Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More Hardcover Goodness!

This upcoming Holiday season every publisher is pulling out all the stops! Great selection, really. Here are three more "must haves."

The brilliant Bryan Talbot releases another stellar selection from Dark Horse. (Two years ago Alice in Sunderland was one of the best received original graphic novels of the year). This year it's Grandville: A Detective-Inspector Lebrock of Scotland Yard Scientific-Romance Thriller. This book along with Alice in Sunderland wins points for production value alone. Beautiful embossing on the silk-screened cover. No dust jacket, no flat matte cover either, this one is old-school treated cloth, like the children's books of old, and don't forget the lovely end papers. Not that this is a kids book, not really, but it is an awesome book! For fans of Blacksad, this is for you! Bryan did the publication design and you can tell that Dark Horse trusted him to do what he thought was best. From the original Dark Horse solicitation: "Two hundred years ago, Britain lost the Napoleonic war and fell under the thumb of French domination. Gaining independence after decades of civil disobedience and anarchist bombings, the Socialist Republic of Britain is now a small, unimportant backwater connected by a railway bridge, steam-powered dirigible, and mutual suspicion to France. When a British diplomat's murder is made to look like suicide, ferocious Detective-Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard stalks a ruthless murder squad through the heart of a Belle Epoque Paris, the center of the greatest empire in a world of steam-driven hansom cabs, automatons, and flying machines. LeBrock's relentless quest can lead only to death, truth...or war." You owe it to yourself to pick this up. At least flip through it next time you are in your local A/F. $17.95 written and drawn by Bryan Talbot.

Dark Horse also released a long-overdue Absolute sized hardcover collection of The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-first Century a few weeks ago. A masterpiece nearly twenty years in the making, this archival volume contains the complete life story of Martha Washington, the twenty-first century freedom fighter by comic book megastars Frank Miller (creator of the "little" known books Batman: Dark Knight Returns and Sin City.) and Dave Gibbons (artist of another "lost" gem Watchmen). "The story begins in the squalid corridors of a maximum-security housing project, where a young girl will rise from the war-torn streets of Chicago to battle injustice in a world insane with corruption. Her fight will take her far: from the front lines of the second American Civil War, to the cold, unforgiving reaches of space. She will be called a hero, a traitor, and nearly everything in between, but along the way, her courage, her integrity, and her unwavering commitment to that most valuable of rights - liberty - will inspire a movement that will never surrender. Collecting meticulously remastered versions of every Martha Washington story - including some which have never before been reprinted - and featuring a comprehensive behind-the-scenes section, a new introduction by Frank Miller, and extensive commentary by Dave Gibbons, this is the ultimate edition of a modern comics epic crafted by two of the art form's greatest living masters." 600 pages for the low low asking price of $99.95. If we priced books according to weight this one would definitely be one of the heaviest books we've ever carried. 600 pages in hardcover plus the slip-case makes for the kind of book that if you happen to drop it on your foot not only will you yelp in pain but it would also cause major damage, easily breaking a few bones. It's nice to see that some of the "unknown" creators in the industry are getting their due! Yes, I am being sarcastic of course. If you don't know who Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons are you are beyond my help. Frank Miller's name alone is probably one of the biggest names in comics outside of the realm of comics. People that have never set foot in a comic store or cracked open a comic know who Frank Miller is, wow think about how very famous that makes him indeed. Frank Miller and Kevin Smith, for all the public knows they write every comic on the stands between the two of them. I shudder to think of that possibility, what a strange bizarro world that would be, where every comic uses nothing but profanity and is consistently late. It feels like that now, at least to some extent, because sometimes after reading some of the drivel out there I curse like a sailor for at least ten minutes, and how many of our "big event" books have been on late in the last few years, on average? Oops, went out on a tangent there. Back to our regularly scheduled holiday book breakdown already in progress.

Dark Horse has FINALLY reprinted the Spirit mini-series from years ago in the Will Eisner's The Spirit: The New Adventures hardcover. This is technically the 27th volume of The Spirit Archives, but if you buy only one volume of this series this is the one! This lovely volume "collects the long out of print miniseries that reintroduced The Spirit to a new generation of readers in 1998. The Spirit, Commissioner Dolan, his daughter Ellen Dolan, and all of the familiar characters from Will Eisner's landmark series are here. This Dark Horse Archives volume features stories by some of the best-selling multi-award-winning creators from around the world: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell, Mike Allred, John Ostrander, Tom Mandrake, Paul Chadwick, Kurt Busiak, Brent Anderson, Joe R. Lansdale, John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, and many more. " Interesting note about this volume, the first 26 volumes of The Spirit Archives were published by DC for their Archives line. Very excited to see this finally hit shelves. Those issues are very hard to come by and for me they were the stories that got me excited about The Spirit. I was aware of the character before that and had read bits and pieces of the reprint issues, but this mini-series really drew me in to the world of The Spirit. I hope that someday Dark Horse finds it in their hearts to release a paperback volume of this. This hardcover collection retails for $49.95.

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