Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
Flippin’ Through ‘Previews’ — January 2019

Flippin’ Through ‘Previews’ — January 2019

A new year means a new look at what’s coming out in comics stores soon!  That’s right, it’s Previews #364!

This is Travis starting things out, somehow, and he’s in dreary black, and Greg Burgas is in cheery blue!

I’m hoping this is the start of more posting here at the blog from me, but hey, we’ll see what happens!  On with the show!

Like that kid would know how to dial a phone!

The FCBD stuff is shown on pages 33-44, and this looks like a really good batch of comics (which is different from last year, iirc, they seemed kinda dull).  I’m really looking forward to all these.


Here are the solicitations.

I’ve never heard of Darcy Van Poelgeest, but Ian Bertram’s art for this new miniseries Little Bird on page 54 looks fantastic.  I will be picking up the trade of this post-apocalyptic story.

The plot summary sounds fairly dull, but Bertram’s art might make it worth it. He’s really frickin’ good.

That’s going to need a good dry cleaner!

Assassin Nation on page 60 from Kyle Starks and Erica Henderson looks pretty fun.  She’s been great on Squirrel Girl (at least the amount of it I read) and his Rock Candy Mountain was quite good (at least the first trade).  I’m probably going to trade wait, but how can you resist a book with a character named Fuck Tarkington?

I guess she left Squirrel Girl for this. I wonder why. I hope she makes some money from it, because I have to believe it’s a step down in upfront money for her. Who knows? Looks fun, though.

I thought she’d left Squirrel Girl a while ago?

Not too long ago. There’s been one complete arc, at least, without her, and a few more issues (I don’t buy the singles, so I’m not sure how many into the next arc they are), but not too long. About as long to get started on something new and have some issues in the can, I should think!

I got the pun as I was posting this. Damn, I’m dim.

I read Matador (I think, I may have missed the last issue) from Devin Grayson and Brian Stelfreeze from when it came out from Wildstorm (I think).  I don’t remember it being terribly good but it does have Stelfreeze art so, that’s good.  A trade is offered on page 68 and the fact that they’re listing it as volume 1 seems to indicate they may be resurrecting the title.

Yeah, it’s not that good. Beautiful art, and the story is fine, but it ends kind of poorly. Stelfreeze doesn’t do nearly enough art, so that’s a good reason to get this.

The entire Black Magick gets collected on page 69. I missed an issue and haven’t bought it yet, so I haven’t read most of the second arc, but it’s a pretty decent story with gorgeous Nicola Scott art. It would be nice if it got ramped up again.

I don’t think I got the second arc, and I haven’t read the first.  I’m sure the art is awesome.

I thought Crowded sounded like an interesting update of something like The Running Man for the smartphone crowd, so I may get the trade on page 69.

It’s possible (HA!) that I might write further about it, but Infidel, offered again on page 70, was pretty good horror.  It had some elements that were shaky but overall it was a creepy horror tale of a haunted apartment building and xenophobia.

Infinite Dark gets a trade on page 70. This sounded pretty neat – horror set in deep space, which is always interesting (yes, even when Sam Neill goes a bit crazy). Andrea Mutti’s art is very nice.

Dark Horse:

Here are the solicitations.

Invisible Kingdom is on page 106 from G. Willow Wilson, Christian Ward, and Berger Books.  A pair of women are on the run after learning about the vast conspiracy that controls their star system.  Sounds kind of interesting, and it should look far out.  Monthly though?  HAHA!

Yeah, I know. Ward can barely get out two issues in consecutive months, so we’ll see about this. It does sound pretty good, though.

Well, I can see everything, I’m just sayin’

Ooh, Black Hammer ’45 on page 110 is a war story set in Jeff Lemire’s intriguing superhero universe, and it’s co-written by Lemire and Ray Fawkes and illustrated by Matt Kindt, so this should be all kinds of good.

The Whispering Dark looks pretty good, from what I’ve seen of it, and it has a trade on page 124. It’s 18 dollars for, I believe, 4 issues, so it’s not that great a deal, but still.

Is Dept. H worth an omnibus, as is offered on page 126 (speaking of Kindt)?  I mean, the first 12 issues for 25 bucks is a pretty good deal, although I seem to remember one of those “singles will have pages not collected in the trade” things about this one.  Also, I assume this was volume 1 of 2 but I can’t remember how long the book ran.  I guess 24 issues, it says on GCD.

Yeah, it’s 24 issues. It’s okay, I guess – it’s not as good as Mind Mgmt, for instance, but it’s still fairly intriguing. Kindt sets it up s a murder mystery, but that’s the least interesting thing about the book, which is too bad, because he’s written good mysteries in the past. For the price, it’s a good deal, but it’s a bit of a lesser work in his bibliography.

Page 130 has a couple of good reissued books.  Rich Tommaso is getting his moment in the last few years, it seems, as The Horror of Collier County is the latest of his works to be reissued.  I like his stuff that I’ve read so I’ll probably get this.  And The Definitive Edition of Moonshadow is offered here too.  This presumably includes the Farewell Moonshadow special that came out at some point, but this is interesting in that it will be one of the few comics published by Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse!

It’s weird that they renamed Tommaso’s comic, though. Veddy weird.

Oooh, on page 131 there’s Grunt: The Art and Unpublished Comics of James Stokoe.  His stuff is good, so I will want this.  I do not know if I can afford this, though.

I’d love to buy more “art books,” but I just can’t justify the expense!

Soooooo tempting!

On page 132 is Pros and (Comic) Cons, a book about different creators and their experiences at comics cons.  Sounds like it might be fun, and there’s a good lineup of creators.

Ooh, volume 8 of Dark Horse’s Usagi Yojimbo Saga on page 133, which means that I will be getting this to keep my collection complete.  Now I just have to get the rest of the Fantagraphics stuff that I don’t have!

I know, I’m a bit disappointed the Fantagraphics stuff never came out. I wonder why …

What do you mean?

They offered the old stuff in a new printing a while back, and I never saw it. If you’re puzzled, perhaps that means my retailer never got it, which would make me grumpy. They’re usually pretty good at sending Fantagraphics stuff to him. So it did come out? Dang …

They reoffered a bunch of the volumes in new printings (there were 7, maybe 8 from Fanta total, and I got a few but not all that were offered), then they offered the whole thing in, I think, a 2 volume $75 set, and I’m not sure they reoffered all of the volumes.  ARGH!

OK, I have no plans to buy this, but I noticed on page 137 that Elfen Lied is a manga series that is being collected in omnibus form, but this volume collects 3 of the 4 original volumes.  What?  Is there more coming that DH is waiting for, or are they just going to not complete collecting manga as they seem to have a tendency to do?


Isn’t there more Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service that they haven’t collected?  And I thought they didn’t finish collecting a couple other manga series.

Oh, yeah. The question marks are why there are only three volumes in this thing. That’s weird.

I wasn’t positive that was what you meant!


The solicitations are here.

Man, I’m tempted on Detective Comics 1000 on page 4.  That’s a lot of good creators, and a lot of cool covers.  Hmmm.

I’m definitely getting it. Should be fun.

Every single Batman on this cover should be in this comic!

I love the Dial H for Hero concept, and really enjoyed the China Miéville run with the New 52, so I am optimistic about this new version on page 8, especially with Joe Quinones art. Man, has it really been almost 8 years since I met him at the Boston Comic Con?!  It’s just a mini so I’ll probably wait and get the trade!

Trades are great, aren’t they?

I will probably get Second Coming, on page 12, in trade, as Jesus being roommates with a superhero sounds fun, and Mark Russell has been doing good comics from what I hear.

You hear? YOU HEAR? You mean you haven’t read The Flintstones yet? FOR SHAME, PELKIE!!!!

Anyway, yeah, I’m sure this will be fun, although I’m with Mike Sterling that DC should probably just print that Swamp Thing story with Jesus now. I mean, that can’t be any more sacrilegious than this, can it?

I haven’t read The Flintstones yet but the first trade is at the local library, so I need to get it out.  It is amazing that the Swamp Thing story hasn’t been printed.  Of course, since both Veitch and Zulli did work for DC in the interim, it’s not like DC has some compelling reason (trying to tempt them to work for them, like if they thought they could get Beardy to do something for them again) to print it.

Everyone at DC is going straight to H-E-double-hockey-sticks!

I don’t normally look at MAD Magazine much (I’ve gotten far behind after looking at the first “new” issue but not really looking at any others), but I might go for the new issue on page 41, as it includes a facsimile of PLOP! #1.  Although I might have a copy of the original, come to think of it …

Yay, Scooby Doo Team Up is back with issue 47 on page 48.  I hope it hasn’t gone to bimonthly (or back to it, I guess).  Although I am so far behind …

Make sure you pick up your redacted version of Batgirl of Burnside, which gets a nice omnibus on page 61 for $75. This is a good run, although I didn’t love the transgender controversy that made the creators flee like cockroaches. But now it’s been sanitized for your protection, so pick it up!

[I know I sound bitter, but I’m not, really. I just don’t think Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr were making fun of transgender people or engaging in “transgender panic.” Barbara was clearly surprised, not disgusted, that the villain was a man. Dagger Type is also clearly a man dressed as a woman, and at no time do the writers imply that people who dress in drag are crazy. That particular person was crazy, sure, but not everyone. Luckily, I own the original, unexpurgated copy, so I can read the original intent of the writers whenever I want!]

Yeah, that whole thing was so stupid.  I also have the original stuff, so that’s good.  I thought the changes, from what I’ve seen, made things clunky too, on top of being unnecessary.

Ooh, Batman Noir Gotham by Gaslight on page 63, with B&W Mignola, PCR, and Barreto art. Tasty!

Man, they really keep jacking up the price on those books, don’t they. I think you could buy the originals (both of them) for less than 10 dollars back in the day. Inflation is awesome!

Well, I’ve seen the Risso Noir book at a local Ollie’s store for like 7 bucks, so it’ll probably be available for cheap at some point.

Catwoman gets a trade on page 64, and while I would love to get it, I don’t know if I will. I mentioned when it started that the primary selling point would be Joëlle Jones’s art, because she’s not a bad writer but she’s much better on art, and she doesn’t even do all the art on this, and the single issue solicited in this catalog also doesn’t have her on art. Sigh.

Yeah, I think I’m going to see if the library gets it instead of getting it myself.  But it should be kinda cool.

I think I’m missing the final issue, but The Flash/Green Lantern Brave and the Bold mini is in a dee-loox HC on page 67, and it’s well worth owning, but maybe not at this price.  I’ll wait for it down the road, because I would want to see the intro and script.

Cool, the Kamandi Challenge is in a 25 dollar trade on page 71.  I’ll probably spring for this.

I was interested in Plastic Man by Gail Simone and Adriana Melo, and it’s in a handy dandy trade on page 72.

I have one of the two trades of Kirby’s run of Jimmy Olsen, but there’s a new trade of the whole thing on page 76.

That’s not a bad price, either – 30 bucks for 15 comics.

Man, I wouldn’t pay this price, but there are some good stories in the Zero Hour 25th Anniversary Omnibus HC on page 77.  No, really!


Here are the solicitations.

I might go for the Star Trek vs. Transformers trade on page 159.  I like both franchises, and it could be fun.

I missed this when the single issues were offered, but on page 161, Star Wars Adventures: Tales From Vader’s Castle, collected in trade, features a story with art by Kelley Jones.  Cool.  There’s also stuff by Derek Charm, Corin Howell, Robert Hack, and Charles Paul Wilson III, with a Francavilla cover, so the art is great at least!

It’s also fairly cheap, so it might be worth a look.

There’s a collection of JM DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro’s Impossible Incorporated on page 172, which sounds like a fun story of adventurers in the Fantastic Four vein.  I like the cartoony art, and DeMatteis is always pretty good.

I’ve been waiting for the trade on this, so I’m glad it’s coming out!

I know you’ve read stuff by Koren Shadmi before, and on page 176 the new book Highwayman, about an immortal man at the mercy of whoever gives him a ride, sounds kind of neat.

Yeah, I saw that. I don’t think Shadmi has done a truly great book yet, but his comics are so interesting that I hope he does. So maybe this one is it!

He should grow some more hair to hide that giant forehead

As a history nerd I bet you’ll be interested in Sons of Chaos on page 178, about the Greek War for Independence (which the solicit is correct about, I do not know much about it), but as someone who gets antsy about cover prices, I will be avoiding this because it’s 50 bucks for less than 200 pages.  Egads!  The cover looks neat though.

That is a bit spendy. I mean, I want to get it, but I’ll have to think about it. I’m also wary about the quote there that claims it features the best bad guy since the Joker. First of all, false. Second of all, why is there a “bad guy” in a story about a war? I mean, there are plenty of “bad guys” and “good guys” in war, and occasionally they’re the same person. So I’ll have to ponder this. The small samples of art I can find look spectacular, though.


Here are the solicitations.

Well, Mahmud Asrar made it three issues into Conan the Barbarian (page 13, which has a different artist listed). Why does Marvel do this? I just don’t get it. The first issue was longer than average, and they shipped issue #2 two weeks later, so they’re just stacking the deck against the artist. Stupid Marvel.

Yeah, I don’t get the double shipping on early issues like that.  Maybe because the sales drop off after a certain point so who cares who draws it at that point?

I guess we should have known that Conan would be put into the Marvel Universe again, huh? (Avengers: No Road Home 6 and 7, page 16).

Mother. Fuck.

We might be in hell!

Hmm, Spider-Man: Life Story is a good concept, wherein they’re treating Spidey’s life as actually happening from the ’60s to today, but I’m not sure Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley are the best team to do this.  I dunno.  It’s on page 20, though!

It’s a neat concept, but I’m with you. Bagley is … fine, I guess, but nothing special, and I’m just not that big a fan of Zdarsky. He’s also just fine, but nothing special. So I suppose this series will be fine, but nothing special!

If I ever catch up on the rest of Ms. Marvel, I will have to get the new Magnificent Ms. Marvel book on page 22.  Someday!

God forbid they just continue the numbering on the current book. How stupid would that be? I’ll probably try the first trade. I’ve read a few things by Saladin Ahmed, but nothing has made a huge impression, so we’ll see.

I love the idea of Meet the Skrulls on page 24. I know it will turn into a big slugfest because writers can’t help themselves when they get to Marvel, but the series sounds neat – Skrulls are living as a normal suburban family while laying the groundwork for an invasion. I love shit like this, and Robbie Thompson and Niko Henrichon are a pretty good team.

So it appears that Domino has been cancelled, and Marvel replaced it with … a miniseries called Domino: Hotshots (page 26), which has … the exact same creative team! Fuck the heck, Marvel? If the book isn’t selling, it’s one of two things: nobody cares about the character or nobody cares about the creative team. So let’s just do the exact same thing, and this time it’ll sell! (For the record, the first trade of the comic was quite good, so I’ll probably get this in trade, but I’m just talking about this from a marketing standpoint.)

Number ones sell, my friend.  Number ones sell.

I looked at the cover of Marvel’s Spider-Man: City at War (page 34) and my eyes started bleeding. Sweet Fancy Moses!

Is he wearing soccer cleats? ‘Now playing striker for Fulham, it’s … Spider-Man!’

It’s so odd to have a variant cover on the Marvels Annotated on page 46.  A huge part of the appeal was Alex Ross’s painted art.  Of course, if Kurt Busiek had delivered a crappy story, it would be different, but the art really pushed it into the stratosphere!

The original covers aren’t that great, though, and neither is that Sentinel one. If you’re going to reprint something, you might as well fire out a variant cover, especially one by Michael Cho. You can dig the interior art all you want!

I like how the solicit on pages 64-65, a sideways shot of Dr. Strange in front of Galactus, makes no explicit mention of the world eater!

That’s just a billboard he’s floating in front of. It’s for a landscaping company – “For When You Want To Obliterate Every Weed!”

Another print version of our pal Kelly on Jessica Jones on page 69.  I need to catch up on my reading this year!

The first one was pretty good, but it was annoying that they ended on a cliffhanger. If the first one’s good, why wouldn’t we get the second one?

I don’t know if Thanos by Donny Cates is worth the HC price, but this does include the Cosmic Ghost Rider mini, so maybe.  It’s on page 101.

Well, it’s 13 issues, some of which I would imagine were 5 dollars, so it’s probably a good deal. I wanted that Cosmic Ghost Rider series in trade, so I might pony up for this.

The Marvel Comics The World Outside Your Window collection on page 102 sounds neat, as it showcases the stories that Marvel did about real world issues, but it’s a bit pricey.  I’ll see if a library gets it!

I read but don’t remember Silver Surfer: Parable, the collaboration between Stan Lee and Moebius, and I know it looks pretty, anyway.  The 30th anniversary HC is on page 104, but it’s 40 bucks for 2 issues.  I’m sure you can find this in back issues for way cheaper.

Yeah, no.

Kirby is…Mighty! King-Size HC is a big collection of cool Thor stories by the King himself.  Undoubtedly this is awesome and may be worth the hundred bucks they’re asking for it on page 105.

Decades: Marvel in the ‘70s — Legion of Monsters TPB on page 121 is probably a good collection of that creepier side of the Marvel U.  I want it, but I don’t know if I’ll actually get it.

Frank does not look very happy!

Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary TPB is on page 123, and it sounded kind of neat, with the MK characters finding themselves in a world without heroes, yet they know they’re heroes!  It’s been done before but it sounded kind of cool.  Plus, I heard Doom is in it so I have to let my Doom loving friend know.  (Side note: I had emailed him the day before Thanksgiving, to tell him about some comics, and I hadn’t seen him in months, but I went to a grocery store for some T-Day stuff, and lo and behold, who was in there?!  Weird, huh?  Look, he doesn’t live around here any more, his family sold their house!)

The solicit text is wrong, but on page 131 is the first Epic Collection of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos.  I don’t know how much of this is in this book, but I have the Essential volume from a number of years back that I need to read sometime.


Here are the solicits.

I’m not old enough to be a Six Million Dollar Man fan, but I am intrigued by the new series on page 190, as David Hahn is a good artist.  Too bad they can’t spell Steve “Austin” right in the solicit!

They thought he was Chuck Austen and they had to give him bionic parts because so many fans ripped him apart after his run on Uncanny X-Men.

I wanted to make a joke of that nature but could not think of one.  Bravo, sir!

He’s awfully suave!

Did you read Jennifer Blood?  It’s offered in omnibus on page 204, with the first 3 volumes (which is I don’t know how many issues), and I wonder if it influenced Lady Killer?

I read the first few issues, and it was so bad it almost made me not a Garth Ennis fan anymore. I hear it got better, especially when Ewing took over, but those few issues I read were awful. I had some nice “discussions” with people at the old blog about it, too – “arguments” might be a better word, but they remained civil, so not quite. But yeah, terrible, terrible comics, at least what I read (which wasn’t much, because they were so bad).

Well that solves that for me, then!


Here are the solicits.

On page 216 is some alternate historical fiction, with the cities of 19th century Japan, Korea, and China wiped out and survivors from the 3 nations have to come together on a hidden island to rebuild.  It’s from Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis, so it should be pretty neat in trade down the road!

It’s nice that you don’t actually tell us that it’s called Ronin Island. Well done, informational Pelkie!* This does sound cool. So of course it will take a decade for Boom! to release it in a well-priced trade.

* Informational Pelkie was the name of my new wave band in high school.

Man, I need to reread what I write here!  Oops!

Informational Pelkie is an awesome band name.

Ronin Island is also the next reality show from ABC – ‘What happens when you put 20 masterless samurai on an island and they stop being polite and start being real?’

I was interested in Smooth Criminals, about a modern day hacker awakening a jewel thief who had been frozen in the ’60s, and on page 218 is a trade of the first 4 issues.  I may go for this.

Yeah, it looks pretty cool. I hate the four-issue trade when the book is twelve issues, though. BLECH!

True dat.

The Grand Abyss Hotel on page 220 sounds like interesting vigilante fiction inspired by our current political situation, and David Rubín is a great artist, so it will at least look cool.

I like how they imply that the conservatives are the rebels. That’s either a poorly-written solicitation or it’s true, and that might actually be interesting, because I’d like to see if the writer can pull that off.

Conservatism is the new punk rock, according to some right wingers.  HAHAHA!

He’s running to the Abercrombie & Fitch to pick up some new clothes

I think they already offered Bone Parish in trade, but in some special DM only edition, but here it is again on page 222, about a drug made from the ashes of the dead.  Like you needed to tell Keith Richards about this!

Black Badge from Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins is in a HC on page 223, of the first … 4? issues.  Pricey, but I’m sure it’s good.  However, that’s why I don’t own Grass Kings yet because those collections were too much.  Give me a big HC of that series, Boom!

That’s what I’m talking about with Boom! Their trade prices are either insane or barely collect anything. Or both. It’s vexing.

Did I miss the single issues of Midas, on page 231?  It’s about a far future where the titular mythic king’s dead body has covered the Earth in gold and some space people have to make sure it doesn’t get weaponized elsewhere.  Sounds fun, and Ryan North writes some good comics and the art looks good.

It’s perfectly fine. Nothing great. I got the trade of the first four issues, but didn’t feel the need to get the second. But it’s not the worst thing in the world.

Back of the book!

As usual I tell you that the latest Cerebus in Hell? issue is coming from Aardvark-Vanaheim on page 244, and it’s Sim City: That Issue After, which is a fun parody.

Abrams Comicarts has Nobody’s Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead by Bill Griffith on page 244 as well.  It’s about the performer best known for his appearance in Todd Browning’s Freaks, done by the guy who brought pinheads to the … sorta mainstream.

Abrams also has the latest by Brian Fies, A Fire Story, on the same page. It’s about one of the California wildfires and how Fies and his wife made it out alive. I’ve liked some of Fies’s work in the past, so I’ll probably give this a go.

Action Lab has Albert Einstein: Time Mason in trade on page 246.  Is it worth it?

Boy, that’s annoying, because the final issue of the arc hasn’t come out yet, so I haven’t read it. I did like the first issue, though!

AfterShock has the latest Garth Ennis war story, Out of the Blue, on page 254. It’s volume 1 of 2, and I can’t tell if it’s one story over two volumes or just two stories that they happen to be presenting as a “Garth Ennis war story.” Probably the former, but I don’t know. Anyway, Ennis’s war stories are almost always good, and Keith Burns is a very good artist. This is 20 dollars for only 72 pages, but it might be worth a look.

War is so much fun!

Hey, Antarctic Press actually has some trades offered!  It’s usually not something I see from them, it seems like.  Anyway, on page 274 is Punchline, about a new teen superheroine learning the ropes from a retiring heroine.  And William the Last is on page 275 about a boy traveling to the heights of the island he lives on to find a hidden kingdom that seems to fear him in some way.

That’s nice of them, as I’ll get both of these. Both sound neat, and I’m Facebook friends with the writer of Punchline, and he’s been posting samples of it, and it looks pretty keen. Also, Chuck Dixon is writing Jungle Comics on page 275. Dixon is quite good at two-fisted action, so I’ll have to check out the art on this to see if it’s something I might want down the line.

Oh, I get it – she punches a lot!

Archie is doing a Sabrina the Teenage Witch book that’s not as spooky scary as the new Netflix series apparently is, and even better, it’s by our pal Kelly Thompson with art by Veronica Fish, so this trade will be all kinds of awesome.  If you want to buy the singles, look at page 277.

My wife and daughter have been watching the series, and it’s okay. Not great, but okay. Because we have far too much Disney television in our pasts, we figured out that her boyfriend (at least in the early episodes; I have no idea if he’s still on the show or if they’re still together) was on Austin and Ally, one of the truly horrific live-action sitcoms Disney has on these days. Good for him, moving on to bigger and better things! (Seriously – about 5-7 years ago, when Good Luck Charlie was at its peak, I could have done an entire essay about the few strengths and many weaknesses of live-action Disney sitcoms. Thank goodness my 13-year-old grew out of them, or we’d still be watching Bizaardvark!)

Alright!  The Archie Meets Batman ‘66 mini is collected on page 280, and I will be getting it!  Also on that page is The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E., apparently an attempt to cash in on the spy craze in the ‘60s.  I will probably get that as well.

I’ll get the first, but not the second.

It won’t be something I buy since I have the trade, but 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank is available in HC from Black Mask on page 289, and it was a highly entertaining story.

I doubt I would get this but I may want to look at the Cernunnos book Fuel to the Fire: The Art of Tomer Hanuka on page 301, because he is really good.

Dead Reckoning has the Night Witches by Garth Ennis and Russell Braun, originally from Battlefields, on page 303.  So does Dynamite no longer have the rights to these?  And will DR do more?

That’s strange. I assume Ennis owns them, so he can do what he wants, and I guess he thought it would be a better place for them. This is a pretty darned good bunch of stories, too.

Fantagraphics reoffers the book about James Warren on page 312.  Dunno why it got delayed, but here’s another month it will be cut from my list. 😉

First Second has a book that sounds like a typical coming of age story, Kiss Number 8, on page 314, except that it’s about a girl starting to figure out she likes girls.  LIKES girls.  I know I’ve read something by writer Colleen Af Venable but I can’t think of what.

Also on 314 are two HC volumes of The Art of Ploog from FPG.  If you’re into his art, this seems like a good couple of books.

I was interested in Adventure Van from Golden Apple Books, because the art is by Doc Unknown’s Ryan Cody, and it’s in trade on page 316.  Cool.

Lion Forge has an interesting one on page 331.  Haphaven is the world where all the superstitions get their power, and a girl who stepped on a crack and broke her mother’s back has to go there to save her.  Neat concept, and the art looks good.

I also think Stiletto on page 329 looks keen. Detectives trying to find a leak in the police department. Oh dear!

Why can’t they all get along?

I will be getting Encounter volume 2 on page 335, because the first volume was delightful superhero fun.  Plus, Chris G the artist went to the same college I did!

Pshaw. You didn’t go to college. I think you mean “Went to the college where I used to go to get stoned after a long day working at the sewage treatment plant.” Precision, sir!

What’s funny is that the sewage treatment plant is actually across the street from the college!

Man, I need to dig out and read Nightlights, which is offered in SC on page 342 from Nobrow, because I got the HC.  And the second HC volume, Hicotea, is offered as well.  (And since I wrote this I did in fact dig this out, but not read it yet!)

So I guess Morning in America, from Oni Press on page 344, is They Live with a girl gang?  It’s by the Kim and Kim team, which I didn’t read, but if you read and liked that, you’ll probably like this.

I guess? Anyway, this looks pretty good. Kim & Kim was fine – I only got the first trade, and it was okay but nothing special. But it was good enough to make me try this!

I’m hoping they eventually collect all of Kim & Kim and then I’ll get it!

Why does a skeleton need sunglasses? WHY?!?!?!?!?

Papercutz offers The Only Living Girl volume 1 on page 354, a sequel to The Only Living Boy, offered again on the next page, both in individual volumes and an omnibus with extra stuff.  I have to figure out what I have and see if I want to get the omnibus or the remaining individual volumes.

That omnibus is a little annoying, because it’s much cheaper than if you got the individual volumes (which I did) and it features a new short story. That ain’t cricket, wot wot!

Yep.  I’m annoyed because I got part of it so I might double up on the first few volumes if I get the omni!

On page 355 Pegasus has Goya: The Terrible Sublime, a biography of the painter, written by Amigo’s El Torres, so I might get it.

Yeah, I’m all over that. I’ve seen some of it without the translation, and it looks quite keen.

Quirk Books has Giraffes on Horseback Salad on page 357, an adaptation of a proposed lost script collaboration between Salvador Dali and the Marx Brothers.  It should be interesting at any rate!

Why do I feel like they’re lying to us, and either the entire backstory is made up or just the fact that they found the script? But you’re right – it could be neat.

I get that, but here’s the wikipedia page about the script, which of course doesn’t prove anything, but …

It’s probably just a straight-forward family drama!

Rebellion/2000AD has a 99 cent Villains Takeover Special on page 358, which should be fun.  I love the 2000AD stuff and I need to get on writing about their stuff!

Scout has a collection of Monarchs on page 360, which they’re calling a Binge book, where, basically, they put out the first issue in print and then the trade later without printing the rest of the series.  Well, that’s one way to do things!

TwoMorrows has Comic Book Creator 20, which has the theme of Not Your Average Joes, including interviews with Linsner, Sinnott, and Jusko, which is a fun theme.  Jack Kirby Collector 76 has Fathers and Sons as the theme, which is pretty interesting. And there’s a Superman the Movie bundle with Back Issue 109 and Retrofan 3, which I don’t believe I got either of.  (And thanks to whoever told us last time that Retrofan Magazine has come out.  I guess my shop guy missed it somehow.  These are all on page 374, btw.

I dig Canadian comics (including of course Cerebus), so The Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels HC is right in my wheelhouse.  It’s from University Press of Mississippi on page 376, and it has a Bernie Mireault cover!

Valiant has the deluxe HC of Matt Kindt’s run on X-O Manowar on page 382, which has the first 14 issues of the series.  I may consider this because it was interesting what I read of it, but I’m not sure I’ll get it.

Kodansha Comics has a new interesting weird one, called Gleipnir, on page 422.  It’s about a boy who can transform into a big dog with a huge gun and a zipper down his back, and he saves a girl from a fire, who ends up using him to find her sister, who killed her family.  Confusing but kind of cool sounding.

So, a typical manga set-up, in other words.


On the flip side, Funko has Queen figures on page M60, which look kind of cool for Freddie but the rest of the group is … less so.

Travis dissing the band!

I apologize for the tardiness of this post. For once, it’s not Travis, it’s me, as I was trying to get all my reviews done. Travis was actually on time this month! I’m sure it won’t go to his head or anything. Have fun scouring the catalog for goodies, because they’re there, trust me!

Yeah, until I do it a second time, I can’t gloat!


  1. Jeff Nettleton

    RE: Veitch’s Swamp Thing-if memory serves, the original art was stolen from the DC offices, after they pulled the plug on the issue. At least, I recall hearing something about stolen Swamp Thing art, from that time period. That would explain why they haven’t, aside from any terms involved in the original contracts, regarding money and royalties.

    The Man From RIVERDALE had some pretty fun stories. I wouldn’t be so quick to pass it by. Life With Archie, in the 60s, was one of their best titles.

    Queen POPs? They should have had the 80s John Deacon afro, not the 70s long hair. I want Radio Ga-Ga POPs, with those silly costumes they had in the video.

    1. Edo Bosnar

      A lot of Archie material (I mean the stuff that preceded this current new era stuff being currently published) is fun. Lately I’ve been reading through a bunch of Archie digests I accumulated on the cheap over the past year and mostly enjoying them.

  2. Louis Bright-Raven

    RE: Erica Henderson’s Image book ASSASSINATION NATION:

    1) She left doing the regular art chores on SQUIRREL GIRL in March 2018, and yes it was to do this series.

    2) She likely already had issues in the can when she left. The series just either hadn’t been picked up yet or hadn’t been put on Image’s publishing schedule until the 2019 calendar year. It can take anywhere from six to twenty four months to get a project picked up to solicitation, depending upon publisher interest and budget.

  3. tomfitz1

    Still no MIRACLEMAN from Gaiman/Buckingham. Only 8 more months left in solicitations for 2019. Grrr.

    Joe Casey is finally coming out with more SEX with vol. 6 in April, as least that’s what I’ve read. Somewhere.

    That movie about the water-guy with the pitchfork was kinda awesome, since I hardly fell asleep during the movie.

    Hope that M. Night Shyamalan movie GLASS looks to be awesome. Will I keep my eyes open for all of this movie? Tune in next month to find out.

  4. Louis Bright-Raven

    Random additional thoughts part 1:


    Greg: “The entire Black Magick gets collected on page 69. I missed an issue and haven’t bought it yet, so I haven’t read most of the second arc, but it’s a pretty decent story with gorgeous Nicola Scott art.”

    They screwed themselves when they decided to do WONDER WOMAN. I pretty much said, “As soon as this story arc is done, I’m out of here, no matter what.” I think a lot of people did the same.

    Greg: “Infinite Dark gets a trade on page 70. This sounded pretty neat – horror set in deep space, which is always interesting (yes, even when Sam Neill goes a bit crazy). Andrea Mutti’s art is very nice.”

    It was okay. Nothing special, Greg.


    RE: INVISIBLE KINGDOM: I’m just shocked it’s $3.99 instead of $4.99 like a lot of the other Berger Books and other newest Dark Horse creator owned titles have been this past year.

    Travis: “Ooh, Black Hammer ’45 on page 110 is a war story set in Jeff Lemire’s intriguing superhero universe, and it’s co-written by Lemire and Ray Fawkes and illustrated by Matt Kindt, so this should be all kinds of good.”

    The Lemireverse is over and done with, AFAIC. That’s what happens when you get greedy and start putting out spinoff after spinoff series. I get fed up and just drop everything you do.

    RE: GRUNT (page 131) — You both did read the solicitation where it said there’s never before published comics stories in the book, and that it’s not just an art book, yes? Just saying, if you’re looking for ‘justification’ for it…

    Travis: RE: Elfen Lied — The solicitation is poorly written. To clarify…

    Anime News Network: “Dark Horse Comics announced at Anime Expo on Wednesday that it has licensed Lynn Okamoto’s Elfen Lied manga. The company will release the 12-volume series in four omnibus volumes, the first of which is slated for May 22, 2019.” (Source Date: July 4, 2018)

    Hope that clears that up for you, Travis.

    As for Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, try looking for it all under Penguin / Random House because as I understand things, Dark Horse is adapting it, but PRH is the actual publisher releasing them. It’s confusing as hell, and I don’t know the particulars, but if KCDS is your bag, you probably should do the research and find out. Maybe email the editor at Dark Horse who’s handling the collections?



    Greg: “Well, Mahmud Asrar made it three issues into Conan the Barbarian (page 13, which has a different artist listed). Why does Marvel do this? I just don’t get it. The first issue was longer than average, and they shipped issue #2 two weeks later, so they’re just stacking the deck against the artist. Stupid Marvel.”

    He was going to run late on the book eventually, even if they shipped #2 monthly, Greg. You seem to forget he’s doing both pencils and inks on this assignment, which means he’s probably working 15-20% slower than when he’s just doing pencils (he’s doing pencil breakdowns, and then doing the finishes in inks – you can see the process on his facebook page – it’s a completely different process than his full pencils). So he was bound to get a fill in artist by issue #5 at the latest, and #4 sounds about right given that #1 had more story pages than usual. That’s just how it is.

  5. Louis Bright-Raven

    Random additional thoughts part 2:


    RE: Kindt’s Collected editions for BLACK BADGE and GRASS KINGS, and your grumping about Boom’s price points:

    1) The Black Badge collection is a hardcover and it’s over-sized, so it’s going to be more expensive just for that alone.

    2) Neither of these two titles (Black Badge or Grass Kings) sold for shit in singles. When will you (and everyone else) understand that just about every comics title that sells under 10K is basically losing money in the Diamond Market? 10K is BREAK EVEN LEVEL SALES. BLACK BADGE started at 13,500 and ended at 3,600. GRASS KINGS didn’t ever break 10K it started at 9,600 sales and the sales keep dropping.

    As a result, the publishers and creators HAVE to raise the prices on the collections to recoup all the loss leader money invested on the singles, especially for all you trade waiters who should have been buying the singles in the first place.

    “But Dark Horse keeps their prices down…” Remember what I said above about the Berger Books and other creator owned DH books raising up to $4.99 cover price for the singles starting last year? That’s because they’re losing money at $3.99 – the sales levels aren’t there, and keeping the trades at equal or a higher value price point is losing them money, too. By 2020, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if all the non Big Two pubs aren’t all doing the same for their newer titles.

    Conversely, you guys are complaining about these high prices, yet what’s your next comment, about Aftershock, Greg?

    Greg: “AfterShock has the latest Garth Ennis war story, Out of the Blue, on page 254. It’s volume 1 of 2, and I can’t tell if it’s one story over two volumes or just two stories that they happen to be presenting as a “Garth Ennis war story.” Probably the former, but I don’t know. Anyway, Ennis’s war stories are almost always good, and Keith Burns is a very good artist. This is 20 dollars for only 72 pages, but it might be worth a look.”

    Now hold up. Where do you get off bitching about Boom’s prices when their books are double to triple the page count and are $25 to $30, while this isn’t even 80 pages and it’s $20?! FOUL! FOUL, I SAY! At that page count, this book should be no more than $9.95, and you know it.

    Or, later on down the column…

    Travis: “Papercutz offers The Only Living Girl volume 1 on page 354, a sequel to The Only Living Boy, offered again on the next page, both in individual volumes and an omnibus with extra stuff. I have to figure out what I have and see if I want to get the omnibus or the remaining individual volumes.”

    Greg: “That omnibus is a little annoying, because it’s much cheaper than if you got the individual volumes (which I did) and it features a new short story. That ain’t cricket, wot wot!”

    Just can’t please you, can they, Greg? LOL

    If this were a prose fiction novel, and you had bought the original edition, and they came out with a new edition with a different cover and an additional chapter / annotations to the work, and it was cheaper, would you be complaining? Think about it before you answer, because this happens all the time in the publishing world – think about how many different editions there are that feature shorter or longer versions for Tolkien’s stuff, for C.S. Lewis’s stuff, for Heinlein’s stuff, for Clarke and Asimov, for Poe, for Shelley, etc.


    Travis: “Scout has a collection of Monarchs on page 360, which they’re calling a Binge book, where, basically, they put out the first issue in print and then the trade later without printing the rest of the series. Well, that’s one way to do things!”

    Basically the idea is to use the first issue the way publishers used to use ashcans in the 1980s and early 1990s, as a primer tease for the Trade so that retailers will have a means to use the issue to build audience base for the trade in their stores. It’s an experiment that seems to be doing well, as MONARCHS #1 was released in November and had a reprint order in December. We’ll just have to wait and see how it translates, but I don’t think it’s so bad an idea as your statement seemed to be implying, Travis.

  6. Louis Bright-Raven

    Sorry, I misspoke – I got the sales levels backwards on the Kindt books. Grass Kings is the one that started at 13,500 and dropped to 3,600 and Black Badge is the one that never hit 10K.

  7. Simon

    Have you accepted chocolate as your lard and savor?

    > “A new year”

    2019 FOR A SONG (by the Wallace Woodies)

    Why preorder when there are backorders?
    Why Diamond when there are bookstores?

    Why order when there are libraries?
    Why wait when there are torrents?

    Why read news when there are reviews?
    Why reviewers when there are readers?

    Sellers made their bed, can’t they die in it?
    Suckers broke it, shouldn’t they pay for it?


    Sha la la la, that ain’t no crime
    Takin’ from thieves, izzat a sin?

    [And given time, any song becomes an elegy. ~JLB]

    > G: “Like that kid would know how to dial a phone!”

    Mebbe he’s a member of the Rotary Club?

    > T: “Is Dept. H worth an omnibus”

    Dept. Hollywood is an option-me pitch featuring lookalikes of bankable actors. It’s worth a library read, and the last volume shows what Kindt intended to convey through a commercial vehicle.

    (It’s for the juicier teen market, just as BLACK BADGE, GRASS KINGS, or ETHER. For a grownup murder mystery, you’d want his RED HANDED, which is maybe not unlike an Auster novel adapted by Alan Moore?)

    > “DC”

    Why not drop them all, let Siegel and Shuster know their own?

    > T: “Jesus being roommates with a superhero sounds fun”

    Aping the classic “Jesus being roommate with Buddha” comedy for the superhero clique?

    > “Marvel”

    Why not drop them all, let Kirby and Ditko know their own?

    > G: “He’s awfully suave!”

    Bionic soit qui mal y pense?

    > G: “Ronin Island”

    One of the best comics of 2017 was NEW WORLD, Spike Trotman’s massive anthology of 24 fearless SF stories. If you don’t need swordfests, you might like its “Garden of Eden” closer?

    > G: “Their trade prices are either insane”

    Libraries have different economics and prefer hardcovers, what’s insane in a hardcover overpriced for the library market?

    Or you might wonder why not listing a softcover too, as mainstream pubs do? That’s because this one is for a suckers’ market, and why should Boom be so fiscally irresponsible as to give them an even break?

    > T: “Nobody’s Fool”

    Nice mousetrap, interesting candidate for torrents and other libraries?

    * (2002 strip) http://www.zippythepinhead.com/media/Schlitzie.jpg
    * (capsule) https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/bill-griffith/nobodys-fool-griffith/
    * (advance readers) https://www.netgalley.com/book/150855/reviews
    * (blurbs) https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/nobodys-fool_9781419735011/

    (Fancy how they never have online samples, as if they wanted pinheads to preorder based on whatev they hope it’ll be rather than what they could see it is? Plus over-the-top blurbs from their other authors, as if they had a contractual obligation to hype one another? Having fun yet?)

    > G: “A Fire Story”

    From the MOM’S CANCER guy, shouldn’t this mousetrap be required watchlisting?

    * (raw 18-page webcomic) http://brianfies.blogspot.com/2017/10/a-fire-story-complete.html
    * (capsule) https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/brian-fies/a-fire-story/
    * (blurbs) https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/fire-story_9781419735851/

    > G: “the final issue of the arc hasn’t come out”

    Shirley they wouldn’t want you to preorder based on whatev you hope it’ll be rather than what reviews could tell you it is??

    > G: “20 dollars for only 72 pages”

    DM suckers have accepted $18 for 80 story pages, why should a little less for a little more bother them? Isn’t that how you boil a frog? Lookit the bright side: doesn’t it give you hope the Aftershock crooks may not raise the price in your back this time?

    (And sucker-pricing being a clear discrimination against non-suckers, the decentralized class-action suit has granted victims the remedial right of getting the stuff for free. Isn’t that enough for self-defense and self-respect?)

    > T: “does Dynamite no longer have the rights to [Ennis’s NIGHT WITCHES]?”

    Without knowing its creator-owned contractual devils, how could one tell what hand they had in a repackaging that’ll reach a different audience? Short term, maybe they get a piece of the action? Long term, aren’t some of its readers liable to seek the Dynamite books?

    > T: “Kiss Number 8”

    Funny how this one (and at least a half-dozen more) was dropped from the Previews file. So Diamond really can’t be relied upon, not even for a list of comics to watch out for?

    > G: “Why does a skeleton need sunglasses?”

    Cos they’re boneheads?

    > T: “they put out the first issue in print and then the trade later without printing the rest”

    Scout is from the bro of that Aftershock crook. Why should they operate differently? And their stuff is torrented if you wanna gamble time on it (rather than on D&Q’s or Fanta’s torrents), so why get mad when you can get even?

  8. Simon

    Why would you want more “C: x-1-z” mousetraps? For the watchlist?

    — MEMORIES OF EMANON [standalone BOOK 1 of 3] (p. 138, ALLEGEDLY $20)

    * I’m 17, but my mind is about 3 billion years old…

    After Shinji Kajio’s 1980s classic fantasy character. (Yes, Greg, prolly inspired J…s in GC.) Retold by Kenji Tsuruta. (Yes, Travis, Japan’s teen-dedicated Manara.) Nice adaptation of the Murakami-esque short whose success spawned more stories.

    * (120-page excerpt) https://mangakakalot.com/chapter/omoide_emanon/chapter_1
    * (review w/ samples) https://mahoutofu.com/2013/04/12/review-memories-of-emanon-omoide-emanon/

    (150 pages plus two silent 10-pagers, one FC and maybe B&W here. Splashes make it a 30-min read. Overprice, overprice, overprice… but maybe in the next loan?)

    — ISMYRE by B. Mure (p. 286, ALLEGEDLY $13)

    Great watercolors (under a cover making it look like a B&W book, heh) and overpriced all-ages story, this could be nice some day from a library?

    * (review w/ 3 samples) https://downthetubes.net/?p=40748
    * (review w/ 4 pages) https://www.page45.com/store/Ismyre.html
    * (mixed) http://www.multiversitycomics.com/reviews/ismyre/

    — STORY WITHOUT A HERO [standalone BOOK 1 of 2] (p. 302, ALLEGEDLY $14)

    Not unlike the Andes plane-crash movie ALIVE, sans the gourmet bits. Van Hamme’s 1977 all-ages classic and Dany’s nice line are worth a library read.

    * (3 pages) https://www.comixology.com/Story-Without-a-Hero-Vol-1/digital-comic/676409
    * (untr. pages) no hero
    * (review w/ 3 samples) https://www.pipelinecomics.com/story-without-a-hero-volume-1/

    (The original 46-pager, plus a 4-page bonus and a 6-page text appended before its sequel.)

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

    Sans mousetrap?? In this market???

    — THE FREAK by Matt Lesniewski (p. 251, $15 @ AdHouse)

    Moebius-meets-Darrow calling card, shame on the pricey and reviews will tell about the story?

    * (11-page preview) http://adhousebooks.com/books/freak.html

    — BLOODBATH AT KHE SANH by Don Lomax (p. 299, $17 @ Caliber)

    “The ARVN field police set up a screening point and jack the indigs around – the ruthless little bastards.”   “Hey, man, it’s their country. Who better to screw over the peasants than the government?”

    * (4×3 pages) https://www.comixology.com/Vietnam-Journal-Bloodbath-at-Khe-Sanh/comics-series/44668

    “You could face holy hell, mission after mission. Then, with some ridiculous little milk run, the nerves go to hell. […] Having the ‘sweats’ did not make you a coward. Giving in to them did.”

    * (3 pages) http://www.war-stories.com/lomaxcomics/bloodbath-2.htm

    “My ears ached from the concussions as the smell of spent ordnance fried my nostrils. At that moment, the only adjective I would have used for war would have been ‘noisy’.”

    * (3 pages) http://calibercomics.info/products/vietnam-journal-book-6-bloodbath-at-khe-sanh

    “Damn! I signed for that truck!”   “Easy, Monk. The zipperheads will probably gut you out long before the Sergeant Major can get his hands on you.” (Book 4)

    — ANGEL CLAWS by Jodorowsky & Moebius (p. 320, $25 @ Humanoids)

    Jodo/Moeb porn? Prose poems and facing illos, not unlike some mystical version of Anne Rice’s SLEEPING BEAUTY…

    * (NSFW, 8 pages) https://www.humanoids.com/y_catalog/book?id=455
    * (NSFW, 22 pages) http://halcyonrealms.com/illustration/griffes-dange-angels-claw-moebius-art-book-review/

    (Er, that wasn’t really flattering… YMMV?)

    — GANG OF FOOLS (p. 334, $18 @ Lion Forge)

    Is James Otis Smith really as good as Philip K. Dick?

    * (B&W version) pages 1–89, 90–159

    (Er, looks like self-absorbed yoof ala HOPELESS SAVAGES and BLUE MONDAY… YMMV?)

    — BOGART CREEK standalone VOL. 1 (p. 358, $15 @ Renegade)

    Is Derek Evernden’s work really as good as THE FAR SIDE?

    * (12 pages) https://www.derekevernden.com/comics

    (Well, er… YMMV?)

    — GIRL SCOUT COOKIES by Charles (p. 383, $6 @ Wednesday)

    Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

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