Indie Comics Coming Attractions for February 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.

I know I keep banging on these things, but it just blows my mind that some publishers (ahem, TokyoPop and Vertical) would have no information about a book on their website in the month it's solicited. 

Ghostface Vol. 1
Order Code: Unknown
Publisher: TokyoPop
Details: SC, 140pgs, Color
Price: $17.99

I'm including Ghostface on this month's list with some reservations. I'm including it at all because writer/artist Min-Woo Hyung's manwa Priest is a terrific action/horror comic with amazing battles and set-pieces. I've got reservations, though, because Hyung took long breaks from that book, admitted publicly to being bored with it, and never really finished it, instead just letting it fade out. Still, if you're willing to take a risk, Hyung's new series about a island-prison that houses the most evil criminals looks intriguing.



Ghost Lines Primer Edition
Order Code: FEB110892
Publisher: Creators Edge Press
Details: SC, 24pgs, Color
Price: $2.99

This is a teaser book designed to hype the forthcoming graphic novel from writer Mark Bertolini and artist Carl Yonder. The solicitation is a little confusing — "When [serial killers] can't be caught, a Stand-In is created to take their place;" I'm not clear on what that means exactly — but it sound intriguing enough that it might justify $3.



Liar's Kiss
Order Code: FEB111167
Publisher: Top Shelf
Details: SC, 120pgs, B&W
Price: $14.95

Eric Skillman and Jhomar Soriano have a classic crime set-up: a P.I. who gets in over his head when he falls for the woman he's surveilling. When her husband is killed, the P.I. has to clear the woman. Sounds like fun to me (the comic that is, not clearing the name of the woman you're having an affair with after she's accused of killing her husband).



The Lychee Light Club Vol. 1
Order Code: FEB111189
Publisher: Vertical
Details: SC, 320pgs, B&W/Color
Price: $16.95

I'm not 100% clear on what Usamaru Furuya's manga is about, exactly, but it's touted as a horror/comedy that combines Grand Guignol theater with modern-day pop culture, which sounds like it could be fun. It's a good value, too–320 pages for $17.
(Fuller description from my colleague Deb Aoki here, which makes it sound even better.)



Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
Order Code: FEB111011
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Details: SC, 368pgs, B&W
Price: $24.95

Shigeru Mizuki's semi-autobiographical story of a Japanese infantry unit in the final weeks of World War II. The unit is ordered to die in battle, or die in disgrace if they refuse. Not a pleasant choice. The book is part of Japan's '60/'70s gekiga manga movement, of which Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life, The Push Man, and Abandon the Old in Tokyo) was a leader, which produced some good books.



Vanguard Frazetta Classics Volume 1: Johnny Comet
Order Code: FEB111183
Publisher: Vanguard Productions
Details: SC, 224pgs, B&W/Color
Price: $24.95

The month's history-of-comics reprint book. The first volume of Frazetta's strip about car-racer Johnny Comet, shot from Frazetta's original artists proofs. The Sunday strips are in full color, too. This is early Frazetta, not the fully developed artist whose amazing paintings later graced the covers of Eerie, Creepy, and others. Still, if you're into comics history, this should be an interesting work.



Zombie Tales Omnibus
Order Code: FEB110860
Publisher: Boom Studios
Details: SC, 224pgs, Color
Price: $19.99

Combines the earlier two volumes of Boom's zombie anthology series, with work from Mark Waid, Steve Niles, Keith Giffen, William Mesner-Loebs, Joe R. Lansdale, and many others. I'm not a big zombie fan, but some of these shorts are innovative and creepy–and worth a read.


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 nearly 500 pages of free comics.

Split Lip vol. 3 is now available from pre-order directly from Sam. You get all kinds of nice things when you pre-order. Sam thinks you should.


Other iFanboy Posts by Sam Costello

On My Own in Indie Comics Series:


Indie Comics Coming Attractions Series:


  1. Liar’s Kiss looks excellent. Sold!

  2. Onward to Our Noble Deaths sounds to be an interesting story. Also an interesting concept of having it look cartoony when the subject matter is so adult.

    See? Thanks to articles on the web like this I can find comics that seem interesting and order them…..Was that so difficult? 

  3. Liars kiss and zombie tales sound great!

  4. From what I’ve read of his, Mark Bertolini is a solid writer with a good sense of paciing and dialogue. I’m looking forward to reading Ghost Lines.

  5. Liar’s Kiss looks great.

  6. Pre-order? Hell no! If my LCS doesn’t have it then I’m certainly not going to an extraordinary effort like that to get it etc etc.

    I’m glad someone on here doesn’t think seeking out indie books and pre-ordering is too much work.

    Liar’s Kiss, Ghost Lines and Zombie Tales look good to me.

  7. Liar’s Kiss cover looks amazing. I know i’ve asked before, but is it in any way possible to post an interior page or two as well so we can have a look at the art? That would add so much to the recommendation.

    @deadspace  –Graphic Novels and trades are COMPLETELY different from direct market floppies. I can usually find those at will on Amazon and order quite often. Frankly if its not on Amazon for sale, then it basically does not exist. One of my good friends is getting his indie kickstarter book on Amazon…its gonna be great.

  8. @wally they’re not completely different when the subject is pre-ordering. “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.” Exact same can be said for single issues. See the first article in this series and read the “Why Pre-order” bit. Also, Ghost Lines Premier Edition listed here is just a 24 page single issue. And you’ll go to amazon but not ebay? 

  9. @deadspace  —buying from Amazon supports the publisher and creators with a real sale that goes back to them. Buying from ebay does not. if its still in print, you are taking a sale away from the creator and publisher and just enabling hoarders/scalplers to take product off the market thats not being enjoyed. 

  10. @wally — i’m not talking about buying 2nd hand off ebay. i’m talking about retailers that have an ebay store. retailers that buy in from diamond just like your lcs, except they sell online instead of on the high street. retailers that sell via “but-it-now” rather than to the highest bidder. in what way is that worse than amazon or much more work than amazon?

    Just to be clear – if your lcs doesn’t have a gn or trade you’ll buy from amazon but if your lcs doesn’t have a monthly then the system has failed and you won’t seek it out elsewhere (eg ebay)?