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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SPOTLIGHT: Graphic Novels of December 2008

Welcome to the December 2008 edition of Fantasy Book Critic’s monthly Spotlight for Graphic Novels. Previous spotlights are listed at the end of this article. Please note that the following is not a comprehensive list of graphic novels released throughout the month, but rather a list of titles that I’m personally interested in or that I believe readers of speculative fiction might enjoy. Also, please be aware that all of the releases dates listed are taken from and that readers might be able to find the titles at an earlier date online or at your local comic book store:

The Fantastic Worlds Of Frank Frazetta” written & illustrated by Various. Cover by Frank Frazetta. Release Date: December 1, 2008. Published by
Image Comics. In the tradition of Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer Deluxe HC, “The Fantastic Worlds Of Frank Frazetta” showcases Frazetta’s first fully approved comics as they’ve never been seen before.

This oversized hardcover edition collects four classic Frank Frazetta-based tales by some of the industries' top creators including
Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, City of Dust), Joshua Ortega (The Escapist, Gears of War), Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Gigantic, The Iron Giant) and Tim Vigil (Faust)…

Enter the savage world in “Dark Kingdom” as Red Morgan conquers demons to avenge his family. America’s icon Teddy Roosevelt battles Mayan gods and Martians in “Creatures” to protect his country and the world. Enter “Swamp Demon” as the battle against good and evil wages on in the land of Iparsia. And two horror classics come toe to toe in “Dracula Meets the Wolfman!” Also includes new, never-before printed bonus material.
Official Frank Frazetta Website
Order “The Fantastic Worlds Of Frank Frazetta
Read A Preview

Daniel X: Alien Hunter” written by James Patterson and Leopoldo Gout (Ghost Radio). Illustrated by Klaus Lyngeled & John Girin. Release Date: December 1, 2008.
Published by Little, Brown and Company.

With an exciting new James Patterson narrative in graphic novel format, Daniel X continues his quest in a full-color, action-packed adventure...

Long ago, after his parents' brutal murder, Daniel inherited the coveted List of Alien Outlaws and assumed his father's role as Alien Hunter. With his supreme abilities, like being able to shape-shift and conjure up long-dead family members out of thin air, Daniel is ready to take on the scum of the universe.

Number 7 on the list—grand-master of an interplanetary game of destruction that could result in the eventual take-over of earth—is his next target. In a journey that takes him through the bowels of Tokyo and into other realms, Daniel ingeniously tracks the insectile mastermind. But when #7 reveals his true and terrifying powers, Daniel must enlist the help of #7's own son before he finds himself at the center of the most high-stakes game yet…
Official James Patterson Website
Order “Daniel X: Alien Hunter
Read Reviews via
Y Pulse
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s
Review of “The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Caliber: First Canon Of Justice Volume 1” written by Sam Sarkar. Illustrated by Garrie Gastonny and
Imaginary Friends Studios. Release Date: December 3, 2008. Published by Radical Comics.

The Arthurian legend of Excalibur is reborn in the Old Pacific Northwest. A land in which shamans replace wizards, gunfighters walk where knights once stood, and a mystical gun will change the world in place of the sword of legend.

It is here that the Indian shaman Whitefeather, discovers Caliber, a tattooed six gun imbued with supernatural power that can only be fired by one man. When aimed it brings down the heavens, firing lightning itself from its barrel. Driven by visions of the apocalypse and the one who can prevent it, the mystic searches for the lawgiver, Arthur Pendergon. For in a land where lawlessness runs rampant, it will be Arthur’s destiny to set balance to the scales of justice…
Official Radical Comics Website
Order “Caliber
Read A Preview
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Review of “Caliber
NOTE:Caliber” is being produced and directed for film adaptation by John Woo (Mission Impossible 2, Face/Off, Broken Arrow).

Hercules: The Thracian Wars Volume One” written by Steve Moore (2000AD, Doctor Who,
America’s Best Comics). Ilustrated by Admira Wijaya and Imaginary Friends Studios. Release Date: December 3, 2008. Published by Radical Comics.

Fourteen hundred years ago, a tormented soul walked the Earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules, powerful son of Zeus, the king of gods, received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labors and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods, finding his only solace in bloody battle.

Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls—Iolaus, Autolycus, Amphiaraus, Tydeus, Meleager, and Atalanta—their only bond being their love of fighting and the presence of death. These men and woman never question where, why, or whom they go to fight . . . only how much they will be paid.

Knowing this, King Cotys of the Odrysae hired these Greeks as mercenaries to train his men into a great army that would unite the warring tribes of Thrace. But there is more to Cotys’ motives than building a nation, and only Hercules and his companions stand in the way of a terrible plot against Greece and Olympus itself…
Official Radical Comics Website
Order “Hercules
Read A Preview
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Review of “Hercules
NOTE:Hercules” is being produced and developed for film adaptation by
Spyglass Entertainment, Peter Berg’s (Hancock, The Kingdom) Film 44 and Radical Pictures.

Freakangels” Hardcover written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield. Release Date: December 10, 2008. Published by
Avatar Press. Twenty-three years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment. Six years later, the world ended. This is the story of what happened next…

Welcome to Whitechapel, some years from now, just barely above ground in a flooded England, where a clan of eleven strange people with purple eyes—the Freakangels—have carved out some sort of a life for themselves. A life that starts to show big cracks when a girl called Alice from Manchester turns up with a shotgun and a grievance, having met the lost, prodigal last Freakangel, who had very different ideas about what they should do with themselves and this flooded future England. Because the Freakangels have a big secret—something very bad is their fault…

Warren Ellis' hugely popular webcomic is beautifully illustrated in jaw-dropping detail by Paul Duffield, and every page is as much a work of art as it is a compelling and multi-layered story. Volume One collects the first 24 episodes of the “Freakangels” webcomic and also comes available in a Standard Trade Paperback and Limited Edition Hardcover signed by both Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield, and limited to only 1,000 copies.
Official Freakangels Website
Official Warren Ellis Website
Official Paul Duffield Website
Order “Freakangels
Read Reviews via
Wit War

Rasl” by Jeff Smith. Release Date: December 10, 2008. Published by Cartoon Books.

Cartoon Books proudly presents Jeff Smith's new adventure series, “Rasl”—a stark, science fiction series about a dimension-jumping art thief, who races through space and time searching for his next big score, while trying to escape his past. In this first of three graphic novels, Rasl faces an assassin's bullet and stumbles across a mystery that not only threatens to expose his own illicit activities, but could also uncover one of the world’s most dangerous and sought after secrets…

Jeff Smith is the ten-time Eisner Award and ten-time Harvey Award-winning cartoonist and creator of the self-published comic book series “Bone”.
Official Jeff Smith Website
Order “Rasl
Read A Preview
Read Reviews via

Mesmo Delivery” by Rafael Grampá. Release Date: December 10, 2008. Published by
AdHouse Books.

Mesmo Delivery” is the full-color sequential debut of Eisner Award-winning Brazilian creator & cartoonist Rafael Grampá. The story is one of mystery and action, as Rufo, an ex boxer, must deliver the goods while promising to NEVER open or inspect his cargo. Mayhem ensues as the precious cargo becomes the goal of others.
Wizard calls it “Convoy meets The Twilight Zone”…

Official Rafael Grampa Blog
Order “Mesmo Delivery
Read An Interview
Read Reviews via
ComiXology + Wizard

Dead Space” written by Antony Johnston (Stealing Life, Queen & Country) and illustrated by Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Hatter M, Fell). Release Date: December 17, 2008. Published by
Image Comics. “Dead Space” is a prequel to the all-new blockbuster sci-fi survival horror game from Electronic Arts:

In the future, earth's natural resources are spent. Instead, vast mining operations known as planetcracks are conducted in faraway star systems, literally ripping open whole planets to plunder their resources.

One such operation is taking place on the barren planet of Aegis VII. But then a survey team from the preparatory mining colony discovers what appears to be an alien artifact—an artefact with potentially great religious significance to the minority church known as Unitology.

As madness and hysteria grip the colony, security officer Bram Neumann must unravel the tangle of secrets that connects the artefact, the church and the mining company's own agenda . . . before a wave of horror is unleashed on the colony…

Dead Space is available on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. Winner of the E3 Game Critic's Award for Best Action/Adventure Game of 2008, Dead Space is a must buy for any fan of sci-fi and horror games!

The “Dead Space” Hardcover collects issues #1-6.
Official Dead Space Website
Official Antony Johnston Website
Official Ben Templesmith Website
Order “Dead Space
NOTE: Antony Johnston also scripted the excellent game which I have had the pleasure of playing and beating :) I’ve also seen the prequel “Dead Space” anime and have been looking forward to this graphic novel…

Silverfish” by David Lapham. Release Date: December 23, 2008. Published by
Vertigo Comics.

Multiple Eisner Award-winner David Lapham (Stray Bullets, Murder Me Dead, Detective Comics, Young Liars) brings his unique brand of stark crime noir and dark, gritty realism to Silverfish, an original graphic novel replete with betrayal, double lives and family annihilators that will plunge itself into your gut and keep twisting until its bloody conclusion. This acclaimed graphic novel is now available in paperback…

What starts as a childish prank for her father's affection turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse for 16-year-old Mia when she discovers her beautiful new stepmom Suzanne's secret possessions: an address book, a stash of money and a knife caked in blood.

Mia makes the fateful mistake of phoning Daniel, a murderer from Melanie's past, who believes he's possessed by a demonic silverfish. And at midnight, on the boardwalk of a sleepy seaside town, Mia's survival will depend not only on whether Suzanne is good or evil, but whether Mia can find out which before Daniel reaches them…
Official David Lapham Wikipedia Website
Order “Silverfish
Read A Preview

Dead, She Said” written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. Release Date: December 29, 2008. Published by
IDW Publishing.

Legendary comic book artist Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing, House of Mystery, Frankenstein) inks his own work for the first time in more than two decades. And joining Wrightson on this noir horror tale is the writer who has revitalized both genres in comics, Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, City of Dust).

Detective Coogan knows well that there are some pretty shady freaks out there in the big city. What he didn’t know was that some of those freaks aren't even human! He learns it the hard way, and ends up on the wrong side of a bullet in this new series that mixes horror and noir into a tightly wound nightmare of twists and turns…
Official Steve Niles Website
Official Bernie Wrightson Website
Order “Dead, She Said
Watch the Book Trailer

Previous Spotlights:

October 2008
November 2008


Dark Wolf said...

Very nice spotlight on graphic novels too. Only that now you make me spend more money :D
Keep up the great job, Robert ;)

Robert said...

Thanks Mihai! Yeah, I hear you about the spending :) My wishlist just gets bigger every month!!!

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