It's a week late, but for some, it's still too soon! Let's dive into Previews #321 and see what's the haps!
Scott Kolins, who's been drawing Past Aways for DH, has Adam.3 on page 34, a story that he wrote and drew about a guy living in a futuristic (but possibly not in the future?) Eden which he has to defend against "terrifying visions of a monstrous doom." This sounds really familiar - I'm sure I've read something like this story before. It'll come to me, fret not. Kolins is an occasionally good artist, and the preview art looks pretty neat, so this might be worth a look. Plus, it's in "widescreen" format. Have fun fitting that into your long boxes! (5 August)
The final issue of Mind Mgmt (page 36) is ... a #1 issue? How does that make sense? I mean, we all know it will be awesome, but that seems a bit confusing. Oh well. (19 August)
Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are back with Two Brothers, a new graphic novel about ... well, two brothers, on page 40. They were split up five years earlier, and now they're back together. What will happen?!?!?!? Of course this will look great, and the brothers are better writers than you might think, even though this appears to be an adaptation. (14 October)
There's a trade of Ei8ht on page 41, if you're interested. The final issue, of course, hasn't shipped yet, but it's not a bad adventure story. The draw, of course, is Rafael Albuquerque's art, which is terrific. (7 October)
I should probably get The Fifth Beatle in trade (page 43). I skipped it when it was in hardcover, but everyone seems to love it, so I'll probably have to pick it up! (14 October)
For fifty dollars, you can get the entire Prometheus: Fire and Stone series of mini-series (page 44) that Dark Horse put out last year. I bought the Paul Tobin/Juan Ferreyra one because, duh, Ferreyra drew it (and I do like Tobin's writing), but none of the others. This seems like a pretty good deal - it's less than what you would have paid for the entire single issue run, and it has "never-before-seen content." I might have to pick this up. (21 October)
The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot gets a hardcover edition on page 46. This is okay, I guess, and Darrow's art is stunning. It's not as good as Hard-Boiled, though. Has that ever been collected? (7 October)
This Damned Band shows up on page 58, and I am all over it. It's Paul Cornell writing and Tony Parker drawing, and I like the work of both of those gentlemen. Parker often draws stuff that I don't want to buy, so I'm glad he's doing something I do want to buy! Plus, it's about a band - let's call them the "Rolling Zeppelins" - in 1972 who pretend to worship Satan but find out they're actually worshipping Satan. It's a comedy! I'm really looking forward to this! (5 August)
Green River Killer gets reprinted on page 62, presumably because Jonathan Case has a slightly higher profile these days and the writer wrote Tomorrowland. I haven't actually read this - I've seen it before, but it just didn't grab me - but maybe I'll give it a try. (21 October)
Hey, it's the last volume of Gantz on page 67! Now I'll have to tear through the entire thing - it should take about 40 minutes, I reckon. Fun stuff! (28 October)
On page 72, DC launches DC Comics Bombshells, which is a series based on those variant covers they did a while back and are revisiting this month. It's a series about super-powered women fighting World War II on the front lines and at home. What a bizarre concept ... but it might be very cool. (12 August)
On page 78, we get one of the best solicitation texts you're going to read for Constantine: The Hellblazer #3:
Someone is murdering ghosts, a supernatural crime so impossible to solve that John Constantine is forced to return to London and seek help from the one person he hates more than any other; a magician above reproach, a darling of London high society, and a friend to superheroes everywhere. She is Georgiana Snow ... the HECKBLAZER!
I love everything about that text. (12 August)
So I don't want to cause trouble for DC's legal department, but does "Multiplex" on the cover of Midnighter #3 (page 90) look very much like a certain Marvel mutant? And he has "self-replicating" powers? Wow, DC. Seriously. (5 August)
The "bombshells" variant of Sinestro (page 119) is so genius that from now on, Sinestro should wear a yellow zoot suit all the freakin' time. Come on, DC, make it happen! (26 August)
On pages 124-125, DC offers up three different trades of MAD magazine #1-23 with three different artists - Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and Will Elder. Or you can get all three in a fancy slipcase, which I'll probably do because why not? (30 September)
DC is offering the first Suicide Squad again on page 127, but maybe this time, with the movie coming out, they'll be committed to releasing the rest! Wouldn't that be nice? (2 September)
If you haven't read Batman Year 100 yet, DC offers a fancy hardcover for 30 bucks on page 128. That's a bit spendy, but damn, this is a fine comic. Paul Pope at the top of his game, really. Check it out! (14 October)
I probably own some of the comics already, but I'm very tempted by Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Darwyn Cooke on page 130. It's 400 pages for 40 dollars, and it stretches back to 1985, so I'm really thinking about picking it up. Come on - it's Darwyn Cooke!!!! (14 October)
Astro City #26 (page 135) is the 20th anniversary issue, and it's a standalone issue to allow new readers to jump on. It's very cool that the series has been going for so long (with plenty of breaks, of course), and I always look forward to more! (5 August)
On page 158, we get Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which is the comics adaptation of the 1974 novel. I've never read the book nor seen the movie, but this might be fun.
Beyond Mars on page 181 sounds neat. It's by Jack Williamson and Lee Elias, and it only appeared in one newspaper. I will have to check this out.
Page 184: PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM PHONOGRAM!!!!!!
Um, so yeah. It will be here on 12 August. Can you tell I'm a bit excited?
Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley have a book called Beauty on page 192, about a sexually transmitted disease that makes the "sufferer" more physically attractive every day. Obviously, all is not well with this, as it's a police procedural, but that's not a bad premise. (12 August)
The first trade of Invisible Republic shows up on page 224. Has anyone been reading this? I know it looks great, but what about the story? I mean, it's 10 dollars for 5 issues, so I might get it anyway, but what's the word on it, people? (19 August)
Image is really getting kooky with their trade releases, as volume 1s of The Surface and The Tithe show up on pages 229 and 230. Each of these series has only shipped two issues so far. It's insane to decide on a trade after two issues have come out. For what it's worth, I like The Tithe quite a bit and I'm still feeling out The Surface, but I wouldn't be confident saying either will be worth a look for you. Come on, Image - I appreciate that you want to get trades out, but this has become ridiculous. (26 August)
I don't wish to alarm you, but I'm seriously considering getting the Witchblade: Redemption set of four trades on page 231. I've read good things about the run, and I'm kind of curious about it, plus it's only 20 dollars. Don't judge me!!!! (19 August)
I guess Loki is ending on page 10 with issue #17. Hey, Marvel - you know how you lost at least one reader? By raising the price to $3.99!!!! I mean, shit. Come on, Marvel! (19 August)
I am kind of keen to read Secret Wars: Secret Love on page 13, mainly because it looks like the creators have their tongues firmly in their cheeks. Of course, because it's Marvel, they promise 8 extra pages (which may or may not be story pages) and increase the price from $3.99 to $4.99. Oh, Marvel. (19 August)
Rocket Raccoon gets a trade paperback on page 90. I can't imagine this isn't awesome - it's Skottie Young! Plus, naturally, it's cheaper than if you had bought all six issues. Sigh, Marvel. (9 September)
Marvel picks up Peter David's Incredible Hulk run after they kiboshed the "Visionaries" line with an Epic Collection that brings together quite a bit more than just the regular series. I'm not sure if the extra stuff is enough for me to get it, but if you haven't gotten the single issues yet, you should really consider getting this. These are great comics. (16 September)
You know it's time to check out the back of the book, where Travis and Simon really shine! :)
I always find it interesting when fairly well-known artists turn up in unlikely places. Last month, I missed Venture and Gravedigger, both from Action Lab (and both on page 246), but they will probably be pretty keen. Venture is written by Jay Faerber and drawn by Jamal Igle, while Gravedigger is drawn by Rick Burchett. Why neither of these artists is drawing for DC or Marvel is beyond me, but I'm glad they're still working (it is, of course, completely possible that they don't want to). I missed pre-ordering these, and if you think my comics shoppe just gets Action Lab books on a whim, you'd be wrong, so I guess I'll have to wait for the trades!
It's too bad that Amigo Comics can't keep a better schedule, because their comics are quite good. On page 252 they resolicit the next Rogues! mini-series, even though the current one hasn't finished yet, and they offer a trade of The Westwood Witches, which is quite a nifty horror comic (El Torres, the mastermind of Amigo, probably writes the best horror comics you can find today). As I always do, I hope they get their scheduling problems sorted!
Chris Schweizer shows up on page 252 with The Creeps volume 1: Night of the Frankenfrogs from Amulet Books. It's about kids who investigate weird monster mysteries in a small town. Schweizer is a fantastic creator, and this sounds neat for both adults and kids, and I am an adult (technically) and I have a kid, so I'm all in with this!
Over at Avatar, we get two trades of the early War Stories by Garth Ennis and a bunch of good artists. I've read these, and they're quite good. If you haven't, here's your chance!
Welcome Back on page 280 sounds interesting. It's about two girls who battle each other through different incarnations, with neither remembering the previous ones. However, in the latest incarnation, one of them starts to remember and question what's going on, even though the other one is hunting her. It sounds pretty neat, and Christopher Sebela isn't a bad writer, and the art looks very cool. What more do you want?
Justin Jordan and Jorge Coelho are the creative team for John Flood (page 283), which is about a dude who no longer sleeps but can see all sorts of patterns, so he becomes a private investigator. Unfortunately, he comes across a mass murderer who no one has suspected is one, which could cause, you know, problems.
I was curious about Black Market when it was first offered, and now there's a trade on page 286. Did anyone read this, or do I have to make up my mind with no input whatsoever?!?!?
Jessica Abel has a new book out called Out on the Wire, tucked away on page 297 from Broadway Books. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the new age of radio programs, and it sounds pretty interesting. Abel is a terrific creator, too, so I might have to take a look at this!
Right next to that from Candlewick Press is Baba Yaga's Assistant, which is about exactly what it says it is. It sounds neat, and it's drawn by Emily Carroll, so of course I'm going to get it!
Dynamite has its usual assortment of stuff, including a trade of Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini on page 315. I don't know if this is any good, but I like the writers, so I'll have to check it out. (19 August)
On page 322, Dover has a trade of The Bozz Chronicles, which I've always wanted to read. Yes, I know that David Michelinie is the worst writer in the history of comics, but still. I'll have to pick this up.
I don't know anything about The Eternaut from Fantagraphics (page 326), but it sounds awesome. It's a 1950s Latin American sci-fi allegory. Come on, people, that sounds AWESOME!
Graphic India offers up Black Tiger (page 333), which is about a vigilante lawyer. That's certainly unusual! It's by Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan, who know a thing or two about doing vigilante comics, so it might be worth a look.
On page 344, we find King #1 from Jet City Comics. This is a post-apocalyptic comic in which the main character is the sole human survivor. It's by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Bernard Chang, and it sounds pretty darned cool. On the same page, we find Muirwood: The Last Abbey, which is written by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus. I'm much more interested in the fact that it's drawn by Alex Sheikman, who is one of my favorite artists and still doesn't get the recognition he deserves. Come on, Marvel, hire him on a Doctor Strange comic and let everyone see how awesome he is!
Oni offers Stringers on page 353, which I hope was already in production when that Jake Gyllenhaal movie came out last autumn, because it's about freelance news guys who get caught in between cops and gangs. It sounds pretty good, and Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood (who can apparently draw three series at the same time?) are a pretty good creative team, but it does sound familiar. (19 August)
Oni also has a trade of Brides of Helheim on page 357. This series is pretty good, made better by Joëlle Jones's artwork, which is always great to see. (21 October)
Mark Wheatley's and Marc Hempel's old Vertigo comic, Breathtaker, gets a reprint from Titan Comics on page 382. I've never read this, but I guess it has a pretty good reputation. Maybe I'll check it out.
Page 401 brings us Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup that Remade the Middle East from Verso, which is about America's intervention in Iranian politics in 1953 that really didn't turn out well in the long run, as we're still dealing with the consequences. I'm pretty sure this is a comic I saw about 5-6 years ago at San Diego, where a woman was showing samples on her iPad, because it was being developed digitally. It looked pretty cool, but I never got it because I just don't like digital comics. Even this isn't that (and I'm pretty sure it is), I like Daniel Burwen's art, and I'm very interested in this story, so I'll be getting this sucker.
Page 417. Zenescope is published an all-ages comic. ZENESCOPE IS PUBLISHING AN ALL-AGES COMIC. Zenescope. All-ages comic. I think I feel my brain leaking out of my nose as I type this. It actually sounds kind of neat, too - an orphaned girl wakes up on her 16th birthday and finds out that her foster family has been turned into pet animals. Not a SEXY 16-year-old, mind you. Not SEXY pet animals. I can't believe this - I'm actually afraid to pre-order this because I fear that it might turn up and really be a sexy 16-year-old wearing a short skirt and thigh-high stockings. ZENESCOPE IS PUBLISHING AN ALL-AGES COMIC. If you didn't think the world was mad before this, think about it now!!!!!
I can't even move onto to non-comics stuff, because my world has been turned upside-down. So I'll just leave it there and tell you to go get a catalog and start flipping. You might want to stop before you get to Zenescope, though, because I'm sure anyone is ready for page 417. Enjoy yourself!