The Locust Moon Top 40: June 2014 – Nemo Edition

This is the space where we usually spotlight 40 amazing things from the last month — adorable cat videos, cheesy songs we can’t stop listening to, and COMICS COMICS COMICS. For the month of June, we’ve decided to do something a little bit different.

If you’ve been anywhere in our general vicinity or exist within nine degrees of separation from us on Twitter, you are probably by now aware of the epic Kickstarter campaign we’ve launched for our insane, Quixotic, 16″ x 21″ hardcover Winsor McCay tribute LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM. This is one star-studded anthology — maybe the most star-studded comics anthology of all time — and there’s been a lot of press and attention on the big names who’ve come together to pay tribute to our favorite Sunday strip: the Paul Popes, John Cassadays, Michael Allreds, J.H. Williamses (and Yuko Shimizus and Bill Sienkiewiczes and Dean Haspiels and yada genius yada).

So we wanted to use this space to draw attention to 40 artists in DREAM ANOTHER DREAM whose names you may not know yet — cartoonists and illustrators whose work is stunning, beautiful, restlessly inventive, original and bold, but who haven’t yet achieved the name recognition of the people mentioned above. One of the things we love most about LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM is that it combines the biggest artists of its day with the biggest artists of tomorrow. Here, in no particular order, are forty folks you should be hearing a lot about in the next few years.

Note: click on any artist’s name to get to his or her website and see more.

40. RAUL GONZALEZ. Raw and refined. Sweeter than sugar, harder than real deal moonshine.
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39. BODIE CHEWNING is, quite simply, one of the most talented people out there. If only we could get him to draw more than six pages a year…
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38. Master of puppets JENNA TROST charms and creeps in equal measure.
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37. DAVE CHISHOLM slings a pen and a trumpet the exact same way — like he invented the thing, and he’s gonna show you what it can do.
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36. With a precise cartoonist’s eye, KATIE MOODY turns stories upside-down, inside-out and back again.
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35. BISHAKH SOM‘s mind-bending architecture, gentle characters, and inviting colors can keep us staring for hours.
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good this week

big damn sin city : over 1300 pages of frank miller’s hardboiled b&w masterpiece. you can hurt someone with this thing.

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saga #20 : the beat goes on.

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all-new doop #3 : doop!

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batman black & white harley quinn statue : a fine new edition to this classy line of statues.

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-chris stevens

good this week

starlight #4 : mark millar, discarding the profanity and shock tactics he has fallen back on for most of the last decade, teams with a spot-on goran parlov to deliver this charming, human space fantasy. this issue sports an all too rare appearance from travis charest on the cover.

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she-hulk #5 : ron wimberly steps in on art duties here and stretches and warps things to perfection, aided by some fine coloring from rico renzi. this book is on a roll.

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lumberjanes #3 : i love the fact that this book brings new faces into the store on a regular basis. we need more books like this!

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manifest destiny #7 : amidst a slew of hit IMAGE books this qusi-historical monster romp flies under the radar somewhat. lots of fun, with gorgeous color work from owen gieni and rising star linework by matthew roberts.

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witzend : wally wood’s self-published anthology collected in its entirety in a fantastic slipcase edition.

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–chris stevens

 

The Locust Moon Top 40: May 2014

40. SECRET AVENGERS

Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Doop be damned — this may be the most fun book that Marvel is putting out. Come for the comedy, stay for the wild sci-fi ideas and propulsively energetic storytelling.

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39. Alan Moore Interview on Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson has had an outsized impact on comics sci-fi as one of the prime influences of two of its major writers: Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Now, as bonus content for the COSMIC TRIGGER theatrical Kickstarter, you can hear comics favorite curmudgeon spend an hour kvelling about the importance of Wilson’s particular brand of visionary oddball sci-fi.

38. SHE-HULK

Charles Soule & Javier Pulido continue making us smile with their latest issue of She-Hulk, taking the jolly green she-giant over to San Francisco to see Daredevil — making for an obviously perfect crossover. The two super-lawyers wonder why they never went up against each other back in NYC, and so do we…

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37. THE AMATEURS

Conor Stechschulte’s graphic novel debut is a strange little incantation, a quietly funny nightmare in black & white — the sort of book that lingers in the back corners of your mind.

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36. KIRBY NEW GODS ARTIST’S EDITION

The unadulterated tiger-force, delivered straight from the tiger-source.

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The Locust Moon Top 40: April 2014

40. ALL NEW X-MEN #25

An all-star line-up of creators beautifies this anniversary issue of Brian Bendis’ goofily fun stab at adding to the X-mythos.

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39. Compendium of Comic Maps

Every comic (and every book) should start with a map. Delving into this wealth of literary cartography, it’s easy to imagine that they do.

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38. DARKSEID MINUS NEW GODS

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Remember Garfield Minus Garfield? Imagine that, juiced with the Anti-Life Equation.

37. SEX CRIMINALS

Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky bring an oddball eroticism to this supernatural sex-caper comedy, a generally gleeful creativity that springs from their ultimate turn-on: the expressive freedom of creator-owned comics.

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36. MoCCAFest 2014

Another MoCCAFest, another inspiring celebration of comics & craftsmanship, this one presided over by a Staypuft-Marshmallow-Man-Scale Charlie Brown balloon, and featuring well-deserved awards for Locust Moon contributors and our pals Alexandra Beguez & Dave Plunkert.

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good this week

secret avengers #2 : issue #1 was terrific and #2 tops it with a great blend of action, humor, and intelligence in ales kot’s script topped off by flawless visual storytelling from michael walsh.

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shutter #1 : a book with the potential for a ton of fun, with some killer art from leila del duca.

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all-new doop #1 : i get it, little guy. i really do. i think we’ve all had a crush on kitty pryde at one time in our lives.

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lumberjanes #1 : fun, funny stuff, with some fine cartooning from brooke allen.

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jonah hex shadows west : it’s good to see some of the fine work tim truman did in the 90’s coming back into print, with the release of the masterful HAWKWORLD last month and now this collection of hex mini series with writer joe lansdale. great hard-edged supernatural horror.

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spongebob #31 : spongey and patrick stay up past their bedtime.

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east of west #11 and east of west volume 2 : volume 2 added all kinds of wickedness while issue #11 lays the groundwork for major confrontation between the nation states. consistently excellent.

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–chris stevens

good this week

starlight #2 : issue #1 was no fluke–this book is flat-out fun, and drop dead gorgeous to look at thanks to goran parlov. this looks like it’s going to be a real fun ride.

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judge dredd mega city two #3 : there’s a spread in here that’s worth the $4 all on its own. sorry, geoff darrow.

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elephantmen #55 : wrapping up a hallucinatory storyline that got us deeper into the proceedings than ever.

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copra #13 : michel fiffe revs up season two. yee haw!

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pretty deadly #5 : wrapping up the first arc, this series has been beautiful, impenetrable, and compelling, often all at once. look out for the upcoming trade, this one’s a keeper.

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batman by doug moench and kelley jones vol. #1 : the current bat team of snyder & capullo gets a lot of praise, and the bat is riding high on the sales charts. hopefully some of those fans will turn on to this incredible collection of one of the finest creative teams ever to work in gotham. doug moench had a long and successful history with the character before kelley jones, coming off the famous ‘season of mists’ SANDMAN storyline, took over art chores. the rest is history. jones’ muscular, shadowy portrayal of batman and his world, ably abetted by inker john beatty, is unforgettable. snarling, snapping, this is a batman where there is no daylight.

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–chris stevens

And I’ve got to add…

She-Hulk #3 : Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, and Muntsa Vicente continue their charming and beautiful take on the lady lawyer — this time bringing in Doc Doom’s wonderfully perfect son Kristoff as client and foil (and potential love interest?). Everything about this book puts a smile on my face, up to and including Kevin Wada’s covers.

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– Andrew Carl

The Locust Moon Top 40: March 2014

40. DESTINO

This is what it looks like when Walt Disney and Salvador Dali sort of collaborate. Sure makes you wonder what could have come of a deeper partnership.

39. BASEWOOD

Another delicious fruit of the Kickstarter era. Never before would a work as personal and idiosyncratic as Alec Longstreth’s BASEWOOD have seen publication in such a beautifully produced oversized edition, a handsomely made book containing a flawlessly cartooned story of loss, survival and connection.

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38. GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

OK, so none of us have actually gotten around to seeing it yet. But we’re so happy to have more Wes Anderson in the world that we’re listing it anyway.

37. MONSTERS & TITANS – the BATTLING BOY art book

Finally, we can see BATTLING BOY artwork the way it deserves to be seen: BIG.

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36. This Terrifying Short Film

Watch if you’re sick of sleeping, and would prefer never to do it again.

35. New Wu Tang Album

They are pressing one single copy of their new double album, which will be sold to the highest bidder. Something tells me we won’t end up finding this one for $3 in the bargain bin of the Princeton Record Exchange, like we did with 36 Chambers in 1997.

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good this week

silver surfer #1 : yee haw, a surfer book by mike allred! a match made in celestial heaven here, as allred and writer dan slott start off on the new adventures of the sentinel of the spaceways. matching cosmic goodness with homey, human elements, allred is smack dab in his wheelhouse here, and i couldn’t be happier to go along for the ride.

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star slammers #1 : walter simonson’s bad to the bone space opera gets rolled out for the 21st century. the art & storytelling are prime simonson. ’nuff said.

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metabarons genesis: castaka : more metabarons mythos in a handsome slip-cased hardcover.

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the adventures of nilson groundthumper and hermy : a delightful forerunner to stan sakai’s beloved USAGI YOJIMBO. great cartooning.

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the glorkian warrior delivers a pizza : james kochalka slings pies.

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sandman overture #2 : better late than never? oh yes. lush, gorgeous stuff.

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–chris stevens

good this week

saga volume #3 : hearts rejoice as the next collection of this compulsively readable series is on the shelf.

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adventure time #26 : kicking off a 4-part arc drawn by the magnificent jim rugg.

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sex criminals #5 : as purvis mack says, ‘matt fraction is coming along.’

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prophet #43 : a jam issue packed with killer visuals.

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zero #6 : kicking off a new storyline for this engaging, smart spy story.

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noah : a good-looking hardcover based on the upcoming darren aronofsky movie. having niko henrichon on art was a smart call.

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daredevil #1 : whether this relaunch was unnecessary or not it’s just good to have mark waid and chris samnee back in action and taking the man without fear to the west coast.

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thor #20 : esad ribic is a fantastic modern day thor artist. any issue he draws is cause for celebration.

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the white suits #2 : toby cypress continues to wow the heck out us with the best art any crime book has had in a long time.

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nemo the roses of berlin : alan moore and kevin o’neill roll out the latest chapter of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN.

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sovereign #1 : paul maybury’s art gives this debut fantasy series a gravity that a lot of these kinds of books lack. off to a good start!

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–chris stevens