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September 22, 2010

Atomic Books Comics Preview - September 22, 2010

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics and graphic novels.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. The Mobtown Shank is his blog, and his comic Said What? is syndicated weekly in the Baltimore Sun's B-Paper.

Atomic Books was recently named one of Bizarre Magazine's 51 geekiest places on the planet, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.

AX Volume 1: A Collection Of Alternative Manga
by various

For some reason lately, I've been getting folks coming in the store asking me for manga recommendations that would be good for teenage girls. And no matter what I suggest, the person asking never seems to think it's a good fit (honestly, when adults ask for books for teenagers, they really mean kids/all-ages books - when you show them a comic that would actually be appealing and appropriate for a teen, they think it's "too mature"). Anyway - at Atomic, our manga (which we have shelved alphabetically by author with the rest of our graphic novels - which also seems to confuse people who seem to think it should be segregated out from graphic novels for some strange reason) tends to be, like everything else we carry, of the "alternative" variety. If you don't know what "alternative manga" is, then this Top Shelf collection is custom made just for you, teenage girl or not.

Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #16
by various

It's the annual Simpsons Halloween special! While last year was a runaway classic (utilizing the talents of many young, indie comics artists), this year's special boasts proven vets like Evan Dorkin, Peter Kuper, Kelley Jones and even Lemmy from Motorhead.

by Dave McKean

Famed Sandman cover artist Dave McKean also created this usually hard to find cult classic. It’s now out in paperback!

Freewheel Volume One
by Liz Baillie

Liz Baillie of the punk comic saga My Brain Hurts moves in a surprising and magical direction with this first volume of Freewheel - a sort of epic family/fantasy adventure.

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3
by Los Bros. Hernandez

Instead of coming out with regular comic books on an irregular basis, the Hernandez brothers have smartly turned their legendary, groundbreaking comic series into an annual, trade paperback-sized tome. It's an annual treat that's well worth the wait.

Prison Pit: Book 2
by Johnny Ryan

Johnny Ryan's approach to humor is sort of like a scorched earth/take no prisoners strategy. Prison Pit mixes pro-wrestling, grindhouse, video games with Gary Panter and Kentaro Miura's manga and the results are brutal, hilarious and brutally hilarious.

Snakepit Volume 5: 2009
by Ben Snakepit

The new collection of Ben Snakepit's diary comics is finally available. Each day is a comic strip with a soundtrack. Is Ben forsaking punk for domesticity? No way! While he is maturing, he's still more punk rock than most folks.

Swedish Comics History
by Fredrik Stromberg (editor)

European comics have, for as long as I can remember, always been just on the verge of breaking big in the United States. Sometimes it's the French, sometimes the British, sometimes Spanish and Italian. Right now, it seems like Norwegian and Swedish creators are the cartoonists du jour. And this gorgeous historical collection shows why they stand a great chance of finally finding an American audience while reveling a rich history we’ve been largely unaware of (until now). Yes, it's in English. Sheesh.

Too Soon? Celebrity Portraits
by Drew Friedman

Too Soon? collects Drew Friedman's celebrity portraits from the past 15 years. His style is simultaneously hyper-realistic and grotesque, and always engaging and delightful. This is an excellent collection of one of the finest caricature/portrait/editorialist artists working today.

Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.

Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books blog
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Said What?

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Atomic Books Comics Preview lists (weekly new comics & graphic novel highlights)

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)