Alphabetical Index of IDW / Top Shelf

Alec: The King Canute Crowd

Alec: The King Canute Crowd, this first collection of Eddie Campbell’s life stories, established his reputation as a dean of autobiographical comics. “Alec” is Campbell’s version of himself, an artist working a job at a metal-stamping plant he’s overeducated for. He and Danny go to the pub frequently to drink and talk. Each see something in the other they don’t have in themselves: Danny’s the “man of action” while Alec is hesitant and reflective. The nine-panel grid doesn’t get in […]

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Mephisto and the Empty Box

Reading this oversized comic, with its black ink on yellow paper and distressed-look cover, feels like finding an old magazine in an attic and flipping through it for a glimpse of a different time. Mephisto is a stage magician, and the box is a vanishing cabinet. A newlywed couple visits his show, and the wife ends up participating in the show, to tragic effect. The art seems European in influence; it’s made up of thin lines and flat figures, creating […]

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CSI: Bad Rap

A rising punk rap superstar knocks a heckler out, killing him, on his way to a rock oldies concert at a Vegas casino. There’s some rivalry between local groups just breaking big, and the obnoxious rapper gets knocked off quickly, as many readers may have been rooting for. CSI: Bad Rap is written by Max Allan Collins with art by Gabriel Rodriguez and Ashley Wood. While investigating, the team finds more related murders, as well as encountering a company producing […]

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CSI: Serial

CSI: Serial is a faithful adaptation of the hit TV show. Writer Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition) knows his crime stories. He’s also written CSI novels, which gives him a good familiarity with the characters. Artist Gabriel Rodriguez does an excellent job with likenesses. With many adaptations, the artist spends so much time trying to get the look just right that the art winds up stiff, as though it was copied from photos. That’s not the case here, which […]

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Tricked

Alex Robinson, author of Box Office Poison, returns with another sprawling graphic novel in Tricked. In 350 pages, he tells of a series of significant events that intertwine the lives of six people: a jaded, creatively blocked rock star; a retailer of sports collectibles who forges autographs; a teenager seeking her biological father; an antisocial music fan with psychological issues; a diner waitress; and a record company office assistant. It’s the comic equivalent of the ensemble independent film. The structure […]

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Owly

Using animals to comment on the human condition is a tradition with a long history in comics. Andy Runton is the latest to use it to its full potential, creating this generation’s Winnie the Pooh in his stories of Owly and his worm friend. The first book, The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer, contains two mostly wordless pieces. The first story shows how Owly rescues a worm from drowning during a rainstorm. After recovery, and although the two species […]

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Carnet de Voyage

While on a three-month research and promotional tour of France and Morocco, Craig Thompson made sketches and kept notes of his adventures, now published as this travel diary. In Carnet de Voyage, his art is as lushly detailed as ever. Firm black lines with crayon or brush make up both full-page illustrations and more entertainingly cluttered pages, with thoughts and text and bits of pictures scattered over them. Always, though, the page works as a whole. Figure studies are sprinkled […]

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Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?

This charming little minicomic has 72 pages and a spine. That gives it the feel of a pocket book, and I wound up carrying Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? around for several days, dipping into the cartoons it contains randomly for small pick-me-ups. Liz Prince captures a variety of couple moments between herself and her boyfriend in simple, usually four-panel, strips. Her figures are one step up from stick, with round heads that still exhibit […]

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