Heads Up: Indie Comics Previews – September 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.


Craig Thompson
Order Code: JUN111212
Publisher: Pantheon Books
672 pages – B&W – HC

Preview (not really a preview, but a collection of Thompson's blog posts about the book that show a lot of the art)

When last we heard from Crag Thompson, he was setting the alternative/literary comics world afire with Blankets, his expansive tale of early love. That was 2003, though. Since then, he's been working on, among other things, Habibi, a 672 page (!!) opus about romance, culture, and humanity in the Middle East. While nominally a love story, Habibi explores a fictional Middle East from many perspectives. I couldn't get into Thompson's emo debut work Goodbye, Chunky Rice, but Blankets was pretty excellent. I'd wager Habibi will be, too.



mark twain autobio

Mark Twain's Autobiography: 1910-2010
Michael Kupperman
Order Code: JUN111096
Publisher: Fantagraphics
128 pgs – PC – HC

Preview (other Kupperman work so you can get a sense of his style and humor)

If there are funnier comics being made today than those that Michael Kupperman regularly gifts us with, I haven't seen them. His Tales Designed to Thrizzle series regular wrings belly laughs out of me, and this book sounds great, too. It proceeds from the premise that Mark Twain didn't really die in 1910 and sets out to chronicle what he's been up to since. If the idea of Twain hunting a Yeti, being involved in porno movies, or having an affair with Mamie Eisenhower seems funny to you (and really, why wouldn't it?), this is the book for you.




Geoff Johns, Kris Grimminger, Butch Guice
Order Code: JUN111157
Publisher: Humanoids
112pgs – FC – SC

It won't come as much of a surprise, I suspect, that the guy writing the indie comics previews column isn't a huge mainstream comics reader. And I'm not. But still, I believe this Geoff Johns fellow is somewhat famous? Olympus is not a new book by him, but it's possibly one you've missed in the past, since it's published by Humanoids, the French publisher behind a whole bunch of great books (including the original European version of Heavy Metal, Metal Hurlant) that haven't gotten a ton of attention in the U.S. In it, archaeology students and mercenaries are forced to team up against monsters from Greek myths when they're stuck on Mount Olympus. Art's by Jackson "Butch" Guice, who I believe has done a fair piece of superhero work.



optic nerve #12

Optic Nerve #12
Adrian Tomine
Order Code: JUN111064
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
40 pgs – FC – SC

Previews from other issues of Optic Nerve

Who knew this day would ever come? Tomine's Optic Nerve was a seminal indie comic of the 90s and early 2000s, but it seemed with the success of Shortcomings that he might be off to graphic novels forever. But no! Here's a new single issue. Instead of being a single narrative, this one is a collection of shorts, covering topics like mistaken identity, horticulture, and patents. Sounds good to me!




reMIND vol. 1
Jason Brubaker
Order Code: Get this one at Amazon
Publisher: Coffee Table Comics
152 pgs – FC – HC


reMIND is a tale about a woman, Sonja, who loses her cat, Victuals, and has to track him down. When she does, though, she finds the cat transformed into lizard/cat hybrid with a new brain. I haven't run into the work of reMIND's writer/artist, Jason Brubaker, before but he works at Dreamworks as an animator, so that's a vote of confidence. While the blurb for the story didn't immediately hook me (I don't usually go for comics about pets, with some exceptions), the preview–which reveals impressively styled, lively art and beautiful page design (check out the white space on spread 5!)–did it for me. Click that link above; the art may convince you that reMIND is for you.



shiny beasts

Shiny Beasts
Rick Veitch
Order Code: JUN111167
Publisher: King Hell
84 pgs – FC – SC

This is a collection of Rick Veitch's fully painted stories for Epic Magazine, and includes collaborations with Alan Moore and Steve Bissette. That trio has cranked out so many terrific comics together (notably Swamp Thing)  and in smaller combinations, that you've got to at least give this one a look. It would be nice if there were a preview online for it, but maybe these three creators have earned some trust at this point?


Sam Costello is the creator and writer of Split Lip, a horror webcomics anthology that io9 has called “the webcomics answer … to the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.” 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:


Indie Comics Coming Attractions Series:


  1. Come September, I’m really cutting back on my mainstream comic reading so I’m very excited to hear that Craig Thompson is putting out a new book. Blankets is a book I’ve kept with me in every one of my many moves since 2003. I rather liked Thompson’s drawings of various locations in Carnet De Voyage and I’m assuming that this new book will have more of that. It surprises me a little to see that Top Shelf isn’t publishing this new one since, I’m assuming, Blankets has sold so well from them.

    I’ll keep Shiny Beasts on my radar too. Sounds intriguing. 

  2. I….haven’t read Blankets. Maybe I can score a cheap/used copy before Habibi though…

    Also, Butch Guice is a pretty killer artist. Not enough respect from the kids, today.

  3. Wow, reMind looks great, and I loved Blankets so hopefully my local borders or B&N gets a copy of Habibi I can flip through and decide on. 

  4. Great suggestions. Optic Nerves looks interesting and different- I’m on it.

  5. I’m going to try Optic Nerves.  I am digging the art.  I will also take try Shortcomings & Habibi!

  6. Optic Nerve is AWESOME. It just… never comes out. I can’t recall the last time a single issue came out. Two years, maybe? Anyway, it’s STILL worth it. It’s general very minimalist in its storytelling, though. Ambiguous, slice-of-life vignettes, like a good modern short story.

  7. I’m going to read the heck out of Habibi, i love Thompson’s work

  8. Thanks for the heads up on Twain’s autobiography! I love Kupperman, but somehow I hadn’t heard about this book yet.