Indie Edge: Belushi and Bartkira

by Andrea Purcell

If you've ever browsed through a PREVIEWS catalog, you know how packed full each issue can be. It's so packed, that you might have overlooked a choice comic tucked away on one of its many pages. There are so many sections to look through each month, it can be almost impossible to search out all of the awesome comic books that you want to pre-order at your local comic shop. The Indie Edge column is made to help by taking a look at just some (and trust us, there's a lot) of the amazing small press, alternative, and indie titles currently available in this month's catalog!

The "indie" umbrella can be wide, and these comics cover a lot of different story types and styles, but you can find just about any comic you've ever wanted and maybe a few you never knew you needed. Take a look at the books highlighted below and if anything is begging to be read, wander over to your local comic shop to pre-order these comics and anything else from this month's PREVIEWS catalog!

The holidays are over and the weather is getting worse, stock up on your blizzard staples like some new indie comics from your local comic shop!

Back in the Saddle

Daniel Clowes hasn’t released an all-new, original graphic novel for over half a decade; that’s what makes Patience (JAN161448) so rewarding. This new novel being published by Fantagraphics is Clowes’ first return to science fiction since Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron (OCT148007). A psychedelic love story, this surprising and suspenseful tale dips between violent destruction and personal tenderness quickly enough to give whiplash. Taking on science fiction gives Clowes the opportunity to show off his art and draw some of the most breathtaking pages of his career. This surreal and beautiful graphic novel is sure to become a modern classic of independent comics.

 None More Goth

Thanks to New York Review Comics, a depressing and desolate comic classic is getting a new printing. Mark Beyer’s Agony (JAN161576) is one of the greatest indie graphic novels of the Eighties. With a timelessly bleak outlook on life, Amy and Jordan are just trying to get through day by day. But when you’re the main characters in a Mark Beyer novel, things always turn out for the worst. Hunted by the police, menaced by bears, and beheaded by ghosts, this despondent couple continues onward.  A must have for any fan of misery and cheerlessness, join the Doom Generation along with Amy and Jordan in Agony.

Putting the Band Back Together

One of America’s greatest comedic icons is coming to comics is an unusual way; Italian comic creators Alberto Schiavone and Matteo Manera are working with One Peace Books to bring a Blues Brother back in Belushi: On A Mission From God (JAN161577). A graphic memoir chronicling John Belushi’s rise to fame and fall into sudden tragedy, this comic is a love letter to a comedian that changed the face of the entertainment forever. Full of tenderness and passion for its subject, Schiavone and Manera give everyone’s favorite Belushi brother a poignant eulogy to a life cut far too short. 


Eat My (Nuclear) Shorts!

One of the strangest comic book mashups has been collected in a glorious hardcover edition with all of the proceeds going to charity. Alternative Comics is behind the Bartkira Nuclear Edition (JAN161028), a retelling of the seminal manga masterpiece Akira (AUG090981) through pop culture’s most famous family, The Simpsons. Originally created as a loving fan homage, Bartkira soon took on a life of its own and has ignited a zeitgeist of nostalgia for these two fictions of disaffected youth. With art ranging from bizarre abstracts to scenes in Matt Groening’s own style, this is a crossover that will transform how you see Akira and The Simpsons forever. See more of the madness online at:

Take It To The Ring

A classic throwback to the days of televised wrestling and early Nineties alternative comics The Unmentionables (JAN161174) is a time capsule you’ll want to crack open with glee. UK based artist Jack Teagle teamed up with Retrofit Comics to create a one-shot that couches a serious drama in the faux drama of wrestling. Bigger than life, Lizard Woman is in reality just Lizz, a single mom who must take on her wrestling foe Vulturella in the ring to stop a conspiracy to rob a bank from going down. Frenetic energy and a surreal style help this one-shot stand out from the crowd, and take the belt.

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