Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – December 2018

Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – December 2018

Winter is in the air (it’s actually getting into the 50s here!), and our thoughts turn to … comics, of course, where they should always turn! So it’s good that everyone’s favorite evil monopoly, Diamond, has deigned to allow us to gaze upon the Previews catalog for December, #363 in your programs but #1 in your hearts! Let’s take a look with everyone’s favorite creepy avuncular dude, Travis, who’s in black, while the voice of reason (that’s me) is in blue!

I’d be insulted if I remembered what “avuncular” means!  Also, I’ve gotten a smartphone, which made me later than usual (that’s this month’s excuse!), and now my girlfriend has gotten a new kitteh, so I’m awake and trying to make sure it doesn’t make a mess while she’s asleep!

Really, Travis? Didn’t you take Latin when you were young like all good people in the world? Sheesh.

No, it was a dead language when I was young, not like with you! [That was a pretty sick burn, I have to say.]

It’s funny to me that the side of Previews with all the comics has the cover with figures, and the side with figures have the comics cover.

Travis is correct: that is odd


Check out the solicits here!

Mark Millar continues to piss me off by hiring artists I’d love to see draw comics, just not, you know, his comics. On page 34 he launches Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, and yes, it sounds pedestrian (a bounty hunter and a kid roam the galaxy for bounties!), but Millar hired Simone Bianchi for the art, and I dig Bianchi. Occasionally his baroque style is hard to read, but that’s kind of part of the fun, as it’s just a weird treat for the eyes. So of course I will not read it, and I won’t get to see the cool art. Confound it!

The coloring doesn’t seem to do Bianchi any favors, and while I’m not as anti-Millar as you, I don’t find this premise all that interesting.

Stupid Mark Millar!

Cold Spots is in trade on page 42. This sounds neat – a dude who abandoned his wife and unborn child a decade earlier is now looking for them, as they’ve disappeared. Cullen Bunn is a good writer, so I’ll probably check this out.

Yeah, it sounded pretty good, so I’m going for it.

On page 43, the first trade of Dead Rabbit is offered. I like Gerry Duggan and John McCrea, so I’ll get this, even if it’s not one of those 10-dollar trades Travis loves so much.

Ahem.  Well, actually, this won’t be coming out, at least not in this format.  I won’t link to the articles I read, because Bleeding Cool is even more full of viruses than normal, but there’s some bar in, I think, NYC called Dead Rabbit, and they’re suing Duggan and McCrea.  I’m not sure if the first issue actually came out, but retailers were supposed to send them back to be pulped, I believe.  Oops.  I hope this eventually comes out because I too wanted this one!

Dang it, that sucks, because issue #1 did come out (I saw it!) and I could have easily bought it and made a fortune, I tells ya!!!! That also sucks because I hope the bar backs off, and I hope Duggan and McCrea just change the name. That also sucks because this sort of thing annoys me – I can understand if another comic or even a prose book or movie had been named Dead Rabbit, but a bar? And a comic book? Who’s going to confuse those, man? How many totally different movies have been named “Dressed to Kill”? I have plenty of songs with the same name – on my iPod, I have three different songs called “Jerusalem,” each by a different artist. What the crap, man?

I think they do a lot of merchandise, from what I saw.  Who knows?

High Crimes on page 44 was originally out from Boom!, wasn’t it?  Was it Christopher Sebela’s first big comic?

No, it was originally from Dark Horse, so you got the idea right, just the wrong publisher. And yes, I’m pretty sure it was Sebela’s break-out book. It’s pretty good, so it wouldn’t be bad to pick it up.

The Last Siege is collected on page 45. Landry Walker can write some good stuff, and Justin Greenwood is generally good, and this is about a medieval siege, so I’m in!

Yeah, I decided to wait for a trade, and this one is a nice 20 bucks for 8 issues, so I’m glad!

I decided to wait for the trade on Leviathan because I knew it would only be five issues, and now the trade is out on page 46. I did read the first issue in ashcan format, and it was what you might expect from Layman and Pitarra – funny but also violent, and beautiful precise and cartoony art. Works for me!

When you told me that this first arc (or arc period, I don’t know if there will be more) was 5 issues, it just cemented that I’d get it in trade.  So yay!

I’m probably going to get Man-Eaters volume 1 on page 47, because it sounds like an interesting concept, but I’m a bit wary because it’s the first 4 issues, but the fourth is the handbook, so this probably isn’t loaded with comics pages.  Hopefully it’s good, though!

The Weatherman is collected on page 48, and I’ll give it a look. It sounds keen – a weatherman on Mars is accused of a horrific terrorist attack, but he can’t remember any of it – and Nathan Fox’s art is tremendous, so this should be a good read.

Yeah, it sounds great, so I’m in!

Dark Horse:

These solicits are lousy (no images!), but they’re the best I can find!

I mean, it’s Stokoe! on Aliens, but do I want to pay 35 bucks for the Dead Orbit mini in HC?  Well, no, but I didn’t get it in trade.  But this is a big oversized HC, so it’s bound to look awesome!  But I won’t get it, because I’m not going to pay that much.  DH seems to be mining their catalog for stuff to put out in deluxe HCs lately.

Um, Dead Orbit isn’t that good. I mean, it’s absolutely gorgeous, of course, which almost makes it worth it, and the story is just … fine, I guess. It’s just a standard Alien story, so it’s mildly entertaining but nothing great. If you adore Stokoe’s art (and who doesn’t), it’s probably worth a look, but not at that price.

Good to know.  I’ll probably just back issue dive someday!

J.M. DeMatteis has a new comic on page 98 called The Girl in the Bay. A young woman was supposedly killed and her body thrown in a bay in 1969, but 50 years later she shows up and has to figure out what the heck happened. DeMatteis is always interesting, so I’ll definitely read this, but in trade form, more likely.

Yeah, if I get this that will be the way for me, too.  Cool concept, and the art looks pretty from Corin Howell.

As this is DeMatteis, the drinking game of “Count the Parentheses” is in effect!


Here are the solicits!

On page 5, we get a “Heroes In Crisis Tie-In Event” (sigh) featuring “the two greatest detectives in the DC Universe,” by which the solicits mean Batman (natch) and … the Flash? Since when is Barry a detective? Where’s Ralph Dibny? Or Slam Bradley? Or Jason Motherfucking Bard? Or Detective Chimp, for crying out loud? Come on, DC!

Mark Russell is writing Wonder Twins (page 9), so it might be really good or only kind of good, depending on which Mark Russell we get. It’s a six-issue mini-series, so I’ll wait for the trade! (And said trade better include Tom Scioli’s weird take on the characters that he did as back-ups in Cave Carson.)

I hope they have a crossover with Wendy and Marvin! Oh … right …

It’s so weird. This may be the first time I went through the DC section and found basically nothing to write about. Other than where is the next issue of Scooby-Doo Team-Up?!

Seriously, anything kinda cool in the back is so pricey that it’s not worth mentioning (like the Joker omnibus on page 71), or the Promethea book on page 74 is apparently going to be one of three volumes, divided oddly, from what I can figure. Although that Batman B&W figure set on page 78 and the figures on 80 all look cool too.


Here are lousy solicits, too – all images, no text! I don’t know why these are hard to find occasionally!

On page 130, Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job gets a trade. This was a very fun heist comic set in Constantinople right before the First Crusade, and it’s beautifully drawn by Meredith McClaren. There were two small problems: the twist is fairly obvious, even for a dummy like me (seriously, I hardly ever guess twists) and it ends on a cliffhanger. The second thing won’t be too big a deal if we get a sequel, but I thought you’d like to know. Still, a fun comic.

Eventually when it gets collected in one of them big ol’ Atomic Robo collections, I’ll read this.  Probably!

Michel Fiffe is doing a G.I. Joe comic on page 137, which should be pretty darned cool.

The implication of 3 interconnecting variant covers implies this is only 3 issues, and if that’s the case I may consider getting this in singles.  Because yes, it should be cool.  I remember when I read a bunch of the original G.I. Joe comics from Marvel a few years back, I was impressed with how good it actually was.

Keep Fiffe away from Marvel and he’s gold, Jerry!

On page 145 we have the HC of Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams, and of course Sam Kieth is good, so I may pick this up because I always liked the Maxx, even though I haven’t read the whole thing.  I’m wondering what’s in the 100 Page Giant on page 144, as it says it’s a sampling from the run, but since it’s only 5 bucks, I may splurge on it!

The trade of Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive by Mike Allred, Laura Allred, and Rich Tommaso is out on page 146. The guy at my comics store has hated this, because he doesn’t like Tommaso’s art (he hasn’t actually read it), but I think it looks pretty keen.

That looks neat from what I can see of the preview pages.  If anything, what I’m not big on is Allred’s inks over Tommaso’s art, but it still looks keen.  I’m in.

Some interesting books on pages 150-151. The Grave is about three boys who find a shallow grave on a camping trip within which are seven mysterious items, so they try to figure out how they’re linked. I don’t know Dan Fraga, the creator (although I guess I should, as he’s been around for a while), but the book sounds neat. Then we have Diabolical Summer, a French comic about a teenager in 1967 who gets involved in a spy caper. Who doesn’t love spy capers? We also have Springtime in Chernobyl, which is about the writer’s journey there in 2008 to check it out. Finally, we get Life on the Moon, which is a book about that time in 1835 when a New York newspaper reported that scientists had discovered life on, well, the moon (hence the title). Man, as weird as the world is right now, it’s useful to remember that it’s always been pretty weird.

As I recall, Fraga started as a Liefeld knockoff.  This book does sound interesting, since it was done a panel a day!  I’ve always loved that story about the life on the moon newspaper hoax as well.

You could say they have a … serious problem (come on, people, I’m not Peter David here)

There’s a Ditko book on page 153 – Ditko’s Monsters, which feature stories with Gorgo and Konga. It’s short – only 96 pages – but it only costs 10 dollars, and it’s Ditko, man!

Oh hell yeah I’m in.  I’m wondering who this Mark Ditko is that’s introducing Konga.  It’s not a son, at least according to Wikipedia, and the nephew they mention was also named Steve, so I’m not sure the relationship.  Perhaps the intro says!

Maybe he’s unrelated. That would be bizarre!

It would be awesome, actually!

House Amok gets a trade on page 154. I read the first issue, and it was pretty weird, but good. I haven’t read the rest, but I will eventually!

I think I’ve gotten trades of all the Black Crown stuff so far, but I don’t think I’ve read any of them yet.  D’oh!


Here are regular solicits!

Marvels Annotated 1 is on page 2. I think I probably have a bunch of this between the original and the Wizard commentary, unless there’s new stuff. It’s not clear on that point. I haven’t read this in ages but it was good.  To say the least.

You know what Marvel should do? Before their new Conan comic ships, they should … add a second title! And so they did, with Savage Sword of Conan on page 4. I mean, if this were a big magazine thing like in the olden days, I could buy it, but it’s just … a second Conan comic. I mean, come on, Marvel! Nice Kevin Eastman variant cover, though.

Yes, that Eastman cover is sweet.  I assume he must have done some Marvel work before, but I don’t know what.

God forbid they let him draw the actual book!

So Daredevil is getting killed, and then Marvel is relaunching the title (page 18) with a new creative team, and he’s … a demon? Is that right? Well, that’s certainly something. Something stupid, but something nevertheless!

You’re assuming on the demon part, methinks, but who knows?  Probably stupid!

Dazzler #1 “Facsimile Edition” is on page 22. I think Dazzler is remarkably ahead of its time as a comic book, but come on – you can find the first issue for far less than $4, which is what Marvel is charging for it on this page. Shouldn’t they do this for comics that are actually, you know, worth something?

Ziggy Pig Silly Seal on page 24 reminds me of a post I intended to do but will have to be updated due to recent events. But it looks fun!

Isn’t it cute that Travis thinks he’s actually going to write something for the blog? T:Sick, yet accurate, burn!

Old Man Quill on page 28. Because Marvel noticed the horse still twitching, so they had to beat it even more!

There are Captain Marvel True Believers on pages 41-43 that are pretty cool. Especially if you haven’t ever read Avengers Annual 10, like I haven’t! Plus there’s the Binary issue of Uncanny X-Men that, in a reprint, was one of my first X comics!

You’ve … never read … Avengers Annual #10? Really, Travis? It’s like you’re not even a nerd anymore!

I know!  I feel bad about it, at least!

The “better than Watchmen” stuff that Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman were apparently beaming out over the internets about Venom comes to a head with the Dave Gibbons variant cover on Venom 11 on page 60.  Nice!

Why is Martin Luther King rejecting Doctor Strange on page 62?

Strange is a HUGE racist. I’m surprised you’ve never picked up on that!

‘Wait! All I said was that black people should have their own water fountains! Isn’t that a good thing?’

I like Skottie Young but I don’t know that I’d buy a HC of his stuff without knowing more specifically what’s in it, but if you don’t have such qualms it’s on page 101!

The first trade of the new Fantastic Four is available on page 104. I haven’t read any of it. This is only the first four issues but I think 1 was big. I might consider this.

I’ll probably get the trade of Uncanny X-Men: X-Men Disassembled on page 106, because it’s the same price as cover price (40 dollars for 10 issues) and I’m curious to see what Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Matthew Rosenberg, three good writers, can do with this. I think it will be a mess, but I hope I’m wrong!

Yeah I’m interested in this because Kelly, but I think I’m right in the spot to want more Age of Apocalypse stuff. I think you even get a bit of a deal because issue 1 was big.  (I originally typed this bit on my smartphone and had “wang more AOA” stuff in there.  Which is funny!)

Wang. Heh.

Speaking of Kelly, the first trade of Mr. and Mrs. X is on page 109. I’ll probably skip this, as even Kelly couldn’t make me like Gambit, but there it is!

Well, I’m in just to irk you, then!  No, I’m in because I buy all things Kelly (even if I can’t keep up to READ all things Kelly!).

The Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker trade is on page 118, and I will be getting it. I’m curious if this is the “real” Sleepwalker and he’s the only one who can deal with this “Infinity Wars” thing, or if it’s an alternate reality Sleepwalker? Whatever, it’s Sandman done right, and I’ve been looking at the issues, and it looks quite fun. I do really, really love “Man-Thing Thang Thoom,” too, so I can’t wait to see that!

I do loves me some Sleepwalker.

The 60s Decades book, where Spidey meets the rest of the Marvel U, is pretty cool. It’s on page 130.

The Wolverine Epic Collection on page 133 contains The Jungle Adventure, which I don’t think has ever been reprinted. I might pick this up just for that!

Huh, interesting.  Ooh, Mignola!

Old-school Iron Fist: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu on page 137 – Claremont, Mantlo, Isabella, Moench, Rogers, Buscema, Trimpe, Vosburg, Perlin, Broderick, Staton … fun fun fun!

I’m wondering why this wasn’t part of the Epic collection or if it was, why it’s separate now. Odd.

This is the magazine, isn’t it? I just assumed they only put the actual comic in the Epic Collection, and now we get this. But I’m not positive.

I assume that part of the reason for the Epic Collections is that it reprints everything of a character chronologically, so that stuff should still be in it!

Still cool, despite Travis’s pooh-poohing!

So there I was, telling John Layman at some point in the past that I wouldn’t mind reading his take on Gambit, because, again, if I’m going to subject myself to Gambit, it might as well be when some of my favorite writers are writing him. I could never find the 12-issue run he wrote in back issue boxes, however, and I thought it would be foolish to think that Marvel would ever collect it in trade. But lo, there came page 138 in this month’s Previews, and Marvel, in their infinite wisdom, is collecting his entire run! Yes, I am aware that I’ll probably still hate Gambit after reading this, but I have to try. I HAVE TO TRY!!!!!

I might consider reading Layman’s Gambit run but I’d rather read Chew, dammit! Image needs to get the first Smorgasbord edition out again!!! (This has been your monthly rant on this subject from Travis.)  Marvel will reprint anything, apparently.  Like same page, why are they reprinting the Sub-Mariner: the Depths story? Are there not enough Heart of Darkness knockoffs around?

Sweet. Marvel is finally doing good collections presumably for younger/newer readers in a cheaper edition of stuff. This month is Unstoppable Wasp on page 140, and Spidey on 141. Wasp looked interesting and the first few Spidey issues were good. 13 bucks for 8 or 12 issues isn’t bad!

The first Wasp arc was fine, mostly because Charretier’s art is great. It was really trying to be all girl-power and kind of left the story behind, unfortunately, but maybe it got better in the second half. That’s still a good deal!


Hey, it’s the solicits!

I guess Marvel doesn’t have the rights to Red Sonja back, at least not completely, because Dynamite has a new series of her on page 166? How weird. Anyway, this is written by the aforementioned Mark Russell, so it might be interesting.

Yeah, I wondered about that.  I haven’t heard that Marvel is cancelling that one Conan reprint book because of her appearance, so maybe Marvel made some sort of deal?

Amanda Conner rulez!

I’m intrigued by Army of Darkness/ Bubba Ho-Tep 1 on page 170, in part because IDW just did a Bubba Ho-Tep book not long ago, but I don’t see a co-publishing credit with them here.  Also, it could be fun.

Kirby: Genesis is a pretty interesting book by Kurt Busiek, using some of the King’s minor characters to tell a cool story about alien contact. It also has very good art by Jack Herbert. It felt like it was cut a bit short, but it was still a pretty darned good book. I don’t know if Dynamite’s hardcover for $95 is worth it, but it’s something to think about.

That new Alex Ross print of the characters that comes with it might sway me, because I didn’t get this when it came out.  But that is pricey.

Nancy Drew and the Case of the Cold Case is in trade on page 186. This is the one by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge, and I will definitely be picking this up.

I read the mini comic that had the first several pages from issue 1, and it is good.  I was going to get it regardless because of that great creative team, but I’m glad it’s good!

I may also consider the Red Sonja/Tarzan team up trade on the same page.  How do they fit together?!

Boom! Studios:

More solicits here!

Hotel Dare on page 194 sounds interesting. Some kids are spending the summer in a creepy hotel (it’s their grandmother’s), and behind each door is a portal to another world. Of course, weird things start happening. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but it still sounds neat.

*cough Locke & Key cough* I kid, but it could be neat.  Plus, it’s only 10 bucks!

There’s even a key in the logo!

Hey, it’s the back of the book!

The latest Cerebus in Hell? one shot is Sim City: A Dave to Kill For, which is a great title.  All new stuff from Aardvark-Vanaheim.  I have GOT to get caught up with reading this stuff!

Well, not only is Strangers in Paradise XXV 10 (page 224) the last issue of this series, but it ties all of Terry Moore’s books together!  Wowie!

I saw that. Motor Girl is in it? That’s just weird.

Phil Hester writes and Ryan Kelly draws Stronghold on page 232 from AfterShock, which sounds pretty keen despite the somewhat confusing solicit text. Apparently Earth is just a prison for a super-powerful alien with amnesia, but now it’s regaining its memory. But there’s a romance involved? Anyway, sounds neat.

Yeah, the dude’s in love with himself.  I guess.  Despite the confusing solicit, I will probably get this in trade down the road because that’s a great creative team.

Those people really should learn how to hold their breath

Also from Aftershock on page 240 is the trade of Betrothed, about two orphans who are from another dimension and have to marry or fight to the death.  Wait, isn’t that the same option?  Same page has Hot Lunch Special, a crime series about Lebanese immigrants who got their piece of the American Dream through vending machine sandwiches.  But they made their gains under criminal circumstances, and it’s coming back to bite them!  I guess from the solicits that both these are self-contained stories.

I may pick up the Alternative Comics one shot on page 245 with Rad Erwank and Conspiracy Dog, because come on, those names are intriguing!

Slave Labor has a trade of Graduate on page 245. This came out in single issues a while ago from a now-defunct publisher, and it’s just okay – it’s about a teenager with superpowers – but it’s notable because Celia Calle’s art is terrific. Calle doesn’t do nearly as much comics work as would be nice, so this is a good opportunity to check it out. I can’t really recommend it, unless you get comics mainly for the art.

Yeah, I think it was Overground?  I know American Mythology picked up one of the titles, supposedly, and I was interested in this one, although at 22 bucks, it’s a bit pricey.

Yeah, you’re right, it was Overground. And American Mythology did pick up the titles – more than one, I think, because I think this finished there. Look at the memory on Travis!

I just thought of Overground as I started typing about what you wrote here, and I did remember about AM before.

Antarctic Press has Offbeats on page 252, which is described as Tintin meets Tarantino in a ’50s crime noir, which is highly intriguing.

On page 253, they have Exciting Comics 1, for just 2 bucks, and it appears to be a new superhero universe with Black Terror, the Heap, Madam Mask, and other old timey heroes mixed with some new ones.  I do love that Terror returns DKR homage cover!

Yeah, that’s pretty keen.

It’s a good homage because he got the constipated look just right!

I said in the comments to one of your posts that I’d mention this, so on page 263, Avatar says that Cinema Purgatorio 17 is the penultimate issue!

Stupid Avatar! Stupid Grumpy McBeardypants! Oh well – I hope the other creators knew about it and can end their stories. This is a terrific comic, so you should check it out if Avatar decides to collect the stories contained within!

… someday I’ll read every damn issue of it that I’ve bought … damn shelf/room of shame!

Black Mask has Nobody is in Control 1 on page 268, which is one of those “guy dragged into conspiracies” stories that genre fiction seems to love so well.  It looks kind of interesting from the preview pages, but I’ll wait until the trade.

Ah, conspiracies. So much fun in the nascent stage, so tough to pull off!

Hmm, Illustrators Magazine 35 on page 270 has a lot of interesting artists in the Glamour special, with Milo Manara, Greg Hildebrandt, Margaret Brundage, and Art Frahm all featured.  I might consider this.

You made me read the solicit, in which is contained the phrase “whose models kept loosing their knickers.” Why did you make me read that when you knew I’d get enraged, Pelkie? Do you want me to Hulk out, man!!!!!!

Yeah, I did cringe at that one myself, but I didn’t realize it would enrage you!

I have the Lady Death original stuff (I got the first trade back when it came out because I was a teenager who liked boobs) (now I am an adult who likes boobs), so I doubt I’ll shell out for this, but I find it amusing that Coffin Comics on page 281 describes this 25th anniversary edition of The Reckoning as “intimately re-mastered”.  Intimately?!

Yeah, I don’t think I want to know what that means, thanks.

You’re big on Lucy Knisley, right?  She’s got Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos, a new GN from First Second on page 292, about pregnancy issues and the history of the medical issues with the same.  Interesting topic.

Actually, I’m not that big on Knisley. I’ve never really dug her art, and the stories don’t sound interesting enough to sway me. So it ain’t me, man!

I think I’m confusing her with another female creator.  I’m so dumb!

I’ve only read the 0 issue so far, but on page 297, the first trade of Blastosaurus from Golden Apple Books is offered.  It was pretty good.  I need to read the other issues I’ve gotten so far!

Hermes Press is resoliciting the Nuke ‘Em! Classic Cold War Comics Celebrating the End of the World on page 301.  So I will consider it again and say no again when it comes time to fill out my order!

Well, it’s not as if Hermes ever ships anything on time, so you can order it and by the time it comes out, you’ll have won the lottery and can afford it!

You know, for a publisher that named itself after the god of commerce, they don’t seem to want to engage in very much!

Hogan’s Alley 22 is offered on page 302, and from what I’ve flipped through previous issues of this, it’s a good magazine.  Jerry Lewis in comics, Jonny Quest cartoon origins, black cartoonists roundtable, George Booth and Sergio Aragones stuff … it’s a cornucopia of comics mayhem!

I never read Lois Lowry’s The Giver, but Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has P. Craig Russell’s adaptation on page 304.

Yeah, I haven’t read it either, but when the movie came out I read a little about it, and it sounds awful, so even a Russell adaptation can’t tempt me!

It’s Alive has a complete collection of Aztec Ace on page 305, something I’ve been keen on for several years, so I’m glad someone finally collected it! This is Doug Moench’s independent book from the 1980s, back in Eclipse’s heyday, and we get over 500 pages for 70 dollars, which is a bit steep, but not steep enough to keep me from buying it! Plus, there’s a foreword by cat yronwode, and whatever you think of her, she certainly writes interesting things!

I’m interested, although it’s a bit pricey for me, and It’s Alive is putting together good stuff.


Hmm, I’ve liked Owen Gieni’s work that I’ve seen, so I’m intrigued by the Sore Thumbs Omnibus on page 307 from Keenspot Entertainment, but I doubt I would pay 70 bucks for the SC.

It’s very rough, and very manga. They sent me a trade once, years ago, and it wasn’t bad, but it was very rough. Just to let you know.

Yeah, I suspected that.  I need to get on more freebie/review lists.  I should probably write about the stuff that I do get for free first, though!

I was interested slightly in the Dinosaucers comic that Lion Forge was putting out, partly because artist Andrew Pepoy has always been pretty good, but I doubt I’ll actually get it.  It’s on page 313 if our readers decide otherwise!

Pegasus has a really intriguing one on page 334, The Be-Bop Barbarians, about black cartoonists in the 1950s and the various social forces that shaped their lives.  A bit pricey for the page count at 25 bucks for 112 pages, but it seems cool.

Gary Phillips has never written anything that I’ve particularly liked (small sample size, but still), so I think I’ll skip this.

Rebellion Developments has The Complete Caballistics Inc TP on page 335, which is about a department within the Ministry of Defence formed to fight Nazi occult warfare that gets bought by a rock star in the ’70s.  There’s a new, final story coming in 2000AD that will be included in this, and it sounds intriguing.  Plus, 25 bucks for 300 pages ain’t too bad.  (Although … wouldn’t it be Caballistics Ltd?)

Maybe they changed it for an American audience? Seems a weird thing to change, but maybe?

Renegade Arts Entertainment has The Spine Chillers volume 1 on page 336, about HP Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, and Edgar Allan Poe living together in a boarding house.  Sounds like it could be silly fun!

On page 337 is a novel by Faith Erin Hicks called Comics Will Break Your Heart, a title from a quote attributed to Jack Kirby, and it’s about a girl whose grandfather got screwed over on his share of a popular comics series who meets the grandson of the man who bilked her grandfather.  Star-crossed lovers much?

Same page has Rosarium Publishing with a book called Super Sikh, about a dude who’s a secret agent for the UN, and he loves Elvis.  Sure, why not?

Simple, yet effective!

Once Our Land returns on page 338 from Scout Comics.  I suppose I should finally read the first two issues of this, but you know me!

Yeah, I’m not sure if I’m getting this or waiting for the trade. The first two issues were pretty good.

Stabbity Bunny volume 2 is offered on page 339.  I read the first volume and it was ok.  I may get this, but I’m not sure yet.

Tor Books has Chronin volume 1: The Knife at Your Back on page 353, which is about a group of college students in 2042 who travel back to 1864 Japan and how one young woman is marooned back there.  Oops.  Comics like this should be good!  Ahem.

Yeah, that sounds intriguing. I’ll have to think about it.

I wonder if Travis got the joke in the title …  T:…yes?

I like TwoMorrows stuff, but I wish at least one issue of Retrofan Magazine would come out before they keep soliciting new issues.  Unless my shop hasn’t gotten any of them, they’re offering issue 4 on page 353 before any have come out.

But oh shit, Back Issue 111 on page 354 is about Alternate Realities, so I’m in.  I love that stuff!

On page 383 I get another chance to get Ménage À 3 from Udon Entertainment, as volume 3 is out and the first 2 volumes are reoffered.

I’ve heard of Urusei Yatsura, from Rumiko Takahashi, now available on page 389 from Viz.  I guess it was available in English as Lum in the past.  I may get this as I like to pretend I’m sort of aware of classic comics from around the world.

That’s all we ask – that you pretend to know what you’re talking about!


On the flipside, on page M 69 [nice], John Hodgman IS Vince Gilligan!  HA!

Have they ever been seen together?

That’s all for this month, everyone! We apologize for the lateness – as you can read above, Travis keeps saying that his phone is making him slow, but I have no idea what he’s talking about (to be fair, I rarely know what he’s talking about). So we’ll just hope his phone is nice to him next month and lets him do this post? Is that what’s going on? Does Travis have a sentient phone? Anyway, have fun trawling through the catalog!


  1. The Dark Horse Conan collections didn’t skip over the issues with Sonja in them, and Conan was right there on the cover of one of Dynamite’s reprint collections of her Marvel adventures, so I just figured there must be some arrangement.

    1. John King

      Dark Horse’s reprints included issues featuring Red Sonja but skipped the 3 issues from the 5-part crossover story.
      Meanwhile, Dynamite’s Red Sonja collections included the 2 Red Sonja issues from that story – which include Conan and Belit
      suggesting an arrangement working both ways

  2. tomfitz1

    For some reason i can’t fathom, every time I see Skottie Young’s name, I keep hearing that ditty: “Skottie doesn’t know! Skottie doesn’t know!!!” 😉

    As for the penultimate issue of Cinema Purgatorio, Mr. Burgas, do you still call BS on Moore/O’Neiil retiring?

  3. As far as I know Eastman’s only other Marvel work was another recent variant cover, for Marvel Action Spider-Man, and even that was technically for IDW.

    He did draw an issue of Kamandi Challenge for DC last year, though.

  4. Simon

    They gambled coffee beans, softly but for keeps. The neon-lit java machine had been down for months, and a caffeine-colored anxiety was clouding the Algren Asylum for the Fiscally Insane…

    > G: “everyone’s favorite evil monopoly, Diamond”

    Aren’t they just exercising their sucker-given “right to buy or raise or dig or find anything as cheaply as cajolery or trickery or threat or force could do it, and then sell it as dear as the necessity or ignorance or timidity of the buyer would stand”?

    > T: “if I remembered what “avuncular” means”

    See, most words ending in -cular (or -cule or -cle) originate from the diminutive suffix “-culus”. For instance, “minus” was Latin for “small”, and “minusculus” meant “Like, real small, dude”.

    Thus, “calculus” meant “small stone” (used for counting). Same for “crepusculus” (“small darkness”), “miraculus” (“small wonder”), “testiculus” (“little head”), etc. It’s still there in “articular”, “circular”, “lenticular”, “ocular”, or “ridicule”, “clavicle”, “particle”, “tentacle”, even in “immaculate” and “ejaculation”.

    Plus the feminine form, as in “canicula” (“little bitch”, the Sirius star of dog days) and Caligula (“little boots”), or the neutral, as in “curriculum” (“brief race”).

    And, so, “avunculus” meant “minor ancestor” and gave “uncle”. (…”Rhetorical”? What does that mean???)

    > T: “High Crimes”

    Sebela apparently changed and botched a little what he was leading up to (prolly for Hollywood and sequels), and as a $20 non-mousetrap it’s a good read with good art.

    > G: “These solicits are lousy (no images!)”

    What’s so lousy in not judging books by their covers?

    > G: “The Girl in the Bay”

    Wasn’t it better as RACHEL RISING?

    > “DC”

    “The world has problems, DC has events!”™

    > G: “Fiffe is doing a G.I. Joe comic”

    His BLOODSTRIKE: BRUTALISTS was rather full of awesome in self-contained chapters, so why shouldn’t this be worth awaiting reviews?

    > G: “Diabolical Summer”

    * …the real devil nests in the heart of men, not in the offices of the KGB!

    Smolderen isn’t up his own nose for this one: no need to know Diabolik and Bond or Peellaert and Warhol to enjoy this fair-play mystery for teens (and high-school teachs, sez Random House).

    (Yes, Greg, it’s an overpriced mousetrap, and it’s not like you could get it returnable from a bookstore, so whatchu gonna do?)

    Clérisse’s lovely 1950s art with neg-space effects and great colors provides a very leisurely 2-hour read of 150 story pages (plus backpadding about masked pulp criminals).

    * (untr. samples) page, NSFW page, 6 NSFW samples

    (Yes, Travis, maybe those female-presenting n⋆ppl⋆s will be photoshopped out, and if you’d draw them back in, wouldn’t that count as a genuine “adult coloring book”?)

    > “Marvel”

    “Your dog has fleas, Marvel has variants!”™

    > G: “Marvel noticed the horse still twitching”

    About horsies, what does the House of IPs have on the Laphams to blackmail them into GUNHAWKS?

    > G: “Wang. Heh.”

    Wang Ti (the Yellow Emperor) and Chin Shi Wang (the First Emperor of China) and hundreds of millions more (with the #1 Chinese name) are now wondering what’s so funny about the word for “yellow”?

    > T: “ties all of Terry Moore’s books together”

    Missed the July talk about Terry Moore pulling a Matt Hawkins, eh?

    > G: “Earth is just a prison for a super-powerful alien with amnesia”

    Wasn’t that Grant Morrison’s NAMELESS?

    > T: “now I am an adult who likes boobs”

    Then on p. 290, you missed the new COMPLETE CREPAX, a series of library-overpriced boobytraps. Stick with them through sick and sin, and they may get to the good stuff, such as his Hitchcockian graphic novel VALENTINA MURDERER, or his adaptations of EMMANUELLE and JUSTINE.

    > T: “You’re big on Lucy Knisley, right?”

    Shirley you meant Lucy Bellwood? (Considering how both are ethically torrented as creators padding their overpriced books with 50+ blanks pages of “chapter breaks”, isn’t that an easy mistake to make?)

    > T: “The Spine Chillers”

    Why not sample this 2009 webstrip?

    * (102 strips) http://www.renegadeartsentertainment.com/spinechillers-comic

    (Well well well, YMMV!)

    > G: “Does Travis have a sentient phone?”

    And how didn’t he mention p. 399’s BOOBIES & TWITCHY STICKY WEENIES??

  5. Simon

    P.S.: More “C: x-1-z” mousetraps?


    Peter Bagge’s graphic bios (70 story pages padded with 30 of prose in overpriced hardcovers) have been good reads for free (thanks to brisk storytelling through dialogs instead of captions), so why should this one not be on our library watchlists?

    — I RENÉ TARDI, VOL. 2 [of 3] (p. 291, ALLEGEDLY $30)

    Four-month POW march then dash through 1945 Germany! (Third volume is out, about René’s life as an occupying soldier in 1946+ West Germany, and maybe it’ll make the omnibus?)

    — THE PERINEUM TECHNIQUE by Ruppert & Mulot (p. 291, ALLEGEDLY $20)

    * So, I’m told you’re a libertine?
    * Just a sex addict. Libertine is kinda too classy for me right now.

    (Yes, Greg, it’s a sexy rom-com ala VOX, with more Postmodernist distance.)

    * When you watch porn and come, do you feel closer to me?
    * Yes, how did you know?

    (Indeed, Travis, it’s Martin Veyron’s THE G SPOT redux with less genital sitcom, because “Age of readers : Teen-adult”.)

    * I didn’t come.
    * Cool, let’s go some place where we can squeal.

    (Yes, Greg, it’s 100 story pages that read in an hour.)

    * (5-page untr. sampler) http://www.mensup.fr/photo/a,6085,la-technique-du-prine,1.html
    * (review w/ 5 untr. pages) Yoda-translated from ActuaBD
    * (capsule w/ 1 untr. sample) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/le-monde-startles-readers-by-serialising-graphic-novel-about-an-online-love-affair-on-its-website-9303202.html

    (Yes, Travis, it’s pretty nice from a library.)

    — LETTER TO SURVIVORS by Gébé (p. 321, ALLEGEDLY $16)

    A master with several masterpieces. This is not one of them and still very good, maybe a dozen short stories and framing sequences?

    * (6-page excerpt) https://www.nyrb.com/products/letter-to-survivors

    * Dear friends, you don’t know me but I do. You are the happy family from the ads… In the crowded 1980s, you were always seen alone, the four of you plus the dog… And now, you are still alone [in your backyard fallout shelter], the four of you minus the dog… I understand about the dog… With radio and TV no more, I thought I’d mail you some tales…

    * [A mandolin player isn’t applauded by a little girl.] “Do you want me to play something else for you?” She sees the old man trying to slip into her memory… That day she thought, “Me, I can see the tree roots under the earth… the droplets within the clouds… the roots of people’s ideas, and their ideas’ clouds… people’s desire for petty memories, sweet and sticky. To be sucked years later, dusty…”

    * Once upon a time, a king and a queen wanted to make their people happy… King Bliss found it unfair that peasants had to work under the harsh sun, so he decreed they would sleep in the daytime and work at night… Queen Joy decided to protect wood gatherers from winter cold with forest chimneys; as they used up all firewood, the poor had to leave their cold homes for the woods…

    * [A rich maniac uses Battleship codes to have black squares painted over his Modigliani painting… The shelter’s woman reacts:] Before the disaster, our masters were blacking out squares over the maps too. And when they ran out of squares, boom! But not before they all had gone underground…


    Grolleau & Royer’s book is not unlike Bertozzi’s SHACKLETON, mutatis mutandis. (170 story pages plus backpadding, natch.)

    * (first 6 untr. pages) http://www.dargaud.com/bd-en-ligne/hms-beagle-aux-origines-de-darwin,33896-e72590a48b685056e6148a29c1fcad84
    * (review w/ 8 untr. pages) Yoda-translated from ActuaBD

    — THROUGH A LIFE by Tom Haugomat (p. 321, ALLEGEDLY $19)

    Beautiful and moving. Each left page shows the character, its facing page what he sees (through a window, TV, helmet, etc.). Keys moments tell the life (1956–2026) of an astronaut, for all ages. (Kids may not parse everything, so it’s also a nice joint reading.)

    * (pages) https://nobrow.net/shop/through-a-life/

    Great art and greater whitespace make for a fast, one-dol-per-min mousetrap. Callbacks and clues provide bonus points on re-read, upgrading the experience to one hour tops. (And until this reaches libraries, you may wanna watch FIRST MAN?)

    — EGG CREAM, VOL. 1 by Liz Suburbia (p. 339, ALLEGEDLY $12)

    Overpriced mousetrap that’ll never complete per the DM’s SOP, and just to know she’s started on SACRED HEART’s planned sequel, isn’t that ad good news enough?

  6. Simon

    P.P.S.: What about sans mousetraps?

    — SUNSHINE & ROSES, VOL. 4 by David Lapham (p. 52, $20 @ I)

    Crime-com is all gun and games until someone gets shot to death. More, please! (“I’m not a coke fiend. I just need more coke.”) Those Laphams! (“How the fuck do they do that every day?”) Bullish on STRAY BULLETS: their quarterly results are excellent!

    — BIGBY BEAR by Philippe Coudray (p. 304, $15 @ Humanoids)

    Zany, mind-expanding one-pagers: fun for adults, great with a kid.

    * (8 pages) https://www.humanoids.com/y_catalog/book?work_id=214

    (Rebrand of the BENJAMIN BEAR series overpriced years ago by Toon, from whom you may remember this typical page?)

    — ERIC by Tom Manning (p. 337, $30 @ Robots and Monkeys)


    * (8 pages) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11237156/eric-a-graphic-novel-by-tom-manning

    Nice art, what about the story?

    * (review) http://www.indietoaster.com/en/comics/eric-by-tom-manning-review-the-big-lebowski-meets-the-beach-boys/
    * (review) https://www.page45.com/store/Eric.html
    * (review) http://fanbasepress.com/index.php/press/reviews/item/9030-eric-graphic-novel-review

    Okay for ISBN 0692099271, anything to add?

    * (2018 interview) https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/magical-los-angeles-an-interview-with-tom-manning/
    * (blurbs, roundup) http://www.tommanning.info/

    Is it early to hope for one of the bests of 2019?

    “Deck us all with Boston Charlie
    “Walla Walla, Wash., an’ Kala-mazoo!
    “Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,
    “Swaller dollar cauliflower, alley-ga-roo!” (begin|end)

    1. Greg Burgas

      As always, Simon, I appreciate your suggestions. There’s too much this time around to comment individually on everything, but I still enjoy seeing what you recommend!


    Issues #1 and #2 of Retrofan Magazine have been out for months. Issue #3 should be in stores before the end of the year. I’ve only read the second issue. A little lightweight, but enjoyable. The Comics Journal once described Twomorrows publications as “relentless nostalgia mongering.” It was meant as an insult, but I think there are worse mission statements.

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