If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you’re a fetishist for expensive hardcover books that are available only in absurdly limited numbers and packaged in exquisite slipcases and loaded with supplemental material and artwork. With the gift-giving season rapidly winding down, people like us are looking for those last-minute gifts that are so expensive and so impressively large that they could never actually seem like you totally forgot to get your shopping (or blogging) done in a timely and responsible manner. The best sort of gift along those lines is of course the deluxe edition comic or art book, and I’ve put together a list of some great ones that you can still find at your local comics stores and online booksellers before the clock runs out on the season.
NOTE ON PRICES: We have included the list prices for each item. Because of holiday sales, you will very likely find discounts at your local comics shops, Amazon and elsewhere.
PictureBox, the independent comics and art magazine publisher, will be shutting down at the end of 2013. The announcement was made this morning by founder and proprietor Dan Nadel, via the PictureBox Tumblr page. Along with the announcement, PictureBox also revealed a massive 50% off sale on its inventory, to run through January 2nd.
Since itss launch last fall, COPRA has been a favorite among the ComicsAlliance staff. Created, produced and distributed by cartoonist Michel Fiffe, the series is largely inspired by the work of John Ostrander, Kim Yale, Luke McDonnell and others on DC Comics' Suicide Squad in the 1980s. Like Suicide Squad, COPRA features a collection of one note villains that Fiffe makes you come to care about as the series progresses. But the title is much more than just an homage to the comics Fiffe grew up reading; with its tight scripts, fantastic page layouts, and incredibly well constructed fight scenes, interspersed with some deeply human moments, Fiffe's COPRA ranks among the best titles currently being published.
Fiffe has provided ComicsAlliance with a six page preview of COPRA#12, on sale this week. Additionally, he's revealed that the series, originally meant to conclude with this issue, will continue after a brief hiatus.
Oily Comics Available From: Oily Comix Website Price: $20 for a Three Month Subscription, for a total of 15 mini comics
We've spotlighted the comics of Charles Forsman in the past. His work on The End of the F***ing World, recently released in a collection from Fantagraphics, ranks among our favorite books of 2013. But in addition to his own work, Forsman runs Oily Comics, a mini comics publisher which has produced work from creators like Michael DeForge, Melissa Mendes, Jessica Campbell, Alex Kim, and Forsman himself, among others.
And Oily Comix offers a subscription service, which is not only a way to make sure you don't miss out on some quality comics, but also a great way to support a small publisher.
It's a story as old as time: Extremist right-wing radio host gets legislation passed to criminalize sex reassignment surgery, then surgeons kidnap him and forcibly do a sex-change operation on him.
OK, maybe it's not that old of a story, but it is the premise of the new graphic novel Killweather, which is already almost halfway to its Kickstarter goal of $6,700. Check out the video about the high-concept project from writer and journalist Jesse E. Lichtenstein and artist Abraham Mong after the jump.
On paper, Katie Longua's Rökmight not sound like it's going to be good. It is, after all, a comic starring a fictionalized version of the character's roommate and her magical destiny, full of inside jokes about homework and things said roommate carries around in her purse. I mean, seriously, I've read enough comics that "It's about me and my friends but as superheroes" is a gigantic red flag that usually scares me off toute de suite. The thing is, when Longua set about telling that exact story, she somehow managed to make it super fun.
Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that she calls it "the manliest magical girl comic around," and that the contents of her roommate's purse are "two knives and mace."
There's a lot to be said for the splash page which concludes Dean Trippe's deeply personal Something Terrible, a new 18-page digital comic available for $0.99. You could spend a serious amount of time figuring out and naming each character pictured in the previously released and wildly reblogged image "You'll Be Safe Here": The Rocketeer, Indiana Jones, He-Man, and essentially every member of the Bat-family. Gremlins, Transformers, Spider-Men and... is that the Crow? Beloved characters populate a scene witnessed in the foreground by a young boy, standing protected by Batman himself.
What you couldn't see until Trippe released the story behind it was just how much the scene meant to him not as a fan but as a man, and how much the world of fiction and fantasy can offer a child who truly needs an escape from an unthinkable reality of abuse and trauma.
New York Comic-Con 2013 afforded attendees their share of comic book debuts, ashcans and teasers in Artist's Alley, but only one featured an axe battle against an old man in a parka with a multi-fanged mouth for an eyeball. That comic? A teaser for Spread by writer Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode), artist Kyle Strahm (Haunt) and colorist Felipe Sobreiro (Heavy Metal). Jordan and Strahm gave away a roughly 14-page teaser of the potential series at the show with hopes of seeing the "Lone Wolfand Cub in a world eaten by John Carpenter's The Thing" horror comic resonate with readers and potentially spark a fuller publishing plan. For those who weren't able to attend NYCC, the team has posted the full teaser comic in digital form as a free (NSFW) download through October 25.CA hit up Jordan and Strahm to see what's on the horizon for the title and its team... and also to see if they'd played putt-putt together.
Actually, that's not quite accurate. Cartozia Tales is a bunch of ideas that I wish I'd had, put together inside of yet another idea that I wish I'd had. It's a Matryoshka doll of seething jealousy on my part, and if it wasn't so good, I'd hate it. Fortunately for everyone -- particularly the people reading every issue, like I plan to -- editor Isaac Cates and the crew of cartoonists and special guests creating his comic have the talent to back it up, and the end result is a comic that takes the idea of building a fantasy world and makes it something that's genuinely fun to read about.
In good news for art collectors, mononymous illustrator Gerhard has created a some brand new images that he's offering for sale as handsome limited edition prints. Based mainly on scenes from his and Dave Sim's acclaimed and uncommonly beautiful work on Cerebus, the selection demonstrates Gerhard's unique contribution of ornate, intricately detailed and immersive background "sets" and environments to Sim's at times controversial opus about the life and times of an anthropomorphic aardvark.
The prints are available separately and limited to 75-100 copies each and signed by the artist as well as Sim (where applicable), but the hardcore Cerebus fans may wish to avail themselves of the hand-colored editions, limited to just 25 copies each.
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