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Pipeline, Issue #439

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
Pipeline, Issue #439

PIPELINE PREVIEWS: JANUARY 2006

It’s that time of the month again, when Diamond’s future plans intersect with the general comics fan’s inability to not think of The Next Big Thing. It’s called PREVIEWS, and it’s a phone book sized monthly publication dedicated to giving retailers and consumers a chance to see what products the major (and minor) publishing concerns want to force down our throats two months from now. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

I would like, however, to live in the present for once. Can we have an interview with a creator touting his new book that doesn’t include a “So what’s next?” type of question? The guy just spent a year crafting a 300 page graphic novel and instead of focusing on that, you’re trying to get a scoop on what he’s going to spend his next year on? Try reading this book first!

Sorry, I needed to vent there. I do feel much better now, though. Thanks for listening.

As always, your mileage will vary. I don’t have the time or space to cover everything of interest in the catalog and, honestly, I wasn’t terribly excited by much of it this month. Grab a copy of the book for yourself, pre-order what you want to read, and bob’s your uncle.

DARK HORSE

THE ESCAPIST #9 offers us the latest art from Phil Winslade. Steve Rolston, Jason Alexander, and Jed Dougherty are amongst the notables also contributing. Dougherty hopes this gig will lead to a QUEEN & COUNTRY slot in the future. Brian K. Vaughan, Howard Chaykin, and Stuart Moore handle the word processing duties. $9 gets you 80 pages of full color comics.

The PERHAPANAUTS #3 solicitation once again works the long way towards avoiding spoilers, thus giving it the Most Entertaining Solicitation Text award. I’m far too lazy to go ahead and type it all in for you, but I do have the solicitation for the fourth issue (due in February) handy. I’ll cut and paste that, instead:

A chupacabra, a sasquatch, and a ghost walk into a bar…

Okay, maybe not…

Hey, Perhapa-Pals! Todd and Craig here. As we strive valiantly to continue NOT telling you what’s coming up in upcoming issues, we will say this about The Perhapanauts #4:

It’s very good.

Really.

Trust us.

We’ve seen it and we think it’s one of the most thrilling, pulse-pounding, senses-shattering, low-in-calories, action-packed, sci-fi-slash-paranormal-slash-horror-slash-humor-slash-adventure comics being offered this month, from Dark Horse, on this page, by us.

Check it out and see if you don’t agree!

Order The Perhapanauts #4 today-you’ll be glad you did!

It’s 32 more pages of full color nonsense from Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau for $3. Those guys is crazy.

THE ART OF USAGI YOJIMBO goes the paperback route on February 22nd for $30. This is still full color and oversized at 9 x 12 inches.

Almost laughably, SAMURAI EXECUTIONER #10 is solicited. It’s the last volume, and won’t hit store shelves until March 22nd. Some companies solicit ahead of schedule; Dark Horse schedules things ahead of small insects’ life spans.

DC COMICS

PLASTIC MAN #20 is the final issue of Kyle Baker’s critically acclaimed series.

And I can’t otherwise work up much excitement for the rest of it.

IMAGE COMICS

SAVAGE DRAGON returns with its 123rd issue in January. As big a fan of Erik Larsen’s big green finned guy as I am, even I couldn’t tell you what happened in issue #122 anymore. I hope this is the start of a bold new era of Dragon greatness, but we’ll have to wait to see in January, won’t we?

The kids must be loving GODLAND, because it’s getting a trade paperback of its first six issues along with a brandy-new seventh issue in January. It’s also the “cover image” of this section of PREVIEWS.

I also know that the first vowel in that title is a pretentious special character. I don’t care nearly enough to go searching for it in my “special keys” section of this computer.

OVERSIGHT: COLLECTED SHORT STORIES 1990-2005 is a new trade paperback full of Phil Hester’s own short stories from that time period. It’s amazing how time flies and works pile up to the point where you can slap together a book like this. I know I’ve read and enjoyed a few of the stories that’ll appear in this collection, but there’s at least three quarters of this book I’m sure I haven’t read yet. $20 will get you 200 black and white pages.

MARVEL

Loved the preview pages from ULTIMATE EXTINCTION #1 by Brandon Peterson. He’s using a zip-a-tone/DuoTone effect with his art and I think it looks great. Kids today will probably just think he nipped it from manga artists, but anyone who remembers independent comics pre-Photoshop will recognize it for what it is. Heck, I thought John Byrne even used it to decent effect in NAMOR once upon a time.

I was halfway through the catalog before I noticed the “10 Terrific” logo attached to certain books. I think it’s a long stretch for this particular promotion. It ain’t going anywhere.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT looks at Warren Ellis and Jimmy Cheung. I love Cheung’s work and can’t wait to see what they give us in here. The spotlight on Ellis might be interesting, but I can’t imagine anything new coming from it. I read so much about it from his own message board and mailing list that it would surprise me to see anything new here. That’s OK; I’m not necessarily the intended audience for this thing. Those who don’t hang around the comics corners of the internet on a regular basis — the vast majority of comics readers — will find lots of new stuff in there, no doubt.

ASTONISHING X-MEN SAGA is just asking for snarky comments, as they boil down the recently concluded 12 issue series from Joss Whedon and John Cassaday into 48 pages. It’ll be interesting to see how they choose to do this and, more importantly, what the market is (if any) for this kind of book. If nothing else, the events of HOUSE OF M have trumped anything of significance that happened in this book already. I hope we see a hardcover compilation of the series solicited from Marvel sometime soon.

SABLE & FORTUNE #1 is the beginning of a new six issue mini-series featuring Silver Sable and Dominic Fortune. All the recent interest in Silver Sable captures my attention because she was the character I considered once upon a time when Marvel was asking for submissions for the Epic lineup. Sable’s a character with so much potential that it would almost be a shame to see it wasted. After nearly a decade of invisibility, though, she’s showing up everywhere now, including her own mini-series. I wish Brendan Cahill well, and I would caution John Burns that Silver Sable’s hair in that promo image/cover makes her look way too much like a Pamela Lee Anderson tramp than a top notch international bounty hunter/spy/gun for hire/government agent, or whatever their interpretation of her is. If you’re ever in the mood to Feel The Pain, though, I would suggest attempting to read the 90s SILVER SABLE series someday. Good luck.

NEW AVENGERS gets its second Premiere Edition hardcover, while the first goes to trade paperback.

SPIDER-GIRL is, perhaps improbably, up to its fifth digest size collection. This one will bring you issues 22-27 of Tom DeFalco’s little series that could. Art is from Pat Oliffe.

ULTIMATE X-MEN has its fifth hardcover collection, which collects #46-57. This is the point at which I dropped the monthly issues for the hardcovers. I’ll be reading half of this book for the first time in January.

The Ultimate line annuals get a trade of their own, though I hope they also appear in the individual hardcovers for their respective series, in the right places. The ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL, for example, doesn’t take place in continuity until after the current storyline, at least.

Akira Yoshida and Paul Smith’s X-MEN: KITTY PRYDE – SHADOW AND FLAME is collected in January. Thankfully, it’s not the digest-sized format, but it will run you $15. I held off on this one for the trade. I love it when a plan comes together.

David Lapham fans get a collection of his recent DAREDEVIL VS. PUNISHER six part series. I waited on that one for the trade, also, so it’s another $16 down the drain in the new year.

Zeb Wells and Skottie Young’s NEW WARRIORS mini-series has a trade paperback titled “Reality Check” for $14.99. Suddenly, all those series I started waiting on the trades for are coming home to roost. It might be time to make some decisions about which series excite me, and which are “obligations.”

More Silver Sable fun with SPIDER-MAN VS. SILVER SABLE Volume 1 TPB, which has a most interesting cover. The stories inside are from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #265 and #279-281, plus PETER PARKER, THE SECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #128-129. The cover they’re using is done by Todd McFarlane. The problem with this is that McFarlane drew that cover somewhere around AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #322 or so. Spider-Man was back in the red and blue costume by that point. So in addition to dropping all of the background details out of the cover, they’ve also changed the costume design to the black and white one. They’ve had some practice with this recently over Mike Wieringo’s Spider-Man covers, too.

Finaly, Old School Marvel fans — by which I mean 1980s Marvel fans — have to be excited by ESSENTIAL OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, Volume 1. It collects the first 15 editions of the handbook, so lovingly headed up by Mark Gruenwald.

EVERYTHING ELSE

TOYFARE #103 promises Alex Ross commentary on select toys. After awhile, it all seems so incestuous, doesn’t it?

AiT/PlanetLar is teasing Charlie Adlard’s next graphic novel, ROCK BOTTOM, written by Joe Casey. Publisher Larry Young was kind enough to show off a couple pages of the artwork to me in San Diego this summer. I completely forgot I had seen them until now. So here you go — a one-page sneak preview of ROCK BOTTOM, due out later in 2006. You can see the change in art style Adlard has affected for the project. This is a Pipeline World Exclusive:

Boom! Studios gives us a spin-off from HERO SQUARED, giving Giffen and DeMatteis the chance to play with their own superhero team dynamic. PLANETARY BRIGADE is the name of it, and Joe Abraham is along to draw it, also. Fabio Moon’s name is listed in the credits, but I’m not sure exactly how much of this book he’s working on.

Fantagraphics offers up THE COMICS JOURNAL LIBRARY VOLUME 6: THE WRITERS. It’s a 360 page compilation of interviews with the likes of Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Mark Evanier, Alan Moore, Harlan Ellison, and more. The total package is yours for just $22.95.

Gemstone’s UNCLE SCROOGE #350 reprints Don Rosa’s “Last Sled to Dawson.” It makes me feel just another step older when one of Rosa’s stories gets reprinted again. It’s a good one, though, don’t get me wrong. I just feel old. The issue runs $6.95, as usual, including a new Rosa cover. WALT DISNEY’S COMICS & STORIES #665, meanwhile, prints the final part of Rosa’s serial, “The Magnificent Seven Minus Four Caballeros.”

Oni Press has a new graphic novel in time for the new year. PAST LIES is a whodunit thriller from Nunzio De Fillipis and Christina Weir, with art by Christopher (“Last Exit Before Toll“) Mitten. It runs a whopping 168 pages for $14.95.

Speakeasy is soliciting ROCKETO #6. Is anyone else just waiting for the trade now, since we know one is coming as the series moves to Image next year?

TwoMorrows has another interesting idea for a book. This one’s either going to be a big hit, or the kind of mess that makes you shake your head and wonder why anyone bothered to write such a thing. THE DARK AGE: GRIM, GREAT, & GIMMICKY – POST-MODERN COMICS is a new 168 paperback exploration of the late-80s and early-90s trends in comics, from WATCHMEN and DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, to the Death of Superman, PITT, SPAWN, and all those stereotypical Image comics of the time. (Many people still haven’t gotten over that, and continue to refer to “Image Books” to mean things they’re not close to publishing anymore.) I’m willing to cut TwoMorrows enough slack at this point to give the book a shot, but I’ll be interested to see if it has anything new to say. Unlike so many of their books, I’ve lived through this time period. I have my own memories and history with many of the books this tome will attempt to analyze. It’ll be interesting to see where we match up and where we diverge. Mark Voger is the author.

Viz Comics is giving us HIKARU NO GO Volume 6 to start 2006. I couldn’t ask for such more from the manga world. (OK, maybe more IRON WOK JAN? You can never get enough of that.)

PIPELINE BLOG

  • Did you remember, remember, the fifth of November? If not, don’t sweat it. The movie company didn’t, either.
  • I miss the old Swipe of the Week column, and I’m surprised nobody’s dedicated an entire blog to continuing it yet.
  • I’m also shocked that nobody’s risen up to attempt a Fanboy Rampage 2 type of site. There’s plenty of material out there looking to be mined.
  • In the meantime, Graeme McMillan has shown up on The Savage Critic(s) blog.
  • Dave’s Long Box has fond memories of Jerome K. Moore’s artistic talents, also.
  • If you’re looking to lose a lot of time perusing an on-line art gallery, I’d suggest Rodolphe Guenoden’s site, which the FLIGHT blog recently pointed to.
  • If you think brand favoritism, claims of plagiarism, and insults fly only on comic book message boards, you’re wrong. Check out what happens at a car site when a new design for a Lexus is introduced.

  • After a brief hiatus, the Pipeline podcast returned late last week. You can still subscribe to this RSS feed, and last week’s nine minute rant can be downloaded here.

Pipeline Commentary and Review returns next week with its big 440th week edition that will include reviews of some stuff. Exciting, isn’t it?

Check the Pipeline message board for updates on the Pipeline Comic Book Podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes now, too! With any luck, this week’s podcast will show up over here this week. My computer issues are solved. Now if someone could just solve my Lack of Free Time issues. . .

Don’t forget about the VandS DVD podcast, while you’re at it.

Various and Sundry continues its link dumps, with lots of TV talk, music links, and more.

You can e-mail me your comments on this column, or post them for all the world to see and respond to over on the Pipeline Message Board.

More than 600 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They’re sorted chronologically.

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