FTLI #43- Hazel Newlevant, Evil Beards, Sororities

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 Published by, Cloudscape Comics
Support Swan Song

 Written by, Jamie S. Rich
Drawn by, Natalie Nourigat
Published by, Oni Press

Written and drawn by, Stephen Collins
Published by, Picador

Written by, Mark Sable
Drawn by, Robbi Rodriguez
Published by, Image Comics
Buy Hazed

 Written & drawn by, Paul Hornschemeier
Published by, Fantagraphics

 Written by, Joshua Williamson
Drawn by, Goran Sudzuka
Published by, Image Comics
Buy Ghosted

 Written & drawn by, Dean Trippe
Published by, Iron Circus Comics
Check out the original Kickstarter
Buy Something Terrible digitally
Buy the Something Terrible hardcover

 Written and drawn by, L.E. Mullin

Written by, Erick Freitas & Ulises Farinas (also artist)
Colors by, Ryan Hill
Published by, Oni Press

A chat with Hazel Newlevant!
Check out the publisher Hazel works for, Lion Forge
(Edited with O.K. Fox & Whit Taylor)

Written & Drawn by, Eric Colossal
Published by, Abrams

Comic Releases for November 29th, 2017

For the Love of Indie #42- Giants, Aliens, Superteens

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Use #ftloitalks on Instagram or Twitter to get involved!

Project campaigned by, Kurt Belcher

 Written and drawn by, Jesse Jacobs
Published by, Adhouse Books
Check out a preview

Written by, Sean Lewis
Drawn by, Caitlin Yarsky
Published by, Image Comics
Buy Coyotes #1 

View a full list of contributing writers and artists
Find out more about Comics For Choice

Written by, Zack Kaplan
Drawn by, Andrea Mutti
Published by, Image Comics/Top Cow

Written and drawn by Glyn Dillon
Published by, SelfMadeHero

Drawn by, Josh Hood
Published by, Black Mask Studios

Releases on November 15th, 2017

Hollywood Hero

An article by, Aaron Burton

Fame is a highly sought-after achievement. Who wouldn’t love to be rich and adored by many? Many people believe that being famous would be a drastic improvement to their mundane life. Time and time again find this premise to be flawed. Lottery winners aren’t happier when the check comes. Celebrities have their fair share of problems. There does not seem to be a correlation between fame and content.

As consumers of pop culture, we are often led to believe that our favorite creators are living satisfying lives. While that is the case for many, a lot of creators and personalities are tortured by a lack of fulfillment. Stressful and demanding environments can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. Having to be on the go constantly can make it hard to find fulfillment in other aspects of life such as having a family. Just because their life looks glamorous does not necessarily mean everything is as great as it seems.

Doctor Spektor is the world’s best occult detective. He has been battling the paranormal since 1972 when he first appeared in Mystery Comics Digest. He was created by Donald Glut and Dan Spiegle. This character has gone through many runs and iterations. The most recent version of the character was developed by Dynamite Entertainment. Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult was written by Mark Waid with art by Neil Edwards. The book debuted in November of 2014 and ran for four issues. It is also available in trade paperback.

The 2014 version of Doctor Spektor adds a new twist to the character’s mythology. The doctor’s battles against occult beings are televised on his own reality show. On top of having to be on-point when fighting dangerous monsters, Doctor Spektor has the added layer of pressure from being a famous television personality. People on television see this heroic man fighting his way through paranormal entities. Behind the scenes we see a man battling depression while trying to find a way to fill the hole in his life.

The duality of Doctor Spektor adds a new layer to the characters perspective. We get to see our protagonist battling both external and internal demons. We can see the effects of this torment ripple through aspects of his life, especially regarding those who work closely with him. One humorous example of this can be seen in the beginning of the series. A depressed Doctor Spektor is approached by his assistants to try and get him to go back to work. Not wanting to deal with it, Doctor Spektor teleports his colleagues to a faraway land.

Another interesting aspect of the series is it’s use of time. The panels jump back and forth between different time periods. The changes in time often parallel each other in different ways. There is one point in the first issue where the characters get a knock at the door to find that no one is there. This event is repeated in different time periods. Playing with time is always an interesting way to tell a story. This is especially true in comic books where the writer and artists are confined so a certain number of panels and pages.

I had never heard of the character of Doctor Spektor before deciding to read the 2014 iteration of the story. The experience of reading this book was similar to when I read Supreme: Blue Rose. Both books are reinventions of older characters. In both instances, I had to go back and do some research on the history of the books. Both books deal with time and flashbacks in interesting ways. Most importantly, both books were very fun reads.

If you enjoy the paranormal or classic monsters then this book may be for you. If you are a fan of dark drama and creative uses of plot devices then this book may also be for you. Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult is available on Comixology. It can also be purchased (along with some amazing variant covers) directly from Dynamite Entertainment’s website.

For The Love of Indie #41- Glamera, The Wendy Project, Gravedigger's Union

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Check out the trailer
Buy the graphic novel

 Curated by, Ron Wimberly
Back the Kickstarter

 Written & drawn by, James Kochalka
Published by, Alternative Comics

 Created by, Penina Gal & Betsey Swardlick
Published by, Radiator Comics
Buy Glamera

 Written & drawn by, Jason
Published by, Fantagraphics

 Written and drawn by, Patrick Crotty
Published by Peow Studio

 Written by, Wes Craig
Drawn by, Toby Cypress
Published by, Image Comics

 Written by, Melissa Jane Osborne
Drawn by, Veronica Fish
Published by, Emet Comics

Written by, Jacob Semahn
Drawn by, Jorge Corona
Published by, Image Comics

Written & drawn by, Rachael Smith
Published by, Avery Hill Publishing

Releases on November 8, 2017

Running Out For Milk

An article by, Aaron Burton

I grew up with divorced parents. It wasn’t horrible, but it also was not ideal. As a child, it can be difficult at times to not have both of your parents readily available. I was fortunate enough that my parents lived twenty minutes away from each other. I knew many other children who had it much worse. There is no such thing as a perfect childhood, but most of us seem to get by.

Let me tell you one thing, though. Dads are the worst. They’re always telling silly puns. They humiliate you in front of your friends. Don’t even get me started on the “birds and the bees” talk. The absolute worst thing, however, is when father’s stop showing up. I’ll take an embarrassing father over an invisible one any day. This is especially true when your father runs off with a group of pirates in order to find mythological buried treasure.

Isle of 100,000 Graves is written by Fabien Vehlmann, known for books such as Satania and Paco Les Mains Rogues. The art is done by an indie comics legend known only as Jason. The book is a stand-alone graphic novel published by Fantagraphics Books. It was released in June of 2011. This book could be classified as adventure/dark comedy.

The Isle of 100,000 Graves is a mysterious place of folk-lore legend. The island is said to be the place of many treasures and riches. Many people have tried to secure this treasure of themselves through the use of maps in bottles found floating in the ocean. Little do they know that the island’s allure is a ruse set up by an executioner’s academy in order to attract test subjects. Gwenny’s father left for the Isle of 100,000 a few years ago and never returned. She has now decided that she will travel to the island in order to see if she can find out exactly what happened.

Gwenny is motivated to go on her adventure by her lack of parental stability. With a mentally unhinged mother at home and a father lost at sea Gwenny finds herself motivated to take matters into her own hands. Her feelings of abuse and abandonment are what drive the story’s plot. A prime example of this can be seen in the first pages of the book where Gwenny’s mother attempts to murder her in her sleep.

For those of you who are not familiar with Jason, he has a unique and consistent art style. He often draws anthropomorphized animals with humanoid bodies and animal-like heads. These characters’ eyes frequently do not have pupils. There is typically little shading and minimal detail. All of these factors come together to make an interesting and distinct art style. He truly makes his art his own.

Vehlmann’s writing compliments Jason’s art nicely. The book finds a nice balance between serious and humorous moments. Though the jokes are mostly dry and witty there are a few silly slapstick moments to be found in the pages. The setting of an executioner’s academy lends itself to many gags dealing with the concept of death. I found myself not being concerned with how the plot would be resolved, but engrossed in the story’s background and atmosphere.

I had a great time reading Isle of 100,000 Graves. The concept of a school dedicated to training young executioners is hilarious. I wish there were a book or series devoted exclusively to this academy. The story of a child on a journey to find out the truth about their family is nothing new. That said, Jason and Vehlmann offer a creative and interesting take on the concept. I look forward to reading more of their works.

Isle of 100,000 Graves is available on Comixology. It can also be purchased though Fantagraphics.