Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – January 2020

Welcome to the brand spankin’ new year and new decade! Some things never change, though, and Previews #376 is out, with fun comics for you! So let’s take a look at what’s coming out, and maybe Travis will show up to share his new-found obsession with figures that is being enabled, apparently, by the new, totally not-fictional lady friend in his life! He’s in black, of course, and I’m in blue. Good times!

Man, you got all done and I hadn’t even gotten the Previews book yet!  I’ll see what’s going on now, though!

I’m liking what I’m seeing in the FCBD stuff.  Looks like a good crop this year.  I like how Ten Speed Press says in the solicit for the Jack Kirby book that Tom Scioli is doing that Scioli is “greatly influenced” by Kirby.  It’s like saying the tides are greatly influenced by the moon, innit?

I don’t see any similarities between their work whatsoever.

Well, that looks weird

Image:

Solicits!

Holy crap, Decorum (page 50) should be terrific. It’s Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston, and the art samples look great, while it’s the story of a … “well-mannered” assassin who might be a time traveler? Maybe? It seems like, from the art, that there are steampunk conquistadors getting beaten by Aztecs? Weird, wild stuff. Anyway, Hickman is usually worth it, especially when he’s not ruining the X-Men (yeah, I said it), and Huddleston is great, so this will probably rock.

Damn, that does look good.  Has Hickman wrapped all his other Image stuff up yet, though?

Hey, now, let’s not talk crazy or anything!

For some reason, Mirka Andolfo is suddenly unleashing all sorts of creator-owned crap on us, and while I could not really get into pig porn, Mercy (page 54) sounds pretty cool – a Victorian gothic horror story with a mysterious woman doing mysterious things. Could be neat.

Yeah, I saw the preview stuff about this from some con recently, I guess.  I assume because Andolfo has been doing work in Europe for years, there’s a buildup of material that can come out in the states now.

I have a serious thing for chicks in hats – always have, always will

Die! Die! Die! is back on page 60. This is a fun as shit comic, and I’m glad it’s back for more insanity.

I need to get the first trade.

Oh, look, it’s an Outer Darkness/Chew crossover on page 62. Layman told me he was trying to get this together a while back, and it’s very cool it’s coming together. It’s going to be weird, I’m sure!

I saw this and it sounds so weird.  I need to catch up with both series, but I can’t because (say it with me, kids) the first CHEW Smorgasbord HC is apparently out of print and I can’t get it!

Makes perfect sense!

I’m not sure exactly what Coffin Bound is about because the solicits are never that clear, but Dan Watters is a pretty good writer, and it sounds at least a little interesting, so I’ll probably get the trade on page 66.

I’m in, even though it’s 17 bucks for only 4 fucking issues.  Grr!  It does sound cool though.

Pretty Violent sounds fun, where the young girl of a supervillain family wants to be a superhero.  The trade is on page 69. [Edit: Nice.]

I just don’t like the art style. It’s not the “kiddie” nature of it, but something about it bugs me. I’ll have to think about it.

I can see that, though.  There is something about it that looks a little off somehow, but it still looks fun enough.

Oh, I guess I should get volume 3 of Trees, the collection of the Three Fates mini, on page 73.

It would be funny if Savage Dragon 251 on page 87, titled Crawling From the Wreckage, had a Doom Patrol-like group appear.  Hey, wasn’t Larsen the artist on DP before GMozz made it weird?

Yes, indeed he was. And that would be weird but appropriate!

Make it happen, Erik Larsen!

Dark Horse:

Solicitations!

X-Ray Robot is Mike Allred’s new comic, starring a man and his 277-year-old robotic self from the future. Sure, why not? Allred is always interesting – not the greatest writer, but not bad, and the art is sure to be gorgeous. Groovy stuff!

Of course I want this.  Do I wait for the trades so I can get all the covers as well, though?  Tough call!

So he’s the Visible Man, basically

On page 96, we find Starship Down, which is about people finding a spaceship buried in thousands-year-old ice in Siberia and the crap that happens afterward. Might be fun, and Andrea Mutti is a good artist, so it might be worth it.

Sounds interesting.

The Neil Gaiman Library on page 98 is pretty cool, although it might actually be better to have the stories in their own volumes (like what is currently available), as they seem to operate better as discrete units.  A Study in Emerald and How to Talk to Girls at Parties are both great stories and the adaptations look great.

I have all of those already, and they are quite good!

Man, I don’t care about Minecraft, but I do like Kristen Gudsnuk, my first interview.  I don’t believe she mentioned this in her year end email to those of us on her mailing list, so she probably wasn’t able to yet.  But this is the first of 3 volumes?  Damn me for following creators onto properties I don’t care about!  Hee hee.  It’s on page 100, btw.

We get some old Michel Fiffe comic on page 105 called Panorama, which is a body-horror romance. Of course it is. Fiffe is a very interesting creator, so I’ll have to check this out.

Yeah, that looks good and weird.  I’m interested.

There’s a Scary Godmother Omnibus on page 106, which might be worth it just for Jill Thompson’s artwork. The stories are fun, too, but they are kids’ books, so be warned!

Ooh, man, all of it?  I like this, and who cares if it’s for kids, it’s Jill Thompson!

Warning: This isn’t really all that scary

Is it possible that we who missed the early volumes might be able to get Empowered by Adam Warren from the start, now?  There’s an omnibus of the first 3 volumes on page 107, so I might spring for this, it sounds fun and Warren’s art is cool.

I have one volume and it just wasn’t my thing. It’s not bad, but it just didn’t resonate with me.

I’m not surprised at that, but it sounds like something I would like.

Look at you, thinking you know what I like and don’t like!!!!!

On page 108, there’s a Luther Arkwright trade that collects the two stories Bryan Talbot did years ago. I still haven’t read this, but the art is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

I’ve heard it’s also quite the influence on GMozz and more.  Excellent that both are in one volume, and for a nicer price than the HC from several years back.

The hardcover is really cool, though!

I liked the first volume of Spell on Wheels, and now Just to Get to You, the second adventure, comes to print on page 111.  This had some “drama” because they solicited the first 2 or 3 issues of this then cancelled them, but it probably works better in GN form anyway.

I’m grabbing Steeple in trade on page 112, as John Allison is on my “buy anything by this person” list.  I should actually come up with that list, you know?

DC:

Solicitations? Solicitations.

Hey, did you notice on the inside cover, the “VP of DC Comics Marketing” is none other than Jonah Weiland, former grand poobah of Comic Book Resources? I had heard he got a job, but I don’t think I knew it was with DC. Good for him!

I had heard that awhile back, and I knew it was DC.  I thought everyone had discussed this on the Slack, sir!

Maybe. I know it was discussed, but I didn’t remember the DC part. I got things on my mind, man!

I understand that!  But I’m pretty sure we had discussed the DC part.

Probably. I’m just getting old, man!

Man, that Robin 80th Anniversary 100 Page Super Spectacular cover by Lee Weeks on page 1 is damn cool looking.  Great creator lineup too (I assume Miller is doing a Carrie Kelley pinup), and I hope they give a nod to the recently deceased Tom Lyle.

I was looking at this, and I can’t even tell if it’s new stuff or reprints. I assume it’s new stuff, because they wouldn’t have it as the first thing in the catalog if not, and that’s cool. But I was cornfused for a bit.

I think it’s new stuff.  But I’m not sure either.

Lee Weeks is awesome, peeps

Tom King and Mitch Gerads reunite for Strange Adventures on page 3, joined by Evan Shaner to do some of the art. It sounds like a “split” kind of comic, with the dark and scary stuff drawn by Gerads and the shiny happy stuff drawn by Shaner. Mister Miracle was so good until the godawful final issue, so I have some hopes for this, but who knows?

Hmm, I’m not sure I would have called the last issue godawful, but it did take a hard turn from the rest of the series.  I liked Mister Miracle lots, so I look forward to the trade of this in 2021!

Well, you’re wrong, but that’s okay!

I have enough people in my life to tell me that!

Gotham High is a YA story on page 10, and it looks fine, but now that Mark Russell has let us know that Bruce Wayne was called “Bee Gee” in high school, this needs to be part of this comic or it’s totally invalid.

*cough cough* Riverdale *cough cough*

I might get the facsimile of Detective 38 on page 64, because beyond the Sensational Character Find of 1940 there’s a couple of stories written by Jerry Siegel.  Cool.

I don’t know what will be in From Beyond the Unknown 100 page Giant on page 65, and none of the other giants that have come out are things I’ve been getting, but I may gamble on this one.

Dollar Comics on pages 66-67 have a good selection of Justice League and Robin stuff (if I didn’t already have the Robin solo issue #1, I might grab this), and also includes the Swamp Thing issue where he meets Adam Strange.  I’m not sure I have this, so I may get that.

I’ll probably get the trade of Superman Smashes the Klan on page 71, because it looks pretty good, but if only I knew what it was about. WHAAAAAAATTTTTT?!?!?!?

I may get this as well.  I’m wondering why Superman has the black in his S-shield on the cover, though.

Was that what it looked like originally? Maybe it’s because the book is set in the 1940s?

I didn’t think it was black.  Darker blue, maybe.  I’ll have to look at a copy of the Superman Chronicles that I have.  I just saw the first issue of this book, btw, and it’s in a neat smaller size format.

Did you get Batman: Kings of Fear, offered in trade on page 74?  I thought you did, since you’re a Kelley Jones fan.  It looks like it might be a good read but just fine getting it from a library and not owning it.

Yes, I did, and I reviewed it on this very site!!!!

Because I am a sucker, I will be buying the hardcover of DC First Issue Special on page 77. I don’t care how weird this is, I will buy it!!!!!

I think I’m going for it too.  Goddamn, that’s some wacky fun!

Nobody important ever appeared in this series!

I’m torn about Freedom Fighters: Rise of a Nation, which is collected in a nice 12-issue trade for only $25 on page 78. It’s by Robert Venditti, whom I generally like, and some of it’s drawn by Eddy Barrows, who has become quite good in recent years, so I’m leaning toward it, but I’ll have to think about it.

Bruno Redondo is quite good as well, from what I’ve seen.  I’m not leaning towards it myself, but I would read it from a library.

I wonder why they resolicited Tales of the Batman: Steve Englehart on page 80 under a new name and price.  I guess it’s all the same stuff being reprinted?

I might grab Shazam! The World’s Mightiest Mortal HC 2 on page 81, because it has more of his ‘70s adventures, and I do have the first volume worth of stuff in the Showcase volume, I think.

IDW:

Um, solicits.

Transformers vs. Terminator on page 130 seems like an idea that’s been obvious for years, but maybe the license holders just couldn’t get it together. I might have to get this trade eventually.

It is a cool idea, and I probably will read it eventually.

I’m not sure I love their stuff enough to get this book, but the Marvel Art of the Brothers Hildebrandt on page 141 is giving me flashbacks to the ‘90s and collecting trading cards.  It’s so weird that Marvel has to farm out books like this to IDW!

I’ve always been weirded out by that, since they started doing it. Why, Marvel, WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!?

Page 146 has Star Trek: Hell’s Mirror, with Khan and the mirror universe and it’s written by JM DeMatteis, so it might be kinda cool.

Spock and his Evil Goatee will never not be hilarious.

Everyone who has a goatee and mustache like that is PURE EEEEEEVILLLLLLL!!!!!

A lot of times I think James Kochalka’s stuff can be a bit too … cutesy for cute’s sake, or something, but Monkey vs. Robot is probably pretty fun, and this is fully colored with a whole new story.  I’m tempted to give this a try on page 150.

I hate Kochalka’s work with the burning power of one million stars, so I’ll probably give this a miss.

Well, if it’s just one million stars, then I can see why this is still a maybe for you.

Only a fraction of my hatred!!!!!!

Pat Grant is an interesting creator (I didn’t love his last work, but it was certainly interesting), so I might get The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters (page 160), which is set in a horrible slightly-futuristic Australia and is all about hustlers, gamblers, and con artists. Sounds fun!

It does sound neat, but I got the impression this might be a 19th century set story?  Maybe not.  There might just be a timelessness to this.  I might snag this.

Hmmm. Possibly. It just seems, with all the talk of the blasted environment in the solicits, that it’s taking place in the future. But I guess we’ll see!

Marvel:

Like, solicits.

It’s not a bad idea, so we get Strange Academy on page 6, where Doctor Strange and company start running a school for young sorcerers.  Too bad the student characters seem really annoying in these preview pages.

Maybe they all die quickly, like in X-Force!

Speaking of, isn’t X-Statix supposed to be making a comeback too?

I think it’s just a one-shot special like the other “80th anniversary” things Marvel was doing. It should be out – I think this month? – considering we’re now into “81st anniversary” territory, which doesn’t have the same ring to it.

There’s a new Spider-Woman series on page 8, which is fine. Wasn’t she pregnant the last time? Was that not Jessica Drew? Am I taking crazy pills?

Her new costume does look cool.  I’m not sure how long ago it was, but as far as I can remember, this was the Spider-Woman who was married.  There was a series with her in it in the Spider-Verse crossover that wasn’t awful, despite the Greg Land art.

I love the idea of “Marvel Noir,” so I might be inclined to check out Spider-Man Noir on page 10, which is set in 1939 and involves (seemingly) Nazis, but it’s drawn by Juan Ferreyra, so of course I’m buying it!

You do remember the Marvel Noir stuff that came out a bunch of years ago, right?  This is like the second or third Spider-Man Noir mini, actually.  It should be cool with Ferreyra art, though.

Of course I knew that! That’s why I wrote “I love the idea of ‘Marvel Noir’,” because I’ve dug it since they started them. Keep up, Pelkie!

But that could be taken to mean that you hadn’t seen any of the ones that had been out before, because you just love the idea. You could have said you love the idea and love x, y, or z Noir minis that were done in the past!  Unless you didn’t like any of the ones they did before!

Oh, sure, challenge me to remember things! I think I own … one? Maybe? Anyway, it’s still a cool idea!!!!

So many cool things on that cover!

Page 12: Hellions #1. Oh, Psylocke, what have they done to you? #SadFace #FreePsylocke #ZebWellsWillJustBeTheLatestWriterToFailWithPsylocke

Some of these facsimile editions from Marvel and DC are pretty neat, and some are … page 16 has two involving Wolverine.  One is the issue after his first appearances in Incredible Hulk, which is cool, but there’s also a Thor one with … an ad that had a glimpse of Wolverine before his first appearance.  Oy.

Advertisements rule, man! How will you know what you like without advertisements?!?!?

That’s fine, and I even like that.  But the entire reason, it seems, that they’re reprinting the Thor one is that it has that Wolverine ad.  No other reason!

Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War on page 26 continues the story of the Skrull family from Meet the Skrulls, which I believe you liked quite a bit.  That Noto cover is pretty damn cool.  I might go for some of the True Believers dollar issues on pages 28-29.

I did like it. So of course it leads to a sprawling event that I’m not going to read!

Marvel #1 on page 30 sounds neat – an anthology by Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek and a bunch of excellent talent, including The Dude doing an Avengers story, the one page of which looks amazing. Also, Frank Espinosa? Dang, when was the last time Frank Espinosa drew a danged comic? I, of course, will wait for the trade!

I’m tempted to get the singles of this, and of the Marvels Snapshot issues on pages 34-35.  Fuck, that’s a great assemblage of talent, with the ones on Marvel and Alan Brennert, Jerry Ordway, Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, and Benjamin Dewey on the Snapshot issues.

So teen vigilantes are now outlawed (in, um, Outlawed on page 38)? Man, I wish Marvel comics were still cheap so I could buy this, because it sounds like a slow-motion car wreck and I am all-in on shit like that.

Hey, it’s been long enough since the first Civil War series, so they can retell it now.  It sounds like it would be an ok storyline that’s bound to be screwed up in editorial.

I’ll be damned, Amazing Mary Jane continues with issue 6 on page 71.  I would have thought that title should be used for something else, but it does mean I hope the series lasts to issue #420!

Bwah. Ha. Ha. You didn’t know it had become an “ongoing”? All that means is that it will get canceled at issue #12 rather than issue #5!

I know you had said it was ongoing, but the same page that said that said it was a mini, too, so I don’t believe nuthin’!

On page 102, we find Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren, which has a “cover” that is “not final art.” I should hope not, given that they tried to do Adam Driver (I assume) and ended up with Ugly John Travolta. I mean, look at that abomination!

So. Much. No.

One hundred fifty dollars is a big price to pay for the Marvel Classics Comics Omnibus on page 106, but dang, that’s a chunk of a book (over 1200 pages) stocked with 1970s talent. I’m really tempted!!!!

I have at least one or two of these issues.  I highly doubt it’s worth the scratch, but it probably would be a bitch to find all of the comics.

Speaking of giant comics, man I want that Solomon Kane: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus on page 111. It’s $100, but man, it sounds keen.

Yeah, if I knew more of the character, I’d probably want it more.  Some awesome talent.

I believe somebody just told us about some of the issues in Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spider-Man volume 22, on page 113.  Who was it?

I couldn’t even begin to figure it out!

On pages 116-120, we have the first trades of X-Men, Marauders, and Excalibur.  Eventually I’ll get this stuff.

I feel like I should point out that I read the big hardcover collecting House of X and Powers of X, but I didn’t review it because it came out in December and I was swamped with other stuff. But I hated it. I’m actually kind of angry at all the people who think it’s the best X-Men story in years – that might be true, but that’s only because the X-Men have turned to shit, so the fact that this might be better than those stories is depressing. Anyway, it’s turr-able, and it disinclines me to get any of these trades!

I was tempted to grab that HC the other day, but stayed myself, mostly influenced by the fact that it’s $60.

I think you liked the first issue of Yondu, and the trade is on page 123.  Is the John McCrea art worth me not giving a shit about this iteration of the character?

Beats me. I love McCrea’s art, and he has some fun with the alien settings, so it’s weird and detailed and wacky, but I suppose it depends on how much you like him. I’ll probably get this, for instance. Although I did think the story was perfectly fine.

I might just back issue dive for these in the future.

I’ve been waiting for Ghost Rider, and now the first trade is on page 126.  I wish Aaron Kuder had done more art, but I’ll take what I can get!

Man, that’s a cool collection on page 148 of Mephisto: Speak of the Devil, with all sorts of cool books featuring him.  I liked the Mephisto Vs. issues.

It does look neat, but I have several of the stories already, so I doubt if I’ll get. Maybe … I mean, it does have Everett Ross selling his soul Mephisto for a pair of pants, so that’s almost worth the price of admission!

I thought the Spider-Man and Venom: Double Trouble mini looked cute, and now the trade is on page 156 for me to decide about.

I love the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and I believe this version of the trades on page 157 is the second one, and I might get it because I made the stupid, stupid mistake of dropping this book when the Howard the Duck crossover happened.

YOU FOOL!!!!!

I know!!!!  I live in shame.  I hope either this cheap series continues, or they do the whole series in an entirely too heavy omnibus HC!

Dynamite:

Hmmm, solicits.

I’m intrigued by Killing Red Sonja on page 168, since it’s cowritten by Mark Russell and the art is by Craig Rousseau.  Russell’s been good enough that I should follow his stuff wherever.

I’m actually pondering this, too, which is weird, because I don’t have much interest in the character. But yes, Russell is very good.

I know, I’m not big on Red Sonja either but some characters are strangely fascinating to me.  (And I’m not talking about her outfit either, this time!)

Boy, chalk drawings in the Hyborian Age were dark

Repairman Jack: Scar-Lip Redux on page 170 sounds fun. It’s the first comic for F. Paul Wilson’s novel character, and it seems very gritty and tough while also dealing with, you know, giant monsters. Andrew Vachss likes the character, so that has to count for something!

I’ve heard of the character but never read anything (I don’t think), but it sounds good.  I’m just thinking about how I hear about baseball players named Paul Wilson, and I mutter to myself, “yeah, EFF Paul Wilson!” and then giggle wildly.  I’m not right in the head.

Boom! Studios:

Solicits/solicitations.

Travis is usually the one singing John Allison’s praises, and while I’m not going to do that, his new series on page 202, Wicked Things, sounds fun. A character from Allison’s Giant Days is framed for murder, so she joins the police to hunt the real killer. I love murder mysteries, and this sounds neat, so I might check it out … in trade!

I’ll be getting this trade as well!  I sing the praises loud and proud!

W. Maxwell Prince, who’s a very interesting writer, has a five-issue series (which will, no doubt, be upgraded to ongoing soon enough, because that’s just what Boom! does) on page 204 called King of Nowhere, about a dude who wakes up in a town he doesn’t know populated by odd people. Sounds intriguing, and Tyler Jenkins is a good artist, so this might be worth a look.

I like Strangehaven too.  HA!  But seriously, I like what I’ve read from Prince, so I’ll be in for the trade on this one.

It’s just a costume party, man!

Mike Hawthorne is a good artist (I don’t know if he’s a good writer), so his new memoir, Happiness Will Follow (page 206), could be neat. It does sound a bit fantastical – he falls victim to a Santeria death curse, so there’s that – but the art samples look superb.

I get the impression that the death curse is something in his mother’s head, and that seems like more of the point of the story, if I understand.  It sounds like an interesting story, though.

Oh, Once and Future was one of those Boom early offering trades?  Cuz now the trade is offered on page 209.  Again?  I’m pretty sure.

I don’t know. Boom!’s thing with these trades is just pissing me off.

And I thought the first volume of Ronin Island had the first 5 issues, but volume 2 on page 218 covers issues 5-8.  Weird.

[Blind rage.]

On to the back of the book!

The latest Cerebus in Hell? is The Varking Dead, from Aardvark-Vanaheim on page 228.  I’m not even going to try to figure out the numbering bit in the solicit.

Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile has a 10th Anniversary Edition on page 230 from Abrams.  From what I remember, it was a good, fun, choose your own adventure book.

The Brontës remain a source of fascination for creators, as on page 230 we find Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës by Isabel Greenberg, from Abrams ComicArts. It’s about the world the four surviving siblings created when their two older sisters die, and it could be pretty keen.

And Greenberg does good stuff.

Probably not the best builiding material to use

Action Lab has an interesting one on page 234 with Sweet Heart, although it seems like if creatures stalk people all the time, maybe the whole town should move?

That does sound kind of cool, and if they move, wouldn’t the creatures just go with them?

Hmm, I see your point there.  I had the impression the creatures were tied to the location, but I could be wrong!

Adhouse has Cankor by Matthew Allison, about a dude who leaves his house and gets beat up and not saved by Cankor the cyborg, and then mayhem ensues.  I might check this out on page 235.

AfterShock has Join the Future on page 238, which is about a girl who still lives in one of the last rural American towns and her struggle against the mega-city that wants to move into her territory, after which they will offer her everything she could ever need, like the bastards they are!!!!! It’s written by Zack Kaplan and drawn by Piotr Kowalski, so it will probably be pretty good.

Sounds interesting, and I’m in for Kowalski’s art.  I guess Aftershock is doing all their first issues at 4.99 and the rest at 3.99?

Yeah, because why would you want to entice someone with a cheaper #1 before raising the price? I mean, that would be cuckoo bananas!

Ahoy has Billionaire Island on page 246, which sounds groovy. Mark Russell and Steve Pugh bring us a story of an island where the ultra-rich can do anything they want, but the price is about to be paid! Duh-duh-dummmmmmm!!!!!! It’s a satire, of course, and it will probably be pretty cool.

I’ve been getting all the single issues of Ahoy, so of course I’ll get this.  I’ll have to catch up with the stuff that I haven’t been reading, though!

I often throw my money up in the air

Even though I haven’t read the first Grumble series, I’ll be getting the new Memphis and Beyond the Infinite series from Albatross Funnybooks on page 248.  Rafer Roberts is way cool.

For $4.99, you should get Alterna Giants: Trespasser on page 248 (from Alterna, of course), which collects the 100-page tale. It’s a pretty gripping story about an alien invasion, but there’s more going on as well. The art is beautiful, and while the ending is just slightly off, it’s a very good book, and you can’t beat the price!

I believe I got the individual issues at $1.50 a pop, so I guess I paid a buck more than this.  I haven’t read them yet, though, which I’m sure you could guess!

I’m digging the Mutts Treasury: Hot Dogs, Hot Cats cover on page 258 from Andrews McMeel, which is homaging Zappa’s Hot Rats album cover.

If you say so, old man.

Sorry that you don’t like good music, man!

So Archie is putting out a mature readers series on page 259 written by Frank Tieri, Super Duck, which I’m sure can’t go wrong.

Quite possibly the worst comic I’ve ever read is Mark Millar’s The Unfunnies, which put cartoon animals in a “mature readers” situation. I immediately thought of that when I saw this, which is not even close to a good thing. I doubt if this will be as bad as that, but if it’s even in the same neighborhood, it will suck balls.

That’s right!  I forgot about that, and I think it was so bad even Millar disowns it at this point and featured nothing about it in the Art of Millarworld book from a couple years back, if I remember the Bleeding Cool posts about it.

Cool, another volume of the Complete Sabrina the Teenage Witch on page 261, 500 B&W pages for 10 bucks, so you know I’m in.

Huh, I don’t think I ever got the Simon Spector Apparat book that Avatar put out from Warren Ellis, so I’ll be ordering this purple foil one on page 268.  I got the rest of them, though.  It’s too bad he never did more with that stuff.

It’s pretty good. And Ellis seems like he has the attention span of a tsetse fly, so I suppose it’s good that he does anything in comics!

I can’t remember if the intention was to not do anything with these, or just do something with the highest seller/best received one, or if these were things lost in Ellis’s great computer crash of however many years back, but he is always good.  Or at least interesting, that is!

So there’s a new publisher, AWA Studios, and they have some intriguing stuff on pages 272-73. J. Michael Straczynski returning to comics with The Resistance is the big one, as JMS is joined by Mike Deodato to tell a superhero story. Straczynski can tell good superhero stories, as long as he doesn’t go straight up his own bunghole, so we’ll see about that. John Lees is writing Hotell on page 273, and Lees knows how to write a horror comic, so this will probably be neat. We shall see how long this concern lasts!

I’ll be getting Hotell at least, and the other books sound interesting.  Is this the new company that Ennis is doing something for?

Beats me. I don’t pay attention to future comics news – I have enough problems keeping up with present comics news!

That’s true.  I know someone, maybe Carlos the Dwarf, mentioned it in comments on one of your posts a while back.

Oh, shoot, yeah – that’s a different company. It’s called TKO Comics, and I should really go get some of their stuff!

Weird fumetti-ish cover, but okay

I got the Beehive Books LAAB #0 paper by Ron Wimberly and company, and wanted to get in on the Kickstarter for the next one, #4 (they’re numbering them like Spawn issues, I guess), but I didn’t have the cash at the time.  I might grab this version here on page 275, though, because it was interesting stuff.

I might get some of the Black Mask stuff on 276-277, like Survival Fetish, about a dude that has to survive a sniper alley to deliver medicine, or Jade Street Protection Services, about punkish girls who find a social conspiracy, or Devil Within, where the newly engaged women move into a new apparently haunted house.  They all have their interesting points.

Yeah, but Black Mask has been notoriously bad about getting their products out, so they’re kind of pissing me off. Get it together, people!

That’s true.  There are several companies that have annoyed me with their bad scheduling as well.  I don’t care if the companies end up a little late at times, but when they keep soliciting tons and tons of product without shipping the stuff they’ve already said they would, that’s just annoying.

Bold Type Books has A For Anonymous (page 278) by David Kushner and Koren Shadmi, and I know you liked Shadmi’s stuff before.  This is about the Anonymous hacker collective, so it should be interesting.

I saw that – I’ll probably get it!

Looks familiar …

On page 285, Jim Balent celebrates 20 years of Tarot with issue #121, a great “Jumping On” point. I’m not saying you should collect Tarot, but I think everyone should “read” (such as it is) at least one issue in their lifetime, so they can truly appreciate both how awful it is and how impressive it is that Balent keeps doing it. Reading any one issue of Tarot might scar you for life, but it’s certainly an experience!

I got some anniversary issue not long ago (probably #100, then) but never got around to reading it, because that’s the person I am.  I might snag this too, because why not?

Cave Pictures Publishing has the trade of Appalachian Apocalypse on page 286. I don’t know if Billy Tucci is a good writer, but a zombie apocalypse set in rural Tennessee sounds fun, and Ethan Nicolle is drawing it, and he doesn’t get enough work, so I’ll probably pick this up.

So you must never have read Shi?  I read some other one shot he did, the name of which escapes me, but it was odd.  Not great odd but just strange.  I’ll consider this though, since 15 bucks for 6 issues is a decent deal.

No, I never have. Did he write that as well? It just never seemed like my bag. I know he wrote a Sergeant Rock mini-series, and he’s done some religious stuff, but nothing has ever really interested me that much.

Yeah, he was the writer artist on Shi, although I think he ended up farming out stuff as he tried to expand a lot.  I thought they might have reprinted the Sgt. Rock mini not too long ago, actually. He’s an acceptable writer, I’d say.

Clover Press gives us The Complete Wraith on page 288, which might be interesting. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Michael T. Gilbert, but he’s not bad, so I’ll have to think about this one.

I’m totally in on this one.  I love Gilbert, but I’ve never seen this stuff.  But a funny animal version of the Spirit, praised by Eisner himself, must be good.

I’m wondering if Butcher Knight is something I’ve heard of before. It looks like it was a Top Cow book in 2000/2001, so that’s a little before they became IMAGE, y‘know?  That’s on the same page as the Wraith.

That’s a good point about Top Cow. Using my amazing Googling powers, I see that it was indeed a Top Cow book in 2000/2001. Give yourself a gold star, sir!

Actually, I see that my poor writing obscured my point.  I looked up the time frame and where this came out from, so I knew that part, I wasn’t asking if I was right, and Top Cow was a part of Image for almost their entire existence.  My point was that Image hadn’t yet become IMAGE, as this was a bit pre-Walking Dead, and at that point Image was still mired in the look and style of the original books by the dudes that came from Marvel, before Image became the powerhouse of comics that they are now.  Damn, that was a lot of words to say virtually nothing.

Oh, I get it. I see what you’re saying now. But yeah, when Image became IMAGE is a good idea for a blog post. I mean, they were reprinting Bendis’s noir Caliber stuff before this, so they weren’t hopeless even then!

I also like the title of the book by Matt Bors on page 289, We Should Improve Society Somewhat.  Hippie.  I like the things I’ve read from Bors.

Lucy Bellwood tweeted a few days ago how great Bors is, and since I always do what my favorite people in comics tell me to do, I’ll probably get this. I am but a simpleton who follows orders!!!!

That’s why your marriage has lasted 25 years, right?

My wife told me to get her a can of soda tonight because the cat was lying on her and she didn’t want to disturb her, and I did it dutifully!

Damned hippies!

I should really get What’s a Paintoonist? from Jerry Moriarty and Fantagraphics on page 299, since it’s about him moving back to his hometown, which is also my hometown area.  I should see if he’s still in the area …

Gene Luen Yang has a new graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, on page 300 from First Second. It’s about Yang learning to appreciate the basketball players at the high school where he teaches, and it’s Yang, so of course it’s going to be good!

Yeah, his GNs are fantastic.

Speaking of memoirs (and we were, above), Noelle Stevenson has The Fire Never Goes Out on page 306 from Harper Teen, and as Stevenson is a very good creator, this is probably worth a look.

I might get this.  If not, I’ll at least read it from a library.

On the same page is Harper Wave with The Big She-Bang: The Herstory of the Universe According to God the Mother, from Marisa Acocella, who has done a few interesting GNs over the years.

Humanoids has a collection of stories from Metal Hurlant on page 310, which might be worth a look. I assume it’s in English for us ignorant ‘Muricans!

Well, these stories are actually from the early 2000s and were done for the US market, and include stories by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek.  From what I remember of the series, they mixed it up with some European and US creators and it was decent stuff.

On the page before that is Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen, about a modern Druid serial killer who gets interrupted in his plot by a woman who’s not what she seems.  Sounds like it might be fun!

Impact Theory has an interesting one on page 312 with Hexagon, a mini about a kid who wants to play at the arcade in the ‘80s, and who beats the unbeatable game when he finally gets a chance.  Might be ok.

Sounds like someone was watching The Last Starfighter and reading Ender’s Game when he came up with this pitch!

Arriving on page 338, we find Rebellion/2000AD has Best of 2000AD #1, a collection of short stories from throughout the magazine’s history. That’s very tempting, but I do wish they would list all the creators rather than just “various.”

Well, behind the scenes I sent you the listing of both the stories and the creators, so you can see that.  From what I recall, there’s a Halo Jones story as well as some of the typical 2000AD creations.  I will be reviewing this here soon (I swear), either from the digital copy I’ve gotten, or else a print copy that I should be getting sent to me soon!

You? Write something for the blog? Be still my heart!!!!!

I know, it’s hard to believe!

On the same page we have Action, a special of war and horror, including an Ennis story and a Hook Jaw story, about the killer shark.  There’s also The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire, which sounds cool from the stuff I’ve been getting from 2000AD, with an empire not unlike Rome and Greece combined, a sci-fi story from the ‘60s.  Sounds cool and what I’ve seen looks cool too.

Red 5 Comics has Dragon Whisperer on the same page, which appears to want some of that sweet sweet Lady Mechanika money.

That’s exactly what I saw too. Don’t diss the sweet sweet Lady Mechanika money!

I don’t deny that the money is sweet, but I am against others trying to cash in on niche markets like that!

Joe Benitez should sue!

I probably want to read The Boy Who Loved Batman from Red Lightning Books on page 339, a memoir of Michael Uslan, the Hollywood producer who got Batman on screen in the ‘80s.

I believe that Headless from Scout on page 340 is one of those books where they offered the first issue as a preview and then print the full trade soon after, as I believe I read this solicit before, about a couple of kids in 1980s Salem, MAh (as the Car Talk guys say it) getting involved in the old war between the Knights Templar and the Headless Horseman (because duh).  As ridiculous as it sounds, it could be fun and I like that cover art.  Also, I’ve been to Salem a few times so it’s neat to see places I’ve been in comics.  There’s an issue of the old Midnight, Mass. Vertigo comic (and someone should collect that awesomeness!) where they feature an almost photorealistic look at an actual street I’d walked on before!

This does sound decent. I’m thoroughly sick of stuff set in the 1980s, though. Maybe someday I’ll expound on that.

I get that.  I suspect it’s because a lot of people (white dudes) who came of age to Spielberg movies and Star Wars are at the age that they’re creating stuff now and they have no real ideas of their own.  Ahem.

Also from Scout are some cool ones on page 341.  The Mall is collected in trade, and that was a fun one about the mob in Florida and how the stores front for the illegal businesses the mob controls, and how the kids who will inherit these businesses deal with starting to find out where the money comes from.  The zero issue from FCBD in probably 2018 was quite good, so I’ll grab this.  North Bend is about a near future world where the US is at war with Russia and its own people, and the Seattle DEA agent recruited by the CIA to test out a mind control drug on US citizens, and how he deals with his internal struggles.  Both covers are quite cool, with one by series artist Rob Carey and the other by the awesome Tula Lotay.  And Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl is from Rich Woodall and Craig Rousseau, and is described as a combo of Tarzan and Planet of the Apes.  I believe some chapters appeared in the most recent version of Dark Horse Presents, didn’t they?

Yeah, it first (?) showed up there. It was … all right. Rousseau’s art was pretty good, but the story was just decent. Maybe I’ll get the trade of this.

Oddly enough there’s a second illustrated version of the Mueller Report on page 342, this time from Scribner and the staff of the Washington Post and artist Jan Feindt.  (Shannon Wheeler is illustrating one as well.)  On one hand, I find these things interesting, as there have been illustrated versions of these reports (the Starr Report, 9/11 Report, some other ones I think) before, but for the people not working a more explicitly political angle like Wheeler is, it seems to be done as a way of “dumbing down” the reports for the plebes, I think.  Which seems to feed into the old notion of the worth of comics as a medium.

SelfMadeHero has the third book in Rob Davis’s trilogy (which I still haven’t read The Motherless Oven or the Can Opener’s Daughter yet), The Book of Forks on page 342.  Hopefully I can get all three out from a library sometime and give them a look!

I’m not sure if the first iteration of Gutter Magic got a trade, but the reprint has one, as Source Point Press offers it on page 344. This is a pretty keen series about magicians in a world where magic won World War II, and it’s nice that it got collected!

Yeah, I can’t remember if IDW collected the first mini or not — oh, this was a reprint of the original mini!  Cool.  Then I may snag it.

Other cool Source Point Press stuff includes Dead End Kids on the previous page, about friends at the end of the 20th century trying to find out who killed one of them.  On 344 is The Fuhrer and the Tramp, about Charlie Chaplin being charged by FDR to make a propaganda film to get us into WWII; Hank Steiner: Monster Detective, which sounds a bit generic but the bold graphics on that cover interest me and make me want to take a look; Seeress: Terkon and the Great Divide, another one shot (?) about a witch, this time in a forest; and The Rejected: Long is the Way, about a group of people who are traveling back in time and into hell for … reasons, I guess?

Titan has The Big Hoax on page 353, which is about a woman who meets a hitman in a banana republic and the things that happen next. Carlos Trillo is a pretty good writer, and the art looks keen, so I’ll probably get this. On the same page is the second volume of Ms. Tree, so that should be something to check out.

The hoax is that she’s a man, baby!

Both look neat, although I wish they’d tell us what Ms. Tree stuff is getting reprinted here.

That would be nice, but I assume it’s just following the stuff from the first one. Collins mentioned he wanted to get the newer stuff collected before the older stuff, because that’s been collected and the DC stuff hasn’t, and he just feels it’s better.

From what I recall of what Hatcher said, this is probably the Quarterly stuff, which I have a good portion of.

As usual TwoMorrows has good stuff.  Alter Ego 164 is spotlighting Mike Friedrich, and because he started Star*Reach, and I’m very interested in that whole crowd, I’ll be getting this.  Comic Book Creator 23 is about the Pinis and Scott Shaw!, so it should be quite interesting.  Those were both on page 357, while on 358 we get Jack Kirby Collector 79, about how Kirby fits into the big picture of … everything.  Considering I just recently read/re-read OMAC, I’m very much digging that cover.

Money Shot looked fun, and Vault has the trade on page 371. For a book about space porn, there was surprisingly little nudity in the issue I flipped through – as in, none. I mean, I guess that can work, but come on, people! Still, it’s Rebekah Isaacs on art, and you can’t go wrong with that!

I got the singles but, of course, haven’t read them yet.  Hopefully I can get to them soon!

I might actually be able to afford to snag these all this time, which is good, because the fifth and final volume of Ménage à 3 is offered on page 392 from Udon, along with all of the previous volumes!  You got at least one volume, right, and it was pretty good?

Yeah, I really enjoyed it. Silly, but lots of fun. I missed volume 4, though, so I’ll have to pick it up along with volume 5!

On page 414 is Saint Young Men volume 2, in HC, from Kodansha.  I got volume 1 because I swear it was offered in SC for about 10 bucks less a couple months back, but no, it came as a HC and for 24 bucks.  Unless I read it and absolutely love it, that’s the last volume of it that I’ll be reading!

Seven Seas Entertainment has one with an intriguing premise on page 417.  It’s called Goodbye, My Rose Garden, and it’s about a British noblewoman in the early 1900s who requests her Japanese housemaid kill her.  Instead, as the housemaid tries to figure out why the noblewoman wants to die, the two begin to fall in love.  That’s a way to start a series!

Seven Seas also has, on page 419, Primitive Boyfriend, where a woman wishes that she could find a real tough guy boyfriend, and so is whisked back to caveman times, where she meets a caveman that she might fall for.  Why not?

Now for the toys!

My lady likes the Archie gang, so those neat looking figures on page M56 might join the rest of our gang!

I love Stephen King (both the author and the dude I worked with who had the same name — Hi King!), but if I were to get the Funko Pop of the author on page M63, I’d be too tempted to let a toy van bump into it. I’m a horrible person.

Def Leppard sucks (I said it!), but I do love that the Funko Pop on page M65 of the drummer has only one arm.

I don’t think we can be friends anymore. So sad that you’re so delusional.

I’m sorry, man, but I got too much hair metal into my veins in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and there were far too many times that Pour Some Sugar On Me was on the top of MTV’s best videos ever countdown.  So yeah, they suck, man!

Why you make Funko Rick Allen cry, Pelkie?

That’s all the toys that look really cool to me this time!

And with that, we come to the end of another Previews post. Thanks for reading, everyone, and we hope you find good things in the catalog!

21 Comments

  1. Hal

    Well, if JMS goes up his own bunghole he won’t be able to reach the keyboard.
    Couldn’t really get into “pig porn”? At least you can say you tried? Kee-rect?! I cannot even pretend to know to what you are referring here (and from the sound of it I’m not sure I would want to know!), I hope it’s to do with some creator-owned stuff/claptrap because otherwise… Yikes! 😉 Bwahahaha!
    R.IP. Tom Lyle.
    P.S. Flipping Through Previews, the only comics preview page with extra-added Frank Zappa references. Marvelous!

  2. Edo Bosnar

    More stuff than usual piqued my interest here, so much so that I feel the need to comment.
    First, Spider-man Noir looks like it could be good, esp. since if I ever get to read it, Spidey will be speaking with Nick Cage’s voice in my head.
    Second, a Star Trek story by DeMatteis could be really cool, or disappointing (his writing has been hit and miss for me).
    But third, and most important: Scary Godmother Omnibus. Damn, I’d love to have that book. I’m on the fence about preordering it (it’s way more than I usually spend for a single book, although I’ll admit that the price for a 500-page book is pretty reasonable).

    Otherwise, I have to say, based on your mentions here and other places online where I’ve seen them discussed, I’m really intrigued by all of that stuff being published by Ahoy. For now, though, I’ll probably just pine for it from afar…

  3. tomfitz1

    I do believe that society would be greatly improved by the prompt removal of Trump and his Republican cronies.

    That being said, I’m looking forward to some of the Image books mentioned at front of this post.

    Whatever happened to Hickman’s The Black Monday Murders?

    Looking forward to more murder mayhem in Die!Die!Die!.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Tom: You and me both, brother.

      Regarding The Black Monday Murders … bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!! That’s what I’m talking about with Hickman. That book, The Dying and the Dead, even S.H.I.E.L.D. – I don’t know if it’s his artists, but many of his books seem to be very late, and they all have him in common! Sigh.

  4. I’m mildly curious about Super Duck just because (a) it’s a revival of a surprisingly long-running old Archie/MLJ comic (his series ran from 1944-1960, and he lived on in reprints for at least another couple decades) and (b) I’ve been generally pretty impressed with the company’s recent relaunches on the whole. That said, it doesn’t *look* very good to me, so I dunno. I’d hate for it to read like a Howard knockoff.

  5. That Shazam collection is kind of driving me crazy. Why would you stop at Shazam #35 and not collect the rest of the Bridwell/Newton run that was scattered among the World’s Finest dollar comics and Adventure Comics digests after the Shazam comic was canceled? Those stories were so damn good.

    Maybe they’re planning a volume 3? Those stories were pretty short, but there were a lot of them (they ran in like 30 issues of World’s Finest and I think two issues of Adventure), so I guess there would be enough material for a follow-up connection.

    Looks like it does include the Isis crossover, so of course I love that, and the issues it skips from the Shazam comic itself were all reprints.

    1. Edo Bosnar

      As far as Shazam goes, I would be far more interested in a book that collects all of those shorts you mentioned from World’s Finest, etc. than the monthly series that preceded them. I recall really enjoying those stories.

  6. John King

    Trigan Empire is considered a classic
    it ran from 1965 to 1982 published weekly in 2 page instalments as the fiction section of Look and Learn (except for the first few months which were published in Ranger)
    It is mostly known for the art of Don Lawrence (until he left in 1976 to do Storm)
    My only criticisms are:-
    the writer (Mike Butterworth, if I remember rightly) is more used to prose and his narration can be too much and not always in keeping with the art
    (e.g. saying someone leaps into action accompanying a picture of the person clearly standing still)
    and the “cliffhangers” every 2 pages can be oversold (e.g. “if there are words to describe what I saw, I do not know them” -I’m not giving away any spoilers but the character who said that must have an especially poor vocabulary)

    the earlier reprints (in the comic Vulcan and 2 separately produced volumes) each covered the early stories only, except for the Don Lawrence collection which printed his works in deluxe volumes at a high price. This new set is much, much more affordable

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.