Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Over the last couple years, Boom! Studios has done the world of sci-fi and comics a great service by producing an amazing graphic novel version of Philip K. Dick’s legendary Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, possibly best known to film fans as the inspiration for Blade Runner.  This is a multi-volume work that features every word of Dick’s original novel, with art by Tony Parker.  Parker’s art reflects the tone of Dick’s writing, which leads the story in a somewhat lighter direction than Blade Runner, as Dick’s original world never seemed so shadowed and filthy.  This is a terrific version of a sci-fi classic, and another example of the possibilities inherent in the comic / graphic novel form.

There are currently four titles in this series available, with the final two soon to be released.  There is also a sequel series subtitled Dust to Dust, that will also soon be on our shelves.

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Just when you thought it was safe…

Okay, after touting our recent and long-overdue purchase of The Walking Dead series, I also wanted to mention this little gem from Boom! Studios.  Zombie Tales is just what it sounds like: a collection of over a dozen short tales of all things zombie.  With writers like Mark Waid and Keith Giffen on board, and killer – no pun intended – artwork by Andy Kuhn, Lee Moder, you just can’t go wrong.

After I finished reading The Walking Dead, I was really surprised how much I not only enjoyed Robert Kirkman’s epic tale, but desperately wanted the next volume to be published so I could continue to follow Rick and his band of survivors.  That series has its slightly humorous moments, but it’s really a survival story and a harrowing one, at that.  Zombie Tales takes a nod from George Romero and combines alternatingly dark and hysterical stories to create a real world tour of the zombie phenomenon.  This is definitely a fun book, and if you have any interest in all-things-zombie, you should really check it out.

And if you haven’t read The Walking Dead yet, what are you waiting for?!

Potter’s Field

A couple weeks ago I mentioned Mark Waid, his recent shift to Boom! Studios, and his new series Unknown.  Well, I also said he had more than one new title out, and this is the other one new to our shelves: Potter’s Field.

The premise is heavily shrouded, yet absolutely simple.  An unnamed man has devoted himself to attaching names – and, therefore, dignity – to the numbers that act as grave sites in NYC’s Potter’s Field.  That’s a pretty basic premise.  But why does he do this?  How does he discover the secrets no one else can?  He has a cadre of operatives helping him in his quest, but this mystery man is clearly the center of the story, and I can only assume Waid will unearth more of his background as the series moves along.

The art for this tale is by Paul Azaceta, and it’s some of the most heavily shadowed, classic noir type imagery I’ve seen in ages.  There’s a panel early on with a police officer shining his flashlight basically right into the face of the reader, and I looked at that one image for a couple of minutes.  The art has a rough but steady feel that matches the story.  Our “hero” is no superhero sworn to protect the innocent and send the villains to jail.  His innocents have already died, and he has no problem sending their killers to the same fate.  I loved this book and I hope Waid and Azaceta continue this character’s search for… whatever, for a long time.

Mark Waid’s Unknown

After writing for DC and Marvel Comics for almost 20 years, critical favorite Mark Waid made the bold decision to become Editor-in-Chief of Boom! Studios in 2007.  The man responsible for Kingdom Come, a great two-year run on Fantastic Four, and a major player in DC’s 52, decided to craft creater-owned stories exclusively for Boom! Studios, and two of them are now on our shelves.

This first title is Unknown.  It’s the story of Catherine Allingham, the world’s most famous private investigator.  I’m not sure how to explain it, other than to say it’s a combination of Sherlock Holmes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lara Croft Tomb Raider all-in-one.  Through in a potentially fatal illness spurring on her quest, and you’ve got one crazy ride.  Minck Oosterveer’s art is consistently spooky, and Waid has certainly given him some otherworldly concepts to illustrate.  The “unknown” of the title is the essence of Cat’s quest – what happens after we die.  It seems all mysteries but the mystery of death are too easy for this brilliant detective, so the forthcoming titles in this series will follow her on this seemingly impossible quest.

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