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Pipeline2, Issue #111: October Previews

PREVIEWS PART TWO

Continuing my flip through PREVIEWS, I arrive at the "back half" of the catalog:

AIT/PlanetLar lets Brian Wood loose again this October. This time it's an 88 page graphic novel called COUSCOUS EXPRESS. The promo art and story description is just wacky enough to get me to read it, despite my disappointment with CHANNEL ZERO. Wood writes and Brent Weldele draws. Click on the link above or go to PlanetLar's web page for a full description and look at the series.

On page 246, Cartoon Books solicits for Yet Even More BONE action figures. But this time – it's a game! When you buy a box, you don't know which PVC figure is in it. There are six different figures in total, including one that is described as "Super-rare." The figures are $2.50 each. Doesn't that sound like fun? Nah, doesn't sound fun to me, either.

I've also finally made the move with BONE to skip the bi-monthly issues and just read the collections. I realized this was the way to go when I picked up the latest hardcover, GHOST CIRCLES. It dawned on me that I hadn't read any of the issues it collects yet. When that kind of "hold off until later" attitude sets in, it's time to consider the shift to trades. I'm doing the same with THE AVENGERS and RISING STARS, also.

Alan Moore's take on GLORY is being resurrected again. For those with long memories, you might remember the outrage at the GLORY #0 that Awesome put out a couple of years ago shortly before one of their bankruptcy interruptions. It had all of eight pages of story (with beautiful Brandon Peterson art) and then a lot of fluff in it. This time around, Avatar is starting with a 16 page black and white GLORY PREVIEW issue for two bucks with Marat Mychaels art and a lot of behind the scenes stuff. Why am I not excited? I think I'll just stick with PROMETHEA, thanks.

I reviewed TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD here yesterday. I didn't realize how long we had to go before it hit comic shops. It's solicited on page 252 of this edition of PREVIEWS. So unless you catch Tom Beland at SPXPO in Bethesda, MD next month, you're in for another couple more months of waiting. Rest assured, it'll be worth it.

Meanwhile, CrossGen hits issue #17 in October with its main lineup of comics, while debuting its most promising title, RUSE. With some amazing artwork from Butch Guice, Mark Waid tells the story of a Victorian-era detective. It's completely unlike the other books coming out from CrossGen right now and should prove easily accessible to new readers. (Of course, all of CrossGen's books do a good job of standing on their own, but it can be tough to convince people of that at this point.)

On page 268, Dork Storm Press is releasing LIVIN' LA VIDA DORKA, a 160 page trade collecting all of John Kovalic's DORK TOWER comic strips from the gaming magazines they originally appeared in.

In case you missed it, also, PVP #1 is going back to press for a second printing. Scott Kurtz's PVP is aimed more towards computer gamers, but is easily accessible by comics fans, as well.

[PVP #2]The second issue of PVP is now out, as well. The issue is an affectionate tribute to the world of Jack Kirby-style superheroes. It combines many of the clichés of the spandex set with the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the gaming set. Funny enough, it works. Superhero parodies are a dime a dozen, and many of the pokes at the genre in this book have already been done to death. Viewing them through the filter of a gamer, though, is to see them in a brand new light.

The issue leads off with a beautiful pin-up (in full gray tones) from Brandon Peterson of the super-hero version of Jade. The following 13 pages of story take the reader through a gaming situation where all of the genre's weak spots get poked, with one or two sharp jabs back at the gaming community. One thing is for sure: It's affectionately done to both sides, without being snide or above-it-all. That's a big part of what makes the humor so funny. You don't feel the weight of political pride on the line here. It's just a good time being had by all.

It doesn't stop there, either. There's a hilarious G.I. Joe PSA parody right after the story, and a Hostess ad parody on the inside back cover in full color. Inbetween all of that is a reprint of 5 pages' worth of the PVP on-line comic strip wherein Skull runs away and a giant panda attempts to eat Brent. Blizzard Entertainment and Ultima On-line get little jabs in this sequence and, I think, become the punchlines of the funniest gags in the sequence.

This isn't a series with carry-over continuity from issue to issue, so don't worry about not reading the first issue already. You can jump in here. The water's fine.

HAMMER OF THE GODS may have come to its conclusion this week with its fourth issue, but that's not stopping Michael Avon Oeming! A special fifth issue of the four issue mini-series is due out now in October. This isn't without precedent, mind you. THE TRANSFORMERS started off as a four-issue comic book mini-series and just kept going. Douglas Adams' HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY trilogy soon branched out to five books. (The dust jacket on the last book referred to MOSTLY HARMLESS as "the book that gives a whole new meaning to the word trilogy.")

Mighty Gremlin solicits for the eighth issue of ELECTRIC GIRL, as well as the cute Blammo plush figure that you can't help but fall in love with when you see it at a convention.

My new favorite publisher, NBM, is coming out with BONEYARD #4 in October. This one brings the first story arc to a conclusion. I can't recommend Richard Moore's series enough. If there's one series I want to evangelize for, this may be it.

Jimmy Gownley's AMELIA RULES! reaches its third issue. For $3, you can't ask for a more all ages friendly comic. This book isn't getting as much press as it should, but I recommend it to one and all. If you've got kids or a little cousin, pick it up for him or her. If you're just interested in good storytelling about kids, pick this one up. If you like HEROBEAR or ZOOM'S ACADEMY, this will fit right in. It's a NickToon on paper.

Titan Books is coming out with my most anticipated book of the month with THE COMPLETE D.R. & QUINCH trade paperback, collecting 96 pages of work by Alan Moore and Alan Davis. It's a science fiction buddy comedy of sorts and it looks fantastic. Nothing sells a comic better than a pair of aliens on the cover of a book facing forward and giving you the finger.

As always, I encourage you all to head over to the Pipeline message board and let me know what books you're ordering and want to speak out about. I can't talk about them all here.

PIPELINE DAILY IS AT AN END

That's is it, folks. Day five of five. This was a much easier process than the first Pipeline Daily experience. While it's tempting to continue this in the future, I don't want to tempt the fates. The minute I decide to go daily is the day I sprain my wrist or something and can't get the column out. You definitely haven't seen the last of Pipeline Daily, though. It'll be back again when the fates are properly aligned.

If you missed any of this week's columns, here's a quick guide to them:

Monday: Reviews of three books that came out this week: IMPULSE, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, and CYCLOPS.

Tuesday: The G.I. Joe column to end all G.I. Joe columns. Comic and DVD reviews.

Wednesday: Pipeline heads to the movies, with reviews of the 'Unbreakable' DVD and the GHOST WORLD trade.

Thursday: Part one of the monthly flip through PREVIEWS, plus a special preview of TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD.

I just want to talk this opportunity to thank CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland for all his help in doing this for the past week. He's the one who takes my rough cover scans and makes them pretty, inserts them where they need to go, and sizes them right to complement the column. His help was particularly appreciated last Friday for the Pipeline Photo Parade. I forgot to thank him then for his work, so I wanted to be sure to thank him now.

Thanks also to Dan and the whole crew at Dewey's Comics in their new location in Madison, NJ for the aid and assistance in getting those preview copies of books that you saw reviewed on Monday.

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 250 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 are still available at the Original Pipeline page, a horrifically coded piece of HTML.

This year, you can still catch me at WizardWorld in Chicago next weekend.

I'm also tentatively scheduled for a day at the Small Press Expo in Maryland this September.

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