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

Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – November 2018

It’s time, once again, to discover what goodies we can find within the vaunted pages of the most monopolistic catalog there is, the Previews catalog! Issue #362 is out, and we will dive right into it to find the coolest comics around, just for you! As per usual, Travis is in angry black, while I’m in cheery blue. Let’s get it done!

Is bald beautiful?


Check out the full solicits here!

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips bring back Criminal, their first (and best?) Image collaboration, on page 36. This should be fun. I don’t know what Elizabeth Breitweiser is doing these days (actually, I just Googled her, and now I do!), but she’s not coloring these books anymore (My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies was the first one, I believe, in a long time that she didn’t color), and Jacob Phillips, whom I assume is Sean Phillips’s son, has a very different style of coloring, so that part of the art should be interesting. Criminal is good, y’all.

Well, technically, Criminal started at Marvel/Icon, right?  But I’m being pedantic.  Yeah, I see the coloring is a little different than what I’ve seen in the Brubillips collabs, and I’m not entirely sure I like it.

Did it? I thought it predated that, then moved to Marvel, then back. But I could be wrong. I guess it doesn’t matter that much – it’s not their first collaboration, but it’s the first one that they did as an official team, so that’s what counts!!!!

On page 40, we get the second “re-imagining” of Oliver Twist in the past few months, as Oliver #1 – with Darick Robertson on art – shows up. Fuck the heck, man? Why Oliver Twist?

Yeah, that’s just weird.  I didn’t remember Oliver Twist as being particularly good, just that there’s a well-known movie version that they can show you in school to fill up a few days in junior high English class.

I’m not sure about the series itself, as it sounds semi-cliché, but the logo on Gunning For Hits on page 44 is awesome for those of us who remember cassettes.

Yeah, but Moritat is doing the art, so I’ll definitely give the first trade a look, as I dig his art and he’s a hell of a nice guy.

Joe Casey and Benjamin Marra get religion with Jesusfreak, a hardcover on page 46 with Jesus as sort of a kung fu dude.  But it actually sounds pretty interesting, like it’s a semi-serious look at Jesus’s life.  Interesting.

I must read Joe Casey’s two-fisted Jesus biography! And the fact that Marra isn’t writing it (I really don’t like his writing, but I like his art) is a bonus!

Jesus kickin’ ass, just like he does in the Bible! T: He’s Jesusfreak-ay!

Hey Kids! Comics! from Chaykin on page 52 calls us out for trade waiting!  But yeah, I’m getting this trade, most likely.

Yeah, don’t make trades so quickly available, so relatively cheap, and of such good quality if you don’t want us to wait for them. Chaykin is probably just joking with this, but he knows that it’s not our stupid fault for waiting for the trades! And yes, I will buy this trade!

Huh, I thought Moonstruck was coming out in singles, but apparently not, as we get volume 2 on page 53 as an OGN.  I need to read volume 1 and see if I want to get this one.

It was coming out in singles, but maybe they realized that single issues are a dead (or at least dying) delivery system and so they adapted. What a concept!

And hey, Jay Faerber’s Near Death gets an OGN for volume 3 on the same page.  I need to get the reoffered first two volumes as well, because I am a Faerber fan because RINGGGGGGERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

Very cool. I’ll have to pick this up, too, even though I never watched Ringer. You should switch your references to ZOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!, since he also worked on that!

But I didn’t watch and love Zoo with a disturbing love!

I’m a bit torn on New Lieutenants of Metal, which is in trade on page 54. On the one hand, Casey and Ulises Farina make a good team, but on the other hand, I looked at the first couple of issues and just didn’t get sucked in at all. I’ll have to think about it.

I got the singles, and while I haven’t read the main story, the back matter was some really interesting stuff about all the stuff Casey has done for Image over the years, so that was worth it to me, being a process geek.

Shanghai Red is in trade on page 55. Christopher Sebela is a pretty good writer, the art looks good, and it’s historical fiction, so why wouldn’t I dig it? [I typoed “Shanghai Ted” as I was writing the title, and that would have been a completely different story – it’s about a louche playboy in the 1930s, enjoying the clubs in China’s most cosmopolitan city until he’s forced to make a stand when the Japanese invade. Ryan Gosling could play the title character, and it would be protested because it’s just another white savior movie!]

I would watch Shanghai Ted.  But I am probably getting Shanghai Red because that was really interesting sounding.

Dark Horse:

Here are the solicits!

I’ve been waiting for a collection of the Arcudi/Mahnke Mask comics for years, and Dark Horse has solicited an Omnibus of just that on page 101. Good time!

I might snag this myself.  I won’t swear to it, but I thought they have had this collection in print before.  I have bits and pieces, but of course having the whole thing is good.  Somebody stop me!

You got House of Penance, didn’t you?  I liked the concept and all but I doubt it’s worth 35 bucks for the fancy-schmancy Library Edition offered on page 102.

Indeed I did. It was quite good, but I don’t think it was $35 good.

Troy Nixey’s Trout is collected on page 106.  I have the DHP issues, I believe, and flipped through the stuff (hey!), but I don’t know if I will shell out for this collection.

I’m on the fence about it. We shall see!

Will it be weird? I’m pretty confident that it will be!

I will probably get the trade, although I’m feeling singles more often recently, for Wyrd on page 108.  This investigator IS the X-File!  I know you’ve dug stuff from Curt Pires, and I think I’ve liked the Antonio Fuso art I’ve seen.

Pires is a weird writer, so I’m probably going to get this. Resist the lure of the singles, sir! The industry will never change with dinosaurs like you!!!!

There are two Polar book on page 109, and they confuse me. The fourth volume of the series doesn’t, but I’m not sure about the zero volume. I know it’s an origin of the character from volume 4, and that’s dandy, but is it new? Is it collected from somewhere else? If it’s new, why isn’t in the more horizontal format that other Polar volumes have been in? If it’s collected from somewhere else, why isn’t that in the solicits? It’s just weird. Either way, Polar is a terrific comic, so I’m probably getting both of these, and I’m definitely getting volume 4

It does say “first printing in the United States” at the bottom of the page, so there’s that.  I’m confused because I swear the other month when volume 3 came out, it said it was a trilogy, so they’re Hitchhiker’s-ing it!

I have absolutely no interest in Differently Morphous, the novel on page 111, but it is written by someone named Yahtzee, so there’s that.

I have seen stuff by this Yahtzee person before.  Never interested me but it does amuse me.

She Could Fly is in trade on page 112. I’ll probably give this a look.


Back to Newsarama for the solicits!

I’d like to trust Brian Michael Bendis, but I’m not sure that I can. Naomi (page 3) sounds keen- it’s about a girl who goes searching for her origins in the DC Universe – but I’m hoping David Walker, the co-writer, is the driving force behind this and Bendis is just lending his name and some vague ideas. We shall see. I want to like a comic like this!

I’m actually cautiously optimistic about this Wonder Comics stuff, based on the bit on page 1.  Hopefully there will be some fun in the DCU with these.  Although shouldn’t there be a Wonder Woman book in it?  Also, in re: Naomi, now I’m getting the cool song of that title by the Mr. T Experience in my head.

Nothing crazy about connecting things with string!

The Other History of the DC Universe on page 4 sounds all right, and John Ridley isn’t a bad choice to write it, but didn’t DC destroy its own history, so it only stretches back five years or so? So if Ridley wants to write a “secret history” starring minorities reacting to the DC Universe, he can’t really do anything from before five or, at the very most, ten years ago, can he? So that neuters this book, because it will simply star minority characters in vague situations, rather than dealing with actual American events. I’m intrigued by this, but I wonder how it can work.

I think with Rebirth, all this “5 years only of history” has been thrown out the window.  No, I’m not sure how it all works, but it has something to do with Doomsday Cock, I think. [Edit: I’m going to assume Travis meant that and it’s not a typo. If it is a typo, it’s pretty awesome.]  Or something.  I haven’t followed DC much lately because it make-a my hair hurt.  And even besides that, Black Lightning’s been made the old dude in more recent years, so there’s that.

Wow, I knew Claudio Castellini wasn’t the fastest artist, but the art for the Superman 100 Page Super Spectacular on page 6 was from ’06-’09.  Day-um!

The solicit for Flash on page 30 does in fact confirm that Corto Maltese is from DKR.  In the DCU, anyway.

Why did they have to remind us about The Dark Knight Returns? It’s not like Corto Maltese was a big part of that comic. It’s just DC looking backward, as usual, instead of looking ahead.

Thank the good lord, Scooby Doo Team Up is back with 2 issues this month.  I think the last week of the year Diamond isn’t shipping anything, so that seems to be why a lot of DC books have 2 issues this month, or even 3 like the Flash.

Black Lightning: Brick City Blues is in trade on page 78. I remember this series, but I never read it. The entire thing is here for only 20 dollars (13 issues plus a short story), so that’s not a bad deal at all.

Oh, man, there is one issue, #5, I think, that is utterly fantastic, and maybe worth the price of admission alone.  But this is a good deal for a decent ‘90s series.

I always liked that cover

Page 80 has the DCU by Len Wein, a collection of a lot of interesting stuff.  If I have money to burn (HA!) maybe I’d spring for this.

Although on the same page is a new version of New Frontier, which I have shamefully never read.  I know!

This is how Travis should feel! T: It is!

Page 81 says in the solicits that World’s Funnest is “long-forgotten”, which is a damned dirty lie.  We love stuff like that here, and remember it, and now you can get it if you’re not like me and snagged it in a back issue bin, in the Elseworlds Justice League volume 3 trade!

Oh fuck.  I think I must get that Kirby Bronze Age Omnibus on page 83.  It has so much cool stuff, like the Losers run he did, the Demon, OMAC…. Plus, it comes out on my birthday next year, so I think this will be happy birthday to me!

Dang, that looks cool. It’s $150, though, so I’ll have to think about it!

I know, but that is a lot of awesome packed in there!  I worry about the binding, though!  And the fact that DC will likely fuck up and print a page twice or some shit like that.

Another Bendis reissue on page 91, this one of Torso, about the serial killer that Elliot Ness hunted in Cleveland after his time in Chicago.  The gf and I just recently watched the Unsolved Mysteries episode that talked about that.  What does Robert Stack know about Elliot Ness?!

I’ll probably get The Unexpected trade on page 92. The single issues have looked pretty good, although the idea of a person who has to get in a fight every 24 hours is still mind-boggingly stupid.

I dunno, sounds like an ‘80s action movie premise.  It sounds fun.

The trade of the first year of Transmet is offered on page 92 as well, and I’ve just been reading that.  I haven’t gotten all the way through, so no spoilers, but man, it’s fun!

Page 104 has Batman Damned t-shirts, but if there’s no Bat-dick on them, don’t bother me with them!


The solicits are here!

OK, this is bound to be awesome, because Kyle Baker is so good.  On page 133 is Marvel Action: Black Panther, written and drawn by Baker.  Oh mama, I’m getting this, possibly even in singles.

Wait, you mean overrated hack Kyle Baker? Yeah, I guess that’s awesome if you like overrated hacks.

Oh no you di-int!

Of course I did!

But why?!

I’ve never read anything by him that I’ve liked. I don’t think he’s very funny, and I don’t think his writing is all that good, and his art always looks amateurish to me. Not only do I not like the style, I just don’t think he does good work with perspective and it seems really inconsistent. He’s just never been my thing. Sorry!

If you haven’t, read Cowboy Wally Show.  It’s one of his earliest things, and one of his best.  I suppose I can’t fault you for having different tastes, even if they’re wrong, but I can see where you just might not like his style.  But again, you’re wrong.  Heh heh heh.

On page 162 is Family Man by Jerome Charyn and Joe Staton, which I believe was a Paradox Press book back in the day.  Sounds interesting and I like Staton a lot, although this is a bit pricey for me.

So the Kirby book at $150 is fine, but $40 for 300 pages isn’t? You’re weird, man. And yes, this does sound pretty good, even though I probably don’t like Staton as much as you do.

Shut up.  It’s KIRBY, man!

I’ve been getting all the Black Crown stuff, and on page 164 is Euthanauts, about people seeking what might exist after death, which is a journey to somewhere else, in this book’s cosmology.  Sounds interesting.

I’ll be getting this trade. I’ve been kind of flipping coins about the Black Crown stuff to see if I’ll get them in singles. Really, no rhyme or reason to it.

Would it be gauche to mention that she’s a skeleton? T: Body dysmorphia gone too far!


Yes, the full solicits are here!

I’m not real big on Conan, but there are a bunch of these True Believers dollar books, so I can see some of the early BWS stuff, among other neat overviews of the different people who have done Conan over the years.  Interesting, Swords in the Night, issue 23, is the first Red Sonja, so … is Marvel getting her back too?  On page 194 in the regular book, it is the last issue of her Dynamite series …

Good point about Red Sonja. I haven’t heard about her fate. You have to admit, though, that Asrar’s art looks terrific on the new Conan, and if it will get Jason Aaron off superheroes, I’m all for him writing it!

According to the folk at the comic book store, Marvel does have Red Sonja back. Metal bikinis for all!

When was this announced?  I usually hear about this stuff, but I missed that one.

I don’t know. Some random dude at the comic book store said he heard it, but he didn’t cite his sources!!!!

Always cite your sources!

Captain Marvel gets a new series on page 12 before her movie, and our pal Kelly is writing it!  I thought she’d get the series a few years back, but I guess she was a little too new at Marvel then, but now she gets it at the right time, probably!

Did you not know about this? You should listen to the House to Astonish podcast, right here on the blog!

I knew about it, but I’m channeling my excitement for this column, sir!

Uh-huh. I totally believe you.

I’m interested in the new Marvel Comics Presents on page 33, because the stories take place in the decades starting from when Marvel started publishing, so these stories are set in the 1940s.

Yeah, that sounds cool, but come on – it’s not going to last very long at all.

Man, Arthur Adams sucks because he never does interior work!!!!

Wow, that’s so weird that the Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau trade on page 108 is going to be Direct Market only.  I wonder why that might be …

Marvel can’t make it easy for people to read about a black Captain Marvel! That’s crazy talk!

The next Decades book is from the ’50s, on page 113, and features the Captain America stories from that time period.  Probably interesting if not necessarily great or even good stuff.

Wait a minute … did you just pass by page 112 like it doesn’t exist? Are you really going to do that to … ANGEL PUNISHER?!?!?!?!? Yes, Marvel is collecting the stories where Frank Motherfucking Castle becomes an angel. A MOTHERFUCKING ANGEL!!!!! You thought Marvel wanted to bury these stories in a hole and never mention them again, but you don’t understand the power of nostalgia!!!! It’s PUNISHER ANGEL PUNISHER!!!!!!!!!!

I just can’t believe you, man.

I didn’t pass over it so much as not have the visceral reaction to it that you did.  And hey, when Frank becomes the Cosmic Ghost Rider, like on page 121, this book doesn’t sound so dumb, huh?

How can you not have a visceral reaction to ANGEL PUNISHER ANGEL!!!!!!!!!

‘Marion, don’t look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion!’

I like the concept of the Infinity Warps, because stuff like Amalgam tickles my fancy, so I’m intrigued by the collection on page 116.  Did the Cap/Strange combo have that beard and ‘stache in the original solicits?

That’s the cover of one of the issues, so I assume?

Well, I mean, as I remember it, in the original solicit, he was sans beard and ‘stache, was my point.  They added the facial hair in post-production!

Oh, I see. On the actual cover, he had the beard and ‘stache, so I forgot what the original solicit looked like.

The trade of Cosmic Ghost Rider shows up on page 121. Dylan Burnett’s art is excellent, and I just might have to get this, because it sounds so stupid that it might actually be amazing.

The character looks kewl, anyway!

I am of course picking up the West Coast Avengers trade on page 123, because Kelly!, and despite the appearance of Jimmy Kimmel.

Plus, it features the character find of 2018. No, I’m not telling who it is!!!!

I think I’ve seen, but I will let myself be surprised because I will undoubtedly forget before then.

Ooh, in case people missed it, that run of Ghost Rider that Jason Aaron did ages ago is collected again.  I’m not sure how much of this I have, but I don’t think I need this collection on page 130.  But it was a fun trip!

Yeah, I own the giant complete hardcover, and it’s really good. The first arc is by far the best, but the quality doesn’t dip too much after that.

More comics that you thought Marvel would bury in a landfill and never mention again are on page 134, as we get a collection of the post- and pre-Alan Davis Excalibur, with immortal artists like Dave Ross and Tom Morgan. I own a few issues of this, and they’re … not really good at all. But you can plunk down 40 bucks for over 400 pages of not very good comics if that’s your bag!

I think I’ve gotten all that run of Excalibur, other than some of the specials, in cheapo back issue bins.

More Conan on page 135, but this is the Dark Horse stuff that I think DH just collected not too long ago, isn’t it?  Flood that market!

Yeah, but they have that “new Marvel” smell, so you must purchase them! To be fair, they’re really, really good comics.

If anyone thinks Marvel actually cares about their customers and wants them to be happy, I present, on page 137, a trade collecting the first 15 issues … of Chuck Austen’s run on Uncanny X-Men. These comics should probably be considered a hate crime, and the people at Marvel who decided to waste time collecting them should probably be put on trial for many felonies. I just re-read these in the course of reading my Uncanny run, and they’re as bad as you remember. They’re not “misunderstood” or “underappreciated” classics, they’re just hot fucking garbage. And guess what? These are the GOOD comics in Austen’s run. HE GOT WORSE, as stunning as that might seem. I can’t even get into how bad these comics are. If I had a lot of time, I would, but I have better things to do, like sticking glass rods in my urethra and breaking them. Now that’s quality entertainment compared to reading these comics!!!!

I liked both Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel, and now the first year of each of those books is available in two fairly cheap trades, on pages 140 and 141.


Here are the solicits!

I’m sort of interested in this new Peter Cannon Thunderbolt series on page 178, because it’s Kieron Gillen and Caspar Wijngaard, but the other Dynamite series with this character was really blah.  Also, yes, Watchmen is going to cast a shadow over the character, but you don’t have to let it do that.  Make it its own thing!

I heard somewhere (“Where, Greg, where?” “Why, on the House to Astonish podcast, which you can access right here on the blog!”) that the reason Peter Cannon can be at Dynamite when DC bought the Charlton characters is that he’s creator-owned. Nice move by Pete Morisi!

Yeah, that was one cool thing about the first issue of the other Dynamite series, was that it included an unpublished Secret Origins story of the character, which I believe did have Morisi art.

He’s going for that constipated look

Elvira Mistress of the Dark is collected on page 198, and it looks like good art.  I’m sure it’s not going to be some super great story, but it might be fun.  (Insert my usual “I see two reasons to buy it” joke here!)

Man, I don’t know if I’d want to pay that, but it is a pretty good deal on page 202, for the Vampirella 50th Anniversary Box, featuring art of Vampi on the outside and 10 trades of hers on the inside.  It seems to be guaranteeing that the GMozz Masters book is included, and being someone who wants to get all his stuff, I am sorely tempted on this.  10 trades and a neat looking box for 70 bucks isn’t a bad deal overall!

Yeah, but … I mean, it’s Vampirella, man. If Wallace Wood isn’t drawing her, what’s the point, really?


Check out the solicits here!

Buffy returns on page 208, “reimagined”.  I wonder if that Royal Dunlap cover is showing us who the actual new Slayer is, as in, have they gone in a direction where Buffy is a black girl instead of the blonde teenager she’s been so far?  I liked Redlands, so Jordie Bellaire writing this should be decent, but I’ll wait for the trade.

I have no interest in this, but Dan Mora is a terrific artist, so there is that.

Page 225 gives us the first trade of By Night, a new John Allison book, and everything he writes that I’ve read seems to be gold, so I’ll be getting this.  A pair of college age women discover a portal to another world, and they plan to create a documentary about it.  I imagine things don’t go as planned …

Let us move to the back of the book!

Aardvark-Vanaheim has Giant-Size Jingles on page 236, featuring a dog in hell that collects dog comics.  I think that definitely means that the question mark is unnecessary for Cerebus in Hell?

On page 253, AfterShock offers the trade of Relay. I read one issue of this, and it was quite good. Both Andy Clarke and Ryan Bodenheim are good artists if (it seems) really slow, so they’re sharing art duties, which is probably a good thing. Zac Thompson seems like a really good writer, so I’m curious about this.

Yeah, the FCBD issue was interesting, so I might get this sometime.

Alterna offers The Chair trade on page 257, and for 10 bucks, it might be worth a look. An innocent dude on death row fights to keep his sanity against a deranged wardens. Those are the best kinds of wardens!

Or, if you’d gotten the singles they did a while ago, you could have gotten it for 4 bucks, like I did.  Singles aren’t dead yet, man!

That’s true, but with tiny publishers, I just don’t trust Diamond to get it to my retailer consistently. At least with the trade, it’s only one thing, and if they never get it, it’s easy to get the trade on-line. If Diamond didn’t suck, I might try to get the single issues from tiny publishers more often.

Fair enough.  I’ve had better luck with small publishers than you, and I’m not always sure what issues are Diamond and what are my retailer.  The new Ahoy stuff seemed to have been missed some by my guy, but it could have been Diamond, because he got some of the newer books but missed others.  It’s weird.  And I won’t get into how Diamond apparently didn’t coordinate that Avatar sale that they promoted on the spine of the catalog with the actual billing, because my guy said they didn’t invoice him at the sale price, so he got stuck with some books that I’d ordered that weren’t properly charged, and it’s a hell of a time to deal with Diamond on something that should have been done right in the first place.  (And don’t get him started on the Previews catalogs for Marvel and DC and how they charge him shipping and handling on those when he doesn’t order them special!)

American Mythology has, on page 260, a reprint of the 1953 Saint John Three Stooges comic, which has art by Joe Kubert and Norman Maurer.  Should be cool to have a piece of comics history like that for just 4 bucks!

Over on page 262, Amigo has God of Bad Men, which sounds really bizarre but very keen. I don’t know if I can even summarize the solicit text, so here it is:

Raymond Landy, an alcoholic with a crumbling screenwriting career and an inoperable brain tumor, meets inmate Makro Nomac, a space fugitive, at a maximum security asylum. Makro insists Ray’s tumor contains the origin of God. That’s when things take a turn for the worse; Ray learns his tumor is a malfunctioning data bullet placed there by Makro and he has only seven days left to live.

Now that’s a solicit text!

It is something, that’s for sure.  I didn’t know how to summarize it either.  I also enjoy the tag line on the cover, “Your God Hates You”.  Amigo does good comics but isn’t quick on trades, so I may snag this in singles.

You should probably get a new god, then

Archie continues to put out some wacky comics, as Blossoms 666 shows up on page 267. It’s written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Laura Braga, so it should be pretty good, and it’s about Cheryl and Jason Blossom, who are competing to be the anti-Christ. You know, like you do.

Man, Black Mask is really selling Loud hard, as the solicit text on page 278 is so over the top Sylvester Stallone should sue for royalties. It looks pretty good and sounds bizarre – lots of weird stuff going on at a nightclub – but it’s also 17 dollars for 100 pages, which is a lot. I’ll have to think about it.

It’s over the top, yes, but Llovet was really good on There’s Nothing There, so I’ll probably snag this.

I probably will too, I’m just sad you didn’t appreciate my Stallone reference more. I THOUGHT I KNEW YOU, PELKIE!!!!!

Is that the arm wrestling one?  Great reference, dude. (Nods head and backs away slowly…)

You wound me, sir.


Cave Comics has Appalachian Apocalypse! on page 287, which sounds all right, despite its zombie-horde plot. Billy Tucci is writing it, and I know he’s written some things, but I don’t know if they’re any good. Ethan Nicolle, whom you might recall from Axe Cop, Bill Reed’s favorite comic, is drawing it, and Nicolle is quite good, so this is one to keep an eye on.

I haven’t read much of Shi, but I thought I saw that that book of Tucci’s is coming back, but I’ll wait and see on this one.  The ad on the inside front cover flap for Cave has some interesting stuff coming up, so I’ll look forward to seeing their stuff in the future.  Bill Reed!  I haven’t thought about him in ages!

Bill always seemed like a cool dude. I wonder what he’s up to these days.

I haven’t read a ton of James Sturm’s work, but I’ve read enough to know he’s quite good, and he has a new book from Drawn & Quarterly, Off Season, on page 293. It’s the story of a couple’s dissolution, but it also seems to be political, as it takes place in the autumn of 2016, when we had an election and everyone lost their damned minds. I don’t know if I like that aspect of it, but I’m still probably going to get this, because it certainly might work well!

Yeah, I’m not super interested, but I’ll read it if it’s in the library at some point.

Fantagraphics brings back The Comics Journal for issue 303 on page 300.  Some interesting stuff, particularly the “new mainstream”, because I’m wondering if TCJ has the self-awareness to realize they’re still on the margins themselves.

Hermes Press is not the most trustworthy publisher around, but they do solicit some cool stuff, and on page 308 we get a collected edition of Lann by Frank Thorne. Apparently Lann fights crime naked, so she was pretty popular back in the day. I’m wary about this, because it’s only 100 pages (96, to be exact) and it’s 30 dollars, but it’s something I’ll definitely think about!

What is that blasting in the face of the one lady at that dude’s feet, or should I not ask?

It looks like she was holding something mechanical – a gun, perhaps? – that the other shot with her own gun, causing it to explode. Nothing weird going on here, no sir!

See? It all makes perfect sense!

Lion Forge is bringing out The Collected Toppi volume 1 on page 319, and if they manage to get out all seven planned volumes of their Toppi retrospective, I’ll be very happy. Sergio Toppi is a magnificent artist, and much of his work has not been translated, so everyone should check this out if they haven’t seen anything by him before!

I think I’ve seen a little of his work, but I’m not familiar enough.

On page 355 is Sword and Labrys Productions with ICC Magazine 2, which stands for Independent Creators Connection, which is why it’s logical that Black Panther is on the cover.  No, wait, that doesn’t sound right….

If you didn’t get it in the ’80s from DC, the official sanctioned sequel to the Prisoner, Shattered Visage, by Dean Motter and Mark Askwith, is collected from Titan on page 360.  It’s interesting, at any rate!

I would have mentioned that, but I thought they already solicited it and we mentioned it. I guess not. I’ve always been interested in this, so maybe I’ll pick it up. Not as interested, of course, as I am of the DVD set of the Jim Caviezel television version … (this comment is in here just to see if Greg Hatcher is reading, because it will cause his head to explode as he hates that show so much)

You know, I almost think that we did talk about this, now that you mention it.  Dude, I watched the Jesus vs. Magneto version, and even have it somewhere on a videocassette (because I still use VHS, dammit!).  It’s the tape where there was a local ad starring a high school English teacher of mine that I really liked for a spa/resort type thing around here.  Just … odd!

I don’t remember much of it, but I remember that I kind of liked it. Maybe if I see it again I won’t, but still …

Oddly enough, the ending, iirc, was sort of spoiled by the movie that AMC was showing as a lead-in to the show one of the nights it aired!

Goddammit, Vault tricked me.  Trickery!  They cancelled the last 3 issues of Failsafe, and are going to a trade.  Now, I got the first 3 single issues of this book from Vault, and I ALSO got this from DC several years ago when it was called Insurgent.  So because I liked this, I’m going to be buying the first 3 issues 3 fucking times over.  Dammit!  And I’m going to fall for it!

This is what happens when you buy single issues …

Yeah yeah yeah …

That’s all for this month, folk! Have fun trawling the dark corners of Previews, and remember to pre-order the weird stuff, or why would your retailer get it?


  1. tomfitz1

    Mr. Burgas and TP:

    First, my favorite Kyle Baker series is The Shadow in which I’m still peeved at DC for not letting Baker finish off that series with a min-series or something. My favorite graphic novel by Baker is You are Here.

    Second, I wonder if having sexual congress with the woman on the cover of Euthanauts would be considered necrophilia?

    Third, I didn’t care for the Punisher: Purgatory series either. The art was good but not the story. Garth Ennis mentioned it and summed it up in two sentences in the 12-issue Punisher series that Steve Dillon drew.

    Fourth, The Prisoner: Shattered Visage is definitely worth the read.

    Lastly, Joe Casey – I was wondering about his series SEX. Shouldn’t it be a series of graphic novels by now?

    Still no mention of Miracleman book 4 from MARVEL.

      1. I won’t swear to it, but as I mentioned above, the back matter to New Lieutenants of Metal discussed Casey’s Image stuff, and I believe in that he mentioned that they are working on the next volume of Sex. I think it showed the cover, which I believe is designed by our old pal Sonia Harris!

  2. Jeff Nettleton

    Pete Morisi did in fact purchase Peter Cannon and licensed it, for a time to DC, which is why he was there for Crisis, then his short-lived series. DC only got some of the Charlton Action Heroes. E-Man ended up with Cuti and Staton and First Comics, Robin Snyder helped Ditko get the bulk of his stuff, and Roger broughton got most of the rest.

    Prisoner: Shattered Visage is excellent stuff; the AMC thing is a piece of beige garbage. Bland writing, bland scenery, bland acting, bland concept.

    Lann was never “popular.” It wasn’t even one of Thorne’s bigger indie works. It was put out by a couple of small publishers (Ken Pierce, Blackthorn) with Fantagraphics Eros Line being the highest profile (and that was still rather minor). his work looks great and has a certain sense of fun; but, he was never really able to break out of the cult mode with his own stuff.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Jeff: Yeah, I was having some fun with calling Lann popular, because the solicit text says it, but I’d never heard of it (not that that’s a indicator, but it didn’t seem terribly popular). I’ve looked at some art samples, and they’re pretty good, but yep, lots of nudity! 🙂

  3. Not as interested, of course, as I am of the DVD set of the Jim Caviezel television version … (this comment is in here just to see if Greg Hatcher is reading, because it will cause his head to explode as he hates that show so much)

    When you are gratuitously mean to your blog colleagues it makes the baby Jesus cry.

    The Kirby hardcover omnibus is probably worth it but why spend that much money? The earlier individual collections were all hardcover and lots of them can be had for cheap from dealers. The trouble with those giant omnibus things is that they are a pain in the ass to actually READ. The books are unwieldy. I’m completely happy with my smaller collections like The Losers and The Jack Kirby Omnibus v2 and Kamandi volumes one and two. Plus I’m not spending money on crap like OMAC which really is overrated anyway. (Granted, I bought mine before some of the prices went into the stratosphere on those particular editions, but Kamandi can be had in hardcover as a combination of DC Archives and solo hardcover collections for pretty cheap. I missed out on The Demon hardcover before it shot way up in price but it’s never going out of print, I’ll catch up to it. DC and Marvel have both discovered the magic of the backlist.

    Fun-yet-frustrating fact: Apparently the reason some of these books get so insanely high in price is because drug dealers use them to launder money; selling them for ridiculously high prices on Amazon and claiming they are dealing in ‘collectibles.’ (At least, that’s what I hear from Don McGregor, who was told this after expressing how baffled and annoyed he was at the hardcover Panther’s Rage is now out of reach for so many new fans.)

  4. Edo Bosnar

    Wait, there was a new Prisoner show? I didn’t even know about this – or if I did at some point, I suppressed the memory that even existed. Just the fact that it stars Caviezel tells me it’s something that should be avoided…

    Agree with Greg (H) about some of those omnibuses, in that they can be pretty hard to read. One of the two reasons I didn’t opt for the omnibus of Simonson’s Thor, going for the tpbs instead, was the size; I actually had the opportunity to hold a copy in my hands and realized it would be really uncomfortable to read (the other reason is that I didn’t like the recoloring).
    And spending that kind of money on the Kirby material from the 1970s, which at this point has been reprinted several times in various formats, seems a bit silly to me.

    1. Jeff Nettleton

      It was done in conjunction with AMC, with Jim Caviezel as Number 6, Ian McKellan as Number 2, and the Village was shot on location in Namibia, in an area that had been developed by the Germans, when they were the colonial masters. Instead of a spy/philosophical series, it was a New Age/Self-help mess, where some shadowy corporation, called Sumacorp was at the center of things. Number 6 had worked there and ends up in the Village, after uncovering some kind of secret. McKellan is good and would have been right at home in the original; the rest is horrible. Rather than drawing from things like Kafka and Lewis Carroll, they seemed to take from Eckart Tolle and other New Age drivel and the Village exists for psychological reasons, rather than to gather people who know too much.

      The worst part was the commercial breaks. They would tease answers to certain questions, after the break, then deliver same vague nonsense that didn’t answer anything. It was a bait-and-switch to keep you watching, which would have done the original Village proud.

      Stick with the Simpson’s parodies; much, much better.

  5. John King

    “Swords in the night” was just the cover blurb. The story was “The Shadow of the Vulture” based on the Robert E Howard story of the same name with locations, dates and names changed – the original featured Red Sonya of Rogatino. The Sonja variant was created by Roy Thomas for Marvel so Marvel gettin the rights back should be no surprise (especially with the Mouse behind them).

    I will add that I found omnibuses of around 50 comics in a single volume physically hard to read.

    Currenly listening to the audio version of the Prisonner (from Big Finish). Suffers a bit due to too many episodes being reworks of TV stories (altering the endings) though some originals. The third set should be out next year to complete their version.

  6. John King

    on Panther’s Rage, there is now the soft cover collection.
    In the UK, one publisher has been doing hardback comic collections (Marvel, DC, Batman (so popular he got his own range), Judge Dredd, 2000AD, Star Trek, Transformers) and did a collection of the Panther’s Rage storyline for that (though it didn’t include the Panther vs the Klan)

  7. Louis Bright-Raven

    I don’t know, I guess I’m too cranky about this stuff anymore.

    I guess I’ll probably get INFINITE DARK #4, that PRODIGY thing (even though Millar will probably be boring as shit), dunno about that SELF/MADE series (I think I’ll check for it when it comes out but don’t think I preordered)…


    I really am not interested in much of what you guys cited. I’m arguably being stupid by continuing with Lemireverse and Mignolaverse books with THE QUANTUM AGE and HELLBOY & BPRD: 1956, and BPRD DEVIL YOU KNOW. I had a “?” beside CRIMSON LOTUS, but I think ultimately I passed. (I really need to just quit Mignola and Lemireverses entirely.) Then there was DEATH ORB #4 (I think it’s the last issue) and LIGHTSTEP #3 of 5, LAGUARDIA #2 because it’s Nnedi Okorafor and since I refuse to support Marvel (and really don’t care about her writing Wakandans anyway), I figured I support her on this instead. I cannot really tell you whether to get the SHE COULD FLY trade – I’ve gotten the singles, but haven’t actually sat down to read them.

    DC Comics:


    “But what about Wonder Comics?” No thank you. I’m quite tired and fed up with Brian Bendis recycling his comics collection haphazardly. Have been since before he went exclusive to Marvel.

    “But you liked Black Lightning Cold Dead Hands! Why aren’t you getting the trade of Brick City Blues?” Because I got the original issues back in the day. Why buy what I already own?


    Didn’t really have anything I wanted this month, but if I were to make mention of anything, it might be the KIM POSSIBLE ADVENTURES collection on page 142, and the Wrightson Artifact Edition on page 168, if you can afford the price tag on the latter.


    Not. A Damn. Thing.

    Travis: “Wow, that’s so weird that the Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau trade on page 108 is going to be Direct Market only. I wonder why that might be…”

    Well, because they don’t want to confuse the non-comics dorkazoids by having a black Captain Marvel who isn’t Captain Marvel anymore who may or may not be the pal of Carol in the movie… Be amazed they even bothered to collect it at all, Travis.


    THE WRONG EARTH #5 and CAPTAIN GINGER #4 – I prefer the latter so far, but I’ll get both through the first story arc, anyway.


    I ordered THE MARTIAN MONSTER & OTHER STORIES and ZERO HOUR & OTHER STORES by Jack Kamen, and STARSEEDS vols. 1 and 2 by Charles Glaubitz (pages 300-301). They just caught my attention.

    Of note from ITS ALIVE! is THE SILVER METAL LOVER GN collection, collecting Trina Robbins’ adaptation of Tanith Lee’s original prose story, back in print for the first time since 1985 (page 314)

    Only thing from Lion Forge for me is MAE #11 (page 327).

    ONI PRESS has CRETACEOUS by Tadd Glausha for all you Dinosaur enthusiasts (page 340)

    I may have ordered SAVANTS (Source Point Press, page 353) because it was the last thing my friend the late Gary Reed wrote. But I only have a “?” by it in the catalog, so I may not have.


    And that appears to be all. *shrugs indifferently*

  8. Simon

    “… once again along these corridors and through these rooms, in this building that belongs to the past, this huge, luxurious and baroque hotel, where endless corridors … Silent, deserted corridors heavily laden with woodwork and panelling, with marble, mirrors, pictures and darkness, pillars, alcoves and rows of doorways… Cross corridors leading in turn to empty rooms, rooms heavily laden with a decor from the past.”

    > “Previews”

    Variant covers. Hardcovers. Covers. Superheroes. Superheroes. Covers. Empty words, derivative, exploitative. Repetitive. Pricey, samey. Samey, one after the other. Mouse traps, traps still intact, empty leaves. A leaf that falls, three, two, one, zero.

    > “Image”

    “Empty salons. Corridors. Salons. Doors. Doors. Salons. Empty chairs, deep armchairs, thick carpets. Heavy hangings. Stairs, steps. Steps, one after the other. Glass objects, objects still intact, empty glasses. A glass that falls, three, two, one, zero.”

    > “Dark Horse”

    “Silent rooms where the sound of footsteps is absorbed by carpets so thick that all sound escapes the ear. As if the ear itself were very far from the ground, far from this empty decor, far from this ceiling with its branches and garlands like classical foliage. As if the ground were still sand and gravel and stone paving …”

    > “DC”

    “The fear of loosing such a suffocating bond is over. This story is already over. In a few seconds it will freeze forever. Into a marble past, like these statues worked in stone. Like this very hotel, filled with emptiness, these static silent characters long since dead standing guard in the corridors …”

    > “IDW”

    “The grounds of the hotel were symmetrically arranged without trees or flowers, or plants of any kind. The gravel, the stone, and the marble were spread in strict array in unmysterious shapes. At first sight, it seemed impossible to lose your way.”

    > “Marvel”

    “This hope no longer has a purpose … And once again everything was empty and deserted in this huge hotel … Conversations took place in a vacuum, as if the words meant nothing … The same conversations, the same missing voices … It was a place of rest.”

    > T: “awesome for those of us who remember cassettes”

    You might like ALL THE SAD SONGS, about mix tapes and mixed feelings. Nice docu-memoir by Summer Pierre (2018 @ Retrofit), ask for it by ISBN!

    * (review w/ 2 pages) http://www.comicsbeat.com/review-a-life-unfolds-through-cassette-tapes-in-all-the-sad-songs/

    > G: “overrated hack Kyle Baker”

    Still not read THE COWBOY WALLY SHOW and WHY I HATE SATURN, eh?

    > G: “The Collected Toppi”

    Toppi is kinda where Wrightson meets Breccia, or Klimt meets Pratt? Slight stories ala Creepy, few panels and many splashes. Another “master without a masterpiece”, despite MYETZKO, THE COLLECTOR, or SHARAZ-DE. Adorb from the libraries those overpriced hardcovers gun for.

    > T: “sequel to the Prisoner”

    Titan Comics (p. 360) THE PRISONER VOL. 1: SHATTERED VISAGE

    Makes sense, especially for Motter’s standalone classic.

    > G: “Have fun trawling”

    — THE SECRET ROSE by Hugo Pratt (p. 161, ALLEGEDLY $20)

    * Corto Maltese: Sleep is a great thief.
    * Klingsor: Are you made up by us, or we by you? What about the reader of the next pages? If all is made up, even our future reader may be born of our imagination!

    Second-to-last one, aka THE HELVETIANS. Dream quest between fable and farce: knights and devils, talking castle, cross-eyed fairies, talking animals, Kabbalah and Grail, talking rose, danse macabre!

    (70 story pages plus padding, 9-panel grid of stylized art.)

    — DIOSAMANTE by Jodorowsky & Gal (p. 308, $20 @ Humanoids)

    * Where are the survivors of this war?
    * Over there, they’re fighting for the graveyard.

    Blind Red Sonja meets mystic Laureline for a naked quest, baby! Softcover of the 2012 hardcover: great art and thin stories, a nice hour from libraries.

    * (8-page excerpt) https://www.humanoids.com/y_catalog/book/id/420
    * (review w/ samples) http://junkfoodforthought-krisshaw.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-diosamante.html

    (Three 18-pagers padded with 40 pages of sketches and prose.)

    — PHILIP K. DICK by Queyssi & Marchesi (p. 331, $25 @ NBM)

    Overpriced hardcover, prolly cool from libraries?

    * (8-page excerpt) https://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/philip/pre1h.html

    — RIPTIDE by Chitwood & Luckert (p. 350, $13 @ Red 5)

    Unreviewed finale, maybe one to keep an eye on?

    * (4×3 pages) https://www.comixology.com/Riptide/comics-series/121414

    “At first sight, it seemed impossible to lose your way. At first sight… Along these stone paths and amidst these statues, where you were already losing your way forever, in the still night …” (Robbe-Grillet & Resnais, LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD.)

    1. Greg Burgas

      Never change, Simon.

      I like how everyone who likes Baker keeps telling me to read those two comics, but those were 30 years ago, mannnnnn!!!!! I mean, maybe one day I’ll get around to it, but in the meantime, everything he’s done since then that I’ve read, I haven’t liked. Shouldn’t the dude have a few more arrows in his quiver?

  9. Simon

    @Greg: “those were 30 years ago […] Shouldn’t the dude have a few more arrows in his quiver?”

    Well, Kyle Baker did three personal graphic novels with expressive B&W art ala Feiffer and comedy ala Woody Allen: THE COWBOY WALLY SHOW, WHY I HATE SATURN, and LESTER FENTON. They were praised and funny as hell but didn’t sell, maybe for not being full-color?

    Baker turned to a cartoony color style and did three Hollywoodian books, YOU ARE HERE (action comedy), and the more commercial I DIE AT MIDNIGHT (race against time) and KING DAVID (sex and violence). The market still had no truck with this duck, maybe for being too colored?

    Why would he stick with his best material when it didn’t sell for a decade? Should the dude just keep at it and croak like Van Gogh?

    1. Greg Burgas

      Simon: Yes, but most people only mention those first two, so maybe they’re not as well read as you are!

      As usual when things don’t sell, even things I might like, I always offer the easiest possibility: Maybe they really suck? 🙂

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