Hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend. I hope Santa was good to those of you expecting him. I'm sitting here looking at my brand new bookcase to the right of my computer that I've stocked full of trade paperbacks, graphic novels, and various other books. Really helped to clean up my space a bit.
But enough looking back! Time to look forward to things that are shipping in March 2001. Remember that the only sure way to guarantee sales on your favorite items is to pre-order them from your retailer. The sooner you do that, the better off everyone is.
Here's a brief look at some items that caught my eye this month. As always, your mileage may vary.
DARK HORSE: The first book that I have to talk about is WILL EISNER'S SHOP TALK, solicited on page 31. This is an early solicitation, as the book isn't scheduled to see print until April 25. It's a 250 page book (6" x 9") composed of various interview Will Eisner did with various well-known industry talents. They talk about creative secrets, technical tricks, and throw in some funny stories along the way. Featured interviewees include (but are not limited to) C.C. Beck, Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, Phil Seuling, and Joe Kubert. This one should be pretty cool, and will set you back twenty bucks in April.
(While you're at it. Eisner's LAST DAY IN VIETNAM is also being reprinted for March. If you missed it this summer, pick it up in March. It's well worth reading.)
BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL has another collection coming out on April 19th. It's 240 pages this time, and collects eight issues. This one's titled HEART OF DARKNESS. I'll have more to say about BLADE pretty soon in this column. It's the best-looking manga I've yet read.
DC:Howard Chaykin is back writing monthly comics with AMERICAN CENTURY. He's writing and laying out this series about a 1950s societal drop-out who's having adventures all over the place. That's about as good a description as I can come up with in less than fifty words. It looks pretty cool. It's a real period piece, with (most likely) all of the paranoia and sex you've come to expect from Chaykin.
Ed Brubaker is writing an Elseworlds 64-page one-shot, setting Batman in a noir film. It's called BATMAN: GOTHAM NOIR and it looks pretty cool. Art is by Sean Phillips, who does such an outstanding and underrated job on WILDCATS.
Scott Lobdell has another oddball concept with a prestige Homage Comics one-shot called STRAY. This one's drawn by Adam Pollina, and features a girl and the stray dog she takes in. In typical Lobdellian plotting, though, this is a special dog from outer space. The hijinks cost $6 at mid-month.
IMAGE: Brian Bendis' GOLDFISH is becoming available again in "The Definitive Collection" with improved paper stock and new retrospective. It's 272 gloriously black and white pages for twenty bucks, and well worth the money. This is the book that put me in awe of Bendis when I first read it last year.
Meanwhile, The World Without Bendis begins in Todd McFarlane Productions Land with SAM AND TWITCH #20, written by Toddy Mac himself, and HELLSPAWN #8, by Steve Niles. I'll probably drop HELLSPAWN, but will definitely give SAM AND TWITCH an issue or two. Bendis has instilled such character and style into those two that I can't so easily drop them.
THE RED STAR TPB collects the series first four issues in glorious style, with 9" x 12" dimensions. This is something I suggested CrossGen should do with THE FIRST when it gets to that point, but now RED STAR has beaten them to it. The series, itself, is really well done and I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks in this extra-large format. This one is in color and runs ya $25.
IMAGE TWO-IN-ONE #1 collects the two 24 Hour Comics that Erik Larsen and Chris Eliopoulos did just a couple of months ago. The book will be in black and white, run 48 pages, and only set you back $3.
TALES OF TELLOS: MAIDEN VOYAGE is the first new issue of the bi-monthly series, written by Todd DeZago and drawn by a wide array of comics talent. The first issue features art from Frech artist, Crisse, as well as Thor Badendyck and an epilogue with new ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN artist Mike Wieringo. It's a real shame that the lackluster sales on TELLOS is forcing Wieringo and DeZago to seek other work to fund TELLOS, so be sure to pick up this book. It's the best way to ensure the series' future! (The TELLOS trade paperback is due out in February, collecting the first 5 issues of the series.)
MARVEL: Marvel leads off with DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, a noir series starring a character in a yellow costume. If it weren't for Tim Sale doing the art duties and gray washing the covers on this, I wouldn't believe it could be done. The sample pages in PREVIEWS, though, look terrific.
The last issue of GENERATION X -- number 75 -- is due out on March 14th, for those of you wishing to pay last respects. It's a double-sized issue for $3.
Marvel's featured trade paperback for March is AVENGERS: ULTRON UNLIMITED, which collects the (arguably) best storyline from the team of Busiek and Perez, AVENGERS #19-22 (plus the WIZARD 1/2 issue). $15 grabs you 112 pages' worth of story, and a pretty dramatic story, at that! While you're at it, don't forget the regular on-going series with Alan Davis' art.
EVERYONE ELSE: Drawn and Quarterly is publishing a trade collection of the first eight issues of Jason Lutes' BERLIN. Entitled CITY OF STONES, this one runs 212 pages (at 6" x 9" format) for $16. That's not a bad deal at all. I've read the first issue and enjoyed it, but have been waiting for this collection to play catch up with.
Also from D&Q is a one-shot crime comics titled THE FALL. The book is drawn by Jason Lutes and written by Ed Brubaker. It will run you $4 for 32 black and white pages, but should be pretty good, judging by the talent involved. It's easy to miss in the solicitations, so check out page 246 for the info.
Humanoids Publishing is collecting the first five issues of its surprise word-of-mouth hit, METABARONS into one trade paperback in March. This one will run you $15 for 152 full color pages. I haven't read the series yet, but am thinking of jumping on this to check it out. I love trade paperbacks. =)
If you're a CrossGen fan, they've got some special posters lined up for you. One is the first page from MERIDIAN #3, the other is a preview image Bart Sears did for THE FIRST, and the last is a reproduction of an image from SCION #6, depicting a particularly somber moment from there. All three look gorgeous and measure 36" x 24". For a look at the exact images, check out page 241.
NBM is putting out an art book featuring Michael Kaluta, who was last seen doing those gorgeous covers to AQUAMAN. This one is available in signed and numbered hardcovers for $50 or generic softcovers for half that. It's 80 full color pages at 9" x 12" size. Should be pretty to look at for those of you into the art.
Greg Rucka continues the story of Lily Sharpe of WHITEOUT fame in the pages of his new bi-monthly Oniseries, QuEEN AND COUNTRY. (See page 270 of PREVIEWS.) No, Steve Lieber isn't drawing it, which is a damned shame. Steve Rolston is doing the art duties with Tim Sale on covers. Should be an interesting series fraught with political intrigue, derring do, and spy stuff.
COMICOLOGY #3 ships in March in grand style, featuring an interview and new cover by Carlos Pacheco. It includes Pacheco's annotations for AVENGERS FOREVER. Let's hope he doesn't include too many lest Marvel shut COMICOLOGY down this time.
Graphitti Designs is soliciting for the POWERS hardcover. Limited to 750 copies, it's signed and numbered by Bendis and Oeming. It has a slipcover to it, as well. Looks like a really nice package, but you'll have to let the $70 price tag make the decision for you. Check out page 360 for full details.
That's it for this quick run through PREVIEWS. As always, I encourage you to get yourself a copy and spend the time flipping through it. You'll be amazed at the stuff that's in there that you never would have guessed, or that you wouldn't normally see on the stands.
Then come back here on Friday for some comic reviews!