New to Comics? New Comics for You! 7/22/09

[UPDATE: It looks like Citizen Rex #1 did not ship this week and is late. Sorry if you went looking for it. I haven’t heard when it will show up but I assume in the next week or so.]

[Comic-Con officially starts tomorrow, so there’s tons of stuff coming out this week to take advantage of the mobs.]

Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?

Here’s some brand new stuff coming out this week that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.

Disclaimer: While it may seem like it, I do not live in the future. For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.

The Weasel Patrol – $9.99
By Ken Macklin & Lela Dowling
104 pages; published by About Comics; available at Amazon.com

13 short, rambunctious tales about The Weasel Patrol, an unlikely and all-weaselly force of intergalactic troopers. These stories, fun enough for kids and funny enough for adults, originally appearing in anthologies, where they built a loyal fan base. The first time in book form, it contains such tales as “The Intergalactic Crimefighters Convention”, “Big Boba’s Eat & Fill”, and “Roboweasel”.

Wacky weasels and their hairy hijinks! It’s goofy fun for all ages! Yes, it’s a comic book that’s actually comic-y. Go figure. Here’s a PDF file to sample the silly.

Awakening Volume One – $19.95
By Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman-Lawn
144 pages; published by Archaia Studios Press; available at Amazon.com

The once peaceful city of Park Falls has been tainted by a series of gruesome murders and missing persons. Cynthia Ford, known as the town crazy, finds retired police detective Derrick Peters and relates to him her belief about what’s going on in town. Her explanation – Zombies! Unable to ignore Cynthia’s information, though not sharing her beliefs, Derrick and others in the town explore the mystery as weeks turn to months and the death toll rises. Follow the first half of Park Falls’ year-long struggle for answers in this collected edition of the first five issues of the Archaia existential horror series.

I’m getting a bit burnt out on zombies but existential horror? Sign me up! Plus Archaia has a great track record of high quality productions. There are plenty of previews of the first 4 chapters right here.

Citizen Rex #1 – $3.50
By Mario & Gilbert Hernandez
24 pages; published by Dark Horse Comics

“What compels life without a soul?”

Comics legends Gilbert and Mario Hernandez join forces to present a bizarre, sexy view of the future and what it means to be human. Twenty years ago, the most famous, lifelike robot in the world was engulfed in scandal, arrested, and deactivated. Since then, an anti-robot movement has developed, while body modification is in and prosthetic limbs have become hot, black-market items.

Stories like these are the stock-in-trade of gossip columnist Sergio Bauntin, whose startling revelations earn him the constant scrutiny of both the mob and the city’s mysterious investigators, the Truth Takers. When Sergio catches wind of sightings of the long-missing robot celebrity CTZ-RX, all of these interests will collide in violence and intrigue.

It’s sci-fi adventure with beautiful women by Los Bros. Hernandez!

The Hernandez Brothers are pillars of independent comic books, a loose style classification for comics that have provided an alternative voice to the mainstream super-hero adventure comics. Their creation Love & Rockets has been immensely influential and critically praised for good reason. The series has been running since 1981. I highly recommend it. The three brothers also do side projects unrelated to that series, such as this one here. Looks good for some off-beat science fiction. [UPDATE: It looks like Citizen Rex #1 did not ship this week and is late. Sorry if you went looking for it. I haven’t heard when it will show up but I assume in the next week or so.]

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation – $16.95
By Ray Bradbury & Tim Hamilton
160 pages; published by Hill & Wang; available at Amazon.com

“Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ’em to ashes, then burn the ashes.”

For Guy Montag, a career fireman for whom kerosene is perfume, this is not just an official slogan. It is a mantra, a duty, a way of life in a tightly monitored world where thinking is dangerous and books are forbidden.

In 1953, Ray Bradbury envisioned one of the world’s most unforgettable dystopian futures, and in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the artist Tim Hamilton translates this frightening modern masterpiece into a gorgeously imagined graphic novel. As could only occur with Bradbury’s full cooperation in this authorized adaptation, Hamilton has created a striking work of art that uniquely captures Montag’s awakening to the evil of government-controlled thought and the inestimable value of philosophy, theology, and literature.

Including an original foreword by Ray Bradbury and fully depicting the brilliance and force of his canonic and beloved masterwork, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is an exceptional, haunting work of graphic literature.

Hill & Wang (tee-hee) puts out some very good stuff. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I’ve never read the original book. It seems like one of those things you’re supposed to have done in life. This looks like a pretty cool way to experience the story. Here’s a 13-minute video interview with Ray Bradbury about this project with images from the graphic novel. Or you can watch the shorter 2-minute version. And the Amazon page has a couple of pages.

You Have Killed Me – $19.95
By Jamie S. Rich & Joelle Jones
184 pages; published by Oni Press; available at Amazon.com

Things just can’t get any worse for Antonio Mercer. A private eye by trade, a dame from his past has re-surfaced in his life as a client along with all of the emotional baggage he thought he’d left behind forever. Of course, this unusual client doesn’t have just any case – her family is mixed up with seriously dangerous people and the body count is just starting to pile up!

Here’s a mighty fine looking preview. Two comic creators that deserve more attention because they always put out reliably high-quality stuff. These two previously collaborated on the romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her.

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