Trade Wars: This Month’s Recommendation: ‘Earthboy Jacobus’

I thought of something, and I wanted to see how it goes. There are a lot of trades and graphic novels out there that I never get a chance to read, because I don’t know to look for them. So my habit has become to wait for the San Diego Comic-Con, and then buy all the cool indie trades I can find that look interesting. But I only do that once a year, and I didn’t go last year. So I thought we could do a semi-regular feature where we recommend trades to each other. I’m mostly talking about smaller, lesser known work, but we’ll take whatever’s good. One of the things we’re most proud of here is when we hear that someone got turned on to a new book by hanging out on the site, or listening to the podcast. So let’s see if we can go it one better.

My recommendation today, is Earthboy Jacobus, which I got as a present from a good friend who always knows where to find good new material.

I’m about halfway through this book, which was done by the guy who created Earthworm Jim, Doug Tennapel. It’s got big bold cartoon lines, and a really imaginative style that I find to be great fun to read. I’m only one chapter in, but it’s really fun to read and I have no idea where it’s going. If you see it in the comic shop, and you’re looking for something to read, flip through the pages and check it out.

If anyone wants to briefly drop a recommendation of a good trade or OGN you’ve read recently, please do. I’m looking for something new.


  1. I’ve come across Doug Tennapel’s name before while searching for new trades to read on Amazon. It seems he’s got a really fervent fanbase. I don’t know anything about him myself, though. Wasn’t Earthworm Jim a videogame? I can picture him, but I have no idea whether he was a cartoon or a videogame.

  2. I have just started “Yossel” by Joe Kubert. Last night I got about twenty pages into it when the lights went out. So far so good. It is a What If story about what could have happened had his family stayed in Poland in the early 40’s.

    I have eye-ing “Blankets” by Craig Thompson whenever I go to Barnes & Noble. I can’t bring myself to spend the $30 though. Has anyone read it? Is it worth that much or should I wait until I see it somewhere cheaper?

  3. Amazon price for Blankets: 18.87. If you were my friend in person, I’d buy it for you. Just get it. It’s lovely.

    Speaking of Kubert, I just finished up Jew Gangster, his new book. It was ok. It didn’t bring anything new to the whole 20’s mafia thing, outside of Judaism. Whatever. It’s going on ebay.

  4. I enjoyed Blankets. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed it. I think Ron really liked it and Josh didn’t. But if you can get it for like $20, it’s worth it.

  5. I liked it, although I didn’t love it – it was a bit much on the “jesus” stuff for my personal tastes, but it was more good than bad. I gotit from Amazon out of my gold box for like 14 bucks

  6. Give JMS’s “Midnight Nation” a try. Very good.

  7. Now I just have a question on the type of trades for the same book. What I mean is when they release diffrent trade versions of the same story. A great example of this is “Strangers in Paradise.” There are the normal paper back trades of the 10×6 where’s all used to, but then there are these pockets size ones, though smaller, like maybe 5×4 have ALOT more of the stories inside them, like the entire Vol. 1, and it runs for $14.99. What does everyone perfer. Smaller but more? or Bigger but less? Personally I’m all for more stories in a smaller package

  8. I also really enjoyed Blankets. There is a bit of religious discussion, but it isn?t preachy, it is more just describing what his life was like as a teenager. The whole book just seemed very real and honest (which I am sure it is). I like Craig Thompson?s art too.

  9. Ah, San Diego Comic-Con. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

    Anyway, onto the trade discussion. I’m not really much into the indie pool, but I do have one particular ‘Trade’ which I do love. It’s called ‘Disposable Parts’ by a webcomics collective called ‘Bagofchips’. Now, what this trade is, is that every webcomic author had to write a small, self-contained story about a robot. Simple enough. It’s a really fun read, and definitely worth taking a look at.

    I would also highly reccomend the Oni Press book ‘Scott Pilgrim’. It’s a zany manga-esque book, about a guy and a girl with seven evil-boyfriends whom the guy must fight. It’s only up to 2 volumes so far, but they are really enjoyable reads. Anybody else read this?

  10. Blankets is worth reading if only because it seems to be one of the milestones in OGNs that you can give to people who don’t read comics as an example of what the medium can do. I didn’t love it. I recognize the skill in it. I think Thompson just came off as a bit whiny and I got a little sick of his insecurities.

    The jesus aspect of it wasn’t preaching at all. It was the world he grew up in, and hence it was who he, the character was. And they were into him good too. So I found that part of it to be honest. If you’re uncomfortable with religion like that, I can see how that would be less enjoyable reading.

    As far as the Strangers In Paradise, there are several versions of that book out. The smaller books with have more story for the dollar, but they’re smaller. If that bugs you, there are bigger trades collecting the arcs. There are also absurdly beautiful hardback books. I’d say, the small ones are a great way to get into the story.

    Oni is always good for a bit of diversion from the norm as well.

    This is great folks. Thanks for all the posts. We’ll definitely bring this up again, but keep it going for now.

  11. I was gonna say the same thing. It’s not as if Thompson made the book to get you into Jesus, it’s just the portrayal of the life he grew up around. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.

  12. I got into “Y the last man” too late to go with the monthly issues so I have been picking it up in trade and it is really good, not that you didn’t know from listening to the podcast. I also like the first two Teen Titans and Astonishing X-men. and I just bought volume one and two of Batman: HUSH! I know that TT and X-men are well known comics but i still wanted to mention them and HUSH I know from all I have heard is good. But now i have to print out this article and the comments and take them to the Pittsburgh comicon and see what i can find.

  13. I forgot. Has anyone besides the guys on the show heard of that comic Sleepers and have you read the trade? That was going to be on my list but I was hoping to hear more about it.

  14. Am I the only one that was really disappointed with Hush?

  15. I liked Hush for the most part. It kept me interested for the whole run. The ending was anti-climactic though.

    One other related thing. I am not a big fan of Jason Todd coming back in general. It would have been cool if he’d realy been Hush, but it was Clayface. OK, that’s not a bad twist in the middle of the series, but then 18 issues later Jason Todd really does come back? If you were going to bring him back from the dead, why didn’t you really do it in an event like Hush? It’s like it gave them the idea to bring him back, but in a much less interesting way. It might have made Hush a more exciting ending if after the 12 issues he’d have been revealed as Jason Todd. It’s like they pulled their punch and them later regretted it and tried it but by that time (as Austin Powers says) “That train had sailed”…

  16. I really like The Losers by Andy Diggle & Jock. Once you start it you don’t want it to end.

  17. I’d reccomend Flight Vol 1 and 2 (more 2 though) from Image. Also from one of the contributers of Flight is Daisy Kutter. A very nice light sci fi western.

  18. Josh, what did you end up thinking of Earthboy? I really liked it, incredibly imaginitive stuff. A previous work of Tennapel’s is in the same vein, Creature Tech. It’s sort of a Men in Black type thing. He also has a much shorter one called Tommysaurus Rex which is pretty different, very sentimental story, kinda like Calvin and Hobbes. Does some neat stuff with the artwork!

  19. Actually, I just found the time to finish it last night. You’re not kidding when you use the word imaginative. I also really liked how he just dropped you in there without much explanation, sorta like what happened to Chief in the book. Then there was the idea that they skipped head in time a couple of times, and I really liked that as well. It let him tell a vaster story in a small amount of time. It was really well done overall. I’ll definitely read more of his work.

  20. Check out “Runoff” from Oddgod press. It’s worth searching out.

  21. Cool, glad you liked it! His next book actually just got listed on Amazon:

  22. It’s a Western!

  23. Better: a ROBOT western 😉

  24. Like diamonds to a woman..

  25. I just got the book Black Hole and the first New Mutants trade from Amazon. CAN’T WAIT.
    Black Hole is huuuuuuuuuuuuge

  26. Black Hole is creepy and unsettling, but oh so excellent. And the art is fantastic. You should enjoy it.

  27. I’ve heard really good things about Black Hole, and I love how they made it look like a regular book. That’s on my list.

  28. I just finished the first Astonishing X-Men trade. Wow. Woooooooooooooooooooooow. The Whedon’s dialogue is too goddamn good to believe.

    “What’s this all about?”
    “Superpowers, a scintillating wit and the best body money can buy… and I still rate below a corpse.”