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Indie Edge: Boy's Club, Video Tonfa, & Secretimes

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!

March’s Indie Edge column is roaring in with all the awesome comics from the PREVIEWS catalog that you need to shake off the winter blues as 4chan’s favorite frog comes to print in Boy’s Club, Conundrum Press looks back at twenty years of work, Frederic Bezian’s gothic horror comes to America, and more!


Be Kind, Rewind

There’s nothing quite like the art of a VHS box, both nostalgic and intriguing to draw the viewer into the story before even watching the tape; but in this era of overused Photoshop it’s become a dying art. Luckily for video tape aficionados Alternative Press is bringing the art of Tim Goodyear to comic shops with the publication of his new graphic novel, Video Tonfa (MAR161027). A project Goodyear started in 2009, Video Tonfa is a diary of all the VHS movies he was watching, encompassing over 300 entries in all. Featuring both cult and mainstream films, Video Tonfa showcases Goodyear’s hand drawn recreations of the movie’s original box art and stream of consciousness reviews. A beautiful look back at this almost forgotten art, fans of VHS nostalgia or just movies in general will want to pick up this unique look at film. 

The Long and Winding Road

The world of independent comics has changes drastically in the last twenty years; from underground zines to award-winning web series, the label of independent has shifted and mutated to cover a wide host of creations. Conundrum Press is chronicling their twenty year history as a leading independent publisher in 20 X 20: Twenty Years of Conundrum Press (MAR161304). A collection of twenty artists (with each artist focusing on a single year in which he/she had a book published), this book offers a diverse and breathtaking assortment of talent. Featuring new comics from creators Joe Ollmann, Dakota McFadzean, and David Collier among others, this is a true representation of the work Conundrum Press founder Andy Brown has brought to comics since 1996.   

The Rarest Pepe

Fantagraphics is bringing the Internet’s favorite meme to comic shops in Matt Furie’s twisted and depraved graphic novel, Boy’s Club (MAR161471). This collection of comical vignettes follows four teenage weirdoes through their adventures in drug-fueled hedonism, laconic psychedelia and impish mischief. Thanks to the users of 4chan, Boy’s Club has a built-in recognition among Internet slackers who have created a prevalent meme out of the character of Pepe the Frog. The perfect companion comic for Fantagraphics’ other darkly humored stoner comedy series Megahex (JUL141215), Furie has created an impeccable mix of childlike enchantment and abject disgust, which is sure to appeal to Pepe’s biggest fans.

French Gothic

For fans of French horror and crime noir the name Frederic Bezian is well known, and now thanks to Humanoids, Bezain is getting his chance to wow American readers with the newly translated Adam Sarlech Trilogy (MAR161527). This hardcover collection shows off Bezain’s beautiful artwork, and showcases an engrossing universe full of bizarre characters and haunting plots. Dappled with the classic gothic influences of Lovecraft and Poe, Bezian puts his character through an off kilter mix of hidden secrets, the occult, succubi, spiritual séances, and more. Fans of Dylan Dog and Criminal Macabre will want to pick up this stunning gathering of Bezian’s best stories. 

Soylent Green for the 1%

A brightly colored nightmare brought to life by Drawn & Quarterly, Keith Jones’ new graphic novel Secretimes (MAR161407) is a manic and surreal look at a world that favors the rich and grinds the poor into paste. Jones tells the tale of two unfortunate hobos who are wrongfully accused of murdering Mr. Mouse Mouser and trying to avoid the dire consequences in a world where the odds are stacked against them. This pop culture parable is brought to life through stunning colors, melting neon figures, and idiosyncratic sound effects, all perfectly blended with dripping irony to deliver a perfect satire of modern life.