Indie Comics Coming Attractions for March 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.


This was the first month since I started doing this column in which I actually had to cut items from the list, rather than scrounge to find a decent number. With new work from Dave McKean (!!), Paul Hornschemeier, Brian Chippendale, and others who didn't make the column for one reason or another, this is a fantastic month to be buying outside the Big Two. I try to spend less than $40 a month on comics, but it wouldn't be hard to spend $100 this month and still not get everything worth having.


Order Code: MAR111129
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Details: HC, 232 pgs, Color
Price: $35.00

Dave McKean is probably best known to most comics fans for the covers he provided to Neil Gaiman's Sandman. But those (amazing) pieces aren't all he does: he also makes comics, though somewhat infrequently. His last major comics work, Cages, came out more than a decade ago (though a new edition was released in the last year or two) and was, as I remember, a fantastic book. Don't expect Celluloid–an erotic graphic novel, according to the description–to look like a Sandman cover but, if you've got the spare $35, it's likely to be very much worth the purchase.



If n OofIf 'n' Oof
Order Code: MAR111222
Publisher: Picturebox
Details: SC, 800 pgs, B&W
Price: $29.95

If you're reading this column to get suggestions for indie comics to try, do not start with If 'n' Oof. Not because it's bad–Chippendale (who's also the drummer in the noise band Lightning Bolt) is considered one of art/alt.comix' leading lights; and with good reason–but because it's likely to be more challenging that someone who is coming fresh to this kind of comic will enjoy (check out the preview to see what I mean). That said, if you've got some art comic experience, or are aesthetically adventurous, the 800 page (yes, that's correct) softcover offers "the misadventures of the mismatched eponymous duo Chippendale's, very own Laurel and Hardy" that are bound to please.




Life with Mr. Dangerous
Order Code: MAR111331
Publisher: Villard Books
Details: HC, 160 pgs, Color
Price: $22

This book by writer/artist Paul Hornschemeier was originally serialized in Fantagraphics alt.comix life with dangerousanthology Mome. I haven't read any of this beyond the first chapter, but it's about a twentysometing girl whose "her past and present romantic life are a mess and the only person she truly cares about lives half the country away in San Francisco. As a result, she finds herself spending too much time watching a cartoon, Mr. Dangerous." After Hornschemeier's trimuphs in Mother, Come Home, The Three Paradoxes, Return of the Elephant, and Forlorn Funnies, everything he does bears buying.



The Next Day
Order Code: MAR111223
Publisher: Pop Sandbox
Details: SC, 140 pgs, B&W
Price: $16.95

Not a light read this one, but an important one. Writers Paul Peterson and Jason Gilmore, and artist John (King Cat Comics) Porcellino, build stories from actual interviews with survivors of suicide attempts and address the question of what might have happend if they'd waited one more day. The book's accompanied by an online animated experience that lets users interact with the interview material.



no girls allowedNo Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom, and Adventure
Order Code: MAR111177
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Details: SC, 80 pgs, B&W
Price: $8.95
Preview (click on "spread")

This might be a great bet for those of you with daughters who like comics. It tells seven true biographical stories of women who dressed as men to achive goals. Stretching across history, from ancient Egypt to the Middle Ages, the stories look to promise action, adventure, intrigue, and education. Looks like a fun book.



Paying For It
Order Code: MAR111105
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Details: HC, 288 pgs, B&W
Price: $24.95

Sure to be one of the most commented on, controversial, and challenging comics of the year, this is paying for itwriter/artist Chester Brown's autobiographical account of his experiences with prostitutes. And not just his experiences, but why he's in favor of it. I suspect this may be an uncomfortable and polarizing book this year, but Brown's other works–Louis Riel, Ed the Happy Clown, I Never Liked You–are well respected and well liked.





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. I love Chester Brown, and have been looking forward to Paying For It for a long time.  Both his autobiographical books, and his portrait of Louis Riel rank high on my list of favorite comics ever! Like his friend and fellow cartoonist, Joe Matt, he has a way of being incredibly honest about his life, and especially his private disires and urges, without coming off as too pathetic or unrelatable. Also, he has an extremely expressive storytelling-style, and a unique way of structuring his books, that he has perfected over the years. 
    This is maybe his most controversial work to date, and I look forward to his approach to the subject, and how he will balance it with his personal experiences. 

  2. @cav  Cool, I will give Chester Brown a try. I remember showing a strip of Joe Matt to some colleagues and receiving a cold resception, it was funny.

  3. I think Chester Brown’s new title will be tame compared to Joe Matt’s recent collection, Spent which focused on his addiction to porn, masturbuting 20+ times a day (WTF) and his somewhat considering videotape collection.  Not for the faint fo heart, but still highly recommended.