to give back to the people who make our beloved sequential arts possible.

In addition to viewing & mee…

Beirut 1990: Snapshots of a Civil War; Sylvain & Bruno Ricard, Christophe Gaultier

Beirut 1990: Snapshots of a Civil War was recently released here in a translated version (from France) by Humanoids and it is the account of the few weeks brothers Sylvain and Bruno Ricard spent in Beirut to offer assistance (mostly helping in hospitals) in that war-torn country back in 1990.
 I'm going to be honest and admit that when ever I hear news from this part of the world it sounds like the same thing has been going on since as long as I can remember and my mind goes into a glaze because what's happening there is so far removed from my world / life experiences. I really am happy for the existence of Beirut 1990: Snapshots of a Civil War because through Syvain and Bruno's experiences, I get a better understanding / frame of context than I do from whatever I hear on the news.
Why would anyone who doesn't live there want to go there and subject yourself to the craziness going on there? As Sylvain and Bruno show, it's all about connecting with people and tryi…

The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti; Rick Geary

The past few days I've been in a catching up with my graphic novel reading and one of the delights as it always is when I read a Rick Geary graphic novel, was Rick Geary's 2011 biography of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two anarchists who were accused of robbery and murder in the early part of the 20th century. The case was very controversial (especially in Europe) and the outcome and the verdict they received is still in question today. Geary presents all of his research on Sacco and Vanzetti and their trial on a very objective plane, leaving the reader to come to their own conclusions.

Rick Geary has written and drawn several Victorian true crime murder graphic novels for NMB, including: The Terrible Ax-Men of New Orleans, Lizzy Borden, Abraham Lincoln, the Kidnapping of the Lindberg Baby, The Assassination of President Garfield, The Mystery of Mary Rogers, and Jack The Ripper. All of Rick Geary's graphic novels are excellent and even if you think you know every…

Red Handed The Fine Art of Strange Crimes; Matt Kindt

 Red Handed The Fine Art of Strange Crimes is a new graphic novel by one of the most unique / inventive creators working in comics / graphic novels today, Matt Kindt. This excellent, full color hardcover is published by First Second, a company that has a great track record publishing great graphic novels.
Red Handed is, like most of Matt Kindt's alternative comic book creations (Pistolwhip with Jason Hall, SuperSpy, Two Sisters, and his excellent comic / graphic novel series Mind Mgt. from Dark Horse), hard to narrow down as to what genre it should be placed with, but I'd say that on the surface it could comfortably fit in any crime fiction section. Describing what Red Handed is about isn't a simple thing to do either, but at the same time it does have a narrative that you'll be able to understand while you're reading it, while you're also wondering what various subplots and other characters have to do with the greater whole - and they all very much have someth…

March (Book One); John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell

 March is a new graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis, written with Andrew Aydin (one of his long time aids in Washington D.C.), with art by Nate Powell, recounting the early days of the Civil Rights Movement of the  1960s. In this first volume of three (125 pages, published by Top Shelf, for a mere $14.95), John Lewis covers the early period of his life as a boy growing up on a farm in Alabama. Very early on he develops an interest in sermons and when he is taken on trips to big cities in Tennessee and elsewhere, he sees how much different black people live and are treated in comparison to white people. This experience imparted in John Lewis to make learning a priority in his life so that he could make a difference in segregation being abolished.
This first volume of March starts its look at the Civil Rights Movement early development through Rosa Parks, Brown Vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, shows Martin Luther King Jr.'s emergence as the spokesperson for the  Civil Right…

Happy New Comic Wednesday 8/20/13! Comics, how we love you!

Second FUN issue of Batman 1966, if you like the 1960s television show, you'll love this wacky comic! Not pictured, but a couple of other notable arrivals today include, Batwoman, Fables, and Thief of Thieves! And Gilbert Hernandez' beautiful hardcover collection of Tales From Palomar has landed also!
Daredevil with Silver Surfer guest starring - can't wait to read this! There's three Infinity tie-ins today (including Thunderbolts, which issn't included in  these photos) and another sure to be fun issue of Nova!
Is this a GORGEOUS cover on the Willow trade paperback, or what!? To the left of the Willow trade is the second issue of Chin Music (finally, right?)!
Next Wednesday, August 28th, at Alternate Reality Comics, we're going to have all day celebrations because it's Jack King Kirby's birthday (and a portion of the days sales will be donated to Hero Initiative, a charitable organization that helps out comic creators who are ill of health and we're …

Marvel Comics The Untold Story; Sean Howe

 Marvel Comics The Untold Story, written by Sean Howe and published in 2012, is a history of Marvel Comics, from its start as Timely Comics back in 1941 all the way through 2011. I finally blocked some time aside to read this last week and pretty easily clocked through its 430 pages (keeping up with new comics and graphic novels doesn't leave me much time for novels generally).
I've been reading comics since 1975 and have always been fascinated at the behind the scenes aspects of this medium, so I'd read anything I'd find that would shed some light on the creative people that produced these comics that I loved so much. So a lot of Marvel Comics The Untold Story recounted episodes that I'd read / heard about, but Sean Howe talked to 150 people who worked at Marvel throughout these years, imparting information that I'd never heard before.
Some of the interesting things I learned from Marvel Comics The Untold Story (these could be regarded as spoilers to some peop…

New Comics Wednesday 8/14/13! One of those all the greats are out weeks!

So I've only read two of this week's comics thus far, Walking Dead and Infinity. I have a good reasons reasons though, I saw a sneak peek of Kick Ass 2 last night and I've finally gotten around to reading the novel Marvel The Untold Story by Steve Howe (I'm on page 250 of its 430 pages, I rarely have times for novels anymore, so this is a good pace for me in the span of a few days). Marvel The Untold Story is an utterly fascinating history of the evolution of Marvel Comics, from its start as Timely Comics in 1941 all the way to Marvel as we know it today - being that I've read comics since 1975 and have always read what I could about the behind the scenes developments, I knew about quite a bit of what's within these pages, but Howe has talked to many people who were at Marvel and he's unearthed some really interesting comic book history that I hadn't heard previously (such as the Black Panther was going to originally be called the Coal Tiger!!).

New Comics Wednesday 8/07/13! And Saturday Las Vegas Valley Humane Society Benefit Silent Auction!

  A most excellent Happy New Comics Wednesday to all of ye! My pick for one of the best new series to debut in recent memory, is Trillium, written and drawn by Jeff Lemire and published by Vertigo. Trillium is a love story that spans the time stream and the way it begins is truly different (and Lemire's art is excellent!)! Speaking of great first issues, JMS' Sidekick is a really good, dark take on the kid sidekick superhero story! We also get two really entertaining issues of Swamp Thing and Kick Ass, and the second issue of Hunger (which is the start of what's going to ultimately happen to the Ultimate Universe) and the collected Alan Moore Fashion Beast have arrived...
 This week's All New X-Men is probably my favorite issue to date of this series (with some interesting interaction between Hank and Jean as you can see from this cover), three different Spidey titles are out today (which includes the second issue of Superior Carnage), Avengers, second issue of Deadpool…

Goddamn This War!; Tardi & Verney

 Back in 2010, Fantagraphics released a translated version of Jean-Pierre Verney and Jacques Tardi's It Was The War of the Trenches, a graphic novel about World War I. It is the most fantastic version of World War I that I have ever read or seen. Goddam This War! is Verney and Tardi's follow up graphic novel on WWI that came out fifteen years after It Was The War of the Trenches (when they were originally published in France) and it is every bit as fantastic as its predecessor (but it can be read unto itself even if you haven't read Trenches)!
Tardi is a fantastic (I'm probably going to use that word a lot in this entry!) artist, but as fantastic of an artist as Tardi is, Verney's writing is some of the best writing I've ever read! His writing about the harshness and brutality of WWI is both beautiful and sad in his depiction of the horror. Check out this passage:
"They call it the Sacred way. Why not the Holy and Glorious Rose-Strewn and Incense-Scented …

Thermae Romae; Mari Yamazaki

Recently, the second volume of what will be three volumes here in the U.S., Thermae Romae by Mari Yamazaki was released and having just finished it this morning, I'm here to tell you that it's another fantastic volume about the bath houses of ancient Rome and modern Japan.
The reader gets an entertaining education of bath houses of ancient Rome via the central character, Lucius, who lives in ancient Rome and designs bath houses. We also get to experience modern day bath houses of Japan also via Lucius, who from time to time gets transported to present day Japan (don't ask how, that's not important and doesn't get explained anyway). When Lucius gets transported to modern day Japan, of course he is amazed at how far technology has progressed, especially that of bath houses and plumbing. In this volume Lucius spends more time in modern day Japan (and he has no control over how long he is in our present era, nor does he speak Japanese) and he's able to remember h…

The Carter Family Don't forget This Song; Frank M. Young & David Lasky

 This year's Eisner winner for "Best Reality-Based Work", The Carter Family Don't forget This Song, a biography of the Carter Family, by Frank M. Young & David Lasky was very deserving of this distinction. The Carter Family Don't Forget This Song is a beautiful 192 page hardcover, which also comes with a CD of early recordings of the Carter Family.
 This graphic novel spans the history of the Carter Family from the early 1920's through 1944. Mostly centering on Alvin Pleasant (A.P) and Sara Carter and how they went from being farmers to writing and recording what is largely regarded as the foundations of country music (June Carter Cash is the Carter most people are probably familiar with). As anyone who is familiar with history knows, the 1920s through 1944 were some of the most difficult times for everyone and the Carter Family were not excused from hardships, both personal and financially, thus The Carter Family Don't forget This Song, is not just a …

Strange Attractors; Charles Soule & Greg Scott

Strange Attractors is a new hardcover graphic novel written by Charles Soule and drawn by Greg Scott. Charles Soule has all of the makings of a great "new" voice on the comic writing scene. He previously did 27, for Image, a mini series that centered around that age that several legendary rock artists died at. Presently he's doing some interesting things as the new writer of Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, and Thunderbolts, and he's got a new series called Letter 44 about space travel and secret histories coming out from Oni Press, and he'll be writing the upcoming Superman / Wonder Woman series. Artist Greg Scott, is primarily a fine art and design artist and Strange Attractors is his first sequential work and a very impressive debut it is!
One of the primary characters of Strange Attractors is Dr. Spencer Brownfield, who believes that he has been holding New York City together for years from unraveling through a series of Chaos Theory actions he takes. He gets the …