Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - October 2015

Let's dive right into Previews #325!

Travis: Page 37 has a boxed set of Plants vs. Zombies, which I believe is an app game that the kids all like? Anyway, Paul Tobin, Dustin Nguyen, and Peter Bagge are all in this, so it has a surprising amount of talent! (14 October)

Greg: Brian Wood is writing about Ninth Wave, his eco-terrorist group from The Massive (page 38). I wasn't terribly impressed with The Massive, so I'll probably skip this, but there it is!

Travis: I was wondering about this. I couldn't remember how well you liked The Massive Wood [Edit: I know, he's like a child!], but since I never got the series, I'll be skipping this. (9 December)

Page 39 has the final issue of Past Aways, which looked neat from the DHP preview story. Guess I'll be getting the big trade that's undoubtedly coming! (23 December)

Greg: Paul Tobin is writing Mystery Girl on page 40. It sounds intriguing - a girl knows everything except how she knows and what she's been doing for a decade. The art is by Alberto Alburquerque, who's been doing nice work on Letter 44. Does this mean he's off that comic?

Travis: I'm in for the trade, because this sounds like something Vertigo might have done ages ago. I do not know about Alburquerque (is he related to the American Vampire guy? Hmm, this dude's got an extra "r" in there, so probably not) on Letter 44, but from what I read of that, his stuff was good. (2 December)

Page 41 has Sherlock Holmes: Crime Alleys. Hope he meets the Waynes! (3 February)

Page 42 has Kingsway West, but I saw that was cancelled, possibly rescheduled. FYI!

Greg: I hadn't heard that. I guess we'll see! (9 December)

Travis: Heh, the quote on 43 about Paybacks misspells it "Paypacks." (23 December)

On page 44 in Dark Horse Presents, is that Trouble With Girls and Fahrenheit 451's Tim Hamilton? Cool, with Paul Levitz on a cop story!

Greg: It certainly appears to be the same dude. (16 December)

Travis: How cool is that cover for Barb Wire #6 on page 45? I'm torn on the first trade, because it's Adam Hughes covers and Pat Olliffe interiors, but it's friggin' Barb Wire and Comics' Greatest World crap. (Side story - Eddie Campbell was involved with some of the planning of CGW, and there was apparently a lengthy portion of a meeting on where to put the apostrophe in "Comics'." Oy, '90s comics by committee!) (17 February)

Page 47 has the second volume of David Chelsea's 24 Hour Comics HC. I better get to reading volume 1 finally! What I've seen of his stuff is good. I just hope the cover price doesn't suddenly jump up like it did on volume 1! (I should also mention that I STILL need to send Scott McCloud copies of my own 24 hour comics, like ... 14+ years later. Mea culpa! It's one of the rules!) (3 February)

Evan Dorkin's Eltingville Club is collected on page 48! I loves me some Dorkin, so I'm in on this. I dug the Adult Swim pilot cartoon of this too, so the afterword about that should be interesting. (10 February)

Also on page 48, we get Peter Bagge and Founding Fathers Funnies! If historical comics can't get you to dig Bagge, you're just a total heathen! Burn the witch! (24 February)

Greg: Timothy Truman and Tomás Giorello are back with a King Conan story on page 50. Those are always good! (23 December)

Travis: Page 51, where Conan is crucified, looks neat. He scoffs at your puny Jesus of Nazareth! (30 December)

Page 54 has a new Alabaster series starting. I really liked what I read of this, but surprise surprise, I got behind! I'll trade wait! (9 December)

Greg: The Spirit hardcover on page 61 (with stories from 1997) might be interesting. Have you read any of this?

Travis: Oh my god, I love this stuff! I was going to recommend it so hard! I'm tempted to get this even though I have all the issues (and 2 copies of #7, iirc!), if only for the extra Gary Chaloner story and new Eisner sketches! I almost thought this didn't actually come out until about '98 (it was from Kitchen Sink, and I distinctly remember it being very late), and I'm sure this led to Beardy McGrumpypants doing Greyshirt in Tomorrow Stories, so for that alone it's awesome. Roll call of the 8 issues - Moore and Gibbons (Watchmen reunion!) in #1, Gaiman/Eddie Campbell and Wagner/Ezquerra in #2, Moore/Daniel Torres in #3, Busiek/Anderson, Mark Schultz/David Lloyd, Allred/Oeming in #4, Paul Chadwick in #5, Ostrander/Mandrake in #6, Pope/Jay Stephens in #7, Joe R Lansdale/John Lucas in #8. And I left people out, like the Hampton bros! Best story is #3's "Last Night I Dreamed of Doctor Cobra" by Beardy, but if you look at that creator list and don't drool, there's something wrong with you! (10 February)

Page 63 has another Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service omnibus offered. I better read that brick of a thing that volume 1 is, make sure you didn't lead me astray! (17 February)

Greg: Page 69: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Insane? Insane. Why Kevin Eastman isn't more involved, I don't know, but man, that's a thing that exists.

Travis: I am going to trade wait, but yes, this sounds silly/neat. I would like to see more from Eastman than just variant covers, but those are cool too. (9 December)

Greg: Man, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner must reeeeeeeaaaallllllly like Harley Quinn (page 70).

Travis: And I reeeeeeeaaaallllllly like that cover! The regular Harley series didn't really float my boat, but I may check out this trade, if only to see, as the solicit says, which creators owe Amanda Conner favors. And hey, they're spelling her name right at least! Not everyone does! (2 December)

Greg: Batman '66 Meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (page 71) should be pretty awesome, and should be pretty awesome as a trade paperback, too!

Travis: I'm sure Hatcher is digging this! Yeah, I'm getting the trade, because for one thing, the Green Hornet crossover was merely quite good, not all out awesome. Should be cool, even though I'm not familiar with U.N.C.L.E. (I do like the album Psyence Fiction by the group Unkle, but that's ... something else). (23 December)

Page 72: Robin War! So stupid! Guess I'm dropping Gotham Academy! Yes, I know it's a tie in and not an actual part of the story, but I don't care! (2 December)

Page 77: Justice League of America has a variant cover by Joe Mad. Will he get it done in time? HA! (23 December)

Page 81 has Riley Rossmo drawing Swamp Thing in Constantine the Hellblazer. Cool. (9 December)

Greg: They cancelled Sexy Lobo (page 85)?!?!?!? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! (Okay, I'm sure it's lousy, but I'm still convinced if they had called it Sexy Lobo, it would have lasted longer.) (2 December)

Travis: I still want a Sexy Lobo/Sexy Batman book by Kate Beaton and Noelle Stevenson. I would buy it!

I'm not getting the series, but the cover of Batman: Europa #3 is really damn cool. (30 December)

Greg: Catwoman is back doing Catwoman things (page 107), which is boring and is written by Frank Tieri, so no thanks, but Inaki Miranda art. That makes it tempting!!! (9 December)

Travis: I know you already broke the news, but the end of Batman '66 (page 112) is sad. Still, an all Allred issue to end it with is awesome. (16 December)

And Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman ends with #17 (page 114). I just mentioned to my store owner that it was a total dumb move on DC's part to price the Wonder Woman digital first books (this and '77) at a higher price than the Batman '66 stuff. And you wonder why it won't sell? Guess I'll get the third and final trade of this, and this issue features Trina Robbins on writing! Yay! (2 December)

Oh nerdgasm! Why must you tempt me with the Gallery book of DKR (page 116)? $175? So pricey! So awesome! (February)

Page 119 has cool trades. Batman by Brubaker sounds neat, but his "legendary run"? He's legendary, but I dunno if the run is! "Shaman" started the original Legends of the Dark Knight series, but I don't know if this story is any good. And the Batgirl trade is the silent character, Cassandra Cain. She can sense opponents' moves before they happen. So ... she's Midnighter? This is probably good, though. (27 January, 20 January, 20 January)

Greg: "Shaman" is okay. It's more just that it's the first story of the new series than anything. It's a perfectly decent Batman story.

Travis: Page 120 has a trade of the Manapul/Buccellato run of Detective, which interested me wayyyy back when they were on the book. Now, I dunno if I still care! (6 January)

Page 121 has the Batman and Superman in World's Finest Silver Age trade, which is probably cool. Maybe not $75 cool, but still. Batmanga volume 3 of 3 is there, and I missed out on 2, but volume 1 was really good stuff. (9 March and 27 January)

Greg: I should point out that Grayson #15 is solicited in this catalog, and DC FINALLY gets around to offering the first trade in paperback (page 122). Jeebus, DC, way to drag your fucking feet! And then they offer volume 2 right next to it? Who's running the ship in the trade paperback section of DC?

Travis: Yeah, that's just weird. Granted, the HC of volume 1 was offered fairly quickly. I'm guessing it didn't do as well as they hoped, or else volume 2 would be in HC first? I liked the "Futures End" issue and I've heard good things about the series, so I may go for these. (20 January)

Ooh, I think Hatcher mentioned this, but the Showcase Presents: Batman volume 6 on 124 features some of the Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams and company on Batman. In black and white. That should be cool. (20 January)

Greg: All that Vertigo stuff is Vertigo-y. I'll let you deal with it! :)

Travis: Actually, The Sheriff of Babylon (page 126) doesn't really seem all that Vertigo-y, from the description. Maybe I'm missing something. I may go for this in trade. (2 December)

I hope New Romancer (page 127) is Good Milligan. This art by Brett Parson looks good, but I'm not seeing how/why this should be a 12 issue series. Basically it's a computer program resurrecting Lord Byron. Nice hook. (9 December)

Page 128 has Lucifer rebooted as a buddy cop book, I guess. I'm not digging the concept, but I like Lee Garbett and Holly Black is good. She did a comics series with Ted Naifeh (The Good Neighbors: Kith and Kin) that was pretty neat, so I'm wary but optimistic. I may check out the trade! (16 December)

Last Gang in Town (page 129) is a punk rock crime book by Simon Oliver and Rufus Dayglo, so I am way in (for the trade). Hells yeah! (23 December)

Man, 12 volumes and Hellblazer still isn't quite halfway through the run (page 134)! This has Ennis's return to the book. (13 January)

And do you think Kill Your Boyfriend/Vimanarama (page 134) is worth getting in a deluxe HC? Will they have the "fortune teller" thingy from one version of KYB? Did this comic or the Bis song come first? I liked Vimanarama okay from what I remember, but I have access to it, but I never read KYB. How did a book by Mr. Bond get back on the Vertigo print list? Heh heh heh!

Greg: If you already own Vimanarama, I would skip the deluxe hardcover of it and Kill Your Boyfriend. KYB is kind of Morrison in a totally self-indulgent mode, and while the art is nice, the story is just kind of there, with all the "edginess" and "coolness" but nothing much else. Vimanarama is much better, so if you don't have it yet, it's worth it, but if you do, it's not. (24 February)

Travis: Man, the Archie covers are pretty neat. I'm digging the Transformers one on 144, the Judge Dredd one on 152 (does Archie have Marty McFly's hoverboard?), Star Trek on 154, X-Files on 157, Angry Birds on 162, and the Empire one on 170. Cool stuff!

I have to check my library, but that Transformers vs. GI Joe: Tyrants Rise, Heroes are Born trade on 147 looks neat. John Ney Rieber and Jae Lee on a series set during WWII.

Greg: Man, that does sound neat. I might have to check that out!

There's a new Rocketeer comic on page 153 by Marc Guggenheim and Dave Bullock. It will look great, but Guggenheim is kind of hit or miss for me. Still, nice to see!

Travis: Yeah, I'm trade waiting because of the $4.99 price. I don't care how extra big the book is. But this might be fun.

Sweet, Super Goof in the Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade book on 159!

Page 160 has Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #726. When did Disney get him back? And by the by, howcum Marvel doesn't bring all the Disney comics stuff, like the stuff from Fantagraphics or IDW here, back in house? They made sure to get Star Wars back!

Greg: Beats me. I wonder if these contracts were signed a while ago, and they're just waiting for them to lapse. But I don't know.

Travis: Brace yourself, because it's a retailer incentive, but Popeye Classics #41 on 163 has a Kelley Jones cover. Awesome!

Greg: The Long Distance trade is on page 169 for 20 bucks (which is, I think, exactly what it would cost to get the single issues). I get my Thom Zahler romance comics in trade, so I'll probably pick this up!

Travis: Yeah, I kinda figured the trade would be the same as singles, but I like a trade! Hey, I have friends in Columbus. Hey, no, really, I have friends!

Page 171 has The Eighth Seal #1, where "one woman's visceral nightmares bleed into reality as she struggles to live in the political spotlight." Insert your own Hillary Clinton joke here!

Also on page 171 is the cool looking Brooklyn Animal Control one shot, where the criminal elite are also werewolves, and these are the social services people fighting them.

Greg: Top Shelf has a new Pinocchio, the Vampire Slayer book on page 172. Is this a series, or a one-shot? Beats me, but that's a fun series, so good for Jensen and Higgins for continuing it!

Travis: Hmm, I thought it did say it was a one shot, but maybe not. Contact Chris Staros, stat! He'll get right back to you! Well, I may go for this or the complete edition reoffered, as I think I liked it. Maybe. If I read it. It's been awhile.

Greg: "Please inquire" about the price of the Essex County Limited Edition Slipcase thing on page 173. Um, no, I will not inquire, because if you have to ask ... Essex County is, however, superb. People should read it in a format they can afford!

Travis: I got the softcover collected version, I think, last year for Top Shelf's last super groovy web sale (no more, says Staros! I have to actually order the books at regular price now!), but surprise, still haven't read it. I did read at least one of the volumes, and it was good, of course.

On page 174 is the Kickstarter I missed from Mark Texeira, A Hero's Death. I loves me some Tex art, so I probably will get this. Of course she has a boob window!!

Page 178 has a Knight Rider trade with way better writers than one would expect, and Crystal Cadets looks like a fun "girl power" type book.

That Knight Rider book does look neat. I might have to get that!

Greg: Hey, remember how Brian Vaughan swore up and down that The Private Eye would never, ever, ever be printed? And I didn't get it digitally because I thought, Yeah, right, we'll see about that. Well, on page 180, The Private Eye gets printed! How could I have known that?!?!?!?

Travis: Huh, never heard that. I was interested in this, but I don't know if I'm $50 interested, y'know? It does look purty, though! (2 December)

Greg: Matt Hawkins is writing a love story, Symmetry, on page 182. It's the old "society is perfect because there's no individuality, but you can't stop the lurve!" story, but it might be pretty keen. (9 December)

Travis: I know you had an issue with the latest issue of The Tithe, but despite that, I'm guessing that, like me, you're willing to read what Hawkins does because he's done really good stuff like Think Tank. I got Postal and The Tithe trades, and liked them quite a bit, and Wildfire was pretty neat as well. But in my quest to stop getting so many singles (and Hawkins might read better in trade, as you found out), I'll be trade waiting this one. He's even got me pondering that Lady Pendragon trade on pg 221! That's '90s Image stuff, man! My eyes still burn from that stuff! (30 December)

Greg: Hey, I have a digital copy of Black Jack Ketchum (page 186), which I ought to read and review. Gotta get on that!

Travis: Yeah, let us know if it's really as much like The Sixth Gun as it appears on the surface. HA! Kidding! Maybe a trade purchase. (2 December)

Greg: Ed Brisson is a pretty good (if bleak) writer, so The Violent on page 194, about a drug addict trying to stay clean to take care of his family, but of course that doesn't work out!

Travis: Brisson has been doing some really good stuff. I may get this in singles, maybe in trades. Not sure yet. I don't know if I want to start a series in singles when I'm trying to dump as many pulls as I can! (9 December)

It doesn't say in the solicit, but page 199's Head Lopper says #2 of 4 on the cover image. Stealth mini! (9 December)

Limbo (page 200) is suddenly a mini (but 6 issues, according to Diamond's site now). As is We Stand on Guard. Thanks for letting us know before, Image! (9 December)

Page 203: Oh, so The Fade Out is a maxi-series! (16 December)

Greg: Yeah, all these stealth mini-series are weird. I guess people buy regular series more than minis?

Travis: Also on page 203 (and 220) is the trade of Empty Zone. I don't know Jason Shawn Alexander's stuff, but it sounds interesting, and it's a 10 dollar trade for 5 issues, and I try not to pass them up!

Greg: Maybe that's the reason you can never catch up on your reading? (16 December)

Travis: The Manhattan Projects volume 6 (page 204) collects the first 4 issues of "The Sun Beyond the Stars," and I'm reading MP in trade now, so I will be getting this. Funnily enough, the listing for this on Diamond's site had that it collects 1- . Even THEY didn't know what would be in it! ("16 December")

That Phonogram cover is awesome (page 205). We got to install microwave ovens! (16 December)

Greg: Well, that's a fun cover of Chew #53 (page 207).

Travis: Loved that one too! (23 December)

On page 211, Spawn starts the Satan Saga Wars! Oh hells yeah! (30 December)

Page 218 has Blood Stain, about a woman offered a job by a mad scientist. This preview looks neat, so I assume hilarity ensues. I'm probably in. The Sejics interestingly enough have a similar art style. I like it, though! (27 January)

Greg: Starve volume 1 is on page 222. This is well worth a look.

Travis: I was trade waiting. Zezelj is interesting and does, like, real world artsy stuff! (I know, comics are real world. Gallery art, maybe is a better term.) (13 January)

Greg: Secret Wars (page 1) is still fucking going on? Jeebus.

Travis: No, really, it was ALWAYS supposed to be 9 issues! REALLY! ("23 December")

I'm not sure about the whole MJ going to Iron Man (page 2) - what possible qualifications would she have to get hired there at whatever Stark's company is now? But that variant cover is amusing. And when did she get freckles? (2 December)

A-Force is now ongoing (page 4). Women get everything! WTF happened to Dazzler, btw? (16 December)

Greg: Beats me. Once I write the X-Men, I'll change that right back!

Over/under on number of issues Frank Cho pencils of The Totally Awesome Hulk (page 6)? Three? And also - The Totally Awesome Hulk? Fucking really?

Travis: Outrage! HA! I dunno, I think this sounds interesting. Although that fauxhawk pisses me off. There's something about Amadeus! I just hope Cho banks enough moola to give us more Liberty Meadows! (2 December)

Greg: Hey, Red Wolf #1 is on page 16! Yeah, I'm not touching that one. (2 December)

After 15 years, Joey Q finally got his wish - Spidey #1 (page 18) is about teenage Peter Parker, before he was tied down to icky girls and shit. Joey Q has turned the clock back to the Sixties! Yay!

Travis: I think it's just yet another attempt by creators to replicate the original Stan and Steve stories. Which was fine with Untold Tales of Spider-Man (great series!), but just give it up. Put Nick Bradshaw on a real title! That hip hop variant is cool, too. (2 December)

Starbrand and Nightmask (page 22) - the team up no one demanded! (16 December)

Greg: I love the idea and creative team of Patsy Walker, Hellcat (page 26) ... and, as usual, I don't love the price. Trade waiting!!!!

Travis: Yeah, same here. It looks like a lot of fun, and more female led titles are a good thing. But too pricey for singles (that's ALL Marvel titles, man!) And a Sophie Campbell variant cover! (23 December)

What ... what the hell is Gwenpool (page 29), for the love of god? Why did this become a thing? And why might I buy it?!

Greg: I am trying to ignore Gwenpool's existence. I have no idea what the hell she is, but I'm going to pretend that comic doesn't exist! (9 December)

Travis: Page 34 calls the new Cable and Deadpool book "90s comics distilled down into two characters." That's for sure! (9 December)

Page 35 has an interesting Deadpool special - entirely in Spanish by people who don't speak the language. Like that Will Ferrell movie from a few years ago! (16 December)

Greg: After going to five bucks with issue #1, Ms. Marvel (page 42) confirms that I won't be back to the single issues by settling in at $3.99. Good times!

Travis: Oh, I knew that was coming for quite a while. This was the last $2.99 book they had for months, so the relaunched numbering was inevitably to be the higher price. I really loved this from the start, but it lost steam for me after a while. Got a bit ... didactic, maybe, with the conclusion of the story of that bird villain. Still good, but I can trade wait. Unless I reread the run once 19 comes out and really feel I'll miss it by waiting, that will be what I'll do. (16 December)

The solicit for All-New Hawkeye on page 56 better just be a pun because the Mandarin is involved, but people are not put through the "ringer."

Greg: Oh, you know the use of "ringer" isn't a deliberate pun, but more bad spelling by Marvel editors. So sad! (9 December)

Travis: Since I won't be getting the comics, I can at least enjoy the Hembeck variants here on pg 68! I have a picture of the man's knees on my phone. Hey, I was going to write up a con trip where I met him, and I asked to take a pic of his knees, to show they aren't all swirly like the knees of his characters! It's totally not weird!!! Even though he looked at me weird!

The big James Robinson/Tony Harris reunion is on ... a fucking C-3PO book (page 75). Why, god, why? What about that Jack Knight vs the Yakuza in Japan GN? (2 December)

On page 79, of course the black Wookiee is the bad guy. Star Wars is so racist. (30 December)

In case anyone missed it, as I believe it's been inquired around here, but Miracleman #5 (page 86) features the story from Total Eclipse #4.

Greg: I saw that thing about the latest Miracleman. I've been avoiding these issues because I already own them, but I might have to get this just for the Total Eclipse story. Grrrr!!!! (2 December)

Travis: I'm not a huge John Byrne fan, but there's an Omnibus of his various Marvel U stuff on page 91. It's got his run on Captain America, and that's a good one, so if you think you'd like the rest of it, that run justifies shelling out a lot. $125 is too much for me, though! (6 April)

Page 96 has the Ghost Racers trade, and I was sort of intrigued by that one. Depends on how spendy everything else is! (30 December)

Page 100 has the Where Monsters Dwell trade, with Phantom Eagle written by Ennis. I may go for this! (23 December)

And even though it sounds a bit dumb, I may go for the Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars trade on 101. Even though someone spoiled it in the comments of a post here on CSBG! (6 January)

Greg: I've been waiting for a trade of the new Chick Thor, so it's nice to see it on page 111!

Travis: I hate myself for the "she can lift MY hammer" line I'm throwing out here. Why did I do that? Seriously, that sounded interesting, so I may go for this, although it'll probably be at a library. (20 January)

Page 120 has the first volume of the complete Punisher MAX, so I can finally get this. I think I had a chance to get Born for cheap in back issues, but passed at the time and then it was gone, so now I should probably get this! (20 January)

Greg: What the crap is that Marvel Frontier Comics collection on page 121? It's a bunch of Marvel UK stuff, and while it can't possibly be any good (can it?), it has an amazing collection of talent. Must ... purchase ...

Travis: I'm so torn, because I'm sure those issues have been getting musty in the back issue bins of some comic shops, but it's one where the amount of time and effort it'd take to find it all would outweigh the "benefits" of having it all here in one book. What tips it for me maybe getting it is the new pinup section, but god, 40 bucks? I didn't pay that for the book on Eisner, I'd feel so bad getting this instead! (20 January)

Let's get to the back of the book!

Travis: Aazurn Publishing on page 236 has Indie Comics Magazine #10, which features a Peter Kuper story. I am tempted, because he am good. Kuper and Sergio Aragonés are 2 of the few comics people who can do wordless stories well.

Page 237 has Big Bang Universe #2 from AC. If I want to read bad knockoffs of the original Marvel characters, I'll read Marvel comics. HA!

Greg: Josh Henaman's self-published comic, Bigfoot: Sword of the Earthman, gets picked up by Action Lab on page 238. I've read all six issues of this, and it's a pretty fun pulp adventure.

Travis: I thought you'd reviewed this one, but I thought there might have been another Bigfoot book around and wasn't sure this was the one. I'll wait for the trade, but it did sound fun.

Page 240 has Jim Valentino joining Faerber and Igle on Venture #4. That just seals the deal for me getting the trade of this, as Valentino is probably my favorite of the original Image guys. Hell, without his guidance, I doubt Image would be around publishing all the cool comics it does today!

Greg: I'm pretty sure I own this; I'll have to check!

Travis: Speaking of Shadowline (slick, ain't I?), they did that book 27 that was supposed to be the next big thing (did that ever get collected?), and Action Lab does the ... exploitive? book The 27 Club on page 241. I dunno, this seems too icky a topic for me, somehow, "celebrating" the rock stars who died at age 27. It might be okay, though.

Greg: Aftershock launches on pages 246-249. Paul Jenkins and Andy Clarke on Replica, about a drunk guy making clones of himself; Insexts by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina, which is a magic story set in Victorian times; Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Rafael De Latorre on Super Zero, about a superhero-obsessed 19-year-old who tries everything to gain powers; and Dreaming Eagles by Garth Ennis and Simon Coleby, which is a Garth Ennis war story. Am I waiting for the trades? Of course I am! (2, 9, 16, and 30 December)

Travis: Yeah, trades for me too. Where was Mike Marts formerly? Was he at both Marvel and DC? It sounds like they've got good comics coming, but I wonder what will make them unique, since they're not doing anything different than, say, Oni or Image or DH or Boom, except not doing licensed books. So far. I am in for trades for all of these, except maybe the Dreaming Eagles one, which I thought I saw somewhere in the book was a one shot. I can't figure out where it said that, though! It is a 32 page book where the others are 24 pages, though.

Greg: Mike Marts was a DC editor, of the Batman books for a while. I don't know if he was at Marvel.

Steve Niles has Monster World on page 250 from American Gothic Press, which is a "supernatural noir" story.

Travis: Of course it is! And damn, Piotr Kowalski's everywhere! Maybe that's why I can't order Sex this month!

I thought you mentioned the Sherlock Holmes: Steam Detective books before, but I dunno if you got them. A trade is offered on 252 from Antarctic, and I may go for it.

Alternative Comics (page 254) has Ink Brick, which is comics poetry. I assume they'll eventually be reprinting Street Poet Ray.

They've also got Magic Whistle volume 3 #1, which is a #1!!!! It must be new and different then, right?! Sam Henderson is good, so I'll probably be getting this, plus there's a Peter Bagge story.

On page 255, Arcana has Doing Time GN, which sounds like a time travel thing, so you won't like, but me likee, and it sounds like a prison break where time itself is after the escapees? Maybe? Also from them is Worth HC, where a dude controls machines in '60s Detroit. It's reoffered, and I thought you might have gotten it? I dunno, Arcana can be slow at releasing stuff, so maybe it never shipped?

Greg: No, I never got this. I'm always a bit leery of Arcana's stuff, but that does sound interesting.

Travis: Page 256 has the first "trade" of the new Waid/Staples Archie, with 3 issues for 10 bucks. I will probably get this, and if it doesn't have all the covers in there, I'll be highly disappointed. Don't disappoint me, Archie, you red-haired freak! Betty and Veronica oughta just drop him and get together. There's your reboot!

Greg: Archival Press on page 260 has Charles Vess's first comic, The Horns of Elfland. This is "offered again," but I missed it the first time around, so I'll have to order it this time!

Travis: Yeah, I will probably go for this as well. He's good, and maybe his self published series from the '90s (Book of Ballads and Sagas, I think) can be collected!

Page 260 also has ARH Comix with Queen of Vampires. Not, as you might guess from the company name, a pirate book. ARH!

And also on 260 Big Planet/Retrofit has Steven Weissman's Butter and Blood GN. I've liked his stuff ok, but I really like the idea of Guns and Roses opening a deli!

Greg: Lola XOXO is collected in a trade on page 261 from Aspen. I got the first issue of this, and it's pretty good - a Mad Maxine type traveling across the post-nuclear American wasteland - so I figured I'd wait for the trade. It took them long enough!

Travis: Yeah, it's weird, Aspen doesn't seem to do trades very much. I was totally waiting for this trade as well, but it did seem like it was forever ago! Glad you liked it!

I dunno if you were getting the Avatar Ennis War Stories series, but the first trade of that (volume 3 of the series) is offered on 264.

Greg: I think you said that Anne Bonnie was pretty good, and on page 272, we get a trade from Blue Juice Comics. What say you, Pelkie?!?!?!?

Travis: Unless the book got way worse after the first 3 issues, I highly recommend this one. A young girl steals a magical pirate ship and the art's got a bit of manga style to it, but nothing too overpowering. I see that issue 6 comes out this week, so I should be able to read this arc and let you know in the comments later this week!

Blue Juice also has The Accelerators volume 2: Momentum. I liked volume 1 more than I thought I might, and while the first mini didn't really conclude, it was still pretty good. I got the singles of this, but haven't read any of them yet. I think I just got #4 last week, but good god, I can't even remember that far back already!

Also on 272, Bongo has Grampa Simpson's "Choose Your Own Adventure" Adventure, which sounds amusing, and even better, the art's by Hilary Barta and Andrew Pepoy.

Greg: Boom! has Snow Blind on page 276, about a kid who finds out he's in the Witness Protection Program when he posts a photo on Facebook. Now people are trying to kill his family. I hate when that happens. Am I waiting for the trade of this? You bet I am!

Travis: Me too. Haven't read The Kitchen yet (um, did the trade come out yet? I don't even know! [Edit: No, it did not]), but Jenkins was okay on the art on what I read of Peter Panzerfaust (even if the story was bleh). Great concept. Proves I'm right when I don't do the Facebook that the kids all seem to like!

Venus on 278 might be a neat trade. Especially if you listen to the Shocking Blue song while you read it!

Hey, a new Boom! Box Mix Tape book on 280. With a new Lumberjanes story that won't be in any of the trades, apparently! (Still ... bitter ... over ... Lumberjanes ... HC!)

Greg: Evan Dorkin's Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Comic Book Archive shows up on page 283 for $35. Dorkin is a fine creator, so this might be fun. I assume someone out there already owns the stuff in here!

Travis: I don't have all of them, but I do have some of these issues. It's Evan Dorkin, so it's good stuff! I know SLG reprinted this stuff a while back, and of course it was a Marvel book originally. It's been all over the place!

I may go for the Feathers HC on 285. Did you get this? It sounds like a neat Dickensian superhero-y kinda thing.

Greg: I didn't get it. It looked okay, but not enough to dazzle me.

Travis: Page 295 has Chapterhouse with another collection of Canadian comics. Northguard Compendium features some Canadian superhero stuff done by Mark Shainblum, Gabriel Morrisette (I've always wondered if he's related to Alanis), and Bernie Mireault. I have a soft spot for this stuff, so if I dig out what I have and take a look, I may get this. I'm hoping they also collect Mireault's stuff from MacKenzie Queen and The Jam! Those would be awesome!

Also from Chapterhouse, page 296 has with Pitiful Human Lizard, which I've been getting (well, the first issue is all that's out so far!). Issue 1 was okay, although it had a great moment that made it much better of a book in my eyes (not spoiling it, though!). Spirit Leaves looks strange, and it's about an albino deer girl and a wolf boy on a mystical quest. It says it's quarterly, so the trade will take forever to come out, but it's got 2 covers, which usually causes me to lean towards trade waiting!

Greg: ComicMix has The Whisper Campaign (page 297), which is the trade paperback of Whisper #3-11, also known as the Norm Breyfogle issues. I'm not sure how buying this helps Breyfogle (the solicit claims it does), but if it does, it's certainly worthy. I'm torn about this - I already own these issues, but I want to give some money to help Breyfogle recover from his stroke. I'm TORN!!!!!

Travis: Well, if you want to give him money, I think there was some sort of fund set up for him. I am too lazy to search for it, because I don't have these issues, and I missed this Kickstarter, so I'll be ordering this one, I think, so that's how I'll help! I gave at the comic store!

Greg: Yeah, I donated some money to Breyfogle already, but every little bit helps, especially if I get comics out of them!

Travis: I still haven't read the last issue, but the first few issues of The Standard from ComixTribe were very good stuff (even if the story of a retired superhero's death and how he was inspirational has been done before), and it led me to getting John Lees's next book after this, And Then Emily Was Gone (which I think I also didn't read the last issue of yet. Maybe I should read these things and not just buy them all the time!), and that was really good. Dunno if 35 bucks for the HC (page 297) is necessarily worth it, as it doesn't seem to indicate any special bonus material, but it's a good book.

Page 298 has Creature publishing something called Burnt Comix, about a dog trying to find a creative way to commit suicide. Could be morbidly funny!

Greg: Seduction of the Innocent (page 302, Dynamite) sounds kind of neat - an FBI agent is trying to figure out who's brutally murdering crime bosses in 1963 San Francisco - and Ande Parks is a pretty good writer, while Esteve Polls isn't my favorite artist, but he's not bad, either. Will I wait for the trade? Most likely!

Travis: I too will wait for reviews. I wish someone (CBLDF, maybe?) would reprint the original Wertham book of this title! (2 December)

Greg: Terminal Hero gets a trade on page 311. This comic was ... okay. It's not Bad Milligan, but it's not quite Great Milligan, either. It's wacky, though, which might be enough for you!

Travis: I sure hope it collects issue 6 as well, or else people will be mightily disappointed! (It says it only collects 1-5!) I got this in singles. What a surprise that I didn't finish reading it, right? I think I read the first 3 issues, and it was decent. Nekkid people, as I remember. And sex. Nekkid sex. (16 December)

I don't know why it amuses me as much as it does, but the new novel Shaft's Revenge on page 311 (which I'm sure Hatcher will dig, as it's by the same dude that wrote the comics mini) is solicited for February, and the solicit makes sure to include the fact that it's Black History Month! That shouldn't be so funny to me! (February)

Greg: Silver volume 2 shows up on page 314 from Dark Planet. This is a heist comic set in the world of Bram Stoker's Dracula (except it takes place in the 1930s), and volume 1 is re-offered right below it. I haven't read volume 1 yet (I'm far behind!!!!), but it looks pretty neat.

Travis: I was going to ask you if you'd gotten volume 1. I may just bite (haha, get it?) the bullet and order both. It does look neat-o.

Greg: Jason Yungbluth has Peek! on page 314 from Death Ray Graphics. Yungbluth, of course, gave us Weapon Brown, in which Charlie Brown roamed a post-apocalyptic wasteland kicking ass, so I'm definitely looking forward to this.

Travis: I met the dude at a con, bought his Deep Fried comics, and got Weapon Brown from my retailer, and still haven't read any of it! (notice a theme?) He was a pretty cool guy, and I've liked his strips in Mad magazine (yeah, I still read it!). He even made a Hitler joke when I talked to him. I don't remember it exactly, but it was crude, vile, and disgusting. That's why I gave him my money for his comics!

Also on page 314 is Lives from the Fillbachs from Devil's Due/First. I like those "links between unrelated people" stories, but this seems a bit pricey for a 28-page book (also, how in depth can the story be? 28 pages? That's nothing, page-wise!)

Greg: Lives is pretty skimpy for 7 bucks. I won't spoil how the people are connected, but it's kind of neat.

I never read Warp, but it's collected in a 30th-anniversary edition on page 316 (also from Devil's Due/First). Any opinions?

Travis: Ugh. What very little I've read, and it was quite a while back when I had even less critical faculties than I do now, I did not like at all. Very talky/dramatic/expository dialogue (it was a stage play, after all), with complicated interstellar ... stuff. From what I remember. Like a more boring Dreadstar, maybe? I have to dig out the couple of Warp issues I have and see if it's as bad as I remember. The costumes for the ladies are interesting, though, I think. In space, they only have floss for garments!

Also on that page, there's a neat-sounding series starting called Witchfinder General, with haunted Amish farmhouses and the ghost of Ben Franklin. Sounds trade-worthy!

Greg: Carl Potts's Last of the Dragons is on page 325 from Dover Publications. Here's another old comic I haven't read. Any opinions?

Travis: I think I've seen a chapter or two in the old issues of Epic Illustrated that I have. Nothing I remember as great, but nothing awful either. I hope Dover picks up a lot more old Epic things. Steelgrip Starkey, or whatever that one was. Timespirits. Toadswart. Maybe a new edition of The Sacred and the Profane!

Greg: Fantagraphics offers The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood once again on page 332. Maybe it will come out this time!

Travis: Yeah, I saw something about there being expanded chapters, or something, so maybe they needed to do some more work on it. I probably won't end up leaving it on my list, but I'll wish for it from Santa, maybe! That page also has the latest Love and Rockets New Stories and Richard Sala's new book Violenzia, and I like his stuff. There's more of it on 333 as well.

On page 338 is 451 Media Group, with what might be the most awesome book this month, Humbug. A 5-issue mini-series (i.e., I'll get the trade) about Ebenezer Scrooge becoming a paranormal investigator. I hope it's done well enough to live up to that great premise!

Page 347 has a new book from Heavy Metal, Interceptor, from Donny Cates, the writer of Buzzkill, Ghost Fleet, and The Paybacks, Donny Cates. Earth as SF vampire battlefield. Might go for the trade!

Greg: Humanoids offers Different Ugliness, Different Madness on page 348. I got this probably a decade ago, when DC was still partnered with Humanoids, and loved it. I also read a post on a blog that used my endorsement of it as a jumping-off point to go on about how terrible it was. Different strokes, people. But I still love it!

Travis: Ooh, cool. I was definitely interested in this one, so if you recommend it highly, it will be high on my list.

Page 354 has Knockabout's Hot Jazz with Max Zillion and Alto Ego GN from Hunt Emerson. I've read some of this that I saw in old copies of the Knockabout anthology from, I guess, the '80s, in copies I got from ... I think a Tower Records in the Boston area. Anyway, Emerson is good, and while I still have to read the Calculus Cat trade I got (I know, I know!), I'll probably go for this. Cool guest creator pinups, too!

Page 358 has The Joshua Run from Lion Forge. A robin hood type hacker finds out TOO MUCH and has to go on the run with a sarcastic FBI agent (is there any other kind?). Sounds neat.

Also on page 358, from Locust Moon, we've got a one shot called Prometheus Eternal. Look at that creator line up! G-Mozz, Billy the Sink, Paul Pope, Dave McKean, David Mack, Farel Dalrymple ... I'm totally in! This I can afford!

Magnetic Press on page 359 features A Glance Backward, where an 11 year old boy is pulled into the walls of his own home, and comes of age. I assume he meets Joe the Barbarian.

Greg: That was solicited many months ago. Maybe it will come out this time!

Travis: One Peace Books has Thieves and Kings volume 1 from Mark Oakley (page 360). I'm not sure what all it covers, and it's a bit "D&D" for my tastes, but Oakley was one of the self publishers inspired by Dave Sim, so that's where I've heard about his stuff. I have a number of these issues. I like what I've read of this book. Kinda manga-ish, combines text chunks with comics, fantasy world setting. Decent stuff.

Man, I was waiting for the trade of Kaijumax (from Oni on page 363), and hot damn, it's a 10 dollar trade! YAY! Zander Cannon doing giant monsters in prison! So cool! But bah, "season one"! It's not TV, dammit! (24 February)

Greg: Oni also has a new (10th anniversary) printing of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, Jamie Rich's and Joëlle Jones's terrific graphic novel, on page 366. It's very neat! (10 February)

Travis: Thought you liked it. I may go for it!

Greg: Overground Comics has a new book, Graduate (page 367), in which a young woman wants to live a normal life but can't because the world has found out that she's invincible. It sounds like fairly standard superhero comic, but Celia Calle draws it, and Celia Calle is awesome, so I might have to get this.

Travis: Yeah, this sounds good, and I know the name, but can't think of what she's done. Also from the same company, Absent Captain, another standard (or "Standard") superhero book, with a murdered superhero. The Standard, Old Wounds, Plutona, now this? Stop killing your superheroes, indie books!

Greg: Celia Calle has done a lot of covers - she did the covers for The Names, that Milligan Vertigo book, for instance - and she did an issue of Madame Xanadu when Wagner was doing the "senses" arc. She's also drawn a bunch of cartoons for Penthouse. They're ... about what you'd expect!

Travis: Ah, The Names. That trade cover is good. I'll have to look for the Penthouse cartoons at some point!

Page 370 has Spook from Red 5, where the CIA wants to use ghosts as spies, but someone beats them to it. I want to trade wait, but I'm not sure how good Red 5 is on getting trades out.

Also on 370, from Renegade Arts is Underworld, from Lovern Kindzierski and GMB Chomichuk, whose Infinitum Time Travel Noir I still haven't read! Anyway, it's a dude escaped from a mental asylum hallucinating that he's in the Odyssey. Uh oh! If I read Infinitum and like it, I may go for this!

Greg: Yeah, I haven't read Infinitum yet, either. I suck!

Travis: Also on page 370 (damn!) is Robot Paper's trade of Henchmen, which sounded like an amusing look at henchmen. It's 7 issues worth for 15 bucks, so that's a decent deal!

I should be meeting the creator of Scout's Henchgirl at a local con soon (before the orders from this book are due, I think), so I may get the first issue(s) from her and check this out. Sounds like an amusing look at hench-women! (Is there an echo in here?)

Page 372 has books from Seven Seas that sound interesting. My Monster Secret has a high school dude that can't lie who meets a vampire girl and has to try to keep it a secret. Orange: the Complete Collection (volume 1 of 2) is about a teen girl who gets a letter from her 27 year old self telling her to keep an eye on the new transfer student. Hijinx, I assume, ensue. Maybe our pal Seth can tell us about these? Also from Seven Seas on page 373 is The Testament of Sister New Devil, where a dude's new stepsisters are demonic, and try to enslave him, but they get turned into his slaves. More hijinx ensue, I assume.

Greg: Titan has the first volume of Mandrake the Magician: The Sunday Strips on page 396. It's 40 dollars, but it might be worth a look. On page 397, Surface Tension is offered in trade for 20 bucks. The final issue hasn't shipped (it's out on Wednesday!), but so far, it's a pretty cool comic.

Travis: Yeah, I'm sort of interested in Mandrake. I'm definitely in for Surface Tension, as the ad says it has extras, and your review made it sound interesting. The Troop isn't a new concept (I think there's a Giant Size book from 40 years ago where "across the planet and unknown to each other, a group of troubled teenagers lead lives of quiet desperation" and then are brought together. By a bald dude.), but if the reviews are good, maybe I'll get the trade.

Page 399 has a few from 215 Ink that sound neat. A new printing of Enormous TP volume 1, which is now 15 bucks instead of the 10 that I think it was before. Giant monsters and post apocalypse and stuff. Angelica Tomorrow has an alcoholic paraplegic (John Callahan?) and an amnesiac cyborg team up. By David Liss, who wrote that cool run of The Spider from a few years back. And Flutter has art from Jeff McComsey, who does FUBAR stuff, and it sounds like Firestarter meets Ranma 1/2. All maybes for me!

Greg: Flutter is just okay, in my book. It's not bad, but it's not great, either.

Travis: I wish Valiant had offered the Doctor Mirage trade again when offering this new series on page 404. There's a Colleen Coover variant cover on 405 for the new book that ... just doesn't look like good stuff from her. Maybe it's the "painted" coloring? (23 December)

Greg: I don't know, I dig it. Let the people decide!!!!

Unity #25 (page 409) is an all humor issue, and I'm sure Our Dread Lord and Master will be getting it for the Michael Kupperman art. I may just wait for the trade of this, but damn, that's a good lineup. I'd like to point out that Rafer Roberts self publishes a comic called Plastic Farm that I was really impressed with ... ages ago. I need to dig that out and reread it! So weird! So awesome! (9 December)

On page 427 from Z2 is Allen Son of Hellcock, which is a great title. A reluctant barbarian might be amusing. I'll trade wait, though!

In the books section, page 437 has a book - Batman's Dark Secret - written for young readers by Kelly Plunkett and drawn by Jon J Muth. Ooh. He must make mad cash compared to what he made in comics with his children's books. Was that issue of Global Frequency the last comics he did, I wonder?

And it looks like, since there's nothing else too egregious or interesting in the back, that my last word will be about the mini bust on 499. How can you call a statue of Jessica Rabbit a mini bust, amirite? HA!

Finally, Travis mentioned something about having a beard, so we decided to have a "beard-off." The minute I saw his, I knew I had lost, but I'll still post our pictures side by side and let you decide.

Tell us what you think in the comments, if you feel like it. Of course, the question is moot, as I shaved the beard last weekend. I yield the field!

Have fun diving into the catalog this month. As I've been doing, I tinkered with the format, so sound off about that, too!

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