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July 11, 2015

Atomic Books Comics Preview - July 11, 2015

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 has been named one of BuzzFeed's Great American Bookstores, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.

Archie #1

Archie #1
by Mark Waid / Fiona Staples

Archie gets a 21st century reboot. The new series features great art by Fiona Staples (of Saga fame), and a story by comics stalwart Mark Waid. The first issue comes in over 20 different variant covers as Archie and his girlfriend Betty have broken up over a mysterious lipstick incident. Meanwhile, the rest of the Riverdale gang conspire to get the couple back together as Reggie makes his own play for Betty's affections and a new student, Veronica Lodge, moves to town.

While I'm still a fan of that classic Archie art style, it's refreshing and fun to see the characters in new, more modern art styles. Riverdale has always sort of felt like this Happy Days-era, timeless middle American town. And it still feels like Anywhere USA, but it also feels much more contemporary.

Bacchus Omnibus Volume 1

Bacchus Omnibus Volume 1
by Eddie Campbell

I feel like I've been waiting for this omnibus collection for years.

Bacchus is comics legend Eddie Campbell's master work. I often call it "The Best Comic You've Never Read" because I can count on one hand the number of people I know who have actually read the series. But everyone who reads it, loves it. While Greece's economy might be currently dead, their old gods are very much alive in modern times in this comic series. It's an epic story of ancient gods, fantasy, mystery, melodrama and lots of drinking. Oh yeah, don't forget The Eyeball Kid - the character so odd Tom Waits even wrote a song about him.

Cheer Up

Cheer Up
by Noah Van Sciver

This is a humor comic by comics genius Noah Van Sciver. Be warned - when Noah tells a joke, he also gut punches you. So while you may laugh, you may also weep. Is there really much difference between tears of despair and tears of laughter? I mean, in the end, you're still crying, right? Here we have an inter-dimensional party seeker, a geezer Bob Hope fan, a cartoonist who has his sooperhero creation stolen from him by a large corporation, Sponge Bob's revenge, the perils of mixing Raisin Bran with beer, a Walt Whitman poem, and more. You'll laugh so hard you cry. Or you'll cry so hard you laugh. Either way, there will be tears.

Fantasy Sports Volume 1

Fantasy Sports Volume 1
by Sam Bosma

Sam Bosma delivers his much anticipated graphic novel debut. It's an all-ages adventure story featuring young explorers and mummies playing basketball. It's an eye-poping visual feast full of fun and action.


by Max de Radigués

Originally run as a series of $1 mini-comics, the book collects it all together under one cover. Bullying, power and an interpretive ending, plus gorgeous cartooning.

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 on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Mutant Funnies

also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)