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Flippin’ through Previews – September 2014

TOOTHCLAW-01-2052a (2)

Because why wouldn’t IDW cross over the Transformers with Angry Birds? Previews #312 shows just how logical that is!!!!

Honestly, if they want a neat crossover, they should rename him TOKYO Drift, amirite?

Honestly, if they want a neat crossover, they should rename him TOKYO Drift, amirite?

Dark Horse:

Full solicits here, in case you want to follow along. Why have I never done that before? BECAUSE I’M JUST THAT STUPID, PEOPLE!

Fred van Lente was pimping his latest comic, Resurrectionists, at the Phoenix Con in June, and it shows up on page 34. The main character is able to inhabit his past lives (presumably with full knowledge of his current one) and the hijinks that ensue because of this ability. Van Lente rarely disappoints, and the art looks pretty neat, so I’ll probably pick this one up. (12 November)

I would so troll the landowners in the Middle Ages by yelling 'Help, help, I'm being oppressed!'

I would so troll the landowners in the Middle Ages by yelling ‘Help, help, I’m being oppressed!’

I never read Buzzkill, which was “critically acclaimed,” according to page 36, but Ghost Fleet, about “the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers,” sounds pretty neat. Yes, Jason Statham could have told the protagonist that you never look in the package, but what are you going to do? Without idiotic curious people, 90% of the world’s plots wouldn’t work. (5 November)

Art Baltazar and Franco show up on page 47 with Itty Bitty Comics: The Mask. They’ve made quite a nice little cottage industry with the juvenile versions of these various characters. Good for them! (12 November)

Well, he's adorable

Well, he’s adorable

I checked out the issues of Eye of Newt, and it looked pretty neat. Now Dark Horse has a hardcover for 18 dollars on page 57. Fantasy Forever!!! (21 January)

Grindhouse is back on page 65 with an issue drawn by R.M. Guéra, which should be pretty keen. I’m glad this is doing well for Alex de Campi – I’m torn about getting it, because it’s 4 bucks a pop and I might just wait for the trade, but we’ll see. (12 November)

That guy looks cheery

That guy looks cheery


Full solicitations here.

So there’s Wonder Woman on page 78 with her new “superstar creative team.” How do they decide that? I don’t think even David Finch would describe his wife as a superstar writer, even if he thinks she’s the greatest writer ever. Not for the first time, I would love to write solicits for DC or Marvel. “The new creative team for Wonder Woman, with a writer most people have never heard of and an artist who might draw five consecutive issues if we chain him to the drawing table and don’t let him take bathroom breaks!” People would buy a comic described that way! (19 November)

Gotham by Midnight by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith on page 79: Dang, DC is making it hard for me to trade-wait their books. This could be absolutely awesome. (26 November)

Is that Richard Fell?

Is that Richard Fell?

Juan Ferreyra drew what appears to be a cigarette in Constantine’s mouth for issue #19’s cover (page 89). Is that subtle “screw you” to DC’s policy of non-smoking for everyone’s favorite grumpy Englishman? (12 November)

You might think he's cool, but he's playing 'Afternoon Delight,' so rein it in there

You might think he’s cool, but he’s playing ‘Afternoon Delight,’ so rein it in there

So, Teen Titans #4 (page 97) claims that “a major villain is revealed.” Um, let’s hope it’s not, you know, Ladytron:

'Whoops, did we ship that cover?'

‘Whoops, did we ship that cover?’

DC reprints the Jiro Kuwata Batmanga from the 1960s on page 119. I have no idea if this is any good or not, but of course I’m getting it! (It is, in fact, 15 dollars for 352 pages, so it’s almost criminal not to buy it!) (3 December)

Batman ’66: The Lost Episode (page 123) features a Two-Face story by Harlan Ellison, a script by Len Wein, and art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Yeah, I’ll be getting that. (19 November)

You know, of all the stuff DC hasn’t collected yet, I wonder why they would choose to put out Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday on page 133. I’m really, really, really racking my brain about this. If only I could figure it out!!!! (10 December)

The second Spectre trade is on page 135. As with the first one, you should really get this if you haven’t read the series. (17 December)

Speaking of page 135, Twilight, by Howard Chaykin and the aforementioned Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, shows up there too. Is this worth a look? I’ve never read it. (24 December)

I doubt if I’ll get The Kitchen, which is a crime drama set in 1970s New York, but I might get a trade if it gets good reviews. It just sounds a bit too familiar, even if the protagonists are women, not men. But Ming Doyle is drawing it, so good for her! (19 November)

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I’m not sure when the old edition of Enigma came out, but there’s a new edition on page 140, and you really ought to check it out. Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo do stunning work on it. (3 December)

The Royals: Masters of War gets a trade on page 144. I was waiting for the trade, and now I have to ask if anyone read this and if it was any good? It sounds interesting, but I’m curious. (10 December)


Full solicitations here.

Speaking of Angry Birds/Transformers, there it is on page 159. Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! This is happening, people!!!!



If you’ve been waiting for the trade of Winterworld, as I have, it shows up on page 171. It’s only four issues, but it’s priced to move at $9.99. I don’t know if it’s any good, but the original was, so why wouldn’t this be?

On page 184, the latest Kill Shakespeare trade shows up for 20 dollars, which is a bit more than getting the single issues, but there you have it. I really like Kill Shakespeare, and I wonder how many stories the creators have in them. I’ll keep buying them, though!

Weird Love #4 is offered on page 185. You really ought to treat yourself to at least one of these issues. In this one, it appears there’s a story about not shaving and a girl who’s too fat to “frug.” Get your minds out of the gutters, people – I assume it means the dance from the 1960s. Still, these stories are wild.

Trailer Trash Girls are the best!

Trailer Trash Girls are the best!

On page 187, IDW and Yoe Books present another cool collection, Ditko’s Shorts, which unfortunately is not a photo album of the Grumpy Master sitting around in cut-off trousers drinking mojitos. It’s a bunch of 1-, 2-, and 3-page stories by Ditko, so they should be pretty danged neat.


Full solicitations here.

I’ve lost some faith in Matt Fraction over the past year or so, and it seems like Christian Ward is a slow artist (an extremely good one, to be sure, but his comics seem to be very, very late, and I don’t know if it’s him or the writers), so I’m not so sure about Ody-C, which shows up on page 192. I’m fairly confident it will be … good, and I know it will look great, but I’m wondering if I should wait until the trade, given that it seems like Fraction is in it for the long haul. (26 November)

Kurt Busiek has a new book on page 196 called Tooth & Claw, which sounds pretty good – a conclave of wizards finds a legendary champion to save the world, and things go horribly wrong, as they do. Busiek, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, is quite good at sword and sorcery stuff, and artist Ben Dewey is good, so this should be a nice comic. (5 November)

Warthog wizards are the BEST!

Warthog wizards are the BEST!

You know, I’m not terribly interested in Sinergy, in which a girl’s first sexual experience allows her to see inter-dimensional monsters who feed on energy emitted by sin (hence the punny name of the comic), but wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped equating sex with sin, especially for girls? I mean, really? Couldn’t she commit an actual crime or, I don’t know, vote Republican, and that triggers her power? (19 November)

Ray Fawkes just keeps dropping weird shit on us, as Intersect #1 shows up on page 208. The description is vague, but the painted art is beautiful, and Fawkes usually writes some very weird stuff, so I’ll have to give this a look. (19 November)



Wow, Savage Dragon hits issue #200 (page 210). Good for Erik Larsen! (12 November)

On page 213, there’s a Madman In Your Face 3D Special! I’ve never been a huge fan of Madman, for some reason, but this sounds kind of neat if you’re into it. It features “The World’s Biggest Comic Book Panel,” for instance. Not sure how that works, but that’s what they promise! (26 November)

Sina Grace told me and my daughter about Penny Dora and the Wishing Box (page 214) back in January, and it shows up here. It’s about a Pandora story, basically. It sounds pretty neat. (5 November)

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Man, you never open a magic box, Penny!

Man, you never open a magic box, Penny!

Brandon Graham’s version of Prophet begins its wrap-up on page 215 with “Earth War.” Won’t that be fun! (12 November) (Speaking of which, I totally dug a Stephen Platt issue of Prophet out of the cheap bins the other day. I doubt if I’ll even feature Platt this year, but I simply could not resist!!!!)

In the kerfuffle over the Manara cover, I actually saw someone compare it to the cover of Saga Book One on page 217. I really could not tell if they were doing it tongue in cheek, because they seemed so serious. I’d like to think they were joking, but you can never tell. (19 November)

The book is wildly overrated, but there's nothing wrong whatsoever with this cover

The book is wildly overrated, but there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with this cover

The Bounce gets a full trade of all 12 issues on page 219 for 20 thin dollars. It’s pretty good, and the price point makes it much more enticing. I don’t know if it ever quite hit what Casey wanted, but it’s still a nice read. (19 November)

On page 223, the first trade of The Wicked + The Divine is offered for 10 dollars (it collects 5 issues). I know I’m in the bag for Gillen and McKelvie, but this series is phenomenal so far. Go buy this!!!! (12 November)


Full solicits here.

Okay, so the solicits for All-New X-Factor #16 (page 10) tell us that Gambit takes off his shirt. I chuckled. (5 November)

There’s a Howard the Duck Omnibus on page 89 for 100 bucks. Marvel already offered this, right? Well, if you missed it last time, get it this time! (29 October)

Will Seth Green write a foreword?

Will Seth Green write a foreword?

All right, we got that out of the way. Now it’s time for … the back of the book!

Action Lab offers Fight Like A Girl (page 250), in which a girl has to fight (imagine that!) through nine trials thrown up by nine gods to save her terminally-ill brother. Sounds neat.

Boom! Studios/Archaia:

Full solicits here. Be forewarned: It’s Newsarama!!!!!

Justin Jordan, who’s getting more work these days, shows up on page 283 with Deep State, which is about some dude who has to take care of the many black ops the government runs when they go horribly wrong. It sounds interesting.



I’ll probably pick up Hit volume 1, which shows up on page 284. It’s noir, man! I digs me some noir!

The Protocol: Orphans trade is offered on page 287. This was a pretty good series, although it felt like it should have been maybe one issue longer, as Michael Alan Nelson didn’t get much of a chance to delve into the characters enough. But it’s still a fun read, and Mariano Navarro’s art is nice.

The Free Comic Book Day Mouse Guard stories are collected in a hardcover with two new stories in Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales (page 291), which I will be buying like the sucker I am (I already own the FCBD stories, but I want the two new ones!). Mouse Guard is awesome, so I don’t feel too bad about it!

More Mouse Guard is never a bad thing

More Mouse Guard is never a bad thing

On page 302, we get two potentially interesting graphic novels from Caliber. First, we get Storyville: The Prostitute Murders, which takes place in New Orleans in the early 1900s, and then we have Strange Detective Mysteries, in which H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Nikola Tesla (ugh), Harry Houdini, and Bat Masterson are gathered in 1902 to solve the murder of Edgar Allan Poe, which might be difficult given that he died decades before. Caliber usually has interesting stuff, and these both sound neat.

I don’t know if Silver from Dark Planet (page 306) is any good and I’m kind of sick of vampires, but it still sounds intriguing, as it’s about a 1930s con man who steals silver from the “living-dead” (why do vampires need silver?) and eventually brings together a group of people for a big heist. I don’t know why vampires are crucial to the story, but it still sounds neat.


So for years now, Dynamite has been publishing all sorts of John Carter comics. I must have missed when they stopped, because they’re relaunching on as John Carter, Warlord of Mars (instead of Warlord of Mars, because that could have been any old warlord!) on page 311. Ron Marz is writing it, so at least you know where you stand on the writer, and I don’t know the artist, Abhishek Malsuni, but the art isn’t bad in that “Dynamite house style” kind of way. (5 November)

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Emanuela Lupacchino needs more work!

Emanuela Lupacchino needs more work!

Greg Hatcher has been really digging The Black Bat, and there’s an omnibus on page 319, collecting 12 issues for 30 bucks, which ain’t bad. I don’t know if it’s any good, but you can trust Hatcher, can’t you? (26 November)

Speaking of Greg Hatcher, he’s a big fan of Lynda Barry (actually, so is Our Dread Lord and Master), and Drawn & Quarterly has a smorgasbord of Barry stuff on pages 333-334, including Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor, which is her advice to writers. I’m not the hugest fan of Barry’s work, but if you are, you can go nuts ordering her work from Previews this month!

On page 346, Humanoids has Foligatto, which is about a carnival in a dying town and is the first work by Nicolas de Crecy, who’s quite good. As usual with Humanoids books, it’s spendy (25 dollars for 64 pages), but it might be something to check out!

Oni Press:

The Life After volume 1 is solicited on page 355. This is for release in January, so fair enough, but only two issues have come out, so maybe Oni wants to let people get a better sense of what’s going on before soliciting a trade? I mean, that just seems really early. Anyway, it’s 10 bucks for 5 issues, so maybe they think people don’t care and will pick it up based on the price alone! (28 January)

Cullen Bunn is going a bit nuts these days, as he has yet another comic coming out on page 356: Terrible Lizard, in which a Tyrannosaurus Rex is pulled forward from the past and imprints on a teenage girl, leading to hijinks. But there’s other prehistoric monsters attacking the world, and what’s going on? Bunn is a good writer, so this might be worth a look! (5 November)

I don't love the full on view - it looks like a hamster or something

I don’t love the full on view – it looks like a hamster or something

I’m not sure if Stickleback: The Number of the Beast (Rebellion/2000AD on page 369) is a sequel to the original or the original and more stories in a brand new package. I liked the original trade, but I don’t want to buy it again. It seems from the solicitation that it’s a sequel, but I’ll have to check it out.

Red Giant Entertainment offers Banzai Girl: By Dreams Betrayed, which ought to be called The Ridiculous Adventures of Banzai Girl. If you’ve never seen Jinky Coronado’s creation, you really should give it a peek. It’s not good by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still something to see. If you’re at all interested, there it is on page 370.

On page 382, Th3rd World Studios offers Thanatos Diver by Nick Tapalansky and Alex Eckman-Lawn. It’s an all-ages adventure about a young woman who lives on an island on a watery world and the mystery she uncovers. Tapalansky and Eckman-Lawn collaborated on Awakening, which was a very moody and odd quasi-zombie story, so I’m curious to see how they do on something that seems the complete opposite of that.

Titan has Captain Stone on page 391, which is a six-issue mini-series. It’s about the world’s only superhero and his sudden disappearance after he made a prediction that the world was in dire danger. It’s co-written and drawn by Liam Sharp, and I, for one, just don’t get to see enough Liam Sharp art, so I’ll probably be on board with this.

Does he own a disco?

Does he own a disco?

Van Jensen is an interesting writer, and on page 394 he gives us The Leg (from Top Shelf), which is about … well, it’s about the disembodied leg of General Santa Anna rising from the grave to save Mexico. Yeah. You know I’m totally down with it!!!

Peter Milligan and Cary Nord are doing a three-issue Eternal Warrior mini-series for Valiant on page 400. That might be worth a look, as both creators are, you know, good. (5 November)

Well, that’s about it for this month. As always, chime in with stuff I missed, and don’t forget to ask your retailer if he (or she) will give you Previews for free so you can pre-order a bunch of comics you normally wouldn’t get! That’s why we’re here, isn’t it? Have a nice day, everyone!


Am I the only one who’s annoyed by the faux-70’s-Marvel cover layout? Especially the “399 cents” thing? I suppose it was clever the first time but it’s really been done to death.

If you think Chaykin turning all the fun 1950s DC sci-fi heroes into typical Chaykin characters sounds like fun, then Twilight might be for you. Plus you have Garcia-Lopez art, which is always a good thing. I didn’t like Twilight myself, because for me that miniseries was where I realized that every Howard Chaykin comic is exactly the same as every other Chaykin comic.

Damn, I thought for a sec that John Carter cover was a collection of the Marvel series of the same logo, which I’d be way more interested in than this new series. For that matter, I’m more interested in the previous Dynamite series than this new one, but whatevah.

Emanuela Lupacchino is in and out of Supergirl, I’m assuming she’s not very fast.

I’m not sure when the old edition of Enigma came out, but there’s a new edition on page 140, and you really ought to check it out. Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo do stunning work on it. (3 December)

Apparently the old TPB has been out of print for a long time and you have to pay big bucks even for a used copy, so it’s great they’re finally reprinting it. IMO this is the best limited series/graphic novel Vertigo ever published, and probably the queerest (in both senses of the word) superhero comic of all time.

Speaking of page 135, Twilight, by Howard Chaykin and the aforementioned Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, shows up there too. Is this worth a look? I’ve never read it. (24 December)

I remember it being difficult to follow without a working knowledge of the fifties sci-fi characters that Chaykin was revisiting. Still, it wasn’t bad.

yea i read a few issues of twilight, i ll second the hard to follow. as for liam sharp, i discovered his role as bryan hitches fillin artist while pleasuring myself to deaths head the other day

I really enjoyed Royals: Masters of War. Rob Williams is part of the current crop of good 2000ad writers that seem to be getting more work over here, along with Al Ewing, Ian Edginton, and Si Spurrier.

Speaking of 2000ad and Ian Edginton, I’m guessing that Stickleback comic is a sequel, because the sequel story was just published in the progs this past year. I haven’t read the original stories, and I feel like this would have been a lot better if I had. The D-Israeli art is nice as always, though.

cool arrow: You know, I tend to ignore those things, and I didn’t even notice. I saw the logo, of course, but I skimmed right over the box. It’s the variant cover, so I guess if you like those things, you will seek this out. I do agree it’s a bit silly, unless they’re actually going to charge 1970s prices. THAT would be a PR move!

buttler: Yeah, I’ve felt that way about Chaykin for years – that every Chaykin comic sounds exactly the same – but I wasn’t sure if this was before that started to happen or not. It sounds like I can skip it, although the art might make it worth it …

Duff: I saw that she was working on the latest Supergirl, and I wasn’t sure how long she’d been on it. I guess I need to amend that to “She needs to work on something I want to read!” :)

Tuomas: Good to know. Yes, it is good they’re reprinting it!

Jazzbo: I like Williams and I like Coleby, so I figured I’d like Royals. Thanks for the update.

The original Stickleback is pretty good. Not as good as some of their other collaborations, but not bad. In case you see it lying around!

Also, I’m surprised nobody has told me yet in this thread that there is in fact an omnibus collection of the old Marvel John Carter series, which I have since discovered and purchased through the magic of the interwebs.

I am definitely getting the new Grindhouse series written by Alex Di Campi. The first one was very cool & twisted.

Batman ’66: The Lost Episode is another book I’ll be buying, if only because DC has finally decided to have Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez draw something besides overpriced variant covers. Really, I wish DC would put him on a monthly book. It’s been ages since he’s done any major projects.

While I am not too much of a fan of Howard Chaykin, I might pick up the Twilight trade paperback anyway, simply because Garcia-Lopez drew it.

I have been following Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen since the very first issue. So of course I’m going to be there for the big Two Hundred!

So, for BOOM! Studios, have we found out yet what J.G. Jones is going to be doing over there?

Dynamite is restarting their Warlord of Mars series because it’s now officially licensed. Before they were doing unauthorized adaptations based on the public domain material (at least, I think that’s what was going on) but now they’re actually working with the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate.

buttler: I didn’t know Marvel had put out an Omnibus, but I’m glad you found it!

Ben: I’ll definitely get Grindhouse, I’m just wondering if I should wait for the trade. First World Problems FOREVER!!!!

I don’t know what Jones is doing for Boom! yet. Patience, young Jedi!

I didn’t know that about the Dynamite stuff. That’s kind of interesting.

I’m not sure what page it’s on, but it’s right at the start of the back of the book, the Cerebus Archive number 1 is available. I contributed to the Kickstarter and it hasn’t come in the mail just yet, so I can’t say how awesome it is yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be cool.

Also, the new album from the New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers, is awesome (of course), so buy it!

More comics babblin’ later.

I would pick up The Spectre tpb but having been burned by DC on two of their other series trades I think I’ll wait until it all comes out before I consider picking it up.

Transformers is on fire, and has been for a while now. It’s a consistently better, meatier read than anything coming from the Big Two.

Travis: Man, I have enough to spend my money on without spending it on music!!!!

Matt K: Yeah, fair enough. I do hope they get through The Spectre, but after Shade and Suicide Squad (am I missing any?), it’s unfortunate that we have no confidence in them!

Other Chris: But Angry Birds??? :)

Greg! Constantine is allowed to have a cigarette on his mouth but not lit… I drew a cigarette in almost all of my covers of him. Yeah it’s weird…I wonder if I can drew him drinking a Guinness..

Don’t they have vaping in the Nu52?

Juan: Holy crap, that’s hilarious. Oh, DC – you’re so crazy.

Cullen: John Constantine smokes real cigarettes, damn it!!! :)

Looking forwards to Tooth and Claw – Busiek is an excellent storyteller in my opinion, so I’ll jump well on board for this.

Whoomp here it is!


Hey Resurrectionists, Five Ghosts called. It wants its premise back! HO!!!! (I kid. It’s somewhat similar, in that the protagonist can tap into abilities of other people, but hell, even Buffy did that, right?)

You got the single issues of Grindhouse, right? Since you say you’re torn, obviously they were good but maybe not 4 dollar good, huh? I’m thinking tradewait too, but the trades are actually a little more than the singles were (if my math am good).


I’m torn on Gotham by Midnight too. It’s either going to be really fuggin’ awesome, or it’ll really blow chunks. And aw, why’d you have to bring up Fell?!

Hey, on pg 85, Green Arrow is “making new people want to kill him”. I dunno, something about that struck me as funny or odd, but reading it again, I guess it makes sense.

Ladytron is totally going to give Red Robin his prostate exam. Yowza!

Sweet baby jesus, that complete Batman TV show set looks really damn good. If only I had that kinda cash. And a Blu-Ray player. (pg 120-121)

pg 127, Dean Haspiel on a Wonder Woman story in Sensation. cool

Just sayin’, that Teen Titans cover might tie in to the Divine Right reprint (baseless speculation here!)

You were getting the new Legends of the Dark Knight series in singles, right? Was the 11-13 and 100 page Super Spectacular 1 worth getting the trade of? (pg 134)

Damn, Marshal Law out in trade, better read my HC soon, dammit! (pg 134)

I bought but haven’t read the Spectre trade. Don’t forget, if you don’t buy the ones they do put out, they definitely won’t put out more!

Twilight sounds interesting but I’m wondering why it’s getting reprinted now.

I’ll probably tradewait the Kitchen, but Ming Doyle on art is tempting.

Lookit, Brent Anderson isn’t doing ANOTHER issue of Astro City. It’s a Power Company reunion! (pg 139)

Hells yeah on Enigma. I only have the first two issues. Am I wrong in seeing a bit of a thematic similarity with Flex Mentallo (this is based on only a cursory reading of the first issues of both).

Hey Royals, Uber called and wants its premise back! OH! I kid again! Royals is one of the last projects Will Dennis has shepherded at DC (as he’s not moving west with the rest of the gang next year), so it’s bound to be good (dude knew Scalped would rule, man!). Also, Lorde goes on repeat in my head when I see this book title.


Shadow Show, tributes to Ray Bradbury from different writers. Sounds like it’ll be a cool trade. I’m wondering if the Neil Gaiman story for next issue is the neat one with personifications of the months telling stories (October at the Hearth, maybe? Can’t remember the title!) (pg 169)

pg 173 Sunglasses After Dark, besides being a song that the Cramps do a cool version of, is a 6 and a half issue series from the ’90s. SAY WHAT?! Looks neat if a little pricier than I’ll go for.

Oh Mister Miracle Artist Edition, why must you taunt me? (pg 175)

I’m thinking I’ll trade wait, since Never Ending burned me by being not so good, but DJ Kirkbride (half of the Amelia Cole writing duo) and Wassilis Gogtzilas (which would be a great name for a Godzilla artist) have the Bigger Bang on 182.

Better still is the third volume of Amelia Cole, which started out really well and stayed pretty dang good in volume 2, and hey, you can order both of them on 182 as well!

185 has Fear and Haunting, which I guess is a slipcased set of books that IDW can’t sell otherwise? (OH!!!!) But it’s got The Veil by El Torres, which I know you praised. Plus a Templesmith book, Night Mary by Remender and Dwyer, and Robert Bloch’s Yours Truly Jack the Ripper, with Kevin Colden art. He am good.

pg 186 Complete Junior and Sunny by Al Feldstein for 50 bucks. I’ve only seen the covers of Junior, but oh, it looks suggestive.


ODY-C sounds not so good. I’ve lost even more faith in Fraction than you, I think. FF was pretty good, though.

Tooth and Claw is one I may just tradewait, but it looks interesting.

Sinergy pg 200 — c’mon man, demon fucking!

Really, nothing about The Humans, monkey bikers? C’mon, man! (pg 206)

Yeah, Intersect looks purty but I can’t tell what’s going on.

Savage Dragon 200. Hot damn, congrats to Larsen! And a Kirby cover for the variant? WTH! Also, this page has the Giant-Sized Kung Fu Bible Stories, so that’s where to order if you’re interested. I am from what I read of it!


Prophet Earth War on 215 — it’s the “epic conclusion” to Prophet, but didn’t I hear that this was a prequel series? I’m a few issues behind still too, but man did that book look neat. And sweet lord, use protection when reading a Platt issue!

Saga HC — hm, torn here. I thought book one was ok, but your relentless bashing of the book ;) convinced me not to bother with the second and third trades, but I might look at this. Not sure that the cover is “wrong”, but it seems like it’s asking for controversy, which I think was part of your problem with the book — courting controversy over an actual interesting story.

pg 218 — Kinski by Gabriel Hardman — did you read any of this? I’m intrigued enough I’ll probably go for it.

Also on that page, Lee Loughridge edits a book of punk rock flyers from the ’80s. I’m very tempted.

New Manhattan Projects trade and Rat Queens trade on 221. MP is so out there awesome, and RQ was surprisingly good (considering that Wiebe has been a big miss for me overall). RQ is fun stuff!

I’m going for the Shutter trade (because I’m a sucker for those 10 buck trades!), and I’d recommend the deluxe collections of Revival on 222. Pretty good stuff, and much better than the Chew xover showed.

Also probably going for Wildfire trade on 224, as Hawkins made Think Tank awesomeness.


I also chuckled at the Gambit shirt thing.


pg 35 SpiderVerse Team Up 1 is almost worth it for Roger Stern and Spider Ham. Almost.

pg 88 has the Fraction FF Omni, which I just finally read the rest of. Pretty good stuff overall, mostly on the FF rather than the Fantastic Four part, but it’s a decent book, even if the opening premises were iffy.

pg 89 — hell yeah that Howard the Duck Omni was from a while back. Previews had the old solicit before this new book was out, and it talked about it being an election year (referring to HTD’s run for prez) and that was for 2008! I’m really put off, though, by the description of Gerber’s “tortured” mind. “Twisted”, maybe, but “tortured”? WTF, Marvel?

Back of the Book!

That Cerebus Archive is on page 250, btw.

Fight Like a Girl sounds neato, too.

pg 262 — Archie’s Comics Annual 256 — sweet lord, Archie predates the USofA, then!

pg 264 — dunno if you’ve gotten the Satan’s 3-Ring Circus of Hell trade, but I just read it recently and it was pretty good. I think there was Mannion art in there (it is Asylum Press, after all!)

pg 278 — Accelerators first trade. 15 bucks is pretty decent, although it did end without really ending. It’s a surprisingly good time travelly story.

pg 284 — Day Men 5 says it’s been centuries since the last “Justice by Day” — and centuries since the last issue, amirite?!!

Glad to see Caliber back, and Strange Detective Mysteries sounds good.

pg 306 Solitary, about a possibly immortal wrongly convicted dude sounds intriguing.

I am ashamed that you passed up a comment about the John Carter book and its writer. “Warlord of Marz”, dammit!!!!

And man, that JG Jones variant cover for that looks purty.

OK, seriously, lookit that Army of Darkness book on 314. “Cullen Bun”? How likely is it that there’s another person with almost the same name as the Sixth Gun guy getting into comics writing? SO WEIRD!!!!

I’m probably going for the Black Bat Omni based on how much Hatcher dug it.

I’m digging the Lynda Barry stuff. I’ve been a fan for years. Also, it means I may be able to do my Christmas shopping early (let’s hope my sister doesn’t read this!)

337 has Li’l Classix by Grady Hendrix and Ryan Dunlavey, adapting Little Women. With projectile vomiting, if I’m seeing that picture right. I’m there!

Oh my glory, those 3 pages of Fantagraphics make me want to rob a bank! So much awesome, with Disney Ducks, Peanuts, Dylan Horrocks with a new book, and sweet lordy and butter, the complete Zap Comix set — but 500 damn dollars!!!! I will be getting the new reprint of Usagi Yojimbo book 7 on 339.

Epochalypse on 349 sounds neat, with different time eras having to coexist. I’ll tradewait.

353 has Justice is Nocturnal, from Watson and Holmes’s publisher. Sounds neat.

I’m so there for the Life After trade. 10 bucks for 5 issues! Woo hoo! I hear it was a damn good debut issue, though.

From what I hear, the book (Hellbreak, I think) that Cullen Bunn was doing that was solicited last time is getting bumped off the schedule for awhile, so Terrible Lizard sorta kinda is taking its place, I guess.

Ooh, good to hear that the Stickleback is probably a sequel. I was interested, but if it’s book 2, I’ll wait until I get the original, y’know?

I’m intrigued that Banzai Girl and Exposure apparently are subsidizing these other Red Giant free comics. I liked most of the FCBD zero issues well enough, and I like that these are free, because I doubt I’d pay for any of them.

pg 376 — Robbie Burns Witch Hunter, which I assume is the Scot poet, sounds cool.

And same page, you MUST look closer at the Mammoth Book of Cult Comics. I think it’s probably worth it just for Through the Habitrails alone, which Jeff Nicholson did for Taboo, but it’s got a bunch of other neat sounding stuff. 500+ pages for 18 bucks. Hey, it looks like End of the Century Club is in there. Who did that…Ilya! Hey, who’s the editor? Ilya…waitaminnit!

Don’t judge me for strongly considering the gift box of Bettie Page in Danger on 378. You’re judging me with your judgy eyes!!!!!

Twisted Dark 2 on 382. I heard 1 was good but didn’t pick it up.

13 Coins 4 makes me feel funny. pg 394

Also on 394, Westward 9!!!!! YAY!!!!! Man, 8 was good, huh?

The Leg sounds good too. Top Shelf’s web sale must be coming up, so I expect to be buying a lot there!

Was ICE any good? I read the FCBD issue, but don’t really remember it. I do like 12 Gauge’s stuff, for the most part.

pg 397 Eel Mansions sounds disturbingly interesting.

pg 406 Punk Mambo 0 sounds cool, and that Rian Hughes cover is neat, but I’m so out of touch with nuValiant that I don’t know if I want to go for a book like this. Especially without knowing if nuValiant Milligan is good Milligan!

Oh XO Manowar Omni, you still have that horrid old Valiant coloring, it seems! pg 409

Zenescope’s covers are like that Manara cover 24/7, man.

Dunno how much you like Brereton, but 426 and 427 have books with his art (and one focuses on Nocturnals!)

pg 430 has a Seqart book on GMozz’s Bat stuff. Sounds good!

also same page, the Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio. Ooh!

431 has a SC of the Dave Sim Conversations book that I have the HC of. Haven’t read it through, but I know Dave is always entertaining.

Also a Howard Chaykin Conversations book, and he’s also entertaining too.

The RC Harvey book on 431 sounds interesting too.

Man, those SIP Kids and DKR tshirts on 453 look cool. As does the Robin figure on 490. And the Ultron one on 246.

And our pal Seth might like to see the Yotsuba&! figure on 493 (even though it’s a pricey 50 bucks, it is adorable!)

I know you were begging for a Lee “Scratch” Perry figure, so there it is on 506.

Man, I love the new Previews!

Ditko’s Shorts, WEIRD Love, and Transformers / Angry Birds all look interesting.

I liked Chaykin’s Twilight. I thought the science fiction was pretty good, and it was such an Elseworlds take that I did not feel like I needed to be more familiar with the characters’ backgrounds.

I think the most important factor for you making your purchase decision Mr Burgas is yes, characters do have sex with female robots. Shiny metal boobs…..

The only issue with the Saga cover is that it neither represents the book nor gets potential readers to think, Man, I wonder what this is about.

I much preferred the issue 1 cover. That told a lot more story. New parents. Interspecies couple. Weapons. Space. That gives you a sense of the book’s content.

With the HC, you get and earth/moon kind of motif and a nursing Hellboy Jr. No sense of what the book is about. Plus, it’s kind of dull.

I had only read issue 1 of Saga when it came out. It didn’t win me as an immediate convert so I thought I’d wait til the series was finished and then check it out. Still, since so many people talk about Saga and recommend it, I checked out the first two vols from the library. It’s okay. I love Staples figure art and hate her backgrounds (which don’t seem to suit the book at all). I like Vaughan’s story more than his writing on this one. It feels like a book that is so hooked into the present zeitgeist that if reread in fifteen years it will feel hopelessly outdated (like when you read the dialogue in any number of Marvel books from the ’80s). Also, I kind of loathe Hazel’s narration. Still, I’m interested enough in the characters to wonder how their stories will shape up.

Travis – thanks for the alert. I love Yotsuba&! figurines – though I would never actually buy one.

My favourite are all the little Cardbo/Danbo models out there:

Travis: Grindhouse was good, but yeah, I’m wondering if it’s just easier to wait for the trade. I’ll probably just get the singles, because I noticed that Dark Horse inexplicably released the first series in two 4-issue trades instead of just one big one. That made no sense.

I’m trying to remember the Legends of the Dark Knight stuff. I know I wasn’t super-impressed with the 100-page special, but the other issues were pretty good. As with all of those stories, they were hit and miss, but the 100-pager really takes up a lot of space. But, as usual with DC trades, it’s not a bad price.

Enigma is similar to Flex Mentallo in a very loose sense. It gets a lot weirder, if you’ve only read the first two issues. But yes, it’s a bit meta, just like Flex.

I thought I had mentioned Fear and Haunting in an earlier column. Maybe not. I haven’t read Night Mary, but the other three are well worth it.

The Humans’ description made me yawn. How’s that? :)

I don’t even think the Saga cover is courting controversy. My problem with the book was not necessarily that it was courting controversy, but that it was going for shocks too much, which I guess is controversial?

I noticed Kinski, but I’m not in a good place when it comes to Hardman. You might recall that he left a snippy comment when I covered his art, and he was bashing me on Twitter, too, so I’m not terribly happy with him right now. If I get a chance to talk to him, I might change my tune, but right now, I’m avoiding his work.

Yeah, I missed the Warlord of Marz joke. Dang.

After I posted this, I saw that the other Cullen Bunn book had been pushed back, so you’re right.

Of course Westward #8 was good!

I haven’t read ICE, so I don’t know if it’s any good.

kdu2814: Robot sex is always a consideration when I buy books!!!

Seth: Man, I love your description of Saga as being immediately dated. That’s pretty perfect, because I think you’re right. We shall see, I guess!


“Twilight sounds interesting but I’m wondering why it’s getting reprinted now.”

The cynic in me believes someone at DC/Warner Bros. saw the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy and said “Hey, we have our own space characters too! Get them back in print!” TWILIGHT is…okay. Beautiful artwork from Garcia-Lopez (natch) but Chaykin’s story confused the heck out of me. You really need to know the Silver Age characters in order to follow everything and Chaykin is working with some fairly obscure ones…

I realized after typing all that that it is probably that JLGL is the artist on the Batman ’66 Lost Episode book, so that’s probably a main reason why Twilight is getting reprinted. Maybe something with the space characters too, but I’m even more cynical in that I doubt anyone at DC/Warner has any clue that they still publish comics….

Also, being that it’s DC, they probably are trying to get on that sparkly vampire bandwagon just a little too late….

Because why wouldn’t IDW cross over the Transformers with Angry Birds?

Because it all make perfect sense, expressed in dollars and cents, pounds shillings and pence! What are you trying to pull, Burgas? Getting me to quote Roger Waters all over the place? http://pinkfloydhyperbase.dk/solo/amused.htm

Resurrectionists […] The main character is able to inhabit his past lives […] I would so troll the landowners in the Middle Ages by yelling ‘Help, help, I’m being oppressed!’

I read the ad copy as meaning his power is being able to tap into his earlier incarnations, but in the present time (so no trolling Auld Arthur) — kinda like in the real world with the dozens of talents Billy Milligan had by switching between his 24 personalities. Wait, sometimes I’m so dumb I could puke: this is the Internet, just google it!

From an interview: “It posits the question, “What if you not only had all your own memories, but also the memories of all your past lives? And on top of that, what if you were able to do everything that your past lives were able to do?” When you get unlocked as a Resurrectionist, you have a full memory of all your past lives, and if in them you were a great swordsman, you’re now a great swordsman. If you were a great sleight of hand artist, you’re now able to be a great sleight of hand artist.” — at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=53267

Ghost Fleet, about “the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers,”

An ad that’s almost wall-to-wall cliché? Stacking “world’s most valuable” and “world’s most elite” and “uncovers a conspiracy” and “will change his life forever” and “A new series of badass action on the open road begins here”? (Well, in the words of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, “I didn’t know they stacked shit that high!”)

Juan Ferreyra drew what appears to be a cigarette in Constantine’s mouth

Alan Moore’s Constantine was cool, but this is just bloody ridiculous. And since when is he a non-smoker? (Don’t answer that!)

Teen Titans #4 (page 97) claims that “a major villain is revealed.” Um, let’s hope it’s not, you know, Ladytron

Alan Moore’s Ladytron was cool, but this is just bloody ridiculous. And since when is she a mere villain? (Don’t answer that!)

DC reprints the Jiro Kuwata Batmanga

Alan Moore’s Batman was cool, but this is just bloody ridiculous. And since when is it a manga? (Don’t answer that!)

So there’s Wonder Woman on page 78 with her new “superstar creative team.”

Alan Moore was a superstar, but this is just bloody ridiculous. And since when is Meredith Finch a writer? (You know the drill!)

The second Spectre trade is on page 135. As with the first one, you should really get this if you haven’t read the series.

Getting it, but it may be my last if that’s just more of Vol. 1. On googling the latter for its February solicit, out of serendipity or synchronicity, I lucked upon your quite timely appreciation http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/02/08/comics-you-should-own-the-spectre/ (you oughta link more to your articles, Greg!), which is why I’m holding hope for that genocidal Vol. 2!

(But if judging from Vol. 1 alone, it could be that Ostrander works better for me when aided and abetted by someone else, as he was on his unsung anthology WASTELAND — all these great stories he co-wrote with Del Close and William Messner-Loebs…)

I doubt if I’ll get The Kitchen, which is a crime drama set in 1970s New York

* The pitch: “It’s The Sopranos meets Charlie’s Angels, baby!”
* The tagline: “Getting women where they belong… the Kitchen!”

The Royals: Masters of War gets a trade on page 144. I was waiting for the trade, and now I have to ask if anyone read this and if it was any good?

The Royals, by Robbin Williams? Dunno, I called him to ask but he hanged up on me! (Sorrysorrysorry.)

I’ve lost some faith in Matt Fraction […], so I’m not so sure about Ody-C

* The pitch: “It’s the female Ulysses 31, baby!”
* The tagline: “What do you mean you don’t remember http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_31 ?”

(A few pages down, Fraction and Zdarsky also have JUST THE TIPS — “I knew someone who did circumcisions on elephants. He said the money was poor but the tips were huge…”)

Warthog wizards are the BEST!

Dunno, what about magical aardvarks?

Couldn’t she commit an actual crime or, I don’t know, vote Republican, and that triggers her power?

-or +like (There, fixed that for you!)

Ray Fawkes just keeps dropping weird shit on us, as Intersect #1 shows up

There’s an unlettered 4-page preview at http://imagecomics.com/content/view/image-expo-announcement-true-terror-and-originality-will-intersect — this time his art looks very Sienkiewicz and Sam Kieth (maybe with cues of uncanny painter Peter Doig, 1990s era?). I like the Fawkes of SPOOKSHOW or ONE SOUL (still waiting for a softcover of MNEMOVORE, though), and seeing him talk “Lynch/Cronenberg body horror” is interesting, but tradewaiting!

Full solicits here. Be forewarned: It’s Newsarama!!!!!

What’s this, 2004?

Mouse Guard is awesome

I keep being curious about this series, but I keep being pushed off by its relative priceyness… (And then I keep thinking of Roberto Bolaño’s master story “Police Rat”, the only example of rat noir!)

Silver […] it’s about a 1930s con man who steals silver from the “living-dead” (why do vampires need silver?)

Why, they need it to fend off werewolves, of course! (But is that “James Finnigan” character supposed to evoke James Joyce’s Finnegan?)

they’re relaunching on as John Carter, Warlord of Mars (instead of Warlord of Mars, because that could have been any old warlord!)

It’s a trademark thing, which is completely separate from copyright issues. For instance, if you don’t own KRAZY KAT™, you can reprint its public domain strips under another title, such as KRAZY & IGNATZ (and trademark that one for yourself, as Fanta did). Or, if you don’t own TARZAN™, you can still publish new adventures titled LORD OF THE JUNGLE (as D.E. did). And if you don’t own JOHN CARTER™, you can publish a WARLORD OF MARS series… But the solicit’s note of being “officially authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.” means they’ve now the right to use the classic trademark. (OTOH, “Jimmy Carter, Warlord of Peanuts”™ is all mine!)

I’m not the hugest fan of Barry’s work

Well, if you didn’t like WHAT IT IS and ONE HUNDRED DEMONS, you’re probably immune to Lynda Barry. OTOH, if you didn’t try these ones, that may be why! A sample that can stand without its pictures:

“WHAT IS AN IMAGE? When I was little, I played a certain staring game that seemed to have invented itself. I would hold myself as still as I could and make my eyes like a toy’s eyes that don’t move — and I would wait. / I would wait for the other things in the room to forget about me and begin to move. […] I believed there was another world that would show itself to me in the smallest ways. The gray kitten in the picture by my bed would accidentally blink his eyes. The girl in the picture would breathe. […] Something can only become an illusion after disillusionment. Before that, it is something real. What caused the disillusionment? No one told me the print on the wall was just ink and paper and had no life of its own. At some point the cat stopped blinking, and I stopped thinking it could. / But my memory of the blinking cat is still vivid nearly fifty years later. Why? Why would an image of something, which never happened, travel with me for all these years?” — captions from her 13-page PDF preview at https://www.drawnandquarterly.com/what-it-is (suggested soundtrack: Keith Jarrett, Rio, Pt. XIII or XV)

— Plus, a little further down Highbrow Alley, we have Fanta’s Bazaar (p. 338) with a row of expensive hardcovers in the window, though not all of them cost $500:

Remember Dylan Horrocks’s HICKSVILLE, and its aborted follow-up ATLAS? Because it’s coming back completed as SAM ZABEL AND THE MAGIC PEN (which sounds like a kiddie book but is full of sexy!) — it’s supposed to be expanded from the online version which started in 2009 and that you can still freely read 140+ pages of at http://hicksvillecomics.com/magicpen/the-magic-pen/

Also, the graphic memoir THE LATE CHILD AND OTHER ANIMALS (by the 7 MILES A SECOND team), in which “a World War II survivor/single mother has a child out of wedlock, and the law threatens to take her children away from her” — it’s been presented at http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/63395-fantagraphics-to-publish-van-cook-and-romberger-s-new-book.html

They look nicey and dicey, but we shall have slews of reviews to ponder for the softcover!

The Life After volume 1 is solicited on page 355. This is for release in January, so fair enough, but only two issues have come out […] Anyway, it’s 10 bucks for 5 issues, so maybe they think people don’t care and will pick it up based on the price alone!

Well, they may be right! On the minus side, it sounds an awful lot like Philip José Farmer’s RIVERWORLD meets Liberge’s MISTER MARDI-GRAS ASHES, with dashes of GROUNDHOG DAY and MATRIX, and it’s an open setup that could drag on ala WALKING DEAD or Y: THE LAST MAN — but on the plus side, it’s Fialkov with good previews and reviews, and a sweet $10 sampler for the series, so I’m trying it on for size!

(Infodump for those still on the other side of the fence, as I was before googling it, because maybe this very early solicit means the series isn’t selling so well and any preorder bit could help: 5-page previews of #1 at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=21523 and #2 at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=23129 ; quick reviews of #1 at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=7527 and #2 at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=7687 plus a chirpy appreciation of #1 at http://www.brokenfrontier.com/the-life-after-review-joshua-hale-fialkov-gabo-oni-press-comic/ ; interviews at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=52918 and http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=54790 and more recently at http://www.brokenfrontier.com/afterlife-joshua-hale-fialkov-oni-press-the-life-after/ — aaand, the only interview where he doesn’t forget to mention RIVERWORLD among his influences, at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/joshua-hale-fialkov-talks-life-717816 )

Terrible Lizard, in which a Tyrannosaurus Rex is pulled forward from the past […] I don’t love the full on view – it looks like a hamster or something

Where’s Bissette’s TYRANT when we need it? Indeed, this T-Rex looks terrible — hey wait, that’s just truth in advertizing!

The Leg (from Top Shelf), which is about … well, it’s about the disembodied leg of General Santa Anna rising from the grave to save Mexico.

Yeah, it’s an unlikely zombie story: it’s the leg that never give up, the knight who say “knee” but never “ankle”! Lookit that leg, it’s hopping mad! (What is the sound of one leg hopping?) But seriously, folks: unlike the $3 AMAZING SCREW-ON HEAD, this one is 20 real bones, so I’ll wait for some reviews first… to get a leg up on it! (You’re welcome, try the veal!) They had an interview with 3 sample pages (it’s a wandering boot, actually; few text and panels, could be a bit slim) at http://comicsalliance.com/van-jensen-jose-pimienta-the-leg-graphic-novel-kickstarter-interview/

Well, that’s about it for this month.

I noticed a troubling resolicit for Ian Culbard’s THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH (p. 377 from SelfMadeHero) — this usually means poor order numbers, so at best it’s delayed (its September 3 shipping date now pushed to November 5), and I hope it won’t go the way of the cancelled: his other re-interpretations of Lovecraft were great. I think people interested in this should be wary of waiting for it to materialize on a shelf instead of pre-ordering…

As always, chime in with stuff I missed

(TBC: I’ll pull a Pelkie and post in two parts!)

Simon: Well, if The Spectre isn’t your thing, that’s the way it is. Different strokes for different folks!

I don’t link to my own stuff too often. I probably should, shouldn’t I?

Mouse Guard is a bit pricey, but the stories are great, the art is great, and Archaia’s production values are top-notch. So that’s neat.

Hmm, I missed the Culbard book. I’ll have to check that out.

As always, thanks for the many, many recommendations!

@Greg: Can’t say yet whether Ostrander’s SPECTRE isn’t my thing, it’s just that I found Vol. 1 a mixed bag of interesting stuff and Spawn-like melodrama, heh — but I can hope the former will take over the latter in Vol. 2! (And linking to your own stuff can only help with such pre-order choices.)

As for Mouse Guard, one thing is that the good stuff from First Second, Scholastic, Houghton-Mifflin, et al. is 2x or 3x less expensive per-page, but thanks for the info about their production values (I’ve never seen one physically) — I’ll have to try harder to get their FCBD sample!

As always, chime in with stuff I missed

Part 2 (of 2): google ga joob!

As it’s a somewhat more relaxed month, I’m getting at last Chris Ware’s reoffered BUILDING STORIES (p. 361 from Pantheon), a $50 risk I wasn’t feeling like pre-ordering sight unseen but which has since garnered enough rave reviews! (It was that or the newly softcover COMPLETE FAR SIDE p. 256, but I already own 90% of Gary Larson so $100 for 10% of never-collected-before stuff is ouchy…)

Still, I’m keen on four more:

— The conclusion of sci-fi story PARIAH VOL. 2 and VOL. 3 (of 3) by Philip Gelatt and Brett Weldele, after Aron Warner (p. 38 from Dark Horse) — it’s DEMO meets SLAN and LORD OF THE FLIES, baby! I mentioned this 3rd attempt at an interesting 2011 pitch, way back in the gutters of http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2013/12/02/flippin-through-previews-december-2013/ when I posted links to samples and reviews, but concluded I had to tradewait-and-see.

Since then, Dark Horse has been all-out to get it all out, so I’ve recently got PARIAH VOL. 1 for a taste (the DEMO-like part of the story) and it was as good as its promises — so now’s the time to get the rest! Well, they just forgot to resolicit Vol. 1 along 2 and 3, but hey, I got mine! (Ahm, I meant anyone interested can still pad their preorders with Vol. 1 for $15 as Star System SEP130074 — ask for it by code!)

— The graphic collection TWISTED DARK VOL. 2 (p. 382 from T Pub) — we’ve seen in June how tempting Vol. 1 was at http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/06/02/flippin-through-previews-june-2014/ Unfortunately, I won’t get my copy of Vol. 1 before next week so I can’t comment about it, but I should have time to read it before Vol. 2’s pre-order deadline!

— The “supernatural soap opera noir” EEL MANSIONS by Derek Van Gieson (p. 397 from Uncivilized Books) — it’s STRANGEHAVEN meets HICKSVILLE and LIKE A VELVET GLOVE CAST IN IRON, baby! (Though a page such as http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mZc30U_lMfA/UZ00ZfywIrI/AAAAAAAAITI/eIg8a3qyMKk/s1600/eelmansionsgray2.jpg evoke to me some Elrod as done by Bob Burden or Grant Morrison, hih!)

I found useful reviews of #1-3 at http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2013/09/five-quick-takeaways-from-spx-2013-plus-a-look-at-some-things-i-bought/ plus http://highlowcomics.blogspot.com/2013/05/odd-corners-van-gieson-evans-shen.html and http://highlowcomics.blogspot.com/2013/10/adventure-comics-lindner-cartozia-tales.html There’s 1 sample page of #1 at http://www.uncivilizedbooks.com/comics/eel-mansions-01.html and from there the links to #2-6 lead to more pages, plus plenty more samples on its working blog http://eelmansions.blogspot.com/ — I’ve seen enough to wanna gamble on it.

— Last but not least, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF CULT COMICS (p. 376 from Running Press) — a large package to discover a motley crew of out-of-print US and UK comics. Okay, it’s a manga-sized 5×8″ brick, but at $18 for 500 pages the price will be right even if I’d end up liking only one third!

To second Travis, I’d get it just for THROUGH THE HABITRAILS by Jeff Nicholson (better known for his alt-history adventure COLONIA): it’s Dilbert meets Dalí, baby! A collection of “dark-humored short stories about life on-the-job and beyond” (one of them Eisner-nominated for best story). Bissette said to CBR, “Jeff Nicholson’s ‘Through the Habitrails’ came out of ‘Taboo’. His work was brilliant and I think it’s a key graphic novel.” There’s an appreciation with 2 samples at http://exquisitething.blogspot.com/2009/04/unearthing-old-classics-through.html and a review at http://www.opticalsloth.com/?p=11225 (My only caveat is being unsure whether it’s the full 150-page original or only a best-of selection.)

But there’s also the autobio GOATHLAND by John Welding, being “the diary of a rural neophyte’s life in North Yorkshire” in the eponymous village! I found a review with 2 samples at http://www.zumcomics.info/g/goathland.html — the author says he selected the 30 best pages for this anthology (dixit at the foot of http://www.johnwelding.comix.org.uk/page9.html under a lot of nice diary pages showcasing his style). I like that sort of vignettes, and the James Kochalka/John Porcellino vibe is good.

Plus it made me lookup THE SOUND OF DROWNING by Paul O’Connell (with photo-based art by himself or cartoon art by various), that’s been compared to Jeunet or Beckett! Short stories all: creepy-funny tales (ala EC), dark comedy (ala Ivan Brunetti or ARSENIC LULLABY), deadpan satire (ala Dan Clowes), bizarre surrealism (ala Al Columbia) — and a cuter side with a series of silent strips ala Charlie Chaplin as drawn by Matt Groening (zany adventures having a Charlie Parker lookalike helping out everyone from Elvis to Bowie), plus the odd jazz bio or Brautigan adaptation. There’s an infectious review with samples at http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2010/the-sound-of-drowning-cute-and-dark/ plus an appreciation at http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-sound-of-drowning/ — and all the strips they comment about can be read at http://www.soundofdrowning.com/strips.html among the 60 free stories gathered there!

(60 is a lot and not all are so good, so I’d suggest 5: two funny comics with the cute “Charlie Parker ‘Handyman’ and Elvis” at http://www.soundofdrowning.com/charlie_and_elvis.html and the darker “Ku Klux Klan Kids” at http://www.soundofdrowning.com/KKK%20Kids.html and three creepy photocomics, one amusing with “The Vegetable Patch” at http://www.soundofdrowning.com/vegetable%20patch.html and two unforgettably weird with “Mexican Surgery” at http://www.soundofdrowning.com/mexican%20surgery.html and “Small Metal Box” at http://www.soundofdrowning.com/small%20metal%20box.html )

The book is edited by UK creator Ilya (better known for his Andi-Watsonesque graphic novel ROOM FOR LOVE), and from the cover we can see he’ll also include something from his own cult series THE END OF THE CENTURY CLUB (London’s answer to BUDDY BRADLEY, there was a review with samples at http://www.rzero.com/books/EndOfTheCentury.html from Todd VerBeek). The solicit and cover art show some more works and creators (early Craig Thompson, Vice stories, GN parodies), though the publisher’s page at http://www.runningpress.com/book/the-mammoth-book-of-cult-comics/9780762454686 doesn’t give any TOC or individual page count, but the four items mammothly outlined above feel like one damn fine lot already!

And two more I only looked into, interesting enough that YMMV:

— The softcover version of ICHIRO by Ryan Inzana (p. 346 from Houghton Mifflin) — which “follows Ichiro as he moves from New York to Japan where a shapeshifting tanuki brings him on a fantastic adventure into the mythological world of Japanese gods”. It seemed too YA for me, but it’s an Eisner-nominated beaut priced to kick manga at $13 for 288 pages full-color full-size! There’s a nice 17-page preview at http://www.ryaninzana.com/ichiro.html — it’s only from the prologue instead of the book’s main story, but don’t miss “the Astounding Dancing Teapot Show”!

— The wartime graphic memoir I REMEMBER BEIRUT by Zeina Abirached (p. 352 from Lerner) — it’s PERSEPOLIS in Lebanon, baby! Being “the details of ordinary life inside a war zone”, with art reminiscent of Satrapi (or her mentor David B.) and manga-priced. (Her previous Lebanese memoir, A GAME FOR SWALLOWS, was a CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2012.) I’ve not read the original yet but I heard good things and plan to check it out! There’s 1 clickable sample page at http://www.brooklynrail.org/2013/09/fiction/i-remember-beirut

(TBMC: I may post next week whether I found TWISTED DARK VOL. 1 warranting to order Vol. 2!)

The Life After has been very enjoyable to date. Love a comic where I’m not quite sure they are going. Kinda Matrix-like, but we’ll have to see…

“Teen Titans #4 (page 97) claims that “a major villain is revealed.” Um, let’s hope it’s not, you know, Ladytron:”

Both Ladytron and Manchester Black were revealed in issue 2 [I’m giving the series a chance, post relaunch – haven’t decided yet]- so unless they reveal themselves on a frequent basis [which would probably lead to them getting arrested] then it would be someone else

Simon: I was going to mention Pariah, and just forgot. I’m kind of hoping they do a giant-sized collection of all three volumes. That would be nice.

Like you, I haven’t read Twisted Dark vol. 1 yet, so I didn’t mention volume 2. But I’ll probably pick it up.

I won’t comment on the rest, but as usual, you give me some interesting things to check out!

Bret: Yeah, I like it too, but it’s only been two issues, so I’m surprised they’re already soliciting the trade. But maybe that will entice more people to check it out, and I’m all for that!

John: Manchester Black? Dang. I kind of figured we’d already seen Ladytron, but I just thought that would be such a perfect “DC” move to pull – put the major villain reveal on the cover. Bashing DC never gets old! :)

Not a lot of new stuff I’m interested in. Mostly gonna continue with series I’ve been following, but…
ODY-C is a certainty for me, but haven’t decided on the format yet. I’d prefer to follow it in trade, but then again issue #1 promises an 8-page fold-out and WHAT IF THEY HAVE A LETTERS COLUMN?! I must read any potential letters! :P

Intersect looks very nice, but that’s a trade-wait for sure since I think I’m gonna follow reviews for this one.

Tooth & Claw I’m mixed on, cool cover, double-sized issue for 2.99 is nice, but I’m not crazy about the preview. Also not a HUGE fantasy lover. Thinking of giving it a miss, my pull list needs to shrink anyway.

Lastly I gotta defend Saga’s honour from all the detractors in comments here. ;) The covers to the hardcovers are gonna follow Hazel throughout the stages of her life, hence she’s an infant on the first HC, probably a toddler on the next, etc. Also for the record, there’s nothing controversial about breastfeeding.
Lastly about it quickly feeling dated, that I don’t disagree with but not sure if it’s a bad thing? Saga feels very ‘current’ to me. Which is cool because I’m reading it NOW, so it being in touch with current sensibilities makes perfect sense to me. :) But yeah, that’s a personal preference of course. I love the series so clearly gonna spin any criticism in a direction I like!

Well, you can see Manchester Black in the background of that Teen Titans cover.

TotalSnorefest: I don’t think there’s anything controversial about the Saga cover. I happened to see someone on-line complaining about it, which I thought was weird. It’s kind of boring, but not controversial, at least not to me.

Obviously, most people love the series, so you’re not alone at all. I read the first 18 issues, and it just didn’t do anything for me. No big deal.

Travis: Is that Manchester Black? Man, he looks even douchier in the DCnU than he did in the Original Recipe DCU!

I’d like to also join in and note Ostrander’s The Spectre TPBs. Although I am not getting the trades offered so far, if they ever get to the point where I stopped the regular series in singles, I’d probably start picking them up and try and re-read/finish the series. This was the series where I first became aware that I liked Ostrander’s writing (and Mandrake’s art!), and I followed him over to The Kents mini which I also really liked.

As with Greg, I’m also getting the new Mouse Guard HC for the new material. If Petersen’s drawing them, I’ll get them! And I’m picking up IDW’s Weird Love #4, although I’m on the fence if I want to keep getting them. They’re amusing, I just have so much to read already.

And count me in with Travis on badly wanting that Batman TV show collection, but balking at the price. (The Hot Wheels Batmobile is awesome, too! But still… the price!)

Other things I’d like to add:

Detective Comics – 2nd part of a story with JPL artwork. Getting it!

Catwoman – Including last month, this makes two interesting Jae Lee covers and I’m thinking about snagging this new run “off the shelf” when they get here. I don’t know the creative team, so I didn’t pre-order, but I’m kinda wishing I had.

Page 187 – This page holds a lot of goodies for me. Thanks to a few of those regular commentors on Greg’s daily Artists posts (ahem, Travis is one of them), I’ve been turned on to Pre-Code Horror in a bad (expensive) way. So I’m going to pick up Howard Nostrand’s Nightmares and a few of the offered again “Chilling Archives of Horror” collections: Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein and Zombies. (On a side note: I’ve managed to go back and get all of the Haunted Horrors produced in singles so far, and most of the EC annuals reprints by Russ Cochran – all within the last two months, so yes, it has been an expensive obsession. Thanks a lot, you Greg Burgas regulars! Seriously, I’m really enjoying reading them in between new stuff!) I am sorely tempted to get Ditko’s Shorts on this page, but I am thinking I’ll have to pass for now.

Yep, will try Tooth & Claw, and am gonna pick up the Shutter TPB.

Back of the Book:
Horror has taken over my psyche, evidently. I’m subbing Rachel Rising, Afterlife With Archie, and Sabrina already – but the Sabrina Creepshow variant caught my eye, so gonna have to snag that one too. I’m also going to try Avatar’s Dark Gods, to see if it will become a guilty pleasure or not.

Not sure if I can mention Marvel or not, but I’m hooked on their Epic Collections, so will be getting the two solicited this month: Captain America Vol. 1 and Wolverine Vol. 1. And who can resist Marvel Firsts: The 1980’s Vol. 3? Not I!

I swear, this month feels like Merry Christmas To Me month. If people in my family actually got me comics for Christmas, I wouldn’t have to have a Merry Chistmas To Me month!!! :-)

See ya at the poor house!

Finally got around to reading our pal Simon’s posts. Sweet baby jesus, he researches this stuff even more than I do!

Ray Fawkes was Mnemovore? Really? I’ll be damned. I have the first 2 issues of that but haven’t looked at it in a while.

Jeff Nicholson, better known for Ultra Klutz in my house, Simon!

I’d apologize, David, but it wouldn’t be sincere ;) The nice thing about those Yoe/IDW books is that IDW usually resolicits them fairly often, so if you do pass on Ditko’s Shorts now, you’ll probably be able to get it in the future. I’m a bit torn because I’m not sure if Ditko gets any money from IDW for their Ditko books (even if he wouldn’t accept it I should hope they offer). I passed on his latest Mr A kickstarter, but I figure I can always email Robin Snyder and order some Ditko directly from him.

Travis – no apologies needed! And thanks for the info about IDW re-soliciting, I haven’t been paying attention to these books long enough to notice if they come up often. To think I just breezed over these kinds of solicits in the past!

I sure hope Ditko gets money from these publications, and hadn’t really thought about it in that light. I am reading Strange And Stranger now, and I can see what you mean by Ditko not accepting offers. At least he stuck to his principles all this time. I can only hope his non-professional life has been more fulfilling for him in his times of professional downturn. I don’t go for the Randian philosophy and don’t think I’d like Mr A or his later-era stuff, but I certainly believe in creator’s rights and royalties.

Well, Ditko’s actually pretty active still. He’s done several kickstarters, coordinated by his long time editor Robin Snyder, and he still produces his … illustrated essays, and stuff. I did a few of the Kickstarters but haven’t gathered my Ditko stuff to do a full and comprehensive (read: OCD!) view of the man’s stuff. I do think Mr A is probably a good crimefighter type book, albeit with Randian principles applied. Sort of a more pure concept than the original Question.

But according to Dave Sim, who apparently met up with him, oh, a year or so ago, Ditko is a snazzy dresser and has a NICE apartment in NYC. So that’s something.

And oh, my comics retailer figured out in the last couple of years I’m a sucker, and spend most of my discretionary income on comics, so he makes sure I get a copy of the new Previews each month to look at, which is why I see the solicits keep popping up. Between that and this column, I’m utterly insane ;) I still have to cut my list down from the nearly 500 bucks worth of stuff I’m still considering, and I’m not seeing how I’ll do it!

David: I saw the Detective solicit, but it’s part 2, and I thought I mentioned it last month. Maybe I didn’t, but I thought I did. I wait for the trades of Detective, so I also didn’t mention it. But that should be cool.

Sorry for getting you into pre-Code horror comics! Wait, not I’m not! :)

Travis: Mnemovore is drawn by Mike Huddleston, too, in case you’d forgotten.

See? Comics retailers SHOULD give Previews away – they make more money on the back end!

Greg & Travis: I can see it now. Me, as an old(er) man, wearing a wrinkled suit and hat, sitting at my reading desk, with my head in my hands (with lots of wrinkles too), looking down despairingly at the empty wallet on my desk, and an eviction notice on the door. Over to the side is my 3x high pile of comic boxes, looming over me – maybe some are marked on the side “Pre Code Horror” but the front of the boxes, where the handles are, all merge and form into a pair of evil eyes and mouth, ready to devour poor, hapless me. And in the darkness beyond outside the window, there’s the pale visages of demonic Greg & Travis, rubbing their hands in anticipation…

It’s all your fault!!!! (Lack of sleep could be a factor too.)

Have a great Sunday, guys!!!!! :-)

Just wanted to update my previous post up where I mention Ditko & Randian thought. I didn’t want to have anyone get into an argument with me on this forum (pro or con). I just finished “Strange and Stranger” and I don’t really want to label a philosophy as something I don’t subscribe to (to be honest, I’m fully ignorant on the subject). However, I can say that I typically do not enjoy ANY overly philosophical or political comics, especially if they are not weaved into a story that can be enjoyed on a separate level, regardless of creator.

I am entranced by Ditko’s non-philosophical early work, though… so I think I will get that “Ditko Shorts’ IDW book after all. And I will try and wait for a Dr. Strange collection or else seek out the MMWs if I can’t wait, but that is a title I’ve decided I must have eventually.

I don’t know that it would matter, but I am really saddened that there is so much angst about his early Marvel work. I am really connecting with it (at least, the ASM work that I am reading in Omnibus format). I wish he hadn’t had a bad experience with fandom (meaning, I wish fandom would have treated him better) and that he could reflect back to that work as joyous instead of something he’d never want to talk about. Things are the way they are, but it just makes me sad. :(

Greg: Haha yeah no worries the series is obviously selling like gangbusters, it doesn’t need “defending”, especially from valid criticism. Agree that the cover is nowhere near the coolest one they could’ve picked, but at least there’s a thought behind it I guess. Just wanted to chip in is all! ^^

@Greg: I’m not sure why you’d think Dark Horse may “do a giant-sized collection of all three volumes” of PARIAH in the foreseeable future? (Unless it gets an Eisner or a movie…)

@Travis: I have to pre-order everything, so I need to google alot (though many links are swiped from Paul Gravett’s monthly tips). MNEMOVORE was co-written by Fawkes and Rodionoff, to be exact. And I’ve heard of ULTRA KLUTZ but I’m not big on superhero parody (one beauty of Sim’s Roach is that you don’t really need to know the source material).

And part 3 (of 2!): I’ve received TWISTED DARK VOL. 1 (and a shitload more in my monthly Xmas), and definitely getting Vol. 2! The first two stories are a bit predictable, but the rest is increasingly good, being dark portraits that don’t just depend on the ending: character-based, real-world horrors, that indeed start linking ala STRAY BULLETS.

Simon: Oh, I’m just hoping against hope! That seems to be the trend these days, and since volumes 2 and 3 are from the same series (why do four issues, Dark Horse, WHY?!?!?!?), I just keep my fingers crossed.

Good to know about Twisted Dark. I’ll get to it one of these days! :)

@Greg: Well, I prefer a 4-issue book if that’s what an arc needs rather than have it padded to six issues by publisher’s fiat to fill a “standard” trade. (Other series have 4-issue trades, such as RESIDENT ALIEN or THE BUNKER.) As for PARIAH, there’s the added logic that Volume 1 #1-4 is an intro arc (four DEMO-like linked stories leading into the main arc in Volume 2 #1-8) and makes for a good teaser on the shelves.

By the by, TWISTED DARK’s title brought to mind an unrelated creepy short, THE ENIGMA OF AMIGARA FAULT by Junji Ito (of UZUMAKI fame), which I like to call the evil twin of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND — there’s an amateur translation in the floating world, the 32-page RIGHT-to-left scanlation at http://brasscockroach.com/h4ll0w33n2007/manga/Amigara-Full/Amigara.html …Beware the twisted ending, haw! (The Surgeon General says: Reading Junji Ito before bedtime can lead to sleeplessness or altered states of sleep, and is generally considered inadvisable.)

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