Friday, 29 September 2017

Diamond Preview Picks: October 2017

Here a selection of good looking comics heading in to your local comic store in December (or there abouts) as listed in the Diamond Previews Catalog for October. As always, I'm keen to know what other comics Cerebus readers enjoy, so let us know what you're currently reading in the comments section below. Thanks.

Vark Knight Returns #1
by Dave Sim & Sandeep Atwal
Aardvark Vanaheim, $4.00
In Stores: 27 December 2017
Diamond Order Code: OCT171028

The publisher says:
Batvark Invictus; three-part (sorry!) Batvark's Wedding Vows; Batvark tweets Johnny Depp; also reprints online strips from September 2016:  Cerebus goes to see Suicide Squad; King Solomon, rap artist; Cerebus the Party Hat; Xavier Cugat and conga-line snakes; Siamese Twin Girl-Boy and The Aardvarkian League of Justice;  building the Poet Laureate Pyramid & The Granite-Slab Freestyle Slalom; "Ode to Beatrice's JLo Heinie"; Snake Comics; Aardvark-Vanaheim Civil War: Cerebus vs. The Renegade Super-Poets and more!

The Collected Arn Saba's Neil The Horse
by Katherine Collins
Conundrum Press, $25.00
In Stores: 29 November 2017
Diamond Order Code: OCT171411

The publisher says:
Neil the Horse ran 15 issues in the 1980s. With its tagline, "Making the World Safe for Musical Comedy" it is a totally original hybrid influenced more by Carl Barks and Fred Astaire than by the underground comics of the time. Originally produced under the name Arn Saba, Neil's creator transitioned to Katherine Collins after the last issue. Introduction by Trina Robbins.

Trina Robbins says:
...In the midst of the [1980s] hysteria of the black-and-white boom, along came Neil the Horse, tap dancing his way into the hearts of America. (Well, mine, anyway, and enough others to keep the comic going for fifteen issues.) Five parts Donald Duck artist Carl Barks, five parts Fred Astaire, and a hundred percent Arn Saba, the banana-chomping, rubber-legged equine’s comics were a refreshing change from the dark, grim and gritty, ultraviolent mainstream comics that seemed almost de rigueur during the eighties...

Faceache: The First 100 Scrunges
by Ken Reid
Rebellion, $18.99
In Stores: 20 December 2017
Diamond Order Code: OCT171757

The publisher says:
Hilarious face-changing adventures by one of the greats of British comics! Ken Reid is consistently name-checked by the greats of comics - from Alan Moore to Kevin O'Neill, John Wagner to Pat Mills - for his unique art that is matched only by his enduring sense of humor. In a hardcover edition befitting his status as one of the all-too-forgotten greats of British comics, we present his timeless Faceache - the humorous adventures of Ricky Rubberneck, the boy with a "bendable bonce" whose skin stretches like rubber. At will, he could scrunge his face into anything, whether it's mimicking others or turning into grotesque creatures, but always coming a cropper! This is the first collection of this long lost classic from the hugely popular and long running Buster comic. Introduction by Alan Moore.

Rebellion, publishers of 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine, have announced full details of their first new collections featuring all-time classics of British comics from the 1970s and ‘80s. And what a terrific selection from their recently-expanded cache of characters it is, too, including collections of One-Eyed Jack, Marney the Fox, The Leopard of Lime Street – and the legendary Ken Reid’s much-loved Faceache. 2000AD and Rebellion Publishing acquired the Fleetway and IPC Youth group archive from Egmont UK last year, which includes hundreds of much-loved comic characters and strips. The first titles in company’s new Treasury of British Comics line have now been announced  – and they reflect the huge range of material Rebellion now own. “These are the comics that forged the childhood memories of millions and imbued many of us with a life-long love of the comics medium,” enthuses company spokesperson Michael Molcher. “It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to be bringing them back into the light after decades on the shelf.” Ben Smith, head of books and comic books at Rebellion Publishing, which owns 2000AD, describes the new line as a chance to restore “a vital but largely overlooked piece of British cultural history”.

Inside Moebius: Part 1
by Moebius
Dark Horse, $49.99
In Stores: 7 February 2018
Diamond Order Code: OCT170050

The publisher says:
Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse presents Inside Moebius Part 1, the next volume in the Moebius Library. As he explores  a beautiful, expansive desert that represents his mind, Moebius draws himself encountering his favorite characters-creations like Blueberry, Arzak, and Major Grubert-and also meets a younger version of himself! A six-part study, Inside Moebius Part 1 collects the first two chapters in this fantastic exploration of a creator meeting his own creations to discuss his artistic process and the real world issues that encroach into his thoughts. Moebius's final long-form work - now available in English!

Monsieur Jean: It Don't Come Easy
by Philippe Dupuy & Charles Berberian
Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95
In Stores: 27 December 2017
Diamond Order Code: OCT171538

The publisher says:
Since the character of Monsieur Jean first walked onto the page in 1998, he has endeared himself to readers, maturing with each frantic, surreal, heart-warming episode. Beginning as a young Parisian bachelor, defeatist writer, and urban bon vivant, Jean has reluctantly transitioned into a family man of forty, learning how to live with, and ultimately love those around him unconditionally. Constantly surrounded by a group of childhood classmates, an unbearably idealistic live-in friend Felix and his adopted son, Eugene, as well as his sweet daughter Julie, Jean questions life and those of others in an honest and endearing way; his unmistakable joie de vivre always undermined by a palpable sense of cynicism. The joy of these award-winning cartoons stems from that fact that Jean's weaknesses are our own; his doubts about life, universal; his relentless quest for happiness understood.

The Comics Journal said:
...the Monsieur Jean comics remind me of Kim Thompson’s 13-year-old plea that “more crap is what we need.” What Thompson meant is that comics would benefit from more middle-of-the-road and “safe” material for general audiences that is nonetheless created with care and skill. Dupuy and Berberian’s stories about a writer who has to deal with aging, career, relationships, and (eventually) children are breezy, fun, and relentlessly clever. Neither artist is someone I’d put the same category as Joann Sfar, David B, or Lewis Trondheim in terms of being an innovator or forward thinker. Instead, they are both superior craftsmen who are well-schooled in the clear-line tradition of Franco-Belgian comics and possessed of a certain illustrative flair. With this edition’s duo-tone blue wash, the end result is a slick and attractive package that nonetheless is remarkable for its genuine warmth and affection for its characters...

by Cyril Pedrosa
NBM, $39.99
In Stores: 27 December 2017
Diamond Order Code: OCT171705

The publisher says:
This is the story of rebirth, through the rediscovery of a childhood place, shrouded in the haze of memory. French comic book artist Simon Muchat has reached one of life's dead ends. He drifts through his uneventful day-to-day existence, which has become devoid of color and flavor, and severely lacking in inspiration. He has no plans, no desires, no projects, and is slowly stagnating in his job as a school art teacher. He seems indifferent to his girlfriend's reproaches as she tries to shake him from his torpor. Simon is invited to spend a few days in Portugal for a comic book festival. The invitation strikes a chord with him, as his family is originally from there, and he hasn't been back since his childhood. Perhaps this will at long last lead him out of the maze, and towards a new life of color and feeling and the senses.  [View the 'Portugal' video trailer here...]

Comics & Cola said:
Translation wishlist: Portugal is Pedrosa's 2011, 261 page, Angouleme award-winning book and his most notable work to date. The plot sounds like something semi-autobiographical: a cartoonist is disenchanted with his job as a teacher, and slowly becoming disengaged in other areas of life, also, much to the frustration of his girlfriend. So when he's invited to spend a few days in Portugal, where his family is from and where he has not been since childhood (again, like Pedrosa), he views the opportunity as something that may rejuvenate him, and kick his mind and life back into gear...

Chosen People
by Drew Friedman
Fantagraphics Books, $19.99
In Stores: 31 January 2018
Diamond Order Code: OCT171591

The publisher says:
Featuring over 100 of Drew Friedman's portraits of artists, cartoonists, comedians, musicians, actors, politicians, the famous and the infamous, rendered by the man Boing Boing calls "The greatest living portrait artist." No one is spared the loving Friedman treatment, including Drew Friedman himself!  

Forging The Past: Seth & The Art Of Memory
by Daniel Marrone
PYR Books, $30.00
In Stores: 13 December 2017
Diamond Order Code: OCT172068

The publisher says:
At once familiar and hard to place, the work of acclaimed Canadian cartoonist Seth evokes a world that no longer exists - and perhaps never existed, except in the panels of long-forgotten comics. Seth's distinctive drawing style strikingly recalls a bygone era of cartooning, an apt vehicle for melancholy, gently ironic narratives that depict the grip of the past on the present. Even when he appears to look to the past, however, Seth (born Gregory Gallant) is constantly pushing the medium of comics forward with sophisticated work that often incorporates metafiction, parody, and formal experimentation.

Sparring With Gil Kane: 
Debating The History & Aesthetics Of Comics
edited by Gary Groth
Fantagraphics Books, $22.99
In Stores: 31 January 2018
Diamond Order Code: OCT171589

The publisher says:
Along with drawing every major comic book character during his 50-year career and conceiving independent "graphic novels" before the term had any meaning, Gil Kane was also a fascinating conversationalist, engaging with other artists about the subjects he was most passionate about. Included are interviews Hal Foster, Walt Kelly, Noel Sickles, Harvey Kurtzman, Bill Everett, Denny O'Neil, Howard Chaykin, Walt Simonson, Robert Crumb, Jack Jackson and Donald Phelps. On full display is Kane's critical acuity, wit and eagerness to engage in opinions contrary to his own. Sparring With Gil Kane is a Master Class on the comics form.


Dominick Grace said...

Odd. I got the Neil book weeks ago, and the Marrone book on Srth MONTHS ago ... they're just making it to comics stores now? Or are those relists?

Robbie Foggo said...

I recently received my copy of the complete Shaky Kane Deadline strips which will be read this weekend and also the new Ted McKeever mini comic.

Other than those, Extremity is good stuff and I’ve been enjoying the very Garth Ennis-esque Pestilence from Frank Tieri.

Travis Pelkie said...

Wha!? New Ted McKeever mini comic?! I must have this! And Shaky Kane Deadline strips? Sweet!

A Moment Of Cerebus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Moment Of Cerebus said...

Usually relists seem to retain their original Diamond Order Code. Could it be that those books are new to Diamond, but were previously available to comic shops via a different book distributor? I'm just guessing though.

I am intrigued by that Seth book. Is it any good? Everything is so expensive these days, which makes me hesitate on purchases like this one.


Robbie Foggo said...

Hi Travis,

It’s this one.

I managed to snag a sketch version!

Dominick Grace said...

Hi, Tim.

Yes, the book on Seth is very good. It is an academic book, though, so its style is fairly formal, and it offers a lot of close, detailed reading, and it makes use of various critical theory approaches. However, I think it is written in an accessible style. Anyone seriously interested in Seth should find it very useful.

Travis Pelkie said...

I think, Tim, the way you're getting these entries, they have a code for within the current Previews catalog, but I think they technically use the old codes. I've seen both/either on the same item before. So these may be relists. Although I thought the Neil the Horse book was done through Kickstarter as well, so maybe some copies came out that way?

And thanks for the McKeever heads up, Robbie. One of my faves!

Tony Dunlop said...

That cover photo of Gil Kane should be taken from below, looking up his nostrils.