Independent Comic Spotlight: Fall Special

Sing No Evil Cover Image

I’m back with a brand new installment of Independent Comic Spotlight!  I’ve been having a lot of really cool projects sent my way recently, but here are a few of the MUST READS from that pile.  Thanks for checking us out and be sure to do some research and pick up your copies of all of these great products!  (I’ll include a picture, the creative teams, and the back page blurb, as well as my rating out of five for each.)  Enjoy!


Headliners – Kevin Strieter

“The world has been Ultra Human (villain) free for nearly 10 years, thanks to Alpha team.  The Alpha Team is a group of heroes run by the government that only take on the most heinous crimes.  They’re mostly celebrities now, so there has been no need for secret identities.  But there’s a new threat in the world.  Will Alpha team be able to stop it?”

My Commentary: Who doesn’t love a brand new non-Marvel/DC superhero comic?  No one.  Check it out!

My Rating: 3/5

The Motherless Oven

The Motherless Oven – Rob Davis

“In Scarper Lee’s world, parents don’t make children – children make parents.  Scarper’s father is his pride and joy, a wind-powered brass construction with a billowing sail.  His mother is a Bakelite hairdryer.  In his world, it rains knives and household appliances have souls.  There are no birthdays – only deathdays.  Scarper knows he has just three weeks to live.  As his deathday approaches, he is forced from his routine and strikes out into the unknown – where friendships are tested and authority challenged.”

My Commentary: I can honestly say that this is by far one of the most original stories I have ever read.  The artwork is great, the plot is fantastic, and the world-building is on par with that of Neil Gaiman.

My Rating: 3/5


Area 51

Area 51: The Graphic History of America’s Most Secret Military Installation – Dwight Jon Zimmerman and Greg Scott

Area 51 is one of the worst-kept secrets in United States history.  Every American has heard of it but no one knows anything about it.  The very mention of Area 51 immediately invokes images of deadly alien spacecraft…  UFOS…  and creepy autopsies carried out on captured visitors from other worlds.  But in this groundbreaking graphic history, New York Times best-selling author Dwight Jon Zimmerman and artist Greg Scott profile the real history of this secret military installation that the CIA, U. S. Air Force, and aerospace company Lockheed Martin used as a staging ground for test flights of experimental or highly classified aircraft (known as ‘black aircraft’) during the height of the Cold War…  and into the present day.  Covering the entire sixty-plus-year history of this remote desert outpost with personal vignettes and realistic illustrations, Area 51 is the perfect introduction to the significant history made – and still being made – at this secret military base.”

My Commentary: Much like all of the other books from the Zenith Press line, this graphic novel is a great way to get anyone up to date on another interesting aspect of history.  I keep these books on my shelves in my classroom.

My Rating: 3/5

Build Your Own Website

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and WordPress – Nate Cooper and Kim Gee

Build Your Own Website is a fun, illustrated introduction to the basics of creating a website.  Join Kim and her little dog Tofu as she learns HTML, the language of web pages, and CSS, the language used to style web pages, from the Web Guru and Glinda, the Good Witch of CSS.  Once she figures out the basics, Kim travels to WordPress City to build her first website, with Wendy, they WoodPress Maven at her side.  They take control of WordPress themes, install useful plugins, and more!”

My Commentary: As an educator, writer, and user of technology, I can honestly say that this is fun, informative, and all sorts of adorable.  A must for anyone and everyone who has even the slightest interest in the topic.

My Rating: 3/5


Monkey Room

Monkey Room – Louis Rosenberg and Graeme Howard

“Set in a dingy little apartment in a seedy part of San Francisco, Monkey Room is a surreal and sexy cyber-thriller about the future of technology, society, and artificial intelligence.  An offbeat graphic novel, it follows the struggles of a former child prodigy and his desperate attempt to achieve a work of true greatness despite years of abject failure.  But now, by a twist of good fortune, his latest invention might actually pan out.  It’s a creation of utter genius, allowing the vast power of the Internet to be harnessed in a brilliant new way.  That’s the grand plan, anyway.  If only the unexpected consequences weren’t so damn monstrous.”

My Commentary: Reminiscent of Howard Chaykin and all sorts of social commentary thrown in throughout.  This is the literary side of the graphic novel side.  Good stuff and very complex.

My Rating: 3/5


Sing No Evil

Sing No Evil – J. P. Ahonen and K. P. Alare

“Perkeros are…  Aksel, perfectionist front man with a stutter; Lily, keyboardist looking for a break; Kervinen, bassist who’s been around the block a few hundred times; Bear, the drummer; Aydin, the pizza-delivery guy with a voice that’ll give you visions…”

My Commentary: One of the best comics I’ve read this year.  Hands down.  Buy it.  Right now.  Seriously.  It has a bear, is full of emotions, and is quite possibly one of the most original premises for a graphic novel I’ve ever encountered.  Such a rare gem in every way imaginable.

My Rating: 5/5


So there you have it.  Any questions or comments?  Please share them below.  See you once the weather turns from fall to winter and we have another thrilling installment of Independent Comic Spotlight.  Have a great fall, everyone!

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