Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - November 2006

Hey, it's another month, and that means it's time to dig deep through the pages of everyone's favorite comics-ordering magazine to find the hidden nuggets of four-color goodness inside!  Everyone ready?  Okay, here we go: Previews Vol. XVI, #11, with Brian Bolland's Detective Chimp on the cover!

Dark Horse:

I don't buy Usagi Yojimbo, but it reaches issue #100 on page 18 (31 January).  That's pretty cool, actually.  People tell me I should buy this title.  Maybe I'll get this one just to check it out.

Conan and the Midnight God #1 ships on 3 January (page 20).  It's a mini-series, so I will probably wait for the trade, as I do for Conan books, but I point it out because Joshua Dysart is writing it and Tone Rodriguez is drawing it.  Raise your hand if you lament the death of their book Violent Messiahs.  What a cool little comic.  With those two on board, this should be a pretty good series.

You'll notice that I did NOT buy The Perhapanauts #1 this past week.  After the last mini-series, which went horribly wrong at the end, I figured I would wait for the trade and see if people liked it before buying it.  Issue #4 is solicited on page 23 for 24 January, and I point it out only because Comic Book Resources' Augie De Blieck, Jr. has all the pull quotes for the book, including the final one, which is very funny.  See?  Even the pull quotes for this book are good!

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Chaykin and Mignola gets collected on page 28, for release on 14 March.  It's 20 bucks, but it's Chaykin and Mignola, for crying out loud!  I own at least one of these issues, but could never find the others, so I might have to get it.  I remember loving the Mignola art - who wouldn't?  I'm not Chaykin's biggest fan, but I recall liking the story well enough.

On page 30, It Rhymes With Lust is solicited, for 15 dollars and a 28 February release.  This is written by Arnold Drake of Doom Patrol fame, and sounds very interesting, especially for something written in 1950.  Does anyone know anything about it?  I may have to pick it up.


Brian did the dancing Batman with regard to the two Greatest Stories Ever Told volumes (on page 65), but does anyone own the second one?  I have the first one, plus the Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told, and I'm wondering what's in the second one.  I'd like to get it, but don't want to just get stories I've already read.  Help me, Obi-Wans, you're my only hope!

Selina's Big Score is offered again on page 66.  This is a good book.  You will like it if you get it.  It has the Burgas Guarantee™!¹

I have been resisting Busiek/Pacheco on Superman so far, but #660 (page 69, 17 January) sounds really cool.  I know Cronin likes their work on Big Blue, so I may have to dive in.

Superman & Batman Vs. Aliens & Predators #1 (page 72, 10 January) sounds like a high concept that couldn't possibly go wrong, but Olivetti's new art style leaves me completely cold.  They have a three-page preview that doesn't make me want to try the book at all.  Sad.

So the "Helmet of Fate" saga begins on pages 78 and 79, leading into "the all-new DR. FATE #1!"  I love reading these solicitation texts, because they're so hopeful.  How many times do DC and Marvel relaunch things, in the (usually) futile hope that they will sell this time?  It's fun.

On page 94, we see Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #7 (24 January).  No one mentioned this when Brian did the covers: why are they fighting Magneto?  Just wondering.

The American Way gets the trade paperback treatment on page 107 (7 February).  This is one of the best mini-series of the year so far, so if you were waiting, here it is.

Scalped (page 112, 3 January) might or might not be good, but the solicitation text is brilliant: "gambling, gunfights, G-men, Dawg Soldierz, massacres, meth labs, trashy sex, fry bread, Indian pride, Thunder Beings ..."  How can you resist????


Gødland (page 142, 31 January) costs 60 cents.  Yes, it's a recap issue, but if you haven't been buying it so far, you have no excuse to skip this.  You gave DC your dollar for Countdown to Infinite Crap, didn't you?  Don't you wish you had it back?  Your sixty cents will go further, trust me.

On page 148, The Iron Ghost trade paperback is solicited for 10 January.  Another very good mini-series you may have missed.  Chuck Dixon writing two-fisted World War II action - what's not to love?

Man, that's it for Image.  The usual suspects are solicited - Invincible, Noble Causes, and the like - but nothing new that grabs my attention or anything that, if you're not already getting it, will make you want to pick it up.  Strange.


Marvel always tries too hard in their texts.  Yes, all the companies make it sound like their products are the greatest comics ever, but Marvel does that and tries to be funny.  It's exhausting reading their solicitation texts.

On page 23, it's nice to see they finally got around to telling us that Bullet Points is about an "alternate Marvel Universe."  We could all figure it out, but it's good to have it confirmed.

Wouldn't that kid on the Heroes for Hire cover (page 29) be staring at the breasts of the leather-wearing ladies around him instead of Humbug?  I'm thinking "yes."  Al Rio does the interiors, by the way.  The only thing I know about Al Rio is he used to draw soft-core porn for Avatar.  So he's a good fit.

David Aja's art on Iron Fist gets a preview on pages 32-33.  It looks a lot like Mike Netzer's art.  That's weird.

I get really turned off by too-cool-for-school solicitations, and the one for Iron Man: Hypervelocity #1 (page 34) is one of them.  The book actually looks very neat, but the text uses "bleeding-edge technology," "insurgent mecha subculture," "supersonic jihadi LMDs" (what the hell?), "seductive viral avatars," "cyberdrug-addled roboravers," and "technoir" in the same text.  It makes my head hurt.  Nice-looking art by Denham, however.

If anyone who reads this buys Onslaught Reborn, I will personally come to your house and beat you up.  You can buy Infinite Crisis all you want, but Onslaught Reborn is the reason why uptight parents invented bonfires.

Okay, we know She-Hulk (page 47) fighting the Hulk's bad guys will kick much ass, but didn't the Hulk get shot into space, like, a year ago?  Did nobody notice until now?

People have brought up the "teenage hooker" cover of X-23: Target X #2 (page 67), but my question is: how old is she supposed to be?  This is what bugs me about Marvel and DC: lack of ages.  Don't age the characters, I don't care, but at least tell us how they are now (and will always be).  Is she in her 20s but all the artists just draw her like a teenager.  It's icky no matter what, but I'm just wondering.

Humberto Ramos is pencilling X-Men #195 (page 69).  Yuck.

Did anyone notice who is pencilling Punisher #43 and 44 (page 74)?  "Avalon's Lan Medina."  I know these guys like to promote their studios, but did he officially change his name or something?

I remember reading a book once (sorry, I can't recall which one) in which it was mentioned that a certain romance writer had the perfect romance novel name, because his first name was long and his last name was short, and therefore could be written in nice block letters on the cover and everyone would be drawn in, no matter whether the book was actually good or not.  Check out the trade paperback of Storm on page 88.  Eric Jerome Dickey's name is bigger than the title of the book.  I like giving the talent behind books more recognition, but that's a bit ridiculous.  But he has a great name for the cover of books!

Now it's off to the back of the book!

Alias offers Pistolfist: Revolutionary Warrior #3 on page 213.  The first issue just came out, and it's a pretty good read.  So you can still find it, and then order this one so you won't have to look for it!

On page 214 Alternative Comics has Red Eye, Black Eye for 20 dollars.  It's a story of a cartoonist traveling through the United States after September 11, and looks rather interesting.

I won't be buying Pirates Vs. Ninjas #1 (page 217, Antarctic Press), but I thought I'd point it out, because someone might like the goofiness of it all.  What we really need now is Superman & Batman Vs. Aliens & Predators Vs. Pirates & Ninjas.  My brain might explode from the sheer joy.

Avatar has Chronicles of Wormwood #1 on page 227, by Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows.  I'm torn.  On the one hand, Ennis can be a great writer, and although his take on religion in Preacher was anything but subtle, it was still wildly fun, and that's what he's doing here.  On the other hand, his recent track record suggests he has lost whatever charm he might once have possessed.  Burrows' art is beautiful, though.  If you haven't seen it, you should at least check it out at some point.

Boom! Studios brings us Two Guns #1 on page 240, written by Steven Grant, which means it will probably be pretty good.  It's a crime book, and Grant does those well.  However, the solicitation text makes mention of Whisper, which should have been out already.  Where the heck is it?

The Lone Ranger #5 is offered on page 250, but that's not important - if you're buying the mini-series, you're buying it, and if you're not, the fifth of sixth issues isn't going to make you get it.  The text is interesting, though - "critical praise is unanimous," it reads.  Wow.  Really?  Everyone who has written about this book loves it?  That's impressive.  I guess if you don't like it you don't read it.  But that's pretty strong wording!

Fantagraphics is bringing out two volumes of Love & Rockets, which means I will probably have to buckle down and, you know, get them.  I have always heard good things about the title (either "Palomar" or "Locas") and although that doesn't always work out for me, I have flipped through them in the bookstores and liked what I saw.  These are in chronological order, which must mean something as they're making a big deal about it.  I would imagine they're good, and they're on page 272!

On page 274, we see Lost Colony Book 1: Snodgrass Conspiracy from First Second.  It sounds quite humorous - a mysterious island in late nineteenth-century America populated by "capitalists, inventors, hucksters and freemen," who will do anything to keep the island's existence a secret.  Could be fun.  American Born Chinese is also offered, so if you haven't bought it yet (and you should), here's your chance.  Plus, you can piss this guy off, who thinks comic books shouldn't get nominated for the National Book Award because they have pictures and stuff (thanks to the Newsarama Blog for the story - you think I'm clever enough to find things like this?).

IDW has its usual offering of horror and licensed stuff (Transformers, 24), and then, on page 293, they solicit the next GrimJack trade paperback.  This is volume 6, so if you haven't been buying them, time to get shopping!  The last one took forever to come out after it was solicited, so I'm hoping they've figured out how to get it into my covetous little hands!  I love these trades.  They are truly a delight to read, despite the grimness of the subject matter.

I know you all went out and ordered Golly #1 last month, right?  Well, on page 299, Markosia is bringing us the second issue.  It includes the phrase "The charismatic preacher is secretly a demonic were-hog ..."  Sold!

Oni Press has its normal selection, including Damned #4 (get it before it skyrockets in value!) and Wasteland #6 (buy it or Antony Johnston will spit in your milk!), as well as The Leading Man trade paperback (page 309).  I skipped this because I figured I could just wait for the trade.  I think Cronin likes it, but are there any opinions on it out there?  Is it worth the 15 dollars?

A few bloggers I read have been grumpy about "extra" crap in DVDs and such, and while I'm not as grumpy, I see their point.  This George Lucas phenomenon (Lucasization?) has drifted into comics, not only with the Big Boys and the "remastered" version of Infinite Crisis (which, if DC is to be believed when it first came out, is the greatest thing since Charlemagne conquered Europe, so why did they need to change anything?), but even into the tiny presses.  This is a roundabout way of saying that one of the more entertaining mini-series of last year, Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril, is out in trade paperback from Penny Farthing Press on page 312.  It will set you back 20 dollars, but it's a very fun read.  I'm grumpy because I bought each individual issue and tried to pimp it as much as I could, for two reasons: it's good, and it needed pimping.  I know a few people checked it out because of me (they told me), and that's what all this media is for, really - I don't read every book, and neither do you, so it's nice to zip around the Internet and see if there is anything out there that might be neat.  I don't want a medal from Penny Farthing, but I would like them to not put 30 additional pages into the trade paperback that I never read!  On page 310, they proudly proclaim this.  Excuse me?  Why the hell did I buy each issue, miss one and ask the guy at the comic book shoppe to track it down for me (which he did) and tell everyone to buy it if you're just going to add 30 freakin' pages to the trade?  That just pisses me off.  If you haven't bought this, you should, because it's a fine book, but this practice will not endear me to comic book companies.  What the hell?

Tucked away in the corner of page 313 is a new printing of The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson from Rebellion.  This is a wonderful book, and you owe it to yourself to read it.  Moore's writing is stellar as usual, and Gibson's art is magnificent.

Top Shelf has a couple of interesting books coming out on page 338.  Regards from Serbia tells the story of a man experiencing the Balkan war from, basically, ground zero.  The war fascinates me, and this looks like a very interesting look at living through it (I just finished Bosnian Flat Dog, another Balkan War comic).  They also offer The Surrogates in trade.  This is another wonderful mini-series from last year, and it's something that is action-packed yet still thought-provoking.

That's all she wrote for another month.  Remember, the good comics aren't going to just come to you!  You have to go out and seek them!

¹ Burgas Guarantee not valid in Delaware, Kansas, Hawaii, or, heck, any state in the Union, or even any country on the planet (except Kiribati). It is, however, valid in the Negative Zone.  And in Captain Airstrip's reality (Earth 744).  And on Earth-X.

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