Grotesque Anatomy
Monday, September 15, 2003
  Hurry Up, Order, and Wait
I buy my comics online. To cut down on costs, I have them shipped once a month, which means I get my "new" comics in big batches, and a couple weeks after everyone else has already discussed them thoroughly. It also means that I order my books sight unseen out of Previews months in advance. Because of my arrangement, I've really come to appreciate columnists who scour through Previews to find the good stuff. Often others catch things that I passed over too quickly, and I've found some really good books by trying out others' recommendations. Here are the places I usually look to for advice:

Aside from the books mentioned by others above, the only other new items to catch my eye in this month's Previews were:

DETECTIVE 27, a hardcover OGN featuring yet another Elseworlds take on Batman, except this one doesn't seem to involve any costumes, at least not based on the sample pages shown in Previews. I'm not sure if I've ever read anything by Michael Uslan. The Fourth Rail mentioned that he wrote some backup stories for the Just Imagine Stan Lee... series, which is almost enough to scare me away, but I'm more interested in this for the art by Peter Snejbjerg anyway.

BACK ISSUE #1: The blurb on the TwoMorrows site exclaims that "BACK ISSUE celebrates comic books of the 1970s, 1980s, and today through a variety of recurring (and rotating) departments." The first issue features the timely theme of DC vs. Marvel and includes "an examination of the original JLA/Avengers crossover, revealing why it never happened and featuring unpublished George Perez pages—plus a spotlight on the new JLA/Avengers mini-series!" This speaks to the same inner fanboy that broke down and ordered JLA/AVENGERS despite my original plans to wait for the inevitable collected edition.

RISING STARS OF MANGA VOL 2 GN: I got the first volume from Tokyopop and thought it was interesting in a "Comic Book Idol" kind of way: Before each story, the editors took a couple lines to discuss why each submission was picked for publication. There were definitely some entries that were rougher than others, but it was an interesting experiment overall, so I'll check out the second collection as well.

I was thinking about checking out FULL METAL PANIC and AZUMANGA DAIOH—the first two series from new manga publisher ADV Manga—but I can't find any info about the books on their site, so I'll probably just wait to look at them when they come out.

That's it for this month. Only a little time left before I have to submit my order. I often wonder if I'm really saving money by ordering online, since I probably end up buying more than if I were just going into the store every week. Oh well, at least I get to try out some new stuff at a discount. 

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by John Jakala

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