Crystal Ball: September 2006 Solicitations, Part II

Support GOOD Comics! Pre-order something new EVERY month.

Part I featured a look at Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse’s offerings for September 2006, and now Part II casts the spotlight on the 10 most interesting books being solicited by “independent” publishers. The full solicitations for September can be found at comicsconspiracy.biz.

[NOTE: Most of these titles will probably not be available at your local comic book shop (LCBS) if you do not pre-order them. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, download a convenient order form from Diamond and be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]

PICK OF THE MONTH: INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS


Will Eisner’s New York: Life in the Big City
BOOM! STUDIOS
PIRATE TALES #1 (48 pages, $6.99)
Another themed anthology from Boom!, featuring the usual cast of contributors, this time focusing on pirates. Despite the bad timing that misses out on cashing in on this weekend’s release of Pirates of the Caribbean by two whole months, it should be an entertaining read.

DEVIL’S DUE PUBLISHING
G.I. JOE SPECIAL MISSIONS: TOKYO (48 pages, $4.95)
Gung-Ho, Wild Bill, Clutch and Rock & Roll step into the spotlight in the latest G.I. Joe one-shot from Devil’s Due. Special Missions: Manhattan was fun, and I suspect this one will be, too.

FIRST SECOND
AMERICAN BORN CHINESE SC (SOFTCOVER-SC, 240pgs, FC; SRP: $16.95)
One of First Second’s second wave of releases, Gene Yang’s mash-up tale of a boy who’s the only Chinese-American student at his school, the fabled Monkey King, and negative Chinese stereotypes looks and sounds like a winner.

HILL & WANG
THE 9/11 REPORT: A GRAPHIC ADAPTATION (SOFTCOVER-SC, 6×9, 160pgs, PC; SRP: $16.00)
One of the most intriguing concepts for a graphic novel I’ve come across as Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón adapt one of this country’s most important historical documents into what should be a much more accessible and compelling format, in the belief that “far, far too few Americans have read, grasped, and demanded action on the Commission’s investigation into the events of that tragic day and the lessons America must learn.” Reading the 500+ page report has been on my to-do list since it first came out, and they’re right: I’m much more likely to tackle this version.

MOONSTONE
THE NIGHT DRIVER (96 pages, $12.95)
“Traveling salesman Hurdis Jones is an ordinary man on an uneventful trip through the Midwest, until he gives a seriously ill hitchhiker a ride to the hospital. That’s when he starts getting pounding HEADACHES… & bizarre HALLUCINATIONS…& feeling like he’s being FOLLOWED…& having BLACKOUTS…& stumbling upon all those MUTILATED BODIES….” I almost made this my pick of the month, purely based on a gut feeling as something about the combination of Moonstone and “the producer of the film Menace II Society” — still my favorite of the gangsta movies spawned by Boyz in the Hood — clicked for me.

PANTHEON BOOKS
CHICKEN WITH PLUMS HC (HC, 6×9, 96pgs, B&W; SRP: $16.95)
I enjoyed Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis memoirs and this one sounds like it might have a tighter focus, spotlighting “her great-uncle, a celebrated Iranian musician who gave up his life for music and love.”

SILENT DEVIL PRODUCTIONS
EMPTY CHAMBER #1 (48pgs, B&W (1 of 2); SRP: $2.95)
A. David Lewis did such a great job with The Lone and Level Sands that I’m pre-disposed towards his next project, a little ditty about a college professor who “becomes the government’s most wanted, a beautiful mercenary’s top priority, and a renegade general’s prime target when the knowledge he possesses might thwart American genocide.” Check out the production blog for some DVD extras!

TOKYOPOP
DRAMACON VOLUME 2 GN (SC, 5×7, 192pgs, B&W (2 of 3); $9.99)
Of all the manga I might have randomly sampled, this story of a teenaged girl’s coming-of-age experience at an anime convention was perhaps one of the unlikeliest candidates, but it was well-reviewed and I was curious. Turned out to be a really fun read, with a pleasant sense-of-humor and an eye and ear for emotional details, and I’m looking forward to more!

VIZ MEDIA LLC
POKÉMON: BEST OF POKÉMON ADVENTURES RED (SC, 160pgs, B&W; SRP: $7.99)
Don’t hate! Before Dan sucked me into playing Vs., he got me hooked on Pokémon, first the video game, then the cards. I still have a binder full of the cards I collected from the first few expansion sets, way before I started buying comics again. That Pokémon creators Satoshi Tajiri and Tsunekazu Ishihara vouch for it is good enough for me.

W.W. NORTON
WILL EISNER’S NEW YORK LIFE IN THE BIG CITY HC (HC, 7×10, 448pgs, B&W; MSRP: $29.95)
I loved Eisner’s The Neighborhood: Dropsie Avenue, a bittersweet history of a Bronx neighborhood as different ethnic groups come and go and political poker takes its toll, so this collection of four New York-related stories (New York, The Building, City People Notebook, and Invisible People) is a must-own for me.


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