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Flippin’ through Previews – December 2013

WhiteSuits_1 (2)

Can you handle a Previews preview on a weekday instead of a weekend? You’re going to have to deal with it!!!!

Ivan Reis doesn't draw robots very well

Ivan Reis doesn’t draw robots very well

Dark Horse:

Gail Simone is writing Tomb Raider (page 32). I’m not sure it’s possible for me to have less interest in this, but I guess this is a thing, and I’m nothing if not comprehensive, so there it is! (26 February)

Dan Jolley and Jamal Igle are doing a new Terminator mini-series, Enemy of My Enemy (page 36). Once again, I’m not that terribly interested in this, but that’s not a bad creative team. (19 February)

I have no idea what The Atomic Legion (page 38) is – Mike Richardson writes a story about old heroes who live in a secluded North Pole fortress and what they do when their benefactor is kidnapped – but it sounds wacky, and Bruce Zick is a good artist, so I might give it a chance. It’s 30 bucks, though, so maybe Dark Horse will do a softcover version down the line? (30 April)

I love the dude in the lower left corner

I love the dude in the lower left corner

Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith, and Dan McDaid are doing Vandroid, which is supposed to be about a movie from 1984 that was tragically lost and is now being “resurrected” in comic book form. The movie never existed, though, so I’m wondering why they’re doing all the hoopla about it. I mean, it’s clever, but not that clever. Still, that’s not a bad creative team, although I’m not sure if Edwards is a decent writer or not when he’s not drawing the book. (26 February)

Over on page 51, Brain Boy gets a trade. The story from Dark Horse Presents was pretty good, and Fred van Lente, Freddie Williams II, and R. B. Silva are a good team, so I’m might have to pick this one up. (16 April)

The Black Beetle: Necrologue #4 gets solicited on page 53. I don’t mean to be snide, but the first issue is already at least 5 weeks late (I haven’t checked to see if it’s coming out this week), so shouldn’t Dark Horse worry about getting the book going before they continue soliciting it? (26 February)

I’ll probably get The White Suits (page 60) in trade, but it’s probably going to be a good book. The few stories in DHP were pretty good, and the hook is intriguing – guys in white suits killing gangsters and the good guys looking for them – and more Toby Cypress art in our lives is always a good thing. (19 February)

They're evil but stylish!

They’re evil but stylish!

There’s yet another Lobster Johnson mini-series on page 61 – Get the Lobster. Tonci Zonjic is drawing it, so it will look good, but that just gives me an excuse to wonder where Where Is Jake Ellis? is. Remember that series? (5 February)

I’ve never heard of Someplace Strange by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton, but it’s getting a new edition on page 70. According to the solicits, it’s “a surrealist, new wave Alice in Wonderland!” Oh, okay then. I bet it looks great, and Nocenti from the 1980s is, from what I’ve heard, better than Nocenti of the 2010s, so if anyone has read this, sound off about it! (30 April)

Art Baltazar and Franco’s Itty Bitty Hellboy gets a trade on page 73. Much like their Tiny Titans, this is amusing, but it’s aimed squarely at kids. The trade is only 10 bucks, though, which is a pretty good price for five issues. (16 April)

DC:

The Metal Men show up in Justice League #28 (page 81), and it’s pretty sad that the first thing I thought of was “At least Geoff Johns can’t brutally kill them, or if he does, they can just get reassembled.” Damn you, DC, for making that be my first thought! (19 February)

I’m really intrigued by Lois Lane #1 (page 103), even though it seems to be tied into Superman continuity. I don’t know Bennett’s writing (she’s done some stuff for DC, but I haven’t read it), but the solicit sounds interesting, and I give Emanuella Lupacchino’s art a look even if I’m not terribly interested in the comic. It’s a one-shot, so let’s hope Bennett tells a complete story! (26 February)

That’s such a weird-ass cover for Swamp Thing #28 (page 122):

Who wants kebabs?

Who wants kebabs?

It seems so … off. A sword-wielding fantasy-looking babe skewering our hero? Just … weird. (5 February)

In the Vertigo world, Rob Williams and Simon Coleby show up with The Royals: Masters of War (page 137), in which the royal family of England has superpowers but hasn’t done anything to stop the Nazi blitz because of an old truce – but Prince Henry is having none of it! This could be intriguing, although I’m going to wait for the trade and see what the reviews say. We shall see! (12 February)

Well, he looks angry

Well, he looks angry

There’s a new hardcover edition of Daytripper, the tremendous mini-series by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, on page 142. I don’t think it’s ever been offered in hardcover before. It’s 35 bucks, which is a bit pricey (the series was 10 issues, so it’s not ridiculous, but still a bit spendy), but it is a wonderful series with gorgeous art, so there’s that. (16 April)

DC continues to offer trades at pretty good value, as Death on page 142 contains both mini-series, plus a bunch of extras, giving us 320 pages for 20 bucks. They’re good pages, too – both mini-series are pretty good, and the extra stuff is solid, too. If you don’t have them, give this a look! (19 March)

IDW:

Man, there’s a Jack Kirby New Gods Artist’s Edition on page 157. I’d have to sell one of my kids to a Somali warlord to afford that. Hmmm, I wonder …

I could rob a bank ...

I could rob a bank …

The first issue of Mr. Peabody and Sherman came out last week, but IDW is already soliciting a trade! At 18 bucks, it’s a bit expensive (and I think that’s for only 4 issues, right?), but the first issue looked pretty keen. It’s just another thing I have to ponder!

I haven’t read Chuck Dixon’s Airboy, but some of it gets collected in Airboy Archives volume 1 on page 183. Based on the artists, these are probably older stories, and it’s 30 bucks for 300 pages, which for IDW is a pretty decent price. I’m intrigued, but not sure about this.

IDW has a Monkeybrain book on page 184: Mask of the Red Panda by Gregg Taylor and Dean Kotz. I like Kotz’s artwork and I’m always a sucker for a good pulp adventure, but I don’t think I know Taylor’s work. Did anyone read this digitally and have an opinion on it?

I don't get her outfit, but whatevs, right?

I don’t get her outfit, but whatevs, right?

Image:

Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood’s new series, The Fuse, gets offered on page 189. It’s about a murder on an “orbiting energy platform,” and if it’s anything like Outland, I’m all over it. Even if it’s not, Johnston is a good writer and Greenwood is not a great artist yet, but he’s getting better, and his work looks better in color. So I have high hopes for this. (12 February)

Undertow (page 194) sounds interesting – an undersea dude who hates Atlantis explores the surface world looking for a way to live on land – and even though I don’t know much about writer Steve Orlando, the art preview by Artyom Trakhanov looks incredible. I might have to get it just to stare at the pretty pictures. (19 February)

He hates the logo SO MUCH!!!!

He hates the logo SO MUCH!!!!

There’s another Shaky Kane Elephantmen issue on page 218. Those are always a treat. Elephantmen has slipped far behind schedule, so I hope this comes out somewhat on time! (26 February)

Marvel:

As many people have noted, it’s not the worst thing in the world for Marvel to start over with a #1 when they switch creative teams, but Wolverine #1 (page 2) takes it a bit far, as Paul Cornell is still writing the confounded thing. Ryan Stegman takes over on art, but given Marvel’s shipping policy, he won’t be able to draw it all, will he? This makes less sense than Marvel’s usual renumbering policy, and that’s saying something. (5 February)

Kelly Thompson’s influence strikes again, as the descriptors for the Fantastic Four in the solicits for Fantastic Four #1 (page 4) are pretty funny, and thanks to the insightful Ms. Thompson, I noticed them: “brilliant” Mr. Fantastic (pretty standard), “ever-lovin’” Thing (also pretty standard), “hot-headed” Torch (also pretty standard), and … “compassionate” Invisible Woman. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!! Oh, Marvel. One step forward, two steps back. (26 February)

If you’re going to feature a Muslim superhero, like Ms. Marvel #1 (page 6) does, it’s a good idea to get G. Willow Wilson to write it. That being said, I CANNOT BELIEVE MARVEL WOULD KOWTOW TO THE POLITICALLY CORRECT, ANTI-AMERICAN CROWD LIKE THIS AND PUBLISH THIS SHIT INSTEAD OF ANOTHER GOOD, WHOLESOME SUPERHERO COMIC STARRING A WHITE MALE!!!! MY CONGRESSMAN WILL BE HEARING ABOUT THIS, OF THAT YOU CAN BE SURE!!!! (5 February)

She's undermining our values!!!!

She’s undermining our values!!!!

Rick Remender and Roland Boschi doing a 1960s espionage tale with Bucky Barnes sounds pretty dang cool, even though I’ll probably wait for the trade on The Winter Soldier: The Bitter March (page 14). Although the way Marvel prices trades, maybe not. (12 February)

That's a cool-ass cover, yo

That’s a cool-ass cover, yo

Al Ewing might be a good choice to write the adventures of Loki: Agent of Asgard, and Lee Garbett can be a very good artist. This is also (amazingly) 3 dollars, so I might have to check it out. I have heard that Loki is going to be bi-curious in this book, though. HOW DARE MARVEL PUBLISH A COMIC STARRING A DEGENERATE PERVERT INSTEAD OF ANOTHER SUPERHERO COMIC STARRING A WHITE MALE WHO LIKES CHICKS WITH BIG BOOBS!!!! MY CONGRESSMAN WILL BE HEARING ABOUT THIS, OF THAT YOU CAN BE SURE!!!! (5 February)

So on page 62, there’s an OGN by Mark Waid, James Robinson, and Gabrielle Dell’Otto? It’s Spider-Man: Family Business, and it’s a bit expensive at 25 dollars for 112 pages, but Dell’Otto’s painted work looks wonderful, and it’s Waid and Robinson, after all. I love when Marvel does original graphic novels, because even more than DC’s, they just seem so weird. What’s the over/under for how long Dell’Otto has been working on this? Three years? (2 April)

There’s the first trade of Superior Foes of Spider-Man on page 112 (and it’s only 17 bucks for 6 issues, which is stunning for Marvel). I’ve heard lots of good things about this series, so I’m looking forward to this. (26 February)

Speaking of good price points, Daredevil: Dark Nights is 20 bucks for 8 issues. I don’t know if this is any good (I know the Lee Weeks story looked amazing, but I don’t know if the rest is decent), but I’m still probably getting this. (12 March)

Yes, we’re past Marvel, which means it’s time for the back of the book! Whoo-hoo!

On page 248, SLG offers Sanctuary volume 1 by Stephen Coughlin. I have reviewed this on this very blog, and it’s pretty darned good. If that sways you at all, that is.

I’m not that interested in the 28 Days Later Omnibus from Boom! on page 282, but it’s pretty neat that they’re publishing it. It’s 24 issues for 40 bucks, which isn’t a bad deal.

Okko volume 4: The Cycle of Fire is offered on page 285. This is a pretty neat samurai/fantasy series. I should re-read the whole thing before this comes out, because I assume it’s the last one.

He doesn't look happy

He doesn’t look happy

Greg Pak and Mirko Colak fire up Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for Dynamite, because why not? The interior art looks pretty cool, and Pak is a decent writer, so I might have to check this out when it shows up. (5 February)

This isn't the final cover, which is good because there ain't no string on that bow

This isn’t the final cover, which is good because there ain’t no string on that bow

Gail Simone’s Red Sonja gets a trade on page 300. This has looked pretty good, and the trade is 20 bucks for 6 issues, but I don’t know if the story is any good. Is anyone reading it? (12 February)

I wonder if Dynamite is committed to collecting the entire late 1980s DC run of The Shadow, because they have The Shadow Master Series volume 1 on page 303. This is the first 6 issues by Andy Helfer and Bill Sienkiewicz, and it’s pretty cool. I know the series got a bit weird as it went on, and I’d love it if it got collected so I wouldn’t have to trawl through the back issues boxes. (26 February)

Fantagraphics offers Cannon by Wallace Wood on page 323. Shouldn’t we call him “Wally”? It seems like everyone does, except Fantagraphics. Anyway, this sounds like a very cool strip from the 1960s, and I’m sure Greg Hatcher can tell us all how excellent it is.

Humanoids has Cape Horn, a story about characters in Tierra del Fuego at the end of the 1800s. This sounds like my kind of comic, although it’s 40 dollars, so I’m not super sure about picking it up.

Joshua Fialkov and Joe Infurnari bring us The Bunker on page 332 from Oni. That’s a good creative team, and the story – about a group of friends who find a strange bunker with hints about their future – sounds pretty keen. This was a digital comic, so I guess some people have already read it, but it’s new to me! (5 February)

Don't cross out their eyes!!!!

Don’t cross out their eyes!!!!

The trade of Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur shows up on page 340 from Red 5 Comics. I’d take this with a grain of salt, as the schedule for the single issues has stalled a bit, but if you get Atomic Robo in trade, there it is!

Top Shelf offers The Bojeffries Saga on page 346. I’ve read a tiny bit of this, and I’m always interested in Alan Moore’s work, so this is a no-brainer for me. Good for Top Shelf!

Well, that’s about all we have this month. Alan Moore is a good place to finish, isn’t it? I hope you have fun going through the solicits, and as always, let me know if there’s anything I might have missed that you think deserves mentioning. We’re all friends here!

31 Comments

Holy crap, Dynamite is reprinting the Helfer/Sienkiewicz/Baker Shadow series? I would like to give them all my money now, please. It’s pretty easy to find those as back issues, but man oh man, that was my favorite Shadow series ever.

“This isn’t the final cover, which is good because there ain’t no string on that bow”

That’s because he is so freakin cool he don’t need no strings.

There’s a Big Lebowski the Dude Talking Wacky Wobbler in the back that I’ve got to have. He does abide.

I will find a way to get the Jack Kirby New Gods Artist Edition. Like you, I may rob a bank.

I’m down for the Showcase Presents Jonah Hex, Volume 2.

I like a lot of the items you mentioned, especially the Shadow Master Series, which I have in single issues, but would love to have in a collected format.

So far, my shopping cart is way too big this month. It’s gonna be tough to narrow it down.

Add another voice to the choir praising Superior Foes. It’s been a genuine dandy of book so far, for me.

And I don’t get the lols at describing Sue Storm as compassionate. Is that not a fair way to describe her?Hickman wrote her like that, but with a brave sorta compassion (when she tried to broker peace with the tribes of Atlantis comes to mind). But ‘bravely compassionate’ just sounds silly.

Definitely getting Kirby Artists Edition and Helfer/Sienkiewicz/Baker Shadow. And lots of other books you mention.

I haven’t read Mask of the Red Panda, but Taylor also writes the Red Panda “radio” show, which has long been good. They just released the 100th episode at Decoder Ring Theatre, where you can listen to all of them for free.

In order to answer your query on Red Sonja and its possible quality: It’s decent. The art is good at times, there is a strong direction in terms of characterization for Sonja herself, but the story isn’t that amazing and there is a certain lack of interesting secondary characters overall. It’s nice, but it certainly isn’t the best thing Simone ever did in her career.

I decided to check out Vandroid to see what the story is behind the movie. Apparently all that survived was a script and some publicity materials…….The photos of which look to have been taken recently: http://vandroid.com/about/

Drawing a comic based on a “lost film” is an interesting concept, but unfortunately I think the backstory is just BS used to drum up interest in the project.

buttler: So far, it’s just the first 6 issues. But yeah, that would be cool if they kept going.

Nicole: Ha!

DonW: I tend to stay away from the deep back of the book, so I missed that. Always nice to see Lebowski-related stuff, though.

dave: It’s just such a “female” adjective. I very much doubt if you would ever hear a male character described that way. And, given that more than a few writers have described her as the most powerful member of the team, it would be nice if they would describe her that way. I know she is compassionate, so it’s not necessarily the fact that they used it, just that it’s such a “feminine” word.

Billy: Ah, very cool. Thanks!

Hugo: Good to know. I’ll have to think about it.

Ian: Yeah, the backstory is made up. I don’t know why they went that way – I assume the backstory will be part of the comic, but to extend it beyond that and pretend the movie actually existed seems excessive.

Anyone who mocks Susan Richards’s compassion is also, by extension, dissing Lincoln’s mother.

Calling him Wallace Wood shows respect. The only ones who ever called him Wally are the zillions of fans who never met him. His friends called him Woody. And that’s how he usually signed his art.

buttler: Ha!

Jake: Interesting. I’ve seen him referred as “Wally” in a bunch of solicitations, but I gather the people writing those didn’t do much research. I don’t have a problem calling him “Wallace” – I was just wondering. That’s cool to know.

Is it just me, or do those Metal Men look like somebody drawing a parody of what the Metal Men would look like in the new 52?

Also, Turok’s bow does have a string. It’s faint, but it’s there. You can see it to the left of his ribcage and against his quiver to the right of his left arm.

I see a string on that bow. It’s very very slight, but it’s there. Check to the left of the left side of the quiver from our perspective and also through the right side of the quiver.

Chad: That’s a pretty good description of the Metal Men!

Yeah, I do see the string. I think it’s harder to see when it’s printed in Previews, so I didn’t even look too closely when I found that image on-line.

Chad: It’s totally not just you. That really is how they look.

Ok, the cost-per-issue evaluation of trades makes no economic sense. $4/issue looks like a lot, but what if they are the best issues you have ever read. Cost-per-entertainment value-per-issue is a more sound measure.

Mudassir: I’m not commenting on the value. I think it’s ridiculous that Marvel charges 4 dollars per issue, because none of their comics are worth that. What I think is ridiculous is that DC can somehow charge less money for reprints (which is what trades are) but Marvel usually doesn’t. Yes, the value you get is important, but people often make decisions based on price. If Dynamite and Boom! can actually charge less for their trades (they don’t always, but occasionally), then Marvel can. The reason I harp on price is because I think Marvel is full of shit when they charge $3.99 for a 20-page comic. DC has charged $3.99 for some of their books, but they usually had a back-up story. Now they’re phasing those out, and the value you get for $3.99 has gone down. I don’t care too much about price – if I really want to read something, I’ll probably buy it – but I do think pointing out the price is not a bad thing. Everyone gets different entertainment value out of something, and occasionally I’ll mention that the price might be high, but the product is really good. For things I haven’t read, I can’t make that claim. But I can point out that the way certain companies price their trades is weird, because it is.

The cost evaluation makes sense. For example, I don’t typically buy a trade for more than $20. It would have to be an awesome book to convince me to spend more than that. I should know. I’m dealing poor. The only times I have spent more have been on some of those gigantic omnibus books that Marvel puts out. Even then, it was specifically for Tomb of Dracula and Howard the Duck. You bet your ass I wouldn’t spend that much on anything less awesome.

For what it’s worth, I think Someplace Strange is pretty great.

It looks interesting, of course, and when Bolton plays around with different art styles, it’s really, really interesting, but Nocenti’s story is just as good and weird and engaging. Mostly it’s an adventure-story meditation on how eternally incompatible childhood is with adulthood and how there really isn’t any commonality between the two — so, yeah, there’s some Alice In Wonderland in it.

The most fascinating thing about the story is that as it ramps up to its (slight SPOILER) mostly happy ending, the only thing you feel is a crushing depression and, like, existential sadness. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way while reading a comic before; it’s a disconcerting effect. I’d recommend it!

Also: although I think Nocenti’s recent work is interesting but flawed (and her artistic partners have, at times, actively worked against her), her stuff from the 80s and early 90s is far, far better — unimaginably brilliant, in my opinion. (Why her Daredevil run, one of the greatest runs in comics, has such a spotty reprint history is beyond me.) But my point is this: Someplace Strange is THAT Nocenti.

Any extras in the hardcover of Daytrippers?

Oh, who am I kidding, I will buy this series yet again no matter what.

tom fitzpatrick

December 3, 2013 at 3:32 am

You know what? I’d love it if Dynamite could get Helfer and Baker back together again to finish up their SHADOW run that DC cancelled abruptly.

That is, if Dynamite continues to collect the remainder of that Shadow series, it would be really cool to see a reunion of Helfer and Baker.

Wouldn’t it?

Stephen Coughlin

December 3, 2013 at 3:51 am

Thanks again to Greg for the promotion of Sanctuary Volume 1! If anyone is interested in reading it through Comixology, let me know and I’ll spot you a few issues. Just 99 cents each and the first one is free! My email is stephenssanctuary@gmail.com

“I know the series got a bit weird as it went on, and I’d love it if it got collected. ”
And so my 1 man quest to get the final story completed…continues.

Is it just me, or do those Metal Men look like somebody drawing a parody of what the Metal Men would look like in the new 52?

It doesn’t look like a parody of the New 52. It just looks like plain old New 52. The whole thing has been self-parody from the very start, to the point that it’s almost impossible for a third party to parody.

I went ahead and preordered that Shadow collection and the Showcase Jonah Hex. Because I have no self-control.

Superheroes tend to be compassionate. Spider-Man is compassionate, Superman is compassionate. The Thing is compassionate!

I would have gone with “badass” for Sue myself. She’s the badass one. That’s her role within the FF, going back to the Kirby days when she beat up Doctor Doom with her bare hands that one time.

Marvel’s numbering is all over the place. Nearly every issue is a new number 1, or a regular issue, but with a big number 1 on the page for some reason. Or its a point Now (.now) issue. WTF?!?

To top it off, they cancelled 2 books I read for 2.99 (X-Factor and Daredevil), only to reboot them at 3.99 a month or 2 later.

So I am now glad to say I don’t buy any of their monthly anymore.

Yeah, I just was reading an interview with Howard Chaykin, who was a Wallace Wood assistant, and he says in there that it was either “Wallace” or “Woody”, never “Wally”.

Daredevil Dark Nights is well worth 20 bucks. The Lee Weeks story is one of the best of the year. The Lapham 2 parter was pretty decent stuff. I got the first issue of the Palmiotti written (drawn by…somebody whose name I forget), and while it was decent, it just wasn’t as good as the other 2 stories. I’ll be getting the last 2 issues of the series in the cheapo bin whenever they land there.

More babbling when I get my hands on a Previews. Didn’t get to the store I usually get it from last week. But my my my, that Shadow trade….

The Fuse, gets offered on page 189. It’s about a murder on an “orbiting energy platform,” and if it’s anything like Outland, I’m all over it.

Thought of OUTLAND but also of Rucka’s WHITEOUT. I mean: homicide, hostile environment, workers and engineers in isolation…

What bugs me is the “half million people” part of the solicit (whether that’s just going to be some big-city crime story, just located in space, sold as “BLADE RUNNER meets OUTLAND, baby!”), and the fact it seems an ongoing (instead of a mini or a series of minis), so I’ll prolly just get a #1 sampler and see later if the first trade is worth it (Previews is a hostile environment too).

“compassionate” Invisible Woman. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

Well, mebbe “compassionate” means “badass” nowadays, just like “pathetic” now means “appalling”? I mean, just think of Dubya’s “compassionate conservatism” and what that turned out to be? Mebbe Invisible Woman is the George Bush to Mr. Fantastic’s Dick Cheney, and compassionate is the new badass?

Besides, if “women should be seen and not heard” is demeaning, then “Invisible Woman”, who is heard and not seen, surely is empowering? Marvel, such an early bastion of feminism!

MY CONGRESSMAN WILL BE HEARING ABOUT THIS, OF THAT YOU CAN BE SURE!!!!

But what if it’s a congresswoman? (Not that there’s anything wrong about having congress with a woman…)

SLG offers Sanctuary volume 1 by Stephen Coughlin. I have reviewed this on this very blog, and it’s pretty darned good.

Sorry but even after checking your review I still felt forced to pass: supposedly it is my sort of murder mystery, the cute cartoony art and exagerated facial expressions would pull me out of it — as if DARK CRYSTAL was done in the style of THE MUPPET SHOW. Now, if only the art had been like the cover, which looks Scott Morse great…

However if you like that sort of setup, you may want to check out Adam Hines’s great DUNCAN THE WONDER DOG which is kinda like a long-form ELMER as if drawn by Dave McKean and Chris Ware (or Douglas Paszkiewicz of Arsenic Lullabies). The first 400-page book was published in 2010 by Adhouse but it’s also at http://www.geneva-street.com/duncanthewonderdog/ for free.

(The setup is real slow, there’s a 50-page prologue of vignettes before the main stories begin! One could sample scenes like p. 67-75 about killing a sentient cow, p. 81-83 about a pet dog traumatized after learning how steaks are created, p. 130-138 about an ongoing terrorism investigation, p. 161-176 about the animal terrorists in hiding, or p. 215-223 about an ape working in politics talking at home with his human partner. They’re some of the main threads, running concurrently and interspeded with vignettes.)

Anyway it’s our world if animals were able to talk and fight for civil rights, some ala Martin Luther King, others ala Malcolm X. Its multi-threaded format is hostile to casual reading but it’s as ambitious as overlooked, and even if the planned books 2 to 8 never come out it’ll remain great.

This isn’t the final cover, which is good because there ain’t no string on that bow

You’re complaining there’s no string attached?

Fantagraphics offers Cannon by Wallace Wood on page 323. Shouldn’t we call him “Wally”? It seems like everyone does, except Fantagraphics.

Well, people have a right to self-identify with Bill or William, Steve or Steven or Stephen, Greg or Gregory… Wood identified with Wallace, and signed “Wallace Wood” or “Woody” in his trademark blackletter. The “Wally” thing was imposed on him among those fandom things of the era used to manufacture the fairytales of “bullpens” of happy-campy creators. It’s well-documented that Wood hated it in the same way Schulz hated the title “Peanuts” imposed on his strip: it lacked dignity and respect.

In 1975, Wood did a 3-page extreme self-parody of “My World” retitled “My Word”, ending on a grotesque version of himself at his drawing table, saying to the reader, “My name is Spafon Gool” (NSFW, floating online at http://johnglenntaylor.blogspot.com.es/2010/04/nsfw-week-wally-woods-my-word.html among other places). But when it was translated in Europe in 1977, the rights-holder Flo Steinberg said Wood preferred for it to end with a translation of “My name is Wallace Wood”.

let me know if there’s anything I might have missed that you think deserves mentioning.

Oh, I dunno… Gilbert Hernandez apparently potboiling “zombies, mutants, drug lords, and gorgeous women”? (FATIMA: THE BLOOD SPINNERS, p. 59 at DH) JMS apparently trying to remake Kolchak as a girl? (APOCALYPSE AL, p. 202 at Image) Jonathan Hickman apparently hired just to kick-start a series and leave it at #7 to someone else? (GOD IS DEAD #7, p. 263 at Avatar) But seriously, folks…

- Some translations of stuff I’ve already read:

Cinebook p. 291 is doing the smart sci-fi series VALERIAN, now at VOLUME 6: AMBASSADOR OF THE SHADOWS GN which is among the best albums of the series (each is a separate story, like Tintin). All-ages but insulting to neither teens nor adults.

D&Q p. 317 is reoffering the complete two-volume AYA (LIFE IN YOP CITY and LOVE IN YOP CITY). It’s semi-autobio slice-of-life with drama, comedy, and romance in Ivory Coast, Africa. As good as engrossing.

Yen Press p. 364 has the 3rd and last HC of THERMAE ROMAE (a 6-volume zany manga repackaged as three double-hardcovers), so it’s now complete for sure in English. It’s also a steep price at $40 each 400-page oversized hardcover (it’s been a bestseller in Japan and Europe at half that price, though at manga size). I’d recommend borrowing the first hardcover from a library or someone to be sure you’re not missing out.

- Various worthy resolicits, such as THE COMPLETE ZOT (p. 326, always a nice gift), and a revised edition of last year’s THE LOXLEYS AND THE WAR OF 1812 (p. 341, a historically accurate retelling, with the fate of one Canadian family as the framing device; spoiler warning: it ends with the White House in flames).

- And then there’s the strange case of PARIAH (p. 57 now at Dark Horse): a sci-fi story of children become geniuses after being cured genetically, who are eventually suspected of terrorist conspiracy and rounded up by the government in a satellite, with great art by Weldele. It’s been looking interesting on the radar for years but its troubled publishing history is all over the map.

It’s a 12-chapter graphic novel. Issues 1-4 sound a bit like Brian Wood’s DEMO (cf. http://www.pariahonline.com/pariah-comic-issues/ and their summaries) but converging towards a unified narrative at #5 once they’re all locked up in a satellite.

When it started in 2011, a positive review (cf. http://comicsworthreading.com/2011/07/31/pariah-1/ by Johanna) warned that the Dabel Brothers could hardly be trusted about release. Issues 1-4 were printed, but the Vol. 1 collection never materialized and was eventually cancelled.

Then in 2012 they tried to reboot it, replacing #5 with a Vol. 2 #1 (as seen at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=12089 with good preview art), but they eventually cancelled the Diamond solicits. Apparently it’s been completed in digital since.

And now in 2013, Dark Horse announced they’d publish the whole 1-12 as an OGN. But actually they’re soliciting a so-called #1 (of 8) which really seems to be just vol. 2 #1 all over again (skipping the four DEMO-like intro issues and getting straight to the locked-in-satellite part). So DH’s issues 1-8 would really be chapters 5-12 of the GN, maybe with some recap page? Not that they seem to be telling you that much, apparently.

Anyway, I’m still interested but not touching it in pamphlets: at this point they should solicit a damn hardcover and softcover of the complete story already, maybe right after a $1 sampler issue or something. But I think it’s one to keep a hopeful eye on.

Simon: Phew! Thanks for the suggestions; I appreciate them. I’ve heard of Duncan the Wonder Dog but have never read it, so I’ll have to check it out. I tend to skip Cinebook stuff, even though they’re good, because I’ve gotten quite a few of them in the mail and I’m way behind on reading them, so I have to catch up. I’ve read one volume of Valerian, and I agree it’s pretty good. I also tend to skip reprints (unless I don’t know they’re reprints), because I usually mentioned them the first time around. Zot, of course, is tremendous, and I enjoyed but didn’t love The Loxleys and the War of 1812. Thanks for the information about Pariah – I saw it and was intrigued, as I like Weldele’s work, but just forgot to mention it. Based on what you wrote, I may have to wait for the collected edition as well!

I’m also curious about The Mask of The Red Panda. Sounds pretty interesting.

I think you’re being a little harsh on the Metal Men. The organic- metal look is very cool to me. From covers, it almost looks like the MM can change their respective appearances at will.

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