Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Comics for New Readers – September 12, 2012

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer picks brand new releases worth checking out that should be suitable for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before.

These are out today! If you like what you see here, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. Then head to your local comic book store, or check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology and ComicList.com.

(Disclaimer: These aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release press, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Hugo Tate by Nate Abadzis

Hugo Tate
Written and illustrated by Nick Abadzis
Published by Blank Slate Books
Genre: Humor
Ages: 16+
192 pages
$19.99

The long-awaited collection of Nick Abadzis’ first magnum opus, from the pages of Deadline magazine.

Eighteen years after Hugo Tate drew to a close within the pages of Deadline, the comic’s entire six-year run is finally being collected in a single volume by Blank Slate.

Beginning life in 1988 as an acerbic humor strip featuring an eponymous stick man protagonist living in a figuratively-drawn world, Hugo Tate evolved into an intelligent look into the lives of a complex web of characters stretching from London to New York and beyond.

Described by The Comics Journal as “Britain’s Love and Rockets“, this collection includes the critically-acclaimed final story arc O, America!, in which Hugo finds himself on a drug-fueled road trip across the nightmarish underbelly of the United States. Featuring a gallery of rare extras, all-new commentary from Abadzis and Deadline editor Frank Wynne, as well as a special introduction by Garth Ennis, there’s never been a better time to read – or revisit – this genuine modern classic.

Bucko by Jeff Parker and Erika Moen

Bucko
Written by Jeff Parker
Illustrated by Erika Moen
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Humor; Mystery
Ages: 16+
136 pages
$19.99

After discovering a dead body in an office bathroom, hungover job interviewee Rich “Bucko” Richardson becomes suspected of the murder. What he thinks is a quest to find the real killer turns into a weeklong romp through the wilds of Portland, Oregon, complete with bike-mounted cover bands, steampunk Makers, Juggalos, SuicideGirls, meth heads, so much absinthe, and an entire city made of books. After taking the Internet by storm, Jeff Parker and Erika Moen’s dirty, funny murder mystery is now the most hilarious book in comic shops!

*Includes brand-new strips, commentary, and info on the real-life inspirations for Bucko!

*Best new webcomic of 2011!

Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte

Is That All There Is?
Written and illustrated by Joost Swarte
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Genre: Anthology
Ages: 16+
144 pages
$25.00

By appropriating and subverting Tintin creator Hergé’s classic “clear line” style, Joost Swarte revitalized European alternative comics in the 1970s with a series of satirical, musically elegant, supremely beautifully drawn short stories — often featuring his innocent, magnificently-quiffed Jopo de Pojo, or his orotund scientist character, Anton Makassar.

Under Swarte’s own exacting supervision, Is That All There Is? collects virtually all of his alternative comics work from 1972 to date, including the RAW magazine stories that brought him fame among American comics aficionados in the 1980s. Especially great pains have been taken to match Swarte’s superb coloring, which includes stories executed in watercolor, comics printed in retro duotones, fiendishly clever use of Zip-a-Tone screens, and much more. (There’s even a story about how to color comics art using those screens, with Makassar as the teacher.)

Other noteworthy stories include Swarte’s take on an episode from Hergé’s early days, a Fats Domino story, a tribute to the legendary “Upside-Downs” strip, and a story titled simply “Modern Art.”

“I’ve loved Joost Swarte’s perfect cartoons, drawings and designs for decades and it’s nothing short of ridiculous that a comprehensive edition of this brilliant artist’s work has never been available in America until now. Swarte is considered a national treasure in his native Holland, and if you open this book, you’ll understand why.” — Chris Ware

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New Comics for New Readers – August 15, 2012

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer picks brand new releases worth checking out that should be suitable for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before.

These are out today! If you like what you see here, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. Then head to your local comic book store, or check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology and ComicList.com.

(Disclaimer: These aren’t reviews. Recommendations based on pre-release press, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

The Making Of by Brecht Evens

The Making Of
Written and illustrated by Brecht Evens
Published by Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Drama
Ages: 16+
160 pages
$29.95

An Angouleme Award winner returns with a parable about life in the art world.

The Making Of is the follow-up to international sensation Brecht Evens’s Eisner-nominated debut, The Wrong Place. With lush watercolors and his characteristic wit, Evens details the fumbling, amateurish foibles of the participants of a small art festival in the Flemish countryside.

Pieterjan is invited to the festival as an honored guest. From the moment he arrives, things start going wrong, and since no one seems ready to step in, Pieterjan takes over the show. He decides to build a giant garden gnome as a symbol of Flemish identity, but the construction process brings buried tensions to the surface as the other artists become jealous of Pieterjan’s authority. In The Making Of, Evens delves deep into the petty tensions, small misunderstandings, and deadpan humor that pervade modern relationships.

With a keen eye for the subtleties of body language, Evens’s The Making Of builds on the iconic visual style showcased in The Wrong Place. Sweeping watercolors jump off the page, surrealist scenery intermingles with crowds of people, and small suburban plot homes have never looked so lovely.

The Red Diary / The Re(a)d Diary Flipbook by Teddy Kristiansen and Steven T. Seagle

The Red Diary / The Re[a]d Diary Flipbook
Written and illustrated by Teddy Kristiansen
Written by Steven T. Seagle
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Drama
Ages: 16+
144 pages
$29.99

A bold experiment in the graphic novel!

Teddy Kristiansen’s European Album is newly translated to English by Teddy Kristiansen and Steven T. Seagle. But in a unique flip-novel format, the book is also “re-mixed” with a completely different script devised by Seagle before he collaborated on the translation. Both versions – The Red Diary – a tale of art forgery and World War and The Re[a]d Diary – a tale of identity theft and lost love – comprise this unique graphic novel from Seagle and Kristiansen – the Eisner nominated/winning team behind the acclaimed Vertigo graphic novel It’s a Bird….

Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer

Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics
Written and illustrated by Margreet de Heer
Published by NBM Publishing
Genre: Non-Fiction, Philosophy
Ages: 12+
120 pages
$16.99

This illustrated primer on philosophy is a great way to be introduced to a complex topic. In her easily accessible style, Margreet de Heer visualizes the history of Western philosophy and makes it approachable for those with little knowledge of the subject. The book explains the thoughts of philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, and Nietzsche, and ponders questions such as What is thinking? What is reality? Is there free will? and Why are these ideas still important? A perfect introduction to exploring philosophical concepts, this humorous yet substantive graphic account strips the subject of unnecessary complexity.