SAN DIEGO — Attention “Twilight” fans, in addition to movies, music and video games, there’s something else at Comic-con that you may be interested in.
Okay, let’s be realistic, maybe they won’t be interested in comic books, but millions are, it’s the reason why Comic-con exists and we can’t get enough of it.
With the first full day of the con behind us, here’s a look at some of the best non-major label comics that have caught my eye so far at the sold out 2008 San Diego Comic-con International.
Of course, even after trolling the exhibit floor Wednesday for preview night and a good chunk of the day today, I’m sure I haven’t seen all the good ones yet, so don’t go crazy if your favs aren’t on the list.
Red Eye Press
“No matter how hard she tries, Valentine just can’t leave the killing game behind. Her life as an assassin has made her a liability to everyone she’s ever known — and the lingering mental effects of the CIA’s MkUltra program have clouded her memory, making her past a puzzle waiting to be pieced together,” states the premise for Dan Cooney’s “Valentine.” This sexy, bitchy killer provides for some classic comic entertainment. The new book, “The Killing Moon,” was unveiled at Comic-con, and it is very good, opening with Valentine crashing a car through some thugs’ living room and taking out the trash.
Visionary Comics Studio
Kingston, Valiente, Gravel
Sure it’s been a while since the WWE was cool, but that doesn’t change how good this story of a young man’s quest to make it in the world of professional wrestling. This color glossy book is well-designed and very impressive for a smaller outfit. When writer Michael Kingston approached me, I didn’t expect much out of a wrestling book, but the amount of work the team put into the comic shows.
Imagine a world where Hollywood was run not by studio execs but by comic book creators. Enter loveable blue Toupydoops and his half-bear, half-human sidekick Teetereater. This is a black and white book that’s well-drawn and nicely detailed. Despite the language and adult situations, there’s something wholesome and genuinely entertaining to be gleaned from reading the six books that McShane and company have put out so far.
Not so much a comic book as it is an art movement, GirlsDrawinGirls is a fantastic journey through time as some of the top female artists and animators collaborate to draw their gender from caveman days to Victorian times, through their visages of the future. I met with three of the ladies Wednesday, including Melody Severns, who currently works on “The Simpsons.” I also bought a wonderfully illustrated print of a girl playing Nintendo Wii done by Danni S. Lou.
How to be a Serial Killer
Luke Ricci, Ramon Espinoza
This book was a Comic-con special one-shot deal previewing a movie that’s coming out later in the year. The title explains it all — a man becomes a serial killer and kills people. It’s brutal and violent, but I’m glad I got my hands on a copy of this promotional comic, because the color and drawings are so perfectly done that it makes me want to see the movie — or at least wish Viper could commission a full comic series.
Three more not to miss: “DMZ” by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli and on the major label side, Image’s “Suburban Glamour” by Jamie McKelvie and “Tales of the Starlight Drive In” by Michael San Giacomo et al.