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

Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – February 2018

Hey, it’s time for Previews again, so let’s check out #353, with all the comics goodies inside! I’m typing this on 1 February, the day after the catalog came out. I’m just noting that because I’m curious when Travis will get his head out of his butt and we’ll actually get to post this. THE GAUNTLET HAS BEEN THROWN!!!!!

As per usual, I’m in blue, while my extremely tardy partner is in black. He should be in red to highlight his shame, but we’ll let it slide!!!!

Oh, you sonnuva!  What a narc!  Unfortunately, I have to take it because as of the 2nd, I don’t have the catalog yet.

My joke is justified!!!!!

I have it now, as of the 3rd.  I am striving to get this done as quickly as I can!  And hey, you preemptively assumed I would still be tardy this time.  OK, you’re right, but still …

Lee Weeks is awesome, yo

Dark Horse:

Check out the solicitations here!

Well, holy shit, Frank Miller is finally getting to the sequel to 300, as Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander makes its debut on page 46. The art looks like Miller actually put some thought into it, and if non-crazy Frank Miller the writer shows up, this could be cool. 300 is Miller’s last great work, so I’m totally down for this. As for the story … well, Miller says “Fuck History!” and puts Xerxes I, who died in 465 BCE, in the same sentence in the solicits as Alexander the Great, who was born in 356 BCE. One hundred nine years between them means nothing to the genius of Frank Miller!!!!! Still, I’m totally in for this.

History is for losers. HAHAHA!  To be fair, other write-ups earlier in the catalog imply they aren’t existing at the same time, but it’s a through line from Xerxes to Alexander.  Does Lynn Varley do any coloring still?

Yeah, I found that in the beginning of the catalog. Thanks for ruining my jokes, Pelkie!

I’m ruining your “jokes”.  Sure.

As the twelve-year-old daughter would say, I just got roasted.

Black Hammer returns on page 50 with a new #1 (sigh). This is a fine comic, so it’s nice that it’s back.

Undead Joey Ramone looks a lot like still living Joey Ramone did …

Gabriel Hardman is writing and drawing Aliens: Dust to Dust on page 53. Were it not for my Gabriel Hardman boycott, I would be all over this, because Hardman is terrific. Alas.

On page 54, we get A Study in Emerald, Neil Gaiman’s mash-up of Holmes and Cthulhu, and while I’ve never been a fan of Lovecraft (I’ve never actually read anything by him, I just don’t have much interest), this sounds neat. I assume it’s a story that has been adapted, and Rafael Albuquerque is providing the art, which is keen. These Gaiman hardcovers are always overpriced (80 pages for 18 bucks!), but I dig ’em regardless.

It’s a great short story, from what I remember (yes, that means it’s an adaptation).  I hope they’ll eventually do a big damn omnibus of Neil Gaiman adaptations, that would be awesome.  Does Cthulhu cosplay as Swamp Thing, or vice versa?

Just choppin’ up some veggies … T: Choppin’ broccoli?

I’d like that Dave McKean Short Films thing on page 56, but I’d need to get a Blu-Ray player.

I’ve lost my way a little with the Hellboy-verse, but on page 59 we get Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1955, which collects quite a bit and features art by Shawn Martinbrough (kind of odd, but Martinbrough is a fine artist) and Brian Churilla, who’s really good at drawing monsters. I’ll have to check this out, although I might have to figure out my Hellboy-verse first.

I have not been getting the Moebius Library editions at my comics store for some reason, but Inside Moebius Part Two is on page 62, and I’ll dutifully order it. I don’t know why – I have one of the three so far, and I bought that at a con. I always forget to ask, too, so I’m not sure why those particular books aren’t making it to Mesa. Weird.

Go Team Venture! The Art and Making of the Venture Bros. HC is offered yet again on page 64, and yet again I have to consider whether or not I’m going to order it.  I assume they keep offering this because I have not yet decided to order yet.

Page 65 has a new Resident Alien mini, An Alien in New York, starting.  I’ll be getting this in singles to continue my streak, and eventually even reading the issues I haven’t gotten to yet.  I’m so bad!

I get those in trade, so I’ll wait!

There’s a Beanworld Omnibus on page 67, and if you haven’t read Beanworld, you really should. Larry Marder’s weird world is goofy on the surface but has hidden depths, and the comics are just fun to read. This is priced to move at 25 dollars for 600 pages, so it’s a good time to check it out!

I have to figure out what all I have, because I got the HCs from several years back, but only the first 2 of 3, I think, so I don’t know what from those is in this one.  Fuckkkk!  I just looked on Amazon to see how much the first two volumes collected (not sure, but based on page count, I believe this omnibus contains the first two), and the third HC is, like, 250 dollars!  Shit, why didn’t I order that one?  Dammit!  And that’s for a used one, a new one is like 400 bucks, check it out!

The trade of The Escapist: Pulse-Pounding Thrills on page 70 includes stories that have never been collected and stories that have never been published. Well, that just sucks. My old version is quite good, and so I would recommend this to anyone, but I’m kind of annoyed by the new stuff. Maybe I’ll plunk down the cash for it, but Michael Chabon should be ashamed!!!!

Wasn’t this offered just a few months ago?  I seem to remember the blood getting angried up about the Escapist just recently.  I’ll wait down the line for this.

That was a hardcover, I think. And I don’t recall if the solicits said it had brand new, never-before-published stuff in it. I would have ranted then if I noticed!

I think it mentioned the uncollected but not the unpublished stuff, iirc.

What the fuck, there’s a new Gantz series on page 76? Jeebus, the original series didn’t get all the slaughter out of its system? I liked the original series, but I’m not sure I’ll get this. I’d much rather Dark Horse finish The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Eden! It’s an Endless World and MPD-Psycho. Come on, Dark Horse!

Kurosagi!  Hell yeah!


All the solicits are here!

I was talking to the guys at the store this week, and I was talking about Superman’s red shorts coming back, and I said that it would be awesome if the entirety of Action Comics #1000 (page 83) was Superman debating which costume to wear and him calling up many other heroes, all of whom have waaaaaay more important things to do than help him with his fashion choices. Someone made the very good point that with Bendis making his DC debut, that story would not be out of the realm of possibility. That. Would. Be. Amazing. Make it so, DC!!!!!! Oh, and good job making it to one thousand comics, Action? I guess? And hey, it’s Bendis!

He needs to be on his bed on his stomach, kicking his legs back, twirling his S-curl as he talks on the phone with Batman.  “Should I put the red underpants back on?  You don’t think it’s too much, do you?”

I don’t know why I didn’t realize this, but yeah, apparently Bendis is taking over Superman to ruin what’s a decent book (from what I’ve read so far, hopefully a review coming soon!).  I say that, but I actually liked the start of his X-Men runs a few years back.  Except the part about everyone thinking that because Hank went in time to get the original five after Bobby made a comment it was therefore Bobby’s fault …

Bendis is FAR better at individual stuff than team books, so maybe he’ll be fine with Superman. We shall see.

I am wondering what the Dude and the Allred covers are going to look like, because I’ll probably get a copy of this. I’m weak!

Also, howcum Action reached 1000 before Detective?

I assume it’s because it went weekly for those 60 issues or so back in the late 1980s, so it passed Detective. Isn’t that right? Although I think it reached #600 first, so maybe it never went every other month or eight times a year, like ‘Tec did for a while?

That’s right, the weekly ones would have added about 30 issues on…ok, yeah, that makes sense.  How did I forget that, I have like all the Weekly issues!

This month in DC’s Hulk (page 84), we get DC’s Shanna the She-Devil! DC is really trolling Marvel hard these days!!!!

I’m torn between pedantically pointing out that that is Poison Ivy and … ahem … marveling at how you’ve pointed out the parallels.  Argh!

Batgirl 22 on page 91 is a cool looking cover.

Why yes, it is! T: Aren’t you glad I refrained from calling it a-maze-ing?

So in Batman #45 (page 93), Booster Gold shows up. Yep, Booster Gold. And it’s important, as it “will sow the seeds for a whole new epic to come”!!!! Dang, DC. I’d say that’s the biggest hyperbole in the solicit, but then we find out it’s the “return of Master Class artist” … wait for it … Tony Daniel!!!! Wait, “Master Class”? I assume this is something like the “Marvel Architects” from a while back and doesn’t really speak to the quality of the artist, just the fact that he’s been drawing for DC for a while, but dang, DC. Tony Daniel is everything that’s right and wrong about superhero comics – he knows how to draw them and make them look slick, and he has no uniqueness to his art whatsoever. But he’s “Master Class”!!!!

“Master Class” might be what they’re calling the people who are “training” the people that they are spotlighting in the New Talent Showcase books.  Tony Daniel is perfectly bland, like you said.

I do like a good time travel tale, though, and if it puts off that Batman/Catwoman marriage debacle, I’m for it.

In Black Lightning #6 (page 99), our hero fights … “for the future of Cleveland”!!!! I mean, would anyone really notice if it got destroyed? Oh, I kid, I kid!!!!!

They’d notice, but not give a shit.  It is weird, though, how much comics history goes through Cleveland.  Siegel and Shuster, Harvey Pekar, Bendis, Tony Isabella….

Marv Wolfman is writing Cyborg (page 102).  FYI.

Deathstroke #30 begins the event featured on this month’s cover, as Batman faces off against Deathstroke because he thinks Slade is Damian’s real father. Whatever, but the real gem is in the solicit, because this story is between “DC’s fiercest rivals!” Really, DC? The fiercest?

Great cover by Lee Weeks there on page 105 (and the Previews cover). (See above, obviously)

Now that Ben Percy is off Green Arrow (page 108), I wonder what DC will do with Juan Ferrerya. Ferreyra is one of the best artists working today, and he deserves a high-profile gig (higher even than Green Arrow!). I would love to see him do a creator-owned thing, either by himself or with a writer, but if he’s at DC, I’d love to see him work on something that I’d actually want to buy. Percy’s GA was okay, but it was a lot better because of the artists, Ferreyra foremost among those.

Ferreyra is great, and should be on something I want to buy.

A lot of people at my comics store are grumpy about Mister Miracle, and the cover of issue #8 (page 115) shows why: They’re upset about Barda not exactly being “big” anymore. Yes, comics fans are very, very weird and disturbed, but I don’t think they’re too wrong here. Barda, as drawn by Kirby, is a glorious slab of womanhood, and that’s how she’s been drawn for most of her history. She’s not fat, she’s just gigantic. This cover (which is not by series artist Mitch Gerads) and from what I’ve seen of the interior is de-emphasizing that, which is weird in a world where people are far more accepting of different body types than they used to be. I’m eagerly awaiting the trade of this series, but I do understand the nerds’ concerns.

Yeah, the awesomeness of Barda is that she’s built like a brick shithouse, as they say, and she is glorious for that.  If they’re de-emphasizing that element, it’s weird.

Nerds gonna nerd

All I want to know about the new military weapon The Wall in Suicide Squad (page 119) is who paid for it?

Bwah. Ha. Ha.

Man, that’s a neat cover (page 120):


That is awesome.  From what I understand about the Superman/Bendis plans, it’s the penultimate issue of this run of Superman.

So on page 135, we get the first trade of Batman and the Signal. Despite the idiotic title, I’m curious about this because the artists listed (Cully Hamner, Declan Shalvey, Minkyu Jung, and Klaus Janson) are good. However … the villain of the story is called Gnomon. Um, what? If I learned anything in school, I learned that a “gnomon” is a “tall, thin object that casts a shadow.” Seriously, that definition from … sheesh, seventh- or eighth-grade science (Mrs. Walker represent!!!!) has stuck in my head for decades. So what the hell kind of villain is Gnomon? Does he just stand still and cast a shadow, which vexes poor Duke Thomas? I NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE!!!!

I saw Gnomon’s shadow and that’s right, we’re getting 6 more weeks of shitty solicit text!  HA!

Only six weeks? I’ll take it!

On page 140, we get an Omnibus of the first half (maybe third?) of GMozz’s Bat-run, which is good stuff but which pisses me off because it has 2 new pages by Chris Burnham about the Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul stuff.  Grr.

And on page 141 we have an Omnibus of the excellent Batman ’66 stuff, which if you read this blog you really would enjoy.

Batman: Ghosts shows up on page 142, featuring stories by Sam Kieth. Kieth is a fascinating artist and a weird writer, and I’m sure I have the Batman/Lobo meeting here, but I’m not sure about the other story. Either way, I’ll probably get this. It’s always nice to have things between two covers!

I too have the Batman/Lobo thing (I think), so I’ll wait on this one.

The trade of Dastardly and Muttley is on page 142, and I’m torn. On the one hand, Garth Ennis. On the other hand … really? They’re fighter pilots, and Muttley is basically a dog-man? But Garth Ennis. So I’ll probably pick it up.

I believe he can make it work.

Page 144 is all good stuff, like JLA Year One in a new trade edition, the LOEG Black Dossier in a new trade edition (because they need to make more money off of Beardy), and the second volume of Legionnaires, the post-Zero Hour stuff, which I hope I can get directly from Tom Peyer like I did with volume 1.

Kyle Higgins and Trevor McCarthy have done some decent comics together, so I’ll probably get the trade of Nightwing: The New Order on page 145. Dick Grayson in a future dystopian world hunting down metahumans? Sure, why not?

I’ll see if they get it at the library.

Supergirl: Being Super is collected on page 146. I saw mixed reviews for this, but I’ll pick it up because Joëlle Jones draws it, and Jones is superb. Plus, Mariko Tamaki is a pretty good writer.

Yeah, I’ll probably get it (although I may library-wait) (new term!) because of that, and it’s cheaper than the singles were.

Also on 146 is an Omnibus of GMozz’s Seven Soldiers, which is good stuff, particularly when some guy on the internet helps point out neat stuff (that’s your cue to find the 31 Days posts from the old place!).

Man, that’s a pain in the butt. Maybe I’ll try to find it. Maybe I won’t!

I have those posts all printed out and stored with the issues.

Wow. That’s awfully flattering. I’ll probably redo them here at some point, because that was before I had a scanner, and they’re woefully prose-heavy.

Actually, it’s so long ago, I also have something printed out from Lying in the Gutters, so predating Bleeding Cool, for god’s sake!

Despite my Mark Millar boycott, I’ll probably get Superman by Mark Millar on page 147. All of these (I think) were written before my boycott went into effect, and I doubt he’s going to make much money off of this, if any. Plus, everyone has always said that his Superman Adventures stuff is fantastic, so I’ll give it a try.

I doubt he’s not making scratch off this, my friend, but if it helps you to get it … I enjoyed the Tangent issue, from what I recall, and I liked some of what I read of the Adventures stuff.  But WTF is up with Superboy’s face on that cover?

On 148 is the second trade of The Wild Storm (place your bets on whether or not I read v1 before the order deadline, although I probably am getting it regardless), a hardcover of Zero Hour which is really tempting me, because I do dig that series (shut up, it was good!) [Edit: No, no it wasn’t], and then a bizarre collection of the Titans: Total Chaos crossover which introduced the Team Titans series.  The solicit text is…wow.  A “timeless crossover from one of the greatest creative teams of all time”?  No offense to the talented creators here, but this is not their finest hour.  Is it?

Astro City ships its final issue (page 149), although it’s being called a “launch point for its new form.” What that means I have no idea, but I guess we’ll see. Busiek could write this series until the sun collapses, for all I care. It’s awesome.

I didn’t read the post, but I saw a headline that made it sound like it was switching over to OGNs.  I need to catch up with this!  Does that mean, though, that Vertigo has no more ongoing series?  With these new lines from DC (too lazy to find a link), is Vertigo consigned to the dustbin of history after 25 years?


If you’re interested in the solicits, here they are!

Holy crap, Jerry Siegel wrote Scrooge McDuck stories for furriners?!  Damn, I may need to buy this issue of Uncle Scrooge (#37 on page 163).

Fabian Rangel is an unusual writer, and he wrote Samurai Jack: Quantum Jack, which is in trade on page 166. I read the first trade of the old series and wasn’t impressed enough to get more, but this sounds weird, as Jack jumps to different dimensions as different people. No, he’s not Scott Bakula, why do you ask? Anyway, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell’s (now that’s a name!) art is pretty keen, so I might pick this up.

I never watched the show, but this did sound interesting.

He’s everyone you want him to be!

The sequels to the first Crow get collected on page 174 with The Crow: Vault of Shadows. I think I own two of the series here (I know I own one), and they’re not very good, although in the first sequel, Alex Maleev’s early art is quite good. I just thought it was worth mentioning in case you’re in your Goth phase right now and want to snap this up.

I have at least one of those series too, and they were shit.  But yeah, Maleev was decent before he discovered copy and paste…. And I’m always in my goth phase.  (Thank god there are no pictures of me dressed as the Crow in high school for Halloween!)

I’ve never read any Lawrence Block novels, but I’m a fan of John K. Snyder III, and he adapts Eight Million Ways to Die on page 180. Looks groovy! Snyder doesn’t do enough comics work, so this should be neat.

Block is excellent in the Bernie Rhodenbarr novels and his other stuff is damn good too, so you should check him out (I forgot I did a potpourri column!).  JKS3 is featured later in the book, I think.  I’ll let you know when we get there!  I’ll probably get this.

If you’re going to get killed, you should put a bra on T: The detective is wearing one just in case he gets killed…

Hey, Eric Battle is drawing a comic, Antar: The Black Knight on page 185. Good for him! I’m not a huge fan of Battle’s, but I always wonder why he doesn’t do more work. This is about an Arab warrior-poet, and it sounds neat. I’ll get the trade!

The second giant volume of Alack Sinner is on page 189. Now I can read them both, as I never got around to reading the first one!

They spelled it two different ways in the online catalog.  Alec and Alack.  Weird.

Well, I mean, it’s not the name of a character …

I am very weak, and will probably get the 20th anniversary special of Danger Girl, offered on page 191.  J. Scott Campbell was a really nice dude when I met him at Boston Comic Con almost (gulp) 7 years ago.

Why is there a “gulp” in there? Is it because you’re scared of the Boston Comic Con? Is it because you can’t believe you ever went to such a pedestrian convention because you’re all high-falutin’? Is it because you can’t believe it’s been seven years? Seven years ain’t that long, you know.

I keep wanting to go back, keep not having the cash to, keep saying I’ll go next year, and keep starting the cycle anew, and I’m stunned that it’s been this long.

Julian Hanshaw is the writer/artist of Tim Ginger, which was a fine and odd comic, and now he has Cloud Hotel on page 192, about a dude who believes he is chosen by God. To do what, it doesn’t say. Anyway, I’ll have to get this.

Do I get my money back if it does not, in fact, haunt my dreams after I read it, as the solicit copy promises?

Yes, yes you do.

I probably shouldn’t show my friend at work the Kirby Marvel Stories Artist’s Edition on page 194, because then he’ll want it and then his family will go hungry and stuff, because it’s 150 bucks.


Hey, it’s all the solicits!

Gerry Duggan is a pretty good writer, and he has a new series, Analog, on page 198. It’s about a courier who transports secrets after the internet’s security crashed, and of course he’s always running into trouble. I’ll be checking out the trade!

It sounds quite good, and artist David O’Sullivan has a cool Darick Robertson and someone else vibe to his stuff, so I’m definitely going to get this.  I like the solicit text about the indie titles that Duggan has written (for those of you without the catalog, it lists his Marvel and Star Wars titles).

The pages in Motor Crush didn’t do it for me, but I may still check out the trade of Isola down the line, as Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl are pretty good.  (page 200)

I don’t know abut this. I mean, I’m sure it will be fine, but there are a lot of fantasy comics these days, and while it’s great that these people can do them, I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy, so I’m not as jazzed about this as some might be. But good for them! Although I wonder what Babs Tarr is doing. Did they have a falling out?

I assume she’s still on Motor CrushIsola is a separate thing, it just was previewed in Motor Crush.  Mea culpa if I suggested otherwise. I see that I may not have been clear.  MC was near future sci-fi that didn’t quite do it for me, and Isola is some fantasy stuff that doesn’t quite do it for me either, but I may check it out anyway.  Depends on what I feel like when the trade is solicited!

Oh, I understood what you were saying. I was under the impression that Motor Crush was no longer continuing, because I thought I saw a solicit saying something was the final issue. That’s what I was puzzled about. Yeah, If Motor Crush is continuing, I imagine Tarr will stay on it.

Hmm, if the last solicited Motor Crush issue was the last one period, I missed that.

Steve Orlando and Gerry Brown are collaborating on Crude (page 202), which is about some Russian dude who goes in search of his son’s killers and finds out more about his son, as well. Pretty good creators, so this will probably be interesting.

It does sound interesting and look good.  Can you really rip a dude’s throat out with your teeth, though?

I’ve done it at least six times, so yes, you can.

None of this seems to be about oil, but they’re really pushing that angle

On page 204, Kyle Higgins and Stephen Mooney bring us a spy comic, The Dead Hand, and I’m always interested in spy comics! This is about an old Cold Warrior whose nemesis, it seems, has returned. That can’t be good. Another trade for me!

Fantastic cover, and I am intrigued.  That masked dude should cut some eyeholes into that thing, though, then he wouldn’t have to lift the mask up while he’s on a mission.

Joe Henderson, the “showrunner” (a word I loathe) of Lucifer, which is a fine television program, is writing Skyward (page 206), about a girl born right after the gravity on Earth suddenly became a fraction of it used to be. She’s a young woman who discovers a plot to … bring back gravity? Um, what? Anyway, I don’t know if Henderson is a good writer, but Lee Garbett can be a good artist, and I might give this a look.

I only loathe “showrunner” when it’s used for, say, Joss Whedon overseeing the new Buffy comics.  If it’s for a TV show, hey, it’s a dumb sounding name but it works.  I will be getting the trade, because Garbett is good.  But wait, if she’s a baby on these preview pages which seem to show the beginning of the low gravity, how was she born just after G-day?

Hmmmm … good point. I don’t want to live in a world where you make good points!

I guess I should know who Nick Travers is, because the subtitle of Crossroads Blues is that it’s a Nick Travers graphic novel, but I don’t. Our hero Nick (to quote John Cusack, “Nick’s your buddy!”) tries to find a missing professor who was looking for the lost recordings of Robert Johnson. Strange things are, naturally, afoot. Sounds neat.

Apparently this is an adaptation of a novel by Ace Atkins (who has a series of books about Nick Travers, it appears).  I thought I had seen something about this character before, though.

Is Fear Agent any good?  New, “Final”, editions are offered on page 209, collecting the book 10 issues at a time.  I may sample this one, because it did sound cool.

I never finished it, but the majority of it is good. I think I’ve only not read the final trade, but up until then, it was well worth a read.

I flipped through (ha!) some of the Island stories of The Pervert and it looks interesting if a little depressing, about a trans girl surviving through sex work in Seattle.  The GN is on page 210.

So Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone “universe” gets a spin-off on page 212, Swing, drawn by his wife, Linda, and written by Matt Hawkins and Jenni Cheung. This is interesting. I will probably get it, but it’s neat that he wanted to do more stories in this “universe” and he’s been able to … um, swing it without being directly involved.

I’m guessing it’s a thinly veiled story of Hawkins and Cheung, though?  I’ll probably get this, though, because of course I will.

Look how cute they are right before all the kinkiness starts!

I really don’t want to get the trade of 3 Floyds: Alpha King on page 214, because it “expands the world of 3 Floyds Brewing Co.” and what the holy hell does that mean anyway? But Brian Azzarello is a decent enough writer, and Simon Bisley’s art is excellent as always, so I might cave. I am WEAK!

“Of course we’re more than just a brewery, we’re a lifestyle, man.” — one of the 3 Floyds, I assume.

I thought Alternative did a 20th anniversary edition just a little while ago, but there is an Artist’s Cut of Rich Tommaso’s Clover Honey on page 214 that I will probably get.

They did indeed, back in 2016 or 2015.

Page 215 has a couple of interesting trades, with Dark Fang, a story of a vampire going after fossil fuel industries in order to keep her food supply (um, us) alive, and Evolution, where humans are evolving and stuff, which I may get solely to be able to say in a review “it took 4 guys to write this?”

I’ll probably get The Gravediggers Union trade on page 216 – the concept sounded neat, and while I don’t love Wes Craig as a writer (he’s an excellent artist), he’s not bad, and Toby Cypress is a nifty artist in his own right.

It did sound like wacky fun.

Also on 216 is the Hack/Slash Resurrection trade, which I will consider.  Over on 217 is the trade of Paradiso, about a post-apocalyptic weird sans technology, which has been done, I think, but it is one of them 10 dollar trades I like so much.


You know you want to look at the solicits!

I hadn’t noticed this recently, but for Infinity Countdown #2 (page 1), there’s a reference to the Chitauri. Are these different from the Skrulls, as they were Skrulls in Millar’s Ultimates. I know why Marvel is calling them “Chitauri” now, but does anyone know if they’re the same? I would love it if a character said, “Didn’t we call these guys ‘Skrulls’ once?” and another character tells them to shut it.

I think they’ve introduced a different alien race called the Chitauri in the regular Marvel Universe, but I’m not sure.

Much like Action #1000 above, I wish I could write The Hunt for Wolverine (page 2). This thing is “56” pages long and costs six dollars. Mine would be three pages, maybe, and cost a quarter, as mine would consist solely of someone – let’s say Captain America – calling Wolverine on his cell phone (they would both have Jitterbugs, because of course they would!) and ask him where the hell he is. After Wolverine said, “Just taking some time off,” they would rant about kids today for a page and pleasantly say goodbye. EXEUNT, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!

Apparently these “Where’s Wolverine?” “post-credits” sequences in books are, literally, Logan showing up somewhere where the character whose title it is was just in.  At least the one in Captain America, I believe, was.  Who gives a shit about Wolverine at this point, anyway?

I wonder if the Captain America story with Kirby art in issue 700 on page 4 is repurposed and redialogued old art that he did, or an unpublished thing, or what?

It’s actually a brand-new story, because Joey Q has access to a medium and a Ouija board, so the King provided artwork from beyond the grave!!!!!

I hope the King held out for a good contract, or at least will get his original art back…

Hey, the team nobody asked for, Exiles, is back (page 6). But why is Chris Giarrusso’s Wolverine on the team? Does Giarrusso get some residuals from that?

It’s, like, a chibi-Wolverine, so it’s not Chris G’s version, although that would be fucking awesome.  I may check out the trade of this, though.  I do likes me a good multiverse story.  Although, really, Nick Fury the Watcher is called “Unseen”?  Jeebus.

I don’t know, it sure looks like Giarrusso’s …

According to the solicit, “Marvel’s #1 soldier of fortune” is Domino, who gets her own series (written by Gail Simone, so someone at this blog will be buying multiple copies!!!). Wait a minute, what about Silver Sable? Hey, what about Paladin? Um, what about new guy Solo? What the hell about Dominic Fortune, who’s such a soldier of fortune that he was destined by birth to be one? (I can see his high school guidance counselor now: “So, Dominic, what do you want to be when you grow up?” “Well, I’d love to be an accountant, or maybe a plumber, and I really like my summer job at Target, so maybe I can move up the ranks there!” “Well, sorry, Dominic, but you need to be a soldier of fortune. Your name forces you to be!” “Gee, thanks, Mr. Koncillor. That’s great advice!”) I smell a huge crossover of soldiers of fortune in this title’s future! Oh wait, that would assume it makes it past six issues, which, let’s be honest, is a hard sell.

Hey, it might be fun.  Maybe.  I assume when it says that “a pair of beloved Marvel characters return”, it means that Domino is going to unzip her top quite a bit.  Hi-yo!

You’re incorrigible.

Well, that’s a freaky cover for Incredible Hulk #715 (page 26):

Open up and say AAAHHHH!!!

Travis just dropped a Poison reference, of all things! T:…yes. Yes, I did that.

Carnage-ized Green Goblin is pretty cool-looking, at least as how Alex Ross draws him (Amazing Spider-Man #799; page 31):


I don’t want to know what Travis meant by that

Holy shit, Moon Knight 194 on page 44 has Ty Templeton art with a Becky Cloonan cover.  Do I have to start getting Moon Knight?!

What do you mean, “start”? You should always be getting Moon Knight!!!!!

Hey, Devin Grayson is writing a comic! More specifically, Marvel Rising #0 on page 49, which sounds lousy (Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, and some others at computer camp!), but good for her!

Shut up, it sounds like a fun old school style story of characters meeting up in their civilian identities!

By the way, did you see who the Cosmic Ghost Rider is (he’s in the Thanos comics on pages 50-51)? Holy bleepity bleeping bleep (yes, my swearing is so creative I can’t even use it on an “adults-only” blog like this, or it would melt your screen!), is it stupid. I mean, mind-bogglingly so. If you don’t want your mind boggled, remain ignorant of his identity!

Oh.  Oh, I couldn’t help it, I looked.  Why, God, why?

Heh, Spider-Ham is in Lockjaw 3 on page 52.

It’s a shame that Marvel Super Hero Adventures on page 70 has such obviously kiddie-aimed art, which is the kiss of death in “ghettoizing” the book as “just a kid’s book”.  More books should just be kid-friendlier, but not so obviously aimed at them.  Not that it’s bad art, just very kiddie.

If you say “kiddie” one more time, Margot Kidder appears and rips your throat out with her teeth.

Yeah, that one’s on me.  My brain didn’t come up with a good synonym!

Is Vader copying the Wild Things DVD cover on page 76?

He’s about to have a three-way with Han and Lando.

Oh, so you read the Quincy Jones interview?

I am so buying the statue on page 81:

That does look fantastic.

I’m weak like Pelkie!

Would you spend $100 on an omnibus collecting Claremont’s turn-of-the-millennium return to the X-books? No, you wouldn’t, and nor should you, but Marvel thinks you will, as we get X-Men: Revolution by Chris Claremont Omnibus on page 82. Of what I’ve read of this, about a third, maybe? is decent. The rest, not so much. But what a bargain!

If for some insane reason you’ve never read Jean Grey’s fall and rise and fall, Marvel reprints it again in X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus on page 83. These. Comics. Are. So. Good.

And that does include a whole lot of extra stuff, with more of the X-Men run and backups from Classic X-Men, as well as the Phoenix the Untold Story.  It’s been a while, but I believe I’ve read all of these.

I looked at the cover of the Kraven’s Last Hunt deluxe HC on page 85 and noticed that Mark Bagley has a lot of Mike Zeck in him (I thought it was a Bagley cover at first).

FYI, the final trade of our pal Kelly’s run on Hawkeye is offered on page 103.  It does include the Generations one shot, at least, to round out the book.  Maybe I’ll finally get around to reading this run once I get my hands on this trade!

It’s a really good comic, so you should read it.

Well, the first trade of Legacy Moon Knight is on page 105, if I want to get into that series.  I will consider it!

Jim Woodring wrote Star Wars comics?!  (page 106)

Ian Gibson drew Star Wars comics?!

That Deadpool 300 cover poster on page 114 looks pretty sweet.

Do kids even buy posters anymore? Do adult nerds?

Let’s get to the back of the book!

For those people who appreciate inside jokes about 30+-year-old comics, Love and Aardvarks is on page 256 from Aardvark-Vanaheim. I’m not even saying that to be mean – I love inside jokes about 30+-year-old comics!

This is a fun cover.  Also from A-V is the remastered version of Minds, the tenth volume of Cerebus, which contains 191, my favorite issue of the series.  Eventually I’ll get back to my posts, I swear!

Peter Tomasi is writing, of all things, a comic about the building the Brooklyn Bridge with The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York from Abrams ComicArts on page 256. Tomasi is a decent writer, and I imagine this will be fascinating, so I’m going to pick it up.

Tomasi could almost sell me a GN about the Brooklyn Bridge…

Man oh man, since it’s just going to be one printing, I am really considering the Abstract Studios and Graphitti Designs Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition on page 258.  I do like his art, but I don’t like that price tag!

On page 258, Action Lab has a short (48 pages) book for 10 dollars, which is a bit steep, but The Ghost, The Owl sounds neat. A ghost girl gets lost and an owl tries to help her. That price-to-page ratio is annoying, though.

Should I know artist Sara Richard’s work?  I feel like I should.

Yeah, me too. That’s weird.

Ah!  She did some variant covers for Jem and the Holograms!  That’s where I’ve heard her name, methinks!  Here’s her website, btw.


I thought The Consultant, which is about a public relations guy who keeps superheroes out of trouble, had already been offered (as it is on page 264). It sounded fun, and I will be getting this trade. Did I imagine it being collected earlier?

I think everything comes out so fast and we talk about trade-waiting so that we assume the trade has already been offered.

It sounds interesting, the book from AdHouse on page 265, Live/Work, about ’07 NYC and the artists who live there trying to make things work just before the big financial crash.  I may wait and see if there is a collection.

Her Infernal Descent from AfterShock (page 267) is a modern retelling of Dante’s Inferno, with a mother traveling to Hell to find her family, with William Blake and Agatha Christie (sure, why not?) as her guides. Sounds neat.

Delightfully strange.

Also from AfterShock, Dark Ark gets collected on page 274. This is about a sorcerer who collected all the monsters of the world and saved them from God’s Big-Time Flood, the one with Noah and shit. It’s by Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe, so it’s probably pretty good.

Alterna Comics has another FUBAR book, All Star, on page 276.  Even though it’s zombie stuff, it’s quite well done zombie stuff.

I saw that, and now I have to think about it …

I’m really tempted to get Hidden Blood on page 286 from Amigo, even though I have no idea who the creators are. It’s about a Nazi fighter teaming up (maybe?) with an MMA fighter/nightclub dancer. It sounds totally wacky, and who doesn’t love that? [Edit: Okay, the creator is “Massacre” – probably not his/her real name – and the Amigo website has some samples, and they have a distinct Steve Mannion/Jason Yungbluth vibe to them, so I’ll definitely pick this up.]

Massacre did Sidney Hammer, the first one of which was pretty fun, so I’ll be picking this up as well.  Roman Ritual on the same page is offered again in trade, and if you didn’t get that you ought to.

I’ll have to check the bookshelves and long boxes, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t get it in singles, but I don’t know if the trade ever came to my store, consarnit!

At least she’ll be dressed practically!

I like weird stuff, so Archie collecting Jughead’s Time Police on page 290 is appealing to me.  C’mon, Jughead as a timecop?  There were 6 issues of this, but according to the GCD it appeared in other Jughead comics as well, so I hope it compiles all of the wackiness.

Maybe I’ll finally snag all the Lola XOXO stuff, as the two regular volumes and the Wasteland Madam trade are all offered on page 294 from Aspen.

If you’ve missed out on Über so far, Avatar has a nice slipcase of trades of the entire first series (the second and final one is still going on) for 90 dollars on page 296. The art on the book could be a bit better, but it’s not bad, and Gillen’s story is terrific. This is not a bad deal.

I got the stuff of the first trade in singles, but it didn’t intrigue me quite enough to keep going with.  I’ll consider this, though.

Weirdly, the order form leaves off the Arsenal Pulp Press book on page 300, Forward, a graphic novel about two women trying to get on with their lives after losing their partners in different ways, and how they become reinvigorated when they notice each other.

Bergen Street Press has the fifth volume of Michel Fiffe’s Copra, so that’s nice. Volume Three sadly remains unavailable – one would think they would bring it back into print at some point. I mean, why would you buy Volumes 1 2, and 4, which are re-offered with Volume 5? That’s just dumb. It’s too bad, because it’s a really fun comic.

I got the first volume and liked it well enough but didn’t continue.  I’d consider getting v2, but since v3 isn’t available right now, who knows when I could continue on from there?

Also on page 300 is Liar, about a dude who’s the son of a liar, but the dude lied for a good reason, I guess, but based on the cover, the company name isn’t so much Big City Comics as Big…well, I’ll let you figure it out.

The dude who writes this sent me Whore, one of his graphic novels, and it was just okay. He’s doing what he loves, though, so more power to him!

Travis zeroes in on what matters once again!

Yet again on page 300, from Big Planet/Retrofit Comics, is the Big Planet Comics Red anthology book, which features Carla Speed McNeil among others.  I was perplexed at first about the “artists from or working in the DMV” bit, as I thought at first it meant all these creators have day jobs at the Department of Motor Vehicles, which sounded like an odd thematic link, but then I see it means it’s the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area, which makes a little more sense.

Am I the only one weirded out by the description on page 304 of Bloomsbury‘s What to Do When I’m Gone HC?  It’s about a woman in her early twenties who realizes that her mother will die someday and that she won’t have her around to give advice and guidance, and then she collaborated with her mom on “instructions” for what to do when the mother passes.  Is that strange, or am I strange for not thinking this is great?

No, that’s weird. These artsy types, man – they’re just weird. She came to that realization? Welcome to the human race, lady.

Thank you for vindicating me!

Wow, there’s nearly 600 pages of comics for 20 bucks from Boom! on page 311.  Unfortunately, it’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics from the ’90s and beyond.  Eek.

Boom! skipped serializing the final volume of Wild’s End, which they offer on page 312. This has been a pretty good story of anthropomorphized animals responding to an alien invasion in a quiet 1930s English countryside, and it’s nice that Boom! decided to skip the serializing of it, because everything should be moving away from single issues!

I picked up the first two trades of this based entirely on how good Abnett and Culbard were on New Deadwardians, and I’ll get this as well, and maybe someday I’ll even read the damn things.  I am so disorganized!

The Complete Killer is on page 315, with a pretty good deal of 40 dollars for over 700 pages of comics. This is a really good series, although the final volume was strange, as there didn’t seem to be any reason why Matz and Jacamon would stop. I mean, maybe they’re just bored with it, but you’d think the final volume would feel more … final, I guess. Still, it’s definitely something to pick up, especially for that price.

Sounds cool, I’ll have to consider it.  On the same page is About Betty’s Boob, a French, I believe, nearly wordless GN about a woman who has lost her left breast, her job, and her guy.  I read about it over at Pipeline, and I agree with Augie that this version of the cover is lame.

You should never agree with Augie on anything!!!!

This is NOT the cover in Previews, but let’s hope it’s the cover we get!

On page 330, Caliber has another intriguing reprint, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes, in which the detective tries to help his friend Henry Jekyll. As always, I’m glad that Caliber is continuing with these reprints even though Gary Reed died. That’s very cool.

I like the typo of “Jerkyll” in the solicit text.  Also on that page is The Red Diaries: The Kennedy Conspiracy, about Marilyn Monroe’s diary of her time with the Kennedys, which sounds intriguing.

Well, he was kind of a jerk, I think we can agree.

Sink gets collected on page 334 from ComixTribe. This is a terrific collection of short stories, a gory horror show that gets well under your skin. John Lees is a very good writer, and Alex Cormack does nice work on the art. You won’t regret reading it!

You’re just saying that because they quoted you on the back of #2, aren’t you?  JK.  I get ComixTribe emails so I was aware of this from early on, but I need to actually read it.

Dark Planet re-offers the two volumes of Silver currently in print on page 335, and it’s quite a nice comic. A man plans a heist of the silver deep inside a vampire lair, and naturally, things don’t quite work as planned. Stephen Franck is telling a fun story, and his art is quite good, too. I hope the new printings mean that volume 3 is imminent!

Does the lady vampire on the covers play any role in the book?  I’ve seen this before and was intrigued, so maybe I’ll get it this time.  Maybe.

Of course she does!

Well, you’d think so, but who knows?

Naturally, Dynamite has planned to continue Swashbucklers, now that they brought the old series back into print, and on page 338, we get the new series by Marc Guggenheim and Andrea Mutti, which is not a bad team. I’ll probably get the trade!

I … actually like this Philip Tan cover?

On page 353, in celebration of Black History Month, Dynamite has Shaft-related material. Shaft volume 1 is pretty good, with David Walker’s story doing a solid job, ably assisted by Bilquis Evely’s beautiful art. I haven’t read volume 2 yet, but I’m going to order it, because I like Dietrich Smith’s art. There’s a new Shaft novel at the bottom of the page, too, written by “Name.” I love his/her work!

That’s funny.  It’s by Walker, as you probably know, but here I go ruining your joke again.  I dug the first volume, and I’m considering the second one and the novels as well. Y’know, the Black History Month spotlight stuff is fine, but why didn’t they do it two months back so this stuff showed up in stores DURING February?  (yeah, yeah, most of the stuff is relists…)

I had it out from a library, and really, all of the Eureka Productions Graphic Classics are good, but volume 22 African-American Classics, available on page 363, was particularly good, from what I recall.

Also on 363 from Fakku Books (wha?) [Edit: That link is so Not Safe For Work it’s not even funny, so click it at your own risk!] is Super Dimensional Love Gun, a cool title for a collection of work by Shintaro Kago, whose work is disturbingly creepy (provided that the work I’m thinking of is his work….)

Despite coming from a few different creators (more cooks spoiling the broth and such), I’m intrigued by Red Dog from 451 Media on page 369. It’s about the only kid in a mining colony on another planet whose robot dog goes missing, so he goes looking for it. Adventures, presumably, occur.

I think I said before, but Descender wants its plot point back!  Hey, this has art from Sink‘s Alex Cormack, btw!  I may get this, it didn’t sound bad.

Did you get a chance to read Apama the Undiscovered Animal yet?  Hero Tomorrow is doing something weird by putting out in print the single issues that were already online, then collected in a trade like the one I read and enjoyed.  Throw your money away, I guess, Hero Tomorrow folks.  They also have a Tap Dance Killer series starting as well, and that I’ll probably get.  Apama was good comics.  These are on page 372.

Ahem. You even patted yourself on the back for recommending it!

D’oh, that’s right!  Remind me again, who told you about it?  heh heh heh…

On page 382, Algeria Is Beautiful like America from Lion Forge sounds cool. A descendant of immigrants leaves the U.S. to visit her ancestral home in Algeria. The art sample looks good, too.

Reading a map is more effective if you tilt it

In the Lion Forge superhero universe, we get the first trade of KINO, by Joe Casey and Jefte Palo, which is a good team. As I noted recently, I’ll try the first trades of these superhero books, just to check them out, so I’m getting this!

On page 397, New York Review of Comics has an intriguing offering from Chris Reynolds, called The New World: Comics from Mauretania, all about how after we lose an intergalactic war, aliens are subtly changing things on Earth.   Sounds odd and fascinating, so I may have to seek out some samples.

Jamie Rich has a new book out, Archer Coe: The Way to Dusty Death, the second in this series, from Oni on page 400. The first one was pretty good, and Rich is a good writer, so I imagine this will be interesting, too. It’s about a crime-solving hypnotist! Fun stuff!

Hmm, You Have Killed Me didn’t knock my socks off (new edition out this week!), but a hypnotist detective sounds fun and the art looks good.

Papercutz has the second volume of High Moon on page 409, along with a re-offer of the first volume. David Gallaher and Steve Ellis make good comics together, and it’s a western with werewolves! Is there anything more fun than that?

They’re nice dudes, too, and I should get these books.

Rebellion/2000AD has, on page 410, the definitive collection of Charley’s War, a comic I’ve heard about for years, all about one young boy’s life in World War I.  This is probably well worth it.

Renegade Arts Entertainment has several interesting ones on pages 410-411.  Sharkasaurus sounds wacky enough just from the name, but throw in the daughter of a widowed creationist falling for the adopted son of a gay paleontologist, and set it at a creationist themed golf course, and that spells fun!  A Bunch of Jews and Other Stuff has Trina Robbins adapting her dad’s 1938 book of stories of early 20th century Jewish life.  Fashion in Action features John K. Snyder III’s comic (him again!) from the ’80s, edited by Hope Nicholson with a bunch of neat extras.  I’m definitely getting that.

Yeah, I’ll get the last one. The others … I’ll have to think about it.

That cover goes a long way toward selling me on it, though!

Seven Stories Press offers the second volume of the Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery on page 416, with Hammett, Bluebeard, The Trial, and more, and features Dame Darcy art.  I’ll wait and see if I can find these cheap some time, if not at a library.

Silver Sprocket has the first issue of a new mini on page 417 with Daygloayhole, which won’t look right to me no matter what (“day glory hole”?  what?), by Ben Passmore.  It’s a neon punk post-apocalypse story that, according to an article on the Previews site, I believe, has something to do with porn too.  So there’s that to appeal to me.  (I can feel your judgy eyes!)

I judge no one!

Hmm, I like Jay Fosgitt’s art (he’s got a Vaughn Bodé influence that’s quite apparent here), so I may try the Dead Duck and Zombie Chick: Rising from the Grave one shot on page 417 from new publisher Source Point Press.  Despite the fact that one of their other offerings is a fucking Twiztid comic…

The Yellow Submarine adaptation from Titan by Bill Morrison looks pretty neat, on page 420.

Peter Milligan is writing The Prisoner on page 422, with Colin Lorimar on art. I’ll get the trade! Milligan seems like a good writer for this kind of thing, so I hope it will go well!

Sweet Mike Allred cover

I’ll get the trade of the Prisoner comic, which should be good.  I hope.  I wonder if they’ll be collecting the Dean Motter sequel series that DC put out in…the late ’80s, I think?  And man oh man I want that Prisoner Original Art Edition on page 424, with Kirby and Gil Kane art.  So…tempting!

I might have to pick up Tank Girl: Full Color Classics 1988-1989 on page 429. You can’t get enough of Jamie Hewlett’s art, and this reprints the original comics in color, if you couldn’t guess.

Hmm, should I just wait and see if they collect the early Tank Girl stuff in a trade, or get these newly colored strips in single issues, like on page 429?  And how do I choose just one of those covers, dammit?  Fuckin’ variants …

Man, I would like early Becky Cloonan stuff, like East Coast Rising on page 437, but it’s from Tokyopop, and I don’t know if this is stuff that was part of their…less than optimal for creators contracts.  Anyone have any idea?  I saw Sophie Campbell tweet about these, as she did a book with them, and I think since this catalog came out, IDW (I think) announced a distribution partnership with Tokyopop.  She was less than enthused, I’d say.

Yeah, I don’t know. I know Tokyopop is a bit sketchy, but I don’t know if they were when this came out.

I’m selective about which Back Issue issues I buy, but #104 on page 440 from TwoMorrows sounds interesting. It focuses on the Fourth World after Kirby, which should be keen. It might not be your thing, but it’s mine!

I love the Fourth World stuff, and that cover alone is worth getting in BI’s magazine size.  “Mike Mignola’s unrealized New Gods animated movie”?  Shit, I need this for that story alone!

According to the solicits for Ninjak #6 (YOU CAN’T MAKE ME CALL IT NINJA-K!!!!!) on page 447 from Valiant, it’s drawn by “incendiary” artist Juan José Ryp. Does that mean he sets things on fire? Is he himself on fire? Should someone check on him to make sure he’s okay?

“I like to watch things burn!” — Ryp, probably.  Also, I’ll call it Ninja-K, even though I think it’s stupid, but I’ll probably get this first trade on page 450 as I am a sucker for 10 dollar trades!  Damn, that looks pretty though.

Valiant has the trade of Eternity for 10 bucks on page 451, and that looked really neat from the previews pages they showed.  I’ll be getting this.

I may consider the Wrath of the Eternal Warrior deluxe HC on page 451 as well, as it’s 15 issues plus extras for 50 bucks.  I always liked the Valiant stuff, and Eternal Warrior is a cool concept.

The trade of Alien Bounty Hunter on page 452 from Vault Comics sounds neat. I mean, it’s about a bounty hunter who hunts aliens – it can’t be clearer! The alien city is hidden on Earth, though, so that’s handy.

You have to have hot ninja chicks in your comic!

Maybe…we’re the aliens? I thought Colossi sounded interesting, collected on the same page.  I may have even ordered it before.  They also have a couple of neat series starting, with Deep Roots, a series where plants are fighting back against humans, and on page 453, Wasted Space, about a failed prophet who screwed up the galaxy and who is summoned to help save the galaxy when a new prophet shows up.  I’ll wait for trades! However, I’m a little annoyed with Vault because they still haven’t released (unless I missed it and so did my shop) the last three issues of Failsafe, which was originally published as Insurgent, a miniseries that DC cancelled midway through.  It appears that Vault has also only gotten midway through it as well …

Whoa, it’s the end of Assassination Classroom with volume 21 on page 457 from Viz!  I started reading this a few years back and really liked it, but (surprise!) I got behind on it and need to catch up.  Well, I guess this is an incentive to start in on a read/re-read of the series!

Hmm, Viz has an interesting sounding one on page 459, Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction, about an alien mothership hanging over Japan and how people react to having an alien invasion looming over them.  It’s by Inio Asano of Solanin and Goodnight Punpun.

Japan is weird.  On page 464, we get a new manga from Yen Press called Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon.  The title is self-explanatory, but the funniest part is that said vending machine is a guy who, while alive, “admired [vending machines] the most in life”. Wha?!

Page 476 features International Cheesecake: Good Girl Comics Around the World, which has obvious appeal for me just in its subject matter, but the text is by Ron Goulart, so it should actually be a valid historical work, as well.  I’ll read it for the articles!

She’s good at losing her clothes, I’ll give her that!

Well, in the solicit for DC Comics Variant Covers: The Complete Visual History on page 478, it is claimed that the first issue of Man of Steel in ’86 was the first comic with a variant cover.  I’m not sure if that’s completely true, so I throw it out to our commenters to argue others that preceded that!

I’m a nerd about comics fandom, even, so Sense of Wonder: My Life in Comic Fandom by Bill Schelly, on page 480, appeals to me.  Sounds like the comics geekery in there will be good as well as an interesting story of how fandom offered a place for outsiders, as Schelly’s dealing with his own homosexuality plays a role in this book.

I really need to read the issues of The Creeps I keep getting.  I probably won’t get to it before we have to order issue 14 on page 490.

Ooh, that Rocketeer and Betty statue on page 520 looks neat.  So pricey though.

You have to pay to get Betty some more clothing!

That’s all we have for this week, folks! And hey, it didn’t even take two weeks to get it all together! I hope you have a grand time checking out Previews!


  1. A Study In Emerald is wonderful and definitely the high point of this collection, but I don’t see the need for a comics adaptation unless it’s going to expand on the original prose version. The original story could easily have served as a series launch but it doesn’t sound like that’s what it’s going to be. Even if it is, when other people take over Gaiman creations it’s a ‘meh’ at best. (Still kind of mad at myself for hanging in there with Books of Magic as long as I did.)

  2. Jeff Nettleton

    Beanworld is awesome; loved when they turned up in a vision, in Tim Truman’s Scout series.

    Action did get a boost in the trip to 1000, when it went weekly; but, Detective was bi-monthly, in the early 70s. Also, Supes getting back the red undies doesn’t surprise me, since they tended to push the classic costume over Lee’s in the bulk of their licensed merchandise.

    Don’t F with Kirby designs; it’s not a smart move, especially a character based on Roz!

    Siegel also wrote The Spider for the British publisher IPC.

    The Motter Prisoner (Shattered Visage) was excellent; I might actually have to check this one out.

    Post-Kirby 4th World isn’t bad, for Mister Miracle. Return of the New Gods was pretty shaky, though it started well, and had some nice Don Newton art. The crossover with the JLA and JSA (where George Perez took over the art, after Dick Dillin’s sudden death) is excellent, especially Perez’s panel of Barda, when she is blocking Granny Goodness’ exit, after the revolution. The look on her face says, “I’m going to beat you into a stain on the ground and then get nasty!” I covered that stuff over at the Classic Comics forum. Fun reading, after a long, long time (especially the Engelhart/Rogers Mister Miracle).

    1. Edo Bosnar

      I liked a lot of that post-Kirby 4th World stuff in the late ’70s, too. The JLA/JSA crossover was indeed excellent (yep, that Barda scene was awesome), and I really liked both the Englehart/Rogers and Gerber/Golden Mr. Miracle – too bad that got cut short.
      As to Barda, yeah, she’s supposed to be big (duh), and definitely taller than Scott.

  3. Simon

    The Reverend Green had been playing to a full house daily as long as the rain had been falling and the rain had been falling for two weeks. […] An enormous man dressed in an oilcloth slicker had entered the tent and removed his hat. He was bald as a stone and he had no trace of beard and he had no brows to his eyes nor lashes to them. He was close on to seven feet in height and he stood smoking a cigar even in this nomadic house of God and he seemed to have removed his hat only to chase the rain from it for now he put it on again.

    The reverend had stopped his sermon altogether. There was no sound in the tent. All watched the man. He adjusted the hat and then pushed his way forward as far as the crateboard pulpit where the reverend stood and there he turned to address the reverend’s congregation. His face was serene and strangely childlike. His hands were small. He held them out.

    Ladies and gentlemen I feel it my duty to inform you that the man holding this revival is an imposter. He holds no papers of divinity from any institution recognized or improvised. He is altogether devoid of the least qualification to the office he has usurped and has only committed to memory a few passages from the good book for the purpose of lending to his fraudulent sermons some faint flavor of the piety he despises. In truth, the gentleman standing here before you posing as a minister of the Lord is not only totally illiterate but is also wanted by the law in the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

    Oh God, cried the reverend. Lies, lies! He began reading feverishly from his opened bible.

    On a variety of charges the most recent of which involved a girl of eleven years – I said eleven – who had come to him in trust and whom he was surprised in the act of violating while actually clothed in the livery of his God.

    A moan swept through the crowd. A lady sank to her knees.

    This is him, cried the reverend, sobbing. This is him. The devil. Here he stands.

    Let’s hang the turd, called an ugly thug from the gallery to the rear.

    Not three weeks before this he was run out of Fort Smith Arkansas for having congress with a goat. Yes lady, that is what I said. Goat.

    Why damn my eyes if I wont shoot the son of a bitch, said a man rising at the far side of the tent, and drawing a pistol from his boot he leveled it and fired.

    […] The bar was that tall not every man could even get his elbows up on it but it came just to the judge’s waist and he stood with his hands placed flatwise on the wood, leaning slightly, as if about to give another address. By now men were piling through the doorway, bleeding, covered in mud, cursing. They gathered about the judge. A posse was being drawn to pursue the preacher.

    Judge, how did you come to have the goods on that no-account?

    Goods? said the judge.

    When was you in Fort Smith?

    Fort Smith?

    Where did you know him to know all that stuff on him?

    You mean the Reverend Green?

    Yessir. I reckon you was in Fort Smith fore ye come out here.

    I was never in Fort Smith in my life. Doubt that he was.

    They looked from one to the other.

    Well where was it you run up on him?

    I never laid eyes on the man before today. Never even heard of him.

    He raised his glass and drank.

    There was a strange silence in the room. The men looked like mud effigies. Finally someone began to laugh. Then another. Soon they were all laughing together. Someone bought the judge a drink.

    —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

    > G: “it’s time for Previews again”

    Greg ‘n’ Travis, sittin’ in a tree… F-L-I-P-P-I-N?

    > G: “Neil Gaiman’s mash-up of Holmes and Cthulhu”

    What about his send-up, “I Cthulhu, or What’s a Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing in a Sunken City Like This?”

    “Cthulhu, they call me. Great Cthulhu. Nobody can pronounce it right. […] I was spawned uncounted aeons ago, in the dark mists of Khhaa’yngnaiih (no, of course I don’t know how to spell it. Write it as it sounds), of nameless nightmare parents, under a gibbous moon. […] Those were the days. Or rather the nights, on the whole.”

    “It was one long party, and everybody loved it except those who found themselves impaled on wooden stakes between a chunk of cheese and pineapple. […] You know what killed off the dinosaurs, Whateley? We did. In one barbecue.”

    “Is it time already, Whateley? Don’t be silly. I know that I sent for you. My memory is as good as it ever was. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fthagn. You know what that means, don’t you? In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. A justified exageration, that; I haven’t been feeling too well recently. It was a joke, one-head, a joke.”

    online @ NeilGaiman.com

    > G: “I’ve never actually read anything by [Lovecraft]”

    Nyarlathotep wept, not even Culbard’s great adaptations such as CHARLES DEXTER WARD and THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME?

    > “DC”

    So they say Star Trek fans are “Trekkers”
    And they say Star Wars fans are “Wankers”
    And so now what to call
    DC fans if at all
    Should we just maybe call them “Suckers”?

    > T: “Siegel and Shuster, Harvey Pekar, Bendis”

    Cleveland also has Crumb, Derf, Dewey, Gerber, Motter, Vaughan, Watterson — mebbe it’s so dull you have to make your own excitment?

    > G: “Mariko Tamaki is a pretty good writer.”

    Yes, and since her teen stories SKIM and THIS ONE SUMMER aren’t necessarily your strongest cuppa, maybe you’d prefer Jillian Tamaki’s BOUNDLESS, one of the best books of 2017?

    > G: “Cloud Hotel”

    Why did it start as, “A childrens comic project called Cloud Hotel”? (+) Is it a coming-of-age tale for teens or a new TIM GINGER?

    * (6 pages) https://bnccatalist.ca/viewtitle.aspx?ean=9781603094252

    > T: “The Pervert”

    Michelle Perez & Remy Boydell’s vignettes?

    * (w/ 4 pages) https://www.autostraddle.com/drawn-to-comics-michelle-perez-and-remy-boydell-talk-trans-sex-work-tv-influences-and-their-comic-the-pervert-408602/
    * (3 pages) http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-pervert-ogn-preview/

    (NSFW: googling her name yields “shemale porn” galore, heh.)

    > “Marvel”

    So they say Star Trek fans are “Trekkies”
    And they say Star Wars fans are “Wookies”
    And so now what to call
    Marvel fans if at all
    Should we just maybe call them “Zombies”?

    > G: “The Ghost, The Owl”

    For a pricey graphic novella about owls, what about Maggie Umber’s painted SOUND OF SNOW FALLING, one of the best books of 2017?

    * (w/ 2 pages) http://www.brokenfrontier.com/maggie-umber-sound-snow-falling-2dcloud-safari-festival/
    * (w/ 6 pages) http://smashpages.net/2017/07/31/smash-pages-qa-maggie-umber-on-sound-of-snow-falling/
    * (5 pages) http://2dcloud.com/sound-of-snow-falling

    > G: “the fifth volume of Michel Fiffe’s Copra”

    Standalone ROUND FIVE, now more expensive, one of the best ongoing superhero series?

    * (samples) http://michelfiffe.com/comics/

    > G: “why would you buy Volumes 1 2, and 4, which are re-offered with Volume 5?”

    Because Vols. 1–2 tell a complete story?
    Because Vol. 3 only collected one-shots?
    Because Vol. 4 has two standalone stories?

    > G: “Sink”

    Five done-in-ones ala QUILTE? Sure, why not?

    * (#1 w/ samples) http://atomicjunkshop.com/review-time-with-some-john-lees-written-comics/
    * (roundups) https://comicbookroundup.com/comic-books/reviews/comix-tribe/sink

    > T: “Shintaro Kago, whose work is disturbingly creepy (provided that the work I’m thinking of is his work….)”

    You’re prolly thinking of his often awesome ero-guro 16-pagers at Same Hat, such as “Abstraction”, “Multiplication”, “The Memories of Others”, “Oral Cavity Infectious Syndrome”, “Labyrinth”, etc. — and maybe this collection isn’t from his more potboiler work, ala NOTEBOOK OF MURDER?

    * (w/ 7 pages) https://www.jlist.com/blog/featured/super-dimensional-love-gun-fakku-manga-review/
    * (evoked) http://www.tcj.com/this-week-in-comics-8917-blessed-daily-life/

    (A Kago best-of is intended from Fanta, apparently this year?)

    > G: “Red Dog from 451 Media”

    Isn’t it funny how those who sell unfinished stories as complete graphic novels (+) are now subtitling their stuff “COMPLETE GRAPHIC NOVEL”, if you can believe that?

    > T: “Eternity”

    DIVINITY IV (aka ETERNITY I OF ?) has an uncharacteristically shipped finale, so we may ponder a preorder?

    * (#4 roundup) https://comicbookroundup.com/comic-books/reviews/valiant-comics/eternity/4

    (And how will the Chinawood takeover of Valiant affect this series?)


    — UNDERWINTER standalone VOL. 1 by Ray Fawkes (p. 244, $10 @ I)

    Doesn’t it look better with a properly reviewed finale?

    * (w/ 2 pages) http://geeksyndicate.co.uk/reviews/comic-review-underwinter-vol-1-symphony/
    * (roundups) https://comicbookroundup.com/comic-books/reviews/image-comics/underwinter

    — KNIGHTS OF THE SKULL by Wayne Vansant (p. 330, $13 @ Caliber)

    Five war stories: Peiper in the Bulge, tank killers in Russia, mine dogs in Kharkov, Hitlerjugend in Normandy, and Degrelle in the Cherkassy Pocket. Available in bookstores, and maybe Diamond won’t cancel it again?

    * (6 pages) http://www.calibercomics.com/knights-of-the-skull.html

    (Kinda VOL. 0, as there are standalone VOL. 1 and 2 in FC.)

    — BE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol (p. 366, ALLEGEDLY $13)

    Mousetrap and “juvenile fiction”, maybe interesting once reviewed?

    * (12 pages) https://us.macmillan.com/interiors?isbn=9781626724457

    (Be prepared… for fake specs, such as “FC” being black-and-green, or price hikes?)

    — KABUL DISCO standalone BOOK 1 by Nicolas Wild (p. 374, $20 @ Humanoids)

    A fun travelog ala Delisle, Greg? Portrait of the surreal Afghan election year of 2005. (Observed while working on the comic-book version of the Afghan constitution, as most of them can’t read.)

    * (4 pages) http://www.humanoids.com/album/830

    (Humanoids are just translating, as it’s a 2007 indie success in 9-panel grid. Standalone book 2 is about a state campaign against opium.)

    — THE BRIDE WAS A BOY by Chii (p. 413, ALLEGEDLY $14)

    Mousetrap, and was its “diary” style so prose-heavy there’s no samples? Reviews will tell, right?

    —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

    They were cattle, mules, horses. There were several thousand head and they were moving quarterwise toward the [1840s filibuster] company. By late afternoon riders were visible to the bare eye, a handful of ragged indians mending the outer flanks of the herd with their nimble ponies. Others in hats, perhaps Mexicans. The sergeant dropped back to where the captain was riding.

    What do you make of that, Captain?

    I make it a parcel of heathen stockthieves is what I make it. […] The captain smiled grimly. We may see a little sport here before the day is out.

    The first of the herd began to swing past them in a pall of yellow dust, rangy slatribbed cattle with horns that grew agoggle and no two alike and small thin mules coalblack that shouldered one another and reared their malletshaped heads above the backs of the others and then more cattle and finally the first of the herders riding up the outer side and keeping the stock between themselves and the mounted company. Behind them came a herd of several hundred ponies. […]

    The ponies had begun to veer off from the herd and the drovers were beating their way toward this armed company met with on the plain. Already you could see through the dust on the ponies’ hides the painted chevrons and the hands and rising suns and birds and fish of every device like the shade of old work through sizing on a canvas and now too you could hear above the pounding of the unshod hooves the piping of the quena, flutes made from human bones, and some among the company had begun to saw back on their mounts and some to mill in confusion when up from the offside of those ponies there rose a fabled horde of mounted lancers and archers bearing shields bedight with bits of broken mirrorglass that cast a thousand unpieced suns against the eyes of their enemies.

    A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained weddingveil and some in headgear of cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses’ ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse’s whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.

    Oh my god, said the sergeant.

    (Cormac McCarthy, BLOOD MERIDIAN. The New Canon article.)

    1. Greg Burgas

      Simon: Yeah, sorry, that happens. Some people seem to be able to find them, but I can’t, so I don’t know what happened to it. Maybe it will reappear from the ether!

    2. Simon, it went into the spam queue because of the number of links. Lots of links in a comment is usually a spambot, so our setup is configured to hold any comment with more than 4 or 5 links for moderation.

      To be honest, lately your comments read more like columns. Most people’s comments don’t include a prologue and epilogue, and I’m pretty certain that your comments run longer than many of our posts. Have you considered starting a site of your own?

      1. Simon

        @Jim: Sorry, apparently that wasn’t the links but a silly NSFW joke using a “bad word” (not unlike certain saloon card game). Just posted an edited version and that went to the regular “Your comment is awaiting moderation” mod queue Greg can see, instead of being zapped.

        (The “prologue and epilogue” are from a book recently discussed with Greg about his Whittemore article. That was a follow-up or gift of sorts.)

        1. We don’t have an NSFW filter on the comments. Of if we do, I didn’t configure it, and I built the site. But it is configured to send comments it thinks are spam to a different holding tank, which is where yours went. Take a look, the word in question is in your post.

          (NSFW: googling her name yields “shemale porn” galore, heh.)

          When one of the admins retrieved the post from the spam filter, they must have deleted your second version.

        2. I just went and checked to be sure. There is no language filter on the site. We have also resolved the issue that was dumping comments to the moderation queue; that was a Jetpack issue, but it’s fixed now. If you have a comment sent to moderation, it’s because one of the three spam filters thinks your comment was a spambot attack.

          One of the settings is that a comment with more than four links in it is presumed to be spam and will be held. If any of those links are to a site on one of our blacklists, the comment will be deleted.

          But you can say “shemale” if you’re willing to handle any blowback from offended parties. We do not censor for content except to block extreme perpetrators.

          1. Simon

            @Jim: The original vanished sans “awaiting moderation”. Removing “sh3male” and “3ro-guro” let the second version appear with “awaiting moderation”, so keywords seem to factor in? (Certain “bad words” prolly increase a comment’s spam score. Some word alone may score low enough to go through, while that word and N+ links could cross a threshold.)

            Anyway, it was silly to joke with a keyword like that, sorry for the mess.

          2. Most likely it was the combination of too many links and the use of the word “porn” in the comment. The number of links will always automatically send the comment to moderation, but the addition of spam flags will send it to the spam filter, which is where it went the first time. More likely it was the word porn than shemale.

            A thing that spammers do, which some filters may also look for, is include blocks of irrelevant “filler” text intended to look like a legitimate post. Like, for instance, a long text passage that does not in any way relate to either the post being commented on or any of the links contained in the comment. Especially one that is copy-pasted from another source, like maybe a book in the Google Books library.

            But we are addressing the issue. I’ve installed a comment length limiter. From now on, comments cannot be over 5000 characters. If you were to delete your extraneous preamble and epilogue and cut the number of links to the allowable limit, your comment would be barely less than that number.

            Also, I decreased the number of allowable links from 6 to 5. Choose wisely.

  4. Eric van Schaik

    Greg, what’s your beef with Gabriel Hardman? (me just being curious)

    Luckily I have all the Copra TPB’s. Strange that your LCS didn’t get it, while I received mine in Holland.

    Just 2 floppy’s left after Astro City stops 🙁 (Savage Dragon and Stray Bullets are the last ones).

    I wonder how long after the marriage Batman will have it’s one more day 😉

    I have the Fear Agent Library Editions but like Greg I haven’t finished it yet. 🙂

    Like Travis I think sharkasaurus seems fun (I liked grizzlyshark too).

    Holland is doing great until now during the Olympics. Yeah!!!

    1. Greg Burgas

      Eric: Long story short, I wrote about Hardman’s art when he was young, he hated it and tried to get me fired, I talked to him about it at a convention, and he seemed very stand-offish about it. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but it really put me off his work.

      I pre-ordered volume 3 of Copra and everything, and it never arrived at my store. That happens far too often, unfortunately.

      I see the Dutch team is doing well. Excellent!

        1. Greg Burgas

          Eric: He wasn’t aggressively dickish, he just seemed more stand-offish than most people I meet at cons. Maybe I’ve been lucky and his coolness is more common than I know, but it just put me off in a way that’s not easy for me to describe. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he might be the nicest guy ever, but that brief interaction left a bad taste in my mouth.

          I’m not really into the Olympics and haven’t been since I was a kid. I don’t know why – it’s just not my thing. I know some of what’s going on, but I don’t follow either Winter or Summer Games very closely.

      1. Simon

        @Greg: When Diamond didn’t deliver your COPRA ROUND 3, and your store didn’t get it within a few weeks, why not order it from a bookstore or Amazon while it was still in available? (Though you could still get it used from Amazon or Mile High Comics.)

        1. Greg Burgas

          Simon: I always check the store’s invoice, and it never appeared on it, so I didn’t know it had even come out. Then volume 4 was solicited, and I realized I missed it. I’ll have to get it used, because I dig the series.

          1. Simon

            @Greg: Why not check Diamond’s list on Tuesdays to know what you should get? You’d see COPRA ROUND 3 listed for December 30, 2015, and be aware of the problem if your store doesn’t get it.

  5. They introduced the Chitauri in the Nova reboot with the teenage Nova. Apparently the best the writer could think of to make them interesting was “they’re bred solely and completely for war” but they didn’t stand out from the Kree at all (and they’re way less fun than the Sontarans).
    Jughead’s Time Police was the only Archie Comic I ever read faithfully. It was fun.
    I’ve heard good things about Beanworld so I’ll have to look at the archive. My exposure is limited to one Bean’s appearance in Total Eclipse.
    I’m in a minority in finding the JLA/JSA underwhelming, both when it came out and when I reread it last year. The art was good but the battles were underwhelming. And I never bought that Darkseid needed the assistance of the Injusticers.
    I did enjoy Conway/Newton’s Return of the New Gods, one of the few times Metron’s ever had a personality beyond Mad Scientist. And yes, the Englehart/Rogers Mr. Miracle.

    1. I read that Nova reboot (the first trade, at least). Didn’t realize that was where the Chitauri came into the regular MU. Considering that the writer is Jeph Loeb, it’s no surprise that the concept of them is boring…. (I actually didn’t hate that trade, from what I remember).

  6. You joke about a new Captain America story with Kirby art, but back around 1996, I worked on a project that sounds very similar.

    The plan was to scan a whole bunch of Kirby comics, and occasionally redraw or edit panels, then cut and paste the panels together into a brand new original comic starring the Fantastic Four. I spent several days filling in missing pieces where speech balloons had been removed, adding in limbs that had been clipped off by now-deleted panel borders, swapping backgrounds between panels, removing extraneous characters, combining characters from multiple panels into new ones… Eventually Marvel pulled the plug on it, but I never found out why.

    1. Oh, wow, that’s cool. That’s around the time of the bankruptcy and distributor shenanigans, though, wasn’t it?

      But yeah, that sounds like what they might be doing with this story, which I think would be interesting to tell a “new” story using old Kirby art repurposed and “remixed”.

      1. I think it was right before that. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to corporate intrigue then. It might have been 1995. I think they decided that fans would be more inclined to be outraged by what we called “the Forrest Gump comic” than excited by the prospect of a faux-“new” Jack Kirby FF. Popular sentiment toward Kirby vs. Marvel was starting to ramp up more than it had been in the past.

  7. John King

    I hadn’t realised there was controversy over the current depiction of Barda – she still looks big to me (and consistent with other versions ..though not neccesarily consistant between panels).
    She is definitely clearly big, mostly focussing on how tall she is (she complains about being too tall and can rest her chin on Scott’s head) but looks big in other ways too (at least in some panels).
    So this isn’t a major upset like the new 52 Amanda Waller or the Greg Land Spiral.
    I still have more problem with the idea of the Huntress cramming her curves and musles into a skinny Batgirl outfit during No-man’s land.

    on Charley’s war – to clarify -this is about a 16-year old who lied about his age to join the army covering the First world War and beyond

    I concur with “Call me Carlos the Dwarf” that Dastartdly and Muttley is batshit crazy

    I’ve read the first 2 issues of Dark Fang
    issue 1 – a vampire seeking human worshipers discovers the internet.
    issue 2 – she sees one of her fangs has turned dark and seeks the poluters responsible.

    Exiles – Wolverine’s always been short

    following on from Jeff Nettleton’s comment – Jerry Siegel’s stories of “the Spider” for the UK were a highlight of my childhood reading – I still remember the Andoid Emperor’s robot Gorilla with circular saw hands

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