What could possibly be in Previews #318 that I could want, you might ask. Well, you've come to the right place to find out!
I don't really have much interest in a sequel to Fight Club, but it's offered on page 42. Cameron Stewart is doing the art, so it will certainly look good! (27 May)
I've never read Kabuki, so the Library Edition on page 44 interests me quite a bit. It's 40 bucks for 400 pages, which is not a bad value, and I'm sure it give you a good idea about the series in general. The only problem, like with a lot of these Dark Horse giant-sized editions, is that the first volume won't come out before the second is solicited, so if I hate it, I might be on the hook for another one. I'll take that chance, though! (8 July)
High Crimes on page 47 sounds interesting. A former Olympic snowboarder finds a body on Mt. Everest that draws the attention of a government hit squad, so she has to run for her life! Yes, it's another conspiracy-filled comic (or at least it sounds like it), but the elevator pitch sounds pretty neat. (8 July)
There's another Resident Alien mini-series on page 53. I get these in trades, but they're pretty good, so if you get the single issues, here's a new one! (20 May)
When Dark Horse did its interlocking mini-series about Aliens and Predators in the fall, I only got the Tobin/Ferreyra one, because they're an awesome team. But they're getting collected in trade, and on page 61, we get Predator: Fire and Stone, which is one of them. It's by Joshua Williamson, who's a pretty good writer, and Christopher Mooneyham, who's a pretty good artist. So it might be worth checking out. (15 July)
I shan't be getting the hardcover of Conan Red Sonja on page 62 (it's a bit spendy), but there it is. This looks cool, but I don't know if the story is any good. (29 July)
I'm certainly curious about Harrow County (page 68), because Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook are good creators, and it's not a bad hook - a girl discovers she's connected to the monsters that live in the forest around her home, but I still might wait for the trade. (13 May)
I really like the Dark Horse collection of Steve Ditko's "Creepy" stories, so I'm totally down with Creepy Presents Alex Toth, which shows up on page 71. One reason I didn't feature Toth in the "Year of the Artist" was because I didn't have enough early work by him, so this should remedy that a little bit. Too late, I'm afraid, but I'm still looking forward to this! (8 July)
This is really a disturbing cover. It's really freaking me out (page 96; 13 May):
I like how DC not only gets Kelley Jones to draw the Swamp Thing "Convergence" story (page 112), but Len Wein obliges him by throwing in Vampire Batman, too. Fan service at its best, yo! (20 May)
I might have to get Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell now that it's in trade paperback (page 127). It's only 15 bucks, and I'm sure it's pretty good.
I like DC's pricing of trade paperbacks, but the scheduling continues to mystify me. On page 131, we get a perfect example of this. At the top is the solicitation for Gotham Academy volume 1, which collects the first six issues. The sixth issue, mind you, has not yet come out, yet DC is offering a nice softcover trade for 15 dollars, which is less than all six issues together would cost. On the same page, there's a hardcover solicitation for Grayson volume 1, which collects only the first four issues (issue #8 comes out this week, mind you), plus a few other Grayson-related comics, for $23. Who knows when the softcover trade of Grayson will come out? This makes absolutely no sense. Again, I like the fact that DC prices its trades to move, but the scheduling is so wonky. (17 and 3 June, respectively)
Morrison's and Janson's Batman: Gothic gets the "Deluxe Edition" treatment on page 134. It's an okay comic, but it's very much "early Morrison," if that's your bag. Finding the issues might be cheaper than ponying up $25 for it, though. (22 July)
Hey, DC is collecting the Veitch/Edwards Question mini-series from 2005 on page 135! What a surprise! This is a terrific series, as Veitch makes a standard superhero comic a bit more interesting than it has any right to be, while Edwards debuted his new, amazing style in this series. Why DC has never collected it before is a mystery, and why they're collecting it now is a mystery, but that's awfully swell of them! The funny thing is that the story already has a title - "Devil's in the Details" - but they still call it something different. I wrote about the series here. (10 June)
I own every single issue collected in the Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle hardcover on page 135, yet I will happily plunk down $50 for this if it means that DC will continue the series (this collects about half, maybe, of Breyfogle's Batman work?) and if it means Breyfogle sees any royalties from its sales, because the dude could certainly use the money. I hope everyone contributed to the now-closed fundraiser, but they still only raised half the money they were trying to get, which is sad. Either way, you should definitely buy this collection. These are fantastic comics. (1 July)
It's perhaps not surprising that Scott Snyder whiffed on the ending of The Wake, because that's kind of what he does, but for 8½ of 10 issues, it was pretty darned good, and Sean Murphy's art was amazing as usual. As I noted, DC's pricing on trades is excellent, so I got the hardcover for 25 dollars (for 10 issues!), and now the softcover is only 18 dollars for those 10 issues. So it might be worth a look, even if the ending is terrible. (10 June)
IDW has bought Top Shelf (or whatever they're doing with them), so Top Shelf gets to move to the front, "fancy" part of Previews, which is nice for them. They start with You Don't Say (page 159), which collects a bunch of Nate Powell short stories from the past decade or so. Powell is a really good comics creator, so I'll have to check this out.
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland is collected in a hardcover (and a smaller digest-sized trade for only 10 bucks) on page 160. The story is just okay, but this is basically a showcase for Gabriel Rodriguez's absolutely stunning artwork. It's pretty much worth it just for that.
Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently novels are a lot better than his Hitchhiker books (perhaps not as funny, but better in every other regard), so I'm glad that IDW is publishing Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as on ongoing, but I'm a bit bummed that he moved ... to San Diego? Really? Gently, like John Constantine, is so very London that it's going to be weird to see him in a place like San Diego. But I'll give it a try, I suppose.
I'm not sure if $35 is really something you want to spend on Godzilla: The Half-Century War Oversized Hardcover (page 175), but it is James Stokoe, and it is oversized, so this might just be the format to splurge on. I'm not getting it because I already own it, but it's certainly tempting!
El Torres has been doing his self-published thing with Amigo Comics for a while now, but he also has a new book from IDW called Phantasmagoria (page 180), which is set in Victorian London, because horror and Victorian London go very well together. Torres is a really good horror writer, so this will probably be fun.
I'm not a big fan of nostalgia-mining, but I might have to give the collected edition of Knight Rider (page 189) a look. I like both writers, Geoffrey Thorne and Shannon Eric Denton, so I have some trust in them. I don't know how much of the art Brian Denham does, but I like him, too. We shall see.
Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire are back together with Injection (page 194), which is about five people who "poisoned" the 21st century trying to save the world. Of course it's quite vague, but with that creative team, I'm all over this like ... um ... hot lava? Something like that. (13 May)
Phil Hester and John McCrea (who have worked on a book before - you get 5 Cool Points if you know which one without looking it up!) bring us Mythic (page 198), which is about a team of supernatural investigators making sure magic is working properly. It could be terrible, of course, but it sounds fun. Plus, Image is offering the first issue for $1.99. That's smart marketing! (6 May)
Joe Casey's latest wacky comic is Valhalla Mad (page 214), in which three Norse gods who are in now way supposed to remind us Marvel's Warriors Three come to Earth for some carousing. Good times all around! (20 May)
For ten bucks, you can get the first trade of Wytches on page 225. Dare I fall for the "Snyder Trap," in which he starts a series so very well but ends it so very poorly? For ten thin dollars, I might. We shall see! (20 May)
You lot have been telling me that Five Ghosts is good, so on page 227, there's a giant hardcover collecting the first 12 issues. I suppose I'll have to cave and try it out! (20 May)
On page 228, you can get Graveyard Shift in trade - the final issue hasn't come out yet, but it's been good so far. The theoretical first trade of Ody-C is on page 229, although I wouldn't hold my breath for it arriving on the date given. It's also 10 bucks, so that might be something to consider. And the second trade of Stray Bullets is also on page 229. As I have mentioned, the giant 41-issue collection Image has released is bound terribly, so these smaller trades are the way to go! (20, 27, and 20 May, respectively)
Look at that James Stokoe cover. LOOK AT IT!!!!
Garth Ennis doing war stories for Marvel is pretty cool (page 32). Garth Ennis doing war stories that have dinosaurs in them? Yeah, that's pretty great. (27 May)
As much as I like Disco Dazzler, the fact that artists think putting her in roller skates (page 33 and 34) is unbelievably stupid. Did Jim Cheung or Russell Dauterman even stop to think about it before they drew those? Sheesh. Also: A-Force couldn't have a female artist? If you're going all-in, Marvel, go ALL-IN!!!!! (20 May)
So they took until issue #8 (page 67) to reveal who the new Thor is? That seems strange. I say just get it out of the way early, because there's no way the reality can match the anticipation. (13 May)
Night Nurse (page 85) collects the 1972 mini-series and an issue of Daredevil, all for a mere 8 dollars. Shouldn't there be an actual Night Nurse series set in the modern day? That would be nifty. (13 May)
Bendis ends his work destroying the X-Men with Uncanny X-Men #600 on page 89. Really, Marvel? I really hate their policy of using large numbers for special occasions and renumbering for everything else. If I were Marvel, I'd just use a number that ends with double zero or 50 for every issue. So next issue will be Uncanny X-Men #650! Think of the sales! (20 May)
On page 102, we get Marvel Masterworks: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire volume 1. Yes, it's $75, but it does include "Where's my money, honey," which is probably worth the entire cover price. (12 August)
Yes, it's time for the back of the book! Join me!
The next Princeless collection is on page 256 from Action Lab. For what it's worth, my nine-year-old daughter digs these comics.
Kathryn and Stuart Immonen's collaborations are always good, and they have a new one, Russian Olive to Red King, from AdHouse Books on page 259. I'm so glad they still have time for these even while they're cranking out stuff for Marvel.
Page 259 has some other interesting choices. Alternative Comics has Infinite Bowman, which is about an astronaut wandering across a wasteland, and Island of Memory, which is about an expedition to Kamchatka in the 18th century. You know you love reading about expeditions to Kamchatka in the 18th century!
Archie #666 is the final issue. IS IT THE APOCALYPSE?!?!?!?
I have no interest in Alan Moore's obsession with H.P. Lovecraft, but you might, so on page 276, Avatar offers up Providence, which deconstructs Lovecraft's world. It certainly might be awesome, but I doubt it.
Black Mask Comics has The Disciples by Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten on page 285. Three private investigators have been hired by a senator to find his missing daughter, who happens to be in a religious cult ... on Ganymede, the moon of Jupiter. So it's a sci-fi ghost story, apparently. Sounds keen.
Marc Andreyko's and Piotr Kowalski's Nightbreed gets a trade on page 293. I don't know if this is any good, but those are good creators!
Both Suicide Risk and Day Men are ending on page 301. I haven't gotten either one of these, but I probably should check them out.
I got the first issue of The Red Ten (page 316) and enjoyed it, but for some reason I didn't keep up with it. I think issue #2 was delayed or something or I missed it when it was offered in Previews, so I figured I'd wait for the trade. Now ComixTribe has the first half in a collection, but it is 30 dollars, which is a bit steep. The set-up is quite neat - it's basically And Then There Were None with superheroes. So I'll have to think about it.
The only book I've read from Creative Mind Energy was Gifted, which turned out to be pretty good. The same creators are back with Dixie Vixens (page 318), which is about three college graduates who take a road trip through the South and find lots of bad things. "Southern" comics seem to be trendy these days. I wonder why.
Dynamite has a nice "omnibus" of Jeff Parker's and Evan Shaner's Flash Gordon on page 335. I wasn't thrilled by the first issue, but it wasn't terrible, and I imagine this works better as a whole.
Chuck Dixon and Gary Kwapisz team up for Civil War Adventure on page 343 from Dover Publications, which should be pretty good. If Garth Ennis can't write my war stories, I want Dixon doing it, and Kwapisz is a pretty good artist. Who doesn't love Civil War stories?
Fantagraphics offers The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood on page 350, which I will buy in one hot minute. Any chance I get to check out more of Wood's work, I will take!
On page 355, Harper Teen offers Noelle Stevenson's Nimona, which is hilarious even if you're not a teenage girl. Yes, I know you can read it on-line, but where's the fun in that?
The Outside Circle from House of Anansi Press (page 357) sounds interesting. It's about two Aboriginal brothers who are also gang members and the trials and tribulations they go through. I'll have to check it out.
Twenty-five dollars is a bit much for the hardcover of Annihilator from Legendary, but it is quite good, both with Morrison's trippy script and Irving's wonderful art, so if you can't wait for a softcover, go get it!
Rick Geary always has interesting and weird comics, but Louise Brooks, Detective sounds like it could be the weirdest of them all. It's about the actress, who returns to her home town of Wichita at some point and investigates a murder. So, yeah. This is from NBM and it's on page 362.
The final collection of Wasteland is offered from Oni on page 367. I will miss this book, but I'm glad Johnston got to see it through to the end. (15 July)
For some sad reason, Pj Perez stopped sending me single issues of San Hannibal, so I didn't find out how it ended (I have to go buy them on his web site, which I don't mind doing, but I'm just pointing out I can't say how it ended), so I can't say for sure that the trade on page 376 from Pop! Goes the Icon is worth getting. Based on the first few issues, I'm going to go ahead and say it is. The first few issues were danged good, so I doubt if it faltered down the stretch. (27 May)
Titan has Surface Tension #1 on page 391, in case you're interested. I've already reviewed this, and it's a pretty cool first issue. They also have The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane (page 392), which sounds really bizarre in a totally good way.
Finally, if you want to go waaaaaaay to the back of the book, on page 564 the Chew card game is offered. As I noted in my weekly reviews, it's a fun game that's complex but not complicated, and it doesn't last so long that you feel time slipping away from you. I know Layman doesn't need any more money (he brushes his teeth with 20-dollar bills), but if you're looking for something to play, this is a pretty good option.
That's all I have for this week. I'm sure I missed some stuff, so be sure to sound off in the comments! And don't forget to ask your retailer if he'll give you a copy of Previews for free! In the long run it will pay off for him!