Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Buy more indie comic books!

by Amir Malekpour

Recently I've been thinking of shifting my purchasing from the major two comic book publishers to some indie comics. The reason initially came about when I realized that comics is what I spend most of my money on, next to rent and food. But finance is not the reason for the switch because indie comics tend to be more expensive than DC comics, sometimes more than Marvel (not often).

Here are some reasons for wanting to purchase outside DC/Marvel:

1. Helping out the little guy

I think this is the most important part of buying indie comics. As a part-time comedian, I know how much an artis/creator appreciates when there are afficianados who seekout lesser known or start-ups. You're supporting someone who is doing comic books for the love of the medium because god knows there isn't much money in it.

2. More original content done with love

I love popular superhero comics, but how many times can you read about Spider-Man having girl trouble, while holding down a job, and fighting bad guys. The answer is a lot, but that's not the point. If you want to read some original content, even in the superhero side, try indie comics or smaller publishers, you won't regret it.

3. chance to discover talent before everyone else does

What's more cool than knowing that you enjoyed someone's work and supported their art form way before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. I read Hickman's Nightly News, Pax Romana, Transhuman before he ever got to work on his awesome FF run. It's been so enjoyable to see him become so successful. Props to James Sime of Isotope for recommending him.

4. Indie Comics more rare, hence worth more

If you're about the bottom line, $$$, your greedy little hands will want to buy some indie comics. Some of the most expensive comics of the last 10 years have been rare indie comics. Chew #1 ($587.77 on Ebay), Our Love is Real ($119.99), and Non-Player ($125.00) come to mind.

5. Chance to meet and be friends with the creators

I can't forget about this. Some of the nicest people I've met are comic book creators. Now, I've met nice creators in all categories, but newer creators are not hounded as much, so you can pick their brain about their work.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Comics art awesome! Life is Awkward. :)

Alternate Press Expo or APE as most people know it, is a wonderful comics/zines/arts convention in San Francisco generally happening around October. I love going to APE because afterwards, I like to attend the awesome party and the mini comic awards show at my comic book shop, Isotope Comics. Of course I always end up being so tired that I have to tap our of the party too fast. I guess I am getting old. It's great to meet new creators and awesome new friends who love comics as much as I do.

While I was at APE, I purchases two copies of "Scenes from an Impending Marriage" by Adrian Tomine, one for a friend getting married, and one for me. Unfortunately I didn't know my friend's fiance's name (now husband). So this created a tough situation when it came time for Adrian Tomine to sign it for us! I gave Tomine a name I thought would be the right one, but he advised me to not do that. Good advise! I ended up keeping both copies of the book, because I decided he might get offended that the book only has her name on it. Of course I hope I'm never found dead and people find the two copies of books in my bedroom. One with my name and one with hers. It'll just be too creepy.

Anyways, APE always has great comic book guests. In 2009, they had Jeff Smith of Bone fame. The last two years they've had Dan Clowes, Adrian Tomine, Tony Millionaire, Scott Morse and many many more.

Sometime in the future, I will review scenes from an impending marriage by Adrian Tomine, the book I didn't give to the woman whose husband I didn't know.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Comicbooks I'm most excited about this week!

by Amir Malekpour

As each week ends, I start to get excited about the prospects of the new week. I start to ponder the upcoming week and think about the charmed life I live. There are a lot of things on my mind ; I need to write more comedy, how can I learn PHP/SQL faster, and what if zombie apocalypse hit us today, do I have enough canned goods? But what gets me most excited about the week is Wednesday, when the new comics come out. This week I am planning on getting 11 issues and I've rated them in order of excitement.

11. Birds of Prey #3 by

Written by: Duane Swierczynski
Art by: Jesus Saiz

One of the biggest surprises of the NEW 52 has been Birds of Prey. I've never been into this title before, even though it's had great creators. But this time around, I'm liking the combination of the team building, human bombs, and addition of a sexy bad ass character Starling.

10. Planet of the Apes #8

(W) Daryl Gregory
(A/C) Carlos Magno

Planet of the Apes has been consistently good month in and month out. Gregory's pen has yielded a political story that takes place in the future, but feels like the middle ages. I can't say enough good things about Carlos Magno. This guy reminds me of Geof Darrow and Frank Quietly. He is that good! The only reason rate it higher is because I missed #7 and I'm not sure if I'll understand what's going on.

9. Mudman #1

story /art / cover Paul Grist

This comic book is my dark horse of the week. I am not too familiar with Grist, though I do own one issue of Jack Staff. The cover looks really cool and I wouldn't mind getting a fresh take on superheros.

8. Batman #3

Written by: Scott Snyder
Cover by: Greg Capullo

Scott Snyder is my favorite writer currently producing work. I own everything he's done, except his human Torch issues. So you can imagine that I'm pretty excited about this issue. I didn't rank it higher because unlike 99% of the comic book readership, I wasn't as much into Greg Capullo's art. Don't get me wrong, the guy has chops and I like his art. But I just feel like it's too cartoony for Snyder's style of writing. This issue is going to be amazing and I'm sure I'll love it since it's being done by two pros, so I have nothing to worry about.

7. Justice League #3

Written by: Geoff Johns
Cover by: Jim Lee

Geoff Johns the nicest great writer of our time. If you're judging from the cover, we'll be getting Wonder Woman in this issue which should be a lot of fun. I'm excited. Honestly, Justice League's pace has been a little too slow for me, but that doesn't mean that I am not enjoying Jim Lee's amazing art and Johns's careful deconstruction of the team. I'm excited!

6. Nightwing #3

Written by: Kyle Higgins
Cover by: Eddy Barrows

Another surprise book for me. I expected to buy the #1 issue and never read Nightwing again. But hey, don't blame me, I was loving the Batman Dick and didn't want him to go back. Was I wrong!?!? Higgins and Barrows are killing it in this series. I love the story from Grayson's past, and the action in this comic is so much fun. The element of romance and danger doesn't hurt either.

5. Thunderbolts #165

Written by: Jeff Parker
Cover by: Kev Walker

Easily my favorite Marvel comic and the only one on this list. Jeff Parker is so funny and so original. This new story line has the defected Thunderbolts in WWII helping Captain America fight Hitler! Nothing gets better. This book has a rotation of some future comic book artist stars, but Kev Walker is the main guy and he rules.

4. Supergirl #3

Written by: Michael F. Johnson
Pencils by: Mahmud Asrar

Johnson and Asrar just kick ass on this title. Supergirl is one of those titles that anyone can get enjoyment out of. This is one that would be good for all ages, races, creeds, and genders. But that doesn't mean it's bland. In fact Supergirl has been one of the more badass characters in the new DC 52.

3. Catwoman #3

Written by: Judd Winick
Art by: Guillem March

This title is not for kids, that's for sure. But I am freaking loving it! I like the sex and the violence and don't think it's disrespectful at all. Of course I am not a woman, but I know a few women who have read this issue and loved it. But that's not why I'm excited about this. I think March has stepped up his awesome art and Winick shows every week why he has become one of my top 5 writers today.

2. Wonder Woman #3

Written by: Brian Azzarello
Art by: Cliff Chiang

No surprise here. If it's one thing I've learned from the new DC 52 is that in DC women rule and no one rules more than Wonder Woman! The always amazing Chiang delivers on every page and Azzarello is doing my most favorite work of his career.

1. Chew #24

Written by: John Layman
Art by: Rob Guillory

oh GOD I love this title. Chew has been consistently good for 25 straight issues! Month in and month out this comic book is intriguing, funny, and beautiful. I have bought every copy and can't wait for the omnibus. I love this team.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shorthand #1 by Jason McNamara & Rahsan Ekedal

Review by Amir Malekpour

When reading Shorthand, I found myself being jealous of the main character’s detective skills. Now that probably says something about me, for example I need to work on my self esteem, but it also says a lot about Jason McNamara’s great writing skills and Rahsan Ekedal’s ability to convey a story.

Oscar is the mysterious old man who seems to have a knack for deductive reasoning. He ends up of course solving a small town mystery which is a both a great introduction to his character and a setup for wonderful new adventures. I certainly hope we get a long series about this new character. By the way, this would be a great comic book for all ages, as you’ll find kids having a lot in common with Oscar.

My favorite panel:

Writer: Jason McNamara

Artist: Rahsan Ekedal