Hey! The latest issue of Previews is out. Let's check out the things you might miss unless you specifically order them. And remember to ask your favorite comic book retailer if you can have it for free. Remind him that if you have access to Previews you will order more books and make more money for him!
So, the July 2006 issue, with a Jim Lee drawing of Grifter overcompensating for his shortcomings with a big gun on the front and drawing of a mischievous gremlin by Dean Yeagle on the back. What's going on this month?
Sock Monkey is back on page 20 (20 Sept.). I have never read anything by Tony Millionaire, much less Sonk Monkey, but it's back! In case you're interested.
I thought Busiek was done with Conan? In issue #32, on page 22 (20 Sept.), he's "back." I don't know if this is a long-term thing or not. I enjoy Conan, but I buy them in trades. This looks like a cool issue, and Greg Ruth's art is very good. The other Conan book, the mini-series Conan and the Songs of the Dead, ships its third issue (page 23, 20 Sept.). Joe R. Lansdale and Tim Truman. I will also wait for the trade.
Scarlet Traces: The Great Game supposedly has its third issue on page 25 (13 Sept.). I mentioned this last month, but this series has been delayed well over a year, so I'm not holding my breath. It should be fantastic, if it ever shows up.
The Goon Noir on page 28 ships on 20 September. I don't like The Goon. Yes, I'm evil. This actually might be fun, because it's an anthology with several different writers.
My favorite title, Rex Mundi, gets its first trade paperback reprinted on page 31 (8 Nov.). Its the first time it's been available through Dark Horse - this trade reprints the first six issues of the Image series. Excellent book, and it reads better in the trades.
I missed this last month, but in Morrison's Batman (page 57, 27 Sept.), mention is made of Batman's son. Please tell me this is the one he had with Talia in the Son of the Demon graphic novel, which DC claims is "not in continuity"! And on page 58, did anyone notice that J. H. Williams III is not the artist on Detective #823? How long did that tenure last? Two issues?
Catwoman #59 (page 60, 20 Sept.) makes mention of the Film Freak being "totally unhinged" thanks to Zatanna's "help." What the hell is Zatanna doing now?
You know, I really enjoyed The New Frontier, but 75 dollars? That's pretty steep. It's on page 67 and ships on 4 October, if you're interested. It's certainly a cool book. Still, 75?
Is it in Chaykin's contract that he has to put the nipples on Hawkgirl no matter what (page 73, 27 Sept.)?
Mystery in Space #1 on page 76 (6 Sept.) looks intriguing. The art is definitely early 1990s Image, and the question is always: will it be good Starlin or bad Starlin? That can make a huge difference.
Wonder Woman #4 is solicited on page 84 for a 13 September release. Any guesses on when it will actually come out? This is definitely a wait-for-the-trade book.
So Jim Lee has a nice letter about the "new" Wildstorm universe, which Will Pfeifer set up in his recent mini-series about Captain Atom. The talent is certainly there on all these relaunches, but it's the same thing when Image hit lo those many years ago: how long are these people going to stay on the books? Do we really believe that we'll get even four issues of Wildcats out of Jim Lee in a year? And Gene Ha on The Authority? How many issues of that will we see? These sound very intriguing, but shouldn't we all just skip buying these in single issue format and wait three years before the first six issues are collected?
Anyway, moving on. Desolation Jones gets a trade on page 106 (11 Oct.). How long before another issue comes out? I won't be there, because this was a disappointing book, but if you were waiting for the trade, now's your chance. Beautiful art, though.
Will The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen actually show up on 25 October (page 109)? That would be very cool. I'm a little disappointed that it takes place in the 1950s - I was hoping for an even older incarnation of the League - but that doesn't mean I won't buy it. It should be excellent.
Boy, that Fables hardcover on page 113 (18 Oct.) looks cool. On page 114 they show some of the sample art. You know I'll be getting this.
Like Guy, I'm considering getting my Image titles in trades rather than in single issues. Their scheduling is just so awful. I will still buy Noble Causes and Fell in singles, because Faerber's book always comes out on time and Fell doesn't really need to be read in trades, but the rest - I don't know. It's something to think about.
On page 130, True Story Swear to God is offered (13 Sept.). Everyone who has read this loves it, apparently. I guess I should check it out.
Sam Noir: Samurai Detective looks really cool. It's on page 134 and may be here on 13 September. The art looks gorgeous and who can resist a samurai detective?
There's another Invincible trade on page 139 (7 Sept.). That's how I buy my Invincible!
Issue #4 of Casanova (page 142, 13 Sept.) might be the make-or-break issue for me. I want to like this book, and I enjoyed the first issue okay, but it's certainly not as good as I expected. We'll see if it gets more coherent as it goes along.
Emissary #5 on page 144 (27 Sept.) has a new writer. Is Christopher Long the new writer, or is Rand taking an issue off? Of course, it's already late, so who knows when this issue will come out.
On page 145, Fear Agent #9 is solicited for 20 September. I just the trade of the first four issues, and it rocked. But isn't this book already really late?
Fell #8 is - wait for it - resolicited! It's on page 145 for 27 September. As I mentioned, I don't care that much because it's not an ongoing story. It's still frustrating. It was originally solicited in March, by the way.
For you Paul Grist fans (I am not one of them), Jack Staff #13 is on page 147 for 27 September.
On page 154, Umbra #3 is solicited for shipping on 7 September. This is a three-issue series, the first issue of which was really, really good. I reviewed it here, and if you want other opinions, Sean Maher liked it, as did Graeme McMillan. You could wait for the trade, I suppose, but there's no guarantee it will be collected!
In case you want to waste your money, the Wanted trade is being reprinted. It's on page 172. Brilliant in spots, the last issue led me to my futile but satisfying Mark Millar boycott. So if you want to waste 20 bucks, go ahead.
On page 8, we get the fun Ultimate Spider-Man #100 issue, with all those Spider-Mans! Does this title still have any buzz? I buy it in trades, and I absolutely LOVE it. But I don't hear much about it anymore.
Agents of Atlas #2 is on page 16. Marvel gives us ... a gorilla with a gun. Two guns, actually. Very cool.
They actually use the word "swashbuckling" to describe an issue of Daredevil on page 30. Wouldn't it be nice if it actually happens?
I ranted a while back about the first issue of Daughters of the Dragon and its horrific exploitative style, and that's a shame, because apparently the mini-series isn't that bad. So why was the first issue so awful? Anyway, I wanted to get Heroes for Hire, and I might, but I'll have to get past this:
Yes, now Misty has arrows pointing at her nipples! In case you didn't notice her enormous breasts.
Matt Fraction sells out with Punisher War Journal! I'm not complaining, mind you - I'd sell out in a heartbeat if Joey Q asked me to write Uncanny X-Men. I just find it ironic that he wrote Last of the Independents (spelled wrong in the solicitation, by the way), and he's right!
Guess what? There's ANOTHER Phoenix mini-series! I'm glad Marvel isn't flogging that dead horse into teeny-tiny bits.
Now, we delve into ... the back of the book!
Good old AiT/Planet Lar - always coming out with the interesting books. Whether they're good or not is up to you, but at least they're interesting. On page 212 we get Rock Bottom by Joe Casey and Charlie Adlard. "What would you do if you discovered you were turning into stone?" asks the solicitation copy. It's hard to resist cool stuff like that. Casey has a very good track record recently, and Adlard is a solid artist. Full Moon Fever and Codeflesh are also offered again.
Alias has a shaky track record, but Pistolfist: Revolutionary Warrior #1, offered on page 213, looks intriguing. Despite the absolutely idiotic title, the copy - a tale of a masked runaway slave whose destiny is entwined with that of an elderly Benjamin Franklin, sounds neat. Change the title, please!
Tucked away on page 234, Avatar, in the midst of all its slash horror stories, offers A Small Killing, one of Alan Moore's weirdest works. It was out of print for a long time, but Avatar brought it back. It's 17 dollars, and it's definitely worth it. Very unusual book.
Ross Ritchie's Boom! Studios continues to publish interesting stuff. On page 240 you can get Planetary Brigade: Origins #1, by Giffen and DeMatteis. It would be nice if a second issue of Planetary Brigade came out, but this should be a good book. On page 242 Jeremiah Harm #5 is offered. I've read good things about this, so I hope a trade is in the future. On the same page X Isle #3 is solicited. It's a five-issue series, so I reckon it will wrap things up faster than, say, Lost, and that's good. Issue #1 is good, so I will keep buying this.
For 40 dollars, you can pick up the complete Bone saga, offered on page 244. 1300 pages for 40 bucks is fine value. What say you, good readers? I have heard nothing but good things about Bone. Dare I buy this?
Dynamite Entertainment has an offering on page 254: The Lone Ranger #1. Sergio Cariello is drawing it, which is a good selling point. I might have to check this out.
Dork Storm has PS238 #18 on page 272. I've read plenty of love for this series, but have never gotten around to getting it. If you're interested, though, there it is!
Bosnian Flat Dog on page 276 from Fantagraphics sounds fascinating. I love the Balkans, and this sounds like a very weird take on war and its effects on humanity. Or, as the copy says, it could just be a discussion about the essence of drawing. Weird? Sure. But strangely compelling. Only 14 dollars. Meanwhile on page 277, Tales Designed to Thrizzle #3 is offered. I got the second issue and loved it, but I have a feeling that's really all I need. If you haven't read either, you might want to get this, or one of the first two that are offered below it, but it's the kind of book that gets old fast. Pick one and move on!
On page 280, First Second Books offers Journey into Mohawk Country, based on an actual diary by a 17th-century Dutch trader. This sounds way cool. It's 18 dollars, so it might be a bit steep, but it still sounds intriguing.
Markosia offers Of Bitter Souls Vol. 2 #3 on page 302. I'm still waiting for the old series to conclude and the new one to start. My question is: how far in advance do companies need to contact Previews? Because this series is hopelessly late, so it seems like Markosia should stop soliciting copies when it knows it won't make the time frame. I don't mind waiting that much, but it's strange they would offer it when they already know it's late. Cool Breyfogle art, though.
Moonstone offers Cyclone Bill and the Tall Tales again on page 305. This is one of the better graphic novels of the year so far. The mysterious death of the most popular singer on the planet leads a filmmaker to figure out just what the heck was going on. And why is Elvis haunting her? I reviewed it here. A very cool book. It's definitely worth it for 17 dollars, even though the ending is a bit weak.
Oni Press brings us Leading Man #4 - maybe. Who knows what the schedule of this book will be, which is why I'm waiting for the trade. Meanwhile, Local #9 is solicited, but will probably not be out. It's a very good series, however. Megan is in Norman, Oklahoma! How fun for her.
Silent Devil Productions offers Empty Chamber #1 on page 316, which sounds interesting. A young man at Boston University becomes the government's most wanted because he possesses knowledge that might thwart an American genocide. 48 pages for $2.95. Two issues. What do you have to lose?
I'm sure I've missed plenty of quality books, but this is, after all, just a sampler. Remember: just because Teen Titans is on the shelf doesn't mean you have to buy it!