We are making an attempt around here to designate Thursday as Indie Comic Book Day. Wednesday is the traditional new comic book day, but Thursday is the traditional ‘businesses stay open a little later day’, so it makes some sort of sense. Meanwhile, in music and books, Tuesday is new release day… I think. Pretty sure. Anyway. We have scads of new books in our Silicon Valley Store, several of which have yet to make it into the online shop… We do have two for you right now – from our in-house imprint Alternative Comics – that are in both places:
Death in Oaxaca #1 by Steve Lafler. Steve’s first new series since Bughouse. This surreal adventure serves up Lucha Libre wrestlers and an ancient vampire who prefers chicken. Two expats move to remote Oaxaca, the fabled highland city in southern Mexico. Rex, earnest yet duplicitous, flees from mid-life crisis and fear of death. Beautiful Gertie, cynical but honest, is just plain bored and craves adventure.
Night of the Living Vidiots by Andy Ristaino – The first full color collection of comics from the Emmy Award Winning Adventure Time artist. Sci-fi, horror, and comedy melted together and topped with a Twilight Zone twist. Darkly funny tales featuring mad science, gothic anime, TV zombies, kaiju, giant robots, monsters from the deep, and even a haunted sweatshirt.
Nick Bertozzi has kept his previously Alternative Comics published series going in recent years as a self-published thing, and he needs your support to get the sixth issue out. The full-color comic is ready to go with only the printing costs to be covered. Give a brother a hand on IndieGoGo. You can get several of Nick’s earlier books in the Wow Cool shop, or direct from the man himself.
Just like it says above the cover images… Three upcoming Alternative Comics titles are available for pre-order in the Wow Cool Shop: Death In Oaxaca #1 by Steve Lafler and Night of the Living Vidiots by Andy Ristaino will be available in early August; and, Derf Backderf’s first ever comic book series True Stories will debut with the first issue in early November (crafty travelers can get their’s from Derf at SPX in September).
UPDATE: The first printing of the Noah Van Sciver illustrated A City of Whiskey and Fire has now sold out of it’s first printing and has now been changed to pre-order for the October 2014 Alternative Comics edition.
We also have a couple of recently fresh self-published books from Kevin Huizenga: The Half Men and The Pocket Guides. Many more books have shown up in the last couple of weeks and we are getting them up on the online shop as we can. You can get all those and many more in person at our Cupertino store.
The Wow Cool | Alternative Comics shop in Cupertino received a visit from Len Callo with his portfolio of original art by various indie cartoonists. Included were some lovely vintage pieces by Dan Clowes, Jim Blanchard and Steve Lafler. Len was there to see Mr. Lafler, who joined us for lunch on the patio today. There were several unpublished covers in the set and some record cover art I’d never seen before, including the crazy jam piece above that was created by Dan Brereton, S.Clay Wilson, Dave McMacken, Jim Blanchard, J.R. Williams, Mitch O’Connell, Tim Vigil, Wade Furlong, Craig Hamilton, Len Callo, Alex Niño, Paul Allen, Chris Wisnia, Pat Moriarity, Steve Mannion, Barron Storey, Manuel Pérez Clemente Sanjulian, Mario Henandez, Tom Yeates and Mick Gray (who handled most of the inking) for the cover to the LenCat LP Face Your Demons. The are many other gems on Len’s ComicArtFans.com pages… and on much of the rest of the site too, I imagine.
We also received a visit from a mysterious ‘secret shopper’, who turned out to be Robert Emmett from KFJC 89.7FM’s Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show. You will have to tune in from 9am pacific time on Saturday, July 26 to hear more about that. And yes, it streams on thee interwebs.
For twenty-five years, John Porcellino has been self publishing ‘King-Cat Comics & Stories’, a black & white (generally) 32 page comic/zine. His collected stories have been published by Drawn and Quarterly, and his work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Best American Comics, Kramer’s Ergot, the Anthologies of Graphic Fiction, and in countless other anthologies and collections.
Our old pal Dan Stafford has spent the last five years shooting, assembling and editing video about John and his work, and now he’s ready to bring it to the world… but he needs your help. The film will debut at SPX this September.
Support Root Hog or Die – The John Porcellino/King-Cat documentary on Kickstarter.
From the creator of the ultra-high production values, instant sell-out success comic book the Outliers comes the comic that never ends. Under the pen name Eero, the mysterious and reclusive artist (who’s real name is pretty damn easy to figure out…) has teemed up with Uncivilized Books LABS (not a kennel club) to produce an experiment in storytelling that will be the nicest damn looking comics thing ever.
Kozmo-Knot is the story of a spaceman and a caveman, a campfire and a blaster, a rocket ship, asteroid, a rocky off-world landscape. It’s a kinetic pantomime that takes a reader on a far away journey, then right back where they started … to begin again.
Kozmo-Knot is engineered to be a otherworldly specimen of paper engineering and storytelling: it is a star-shaped paper sculpture / art book / novelty item / narrative ellipse.
Go Kickstart Kozmo-Knot
Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle #14 is in our store. Go grab it!
David Nuss’ excellent Revival House Press has just released two major books into the world and we have them. First up is Malachi Ward’s Ritual Three: Vile Decay. Focusing on the technologically-enhanced reflections of an old woman directed towards her grandson, Ward presents a caveat regarding a possibe-future marked by ecological catastrophe and misuse of power. Vile Decay will be in stores June 25th via Alternative Comics, but we have it now.
Also out now is the long awaited final edition of Drew Beckmeyer’s Everything Unseen (a full color epilogue is promised). In parts 8 and 9, our reborn hero, Charles Grodin, is returned to the place that began it all. This time he must answer to the powers that be, God and ultimately, himself.
Becky Cloonan‘s three self-published comic books: 2013′s Demeter (Eisner Award nominee), 2012′s The Mire (Eisner Award winner) and 2011′s Wolves are now available in our online shop and at our Wow Cool Alternative Comics store in Cupertino, California. The comics were recently collected in the book By Chance Or Providence, but it is currently completely sold out.
He actually has been since we relaunched a couple three years back, but now there is much more Moore. There are over 100 individual books in there, and we are just getting started. Most recent to that daunting list is the first collection of Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse’s amazing Bojeffries Saga in 20 years. This one’s twice the size of that earlier Tundra tome, and features a brand new 24 page story. Also newly arrived is the latest chapter in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen saga, the 56-page full-color hardcover Nemo: The Roses of Berlin by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill. All this Alan Moore goodness is in stock and waiting for you online or in our Cupertino store.
This looks like a busy year for Alan Moore, with these two books in the stores and God is Dead: The Book of Acts coming in August. As The Original Writer, he has been thrilling a whole new generation of underwear pervert fans with the deluxe release of Miracleman. He is also involved in a digital arts project called Electricomics. You may enjoy this interview at The Quietus where he talks at great length about Iain Sinclair.
Available now in our Cupertino store and in our online shop are four great mini and digest comics from Uncivilized Books, including a new book from Michael DeForge and an older one from Dash Shaw… that we’re not too sure why we did not have before now. Check them out.
We have just received an exclusive shipment of the very limited edition new comic by Karl Wills — creator of Princess Seppuku and the long-running Jessica series. Holocaust Rex Book One: At the Cursed Gates of Koch is available from Wow Cool at special pricing for the US market (folks from other lands may order too!).
Also new to the shop is issue number ten of Seattle’s free quarterly comics tabloid Intruder. Fans of Kazimer Strzepek will not want to miss this. Kazimer’s Mourning Star #1 & 2 are both now back in stock as well.
Books new and old are being added every week, come visit us in our Silicon Valley store or shop online at WowCool.com.
Howdy Pardner! It’s Memorial Day weekend. The start of Summer! We will be extending the hours at our Cupertino store on Thursdays… starting next week we will be open until 8pm. This will last until the end of summer, which, in comic book land, is SPX weekend. So, the last Thursday this year with late hours is September 11. It just works out that way… any unpleasant associations brought on by two comic book longboxes placed near each other is your own hangup. We will also be dragging out the quarter boxes onto our expansive patio space every Saturday all summer long – starting this weekend. In related news, we have added a previously exclusive to the Cupertino store item to our online shop, signed and sketched copies of Brandon Graham’s Escalator.
Gary Panter is well deservedly a much revered artist for his scratchy line and his many very influential works scattered across various media in a long career. Whether by accident or chance or plan, many of these works – as well as some obvious examples by his peer cohorts Matt Groening and Lynda Barry — function as actions guided by the Rozz Tox Manifesto. For followers of the Gars Rozztox manifestations, there are some obscure grails and xeroxes of such purity that they can only have been personally blessed by the hand of Chester Carlson himself — birthed under the influence of ether fumes, with pens clenched in each fist and a hank of mom’s beef jerky clenched between your teeth whilst you look up to heaven with eyes rolled back in the throes of an Oki Dog haze. To jack up your fix, just join the Gary Panter Fans group on the facebooks. In just the last few days, seemingly thousands of behind the scenes merchandising materials sketches from the golden era of the Pee Wee Herman Continuum have been posted to the group as well as possibly a billion or at least four low resolution glimpses at the extremeley low print run, limited distribution, possibly apocryphal Pixie Meat volume of etched tablets issued in an edition of less than 12 by Panter and occasional collaborator (The) Charles Burns, Have. Many nearly as equally obscure products bearing the Panter imprint are available in our shop.
We have just added three new Noah Van Sciver books to our shop: A City of Whisky and Fire (with writer Daniel Landes); and, the full-color sketchbook replicas from Tinto Press Weekend Alone and Weekend For Two. Also from Tinto we have the Eisner Award nominated Homesick by Jason Walz.
In the meanwhile, thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who came out to our Silicon Valley store‘s grand opening party or shopped with us online for our Free Comic Book Day sale last weekend. The two big indie FCBD books — Barrio Mothers and Runner Runner #3 — are still available from us, while supplies last.
We had one hell of a crazy week. Multiple people got sick, our main printer blew a transfer roller, our back-up printer refused to cooperate with the network, so… we are down to the ‘All-in-one’ printer from the house — which needed new ink — until the new transfer roller (yes, that’s a thing) shows up. Hopefully all will be caught up and back to normal by Monday or Tuesday.
SAW — The Sequential Artists Worksop — in Gainesville, Florida is now accepting applications for the 2014-1015 school year for their single-year program. Full details here.
In case you hadn’t heard, we are having a big sale on Saturday at our Cupertino, California store and on WowCool.com all weekend. You will have to make it to Cupertino to dig through the 17 longboxes of comics we are selling at a quarter a pop (or 25 for five dollars, as it says in the headline). I was curious what kind of gems were hidden in those thousands of books. So, I dug through a small section of a couple boxes and pulled out a few that looked interesting to me. This is hardly a representative core sample. There are all manner of books in there. If you are a frequent bargain bin digger you will probably be surprised at the high physical quality of most of the books. You should not be surprised that there are not a whole lot that are A-list titles for both quality and content or popularity. In other words, there are not many Avengers, but plenty of West Coast Avengers and those stacks of Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans are not a high grade. Hey, it’s a quarter bin. That said, my random-ish sampling revealed some gems, most of which were completely unknown to me. Here’s a few of them.
The Eternal #5 by Chuck Austen and Kev Walker, from Marvel’s Max imprint. December, 2003. This very strange take on Jack Kirby’s 1970s Eternals series is a 21-page bloodbath, rendered in Kev Walker and Simon Coleby’s very slick Mike Mignola meets Kevin O’Neill style. Dan Brown’s coloring is worth noting. It is rarely over-rendered, such effects generally being used to fine effect on subtle background details like the cloud and smoke-forms. His pallet is interesting, occasionally reminiscent of Farel Dalrymple’s. There is a sudden shift in hue towards the end of the book that some clever person in the production department chose to place an ad for the old Incredible Hulk TV show DVDs across from. I don’t think this series has been collected in graphic novel form.
Strange Tales Volume 2, number 6, 7 & 15 — all with Kevin Nowlan covers. Each contains two short short stories starring rotating cover stars Cloak and Dagger (written by their creator Bill Mantlo for the first six issues) and Doctor Strange (all the ones here written by Peter B. Gillis). September 1987 — June 1988. There is much that could be talked about here. First off, these books came out mere months after I’d pretty much stopped buying any Marvel or DC comics. I am only vaguely aware of these and had never really looked at one before. Kevin Nowlan has very generously shared much of his work on his blog, including the pencils and inks (shown above, click to enlarge) for the cover of Strange Tales #6. Back in the early 1980s Peter B. Gillis was a writer to watch. He had done a couple of fill-in issues of Captain America and the last two issues of the original Supervillain Team-Up series that were strikingly unlike anything else at the time. He went on to write Warp, Shatter and Strikeforce: Morituri.
Deadman Volume 3, number 5. Script by Steve Vance. Guest artists José Luis García-López and Josef Rubinstein. Cover art by Mike Mignola. June, 2002. Garcia-Lopez is an artist who has gotten a bit of attention lately. As ‘mainstream’ American superhero comics artists go, he is one of the masters. There are bits of brilliance on display here. It is all, well, what it is… superhero comics… much of it is merely at a very high level of ‘workmanlike’ cartooning, but, there are glimpses of gesture and movement that you will stop and look at. Rubinstein’s hand is surprisingly light compared to his 70s work with artists such as Michael Netzer. Also of note in the comic is a one-page ad for the Kirby-inspired video game Freedom Force. The art on that presumably by creator Robb Waters, not Tom Scioli who would do the comic book version a few years later at Image.
The Incredible Hulk Annual #15. 1986. Cover art by Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod. Interior art by Sal Buscema. Just look at that cover. The Gil Kane-designed Abomination is up against it in this one. That’s some strong art with some crap-ass layout on the titles and what-not. The inside art is pure Sturdy Sal Buscema – pencils and inks. The younger Buscema is well regarded for being a very effective comic book storyteller. His work with Steve Gerber on the Defenders and Steve Englehart on the Avengers is still very affectionately remebered. Sal had drawn many Annual and Giant-sized editions for Marvel, and many such products from Marvel in the 70s and 80s betrayed the hurried nature of their production in the quality of the final product. Sal turns in a sturdy job here. If it was hurried, his line is still always strong and assured, although the ‘backgrounds’ are often very sparse or lacking any detail apart from ‘action lines’. I have to wonder what it would be like if some more time was allowed to be spent on it. There are details of the cover and interior that make me wonder if the artists were pushed to make it ‘more like Frank Miller’. There are a few pages inside that do look suspiciously like Klaus Janson’s inking as well. Hey, this was the Jim Shooter era. All kinds of wacky things were going on.
Muties The Changeling #1. April 2002. Writer: Karl Bollers. Layouts: Salgood Sam. Painter: Peter Ferguson. OK. Last up in the roundup is one I have no point of reference for. I seem to find some new-to-me and relatively obscure comic from Marvel every few months that has crazy art that I can’t believe I’ve never heard of. This one is as far away from a typical Marvel comic as you can get. There is a crucial moment in the story towards the back of the book that is largely conveyed through changes in the style of art that is so striking that I don’t want to give anything away by trying to explain it more. This one may be a keeper. The rest will probably go back into the bins for the sale. I hope to see you there… OK, I need to get some sleep.
Come join us in Cupertino on Saturday, May 3rd for our big party at the store; or, online at WowCool.com all weekend for lots of free comics and 20% off everything we sell. All the details you need are here.
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.
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?
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.