Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Flippin’ Through Previews — August 2020

Wait, what?  This is Travis popping in the day before the print Previews #383 comes out in stores!  That’s right, I’m starting to comment on DC Connect #3 here on July 28!  Greg will pop in later with his fun comments (in blue), don’t worry!

Dark Horse only gets two covers a year, and they choose this garbage one as one of them?

Let’s start out with DC, even though my retailer said he hasn’t ordered anything from them since they switched away from Diamond!

Why not? Is he just mad? Seems to be cutting off his nose to spite his face. My retailer is annoyed, but he’s not going to turn down that sweet Batman money!

I’m not entirely sure.  I think the money actually isn’t there because the new distributors don’t offer as good discounts.  But I’m not sure what he’s telling the people who are Batman and other DC regulars.  Unless he is ordering just the pull box stuff and nothing else, and that’s what he meant.

Check out the solicits here!

Page 6 has the extra sized Batman 100, which wraps up the Joker War stupidity.  I guess DC figured that if they introduce lame knock-offs of their own characters, like Clownhunter and Punchline, they can “kill off” the originals for longer?  Who knows what DC is thinking these days.

But … but … new costume! And what about Clownpuncher? That’s a bold new character!

Well, it’s a good thing that doesn’t look incredibly stupid

Then on page 8 Batman 101 has Grifter added to the supporting cast.  Yay?

Well, integrating the Wildstorm characters has worked so well the 76 other times they’ve tried it, so why not now?

Of course on page 9 Peter Tomasi is pretty much ignoring the other Bat book and doing something that sounds kind of interesting in Detective 1028, but then, he’s always been very good.

Batgirl 50 ends the series on page 11, and it would be sadder if this run had been as good as the last one.  I just haven’t been as impressed by the Rebirth version.

We’re treated to an ad for Endless Winter on page 14, so it’s either a Mr. Freeze Bat story, based on the placement in the previews, or it’s going to have something to do with the Sandman characters, because DC gotta pimp them suckas out!  [This was written before I saw about the crossover with Locke and Key!]

What? Locke & Key? What?

(See below!)

Ugh.  Rorschach.  Page 15.  Maxi-series.  Stupid premise.  Artist Jorge Fornés is really good in a Mazzucchelli way, and this will skyrocket him to stardom but too bad it’s on this kind of shit.  ugh.

Well, it’s been a little bit since DC bent Alan Moore over a desk, so I guess it’s time again!

It’s frustrating hearing about how the HBO series was actually quite good, from most reports, because I reflexively want to hate it and avoid it.

I watched it because I have HBO, so I figured it wasn’t too egregious, and … it was fine. It felt like they wanted to make a different show but they had the name, so it’s a weird amalgam. The cast is great, though.

Wait, they’ll publish this shit, but they say ‘We’re gonna pass’ to Francavilla’s Batman ’72?

Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque are finally going to finish American Vampire, so that should be fun. We’ll see if Snyder can stick the landing!

Both The Doomed and the Damned and Legend of the Swamp Thing Halloween Spectacular have some good talent working on them, so I’ll probably pick them up.

It’s really hard to take Batman: Three Jokers 3 on page 24 as seriously with the Joker War ending earlier this issue.  And vice versa.

Does the Dark Nights Death Metal 4 solicit page on page 26 imply that the most dangerous Batman will be a Rorschach Batman?

Well, it’s the coolest characters in comics mashed together, so of course!

I can’t remember if I ordered it, but the contents of Wonder Woman 1984 on page 37 sound like they’re the same as the 100 page special.  So I’ll have to see if I ordered it, or if the 100 pager came out in July when I stop at the comics shop this week.  [It wasn’t at my shop, but then, I don’t think Diamond was shipping any more DC stuff last month.  I dunno.  Then again, it appears I didn’t order the 100 page version in the first place …]

Page 38 has Wonder Women of History, with stories of accomplished women over the years.  I believe the early WW comics had similar biographical stories, so it’s nice to see them continuing in this vein.

Arkhamaniacs on the next page looks like a fun Franco and Art Baltazar comic, with a young Bruce Wayne wondering what’s up with the Arkham Apartments that his family owns.  Probably cute fun stuff!

Yeah, that will probably be keen.

‘Not final cover’? Why not? Look at that cool thing!

Oh no, not the Deadly Uber Parasite!  Does it drive you to your destination but leave you penniless because of surge pricing? (Page 40)

Page 68 has the HC of Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, which looked pretty cool overall.  They need to do more WW Elseworlds stories.

Yeah, I’ll probably get this, but I don’t know if I’m willing to spring for the hardcover.

I didn’t end up getting any of the Hill House collections last month, but I’m tempted with the Daphne Byrne one on page 69, because it’s got Kelley Jones art.  I assume you looked at at least one of the issues, so what did you think?

It looked quite good, but I’m also not sure about the hardcover here. If it’s “Black Label,” it will probably be bigger than the regular issues, which might make the extra dollar you pay worth it for larger Jones art. I’ll think about it.

Next page has Plunge, the one by Joe Hill and Stuart Immonen, which is bound to look cool.  I spot 2 Easter egg references to other books or movies in the first paragraph of the solicit, but did I miss some?

I only see one, so you’re one up on me!

I forget now and I’m not going to bother looking but I think the name of the ship is one and if that’s not the Lovecraft reference, the other thing is.  I’m so descriptive!

Damn, that Deadman Omnibus on page 71 is tempting!  So many good creators.

Yeah, I’ll be getting that. I own the Neal Adams stuff, but the other stuff is probably great, too!

Was Boston wearing white makeup when he was killed, because his corpse looks awfully blanco

Huh, I forgot that Girl was a 3 issue mini from mid-90s Vertigo, because I guess I thought it was one of the Vertigo Voices one shots, like Milligan’s The Eaters.  It must be right near the end of when Milligan and Fegredo would get the rights back, if DC is bothering to reprint this now, right? (Page 76)

Yeah, probably. I’ll still get it, even though it’s probably getting collected for an underhanded reason. I prefer to think of it as someone at DC digging through their archives saying, “You know, we have a lot of cool shit here!”

That would be nice, and I do think there have to be some people there that legitimately think that way.

Ooh, that Justice League Unlimited book on page 80 looks pretty good, with some fun all-ages stories of different characters.  Then on the same page is another Legends of the Dark Knight HC, this time featuring Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.  That’s gotta be good stuff!

Shit yeah, I’m getting that. The latter, I mean. Not the former.

Lois Lane: Enemy of the People gets a nice 12-issue trade, which I will be getting. Rucka and Perkins, come on!

Since I ended up not getting the Jimmy Olsen one, I didn’t mention this.  Also, I’m wondering how much the “Superman is Clark Kent” reveal was planned when Rucka started this series versus when that reveal forced its way into the comics.

Really?  Underworld Unleashed was worth us “celebrating” its 25th anniversary, with the collection on page 86?  I mean, from what I’ve read, it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t seem to be that great overall.  It was still better than Genesis, mind you.

How dare you besmirch Underworld Unleashed!!!!! Okay, it was just decent, but look at those artists!

Regular book time!


Take a look at the solicits here!

I’m not sure I agree with the assessment of “world’s worst person”, but The Scumbag on page 36 is intriguing.  It’s the new thing from Rick Remender, and it’s about a drug addicted biker who finds a “power-imbuing serum” (is that the best phrasing?) that turns him into the most powerful super spy.  Somehow, I didn’t think spycraft rested on power in quite that way, but whatevs.  The intriguing part is that each issue will be done by a different artist, and counting them up it appears that Remender plans at least 12 issues, unless some artists are splitting issues.  The preview isn’t the best, although Lewis Larosa and Moreno Dinisio do well with giving things a dingy neon vibe, but I am wondering who did the lettering.  I’m strange, I know.

I really like LaRosa, so it’s cool that he’s getting work. And remember: You must apply the Remender Rule, which states that the first issue will be amazing and then each issue will be worse than the one before it. That’s axiomatic, yo! And all I know about the lettering is that it isn’t Troy Peteri!

Cool cover, though

I’m not sure The Walking Dead is improved by color (somewhere I have a dollar edition of the first issue and have read it before), but the series is coming out in “deluxe” editions monthly on page 40, so this book should have a 17 year life span.  Even though I don’t think Dave McCaig’s coloring improves on the B&W version, I do think they should have at least spelled the name of the award he’s won, especially since Shuster is the co-creator of Superman!

Commanders in Crisis on page 42 sounds interesting, but also like lo-fi GMozz-ery, if you will.  Five of the last survivors of the multiverse happen to be superheroes who now live among us.  And there’s “ideacide”.  And a USA that’s splitting into 52 separate states.  Steve Orlando definitely seems to be riffing on some of GMozz’s DC work, as well as possibly Black Hammer.  I’ll probably get the trade.

Wow, I can’t disagree with you more. Just that page they show in the previews makes it look absolutely terrible. Like, mind-destroyingly bad. Maybe I’ll get the trade to see if it’s as bad as that one page, but I dunno.

They show 4 pages, sir, so which one was the most egregious?  Looking again, yeah, maybe it’s going to be crappy, but maybe it’ll be fascinatingly crappy?

ALL OF THEM!!!!! I just meant the one page they cram four separate pages onto. Not one specific one, just the overall general vibe I’m getting.

Ah, I getcha.  It does feel like it’s leftover GMozz DC ideas, or stuff they did post-Final Crisis “based on ideas by” him, so it has that “rubbernecking an accident” feel to it.

I suppose Getting it Together on page 44 is an interesting take on Friends but in comics, which we don’t necessarily see a lot of, but I’m not digging the preview.  It’s good for what it is, but what it is just doesn’t do it for me, I guess.

This was already offered some months ago. It’s a COVID casualty!

Huh, I forgot about that.  I don’t think they showed preview pages before, did they?

Blue in Green is an OGN on page 46 from Ram V and Anand RK about a musician’s pursuit of creative genius.  Someone is certainly studying their McKean and Billy the Sink for this artwork!  But it sounds interesting and I’ve missed out on a few of Ram V’s stories, and it sounds like he’s shaping up to be a very good comics creator (and there’s an interview with him on page 11).


Planet Paradise is an OGN on page 48 from Jesse Lonergan.  I just picked up Hedra so I’ll have to take a look at that and see if this might be something I want.  It sounds interesting, where a vacationer has to survive after crash landing on an alien planet with little hope on the horizon.

Hedra is keen, so I’ll get this.

From what you talked about with the first issue, it sounds like Adventureman on page 53 will probably be worth getting in HC.  I’ll have to think about it!

That’s still a bit spendy for four issues, even if the first one was super-long. Now, if it were physically larger so you could see Dodson’s gorgeous art in more detail, that’d be something. Only two issues have come out [Issue #3 came out this week, but I haven’t read it yet!], and #2 was still quite good, so it’s probably going to be a good read … but 25 bucks is tough, man.

It does say the trim size is 9.5”x12.5”.

Yeah, I saw that. I … I don’t know if that’s bigger than usual. So sad am I!

I believe that most comics are approximately 6” x 9”, so this is roughly 150% size?

Then yeah, it will probably look very keen, because the art is so wonderful and detailed.

The concept of On The Stump is pretty funny, as it’s a world where our elections are decided by hand-to-hand combat, so I’m thinking about the trade on page 54, although I can’t remember if they actually solicited all 5 issues.  Maybe they were all out before corona?

I should read the first trades of both books offered on page 56 to see if I want the second volumes.  Exorsisters is about sisters who fight the supernatural while Family Tree is about a girl transforming into a tree, and I got the first volumes of both in my gigantic shelf of shame pile!

Both are pretty solid, and I’ll get the second volumes!

Dark Horse:

Gaze upon the solicits here!

Apparently Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman et al. was delayed by corona, so here the first issue is resolicited on page 78.

I thought My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days album was pretty damn good, and with GMozz himself playing the villain in the videos, it was even cooler.  I don’t remember The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys comics series from several years back, but I think it was decent, at least, with Becky Cloonan art.  Here on page 80 is the new series, National Anthem, and it looks pretty fun.  I’ll be getting the trade of this down the line.

I’ll have to think about it. I don’t remember much of the original series, either.

So Goth!

I remember Aleister and Adolf being offered before, but I can’t remember if it was from DH or if it was one of the last Vertigo things.  Anyway, a new edition is on page 93, along with the trade of The Butcher of Paris, which I think we’ve discussed here before.

It was originally from Dark Horse. I should probably read it …

I think I ordered this new Spell on Wheels: Just to Get to You trade on page 94 before, but if not, I’ll have to rectify that, because the first mini was pretty good, and this one they scrapped the singles and went straight to trade, iirc.

Speaking of skipping singles, The Seeds from Ann Nocenti and David Aja comes out in trade on page 95, bypassing the last couple single issues, iirc.

Did they, though? I could have sworn it all came out in single issues. Whatever, I was waiting for the trade anyway.

Maybe it did?  I thought the first two issues came out and were really slow to come out, but I could be wrong!

On page 97, DH is reprinting Drawing Lines: an Anthology of Women Cartoonists (it sounds like it might have been digest size before?), and you can’t go wrong with the lineup of talent they’ve got listed there.  However, didn’t DH publish Scary Godmother at one point?  So they should know that it’s Jill Thompson, and not Colleen Doran, who created that!  Oy.

Yes, they did, and yes, they should. Sheesh.

And this isn’t tied to a particular comic, but I was struck by an idea. I’ve noticed that DH is losing a lot of licenses lately, and I’ve wondered why that is, and then it occurred to me that maybe some people have been more aware of the Scott Allie allegations over the years, and figured that if DH was going to keep employing him in any capacity, they’d stop working with them.  I think that’s probably a rose colored vision of the world, though.  It probably just comes down to money.

Possibly. That would be nice if it were true.


You know the solicits are here!

I’m looking at Transformers/Back to the Future with a little more interest since I just watched the BTTF movies again recently.  Good stuff overall, and does this mean there’s going to be a transforming toy DeLorean called Gigawatt soon?  I might have to buy that! (Page 106)

This doesn’t mean that Optimus Prime is almost going to bang Lea Thompson, does it?

I’d like to get Marvel Action: Chillers 1 and 2 on page 112, because the solicits make them sound like they might be fun, but the lack of info on the artists is dissuading me.  Perhaps I’ll get a trade.

When I first read the solicit for What if We Were … on page 120, I thought it meant that the girls actually had powers to change what their lives were, but it appears that it’s more of a mental exercise.  It still looks fun and the art by Axelle Lenoir is very good (I can’t think of who, but it reminds me of someone else’s style).  I’ll consider this.

Oh, ugh, when was this announced?  Locke & Key/ Sandman Universe crossover on page 122?  Why does this bother me so?  It’s not like I’m reading the new Sandman books, and I never got into L&K, but it still feels wrong somehow.  I’m weird.

Meh. Doesn’t bother me at all, as I assume Gaiman is on board with it. You know what does bother me, and I don’t know why? Luke Evans playing a straight man. It’s really bizarre. I have no problem with other gay men playing straight men, but for some reason, I just don’t buy Luke Evans as a straight man. It’s really weird.

I assumed that Luke Evans was a country singer just based on the name.  He did play William Moulton Marston in that one movie about the origins of Wonder Woman!

‘I always tie up women on the first date!’

Scarenthood on page 124 sounds cool, with a group of parents disturbing an ancient evil and having to battle demons to protect their kids.  I’ll probably get the trade.

Yeah, but that title is what scares me!

I think Usagi Yojimbo Origins volume 1 on page 129 is the color version of the first Fantagraphics trade, so I’ll be getting this, and then I should have pretty much all of Usagi’s stuff.

I’ll have to get this, too, and then I’ll see what I’m missing. I got all the Dark Horse stuff, I think, but I’ll have to see. One of these days I should read it, right?

Exactly.  I’ve read parts over the years but it should be fun to gather all my omnibi up and luxuriate in it all sometime!

Well, now, fuck, are the 4th and 5th issues of Batman/The Maxx not coming out after all?  They’re offering the entire HC on page 136!  I decided to get that bumper version of the first 3 issues they offered last month specifically because I would get the last two issues after, which they claimed would be offered anon!  WTF, IDW and DC?  Am I going to have to buy this in multiple versions, then?  Grrr!

I saw that too and thought it was weird. What, indeed, the fuck?


Let’s get to the solicits here!

On the cover of the Previews, is “Chapter 11” the part of X of Swords they’re showing here, or is it what Marvel is going to be filing soon?  Hyuck hyuck!


I guess I should comment on these characters on page 1, these “Swordbearers of Arakko”.  “Solem” apparently can’t spell, Redroot the Forest seems like has to be related to Groot, the others mostly look lame, but does it seem too obvious that Summoner looks a lot like Emma Frost and War looks a lot like young Cyclops?  And that’s probably all the caring (and then some) that I can muster up about that!

I like how you write you “should”. Why? Just ignore them! Although I do love the way-kewl Nineties sword “The White Sword” is carrying. Where’s Marrow when you need her?

Alright, “feel the need to comment” was the more accurate phrasing, but y’know …

I’m just funnin’ with ya!

Of course!

Look at that sword!

I would have sworn that Spider-Woman hit 100 a while ago, but I think it was Ms. Marvel.  Anyway, on page 20, Spider-Woman hits 100 issues with #5!

Meh. They’re celebrating that like it’s something special, when it took over 40 years for her to reach 100 issues. Way to call attention to something that never sells, Marvel!

Damn, Warhammer 40,000 is at Marvel, here on page 24?  Of course it’s something I don’t care about but has a creative team (Kieron Gillen and Jacen Burrows) that’s worth me taking a look at.  Am I going to start getting into Warhammer?!

I have a couple of these, for some reason, from the Boom! days. I honestly don’t know why I have them – Chip Mosher probably sent them to me when he was working at Boom! Anyway, that was when Giffen was writing them, I think, and they’re … just kind of there. I don’t mind that Gillen is writing this, because he’s still writing other stuff, but why, now that Burrows is at Marvel, are they wasting him on shit like this? Sheesh.

Damn, there are other comics of this, and the Giff wrote some?  Do they just know that these are creators I like and they start throwing them on this shit?

Yeah, I’ll have to dig them out and take a look to see. I’m pretty sure it was Giffen, back when he worked for Boom!

Now that’s impressive over-compensation!

Werewolf by Night (page 44) cannot be written by someone named “Jackendoff,” can it? Sweet Fancy Moses.

I made the joke back when it was offered before the COVID shut down.  Even better, the dude’s first name is Benjamin, as in “Ben Jackendoff”.

Whoops, sorry about that. It’s just such an easy name to joke about!

Oh, no problem, I’m just reminding you that we did take that easy route before!

What a surprise.  A Captain America run that includes the resurrection of the Red Skull.  (Page 49)

Alert the media! This has never happened before! I’m so excited!!!!!!

You know, I was going to pick on you for not writing about any of the collected stuff, but … there’s nothing. It’s all dull, and a few resolicits we’ve already written about. Dang, Marvel!

I know.  It was so weird when I finished up the Marvel stuff and there was nothing else to write about!


I hope the solicits are here!

I’m not sure Die!Namite on page 144 has a plot (there are undead people … somehow?), but kudos for the pun.

Declan Shalvey is a weird choice of writer, because he’s actually pretty good, but his style doesn’t seem to fit a big stupid event. Although maybe it’s easy to write a big stupid event. Just make sure everyone cool shows up and fights!

Yeah, big stupid events seem like they’d be simple to put together and pay good money.

It’s all about the expensive variants!

Rainbow Brite is reprinted on page 172, in a different size (was it digest before?), so I might snag this because my lady liked the show.  I think.  I’ll have to ask her when I’m making my final list.

On page 173 is Warlord of Mars Attacks in trade, which sounds like it could be dumb, but it’s written by Jeff Parker, so it might actually be kind of cool.

Yeah, I’ll probably get this, too.

Boom! Studios:

So many pop-ups among the solicits!

Dune is one of those things that I missed out on in my teen years, and I suspect that it’s probably too late to read it and be heavily into it.  But for the people who have been into it, the prequel House Atreides comes to comics on page 178.

I tried reading Dune once, got about 100 pages into it, wondered why I was reading such a dreary and boring book, and put it down. I’ve never looked back! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Fuck yeah Keanu!  Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt (oh, that’s why Keanu blurbed Kindt’s Bang! series) and Alessandro Vitti bring us BRZRKR on page 182, about an immortal dude who’s compelled to violence, and how he’s now working for the US government, hoping to figure out how to end his life.  Sounds like it could be cool.  Too bad Bill and Ted aren’t still at Boom, or else they could do a cool crossover!

Yeah, I’d read that. I’ll probably get this in trade. Maybe.

Almost too hilarious for words!

Page 192 has two cool trades I’ve been waiting for.  Alienated, by Simon Spurrier and Chris Wildgoose, about 3 teen kids using an alien being for their own ends, and King of Nowhere, by W. Maxwell Prince and Tyler Jenkins, about an amnesiac dude who’s trying to hang out in a strange (haven) village, but his past is catching up with him.

I too have been waiting for those!

Back of the book!

Ablaze has Mirka Andolfo’s Un/Sacred volume 1 HC on page 206, about a devil guy and an angel lady who fall for each other and get sexy.  I thought it sounded interesting.

Aardvark Vanaheim has 2 Cerebus in Hell? books on page 209, with The Vault of Cerebus, an EC homage cover featuring a zombie glamourpuss, as well as the censored version of Batvark Penis.  I need to catch up with these comics.

Abrams has a new version of a Nathan Hale book with a larger trim size and extra pages, but the name it’s listed under here on page 209 is unfortunate.  Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party Bigger and Badder.  That seems … ill-advised?  Too celebratory?

Why? Will it offend some of the Donner Party? Cannibals? Pioneers? Wagon makers? Why are you such a big part of cancel culture, Pelkie?!?!?!?

I’m all about cancelling culture.  Burn it all down!  Or not.  But Donner Dinner Party is weird, and bigger and badder?  Oh my.

Them’s good eatin’!

I did enjoy the ‘90s X-Men animated series, but I doubt I’d pay so much for an art book/making of book like the one on page 210.  But that was a cool ass show!

Also on page 210 is an adaptation of Dune from Abrams Comicarts.  Yadda yadda as to what I said earlier about the book.

I tried reading Dune once, got about 100 pages into it, wondered why I was reading such a dreary and boring book, and put it down. I’ve never looked back! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Action Lab has Sasquatch in Love on page 212, which sounds like it will be a fun book with nice cartoony art, but I keep seeing a lot of stuff from Action Lab on the cancellation list on the Previews site, so maybe they need to get their house in order before putting out more new stuff?  Of course, now I can finally order the first volume of Spencer and Locke on page 216!

Adhouse Books has one from Jim Rugg on page 216 that I believe was a Kickstarter book from the last few months.  It’s called Mtsyry Octobriana 1976, and it combines ‘70s psychedelia with Soviet constructivism, according to the solicit.  All I know is that it looked cool, and I thought they were also doing a black light edition of the book, so I wish I hadn’t missed out on that.

I dig Rugg, so I’ll pick this up.

That person seems angry

Inaki Miranda is co-writing and drawing We Live from AfterShock on page 220, which sounds neat. In the future, aliens plan to rescue 5000 kids from the rapidly-dying Earth, and this is the story of one of them. Miranda is a terrific artist, so this should look good.

The good people from Ahoy have a bunch of stuff offered on page 228.  The trade of Ash and Thorn is offered already, and I just got the first 3 issues.  The second trade of Captain Ginger is offered, and I’m going to be getting it, even though I’m mildly annoyed at having to do so, but only the first 2 issues came out in print, and the rest were digital only, and while I probably wouldn’t mind having the digital issues, I’d rather have the entire book in one format so I don’t have to switch while reading.  Anyway, in singles, they’re offering the first issue of the new Edgar Allan Poe book, Snifter of Blood (the first 2 volumes were Snifter of Terror), and the first issue of Penultiman, the winner of the Steel Cage one shot last year.  Frankly, it was my least favorite feature in that book, if I recall correctly, and I wish the Mark Waid story had been the winner.  Again, I digress, but the Ahoy books have been very good (what I’ve read so far), and they’ve got more good stuff coming (I’m on their mailing list, but I forget how I got on there!), and they’re based semi-locally to me, so I try to get all the single issues!

This is why you get trades, man!

Trade waiting is killing the comics industry, just like home taping killed the music industry in the ‘80s!

Albatross Funnybooks has a fun selection of stuff, including the new Tank Girl book, as well as a resolicit of Megaghost volume 1 trade on page 230.  I think I considered this book before, so I might try to snag it this time (hell, for all I can remember, I DID order it!).

Interesting book on page 232 from Algonquin Young Readers, with We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe.  Based on the cover art, she’s got an interesting art style.  For those not in the know, Markoe was one of the geniuses behind David Letterman’s Late Night show in the early ‘80s that helped propel him to stardom, as well as being Dave’s partner at the time.  I don’t know that I’ll buy this one but I’ll probably read it from the library, if I ever get a chance to get back to the library, that is!

Antarctic Press has some strange things that it publishes, sometimes.  On page 238 is Hot Valley Days and Cocaine Nights, about a teenage runaway who went to LA and got involved in selling coke in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, and supposedly it’s based on a true story.  It doesn’t necessarily seem to fit in with the rest of their output, but then, some of the rest of their stuff is odd, too.  Also on the next page is the trade of Cat Shit One volume 2.  I have to see if they offered the singles for this run (I think they did), and if I ordered them, and if not, I have to read the three issues of volume one and see if this is worth continuing with.

I will never understand you. Why do you get comics with no hope of reading them? I mean, I get some comics and I don’t read them, but I try, man. And I know if I got something that was just offered a few months ago. I might not know if I have something from 20-30 years ago, but Cat Shit One was just offered, sir. You are really weird.

I know, but in this case, I plead “did they cancel the singles and go straight to trade because of the COVID stuff, or are the singles coming out?”  Also, I have gotten around to reading these, and I plan on catching up with my comics reading soon!  This time it’s for real!

Oh, I see. You’re still weird. Comics are awesome, sir. Read some! 🙂

I’m not saying that I’m not weird, or that I even understand myself!

To bring it back around, this does sound neat

Archie reminds us that they used to be in charge of the fucking Comics Code Authority, virtually, with the Madam Satan one shot on page 241. The Ohta art looks good, so I might get this.

A Wave Blue World has American Terrorist on page 248, about a group of friends trying to do what they can to reimagine democracy, and the government calling them terrorists. Sounds interesting.

I reviewed this in 2013 – dang, tempus fugit. It’s quite good. They also have a comic book version of The Phantom of the Opera. That’s probably pretty keen.

AWA/Upshot puts out their first wave of comics out in trade on pages 250-251.  They’re all 10 dollar trades, and you know I love that.  I have to look at the Upshot Now books that I already have to see if these are any good.  The Resistance is the new JMS comics thing, illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr., and about a new group of powered people in the aftermath of a global disaster.  Year Zero is about a zombie epidemic, from multiple perspectives.  Archangel 8 is about the hidden archangel who isn’t a good guy.  Red Border is about a Mexican couple who are “rescued” from death but face other horrors from their rescuer.  And Hotell I’ll find out more about when I read it, but I like John Lees.  And sweet, another new Milligan book on page 252, American Ronin, which has great looking ACO art, and has a Pretender vibe to it.  I’ll wait for the trade!

The only one I’m definitely getting is The Resistance, and I’ll think about the others. The first issue of Hotell was pretty keen, but I haven’t read the others.

I might get Necromorfus on page 255 from Behemoth Comics, about a boy who gains the form and memories of anyone deceased, but I’ll have to chew it over.

If only they could have made the cover even more generic!

Clover Press has a few interesting ones on pages 262-263.  Pete Von Sholly’s Lovecraft Illustrated has a ton of illustrations of the Lovecraft stories presented in the order the stories were written, which is a neat way of grouping them, and Von Sholly’s art is pretty groovy.  Rattle of Bones has Locke and Key co-creator Gabriel Rodriguez illustrating 8 horror stories by Conan’s creator, and they look suitably spooky.  The Fantastic Illustrations of Timothy Truman looks to be what the title says, so if you dig Truman, you’ll dig this.

Fantagraphics has their usual offerings of goodness on pages 270-271.  Maids by Katie Skelly tells the true crime story of the Papin Sisters in 1930s France, which sounds like a story I’m vaguely familiar with.  The Comics Journal 306 has an interview with the wonderful Roz Chast as well as talking about where comics and politics intersect and a “meditation” on Scott Adams of Dilbert.  Then there’s What Cartooning Really Is: The Major Interviews with Charles M. Schulz, which I assume means the times that he sat down with the Comics Journal.  Still, that’s got to be great, and it would be nice if they collected more of their old interviews like this, although I wonder how much of the old TCJ interviews are online at their site.

Wasn’t Rush: The Making of a Farewell to Kings from Fantoons on page 274 offered before? Well, anyway, here it is, the story of the album featuring “Closer to the Heart” and of course, the title track (shoutout to my pal Mark!).

I … think so? I seem to recall it because I’m not a fan of Rush, much to many of my high school friends’ dismay, and so I thought I had noticed it before.

I’m sure we talked about it here.  We should probably read our own columns at some point 🙂

On the same page First Comics reoffers Love Town in trade, a noir supernatural story, and maybe this time I’ll actually order it.

Is that the third time they’ve offered it? I don’t think it’s just the second, but maybe it is.

At least the third time!

The same page also offers History Comics: The Challenger Disaster GN from First Second, and I’m taken aback that something I remember happening qualifies as history!  (Brought to you by the fact that Travis just turned another year older at the end of July.)

Um … you know that stuff that happened yesterday qualifies as history, right?

Fine, if you want to get technical, and yes, we’re ALL dying too, but there’s history and then there’s History, amirite?

Since your post about the series reminded me of how good it was, I’m tempted to get this new(er) edition of The Crow that Gallery 13 is offering on page 278.  Gotta dig out my Joy Division records too though!

That’s one of the versions I own. It’s kind of weird that I have more editions of The Crow, I think, than any other comic. (I have three versions of Sandman and Watchmen, but I’m pretty sure I have four versions of the first few issues of The Crow.)

Damn, you got any of the original Crow comics?  Did you get them new, or did you pay a pretty penny for them?

I don’t have the first printing of the first issue, unfortunately. It might be the second printing, but it’s not the first. I have the first printing of issues #2 and 3, I think, and I bought them relatively new, or at least before they became pricey, but then I couldn’t find #4, and issue #5 was never printed as a cheap-ass single issue, I don’t think? They switched to nicer stock and a “prestige format” and issue #5 took up “volume 3” of that format. So some originals, but nothing I had to spend a chunk of change on.

That’s awesome!

Graphic Universe has a couple of neat ones aimed more at YA readers, but that still look interesting enough for us older folks to get into, over on page 279.  The Book of Secrets by Mat Toni uses mystical Jewish stories to tell a fun adventure story where kids have to defeat a sorceress, while The Mega-Dogs of New Kansas (volume 1) is a great title, and deals with a young girl who has bonded greatly with her Mega-Dog on a strange planet where humans are settling.  It’s written by Dan Jolley, who’s done some good comics in the past.

I love the annoyed lizard in the corner

Heavy Metal is flooding the market with a bunch of books.  We’ll see what actually comes out, but it looks like a couple of them are printing certain features from the magazine in their own comics.  And apparently they’ve got a new (?) imprint called Virus, although I’m not sure what’s distinctive about these books, as it’s not that they’re OGNs exclusively, because one is a 4 issue mini, so …?  The couple of interesting ones here on pages 282-283 are Dotty’s Inferno from Bob Fingerman, who has done some interesting stuff over the years, about a woman who had been a call girl while alive but works in Hell’s Inhuman Resources now, although she does other stuff too; and The Red, the four issue mini, about a post-nuclear world where a single government prohibits certain emotional (“red”) content (in entertainment, I guess?), and the group of musicians who can create red content and are key to the overthrow of the government.  As is usually the case with these dystopian future, only one group can change all of government.  But it’s an interesting premise and I might wait for a big collection.

I’d love it if any of this stuff ever came out, but does it? And whenever I see Bob Fingerman’s name, I’m reminded of the bit on Friends where Phoebe asks “Why isn’t it ‘SPIderman’?” (with the emphasis on the first syllable and hardly any on the third) and Chandler has to tell her it’s not a last name like “Phil Spiderman” but that he’s a “Spider-MAN”. Sorry, but that’s what I think of.

That’s a good bit.

Insight Editions has Bowie by Allred Coloring Book on page 289, and I’m tempted because it’s Bowie.  By Allred.  Nuff said!

Mad Cave Studios has a couple interesting offerings on page 293.  There’s the trade of Savage Bastards, about two half brothers trying to save one of their mothers from their father and his other bastard children, and Villainous is about a young woman who has joined the big superhero group of her world, but “learns the truth” and has to decide if she’s going to be a hero or villain.  Presuming that the main character is the reptilian lady on the cover, that’s an interesting star, since that kind of character is more often automatically put on the villainous side to begin with.

Thread Wall FTW!!!!!

NBM has another Louvre Collection book on page 296 with Leonardo 2, about a clone of da Vinci that saves humanity from an intergalactic conflict in the future.  I’m not entirely sure what the art is going to look like, but I think it sounds interesting based on what they’re saying in the solicit.  If I’m understanding it right, anyway!

Oni has The Vain on page 298, about a group of vampires who rob blood banks, and the FBI agent who chases them from the early 1940s to … today, maybe?  I decided to look up blood banks, and my (very brief) research seems to indicate that Chicago having a blood bank in 1941 seems a bit of a stretch, but maybe it’s historically accurate, but since blood banks appear to have just started in the early 20th century (on a large, non-war scale), it seems like it’d be easier and not harder to steal blood because it’s centrally stored.  But who knows?  Anyway, I might get this trade because Eliot Rahal is a pretty good writer, and Emily Pearson’s art in the previews looks pretty nice.

I am really hoping that Rahal didn’t come up with the punny name and then decide to build a story around it. That would be really obnoxious.

Frtheluvva… I didn’t grasp the full punniness of the name until just now.

How disappointed are we in Travis right now?

Pantheon Books has Lon Chaney Speaks by Pat Dorian on page 309, a biography of the actor who pioneered being a makeup artist, and it’s done by someone doing early New Yorker style art.  Unless this is just a book by Seth under a pseudonym for some reason …

Papercutz has the third and latest Asterix omnibus on page 309, as well as reoffering the first two on the next page.  It’s funny stuff!

PS Artbooks has more “softee” volumes on pages 311 and 312, and I’ll probably order them, but I’m starting to get wary because I don’t think ANY of the ones they’ve been offering (for about 6 months now, I think) have come out yet, and I would like to see at least one before I keep ordering this stuff.  Also on 312 is Silver Age Classics: Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle, which features Sam Glanzman on story and art.  Drew Ford over at It’s Alive recently started a new series reprinting this Tarzan on Monster Island story, with restored art, so this might be a jerk move on the part of PS Artbooks.

I should check out if any of them have actually come out and if you can order them on-line or something. I agree that it’s very frustrating.

The good folks at Rebellion/2000AD are releasing a couple good ones on page 315, with The Dracula File GN, about a KGB officer hunting down Dracula in 1980s England, and The Thirteenth Floor volume 2, another collection of this Twilight Zone-ish series.

This cover looks far sillier than the interiors, which is odd

Red 5 has Legacy of Mandrake the Magician on page 316, which apparently means that Dynamite doesn’t have (all of) the King Features licenses any more.  This updates the series, but in making the main character a teenage girl, it just seems like you’re riffing on Sabrina.  Maybe the trade will be interesting.

I’m not sure if I’d get either of these, but Renegade Arts Entertainment on page 316 has Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures GN, with a collection of sci-fi/gothic tales, but I don’t know who the creators are on this, and VMT volume 1 of 3 with Will Simpson telling vampire stories that aren’t Vamps.

Scout has a new volume of The Electric Black on page 319 with The Electric Black Presents.  I ordered this, but it appears that it didn’t get to my shop in mid-July like Previews says it should have.  Guess I’ll have to let my guy know about that, too.  On the next page they’ve got Phantom Starkiller, which is a totally metal name, dude.

“Now opening for Wyld Stallyns … Phantom Starkiller!!!!!!”

Interesting.  Selfmadehero has, on page 320, Knock Out!: The True Story of Emile Griffith, by Reinhard Kleist, about an Afro-Caribbean-American bisexual boxer who beat an opponent in the ring so hard that the guy died 10 days later.  That guy learned to maybe not throw around homophobic slurs.  Anyway, back on page 218 from Aftershock is Kill a Man, about an MMA fighter who’s gay himself who has to turn for help from an older gay fighter after being outed.  The older guy is the man who killed the MMA fighter’s dad in the ring after the dad directed slurs at the older gay fighter.  How strange that the same dude is inspiring two different GNs in the same Previews!

Source Point Press, who seem to be putting out a bunch of neat stuff, has an interesting sounding one on page 322, Thompson Heller: Detective Interstellar, about a PI who solves interstellar cases with political or moral intrigue, and who must help prove an old friend not guilty of murder, while at the same time he has to deal with falling in love with his recurring intellectual sparring partner, who’s religious while he’s an atheist.  Oh, the dilemmas!

On page 335 we’ve got a relisting of that Tripwire special (which is listed as autumn but was probably spring or summer before!), so I’ll have to make sure that gets ordered again.

Man, I hope it comes out this time.

On the same page from the good folks at TwoMorrows is Back Issue 123, with superhero romances featured, and I’m probably in for the Elongated Man feature as well as the DeFalco/Stern interview.

As always, I’ve been totally Pelkieing my back issues of Back Issue, so while I’ll probably get this, I don’t know when I’ll ever get to it. Sigh.

On page 349, Vault offers the trade of Finger Guns, about teens who can manipulate emotions by using, well, finger guns. This looked pretty good, and Vault has a good track record so far, so I’ll pick this up.

Yeah, I was waiting for this too, just based on the title (almost …).  Back on page 344 is The Devil’s Red Bride 1, which has art by John Bivens, who’s pretty good, about warlords and samurai and shit in 16th century Japan.

Who doesn’t love warlords and samurai and shit?

I’ve seen a few of these choose your own adventure type comics from Van Ryder Games on page 350, but the first to intrigue me enough to mention here is Hold Up!, where you can move up from being a failed burglar to becoming a criminal kingpin.  At least I think these are choose your own adventure things and not just “imagine you’re this main character” books.

If this is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, shouldn’t the dude on the cover offer you a choice, like a gun or … beef jerky?!?!?

Z2 has a few interesting music related ones on page 351, with the Gorillaz Almanac, a comic book in the vein of British hardcover annuals, featuring the cartoon band; and Morrison Hotel, with all sorts of stories based on the Doors.  This one is written by the Bearded One’s daughter Leah Moore (who’s done interesting comics in her own right, so I shouldn’t refer to her as if the only notable thing about her is being his daughter!).

If that comic is as dull as the Doors’ music actually is, I might buy it to help me get to sleep!

Harsh, sir!

Kodansha has Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan volume 1 on page 361, about a kid’s TV host whose life lessons have the main theme that adulthood sucks.  If it’s that explicit that he’s teaching the kids that, I’m interested, and it is called a dark comedy, so I might try the first volume!

Viz has Chainsaw Man on page 377, and let’s hope he never faces Chainsaw Vigilante!  It’s about a devil hunter with a pet devil-dog who gets betrayed and gets a devil inside of him.  So then he chainsaws devils, I guess.  As you would.

I mean, it’s either that or telemarketing, so sure, why not?

And on page 381 are a couple of neat ones.  Sneeze: Naoki Urasawa Story Collection is short pieces by the creator of Monster and 20th Century Boys, and I think you read one or both of those before?  This would be a good place to start seeing if I like his stuff, I guess.  And then there’s Moriarty the Patriot, the origin story of Sherlock’s great rival, about how he started out fighting London’s caste system and how it led him to later life!

I’ve read both of those, sir! And I noticed Moriarty, and I’ll probably get it, but man, I don’t like how dreamy he is. Look at that hair!

That’s why he’s pissed at Holmes, he’s no longer that dreamy!

Stop him before he destroys that beautiful hair!

On page 384 Yen Press has Sadako at the End of the World, which I think is about a couple of sisters who play the video tape from The Ring and befriend the girl in that in a post-apocalyptic world.  Weird.  There’s also My Broken Mariko, about a woman who is trying to figure out why her friend died unexpectedly; and Heterogenia Linguistico volume 1, about a rookie linguist who has to go on a trip to study the language of monsters.  Might be fun.

Seven Seas Entertainment has Blue Giant Omnibus 1 on page 391, about a basketball player who sees a live jazz gig and devotes himself to the saxophone, despite never having picked one up before.  Why not, though, man!?  And on page 394, they have Unicorns Aren’t Horny volume 1, which is a great title, and it’s about a 20-something virgin and her roommate, a virgin loving unicorn.  Let the wackiness ensue!

I like the look of those Halloween masks of Madman and Grendel on page 399, and they’re pretty cheap!  I might snag these!

Flip side of the regular book!

I just watched the Back to the Future movies (I believe they just left Netflix) and man, they’re enjoyable films, even though there are many problematic things about them.  But overall they’re great entertainment, and on page M41, there are a lot of toys based on the movies.  I like the look of the 7 inch figures, and the “time machine vehicle” looks neat (guess they didn’t strike a merchandising deal with DeLorean, huh?), but the Phunny Plushes includes in the solicit the words “even Marty’s mom will have the hots for the Marty” plush.  Ugh, man!  There’s also a neat looking board game on M82.

M71 has a model kit of Nissin Cup of Noodles. If I was into model making, this would probably be quite neat.

Words fail me

Ye Gods, they’re cutting up the Abominable Snowman in the Operation: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer “game” on page M86! Monsters!

And on that cheery note we end this month. Hope you find some neat stuff, and as always thanks to Burgas for doing the heavy lifting of putting the images in and making the text look pretty!


  1. Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

    YES PLEASE to the Swamp Man Halloween special – King AND Ram V? Gimme.

    I’m a little more optimistic for the King Rorschach series than you guys are, just because it sounds like it’ll be more in the vein of the HBO series than Doomsday Clock…but I’m very with you on X of Swords looking deeply dumb.

    I love Hickman. I love the X-Men.

    The Venn diagram of what I love about Hickman books and what I love about X-Men books is two discrete circles.

    That said…READ DUNE! Absolutely great book, even if the sequels get increasingly wonkier.

  2. DarkKnight

    As much as I’m a big X-men fan, X of Swords being twenty four parts is ridiculous. I think this has more parts than any other X event with the exception of Onslaught which was more of a line wide event.

    They just relaunched the line a year ago and they’re already in exploit mode. I would’ve preferred if they would let the line breath for a while before forcing people to go all in.

    1. Greg Burgas

      DarkKnight: I totally agree. I guess Marvel has their sales charts and such and they think the big events sell better, but dang, it’s exhausting. I buy so little Marvel and DC these days, and event fatigue is a huge reason why.

      1. DarkKnight

        Completely agree on events, which is ironic because I started collecting comics with Knightfall and Reign of Superman. I don’t mind events to much as long as they don’t affect the main books but even then they still suck up all the air in the room. Thankfully I read digitally so I’ll just pick up the trade on sale down the road.

        1. papercut fun

          I agree on the events comments! Though I find Marvel Unlimited very helpful here. While I mainly use it to read classic runs, I decided to jump into Hickman’s X-men and have been following all the series since it’s just an annual subscription fee. Sure, the issues come to the service six months after they’re released but I’ve become an expert at avoiding spoilers.

  3. Greg Burgas

    Dang, the Dune lovers are out in force! I do like some of the Herbert I’ve read. I liked The Jesus Incident, The Dosadi Experiment, and I really love The White Plague. I just could not get into Dune at all. It was so hard to read 100 pages of it, and I couldn’t imagine slogging through the rest. Oh well – different strokes for different folks!

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