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


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!