Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – September 2017

Are we going to find some cool stuff inside Previews #348? You bet we are!

Just stay dead, Rasputin!

As you might recall, I’m in blue, while Travis is in black. That way it’s easier to separate the bad commentary from the good!

The bad commentary is from the one whose color starts with B!

Dark Horse:

Check out all the solicitations here!

Mignola and Chris Roberson are doing a mini-series about Rasputin and the origins of Hellboy on page 44. It’s drawn by Christopher Mitten, and I’m sure it will be good, but man I’m so sick of Rasputin. He’s one of those historical figures, like Tesla, whom comics writers need to retire for a while. I’ll think about getting this in trade.

Well, now you’ve just ruined my Rasputin vs. Tesla pitch.  Thanks!

Hey, no problem. I’d still read that, man!

Jenny Finn gets reprinted in color on page 46. This is a pretty terrific mini-series by Mignola and Troy Nixey, and I’m sure Dave Stewart’s colors will be amazing, but I’ll probably skip it simply because I already own it. But if you haven’t read it yet, it’s keen.

I actually got a copy of the trade not too long ago, but of course haven’t read it yet.  Not sure why they are reprinting it in single issues, particularly when DH has such trouble publishing new miniseries in single issues.  It amuses me also that Dark Horse is acquiring this and Only the End of the World Again, picking up old Oni books like that, since Oni basically started as a “spinoff” of Dark Horse (if you will, since they were ex-DH employees, iirc).

You know you’ll dig it!

On page 50, Shadows on the Grave gets a fancy hardcover for only 20 dollars (for 8 issues). That’s an excellent value, and Richard Corben is pretty awesome, so I’ll probably get this instead of waiting for the softcover, even though that will be even cheaper!

The only thing that worries me, since I plan on getting this, is that the HC won’t have the same smell that the singles did.  Yes, I smelled the comic at the store!  It had a distinct newsprint odor, dammit, and it was wonderful!  Also, if there’s a story of a barbarian “reminiscent” of Den, why didn’t he just use Den?  Does Heavy Metal own that character?  That’s got to be awkward.

Ha, I didn’t notice this at first, but under the listing on page 54 for Briggs Land v2 Lone Wolves (which was the name of the “miniseries” that wraps on the same page), it says the trade collects issues 7-12.  Oops!  Someone didn’t get the memo that it’s a totally different series now, yeah, sure!

The second volume of the Grendel Tales Omnibus is on page 56, and you should get it if you haven’t read these stories already. They’re pretty great. Maybe some day I’ll actually get the first volume (my store got something completely different than it when they ordered it, because Diamond doesn’t give a shit, and a re-order hasn’t come in yet), even though I’ve already read the stories. I like my fancy big omnibi, dang it!!!!

I will be considering this stuff, but undoubtedly will kick it down the line and get it that magical, mystical time of “someday”.

On page 57 we get a collection of Michael Chabon’s The Escapist: Amazing Adventures, which includes 6 never before published stories.  Dammit!  I have the single issues, so I don’t necessarily want to buy a collection for some mysteriously unpublished stories.  Also, I’m not sure if this does include the Spirit story from one of the issues.  However, this is 400 pages for 25 bucks, so it’s a pretty good deal!


Here are the full solicits!

On page 77, Geoff Johns and Gray Frank and everyone else involved with this piss on Alan Moore’s beard and set his tarot cards on fire just because they can with Doomsday Clock #1, which has to be the laziest-named big event of all time. “What should we call this? Fuck Alan Moore? Or is that too on the nose?” “Well, it’s about a clock counting down to Doomsday, so how about Doomsday Clock?” “That’s … that’s … fucking genius!!!! Print that motherfucker!” So what is this? Superman wants to know what’s going on with Dr. Manhattan? Jeebus. How can an entire company miss the point of their own products so badly and consistently?

Am I reading right, that this too is a 12 issue series?  I swore the first thing I saw about this was that it was a 4 issue thing, which was bad enough.  Egad, a whole year of this shit?  How apt is the one cover with “The End is Here” on the placard.

Oh, it’s twelve issues, baby! You can’t get the nuances of Superman punching Dr. Manhattan in four pathetic issues, man! You need an entire year!

“They get on my case for wearing my underpants on the outside, but dude, your dick is out and it’s blue!”

“So are my balls, big boy!  C’mere!”

Stay classy, Travis

Hawkman Found is on page 80. I love the solicitation: “One of DC’s greatest heroes is missing!” Dang, Batman’s missing? So is Hawkman trying to find him? Anyway, DC is trying with Hawkman yet again, bless their stupid little hearts. Hey, as long as they keep paying Jeff Lemire so he can do real comics, I’m good. I’m also hoping, as this is a one-shot, that it’s just someone random like Starfire finding him at a mall in Missouri. “Hey, Carter, what’s up?” “Oh, sorry, but the Cinnabon here is so fucking good, I forgot to check in!”

Sick burn on Hawkman, man!  He just fucking died, and no one cared.  You can keep killing him, but he’s still just a fucking bird furry, ffs.

On page 81, we get Batman and the Signal, which is what we’re calling Duke Thomas now, I guess. Caleb went over a bunch of better names for Duke, but what I want to talk about is the ridiculousness of the actual premise. The solicits read: “Batman may own the night, but with new villains emerging during the day, he needs an ally to defend the city when he can’t.” So Duke Thomas – the Signal – is Daytime Batman. This idea make my head hurt. Everyone at DC knows that Batman isn’t a vampire, right? There’s no reason he can’t be out during the day except that he looks so much cooler at night, right? There have been plenty of Batman stories set during the day, and no one rioted. DC has done this kind of thing before – I remember a story with the Riddler (maybe?) where he deliberately committed crimes during the day, thinking Batman wouldn’t stop them, and even though to thwart them, Batman closed the roof of a convention center to “make it night” before he could defeat them, it was still during the day (and that idea, that he needed to make it dark, was stupid even then), and nobody stopped Batman from thwarting the crime! Listen, we know he doesn’t need a lot of sleep, because during the day, he’s often in the Bat-Cave doing shit or out bring Bruce Wayne, so again – it’s not like he’s a vampire. I get that you want to make Scott Snyder happy and if making his pet character a “Daytime Batman” is the way to do it, fair enough. But can’t anyone say to Snyder, “Yeah, we love you and you can write your DC Black Sabbath book or whatever the fuck it’s called, but Daytime Batman, Scott? Really? You don’t think that might be the stupidest idea you could come up with?” Damn, I can’t even with how stupid this idea is.

And Batman is out in the sunlight on this cover, too!  HA!  I do like Cully Hamner, though.  What was even stupider to me re: Batman not out in the daytime was back in that … War Crimes?  Was that what it was called when they killed off Spoiler?  Anyway, one of the stupid things in that one (in a storyline filled with stupid), not only is Batman not ever supposed to have come out in the daytime, but there’s never been any footage of him anywhere!  He’s been around at that point probably, oh, 10-15 years, since this was Tim Drake era stuff, but NO ONE filmed him AT ALL until then?  Fucking ridiculous.  I can see a “Daytime Batman” in the sense of a PR-friendly dude who says “hey, I work with Batman, he’s a good dude, he takes out the trash at night but I’m the bright shiny dude.  With the Signal as my name and costume.  And the signal on Batman’s chest is to get guns aimed at where he can armor himself.  Wait.  I’m here to draw gunfire with a bright costume?  Wasn’t my being black going to do that enough?”  (Too much?)

Hamner is cromulent, I agree. And yeah, I didn’t know about that “lack of footage” thing, but come the fuck on, people. Especially because DC is insistent that every Batman story has always existed and always will. So those Batman stories where he’s getting medals from the mayor in broad daylight – no one filmed those? Geddaphukoudaheer, DC!

Ooh, that’s tempting on page 87, Batman Annual 2 has Lee Weeks art on early Batman/Catwoman stuff.  He good.

Yeah, it will nice, but I could not care less about the story idea.

Lee Weeks, man

Jeebus, isn’t that Bolphunga the Unrelenting the dude from the original “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” story?  He’s back in Green Lanterns 35 on page 93.  Let’s just use every Alan Moore idea ever!

Beats me – it’s been a while since I read that. I assume it is – according to DC, Alan Moore is a genius who was the last person at the company to have any original ideas and we should honor him by, you know, strip-mining everything he’s ever done and not paying him one thin dime for it, because fuck that genius!

(I don’t know why I’m so bitter about DC’s treatment of Moore in this post. Usually I think Moore, as good a writer as he is, has his head up his magicKal ass and should just shut the fuck up, but that Doomsday Clock thing is really pissing me off, for some reason.)

Hey, you can be as bitter as you want.  Somehow I’ve resigned myself to the fact that they’re going to strip mine this stuff, and the bile has failed to increase in me this go round.  But I’ve felt the anger more in the past, so it’s good that you feel it too, man!

Man, I don’t want to buy the Justice League of America Annual on page 97, but Kelley Jones is drawing it, and I’m really, really tempted.

Yeah, that one is tempting.  I’ll wait to see if the library gets the trade, though.

Great drawing, weird-ass poses

Batman: Creature of the Night is on page 109. It’s by Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon and is claimed as a “spiritual companion” to Superman: Secret Identity, which is a great comic. It sounds like those “Real World” specials DC did back around the turn of the century, as Bruce Wainwright sees his parents killed but in a world with no superheroes, he’s not quite sure how to process it. Anyway, this sounds neat, and the creators are awesome, and the trade will be a nice purchase!

I never got around to getting Superman: Secret Identity, although I see the dee-loox HC is reoffered on page 144.  Yeah, I won’t get this in singles, but will eventually read it!

Tony Isabella is writing a new Black Lightning mini-series on page 110. That would make me more excited if Clayton Henry weren’t drawing it. He’s … not very good.

I’ve heard the name, but don’t associate it with anything.  But hey, the series has real world issues in a superhero world!  Wow!  That’s never been done before!

Ha! Henry drew … well, he’s drawn some of the Archer and Armstrong stuff from Valiant, I think, but he’s so bland and mediocre that it’s tough to really remember what he’s done. But he’s not all that good, unfortunately.

Andrew Constant, who’s a pretty good writer (and Australian, to boot!), is writing The Demon: Hell is Earth on page 111, with Brad Walker drawing it. Sounds like a nice trade.

Etrigan and Jason Blood’s relationship is changed forever!  Or at least until someone else wants to use the Demon and completely ignores these changes.

Man, you’re too young to be so cynical!

Yay!  I’m still young!

Maybe they’ll cut out the fucking rhyming!

Alisa Kwitney and Mike Norton are doing Mystik U on page 113, in which Zatanna enrolls at Hogwarts. Wait, I’m being told it’s not actually Hogwarts, it’s the non-union Mexican equivalent, “Cerdo-Verrugas.” Still, this looks like it’s in the Prestige Format I love so much, and that’s not a bad team or a bad concept, so I’ll probably (wait for it!) wait for the trade. Unless I see the first issue and fall in love with it. PRESTIGE FORMAT, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!

I’m trying to remember what stuff I’ve read of Kwitney’s, and from what I’m coming up with, I’m not particularly excited about this, but I do dig Norton’s art and of course loves me some Zatanna, so I may get the trade down the line.

Kwitney’s written some tangential Sandman books and some other Vertigo stuff. She’s not great but she’s pretty good.

Page 119 gives us the New Talent Showcase 2017, and this year, I actually haven’t heard of the vast majority of these creators.  Also, in our continuing series of “cool names of comics creators”, we have “Owl Goingback”.  Hells yeah.

That’s a terrific name. And yeah, it’s nice to see a “New Talent Showcase” where the talent is actually new. Good for DC!

On page 131, we get Batman in the Brave and the Bold: The Bronze Age, 456 pages (for 35 dollars) of BOB HANEY WACKINESS. I am all over this like Jack Black on a taco. Bob Haney is a national fucking treasure.

I think I may need to get this, too.

For our crowd, I think I should mention the DCU by John Byrne HC on page 132, with a bunch of stories by the man himself.  Too bad they couldn’t include the Darkseid/Galactus one shot.  That was good.

I saw that, and hope they release it in softcover!

On page 133 we get a collection of JSA by Geoff Johns.  From what I’ve read of this series, it was ok.

I heard that Justice League/Power Rangers was surprisingly decent.  However, I’m not paying 25 bucks for a HC of it.  I’ll wait for the library to get a copy.  If I was going to spring for a book on page 134, I’d get the Kamandi by Kirby Omnibus HC, with the first 40 issues for 125 bucks.

On page 136 we get a collection of Shazam! The New Beginning from post-Crisis era DC.  This features Tom Mandrake art, I didn’t realize that.  I thought there was a Shazam! story in Secret Origins from that same era, so I wonder why they didn’t include that.  I highly doubt this storyline is worth 35 bucks in a dee-loox HC, though.

Tales of the Batman: Alan Brennert finally gets a softcover trade on page 138, and I’ll probably get it. I own a few of the issues in here, but not all of them, and it’ll be nice having them in one nice book.

Shit, you know I’m way behind when I’ve had the HC version of this for ages and still haven’t popped it open.  If I’d thought they would do a SC of it, I would have waited, too, dammit.  I think this is the first Tales of the Batman to go to SC, and of course it’s the one I bought in HC.  Sigh.

I’m intrigued by the Teen Titans Silver Age trade on page 138.  I have a few of those stories, and they’re fun, and it’s Bob Haney, so I’m highly considering it.  Also, the Mad Mod AND the Demon Dragster.

I’ve never been a huge Titans fan, but I might try this. As you note, it’s BOB HANEY!!!!

Imaginary Friends on page 142 sounds neat. A girl is convicted of murder that she insists her imaginary friend committed, and before she turns 18 and gets transferred to actual prison, the FBI offers her a deal to hunt other “imaginary” monsters with the help of that same murdering imaginary friend. Tim Seeley knows how to write a solid horror story, so this might be pretty cool.

Yeah, sounds like it’ll be a good trade.  Is Vertigo coming back, man?  That’d be cool for the *gulp* 25th anniversary of the line next year.  I think.

That’s a nice creepy-ass cover, too


Take a look at the solicits here!

On page 156 we have the trade of Cosmic Scoundrels, which sounds like a fun sci-fi buddy comedy.  I like what I’ve seen of Andy Suriano (didn’t he draw Joe Casey’s Charlatan Ball?), so I may get this.

Yes, he did. I looked at this a few times in the shoppe, and it didn’t really grab me. I’ll have to think about it.

For 25 bucks, IDW is giving us The Monstrous Collection of Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson, which has three of their comics and isn’t a bad price. I own a nice version of The Ghoul but not the other two collaborations, so I might have to get this. Any Wrightson comic is worth having!

I think I have all of these in some form too (I have the treasury edition of The Ghoul, and Dead She Said and Doc Macabre are also included), but of course haven’t read them. (page 157)

There’s a new Jem and the Holograms anthology book called Dimensions on page 167, with stories by Sophie Campbell and Kate Leth and Tana Ford, and there’s also a second big HC of our pal Kelly Thompson’s run on page 166.

Man, you shouldn’t ski like that!

I’m not the hugest Judge Dredd fan, but I might get The Blessed Earth on page 179 because it’s drawn by Jason Copland, who’s a boss dude and a good artist. That’s just how I roll!

He may have done just the art on the 2017 Annual, I think, if you wanted to catch just that.

Ah, I’ll have to check that out.


Here are the full solicits for you!

I don’t know if Wes Craig is any good as a writer, but he’s writing The Gravediggers Union (shouldn’t there be an apostrophe somewhere?) on page 188. Toby Cypress provides the art, and his style is a good fit for a weird, comedic take on the apocalypse, with gravediggers. Could I get the trade? Possibly …

Hmm, there does seem to be an apostrophe needed there, but I suppose it works without?  (What band had an album with Gravediggers something or other?  Soul Asylum?  Oh, that’s Grave Dancers Union.  Never mind.)  Anyway, as with almost all these Image books any more, I’mma wait for the trade.

Fun cover, though

Port of Earth (page 196), which is about aliens opening a spaceport on our planet but abusing their privileges, sounds neat. I haven’t read anything by Zack Kaplan, but Andrea Mutti’s art is quite nice.

On page 199, we have a 10 dollar trade (supposedly …) with Regression v1, from Cullen Bunn et al.  Past-life regression goes wrong and insanity ensues.  Sounds fun!

So, Void Trip is a miniseries about the last 2 humans alive in the galaxy, trying to trip their way to the hippie paradise world of Euphoria.  Sounds like it might be a fun trade, but I point it out mostly because the artist is named Plaid Klaus, which is awesome.

I saw that name. Oh, these wacky artists with their wacky names!

I shoudl have named my daughter ‘Plaid.’ Such a missed opportunity!

On page 203, Winnebago Graveyard gets a trade. I don’t love Steve Niles, but he can come up with cool premises, and Alison Sampson’s art is stupendous, so I’m getting this.

I don’t know if Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker has been offered in softcover before, but it’s on page 207 for only 18 bucks for 8 issues. This is an insane comic from Joe Casey, full of awesomeness, and Mike Huddleston’s art is tremendous. It sounds like the two had a falling out and that’s why there were only 8 issues, but those 8 issues are pretty great.

I don’t think there was a SC before.  I know there was a HC, which included a story they did for Four Letter Worlds.  I have the singles of this, but these ones came out right around the time I got all squirrelly about how I read my comics (well, more squirrelly), so I never finished reading the series.  But I did love that story in the back matter of issue 1 about Joe Casey possibly meeting Steve Ditko!

I’d like to point out, even though I didn’t read this arc (or the second, for that matter), They’re Not Like Us concludes with volume 3 on page 233.  The first arc was incredibly good!

Huh, just noticed that Violent Love 10 on page 234 is the series finale.  I got the trade of v1, but of course haven’t read it yet.  Guess I’ll probably get v2 just to have the whole thing, though!

Well, that sucks, because Victor Santos’s art is so good. It did seem to have a limited shelf life, however, but I wonder how much they cut it short because the sales weren’t there.

In the new Image Plus v2 1, the spotlighted comic shop is one I’ve actually been in, Comicazi in Somerville, MA!  It’s a pretty good shop, from what I remember from when I’ve been in there (and hopefully I get in there in early November, when I plan on getting up to the Boston area!).


Are there solicits at this link? You bet there are!

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee get a crack at Captain America on page 3. Good for them! It’s bound to be better than Waid’s last turn on the title 20 years ago, which despite its reputation isn’t all that great.

Ooh, I know you’ve said that before, and I think I read them again since you did, and I mostly agree with you that they’re not quite as great as they seemed at the time.

I don’t think I’ve read anything by Max Bemis, but he’s taking over Moon Knight on page 22, and I’m very tempted because Jacen Burrows is drawing it. I really like Burrows’s art (he’s a nice guy, too), and it’s nice to see him out of the Avatar ghetto for once (although it might lend credence to Travis’s belief that Avatar is in trouble, because if they can’t keep Burrows employed, something weird is happening). So that should be a nice-looking book, even if I don’t know if the writing will be any good.

This is the lenticular cover, and I just might plunk down the ducats for this

On pages 34-38, Marvel does something so stupid even I couldn’t believe it, and I’m ready to believe every stupid thing I hear about Marvel! They give us five one-shots starring relatively obscure characters – Darkhawk, Forbush Man, Power Pack, Shang-Chi, and Silver Sable – which isn’t a bad thing at all. Then they number them as if they were the next issues in their long-cancelled series! I get it, Marvel – you think all your problems are because you don’t have high numbers on your books anymore, not that your comics cost too much, they’re too short, you don’t have consistent creative teams, and you have too many titles. But throwing high numbers on these and then not having another issue next month? That’s next-level stupid, Marvel. Congratulations! I’m sure this won’t be confusing at all.

Well, don’t forget, DC did the same thing with some series during Blackest Night, where they had one shots of books like Suicide Squad and Starman and stuff that tied into the BN storyline.  I think they’re obviously testing the waters to gauge the demand for more of these characters.

Yeah, I mentioned that at the shoppe last week when I was looking through Previews, but the difference, of course, is that those were tied into an event and had a “zombie” theme going on, and you knew if you saw it randomly at the store that it was tied into “Blackest Night.” These are just completely random, tying into nothing, so people who don’t read Previews (like they should!) won’t have any idea what’s going on. It just seems confusing.

Well, at least Devin Grayson is back, on Power Pack 63!

I’m not sure if I’m going to get the hardcover of Moon Knight by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev on page 94, but I am tempted. I know this isn’t the best iteration of the character, but I still love me some Moon Knight, and reading a train wreck can be entertaining, damn it!

Didn’t you get the single issues of this?  If so, use that money you would use for this book and get better stuff, man!

Nope, never got the singles. I think I bought the first issue and wasn’t impressed. I’m still not sure if I’m going to get it, but your adamant insistence that I don’t is making me lean against it. Thanks, Pelkie!

I do what I can to save you money!

I’m not sure if Black Bolt (page 101) is any good, but Christian Ward drew it, which means it will look really cool. So I’m pondering …

I’m pondering the Cable trade on page 103, because I do like me a good time travel story.  Plus, James Robinson.

Sweet lord, I had intended to read the first trade of Hawkeye by our pal Kelly Thompson, and then got sidetracked by life, and now here on page 104 we have volume 2.  Which I will of course get anyway.

It’s a really, really good series, sir!

Did you read any of the Age of Apocalypse series that spun out of Uncanny X-Force?  I have 19.1 of that series, and maybe the first issue of AoA, but I don’t know if it was any good.  If it was ok, this trade on page 112 does have over 21 issues of stuff for 35 bucks, which isn’t a bad deal.

No, I didn’t read any of it. Nor do I want to!

Nostalgia is making me consider this X-Men Epic Collection on page 113, Mutant Genesis, which collects the stuff right around the time of the Jim Lee 5 cover X-Men #1.  Why do I let myself consider this?!

Those Whilce Portacio issues of X-Factor are really cool, though.

Old-school junk is better than new-school junk!

Let’s get to the back of the book!

This month’s Cerebus in Hell? one shot is “The Death of Cerebus in Hell?“, which I believe is a take on the death of Captain America during Civil War covers.  It’s from Aardvark-Vanaheim and on page 246.

Well, heck, it’s the final issue of Motor Girl (#10) from Abstract Studios and Terry Moore on the same page.  I’ll wait to see if he does a collection of the whole thing, since I didn’t get v1.  I wonder if he intended to do just the 10 issues?

That is kind of strange. Moore usually can do something for as long as he wants, so I wonder that too, or if his economies of scale ain’t what they used to be. I’ll still get this!

Also on 246 is the second issue of Charlton Arrow from AC.  The first issue hasn’t come out yet, but I’m glad that more E-Man exists!

On the top of page 250, Action Lab brings us Athena Voltaire: Pulp Tales, which are prose stories by a bunch of different writers with illustrations by Athena creator Steve Bryant. I assume that’s what it is from the solicits. I’m not sure if I want to get this – I want to support Bryant, who’s an awesome dude, but I’m not the biggest fan of short stories (I’m not exactly sure why not), so I may never actually read this. I’m going to have to think this over.

I may get this as well.  It’s on the long list, anyway!

AfterShock has a trade of World Reader on page 262, in which an astronaut travels to dead planets to find out what’s killing the universe. Sounds neat, and Juan Doe is a fine artist, so I’ll probably pick this up.

This sounded decent, and I believe I mocked the writer’s credits when the first issue was solicited, but actually, the Groot (mini-that-wasn’t-necessarily-supposed-to-be-a-mini-)series that he wrote was actually pretty good (I’m never getting around to reviewing it at this point, man!).  So I’m intrigued and may get this myself.

Those are some freaky eyes, yo

Alterna has yet another buck and a half book starting on page 264, Doppelganger, where a concussed computer engineer starts being tormented by an evil version of himself.  Sounds like fun, and I’m in anyway at that price!

Alternative collects Charles Forsman’s Slasher on page 266, which I’ve been getting in singles (as I thought it was just a one shot at first).  I’ve flipped through it, and it looks interesting, about a duo who connect sexually through their disturbing urges.  I’ll try to read and review it before the orders are due (yeah, yeah, I know!).

I’m not sure if I’ll get The Land That Time Forgot on page 269 from American Mythology, but I might. Mike Wolfer is writing it, and while I wish he were also drawing it, Giancarlo Carracuzo isn’t bad. I’ll think about it.

Also on page 271 is Eternal Thirst of Dracula, written by Wolfer and drawn by Roy Allen Martinez, which sounds bloody good.

That does sound kind of cool, and Martinez is a pretty good artist.

Vampire bat gorillas, because why not?

Whoa, back up to page 268, where unpublished Underdog stories from the Gold Key comics have been discovered and are being published by Am. Myth.  I’m sure the older people in the crowd are familiar with Steve Skeates, who wrote these.  I’m tempted to get this!

I wasn’t sure if I needed to get Rogues! volume 4, which collects Odd Parenthood, but it seems I did get this series in singles.  Provided they actually published all the singles, though.  I’m not sure on that!  Amigo is funky that way, but I like their stuff, like here on page 272.

They published them all!

Gold Digger reaches issue #250 on page 274 from Antarctic. Good for Fred Perry! I have no interest in Gold Digger whatsoever, but that’s still an impressive achievement. My shoppe gets one (1) copy, and I’m really curious about the person who gets it – is that the only comic he (or she, I guess, but it’s more statistically likely it’s a man) ever buys? Has he been buying it since the beginning? Is he actually Fred Perry himself?!?!?!?

I assume that when they refer to this as the second longest running female led comic, #1 is Wonder Woman?  And second longest run by one creator is, I assume, second to Dave Sim on Cerebus.  I may get this just to see what it’s all about.  But congrats to Fred Perry!

Hmm, Archie has, on page 279, a collection of The Best of Archie Americana: Golden Age of 400+ pages for 10 bucks.  I may give that a try.

Black Mask has the trade of There’s Nothing There on page 290. A shallow celebrity attends a weird party that turns out to be an actual occult gathering, and things get weird. I liked the look of the first issue, so I’ll probably pick up this trade.

Yeah, I was intrigued as well, and was waiting for the trade.  Maybe I’ll even read it at some point, too!  I’m also intrigued by Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart, a GN spinoff of the Black series that should be in trade soon.  I’ll try to read that when it comes out and see if I like it.

I’d just like to point out that our pal Buttler says that he also suggested a King Kong/Planet of the Apes crossover, like the Kong on the Planet of the Apes book on page 294 from Boom! (The solicitations for which you can find here.)

Wouldn’t they just immediately install him as their god? Doesn’t that make sense?

Boom! also has a fencing comic on page 296. You might think it’s about putting up a fence, but no, it’s the sword-fighting kind. I’m just here to point out that the artist is Johanna the Mad. Is she angry, or crazy? Or both? The mind boggles!

Funny!  What’s even weirder is that this is not the first comic about fencing (in North America, at least, as it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if there have been manga about it).  There was a book by Jane Yolen, iirc, a few years back.  Ah yes, here it is, Foiled!  (and it got a sequel too)

Godshaper gets a trade on page 299. Boom! must really like this, because it usually takes forever for them to get trades out. I’ll check this out.

I’m totally in, this looked fantastic!

Speaking of forever on collections from Boom!, we get a HC of George Pérez’s Sirens on page 301, which is one I was interested in but good lord, it’s taken forever to come out.  And I don’t know that I want to drop 30 bucks on a HC.

Yeah, I’m not getting this in hardcover. I hope Boom! puts out a softcover, because the art looked a-MAH-zing, but the story didn’t sound too, too interesting.

This took forever to come out, too, so I can wait for a cheaper version!

I’m way behind on reading it, but the first volume of Giant Days was sooooo good, and now the 2017 Special on page 304 features art by Jenn St-Onge, who did the Jem: Misfits mini, iirc.  Her art looks great, so I’m grabbing this one, in case it never gets collected in trade.

Speaking of stuff I didn’t think would be traded, on page 305 is a collection of the Boom! Box Mix Tape specials, which I never got, so I may pick this up.  I don’t know if it’s oversized like those original comics were, though.  I do believe that our pal Kelly has a story in one of them, too.

On page 308 is a HC of Snoopy.  I’ll probably write about the local museum exhibit of art by Alexis Fajardo, who went to my high school, works for the Charles Schulz people (so no doubt worked on this collection), and also does the Kid Beowulf series.  Watch for it soon!  (I hope …)

Hey, that’s pretty cool. I’m reading the second book of the Kid Beowulf series right at this moment! (Well, not right at this moment, because I’m working on this post, but it’s the comic I’m reading when I have time to chillax.)

On page 318, Cinebook offers a complete collection of Lucky Luke, which is one of those comics I always hear about but have never actually read.  I’ll consider this, though.

I’ve read a couple of Lucky Luke volumes, and I just don’t like them that much. For what that’s worth.

Hey, also on page 318 is the Classics Illustrated version of The Man Who Laughs, which of course was an inspiration for the Joker and for one of these METAL! DC issues.

I don’t know anything about the creators, but The Case of the Missing Men from Conundrum Press on page 319 sounds neat. A group of teenagers solving mysteries in a small town get wrapped up with something truly weird. It’s “Nancy Drew meets David Lynch,” according to the solicits, which is good enough for me!

Yeah, this one makes my list, and high up on it.  Sounds nicely strange!

Not sure what’s going on with the paper plate, though …

Also from them, but on page 320, is You Are Alice in Wonderland’s Mum!, a “Pick-A-Plot” book positing that Alice’s mom had to navigate the London underworld attempting to find her daughter when she was in Wonderland.

That does sound neat.

I don’t want to love the idea behind Santa Claus: Private Eye (from Darby Pop on page 320; it answers the question of “What does Santa do the other 364 days of the year?” that no one was asking), but I can’t help it!!!!

I always figured Santa was exploiting the elves in other ways through the rest of the year.  It will either be brilliant or stupid!

I’m just hoping for some absolutely corny first-person hard-boiled narration!

Dynamite has the trade of the first James Bond arc, Vargr, that Warren Ellis did, and I believe Hatcher dug it a lot, so I may be in, on page 324. (Their solicitations are here!)

Yeah, it was pretty good, but nothing superb. Typical Ellis stuff, which I like, but not grade-A Ellis stuff. Still, slightly-better-than-average Ellis is a lot better than a lot of writers!

And damn, the covers for the Shadow 4 on the same page!  Lee Weeks, Kelley Jones (although they leave out the second e in his first name!), and Tom Mandrake!  Fuckin’ A!


For the Gumby nerds, there’s a HC on page 327 about all things Gumby (and Davey and Goliath, looks like!).

Speaking of Nancy Drew (and we were, above), we get the trade of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie on page 335. This looked pretty neat, so I’m definitely getting this.

Yeah, I was intrigued as well, so I’ll probably go for this too.  I read enough Hardy Boys books as a kid, I probably subconsciously know that stuff by heart!

Y’know, this comic Skin and Earth by Lights on page 337 looks ok and all, but your “whole life has lead up to…this”?  NONONONO!  “Led”!  “LED”!!!  Somebody pay a goddamn copy editor, will ya?!


Emet Comics is a new publisher on page 346, and I may get Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting GN solely based on the fact that Jenn St-Onge’s art is great.

Yeah, I saw that too. I might get it for the exact same reason!

Get some new jeans, girl!

Michel Fiffe has a comic, Zegas, from Fantagraphics on page 348. It’s about siblings who have been orphaned and need to figure their lives out. Fiffe is a good creator, and this sounds tempting, but it’s also 20 dollars for 96 pages. I’ll have to think about it.

I’m also considering Street Fighting Men, a collection of Spain Rodriguez work, and man, that Studio Edition of Charles Burns’s Black Hole is tempting, both on the same page.  On 349, Charles Forsman’s mini comics are collected in I Am Not Okay With This.  Also, the fourth volume of Pogo syndicated strips are offered, and a box set of the first 3 volumes of Prince Valiant are on that page as well!

On page 352, 451 Media Group collects Humbug, which posits that Scrooge was the first paranormal investigator.  Sounded fun, so I’m probably getting it.  Glad they’re collecting a lot of the series they published in the past.

I saw that and remembered that you had mentioned it in the past, so I figured I’d let you mention it again!

Heavy Metal has a bunch of stuff offered.  On page 356, they have The Doorman, Interceptor, and Reincarnate, and I can’t remember which, if any, of these I actually got.  I think I got the Doorman, but I believe I’ve ordered them all.  Perhaps Reincarnate will FINALLY come out, as I think I’ve been waiting on that one for several years now.  Also on that page is Heroin Diaries, a GN by Nikki Sixx of the Crüe!  I may go for this, because Andy Kuhn is a good artist and Rantz A. Hoseley, who I believe must have adapted this to comics, is the dude who introduced Tori Amos and Neil Gaiman.  So he am cool.  On page 357, we’ve got The Savage Sword of Jesus Christ, which is GMozz trying to be edgy, and The Smile of the Absent Cat, where GMozz wised up and got the amazing Gerhard (of Cerebus) to do art on a weird book about a cat cartoon world.  I may have to get this, despite having the story in issues of HM!

The Doorman is pretty good, in case you haven’t read it yet. And I wondered if those Morrison stories were things from his recent editorship of the magazine or something older. I’ll have to get those, because I am, of course, a Whorrison.

Insight Comics offers Skinned on page 358, about a future world where people are outfitted with VR glasses at birth and of course, star-crossed lovers trying to bring down the society once they see the truth, man!  It does sound interesting, though.


On page 367, Kodansha Comics has a deluxe edition of Battle Angel Alita, which is a manga I’ve always heard was pretty neat.  A detached amnesiac cyborg head gets attached to a new body.  Interesting.

Joe Casey’s Flash comic, Accell from Lion Forge, gets a trade on page 377. I’m sure this will be interesting, and Damion Scott is a fine artist, so it will look neat. I’m down with it!

Man, I went for the singles of Cloudia and Rex, which is collected on page 380, because I thought the trade would be more than the singles, but no, it’s just 10 bucks for the 3 issue series.  I’ll have to take a look at them before the order deadline for y’all!

Kerascoet and Fabien Vehlmann have a new book on page 381 from NBM called Satania, about a girl who sets out to find her missing brother, who claimed he could prove the existence of Hell by using Darwin. Sounds interesting, and the creative team is very good, so I’ll probably get this.

Yeah, sounds strangely intriguing.

You think you’d wear clothes when you go to Hell

Oni has The Altered History of Willow Sparks, about a nerdy girl in high school who discovers a book that allows her to rewrite her life, it seems (from the preview art). She decides to become popular, of course, and of course that means she starts losing her actual friends, and what will she do?!?!? It sounds like something we’ve seen before (Can’t Buy Me Love 4EVAH!!!!!), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good concept, so I’ll think about getting this.

I’m liking it.  I’ve heard of Tara O’Connor, I think, but I don’t know where from.

O’Connor’s autobiographical comic about Ireland was recently offered, and we discussed it in this very column!!!!! Unless you’ve heard of her someplace else, as well!

Did you ever read Soulwind by Scott Morse?  I’ve liked what I’ve read of his stuff, so I may consider this HC collection on page 391.  A boy is transported across the universe to retrieve a legendary sword and an old woman unravels the true account of creation.  So, y’know, light reading!

No, I haven’t. I’m thinking about it. It will probably be pretty good, but I’m still thinking about it.

Is this English on page 392 in this blurb about Invader Zim?  “Never has a comic so purposefully stupid lied on a foundation of comedic skill so honed and smart.”  “Lied”?  Is that the proper tense of that there?  Or is Paste magazine wrong?  Or should they just have reworded that sentence completely?

Man, yuck. That’s just … awful. The past tense of “lie” in this case is “lay,” but that’s not even correct. The use of the helping verb “has” means that this should be “lain”: “Never has a comic so purposefully stupid LAIN on a foundation of comedic skill so honed and smart.” Frankly, I hate “lain” – it sounds awkward. So they probably should have come up with a better sentence in which they didn’t need to get screwed up with lie/lay problems. But it’s “lain” in this situation.

On page 394 we get a collection of Gumby from Papercutz, including the Kyle Baker story that looked pretty good when I flipped through a copy at a local shop.  I’ll consider it!

Hmm, on page 395, from Papercutz/Charmz is Ghost Friends Forever by Monica Gallagher and Kata Kane (isn’t she Batwoman?).  A girl is getting used to life with her divorced dad and their business of helping ghosts when she meets a ghost who is tied to the paranormal event that split up her parents.  Sounds interesting.

Man, the Panini UK Doctor Who comic strip collections are intriguing, with all the great British comics talent involved, but they’re pricier than I’d go for.  (pages 395-397)

Plus, it’s Doctor Who, so who gives a shit?

Jeez, just drop that in our laps, PS Artbooks.  I hadn’t heard that Jay Disbrow died earlier this year, but in the solicit for Pre-Code Classics: Ghostly Weird Stories HC 1, there it is.  I’ll consider this book on page 397.

Red Eye Press on page 398 has The Tommy Gun Dolls, a GN about Prohibition era San Francisco, where a cross-dressing grifter leads a bunch of burlesque girls to avenge a friend’s murder.  Sounds intriguing, plus it’s signed by Daniel Cooney, the creator!

I like how cross-dressing always means a hot woman dressed in a tuxedo that still lets us see her gams. That’s HAWT!

I’m not sure that even counts

SelfMadeHero has, on page 400, another of those Art Masters books, this one about Magritte: This is Not a Biography, where a man buys a bowler hat once owned by Magritte, and it transports him to Magritte’s imagination.  Sounds fun.

Yeah, that might be neat. Magritte was keen.

Since I’ve been getting into crime and mystery books more in the last few years, The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery TP 1 on page 403 from Seven Stories Press is intriguing.  I’ll have to consider it.

Titan continues to crank out these Hard Case Crime comics, which is awesome. On page 408 we get Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini, about a girl who decides to solve a magical mystery about Houdini, and on page 409 we get Quarry’s War by Max Allan Collins, which Greg Hatcher should appreciate. Later, on page 420, the trade of Normandy Gold is offered, which I’ll be getting. Good stuff!

Yeah, I totally thought about Hatcher with the Quarry one.  I need to start in that series somewhere.  Where’s the on-ramp for that, Hatcher?!  And yeah, I was getting Normandy Gold in trade too.  Sounded like my kind of thing!

You’re never gonna handcuff anyone if you have no place to carry them around!

And man, that Doctor Radar on page 412 looks really neat, with either cover being very evocative!  I may get it, since it’s just 2 issues.

On page 430, T Pub has Theatrics, which is about a 1920s actor who gets mugged and loses everything and decides to … do something about. What that is isn’t clear, of course, because you’ll have to buy the book! T Pub is Neil Gibson’s publishing concern, and Gibson has turned out to be a really clever writer, so I’m looking forward to this sucker.

I may go for this as a good Neil Gibson intro, as I haven’t gotten any other books by him yet.

Hey, look, Travis, it’s the trade of Doctor Crowe on page 430 from 215 Ink! How’s that series shaping up?

Don’t judge me.  Actually, I had intended not to pick up further issues past the first one that I reviewed, but I forgot to, y’know, actually tell my shop guy that I didn’t still want it, so I do have issue 2 to look at, and I assume once 3 and 4 come out, I’ll be getting those.  Oops!

Also on 430 is TwoMorrows offering Alter Ego 150, featuring Stan the Man!  Should be cool!

Hmm, Udon has an interesting looking book on page 433, Casa Nostra, about a group of women who run a safe house for criminals, and plan revenge after they are betrayed by a guest.  The art has a neat monochrome animation style to it, based on the pages shown here.

That does look neat, but it’s 26 dollars for 120 pages. That’s a bit dear.

Valiant.  Oh Valiant.  Really?  It hasn’t been Nin-jack this whole time, it’s been Ninja-k?  WTF?  (page 434)

Oh, sure, but when Morrison makes Wolverine “Weapon 10” you all thought it was cool, right? Damned hypocrites!!!!! (And yes, this is unbelievably stupid. So was Morrison’s retcon, though.)

The guys at my comics shoppe call him ‘Ninjerk,’ so they’ll be bummed about this news

Offered on page 441 is Secret Weapons in trade for 10 bucks for 4 issues, so I may snag it, and the Ninjak Complete Classic Omnibus, which tickles my nostalgia bone, but probably not 100 dollars worth.

Yen Press has a couple of interesting things.  On page 452 is So I’m a Spider, So What?, which is a fun title, at least, and on page 455, A Polar Bear In Love.  “A polar bear falls in love with a seal, but the seal thinks the polar bear is trying to eat it!”  Take comfort, seal!  The polar bear merely wants to fuck you!

On page 466, we get a resolicited art book of Jamie Hewlett’s stuff, which is probably pretty cool.

Some neat books about comics on pages 468 and 469.  Encyclopedia of Black Comics by Sheena C. Howard, which is self-explanatory.  The Expanding Art of Comics: Ten Modern Masterpieces, where Thierry Groensteen interprets 10 important works.  Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere by Hillary Chute, discussing what makes comics unique and using a cool Xaime cover to do so, and Oh My God, They Printed That?!, which features offensive stories from the past in what seems to be a somewhat prurient way.

Normally I wouldn’t care much about this, but on page 476 is Vworp! Vworp! magazine 3, with a feature on Alan Moore’s Doctor Who comic strips (and if the cover text can be trusted, an actual interview with Beardy!).  Ok, I’m probably in!

Dang. That sounds neat. Stupid Beardy McMagickson and his stupid excellent writing!

There’s another issue of the Creeps on page 477.  Number 12 has a sweet ass Frazetta cover!  I still need to read the other issues I’ve gotten of this!

I’m only mentioning this one because I want to mention something on the same page.  On page 532, there’s a Pop! figure of Conor McGregor, and hopefully there’s a variant where his ass is beat by Mayweather!

I don’t know about that, but there is a variant where he says horribly racist things. Plus, there’s a Pop! of Floyd where he’s beating up women. Collect them both!

But on the same page are Pop! figures of Tom Servo and Crow from MST3K.  I normally don’t go for these types of toys, but I do need little friends to comment on movies with me!

I…I can’t even.  Apparently there are people that will spend 170 bucks for this.  On page 559 is a Cutie Honey figure with “soft bust”.  I know I comment about boobs and stuff, but it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek.  People actually buy this stuff?!

I don’t even know what to say about that. So the boobs are squeezable? I mean … ugh. I get that some people enjoy unusual stuff and that some people are really socially awkward, but there are girls in the world who really like socially awkward nerds and will let you squeeze their real boobs if you ask nicely!

‘Look what I bought myself for Christmas, Mom!’

On that fun note, we’re out of here. We hope you have a good time checking out the treasures inside Previews, and we hope you’ll let us know about all the cool stuff you find in there! Have a good weekend, everyone!


  1. Slam Bradley

    Shazam! The New Beginning is an absolute abomination. It’s Roy Thomas at his worst trying to shoe-horn Captain Marvel into the burgeoning darkness of all things DC in the late 80s.

    I am a big fan of Tom Mandrake and I honestly can’t remember how the art was on this book, it’s been eons since I’ve read it. But this was super early in his career and I’m betting it’s very raw.

    This is quarter bin fodder (do they still have quarter bins?).

  2. toothpaste

    The Shadow issue with the three covers is co-written by Dan Watters, of Limbo. I’m glad he’s working! And if Port of Earth sounds interesting, Eclipse is Kaplan’s first series and while the second trade wasn’t as strong as the first, imo they nailed the first volume and I’m looking forward to the rest of that ongoing.

    1. Greg Burgas

      toothpaste: Thanks for pointing that out about Watters. I wait for the trades for so much that I don’t pay too much attention to the creative teams until the trade is offered, so I missed his name, but that will make it more attractive once the trade is solicited!

  3. tomfitz1

    First, I’ve read Scott Morse’s SOULWIND back in the day, and I recommend it.

    Second, I’m getting the GRENDEL TALES Omnibus vol. 2, since I have vol. 1 and the 4 vols. of GRENDEL Omnibuses.

    Third, I really would like to know if Roger McGinniss used a model for the cover of MINKY WOODCOCK and could I get her cell # please!!!

    Lastly, speaking of Avatar, I’ve noticed that they’re producing less and less books recently. I’m currently getting WAR STORIES and CINEMA PURGATORIO, but thinking of dropping CP after # 12. Is Avatar going out of business?

    1. We discussed Avatar last time. Cinema Purgatorio 13 is listed in this book, so they’re not out of business yet, but it appears they’re on shaky ground, at least from the outside.

      Of course, the Boundless stuff might be buoying them, so who knows?

  4. Since my name was mentioned… I already reserved QUARRY’S WAR at my retailer. Since virtually all of the ongoing titles I have been getting got canceled except AQUAMAN and STAR TREK: NEW VISIONS, it’s been mostly miniseries things for me.

    The best on-ramp for the QUARRY books is probably QUARRY, the first one, believe it or not– but ANY of them is a good one to start with because Collins is a pro who understands that a mystery novel should be a complete experience in itself. One of the reasons I did the on-ramp column is because I noticed many of our commenters are oddly squeamish about starting a series anywhere but the beginning. Probably because we’ve all been indoctrinated by Marvel into thinking checking out a series involves acquiring a post-graduate studies level of expertise with a fictional history. Out in the real world, especially mystery fiction where there are all sorts of series out there made up of one-offs that really have very little book-to-book continuity (Perry Mason, Nero Wolfe, Ellery Queen, etc.) you can start anyplace. Even modern mystery series that have some continuity to them — Spenser, Kinsey Millhone, Harry Bosch — are still pretty accessible from any of the individual books. And some authors just don’t care that much. Fans have been entertaining themselves for years trying to make sense of Sherlock Holmes continuity but the real answer is that Conan Doyle never gave a shit. Spillane’s THE GIRL HUNTERS opens in medias res with Mike Hammer a worthless drunk and Velda having been missing for years, and I thought for an embarrassingly long time that I must have somehow missed a novel. Nope. Spillane just did it. Came out of nowhere.

    So… QUARRY’s probably the best start but I started with THE WRONG QUARRY and followed it up with THE FIRST QUARRY and since then it’s been whatever Hard Case has sent me. Collins doesn’t write them in chronological order so it doesn’t really matter; several of the novels are flashbacks. I get review PDFs of the comics but I decided I wanted actual tangible copies of Quarry.

    1. Ah cool, thanks for the info. I’ll have to start checking Quarry out, then.

      How’s the TV series, have you had a chance to catch that yet? I’ve seen the DVD set at the local big box store, but I’m not going to drop that dough on something I have no idea about yet.

      With me, it’s less about “starting at the beginning”, but more about “not wanting to be spoiled” on an earlier book if I do start later on. But it’s true, a lot of mystery series don’t require you to know much if anything about the character outside of the book you’re in the middle of.

        1. Oh, for…d’oh!

          I’ll just pretend that I was so focused on getting my own columns done at that point, I just missed that one. Plus, if there’s a column about something I’m interested in, I tend to skim to try to avoid spoilers.

          Now I have to read it, though.

          1. Edo Bosnar

            Greg beat me to it, but yes, with Quarry it’s best to start with the first one (which I think is genuinely the best of them). However, I’d add that it’s probably a good idea to then read the second one, Quarry’s List, since that one more fully explains why Quarry does what he does in pretty much every other book. And it’s also one of the best ones anyway. After that, though, you can read pretty much read them in any order.

          2. Edo Bosnar

            Also, I just realized after looking at Greg’s link to his earlier post – I only started reading the Quarry books less than a year ago. That should tell you how readable they are: my shelf of shame contains a cripplingly immense pile of books on it, but I read the Quarry books as soon as I get them.

  5. Andrew Collins

    One question regarding those Marvel “next issue” specials…wasn’t there supposed to be a Dazzler one? Dazzler #43? I could have sworn I saw it mentioned in the initial announcement but it seems to have disappeared from the solicits.

    That cover to MINKY WOODCOCK is AMAZING. I’ve seen a preview of the internal artwork that sadly is not attractive…

    I’ve never bought a Pop figure but I am ridiculously excited for those MST3K ones. Already have them on pre-order.

    1. I think there may be more of those next issue specials, but I’m not sure. I don’t think they could tease the legion of Dazzler fans like that and then not put it out! 😉

      I too have never gotten a POP (for myself, anyway — did get the Iron Fist and Power Man for my pal at work, but that was more just picking them up when he wanted them), but I’m highly considering these MST3K ones.

      I assume that you too will be using them to help you comment on bad movies, TV shows, and comics, Andrew?

    2. Greg Burgas

      Andrew: Man, I would LOVE a Dazzler one-shot! Oh well …

      Yeah, the art of Minky Woodcock doesn’t quite come close to that cover. I still like it, but you’re right about that.

      My daughter gets a lot of Pop! figures, and I know she’ll love the MST3K ones, so I may order those, too.

  6. “I’d just like to point out that our pal Buttler says that he also suggested a King Kong/Planet of the Apes crossover, like the Kong on the Planet of the Apes book on page 294 from Boom!”

    Ha! I did suggest a Kong/Planet of the Apes crossover about a year ago, which is clearly why they did it!


    I also suggested last year that they do a Mike Allred Legion of Super-Heroes comic, and this year he did that Batman ’66/Legion one-shot.


    So I guess what I’m saying is that I basically run the comic book industry now. I promise to at least try to use my powers for good. Sometimes.

    1. I saw your recent tweet about how you’d suggested it, which is why I mentioned it!

      Let me get back to you at some point with what awesome comics I would like for you to will into the universe. Obviously, you’re some sort of Lantern or something!

  7. Jeff Nettleton

    “Beats me – it’s been a while since I read that. I assume it is – according to DC, Alan Moore is a genius who was the last person at the company to have any original ideas and we should honor him by, you know, strip-mining everything he’s ever done and not paying him one thin dime for it, because fuck that genius!”

    Why not; they’ve been strip-mining Kirby, Siegel & Shuster and Bill Finger, since the 30s. Why should Alan Moore be any different?

    “in which Zatanna enrolls at Hogwarts. Wait, I’m being told it’s not actually Hogwarts, it’s the non-union Mexican equivalent, “Cerdo-Verrugas.””

    Well, Unseen University (the Discworld novels), Roke (Earthsea books) and Miskatonic U (Lovecraft) were all operating before Hogwarts got a charter. Zatanna gonna be faculty or student? “Cause I could handle a teacher like her……

    (cue Van Halen…”

    The Secret Origin’s Shazam story was done about a year before the Shazam: The New Beginning mini-series. The latter grew out of Legends, the crossover from Johns Byrne and Ostrander. While I agree it is not up to the standards of Jerry ordway’s Power of Shazam, I didn’t think it was an abomination. Just felt like it didn’t really capture the spirit of the original and didn’t do anything unique with a more modern take. There was supposed to be another mini, I think, but it was canceled and there was just a story in Action Comics Weekly, before they let Jerry ordway take a crack at it. The Secret origins story is pretty much the story from Whiz #2, with some minor tweaks.

    Steve Skeates is good writing (usually) and the Gold Key Underdog stories were pretty comparable to the cartoon (which I loved). I want a Super Goof collection, while we’re at it. That was my gateway drug into comics.

    George Perez’s Sirens? Missed that. I didn’t know he had been doing anything other than directing videos of fetish models in superhero costumes fighting each other.

    Lucky Luke is decent entertainment, though the jokes get kind of tired after a few volumes. Anything with the Daltons is usually a cut above the other stories. There is a film out there, with Jean Dujardin, of The Artist, though it doesn’t really reflect the comics well. The earlier tv movie and series, with Terence Hill is better. There was an animated movie or two, from the 70s, that was pretty good.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Jeff: Yeah, Hogwarts was just the easy joke there. I always take the easy way out!

      It appears that Zatanna will be a student, as this is set during her younger years.

  8. Eric van Schaik

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for pointing out World reader and Finding Molly.

    Travis: What have you been reading the last month(s)? You should have a column just like Greg, but without the bad music :). I have the best music, it’s true. It’s just amazing how good my taste in music is.

    Sad that Motor Girl ends. Now I have 3 floppy’s left (4 if Tuki ever returns).

    1. Greg Burgas

      Eric: Dang, that’s harsh. I appreciate you listing your music – I haven’t had a chance to listen to any of it yet, but I will this weekend. Then I’ll let you know what I think! 🙂

  9. Edo Bosnar

    Man, they’re really pumping out those Hard Case comics, aren’t they? And now a Quarry comic by Collins. Wow. Has anybody read any of these? Are they as good as they look? (And yes, I love the Roger McGinnis cover on the Minky Woodcock book.)
    I remember seeing the Sirens series announced, it seems like a years ago; same question, anybody read it, opinions?

    1. Greg Burgas

      Edo: I read The Assignment (which I reviewed here) and Triggerman (which I didn’t review), and I liked them both. They’re not incredibly groundbreaking, but they are good hard-boiled noir, and the art’s been good. I haven’t read Sirens, obviously, if I’m waiting for the trade, but the art is gorgeous.

        1. Andrew Collins

          The only Hard Case comic I’ve read so far is PEEPLAND and I liked it, even as bleak as it was. I’m a big fan of the Quarry books so I’m anxious to get ahold of the comic adaption. Especially since Collins is writing it himself.

          And also, my Kickstarter-backed copy of TOMMY GUN DOLLS came in the mail today. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but just flipping through my copy, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous.

          1. Edo Bosnar

            Peepland was the one writing by Christa Faust, right? That’s the only one I’d be a bit hesitant about reading. I read her two Hard Case novels, Money Shot and its sequel, Choke Hold. The first one was quite good, but the second was so – to use your term – bleak. Absolutely, depressingly bleak. It kind of turned me off to reading anything else she’s written.
            But I’m all on board for a Quarry comic written by Collins himself…

          2. Greg Burgas

            I ordered Peepland, but it never showed up at my store. I’ll have to get it some other way. And that’s good to know about Tommy Gun Dolls. Maybe I’ll pick it up!

  10. frasersherman

    I remember the “Batman has never been filmed” from back in the day — it was part of a general Bat-axiom post-crisis that he’s a borderline urban legend. One letter column conceded that made no sense when he’s with the JLA and the Outsiders, but even without that, it is, as you say. pretty dumb. And this Signal thing sounds dreadful.
    For something good to read about Rasputin, Edward Radzinsky’s The Rasputin Files is drawn from old Russian government records (it’s nonfiction) and strips away most of the legend.
    I agree Tesla is overused. I’m also annoyed by the way people are convinced elevating him is some kind of historical correction, when they’re really just slotting him into the “brilliant supergenius inventor” slot Edison used to occupy.

    1. Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      I gotta say…using Tesla rather than Edison in the “brilliant super genius inventor” slot is a meaningful historical correction.

      If you want a moody, virtuosic inventor, a 19th century Tony Stark, Tesla is a MUCH better fit than Edison ever was.

      1. Edo Bosnar

        RE: Tesla. Moody and virtuosic he was – a prototype for Tony Stark he wasn’t. He had little interest in becoming or being wealthy (he used most of his earnings to build labs and conduct experiments; heck, he tried to develop wireless transmission of electricity so everybody in the world could have free power!) and he was similarly uninterested in women, or sex in general, apparently, or alcohol or drugs or any other hedonistic pursuits (even at the height of his fame, that aspect of his life remained quite monkish in nature).

        1. Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          He *did* have a ton of interest in being famous for how moody and virtuosic he was, though, which I think makes him a better Stark analog than Edison, whose greatest achievement was industrializing scientific progress.

          But that’s definitely a point well-taken.

  11. John King

    Re “My shoppe gets one (1) copy, and I’m really curious about the person who gets it – is that the only comic he (or she, I guess, but it’s more statistically likely it’s a man) ever buys? Has he been buying it since the beginning? Is he actually Fred Perry himself?!?!?!?”

    I don’t think you live in Peterborough, UK so it’s probably not me – I will say that I’ve been buying since the first issue of the mini-series (and later got the first comic to feature a story) but have missed a lot of issues. I get too many other comics (if that is possible) and am definitely not Fred Perry (I almost encountered him at an anime convention but his appearance was cancelled due to a mix-up on the dates and not having a passport – though he did at least realise he needed a passport unlike a certain manga-influenced artist (currently mainly associated with Empowered))
    It started off inspired by Indiana Jones and Thundercats and went for an anything goes approach with a light/fun tone – I need an alternative to all the darkness and grimness from some series.

    I may try the Teen Titans collection (I started reading it during the Wolfman/Perez era and am not familiar with the earlier tales except for a few in a recent collection).

    It’s unusual just how much Moon Knight seems to be re-invented in terms of tone, etc with every relaunch (especially with the number of relaunches he has had).
    First came the Moench run. Then the more mystical, short-lived Fist-of-Khonshu.
    Then Dixon went for a more action led approach. Then Charlie Huston did a version when he went completely nuts.
    and there was the Bendis version.
    And the odd highly stylised version from Warren Ellis which was followed by Jeff Lemire’s recent run

    1. Greg Burgas

      John: Ha! No, I don’t live in Peterbourough, so it’s not you!

      Moon Knight is such a weird character, in that any Moon Knight series never seems to sell well, but a lot of creators seem to like him, so Marvel keeps publishing series starring him. Plus, there are shockingly few BAD Moon Knight stories, which is weird. Fist of Khonshu wasn’t great, the end of the his second series (the one Chuck Dixon started) was TERRIBLE, but other than that, usually the comics with Moon Knight are good-to-great. That’s why I want to get the Bendis/Maleev series, because I like Moon Knight so much but also because of the track record of Moon Knight comics. But I’m still thinking about it!

  12. Simon

    Please be seated and quiet. Where were we last time?

    > G: “inside Previews #348?”

    Right, right, right. Please read from page 44, Burgas.

    > G: “on page 44 […] I’m so sick of Rasputin.”

    What about Rasputin in CORTO MALTESE? How is he related to the historical one? Do you think it is derivative? Can you give an example?

    > “DC”

    “Go to Hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $3.99.”

    > “IDW”

    (BTW, “solicits” link goes nowhere.)

    > G: “The Gravediggers Union (shouldn’t there be an apostrophe somewhere?)”

    Wasn’t the attributive already discussed about “Futures End” and “Seasons End”?

    > G: “Could I get the trade?”

    A trade union trade?

    > G: “I should have named my daughter ‘Plaid’.”

    Dude, Plaid is a dude! (He drew T Pub’s TURNCOAT, not yet offered in the U.S.)

    > G: “Winnebago Graveyard”

    As Hollywood sez, “The problem isn’t bad products, the problem is suckers finding out before paying.” (Unreviewed finales don’t deserve preorders, but YMMV.)

    > “Marvel”

    “Go to Hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $4.99.”

    > T: “The Death of Cerebus in Hell?”

    Didja know the zip code for Yellowsnow, Canadia? …H2O K9P.

    > T: “Motor Girl […] I wonder if he intended to do just the 10 issues?”

    In 2016, Terry Moore said “6 issues planned”. (+) And that STRANGERS IN PARADISE would come back in 2018. (+) Then in 2017, “The series is planned to go 10 issues. Unless the world goes crazy for it, in which case I will make more.” (+)

    > T: “Kong on the Planet of the Apes”

    (Next year.) When Donkey Kong abducts Fay Wray, King Kong climbs the Empire State Building to the rescue! But Mario is also on the case! And what is Slothrop doing in that airship?

    > G: “Boom also has a fencing comic”

    A crime book about the sexy world of stolen goods?

    > G: “it’s the sword-fighting kind”


    > T: “Lucky Luke”

    All-ages fun, but only the original stories by Goscinny (also creator of ASTERIX and IZNOGOUD). The volumes in this omnibus aren’t the best (they’re early episodes for kids, with little of Goscinny’s later subtexts), but not a bad way of testing your luck. (Your library may have them already, too.)

    > G: “The Case of the Missing Men”

    Looks nice, sounds interesting? What about its being “the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller”? (Is it another incomplete volume passed off as a GN?) Or its 220 pages inflated to 280 in Previews? (Reviews will tell whether to backorder, but YMMV.)

    * (3 pages) http://www.conundrumpress.com/forthcoming/the-case-of-the-missing-men/
    * (5 pages) http://www.krisbertin.com/blog/2016/11/24/case-of-the-missing-men

    > G: “Not sure what’s going on with the paper plate, though …”

    Isn’t it a nonsense variant of the detective hiding behind a newspaper with peepholes?

    > G: “Zegas [is] 20 dollars for 96 pages”

    ALLEGEDLY, sir! And it seems as exciting as it’s overpriced? (Mousetraps don’t deserve preorders, but YMMV.)

    * (w/ 5 pages) https://comixcube.com/2011/09/27/michel-fiffe-zegas/
    * (w/ samples) http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/2012/04/zegas-excellence-expands.html
    * (samples) http://michelfiffe.com/?p=3960
    * (samples) http://michelfiffe.com/?p=5623
    * (CoI) http://www.tcj.com/reviews/zegas-1/

    > T: “the fourth volume of Pogo syndicated strips are offered”

    Resolicited, actually. This series was set to be yearly. They released Vol. 1 in 2011 and Vol. 2 in 2012, but also a $70 boxset. (That’s $20 less, times a number of sets, plus decorated “collector” cardboard boxes.) So when Vol. 3 was listed in 2013, most people waited for the boxsets, heh.

    Vol. 3 was thus delayed and resolicited until getting enough orders to ship late 2014. The series had become two-yearly, and prolly lost a number of customers. Vol. 4 and the 3&4 boxset were listed for Xmas 2016 but didn’t ship either. Now three-yearly reprints, they’re the mousetraps Fantagaryphics resolicit here.

    > G: “Satania”

    Adventures ala “hollow earth” or “lost continent” (but with Swiftian utopias and dystopias rather than Mu or dinos). The actual MacGuffin is the claim that Neanderthals evolved into underground people spawning the myths of devils. Not unlike NIMONA it broaches some topics, but is more campy. The oversized 12-panel grid makes the price decent.

    Though Vehlmann (LAST DAYS OF AN IMMORTAL) and Kerascoët (BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS) are usually for adults, this one is more aimed at teens (or kids not afraid of n*pples), but YMMV.

    * (3 pages) http://www.nbmpub.com/comicslit/dontouchme/satanpre1h.html

    (BTW, writer is “Fabien” not “Fabian”.)

    > G: “The Altered History of Willow Sparks”

    Izzat a high-school remake of SECONDS? Can it reach the levels of comedy and horror of O’Malley’s OGN? (William will Tell whether to backorder, but YMMV.)

    > T: “Magritte: This is Not a Biography”

    Truth in advertizing, as it’s more of a fantasy adventure where you can play spot-the-reference… if you already know the works of Magritte. (Overpriced mousetraps don’t deserve preorders, but YMMV.)

    * 4 sample pages

    For the same price, the best peek into Magritte’s life and mind may be the classic Taschen artbook by Marcel Paquet, where each painting is captioned with eye-opening clues as to its meanings.

    > G: “Theatrics”

    Can you really go wrong with Gibson?

    * (22 first pages) http://tpub.co.uk/theatrics-webcomic

    > T: “I haven’t gotten any other books by [Neil Gibson] yet”

    Not even TABATHA, despite both Gregs recommending it?

    “Actually everything I’ve seen from TPub is good.” — Greg Hatcher, Atomic Junk Shop (+)


    Before being slayed slain, behold the master plan!

    — DEPT. H VOL. 3 (of 4) by Matt Kindt (p. 55, $20 @ DH)

    Didn’t Vol. 1 feel a bit like DEPT. HOLLYWOOD? (Still waiting on Vol. 2, but YMMV.)

    — INJECTION VOL. 3 by Warren Ellis & Declan Shalvey (p. 216, $17 @ I)

    100 story pages for $17, is this the toll of Disney-Warner’s war on comics? (“This is what you want.”) At least, Ellis’s INJECTION ain’t just an infection or an enema, so there’s that.

    — SUGAR TOWN by Hazel Newlevant (p. 266, $10 @ Alt)

    “Poly rom” sans com, unlike SUNSTONE? (Pub sez for ages 14+, Travis!) Maybe a tad dear for 4-panel pages, but gambling on it.

    * (2 pages) https://twitter.com/HNewlevant/status/810308051744018432
    * (1 page) http://studygroupcomics.com/main/process-party-episode-25-hazel-reed-newlevant/

    — COMBED CLAP OF THUNDER by Zach Hazard Vaupen (p. 288, $6 @ Big Planet/Retrofit)

    Stylish strange stories looking like DeForge or Goodbrey? Yes, please.

    * (w/ 3 pages) http://www.page45.com/store/Combed-Clap-Of-Thunder.html

    — GUNNERKRIGG COURT VOL. 6 HC by Tom Siddell (p. 303, ALLEGEDLY $27 @ Boom)

    Cause for hope of more softcovers? (Mousetraps don’t deserve preorders, but YMMV.)

    — CORTEZ AND THE FALL OF THE AZTECS by Truax & various (p. 316, $11 @ Caliber)

    Sounds like a New-World version of THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS? Kinda pricey for B&W and the prospect of backpadding, plus Caliber’s shoddy production values. (Reviews will tell whether to backorder, but YMMV.)

    * (3 pages) http://www.caliber-entertainment.com/cortez.html
    * (3 pages) https://www.comixology.com/Cortez-and-the-Fall-of-the-Aztecs/digital-comic/478898

    — HIGH SHINING BRASS by Don Lomax (p. 316, $15 @ Caliber)

    Vietnam war story? Being another 1990s book from Apple Comics, let’s hope it’s not pixellated like they did to Vansant’s DAYS OF DARKNESS…

    * (6 pages) http://www.caliber-entertainment.com/high-shining-brass.html
    * (5×3 pages) https://www.comixology.com/Vietnam-Journal-High-Shining-Brass/comics-series/44704

    — JAMES BOND: SOLSTICE by Ibrahim Moustafa (p. 322, $5 @ Dynamite)

    Now pay attention, Greg, this is important. Moustafa was a good artist on HIGH CRIMES, but what about his writing on those 30 story pages? And isn’t such franchise one-shot liable to be an extended chase scene ghost-plotted by editorial and the numbers? (Reviews will tell whether to backorder, but YMMV.)

    * (3 pages) https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/08/24/ibrahim-moustafa-james-bond-solstice/

    — SLUM WOLF by Tadao Tsuge (p. 382, ALLEGEDLY $23 @ NYR)

    Gekiga vignettes? His TRASH MARKET was among the best mangas of 2015, fittingly for Yoshiharu Tsuge’s bro. (Mousetraps don’t deserve preorders, but YMMV.)

    * (10 pages) https://bnccatalist.ca/viewtitle.aspx?ean=9781681371740

    — THE SMELL OF STARVING BOYS by Phang & Peeters (p. 400, ALLEGEDLY $30 @ SMH)

    Phang does her PC version of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: the gay cowboy falls in love with a boy who quickly turns out to be a tomboy, heh. Aimed at teens, it’s a little by-the-numbers (feat. Magical Injun and Unstoppable Bounty Hunter). Nice enough (sample page) from a library. (Overpriced mousetraps don’t deserve preorders, but YMMV.)

    Your assignment for next month is to report on a nonfiction book with “October” in the title. Extra credit for documented use of Internet resources. (…No, Pelkie, The Hunt for Red October is not within scope.)

    1. Greg Burgas

      Simon: I haven’t read Corto Maltese yet! So I can’t comment. Are you asking about examples of Rasputin in comics? Well, in addition to Hellboy, there was a graphic novel a few years ago about him. Other than that, none spring to mind, but he does show up in weird places all the time, and it’s annoying.

      I knew Plaid Klaus was a dude, but “Plaid” is totally a non-gender-specific name, don’t you know.

      I knew that Vehlmann’s first name is “Fabien,” but I don’t know if it was my typo or if the autocorrect got a hold of it!

      Dept. H is … fine, I guess. Kindt obviously knows what he’s doing, but it’s not his best work. Something feels missing, but I don’t know what. I’ll have to read the entire thing when it’s done, and maybe it will hold up better that way.

      Injection is very keen, though!

      Yeah, I have no interest in that James Bond one-shot. Moustafa might be a good writer, but your speculation sounds reasonable.

      1. Simon

        Sorry, the Rasputin questions were tongue-in-cheek (in line with the self-indulgent, back-to-school intro). Didn’t you review BALLAD OF THE SALT SEA, though? As you’ll remember, Corto’s Rasputin is just a homonym.

        Are you sure “Plaid” is so gender-neutral? Wouldn’t most people think of Highlanders and assume it male? Anyway, “I should name my daughter like this dude” felt surprising, is all.

        DEPT. H VOL. 2 now read in less than an hour thanks to an average of 3 panels per page (a great time-saver well worth $20). It’s “The Gathering Of The Team” meets “A Traitor In Our Midst” meets “A Race Against Time”, baby! (Hollywood’s gonna love such formulaic pitch drawn with bankable lookalikes: Q is Bruce Willis, Raj is Clooney, etc.) If you still feel something missing, maybe that’s just depth?

        Funny how often autocorrect means autotyop, eh? Computers… Can’t type with ’em, can’t type without ’em.

  13. Andrew Collins

    “Peepland was the one writing by Christa Faust, right? That’s the only one I’d be a bit hesitant about reading. I read her two Hard Case novels, Money Shot and its sequel, Choke Hold. The first one was quite good, but the second was so – to use your term – bleak. Absolutely, depressingly bleak.”

    Yes, that’s the title she wrote. I’m not familiar with her other writing and picked up PEEPLAND mainly because of my weird ongoing fascination with New York City in the 70’s and 80’s. The story is set in the mid-80’s, in the old, pre-Giuliani Times Square. The main character is a “booth girl” at a strip joint, a job Faust herself apparently used to work and she talks very candidly about it in the trade’s back matter. The story revolves around a McGuffin of a videotape with incriminating footage on it. The writing and art are good, and the characters are distinctive, though quirky.

    But I also found Faust got a little greedy and tried to have too many plot lines going on at once, leaving a couple getting an unsatisfying amount of attention. And like I mentioned, it is very BLEAK at times. There are no “Hooker With A Heart Of Gold” characters, some characters meet terrible ends, and I felt the conclusion was a little rushed. If I had to grade it, it would get a solid “B” from me.

  14. So… the Signal is Daytime Batman, and yet the one thing everyone knows about the Bat Signal is that it’s #$%&ing useless during the day. Duke Thomas should dress in red, wear a glass helmet and call himself the Phone.

  15. M-Wolverine

    Why don’t they just call the Signal what he really is in that get up – Black Wolverine. (Bat Wolverine? Dark Claw?)

    I think Waid’s Cap got the hype at the time because it was the first serious, less superhero-y take harkening back to the Steranko days. Post Cap Wolf and all. But then Brubaker came along and did it all better so it doesn’t look so great now.

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