Comic & art book releases 1-2 June 2009

The Art of Joe Jusko

The Art Of Joe Jusko (amazon.com)

For the first time ever, a volume devoted to one of the more popular fantasy/sci fi painters of the past 25 years - Joe Jusko! This book offers readers and fans a chance to witness Jusko's immense and phenomenal career from start to present, offering glimpses of previously never-before-seen material from his files and sketchbooks, his enormously popular comic work, covers and illustrations from his book publishing career, as well as beautifully reproduced images of his personal favorites and insights into his life and creative process.

Al Williamsons Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic
Al Williamsons Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic (amazon.com)

Flash Gordon, introduced as a Sunday newspaper comic strip by King Features Syndicate in 1934, remains after more than 70 years, one of the best-known and most beloved epics of heroic fantasy produced in America. Initially envisioned and drawn by the brilliant Alex Raymond, the strip’s mélange of alien wonders, beautiful damsels, interplanetary evil and peerless derring-do remains potent today, as witness its many adaptations in print, motion pictures and television. It has been cited by no less a popular fantasist than George Lucas as a primary influence on his Star Wars series. Beyond the lasting impact of the strip’s heroic themes, the drawing skills of Raymond inspired a small army of succeeding cartoonists to take up his illustration-based stylistic mantle. Al Williamson is arguably the foremost of these acolytes, widely acclaimed as the artist who best exemplifies the original spirit of Raymond’s creation, as well as being the most distinctive and lyric. His vision of the character, formed in childhood and deeply personal, captured the hearts of Flash Gordon readers like no other. Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic, collects all the major works of the artist featuring the character. At 256 pages, it encompasses Williamson’s three stints of depicting Flash in comic book format: the legendary King Comics stories from the 1960s, the 1980 adaptation of the Universal Flash Gordon motion picture, and the Marvel Comics miniseries of 1994. In addition to these classics of sequential storytelling, Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon features Williamson’s Flash drawings done for commercial illustration and prints, his assists on the Flash Gordon comic strip, a variety of Flash images contributed to amateur publications, and a selection of largely unpublished images spanning his interest in the character from childhood to the conclusion of his career. With an introduction by Sergio Aragones, text by Mark Schultz, and images reproduced directly from the artist’s original drawings, this long-overdue collection of evocative artwork documents the lifelong impact that Flash Gordon had on Williamson and the particular impact that Williamson had on Flash Gordon.

DMZ Vol 1: On The Ground
DMZ Vol. 1: On the Ground (amazon.com)

In the near future, America's worst nightmare has come true. With military adventurism overseas bogging down the Army and National Guard, the U.S. government mistakenly neglects the very real threat of anti-establishment militias scattered across the 50 states. Like a sleeping giant, Middle America rises up and violently pushes its way to the shining seas, coming to a standstill at the line in the sand – Manhattan. Or as the world now knows it, the DMZ.

Incognegro SC
Incognegro SC (amazon.com)

Writer Mat Johnson (HELLBLAZER: PAPA MIDNITE), winner of the prestigious Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction, constructs a fearless graphic novel that is both a page-turning mystery and a disturbing exploration of race and self-image in America, masterfully illustrated with rich period detail by Wareen Pleece (THE INVISIBLES, HELLBLAZER). In the early 20th Century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African-American men who, due to their light skin color, could "pass" among the white folks. They called this dangerous assignment going "incognegro."Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald barely escapes with his life after his latest "incognegro" story goes bad. But when he returns to the sanctuary of Harlem, he's sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi. With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay "incognegro" long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother — and himself. He finds that the answers are buried beneath layers of shifting identities, forbidden passions and secrets that run far deeper than skin color.

Sparrow John Watkiss
Sparrow: John Watkiss (amazon.com)

Renowned anatomy master John Watkiss brings his celebrated commercial and fine arts works to the Sparrow series! Enjoy this collection of art hand-picked by Watkiss and series editor/designer Ashley Wood.

World War Robot Volume 2
World War Robot Volume 2 (amazon.com)

Award-winning designer/artist Ashley Wood (Popbot, Zombies vs. Robots) continues the World War between a dwindling band of humans and robots that spans planets in this oversize epic!

These books should be appearing soon in comic shops near you. I encourage readers to support their local comic retailers whenever possible. Visiting comic shops is cool.

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