Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Flipping Through ‘Previews’ — June 2021

Hey, it’s Travis, starting this thing earlier since we got so far behind last time (sorry, mostly my fault!).  Here’s all the juicy fun stuff in Previews #393, as well as DC’s offerings!  Although DC fucking around with releasing DC Connect 13 for quite a while made me lose momentum and that’s why we’re no earlier publishing this post!

Travis doesn’t know how to make text blue, so I’m in blue, as usual. The answer to the trivia question last month, which was What was the first Skybound book? is Witch Doctor, which I just wrote about. That’s the only reason it was on my mind!

Good thing Llovet is moving on from the disturbing stuff!


Hey! the solicits are here!

Right off the bat on page 40 we’ve got Echolands, a genre mashup where the real selling point is J.H. Williams III’s art.  He teams up with W. Haden Blackman again (whom he worked with on Batwoman, I believe), and it sounds like it will be wacky fun.  I’ll at least get the trade.

Yeah, this is one comic I might get in singles. Williams’s art is just that good!

I call bullshit on King Spawn 1 on page 44, claiming there hasn’t been an ongoing Spawn series since 1992.  So Curse of the Spawn or Sam and Twitch didn’t count?

Does the latter count?

Of course we’ve all wondered ‘what if Spider-Man had shiny metallic armor and big boobies’, but Erik Larsen is the man to make that dream a reality with the new Ant #1 on page 48.

Is he that fast, or is he not doing Savage Dragon anymore (which would be odd, giving up his own thing to do someone else’s), or are they both going to be bi-monthly? WE NEEDS THE ANSWERS!!!!!

I doubt he’s going to give up Dragon, but he has taken time to do other stuff and slowed his production on that book before.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he does Ant for an arc or two and then either incorporate the series into Dragon or do a flip book or something.

On page 52 is Second Chances #1, which has a cool premise of a shady organization providing new identities to those who can pay, but things might not work out well with the latest client.  It’s got some hoity-toity stuff about noir and French New Wave, but if they keep the pretension in check, it sounds good.

This looks HELLA FUCKING KEWL, so I am there for it.

Literally nothing cooler than smoking!

On page 54, St. Mercy asks, what if Incans, but in the Wild West?

I mean, they could at least do Aztecs in the Old West. Does no one know how far away Peru is from, say, Arizona? It’s hard to conquer all of that land! (for the record, it’s 3896 miles as the crow flies, but they’d have to get through lots of rain forests and mountains to get from Peru to Arizona!!!!)

I’ll probably get The Labyrinth on page 65, even though it’s another story about the end of the world. We get it, we’re killing the planet. Writing stories about it isn’t going to help!!!! (But this does sound neat.)

Lady Mechanika comes to Image on page 66, with a new version of the first trade.  I was going to say returns, but I think the first LM stuff came out through Aspen, not Image.

Why you even bring this up, sir? It’s really hot garbage. I mean, I want to like it because I dig Benitez’s art, but he doesn’t draw it all because I guess he’s too slow, and the story is ass.

See, that’s what interests me, since you and I (you more so) think this is terrible, but it’s apparently popular enough that Benitez did decent at self-publishing for a few years, and then LM looks good enough to Image (sales-wise, at least) to pick up.

Well, I mean, steampunk and chicks in low-cut leather. It’s not a difficult formula to crack!!!!

Apparently Radiant Black is hot Hot HOTTTTTTTT!!!!!, so I’m sure the first trade on page 69 (nice) will shoot up in value! Isn’t that how it works? Well, I’ll still get this, because it sounds pretty good.

Two Moons volume 1 on page 70 was one I was looking forward to.  John Arcudi is a good writer and a horror story set during the Civil War sounds interesting.

Yeah, probably. I’m a bit leery of the whole “white man who’s really an Indian” thing, because it could go so very, very wrong. But yes, Arcudi is a good writer, so we’ll see.

The fourth volume of Kill Six Billion Demons is on page 71. I really ought to read the first three!

Really, Image, on page 80 you’re just going to tell us the variant cover of Killadelphia 16 is by James O’Barr and not make a big deal out of it?

That’s a cool-ass cover. What does O’Barr do for money? He doesn’t do enough comics work to get by, certainly.

Hell, the money from the Crow movie and reprints of the original GN might be enough to keep him going through life!

Maybe, I suppose. But, I mean, he can’t be making too much dough from that. Maybe he’s just frugal.

I hope that dude doesn’t try to sleep on his side!

Dark Horse:

Check out the solicits here!

Killer Queens on page 98 sounds like it’s fun sci-fi, with characters on the run from their fluffy monkey former employer.  I might get the trade.

Wow, I couldn’t disagree more. It sounds teeth-achingly terrible. I guess we shall see!


I’m a bit intrigued by Creeping on page 100, because Mike Richardson comes up with decent ideas (he doesn’t write this, but it’s his idea) and I like Doug Wheatley’s art. The idea is fine even though it’s kind of stupid – there’s a trend that dares people spend the night in a scary place, and people do it because people are fundamentally stupid (not you guys, readers – you’re all right) – but it could work. I’ll think about it.

Damn.  Even though I got the trade DC put out several years ago (and surprise, still haven’t read!), I need to get The Enigma Definitive Edition on page 106, don’t I?  But “first gay superhero in mainstream comics”?  1. Vertigo wasn’t considered mainstream and 2. Extrano, muthafukkas!!! That is all.

I mean, everyone should get it, because it’s awesome – I might get it, even though I own the single issues! But yes, you’re right. That solicit text is pushing it.

Lucky Devil on page 108 sounds good, where a dude gets possessed by a demon, and when the exorcism doesn’t entirely work, he retains some devil powers and starts a cult.  The real demons don’t like that!  The cover lists El Torres, so I wonder how he’s involved.

I’ve seen him post something about this on Facebook, but I think it was in Spanish. I’ll have to keep an eye out to see if he posts anything about it when it actually drops. And yes, it does sound keen.

My shadow is Hello Kitty

Mafiosa on page 109 sounds neat. A chick mobster in the 1920s, basically. Because chicks can be just as evil and bloodthirsty as dudes!

Stokoe’s latest, Orphan and Five Beasts, appears in trade on page 114.  Yes please.

But I got the single issues! I don’t need no damned trade, sir!

On page 115 is The House, set during the Battle of the Bulge, and how some US soldiers fall prey to this creepy morphing house.  Sounds spooky!

Indeed it does.

I didn’t think about The Evil Dead turning 40 this year (damn!), nor did I realize that there was a comics adaptation with John Bolton art.  But here’s the listing on page 116 to remind me!

I’ll probably get this because Verheiden is a good writer and I like me some Bolton art, but I have to admit that I’ve never seen any of the movies all the way through. I’ve never seen the first one, and I’ve only seen parts of the second and third ones. I’m a bad nerd, I apologize.


Solicits are here!

Page 16 has Deadpool: Black, White, and Red 1, with a Stokoe! story.

There’s a new Defenders book on page 20 with Doctor Strange and Silver Surfer and stuff, and it’s by Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez, so it should be friggin’ awesome.

Yes, yes it should be.

Dr. Strange has a ‘Who farted?’ vibe going on there

On page 84 is the Omnibus of Zdarsky and Quinones on Howard the Duck, including the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl crossover, and this seemed to be a decent run, and I do have the original Howard Omnibus.

Yeah, I’m thinking about this. I think I only bought issue #1 and then stopped, but I’m not sure why. Maybe I planned on getting the trades and never did? So this should be a nice pick-up.

On page 87 is a new printing of Wolverine and the X-Men Omnibus, which was a good book, from what I’ve read of it.

It’s really good, sir!

Man, I’m tempted by that Warlock Gallery Edition on page 88, even though I already have Starlin’s Warlock stuff. Damn it!

I’ll probably get the Eternals trade on page 102. It’s Gillen and Ribic, so I’m sure it’s a good comic, even if it’s about the friggin’ Eternals.

Non-Stop Spider-Man gets a trade on page 106, and it’s by Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo, so it’s probably pretty good. If he stops at any moment in these issues I shall demand my money back!!!!

On the Previews site there’s no info about stuff on page 126, but there are a lot of cool things there, including a Killraven Epic Collection. Sweet.

That’s just weird, as they say the information will be in next month’s Previews, so why even list them now? I mean, the final cut-off for some of them is early, but not too early that they couldn’t just worry about it in July!


Take a look at the solicits here!

Elvira Meets Vincent Price on page 160, and that’s pretty cool.

Well, someone is spinning in their grave …

Jeff Parker and Natalie Nourigat have a story in Red Sonja: Black, White, Red #2 (page 166), which makes me want to buy it. Damn it, Parker and Nourigat!!!!

Boom! Studios:

You can get the solicits here!

Eat the Rich on page 188 has a better title than premise.  Wow, rich people might have secrets that are spooooooky!

But there’s no premise. There’s nothing at all about the contents of the book except that rich people have a creepy secret. I mean, I assume it’s that they eat poor people’s babies to stay alive, but who the hell knows? Maybe they bathe in rhinoceros semen to stay young? There’s absolutely nothing about this comic except that rich people have a secret. I mean, I’ll still probably get the trade, but it’s tough to judge anything by that solicit. Except that no one in the real world would name a town “Crestfall Bluffs.”

Better Angels on page 190 is a book about the first female detective in United States history and how she thwarted the first assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln. Where were you in 1865, Kate Warne?!?!?!?

She was probably hanging around him too much and he fired her, saying “I need you like I need a hole in my head!”.  Bad call, Abe.  Bad call.

I would LOVE if Abe ever said that to anyone.

‘It’s a lovely night at the theater, what could happen?’

Volume 1 was good, so I’ll look for Abbott: 1973’s trade.

“Look for it”?!?!?!? You need to pre-order these things, sir!


Here are the solicits!

Batman: The World is a collection of Batman stories by creators from different countries set in their countries, and that sounds nifty. Nothing from San Marino or Andorra, though, which seems a huge oversight on DC’s part.

The Next Batman: Second Son introduces us to Tim “Jase” Fox, the son of Lucius and brother of Luke, and the next Batman.  Why does he have two different names, which have been used for two Robins?

Do you really care?

Batman ’89 is set in the first movie’s world, and Sam Hamm, who wrote the movie, is the writer. Joe Quinones is a good artist, so this might be worth checking out. Superman ’78 is the same premise, but I don’t like Wilfredo Torres as much.

I always thought Lando would make a good Two-Face

The Joker Presents: A Puzzlebox sounds like it might be an ok trade, with Matthew Rosenberg writing a story with numerous artists presenting tales that the Joker tells about his fellow villains.  It’s a magical murder mystery!

That’s “superstar” Matthew Rosenberg, thank you very much. And this does sound cool.

Remember when Alfred was a roly-poly fat dude? Yeah, neither does DC, as we get Pennyworth, which continues his adventures as James Bond, basically. Juan Gedeon is a pretty good artist, so there’s that.

Roly-poly Alfred kicks ass!

I’m not sure, but based on DC’s output this month, I have a sneaking suspicion there’s a Suicide Squad movie coming out …

Sorry, you’re wrong about that, sir.  THE Suicide Squad movie is coming out (hee hee hee).

Jeffrey Brown has Batman and Robin and Howard, for the YA set, and it looks fun.  There’s also a new version of Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld written by the Hales, who have done other fun YA books, and the art looks cute.

The Hill House Comics are offered in softcover.  There’s about 6 of them, but I don’t feel like listing them all.  Plus, there’s a box set of all of the books that includes the Sea Dogs backup stories from the original single issues in its own trade.

Yeah, that sucks because I already bought some of the trades (which were pretty good), and I’d like to get The Low, Low Woods too, but I don’t want the slipcase thing because I’ve already bought some of them. Grrrr.

You must have the hardcovers, right?  Even more grr for you!

Oh, yes, of course I have the hardcovers!

Let’s get to the back of the book!

Maria Llovet has yet another comic coming out from Ablaze on page 216, Porcelain (I’m sure it’s just an English translation of an older work). Will there be weird nudity? I’m going to say there’s going to be weird nudity.

I don’t love the art on page 219, but Hubert is a good writer, so I’ll probably get A Man’s Skin, also from Ablaze. A woman in Renaissance Italy is gifted the literal skin of a man, which allows her to pass as a man. Oh, I’m sure she’ll learn some things! Sounds nifty.

The cover art looks neat, but I can see where it’d be an acquired taste.

Aardvark-Vanaheim’s offerings are on page 222, with Crisis on Infinite Quarantine being the latest Cerebus in Hell? one shot, and the fifth (!) trade of these one shots, which are probably selling only a few dozen copies at most.  Seriously.  Sometimes Dave knows how to play the direct market, sometimes …

Peter Milligan and Piotr Kowalski bring us God of Tremors from AfterShock on page 232, which is about a kid in 19th-century England who has epilepsy, which ain’t great in 19th-century England. There’s a demon, too, because of course there is! These “prestige format” books from AfterShock are really nice – larger format, so the art is very pretty. I don’t know if this will be any good, but it will look nice!

With these two creators, I’m certain it will be awesome.  I’m in.

Run from the grasping tree, kid!

AfterShock has a couple of intriguing trades on page 238. Miles To Go is about a single mother who’s killed before, and she might have to again! Knock ‘Em Dead is about a terrible stand-up comic and what happens when something happens to him. I’m sorry, it’s very vague. Eliot Rahal is a pretty good writer, though, so I’ll check this out.

Yeah, they are vague descriptions on both, but both intrigued me. Miles to Go is written by B Clay Moore, who’s done a lot of good stuff.

Speaking of Peter Milligan, his series Happy Hour – set in a world where people are compelled to be happy – is collected by Ahoy on page 242.

We’ve also got Snelson #1 from them, another comic book about a comic in the comedian sense, about a formerly edgy comedian who’s trying to make a comeback with material that comes off as offensive and tired.  Should be interesting.

Amulet Books has Witch for Hire on page 243, about a teenage witch who’s helping out a lonely kid at school. It screams Young Adult, and I am an Old Adult, but it’s by Ted Naifeh, and Ted Naifeh is a very good comic book maker, so I’ll probably get this.

See, the thing is, though, YA is the market that comics publishers need to catch now so they can keep them for years.  Since the big 2 and other superhero universes aren’t really the gateway drug anymore, publishers should (and are) focusing on this age group by getting really good creators to do good books for YA readers to enjoy.  If some of us OA readers also enjoy them, I’m sure publishers won’t complain!  (Except, of course, us OA readers get them out from libraries for free …)

Sure, sure. Naifeh has almost always done YA stuff, so it’s not like it’s a stretch. But yes, it’s nice to see publishers trying to get these kinds of readers.

Over on page 260, AWA/Upshot has Not All Robots, a satire by Mark Russell in which a family’s robot might be building machines that will kill them. Russell is great at this sort of thing, and pairing him with Mike Deodato is just weird enough to work on something like this.

Yeah, it should be fun, although other comics and sci-fi have certainly gone over this ground before.

I bet it cooks turkey perfectly, though!

My quasi-buddy Tyler Chin-Tanner has a new book from his publishing concern, A Wave Blue World, on page 264. It’s called The Orphan King and it’s a retelling of the Arthur story, which is always fun. Chin-Tanner is a good writer and a good dude, so I’ll be getting this.

That does sound neat.  I also recently saw AWBW on Kickstarter with the second volume of their music related anthology, I believe.

I’m probably not getting The Heroes Union #1: The Comsic [sic] Crusade from Binge Books on page 266, but it’s written by Roger Stern and drawn by Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema. Now that’s a team!

I am so totally in for this.  It looks like FUN, and I’ve met Roger Stern plenty of times over the years at Ithacon, so if this is his new publishing concern, I’m all in for it!  Ah, I see in looking it up that this is actually Sitcomics, a fairly new concern from TV writer Darin Henry, and Binge Books are sort of their “large one shots” imprint.  Still, these characters look fun and classic in a Silver Age way, and I’m in for this one, anyway!

Travis’s enthusiasm is making me consider this!

Cat-Head Comics brings us Death Plays a Mean Harmonica on page 277, which is about two people who relocate to Oaxaca, where they find odd things. I’ve never read a Steve Lafler book, but I dig his art, so I’ll probably get this.

Ben Towle is a pretty good creator, so Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat, which he has from Dead Reckoning on page 282, ought to be keen. It’s about animals used in warfare, and you don’t know anything about that, fanboys, except maybe that Hannibal used elephants to cross the Alps, so git larning about shit!

That does sound neat.

I’ve never read anything by Lovecraft, but Flesk has a new printing of The Call of Cthulhu on page 293, with drawings by Gary Gianni, so maybe I’ll get that. I mean, I should read a racist recluse’s ramblings eventually, right?

Of course.  I’m a little surprised you haven’t even read any of his short stories, but different people catch different things, I guess.  It’s not like I’ve read a lot more of his stuff, so I don’t know why I’m bringing it up, really.  I guess because he’s so influential on all of horror?

I was never into horror in my formative years (I’ve read very little King, for instance), so I just never got around to it. Now I don’t care all that much!

‘Well. this sculpture is certainly not creepy at all!’

On page 300 Hermes Press has The Art and Humor of Johnny Hart, of B.C. and Wizard of Id fame, who happens to be a hometown hero around here.  Somewhere I have a drawing he did for me at the local golf tournament that he helped start, back when he’d invite other comics artists too, and man, I wish I was more cognizant back in the day (hey, I was like, 5, gimme a break!).  So yeah, this book might have pictures of my local hometown, as Hart did a lot of charitable stuff for the area with his art over the years.

On page 302 from Horrorhound is Half Tone Horrors, a comprehensive guide to every comic book that tied into any horror movie made over the years.  That sounds like a neat reference tome!

The first trade of Space Bastards, with art by Darick Robertson, shows up on page 304 from Humanoids. I shall get this.

I was waiting for a trade as well, although I wish they’d tell you what issues are being collected here.  I’m also interested in that First Degree: Crime Anthology on page 307, with a new David F. Walker/Michael Lark story, as well as … other crime stories, but are they comics or prose, and are they in English?

I saw that too, had the same questions you do, and have no answers. Sad face emoji!

Someday I’ll get Strange Attractors from It’s Alive, as well as the new book Tangled River, by SA co-creator Michael Cohen, offered here on page 311.

Keenspot’s Ninjas & Robots is collected in a trade on page 313.  Something about the energy of the book made me consider it early on, so I might get this first trade.

Christopher Sebela’s Short Order Crooks is collected on page 328 by Oni, and I’ll get this sucker. It’s about the owner of a food truck and his employee who get caught up in a crime thing. I just love that the solicit has something in there about the bad guys who “control the Portland food cart scene with an iron fist,” because I know this isn’t a comedy but that sounds so goofy.

It sounds goofy-awesome!  I would have sworn this came out from Aftershock, but I’m thinking of another one with a similar premise, I think.  I might get this, though.

Save the taco!

On page 339, Rebellion/2000AD has Hershey: Disease, which could be what happens when they let rats loose in a chocolate factory but is actually about a Judge who became a fan-favorite, I guess. She’s literally named Barbara Hershey, which seems lazy. Anyway, this is by Rob Williams and Simon Fraser, two good creators, so I’ll probably pick it up.

I think they do that quite a bit in the Judge Dredd world, though, use 20th century actors and other famous people for naming purposes.  It’s satire, man.  Or something.

Oh, it’s something, all right.

On 340 from Red 5 is The Box, where a dude has a box that he can usually use to create whatever he can think of and pull out of there.  Now people seem to know he’s got a magic genie box, and they’re after him!

He should pull Gwyneth Paltrow’s head out of it and throw it at them!

Also on 340 from Rutgers University Press is Robin and the Making of American Adolescence, about how Batman’s sidekick has reflected issues and anxieties about teens over the years.  Might be interesting.

Yeah, but, I mean, it’s Rutgers.

SelfMadeHero has The Dancing Plague on page 344, which is about that time in 1518 when the people of Strasbourg couldn’t stop dancing. Sounds neat.

I like how that cover looks like a tapestry, too.  They were just grooving to that hot new “Greensleeves” tune, since it has a good beat and you can dance to it!  (I’m going to pretend that no one will look up “Greensleeves” and find out it’s about 60 years more recent than the dancing plague!)

Oh, they’re breaking it down, 16th-century style!

TwoMorrows has the usual awesomeness, starting with Comic Book Artist Bullpen on page 360, collecting the ‘90s zine from Jon Cooke, and on page 361, there’s all sorts of goodies.  Retrofan Magazine 17 has an interview with James Bama, who did Doc Savage paperback art, I believe.  Comic Book Creator 26 has a career spanning interview with Terry Dodson (I didn’t realize he started on Mantra!), Back Issue 131 deals with the Kirby legacy at DC, while Jack Kirby Collector 81 deals with some of Jack’s wackiest ideas!

Valiant has the Shadowman Classic Omnibus on page 367, with early David Latham art, and this one must also include the issue where Shadowman meets Aerosmith, so for that alone …

I sure do love that David Latham and his classic comic, Spayed Ballots!

Goddamn autocorrect!!!  Lapham, of course.

On 370 Vault has Deadbox, another Mark Russell book putting a spin on something we all take for granted, where the box people rent DVDs and stuff from knows more about them than they realize!

That’s it for this month, everyone. We hope y’all have a nice day, and enjoy checking out the goodies in Previews!


  1. Eric van Schaik

    That Second Changes cover has a certain 007 vibe (women in silhouette during the opening credits).
    I’ll give The Heroes Union a try. $ 4,99 for 68 pages is a bargain nowadays 😉

  2. Jeff Nettleton

    That St Mercy thing sounds more than a little like the Yul Brynner movie, Kings of the Sun. It features a band of Mayans who are driven out by a rival faction and travel, via boat, to the American Gulf Coast and settle near a tribal land. At first, they are at odds, but the Mayan leader makes a peace with the American tribal chief, Black eagle, played by Brynner. Then, the Mayan rivals come hunting them and the exiles team up with the locals to fight them. The exiles carry wooden swords, edged with obsidian and easily fight off Black Eagle’s people, when they come in conflict, but their Mayan rivals have iron weapons. I saw it as a kid and then many years later. The Mayans build a ziggaraut and everything. Not the greatest in terms of acting, but a pretty interesting story.

  3. Edo Bosnar

    Whoa! Stop the presses! There’s gonna be a new comic written by Roger friggin’ Stern with art by Frenz and (85 year-old!) Sal Buscema?! As Greg Hatcher would say, in a different context, ‘Fuck, yeah!’

  4. I tried a couple of the Sitcomics when they came out years ago (4? 5?) and they were pretty good! I purchased the first issues of both Startup and Telepathetic and they were both good reads. (Both written by Darin Henry).

    They both have ‘Binge Book’ on the front and they both were ‘ongoing’ series – for how long, I don’t know, I started paring back my spending shortly after those purchases – but from what it says on the cover, ‘Binge book’ meant they were triple sized comics. 64 pages for 3.99, no ads (so not completely like TV!)

  5. So this month’s weird thing you guys convince me to buy is definitely, like others have mentioned, The Heroes Union– I can’t resist a Stern/Frenz/Buscema joint, and for that price? Okay, I’ll bite.

    From the Sitcomics website, it looks like I’ve missed three issues of the Blue Baron, also drawn by Frenz and Buscema. Their website indicates a fourth is on the way, scripted by Stern. It seems they’re anti-trade, but 64+ page issues isn’t bad. The physical copies seem cheaper than the digital versions which appear to break the “Binge Books” up into thirds.

    This is goofy throwback stuff, but probably up my alley.

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