Help Me Order Some Trades

I’m finding myself needing something new, so I want to read some new books. I’m going to put together an order for some trades and graphic novels.

But I don’t know what to get. So, I want some recommendations from you. This is your chance to get me to spend some money, instead of the other way around. Also, if you’ve got a book you want the world to know about, if you convince me to buy it, and I like it, there’s a good chance it’ll get mentioned on the podcast.

So here are the rules:

1. I don’t want any Marvel or DC books. I read a whole lot of that stuff, and I want something different.

2. I don’t want a list of books. If you want me to get something, I need a reason. You’re effectively pitching the book to me.

3. My budget is $50-$100. So I’m not looking for a giant volumes, but a bunch of books in the $10-15 range. This is not hard and fast.

I’m pretty sure the first two items will be Gordon Yamamoto and The King of The Geeks by Gene Yang, and Strange Girl, Vol. 1.

So, what do you have for me?


  1. Exterminators Vol 1 – Bug Brothers (Vertigo)

    It is affordable, creepy, and drawn by Tony Moore.

  2. Earthboy Jacobus or
    Iron West

    Both by Doug TenNapel

    Art is similar in feeling to Scott Morse, yet still distinctive in its own way. You’ll be amazed at how expressive Brush and Ink can be.

    Earthboy Jacobus is at its heart a simple story of retired cop and a lost kid and how they help one another, yet TenNapel throws so much bizzare philosophy and imagery into the mix that it heads way into the realm of allegory.

    Iron West is a much more rollicking tale of Ancient Robots who are awakened in the old west. TenNapel has a damn bizzare sense of humor.

    Other titles are: Tommysaurus Rex and Gear (available in color-by far the most bizzare story of his I’ve read).

  3. Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler (Oni Press).

    Classic storytelling, set in the times of explorers and fur-traders, the French and the Indians. There’s a Darwyn Cooke vibe to Chantler’s clean cartooning and story execution. They’ve upgraded the collection to a HC, complete with historical annotations. Highly recommended. (It would be a pre-order, since it’s not out until May.)

  4. I’ve been meaning to pick up these Lone Wolf & Cub graphic novels forever…they’re only @ $10 a piece, and people rave about them.

  5. Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler (Oni Press).
    Classic storytelling, set in the times of explorers and fur-traders, the French and the Indians. There’s a Darwyn Cooke vibe to Chantler’s clean cartooning and story execution. They’ve upgraded the collection to a HC, complete with historical annotations. Highly recommended. It would be a pre-order, since it’s not out until May. (My previous post with a link didn’t work, so apologies if this ends up here twice.)

  6. Josh, why don’t you mix it up with a little manga? Try Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad vol. 1, by Harold Sakuishi. It’s about how rock music changes a kind of nerdy kid’s life forever. The story is excellent(good mix of humor and serious stuff, even a little love triangle), and Sakuishi draws the greatest facial expressions. It’s not an unbelievably long manga like Drangon Ball Z either; in anime form the whole story was 26 episodes.

  7. You said different – so how about a little manga from Dark Horse?

    Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Volume 1. A team of college kids with various supernatural powers find dead bodies, talk to them, and carry out their last wishes. One of the kids has a foul-mouthed puppet on his hand – I’m not sure why – but it’s a cussing puppet, so it’s funny. The book is bizarrely charming, alternately fun and gory, sprightly and deep-reaching. Collects four tales, of, umm, corpse delivery. Not the stereotypical manga art, with lighter pencils and a noticeable absence of speed lines. Lotsa bang for the buck (200 pages).

  8. You know, I have a friend that reads this manga called “Lone Bear and Cub” (I think). I have yet to borrow it or read it, but the way he speaks of it, you would think that God himself wrote it and drew it.

    And there’s like 21 volumes of it too…

  9. If you like Adam Beechen’s Robin so much, which I do too, you should really go back and read some Teen Titans trades.

  10. I’ve been eyeing Fritz Lieber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser written by Howard Chaykin with art by Mike Mignola published by Dark Horse. It’s a fantasy book and it sounds like a good fun read. Here’s a link to the description.

  11. you can read the first Exterminators comic for FREE!! online at Vertigo in PDF fpormat to see if you like it thats what I did then I picked up the trade. Its good check it out

  12. Ex Machina: The first five trades are all on Amazon for about $10 per book. It’s Brian K. Vaughan, and its a superhero/political thriller.

    The Exterminators: If you’re looking for a little more, this book has only two trades, has beautiful art, and may be the biggest sleeper book of 2006 (and probably 2007).

  13. I’ll second “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel. It’s lovely, sad, and extraordinarily well-done. The prose is beautiful, and the specificity of the art adds tremendously.

    Also, I assume you’ve read “Natural Born Chinese”, but if not, it’s really great, blending the story of a Chinese immigrant with some fun monkey stuff.

  14. Whoops, I mean “American Born Chinese”, and it’s about the child of Chinese immigrants, technically. The monkey stuff, however, was accurate.

    Guess I was mixing it with “Natural Born Killers”. That’d be an odd book.

  15. If you like Adam Beechen’s Robin so much, which I do too, you should really go back and read some Teen Titans trades.

    Isn’t Teen Titans published by DC Comics?

  16. Sam & Twitch: The Brian Michael Bendis Collection Volume 1

    If this is something you haven’t read yet, then you should. This is the Udaku storyline. It’s the first time it has been re-printed in color. Classic Bendis crime comics with great art by Angel Medina. I wasn’t that big a fan of Angel Medina, but then I read this book and relized he’s more than just a Todd McFarlane rip off. The guy can tell a story.

    If you buy it on amazon, it’s $18.96. And don’t pay any attention to the fact that amazon has Alex Meleev credited as and author. That’s the next Volume.

  17. Souls Winter Collected TMNT The Collected TMNT Work of Michael Zulli

    It’s a fascinating read of an alternate form of the turtles set in a quasi-Feudal Japan. If you like Zulli’s work, it’s beautiful. It’s cheap and a self-contained story.

  18. I recently read “The Five Fists of Science” by Matt Fraction. It is light, kooky, and fun. Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain vs. Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison. Fraction characterizes Edison, Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Guglielmo Marconi as evil cult members who raise a monster from hell to serve their insidious schemes. Obviously, it isn’t historically accurate. None of those guys were devil worshipping cult members. Evil… maybe.

    I hear good things about “Casanova,” which is also by Matt Fraction.

  19. Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler (Oni Press).

    I second this recommendation! This was a great 3 vol. series that came out of nowhere and really surprised me. Fun stuff.

  20. My girlfriend just picked up 100 percent by Paul Pope for me.

    At first I wasn’t sure I’d like it but it turned out to be an orginal, intriguing story.

  21. I’ll make ONE Manga reccomend:

    Sandland by Akira Toriyama
    Story of a Demon Child, a renegade with a tank, and a rich bastard who wants to control all the water.

    Toriyama is a damn skilled draftsman-his style is cartoonish, but it’s so damn clean and expressive. His vehicle designs are damn cool too.

    Best part about this book? It’s a ONE AND DONE single volume. That’s rare in manga.

  22. Battle Pope. It’s funny and sacrilegious.

  23. Lone Wolf and Cub all the way. It rocks, the only problem with it is that it has multiple volumes (I think like 15 of them.)

    Also I recommend Blade of the Immortal and one of my personal favorites which I don’t think you can find in trade but is well written is Archer and Armstrong by Valiant. Often overlooked but entertaining and funny.


  24. The book that has surprised me in its extraordinary good quality is Star Wars Legacy:

    If you

  25. I recommend Stagger Lee by (I think) Derek McCulloch. You may have heard one of the many folk/blues songs about Stagger Lee shooting a man for his stetson hat in a bar; I only found out a few years ago that those songs were based on something that really happened 100 years ago, and not too far from my house as it turned out. When I got the graphic novel for Christmas, it seemed like the sort of thing that would be almost impossible to turn into interesting historical fiction (no offense to all those songwriters) but the art is good and the writer did a fantastic job of both telling the story and trying to delve into why the story has endured as a folk tale for a century. He may be going a bit too far when he credits it as the birth of gangsta… but then again, he may not.

    You know what else I never hear anybody talk about? Larry Gonick’s Cartoon Histories of the Universe/World/United States. Again, should be impossibly dry but are actually quite interesting.

  26. the nightly news. the nightly news. the nightly news!!

  27. the nightly news. the nightly news. the nightly news!!

    Is it out in trade already?

  28. Jesus, this filled up fast.

    I have Earthboy Jacobus. It was good. I did a semi write up on it here:

    I’ve read all the Lone Wolf and Cub thanks to an old roomie who bought them all. There are about 28. That’s $10×28 = $280. It was awesome. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    Battle Pope was the first Kirkman I’ve ever read. I love it. Always have. I have the original issues.

    I also read Sam and Twitch as it was coming out. I’m an old school Bendis fan.

    I have American Born Chinese, and have talked about it on the show.

    I’m not a big fan of Matt Fraction, but Five Fists sounded intriguing to me. I didn’t like Casanova.

    As far as Star Wars and TMNT, they’re not for me. I’m looking for something new, not something old that’s been repackaged. Not a dig, but for this exercise, it’s not what I’m looking for.

    I’m pretty much up to date on Vertigo stuff, so I’m going to count them among DC. I want stuff from other publishers. Dark Horse is OK, since I don’t read much of their stuff.

    Teen Titans is indeed disqualified.

    For the record, short descriptions that don’t tell me anything about the book don’t work so well.

    Please keep it coming. I’m impressed, but I’m only convinced about one or two books. Truth be told, I’m looking for more graphic novels, not so much to start a 20 volume epic.

  29. I know it was a POW, but did you finish reading Cross Bronx as it came out? I just picked up the trade, it’s very nice looking.


    Check out the new edition of Love & Rockets that’s being published by Fantagraphics. All the critical acclaim aside, it’s still a very real, very honest, and a very beautiful set of stories filled with real, honest, and beautiful characters. The first edition is only 10 bucks off Amazon, which is an absolute steal. Plus, it scores you points with all the hipster indie kids if you’ve read it.

    And from what it sounds like, it sounds like you all haven’t read much of Will Eisner’s stuff. You should. The Contract with God trilogy is beautiful stuff. You can really see Eisner’s genius in these stories; beautiful and heartbreaking stuff.

  31. Check out the new edition of Love & Rockets that’s being published by Fantagraphics. All the critical acclaim aside, it’s still a very real, very honest, and a very beautiful set of stories filled with real, honest, and beautiful characters. The first edition is only 10 bucks off Amazon, which is an absolute steal. Plus, it scores you points with all the hipster indie kids if you’ve read it.

    From what it sounds like, it sounds like you all haven’t read much of Will Eisner’s stuff. You really should. The Contract with God Trilogy is superb. You can really see Eisner’s genius in these stories; beautiful and heartbreaking stuff.

    And while I’m not a devout Mark Millar fan, my favorite work of his is Chosen from Dark Horse. The hook?: what if you found out you were the second coming of Christ? I think it’s smarter than most of Millar’s stuff and, arguably, has more heart than much of his other work (though, it’s still pretty fucked up in parts). I thought it was a brisk and fun read, but then again, I’m also a bit of a heathen which might explain my enjoyment.

  32. Well The Goon besides being one of the books that brought me back into comics is also one of the funniest, coolest, most brilliant books ever!

    Like mentioned here before it’s a mixture of The Spirit meets Hellboy which is about the closest most accurate description I’ve heard yet, which is a credit to it because it’s one of the most original creator owned works ever.

    I know you said in one of the podcasts sometime ago that it didn’t sound like your thing but at the thing about it it’s not really anybody’s thing because it’s something new. If you’re looking for a fun book that you can pick up with volume 1 (not volume 0 because he was still finding his voice for then and art is horrible) and enjoy it solely for that book alone and not need to read the rest. But trust me it’s addicting!

    With Zombies everywhere ruining The Goons Mafia like business the battle to take back lonely street begins against The Nameless Man The Zombie Priest. This 40 style Mafia, dark humor, zombie infested book is fantastic! It constantly keeps you intrigued at the same time laughing out loud as The Goon and his sidekick alcoholic womanizer Frankie battle Zombies, Hobos, Vampires and giant robots. It’s an excellent read!

  33. I second Kal – I got the first 2 Love and Rockets books in SF and they’re damn near close to perfection…

  34. The Love and Rockets stuff is interesting, because I’ve always meant to check it out, but I never knew where to start. It’s good that they’re repackaging it.

    I read some of the Goon, and I really didn’t like it very much. I know people love it, but it wasn’t for me.

    I have Contract with God, and it’s one of those things I mean to re-read, because it didn’t have a huge impact on me at the time.

    I read the first issue of Chosen when it came out, and again it didn’t really resonate with me. It’s funny, because I haven’t ever hear another thing about it until now.

  35. I suggest you pick up Fruits BAsket- its Mangas answer to Strangers in Paradise, it seems to be a Manga intended for girls but the story is so complex and emotional that everyone enjoys it. The premise of it is pretty silly but the characters themselves are extremely deep and at alot of time downright hillarious!!!! Its one of my faavorite Mangas (I havent read manga in like 3 years).
    I have most of this series on the computer being that I used to download them long before they started printing them here in the US so if you want I can email you the first issue!

  36. Well I heard that Wolverine Origins came out in trade this month 😉

  37. I recommend The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson. Ostensibly because I just watched “Alan” and it wasn’t mentioned. And rightly so, since it’s neither the best nor the worst of Moore’s work, but if you haven’t come across it before, it is a fun, adventurous journey that follows a young woman, Halo Jones, who is the equivalent of Eliza Doolittle living in a space colony. Halo becomes entangled in galactic events much bigger than herself and tries to rise to the challenge. There’s my pitch. Hope you pick it and enjoy.

  38. The Ballad of Halo Jones

    Conor’s got it, and I plan to appropriate it when he is done with it.

  39. Josh

    My rec. is The Marquis by Guy Davis (Oni). Imagine a theological V for Vedetta meets BPRD without the more cartoony elements. As both the writer and artist, Davis proves that when given the opportunity he can tell a story just as well as his more famous colleagues.

    Basically, demons and other hellspawn have found a way to possess people during the 18th century inquisiiton, and the main character has been “ordained” with the ability to see these demons and, hopefully, send them back to hell. Unfortunately he has his own personal demons to deal with as well – religion and madness.

    The art is fantastic, the story is gripping and well-told. The layouts and colors fit the story perfectly, and the extras are more than the usual takced on affair. This was a refreshing and fantastic change of pace from the the usual stuff most of us read, and definitely deserves a spot on that order form.

  40. I love the BPRD!!! And Hellboy!!! Guy Davis is great! I’m interested in that one thanks mister s 🙂

  41. I’ll second The Marquis. The black and white art is absolutely stunning.

  42. Angry Christ Comix

    The name sells itself. If you’ve ever hated humanity, and what thinking person hasn’t, this book is for you. Published by Image.

  43. I totally agree with Ron on Fun Home- it’s FANTASTIC. You won’t be able to put it down.

    Also, you might even be able to get it for free; I’ll bet your local library has it. Mine did.

  44. Have you read Stray Bullets by David Lapham (a google search of the site didn’t turn up anything)? It tells the interconnected stories of various people whose lives are changed by violence. It’s kind of fallen off the map lately, but is excellent. It’s a little similar to Criminal, but with less of an action movie feel.

    The La Perdida trade is a good read about entering new worlds and identity. It tells the story of a woman who goes to Mexico and gets involved with a questionable crowd.

  45. Did you ever read CAPOTE IN KANSAS? Awesome read. And I agree with all the FUN HOME supporters.

  46. Chosen was great but you do have to work your way through all three issues in order for it to really hook you.

    JOSH: my rec is kinda of lousy just because i haven’t really read it yet. i bought BLANKETS by Craig Thompson. Im sure you must have read it before (or at least Ron has mentioned it to you) if not, it seems like a book that would be right up your (and ron’s) alley. It’s about the author’s first love and its gotten wide acclaim (that’s why im sure you’ve probably read it). well sorry i can’t give you more detail but if your interested i’ll let you know what i think after i’ve read it.

    Good luck sifting through all these posts my friend 🙂

  47. Fallen Angel. IDW 1-5

    Instead of trying to argue for it myself, let me quote the words of the review on the 2 Guys Buying Comics blog that convinced me to pick up the series last spring:

    “With that in mind I see no need to put off the inevitable, so let’s just get it over with and crown Fallen Angel #5 the best individual issue of 2006.

    Granted, there are still seven months worth of comic goodness to come, but this I can’t imagine what it will take to put another single issue in the same zip codes as this one (please feel free to see that as a open challenge to Fables #50, Mr. Willingham). I can’t think of a better single issue that I’ve read in the last five years.”

    Those were the words that convinced me to give the book a shot. And Fallen Angel was the book that got me back to collecting comics again.

    Finally, the first TPB should arrive tomorrow so you’ll just need to have Connor get it to you. 🙂

  48. I have a good one!

    My Dead Girlfriend by Eric Wight
    I met him at NYCC and he was really nice and seeemed genuinely psyched about the book he’d made, so I decided to check it out. It’s a really really fun teen romance type book that does a great job of invoking the great feelings of teenage infatuation and heartbreak.

    The art is beautiful, the story is great, it’s not superheros, and there’s only one volume. Really good stuff!

  49. I know it sounds anti-climactic now but may I suggest Strange Girl Volume 1? I won’t bore you with another explanation of why.

  50. I’ll second mp’s “My Dead Girlfriend” rec – I just loaned it to my mangaphile BFF and she loves it.

    Another favorite of mine that has a manga-ish feel is Chynna Clugston’s Blue Monday ( It’s a funny series about a bunch of teenagers. The main character, Bleu, is obsessed with Mod culture, Brit pop, and her substitute teacher. There’s swearing, hormones, and Buster Keaton references. What’s not to love?

  51. Josh, I suggest:
    Cerebus Volume 2 High Society
    Aardvark Vanaheim

    512 pages

    An hilarious politically driven story About an aardvark becoming the Prime Minister of a fictional city state. There is more depth to the characters than in most prose books. The art is black and white and quite beautiful. Contrary to popular belief this book can be read without reading the rest of the 6000 plus pages of Cerebus comics.

  52. Nobody else mentioned it so I will. I picked up “Gordon Yamamoto and the King of Geeks” from Gene Yang at Wondercon because I loved “American Born Chinese” so much. The differences were many but the story was still good and engaging. Gene Yang was also extremely nice and I haven’t heard a single negative thing about “American Born Chinese” and convinced a total stranger to buy it last time I was in my local comic shop. So good choice so far Josh.

    My recommendation for Josh, and anyone else, is the series “Concrete” by Paul Chadwick published by Darkhorse. It’s 7 books in the 10-15$ range but there no real overarching plot. You can read either the first or sixth volume first because in the sixth volume Chadwick revists Concrete’s origin and retells it with updated/improved art and greater craftsmanship as a storyteller.

    Concrete is a speech writer for a senator who’s body is put in the body of an alien rock creature while on a camping trip. Due to government interference he has to keep this origin a secret and is heralded as a cyborg made from a man dying of cancer. This new body, which is essentially the body of the blue-eyed ever-lovin’ Thing, allows Concrete a wealth of new opportunities but also many handicaps towards leading an everyday life.

    It deals with a lot of relevant issues (environmentalism, overpopulation, the nature of exploration, etc…) in a similar vein as a book like “Ex Machina” does, really making the reader examine their own viewpoint as they read it.

    Every volume is jam-packed with story, often including vignettes from side-projects of Chadwick’s or just a short story he felt like telling, along with a Gallery of Concrete art.

    If any one else has read this I’d love to hear comments because so far the only other guy I know who has read it is the owner of my local comic shop.

    A highly under-read series worth picking up!

  53. If you can blaze a trail through the hyperdense “Adventures of Luther Arkwright” by Brian Talbot, then you’re a better intellectual for me. But what I digested was, accordingly, hyperimpressive.

    Also, Fraction and Dwyer’s “Last of the Independents,” which is technically an AIT PlanetLAR OGN, but worth it anyway.

  54. GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can’t say more about this book. I give this book to non-comic readers and they love it! It flows like a movie and it is suspenseful and has lovely art. I can’t get enough of it and it is only $14.99, BUT I’LL SHIP YOU MINE FOR FREE. please read this book. if you read this book already, please talk about it more on the show

  55. I second Jord’s “Stray Bullets” suggestion. I really dig that whole bizarre story.

  56. I agree Girls rocks, I cant wait till the next trade comes out!!!

  57. I would definitely back up the Fun Home suggestions, as well as 100% by Paul Pope. 100% blew me away. The art is fantastic and the story was great. This is from the amazon description: “set in a gritty near-future, 100% juggles three separate but interconnected stories that revolve around a downtown Manhattan nightclub catering to demimonde habitues including artists, erotic dancers (whose internal organs are projected onto viewscreens for the ultimate voyeuristic kick), prizefighters, barmaids, and busboys.”

    I’ve also really enjoyed the books by Joe Sacco that I’ve read. His work is always described as comics journalism and pretty much every book is him traveling to some foreign site of conflict like Palestine or the former Yugoslavia and his impressions of the area.

  58. Just to add my agreement to the suggestions for The Exterminators, The Marquis and Luther Arkwright.

    But I thought I put together a few recommendations based on the idea of ‘getting in to’ 2000AD both past & present (since the subject has cropped up a few times recently).

    I’d like to have picked Grant Morrison’s “Zenith” but sadly all the reprint GN’s have been pulped after a dispute between Grant & 2000AD. Not likely to see the light of day anytime soon. Also I’d have liked to recommend stuff by Andy Diggle, Jock & Frazer Irving but the collections aren’t out there at the moment.

    OK so here are my 5 picks :-

    (1) “Alan Moore – Future Shocks” (Art by Steve Dillon, Dave Gibbons, Alan Davis, Ian Gibson etc etc). A collection of numerous 5 page short sci-fi stories, all with a twist. Just look at the list of creators.

    (2) “Judge Dredd : Case Files 04”. Old Dredd is getting the ‘Essential’ style reprint treatment. This includes some wonderful Brian Bolland art and is stone-cold classic Dredd – please just forget the lame-o film. Writer John Wagner (‘History Of Violence’) is really on top of his game.

    (3) “Nemesis the Warlock Vol 1”. Another ‘Essentials’ style reprint. Full to the brim with totally insane Kevin O’Neill artwork. Plus some lovely gothic Bryan Talbot work as a bonus. Do not miss this I beg of you.

    (4) “Cabballistics Inc : ‘Going Underground'” by Gordon Rennie & Dom Reardon. This is much more recent – Dom is a huge artistic talent – the next Jock to put it very crudely, and sure to explode in the US anytime soon (IMHO).

    (5) “Nikolai Dante : 1. ‘The Romanov Dynasty” by Robbie Morrison & Simon Fraser. A good example of what’s running in the weekly comic today. Great swash & buckle action, brimming with ideas.

    Oh and one last thing – if you are crazy about Frank Quitely’s art then pick up ‘Shimura’ which includes most of his 2000AD stuff.

    I just want to add that on no account is Josh to read this post (either out loud or even in his own head) in his appalling English accent.

    Thanks guys, great show(s).


  59. Some good ones have been taken into consideration.

    I’m a big fan of Joe Sacco as well, and I’ve got a few of his books.

    I read 100% in issues, and I have them around here somewhere. I saw a page of original art from that once, and he works twice as big as most comic pages. It’s huge, and very nice looking.

  60. How about Fafhrd And The Gray Mouser. it’s written by Howard Chaykin with art by Mike Mignola? It’s a fantasy tale. I put this in my Amazon Cart after hearing about it a month ago. It sounds like some great fantasy stories.

    Here’s the link to Amazon as well as a review.

  61. Hey!

    I VERY strongly recommend Hellboy. Start with the early trades up to the stuff from about 2 years ago — I LOVE everything he did from early on & only like the sporadic stuff from the last couple years. Thankfully that still means there’s like 5 or 6 trades of FANTASTIC stories and art!

    If you’re into conspiracy alt-history comics, I also strongly recommend “Rex Mundi” from Image and now Dark Horse. Dark Horse collected all of the previous/Image issues into a few trades last year. It’s a finite series (it’ll end at issue 36) that is a “murder mystery told as a quest for the Holy Grail” set in 1930’s France. The church is still in power and Knights of the Inquisition will still hunt you down and kick your ass (or worse) if you cross them. For the sake of full disclosure, I’ve done some fill in work on the book, but I honestly greatly enjoyed it before I ever got to work on it.

    There you go! Keep up the AWESOME work on both of your shows and thanks for hours and hours of great entertainment while I’m drawing and painting!


  62. There are two books that come to mind. The first is Days Like This by J. Torres. It’s out by Oni and its only $5-6. It tells the story of how a girl group of the 60’s was discovered and then takes it all the way through the first live performance.

    The other one that comes to mind is Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson of Blankets fame. This is his travel journal while promoting Blankets in Europe. While it’s not as good as Blankets in that there is no plot other than the journey itself, it still provides some insight into the artist and how he deals with daily life. Also, as the name suggest, most of it was written while travelling through Europe.

  63. Buy All THREE of the recently released Dark Horse volumes of Arid Nelson’s amazing Rex Mundi series.

    Puts The Da Vinci Code Code to shame.

  64. I will second the above Doug Tenaple recommendations… Earthboy Jacobus being especially good. Brian Wood’s stuff is usually pretty good, Demo, Couriers, The Tourist all being amazing. Box Office Poison and Tricked by Alex Robinson are damned good reads. Add Mage, Grendel, Ex Machina, and Nexus to that list and you’ll have lots of fun.

  65. Hey RAPH!!!

    The next issue of girls, which is issue #24, is coming out in a few weeks so the next trade will probably be here in a little less than two months. Have you read the third one?

  66. under manga there is
    Hellsing by Kohta Hirano, dark horse see for info
    ghost in the shell by Shirow Masamune,dark horse
    read or die by Hideyuki Kurata, vis midia

    under triads

    green later: willworld j.m. DeMATTEIS ART BY SETH FISHER


  67. HELLBOY. Condition: Only those written and illustrated by Mike Mignola. Also, I think these books could be classified under the “reads best in trades” category. I picked up an issue in the middle of “Hellboy: Strange Places” and it just seemed too moody and a bit of a downer to me. I got the trade, and had the exactly opposite reaction. YES, reads better in trades.

    Hellboy brought me back into comics, it’s been mentioned by others in this thread and countless others, but not much on iFanboy’s podcast. Of course everybody knows about the movie, and the “Hellboy World” is still an ongoing series (BPRD) written at times by Mignola, but what about the books that started the whole thing going, written and illustratred by Mike Mignola? I know these go back to the late 90s, but they still manage to circulate, which is quite an accomplishment — years later people still love them. I know the iFanboys like to talk about current things…

    But where’s the Mignola Hellboy love?

    These are fantastically illustrated in a style like no other that summons up the atmosphere in a brilliant “Kirby meets Lovecraft” manner (that’s quite a strange combination, fantasically pulled off effortlessly by Mignola), are all deep in heavy folklore, but with a darkness that Sandman never really achieved (in my humble opinion), but still have a humorous, action packed edge to them.

    I never got into the BPRD post Mignola on art, because Mignola’s art here is just so darn good it’s hard for me to step down from the otherwordly, action packed excellence Mignola achieved on the page with his artwork, even though I know BPRD fans will now start throwing me hexes. And BPRD fans are legion, so how about a mention?

    These are the written and illustrated by Mignola Hellboy trades, in order:

    1) Hellboy: Seed of Destruction
    the orgin tale, with John Byrne as co-writer, who does not add except a bit too much wordiness. Mignola probably thought he needed Byrne to pull of a book on his own — thankfully he soon learned Byrne was not needed to do any writing. Much of the movie was loosely based on this one, although, as they say, the book is much, much better (even though I liked the movie). The movie is fun in it’s own way, but Mignola does not draw a page here, he conjures other worlds. This is not the best of the trades, which is an unfair comparison (the four star is not as good as the five star) but the necessary one to get started, and still pretty darn good.

    2) Hellboy: Wake the Devil
    This one is pretty fantastic, beyond five stars, continues the Hellboy Saga but thankfully w/o Byrne’s wordy attachments to the script. Here Mignola really cuts loose, and does some fantastic work. If you see that it’s about a vampire, don’t turn away thinking it’s run of the mill — I don’t think a story with a vampire has been quite this original, off beat, and really it’s much more about the vampire’s “mother,” who isn’t a vampire at all. And the vampire’s father? That guy is fantastic. I love that character.

    3) Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others
    Collection of wonderful short stories, many connected to Hellboy’s personal saga and past history (1945-1995) before the events of the “current” BPRD stories. This also has the “real origin” of Hellboy, which also stands a great short story on its own (how about that!). These stories fill in the mythos of the Hellboy world and Hellboy himself, while at the same time tell great stand alone stories.

    4) Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom
    Collects three shorter stories, but each connected in some way to Hellboy’s personal “Hand of Doom” saga. However, the stories stand on their own extremely well. Here again is Mignola just cutting loose, telling some fantastic stories, with fantastic art with a style all its own.

    5) Hellboy: Conqueror Worm
    All one story, this is the one that shot Lobster Johnson to stardom, and is just a great story, fantastically illustrated. Again, Mignola shows that in just a few pages or even just a few panel, he can summon forth occult forces and covey them in a way that took Lovecraft and others paragraphs and paragraphs, even though Mignola does it with a very sparse script.

    6) Hellboy: Strange Places
    This is Mignola, himself, basically dealing with the hanging thread of his own “Hellboy will bring Armageddon” plot device running through all these books. And, as usual, he does not by constantly replaying old events as you might see in other books, but by introducing fantastic new creatures and situations. In fact, the way Mignola is still able to keep a good deal of mystery to basic, recurring characters, themes and things really shows he is an excellent writer and artist in the best pulp tradition.

    In fact, as this is for Josh, who never mentions Hellboy, I just have to thrown down the OCCULT GAUNTLET here and ask: How can poor Constantine ever stand up to Hellboy? If somebody was looking for great occult stuff, I would point them in the direction of these Hellboy books first. Then…maybe, perhaps, oh maybe Constantine, maybe. A discussion of the best of the two compared might be nice. I think comparison of the two currently be released would be unfair, as both have run through a series of artists and writers of extremely varying quality. But how about a comparison of the best of the best? At the very least?

    That might be too much for the poor little man in the trenchcoat (throwing down the gauntlet here, a really big stone one at that).

    Hellboy’s publisher is Darkhorse. The combination of the best of indy styles and the best of the superhero styles is maybe what makes Hellboy so popular, but that’s just a guess.

  68. There are quite a few Manga recommendations here, and Lone Wolf and Cub is just ONE of those many. Just pointing something out, that’s all.

  69. Three books that haven’t been said yet but are hugely entertaining are:

    Halo & Sprocket: Welcome to Humanity by Kerry Callen. It’s a comedy comic about a twenty something girl who lives with a robot and an angel. Very sweet and charming. Unfortunetly there is only one trade. I wish there were more.

    The other two are from Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston:

    The Coffin, a sci-fi comic about a man whose soul is stuck in a suit of armor just before he dies. It delves into the mystical and philisophical but ultimately is about a father trying to protect his daughter.

    Deep Sleeper, the second collaboration from the team is about a writer that has nightmares about a world that can’t possibly be real but in actuality is. Deals with psychology, philosophy, and theology, but it’s also just a really great horror comic.

  70. The Mr. Sketchy Official Rainy Day Coloring Book is well, a coloring/activity book for adults, and it’s written/drawn by Molly Crabapple who is, well, a Burlesque dancer.

  71. I just finished reading Persepolis 1 & 2 by Marjane Satrapi. These two book tell the real story of the author from a young girl to an adult. Also parallels the story of Iran’s Revolution through her eyes. If you ever had an inkling to see what life was or is like in that part of the world I highly recommend these books. I believe it meets the criteria as being non-superhero (Marvel-DC), very inexpensive about $12usd a pop. The art is relatively simplistic at first glance but it is full of symbolism. From what I can gather from your tastes you will like these books.


  72. I just read Persepolis 1 & 2 and was quite impressed. I found learning about Iran’s history through this author’s eyes very addicting. I couldn’t put it down.

    I don’t know if this counts, but I’d recommend Eisner/Miller by Dark Horse Books. This is a 350-paged conversation between Will and Frank back in 2002. Considering the future Spirit movie in the works, Frank currently conquering Hollywood, and Will’s Spirit finding new life in Cooke’s hands, you learn a lot about how these great minds work their magic. A fascinating book really and one that current comicbook fans must read. Will passed away a few months before this book saw print in 2005. 🙁

  73. I thought of another good book, Evaristo: Deep City by Carlos Sampayo. It’s a crime noir story that follows this detective Evaristo. It’s been awile since I read it, but it’s good. It was printed in the large Graphic Novel format from the late 80s, and you’ll have to get it used because it’s not in print anymore.

  74. How about Fafhrd And The Gray Mouser. It’s written by Howard Chaykin with art by Mike Mignola. It’s a reprint by Dark Horse that was originally published by Epic (Marvel) in the ealry 90’s.

    Here’s a link.

    I haven’t read it yet so I’m not sure of how good it is, but with the combo of Chaykin and Mignola how could I go wrong!

  75. Arrived so far:

    Stagger Lee
    Flight Vol. 1

    Just shipped:

    Fun Home
    Gordon Yamamoto and the King of Geeks
    Exterminators Vol 1
    Strange Girl Vol 1
    Iron West

    Not shipped yet:
    Hellboy Vol 1 Seed of Destruction

    And that was all the money I had!

  76. I have Stagger Lee. I should read that sometime.

  77. WOW! Great choices, Josh. Sounds like you have a pretty full stack. I was going to mention one more, but with all that’s coming out weekly, and this, who knows when you’ll find the time to read all this, talk about it on the podcast (and pay for it…).

    If you finish Hellboy Vol. 1 Seed of Destruction, and think “Well, it wasn’t all THAT wonderful” remember this is the one where Mignola thought he needed John Byrne, which (IMO) resulted in a script more wordy than it needed to be. The second “Wake the Devil” is much more Mignola all on his own, and the sparse script that results is refreshing, and is ALL THAT and more.

    I was also going to recommend one that I got from someone here, that I passed on to someone here, who liked it, but you have your pile of stuff already so consider this for others, or for some other future rainy day:

    The Iron Ghost: Gheist Reich by Chuck Dixon.

    The art is on the “sketchy and unfinished” side, unlike a lot of hyper realistic “posed” stuff (like McNiven or Hitch), but I think the art really coveys the action scenes through a series of panels much more effectively than McNiven does through one of his big and somewhat static splash pages.

    The Iron Ghost has pretty much flown under the radar, Chuck Dixon writing for Image, but it has gone sneaked its way from iFanboy regular to iFanboy regular through recommendations, and so far as I know, nobody’s been disappointed yet… Aaron sent me a review of the book after I recommended it and he liked it, which is kind of funny — it’s the kind of negative review one would love to get, because it’s hard to find what fault he finds with the book. I guess it’s that Dixon channelled the vibe of the old pulp characters…and set his story back in time? Under this criteria, The New Frontier would be a bad, so I can’t quite figure out the opinion of the reviewer (it was a fun book, is that bad?), but this does give you a very good idea of what kind of book it is without spoiling any of the story…

    Like I said, a recommendation to save for a rainy day, or for anyone else out there looking for something new to read: