Shadoweyes Vol. 1

By Sophie Campbell
204 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

I should have guessed the second I heard about Shadoweyes that it would be anything but typical. Creator Sophie Campbell is probably best known for her graphic novel series Wet Moon, with its beautifully off-beat soap opera of characters and relationships. So while Shadoweyes is indeed Campbell’s take on a superhero, the end result is something far different than I suspect most people would be expecting.

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A Friendly Game

Story and pencils by Joe Pimienta
Script and inks by Lindsay Hornsby
200 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

What is about stories involving mentally deranged children? It’s a strange little niche market that exists in horror stories of all shapes and sizes, where the innocent looking kid turns out to be a stone-cold killer, going after babysitters, family pets, or (inevitably in this sort of story) parents. It’s that particular niche that Joe Pimienta and Lindsay Hornsby mine for their graphic novel A Friendly Game, but even at 200 pages, what we get is such an accelerated descent into madness that this book is hard to swallow on multiple levels.

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Elmer

By Gerry Alanguilan
144 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

I’ll start by addressing the proverbial elephant in the room when it comes to Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer. Yes. It’s a book where the main character is a talking chicken. And no, it’s not a comedy. It’s actually a clever alternate history from Alanguilan, answering a question that seems simple enough on the surface but turns out to be anything but: what would happen if chickens suddenly gained full sentience and could speak? What results from this simple premise turns into an excellently written and drawn story that will pull just about any reader into its pages.

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Sisters’ Luck

By Shari Chankhamma
152 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

The Sisters’ Luck is the sort of graphic novel that has a great and relatively simple concept. A pair of twin sisters where each half has a linked power; one takes good luck from people, the other gives bad luck to people. When they’re together, nothing happens, but as soon as they’re apart, their abilities manifest. After reading that on the back cover copy, I found myself dying to read the actual story. What I found inside, though, was a bit more than I had bargained for. And that’s not always a good thing.

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Royal Historian of Oz #1

Written by Tommy Kovac
Art by Andy Hirsch
24 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

One of the things I find fascinating about L. Frank Baum’s Oz series is the number of writers and interpretations that have come to it over the years. It’s a practice that began in the 1920s when Ruth Plumly Thompson was chosen to write books in the series after Baum’s death, and from there not only did additional writers take over the series, but as Baum’s books fell into the public domain it opened up the doors to even more writers to try their hand at Oz. All of this is kept in mind with Tommy Kovac and Andy Hirsch’s new mini-series The Royal Historian of Oz, which has its own take on the idea of various writers trying to take over the job of writing about Oz, and in doing so has something to say about the nature of writing.

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Paris

Written by Andi Watson
Art by Simon Gane
144 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

For someone who loves most of Andi Watson’s creations, I really have no idea why it’s taken me this long to finally read Paris. It’s been a strange sort of blind spot amidst books like Breakfast After Noon, Slow News Day, or Glister. And now that I’ve read it? I must admit that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting from Watson.

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Biff Bam Pow! #1

Written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer
Art by Evan Dorkin
24 pages, black and white
Published by SLG Publishing

There are some creators whom I think it’s easy to take for granted. When they release a comic, you just assume that it’s going to be great, buy a copy, and don’t think twice about it. The problem with taking it for granted, though, is that if you don’t get excited about the book’s release then people might not talk it up to others and let them know just how good it is. I can’t help but think that’s a problem with Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer’s Biff Bam Pow!, which was thoroughly entertaining, but seemed to generate no real buzz at all. And that’s a real shame.

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Wonderland #1

Written by Tommy Kovac
Art by Sonny Liew
24 pages, color
Published by Slave Labor Graphics

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are two novels that have spawned so many adaptations, unofficial sequels, and works inspired by Carroll’s creations that I don’t think I could even begin to count them all. With such a large number available, it’s easy to be picky about which ones to seek out and avoid. In the case of Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew’s Wonderland, though, I think it’s well worth your time.

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Serenity Rose Vol. 1: Working Through the Negativity

By Aaron Alexovitch
144 pages, black and white
Published by Slave Labor Graphics

Everyone’s had those sort of days. You’re lying down on the couch, you’re tired enough that you can’t get up, but not so tired that you can actually fall asleep. In my case, I found myself fumbling around on the floor for that pile of review books that I’d absent-mindedly set down earlier in the day, and finally my fingers landed on a book: Serenity Rose Vol. 1: Working Through the Negativity. And you know? It was clearly meant to be. Like magic, or something.

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Egg Story

By J. Marc Schmidt
64 pages, black and white
Published by Slave Labor Graphics

There are a lot of “coming of age” stories being told, in all types of media and in all shapes and forms. It’s a story that everyone’s familiar with, having had to live some part of it one’s self as time goes by. That’s certainly what J. Marc Schmidt tapped into for his new graphic novel—but unlike most stories of this nature, Schmidt took a slightly different tactic. His story is about a group of eggs.

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