The webcomics blog about webcomics

28 June: Two @ Twenty Bucks, Plus Tax

Two books arrive on that day¹, a mere three weeks away, from ladies that know their way around comics. Let’s take a look, yes?

  • First of all, you didn’t really think that I was done with my love for Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie after yesterday’s series-end tribute, did you? Because there’s a whole stack of comics that remain unprinted after last year’s four Image collections. Gran let us know that that’s about to be resolved:

    I’m thrilled to announce Octopus Pie Volume 5 will be out on June 28th! A giant, 336-page final collection. here’s a look at the cover [see above]

    Diamond ID APR170837, if you wanna order it at your local comic shop. I’m also hoping to tour it in the US a bit. news on that soon

    What Gran and Image have managed here is, frankly, amazing. She was still working on those last pages through May, and now less than a month after the final update went live, a full-color book is going to be printed, distributed, and in stores. Congratulations to Gran again for the series, and to Image for having the faith in her to rush this collection out while we’re all jonesing hard for it.

    Octopus Pie, vol 5 by Meredith Gran, with colors by Valerie Halla, will be priced at US$19.99. Pre-order it now at your local comic shop or bookstore or we are not friends any more.

  • Secondly, I have mentioned my love of Hope Larson’s comics many, many times on this page; last year’s Compass South was her first author-only long work, and it is possibly more compelling than when she both writes and draws. Since my interview with her at SDCC last year (and, coincidentally, about a year of projects with her working with various artists), I’ve come to the realization that one of her great strengths as a writer is in understanding her artists.

    When she does a book by herself, the words and pictures marry beautifully; but no less than understanding her own artistic abilities, she understands what her collaborators can bring to the page and she both pushes them and gives them room to soar. A more dour tone would undercut the bright visuals of Goldie Vance; just a little more or a little less urgency in pacing (and/or snark in dialogue) would render the most beautifully-drawn Batgirl lifeless.

    And it’s clear that the nineteenth century dialogue — which reflects modern sensibilities for young women chafing at societal roles while still ringing true in the ear — undergirds a sensibility and attitude that evokes the world of Four Points to a degree that plays off Rebecca Mock’s art beautifully. The slight exaggerations of Mock’s characters combined with a loving accuracy of settings and objects evokes both time-appropriate caricature and photography. If printing technology 150 years ago had been slightly different (and more colorful), David Malki ! wouldn’t be dealing with engravings as his creative fodder; he’d be playing with Mock’s designs.

    Compass South ended on a minor conclusion; not a cliffhanger, it could have stood alone or set up a sequel (or even a series); Knife’s Edge is that sequel as Shakespearean story patterns play out against a time when the age of sail gives way to steam. There’s turmoil in the world, with great wars in Europe just subsiding and the greatest war yet seen about to break in America; the boundary between civilization and frontier is still fluid, and there’s room enough to escape from society and make yourself into someone new in a different corner of the world.

    And if you’re a pair of long-lost twins finally reunited after adventure and heartbreak with your father, with treasure and infamy both dancing just at the edge of your reach? This is the time and place to seize destiny by the throat and do all you can while you can. We get to share in Larson & Mock’s high adventure on 27 June, also US$19.99 (a bargain at twice the price). Pre-order, not friends, etc.

Spam of the day:

Premium Military Eye Wear Designed for the Outdoors

In my younger days when I had many college classmates doing the ROTC thing, it was widely accepted that military eye wear was heavy, ugly, 1950s-era stuff that acted as reasonably effective birth control on account of nobody wearing it would ever get laid. Pass.

¹ Wwweeellllll not quite. Bookstores see new releases on Tuesdays, comic shops on Wednesdays; one of these two will release on the 28th, the other on the 27th. Close enough.

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