August 2012 Previews: Short, Sweet, and Fangirling

Books I Recommend You Consider

Zombies Calling cover Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite cover
Zombies Calling Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite
by Faith Erin Hicks by Barry Deutsch
SLG Publishing, $9.95 Amulet Books, $16.95
AUG12 0758, due Sep 19 AUG12 0772, due Oct 24
I know it’s not much of a recommendation to call Zombies Calling my favorite zombie comic, given my distate for the genre, but in my opinion, this transcends what’s become an easy go-to in two ways: 1) it has something to say beyond “zombies scary!” or “zombie mashup covering for lack of imagination”. 2) It’s by the immensely talented Faith Erin Hicks, who has become a “must-buy” author for me. The first volume in this now-series, How Mirka Got Her Sword, was one of my Best Books of 2010. The sequel promises to be even more exciting, as the story continues to blend fantasy, young-woman-coming-of-age, and Orthodox Jewish culture. This time, Mirka has to fight a doppelganger who seems to be a better her than she is — what a wonderful metaphor for adolescence, when you feel everyone wants you to be different!
Carol Lay Illiterature cover Doctor Who: The Dalek Project cover
Carol Lay’s Illiterature Doctor Who: The Dalek Project
by Carol Lay by Justin Richards and Mike Collins
Boom! Town, $14.99 Random House UK, $24.99
AUG12 0951, due October AUG12 1265, due Oct 3
It’s been much too long (14 years by my count, since the third Kitchen Sink volume in 1998) since we’ve had a collection of the beautifully observed and wickedly funny strips by Carol Lay. Bless Boom! for bringing out a new book, in hardcover, too. (Don’t know why they’re calling it “for the first time”, though, unless they mean that these particular comics are previously uncollected.) I found this original graphic novel as part of a Doctor Who display at my local super-sized Barnes & Noble today, and I wondered why I had never seen it listed in Previews. (I made note because Mike Collins is a good guy. The other bits of the display were several about-the-show fact books, t-shirts, and a sonic screwdriver replica.) Now, here it is. How timely! Unless you’re a store owner who’s hoping that your customers won’t have already bought it in the two-month-or-more gap.
Owly & Wormy: Bright Lights and Starry Nights cover Castle promo trading card
Owly & Wormy: Bright Lights and Starry Nights Castle Seasons 1 & 2 Trading Cards
by Andy Runton
Top Shelf, $
AUG12 1310, due Nov 14 AUG12 1552, due October
The first Owly & Wormy picture book, Friends All Aflutter!, was delicious, so I’m glad to see another. The larger color format makes these woodland friends even more fun to visit with over and over again. Yes, there is a Castle trading card set, and I am buying a box. I don’t know who thought there was a market for this thing, complete with “randomly inserted autograph and wardrobe cards”, but compulsively reading Castle fanfiction this summer is the only thing that has kept me sane, so I must have it. (Perhaps I just answered my own question.) Let’s hear it for escapism that combines comedy, romance, and justice. (Googling for pictures tells me there’s even going to be a Castle board game as well, but googling for that is useless, because of all the fantasy stuff that appears.)

So, this “Author! Author!” month promotion, trying to draw our attention to when “mainstream writers come to comics” — or as I put it, when publishers try to extend a brand through slapping a famous author’s name on a comic done by entirely other people — do you think Diamond wanted to suck up to Del Rey and Harper Collins and the like by doing it? Or can they just not let a month go by without some kind of icon to decorate the catalog pages? Even if it means reusing what looks like a pirate map.


3 Responses to “August 2012 Previews: Short, Sweet, and Fangirling”

  1. Jim Kosmicki Says:

    at least one of the previous Boom! Town books – Pete and Miriam by Rich Tommaso – had been published in Europe several years previously. At least some of the material promoting that book discussed it as just now being released in the U.S. I think that the notion of “finally releasing” material from cartoonists might be part of the mission statement for Boom! Town as an imprint.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Good point. It’s easier for a publisher to pick up that kind of already-completed work, and it’s great for readers to have it more easily available.

  3. Brian clopper Says:

    My daughter and son loved the first Mirka book. Can’t wait to get a hold of this new one. I was surprised to see it now looks to be a series, but extremely happy that is the case.

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