It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Dark Horse Presents is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Puss in Boots Movie Prequel - I don't care for movie prequel comics as a rule, but swashbuckling cats are awesome in any incarnation. As long as these are fresh gags and not just ones warmed up from Shrek, I expect to enjoy this.
Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Book 1 - I just introduced my son to The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth a couple of weeks ago, so this is great timing. He had the same questions about The Dark Crystal's world that I always do, so I'm looking forward to seeing Archaia's take on answering those. Totally feel like the world's in good hands with this publisher and these creators.
The Sigh - If Archaia's snagging Marjane Satrapi's (Persepolis, Chicken With Plums) new book has been reported already, I missed it. I'm surprised that wasn't bigger news.
Siegfried, Volume 1 - I've been meaning to read P Craig Russell's Ring of the Nibelung adaptation for years, so I think this might be what pushes me to finally do it. It would be fun to read Russell's and compare it to this version by Alex Alice.
Seven Warriors #1 - Francis Manapul draws this story of seven warrior-women who fight to save the king of 6th-century Libya from the armies of the Persian and Byzantine empires.
Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #1 - I'm absolutely loving Boom's ongoing Planet of the Apes series, so I expect to also like this mini-series set during the events of the '68 film and featuring Dr Zaius.
Operation: Iron Cross #1 - Boom's already got my attention this month, so this WWII spy thriller also stands out.
The first volumes of Stan Lee's Soldier Zero, Stan Lee's Starborn, and Stan Lee's The Traveler - After Graeme's warm recommendation of Boom's Stan Lee line, I want to check them out. And at $10 each, these are made for checking.
Peanuts #0 - I'm still curious to know who the creators on this are, but the idea of new Peanuts material is exciting and Boom has a good record for getting this kind of thing right.
Bone: The One-Volume 20th Anniversary Slipcased Color Edition - The affordable version I've been waiting for. It's still $150, but that's money well spent on a book this good-looking.
House of Night #1 - Ordinarily I wouldn't be excited by yet another vampire story set at yet another school for supernatural teens. And indeed, I haven't paid any attention to the series of YA novellas this is based on. It's Joëlle Jones and Karl Kerschl on the art that sells it.
Avatar: The Last Airbender, Volume 1 - The Promise, Part 1 - Aang's adventures continue as written by Gene Yang (American Born Chinese).
Brothers of the Spear Archives, Volume 1 - Collecting the back-up stories to Dell's Tarzan series featuring art by Jesse Marsh and Russ Manning. I haven't read this stuff, but it's '50s jungle adventure, so I imagine that the standard warnings about racist characterizations apply.
Disney Comics and Stories Classic Characters #5: The Phantom Blot - We usually stick to comics in this column, but a Phantom Blot statue warrants an exception.
Uncharted #1 - The treasure-hunting game that most makes me want to buy a PS3 becomes a comic with a Hollow Earth story.
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 - Dynamite puts their spin on the universe's greatest space pulp hero.
EC Archives - I know that EC's been reprinting archive editions of Weird Science and Two-Fisted Tales for a little while now, but this is the first time I've noticed their getting a whole Previews page to themselves to advertise it. Very eye-catching.
Mr. Twee Diddle: Raggedy Ann's Sprightly Cousin - The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpieces of Johnny Gruelle - I almost drowned in the amount of praise Fantagraphics poured on Gruelle's work in the ad, but simply looking at the cover, it appears to be justified.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, Volume 2: The Mad Scientist/Mummies on Parade - Even if I wasn't already turned on to the awesomeness of Jacques Tardi's Belle-Époquian heroine, "Mummies on Parade" would be enough to necessitate this purchase.
Athos in America - Jason returns to The Last Musketeer and includes other Jasony stories like "The Brain That Wouldn't Virginia Woolf."
Gumby's Spring Specials Collection - I haven't read these, but if they're anything like the Gumby Summer Specials by the same creative team (Bob Burden, Steve Purcell, and Art Adams), they'll be worth having.
Jack Avarice is The Courier #1-5 - I like the idea of a mini-series told in weekly installments over a month. That sounds cool and exciting, especially when it's a spy/voodoo action-adventure thriller thingy.
Rocketeer Adventures, Volume 1 - The anthology about everyone's favorite jetpack-wearing hero by everyone's favorite creators is finally collected. I say "finally" like it's been a huge wait only because it's felt that way.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro-Series #1: Raphael - IDW's determined to get me back into TMNT again. It's working.
Godzilla: Goliaths and Gangsters - The Monster Island crime story is collected.
Godzilla: Legends #1 - TMNT isn't the only IDW license getting a series of spotlight issues. In this one: Anguirus vs Destoroyah.
30 Days of Night: Night Again - The Joe Lansdale/Sam Kieth mini-series gets a collection.
Hawken #1 - IDW's not going to let Oni and Image have all the Western weirdness with The Sixth Gun and Deadlands. And I can't think of many artists I'd rather see do this kind of story than Tim Truman.
Shaman's Tears - It's been more than a decade since I read this story by Mike Grell, but my memory is that it was one of my favorite of Image's second wave of creator-owned series. The other being Jerry Ordway's WildStar, in case anyone wants to reprint that.
Guns and Dinos #1 - I'm rooting for the dinos.
Mudman #1 - Paul Grist has a new superhero comic. That's all fans of Jack Staff need to know.
Giant-Size Elephantmen #1 - I've got some catching up to do on Elephantmen and this inexpensive collection (three issues for $6) looks like a good place to jump back in.
Girls: The Complete Collection - I got into the Luna Brothers' creepy series late and always meant to go back and read the earlier issues, because it was really very good. It was underrated (the title and the abundance of naked women understandably leading many readers to think it was just about gratuitous nudity), but it's a serious horror story with an unsettling vibe similar to something by Charles Burns.
Gladstone's School for World Conquerors, Volume 1 - This collection was difficult to wait for, so I'm glad it's here.
Reed Gunther, Volume 1 - Same with this one.
Super Dinosaur, Volume 1 - And this one too. Especially this one, 'cause I read the first issue and was immediately anxious to read the next. Fantastic, all-ages fun. Image is going to kill my wallet in November, but I'll be smiling as I bury its poor, leather corpse.
Northanger Abby #1 - Jane Austen's parody of a gothic romance novel is as sensational as any actual gothic romance novel. I love Janet Lee's work and am looking forward to this adaptation, but there's a part of me that wishes Marvel had gone for a Haunted Love/House of Secrets vibe with it.
Six Guns #1 and 2 - It's too soon to say that Western comics have made a comeback, but I'm really excited that we're seeing so many of them lately. Even modern ones like this. Andy Diggle seems perfect for it too.
Victor Von Doom #1 - Doom's early days as illustrated by Becky Cloonan. Thank you, Marvel.
Skaar: King of the Savage Land - Ka-Zar vs Son of Hulk, dinosaurs, and some giant robots.
Salt Water Taffy, Volume 5: Caldera's Revenge, Part 2 - Jack and Benny continue trying to survive ghost ships and evil whale hunters.
The Smurfs, Volume 9: Gargamel and the Smurfs - I recently read one of Papercutz' Smurf volumes to see what the fuss is about. I never really enjoyed the cartoon as a kid and I stayed far, far away from the movie, but Peyo's comics are so well-liked that I got curious. And they're really good. They remind me of what I loved about Casper when I was a kid: fantastic creatures having adventures in a forest fantasy world and occasionally learning some nice lessons about how to get along with other people. I'm looking forward to reading more.
That's it for me. What are you looking forward to?