A Preview of Books I Am Looking Forward To.
Review by PeteR
Instead of my usual reviews of comics and graphic novels that have already been published, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some upcoming projects that I am looking forward to. The primary reason I want to bring these books to your attention is they are not the standard fare that are normally hyped by the usual comic-related press outlets. Since there is a good possibility that you might gloss over and miss these when you review your copy of Diamond’s Previews Magazine, I am here to help. Disclaimer; I am going to be quoting synopses of the books from various sources since they have not been released yet.
All of the books I am going to share with you are edited by Drew Ford and are being published by his It’s Alive Press as an imprint of IDW. You may recognize his name from a review I did a while ago. Mr. Ford edited for Dover Press, A Sailor’s Story by Sam Glanzman. Ford also edited the companion piece, U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories by Sam Glanzman. If you are a fan of the D.C. Comics various war comics from the 1970’s then you should definitely read U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories by Sam Glanzman as it is a collection of Glanzman’s back-up stories from those hard to find comics. U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories by Sam Glanzman has also been nominated for this year’s Eisner Award.
First up is Red Range by Writer Joe R. Lansdale (Jonah Hex, Batman, the Animated Series, and the terrific Hap & Leonard series of novels) with art by Sam Glanzman. Here is the description from Goodreads: “In a tale of hope set amidst the hyper violence of America’s 19th century, this new edition tells the tale of Red Mask, a tough as nails vigilante who rides to fight the tragic racism of a Klan-dominated Texas. …”. Red Range was originally published in 1999 by Mojo Press but quickly vanished after Mojo went out of business. This edition contains the original story (now in color) and an afterword by Steve Bissette. It’s Alive Press’s Red Range is slated for a June 2017 release.
It’s Alive Press’s next project is bringing back to print Sax Rohmer’s Dope by Trina Robbins. From the Penguin/Random House web page; “A talented young actress becomes fatally ensnared in London’s mysterious and glittery drug culture of the early 20th century. Trina Robbins‘s graphic novel adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s sensational 1919 novel, DOPE was both the first novel to speak openly about the world’s international drug trade, and the first story to center around the death of a celebrity by drug overdose”.
Sax Rohmer’s Dope originally was published in a serialized form in the cutting edge Eclipse Magazine and Eclipse Comics in the 1980’s. Sax Rohmer is known primarily for his character Fu Manchu, although I was partial to the equally politically incorrect Yellow Claw. Dope was originally a prose story published in 1919. This edition is the adaption by Trina Robbins, who was inducted into the Eisner Hall of fame in 2013 and is also the author of A History of Women in Comics. This will be the first time all the chapters of Trina Robbins adaption of Sax Rohmer’s Dope will be published in one book. Sax Rohmer’s Dope is coming out in September.
Sam Glanzman’s Voyage to the Deep and Family Man by Jerome Charyn & Joe Stanton are scheduled by It’s Alive Press for 2018 releases. From the IDW web page; “VOYAGE TO THE DEEP follows the adventures of Admiral Jonathan Leigh, as he commands the mighty Proteus (a shape-shifting atomic sub) through the deepest of Earth’s oceans, battling fanged sea creatures, arctic monsters, anti-mater generators, sonic attacks, and even terrorism!” VOYAGE TO THE DEEP reprints Sam Glanzman’s series that was originally published in four comic books by Dell in 1962.
Jerome Charyn & Joe Stanton’s Family Man rounds out the books currently scheduled by It’s Alive Press and IDW. Family Man originally was published by in 1994 by D.C. Comics Imprint label, Paradox Press as three 96 page digest size books. The tragedy of those digests was the reader was unable to fully appreciate Joe Staton’s (E-Man, Dick Tracy, Green Lantern) use of Craft Tint duotone to render the shading.
The synopsis of Family Man from the Comics Grinder website reads; “The story begins in New York City…one hour into the future. Crime runs rampant, rogue cops patrol the rubble-strewn streets, predatory gangs steal anything that isn’t nailed down, and the once powerful mafia dons cower in fear in their tenement prisons. Someone is killing the mob chieftains one by one, and the last survivors call on Alonzo, The Family Man, to hunt down the murderer. But it won’t be easy – not when Alonzo’s own brother Charles, the gun-toting Monsignor of the corruption-ridden New York City police department, is a prime suspect.”
It’s Alive Press productions of Sax Rohmer’s Dope, Sam Glanzman’s Voyage to the Deep and Jerome Charyn & Joe Stanton’s Family Man will be the first time all the chapters of these series will be printed in a single volumes.
Why you should buy these books? All four of these volumes being published by It’s Alive Press’s under the IDW imprint are examples of the rich diversity of topics, writing styles and art, the graphic novel medium offers. People wanting to read these tales would spend countless hours and dollars trying to locate all the chapters that being collected in these volumes. If you want a break from the usual spandex clad fare and want to read comics with real meat on their bones, I offer these examples for you to order through your local comics retailer.