Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
Flippin’ Through ‘Previews’ — August 2018

Flippin’ Through ‘Previews’ — August 2018

Hey, it’s Travis starting things out again!  Greg will be in blue and will BE blue if I don’t tell you that we’re looking at Previews #359.  I haven’t been struck by a whole lot of stuff looking through the book, but that won’t stop me from babbling about what I see!

Fifteen years with the same basic six-issue arc each time is impressive


Check out the solicits here!

I don’t know that Blackbird by Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel on page 40 is going to be particularly groundbreaking (the storyline sounds like a generic “secret world of magic under our noses” thing), but it sure is going to look purty.  I’ll be getting this in trades.

Both Humphries and Bartel are good, so it will probably be decent. You’re right about its genericness, though. Genericosity? Genericous?

I’m liking Dead Rabbit on page 44, by Gerry Duggan and John McCrea, since McCrea is awesome.  It’s another semi-generic plot (the old “roped in for one last job” thing), but it should be fun.  I’ll be getting this in trades too.

Once again, both Duggan and McCrea are good, so I’ll get this in trades as well.

It’s Christmas-y!

You didn’t mention Errand Boys on page 48, which is written by D.J. Kirkbride of Amelia Cole fame (?). A courier of illegal stuff in the future gets stuck with his 13-year-old half-brother. Hilarity ensues. Looks fun.

I didn’t mention it, but I will probably get the trade since I did like Amelia Cole.  What I read of it so far, anyway.

Exorsisters on page 50 has art by Gisèle Lagacé, which is a style I like (both the art and the style of the characters), and it sounds like a fun story of sisters dealing with the supernatural.  Also, from the same artist is Menage A 3 volumes 1 and 2 on page 487 from Udon.  I believe you read the first volume and liked it ok, right?

Yeah, the first volume was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to reading more!

I’m not sure how Infinite Dark (page 52), which is about a spaceship adrift in the void after the universe ends, works, but it’s a murder mystery on a creepy ship, and I love shit like that, so I’ll check it out.

He’s safer in the cold vacuum of space!

It sounds like it might be really stupid, but Murder Falcon by Daniel Warren Johnson on page 56 could be really fun too.  Metal!

We could all use more stupid fun things in our lives.

Not that I’ve been keeping up with it, but it’s kind of annoying that the Wytches: Bad Egg Halloween Special on page 59, which has been serialized in Image Plus, won’t be completed in that magazine but in this special.  Guess I won’t be buying it …

Yeah, that’s kind of a douche move. Come on, Scott Snyder!

I didn’t realize until I flipped through it after writing this, but #12 was the last issue of Image Plus, so it is possible that the original intent WAS to serialize it entirely in that magazine but the powers that be decided to end the mag before the serial ended.  So it might not be Snyder’s fault!

I still blame Snyder!!!!!

So Norroway on page 60 is about a magical bull that brings adventure to a young woman named Sibylla, but to me the more intriguing part is that the comic is by siblings Cat and Kit Seaton.  Their parents maybe had a thing for cats?

Boy, I really hope those aren’t their real names, because that’s just cruel.

Fuck, I hate when a book is released, and then comes out in a bigger and better edition just a little while later, like Bingo Love on page 62.  I haven’t gotten around to reading the issue from when it was out a little while ago, dammit!

That does suck. Curse you, Image!!!!

Glad I waited for the trade on Bloodstrike: Brutalists by Michel Fiffe on page 63, as it’s just 10 bucks for the three issues.  Because I love ’90s comics too much, I’m sure I will like this!

I’m sure I will like this because Michel Fiffe is pretty awesome.

Rob Liefeld: the most influential comics creator of our generation?

Also on 63 is the first trade of Death or Glory, and while I wasn’t salivating for this book, it did sound good enough to check out, so I might if it fits my budget.

On page 64, you can get a complete collection of The Fade Out, one of the many Brubaker/Phillips books from the past 15 years. It’s pretty good, as all Brubillips books are, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, you can get for the decent price of 25 dollars for 12 issues.

Sounds like a good deal.  I’ve been behind on the Brubillips stuff (because of course I am), but what I have read of them is always good.

I’m still on the fence about Gideon Falls, the first trade of which is on page 65. It sounds pretty neat and Jeff Lemire is a good writer, but I’m not a huge fan of Andrea Sorrentino, so I’ll have to think about it.

It’s a 10 buck trade, so I will most likely get it regardless.

On page 66, Maestros volume 1 is offered. I have no idea if the story is any good, but Steve Skroce’s art is magnificent, and it’s enough to get me to pick this up.

It sounds ok but not great, at least, and hopefully he’s picked up some writing tips from all the good writers he’s worked with over the years.

Dark Horse:

Here are all the solicits!

Hey, the Umbrella Academy is back with Hotel Oblivion on page 100. This is great news, because the two mini-series are great, but it seems to imply that Young Animal, Gerard Way’s DC imprint, is well and truly dead. I know, he could easily work on both, but it seems that took up a lot of his time, so if he had time to write this, maybe he’s not doing that at all anymore? Anyway, huzzah for new Umbrella Academy comics!

I believe, from what I’ve seen, that the only thing that is still being waited on for Young Animal is that last Doom Patrol issue, which I think will be drawn by Dan McDaid.  Probably all Way’s time was taken up with negotiations for this Umbrella Academy TV show coming.

That’s what the rest of my family gets whenever I eat chili!

I don’t know the creators of The Whispering Dark (page 107), but it sounds cool – a pilot shot down behind enemy lines has to make her way back, but something evil is lurking on the battlefield!!!!

I’m very tempted to get the trade of The Ring of the Nibelung on page 113. It’s only 25 dollars for well over 400 pages of P. Craig Russell goodness, and I’ve seen enough of it to know it looks terrific. I probably just talked myself into it!

Yeah, I am sorely tempted, so it’s a hard maybe from me.

Stupid Wagner, messing this up for everyone!

Blackwood is in trade on page 126. This is by Evan Dorkin and Veronica Fish, so it will probably be good, and it sounds like a darker version of Harry Potter, which is pretty cool.

I love Dorkin, so I might get this.  I just flipped through my copy of the new Dork HC the other day.  Great stuff, of course.


You know the solicits are here!

Dan DiDio is quite the genius. Let’s take a look at pages 4-5, where we find Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman Blank. “Hey, everyone!” says Danny D. “How about you pay three dollars to get 16 pages … with nothing on them! Yes, pay three dollars to draw your own comic! I mean, come on, that’s a deal, ain’t it? Everyone loves Danny D., yo!” This is a real thing that’s happening, and it makes my brain hurt. What the actual fuck, DC?

See, I wouldn’t mind it, because yes, it’s dumb to pay for a blank comic, but it’s kinda cool.  The STUPIDEST part of this is that these are 16 page comics…to celebrate 24 Hour Comic Day.  So you can’t even do a 24 page comic with these fucking things!!!

I don’t know if DC’s latest Vertigo push, which is highlighted by The Books of Magic on page 6 and Lucifer on page 7 (after the relaunch of The Dreaming last month, that is), is going to work, but at least they try to get good creators (which they also did for The Dreaming). I don’t know Kat Howard, but Tom Fowler is a fine artist, and Dan Watters has turned out to be quite a good writer, while I’ve been a fan of the Fiumaras for years. So good job, DC! Nobody will buy these, but they’ll look nice!

DC continues to troll Marvel with Old Lady Harley on page 15. I mean, it’s hilarious and all, but hasn’t anyone called DC from Marvel and ranted at them for a while? I want the transcripts of those phone calls!!!!

Mark Texeira is drawing Deathstroke/Yogi Bear on page 16, which means I will be getting it. I mean, the idea of a spirit bear that Deathstroke needs to hunt is pretty funny (and continues DC trolling Marvel, a bit more subtly this time), but Texeira’s art should put this over the top. Plus, there’s a J.M. DeMatteis/Tom Mandrake Secret Squirrel story. A J.M. DEMATTEIS/TOM MANDRAKE SECRET SQUIRREL STORY!!!!! Unfortunately, the back-up continues in the other three specials on pages 16-17, none of which sound as good as the Deathstroke/Yogi one, but I might have to get them anyway. Sheesh, DC. You suck.

That DC trolling is subtle, because I’m not grasping what you’re referring to.  But yes, I saw that Tex, one of my early favorites when I started collecting comics (and Ghost Rider in particular, ’90s style bitches!), was on the art I knew eventually I will need to get this.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the cover and the bear on it was “Demon Bear.” That’s probably too much to hope for, but if someone at DC decided to turn Yogi into a demon bear just because of that, that’s some epic-level trolling!

Ah, now I get it.  Doesn’t that upcoming New Mutants movie incorporate “Demon Bear”, though?  So you may be very very right!

‘Dani Moonstar? Is that you?’

I do like that in the solicits for Border Town #2 (page 25), there was a “supernatural showdown at Jack in the Box.” Do they have Jack in the Box where you hail from? I know it’s mostly western, but there are restaurants in Ohio, so I don’t know if it’s reached further east. I just like the specificity of the restaurant.

We don’t have Jack in the Box around here, but I have heard of the chain over the years.  I think they had some issues with getting people sick, and then on Pauly Shore’s album he talks about croissants from Jack in the Box.  Yes, I could probably recite the Pauly Shore album from memory if pressed.  Why?!

You bring shame upon yourself, your entire family, and the entire human race. May God have mercy on your soul.

He won’t.

I missed another of DC’s amazing attempts to troll Marvel, as apparently the bad guy in their Fantastic Four rip-off, The Terrifics (page 60), is named … Doc Dread. And this is what he looks like. I mean, come on, DC!

Yeah.  That’s…wow.

‘I will take you to my country, Lutveldia!’

I’m not sure if I want to pay 35 dollars for Aquaman: The Search for Mera hardcover on page 66, but it’s Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo, and it’s very tempting!

It sounds like a cool run.

DC finally gets around to a second volume of Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle on page 78. Damn, I love these comics. And I will buy this, even though I own them all already. That’s how awesome they are!

DC skips a hardcover and goes straight to a fancy 12-issue trade of Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads on page 79. I’ve been waiting for this, and every time an issue comes out, I flip through it and think, “Dang, this looks cool.” So I hope the hype is worthy!

I’m glad it’s a decently priced collection.  I’m definitely seriously considering it (thinking only that a library might get it so I wouldn’t need to buy it).

Motherlands, which is about a bounty hunter and her mother doing daring things, is in trade on page 80. This sounded neat, and Simon Spurrier is usually worth a read.

I did want to look at this so I’ll probably get it.


The solicits can be found here!

I’m not sure if I’m going to get The Highest House in trade on page 165. It sounds pretty cool, and it looked pretty good, but I’m sadly often disappointed by Mike Carey, even when his ideas sound neat. It’s 25 dollars for the whole thing, so that might be a bit too dear for me. I’ll have to think about it.

Yeah, that’s a bit pricey because I think it was only 5 issues?  Even 6 is a bit pricey.

Jean-Paul Gibrat is a pretty good creator, so I’m intrigued about Mattéo on page 167, which tells the story of a Spaniard living in France when World War I breaks out and how the town’s disdain for his pacifism leads him to have many adventures. Sounds pretty keen.

David and Maria Lapham are doing a book for IDW’s Black Crown imprint called Lodger on page 171. What this means for Stray Bullets I don’t know, but of course this will be awesome.

Lapham is pretty good at keeping schedules — as far as I recall, he hasn’t missed or been late with this latest Stray Bullets run, so I suspect he’ll be able to keep up fine.  They’ll probably skip another month to do another trade, I’d guess.  Did you see that the latest issue is now 4.99?

No, I didn’t see that. Dang it!

Yeah, I saw it on the Previews list the other week and hoped it was just a typo, but no.  And now the solicits have caught up and it’s listed as such in the Previews.

Still, this will cool AF, right?


Can you find the solicits here? Of course!

There’s a new Shuri series on page 14, but because I still haven’t seen the movie, I have no idea if she’s as great as everyone says she is. What I love about the solicit is that Marvel describes writer Nnedi Okorafor – whom I’ve never heard of, because I’m an old white man – is an “Afrofuturist” writer. What in the hell does that mean? I am extremely curious, and I’m not being dismissive – I really want to know what that means!

If only there was some way to look things up.  HA!  In my limited understanding of the term, Afrofuturism is a way of celebrating Africa and proposing a bright shiny sci-fi future.  Sun Ra’s music is often described as Afrofuturistic, and in comics, the GMozz Mister Miracle series was described as having Afrofuturist influences.  I’m not sure how, mind you, but there’s that.

Yeah, I could look it up, but I prefer to get my information about the world from Pelkie!

God help you!

God also help me because on page 18 is Infinity Wars Sleepwalker 1 and 2 and for some reason I loved that series when it was first out!

Doesn’t everyone love Sleepwalker?

There’s a Shatterstar series on page 26. This information is presented without further comment.

Rob Liefeld: the most influential comics creator of our generation?

It’s fun on page 29, where the solicit for X-Men Black: Emma Frost tells of how she was under the “yolk” of Shaw.  HAHAHA!

He forced her to make eggs every day!!!!!

(Insert an “I’d scramble her eggs” joke here…)

Man, I will be getting a bunch of the True Believers What If reprints on pages 36 and 37 because I am a sucker for that stuff.

So Marvel is doing the whole digital-first, then print the collection thing for some titles, which I think is great and every publisher should do it. So I’ll be getting the new Jessica Jones collection on page 67, as it’s Kelly and I think she’ll do a superb job with the character.

Yeah, it’s a good idea.  I’ll be getting this one as well, in my effort to be a Kelly Kompletist.  I might also get the Luke Cage one on page 63, because Anthony Del Col was pretty good on Kill Shakespeare.

Speaking of Kelly, why is Mr. & Mrs. X #4 offered on page 72, and issues #2 and #3 offered on pages 74-75? That’s … weird.

I think they’re reoffering them because they hid what this title was for so long, they need to try to bump up the sales, because for some crazy reason, retailers didn’t order a lot of copies of a comic where they had no idea what it was.

So, um, aren’t those ladies on the cover of Domino #7 (page 80), um, you know, chilly?


I don’t know how that’s perverted. That one chick is wearing a bikini in a snow storm!

Gamma radiation turning a man into a giant green monster? I can deal with that. But those women wearing those clothes in a blizzard shatters my suspension of disbelief!

Mark Waid and Javier Garron are good creators, so I’ll probably get the Ant-Man and the Wasp trade on page 112. I love that it’s not movie Wasp, because why would Marvel try any synergy?

I like the idea of Immortal Hulk (volume 1 is on page 116), so I’ll probably pick this up.

Despite the Greg Land covers, I’ll probably get Domino volume 1 on page 120. David Baldeon’s interior art is much better than the covers!

Yeah, I see that from the sample here.  It sounds like a fun book, from what I’ve read about it.


It’s Mike Carey, so I’m wary (hey, that rhymes!), but the trade of Barbarella is on page 202, and it looked pretty keen. I may take the chance!

It’s like a Beasties rhyme!  I have to assume it’s the first 6 issues, but I’m just not sure, because God forbid we list the contents of a trade!

That would be crazy! I too assume it’s the first six issues, as it’s listed as 128 pages, which would mean 120 pages of story, unless there’s only 100 pages of story (for five issues) and 25 pages of variant covers (which wouldn’t surprised me, as there are a lot of variant covers for this).

On page 209 is a HC of Francavilla’s Spirit mini, The Corpse-Makers, which is 20 bucks for what I believe was a 5 issue mini, which means it’s a decent price even beyond being by one of the coolest artists around!

I saw that but ignored the price because I figured it would be too much. But you’re right, that’s not bad. I’m definitely getting this, but now I have to decide if I want to wait for the trade or just jump in with the hardcover!

I doubt the SC will be much cheaper, so if I get this it’ll be the HC!

Boom! Studios:

I really, really wonder what I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation (page 222) is about. I’m thinking really hard about it, but I can’t quite seem to come up with it! Considering it’s by Natalie Nourigat, who’s very talented and a hell of a nice person, I will buy it anyway, but I hope it’s about something interesting!

Yes.  Be more precise and descriptive, dang it!  heh  Plus, it’s only 10 bucks, so I probably will snag this too.

Why must these creators be so cryptic?!?!?

On page 224, we get The Sons of El Topo volume 1 by, I’m not kidding, Alejandro Jodorowsky and José Ladrönn. Many things strike me about this. First, it’s from Boom! and not Humanoids. I assume it’s new-ish, and perhaps it was first done in English? [Okay, it’s from 2016, but still.] Jodorowsky is hella old (he turned 89 this year), so good for him for still cranking out work. And hey, Ladrönn finished something! Yay! I know that’s mean, but the dude seems soooooooo slow, and his art is soooooooo amazing, so it will be good to see this. It’s 20 bucks for only 80 pages, but 80 (or slightly less, the way they count pages) of Ladrönn’s art is totally worth it.

Page 238 has Giant Days: Early Registration, the original version of the fun comic, as drawn by John Allison as well as written by him.  I’m in!

Let’s get to the back of the book!

Action Lab has Albert Einstein: Time Mason on page 254. It’s a comic about a young Einstein whose job is to maintain the integrity of space-time. Yes, it’s another comic in which a historical figure is presented atypically, and those have been done to death. But this is actually a pretty good comic. I read the first issue some years ago, when I bought it at the Phoenix Comic Convention, and the art is quite nice and the story zips along well. I don’t know how many issues the creators managed to produce on their own, but it’s nice that they got picked up by a publisher. Check this out!

Ah, I thought it sort of sounded familiar, but I think I remember you writing about this.

On pages 260-261, AfterShock has two new series, Dead Kings and The Last Space Race. Neither sound terrible but neither sound great, either, but what struck me is that both comics – written by different people, mind you – feature male protagonists named Sasha. That’s an odd coincidence.

That is weird.

Cool cover, though

Page 270 has some neat stuff.  From AH Comics, we get Mark Twain’s Niagara book 1, which really only appeals to me because it’s got Ty Templeton art.  From Ahoy Comics, we get the first issue of Captain Ginger, about a space crew of cat people, and the first issue of Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, which has a drunk Poe introducing horror tales.  I’m going to try all these Ahoy books for at least a few issues and see how they are.

Albatross Funnybooks has the trade of Galaktikon on page 274, which might be good. I got the first issue just to check it out, and it wasn’t bad. Plus, whenever you get a chance to see Steve Mannion’s art, you should take it, so here it is!

On page 276, American Mythology Productions has Pirates of Venus, a “remastered” old story by Len Wein and Michael Kaluta. Dang, I might have to check this out.

The Time Traveling Tourist on page 299 from Beyond Reality Media sounds fun. A, you know, tourist who travels through time falls in love. Hijinks ensue!

Yay, on page 301, Blue Juice is bringing back Anne Bonnie, which was a fun tale of a pirate girl with manga inflected art.  I liked what I read of it and was glad when it was supposed to come back maybe a year ago, so I hope it actually comes back this time!

I enjoyed Anne Bonnie, so it’s nice that it’s coming back.

On page 320, Death Ray Graphics has Peek! #2 by Jason Yungbluth, who’s very talented. I mention this only because I got the first issue and reviewed it, and Yungbluth saw it and commented on it on his blog (I didn’t love it, although I didn’t hate it, either). I got into a short discussion with him and found him very reasonable in discussing what I didn’t love about it. I still might get this because Yungbluth is so good, and I’ll be interested to see what else he has up his sleeve.

I think I told you that when I met him at a local con several years back, he made a Hitler joke within the first minute of me meeting him, which I found amusing.  Weapon Brown was quite good, and I can’t remember if I actually read Peek! 1 or just looked through it, but I like his art enough that I’ll definitely be getting this.

Devil’s Due/First has Dog Soldiers on page 321, which is about a soldier with PTSD who adopts a service dog. This sounds interesting, and it’s by the Fillbach brothers, who are so good, so I’ll probably get it.

You know, sometimes playing fetch isn’t enough!

I’ll probably get the trade of Finding Molly on page 331 from Emet Comics, which is about a young woman stuck at home with her parents who takes up cat-sitting. Jenn St-Onge draws it, and she’s quite good, and it sounds fairly charming, so why not?

OK, that’s weird, I skimmed over that one because I assumed it was just a relisting, because the HC came out of that book a while back, and I’m sure it was the same price as here, which says it’s a SC.  Hmm.  Proceed with caution, my friend!  (You’re asking if I read it yet?  Seriously?)

First Second has Last Pick volume 1, which is about those left behind after an alien abduction – those 16 and younger, those 65 and older, those too “disabled” to work. Two kids decide it’s time to fight back!!!!!! Sounds neat.

On page 346, High Rock Press gives us Jess Nevins’ Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, which I suspect is awesome and fills the void for those of us who read through the Jeff Rovin encyclopedias of many years ago.  I may get this despite the high price.

Page 349 has A Million Ways to Die Hard from Insight Comics, which is really pricey for 64 pages for 20 bucks, but the art is by Tex, so I’m going to want it eventually!

Iron Circus has, on page 351, The Girl Who Married a Skull and other African Stories, which sounds pretty cool, although I do wonder who the creative personnel are for this book.

Cool cover, though

Rebellion/2000AD has Mazeworld: Collector’s Edition on page 392, which I might pick up. It’s by Alan Grant and Arthur Ranson, which is not a bad team at all, and it sounds keen.

It does look good.  If I get my shit together and look at the preview of it I’ll get, I’ll try to let you know.  (Hint, shit will not be gathered together!)

On page 394, Renegade Arts Entertainment has Frank, which sounds keen. It’s a murder mystery set in 1903, as a woman seeks answers about her lover in the aftermath of a deadly landslide (which occurred in the Northwest Territories in April of that year). Neat-o!

Infernoct gets a trade on page 396 from Scout Comics. This sounded pretty neat – a girl becomes the caretaker of a former monster hunter and discovers horrible things are afoot. Eli Powell is a pretty good artist, so we’ll see what we see, won’t we?

On page 398, SelfMadeHero has a collection of the I.N.J. Culbard adaptations of HP Lovecraft stories, in a big 500 page book.  I have been interested in these so I may go for these.

I don’t know if The Wrath of Fantômas, which is on page 417 from Titan, is any good, but the very small sample art looks keen. I’ll have to think about it!

I don’t know if I’ve ever been wrathful. I should get on that.

Page 429 has, from Viking Books for Young Readers, Edison Beaker Creature Seeker from Frank Cammuso, who is a really good artist and is involved with Ahoy Comics, as well as doing great kids books.  I may get this.

That’s it for this month. As Travis pointed out to me, we were timely for one month – that has to count for something, right? Right? Anyway, have fun checking out Previews, and we hope you find something cool within!


  1. tomfitz1

    Mr. Burgas/TP: Being a monthly reader of both GIDEON FALLS & THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG. I can testify that they’re both worth the read.

    I envy you getting the trades. 🙂

  2. My first thought was “Well it could be Metamorpho’s old foe Doc Dread” but then I saw his armor. It would be funnier trolling if they went with Plastic Man’s Silver Age Nemesis Doctor Dome, though.
    The Search for Meara was good, though rereading it (in the old Adventure digests) after the Aquaman Showcase collections I found it annoying. Up to that point Meara had a very active role in Aquaman’s adventures and it felt like the new editor wanted her shuffled offstage.
    I’ve read a couple of books by Okorafor. I like her work.

    1. M-Wolverine

      Funny thing is, old school Doc Dread kinda looks like Sleepwalker, who gets mentioned here too.

      I get the feeling Marvel just feels like DC can say anything they want because they can always go “been to the movies lately?”

  3. Yeah, that’s a good deal on RING OF THE NIBELUNG. Recommended just as an art book, and I’m not normally an art book guy. Likewise with THE SEARCH FOR MERA, though the story’s good too. That’s ‘my’ Aquaman and I’m very pleased those stories are coming back into print in this format. Cardy was just killing it on that book, he was at his peak. They picked the best of his covers for the collection but they were all wonderful. Look at this cover for crying out loud.


    Or this one.


    I better stop now or it’ll be another column here in the comments.

    I haven’t done this in almost a year but just for the hell of it I took a look at the complete DC and Marvel solicits and they left me mostly going wha-HUH? The single-issue numbering is utterly baffling. This wouldn’t be a thing except these are supposed to be serialized narratives with an internal chronology. I have been immersed in these two fictional universes for almost FIFTY YEARS and quit keeping up as of January of THIS YEAR. Even at that I couldn’t sort it out. God help anyone who sees one of the movies and wants to check the comics out.

    1. There was an article by a comics-store owner at The Beat that said that’s one reason Marvel’s not doing better: come in and ask for the Avengers and you’ll be asked which Avengers you want, or told you really need three or four (or whatever) different books and customers just go home.

    2. Greg Burgas

      Yeah, those Cardy covers are terrific. Dang, he was good.

      I can’t imagine trying to keep up with what’s going on at DC and Marvel these days. I read the solicits every month and I have a hard time keeping track of the numbering! DC is just the tiniest bit better, but not by much, but they’re both terrible. That’s one reason I rarely even get the trades of the major titles, but even something like Ms. Marvel, which continues to be good, is on “volume 2” with the same writer and for a while the same artist. It’s ridiculous.

  4. Eric van Schaik

    I survived the camping. It was dry saturday so we got everything in the car without getting stuff wet. Yeah. Still a week vacation with the kids before school starts again.

    Like Mr. Hatcher I stopped looking at the Marvel and DC solicits a long time ago. They had a lot of good stuff, but not anymore IMO.
    If there is something interesting I’ll think you guys will mention it.

    Finally the Spirit HC. That took quite a while.
    Because of the praise by Mr. Burgas I’ll get the 2 Umbrella Academy TPB’s. Apart from that a slow month.

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    > T: “Previews #359”

    Lies, damn lies, and mousetraps?

    > G: “Genericosity? Genericous?”

    Genericville? Genericity?

    > T: “Cat and Kit Seaton. Their parents maybe had a thing for cats?”

    Or for confectionery?

    > T: “Bloodstrike: Brutalists”

    More later, and Fiffe was apparently denied the freedom Graham had with PROPHET?

    > “DC”

    Death, taxes, and events?

    > G: “Mattéo”

    Doubleday once celebrated the “fourth book of the Foundation trilogy”. Today, nice-art bore MATTÉO has four volumes (two-volume WW1 arc, two-volume Spanish War arc) and together they are… a “graphic novel trilogy”.

    (And if it’s a hardcover mousetrap overpriced for libraries, why not get it there?)

    > G: “Lodger […] will be awesome”

    Last time, didn’t we get the meh MURDER ME DEAD, whose mascara-teared cover seems unauspiciously back? (And how funny is an ad whose right hand crows about “BLACK CROWN’S first black and white miniseries!” while its left hand adds a fake “FC” tag?)

    > “Marvel”

    Death, taxes, and variants?

    > T: “Emma Frost tells of how she was under the “yolk” of Shaw.”

    No-Prize: Wasn’t Alice once under the yolk of Humpty-Dumpty? (And wasn’t George Bernard Shaw some kinda egghead?)

    > G: “I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation”

    More later, and you may also like the graphic fiction of Mark Kalesniko’s FREEWAY and Kim Deitch’s BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS? (Or Rich Koslowski’s THREE FINGERS and Bendis’s FORTUNE AND GLORY?)

    > G: “The Sons of El Topo volume 1”

    Wouldn’t you prefer to watch his original film? (Or his much better THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, aka THE SACRED MOUNTAIN.)

    > T: “a collection of the I.N.J. Culbard adaptations of HP Lovecraft”

    Ian Culbard is good stuff, especially as he replaces most of the prose with his art, which can also adds some interesting layers not in the text. His WARD is reinterpreted as dark comedy, SHADOW and MOUNTAINS are solid sci-fi and horror, and the more poetic fantasy of KADATH rounds the bend.

    (And since it’s a mousetrap from the crooks at SelfMadeHero, why not get such hardcover from the library?)

  6. Simon

    P.S.: More mousetraps for the library?

    — I MOVED TO LOS ANGELES TO WORK IN ANIMATION by Natalie Nourigat (p. 222, ALLEGEDLY $10)

    * (5 pages) https://comicsworthreading.com/2018/05/27/natalie-nourigats-memoir-comic-about-getting-an-animation-job/

    * (capsule) “It’s by no means a hard hitting critique on the industry, but it is one that documents the experience of being a new comer very accurately in a balanced while also enjoyable and visual way.” @ http://www.timrudder.com/animationmentor/comic-i-moved-to-los-angeles-to-work-in-animation/

    (How come “112pgs” become 96 online?)

    — GUNNERKRIGG COURT VOL. 5 by Tom Siddell (p. 235, ALLEGEDLY $17)

    * (all pages) http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/

    (How come “336pgs” become 296 online while 7×10″ become 6×8″?)

    — ON A SUNBEAM by Tillie Walden (p. 336, ALLEGEDLY $22)

    Brian K. Vaughan: “Tillie Walden is the future of comics, and On a Sunbeam is her best work yet. It’s a ‘space’ story unlike any you’ve ever read, with a rich, lived-in universe of complex characters.”

    * (all pages) http://www.onasunbeam.com/

    “I’m not a huge sci-fi fan so I really don’t know much about the genre and I’ve found that because of that all my ideas feel very fresh and bizarre. I purposely tried to design the world in a way that wasn’t typical. […] And it seems like the perfect place to fill with everything my imagination can come up with. I don’t care that trees can’t exist in space; my space world has tons of them.” (Broken Frontier interview)

    * (bests of 2017) “Walden’s story here is breath-takingly beautiful.” @ http://goodokbad.com/index.php/about/2017comics

    * (reader comments) “It’s science fiction where the science is never explained so functionally it’s pretty much magic (mysterious ruins! spaceships shaped like fish! giant foxes made out of glowing clouds!) and the worldbuilding is very creative but it’s not really fleshed out. On the other hand, if you’re into the atmosphere rather than the nuts and bolts, it’s extremely ~aesthetic~ and very pretty!” @ https://www.netgalley.com/book/132359/reviews

    (An Eisner-nom webcomic for teens and fans of WANDERING STAR or PLANETES, Greg?)

    — PIERO by Edmond Baudoin (p. 372, ALLEGEDLY $18)

    Craig Thompson: “No other book inspired me more than Piero. Edmond Baudoin is a master.”

    * (12 untr. pages) https://bnccatalist.ca/viewtitle.aspx?ean=9781681372969

    Dad: Fetch the dictionary, I’ll show you.
    Kid: It’s heavy!
    Dad: Lucky you… dirty words aren’t even listed.

    * (2 untr. pages) http://web.archive.org/web/20070720115356/http://w3.uqah.uquebec.ca/baudoin/piero.html

    (How come “HC” becomes “paperback” online while 7×9″ become 6×8″?)

  7. Simon

    P.P.S.: Or why not try returnable from a bookstore?

    — BLOODSTRIKE: BRUTALISTS by Michel Fiffe (p. 63, $10 @ I)

    * (excerpt) https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/bloodstrike-0
    * (excerpt) https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/bloodstrike-23
    * (excerpt) https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/bloodstrike-24

    * (positive) “It fuses the insanity of 90s comic book storytelling with the attitude of an underground comic/’zine. It’s a singular reading experience that can only come from sequential art.” @ http://www.monkeysfightingrobots.co/review-bloodstrike-brutalists-review/

    * (mixed) “If you are going to pick up these books for any reason, it’s for Fiffe’s art. […] However, much of its appeal is going to depend on how invested you are in the world of Bloodstrike and your familiarity with the characters.” @ https://www.newsarama.com/38853-best-shots-advance-review-michel-fiffe-s-bloodstrike-brutalists-0-and-23.html

    * (negative) “Fiffe’s story is utterly incomprehensible for anyone who wasn’t already familiar with the characters […] Thanks to Wikipedia, I did understand the cliffhanger ending […] This is definitely not new reader friendly, but it’s worth flipping through to check out Fiffe’s unique art and metamorphic color palette.” @ https://graphicpolicy.com/2018/06/18/review-bloodstrike-0/

    * (roundup) “The action sequences are simply unbeatable in comics today and Fiffe manages to reimagine at least one common trope in a manner that will leave jaws on the ground. It’s bloody, it’s stylish, it’s exhilarating;” @ https://comicbookroundup.com/comic-books/reviews/image-comics/bloodstrike-(2018)

    — M.I.A. by Don Lomax (p. 315, $17 @ Caliber)

    “As the machine gun bucked against me, the horror of what I was doing receded. The [M-60] became a warm, friendly thing. That feeling will haunt me until the day I die.”

    * (3 pages) http://www.war-stories.com/lomaxcomics/mia-2.htm
    * (3 pages) https://calibercomics.info/products/vietnam-journal-book-4-mia

    “[This Vietnam] war seems different. Vague, meaningless, without purpose.”   “Jeez, I hope Hemingway didn’t hear that. Besides, I’m the one who put [our pal] in harm’s way. If anyone should feel guilty about his death, it should be me.”   “Do you?”   “I can’t afford it.”   (Book 2)

    — LOST SOUL BE AT PEACE by Maggie Thrash (p. 315, $19 @ Candlewick)

    A Murakami-esque memoir slash ghost story for teens, from the bests-of-2015 girl?

    * (4-page excerpt) https://bnccatalist.ca/viewtitle.aspx?ean=9780763694197
    * (29-page chapter) http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?mode=book&isbn=0763694193

    * (capsule) “Mixing recollections with a supernatural Hamlet-inspired theme, her watercolor-tinged illustrations add a wonderfully ethereal layer to an already nuanced offering. Defying genre boundaries, Thrash has proven herself a capable memoirist able to pinpoint her own pivotal life moments, turn them into art, and take risks with conventions.” @ https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/maggie-thrash/lost-soul-be-at-peace/

    * (blurbs) “School Library Journal (starred review): […] a pitch-perfect blend of caustic humor, melancholy, and tenderness, depicting her younger self’s frustration with her wealthy, ignorant cohorts and her growing understanding of her own privilege… Thrash boldly mixes memoir and fiction” @ http://www.candlewick.com/bookxtras.asp?isbn=0763694193&view=xtras

    (Or a softcover next year?)

    1. Greg Burgas

      Simon: Thanks as always for the recommendations. I don’t get stuff from the library, man! 🙂 Actually, the library in Chandler doesn’t have a wide selection of comics, and I rarely get there anyway. I prefer to spend my money on books that might not be great, damn it!

  8. Edo Bosnar

    Never even heard of Okorafor? Oh, man. You really need to read some of her books: I’d recommend starting with her YA books, like the Shadow Speaker or Zahrah the Windseeker, and then moving on to her ‘adult’ stuff, like Who Fears Death. She is an absolutely fantastic writer.
    Afrofuturism – to add to what Travis noted – encompasses a whole complex of ideas and cultural concepts, but when writers are described as Afrofuturist, it usually means they’re writing some form of science fiction that focuses on Africa and Africans and/or African diaspora communities in some sort of high-tech milieu, often in a utopian or dystopian future. Some of Octavia Butler’s writing can be characterized as Afrofuturist, and I think Nalo Hopkinson also falls into that category. A good place to start is an anthology of short stories published a few years ago called Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Edo: That’s a good definition; thanks. I don’t read as much fiction as I used to, so I’m woefully behind on the good fiction writers now, no matter what kind of fiction they write or where they’re from. That’s just the way it is. So I appreciate any news about more recent fiction writers!

  9. Jeff Nettleton

    Ring of the Nibelung is probably Russell’s bes of the opera books, in terms of sheer artistic brilliance. Some might lean towards some of the others, for poetry or the characters; but, this one is truly epic, as you would expect. Roy Thomas and Gil Kane had also tried their hand at it and Russell’s just blows it away, as good as it was.

    Liefeld drew feet! And the muscles are mostly in proportion! Somebody check the calendar; this might be the Rapture!

    The Pirates of Venus thing is, I think, a reprint of the old Carson of Venus stuff, from when DC had the license. i know Kaluta worked on those and I believe Wein wrote some of it. Kaluta is always good, especially on pulp.

    The original Fantomas stories are excellent and the uses in the Tales of the Shadowmen anthologies are usually very good; so, this would seem a safe bet. Fantomas is a big influence on megalomaniacal villains, as is Dr Mabuse and Prof. moriarty. There was a Fantomas comic in Mexico, in the 60s and later, that was inspired by the novels and the 60s film; but it was done more in the style of the Italian Diabolik, with Fantomas as a hero. In the novels, he is pure villain, with Inspector Juve and the journalist Fandor, as the heroes.

  10. Simon

    @Greg: Well, can’t GNs be interlibrary-loaned to your closest branch or bookmobile? (Or don’t they offer digital loans via Hoopla or CL?) Your friendly librarian may help!

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