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Flippin’ through Previews – April 2014

STK640530 (2)

Drooling Superman! Everyone loves Drooling Superman! Luckily, he shows up in Previews #307, which also has comics in it!

Drool for me, you glorious bastard!

Drool for me, you glorious bastard!

Dark Horse:

There’s a new Witchfinder series on page 40, for which I will wait for the trade. The writers are Kim Newman and Maura McHugh. Who the heck are Kim Newman and Maura McHugh? Newman is a “horror fiction legend,” according to the solicits. I guess I don’t read the right things, because I’ve never heard of him. Of course, the list of people I’ve never heard of is quite long, so there’s that. (18 June)

For the solicitation of Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #5 (page 43), Dark Horse played “Greg Hatcher Bingo”: “The Lobster engages in a firefight with a madman in a biplane on top of a zeppelin!” Hatcher already loves this comic! (4 June)

Poor Greg - he doesn't stand a chance!

Poor Greg – he doesn’t stand a chance!

Page 44: “The Goon is back!” How many times has The Goon come back, anyway? Sheesh. (25 June)

The Guns of Shadow Valley (page 45) might feature “superhuman gunmen” and “ghostly warriors,” which makes me cringe just a little, but it still sounds pretty cool – a supernatural western is always fun – and the art is gorgeous. I’m tempted! (13 August)

Spoooooky!!!!!

Spoooooky!!!!!

I don’t know if Skyman volume 1 is any good, but it’s offered on page 54. It’s Joshua Hale Fialkov and Manuel Garcia, so I’m sure it’s pretty decent, but other than that, I don’t know much about it. Has anyone been getting it? (6 August)

David Lapham’s Juice Squeezers gets a trade on page 59. I read the short story in Dark Horse Presents, which was okay, although nothing too great. I imagine the collected edition will be a bit better. (6 August)

I don’t have any interest in the new Emily and the Strangers series on page 60, but I do like Cat Farris’s art. So … yeah. (25 June)

Why is Steve the Pirate on the cover of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 (page 65)? Is it some kind of homage, since, because, well, you know? (25 June)

I miss Steve the Pirate!

I miss Steve the Pirate!

I’ve never been that interested in Elfquest, but as it comes to an end, it’s nice that Dark Horse is making it available, in the form of The Complete Elfquest volume 1 on page 70. Twenty issues for 25 bucks isn’t bad at all. (6 August)

Follow me to the hair salon!

Follow me to the hair salon!

Eye of Newt by Michael Hague (page 71) looks very nice. I’m not as sure about the description – it sounds like fairly standard fantasy stuff – but it still looks very keen! (18 June)

I really ought to get The Ring of the Nibelung by P. Craig Russell and Lovern Kindzierski that shows up on page 72. I mean, I know it’s amazing-looking, but I’ve probably gotten old enough to appreciate the story more. (6 August)

DC:

On page 84, we find Infinity Man and the Forever People by … wait for it … Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen. The last time these two teamed up on a Kirby comic, we got 8 issues of O.M.A.C. Will this last any longer? I doubt it, but who knows. Why does DiDio insist on trying to be a writer? Has anyone ever liked anything he’s ever written? I mean, I know the snooty people on the Internet hate him, but even in the real world, where Brett Booth comics outsell Jae Lee comics, people don’t seem to like DiDio’s writing. Even if nobody is going to gently take him aside and have an intervention, you’d think he’d look at the sales figures and realize it himself! Or maybe he just believes that the reading public doesn’t understand his genius. Beats me. (11 June)

If anyone can write Kirby characters better than Kirby, it's DiDio!

If anyone can write Kirby characters better than Kirby, it’s DiDio!

One of the reasons I don’t love solicitations is because they often spoil events. I don’t care about events, but I imagine some people do, and at least Marvel does those annoying blacked-out solicitations occasionally (which apparently makes it difficult for retailers to order them, but I dismiss that, because if you’re ordering Avengers, don’t you already know how many to order?), while DC forges ahead. So Justice League #32 (page 85) begins with the solicitations telling us that Lex Luthor is now one of the “world’s greatest heroes,” thanks to, I imagine the events of Forever Evil (which is now delayed – wait, a David Finch book is delayed?!?!?!?). It doesn’t quite spoil everything in Forever Evil, but if I were reading that, I’d probably be the kind of person who reads Justice League, and I’d be a bit miffed that DC spoiled it for me. What’s up with that, DC? (18 June)

Hey, it’s Sexy Lobo on the cover of Justice League United #2 (page 88)! How many Loboes are there in the DCnU, anyway? (11 June)

Why would anyone want to punch that sexy, sexy face?!?!?

Why would anyone want to punch that sexy, sexy face?!?!?

On page 97, we get Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #20, guest-starring the Spectre. Is the Spectre Jim Corrigan in the DCnU? That would suck, but it wouldn’t surprise me. What’s the story, people who read more DC comics than I do? (4 June)

DC’s stealth policy of increasing their prices continues, as Superman #32 is 4 dollars for a regular-sized comic (page 101). I know it’s Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr., but that’s still dirty pool by DC. Anyway, despite not being a Johns fan at all, I might give this a look. The cognitive dissonance of Romita drawing Superman might make me check it out! (25 June)

As I’ve often noted, if you happen to see Emanuela Lupacchino’s artwork, it’s probably on a comic I don’t want to read. To wit: Supergirl #32 (page 104), with blood-vomiting Kara doing her thing. Dang it, Emanuela Lupacchino – draw something I want to read!!!! (18 June)

The cover of Red Hood and the Outlaws #32 (page 115): BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!! (18 June)

Can't ... stop ... laughing ...

Can’t … stop … laughing …

Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet (page 121) has the potential to be the biggest train wreck we’ve seen in a while. Let’s hope DC and Dynamite both let Kevin Smith do whatever he wants instead of, you know, actually editing him, because I don’t think the dude can control himself when it comes to lowest common denominator writing. Come on, DC/Dynamite, ignore Smith and let him go nuts! The comic will suck, but it will be massively entertaining! (4 June)

DC is celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary, even though none of their characters existed prior to September 2011. On page 126, we get the two big hardcover collections with famous Batman and Joker stories throughout history. I don’t care about any of that – they look like good collections from the issues – but I am very intrigued by the fact that DC lists them as “Retrosolicits.” What the flying crap does that mean? I can’t even begin to figure it out. Seriously – what the hell? (16 July)

The God of All Comics’ final Action Comics trade is offered on page 131. I guess I’ll have to sit down and read the entire thing once it shows up. (23 July)

On page 132, we get the long-awaited Cinder and Ashe trade. Cinder and Ashe, DC? Really? I mean, of course I’m going to get it – it’s José Luis García-López artwork – but this just reinforces my idea that DC and Marvel have a giant wall on which they put the names of every comic they’ve ever published and then they blindfold an intern and let that person throw a dart at the board and whichever one it hits gets collected. Motherfucking Cinder and Ashe. (2 July)

Where's the Xenobrood trade?!?!?

Where’s the Xenobrood trade?!?!?

There’s a new Tiny Titans mini-series on page 136. Tiny Titans was fun, and it’s nice that DC is bringing it back. (4 June)

The second (and last) trade of Li’l Gotham shows up on page 137. While I never absolutely loved this series, it’s still a pretty neat bunch of stories. Some are really awesome, of course, and this is 6 issues for 13 bucks, which ain’t bad. (30 July)

DC gets around to collecting the beginning of Jamie Delano’s weird Animal Man run on page 141. This is notable for being one of Steve Pugh’s really early works, and it’s a bizarre horror story that will seem very familiar to anyone who read Jeff Lemire’s run on the title (well, at least the early issues, the only ones I’ve read). (9 July)

IDW:

Good for Jeff Parker, writing the new Angry Bird Comics on page 160. I don’t think I’ll be checking it out, but good for him!

Harlan Ellison’s script for The City on the Edge of Forever gets adapted on page 163. It’s J. K. Woodward on art, which should make it look nice, and I guess people have raved about this for years, so if you’ve never read it and want to, here’s a chance!

Louise Simonson is writing Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! (page 167), which I guess is a team-up of various Cartoon Network characters. It seems kind of weird, but hey, I’m sure Simonson and artist Derek Charm are enjoying themselves!

It's crazy!

It’s crazy!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Heroes Collection features 8 of the “micro-series” IDW put out over the past few years, and it sounds pretty neat. It has art by Andy Kuhn, Valerio Schiti, Ross Campbell, and Marley Zarcone, among others, so it will look pretty neat, too!

If you skipped the single issues or the two trades, you can get a fancy hardcover of Mars Attacks by John Layman and John McCrea on page 172. This series was a lot more fun than I expected it to be, and of course it looked fantastic.

So much wacky death!

So much wacky death!

Chuck Dixon is relaunching Winterworld on page 173, with art by Jackson Guice. The original Winterworld was pretty good, so I might have to check this out.

That doesn't look good!

That doesn’t look good!

Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night fires up on page 175. These mini-series are quite good, so if you’ve missed them, here’s a chance to check it out!

Well, this is weird. IDW is releasing G.I. Joe: Silent Interlude, which is basically the old silent issue from the Marvel series. They’ve expanded it a bit to include original layouts and other such stuff, so it’s 88 pages, then they slapped a $20-price tag on it. That seems excessive. I mean, I guess it’s a classic, but still.

Starstruck Treasury Edition is on page 183, and I’m not sure what the deal is with it. It’s not labeled as volume 1 or anything, but it’s only 72 pages long. That’s not enough for the entire epic! It’s a cool comic, and it’s a big format so Michael Kaluta’s art will look amazing, I’m sure, but I’m still puzzled about it.

If you’ve never read Thom Zahler’s Love and Capes, you can remedy that with The Complete Collection on page 185. It’s 50 bucks, but it does collect 24 issues and has 676 pages, so there’s that. It’s a really fun series about superhero romance, so if you have missed it, you should check it out (plus, Our Dread Lord and Master’s book shows up in it, which is neat).

Tom Beland has Chicacabra on page 187. It’s the story of a Puerto Rican high schooler who happens to be a chupacabra. Of course she is! I’ll have to check this out.

Is it a metaphor for puberty?!?!?

Is it a metaphor for puberty?!?!?

Image:

So, yeah, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie launch The Wicked and the Divine on page 201. ‘Roided-up bears drunk on honey wine couldn’t keep me away from that sucker. (18 June)

BEARS, I tells ya!

BEARS, I tells ya!

Red City on page 204 sounds like a hard-boiled noir detective story … set on Mars. Daniel Corey is a pretty good writer, so I might have to give this a look. (11 June)

Ted McKeever has been doing some very weird (and very good) comics recently, and The Superannuated Man (page 206) sounds like yet another one, in which the world has been taken over by “advanced and mutated animals,” but one old man still hangs on in a small seaside town. Yeah, another McKeever gem! (4 June)

'Cause he's so old, you know

‘Cause he’s so old, you know

That’s Because You’re a Robot, a one-shot about two cops, one of whom is a robot, but they don’t know which one, shows up on page 211. I don’t know the writer – he writes for Veep, which is a big plus – but it’s drawn by Shaky Kane, which means it’s going to look amazing. (11 June)

Dead Body Road gets a trade on page 213, in case you’re interested. I’m not sure if this is any good, but Justin Jordan and Matteo Scalera are both talented, so I might have to give this a look. (25 June)

The final volume of Gødland shows up on page 213, which is nice. However, it’s more important that on page 214, the long out-of-print first Celestial Edition comes back, which is very cool. I already own the single issues, of course, but the second Celestial Edition (which is also offered again) has a ton of cool extra stuff, and I assume the first one does too. Good for Casey and Scioli, getting it back into print like that! (4 June)

I’ve been hearing good things about A Voice in the Dark, so I’ll get the trade on page 215. I don’t know if it’s enough to save the book, but I’ll do my part, I suppose. (11 June)

Marvel:

As I noted above, with Marvel events, they tend to keep details close to the vest, but on pages 8-9, at least they give creative teams for the various “Original Sin” tie-ins. What cracks me up is that Original Sin itself is eight issues, while on page 9, we get Original SinS #1-2 (the plural is important!) and Original Sin #3.1, .2, .3, and .4. So the mini-series event might be eight issues, but by God, Marvel is going to milk it until its teats are raw and dry!

You know, as much as I hate Greg Land’s art, he can do some things, but I can’t think of a worse artist to draw an issue of Mighty Avengers (page 12) that is set in 1972. Holy crap, that should be a visual clusterfuck. (11 June)

This is the Pat Boone of 1970s covers

This is the Pat Boone of 1970s covers

Alan Davis writes and draws Savage Hulk #1 on page 14. Much like the X-Men, Marvel is running out of adjectives for the Hulk, and now they’re just recycling ones. Next up (after 12 issues or so of this one, and they reboot it): The Irrepressible Hulk! Comics fans are smart, Marvel! They’ll enjoy that one! (25 June)

Miracleman #7 is offered on page 17. I’m warning people about this, as this begins the brief period of the book when Chuck Austen was doing the artwork. If you think Alan Moore is a genius whose writing is so good it doesn’t matter who’s drawing his stuff, check back in with me after you’ve seen Chuck Austen drawing his scripts. Yikes. (4 June)

Marvel uses the word “penultimate” in the solicitations to Superior Foes of Spider-Man (they also use “it’s” when they mean “its,” because they live to make me crazy) – does that mean next issue is it? Or does Marvel not know what “penultimate” mean, either? (11 June)

Everyone knows supervillains can't drive well!

Everyone knows supervillains can’t drive well!

We can laugh at Gina on Brooklyn 99 incorporating emoji into her actual conversation, but Marvel only looks at her and thinks, “Now there’s someone who’s ahead of her time!”, as they’re using emoticons in their solicitations, as for Loki #5, which claims that the “movie” (comic) is “rated :( for tears before bedtime.” I have railed against the infantilization of society before, and this is a wonderful example of it. Yes, I’m angry. (Oh, and you all should really be watching Brooklyn 99, which is probably the funniest show on television right now.) (4 June)

Meanwhile, over on page 40, Hawkeye #21 gives us “The Finale, Part 1.” Again, I assume this means what we all think it means, not some bait-and-switch by Marvel. I’m actually kind of happy about this. Hawkeye has been spinning its wheels for a while now, and the last two issues were pretty mediocre. (25 June)

On page 76, we find Marvel Famous Firsts: 75th Anniversary Masterworks Slipcase Set, which includes the first volumes of a bunch of Marvel Masterworks – 11 of them, to be exact – and can be yours for the low low price of $500. This sounds pretty awesome, actually, and as I don’t own a lot of these – the Fantastic Four one is the only one, I think – I’d love to get it, but that’s a bit rich for my blood. Looks neat, though. (3 September)

Speaking of Marvel Masterworks, on page 79 Not Brand Echh gets the treatment. That’s one thing I bet many people thought would never show up in Marvel Masterworks! (3 June 2015 – wait, what?)

On page 84, you can get the Oz Omnibus, which collects every series Eric Shanower and Skottie Young did with the Oz stuff. I’m actually quite tempted by this, but it’s $125, and I’m not sure if I’m that tempted. (3 September)

Jim Starlin is writing and drawing an original graphic novel about Thanos, The Infinity Revelation, on page 86. That’s kind of nifty, isn’t it? (6 August)

The 1970s Star-Lord stuff gets collected on page 104. I guess there’s lots of cool stuff in here; I know there’s a bunch of good creators, like Englehart, Claremont, Moench, Byrne, Infantino, Sienkiewicz, and Colan, among others. It’s only 25 bucks for over 400 pages, so I might have to check it out. (9 July)

That pose can be used in any context!

That pose can be used in any context!

Ah, yes, it’s time for the back of the book, where unnumbered treasures can be found!

I don’t know the creators of The Last West from Alterna on page 255, but it sounds pretty neat: a “noir epic” in which the world’s progress stopped “after the failure of the first test of the atomic bomb.” Now one man – of course – can “jumpstart” progress, but at what price? AT WHAT PRICE?!?!?!?

Over on page 268, Garth Ennis and John McCrea resurrect Dicks for a new series for Avatar, in case you’re interested. I’ve skimmed an issue or two in the past, and I’ve never been that keen to read more, but good for them!

I do like that shirt

I do like that shirt

I always have to point out when a new Fearless Dawn comic gets solicited, and there’s one on page 278 from Asylum Press. If you’ve never seen a Steve Mannion comic, you really ought to treat yourself. They’re insane.

Ballantine Books has Seconds, the latest from Bryan Lee O’Malley. As you might recall, I’m not a fan of Scott Pilgrim, but I do like O’Malley, so I’ll have to check this out.

Boom! Studios:

Cullen Bunn has a new series, The Empty Man, on page 283. It’s about an unusual illness that, I guess, is far more sinister than it appears. Bunn’s creator-owned stuff tends to be much better than his Marvel work, and Vanesa del Rey is a pretty good artist, so I’ll probably check this out … when it shows up in trade. Yes, I suck!

Meanwhile, on page 285, Eric Powell and Brian Churilla team up for Big Trouble in Little China #1. This has clusterfuck written all over it, to be honest. Powell’s writing has never even been close to as good as his artwork, and part of the appeal of the movie is the cast, which took the rather (deliberately) hackneyed script and made it work. Powell doesn’t have Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, and Victor Wong to work with, does he? I hope this will be good, but I fear it will traffic in nostalgia and little else.

That doesn't look much like Kurt Russell

That doesn’t look much like Kurt Russell

Six-Gun Gorilla gets a trade on page 289. I was skeptical about this when it was first announced, but apparently it’s pretty good. We shall see!

Now that Archaia is part of Boom!, they’re trying once again to get the last volume of The Secret History out, as it’s offered on page 292. I’d really like to read the rest of the series, so maybe this time it will actually show up!

I bought the first issue of The Red Ten from ComixTribe and thought it was okay, but through a series of boring events, I never got another issue. Now there’s a trade of the first five issues on page 307, and I’m wondering if I should get it or wait for the inevitable complete collection. It’s a superhero version of And Then There Were None, by the way, which is a pretty neat idea.

Dynamite:

Nancy Collins writes a new Vampirella series on page 309. I’ve never been a fan of Vampirella or, for that matter, Nancy Collins, but yeah, there it is. (4 June)

On page 320, Dynamite continues releasing The Shadow from the DC days, as volume 2 collects issues #7-13 by Helfer and Baker. I don’t own these issues, so I’ll probably have to pick this up. (18 June)

Doc Savage: The Curtis Magazine Era shows up on page 322, and if Greg Hatcher doesn’t own this already, he’ll be all over it. It’s 50 bucks but it’s over 500 pages, and it features stories by Doug Moench, John Buscema, Tony DeZuniga, and Ernie Chan. Cool stuff! (August)

So many tentacles!

So many tentacles!

Straczynski’s Twilight Zone gets a trade on page 323. I guess people are a bit grumpy that this isn’t a series of single issue stories, but a four-issue arc? Really? Anyway, I don’t have any interest in this, but if you do, there’s the trade! (11 June)

Fantagraphics:

Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin’s war stories get collected in Bomb Run on page 332. This is awfully tempting.

Underneath that, Fantagraphics offers a slipcase of four of their 1950s comics collections, including Al Williamson’s 50 Girls 50, which is phenomenal (I assume the others are, too). It’s $95, but given Fantagraphics’ odd pricing policies (which were detailed in last month’s Previews post), don’t expect that to stay the same.

Nick Bertozzi has another nifty historical comic, Shackleton, on page 335 from First Second. Bertozzi is a good creator, and who doesn’t love reading about Antarctic exploration? Commies, that’s who!

He's resolute!

He’s resolute!

How I Made the World is on page 341, and if this review didn’t make you want to read this, then I just don’t know what to do with you.

Margaret K. McElderry Books has a collection of Emily Carroll’s comics in Through the Woods on page 345. Carroll creates some very good, very creepy comics, so this should be fun to check out.

Oni Press:

Ted Naifeh has a new comic, the unfortunately-named Princess Ugg, on page 347. It sounds like the kind of thing Naifeh knocks out of the park – a school for high-school princesses, where the status quo is upset when a barbarian princess shows up – and I’m sure it will look great, but that name? Ugh. (4 June)

Are those even uggs?

Are those even uggs?

Ray Fawkes is back with another graphic novel called The People Inside. Much like One Soul, it appears it’s a book that subverts normal narratives, this time with love stories. Fawkes is a very interesting creator, and I’m looking forward to this. (13 August)

On page 349, we find I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin and Benjamin Dewey. It’s the story of a journalist who gets an offer to write the memoirs of a cat. Of course! You know this will be awesome! (6 August)

Titan Comics:

Titan is rolling out a big Doctor Who thing on page 367, with both The Tenth Doctor and The Eleventh Doctor showing up, with Nick Abadzis, Elena Casagrande, Al Ewing, Rob Williams, and Simon Fraser among the creators. If I cared about Doctor Who, I’d dig this!

Also on page 367, Alien Legion: Dead and Buried Omnibus shows up, with Chuck Dixon and Larry Stroman as the creative team. I don’t know if this is any good, but it’s nice that Titan is getting these trades out!

David Hitchcock is an interesting creator, so I’m kind of keen to read Springheeled Jack on page 368. It’s about a dude hunting the creature, so we’ll see what’s up with that.

On page 368, Top Shelf collects the entire Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer epic for $25. This was a pretty good series, and the art is very good.

Well, that’s weird. I thought there would be more, but suddenly, I reached the end of the catalog with nothing jumping out at me. So that’s that for this month! Check out Previews for most of your comics needs, and have fun!

71 Comments

I liked Dan DiDio’s writing on OMAC. I think lots of people did. I also found his Wednesday Comics Metal Men strip to be perfectly fine, hardly the worst thing in that series. As for OMAC being cancelled after 8, I’m sure it had very little to do with DiDio’s writing, and a lot to do with the fact that

(1) Nobody could move OMAC in big numbers in today’s market. Not Geoff Johns, not Scott Snyder, nobody,

(2) Many of the people who would be interested in a straightforward Kirby pastiche would also be the people who despise everything that DiDio’s done in his time at DC (being responsible for some of the most UN-Kirby-like superhero comics ever made). I suppose many people who would have enjoyed the same series had it been written under a pseudonym never gave it a chance with DiDio’s name on the cover.

Answers to random questions:

Yeah, Skyman is pretty good, with the usual caveats about decompression making things unfold slowly.

Yeah, the Spectre is Corrigan again. Only somehow now it’s all the Stranger’s fault that he became the Spectre. Didio wrote that one too, so I think we know who’s really to blame.

I just went ahead and impulse-preordered those Doc Savage and Star-Lord collections, even though I already have most of that same Doc Savage material in the recent Showcase collection published when DC had the license. I’d already preordered the Shadow Masters and Cinder & Ashe collections. I already have that whole run of the Shadow in single issues, but I’ve been agitating for it to be reprinted for so long that I feel I have to support it now that it’s finally happening. Do The Shadow Strikes! next, Dynamite! You know you wanna!

And yeah, I didn’t like Didio’s OMAC at all, but the art was cool.

Cass: That’s probably a good point about OMAC. I only bought the first issue, and I thought the best thing DiDio did on it was stay out of Giffen’s way. Metal Men was okay, I guess, but he seems like a perfectly mediocre writer. Not that that hasn’t kept many writers from working at DC and Marvel! I do think a lot of people who might have read OMAC avoided it because his name was on the cover.

buttler: I’ll probably have to check out Skyman.

Man, poor Jim Corrigan. Such a nice funeral, but they can’t let him rest!

I imagine that Dynamite will eventually get to The Shadow Strikes!, unless they lose the license!

I wonder if Princess Ugg trades on teen girls’s fondness for Ugg Boots (which, as an Australian, I can tell you you’re all getting ripped off.) Whatever it trades on, I’m there, though! Both Polly and Courtney are great reads.

Also, I’d like to agree that Brooklyn 99 might be the funniest thing on TV right now, and add a nudge to the Nudge Pile for Six-Gun Gorilla. It’s got some pretty cool sci-fi ideas underneath its layer of rollicking action.

What? No more love for Atomic Robo?

Screw you, I want a Xenobrood trade!

More later.

Caanan: I assume that’s why it’s called that, but it’s still a terrible name! :)

DonW: I mentioned the new Atomic Robo series last month. I can’t pimp it all the time!!!

Travis: I don’t need a Xenobrood trade, because I own all the issues, sucker!!!!

I never thought Chuck Austin’s art (it looks like they changed the original Chuck Beckum credit to Austin) was that bad on Miracleman. I admit my mind was a bit boggled when I found out that the horrifically, historically awful author that followed Grant Morrison on New X-Men was the same guy, but after pulling the issues of Miracleman out of curiosity at that point, I found him perfectly serviceable, even pretty decent. Not up to the standards of Leach, Davis or Buckingham, but still good.

turk: We’ll have to agree to disagree! Coming from Davis to Austen was a huge shock to me, and that was back when I wasn’t as keen on art as I am now. To be honest, I wasn’t in love with Veitch’s work that followed, either, but looking at it now, it was miles better than Austen’s. Maybe the restoration will make it tolerable to me!

I assume Cinder And Ashe is getting a reprint because Brandon Graham never shuts up about it.

I’ll most likely be picking up that Ellison ‘City’ comic, if only because Ellison’s book of The same title which includes the original teleplay includes a long essay about the entire fiasco that is some of my favorite Ellison writing. It’s absolutely hysterical reading his bewildering account of what happened with that episode, and its fallout. Highly recommended!

Also…has anyone read those Not Brand Ecch! comics? How do they stand up, lo, these many years later? Ive always wanted to read them, but those Masterworks volumes ate so expensive…

Andrew Collins

March 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm

For once, I was able to get to the store the same week Previews came out, so I could read this column as you posted it, rather than waiting a week or two until I can finally flip through my own copy!

– Greg, you had more comments than usual that had me shaking my head in agreement this go round. :)

A few of my thoughts:

– Man there are a lot of Hellboy related comics aren’t there? I have enjoyed many of them but finally had to give up on them as my poor bookcases just couldn’t hold them all. I sold all my trades, hanging on to only my nice Library editions of Hellboy and the hardcover collections for BPRD: Plague Of Frogs. If Dark Horse ever start releasing Hell On Earth in HC’s, I might pick them up but that’ll be about all I can budget for…

– Didn’t Didio (whoa, try saying that 3 times fast…) used to write for TV? That’s probably where he got the idea he can entertain people. I own the Wednesday Comics collection and the best thing I can say about his Metal Men strip is that I don’t remember it being bad. That’s about it. I still would prefer he go BACK to TV, but as DC is simply a trademark factory for Warner Brothers these days, that’s not likely to happen…

– Romita ALMOST makes that new Superman outfit not look terrible. Almost. Plus, Romita drawing DC blows my mind.

– I like Lupachino’s artwork a lot too, but other than a few issues of PAD’s X-Factor, she’s never drawn anything I’ve cared about. Same with her fellow Italian, Sara Pichelli. Great artist. Never draws anything I want to read.

– I’m glad I’m not the only one who read Lemire’s Animal Man and thought “Wait, Delano already did this.” When they added Pugh to Lemire’s series, it even made it more apparent. Still, I may pick up the trade, as I remember the Delano stories being good.

– Retrosolicit means “This was meant to be in last month’s catalog”

– Random or not, Cinder And Ashe was pretty good, with Garcia-Lopez’s artwork being some of his finest. It’s a shame it didn’t do well enough in 1988 to warrant a sequel, which Conway has said he and Garcia-Lopez were prepared to do.

– G.I. Joe #21 is my favorite individual comic issue of all time. But I’m still not paying $20 for a reprint…

– I’m also confused about what the heck is up with that Starstruck solicit. The first couple issues enlarged? An “artist edition” type reprint? A completely wrong solicitation that will be quietly updated on Diamond’s website with the correct info a week from now where no one will see it? Only time will tell.

– That McKeever cover Creeps Me The F*** Out. That’s all I have to say about that.

– That Land cover for Mighty Avengers is far from the worst he’s ever done, but I am bugged by his “Disco Fever” portion of the drawing. Was disco even a thing in 1972? I was born in 1977, which was the height of actual Disco Fever, but it hadn’t started 5 years earlier had it? It feels to me like Land just threw whatever 70’s references he could think of into some vaguely Blaxploitational image…

– That cover alone makes me want to buy that Star-Lord collection. Question- does the Star-Lord story have an ending? I knew he popped up all over the place in various Marvel mags and anthology titles back in the 70’s but was there an overall story, or even coherence, to his adventures?

– Fearless Dawn? F*** Yeah! Especially since the last one-shot ended on a bit of a cliffhanger…

– Speaking of Dynamite, I’m not interested in Nancy Collins’ Vampirella, though I did like her Swamp Thing run back in the 90’s more than most other people did. Plus, my wife’s name is Nancy, so I chuckle a little bit every time I see her name in the solicits.

– Nice to see Dynamite giving those old Doc Savage stories the deluxe treatment. I’m not familiar with the “Curtis Magazine” era though. Where do these issues fit in with the DC and Marvel Doc Savage series in the 70’s?

– Princess Ugg! This is the one exciting new listing for me. Name doesn’t bother me, but I’ll probably wait for it in trade. Still, new Naifeh is always reason for celebration!

– I Was The Cat also intrigues me (go Oni!). I wasn’t terribly familiar with Tobin’s writing until I recently read Bandette and now I’m looking forward to reading more of his stuff. This sounds good, too.

Overall, this Previews left me feeling kind of ho-hum. A couple nice new solicits from Oni but that was about it. The other new book I’m on my ordering list is that Batman 66/Green Hornet mini, and like you I’m hesitant to be too excited because of who’s writing it. Still, my wallet will enjoy taking a month off…

i never thought not only would alan davis work on miracle man see print given the legal mess miracle man was in. but also marvel would go into its vaults and finaly reprint the not brand ecch some one in marvel reprints must have their sense of humor on to let the thing finaly be reprinted.

I’m not familiar with the “Curtis Magazine” era though. Where do these issues fit in with the DC and Marvel Doc Savage series in the 70?s?

“Curtis” was the imprint for Marvel’s B&W magazines, so these are the B&W Doc Savage magazines that Marvel published in the 1970s. They were previously collected by DC in a Showcase collection when they had the franchise rights, but that only included the comics stories, not the other content.

I’m still waiting for someone to reprint the full-color Marvel Doc Savage series of the 1970s. It’s just too bad that his team-ups with the Thing and Spider-Man will have to go uncollected.

I saw that Princess Ugg picture at the top of the page, and my first thought was that Troll from Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts run ws getting her own series. Which i would totally buy, btw.

Chuck Austen wasn’t THAT bad on Miracleman. It’s just that his predecessors (and basically everyone who followed him) were such geniuses of comic art that he appeared to be a truly awful artist. But if a time-displaced Austen/Beckem from the late 80s suddenly did a fill-in job on, say, Buffy Season Something, people would not get that bent out of shape.

Andrew Collins

March 30, 2014 at 7:53 pm

@buttler

Ah. Thanks for the info. I thought it was maybe some other publisher that had put out Doc Savage comics between the DC and Marvel licenses. I already have those too, so I’ll pass on this one.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #32 cover: OK, I admit not getting the joke until I stopped looking at Starfire and noticed the symbolism going on with the guys’ poses.

Six-Gun Gorilla was indeed fantastic. You owe it to yourself to read that story.

R: Well, I don’t think Graham really has that much pull at DC!

dave: I’ve never read Not Brand Echh, so I don’t know. On the House to Astonish podcast they mentioned that they don’t hold up too well, although they’re better if you’re really well versed in the comics they’re parodying, so there’s that.

Andrew: I assume any new Hellboy stuff will make it into a Library Edition sooner or later, so I’m happy waiting for that!

Yeah, Pichelli’s another good example. There are actually quite a few artists I wish would draw stuff I wanted to read. Rebekah Isaacs leaps to mind.

I immediately thought Lemire was riffing on Delano, from the first issue. I imagine Pugh’s presence just made it more obvious!

Disco, as far as I know, didn’t really hit until 1975. I could be wrong, but yeah – that’s just another thing wrong with the Land cover! But you’re right – it’s not the worst thing he’s ever done, but “Land” and “funky,” which is what the cover should be, don’t go together at all.

I have no idea if the Star-Lord stuff actually ends. I’ve never read it.

The solicit for Fearless Dawn say it’s specifically a follow-up to the last one, so I guess that’s what Mannion’s doing these days – one-shots that come out sporadically but tell a serialized story?

If you’re digging Tobin, get Colder from Dark Horse. Very creepy stuff, with amazing art by Juan Ferreyra.

Dean: Yeah, she does look a bit like Troll, doesn’t she? I’d buy that, too, depending on the creative team, of course.

Roman: Once again, we must agree to disagree about Chuck Austen! :)

Brad: The entire thing is hilarious. Starfire is ridiculous, and the dudes are just … sheesh.

It may be due to lowered expectations, but I actually liked Didio’s OMAC. Or at least, I hated it the least out of the New 52 debut issues I read (I tried every last one). It was the only one I found readable and was interested in reading more of, even though I never did. I still plan to go back and read all the issues though. No other New 52 comic made me want to read more issues except that one.

And I went into the book totally expecting to hate it.

I’m a huge fan of John Romita Jr, so normally it would be tragic for me to see him go to DC Comics, which I refuse to read until they do a Didio/Harras-free reboot. However since Marvel was insisting on constantly pairing him with Klaus Janson, whose inks utterly ruin Romita’s pencils for me, I’m okay with it. I don’t read Romita when inked by Janson, and since it seems he was going to be forever inked by Janson over at Marvel I wasn’t going to be reading him at Marvel anyway.

tom fitzpatrick

March 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm

First: Cinder and Ashe, I enjoyed this series when it came out. Was disappointed that it never got another series (ongoing or limited).

Second: Doesn’t that guy that Ted McKeever drew looks like the recovering alcoholic in MINIATURE JESUS?

Third: You should get the The Ring by P.Craig Russell. It’s a beautifully terrific and faithful adaptation.

Fourth: As for Jim Starlin doing another Thanos book. Chad N. must be hitting the ceiling.

Cinder and Ashe has been published in France for the first time, 6 months ago … maybe that gave DC the Idea ?? (“hey, somebody from France asked fot the films for C&A, maybe we could use them before storing them up again ?”)

The ring by PCR must be something extra ordinary ..; but i still have the one by Gil Kane.

I haven’t yet made it through my Previews. My cat’s either developed an allergy to pollen or has a nasal infection and I’ve been trying to nurse it back to health. But, thoughts on your thoughts…

RE: Kim Newman on WITCHFINDER — He’s notable enough of a writer, I suppose. It’s another book Hatcher might have a vested interest in, depending on whether or not he’s familiar with Newman’s Diogenes Club stories.

RE: Didio — Maybe people liked the episodes of REBOOT he wrote? (Though I personally tend to doubt this, it’s possible, I suppose – I never watched the show, so I cannot say.) He supposedly also wrote for WAR PLANETS: SHADOW RAIDERS, but if he did, it’s uncredited. (Maybe he was a story editor?) I’ve never been impressed with anything he has had to offer, and this Nu52 version of the Forever People isn’t likely to be an exception.

RE: Cinder & Ashe — One of the two items DC’s offering his month that I deem to be worth my time (the other being Harlan Ellison’s 7 AGAINST CHAOS). I probably should have bought it when it originally was published, but I was too young and foolish back in 1988 to appreciate it.

The 1970s STARLORD stuff I got for cheap ages ago. No need to buy it again.

RE: Stracynski’s TWILIGHT ZONE — I think naysayers are just grumpy that JMS has anything out in comics anymore, period (and frankly, I can’t say as I blame them).

I hadn’t gotten around to PRINCESS UGG in my catalog-combing. Yeah, the title is rather weird, isn’t it? I hope it doesn’t put off people too much, it looks pretty cool.

RE: ALIEN LEGION — I think it’s far more important to note that ALIEN LEGION has an all new storyline, UNCIVIL WAR, #2 of which was offered this month, than mentioning a trade collection that by now any self-respecting legionnaire already has in their collection via singles, or earlier reprint collections.

Non related first, but I have to mention this crazy ass cool idea:

http://momentofcerebus.blogspot.com/2014/03/weekly-update-24-ultimate-cerebus.html

Dave Sim floats the idea of IDW having big name comics artists and writers redo the first 25 issues of Cerebus.

To my shame, I didn’t think of your pal Layman until later on. I thought of Brubaker first, cuz he said nice things about Dave during that whole “will Fantagraphics reprint Cerebus? Only over Kim Thompson’s dead body” (too soon?) debacle, and then I wondered if Ross Campbell might do a neat Cerebus.

I only thought of Layman in the shower. And yes, you can totally cut and paste that sentence and pass it on to him.

I know he’s seen it over at bleedingcool, so he’s aware.

So yeah, to bring it back to this column, Layman’s Mars Attacks run was pretty neat, and probably worth the 40 bucks for a nice HC.

Also on the Cerebus thing, after seeing your last McKelvie feature, I totally want to see a Gillen/McKelvie issue, and apparently McKelvie is (sorta, at least) a Sim fan.

Comments on the comments next:

Damn you and your Xenobrood issues! I think I have all but the last issue now. Found #5 in a cheap bin relatively recently, and I think I have all the others. That zero issue of it was damn good, and then I think it got a little blah.

Probably about the same time as the Miracleman stuff, Chuck Austen did finishes over Scott McCloud’s layouts on Zot! 19 and 20. Been years since I’ve read “Getting to 99″, but iirc, it wasn’t that terrible. When you’re surrounded by the other great artists that were on Miracleman, of course you’re going to look bad.

His writing, however, yeah. Terrible.

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogostick, Andrew Collins is as bad as I am! ;)

Yeah Andrew, Paul Tobin kicks ass. Like Greg said, get Colder. He also wrote a number of the Marvel Adventures kid-aimed books, iirc, and those are all decent, and the digest size collections are neat.

Louis, I’m pretty sure Hatcher’s written about Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula books, so yeah, he might be all over that. There’s a lot of Hatcher stuff in this book, man!

Well, not all of us got on Alien Legion from the start, though. Is the omnibus the entire AL storyline to this point? If so, Titan missed the boat on this, because they should have solicited the omni either before or the same month as the first issue of the new story. Why would I get the new stuff if I have no idea what’s gone on before?

Drooling Superman should cross over with Jen Sorensen’s Drooly Julie.

Dark Horse:

Lobster Johnson: “biplace”? You may want to check that.

I know you’re no fan of the Goon, but by god that Jack Davis cover looks awesome! He’s got to be, what, nearly 90? Damn, he’s still got it!

I’m behind on reading them, but Corben doing EA Poe adaptations are awesome (pg 48)

I dug the other Dream Thief #1, but I don’t have the rest of the series, so I will be waiting on this new mini. (pg 56)

I’m in on Juice Squeezers. Lapham is always neat, and the individual issues were 4 bucks a pop, so this is a good deal for 13 bucks, plus the DHP stories.

I’ve read the original Elfquest saga, and while it’s not really my cup of tea, it’s really nice stuff. It’s on my list as a hard maybe. Wendy Pini’s art is neat looking, and it’s such a key book in indie publishing history. I was thinking about how Elfquest is one of the few properties that’s been published by Marvel, DC, and DH. I’m thinking that Doc Savage might be the only other property like that (did Marvel ever do the Shadow? That’s about the only other property that comes to mind.). Pretty cool, I think.

That’s about all from them. Overall, like others have said, this book doesn’t seem like it’s all that packed to me, but then I look at my list….

DC: When you’re the publisher, you can write whatever damn book you want! I dunno, I might try Infinity Man and the Forever People, or maybe trade wait (June of 2017 release date!). I loves me some Giffen, even with the way his art looks now (and if you aren’t planning on Giff for the year of the artist posts, WTF is wrong with you?!), and like some others, I dug OMAC. Big dumb comics can be fun sometimes.

I don’t remember if I said it when Kelly featured that Noelle Stevenson comic a while back, but I would totally pay to see Stevenson team up with Kate Beaton and do a sexy Lobo/sexy Batman crossover book. DC would never have the sense of humor to do it, but I’d buy it!

A la your Lupacchino comment, I’d like to buy Aaron Kuder comics, but he’s drawing Action, which wasn’t doin’ it for me, and writing Superboy, which…eh. And he was the artist on the GL New Guardians book (trade on pg 129). But he’s a super cool dude.

I’d sorta recommend the Harley Quinn #0 director’s cut issue. There was Simonson, Hughes, Timm, Cooke, Baltazar art in there, and amusing fourth wall breaking, but it wasn’t great. If you see it when it’s out, give it a look and see if it floats your boat. (pg 113)

Man, I was so happy to hear that Ty Templeton was drawing the Batman ’66/Green Hornet book, but the writers….meh. It did lead to the interesting rumor that DC is interested in buying Dynamite. They’ll get the Boys back somehow, dammit!

pg 123 has Adventures of Superman 14, with an interesting sounding team of Max Landis and Jock on a Joker/Supes story, but then they up the ante with a story of Clark Kent babysitting Sugar and Spike. Fuck yeah!

I think once you read the entire Morrison Action run, you’ll like it a little better (and it seemed to improve in the issues in this third trade), but yeah, that run was nowhere near GMozz’s best shit. (Of course, I’m not sure now, being that the last issues came out, what, 6 years back now? Good god, DC has fucked up their trade release schedule.)

Cinder and Ashe. Weird. It reminds me to back issue dive for those original issues, though. Also gives me hope that someday ‘Mazing Man, Hero Hotline, and Angel Love will be collected.

pg 132 also has Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow deluxe HC, and the run wasn’t terrible. Hell, it’s Phil Hester art.

pg 134 has the second Ame-Comi Girls trade, and if it hadn’t taken so long to come out, I might still have been interested.

pg 141 also has Annotated Sandman v3. I know you got v1, did you ever get v2? I see v3 has issues 40-55, but didn’t World’s End go to issue 56? WTH?

I actually looked at the DC toys and statues quite a bit. pg 152 has Neal Adams B&W Zombie Batman (based on his interesting story from the most recent B&W mini). pg 158 has those sweet Sandman and Death bookends (too pricey for me, though) and cute Super Best Friends Forever little box things.

But hot damn, look at pg 156. Batman Li’l Gotham figures! Look at barrel chested Batman! (baseball) Bat wielding Robin! Laughing Joker! And Harley with hyenas and a Joker doll! I think I’m going for at least the Harley toy, and maybe all 4. And I barely even look at toys any more. 13 bucks doesn’t seem too bad.

tom fitzpatrick

March 31, 2014 at 3:33 am

@ ollieno: Nothing wrong with THE RING by Gil Kane, but if memory serves me right, that series was a little decompressed.

P. Craig Russell has made his bones by adapting operas into comics.

IDW:

Like “dave”, I read the Ellison Star Trek script book. While I certainly agree that a lot of the changes to his script were dumb (Bones injecting himself with the crazy drug, f’r instance), I think he also introduced too many other elements to have effectively worked in the one hour format. Also, as an Ellison fan, I know that he reworked elements into other stories, so he definitely made use of the material. I’ll probably tradewait, because it is good stuff.

pg 164 that Watchmen Artifact Edition looks damn cool. Ay yi yi!

That CN crossover looks neat. Howcum DC isn’t doing those comics, though?

The TMNT stuff looks cool. pg 170 also has a Ross Campbell drawn arc of the new series, and he’s doing art on the Turtles in Time issue, along with a sweet David (Mouse Guard) Petersen cover. Damn!

Again on the Mars Attacks book. Buy it!

Winterworld looks interesting. Not sure if I ever read any.

New Kill Shakespeare. Man, I gotta catch up!

Man, that GIJoe silent issue book is probably cool, but damn if that’s not real pricey.

pg 181 had Deadworld Restoration, and while the series is interesting, the art was too much of that far out Ashley Wood type for me to like.

Yeah, I totally want that Starstruck Treasury, but I have no idea what’s in it. It’ll be a good intro for me, though, since I haven’t read any yet.

Man, I’ve been trying to limit myself to 30 dollar and under books, but that Love and Capes collection is very very tempting. And Zahler was a nice guy.

Chicacabra is a definite. I love that blurb on 187, “creator of the book men loved but were embarassed to buy, True Story, Swear to God”.

187 also has Knuckleheads: Fist Contact, which is a hard maybe for me. I’m definitely digging Monkeybrain’s output.

And that’s all I have time to discuss. Tune in a few days from now for my musing on the Marvel Masterworks collection. (drooling will occur!)

Jake Earlewine

March 31, 2014 at 5:50 am

Poor DC.

This will be yet another month when they won’t get any of my money.

The Metal Men strip in Wednesday Comics was purely by the numbers hackwork. And let us not forget Didio’s Outsiders, which may go down in history as the most pointless comic ever published. Because No One Demanded It.

Don’t you mean “The Lobster engages in a firefight with a madman in a Nazi biplane on top of a zeppelin!”

My two cents

1) I like this column; Mr Burgas it is funny to read you being kind of dickish.

2) The Red Hood cover is ridiculous, but what pops into my mind is who thought it would be a good idea to put a ball cap on a superhero and how come they are still working in comics? In the Nu52 did Roy go from Speedy to Red-Neck Arrow?

The Red Hood cover is ridiculous, but what pops into my mind is who thought it would be a good idea to put a ball cap on a superhero and how come they are still working in comics? In the Nu52 did Roy go from Speedy to Red-Neck Arrow?

Compared to the Superman and Batman armors designed by Jim Lee, the weird collars, and other New52 atrocities, that’s actually one of the lesser costuming offenses. Strangely, one of the few costumes of the New 52 that I thought was good and a distinct improvement over the old was Power Girl’s new costume. Sadlly, that’s the one costume they reverted back to pre-New 52 status.

T.: Of course, in case you don’t know, Romita is being inked by Janson on Superman, too. So it makes it even easier for you!

ollieno: Interesting about Cinder and Ashe. I love hearing what’s going on in other countries, because some of it’s so different from what’s coming out here!

Louis: 7 Against Chaos wasn’t great, in case you’re wondering about my opinion! It was okay, and probably worth it in softcover, but it wasn’t as good as you’d expect an Ellison/Chadwick comic to be.

I mentioned the new Alien Legion last month. Yes, it’s neat that Titan is bringing the series back!

Travis: I just saw that Cerebus thing on Facebook – someone mentioned it – and that should be a very weird project. I hope it gets off the ground.

I think Titan offered another Alien Legion trade earlier – I’d have to check – but I’m not sure how they’re collecting it. Maybe the stories are so self-contained that it doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the earlier stuff? I don’t know – I’ve only read one trade of the first few issues, so I don’t know how the rest of the series plays out.

I fixed the “biplane”! Just a typo!

Yes, I’m planning on doing Giffen this year. He’s like a chameleon, so it should be fun checking his work out.

I flipped through Harley Quinn #0, but it didn’t seem to great. Maybe I’ll see if the Director’s Cut (yuck) will be a bit more interesting.

I did get Annotated Sandman volume 2 and have been waiting for the third one (this is resolicited). Maybe the issue numbering is a typo? That would be weird if they cut Worlds’ End off before it finished, unless they decided the “funeral” issue goes better with The Kindly Ones (which doesn’t make too much sense, but maybe that’s their thinking).

Rob M: According to the solicits, it’s not specifically a Nazi biplane, so who knows who’s flying it!

kdu2814: I really don’t try to be dickish, but occasionally, the publishers make it so very, very easy.

Ah, the baseball cap. Yet another reason to laugh at the cover!

I do own the Doc Savage stuff — twice. I have the original magazines AND the DC Showcase edition. If IDW wants $50 for it then I guess it must be a hardcover, and honestly I don’t feel that strongly about it. I am content with having one duplicate set of the stories. (I hang on to the magazine originals because of the additional prose articles.)

And for whoever asked this, the eight-issue Marvel Doc run did get collected, by DC, as well. It’s here.

The Star-Lord book could also easily be called “The Curtis Magazine Era.” I have all of those and they are mostly pretty good. I like Claremont’s the best but Moench did some solid stories too. The Englehart origin is nothing to write home about and was mostly retconned out– I think Brian may have done an “Abandoned an’ Forsaked” about it at some point. Englehart’s original idea was that Star-Lord would have an astrological and mythological angle…. he’d work his way through the solar system have thematic adventures like a love story on Venus, a war story on Mars, etc., etc. and end up a better and more evolved human, which is why Peter Quill is such an ass in his origin story. Same kind of hippy-dippy stuff as Doctor Strange. It was Claremont who dumped all of that and took it in the Heinlein direction with Star-Lord’s next appearance.

Thanks, Greg H. For some reason, I got that confused with the DC collection of the DC Doc Savage series. I’m a terrible fan!

…or rather, the DC Doc Savage miniseries. Did DC ever collect its own ongoing Doc series? Man, Dynamite has a lot of reprinting to do!

Miracleman #7 is offered on page 17. I’m warning people about this, as this begins the brief period of the book when Chuck Austen was doing the artwork. If you think Alan Moore is a genius whose writing is so good it doesn’t matter who’s drawing his stuff, check back in with me after you’ve seen Chuck Austen drawing his scripts. Yikes. (4 June)

Wait ….

Marvel went through all that drama and spent God Knows how much money to acquire the rights to Moore’s Miracleman and they aren’t having someone re-draw the Chuck Austen stuff? That is astounding.

Dean: Well, I’m sure that if they have the originals, they wouldn’t do something so insulting as get someone to re-draw Austen’s work. I know DC allowed Colleen Doran to re-ink her Sandman work, but that seems like a special circumstance. Even though Austen’s work is terrible (in my opinion), it would still be very rude to bring someone in to re-do the scripts.

Dynamite raise my hopes that I’ll finally get to see the final DC era Shadow story finished! (the story set in contemporary times, not the retro era).
Dare I dream?

@T.
I really loved DC, and quit cold turkey when the Nu52 launched; the collars were one of the few things I was okay with. I agree with you on the armor, though.

Wonder Woman’s choker might tie with the Arsenal-cap. I just see an item from Fredrick’s Of Hollywood and think is should read ‘Sexy’ or ‘Slut’ or something.

@ Greg Burgas:

Maybe I am missing something, but my assumption was that Marvel acquired the Miracleman stuff to have an ‘evergreen’ book, like Watchmen or Sandman. They want it badly enough to re-print it without Moore’s permission, so the rudeness ship has already sort of sailed.

The Austen (or Chuck Beckum) art is not consistent with a perennial title. It looks like what it is: early work by an artists commissioned by a company in financial trouble. It looks more like a fill-in issue of DNAgents, or something. Having it surrounded by major artists, like Alan Davis and John Totleben, is almost unfair. Marvel would seem to have the cash, influence and motivation to pay Davis to finish out his chapter.

Dean: Yeah, I get that, but I don’t think they really need Moore’s permission these days. Maybe Austen’s art is more protected? You’re right, though – the rudeness ship has already sailed.

I would love it if they got Davis to draw everything up to the Totleben issues (or, heck, even Garry Leach). Maybe there’s just something else involved, or maybe they really do want to preserve it as close to the original as possible. I’m very much seeing what the “art restoration” looks like, though.

tom fitzpatrick

March 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

While on the subject of Miracleman, I seem to remember that # 8 is a reprint issue – so I wonder how MARVEL is going to handle that numbering?

As for the Austen art, I think it should stay as is. Just because people consider him a “lousy” artist is no reason to change what’s been done. It’s in the past and all-in-all, he was only the artist for 1 (or so) issue. Rick Veitch was the next artist for 2 issues.

Wonder how MARVEL intends to handle # 9. That was a most memorable issue for the ages.

@ Greg Burgas:

Good point on Moore. Maybe the better comparison is the original colorist, whose work is lost to history.

I guess my confusion is over why Marvel acquired and is re-printing this stuff. I sort of assumed that they were looking to double and triple dip on folks like …. well … me. I am a good bet to buy the trades as the Eclipse run is mouldering in my garage and I am worried that they’ll crumble to dust should I handle them. I am also a big enough sucker to buy the inevitable annotated omnibus (Jess Nevins, Call Your Agent!). It is just that I am small percentage less likely to go back to the well over and over again to see amateurish art reprinted on fancy paper.

Andrew Collins

March 31, 2014 at 5:28 pm

@buttler

“…or rather, the DC Doc Savage miniseries. Did DC ever collect its own ongoing Doc series? Man, Dynamite has a lot of reprinting to do!”

No, DC never reprinted past the mini series the Kubert brothers did with Dennis O’Neil. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it, but the regular series was pretty disappointing. O’Neil picked up originally where he left off with the mini series, with Doc’s grandson “Chip” the main character and Doc relegated to mostly a mentoring role. Mike Barr took over with issue #7 and promptly wrote Chip out of the series and returned the focus to Doc. From there he did his best to work with the “Doc in the 80’s” setting they had set up but it was too much of an uphill battle and the book was gone by issue #24.

Was reading Guns of Shadow Valley in its webcomic form a long while back, but lost track. It’s indeed beautiful, and, though was unfolding slowly, the superheroes of the Old West premise looked like it was going to be well handled.

@Andrew Collins:

I only read a few issues of the ongoing back in the day, mostly the crossover with the Shadow. I’m much more of a Doc Savage fan now than I was then, so I’m curious to check the rest of ‘em out, though I won’t get my hopes up about them being particularly good.

@ Burgas: I haven’t read the 7 Against Chaos story yet. Don’t remember it coming out last year, but I probably passed on the HC because of the price and it’s one of those type of books that if I don’t order it, the stores around here certainly aren’t going to on their own.

Forever Evil got delayed? Son of a ***.

Kim Newman is a UK Writer and Film Critic who specialises in Horror and B movies. He used to present show on the subject over here, so he does really know horror well. Not sure what his fiction is likely but if would appear the his renown in the world of cult horror as a study at least has not cross to your side of the Atlantic

Alastair: Thanks! The House to Astonish podcast guys talked a bit about who he is, and obviously some of the commenters know, so I guess I’m just behind the times!

Alastair: Thanks! The House to Astonish podcast guys talked a bit about who he is, and obviously some of the commenters know, so I guess I’m just behind the times!

I assume you write these things from a computer Greg. There’s this little site called Google….:p

Kim Newman also showed up in one of the extra features, a making of I think, on a Doctor Who DVD. Dalek Invasion Of Earth maybe?

Something else I noticed that I think Hatcher might be interested in on page 346 from Moonstone: THE SAINT: THE MAN WHO WOULDN’T DIE. I seem to remember Hatcher being a fan of the Saint character.

Travis Pelkie

April 2, 2014 at 1:29 am

I’m back!

More comments on the comments:

I assume Chuck Austen has all sorts of blackmail on Joey Q and pretty much everyone else in comics, so there’s no WAY they’ll redo his stuff. ;)

I thought Alan Moore was, if not ok with the Miracleman reprint, at least wasn’t the one holding it up. He just doesn’t want them using his name to promote the thing, which is his choice. I think he was cool with it so long as Mick Anglo got money from it (moot point now…)

OK, on to Image, where I left off:

I would douse you in honey to watch you fight ‘roided up bears for the new Gillen/McKelvie. Fucks yeah! This is one I’m going for in singles. Image is getting the vast majority of my regular monthly comic money any more.

I assume based on the (re)solicit, that Daniel Corey wrote the Moriarty series?

I’m guessing that the Superannuated Man cover is a McKeever self portrait (tweaked, hopefully….) Good god, I’m so far behind on my McKeever reading!

pg 208 Wildfire sounds interesting, and I’ve liked what I’ve read of Matt Hawkins on Think Tank (oh lord, another one I’m soooo far behind on!), but I think I’ll trade wait that sucker too. Sorry!

I have to read the other Darkness special that recently came out that Ales Kot wrote, but the Close Your Eyes special on 210 sounds neat.

That’s Because You’re a Robot sounds so damn neat. I’m on it!

I was tradewaiting Dead Body Road, and here it is. Yay!

I’m pretty sure I’m going for those big damn Godland books. Gotta see what I have of the series (I have an oddball collection of various back issues), but I think the page size is bigger, so yeah.

I wish I’d gone for A Voice in the Dark from the start, because I’ve heard nothing but good words about it. Plus, the story behind how Larime Taylor does the book is stunning.

pg 216 has the 4th volume of the Walking Dead in Spanish! Hey, how do you say “overrated” in Spanish? HA!!! (I totally jumped off that bandwagon this season. Watched a few eps, got to one thing and said, eh, if I get a chance, I’ll watch, if not, oh well. Oh well.)

pg 232 Saga 20’s solicit is “something terrible happens”. Yeah, a new issue of Saga comes out. BOOM! HA!

Other than the cover of Sex 14 (oh my!) and me probably dropping Sex Criminals, I’m not seeing any other Image stuff to mention.

Travis Pelkie

April 2, 2014 at 1:49 am

Marvel:

Man, didn’t even notice the Original SinS book. Jeez.

They totally need to bring back “Rampaging” for Hulk. And I also want a Wolverine book titled “Wolvey”. Hells yeah!

I liked what I read of the Shanower/Young Oz stuff, but $125 is too rich for my blood. Especially since that one prison rape scene was SO graphic (oh, wait, that was the HBO show….)

Marvel’s been doing these 8 buck one shots collecting parts of the Star Lord stuff, so I guess this one collects the whole magilla. May be worth it, but I think I’m passing.

I think I’m switching to trade on Deadpool (and I’m glad I didn’t buy the Annual separate), so I’ll be going for volume 5 on pg 95. Maybe I’ll catch up on my reading of the series by then (I’m so far behind on everything!)

Also probably going for Black Widow first trade on 94. 18 bucks for 6 issues and the preview story is a decent (but not great, certainly) deal.

That Fantastic Four Simonson Epic Collection on 103 of issues 334-346 was tempting. Dunno why they didn’t throw in the New FF issues there — how much longer was Simonson on FF, cuz DeFalco was on by the mid-360s.

More typo bitching! Page 65 Wolverine 9 “It’s all lead up to this” ARGH!

And pg 91’s Disney Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird “includes a forward by Disney legend Rolly Crump”. ARGH!!! The word for a type of intro is “foreword”! As in (be)fore and words! ARGGH!!

But then Marvel makes me drool with that massive Marvel Masterworks set. I’m drooling like Superman. 500 bucks for 11 books in a special container AND that poster. Damn. Plus, I’d have the Not Brand Echh collection nearly a year before other people. Muhahahahaha!

But yeah, that’s weird. It’s a special reprint of books that they’ve done before, and the big set is out several months BEFORE the individual books are reprinted? Like the Chewbacca defense, that does NOT. MAKE. SENSE.

There’s so much awesome in those books. It’s basically like getting the NBE book free. So…tempting…who…needs…to…eat….

Travis Pelkie

April 2, 2014 at 2:30 am

Back of the book:

255 also features Prophet dude Malachi Ward with a neat sounding one shot of an old woman recounting how she thinks the world went bad in Ritual Three: Vile Decay.

256 features Patty Cake and Friends in color, and that’s a fun book.

I thought about 260’s Steam Engines of Oz collection. Sounds like a good deal, and I liked what I read.

If…If you’re not a fan of Scott Pilgrim, how could you possibly like O’Malley? I know he’s done other stuff, but still….

I’ve been tradewaiting Six Gun Gorilla, so let’s roll!

290 has the Deathmatch trades available. I was getting the issues fine, but hadn’t pulled the trigger and made it a pull book, and then no shops had issues after 7. D’oh!

306 has the interesting sounding Alone: The Vanishing, about 5 kids waking up in a deserted city. Sounds neat, but a bit much — 14 bucks for 56 pages.

307 has Photobooth: A Biography, and it sounds weird and interesting. Not quite enough for me to buy it, though.

I thought about the Red Ten trade, but then I mentioned last month (I think) about ComixTribe and waiting for their FCBD book.

I think I’m going for 324’s Codename Action trade, because I like Roberson and Captain Action is a cool character. And Ed Catto was a nice dude, and he represents the Captain Action stuff, I guess. Anyone read any of Codename Action?

Man, the Vampirella and Blood Queen books on 309 and 313 were made for Kelly to love, huh?

I would actually expect the slipcased EC book set to stay at 95 bucks, since it’s just packaging already published books, but who knows? I’m sorely tempted on that one, too. Grrr.

I’ll be going for 340’s Scratch 9 book. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of it, and there’s a Kevin Eastman cover!

That review totally made me go for How I Made the World. Good thing it’s only 3 bucks, or I would have been torn.

I also thought about 341’s Unfabulous Five, because Mexican wrestlers are funny.

I Was the Cat sounded neat, but probably won’t make my list.

Titan’s doing a lot of neat stuff. There’s also the Biz Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Sally of the Wasteland sounds neat.

Yeah, that’s about it. I keep hoping that one of these books will be easier to decide on

T.: Why do I need Google when I have you guys? :)

Travis: Daniel Corey did indeed write Moriarty.

The lack of the “new” FF in that Simonson trade is kind of weird. There’s not a lot more of Simonson on FF, so it’s strange that they didn’t include it. Unless they included it in another trade recently? I seem to recall it was collected in the not-too-distant past, but I might be misremembering.

I like O’Malley’s art, which is independent of the writing on Scott Pilgrim but not enough to overcome my ambivalence to the writing, and I really liked Lost at Sea. So there!

As always, you bring up some cool stuff that I either didn’t write about but did see or missed completely. Thanks!

Marvel uses the word “penultimate” in the solicitations to Superior Foes of Spider-Man (they also use “it’s” when they mean “its,” because they live to make me crazy) – does that mean next issue is it? Or does Marvel not know what “penultimate” mean, either? (11 June)

Not sure how I feel about this if Superior Foes is finishing. On the one hand, I picked up the first trade a few weeks back and found it to be brilliant, and I like that Marvel have put out a book about some C-List villains. It’s nice to see that there can be some humour in the Big Two these days, and Superior Foes is fantasticly funny. So if it goes, we’ll be deprived of a great book. On the other hand, if it’s getting cancelled, is it due to sales, or because Spencer only ever intended it to be however many issues and isn’t going to stretch it out any more? Between the solicit here about Hawkeye, the Gillen/McKelvie Young Avengers, and hell, even Bendis’ Moon Knight a few years back, it looks like Marvel are a bit more cool about letting creators stay on books to write the arc they want to, which I think is really cool.

Meanwhile, over on page 40, Hawkeye #21 gives us “The Finale, Part 1.” Again, I assume this means what we all think it means, not some bait-and-switch by Marvel.

It’s exactly what it sounds like – the finale of Hawkeye…before it gets a renumbering.

Speaking of Marvel Masterworks, on page 79 Not Brand Echh gets the treatment. That’s one thing I bet many people thought would never show up in Marvel Masterworks!

I’ll be curious to see how this sells and what people say about it, since I think that a lot of people (of my generation, if nothing else) won’t get the humour. I mean, when was the last time an Irving Forbrush joke was made in mainstream Marvel?

Jim Starlin is writing and drawing an original graphic novel about Thanos, The Infinity Revelation, on page 86. That’s kind of nifty, isn’t it?

Gee, I wonder whether Thanos will somehow get some sort of infinite power only to lose it due to screwing himself over. That’d be an interesting direction for Stalin to take.

…And I just realised that I wrote Stalin, as in Josef, not Starlin, as in Jim. Whoops.

Drax: I know the sales on Superior Foes haven’t been great, but yeah, if Marvel is just letting Spencer and Lieber tell their story and get out, I’m cool with that.

Your description of “Stalin’s” (ha, didn’t notice that) Thanos book sounds awfully familiar … are you saying he’s done something like it before?!?!? :)

@Greg: …Of course, now that I reread the solicit for Superior Foes, I realise that it says nothing about whether or not this is the intended finale of the series or not, so it could be getting a good old fashioned cancellation. Why do big publishers hate fun?

I actually wasn’t aware that Starlin had worked on stuff with Thanos before; I was under the impression that he was using the character for the first time.

(In all seriousness, I remember someone somewhere once pointed out to me that nobody really gets Thanos like Starlin does, which I think is a valid point, but he definitely loves to give Thanos a source of infinite power in his stories).

@Travis Pelkie: Yeah, that cover for SEX #14 is sort of an homage / swipe from BIZARRE SEX # 7, published by Kitchen Sink Press in February 1979.

I am very intrigued by the fact that DC lists them as “Retrosolicits.” What the flying crap does that mean? I can’t even begin to figure it out.

Why, that’s the opposite of an “advance solicit”, of course! What’s puzzling me is why they felt the need to tag these items as such. I mean, this is nominally the April catalog for comics shipping in June: a retrosolicit would be for an item shipping sooner in May, as if solicited in the March catalog.

As I understand it, there are two main reasons for a retrosolicit: (1) to avoid an item with a major spoiler, you can retrosolicit it one month later than usual; (2) to avoid cash-flow problems: last month, retailers budgetted for what should ship in May, so Johnny-come-lately products are flagged “retrosolicit” so that underfunded shops aren’t caught off-guard.

But then, these two retrosolicits have no spoilers and are for items expected July 16 anyway, more than three months down the road! Maybe shops are spread so thin nowadays that Diamond or DC prefers to raise the retrosolicit flag on popular and expensive items when solicited less than four months in advance?

IDW is releasing G.I. Joe: Silent Interlude, which is basically the old silent issue from the Marvel series. They’ve expanded it a bit to include original layouts and other such stuff, so it’s 88 pages, then they slapped a $20-price tag on it. That seems excessive.

Oh, I dunno: compared to those smug D&Q asking $20 American for Pascal Girard’s sweet album BIGFOOT, all 48 pages of it, IDW might positively look like a bargain!

Tom Beland has Chicacabra on page 187.

The logo design made me see “CHI CACA BRA”, but I don’t think that was intended!

Red City on page 204 sounds like a hard-boiled noir detective story … set on Mars.

Noir on the rouge planet? After STORM DOGS and THE FUSE, that’s a lot of sci-fi crime stories out there. OTOH, with a refreshingly $3 debut issue, I think I’ll get #1 to compare against the reviews when a trade is solicited.

Nick Bertozzi has another nifty historical comic, Shackleton, on page 335 from First Second. Bertozzi is a good creator, and who doesn’t love reading about Antarctic exploration?

Penguins? But yup, after THE SALON, HOUDINI, LEWIS & CLARK, it’d be hard to pass this up.

How I Made the World is on page 341, and if this review didn’t make you want to read this, then I just don’t know what to do with you.

Well, as a $3 Xeric it was already on my list, but that review didn’t hurt none. Nor the online samples at http://howimadetheworld.com/comics.php where we can see a clean melting pot of influences like Beto Hernandez, Terry Moore, or Charles Burns.

(Also, it’s from the last-ever, 2012 crop of Xeric grants; I understand the Foundation’s decision to stop handing out self-publishing grants on account of webcomics making it easier anyway, but it’s too bad they didn’t maintain some sort of honorary annual awards: I’ll miss the quality-flagging, attention-raising “Xeric” keyword.)

a collection of Emily Carroll’s comics in Through the Woods

Well, “His Face All Red” is still online at http://emcarroll.com/comics/faceallred/01.html and there’s a preview of the rest at http://www.comicsandcola.com/2013/12/through-woods-by-emily-carroll-preview.html — I’m a bit concerned it could be as decompressed as a kiddy book and err on the pretty-but-thin side, though the $15 softcover makes it easier to bite.

Ted Naifeh has a new comic, the unfortunately-named Princess Ugg […] I’m sure it will look great, but that name? Ugh.

Like, uggly? But that’s not her name, she’s Princess Ülga of Grimmeria (geddid? geddid?) — “Princess Ugg” must be that sound people make halfway through calling her, when she kicks their guts!

Ray Fawkes is back with another graphic novel called The People Inside. Much like One Soul, it appears it’s a book that subverts normal narratives, this time with love stories.

Yup, even if this one’s only half as good as ONE SOUL, it’d still be worth it.

Well, that’s weird. I thought there would be more, but suddenly, I reached the end of the catalog with nothing jumping out at me.

The big boys are holding off, leaving some elbow room for more idiosyncratic or original works; I’m keen on three more:

* PHOTOBOOTH: A BIOGRAPHY (p. 307 at Conundrum Press) by Meags Fitzgerald, a graphic docu-cum-memoir about what it says on the tin. She’s been interviewed (but only with pinup illos) at http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2013/12/meags-fitzgerald-talks-photobooth-a-biography/ and there are some actual sample pages at http://www.conundrumpress.com/forthcoming/photobooth-a-biography-2/ — it could be the PERSEPOLIS of photobooths!

* The graphic version of THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND (p. 384 at Virtual Graphics), by Reinhard Pietsch and David Boller adapting Karl Kraus’s 1920 satirical play. If you like WWI and sauerkraut, Thomas Bernhardt and Hermann Broch (or William Gaddis and Jonathan Swift), the whole comic is still online at http://www.die-letzten-tage-der-menschheit.de/33/ (you’ll just have to really like kraut!)

* And at long last, the softcover of SPECIAL EXITS (p. 332 at Fantagraphics) by Joyce Farmer, the “bests of 2010″ comedy-drama memoir chronicling her ailing parents’s final years. Way back for the hardcover, she was interviewed at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?id=30071&page=article (with good sample pages, such as http://www.comicbookresources.com/prev_img.php?disp=img&pid=1293585780 both serious and funny) — it’s supposed to be like FUN HOME and OUR CANCER YEAR, though Crumb compared it to MAUS!

(Which can only end with the lyrics to Coil’s “Broccoli”: “Wise words from the departing: / Eat your greens, especially broccoli / Wear sensible shoes and always say ‘thank you’ / Especially for the things you never had // The death of your father, the death of your mother / Is something you prepare for / All your life / All their life / And always say ‘thank you’ / Especially for broccoli”)

Simon: I don’t know why that photobooth book doesn’t interest me. I ought to be interested, but for some reason, it’s just not doing it for me.

Well, I like World War I but ‘I’m not a fan of sauerkraut, but I still might check that out!

Special Exits does look interesting. Thanks for bringing it up!

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