Heads Up: Indie Comics Previews – December 2011

A monthly column devoted to recommending interesting indie comics for pre-order. Pre-ordering supports indie creators and can often be the difference between a book succeeding or failing. Plus, you usually save money by doing it, too.

flannery o'connor cartoons

Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons
Flannery O’Connor
Order Code: OCT111100
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
120 pgs – Partial Color – HC


I love this kind of thing. I always get a thrill when a scholar or historian unearths the fact that a great writer or artist made cartoons or comics. Maybe it’s because it feels like it legitimates the artform, maybe just because it’s a fun glimpse into a hidden past. Either way, here’s a fun one: Flannery O’Connor, the great southern writer of A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge, among many others, was for a little while in the 40s a cartoonist. The from the look of the preview, this work is more along the lines of New Yorker cartoon than a comic, but if you’re a Flannery O’Connor fan, this could be a great addition to your library.

homeland directive

The Homeland Directive
Robert Venditti & Mike Huddleston
Order Code: OCT111225
Publisher: Top Shelf
144 pgs – FC – SC


A techno-thriller from the creator of The Surrogates. In it, a CDC researcher’s partner is murdered and she’s framed for the crime. In an attempt to clear her name, she descends into a conspiracy that may have gotten its start inside the government and has the potential to touch everyone in the country. Sounds like a good time, and the appealing washed-out coloring of the art is easy on the eyes.

inner sanctumInner Sanctum: Tales of Mystery, Horror & Suspense
Ernie Colon
Order Code: OCT111170
Publisher: NBM
112 pgs – B&W – HC


One of my favorite forgotten forms of media is the radio drama. In the middle part of the last century, before TV was widespread, families would gather around their radios to listen to comedies, drama, variety shows, and tales of horror and suspense. Among the best of these shows was Inner Sanctum (if you want to get a flavor for these shows, $5 will get you 1 GB worth of downloads here) and now comics vet Ernie Colon is adapting four episodes of the venerable series into comics. Colon’s classic style and deceptively simple-looking lines are a great fit for these classic stories.

kramers ergot 8Kramers Ergot Vol. 8
Order Code: OCT111193
Publisher: Picturebox
228 pgs – FC – HC

This is the latest installment of the legendary alternative comics anthology last seen in 2008’s $125 16 x 21 behemoth. With this edition, Kramers is back to a more common size and price, but still packs the same line-up of alt.comics stars, including Gary Panter, Gabrielle Bell, C.F., Ben Jones, Sammy Harkham, Frank Santoro & Dash Shaw, and others. The stories in Kramers may not always be the most easily accessible or mainstream, but if you’re looking for some of the best people working at the edges of the medium, this is the place to find them.

Order Code: OCT110869
Publisher: Blank Slate
260 pgs – FC – SC

That’s a high price, no doubt, but check out the talent list on this book: Paul Grist, Philip Bond, D’Israeli, Darryl Cunningham, Ade Salmon, Warren Pleece, Rian Hughes, Sean Phillips, Roger Langridge, Duncan Fegredo, Posy Simmonds, and Andi Watson. Whoa. You might think this is an anthology, but it’s not. Instead, all of these creators, and many others, are working together to tell a single story, of the life of a character named Nel Baker. Each chapter, presumably handled by a different creator, covers one day in Nel’s life. Sounds like a fun idea to me, and that’s an unbeatable list of contributors.

young romanceYoung Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s 1940s–1950s Romance Comics
Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
Order Code: OCT111099
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
200 pgs – FC – FC

Want to get a real sense of just how impressive a creator Jack Kirby was? Not only did he help invent superheros (with Captain America in the 40s) and then reinvent them (with Marvel in the 60s), in between, he and his frequent collaborator Joe Simon also invented romance comics. This book collects 21 of the duo’s romance comics from the 40s and 50s here. I’m not sure how well romance comics from that period hold up, but as key historical work by one of comics’ immortals, it’s worth a look.

Sam Costello is the creator and writer of Split Lip, a horror webcomics anthology that Comics Should Be Good has called “the best horror anthology on the internet.” It offers over 500 pages of free comics.

Split Lip: Termites In Your Smile and other stories is available now directly from Sam. It’s 174 pages of comics for $15. Just try to beat that.

Other iFanboy Posts by Sam Costello

On My Own in Indie Comics Series:


  1. I love old time radio, so Inner Sanctum sounds like a winner to me!

  2. nice, they all sound great. thanks

  3. Homeland Directive is out digitally, it’s pretty great