Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest” of what’s coming your way in the now-available August 2015 Previews catalog. Having already taken a look at what Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image have lined up for us, it’s now time to check out the other 75% of the catalog. Before we jump into the things you should keep an eye out for, a quick reminder:
And second, as one-half of the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, I go through the whole Previews catalog each and every month with co-host Mike Romeo, talking about things that catch our eye and quicken our pulse. If you listen to those episodes, you should still read this column because there will not be a 100% overlap, and if you don’t listen to those episodes, they are a great way to hear Mike & I go into further detail about some of the things I’ve spotlighted here.
That said, let’s dive in!
10. Who Are We Supposed To Trust?
On the one hand, this story hinges on someone named Iscariot doing something nice, which as history tells us is not something to have a lot of faith in. On the other hand, the preview pages from this OGN look fantastic and are done by someone NOT named Iscariot, which means I can put my faith and my pre-order in for that. Problem solved.
Written and Illustrated by Shane-Michael Vidaurri
Published by BOOM/Archaia
What’s to Love: If you’ve read S.M. Vidaurri’s first original graphic novel Iron: Or the War After or his issue of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches, you might understand when we say his watercolor stylings are hauntingly beautiful to look at-they have a soft gentleness to them, yet can convey the most stark of imagery. His new OGN has us completely mesmerized once again, invoking comparisons to the Legends of Korra and the works of Hayao Miyazaki.
What It Is: When Carson, a young girl living with cancer, is bestowed with age-old magic by a rebellious sorcerer named Iscariot, she must navigate her new powers, face the life she had thought she left behind forever, and take on the order of magicians who want to control her destiny. Carson discovers that Iscariot’s intentions might not have been as altruistic as it first appeared, and learns the hard way that magic comes at a cost.
9. Adventure, Intrigue, And Romance…Oh My!
Is there any wonder we live in an age of dreamed of for comics, simply on the basis of access to original art without having to have a Scrooge McDuck-sized money vault? Alex Raymond and his work is one of the cornerstones of the foundation that the modern American adventure comic rests upon, not to mention the simple fact that without him and his creation Flash Gordon (which you may have heard of), there would be no Star Wars. That’s not conjecture on my part; that’s a fact.
But Raymond’s artwork is as much a factor in that as his writing, and this collection from Hermes looks to be as close as we’re ever going to get to an Alex Raymond artist edition collection. Plus, Ron Goulart knows his stuff, so if he’s written material to be included, that’s enough value-added content to make anyone already on the fence about this book come over to the dark side for it.
Alex Raymond: An Artistic Journey: Adventure, Intrigue and Romance
Written by Ron Goulart & Alex Raymond
Illustrated by Alex Raymond
Published by Hermes Press
Alex Raymond was one of the most influential comic strip artists of the 20th Century, creating action-packed art for Secret Agent X-9, the spectacular, classic imagery for Flash Gordon, and the nuanced, brilliant artwork for the detective/film-noiresque Rip Kirby. Now, for the first time, Hermes Press presents a comprehensive, definitive, art monograph covering Raymond’s complete artistic output with an authoritative text by noted comics historian Ron Goulart. This new exhaustive full color art book features over 400 images, many scanned directly from Raymond’s original artwork, and is being published under license from King Features as part of their 100th anniversary celebration.
See original artwork from Raymond’s work on Secret Agent X-9, Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, and Rip Kirby together with numerous examples of his earliest strip artwork, commercial illustration, and more.
This extra large format art book is presented in a 10 by 13 inch size, so collectors can savor every detail of Raymond’s artistic genius.
8. No Hound, Just The Fox This Time
We’ve given Magnetic Press some love in the past, and all of it is well-deserved because they put out fantastic books. Among those books are the previous volume of this series. As I’ve said about that book before: ” It’s actually completely without dialogue or narration, so translation wasn’t a big deal, but they gave this day-in-the-life-of-a-tiger story the hardcover treatment. It’s a gorgeously done book both in terms of content and presentation.”
And now there’s another book in that series coming out? Sign me up. Sign me up NOW!
Love, vol. 2: The Fox
Written by Frédéric Brrémaud
Illustrated by Federico Bertolucci
Published by Magnetic Press Inc.
It’s not easy being one of the smaller predators in the woods, competing with an entire woodland population for scraps along the food chain. But when nature throws cataclysmic weather into the mix, it becomes a race for survival – and love. Follow an agile, intrepid fox through a day’s journey through the woods in this beautiful all-ages title that explores genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in lavish, wordless illustration
7. One Punch! One Punch!
To me, when I hear “One Punch”, I think of Guy Gardner knocked the hell after Batman decks him for being…well, Guy Gardner. Seriously, it’s fantastic.
So does that mean One-Punch Man is Batman? My editors are telling me “No.”
I’ve had it explained to me, but I’m still not entirely sure what One-Punch Man is. What I do know is that people I respect to understand these things are really excited that this manga strip is being collected in print for the first time.
One-Punch Man vols. 1 & 2
Written and Illustrated by Yusuke Murata
Published by Viz Media LLC
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem — he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom?
6. Like Father, Like Daughter
Given that I felt a little slighted when I first read “Battling Boy”, in that it seemed like Pope had created this really interesting world and then not given us enough time in it, it’s been fun to see him flesh that world out in reverse with books like this. Bringing in other creators to help out isn’t even a turnoff because it’s all being done under Pope’s watchful eye and direction.
Battling Boy: Fall of the House of West
Written by Paul Pope & J.T. Petty
Illustrated by David Rubin
Published by :01 First Second
A bold new hero finds her feet in the second of two action-packed graphic novels revealing the origin story of Battling Boy’s Aurora West! Aurora West is on the verge of solving the mystery of her mother’s death, but it’s hard keeping her efforts a secret from her grieving father, the legendary monster-hunter Haggard West. Between her school work and her hours training and hunting with her dad, Aurora is hard-pressed to find time to be a secret sleuth. But she’s nothing if not persistent. What Aurora doesn’t realize is that she’s about to blow open a secret that may very well destroy what’s left of her family – and, indeed, all of Arcopolis!
5. Nexus Like We’ve Never Seen Him Before
The second of three art-focused books this month, I honestly had no idea what this book was actually about or that it had already been solicited until I stumbled upon it as I was finishing up this month’s column. So much so, in fact, that I asked Steve Rude for details about this book when I interviewed him at the end of last week. You can check out that talk here on Multiversity later today, and you can partake of some jaw-dropping Nexus original art goodness in October from the shockingly low price of $50. Vootie indeed!Continued below
Steve Rude: The Nexus Chronicles
Written by Mike Baron
Illustrated by Steve Rude
Published by Flesk Publications
For more than thirty years, the comic-book series Nexus has showcased the artistry of Steve “The Dude” Rude, one of the industry’s most passionate and highly regarded artists. The Nexus Chronicles focuses on Rude’s role as artist and co-creator of this award-winning series. Three years have gone into assembling the original art for eight of The Dude’s favorite creations, including Nexus: Wages of Sin #1 and Next Nexus #1, both of which are shown with their pencil and finished inked forms facing one another to highlight the process. Nexus #50 and the rarely seen eight-page “All in Sundra” are reproduced from their inked originals. Each issue has been meticulously scanned directly from The Dude’s personal archives.
4. To The Maxx!
I know I say this every month, but I really try not to have these types of books overwhelm the list. But when you see what’s being put out, you can’t fault me for having to make room for at least some of them, right? An age undreamed of, remember?
But here in the land of artist editions, IDW is still king. And as a shout-out to one of our Multiversity editors, and because I think it is, in fact, worthy of such a ranking on this month’s list, I present to you…
Sam Keith’s The Maxx: Artist Edition
Written by Sam Keith & William Messner-Loebs
Illustrated by Sam Keith
Published by IDW Publishing
Kieth has long been one of comics most unique talents. Starting with his career-making turn on Wolverine in Marvel Comics Presents, followed by the best-selling Maxx series, and then Aliens, Batman, Epicurus the Sage, and more, Sam’s beautiful and delicate line-work have earned him legions of devoted fans. But now is your chance to see his pages as close to the original art as possible-as if you were peering over his shoulder onto his drawing board!
This artist’s edition will collect the first 6 issues of The Maxx and present a selection of gorgeous covers-all at their full size, all scanned from the original art, and all produced by the multiple Eisner Award-winning Artist’s Edition team at IDW Publishing!
* Each copy of the first printing will feature a bound in signature plate signed by Sam Kieth at no extra charge!
* These issues were the basis for the cult-favorite cartoon on MTV.
* Advance-solicited for December release!
3. Now THIS Is Bat Country!
Following in the footsteps of Ralph Steadman and Terry Gilliam has to be a daunting task. To say nothing of actually trying to make heads or tails of Hunter S. Thompson’s famous book. But Troy Little is no slouch when it comes to comic booking, so I can’t wait to see this adaption make full use of this medium’s power to give you a “Fear & Loathing” experience unlike any other!
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Written by Hunter S. Thompson and Troy Little
Illustrated by Troy Little
Published by IDW/Top Shelf
In proud partnership with the Hunter S. Thompson Estate, Top Shelf Productions is pleased to announce Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a delightfully bonkers graphic novel by Eisner-nominated artist Troy Little adapting Thompson’s seminal book of the same name. Join Thompson’s alter ego Raoul Duke on the mother of all Vegas benders, as he and his attorney Dr. Gonzo cover a motorcycle race, crash a drug-enforcement convention, and rack up obscenely large room-service bills, all while dosed to the gills on a truly spectacular assortment of mind-altering substances.
• “Troy Little masterfully captures the madness and essential humor that makes this book an enduring classic.” -Darick Robertson
• “I am super into everything about this.” -Kelly Sue DeConnick
• “Pre-ether binge reading material. Glorious madness, as mercilessly demented as its original counterpart. The Good Doctor would look on this and raise his highball glass in hearty approval.” -John Layman
2. What’s The Opposite Of A Striptease?Continued below
I love educational comics, from the ones that teach me about philosophy (“Action Philosophers”) to ones that instruct about the very comics themselves (“Comic Book History of Comics” and the “Understanding Comics” trilogy). I’m not even close to knowing even everything I probably should about this body carrying me through life as we know it. Maris Wicks has a proven track record for using comics to teach. I will use the latter to fix the former.
Human Body Theatre
Written and Illustrated by Maris Wicks
Published by :01 First Second
From bones to skin and everything in between, Human Body Theater takes readers on a fascinating and highly educational tour of the body in comics format! Welcome to the Human Body Theater, where your master of ceremonies is going to lead you through a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body! Starting out as a skeleton, the MC puts on a new layer of her costume (her body) with each “act.” By turns goofy and intensely informative, the Human Body Theater is always accessible and always entertaining.
I’m also not much of a beer drinker. Not that I’m a teetotaler or straight edge by any stretch of the imagination, but I just never really hung out with crowds that drank and never developed the taste (or more importantly, the knowledge) of the drink to be able to order it with any kind of facility. But now, at long last, my love of comics is coming to the rescue!
The Comic Book Story of Beer
Written by Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith
Illustrated by Aaron McConnell
The Comic Book Story of Beer traces beer’s influence through world history as a liberating and emancipating force that improved the life of everyday people, beginning with early human’s experiments with fermentation all the way up through the contemporary explosion of craft brewing. No book has ever told the story of beer in a graphic format, until this one. Shedding light on abstract subjects like pasteurization, “original gravity,” and “lagering,” artist Aaron McConnell has a flair for cinematic action and demonstrates versatility in depicting characters and episodes from beer’s rich history. Hand-drawn in a classic, accessible style, The Comic Book Story of Beer makes a great gift, and will appeal to the most avid comic book geek and those who live for beer.
Well, that was fun! Be sure to check out our Robots From Tomorrow Previews episode in a few weeks and hear us talk about these books and a whole lot more. And let me know what books YOU’RE excited for in the comments section.