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Compiled December, 1999 by Joe Zabel ---- Publishers Guide
Top Secret Comics ---- Comic Shop Locator: (888)266-4226

Indypreviews

For December, 1999

PULP up the Volume!

Cover of November Pulp Magazine, copyright 1999 by Viz Communications One of the best regular monthly anthologies in independent comics PULP from Viz Communications, a manga (Japanese comics) collection of adult serials with a noir undertone. We recently picked up the 2nd anniversary issue, and were quite impressed. Among the series presented:

BANANA FISH by Akim Yoshida-- set in the Big Apple in the 1980's, this saga focuses on a 17-year-old former male prostitute turned gang leader, who is trying to learn the secret behind 'Banana fish' a dangerous hallucinogen. This series has received wide acclaim, but I have to admit I found the graphics rather generic and bland, with very little to indicate that the story has an urban setting.

DANCE TILL TOMMORROW by Naoki Yamamoto-- a sex comedy about that old chestnut, the young heir who must accomplish something in order to inherit a fortune. In this case, our young hero is required to graduate from college, get married, and start a career before he will inherit a valuable stamp collection. But he's too busy producing plays for a trendy underground theatre, and bed-hopping with various members of the theatre troupe. This is a pleasant romp, done in an attractive exagerated style.

STRAIN by Buronson and Ryochi Ikegami-- This is a tale of a racist Japanese industrialist scheming to dominate the 21st century by cornering the world oil supplies. But he's hampered by a preoccupation with wiping out rivals within his own family, particularly his half brother. Illustrated by manga master Ikegami (who gave us the classic MAI THE PSYCHIC GIRL, and more recently SANCTUARY) this series has some of the most impressive graphics in current manga; particularly notable is the use of texture. Unfortunately, the script is excessively talky, and Ikegami focuses too much on portraiture (many entire pages are nothing but close-ups.) Also, the main characters have stereotypically handsome faces that become monotonous; the appearance of an obese fat man reminds us that the artist can be very engaging when he has a suitable subject.

VOYEURS, INC by Hideo Yamamoto-- The recently-released first graphic novel of this series is one of the most sophisticated storylines in recent comics, dramatizing issues of trust and privacy in an overcrowded technological society. (See review of VOYEUR in the June Amazing Montage Magazine.) The continuing series is expanding on that base, with a new storyline in which the obsessive voyeur has gone professional, and is pitting himself against other electronic voyeurs. Yamamoto's style maintains a cartoonish intensity while capturing realistic aspects of urban life and surveilance methods; it's my personal favorite of recent manga.

BAKUNE YOUNG by Toyokazu Matsunaga-- This is an ultra-violent thriller about a criminal mastermind, a kidnapping and hostage plot, and all-out warfare with the Yakuza. Grotesque and amusing, it's a refreshing departure from routine comics fare. Matsunaga shows real flare for portraying spectacular action.

Although all the serials are midway through their narratives, synopses are provided for each, and earlier volumes of the sagas are for the most part still in print as trade paperbacks. The anthology is an excellent means of sampling these series, as well as keeping up with them on an ongoing basis.

Finally, did I mention the price? $5.95 for 160 b&w pages! That's got to be the best buy in comics this side of the SPX anthologies!

Indypreviews Completes First Year

With this edition, Indypreviews completes its first year of publication! The column has appeared monthly (except for a brief hiatus in May) bringing you the first look at the best upcoming independent comics!

Initially the column had its own website; in June it was folded into the Amazing Montage website. A subscriber service was experimented with for a short time, but was dropped because it was too time-consuming.

Recently the column has been picked up as a feature by Indy Magazine, bringing it to an audience of thousands! (Note: Indy Magazine is on a short hiatus this month while its editor enjoys his honeymoon!)

Associated with the column is the Indypreviews Publisher Guide, the most comprehensive online list of independent publishers.


CONNECT SALES COMICS



DIRECT SALES COMICS
  AAA Pop Comics

THE ATOMICS #2
Mike Allred.

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  Aardvark Vanaheim

CEREBUS #251
Dave Sim!

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 Abstract Studio	

STRANGERS IN PARADISE VOL. 3 #30
Terry Moore!

____________________________________________
 Aero Comics

THE LOST ONES #3
Ken Penders' SF action series!

____________________________________________
 Agremar Editions

ATLANTIC WALL
Full-color historical comic about WWII 
illustrated by Willy Vassaux!

____________________________________________
 AIT/Planetlar

ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE: SPACE 1959
50'S intrigue about a race to the moon!
This realistic action series by Larry
Young and Charlie Adlard has become a
big hit!

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 Amaze Ink/ Slave Labor Graphics

DOCTOR GRAVE #1
Ultra-violent supernatural thriller about
an obnoxious hero combatting demonic evil!
Edward Clayton.

SPARKS #3
Lawrence Marvit's intriguing series about a
lonely girl who builds a robotic 'Mr. Right'
continues!

STITCH #3
Tommy Kovac's creepy variation on TOY STORY
continues!

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 Antarctica Press

FAR WEST VOL. 2 #1
Richard Moore's fantasy western with gun-toting
elves!

BOX OFFICE POISON #17
Alex Robinson's outstanding slice-of-life series
continues!!

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 Buffalo Nickel Comics

ACCUMULATOR #1
Offbeat fantasy about a kind of memorabilia vampire,
a time-traveling addict of pop-culture from bygone
eras!  By Novak and Jankowski!

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 Caliber Comics

THE RIPPER LEGACY #3
Thriller about a Jack the Ripper copycat!

SHERLOCK HOLMES READER #3
Martin Powell extends Conan Doyle's tales
with 'The Loch Ness Horror.'        
	
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 Crazy Mama Productions

TALES OF THE VAMPIRE-- BED AND BREAKFAST #1
Satire about mother-dominated vampire pursued
by beautiful women!

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 Cup O'Tea Studios

XENO'S ARROW #7
The acclaimed SF series about an intergalactic
zoo continues!

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 Dancing Elephant Press

JACK STAFF #1
Brand new retro-superhero series by Paul Grist,
creator of the critically-acclaimed KANE series!

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 Dee Vee Press

DEE VEE #14
Eddie Campbell and others in cutting-edge anthology!

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 Drawn and Quarterly

THE DAVID MILGAARD STORY
-----and---------
JUST THE FACTS:  A DECADE OF COMIC ESSAYS BY DAVID
COLLIER
Creator of Fantagraphic's outstanding COLLIER 
anthology, David Collier is a major talent whose
offbeat autobiographical and historical comics are
always a pleasure.  Don't miss either of these
new titles!

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 Duality Press

COLLECTIVE #2
Arvin Loudermilk and Mike Iverson's SF tale sounds
reminiscent of Mack Reynold's ideological SF!

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 Eddie Campbell Comics

ALEC-- THE KING CANUTE CROWD
144 page Alec graphic novel by Eddie Campbell!  
Originally published as THE COMPLETE ALEX 10 years
ago, this narrative is one of the Comics Journal's
top 100 comics of all time!

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 El Capitan Books

STRAY BULLETS #22
David Lapham!

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 Fantagraphic Books

EIGHTBALL #21
Daniel Clowes completes his graphic novel 'David
Boring!'

FRANK #3
The first new Jim Woodring comic in two years!

MEASLES #6
Beto Hernandez's delightful all-ages anthology 
continues, with Joost Stewart and Steve Weissman!

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 Fink, Inc.

POST, THE GHOST
by Fink!

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 Funny Valentine Press

EMPTY LOVE STORIES 2000
Steve Darnell's satirical romance anthology!

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 Henchman Publishing

NODWICK #1
Aaron Williams' new wargamer satire!

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 Insight Studios Group

LIBERTY MEADOWS #7
Collecting Frank Cho's popular newspaper series!

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 Kenzer & Company

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #40
Wargaming satire!

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 Lightspeed Press

FINDER #16
More short stories set in the FINDER universe!
Carla Speed McNeil's innovative and thought-
provoking SF is not to be missed!

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 NBM

HOUSE OF JAVA #1
Mark Murphy's follow-up to the graphic novel
about coffee-house denizens!

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 Oni Press

THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY WEEN 2.0 #1
Judd Winick's satire about a boy genius!

FORTUNE AND GLORY #2
Brian Michael Bendis's tell-all about his
Hollywood adventures continues!

BLUE MONDAY: THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT #1
Chynna Clugston-Major's series about wacky
high-school outcasts!

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 Plieades Cluster

INCUBUS #1
Mahmut Dervish's intriguing new series about a man
pushed to the edge by marital tensions!

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 Radio Comics

FURRLOUGH #86
Anthropomorphic anthology!

MANGAPHILE #4
Manga anthology!

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 Sandberg Publishing

JUPITER #7
Jason Sandberg's oddball retro-superhero series!

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 Shanda Fantasy Arts

NAUTILUS #4
Mike Curtis & Louis Frank's anthropomorphic SF series!

SHANDA THE PANDA #27
Curtis, Teague, and McNeil!

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 Sirius Entertainment

SCARY GODMOTHER: WILD ABOUT HARRY #1
Jill Thompson with more of the wacky witch's
adventures!

AKIKO #38
More all-ages adventures by Mark Crilley!

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 Strange Child Studios

STRANGE CHILD COMIX #1
Tom Martin and Ethan Wenberg's toilet-humor anthology!

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 Studio Foglio

BUCK GODOT: GALLIMAUFRY VOL. 1
Phil Foglio and Barb Kaalberg with new adventures of 
the satirical SF detective!

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 Top Shelf Productions

DEAR JULIA TP
Collecting Brian Biggs' groundbreaking graphic novel!

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 Viz Communications

EAGLE VOLUME 1: THE CANDIDATE
Beginning Kaiji Kawaguchi's graphic novel
about an Asian-American running for the Democratic
nomination for US President!  

PULP VOLUME 4 #3
Manga-noir anthology-- see featured comics!