PIPELINE LOOKS AT PREVIEWS
The latest PREVIEWS magalog came out last week, with items scheduled to ship in February 2001.
There's some noteworthy stuff in there, some stuff that's in there that shouldn't be, and a couple of neat bits of business. As always, this is not a comprehensive listing of interesting things. I don't want to write 3,000 words on that tonight, thanks, and you'd be bored out of your mind reading them. I'm just touching on the things that stuck out to me, and you are encouraged to find those items that you'd like to order, as well. Head over to the Pipeline message board and tell me what I missed!
The biggest piece of business I want to take care of is the Season One boxed set of DVDs for BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. They're not coming out in February. Originally, they were due out in January, but now they're off the order sheets. Due to licensing reasons, it is believed, these discs won't be released until much later in 2001. They're coming, but just not yet. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. I was very much looking forward to this set, as well. The first season of BUFFY was amazing. Everything was new. The first 13 episodes formed one nice story by design, just in case it wasn't picked up. The stories were interesting and quirky, and the Angel episode rocked. I didn't make it past the second season of the show, because it was less fun and had turned into a soap opera.
In the meantime, you'll just have to satisfy yourself with the just-released boxed set of season two of THE X-FILES, which debuted this week. Don't pay full price. Order it on-line somewhere. It's got 25 of the best episodes X-FILES has to offer (and also "3"), including what might just be my favorite, "Die Hand Die Verletzt", and perennial Halloween favorite, "Humbug." The mythology was just starting to come into form in this season, also, if that's what you're into. I've always enjoyed the shows when they work out of Washington D.C., though. To each his own. Seasons 3 and 4 are due out in 2001.
FOX is also promising similar season-by-season boxed sets for SIMPSONS starting in 2001, and there's also rumblings about BABYLON 5 coming out in similar form. (Of course, they've said that about B5 every year running since DVD first came out. We were also supposed to start seeing the classic Looney Tunes cartoons from Warner Bros. in 2000, but those haven't shown up, either. I'm not bitter. Just disappointed.)
The solicitation for the FARSCAPE DVD is real, though. That's still coming out next year as scheduled. That's a great show, but buying it 2 episodes per disc would wear me out. I guess I'll be skipping it.
Now for some comics:
Dark Horse: The second volume of the quarterly AKIRA trades is out in all its glorious black and white form in February. $25 gets you the next 304 pages of the saga. I'm looking forward to reading this for the first time. (And the DVD announcement is supposedly getting closer…) * LONE WOLF AND CUB reaches its seventh volume, already, on March 28th. Don't ask me why it's solicited with the February comics, though.
DC: The big push is on this month for the first issue of Kevin Smith's long-awaited GREEN ARROW series. I'm keeping an open mind about it. The art is nice, and Smith did a terrific job with DAREDEVIL. I don't know much of anything about Arrow so I suppose I'm in a good position to judge this series on its own merits. I have the recently-released hardcover edition of the Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams run on the title on order and should have it by the end of the month. Hopefully, I can review that for you here before the first issue comes out. * PLANETARY gets the hardcover treatment for its first 6 issues, a la the ABC series. $25 buys you those first six issues plus preview once again, with the promise that the second batch of six issues will be offered in hardcover for March. Now that's nice packaging. As an aside, I just picked up the STORMWATCH trades with Ellis' run on it. Those books have a nice design to them and stand out together when lined up on your bookshelf. Good work on their design, and great stories between the covers, too. * BATGIRL's first six issues are collected in trade paperback format for thirteen bucks. There's some good stories in there, and you could probably blow through them all in under an hour. * BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #14 features a backup story from Paul Dini and Ronnie Del Carmen. Cool! * I don't read it, but I know many of you will be interested to know that HITMAN #60 is its final issue, on February 28th. * Jack B. Quick returns in TOMORROW STORIES #10!
SUPERBOY'S LEGION deals with continuity I've never been a fan of, but is presented in Elseworlds format, and is written and inked by Mark Farmer with pencils from Alan Davis. Davis hasn't done anything wrong in my book ever, so I'm looking forward to these two issues. It seems to be in the same format as the recently concluded JLA: SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-HEROES. It's a slight waste of money in that format, but I'll get it anyway. I'd rather see the book put out on its own in one collected edition, though. Separating it into two six-dollar books seems like a money grab to me.
Image: It's the oddest book to come out in awhile, that's for sure: The POWERS Coloring book! And it's only a buck-fifty. * TELLOS gets a trade paperback collecting its first five issues, plus a complete cover gallery, and the stories from the prologues, postlogues, previews, and whatnot. This one is well worth it. * Brian Bendis' last issues of HELLSPAWN and SAM & TWITCH come out in February. * DOUBLE IMAGE, a book I first talked about here in the wake of the San Diego Con this summer, no long carries Scott Lobdell's planned stories. Instead, the much-anticipated "The Bod" runs here with story from Larry Young and art by John Heebink. Joe Casey's "Codeflesh" is on the other half, with art by frequent Young partner, Charlie Adlard.
Marvel: Erik Larsen returns with THE DEFENDERS #2 and FANTASTIC FOUR: THE WORLD'S GREAT COMIC MAGAZINE (also the world's longest comic title) in February. * BIG TOWN concludes with its fourth issue. * And it's still not too late to order DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES: FRANK MILLER Vol. 2, THOR VISIONARIES: WALT SIMONSON, or THE ESSENTIAL THOR Vol. 1. * Chris Claremont's FANTASTIC FOUR one-shot, "The Fantastic Fourth Voyage of Sinbad" shows up in February with 48 non-ad pages and art by Pascual Ferry.
DAREDEVIL #17 is scheduled to ship 28 February. Please hold your laughter. It's good that they're thinking positively. ;-) * Meanwhile, Chuck Dixon and Eduardo Barreto are fast catching up on that issue number with MARVEL KNIGHTS #10, already.
The first and second issues of the much-anticipated team-up between Fabian Nicieza and Steve Rude, SPIDER-MAN LIFELINE, are printed for three bucks a pop. Just to show you how late books have become such an issue, the solicitation material proudly proclaims that all three issues are already completely penciled. * ULTIMATE MARVEL: SPIDER-MAN AND WOLVERINE #1 also shows up for three bucks. The good side of this is that besides a story by Bendis and art by Matt Wagner, you're getting a full 48-page book (albeit with ads), so it's more than your money's worth. On the other hand, the writer of the title is written up to be "Bender." Seems a FUTURAMA fan wrote this one up.
Black Bull: I like GATECRASHER and I'm growing to like Garth Ennis' work. However, I'm not paying seven dollars for the JUST A PILGRIM preview book that's a scant 24 (probably black and white) pages. Uh-uh. No way.
The rest of PREVIEWS: Oddly enough, this is where most of the interesting, oddball, wacky, and downright bizarre stuff shows up.
We can start off with PlanetLar's printing of a trade paperback entitled SKY APE. That sounds pretty bizarre, but it looks cool. I'm there. They're also printing Jim Krueger's THE FOOT SOLDIERS collection. After that, what more do you need?
Acclaim is soliciting for Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright's QUANTUM & WOODY #22. Quick show of hands: Who believe this will ever make it to the shelves? And of those who answered affirmatively, who thinks #23 will ever hits the stands inside of the next decade? This was a great series, but its erratic printing schedule is ruining it. I can't tell you what happened in the last issue now if my life depended on it. Go grab the initial trades and read the first dozen and a half issues sometime. Great stuff.
If you missed it the first time, Astonish Comics is going back to print on HEROBEAR AND THE KID's first (and only, so far) two issues. Get them here before you're begging creator Mike Kunkel at his booth in San Diego 2001 for them.
Just when you think things couldn't possibly get any odder, check out page 214. Right hand column. Yes, the item with the picture. Yup, for twenty bucks, comic geeks, you can buy a pair of black panties with the logo for a comic titled CHASTITY written across the front. I'm speechless. I really am. I don't know if it's at the supposition that there are enough female readers of the book to make these things sell, or if it's at the concept that there are fanboys out there with girlfriends, or if it's the thought that the fanboys are buying them as collector's items for themselves, or if it's the notion of a pair of sexy undergarment have the word "Chastity" written across them.
OK, so I'm not speechless. Just dumbstruck.
THE COMICS JOURNAL #232 focuses on internet comic strips, featuring Steve Conley's "Astounding Space Thrills" on the cover.
Mike Oeming and Mark Wheatley's new mini-series, HAMMER OF THE GODS shows up on page 256. Three bucks gets you the 32 page first issue (of four) with a Frank Cho cover.
The FRANK CHO ILLUSTRATOR soft-cover edition comes out for twenty bucks in February. I picked up the hardcover this past summer, and it's gorgeous and well worth it if you're looking for an art book. There's some pretty stuff in here.
Oni Press gets the award for oddest comic book title with MARBLES IN MY UNDERPANTS: RENEE FRENCH COLLECTION trade paperback.
SKETCH MAGAZINE is doing a cover story on Chuck Dixon, solicited on page 283. This should prove to be interesting. Read along at Dixon's message board. He always has interesting things to say and has definite opinions on writing, and comic book writing in particular.
WRAPPED IN PLASTIC hits its 51st issue. It just proves one thing: Any fandom has the chance at success. TWIN PEAKS' fandom has a magazine that's lasted 51 issues. When was the last episode of the series aired? 7 or 8 years ago? Wow.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
I've got a ton of reviews lined up, from a wide variety of sources. That's just Tuesday's column, though. Friday's column could be one of several ideas I'm working on, depending on what I get a chance to read and ruminate on in the next week.
Oh, and there's something very very special and cool coming up in Pipeline in the next couple of weeks, assuming everything goes according to schedule next week. Heh heh. It's a fanboy dream come true. You'll see.
BTW, Sunday is also the one-year anniversary of the grand CBR site redesign. See, it isn't so bad, now is it? In fact, it's pretty darn spiffy, I still think.