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Saturday, January 3, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Graphic Novels of January 2009

Welcome to the January 2009 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 unless specified 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:

Pigeons From Hell” written by Joe R. Lansdale, illustrated by
Nathan Fox, and colored by Dave Stewart. Release Date: January 1, 2009. Published by Dark Horse.

Master horror storyteller Joe R. Lansdale (Jonah Hex, Bubba Ho-Tep, Leather Maiden) throws his scathing wit and wild, otherworldly creations into the mix as he brings Robert E. Howard's classic tale of dark revenge to the present . . . and into the unwilling lives of the Blassenville mansion heirs, twin sisters Claire and Janet.

When Griswell fled the Blassenville estate those many years ago, he couldn't have imagined the grotesque horrors that would eclipse the ones he saw then but they're here, thanks to fiction legend Joe R. Lansdale, dazzling new comic-book artist
Nathan Fox (DMZ), and multiple Eisner Award-winning color artist Dave Stewart (Conan, The Umbrella Academy). This fresh take on the classic Pigeons from Hell story delves deeper into the dark mansion's past while also digging up some fresh, imaginative demons, as Claire and Janet unknowingly bring their friends into an unearthly death trap…
Official Joe R. Landsale Website
Order “Pigeons From Hell
Read A Preview
NOTE: The “Pigeons From Hell” Trade Paperback collects the entire four-issue miniseries and will be released by
Amazon on February 10, 2009.

Young Liars” written and illustrated by David Lapham. Release Date: January 1, 2009. Published by
Vertigo Comics. From the Eisner Award-winning creator of “Stray Bullets” comes this rip-roaring, hardcore urban adventure comic…

At the core of “Young Liars” is the disturbing relationship between Danny Noonan, a habitual liar and crap guitar player from Texas, and Sadie Dawkins, the object of his desire. Sadie was a poor little rich girl until a bullet lodged in her brain turned her into an adrenaline junkie who only listens to Danny.

But who shot Sadie is only part of the mystery that drives “Young Liars”, from the twisted club scene of lower Manhattan to absurdist hijinx on the high seas. And from the hot shores of Ibiza to the haunted castles of Spain, Danny, Sadie and their entourage of losers will run from poorly disguised assassins, demented billionaires, and psychotic midgets—not to mention each other—in an absurd quest to get rich and famous. Or kill each other trying.

Young Liars” will provide relentless action, suspense, sex and murder in the way that only David Lapham can deliver…
Official David Lapham Blog
Order “Young Liars
Download Issue #1
NOTE: The “Young Liars, Vol. 01: Daydream Believer” Trade Paperback collects issues #1-6 from the ongoing monthly series and features an introduction by rockstar and Eisner Award-winner
Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy).

Universal War One: Volume One” written and illustrated by Denis Bajram. Release Date: Jan 7, 2009. Published by
Marvel Comics. The European bestseller is presented for the first time in English…

In the midst of a latent civil war between the core planets and outlying planetary settlements, an immense wall has cut our solar system in two. The black wall absorbs all light and matter, and it’s up to a band of soldiers facing courts martial to investigate the phenomenon. They’re the men and women of the Purgatory Squadron. For which crimes are they here? And can they work together long enough to stay alive once they enter the Wall?
Official Denis Bajram Website
Order “Universal War One
Read A Preview
NOTE:Universal War One: Volume One” Premiere Hardcover collects issues #1-3.

Justice: Volume 3” written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, Illustrated by Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross. Cover by Alex Ross. Release Date: January 13, 2008. Published by
DC Comics.

The Justice League of America is reimagined by fan-favorite painter Alex Ross (JLA: Liberty and Justice, Kingdom Come) and writer Jim Krueger (Earth X, Universe X) with pencil art by Doug Braithwaite (Paradise X) painted by Ross in this fantastic and bestselling maxiseries…

The members of the fabled Justice League of America are about to learn they aren't the only ones who can band together toward a common goal. The greatest criminal masterminds of our time appear to be acting in concert—but with a surprising plan that seeks to achieve more good than the JLA ever could.

In this third volume—which collects Justice #9-12—the Super-Villains' plot to exploit the innocent thickens as the heroes discover that it may even affect their comrades, colleagues and co-combatants…
Official Alex Ross Website
Official Jim Krueger Website
Official Doug Braithwaite Website
Order “Justice: Volume 2
NOTE: This is the Trade Paperback version of “Justice: Volume 3”. The hardcover edition was released in October 2007.

Frankenstein's Womb” written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Marek Oleksicki. Release Date: January 14, 2009. Published by
Avatar Press. “Frankenstein's Womb” is the newest addition to Warren Ellis' Apparat line of original graphic novels…

1816 was called 'The Year Without A Summer.' In the weird darkness of that July's volcanic winter, Mary Wollestonecraft Godwin began writing Frankenstein on the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. But that is not where Frankenstein began. It began a few months earlier when—en route through Germany to Switzerland—Mary, her future husband Percy Shelley, and her stepsister Clair Clairmont, approached a strange castle.

Castle Frankenstein, some one hundred years earlier, had been home to Johann Conrad Dippel, whose experiments included the independent invention of nitroglycerin, a distillation of the elixir of life—and the transfer of a live soul into an awful accretion of human body parts. Mary never spoke of having entered the real Castle Frankenstein, stark on its hilltop south of Darmstadt. But she did. And she was never the same again—because something was haunting that tower, and Mary met it there…

Following up the huge successes of Crecy and Aetheric Mechanics, Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Crooked Little Vein) turns his spark of mad genius to bring us a fantastical tale in this all new original graphic novel illustrated in atmospheric perfection by newcomer Marek Oleksicki.
Official Warren Ellis Website
Order “Frankenstein's Womb

The Courtyard” written by Alan Moore and illustrated by
Jacen Burrows. Release Date: January 14, 2009. Published by Avatar Press. The most celebrated writer in the industry, Alan Moore, teams up with brilliant artist Jacen Burrows, to unleash this timeless tale of Lovecraftian psychological horror…

FBI man Aldo Sax has an amazing service record with the FBI. His legendary skills at piecing together the most baffling of cases has gotten him assigned to what may be his most confusing case yet. Several murders—more like lethal dismemberments—from the most unlikely of suspects just don't add up. And what few leads there are, all point to The Courtyard.
Official Alan Moore Wikipedia Website
Order “The Courtyard
NOTE: Just in time for the sequel in 2009, Alan Moore's haunting masterpiece, “The Courtyard”, is available in color for the first time. This special collected edition of the series also features an introduction by
Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, Punisher).

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume 2” written by Laurell K. Hamilton and
Jess Ruffner-Booth. Illustrated by Brett Booth and Ron Lim. Cover by Ron Lim. Release Date: January 14, 2009. Published by Marvel Comics.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume 2” contains the exciting conclusion to the comic adaptation of New York Times-bestselling author Laurell. K. Hamilton’s first Anita Blake novel…

The hunt for the St. Louis’ vampire murderer continues, as Anita Blake finds herself trapped between Nikolaos, the malevolent Master Vampire who has coerced her into investigating the case; Edward, the assassin targeting Nikolaos, who wants Anita’s help locating his mark, willingly or otherwise; and the killer, who plans to eliminate Anita permanently before she identifies him. Can even the woman the undead dub the Executioner survive this case?
Official Laurell K. Hamilton Website
Official Ron Lim Website
Order “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume 2 TPB
NOTE: This Trade Paperback collects “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures” issues #7-12. The hardcover edition was published in July 2008.

American Jesus, Vol. 1: ChosenAmerican Jesus: Chosen” written by Mark Millar and illustrated by
Peter Gross. Release Date: January 14, 2009. Published by Image Comics. From the writer of “War Heroes”, “Kick Ass” and the hit Universal movie Wanted, comes the next Mark Millar graphic novel set to become a feature film…

” follows a twelve-year-old boy who suddenly discovers he's the returned Jesus Christ. He can turn water into wine, make the crippled walk and perhaps even raise the dead. How will he deal with the destiny to lead the world in a conflict thousands of years in the making?
Official Mark Millar Wikipedia Website
Order “American Jesus: Chosen

The Sword: Water” written by Joshua Luna and illustrated by Jonathan Luna. Release Date: January 14, 2009. Published by
Image Comics. “The Sword” by the Luna Brothers’ (Ultra, Girls, Spider-Woman: Origin) is a modern-day fantasy about a young woman who discovers a mysteriously powerful sword after her family is brutally murdered by three strangers.

In this second volume, Dara Brighton has discovered more information about the three powerful strangers who murdered her family. Armed with this knowledge and the sword, her first order of business is to find Zakros, the one who murdered her sister, and make him pay…
Official Luna Brothers Website
Order “The Sword: Water
Read the Full Issue of “The Sword#1
NOTE:The Sword, Vol. 02: Water” Trade Paperback collects issues #7-12.

The Red Star: Sword of Lies” created by Christian Gossett. Release Date: January 14, 2009. Published by
Archangel Studios. The saga marches on in a beautiful oversized format that collects the first three Sword of Lies annuals into a massive, 200-page epic…

With unforgettable pencils by multiple Eisner-nominated Christian Gossett, and extraordinary digital painting by the world famous
Weta Workshop New Zealand, this graphic novel resumes the adventures of the Skyfurnace Konstantinov, and takes readers back to the origin story of the world of The Red Star. This collector's must-have trade paperback chronicles the tragic romance between Imbohl, the father of the Revolution, and the Goddess Pravda, whose power led him to renowned glory...
Official Red Star Website
Order “The Red Star: Sword of Lies

House of Mystery, Vol. 1: Room and Boredom” written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges and illustrated by Various Artists. Release Date: January 20, 2009. Published by
Vertigo Comics.

Filled with peculiar, otherworldly characters from all walks of life, this series from Matthew Sturges (Jack of Fables) and Bill Willingham (Fables) focuses on five people trapped in the reality-warping
House of Mystery, a supernatural bar where tales are the legal tender and only the finest storytellers are patrons. But how—and why—they're stuck inside is all just a little piece of the puzzle in this first volume…
Official Bill Willingham Website
Official Matthew Sturges Blog
Order “House of Mystery, Vol. 1: Room and Boredom
NOTE: The “House of Mystery, Vol. 01: Room and Boredom” Trade Paperback collects issues #1-5 from the all-new acclaimed series. Also includes bonus material.

Ultimates 3 Volume 1: Sex, Lies & DVD“ written by
Jeph Loeb. Illustrated by Joe Madureira and Christian Lichtner. Release Date: January 21, 2009. Published by Marvel Comics. The countdown to Ultimatum begins here—and when it's over, the Ultimate Universe will never be the same…

A year later, who are the Ultimates? After going through the tumultuous events of the past two volumes, the Ultimates find themselves operating out of Tony Stark's mansion in New York where, no longer working for S.H.I.E.L.D., they have to make it on their own. But a terrible secret is about to tear them apart and one of Earth's greatest heroes will die—and there'll be plenty of suspects. Plus new members, new adventures, and new secrets! All this and Ultimate Venom, too!

Join Eisner winner and Emmy-nominated writer
Jeph Loeb (TV's Heroes, Fallen Son) and the superstar team of Joe Madureira & Christian Lichtner (Uncanny X-Men, Battle Chasers) as they take the Ultimates on their wildest ride yet…
Order “Ultimates 3 Volume 1: Sex, Lies & DVD
Read A Preview
NOTE: The “Ultimates 3 Volume 1: Sex, Lies & DVD“ Premiere Hardcover collects issues #1-5.

Wonderlost” written by C.B. Cebulski. Illustrated by Various Artists. Cover by
Travis Charest. Release Date: January 21, 2009. Published by Image Comics. One of the most critically-acclaimed and best reviewed books of the past year is now collected into a single volume for the first time…

Awkward kisses, nocturnal fumblings, broken hearts . . . ah, to be teenager in love! For most of us, these are things we'd prefer to forget, but in this autobrographical anthology, C.B. Cebulski shines the light on the romances of his past and shares some outrageous high school love stories.

It's Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets Mean Girls as we're taken to bonfires, backseats and bedrooms in these touching and sometimes tragic tales. Told in an open and honest style that has garnered the individual issues praise across the publishing world, these slice-of-life tales are sure take readers back to the more carefree times of their own youths...

You could give this book to 10 people and each could come away with a different emotion after a trip down memory lane.” —
Silver Bullet Comic Books

As is the case with any good autobiographical comic, this book's greatest strength is the writer's honesty.” – Eye on Comics

Sure, we all have those stories from our awkward years. And some of them might even be as entertaining as the ones Cebulski tells us here, but I can't imagine pulling them off as well as he does.” —Comic Book Resources
Official C.B. Cebulski Website
Order “Wonderlost

Pax Romana” written and illustrated by Jonathan Hickman. Release Date: January 21, 2009. Published by
Image Comics.

From the mind of comic book innovator Jonathan Hickman (The Nightly News, the upcoming Secret Warriors) comes the exhilarating time-traveling epic: “Pax Romana”. Featuring Jonathan’s unique sensibility, “Pax Romana” tells the tale of 5000 men sent on an impossible mission to change the past and save the future. Will they succeed, or will they fail?
Official Jonathan Hickman Website
Order “Pax Romana

High Rollers” written by Gary Phillips. Illustrated by Sergio Carrera and
Brett Weldele. Release Date: January 27, 2009. Published by Boom! Studios.

Chronicling the life of Cameron Quinn, a ruthless upstart out to make a name for himself, “High Rollers” is a tale of crime and destiny from critically acclaimed mystery novelist Gary Phillips (High Hand, Bangers). Here, Phillips shines a harsh light on the action and drama of the L.A. underworld with this inner-city spin on The Sopranos. “High Rollers” is a potent mix of American Gangster and The Wire, and should appeal to fans of
Ed Brubaker'sCriminal”…
Official Gary Phillips Website
Order “High Rollers
NOTE: The “High Rollers” Trade Paperback collects issues #1-4.

Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Love and Matrimony by The New Yorker's Cartooning Couple” written and illustrated by Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin. Release Date: January 27, 2009. Love and marriage are cleverly exposed in this deliciously witty collection of cartoons from married New Yorker cartoonists…

Husband and wife cartoonists share their own take on the funniest parts of relationships in this true-to-life, hilarious, and cleverly illustrated collection. Married for twenty years, Donnelly and Maslin show us the humor in every relationship from both the male and female perspectives in chapters like “I Do”, “Play with Me”, “Gifting and Getting”, “Ex Whatevers”, “Come Hither”, “Is It Worth It”, and “In Bed.”

From how they met (long, long ago at a New Yorker party) to how they keep their relationship fresh (a little healthy career competition never hurt anyone), Donnelly and Maslin say the things we wish we had about courtship, dating, marriage, sex, children—and everything in between.

With more than 200 cartoons and a series of original graphic narratives, “Cartoon Marriage” is perfect for newlyweds, long-marrieds, or anyone thinking (or NOT thinking) of taking the plunge…
Official Liza Donnelly Website
Official Michael Maslin Website
Order “Cartoon Marriage

Previous Spotlights:

October 2008
November 2008
December 2008


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog and a Good Collection...

Online Book Store

soumya mukerji said...

Great info!

Robert said...


Anonymous said...

Are you aware that Scott Hampton also have made a genius comic adaption of R. E. Howard's Pigeons from Hell?


Click Here To Order “In The Shadow of Their Dying” by Anna Smith Spark & Michael R. FLetcher
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Click Here To Order “Barnaby The Wanderer” by Raymond St. Elmo
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Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
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Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
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Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
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