Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Is this the most important month in Marvel’s history? Only Previews #310 can tell us!!!!
Man, I missed it last month, but June’s entry was the EIGHTH anniversary of me writing this column. So many snarky comments about comics I haven’t read, so little time! Dang, what have I done with my life? I may cry. Or … I may forge on! There’s comics to preview, and I don’t want to disappoint Travis Pelkie!
On page 39, Dark Horse drops Prometheus: Fire and Stone by Paul Motherfucking Tobin and Juan Motherfucking Ferreyra on us, and I get really excited. Tobin and Ferreyra were responsible for Colder, the superb horror comic from 2012, and this looks phenomenal. So yeah, I’ll be picking this up. (10 September)
If you’ve been waiting for the trade of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind (and if you’re a fan of Firefly, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t have bought the issues, but it’s possible, I guess), you can get it on page 43. I don’t know if it’s any good – I’m not a rabid fan of the series, so I don’t care that much about the “sequel,” but Georges Jeanty is a good artist, so I imagine it looks nice. I assume the lack of Steve the Pirate will make it a far weaker book, though. ALL HAIL STEVE THE PIRATE!!!!! (5 November)
I have no interest in Lara Croft, but the first arc of Gail Simone’s reboot of Tomb Raider gets a trade on page 48, in which Lara … does something, I guess. Presumably tight tank tops are involved. Check it out! (12 November)
I ranted last month about the new printing of Action Philosophers!, because it features a new story and the people who already own it would miss out. I jokingly ranted to Fred van Lente at the Phoenix convention earlier this month, and he told me the story would debut in Dark Horse Presents, so if you didn’t want to drop money on the hardcover, you could pick up that issue. So there it is in issue #2 on page 54, and all is right with the world. Of course, if you don’t already own Action Philosophers!, you should get it, because it’s awesome. If you do, you can just get this issue, which you should anyway, because DHP is pretty danged cool. (17 September)
I’m not incredibly interested in The White Suits trade on page 58, but I’m mildly interested, mainly because of Toby Cypress’s art. Did anyone read this? Is it worth it for more than just the artwork? (19 November)
Dark Horse has gotten the rights to Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s The New York Four, the DC/Minx book from back in 2008, and on page 59, you can get a new printing of it. Despite the fact that I like both Wood and Kelly, I don’t think I’ll get this, but it’s very cool that Dark Horse decided to publish it. (5 November)
On page 61, we get the first issue of Grendel vs. The Shadow, which really can’t help to be awesome, can it? I mean, it’s Matt Wagner writing and drawing his best character fighting a character he’s written for a while, so I’m sure it will be nice and bloody and look fantastic. Actually, it could be My Dinner With Grendel and I’d read the damned thing if Wagner drew it. (3 September)
Hey, it’s yet another Grandville graphic novel on page 65! Yay! Bryan Talbot’s steampunk detective series (with, you know, anthropomorphic animals) is occasionally a bit too predictable, but the books always look stunning, so I’m glad there’s another one in the offing. (5 November)
Bob Powell’s Complete Cave Girl shows up on page 65 for $50, which is a bit rich but probably worth it. I only recently discovered Bob Powell’s art, but it’s pretty keen, so I will probably have to pick this sucker up. (5 November)
On page 68, we find Hellboy: Weird Tales, which I imagine kicks ass. A bunch of creators doing their takes on Hellboy? Yes, please! (26 November)
If you’ve missed Criminal Macabre, Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten are back with it on page 71. I can take it or leave it, but it’s not a bad comic. (17 September)
I’m not going to get the hardcover of Veil on page 73 (I think I’ll wait for the softcover), but it’s there if you want it! I’ve waited for softcover trades on some things in the past and they’ve never shown up, but I’m confident this one will! Don’t let me down, Dark Horse! (12 November)
Two months ago, DC advance solicited the main bulk of their books for September, because they were those “3-D Motion” covers and DC needed to get the jump on making them. I noted at the time that they listed the books with plots but no creative teams, which struck me as odd. Now they’ve figured out the creative teams, but they don’t re-list them in this month’s Previews, when September’s books ought to show up. So DC’s offerings are a bit light this month. C’est la vie!
On page 90, Superman Unchained #9 shows up as the final issue, as for some unfathomable reason Jim Lee was unable to keep up the pace on a monthly book. I know, it’s stunning. (10 September)
DC is still committed to these “Earth One” graphic novels, as on page 92, we get Teen Titans Earth One (volume 1?), which is by Jeff Lemire, the Dodsons, and Cam Smith. The fact that Terry Dodson couldn’t even finish this makes me nervous, but more importantly, why is this even a thing? Didn’t DC just reboot their universe a few years ago and provide new origins for many of their characters? So why do they need to be “reinvented” in this? I swear, DC is a really weird company. (19 November)
I love when DC releases stuff like Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years (page 107), because they choose such unusual stories to include (not that they list them here, but this is just me going on experience). I wonder how they choose? Do they simply group all the, let’s say, Nick Cardy stories and then reach in a pull one out? Beats me. I won’t be getting this, because it’s $75, but it’s always neat when DC digs into their vast archives. (5 November)
I guess DC hasn’t released a softcover trade of Batman ’66 yet? I only ask because there’s one on page 108, and if you’ve skipped this book, you should do yourself a favor and pick it up. As usual with DC trades, it’s priced to move at 15 dollars for 5 issues (that were 4 bucks a pop). I know you can read these digitally, but for those of us who don’t dig that scene, the printed versions are phenomenal. (15 October)
Peter Milligan has a new Vertigo book on page 112 called The Names, which sounds okay. A Wall Street dude commits suicide when a mysterious stranger tells him to, and his wife starts looking for answers. Milligan is almost always interesting, and if Leandro Fernandez is drawing this and not simply dropping Photoshopped celebrities into it, the art could be very keen. It’s 8 issues, so I might just slot it into a trade-wait, but if you don’t want to do that, check it out! (3 September)
The Wake gets collected in hardcover on page 121. I’m probably going to get it, but it might be the last straw with me and Scott Snyder. We shall see! (5 November)
DC finally gets around to collecting the post-Ennis issues of Hellblazer with volume 9 on page 121. These are issues by Eddie Campbell and Paul Jenkins, mostly drawn by Sean Phillips. I own … some of them, I think, and they’re not bad, it I recall correctly. But it’s nice that DC is actually collecting them at last! (15 October)
Man, nothing in IDW’s section is really setting my world on fire this month. I mean, there’s a new G.I. Joe book on page 138, but I don’t read G.I. Joe and IDW already publishes so many, so is this going to be that different? Most of the other stuff I would recommend have already started, so I’ve already mentioned it. Will Eisner and John Buscema get Artist’s Editions on pages 146-147, but I’ve kind of given up mentioning those because they’re so expensive. The Mark Evanier/Roger Langridge Rocky & Bullwinkle series gets a trade on page 154, it that’s your thing. The Maxx: Maxximized gets a second trade on page 158, but if you skipped the first one, will you get the second one? The third issue of Weird Love is on page 164, and you should give at least one issue a look, because they’re … well, weird. And self-contained. I mean, there’s stuff I’m going to buy and I’m keen on those, but as for spotlighting stuff … I guess that’s it. Let’s move on!
On page 174, Roche Limit shows up as the “first part of a bold sci-fi/noir trilogy.” On a colony next to a strange “energy anomaly” deep in space, a woman searches for her sister and ends up on an “odyssey that reveals a grim future for mankind.” I don’t know the creative team – Michael Moreci and Vic Malhotra – but it sounds pretty neat. I might have to check this out. (24 September)
Science fiction is the place to be these days, I suppose, because Jay Faerber returns with Copperhead, a Western that happens to be set on another planet. Faerber is always worth checking out, and Scott Godlewski, who really needs more work, is drawing this, so that’s nice to see. I’m looking forward to this. (10 September)
God Hates Astronauts becomes an ongoing on page 182, if that’s your thing. I hated the original collection, so I’ll be avoiding this, but a lot of people like this, and you might be one of them! (3 September)
A Voice in the Dark begins a new arc on page 188, which is nice. I’m looking forward to the first trade, because I haven’t heard a bad thing about this series yet, and it’s nice to see it’s getting another story. (17 September)
Image is reprinting White Death, an old AiT/Planet Lar book, on page 189. This is by Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard, and it’s about the battle in the Italian Alps during World War I. It’s pretty good, and $14.99 isn’t a bad price. (3 September)
America’s Got Powers is collected in a trade on page 191, if you’re keen to read it. I didn’t check it out in singles, but I read that it wasn’t that great. I’m not sure if I’m going to get this, although I do like Hitch’s art. (3 September)
Also on page 191, you can get a complete collection of Blue Estate, Viktor Kalvachev’s wacky noir tale, which features a ton of great artists. It’s only 30 bucks for 12 issues, and it’s well worth it. (10 September)
On page 195, we find the first trade of Southern Bastards, which I haven’t been reading, and Undertow, which I have. I might throw down 10 bucks for Southern Bastards, even though I’m not sure if I’ll like it, because it’s only, you know, ten bucks. Undertow, meanwhile, has been somewhat disappointing, although the art is quite keen. But if you’re in the mood to read about ancient Atlanteans fighting mammoths, you might want to check it out! (24 and 17 September, respectively)
Chew #44 gets solicited on page 197. Layman is really, really excited about this issue, so I’m really looking forward to it. (24 September)
So is the official title Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta? That’s what’s written on page 210. That’s odd. I mean, good for them, but still odd. It’s as annoying as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and at least the creative team and not a corporate sponsor is appended, but it remains odd. (24 September)
So yesterday my daughter, my wife, and I watched Lemonade Mouth on Disney Channel, because my daughter was a bit young when it first aired 3 years ago but since then she’s become a fan of Bridgit Mendler (Good Luck Charlie is the only live-action Disney sitcom that didn’t make my wife and I want to kill everyone on the screen, so we let her watch it), so when it was on recently, we DVRed it. While we were watching it, my wife and I kept laughing because it’s like it was made in 1985 – it’s such a mid-1980s high school movie (without nudity) that we could predict exactly everything that happened. I was really hoping the jerk in the movie was played by William Zabka’s son, but no such luck, although I didn’t know his name and therefore kept calling him “Cobra Kai.” Anyway, I thought I had time traveled back to 1985, but when I cracked open Marvel’s Previews today, I thought I had jumped ahead to 1995, because I saw this:
Holy crap, that’s the most “Nineties Comics” statement ever. You know how Wallace Shawn offered the best advice ever when he told Cary Elwes that the most famous classic blunder is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”? Well, just like politicians never learn from history, neither, apparently, do comic book companies. But good for fucking them, I say.
By the way, on page 6, Charles Soule has the unenviable task of convincing us that Wolverine is dead. Wait, Marvel says – this time we really, really, REALLY mean it! REALLY! Fuck you, Marvel. Charles Soule deserves better, but I guess he didn’t mind cashing the checks.
I love Marvel. They’re pimping “Axis,” whatever the fuck that is, but on pages 14-15, we get the solicits for New Avengers and Avengers, which promises that “in 8 months … time runs out!” So they’re already promoting the next big event (or maybe the next one after the next one?) and they haven’t even gotten to the next one yet? People actually wonder why I don’t buy as many superhero comics as I used to. They really do. (24 and 17 September, respectively)
The solicit for Superior Foes of Spider-Man #15 reads “STILL NOT CANCELLED!” So I guess no one at Marvel does know what “penultimate” means, as they used it to describe issue #14. I had my suspicions … (3 September)
On page 82, Marvel offers Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie Omnibus, which collects the entire 15-issue run. This is a superb comic, and considering it’s one big plot, it probably reads even better in one book. It’s 50 bucks, which isn’t bad for 15 issues (a bit over the cover price, but not by much). So if you didn’t get it already, check it out. I should also take a moment to let you know that The Wicked + The Divine, Gillen and McKelvie’s new comic, is phenomenal. Seek it out! (3 December)
So the “Epic Collections” that Marvel is putting out these days instead of Essentials annoy me just a bit, because they’re in color rather than the black-and-white Essentials, but I’m still tempted by three that show up on pages 87-89. The first is the Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection, which has the first 17 issues of the title (plus Amazing Fantasy #15 and the first annual) for 35 bucks. The third is the Thor Epic Collection, which has Journey into Mystery #83-109. The middle on is the Moon Knight Epic Collection, and although I already own most of this in at two different formats (some I own in the original issues, and I also got the Essential version), I might drop 40 bucks on this just because I love Moon Knight so much. Has anyone gotten any of them yet? Is the coloring good in the Epic Collections, because that’s the only reason I might get the Spider-Man and Moon Knight ones (I already have the Essentials for Spider-Man, too). Let me know! (24 September, 1 October, and 8 October, respectively)
Speaking of Moon Knight, the Warren Ellis/Declan Shalvey/Jordie Bellaire run gets collected on page 93. These are really good comics, and this collection is cheaper (18 bucks) than buying all six issues! (1 October)
Pages 98-99 have three trades that might be interesting. First is Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Out of the Past, which collects the recent mini-series and a few Conway/Claremont/Giordano/Rogers issues from the 1970s. Next is All-New Doop by Peter Milligan and David LaFuente, which I’ve been trade-waiting. Finally we get the first trade of the All-New Ghost Rider, which I’ll probably get because I love Tradd Moore’s art so very, very much. (15, 8 , and 1 October, respectively)
Speaking of trades, page 101 has the first volume of All-New Ultimates, which is another one I might check out. I still haven’t read anything by Michael Fiffe, because whenever I try to get an issue of Copra, it’s sold out. Can’t Image pick it up and give it a proper print run or something? (15 October)
Hey, let’s check out the back of the book, shall we?
Let’s start with a resolicitation, as on page 234, Amigo Comics offers Rogues!: The Burning Heart again. This is the original story by El Torres and Juan Jose Ryp, and I hope it comes out this time, because I want to read it!
Archie has found a gold mine with horror-themed versions of their characters, so on page 241 we get Sabrina #1, which is by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who writes Afterlife with Archie. Will this be as successful as the first one? Only time will tell!
Julie Maroh, who did Blue is the Warmest Color, has a new (well, new to Previews) graphic novel called Skandalon, which follows a rock star who pays the price for fame. It’s on page 247 from Arsenal Pulp Press, if you’re interested. I haven’t read anything by Maroh, but I might pick this up.
Yay! Another Fearless Dawn comic (page 247, Asylum Press)! I’ll get you to read one eventually, you know, so you might as well just suck it up and order this!
If you waited for the trade of Red Rover Charlie, Garth Ennis’s canine-centric tale about the end of the world, Avatar has it on page 253. I’m not terribly interested in it, but there it is!
Page 271 gives us Sirens, which George Pérez is writing and drawing. It’s a science fiction story, and it sounds pretty cool, but I might have to wait for the trade, as it’s bi-monthly and who knows if it will even stay on that schedule. Still, it’s very tempting to get it in singles. We shall see!
On page 272, The Woods gets its first trade. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the first issue, but maybe it gets better? This is 10 bucks for 4 issues, so maybe I’ll give it a look.
Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard show up on page 273 with Wild’s End, in which anthropomorphic animals have to deal with an alien invasion in 1930s England. Maybe they’re getting invaded by humans? Anyway, it’s a six-issue mini-series, which means I’ll probably wait for the trade.
Joseph Michael Linsner is doing Dawn/Vampirella for Dynamite on page 297. I don’t see the appeal of Linsner, honestly, but if you’re going to do a crossover between his own creation and another character, you could do worse than Vampirella! (3 September)
I normally wouldn’t mention books that have been available for a while, but the fact that Drawn & Quarterly is soliciting the first two volumes of Berlin makes me sad, because I don’t know if Jason Lutes will ever finish this. I got on the Berlin bandwagon late, so I don’t get the single issues, but does anyone know if he’s anywhere close to getting it done? I know he only has one volume to go! Anyway, Berlin is awesome. You should read it. But then you’ll be in the same situation I’m in – waiting desperately for the last volume!
Fantagraphics has their usual array – Joe Sacco has Bumf volume 1 (page 326), which is apparently a return to his satirical roots, while Dash Shaw has Doctors on the same page, a comic about death and bereavement. You know they’ll be critically acclaimed!
On page 330, First Second has The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple, which sounds like a weird mish-mash of Logan’s Run and Peter Pan with some horror thrown in. I like Dalrymple’s work, so I’m going to check this out.
Humanoids has a new translation of Barbarella (by Kelly Sue DeConnick) on page 337, but it’s 80 dollars, which is awfully steep. They do have some other neat stuff, including Pandemonium, which tells the “true” story of a woman and her daughter entering a prestigious tuberculosis hospital in 1951 and finding lots of “sordid” stuff, apparently. That sounds interesting.
Over on page 341, the God of All Comics and Frazer Irving show up with Annihilator from Legendary Comics. It’s a story about a screenwriter who has to team up with his own fictional creation, which is a theme Morrison has mined before, true, but as you know, all bloggers here at Comics Should be Good! are CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED to buy anything G-Mozz writes, so I’ll be getting this! I don’t want to face the Wrath of the Cronin!!!!
Hubert and Kerascoet did nice work on Miss Don’t Touch Me, so when NBM offers Beauty (page 344), which is about a woman who frees a fairy from a spell and is given amazing beauty in return (which turn out to be a bit of a curse), I just might have to get it! You can also get the former work in an omnibus edition, which is nice.
On page 347, we get Stumptown #1, which is nice to see. Justin Greenwood takes over the art chores, which isn’t quite as good as Matthew Southworth doing the art, but is still pretty good, as Greenwood continues to improve. What this means for The Fuse, which Greenwood is also drawing, remains a mystery! (3 September)
Princess Ugg already has a trade solicited (page 348), even though I think only one issue has shipped (if that). It’s advance-solicited, so it doesn’t come out until November, but as I’m waiting for the trade, I like to see it! (26 November)
Michael Cho has a graphic novel out on page 354 from Pantheon Books called Shoplifter. Cho’s a really good artist, so I’m hoping his writing skills are up to the task, and I’m looking forward to this. I do like the solicitation text, which makes it sound like the generation of people who are in their twenties right now are the first ones to have to figure out what to do with their lives. I mean, no one before this has ever pondered that question, right?
Well, that’s strange. I got to “P” and didn’t find much more that leaped out at me. I’m getting some books from the publishers back there, but nothing to trumpet from the rooftops. I’m sure commenters will let me know if I missed anything really neat, but that’s why commenters are awesome! So thanks for checking in for another month of Previews, and remember to ask your retailer if he’ll give it to you for free, because that means you might spend a lot more money at his shop! Who doesn’t like that idea?
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.