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The BLACK LAMB
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TIMOTHY TRUMAN
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The BLACK LAMB
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Click Here for the entire Comic-Book Superstore back-issue collection of The Black Lamb
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featuring back issues available direct from Tim Truman
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UNCLE SAM
Click HERE to order UNCLE SAM
The Graphic Novel
Written by Steve Darnall
Painted art by Alex Ross
Hardcover: 104 pages
DC Comics
ISBN: 156389436X
$17.95
From Kirkus Reviews
This truly subversive graphic novel more explicitly radical than anything else from DC Comics in recent memory almost makes up for the years of muscular patriotism and jingoistic violence that have long defined most of the companys product. Alex Ross, who recently provided the lush paintings for Superman: Peace on Earth, here flexes his illustrative skills in the service of Darnall's stunning text, a damning account of American political history that also affirms basic democratic ideals.
From the first full-page illustration of Uncle Sam as a derelict reaching out to the reader, the visually rich narrative makes its overarching point: the spirit of everything great in American history is down on its luck. Uncle Sam, whose image here derives largely from James Montgomery Flagg's famous "I Want You" poster, stumbles through a dreamy landscape. In the foreground, he's an old nut, a psycho in the ER who spouts sound bites from presidential history and pop culture. Periodically, he finds himself elsewhere in time:  Preparing to fight the Revolutionary War; in Kennedys Dallas limo; at the Blackhawk Massacre of 1832; at Andersonville Prison; and at a labor protest in 1932; at a Louisiana lynching.  Scenes blend into one another, demonstrating the continuity of American history; bedraggled present-day Sam interrupts a political rally exploiting his alter ego.
The pictorial narrative here is so smart that political speeches are illustrated with voice-over balloons explicating the truth behind the double-talk. Supplemented with a fine essay on the iconography and legend of Uncle Sam, this portrait of a down-and-out American hero quotes visually from both fine art (e.g., Vermeer) and classic illustrationthe spirit of N.C.Wyeth is very much alive here. Among the most captivating examples of left-wing agitprop since the days of the Popular Front: Darnall and Ross' populist message comes draped in red, white, and true-blue.
óCopyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
The UNKNOWN SOLDIER
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The Collected Edition
Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Kilian Plunkett
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
Paperback: 112 pages
DC Comics
ISBN: 156389422X
$12.95
A maverick CIA agent navigates a minefield of dirty tricks and black operatives as he embarks on a globe-hopping search for the U.S. Army's legendary cleanup man, known only as the Unknown Soldier, in this tale exploring battlefield morality and the complex nature of patriotism.
One of DC's classic characters is re-imagined for the '90s in this striking trade paperback collecting the acclaimed miniseries written by Eisner Award-winning writer Garth Ennis (Best Writer), with art by Kilian Plunkett. In addition to the shocking decade-spanning tale of honor and espionage, and the distinctive original covers by Tim Bradstreet (GANGLAND), the UNKNOWN SOLDIER paperback features design sketches by Bradstreet and artist Kilian Plunkett (Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire).
See Also: our GARTH ENNIS listing.
VERTIGO VISIONS
Artwork from the Cutting Edge of Comics
by Alisa Kwitney
Hardcover: 208 pages
Watson-Guptill Publications
ISBN: 0823056031
$29.95
Adult comic book enthusiasts and lovers of cutting-edge artwork will applaud the ground-breaking masterpieces in this collection of fantasy, crime, mystery, and surreal illustrations. The book spotlights outstanding artwork that has appeared under the famed Vertigo imprint since it was launched by DC Comics in 1993. Always pushing boundaries, this art can be baroque or minimalist, haunting or fantastical, painted or computer generated--and, as this volume amply proves--it is always unforgettable.
 A wide range of acclaimed artists and designers includes Dave McKean, Marshall Arisman, Rick Berry, the Starn Twins, Michael W. Kaluta, Sue Coe, Greg Spalenka, Barron Stacey, and Brian Bolland.

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Well-known and much-beloved for giving intelligent grownups comics they can read in public, DC's Vertigo line has devoted as much energy to its art as to its stories. This attention underlies every page of Vertigo Visions, a collection of 185 images from covers, trading cards, and gallery work by 75 artists. Dave McKean's dreamy collages from the Sandman series and Brian Bolland's precise caricatures of the Invisibles highlight a collection of consistently startling work. Tremendous care and feeling suffuse the art--in oil, watercolor, digitally enhanced photography, and ink, and a range of styles spanning the centuries. Editor Alisa Kwitney's text gently persuades inveterate readers to let our eyes linger over each image as though we were actually reading a thousand words, reminding us that paying attention delivers substantial rewards.

--Rob Lightner
Alisa Kwitney is a novelist and former Vertigo editor. She lives in New York City.
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