New to Comics? New Comics for You! 8/12/09

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

Here’s some brand new stuff that came out last 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: 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.

Some New Kind of Slaughter – $19.95
By mpMann & A. David Lewis
136 pages; published by Archaia Comics; available at Amazon.com

If there is one constant throughout most of Earth’s historical nations, cultures, and religions, it is the threat and the destruction of the Great Flood. In the wake of the recent Indian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and alarm over global warming, the award-winning creators of THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS return to plumb the depths of the world’s great myths with this four-issue, all-ages mini-series, exploring how this legendary fear may be more relevant now than ever before. Like Noah, sea-bound Ziusudra and other heroes across time must strive against the coming Floods and the baffling will of the gods.

This publisher saw fast growth with a high quality catalog, but unfortunately their growth kind of got away from them. They’re still in the midst of restructuring and reorganizing themselves, so their website is a little outdated. Unfortunate for this release, which could use any support possible. Writer A. David Lewis is a somewhat under-appreciated scholar of the comics world, and his work deserves more attention. Here is a 9-page preview available.

Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales – $6.95
By J.T. Yost
56 pages; published by Birdcage Bottom Books

J.T. Yost’s first collection of comics is alternately humorous and quietly devastating, but is consistently brutally honest. Story themes include animal abuse, a widower’s internal struggle, and a bizarre junior high-school prank. Winner of a 2009 Xeric Award.

The Xeric Award is a grant given out for new comic creators. To my knowledge, it is the only grant of its kind. It is incredibly expensive to get a comic published. The vast majority of comics published do not even make their money back. So this kind of thing is immensely valuable for giving a chance for us to hear talented and independent voices. According to writer/artist J.T. Yost, Old Man Winter is “loosely based on a (real) old man who breaks my heart every time I see him”. I really like his art style. A 10-page preview is on his website.

The Big Kahn – $13.95
By Neil Kleid & Nicolas Cinquegrani
176 pages; published by NBM Publishing; available at Amazon.com

Rabbi David Kahn has lived a forty-year lie: he is not, nor has he ever been, Jewish. When at his funeral, the “rabbi’s” grifter brother reveals the truth, it forces the Kahn family to struggle with grief and betrayal as their congregation examines their every move and question their very faith. His son, Rabbi Avi Kahn, the heir apparent, spirals down in an affair with his rebellious sister Lea’s non-Jewish roommate. Lea rethinks the religion she’s run from, strong enough to alter her father’s life, while Eli — the youngest Kahn — inherits his father’s long-forgotten legacy. Somehow, with the help of the uncle he never knew and his slowly re-awakening sister, he attempts to return faith and order to his family and community and reinstate his father’s good name. Neil Kleid, Xeric Award winning author of Ninety Candles and NBM’s Brownsville, and illustrator Nicolas Cinquegrani offer a drama about loss, lies, belief and renewal in this dramatic graphic exploration of a family secret so well-hidden, it questions the very nature of faith.

This will probably be turned into a movie pretty quickly. The publisher has a 9-page preview. The artist’s website has an entirely different 9-page preview.

Not a lot this week, but good stuff nevertheless.

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