New Books From Alternative Comics and More

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It looks like we are doing new comic book day on Thursday this week. We have three new books from our house label Alternative Comics in stock online and in the Cupertino store: Jed Alexander’s (Mostly) Wordless, Kevin Scalzo’s Sugar Booger #2 and the second edition of the Big Feminist BUT anthology.

Cosplayers

Also new this week is the surprising full color comic by Dash Shaw – Cosplayers, from Fantagraphics. We’ve seen some hints that this will be an ongoing series. That would be seriously cool.

In other news, the shop will likely be closed this weekend (Friday and Saturday) as we will be off at Linework NW, which is the cover story in the latest Portland Mercury. See you there?

Steve Moore Has Minutes To Go In Suspension

I was about ten or eleven when I was first exposed to the writing of the recently deceased Steve Moore in the pages of Doctor Who Weekly. He and Alan Moore (no relation) wrote back-up stories in the magazine. Some of the ones that first caught my attention were the tales of the Cyberman who still retained his emotions – Kroton. But, the one that really caught my imagination and stuck with me for years afterwards was this four page chapter in one of the Star Tigers stories featuring Abslom Daak — Dalek Killer. I encountered it completely out of context of the rest of the story, in stark black and white art by David Lloyd (who would later illustrate V for Vendetta). There were so many ideas here that were so new to me… I used to xerox these four pages and hand them out to friends and insist they read it. Make sense of this! There was only one other comic I did that with back when I was barely a teen – an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” by Alberto Breccia in the October 1982 issue of Heavy Metal.

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Kickstart This: Study Group Comics

Help fund Study Group Comics’ upcoming slate of super awesome print editions by pre-ordering your copies today! Study Group is running a Kickstarter for pre-orders on their 2014 books. It is one hell of a lineup, with the best ever looking issue of Study Group Magazine (#3!) – now in full color, the second issue of Farel Dalrymple’s It Will All Hurt and Sam Alden’s much acclaimed full color 96-page Haunter.

Hey, in the meanwhile, you can support Study Group and Wow Cool by buying their other books — and other titles from the Press Gang Collective — from our shop.

Suport This: Suspect Device 4 Kickstarter

Suspect Device 4. Anthology of collage based comics dedicated to linking comics history with its future. Cover by Raymond Pettibon.

Suspect Device 4 is the 4th installment in a series of comics first begun in 2011. Its principal conceit is that the artists work on comics based on older characters and spliced in source materials. Adding new art to photocopies of old frames is encouraged and expected. The theme here is a unification between the past and today.

This new issue adds a new wrinkle to the formula, borrowing images from the ” Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia” alongside the now familiar faces of characters like Annie, The Phantom, Popeye and others. The rest of the content is provided by our contributors, who riff off the older art to make new comics and illustrations. Usually the more the artists are set free of restrictions, the more they enjoy the work and the more likely they are to meet the SD deadline. As a result much of the work is violent, transgressive or sexual, and a surreal, demented or dreamlike approach to these topics is welcome.

Wow Cool has carried the first three issues of this rather dubious — but compelling — project in the shop. We’d like to spread this one around, like the tasty disease it is, too.

Go boot that up on the Kickstarter right now!

Support This: Seth Kushner’s Schmuck Kickstarter

A semi-autobio graphic novel anthology about one schmuck’s quest for love and the meaning of life in New York City. SCHMUCK is a 168-page trade paperback autobio graphic novel about one man’s awkward coming-of-age-quest to find love in New York City, written by SETH KUSHNER with design by ERIC SKILLMAN, forward by JONATHAN AMES and art by 22 great cartoonists.

SCHMUCK is an anthology series and features the work of a host of talented artists, who illustrated short schmucky stories, which together tell a complete narrative, including; JOSH NEUFELD (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge), NICK BERTOZZI (The Salon), DEAN HASPIEL (The Fox), KEVIN COLDEN (The Crow), GREGORY BENTON (B+F), LELAND PURVIS (Resistance), SEAN PRYOR (Pekar Project), BOBBY TIMONY (Night Owls), NOAH VAN SCIVER (The Hypo), OMAR ANGULO (Hurricane Wilma), SHAMUS BEYALE (The Grimm Fairy Tales), RYAN ALEXANDER-TANNER (To Teach), NATHAN SCHREIBER (Power-Out), STEPHAN DESTEFANO (Lucky in Love), GEORGE JURARD (Beacon Lights), GEORGE SCHALL (Dark Horse Presents), TONY SALMONS (Vigilante), JAMES SMITH (Gang of Fools), SKUDS MCKINLEY (Rumble Moon), JONATHAN ALLEN (Vacationland), PIERCE HARGAN, CHRISTA CASSANO (Breakers) and cover art by JOSEPH REMANT (Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland) and book design by Eisner Award winning designer ERIC SKILLMAN (Tales of Sand) and forward by JONATHAN AMES (HBO’s Bored To Death, The Alcoholic).

Go support Schmuck on Kickstarter

Kickstart This: Matt Howarth’s Myriad Quest

Matt Howarth brings you a graphic novel of two star-crossed adventurers braving the dangers of the Myriad Song. Myriad Quest will be a self-contained, 48-page graphic novel written and drawn by Matt Howarth and produced by Sanguine Games, makers of the Myriad Song role-playing game. With your support, we’ll be producing the book in both print and electronic versions.

MATT HOWARTH is a veteran of the graphic storytelling industry, whose work has appeared in Doom Patrol, Heavy Metal, Justice League Society, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transmetropolitan and SF Worldcon Books. He has also produced many of his own comic-book series, such as Kief Llama: Xenotech, Konny & Czu, and Those Annoying Post Brothers.

SANGUINE PRODUCTIONS has produced critically-acclaimed games such as Ironclaw, Albedo, Noggle Stones, Usagi Yojimbo, and, of course, Myriad Song.

Go support this on thee Kickstarter

Some Boxes

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I had some time to kill with the kids yesterday evening and we happened to be near the “Comic Collector” shop (yes, that’s it’s name) in Sunnyvale, CA. They have many bins of strange old comics, typically for a dollar. In one stack of beat up coverless comic books I found these gems. From the top: Marvel Super Heroes 15 (1968) by Archie Goodwin, Gene Colan, Vince Colletta and Irving Watanabe; “Portrait of an Actress” from Girls Romances #159 (1971) creators unknown (read the cover story from that issue here); Ensign Pulver (1964) art by Henry Scarpelli; and, unknown issue of Dennis the Menace, art likely by Al Wiseman. Click on the image for larger versions – full pages on the last couple.

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What The Hell We’ve Been Up To

Although this here blog has been pretty quiet for a week or so, we have been far from idle at Wow Cool / Alternative Comics HQ. Most recently we have upgraded our web servers, so WowCool.com, IndyWorld.com, MagicWhistle.com and several other sites we host should be running much faster now. A couple months back we noticed some very serious problems related to a massive increase in “comment spam”… Even after doing all we could with our old server to combat the problem, slowdowns and server interruptions continued. Hopefully that is now all a problem left in the past. In case you missed any of it, here is a recap of everything else that has gone down the last couple of weeks.

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The lineup for the Linework NW show in Portland, Oregon has been announced. Alternative Comics will be part of it. I’m pretty excited about this show, it looks to be a great successor to the Stumptown comics fest. See you there?

The news has spread far and wide that after a quarter century of peddling comic books through the US mails that Wow Cool has opened it’s first ever brick and mortar retail store in Cupertino, California. Many items are exclusive to the store, including the pain-in-the-ass to ship Kramers Ergot 7, Other big books from the likes of Paul Pope, Justin Green and Ivan Brunetti, and the (totally free) Jim Woodring illustrated One Green Tree. Pay us a visit?

The big news is that Alternative Comics has finally announced the full lineup of books for the spring and summer of 2014. It has been well over a year of work to coordinate the release of some of these books, and we are particularly excited to be able to offer Megan Kelso’s Girlhero and Jesse Moynihan’s Backwards Folding Mirror to the world again. Many more books are in preparation for debut at this year’s SPX, for release in stores from September. There will be some familiar faces as well as some total surprises. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Kickstart This: Graphic novel thriller PAIN 1 by Noah Xifr

Noah Xifr’s Kickstarter campaign for his new book is mere hours from it’s end and he could use your help.

Simon Hanselmann’s Life Zone Now In The Shop

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Simon Hanselmann’s full color, 64 page book Life Zone is now in our shop. Also back in stock from Space Face Books is Michael DeForge’s The Boy in Question and the Rat Hex anthology.

Henriette Valium Great Success 1983-2013

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As noted recently, newly added to our shop is the greatest career retrospective yet released of Quebec’s ‘Pope of Comics’ Henriette Valium. This book comes from a new publisher from the little heard from country of Macedonia. Our old friend Janelle Hessig got the full scoop over on the Last Gasp blog.

Jonny Negron’s Adapt 2 and more new in the shop

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Floating World has delivered the second of their massive oversized really damn big tabloid editions of Jonny Negron’s sci-fi series Adapt, and we have them here as well as having the first issue back in stock. About a bajilion more, well, nine or ten, books (old and new… well, new and fairly recent) are now in the shop as well, including: The Orchid anthology, The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln by Noah Van Sciver, Battling Boy by Paul Pope, Birdseye Bristoe by Dan Zettwoch, Big Plans by Aron Nels Steinke, Gloriana by Kevin Huizenga, Deep in the Woods by Noah Van Sciver & Nic Breutzman, Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée, King Cat #74 by John Porcellino, and Optic Nerve #13 by Adrian Tomine.

Go listen: Inkstuds episode 500

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The mighty Inkstuds podcast and radio show has logged 500 episodes in just over eight years. The guests for this landmark episode are Frank Santoro and Brandon Graham. Go give a listen.

Special guests Frank Santoro and Brandon Graham help me bring in the 500th episode of inkstuds. 8 and a half years of podcasting and still going strong. I had those two gents on because both of them have been on several times in the past and I always enjoy talking to them.

During the show, Brandon and I announce our upcoming kickstarter campaign for an inkstuds tour/roadtrip. expect that to be launching in the next week.

We were also joined by David Brothers, who has a special Inkstuds project to announce. I am really excited to have David joining in. He’s an important writer on comics.

Hot off the Press – Insect Bath

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Just arrived in our shop is Insect Bath, the new anthology of cosmic horror edited by Jason T. Miles. Includes comics by: Max Clotfelter (Henry & Glenn Forever), Alex Delaney (Rapt in Fear), Eamon Espey (Wormdye and Songs of the Abyss), Noel Freibert (Weird Magazine), Sammy Harkham (The Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror, Kramers Ergot and Everything Together), Juliacks (Swell and Rock That Never Sleeps), Jason T. Miles (Love Wins), Scott Roller (Rapt in Fear), Matthew Thurber (1-800 Mice and Infomaniacs), and Zach Hazard Vaupen. Cover by Alex Degan (Area CC, Mighty Star and Soft Xray/Mindhunters).

Many New And Recent Books Now In The Shop

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We have added a whole slew of books to the shop in preparation for our grand opening in just a couple of weeks at the new Cupertino store. The store is already open for business from Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6pm. Big opening party coming soon. Among the new additions are: the giant sized Kramers Ergot #7, available for in-store purchase only, Noah Van Sciver and Nic Breutzman’s Deep in the Woods tabloid, Henriette Valium’s Great Success 1983-2013, Black is the Color by Julia Gfrörer, Island of Memory by T Edward Bak, and many, many more. New magazines in the shop include the latest issues of Bust, Bitch, Maximum RockNRoll, Wax Poetics, Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose.

New in the Shop – Jesse Moynihan, Frontier and More

Many books new and old have been added to the shop this past week. We’d like to bring your attention to these.

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Youth in Decline’s first two issues of Frontier are now in stock: Frontier #1 by Uno Moralez and Frontier #2 by Hellen Jo.

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All three issues of Forming and Adventure Time artist Jesse Moynihan’s Backwards Folding Mirror – Issues one and two, and the graphic novel length third installment Follow Me are available again.

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You will also want to grab On Your Marks – the anthology comic from 2013′s Short Run fest with comics by Aaron Mew, Aidan Fitzgerald, Andrice Arp, Asher Craw, Ben Horak, Bobby Madness, Chris Cilla, Darin Shuler, David Lasky, Elaine Lin, Eroyn Franklin, Ian Sundahl, Jack Hayden, James Stanton, Jason Fischer, Jason T. Miles, Jennifer Parks, Julia Gfrorer, Kaz Strzepek, Kelly Froh, Kinoko, M. “Moseley” Smith & Reuben “W.” Storey, Marc Palm, Max Clotfelter, Michael Litven, Pat Moriarity & Rick Altergott, Patrick Keck, Robyn Jordan, Sean Christensen, Tim Goodyear, Tim Miller, Tim Root, and Tom Van Deusen.

Last Day to Join The SAW Indigogo Campaign

Help SAW – The Sequential Artists Workshop – continue its mission of supporting artists, putting artists and students together and offering quality, affordable education in comics/sequential art. SAW was founded by Tom Hart, who co-founded the original Wow Cool and is Alternative Comics’ advisor (or, as he prefers, Chieftain).

The Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) is a comics learning outpost in sunny Gainesville Florida.
AT SAW, we bring artists and students to work and learn together.

SAW is unconventional, non-institutional, rebellious, lively and serious all at once.

We offer personalized instruction, mentorship and a full-fledged, intensive and professional single-year program at a 3rd to a 10th the price of a single year at larger institutions.

We created SAW for anyone who has the passion and dedication to learn the art.

The Return of He Aims To Please

Sam Henderson is resurrecting the character of He Aims To Please, after an eight year absence, for an appearance in the upcoming Magic Whistle #14 from Alternative Comics. Catch up on his rich history in our Sam Henderson shop.

The Wow Cool Alternative Comics Bookstore is now open

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The Wow Cool | Alternative Comics
Bookstore & Newsstand is now open!

Shop online or visit our retail shop in Cupertino, California

Wow Cool is now open for business at our new brick-and-mortar shop in the historic Monta Vista neighborhood.
We are at 21607B Stevens Creek Blvd.; Cupertino, California 95014.
Hours: Tues.–Sat. Noon–6pm (408) 921-5164

Do you know the way to San Jose?
We are conveniently located off of the CA-85 Cupertino/Stevens Creek exit near the intersection with I-280. Look for the giant Paul & Eddie’s sign — we are in the same parking lot — way around the back of the Share World building. If you are driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you will very likely drive right by us. Stop in and pay us a visit. Our little neighborhood is also conveniently home to an organic grocery, Halo Custom Guitars, the post office, a gas station and many restuarants, including our favorite: iSushi.

See more photos of the store on the Alternative Comics Facebook page.

UPDATE: The store has a web page.

Map + Directions

Kid Mafia Digest by Michael DeForge New in the Shop

Kid Mafia

Just arrived from SHQ – The Secret headquarters – is this brand new collection of the long out-ouf-print mini comics. That special time between the end of high school and the beginning of college… depicted by Michael DeForge. With bonus skateboard action. The digest collects Kid Mafia issues #1 – 3. The original three zines are long sold out and have never before been collected. The digest covers are brand new and designed by Michael especially for this volume.

90-page black and white 5.5” x 5.5” perfect bound paperback with full color covers and french flaps

Go get yours now.

Past Blasts