Indie Comics Coming Attractions for October 2010

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.


Why Pre-Order

There’s a long answer—if you want the full mechanics, let me know and I’ll cover it next month—but the bottom line is this: your pre-order directly contributes to the success of every comic.

In this tough comics economy, pre-orders can be the difference between success and a failure, which can mean the difference between a creator continuing making a book or dropping it in favor of paying work.

So, if you want an indie book to succeed, pre-ordering is the best way to ensure it continues.

And, most retailers offer discounts on pre-orders, so you’ll not only support creators, you’ll save money. Can you beat that?


What I’ll Cover and What I Won’t

This column will run every month, spotlighting the best and most interesting indie comics available for order in the Diamond Previews catalog.

Every month I’ll recommend the books that I know to be great, suspect are great, or just look likely to be good.

Since I come from the indie scene, that’s what I want to support. I’ll only be covering indie publishers. This means I’m skipping books from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, and IDW. Not because there’s anything wrong with them, just because smaller books need more support.

As a creator of original stories and characters, I’m tired to death of seeing indie comics rehash other people’s ideas. I’m not interested in promoting that. I’m only interested in promoting original ideas, ideas with real meat to them.

I won’t recommend adaptations of books and movies, extremely high-concept stories, proof-of-concepts designed to sell movie deals, and taking iconic or real-life characters (Sherlock Holmes, HP Lovecraft, Abe Lincoln, etc.) and using them as fictional characters.

Again, not necessarily anything wrong with those books, but I’m not interested in promoting them here. And hey, this is my column.


Indie Comics Pre-Orders for October 2010

Here are the indie comics I recommend that you pre-order in October 2010.


a small killing, by moore and zarate


Order code:
Publisher: AC Comics
Details: 140pgs, B&W
Price: $29.95

This is a nice-sized collection of pre-Code horror comics with art by legends like Alex Toth, Steve Ditko, and Joe Maneely. If you dig classic or horror comics, this should be right up your alley.


Order code: STAR19589
Publisher: Avatar
Details: SC, 104pgs, FC
Price: $16.95

Not a new book, but one of Alan Moore’s lesser-known works that merits a lot of attention. A chilling tale of an ad exec stalked by an evil child, who turns out to be something other than we expect. It features great painted art by Oscar Zarate. This edition adds new commentary.


Order code:
Publisher: Desperado
Details: 200pgs, B&W
Price: $19.95

The classic short-story comics anthology from the 90s that helped introduce creators like Brian Michael Bendis and Frank Quitely, while also featuring established types like Moore and Neil Gaiman. Very much worth it if you appreciate short comics.


freeway, by mark kalesnikoFREEWAY
Order code:
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Details: SC, 416 pgs, BW
Price: $28.99

Mark Kalesniko has created some terrific mainstream fiction-style graphic novels, including Mail Order Bride. This one fictionalizes a job stint at Disney. While I’m not thrilled by the solicitation touting “insider information on two generations of animators,” Kalesniko’s work has been strong enough to merit a look.


Order code:
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Details: SC, 232pgs, FC
Price: $22.95

An anthology of comics adaptations of stories about Native American trickster figures. I don’t have a ton of knowledge about the anthology beyond that, but it’s so unusual in the world of comics that I think it deserves some support.


Order code:
Publisher: KSA Publishing
Details: SC, 96pgs, PC
Price: $19.95

the lodger, by karl stevensWriter/artist Karl Stevens (those in New England will know his work in the Boston Phoenix) creates beautiful, incisive slice-of-life stories about people in their 20s. This one covers a guy dealing with heartbreak after getting kicked out of his apartment by his girlfriend and moving in with a college professor.


Order code:
Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
Details: SC, 128pgs, B&W
Price: $10.00

It’s not 100% clear to me that this is comics—it may be prose with some illustrations or light comics—and Microcosm doesn’t have any information about it on its website. Still, the inclusion of art from Nate Powell (Please Release, Tiny Giants, Swallow Me Whole) means it at least deserves a look.


Order code:
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Details: SC, 88pgs, FC
Price: $16.00

This challenging story about a child abduction by writer/artist Dan Clowes (Wilson, Eightball, Ghost World) is likely to be one of the best comics you’ll read this year, or next. And probably the year after, too.



About Sam Costello

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.

Coincidentally, Split Lip vol. 3 is now available from pre-order directly from Sam.


Other iFanboy Posts by Sam Costello

On My Own in Indie Comics Series:


  1. I like this. Muchly.

  2. Sam, thanks for this.  I’m really looking forward to this as a regular column.  I buy a lot from the big publishers, but really have no idea what to look for from indies.  This should be an excellent resource.

  3. Sam, thanks for this. Are there way to see previews of any of the indies you will suggesting? is it a go out and find it yourself type of venture? Buying indies often scares me as I’m not sure what i am getting into is really going to be for me. The Lodger does sound intriguing.

  4. Great idea for a new column. Nice work, Sam!

  5. Pre Ordering is another example of how the comics industry is completely messed up. What other business model depends on people buying an unknown product sight unseen in order for it to be a success?

    Is there a way to see the interior art of these books? You never get to browse through indies because no one ever stocks them.  

    Ice Haven has been out for a while hasn’t it? I got my copy months ago. Its a really great Daniel Clowes book thats fun to read.  

  6. Great idea!

  7. I cannot begin to express how psyched I am about this new feature! This gives me a few days to add items to the Previews order before I have to give to my LCS. THANKYOUTHANKYOU!

  8. Sam: I hope you’ll be covering some standard $3-$4 books we don’t know about, too!

  9. Great column idea.  Will definitly be keeping an eye on this.

  10. This is a great idea!!!

  11. Thank you thank you thank you!  I’ve been wanting to try out other forms of indie comics and this is a great way to do that.  I’m going to be looking forward to this one each month!

  12. Thanks for the great response everyone! I’m looking forward to doing this every month.

    @WeaklyRoll – Good point. I’ll do my best to link to online previews, where available, in upcoming columns. 

    @Wally – I totally agree. It’s very strange to have an industry where pre-orders can determine whether something even gets published. And yes, Ice Haven has been out for a few years. I’m not limiting my coverage to new things. I’ll write on anything in Previews in a given month.

    @HailScott – When I see $3-$4 books that look good to me, I’ll definitely include them. It just happened that the things that caught my eye this month were TPBs.

  13. This was pretty cool, thanks!


    Vaguely related: after all his cranky pontificating, is anyone else soured on Alan Moore, now? 

  14. ICE HAVEN!!!!!  WOOT WOOT!!!!  I love Ice Haven.

  15. Awesome, awesome.  Thank you.  I’ve been waiting for a column like this for many moons.

  16. Just as long as no one preorders CROSSED or Neonomicon, I think the world will be ok. Because I’m seriously nautious from those. Like watching Human Centipede over and over.

  17. The Killer Vol 3 is what I shall be grabbing.