Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
 

Flippin’ Through ‘Previews’ — November 2021

We’re here to talk about Previews #398, with all the new stuff coming out when the calendar flips over to 2022.  This is Travis in black, and Greg is in blue, and this is the first column I’m attempting after the passing of our guiding Bat-Symbol, Greg Hatcher. Let’s see if we can find something cool!

Well, gosh, I know I missed Pantha!

DC:

Solicits are here!

So Catwoman 39 is on page 9, and the solicit reads that she’s doing what she does best, “stealing crime boss secrets for blackmail and looking damn sexy while doing it”, but the inside front cover says she’s doing what she does best, stealing secrets for blackmail “while disguised as a stripper”.  Yes, Catwoman’s best skill is her ability to camouflage herself as a stripper.  Sigh.

That’s weird, because she never actually does any work without clothing on.

‘This is the best way to thieve!’

On page 14 is Peacemaker, with more Garth Ennis work at DC.  Did he lose a bet with someone or what?

Maybe he just likes writing weird mini-series for DC?

But then on page 33 is the Catwoman of East End Omnibus, with the Brubaker/Cooke run, with such a cool look to her outfit.  Also a stripper look, tbh.

Did you just get back from a strip joint or something? Anyway, I own most of this, so I might get this to have the junk I don’t own yet. But I’ll have to think about it. These are great comics.

Batman: Urban Legends 11 on page 35 features a story about Batman and Zatanna NOT defeating an evil curse this year, as well as a story by Mark Russell (terrier?) featuring Bat-Hound and the other superpets!

So before I got a chance to look over Previews (which I do online, because I haven’t been getting the print copy lately), Diamond’s website got hit with a ransomware attack.  It looks like the information for this upcoming catalog is there, but I don’t have a copy of the order form, which is where I get the page numbers, so I’ll just be going through things in the order they’re listed.  I certainly won’t blame Greg if he doesn’t want to rearrange things if they’re out of order!

We were discussing this at the comic book store, and the retailer was skeptical of the “ransomware” excuse. He thinks Diamond doesn’t know what they’re doing and something crashed and they were embarrassed about it, so they said it was “ransomware.” Sounds believable.

That might be.  As more and more stuff shifts online with their “wishlist” and “pull order” stuff, they might just have more stuff that’s gonna crash.  Or there’s more info on the site that’s valuable to those who would ransom it.  We’ll know when your retailer starts getting unnecessary charges on his Diamond account (waitaminnit …).

Image:

Solicits ahoy!

Arrowsmith returns to Image (page 34) with a new mini after a number of years, which is the only interesting return to Image news this month, I’m sure.  I have some of this series, but I don’t remember how much I got into it.  As they say, the remastered HC of the first series will be out in February, so I might have to pick that up — no, wait, it’s listed separately and comes out in April.  Thanks for fucking me up, Previews!  I’m just glad that Busiek is going to be giving us a lot of new cool stuff!  Also, something something Steven Tyler.  HAHA!

Yeah, this is awesome. You should definitely get the hardcover.

So … many … variants!!!!

So on page 37, we have “Joe Hill’s” Rain (sigh), which has two women living in a world where it’s raining nails. Um, what? It might be good, and it’s drawn by Zoe Thorogood, who’s a really good artist.

Ugh, Saga is back on page 42. I was so happy not hearing about how great this title is for the last few years, because now I have to start hearing it again, when it’s just not true. IT’S NOT TRUE!!!!

It just wasn’t gone long enough.  Take more of a break!  Do another Paper Girls quality book!  In semi-related news, when I was reading about why Y: The Last Man got cancelled before season 1 finished (tl;dr was that the date to lock in actors came up before the end of the season, and that was because the show had been in developmental hell so long that the original contracts were running out on people), I saw a BKV quote claiming that TV was “the only possible medium” (or words to that effect) for telling the Y story.  Except, I suppose, the medium it was already told in?

Well, that’s odd. I mean, he’s obviously sucking up to the television people, but it’s still odd.

How can I not mention something named Monkey Meat (page 48)?  Juni Ba is doing this mini about a company that sold this canned product and now they run an island where even demons pay rent.  I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but it sounds fun to say.  Monkey Meat. Monkey Meat.

Don’t be allured by the alliteration! It already broke Travis; don’t be next!

Compass is offered in trade, spinning out of Rucka’s Old Guard, and offers us a tale of a woman journeying to 13th century Wales during the golden age of Islam in an attempt to find the secret of eternal life.  Justin Greenwood is doing the art so it should look good.

I don’t think it’s “spinning out” of The Old Guard, it’s just that the writers wrote stuff for The Old Guard. But yeah, I’m getting this. It’s right in my wheelhouse!

I’m hoping it does spin out for the compass/spinning pun there.

That’s a reach, sir.

I’ll have to order the Chu trades (page 68) so that Layman keeps doing comics.  I’ve had my eye on a copy of the first Chew Smorgasbord and if I have any money at Christmas time (HAHAHA!) it will be mine.  Finally!

I think this is the first time the trade of volume 2 of Hey Kids! Comics! is offered.  I’m interested in seeing Chaykin’s take on the seedy side of the comics business.

Yeah, it’s the first time it’s out. Why would you think otherwise? The first volume was quite good, so I’m keen to get this one.

I might have missed something!

Dark Horse:

Onward to the solicits!

On page 90, we find Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins giving us Apache Delivery Service, which is about a haunted treasure hunt in the Vietnam jungle. Of course I’ll be reading this!

Ray Fawkes is back with another weird graphic novel, In the Flood, on page 106. It’s about a husband and wife separated by bad rain. I mean, that sucks for them.

Well, Hound on page 110 sounds awesome. It’s about Morrigan, the Irish goddess of war, doing goddess of war things. Sounds groovy.

She will smite you with her holy hockey stick!

I’d be more interested in Cat + Gamer volume 1 if it was in fact about a cat who played video games, but apparently it’s about a worker drone lady who finds a stray cat and tries to raise it according to principles gleaned from video games.  Bah.  (Oh, when Greg styled the title, he made the title into +, whereas I read it without the punctuation.  That explains it.)

I think this is the first listing of the Crimson Flower trade, which sounded neat, about a government agency weaponizing folk tales, and this book seemed to focus on Russian tales, which I’m less familiar with, so it should be fun.

I don’t see that, but it’s probably the first listing. It’s not a bad story, but it’s not great, either. Fun to read.

IDW:

Usagi Yojimbo: Lone Goat and Kid 1 reprints the homage to Lone Wolf and Cub, which is also reprinted in the UY Saga TP 4 that Dark Horse is offering several pages back.  Weird timing.  And if you’re interested in the original Lone Wolf and Cub, Humble Bundle is offering a bundle this month with the entirety of it, if you donate/pay enough.  And of course over on Bob’s Burgers they have the wonderful Hawk and Chick homage.

If you’ve never actually gotten Alan Moore’s first novel, Voice of the Fire is offered in a new 25th anniversary edition.  I have a copy around somewhere that I never actually read yet.

You might be able to pay me to read that, but otherwise, hard pass.

I’m a sucker for the Star Trek Mirror Universe, and now IDW is reprinting the original post-ST3 movie storyline that DC put out.  I might have to get this.

Boom! Studios:

All the solicits are here!

On page 182 … there’s a new CURSED PIRATE GIRL!!!!!!! FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I need to catch up on this.

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Marvel:

Solicits are go!

On page 14, there’s a Ben Reilly: Spider-Man series. The solicit reads: “Because You Demanded It!” In what universe did any comic book reader demand the return of Ben Reilly? That is not a thing that has ever happened! Why is Marvel lying to us?

The first villain he faces must be called Gaslighter.

Oh, good call.

Speaking of solicit writing, on page 20, we get She-Hulk #1. The solicit begins with “The best character ever is back …” The “best” character “ever”? I mean, really? Wow.

The best character created in order to secure a copyright, probably.  I still like Dave Sim’s notion that if Marvel didn’t explicitly make a female version of a character (like She-Hulk and Spider-Woman in the late ‘70s), they were kinda up for grabs.

Ron Marz and Ron Lim are doing Silver Surfer Rebirth on page 24. Good for them!

Oh, Uatu, you can fuck right off

The solicit writers continue to bring me joy, with the banner for Sabretooth #1 on page 26 reading “Down In a Hole!” I mean, that sells itself, doesn’t it?

Alice In Chains rules, man!  (What’s weird is that I’m not finding Sabretooth 1 in the online listings, so I guess they pushed this one back.)

Marvel is doing another “Month of Weird Titles” omnibuses with June 1962 Omnibus, which brings us all the titles Marvel published the month Amazing Fantasy #15 came out. The one with FF #1 is amazing (I haven’t read it yet, but it looks amazing), so I’ll be getting this and I hope Marvel keeps doing them!

This one is even cooler to me, because I didn’t realize that Thor and Ant-Man debuted the same month that Spider-Man did, as well as FF getting up to issue 6.  Someday I’ll have to get these!

I’m very tempted to get the Excalibur Epic Collection: The Battle for Britain on page 107. It’s Excalibur #104-115 plus some other stuff, and it’s just a bunch of weird stuff. The one problem I have with it is that Ben Raab is one of the writers, and Raab is just not good at all. But there’s also John Arcudi and Larry Hama, and I’m just curious about this.

Stay strong and avoid it, man!  Remember all the bad comics you’ve tried to keep me away from over the years!

Let’s go to the back of the books!

Aardvark-Vanaheim has the usual Cerebus in Hell? stuff, with the 2022 preview (read: calendar with the proposed covers for each month) and the tenth volume of the Swords of CIH?, which is getting close to where I haven’t gotten the original one shots, I think.  There can’t be too many left before they catch up to the monthly book.  I recently included the first 6 Swords, signed by Dave, as part of my pledge for a Cerebus in Hell?-related Kickstarter, so I look forward to seeing that soon.

There are some cool trades on page 229 from AfterShock. Clans of Belari is about a revolution on the far side of the galaxy, Beyond the Breach is about a girl on a road trip who ends up in some weird dimension and needs to get back home. Ed Brisson and Damian Couceiro are good creators, so we’ll see. And Seven Swords is about famous real-life swordsmen of the 17th century teaming up, League of Extraordinary Gentleman-style. Coolio.

I’m looking forward to Bylines in Blood when it eventually comes out in trade.  The first issue is offered here (page 220) and is about a future where independent news is dead and secrets are ferreted out by PIs, and one woman has to get justice for her mentor.  It sounds somewhat similar to that one Image book from a few years back about the internet going down and couriers being the way to transmit info.  Wish I remembered the name of it!  Also, I thought the Seven Swords dudes were fictional, or at least have been fictionalized over the years.  Looks way cool though.

I dig the hipster with the medieval doctor’s ‘crow’ mask

That sounds … all right. A little on-the-nose, but whatever. Are you thinking of The Private Eye by Vaughan and Martin? That might be it.

No, I was thinking of Analog from Gerry Duggan et al.

Ah, yes. Good call.

Ahoy Comics has the trade for Black’s Myth on page 234, which I will be getting. It’s about a werewolf private investigator and her djinn assistant solving cases. Whoo-hoo!

Yeah, it sounded pretty cool,

AWA is publishing The Fourth Man (page 252), which must be about Elijah Snow, right?

Hardy-har-har.

Behemoth has some neat sounding ones (pages 258-261).  Paranormal Hitmen and Vietnam Horror seem self-explanatory.  You Promised Me Darkness has to do with people born when Halley’s Comet comes by Earth, and the alien thing that comes after the people who get special powers from it.  Until My Knuckles Bleed is a new series from Victor Santos about a ‘90s former superhero type trying to live out his life nowadays.  It should look great, at least.

Wolverine, no!!!!!!

Bliss on Tap has a neat sounding one with Duel (page 263), about a website hosting a “game” of dueling, and the FBI agent who has to investigate.  The art is by Alex Cormack, so it should look neat.

Centrala Publishing on page 276 has So Far So Good, which is about Czech brothers in the 1950s fighting against the Commies. Sounds pretty keen.

The cover art looks neat.

Clover Press has Popeye Variations: Not Yer Pappy’s Comics An’ Art Book (page 277), which is edited by Craig Yoe, so it presumably includes the variant covers from the IDW Popeye reprint series, which included Dave Sim art, so I might want to pick this up.

In the sidebar listing the artists, Sim is not mentioned. There’s “many more,” though, so maybe. I have never liked Popeye, so I will skip this.

He may be relegated to “many more” status.

Comics Experience has a new one from Paul Allor and friends with Past the Last Mountain (page 281), about how the US rounded up all the fantasy creatures, and now some of them have escaped their prison.  Sounds cool.  Also from them is the Warlock 5 Omnibus trade (page 282), which reprints a book from Aircel, I think, from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, about protectors of the Grid, who must protect the Grid even though they hate each other.  I got the first issue a while back, and it was actually quite good, so I’m considering this one.  I just saw a Kickstarter with a related title, Dragonring, where Cullen Bunn is also apparently working on a reboot of both series.

That image is making me very uncomfortable on many different levels let’s move on please

ComixTribe has Happy Hill (page 282), about a vacation resort hiding dark secrets.  Joe Mulvey did the cool series Scam several years back, so I’ll eventually get a trade of this.

Darryl Cunningham has a book called Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator on page 284 from Drawn & Quarterly. Let’s just remember this book for the time being.

Humanoids has some interesting stuff, including Vann Nath: Painting the Khmer Rouge on page 307. It’s about an artist who’s imprisoned and forced to paint propaganda about the regime, and when he gets out he begins telling the truth about the Khmer Rouge. Sounds keen.

Illustration Magazine 75 (page 309) features work of Pruett Carter, “known for his beautiful slick magazine illustrations during the 40s and 50s. And for tragically shooting his wife and son before turning the gun on himself in 1955.”  Welp.  That took a turn.

What a weird solicit.

Okay, we’re back to Darryl Cunningham, who has Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator on page 321 from New Internationalist. Is it the same book as the D & Q one? The book have different page counts and different prices, so what’s the deal? This is freaking me out more than it should.

It’s really weird, because from what I can find, the D&Q one came out around September?  The New Internationalist one sounds like it’s more updated.  I wondered if it was a new imprint of D&Q that just got listed separately, but I’m not seeing that either.  You’re right, it’s soooooo weird!

The same … or different?

Oni has A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality on page 329. How not quick can it be? “Page 1: Asexual people don’t want to have sex. Leave them alone. The end.” There! I did it!

PS Artbooks, despite their very poor release schedule, continues to offer intriguing books, and on page 337 we find Fight Comics Featuring Señorita Rio volume 1, which features Nick Cardy and Lily Renée art, and that should be fun. Of course, it might never come out, given the publisher, but I will look forward to it!

WANT

I might also go for the Psycho Magazine reprint, the first Skywald publication, on page 338.

Ooooh, there’s a “Gary” Morrow story in that, so I’m tempted.

Because of or in spite of the typo?

On page 340, we find Karl the Viking with art by Don Lawrence, coming to us from Rebellion/2000AD. This sounds like neat-o historical fiction, but … “Karl”? Really? I know it’s a perfectly cromulent name, but for some reason it makes me think of a kids’ comic, with L’il Karl getting into all kinds of trouble as he vexes his father and Viking chief, Olaf the Grumpy. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.

I think it actually was a comic in one of the more kids’ comic weeklies from the ‘60s or ‘70s, but I dig what you’re saying.  Also, I appreciate you using “L’il”, because even though it’s technically incorrect, it’s always been my preferred way of abbreviating little for this sort of thing.

It has always been, and always shall be, “l’il.” I HAVE DECREED!!!!!

FUCK YEAH!!!

Scout has a new printing of It Eats What Feeds It (page 342), which seems like they would have just had the first print out not long ago, so it’s weird they need another already.  Supply chain stuff, I wonder?  Anyway, did you get this, and was it worth getting?

It was fine. A bit too short, as things happened too quickly, but not bad. I’d look for the review here but can’t be bothered.

Titan‘s pulp stuff is usually pretty good, so I’ll get the trade of Gun Honey on page 356. It’s about an agent of the U.S. government tracking a prisoner who escaped from prison. No, it doesn’t sound like anything special, but it’s all in the execution!

The writer is the head dude at Hard Crime, the book and comics imprint that does a lot of good, gritty stuff, so it should be worth it.  Also from Titan is The Junction (page 357), another entry in that fairly new genre of “child that disappeared years ago comes back unaged”.

Yeah, that’s a weird genre. Something is in the zeitgeist!

OOOOoooooEEEEeeeEEEEEoooOOOOOO!!!!!!

That’s funny, three entries in a row on page 363 all involve Stan Lee stuff, and it’s all from 3 different publishers.  Tor has The Devil’s Quintet book, which is not at all like Kirby’s Satan’s Six, Touchstone has a new listing for the classic How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way (which I got a copy of earlier this year), and T Pub has Stan’s Lucky Man trade.

TwoMorrows has Back Issue 134 (page 363), with Bronze Age oddities and rarities.  Sounds like the usual coolness, including Oh Yeah Kool-Aid Man!

Did Vault finish up Money Shot?  I need to get this third volume trade then, if it’s the final one, as I fell behind on the book this year and didn’t get this stuff.

You know I don’t pay attention to that stuff! All I know is that this is the third trade. Will there be a fourth? NO MAN CAN SAY!!!!! (Well, I mean, I guess Tim Seeley can, but that’s not dramatic.)

ONE MAN CAN SAY!!!!!  Eh, it’s got a ring to it!

All right, that’s enough of this silliness. It’s late on the 16th of November, and we’ve both been incredibly lazy about getting this posted. Y’all should read out Slack exchanges – it’s like two hayseeds sitting on a porch in Alabama drinking moonshine and complaining about our dog Jasper. “Yew wanna do the Previews post?” “Naw, man, whenever I log on ol’ Jasper starts ta howlin’. I cain’t concentrate!” “I hear ya. Git, ya dumb dog!” It’s not pretty. Thanks for sticking with us, and we hope you’re having a good week!

7 Comments

  1. Edo Bosnar

    Yeah, I read about Busiek coming back to finally continue Arrowsmith a few weeks ago. I’m so on board for that, esp. since Pacheco is also returning to do the art.
    I purchased a Humble Bundle package a few months ago that consisted of all Hard Case Crime books (a *really* good deal – over 20 books) and it included a 10-page preview of Gun Honey. I just scrolled through it once, so all I can say is that the art is really pretty, although it looks like it might be a pretty solid story.

    …And I also have a copy of Moore’s Voice of the Fire. It’s been sitting on my shelf of shame for over half a decade at this point. Don’t know when I’ll ever get around to it. I recall flipping through it not long after I bought it. It seems like a very dense book…

  2. tomfitz1

    EXTINGUISHED GENTLEMEN (NOT!):

    I’m looking forward to ARROWSMITH by Busiek and Pacheco as it’s been far tool long since any new ARROWSMITH graced the market.

    It’s been too long since I’ve read SAGA, so let’s get into the second half, eh?

    BTW, dunno if you mentioned it or know about it, but Chris Ryall’s (IDW former CEO) behind the scene on SYZYGY’s imprint showcasing RAIN.

    I’ll be getting THE FOURTH MAN anyway since it’s from AWA, and it would be fun to see Elijah Snow back in action.

  3. Der

    As I remember, IDW is doing recoloring of Usagi Yojimbo issues, the originals are B&W.

    Dark Horse is reprinting the Usagi Yojimbo big volumes(they have, I think, 3 books each?) wich is great because I’m missing some of those, volumes 6,7, 8 and legends. I hope they reprint them all and I’m going to preorder them(via amazon I suppose) because they get out of stock incredibly fast

  4. John King

    Regarding Warlock 5
    The Omnibus reprints the first 13 issues (by creators Gordon Derry and Dennis Beauvais) and what would have been issues 14 and 15 had they not fallen out with Aircel finally seeing print more than 30 years later.
    As I enjoyed the original run after chancing on a copy of the real issue 5 (issue 6 was wrongly numbered) while travelling around for job interviews after finishing university so I got the hardback of the omnibus last year.
    One word of warning is those extra issues do not bring the story to a good ending point but instead end on a “to be continued” (I won’t say “cliffhanger” as that term is used much too loosely, though this is more deserving of that label than some of the “teaser” scenes it’s been applied to)
    I will add that all the stories in the omnibus are, pretty much, about them fighting each other. The idea of them unifying to protect the grid together was introduced in issue 13 (maybe, it would have happened in issue 16 or 17).

    I also have the hardback of Cullen Bunn’s first volume (60 pages) which starts off with them working together

    DragonRing was an odd series – the first series was adventure with archaeology and martial arts ,,, the third series it was renamed DragonForce and was sort of a superhero team , the second series was the transition between the two -I mainly remember one issue of series 2 devoting 6 pages (spread in pairs across an issue) to introducing a new character in scenes without dialogue or story but instead featuring lyrics from the Eurythmics “Love is a Stranger”

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