Pipeline, Issue #412


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It's hard to believe we're looking at books scheduled to ship in July already, isn't it? I can also remember a time when this would be a particularly big launch month for the Big Two publishers, as they try to get their ducks in a row for convention season and the kids being out of school. Right now, these listings almost seem anticlimactic. All the announcements of company-wide crossovers have already been made. Most are already starting in April, and it feels like we've been talking about them since last summer. DC has the Frank Miller/Jim Lee Batman and Robin book, I suppose.

Maybe it's not that the solicitations are sparse, but that I'm numb to the whole process by now.

As always, this won't be a complete look at all the interesting things in comic shops in a couple of months. For starters, it's focused just on the trades and graphic novels. There's always more than what I have the time and patience to discuss here. Click on over to the Pipeline message board to discuss more about what you're looking forward to.

Now, let's get to the PREVIEWS catalog:

The opening page carries an ad for ARMY OF DARKNESS plushies. The sad thing is that their likenesses are better than the ones used on the SERENITY action figures. Ditto the Faith figure from BUFFY, who just looks constipated.

The COWBOY BEBOP figures on page 11, though, look pretty cool. It even includes a Julie action figure. Wow. I don't collect toys, having no place to display them, but I'm slightly tempted here.

DC gives us the ABSOLUTE BATMAN: HUSH edition. This should give pause to anyone thinking of buying Jim Lee's current SUPERMAN run in its two hardcover volume form. (Volume two is solicited this month.) Maybe if we wait another year or two, there'll be another ABSOLUTE edition for that. In the meantime, this one gives us the entire 12-issue "Hush" mini-series in glorious oversized hardcover format, plus a sketchbook and "running commentary" from the creative team. Say what you will about the story, but the art was nice to look at.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE DELUXE EDITION is offered again as a "Star of the Month" selection. I only mention it here because I received my copy of the book last week, and am annoyed by Chip Kidd's oh-so-precious cover design that features half a dust jacket on it. Sometimes, it's design for the sake of pretentious design, folks.

Wasting no time, NIGHTWING: YEAR ONE gets traded for July 27th. While it's an entertaining story from Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty with nice art from Scott McDaniel, it's nowhere near as involving as their BATGIRL or ROBIN "Year One" projects. It's still worth a read for fans of the character or those creators, though.

PROMETHEA fans can be happy with the final two solicitations in DC's non-Vertigo section this month. The PROMETHEA COVER BOOK that was solicited earlier as part of the special variant edition of the last issue can now be had on its own. It's only $6 for all the covers in a 48-page book. It includes an essay from artist J.H. Williams III on creating those images.

Also, PROMETHEA Book Five is the final hardcover collecting the series, including the wacky poster-like final issue. There is some talk on-line of an ABSOLUTE edition of this book, but I think that's mostly a dream right now. You never know, though. . . (Thanks, ADD, for pointing out that chatter in the first place.)

From Vertigo, we have new editions of 100 BULLETS and Y THE LAST MAN.

At Image, BODY BAGS: FATHER'S DAY #1 (of 2) makes me feel really old. I remember this story when it first came out, and still have the issues in one of these boxes around here. But we're a good two generations of readers after its initial release, so it's time for an all-new edition. That brings me to what I don't agree with in this release. Why do this as a two 48-page issue mini-series at $6 a pop? Why not finish it all in one new trade paperback and just charge the $12 or $13 it would cost? I hope they don't decide to collect the two books together into one thicker volume for Christmas, throw an extra couple of sketch pages in it, and try to get me to buy it again.

HELLSHOCK: THE DEFINITIVE EDITION finally brings Jae Lee's artistic masterpiece to a close. I'm happy about this. I see some people across the 'net complaining that they'll have to rebuy the whole thing to read the last 22 pages. Putting out a single issue on its own would do nothing, though. Nobody would buy it. Sales wouldn't merit it. I have the original issues sitting around here somewhere, too, but I'm more than happy to pay for a nice hardcover collection with everything in one neat place. The trade is $20. The hardcover is $50. This is being done through Dynamic Forces, so take the July 27th release date with a huge grain of salt.

ARCANUM is a new trade paperback that should appeal to Brandon Peterson's fans. This is the series he did at Top Cow a few years back. All eight issues of the series plus the typical bonus stuff can be had for just $17.

Marvel unleashes another raft of trade paperbacks in July, including one or two that I had been waiting for to jump into a series. Specifically, NEW AVENGERS Volume 1 collects the first six issues of that series. I read the first issue, but decided that I'd rather read the Bendis-penned stories in bigger parts than merely 22 pages.

If you haven't been reading Ed Brubaker's NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA, there's a trade paperback collecting his series with amazing art from Steve Epting (with Michael Lark). This is one of the best takes on the character I've ever read, up there with some of Mark Waid's run and some of Mark Gruenwald's. I'm holding out hope for a hardcover at the end of its first year, though I get the feeling that it's a bit of a long shot.

If you want to keep up with the fate of Wanda the Scarlet Witch, go back to John Byrne's original AVENGERS WEST COAST storyline. VISION QUEST collects issues #42-50 of that series for $25. Those are about the only issues of AWC that I ever read, because I was a big Byrne fan at the time. Don't remember much about them, anymore.

COMBAT ZONE: TRUE TALES OF GI'S IN IRAQ is now going straight to the trade paperback in July, with a $20 price tag. Still written by the left wing comic fanbase's favorite boogeyman, Karl Zinsmeister, it's drawn by Dan Jurgens.

AiT/PlanetLar brings us SEAL TEAM SEVEN, a new graphic novel promising a clash between the U.S. Navy and -- the lost island of Atlantis. That's a high concept that works for me. Zack Sherman and Roberto de la Torre are listed as creators.

Devil's Due Publishing gives us Chuck Dixon's hidden gem, BREAKDOWN. This is the first collection of the series about a superhero who loses everything and changes into a dark vigilante. The solicitation is very careful not to say how many issues the book covers. It's $15 for 144 color pages, which would seem to indicate 6 issues.

Disney Press comes out of left field to present us with TIM BURTON'S NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS MANGA trade paperback. Retelling the entire movie in one 176 page black and white volume, Disney presents the story in a manga style. Given that the original movie is probably more popular in Japan than here, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch. It's yours for only nine bucks.

Fantagraphics moves on to the next serial from Barry Windsor-Smith's failed STORYTELLERS series. This time, it's a FREEBOOTERS collection, again done up in oversized hardcover format for just $30. This includes the completed story from the never-published tenth issue, plus 50 pages of new story.

IDW wastes no time in giving us the third volume of THE LEGEND OF GRIMJACK for just $20. It collects issues 8 through 14 of the original series.

From Nite Owl Comix we get the almost-inevitable collection of all of Frank Cammuso's comics so far, MAX HAMM: FAIRY TALE DETECTIVE, Volume 1. The trade is 204 pages, which should be just enough for the original Hamm story as well as its three issue follow-up, and lotsa extras. It's $15, but well worth it if you like occasionally punny humor served up with attractive art.

For those of you looking to take up a new language, all seven volumes of SIN CITY are being released in Spanish this July. That includes ESE COBARDE BASTARDO (which I think was also an episode title on THE SHIELD this season, no?), VALORES FAMILIARES, and IDA Y VUELTA AL INFIERNO.


This is the segment each month to look at the Previews cancellations list to see which companies are selling out, canceling out, or heading out of business. It's a tedious thing to read through, but that's why you have me. I live to serve.

A.D. Vision suffers from a lot of cancellations. I haven't been following the trials and tribulations of the anime/manga market too much lately, but I know there have been rumblings. But, wow, A.D. Vision has 45 items listed this month. One item is "sold out." The other 44 are listed as "Cancelled by Publisher." Those look to be all DVD items.

Central Park Media has a list that's even longer, but much more diverse. It's split fairly evenly between "Cancelled by PREVIEWS" and "Product Line cancelled." This looks to be all manga, not DVDs.

If you're a gaming fan and can't wait for the next bit from Wargods of Aegyptus, then I'm here to crush you. More than a dozen items in that line are listed as "late."

DC Comics has sold out of an awful lot of things, mostly Batman "Hush" action figures. Please muffle your wails of disappointment. You're embarrassing yourself.

DreamWave has four listings that, like Central Park Media, fluctuate between a PREVIEWS cancellation and a "Product Line cancelled" item numbering.

Dynamic Forces is still late on a lot of stuff, but swears that AMERICAN FLAGG! is coming soon.

Image has cancelled the listing for FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER, Volume 1 trade paperback. Guess the pre-order numbers weren't too good there.

Marvel has sold out of a few things, but nothing eyebrow-raising.


The Pipeline Podcast returns this week, and I'm hoping to be back on my feet long enough to get some reviews done for you next week. Keep your fingers crossed

Over at Various and Sundry: Lots of AMERICAN IDOL stuff. Apple releases Tiger. H2G2 hits the big screen at #1. Daylight Savings expands? And monetary origami.

The Various and Sundry DVD Podcast continues to look at the week's DVD releases, every Sunday afternoon. Those of you with a podcasting program can subscribe to it right here. Shownotes are posted each week on Sunday afternoon.

All political discussions have been pushed off to one neat side at VandS Politics.

You can e-mail me your comments on this column, or post them for all the world to see and respond to over on the Pipeline Message Board.

More than 500 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They're sorted chronologically. The first 100 columns or so are also still available at the Original Pipeline page. I haven't had that account in years, but they've yet to delete the page space. Go fig.

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