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Independent Comic Spotlight: Back to School 2016


Happy Back to School season, everyone.  And welcome to a brand new installment of Independent Comic Spotlight!  This is one of my favorite columns to write because it takes me out of my comfort zone a bit and exposes me to some great indy creators, comics, and projects.  If you have a project you want me to talk about, please feel free to reach out to me through the site, social media, or email (my name, first and last, at Comic Booked dot com).  Alrighty.  Enough jibber-jabber.  Onto my thoughts on these great pieces:

The Fun Family by Benjamin Frisch

  • Brief Summary: A darkly funny comic about the dysfunctional families across the world and how we all really should take for granted how normal ours are, or at least can be.  Think Peter Bagge meets the Sunday funnies meets Adult Swim.
  • My Review: 3/5

The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime by Toshio Ban

  • Brief Summary: An epic tome of a graphic novel, this is a must-have for anyone interested in history, biographies, anime, and manga.
  • My Review: 3/5

Indeh by Ethan Hawke and Greg Ruth

  • Brief Summary: A great western graphic novel that is very well done, this actor/artist collaboration is one of a kind.  Beautiful and poignant, this is a comic I’d have in my classroom.
  • My Review: 3/5

Ipso Facto by J. R. Rothenberg

  • Artists: Jason Badower and Annette Kwok
  • Brief Summary: A superhero graphic novel that is reminiscent of J. Michael Straczynski’s Rising Stars, this is a soon-to-be classic, with a sequel already in the works.  The art is phenomenal and the story is well-crafted.  Likable and unique characters drive this great read.
  • My Review: 4.5/5


Shake the Lake by Zach Block

  • Artists: Machi Block, Diego Lopez Mata, and Andrea Lopez Mata
  • Brief Synopsis: A great comic book (with a sequel already in the works, as well) about some surfers on vacation and looking for fun, sun, and a new lease on life.  Think Footloose with scantily-clad girls and parties.  The art on this one is fantastic, as is the concept.
  • My Review: 5/5

Adam + Gill’s Trivia Game by Adam Smith

  • Artist: Gill Hatcher
  • Brief Synopsis: A fun anthology of humorous and satirical stories by a couple of cartoonists who seem to be having a great time sharing some pretty crazy comics.
  • My Review: 3/5

Mayflower by Levi Hoffmeier

  • Brief Synopsis: This sci-fi comic book series has a few issues out and as someone who isn’t a normal fan of science fiction, I have to say, this was great.  The art is beautiful, the production value is high, and it felt like I was watching a great epic.
  • My Review: 4.5/5

Geeks & Greeks by Steve Altes

  • Artist: Andy Fish
  • Brief Synopsis: This graphic novel is about the inner workings of the Greek system at MIT and all of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that take place.  This story, based on actual events, reminded me of a smarter updated version of Archie, which is always fun.
  • My Review: 3/5

Alien Hand Syndrome by Justin Cappello

  • Brief Synopsis: This comic book series has a little bit of everything for everyone.  Aliens, ninjas, space ships, scary bad guys, complex good guys, and the black and white aspect of the art makes it seem like a great mixture of manga and traditional superhero style.
  • My Review: 3/5

And, because some people send me some book-books, here are a few that you should add to your never-ending to-read list:

  • Beyond Ice by Helene Levey Zemel
  • The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book by Chris McVeigh

That’s all I’ve got, folks!  Thanks for stopping by, thanks for submitting, and thanks for making this a great site, company, and industry to work for and in.  See you next time… my stack is gone, and though I’m sad to see it inventoried after being read and discussed, I’m happy to know that there are still thousands of great indy books and creators out there just waiting to be discovered.  See you next time!

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Comments (1)

Thank you for the kind words, Jeff!

If anyone wants to take a free look at GEEKS & GREEKS, you can download the first 53 pages here:

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