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Flippin’ through Previews – January 2012

Happy New Year! Let’s celebrate by scouring Previews #280 for obscure comics that we can read!

Now THAT'S an exciting cover!

Dark Horse:

Jan Strnad and Richard Corben begin a new horror series, Ragemoor, on page 44. I mean, if horror comics are your thing. (21 March)

Snack time!

The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizzaboy shows up in a trade on page 46. The stories in Dark Horse Presents have been pretty fun, so this might be a good thing to check out. Plus, it will make commenter The Dude angry if someone thinks the comic is Spanish. That’s worth the price right there! (23 May)

Man, another volume of Empowered shows up on page 51, with a nice pull quote by veteran blogger Johnny Bacardi adoring it. Way to go, sir! (30 May)

Channel Zero gets a new trade on page 52, with a bunch of extras and “the now-classic Warren Ellis introduction.” It’s been years since I’ve read this, but I remember not loving it. Maybe I should crack it open again! (30 May)

It's COMPLETE!

Rick Remender’s Fear Agent gets its last trade on page 54. I really like Fear Agent, and it’s been too long since the previous trade showed up. This story can’t end well, can it? (2 May)

Well, you knew it was coming: Manara Erotica volume 1 on page 68. I very much doubt I will get this, but I’m sure the porn is pretty! (9 May)

DC:

The Flash #7 (page 82) has no artist listed. That’s weird. Is it an oversight, or do they not know yet who’s drawing it? Anyway, I don’t know if the story is any good, but how amazing has Manapul’s art been on that title? (28 March)

Gail Simone gets around to confronting The Killing Joke in Batgirl #7 (page 98), although the solicitation doesn’t say that we’re actually going to learn why Barbara can walk so well after getting shot through the spine. Or has she already addressed this in Batgirl? I fear whatever explanation is offered, frankly. (14 March)

Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor have Batman: Death by Design Deluxe Edition HC on page 121. It sounds fairly awesome – Gotham is going through a construction boom, but something weird is happening around the construction sites – and I wonder if it’s specifically tied into what DC is doing with Batman in the regular books. Isn’t Snyder doing something like this? Man, DC is really obsessed with continuity these days, if that’s true. Good for them! (30 May)

Isn't the blood rushing to his head?!?!?

Marv Wolfman and Tom Mandrake fire up a new iteration of Night Force on page 124. Greg Hatcher will be standing in line at his comic book store for this one! (7 March)

Calm down, Greg - it's almost March!

DC has always been slow about getting their trades out, but in the DCnU, they’re committed to making sure the extra-expensive hardcovers are out quickly, as pages 128-131 give us Justice League, Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman trades. Let’s hope the softcovers aren’t too far behind! (Because, honestly, paying five or more dollars than cover price of the issues just for a hardcover seems a bit much, doesn’t it?) (2, 9, 16, and 30 May)

There’s a new Hitman trade on page 134. Don’t ask questions, just buy it! (11 April)

On page 135, Showcase Presents: All-Star Squadron volume 1 shows up. From what I hear, reading these stories will make my head explode because they’re so thick with DC continuity. Is that true???? (18 April)

I’m sure Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s Saucer Country (page 139) will be excellent, but … a presidential candidate saying she was abducted by aliens and she isn’t immediately crucified by the media so much that there’s absolutely no way her campaign can continue? Yeah, that’s the most science-fictiony thing about this series! (14 March)

Plus, she's a Democrat, so of course they'll haul her away!

Fairest #1 debuts on page 140. I mean, Jack of Fables was so good, how could this not be? Although, the fact that Phil Jimenez is drawing it allows me to wonder if he’s ever going to finish Otherworld. Remember Otherworld? What a weird series. (7 March)

IDW:

There’s a second Rocketeer Adventures on page 157. The first anthology featured some very keen stories, so I would expect more of the same! Plus, Billy the Sink does some art. That’s always an event!

You know it will rock!

Outland gets collected on page 167. I never read as much of this as I did Bloom County because the newspapers I was reading at the time often didn’t carry it, but I’ll probably get it anyway, just to see what’s going on. It never seemed to be quite as good as BC, but still.

Joshua Hale Fialkov writes Doctor Who #15 (page 173). I mention this only to link to a picture of Karen Gillan, who’s leaving the show, presumably to move in next door to me. I’m sure my wife won’t mind!

Image:

Saga #1 gets solicited on page 182. Yes, we’re all excited about Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s new series, especially as the first issue is 44 pages for $2.99. Just calm down, people! (14 March)

He's so ... horny! (Sorry!)

Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra show up on page 186 with The Manhattan Projects, which posits that the development of the atomic bomb was just a front to hide weirder projects. Well, sure. Of course. This is right up Hickman’s alley, so I’m sure it will be keen. Ongoing, though? We’ll see. (7 March)

Oh, that wacky Hickman!

So there’s Glory #24 on page 210. I’ve been arguing with my retailer about this for a few weeks. He thinks getting Ross Campbell to do Glory is the absolute worst idea ever, because Mike Deodato originally drew the book (he did?), and Deodato’s Glory was some sexy warrior chick while Campbell’s is way too butch. So then, this past week, he claimed that J. Scott Campbell is one of the ten best artists working in comics today. I always laugh when he says stuff like that and tell him to get out of the store (even though it’s, you know, his), but it’s really amazing how different tastes can be. He reads some very interesting comics, but when he starts saying stuff like that … I just don’t know what to say. Although I’m sure plenty of people think that about me! (14 March)

Marvel:

(I didn’t get a Marvel Previews this past week, so I don’t know page numbers or shipping dates. Sorry!)

Avengers Assemble #1: “One Of The Greatest Avengers Villains Of All Time Gets Reinvented For The Modern Age Just In Time For The Blockbuster Movie Event Of The Summer!” Yawn. Am I old because I don’t care, or am I smart because I don’t care? You be the judge!

Amazing Spider-Man #5: “Special Guest Artist Leinil Yu Brings Together The World’s Two Favorite Super Heroes …” Spider-Man, maybe, but Captain America? Really, Marvel? If you say so …

According to the solicits for Daredevil #10, “It’s Not Too Late To Start Reading The Book Everyone Is Talking About!” Doesn’t that imply that there IS a time when it will be too late? Like, when issue #12 or 15 comes out, your retailer won’t let you buy it unless you’ve bought the previous twelve. “I’m sorry, sir, but Marvel sent out a memo that it’s too late to start reading the book everyone is talking about. You should have picked up issue #10!”

The Children’s Crusade gets a hardcover for $35. I probably will wait for the trade before making a decision on this, because even though I’ve heard it’s a mess, I’m still curious. Plus, Jim Cheung doesn’t draw enough stuff these days, man.

So this month, Marvel solicits those nifty hardcover graphic novels that, while they retell the early years of Marvel characters and therefore aren’t terribly revolutionary, at least feature solid talent. Who doesn’t want to see Jamie McKelvie draw the first year of the X-Men? Or read Antony Johnston or Cullen Bunn doing Daredevil and Spider-Man, respectively?

Yeah, I'm still hating calling these things 'seasons,' but some idiot in marketing must think it's a good idea!

Marvel also collects a bunch of old Spider-Man graphic novels from the old days. The only one I’ve read is the Charles Vess one, but you really haven’t lived until you’ve seen Charles Vess painting a Spider-Man graphic novel. It’s … something, I’ll tell you that much.

Warren Ellis’s run on Secret Avengers gets a hardcover. The first five issues have been superb, so why wouldn’t the sixth one be as well?

The old Wolverine/Nick Fury graphic novels are also getting collected. I’ve read the Howard Chaykin one, but not the others. Are they any good?

I miss Marvel graphic novels ... which is why I'm glad they're coming back!

Onward we go, to the back of the book!

Forty dollars for a Daniel Clowes “monograph” focusing on his art might be a bit pricey, but Abrams Comicarts has it for you on page 231!

Arcana Studio doesn’t often have very good stuff, but occasionally, they seem to come up with a decent comic. On page 241 they have Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom by Dwight MacPherson and Thomas Boatwright. MacPherson knows how to write interesting horror stories and interesting kids’ comics, so the adventures of a young H. P. Lovecraft sounds pretty neat. Plus, Boatwright isn’t bad at all.

Look at cute lil Howard!

On page 271, Boom! has Kitchen Sink Press: The First 25 Years retrospective, featuring stuff from 1969-1994. This sounds pretty interesting, and it’s only 15 dollars.

I’m not sure why Interiorae, from Fantagraphics on page 300, sounds neat, but it does. A surreal fantasy set inside a mundane apartment complex? Why the hell not? This has been serialized before – has anyone read it?

I honestly have no idea if NBM‘s new Three Stooges volume 1: Bed Bugged! is any good, and frankly, I’m not that interested in it, because I’ve never found the Stooges even remotely funny, even when I was 10 years old. However, this is coming out in conjunction with the new movie, which gives me a chance to link to Kate Upton as a bikini-wearing nun. Yes, she appears like that in the movie. God Bless America!

New England Comics has the 100th issue of The Tick, which guest-stars Invincible. Yes, you read that correctly. I ought to be getting more of these Cereno/McClaine issues, but I’m a horrible person. I’ll be picking this one up, though!

It might not be in color yet, but it's still awesome!

Speaking of Antony Johnston, on page 317 Oni offers his graphic novel The Coldest City, about the death of a MI6 officer a few weeks before the Berlin Wall comes down. It sounds pretty groovy! (16 May)

Oni also has The Secret History of D. B. Cooper (page 318), a new ongoing by Brian Churilla. It appears that Churilla gets to draw a lot of monsters, and he’s dang good at that, so this ought to be fun. (14 March)

As much as I like Churilla, look at that J. H. Williams variant cover!

I know I was disappointed by Frenemy of the State, but Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis are back with another series, Bad Medicine, which is Oni’s excellent FCBD full first issue thing they do for this year. It’s drawn by Christopher Mitten, it’s about a doctor and a detective trying to solve a weirdo crime, and it’s FREE!!!!! (5 May)

Radical seems to have fallen off a bit with their output, but on page 324 they have Hotwire: Deep Cut in a trade paperback. This is the second mini-series about the character by Steve Pugh, and it’s almost as awesome as the first one. Let’s hope he does more!

I’m a tiny bit worried about Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #1 from Red 5. Why would I worry about a new ongoing starring Atomic Robo? Well, because Scott Wegener isn’t drawing it. Now, I would really hope that Brian Clevinger and Wegener will continue to pump out mini-series while this ongoing is going on, so to speak. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I mean, I'm sure it will still be pretty darned good, but still ...

Universe has an interesting comic on the bottom of page 330: Corto Maltese volume 1: The Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt. I’m curious about this, but the last time I read something by Pratt (“Indian Summer”), it wasn’t very good. Tell me this is different, fans of European comics!

Old and classic Italian comics are as good a place as any to end this post, so let’s do so! Get out there and make the new year one where you demand better comics from your retailer! Tell him to make more room on his shelf for something other than Justice League! You can do it!!!!

26 Comments

A mess? A Children’s Crusade was fantastic!

I read All-Star Squadron when it first came out. For context, I was 12, albeit already introduced to the JSA via the 70s All-Star Comics and JLA, but I found it quite easy to follow. It’s more laden with read-world continuity (taking place in late 1941 and early 1942). Roy Thomas throws in some references to other comics taking place at the time, but more as “other stuff going on which is why Superman/Batman/whoever isn’t in the book” than as something you need to know to understand the book.

But the book is very much about the characters it’s spotlighting (mostly the second-stringers and characters DC acquired later on), with occasional appearances by the JSA. It’s quite good, probably Thomas’ last really good writing. Jerry Ordway inks or pencils the first 25 issues so you know those look brilliant, and other good artists work on it thereafter. It’s worth reading through issue #50, after which is goes off the rails partly due to the effects of Crisis on Infinite Earths, and partly because Thomas decided to do an extended retelling of an old JSA adventure which wasn’t really worth the time.

Anyway, no, it won’t make your brain explode. If you enjoy the Silver Age/Bronze Age JSA, then you should enjoy these. Also, if you enjoy period World War II superheroics, then you should enjoy these.

Wow. I know I’m biased as I’m a Ross Campbell superfan, but I’m with you in not understanding your comic shop owner’s thoughts on Glory.

You bring it back with a cheesecake-y “looks the same as every other goddamn thing out there” and it’s just more silly noise. You bring it back with an artist with a totally different almost completely opposite visual take and you’ve got something really interesting and worth talking about.

I’m pretty excited about Fairest, Saga, The Massive, and Conan for sure. I”m also pretty excited about the Ellis Secret Avengers trade, even though I’ve read them all, and the new collected Channel Zero. Good times comics!

The last batch of Rocketeer anthologies was a real blast so I’m looking forward to the new material. JETPACKS ARE SO COOL! …Sorry, fanboy down.

Saucer Country sounds so bonkers I just might check it out, but the big one for me is Ragemoor since Richard Corben is the man.

“Indian Summer” not very good? What?!

“Although I’m sure plenty of people think that about me!”

Yeah, I was with you up about Ross Campbell on Glory and everything. Then you said “Indian Summer” wasn’t very good.

In Saucer Country, my lead character doesn’t *tell* anyone except her three closest advisors that she’s been ‘abducted by aliens’. As you say, to do otherwise would be suicide, and the title’s aiming to be rather mor serious than that.

Holy mother of Phoenix… Is that an X-Men original graphic novel with over a hundred pages of art by Jamie McKelvie? I’m ordering that right now. (And Invincible and the Tick? Spoon/Invincible Punch!)

[...] Flippin' through Previews – January 2012Comic Book Resourcesby Greg Burgas Happy New Year! Let's celebrate by scouring Previews #280 for obscure comics that we can read! Jan Strnad and Richard Corben begin a new horror series, Ragemoor, on page 44. I mean, if horror comics are your thing. … [...]

And @Ryan – this is the Young Avengers Children’s Crusade, not the Vertigo one. (Since the Marvel one hasn’t finished yet and you say it *was* fantastic, I’m assuming that you mean the DC one.)

To be perfectly honest, I’ve only read bits of Dog Mendonça, but what I’ve read is pretty good. And, yeah, it’s not Spanish. :-)

You might be surprised at the way Remender ends Fear Agent, Greg. I haven’t read an emotional ending like that since the ending of Hitman.

I’m also really excited about Saga and that new Atomic Robo ongoing (even though I share your worry about Wegener not drawing it).

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 1, 2012 at 6:40 am

I liked the cover of Previews. There’s nothing like a four-some in bed! ;-)

I second the question of Jimenez’s Otherworld series: There’s was supposed to be a second series, but he ran off to do something or the other. We NEED our Celtic heroine!

May pick up BKV’s SAGA .
Kinda interested in Night Force. Used to read the original series with the late Gene Colan drawing it.
Tom Mandrake’s always a dependable artist!

daniel the demon cleaner

January 1, 2012 at 6:41 am

Universe has an interesting comic on the bottom of page 330: Corto Maltese volume 1: The Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt. I’m curious about this, but the last time I read something by Pratt (“Indian Summer”), it wasn’t very good. Tell me this is different, fans of European comics!

Well, Corto Maltese is great and I recommend it, but I kinda love Indian Summer, so I don’t know if you should listen to me.

Ryan: Yeah, I’m not sure if you’re talking about the Vertigo event, but I’m talking about the Marvel series. If you say the Marvel series is fantastic, I’ll take that into consideration!

Michael: Thanks for the information about All-Star Squadron. Maybe I’ll have to give the volume a look!

Kelly: As you know, I have nothing against cheesecake art, but Campbell (Ross, that is) seems so much more technically interesting than Deodato and Campbell (J. Scott) that it’s almost no comparison. Plus, as you say, you can find cheesecake art so many other places, and Ross doing Glory makes the book look really interesting. Plus (again!), it’s not like his work is ugly, just different! Different strokes for different folks, I guess!

Joe H and daniel: Well, women used only as rape objects, stereotypically savage Indians, stereotypically evil clergymen … yeah, Indian Summer didn’t work for me. Nice art, though. It’s the only Pratt I think I’ve ever read, so I’m certainly willing to read Corto Maltese and see something else he’s done, though!

Paul: Well, that’s something else entirely! The solicit text wasn’t clear, but I guess I inferred that it was common knowledge that she said she was abducted. Thanks for the clarification!

Pedro: I’ve been waiting a long time for the ending of Fear Agent. I’m glad it sounds like Remender pulled it off!

I love Corto Maltese! I’m all a-quiver.

Oh good, I’m not the only one who didn’t get a Marvel Previews book in my copy of Previews. Did this happen nationwide? What’s the deal there?

It’s nice to see Marvel collecting those Spider-Man GN’s, especially the Vess one, which is gorgeous. Funny story there. When I was around 14 or 15, my dad and I had driven down to Kingsport, TN to visit an aunt and whenever we visited, I always talked dad into taking me to the local comic store, Mountain Empire Comics. When we get there, I saw the clerk talking and laughing with some guy but paid it no mind as I was too busy going through the racks and dollar bins and the guy left soon afterwards anyway. Going to comic stores back then was such a rare treat for me that I always milked it for all it was worth. Amongst my purchases was a marked down copy of Spider-Man: Spirits Of The Earth (it was cheap because of some damage to the cover). The clerk looked at it and said “Oh, I wished you had brought this up to the counter sooner, you could have gotten it autographed.” When I asked what he meant, he told me the guy he was just talking to was Charles Vess, the creator behind the comic. D’oh!

One other thought, I used to have a complete run of All-Star Squadron and while it is a fine comic, I remember really needing to read Roy Thomas’ editorials in the book’s letter column, where he gave you both the historical contexts of what was going on in the stories as well as references for what Golden Age comic stories he was building off of in the book. Thomas saw All-Star Squadron as his chance to provide in-story explanations to old continuity errors, such as why Sandman suddenly changed costumes, why certain characters were in some stories but not others, why some characters joined the JSA and others didn’t, etc. Hopefully anybody reading Squadron now will still get full enjoyment out of it, but I know I enjoyed getting those extra tidbits that I’m sure won’t be included in the Showcase collection.

According to the solicits for Daredevil #10, “It’s Not Too Late To Start Reading The Book Everyone Is Talking About!” Doesn’t that imply that there IS a time when it will be too late? Like, when issue #12 or 15 comes out, your retailer won’t let you buy it unless you’ve bought the previous twelve. “I’m sorry, sir, but Marvel sent out a memo that it’s too late to start reading the book everyone is talking about. You should have picked up issue #10!”

I think Marvel is just being practical. After all, at some point it will no longer be the book that everyone is talking about.

And “It’s Not Too Late To Start Reading the Book Everyone Was Talking About Two Months Ago!” just doesn’t have the same punch in a solicit.

Thanks for the Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom mention, Greg.

Nuts. I won’t be standing in line for the NEW Night Force. What I want is the big omnibus of the OLD Night Force with the Gene Colan art that I ordered months ago. Nice to finally know why Amazon keeps hanging it up; apparently now it’s going to come out in tandem with the new one.

I admit I kind of swooned a little over this one though. I can’t help it– I’m a child of the 1970s, I’m genetically hard-wired to love this stuff. It’s all original, no Kevin Smith this time– though I see they don’t hesitate to trade on the name.

I’ll second a vote for the Children’s Crusade (the Marvel one). Though it isn’t over yet, it is gearing up to finish well. My only concern is that now that it’s leading into the next “big event” that they’ll wimp out when they close it.

Beyond that, it’s been one heck of a ride. Cheung absolutely does not draw enough, but he still draws plenty more than Allan Heinberg writes, which is even less than enough. It’s refreshing to see both of them teaming up on the Young Avengers once again, just like old times.

Typically when a 9- or 12-issue mini-series is announced and the creators’ body of work gives away that it will take years to complete (Alex Ross’ Justice comes to mind), I wait to decide whether I’m going to buy because I know it’ll just take so long to finish. Children’s Crusade has been worth the wait, issue for issue, and I don’t regret jumping on the single issues at all for that reason.

Corto Maltese is great, but then Indian Summer is too. You are crazy, sir!

And Dog Mendonça is portuguese like me, goddammit! We didn’t spend all those centuries kicking spanish ass just to be called “spanish”!

(The artists are argentinian, however.)

Those are NOT the same stories as in DHP! It’s the first of two (and counting) GNs originally published in Portugal. Although the stories are longer, they have the same feel as the DHP stories. If you enjoyed them, you’ll enjoy the GNs.

Ok, first, thanks for the Gillan pic. hoo boy (or Who lady, I suppose)

I think, based on the timing, that Jimenez cut Otherworld short to do Infinite Crisis (originally was gonna be a 12 issue thing, cut down to 7, I’m guessing sales weren’t particularly great either or else he’d have gotten back to it in the intervening 5 or so years).

Maybe if J Scott Campbell actually WAS doing comics, you might put him in the top 10 (he hasn’t been drawing any comics, just covers lately, right?). He is, however, a very nice guy from when I met him at the Boston Comic Con (now LAST year), and he had big lines the whole weekend.

Damn you, that Oni book got Bon Jovi in my head! Make it STOP! “Yo’ love/is like BADDDD MED-I-SONNNNN! BADDD MED-I-SONN is what I NEEDD OH OH OH!!!” AH!! You dirty f@#%$#!!!

Might look for that Kitchen Sink book, thanks for the heads up.

And I liked the preview book of the Marvel Season One books, it looked decent. Plus, the FF now land in Ithaca, NY, which is in driving distance of me! (and you’ll hear more about it soon if I get my stuff together here…)

Andrew: I think so. Marvel Previews will be out this week.

That’s a cool story about Vess. Too bad you missed him!

I wish DC would reprint some of the text stuff they used to have, including the editorials and letter columns. That would be neat.

Dwight: Well, you know I like the Edgar Allan Poo books, so I’m looking forward to this!

Greg: Yeah, I know you were keener on getting the old version. I forgot that DC had finally put it into a trade, so I was joking that you’d read this one just to get a fix!

Pedro: Good to know about the Dog Mendonça book. I figured they weren’t the ones from DHP, because I imagine Dark Horse would have mentioned that.

Travis: Yeah, that was exactly why Jimenez stopped doing it. And he didn’t even manage to do all of Infinite Crisis! Sheesh. I didn’t love Otherworld, but I loved the art, and I was interested enough in it to be annoyed that he stopped.

Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine” is AWESOME!!!!!!

“One Of The Greatest Avengers Villains Of All Time Gets Reinvented”…

When I see that word *reinvented* it makes me want to turn around and run as far away as I can. If something was invented right in the first place, then it doesn’t need to be RE-invented. If he truly was one of the “greatest Avengers villains of all time” then they should leave him the f**k alone — don’t fix what ain’t broke.

“Reinventing” is a poor substitute for creativity. Invent a new villain, for Kirby’s sake!

Richard Corben. What am I gonna do with you?

I hate horror stories (whether in comics, books, or movies), yet I love Corben’s art. I keep buying his stuff because I love his art, but I can’t actually read the stories.

Matter o’ Fact: Just last night I read a Corben horror story in a back issue I bought last week (Creepy #56 — from 1973). The art was wonderful. The story sucked moose turds.

It’s weird. If you had asked me, five minutes ago, “Is a comic called THE SECRET HISTORY OF DB COOPER” something you couldn’t live without?” I’d be all “Mreh.” But I see it now and I’m all “I NEED that. Or I will die.”

Thanks for the love, Greg. It’s sincerely appreciated.

MarkAndrew: Thanks so much. From your mouth to god’s ears. :)

BC

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