Heads Up: Indie Comics Previews – January 2012

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.

Ferals #1

Ferals #1
David Lapham & Gabriel Andrade
Order Code: NOV110754
Publisher: Avatar
32 pages – Full color – SC

I first encountered David Lapham’s work in his long-running, tautly written and drawn, and sadly in limbo crime series Stray Bullets. But in the last couple of years, he’s made a name for himself in many circles with his horror work at Avatar. From the Crossed spin-off Family Values to the Roman debauchery of Caligula, horror seems to have replaced crime as Lapham’s most comfortable genre. Now comes Ferals, a werewolf series that Avatar is touting as merging Lapham’s two key genres. Ferals is an ongoing crime series in which a police officer has to track down the cause of a series of murders (world’s most obvious spoiler: werewolves did it), but has to contend with something else entirely when his family is threatened.

my friend dahmer

My Friend Dahmer
Derf Backderf
Order Code: NOV110676 (HC) or NOV110675 (SC)
Publisher: Abrams
224 pages – 2 color
HC – $24.95 / SC – $17.95


It’s always kind of interesting—sometimes in an exciting way, sometimes in a frustrating way—to look back on the people we went to high school with and find out what they’re doing now. For most of us, it’s pretty innocuous. For cartoonist Derf, looking back means looking at his weird high school friend, Jeff. We know him better as serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. This comic looks back on Derf’s relationship with Jeff long before he became the notorious Dahmer we know today. Though Derf did a version of this story, with the same title, years ago, this edition is substantially expanded.

mark twain tales of mystery

Mark Twain Tales of Mystery
Mark Twain & Menton3
Order Code: NOV110352
Publisher: IDW
220 pages – Partial color – HC

Mark Twain wrote mystery stories, it seems. Who knew? Not this guy, but I suppose I’ve only read Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, so what do I really know about the guy’s oeuvre? A whole lot less than artist Menton3 (who’s new to me, but whose art is so impressively polished that he must have been toiling away for years). In this book, Menton3 adds art to a handful of Twain’s mystery stories. I’m a sucker for comics adaptations of classic literature, and Menton3 looks like a real comer, so I’d say this is worth a look.

the silence of our friends

The Silence of Our Friends
Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, & Nate Powell
Order Code: NOV110979
Publisher: First Second
208 pages – Full color – SC


Put Nate Powell’s name on any comic and I’m going to recommend it (as you may have noticed; I’ve written up his Any Empire and a book about covert operations that he was involved in). He’s that good. There’s something vivid and lithe about his art that you don’t see elsewhere, something that makes his pages and stories seem like fully fleshed-out worlds that we’re dropping in on, not comics we’re reading. Add Powell’s art to what sounds like a compelling and important story— a semi-autobiographical story about racism and the Civil Rights Movement set in 1967 Texas—and you’ve got a winner.

steed and mrs. peel #1

Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 (of 6)
Grant Morrison & Ian Gibson
Order Code: NOV110804
Publisher: BOOM!
32 pages – FC – SC

In my book, any new comic by Grant Morrison automatically earns at least some consideration. And while Steed and Mrs. Peel isn’t exactly new, it’s going to be new to a lot of us and comes straight out of the heart of Morrison’s early flourishing. Written around the same time as his runs on Animal Man and Doom Patrol, Steed and Mrs. Peel is a series Morrison wrote for the U.K.’s Titan Books, following the adventures of the titular characters, who were the heroes of the BBC’s 1960s spy/SF series The Avengers. I expect this will be a must-read for fans of Morrison or The Avengers.

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. So Steed and Mrs. Steel IS a reprint. I thought it unlikely Grant Morrison and Ian Gibson would just randomly do a new ‘Avengers’ series today. Still though. Gotta buy it. For Ian Gibson’s art especially.

  2. …..and all of us of a certain age can hear the theme tune “DUMMMMMM dum dum da dum……”

  3. The Avengers is one of my favorite tv shows ever, so I’d be quite pysched to see it in comics form as well. Not sure if Morrison is that right fit for it as writer — I have trouble seeing him doing carefree whimsy. Still, I’ll be buying at least the first issue to find out for myself. Here’s hoping that it’s stellar. By the way, is this something that hasn’t been readily available in the States before?

  4. Steed & Mrs. Peel isn’t very good.

    If you’re hoping for something on the level of animal man or doom patrol then you’re looking in the wrong place.

    • Well The Avengers is quite a different tone than Animal Man or Doom Patrol, which is why I was wondering if Morrison would have been the best choice for the characters. In your opinion is it not good becuase it’s not typical Morrison, or simply becuase it fails to be a good Avengers tale?

  5. I tracked this down a few month ago and haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Might check out a collected edition sometime down the line as a nice bumper edition.

    @Cosmo As far as I know, it was put out by American publisher Eclipse in the late 80s. They were 3 Prestige issues when originally published.

  6. Thanks for the tips, Sam- I always look forward to this column.

  7. Any Empire was the biggest disappointment of the year for me. I couldn’t finish it. At least it was cheap on comixology but god, so earnest, and grim and unsmiling and obvious.