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Saturday, February 7, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Graphic Novels of February 2009

Welcome to the February 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:

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son” adapted by Chuck Dixon. Illustrated by Brett Booth. Release Date: February 3, 2009. Published by
Del Rey/Dabel Brothers.

In the nineteenth century, Dr. Victor Frankenstein brought his notorious creation to life, but a horrible turn of events forced him to abandon it and slip away from the public eye. Two centuries later, a serial killer is on the loose in New Orleans, gruesomely salvaging body parts from each of his victims, as if trying to assemble a perfect human being.

Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner, Michael Maddison, would back her up all the way to Hell itself–-and that just may be where their new case leads. For as they investigate the strange killings, O’Connor and Madison find themselves drawn into a weird underworld of deception and secrets where a man named Victor Helios has created an entire race of perfectly engineered people who are meant to take humankind’s place one day. But something is happening to some of Helios’ creations, and it may be that this bizarre serial killer is the least of the detectives’ worries...

From the masterly pen of New York Times bestselling author
Dean Koontz, “Frankenstein: Prodigal Son” is a story filled with fast-paced action, gripping horror, and thrilling adventure...
Official Dean Koontz Website
Official Chuck Dixon Website
Official Brett Booth Blog
Order “Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son
Read A Preview
NOTE:Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son” is based on the New York Times bestselling novel by
Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson. Features an introduction and an additional story in comic form by Dean Koontz. The hardcover collects issues #1-5.

In the Flesh: Stories” by Koren Shadmi. Release Date: February 3, 2009. Published by Villard. In this stunning debut from visionary graphic novelist Koren Shadmi, stories of sexuality, anxiety, and twenty-something romantic angst combine with gorgeous visuals for a dark and sophisticated vision of the perils of love…

In the Flesh” feels like a collaboration between David Cronenberg and GhostWorld’s Daniel Clowes: Shadmi uses darkly poetic and rich, absurdist imagery to take us into the dangerous heart of romantic love. In “Antoinette,” a young man becomes obsessed with the girl of his dreams: a gorgeous—but headless—sylph; in “Hunger,” a near-death experience takes away a woman’s will to live and love . . . but awakens in her a dark and insatiable appetite; and in “Radioactive Girl,” a student is destroyed by his love for a young woman whose powerful allure is literally nuclear. In these stories and more, Shadmi has created a haunting gallery of lost souls...

Koren Shadmi was born in Israel, where from his early teens he worked as an illustrator and cartoonist, and served as a graphic designer and illustrator in the Israeli Defense Service. Now a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Koren’s illustrations have appeared in publications such as Spin, Business Week, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times.
Official Koren Shadmi Website
Order “In the Flesh

Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death” written by Laurell K. Hamilton and Jonathon Green. Illustrated by
Wellington Alves. Cover by Brett Booth. Release Date: February 4, 2009.

Her fans have been asking for it; now, Laurell K. Hamilton delivers a look into Anita Blake's past. Written by Laurell K. Hamilton herself, along with Jonathon Green, “The First Death” takes place almost a year before the events being chronicled in “Guilty Pleasures”. Witness the first meeting between Anita and Jean-Claude, Anita's first time inside Guilty Pleasures, her first serial-killer case, and an early encounter with Edward. Prepare to be thrilled by this original story produced especially for comics...
Official Laurell K. Hamilton Website
Order “The First Death
Read A Preview
Read Reviews via
Darque Reviews, Flames Rising + SciFiChick
NOTE:The First Death” collects the two-part mini-series and the “Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures Handbook”. This is the Trade Paperback Edition. The Hardcover was published in February 2008.

Batman R.I.P.: Deluxe HC” written by Grant Morrison. Illustrated by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea. Cover by
Alex Ross. Release Date: February 17, 2009. Published by DC Comics. Legendary writer Grant Morrison concocts an unthinkable plot: The death of The Dark Knight...

The troubled life of Bruce Wayne seems to spin out of control when his releationship with the mysterious Jezebel Jet deepens. Soon Bruce Wayne drops out completely, having seemingly become the victim of mental illness and abandoning his Batman identity for a life on the streets of Gotham City. Capitalizing on the fall of their greatest foe, the Club of Villains begin a crime spree through the streets of Gotham that threatens to bring the city to its knees...

This oversized Deluxe Edition collects Batman issues #676-683.
Official Grant Morrison Website
Official Tony Daniel Website
Order “Batman R.I.P.

The Savage Sword Of Conan: Volume Five” written by Roy Thomas. Illustrated by Various Artists. Release Date: February 25, 2009. Published by
Dark Horse.

In the mid 1970s following the colossal success of Conan the Barbarian, Roy Thomas helped expand the universe of Conan to showcase further stories and the talents of some of the comics industry's best with the equally popular Savage Sword of Conan magazine. Now, for the first time in over thirty years, these primal tales, featuring Robert E. Howard's most popular character, are available in a series of massive trade paperbacks, collecting all Savage Sword Conan stories beginning with issue one.

Volume Five contains some of the most ambitious adaptations of Conan material to date, reprinting the epic battle that leads to Conan becoming the king of Aquilonia in “Conan the Liberator,” the sword-and-sorcery classic “Sword of Skelos,” and the exhilarating “Conan and the Sorcerer.”

Collecting selections from The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian issues #49-60, this volume also includes the frontispieces and pinups from each issue, drawn by such amazing talent as Ernie Chan, Carl Potts, and Neal Adams! As a special bonus, you'll find a companion piece to Savage Sword Volume 1'sA Witch Shall Be Born”—a story-that hasn't seen print since its original publication in 1980...
Official Roy Thomas Wikipedia Website
Order “The Savage Sword Of Conan: Volume Five
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The Roberts” written by Wayne Chinsang. Art & cover by Erik Rose. Release Date: February 11, 2009. Published by

The Boston Strangler and the Zodiac Killer are alive and well, living amongst the old and dying of The Shady Lane Retirement Center. Surrounded by bingo tournaments and tea times, these two notorious serial killers quietly trade ‘war stories’ about their golden years, two seemingly parallel pasts filled with violence and victims. But while friendly on the outside, they're both masters at deception. And when one of them comes clean with a secret, the other struggles internally with his instinct for murder....

The Roberts” black & white Trade Paperback collects both critically acclaimed 48-page issues, as well as 50 pages of extras, including the author’s never-before-seen personal correspondences with real life serial killers Richard Ramirez and Charles Manson.
Official Wayne Chinsang Blog
Official Erik Rose Website
Order “The Roberts
Read A Preview

Previous Spotlights:

October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009



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