Be thankful that we have so many excellent comics in Previews! Don't be afraid!
Boy, I don't like that cover. The fact that they're drawn as segmented toys kind of freaks me out, man!
I buy my Conan in trades, but on page 24, we get the newest mini-series, King Conan: The Scarlet Citadel. I like the fact that Dark Horse is telling the entire story of Conan's life, including the king part. Of course, the first series lasted 50 issues, the second one 25 issues, and this is a four-issue mini-series. Is the interest in Conan waning????? (23 February)
Witchfinder: Lost and Gone Forever, another Hellboy spin-off, features John Severin on art (page 30). I really have to catch up on my Hellboy-related trades, don't I? If only Dark Horse would do the giant library editions for the spin-offs! (2 February)
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Night Powers shows up on page 44. It contains a bunch of stuff from the webcomic as well as a brand-new story by Benito Cereno and Les McClaine. I think Dr. McNinja is mildly amusing, but not enough to pony up 20 bucks for it. It's no Hipster Hitler, after all. (20 April)
On page 66, I noticed something in the solicitation for Green Lantern Corps #57 (I don't want to read all the solicits; I do it for you!!!!): The GLC is "caught in the middle of all out war between Sinestro and his fear mongrels, the Sinestro Corps, against the Weaponer and the Thunderers of Qward." I've learned never to guess at what some things are called, but is it really "fear mongrels"? A "monger," of course, is someone who stirs up shit, and we usually see it in conjunction with "war," but "fear monger" makes as much sense. I guess the Sinestro Corps could be "mongrels" in that they don't have a pure ancestry, but what do we think? Clever turn of phrase, or ghastly mistake? You make the call! (16 February)
I'm still not jazzed about Flamebird appearing in Batwoman (page 73), but everyone should still buy issue #1. Can you resist J. H. Williams III????? (23 February)
I'm still mulling over buying Knight and Squire in trades (I know it's been getting good reviews, but I do respect Chad Nevett, and he has abandoned it, so it's a puzzler), but issue #5 (page 80) doesn't fill me with hope. The British Joker? Really? I mean, I know it's supposed to be a meta-commentary on dark 'n' depressing comics, but that's just a bit too odd. But we shall see. (9 February)
Klarion shows up in Batgirl #18 (page 81). I do wish DC would make some plans with the Seven Soldiers. They hardly show up anywhere. (9 February)
Unsurprisingly, I love this Dave Johnson cover for Freedom Fighters #6 (page 97). But why is the dude holding a giant pencil? (2 February)
On page 99, DC Comics Presents has Legends of the Dark Knight #86-88, along with that first Paul Dini Detective with J. H. Williams III on art. For 8 bucks, that's a good package. Is the story any good? Why don't you ask this fellow? (23 February)
According to noted JoeCaseyologist, Chad Nevett (I get a "I Dig Canada" badge if I mention Chad thrice in one post!), the Wildcats trades that DC has brought out and is bringing out on page 111 don't have the complete Joe Casey Wildcats 3.0 experience. So what's the deal? Is Chad full of it, or is DC dropping the ball? I own all the "official" issues of Wildcats 3.0, so I won't buy the trades, but that sucks if it's lacking crucial issues. (2 March)
DC is releasing Hellblazer volume 1: Original Sins TP New Edition (phew!) on page 124. I like how it's a "new ... collections that put all his adventures in reading order," because that's a cool idea (and it features two issues of Swamp Thing to prove it!), but it doesn't collect his first appearances. I know those have been collected in a lot of places, but still. I'll be interested to see what they do with this moving forward. (2 March)
Sweet Tooth #18 is presented in landscape format (page 125). That might be keen to see. (2 February)
Love and Capes: Ever After #1 shows up on page 154, the first new issue of the series in a while. I like this series a lot, but even so, I'll probably wait for the trade. That's just the way it is!
Over on page 156, there's a trade of Fish Police. FISH POLICE?!?!?!?!? Yes, Fish Police. I've never actually read it - the only knowledge I have of Fish Police is from the issues of Grendel that contained advertisements for it back in the day. But there it is! It's always cool to see old stuff get reprinted for a new audience.
There's a nice hardcover trade of Starstruck on page 158. It's 50 bucks, but that's for 13 issues jam-packed with cool stuff. And it's Kaluta on art!!!!
Steven Struble, who's the coloring assistant on Chew, does a webcomic called The L'il Depressed Boy, which is now getting printed on page 170. I've read a little of the webcomic and it's pretty good, so I might have to check out the print version.
If you've been waiting for the trade of Morning Glories, it's offered on page 184. Six issues for ten dollars - that ain't a bad deal. And it's a pretty good series, to boot. (16 February)
The third issue of the Firebreather mini-series is offered on page 186. I will probably end up getting this in trade, because why not?, but I wondered if anyone saw the new animated series on Cartoon Network. I haven't, just the previews, and I must say the animation looks terrible. It's blocky computer-generated crud, and the fact that Andy Kuhn adds so much personality to Hester's scripts in the comic makes the fact that the animation on the series is so bad all the more depressing. Just ... yuck. (2 February)
Orc Stain #7 is resolicited on page 190. I'm bummed about that, because I really want to get a trade, but the issues are coming out so slowly I have no idea when a trade will show up. (23 February)
Chris Sims has a story in Skullkickers #6 (page 192). Who knew he would take over comics before it's all said and done? (23 February)
Okay, so you know the hype around the "Death of Spider-Man" that Marvel is promoting? Guess what - it's Ultimate Spider-Man who's "dying." So not only won't it stick, it's not even the "real" Spider-Man. Good job, Marvel!
This cover for Anita Blake: Circus of the Damned - The Ingenue #2 (phew!) is terrible (page 8), but check out the T-shirt Anita is wearing:
It's a bird (a duck?) wearing a cape and pointed hat, riding a broom, in front of a full moon, with the words "Cold-Hearted Witch" printed underneath. That's pretty awesome, if you ask me. (2 February)
So there's a new Iron Man series, cleverly titled Iron Man 2.0 (oh, Marvel - you're only ten years behind the times!). Nick Spencer is writing it. Holy crap, how did Nick Spencer become so ubiquitous? He's writing about 25 different titles right now, for both Marvel and DC. Good for him! I just wonder if there's some kind of infectious meme spreading throughout the offices of the Big Two: "Must ... hire ... Nick ... Spencer ..." (9 February)
On page 39, the cover of Fantastic Four #588 proclaims that it's the "final tearful last issue." Okay, it's redundant, but really? What's really going on here, Marvel? Would that it were true and that Marvel would actually allow the book to end, but that's not going to happen, right? (23 February)
Pages 42-43: Onslaught #1. Really? (2 February)
There's nothing not awesome about the cover of X-23 #6 (page 56) ... except maybe Gambit isn't bloody enough! (16 February)
So what's the deal with "Age of X," which begins with X-Men Legacy #245 on page 61? Is it an alternate reality like "Age of Apocalypse"? If so, why can the X-books only do something interesting if it's an alternate reality? (23 February)
As much as I like Joshua Fialkov, do we really need a Marvel Girl ongoing (page 65)? Haven't we mined the 1960s X-Men enough? (16 February)
The Young Allies trade is on page 96. It's not essential, but it's a good little superhero story. (9 February)
Namor Visionaries: John Byrne volume 1 is offered on page 97. Over on Mike Sterling's blog, some people have expressed extreme displeasure that this is getting reprinted, especially if Marvel thinks this is a "visionary" run. I don't know - I LOVE this run, and think Byrne did a lot of cool stuff with Namor. It's been a while since I've read it (I'll re-read it soon enough), but I'm fine with it getting the high-end treatment by Marvel. (9 February)
And so, let us leave the comfort of the Big Two (and the Semi-Big Three) behind and venture into the Back of the Book!!!!
SLG has The Vesha Valentine Story: A Pin-Up Story Book on page 210. It's the story of a burlesque/movie star who works her way up through the Hollywood ranks in the 1950s. I don't know if it's any good, but Des Taylor is an interesting creator, and he does attractive women pretty well, so this is intriguing.
So there I am, checking out Book Palace's new collection, Ron Embleton's Wulf the Briton: The Complete Adventures, which sounds kind of neat - action/adventure from the late 1950s, and who doesn't love Britons fighting Romans? Then I looked at the price tag: $232. I almost choked. Really? Two hundred thirty-two dollars? It's limited to 400 copies worldwide, which makes it a "collector's item," but why would they limit it to only 400 copies? I'm certainly not ponying up that much for it, even though it looks keen. Jesus. $232.
Did anyone read Muppet Sherlock Holmes, which is getting a trade from Boom! on page 248? Because it sounds awesome.
Over on page 254, Garth Ennis unleashes Jennifer Blood #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. It's the story of a suburban mom and wife who goes out at night and vigilantes things up. Yes, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I always have to give Garth Ennis a chance even though I haven't liked much of his stuff for a decade.
Bullet to the Head gets a trade on page 264. The last issue hasn't shipped yet, but I'm fairly confident about recommending this trade if you've been waiting for it.
Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink gets a new printing on page 269 from Dork Storm Press. Dr. Blink is a fairly charming tale, so it's nice that it's back in print. Give it a look!
Comic Book Comics #5 is resolicited on page 272 from Evil Twin Comics. I really hope it comes out this time!
Fantagraphics is making a concerted effort to bring all of Jacques Tardi's works to the U.S., and they continue it on page 274 with The Arctic Marauder, which is described as a Jules Vernes-esque story about a dude in 1899 searching for a missing exploration ship in the Arctic. I haven't heard from Pedro in a while, so I hope he stops by and tells us if this is worth checking out, because it sounds pretty cool.
Page 282 has Angeltown, the Vertigo comic from a few years ago by Gary Phillips and Shawn Martinbrough that, I guess, never got collected. Moonstone is publishing this, which is nice of them. It's, honestly, not that good, although Martinbrough's art is always a treat. You might like it, though!
As much as I like Stumptown, the hardcover trade Oni has on page 288 is a bit much, because it's 30 bones. Man, that's stiff. I really hope a softcover is coming our way, because I will recommend that without reservations.
Time Bomb hasn't finished yet, so I can't say with complete confidence that you should get the trade that Radical has on page 292, but two-thirds of the way through, it's a very entertaining comic, and the trade is only 15 bucks, which isn't bad.
Well, I'd like to point out some other stuff, but we've reached the end of the comics section and I must stop there! As always, ask your retailer if he'll give you Previews for free - it will be beneficial to him in the long run! And don't be squeamish about flipping through the slab. Good stuff lurks within!
Finally, in order to get my "I Dig Canada" badge, I should point out that I am a guest star on Chad Nevett and Tim Callahan's Splash Page podcast this week. Tim couldn't make it this week, so I offered to jump right in - usually on Friday night I watch "What Not To Wear" with my lovely wife, so I wasn't really missing anything. Head on over and check it out. If you've ever wondered what my voice sounds like (not as nasal as it usually does) and if you can ignore my laughter (I'm not sure why I laugh a lot; I don't think it's a nervous tic, because I do it when I'm not nervous, but who knows), give it a listen. Fine thoughts about four-color entertainment!