Category Archives: Indie Publishers

Free Comics 2012! Now What?

You went out to your local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day 2012 on Saturday and today I go over all the titles that were available and what collected editions (or other books) are related to each title or publisher. In the past I have done this as a podcast episode and it had been one of my most downloaded shows of the year. I now bring it to you as a post and you can still come back and reference this (and previous years, see below) for informational purposes, if you’re so inclined.

2012 Gold Comics

  • Avengers Age Of Ultron 0.1 (Marvel)
    • You saw the movie now go pick up classic Avengers with a Masterwork or Essential and better still The Avengers: Under Siege HC (my all time favorite).
  • Bongo Comics Free-For-All/Spongebob Freestyle Funnies Flip-Book (Bongo Comics)
    • I recommend the Cine-manga books published by Tokyopop.
  • DC Comics The New 52 #1 (DC Comics)
    • The collected editions of the New 52 have started to roll out. Pick up the Animal Man trade paperback.
  • Image 20 Anthology (Image)
    • Want to know more about the history of Image Comics? Pick up Image Comics: The Road To Independence by George Khoury.
  • Mega Man Let The Games Begin (Archie Comics)
    • There are two Mega Man trades; Volume 3 is dues in August.
  • Mouse Guard Labyrinth And Other Stories HC (Archaia Entertainment)
    • This a very nice hardcover and I wish more publishers will follow this example. Start at the beginning with Volume 1: Mouse Guard: Fall 1152
  • Peanuts/Adventure Time Flip-Book (Boom! Studios)
    • I’m not sure what Boom’s long term plans for Peanuts is, but Fantagraphics keeps on rolling out the classic strip in their year-by-year collected editions.
  • Star Wars/Serenity Flip-Book (Dark Horse)
    • The Star Wars story here is with Han and Chewy takes place before SW:ANH. Serenity, on the other hand, takes place shortly after its’ movie. Plenty of trades, movies and tv shows to go around.
  • Transformers #80.5 (IDW)
    • I like the Classic books that reprint the old Marvel series.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba Free Comic Book Time (Oni Press)
    • I had no idea that people such as Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Mike Allred, J. Torres, J. Bone, Jamie S. Rich are working on this series. There are a few trades in stores in your kid wants more.

2012 Silver Comics

  • 2000 AD Judge Dredd Special (Rebellion)
    • Get ready for an onslaught on Judge Dredd this summer with the move coming out. I’m unsure if it will be a hit with American audiences, though. For more pick up the Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 1-4
  • Animal Planet The World’s Most Dangerous Animals 2012 (Zenescope Entertainment)
    • This comic sounds silly but is actually very educational. There’s a good trade of these fierce Grizzly Bears, giant Salt Water Crocodiles, rogue Lions and more that is available now.
  • Anti (12 Gauge Comics)
    • Looks like this is a new title, so no trade yet. But if you liked this try The Ride TP, the first comics from 12 Gauge.
  • Arcana Presents The Intrinsic #1 (Arcana Studio)
    • Another new title. I don’t read anything from Arcana but I hear good things about Amour.
  • Atomic Robo And Friends (Red 5 Comics)
    • My good friend John Mayo scolded me for not picking up this fun, sci-fi title. Good thing there are a few trades out there so I can get up to speed.
  • Bad Medicine #1 (Oni Press)
    • Besides the FCBD edition there are three issues, so I expect a trade to get solicited soon.
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs Vs Aliens (Liquid Comics)
    • Why Barry Sonnenfeld would headline a comic book is beyond me, but he does seem like the right guy for this title – he directed Men In Black and several other sci-fi movies. The expanded graphic novel is expected later this summer.
  • Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Sampler (Fantagraphics)
    • I loved Harold And The Purple Crayon by Johnson and never read his strip Barnaby, but thanks to the upcoming high quality reprint series I will get my chance.
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer/The Guild Flip-Book (Dark Horse)
    • Real simple here – get the Buffy Omnibus volumes. There’s seven of them! As far as The Guild goes, one trade is out and one more upcoming in July.
  • Burt Ward Boy Wonder #1 (Bluewater Productions)
    • I guess this will make a good companion to the Adam West book.
  • Censored Howard Cruse (Boom! Studios)
    • I looked at this on Saturday, but elected not to take it home with me. It’s an anthology of Howard Cruse underground comix. Good stuff and important work. There are several collections of his work available from a variety of publishers.
  • DC Nation Super Sampler/Superman Family Flip-Book (DC Comics)
    • A great kids sampler. I hope DC puts this out every year. Pick up Tiny Titans.
  • Finding Gossamyr And The Stuff Of Legend IV (Th3rd World Studios)
    • Another new series. All ages. Looks pretty good for kids who are into fantasy and adventure.
  • Graphic Elvis Preview (Liquid Comics)
    • If you liked this one there is a limited edition hardcover of the full story in the wild. Only 2500 copies and only $195.00.
  • Incredible Rockhead/Zinc Alloy 2-For-None (Stone Arch Books)
    • Stone Arch is a division of Capstone and there is a trade, from 2009, of this title. This is for younger kids.
  • Infernal Devices Clockwork Angel (Yen Press)
    • A prequel to Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. The trade of this title will be out at Christmas.
  • Jurassic Strikeforce 5 Preview (Zenescope Entertainment)
    • 5 issues of this title out so far, including the 0 issue. I expect the trade to be solicited soon.
  • Lady Death The Beginning (Boundless Comics)
    • Lady Death has been around since 1991 (first Chaos! Comics, then CrossGen, and then Avatar, later Boundless) so there is a fair amount of reprint material to be had.
  • Moomin Color Special (Drawn and Quarterly)
    • Moomin is a strip by Tove Jansen, D&Q says that a new collection is due in September.
  • My Favorite Martian Special Edition (Hermes Press)
    • Hermes released the first of two reprint volumes last summer.
  • Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace (Gemstone)
    • A staple FCBD every year. Everyone ought to own an Overstreet guide book.
  • Smurfs/Disney Fairies Featuring Tinker Bell Flip-Book (Papercutz)
    • While at FCBD, my daughter Erin bought The Smurfette trade paperback. I have to say these books are smurf! The 12th Volume is due in June.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog Two Steps Back Special Edition (Archie Comics)
    • Believe it or not, the 19th Sonic Archive is due in December, it will collect #71-74.
  • Spider-Man Season One (Marvel)
    • The hardcovers of Marvel’s “Season One” line looks to be very good. Out now is Spider-Man, Daredevil, X-Men and Fantastic Four. Upcoming titles include Ant-Man and Hulk.
  • Hypernaturals #1 (Boom! Studios)
    • I’m a big fan of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. There work on Ressurection Man is great and they did wonders for the Marvel cosmic universe. They know their sci-fi and I bet this will be a good great book.
  • Top Shelf Kids Club 2012 (Top Shelf)
    • Another FCBD book my daughter picks up every year. She’s a sucker for Owly. There are currently five Owly digests, with a sixth one promised.
  • Valiant 2012 Preview (Valiant Entertainment)
    • I missed this book at FCBD, but I expect that Valiant will reprint their classic titles. They did so a few years back with X-O, Archer & Armstrong and Harbinger.
  • Voltron Force Shelter From The Storm (Viz Media)
    • Voltron is hot right now! Not only is the kid-friendly Voltron being published by Viz, but the teen/adult Voltron can be found at Dynamite.
  • Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Family Comics (Fantagraphics)
    • Fantagraphics is doing some wonderful reprints of classic Disney. If you like Mouse and Duck be sure to buy them.
  • Witchblade Unbalanced Pieces (Image)
    • I never got into Witchblade, but if I ever do, I’ll buy the big, oversized Witchblade Compendiums.
  • Worlds Of Aspen 2012 (Aspen MLT)
    • A simple sampler of Aspen Comics. I’m not into any of these titles. If you are, please let me know what is a good title.
  • Zombie Kid (Antarctic Press)
    • Antarctic Press had to drop the “Diary Of A” part of the title and change the trade dress in order for it to get published.  A funny parody of the Jeff Kinney series and better then the other rip-off, girl version called Dork Diaries.

14 Collected Editions To Look Out For In 2012

Scouring the internet, I came across news of some upcoming collected editions.
I tweeted some of these out the other day, but here’s a full rundown:

Berkeley Breathed’s Outland The Complete Collection Sunday Comics 1989-1995 (May 8, 2012) will have a selection of Academia Waltz.
Dean Mullaney teased me about this and the Opus collection when he was on my podcast. He even suggested that Academia Waltz would get reprinted, too. If you are not getting the Bloom County volumes, you are really missing out.
Dean also gets busy in April by publishing Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth Volume 2 (of 3)

Coming July 2012 – Secret Warriors Omnibus, Marvel, $100. 904 pages Exact contents TBD
An unusual Omnibus to say the least, but given all the love for Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Fury these days, it kind of makes sense. I’m unsure just how many units it will sell with the steep price of $100.

Coming July 2012 – Punisher by Rick Remender Omnibus, Marvel, $100. 768 pages. Exact contents TBD
If I had to guess, this will only collect Remender’s run of Punisher Volume 8 which includes Dark Reign and Franken-Castle and not his time on Punisher War Journal Volume 2 (with Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin) which is the Jigsaw (#19-23) and Secret Invasion (#24-25) storylines. I hope I’m wrong. I’m also wondering if this will collect the more recent Punisher: In the Blood #1-5 which bridges the gap between his run and Greg Rucka’s.

Back in print August 2012 – New X-Men Omnibus HC by Grant Morrison. $125.
Not much to say here other then a whole lot of people will be happy.

Coming July 2012 – Hulk: From the UK Vaults TPB, Marvel, $35, 360 pages. Collects Hulk Comic (The Incredible Hulk Weekly) #1-6, 9-20, 26-28
Marvel has been quietly reprinting several of their classic UK comics lately. This fun new addition is sure to be a big seller with Hulk fanboys.

Coming August 2012 – Marvel Masterworks: The Defenders Volume 3, $60, 256 pages. Exact contents TBD
Coming August 2012 – Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 7, $65, 280 pages. Exact contents TBD
Coming July 2012 – Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 14, $60, 256 pages. Exact contents TBD
A nice slew of Masterworks from Marvel next summer. Wes Wong, who does color restoration, recently posted on his Facebook page that his work is complete on GA Marvel Comics Vol. 7.

In May from Hermes Press be on the lookout for The Best of Dark Shadows, an omnibus-style paperback compilation of only the greatest vintage comic book stories – just in time for the movie.

In April from Oni Press, Courtney Crumrin, Volume 1: The Night Things Special Edition features a special silver ink, embossed cover, and an old-fashioned ribbon bookmark placed in the sewn spine. The 136-page, 6” x 9”, graphic novel will retail for $19.99 and debuts April 2012. Volume 1 kickstarts a full reprint program with new colored special edition hardcovers of all the original Courtney Crumrin books to follow.

Also in April and just in time for another movie, Papercutz will publish The Best Of The Three Stooges Comicbooks Deluxe Hardcover featuring great classic comics featuring Moe, Larry, Shemp, and Curly Joe! With comics written and illustrated by Norman Maurer. What? No Curly? No Joe? Just Curly Joe? For shame!

Came the Dawn and Other Stories HC (The EC Comics Library) by Wally Wood
Corpse on the Imjin and Other Stories HC (The EC Comics Library) by Harvey Kurtzman
Announced last year at Comic Con International, Fantagraphics finally get the ball roling with their new EC Comics Library. Both books are slated for July/August and are sure to be a hit at the 2012 Comic Con, and both come in at a price of under $30. It’s not often I double-dip, but I may have to, along with the newly resurrected GC Press EC Archives.

Sunday Review: Blazing Combat HC

Today is 9/11 and we will never forget.

The old saying is, War Is Hell. That is a fact and it can’t be disputed, but war is also necessary part of human life. We often think that war is evil, but it can also lead to good. People fight for their freedom, they fight to protect the innocent, they fight to keep the oppressors at bay. For decades it has become depicted in movies, TV, novels, and nowadays video games, but I feel it’s best portrayed in comics.

Sure we all have the images of the opening of Saving Private Ryan embedded in our brain, but with still pictures or artwork we can come back to it again and again. The anguish and blood staring us right back in our face. The silent bullets on the page suddenly make a horrific noise that only we can create. Comic fanboys have read Sgt. Rock or The Howling Commandos which are realistic in many ways, but there was a time when a comic mag got down right truthful. I’m speaking of Blazing Combat #1-4 (1965-66, Warren) and recently Fantagraphics collected the run in both hardcover and softcover.

Blazing Combat was an anthology comic that showed the very dark and very real side of war. A loose followup to the EC Comics War genre books, it showed US G. I.’s dying in terrible ways, commanders giving orders with little regard for consequences and the militaristic definition of collateral damage. Jim Warren let it all hangout when it came to editing Archie Goodwin’s writing, who worked on every single story except for three. Of course Goodwin is a genius and I’m usually more of a word-man when it comes to comics, but this time it’s the art that captured my attention. It’s a who’s-who of monster talent including Alex Toth, Wally Wood, Gray Morrow, Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, Gene Colon, George Evens, John Severin, and Russ Heath. It’s the Live-Aid of Pencilers! Need I say more?

You could say that Blazing Combat was ahead of its time or that it came out at the right time. Big Brother Washington did take notice by issue #2 and it was all shut down with #4 and some even labeled it anti-war propaganda. There my be some truth to that because there was so much opposition to Vietnam at the time. Jim Warren and Archie Goodwin hints at this in two separate interviews conducted by Michael Cantron. Also included are all four, full color covers and other selected artwork and photographs.

Today is 9/11 and we should never forget – any war – and with works like this, thankfully, we never will.

Blazing Combat HC
Written by Archie Goodwin and others
Art by Various
Introductions and notes by Michael Cantron
208 pages, $28.99, 2009, Fantagraphic Books
Collects Bazing Combat #1-4 (1965-66, Warren Publishing)
2010 Eisner Award Nominee: Best Archival Collection — Comic Books

Recommended reading:
EC Archives – Frontline Combat Volume 1
EC Archives – Two-Fisted Tales Volumes 1-2
Fight The Enemy #1-3 (1966-67, Tower Comics)

CCL Podcast #317 – 1000 Flashpoints Of Light

Collected Comics Library Podcast #317
26.0MbKb; 28m 19s

It’s back to talking about DC Comics starring Flashpoint and the New 52. I try my best to straighten out all the Flashpoint titles including the main run, mini-series, tie-ins, crossovers and preludes and just how they will be collected in hardcover and trade paperback form. And I also try to figure out just what the editors are thinking when it comes to combining certain runs with each other as collected editions, because it sure doesn’t look like the way it was originally intended.

I also go over the 2011 comic book summer movies and the trades that may interest you, more news regarding the upcoming EC Archives from CG Press, the Top Shelf 2011 Massive $3 Sale, the Spring 2012 Marvel Comics Collected Editions Spring catalog (download the pdf), Simon and Kirby Romance from TWO publishers and The Fire and Water Podcast.

Lastly I go over the upcoming 2011 Detroit Fanfare and the Comics Podcasting Panel:

Should be a great show, please join us for a great time!

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CCL Podcast #311 – Interview with Blake Bell; Steve Ditko and Bill Everett Archives

Collected Comics Library Podcast #311
27 Mb; 58m 37s

I’ve been meaning to have Blake Bell on the podcast ever since I did my Steve Ditko retrospective in February, 2010. You can consider this, Part 5, if you would like, but we also talk about another icon – Bill Everett, who created Namor, The Sub-Maniner and co-created Daredevil.

It’s a candid discussion on what made the 1950’s such a special time for comic books and the toll it sometimes took. Blake talks about their lives and the fast paced industry that kicked off the Marvel (Silver) Age of comics. We also discuss Blake’s other works including the 2011 Eisner nominated (Best Comics-Related Book) Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics, I Have To Live With This Guy! (TwoMorrows Publishing), Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, The Steve Ditko Archives series and the upcoming Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives Volume 1.

I want to sincerely thank Blake, and Fantagraphics,  for coming on the podcast!