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Graphic Breakdown: Highlights From Indie Comic Publishers

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

It’s Friday! So let’s talk about some books that maybe you haven’t heard of!

 

Unholy Grail TPB Vol. 1
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Mirko Colak
Published by Aftershock Comics

Cullen Bunn has quite a career going on. Everything he does is unique and well thought out.

It’s with that I jumped into this book. I was happy I did. I found it to be a well done and well constructed comic.

This book focuses on Arthur Pendragon (King Arthur) and the “true story” behind the legend.

In it, instead of it being a golden world, it is a sort of nightmare. Arthur rises to power and it’s a brutal rise to power.

But can this Arthur still do some good?

Find out here!

The book is well written. The art on it is super good. It makes for a nice package overall. Pick up this collection. It will surprise you by how damn good it is.

RATING: A-

 

Sami the Samurai Squirrel: Welcome to Woodbriar TPB
Written by Scoot McMahon
Illustrated by Scoot McMahon, Art Baltazar, Franco
Published by Action Lab Comics

Scoot McMahon has created a cute book here. It’s good for all ages as well which is a rarity it seems in comics. It’s not the greatest book ever made but it’s fun for sure.

This book focuses on the adventures of a squirrel named Sami who is also a samurai. It’s a simple premise but it works.

Sami is off to find something that has been haunting the town of Woodbriar.

But Sami may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Will he solve the mystery?

Find out here!

The story is innocent but has some nice moments. The art is simple but it doesn’t have to be anything else. Pick this book up and read it with your kids. It’s a lot of fun for sure.

RATING: B+

 

Pizzeria Kamikaze
Written by Etgar Keret
Illustrated by Asaf Hanuka
Published by Archaia

I have been waiting for a translation of this comic book forever.

I am a huge fan of Asaf Hanuka and I love his book The Realist. I have heard about this for years but gave up on ever seeing it. Now it’s here and I’m jumping for joy.

The story focuses on a guy with a broken heart who decides to commit suicide. Sadly, he ends up in the afterlife at a job at a pizzeria.

The world he is in now it sees everyone has died. Now he has to pass the time. But it’s about something more.

Some critics have said this is a slight tale. I disagree. It’s has so much more going for it. The writing is sharp and the art is very good. I recommend tracking it down and buying a copy. I certainly did.

RATING: A

 

Kabul Disco #1 : How I Managed Not to Be Abducted In Afghanistan
Written and Illustrated by Nicolas Wild
Published by Humanoids Inc

This is another book I have been hearing about for a long time yet could never get a translated copy. I’m glad they are reprinting it now as it is a rich book with excellent storytelling.

Once you read it you’ll wonder like I did where it’s been your whole life.

In 2005 Nicolas Wild was a French cartoonist who was broke and homeless. He had nothing on front of him. Then he receives an email about a paid job in Afghanistan!

So he goes!

And so the adventures begin.

This book is a great travelogue and a biography. Wild has some amazing stories that are both entertaining and crazy. His writing is great and his art is simply awesome. You need this in your collection. It’s amazing.

RATING: A

 

Shock Anthology HC
Written and Illustrated by Various
Published by Aftershock Comics

Man, I used to love this title from Caliber Comics called Negative Burn. It had the best creators doing short stories and it was wonderful.

Joe Pruett, the man behind that book, is now running Aftershock Comics and is producing this, a very similar book.

And it’s awesome.

Some stories are better than others with this. But it’s amazing. And it’s chock full of talent. I can’t even name the amount of people involved and most of it is just incredible.

The best for me was the Neil Gaiman story called “Witch Work.” Michael Zulli draws it and even though it’s short it’s amazing. Pick this up. This is well worth the price of admission.

RATING: A

 

Encounter #1
Written by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Chris Giarrusso
Illustrated by Chris Giarrusso
Published by Lion Forge and Cubhouse

I love Chris Giarrusso’s art. His stuff is just fun and enjoyable to look at. Anytime I see his art I am excited to read the book. I know it won’t be a work of art but it’ll be enjoyable enough. Such is the case with this book.

The book focuses on Encounter!

He is a alien from another planet. He can take an form he chooses.

So what does he do?

He decides to become a superhero!

Of course he does!

With his dog Barko, he goes to fight crime on the planet!

The story is light and fun. The art makes it all come together. Give it a read! It’s an enjoyable book for sure!

RATING: B

 

Mechaboys
Written and Illustrated by James Kochalka
Published by Top Shelf Productions

James Kochalka is a certified genius. He’s the kind of creator who does amazing work with every book he touches.

So it comes as no surprise to anyone that his latest is a masterpiece. This is one of the best of the year for sure.

So this book focuses on two kids who are tired of being bullied.

So what do they do?

They build a robot battle suit to take revenge on their entire high school. The problem? They then become popular!

The story is wonderful. It’s enjoyable and sweet without being condescending. The art is just perfect for this tale. Pick this up for sure. It’s a perfect book.

RATING: A

 

The Wilds #1
Written by Vita Ayala and Illustrated by Emily Pearson
Published by Black Mask Studios

Black Mask is quite the comic book publisher. They produce some of the best quality books you’re not reading.

This is another fine title from them.

After a plague wipes out the entire world, people start forming little communities.

Daisy Walker works for the Compound.

It’s a postal service and a black market salvaging operation. Daisy gets mixed up in some crazy dealings and then the book gets off and running!

Ayala is a good writer. The story has great characters and it goes into some crazy places. The art is pretty spiffy as well.

Pick up the book. It’s quite good.

RATING: B+

 

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