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Review: The Beatles in Comics

The Beatles in Comics

I remember the first time I heard of the Beatles. It was when I discovered vinyl for the firs time. I was six years old and enamored with the way they looked. One of my parents many records in their collection was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. When my Mom first put the record on there was no more distinct and beautiful a sound than that first spark you hear when the needle touches the record. When the music came on Ringo’s drumming and Paul and John’s vocals sounded like nothing I ever heard before.

I instantly understood why these luminaries influenced so many artists to this day. As the magic of “Yesterday,” says all you need to know of how poetic they were and for the surviving members, still are. Their dexterity when it came to speak to tapping on the nerve of the times and still making these songs timeless, is almost unfair. Their combined talents are enough to day for a supergroup. In this collection of stories and practical love letters to the group, Beatles In Comics, gives fans, a rare rendering of who these men were and are, and how hey still leave an indelible mark on music fans everywhere.

In” John, Paul & George,” we get to see how the initial band was formed. These three young men became a band and friends over their love of music. In “Astrid Kirchher,” we get to know the photographer who took their first professional photos and her impression of each band member. In “The Man who refused to sign the Beatles,” we find out about Mike Smith and how he thought they would not amount to much outside of Liverpool. In “The Queen’s Rebels,” we get a personal account of the very first time they played in front of Queen Elizabeth. In “The Ed Sullivan Show,” we get to see first hand how Beatlemania had taken over America and how they were one of Sullivan’s most popular guests. In “Yesterday,” we find about the genesis of this eternally loved song, one which has created many pale covers. In “The Beatles and Elvis,” talks about this rare meeting of the titans at Graceland.  In “New Musical Horizons,” we find out about the group’s experimenting with drugs, specifically LSD. In “Goodbye Brian,” the band loses their longtime manager and who was considered the “Fifth Beatle” as he is found dead at his house. As they struggle to move forward and record their first flop of an album. In “Yoko Ono,” John meets his soulmate and muse, Yoko, as this is also what lead ultimately to their breakup. In the last story I will highlight, “Post Beatles,” we find out what exactly happened to each member after their breakup and just how fractured their relationships became.

Overall, an engrossing and articulate collection of stories which captures the spirit of the group and the love the world had for them. The stories by Michels Mabel are well researched and endearing. The art by the different artists gives fans a gorgeous kaleidoscope of images to see the band through. Altogether, one of the best books about this gifted group and just how they affected everyone around them.

Story: Michels Mabel
Art: Lu-K, Vox, Anne Sophie Servantie, Ludivine Stock, Amandine Puntous, Romuald Gleyse, Julien Lamanda, Efix, Pierre Brallon, Ben Lebegue, Anthony Audibert, Bloop, Victor Gimenez, Akita, Laurent Houssin, Richard Di Martino, Piero Ruggeri et Filipo Neri, Martin Trystram, Clement Baloup, Edwna Cosmet et Christophe Billard, Patrick Lacan, Virginie De Lambert, Joel Alessandra and Odile Santi

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Satania

As a fan of movies, I tend to get wrapped up in movies where the central character undergoes a change. The genre that this usually occurs in, are coming of age movies, as we see the main character become who they are through life’s usual struggles. Then there is the action-adventure genre, where the main character, must step out of their shell, to do something greater than themselves. As these are the two most prominent genres, where it occurs, most don’t usually think the horror genre.

Come to think about it, growing up, the few horror movies I watched, like the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, the ones who survived to the end, those characters became stronger, because they lived despite Freddie Krueger. Another prominent more recent feature, is The Descent, a 2005 movie, about a group of women, who while on vacation, go on a trip exploring caves, where they meet blood thirsty creatures. The terror the film brought on the viewer, was more psychological, which in my opinion, is scarier, simply because it can happen to anyone. In Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet’s Satania, all the protagonists undergo both a psychological and physical change.

In the opening pages, we meet Charlie, who is looking for her brother who has been lost for months searching for proof that Hell exists. As her search party follows her brother’s footsteps, each member gets affected, in different ways. Eventually, they find out Hell is worse than what they ever imagined, and not everyone survives. By book’s end, there is only one person standing, and she is forever changed.

Overall, a book that reminds of the recent movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game, as the austerity of the female protagonist in both, is what drives the story. The story by Fabien Vehlmann is visceral and sophisticated. The art Kerascoet by is vivid and layered. Overall, this book will subvert your perceptions from cover to cover.

Story: Fabien Vehlmann Art: Kerascoet
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

NBM Publishing’s Releases in February 2018


Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa

David becomes increasingly more desperate, with his extreme behaviour causing fights with everyone who cares for him: with the devilish Mr Black and the saintly Mr White and even with his loving parents. But his quest goes on, driving him to break the rest of the 10 commandments in order to draw out the elusive divinity to face a grief stricken man. Until, finally, he is faced with the most serious commandment all: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’
Will he do it? Or will God stop him?

6×9, 112pp., B&W trade pb., $12.99, ISBN 9781681121178, e-book: $7.99
Diamond Order Code DEC171696

And if you missed it, vol.1 of this fascinating questioning of faith:


Volume One of Two

Sean Michael en David loses his wife and child in a tragic car accident he decides, in anger at the cruelty of the event, to turn against God. He sets out to systematically break each of the Ten Commandments in order to both spite God and to get his attention! But will he go all the way, and break the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’? Two mysterious figures, Mr White and Mr Black, try to win David over to their side: the religious or the humanistic. Deeply sad in parts and comical in others, this modern story explores age old questions: Is there a God? And if there is, does that God care about us

6×9, 112pp., B&W trade pb., $12.99, ISBN 9781681120218
Diamond Order Code DEC171697

Review: The Mercenary Volume 1 The Cult of the Sacred Fire

Seven Samurai is one of those films that both film snobs and general film fans both agree is a classic. It sounds simple enough of a premise, as a band of mercenaries are hired to protect a village from invaders. What usually gets lost in people’s description of the movie, is the powerful performances by the seven men who inhabit the key protagonists. Each of their motivations, are different at the beginning but become singular at the very end.

Most “hired guns” in literature usually resemble the archetype of the anti-hero, a person whose moral compass is hard to read, the most infamous one being, Spike Spiegel, from Cowboy Bebop. I remember the first time I saw the show, it was like nothing else I have seen on television, as here was a protagonist that did not care about doing the right thing and would never get caught up committing acts of self-sacrifice. Few characters act like this, as most writers likely imbue their characters some sense of principles, as they may find readers are attracted to protagonists who act like this, but characters like Spiegel, draw interest because they are amoral.  The title character in The Mercenary Volume 1: The Cult of The Sacred Fire, a man who totally concerned about doing his job only

Within the firs few pages, we find out that he has been contracted to rescue a young woman from a dangerous cult. He finds hers danged naked from a cliff, which is a trap, as he rescues her but gets chased by a legion of interceptors, who they escape but scathed. We find the mercenary and the escapee finding alternate ways to reach back to her husband, where finds treachery and must flee to rescue another young woman, who is being imprisoned by a strange cult. By book’s end, the cut is more than it first seems, and although he saves the young woman he was contracted to save, many live are lost in the wake of his actions.

Overall, an excellent adventure book, which is classic sword and sorcery, using classic tropes within the genre to create an enjoyable tale. The story by Vicente Segrelles is wall to wall action, as the hero faces all along the way. The art by Segrelles is feel likes matte paintings as every panel is quite gorgeous. Altogether, an engaging book abbreviated enough for any reader to take a short trip.

Story: Vicente Segrelles Art: Vicente Segrelles
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Pride of the Decent Man

Redemption, is a hard road to travel for most people. Every person, whether they are inherently good or bad, tend to feel at some point, that they must pay for past mistakes. These things can haunt you for years and you may never gain the redemption you seek. The older we get, the more these things weigh on us and eventually become a burden.

For ex-convicts, this burden is an even heavier weight for one to carry as society doesn’t not even deem regular citizens. They usually have a harder time getting a job and don’t usually have the right to vote. Their reintroduction to normal life and to their families is another trial they suffer as well. In T.J. Kirsch’s Pride of the Decent Man, one such person endures a life where one wrong turn makes a him a convict and his life is forever changed.

In the opening pages, we meet Andrew, a young man growing up in a sleepy New England town to a toxic family. He often retreats to writing when his Dad gets angry but that doesn’t always protect him from being abused. He eventually gets in enough trouble to land himself in jail and as he is released years later, he finds out he has a daughter, which leads them to look for each other. By book’s end, what lead to him to jail comes full circle and one of them was not going to see tomorrow.

Overall, a great book, which leaves you heartbroken yet thankful for all the right steps you have taken. The story by T.J. Kirsch is beautiful and memorable. The art by Kirsch is eye catching and haunting. Altogether, a journey will leave you choked up as it makes you remember that for every right decision in life, there is also a right one.

Story: T.J. Kirsch Art: T.J. Kirsch
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Billie Holiday OGN

The first time I ever heard of Billie Holiday was a record my grandad had, he used to talk about he heard her sing live so many years ago. I was seven years old, the first time, as he used to put on his vinyl records on all the time, which he kept in immaculate condition. I wish I knew where those records are now, as the quality of those recordings, he crisp snap of vinyl and the way music was made, was true alchemy. Although he had many records by many different artists, not too many trances like Ms. Holiday, especially on songs like Body and Soul.

Her voice, told of so much truth, heartbreak, love, hope, despair, weariness, struggle, and the eternal cycle of the beautiful struggle. Her record is my connection to him but to also to my childhood, something that I find myself constantly reaching back to. It was not until I read her book (Lady Sings the Blues) and saw the movie based on her life starring Diana Ross, did I understand where all those emotions came from and how resilient she was despite life’s many obstacles. So, when I heard that there was a graphic biography based on her life, I instantly was drawn to this book.

In this book, the reader is first introduced to her through her music, which is her legacy but soon fast forwards to a reporter doing a story on her thirty years after her death. The reader gets into the tragic aspects of her life, her being a child prostitute, her multiple addictions, and her bad luck with men. The book gets into her many relationships and her many run-ins with the law, as her life ended with her in a hospital handcuffed to the bed as she was under arrest. The book ends, with her legacy in full retrospect, as the two men in her life left living pay their respects.

Overall, a heart wrenching glimpse into an iconic and somewhat mythical figure, whose likeness and music. The story by Muñoz is heartbreaking and gives her the respect that is long been overdue. The art by Sampayo is prominent, and uses the color of black like no artist I have seen before. Altogether, an excellent graphic memoir, that pulls no punches and will leave the reader breathless.

Story: Jose Muñoz Art: Carlos Sampayo
Translation: Katy MacRae, Robert Boyd, and Kim Thompson

Around the Tubes – Injustice 2, Digital Comic Therapy, and NBM

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots on tap. But, while you wait for things to kick off, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – March: Book Three wins big at the Annual Glyph Awards – Congrats to all of the winners!

The Atlantic – The Power of Digital-Comic Therapy in Schools – An interesting read.

Publisher’s Weekly – Graphic Novels Publisher NBM Turns 40 – Congrats!

Kotaku – Injustice 2 Might Have A Deadshot Problem, Depending On Who You Ask – Who’s playing the game?

ICv2 – IDW To Produce ‘Dragon Ball Z’ Games – This is pretty cool and should be interesting.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – The Mighty Thor #19

Talking Comics – Secret Empire #2

Small Press Expo 2014: Lynda Barry, Raina Telgemeier and Charles Burns Lead Authors Debuting Books

spx-logo-240This year marks the 20th Anniversary of SPX, which will be held September 13 and 14, 2014 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. SPX is honored that over 150 different graphic novels and comics will be making their publishing debut at this years show to start off the Fall book buying season. A complete list of debuts, including cover images and publishing information, can be found on the SPX web site.

Here are some highlights of the new releases and their creators that will be at SPX 2014:

Syllabus: Notes From An Accidental Professor is the latest from Lynda Barry and Drawn and Quarterly that reveals how Ms. Barry teaches the world of writing and comics in her own creative and humorous way.

Raina Telgemeier follows up the her best selling books Smile and Drama with the autobiographical Sisters from Scholastic/Graphix, explaining the long and complex relationship she has with her younger sibling.

Charles Burns Sugar Skull from Pantheon completes the nightmarish dream world trilogy that began with X’ed Out and continued in The Hive.

Ben Hatke’s heroine Zita returns in returns in Legends of  Zita the Space Girl from First Second.

Through the Woods is Emily Carroll’s first print book that collects her award winning web comics.

Roman Muradov’s (In a Sense) Lost and Found, published by Nobrow, is the first full length graphic novel from this Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner.

Drew Friedman turns his caricaturing genius to the great comic book creators in the Fantagraphics release, Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books.

Michael DeForge debuts Lose #6, the latest installment of his award winning comic from Koyama Press.

Invincible Days is a collection of short stories by Patrick Atangan released by NBM.

NBM in July 2014

Here’s what the publisher NBM has being solicited for in comics stores this month; The next volume of the increasingly popular Zombillenium series! The first volume, out last July, has already sold out and is going back to press with this one.

Zombillenium, vol.2

Zombillenium, vol.2
Human Resources

Arthur De Pins

Tempers are flaring around Zombillenium, the monster amusement park run by monsters. When one hires only the dead (or witches!) in a region where unemployment is in the double digits, one must expect some friction. But things get particularly ugly when the park’s security is breached from two sides: activists and a very strange visitor, mom to two peculiar sons the head of the park seems to remember from somewhere… Gretchen and Aurelian do their best to help save a precarious explosive situation! All presented in De Pins’ trademark tongue-in-cheek jubilant black humor and stunning art.
9×12, 48pp. full color hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 9781561638505

Here’s what they said of the first:

“A Clever, Horror-Themed Riot. A really fun graphic novel, and you realize that when you open to the first page and see a bored-looking goth girl riding a skateboard on top of a broom. Sold. “
-Danica Davidson, MTV.com

And this outrageous graphic novel from EUROTICA, not X rated but kitschy racy. And wait ’til you see the embossed and foil stamped cover…

Magenta: Noir Fatale

Magenta: Noir Fatale

Nik Guerra
A raucous mix of femme fatales, bondage and noir, this very handsome new series is vintage risqué and kinky, and just as teasing and campy as the best burlesque. When ‘Kinky Winky’ bondage models Magenta and Lucretia hear of fellow models disappearing at an alarming rate, they volunteer to investigate, uncovering the seamy underbelly of London of the sixties. With embossed and foil stamped cover.

8 ½ x 11, 68pp. B&W trade pb., $11.99, ISBN 9781561638789


NBM in June: Jim Benton and his Reddit cartoons

Here’s what NBM has planned for June comics stores release. The biggest news they’ve had in a while: New York Times bestseller Jim Benton in a collection of feisty cartoons!

Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats.
Dog Butts and Love

Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats.
Cartoons by Jim Benton

Bestselling cartoonist Jim Benton of It’s Happy Bunny and Dear Dumb Diary fame has also been posting whimsical, dry humored, at times nasty, cartoons on Reddit. They have become one of the site’s most popular items. At last, here is a collection all in one place! From wry observation of the absurdities of life to acerbic comment, to poetic musings, from cats and dogs to humans, from one size to another, one style to another, this compendium will amaze as to the breadth of Benton’s inexhaustible talent for humor.
“Consistently brilliant, always hilarious, Jim Benton is one of the best cartoonists on the web right now.” -Matthew Inman, TheOatmeal.com
“If Jim Benton had written this blurb, it would have been more shorter, smarter, and would have contained a salient observation on human nature.” -Zach Weinersmith, Cartoonist, SMBC-comics.com
“If laughter is the best medicine, then your insurance company should reimburse you for the cost of this book. ” –Jerry Zucker, Director, Writer, Producer
6×9, 96pp. full color trade pb. with flaps, $13.99 ISBN 9781561638468

Sizzle 62


Peanut Butter and Molly Fredrickson continues with her sex explorations, Precinct 69 (formerly District 69) has more torrid sex, Barbarian Chicks and maybe a surprise!
8 1/2 x11, full color, $6.99

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