October Preorders for December Comics
Now that it's mid-month, I realized I'm going to have to finalize my
monthly comics order pretty soon. I've gotten in the habit
of reading through Previews when I first get it early in the month and
throwing everything that looks interesting into my cart. Then as
the order deadline draws nearer, I return to my cart and remove things
that don't seem as exciting for whatever reason. One of the first
things to go is the MillarWorld books. I thought they sounded
interesting when I first heard about them, but the recent previews of WANTED
on various sites have convinced me otherwise. I found the interview
with Top Cow Editor-In-Chief Jim McLauchlin about WANTED
particularly grating: "The extreme and shocking stuff that's
there, I think, is there for a really good reason. It's there because
it really advances the story and it's there because it's cool...We want
your jaw to drop when reading this and it will." I had hoped the
MillarWorld books would rely a little less heavily on the gratuitous
flash I've come to associate with Millar's work, but it sounds as
though these books will actually increase the pointlessness
quotient. (CHOSEN still sounds promising to me, but I think I'll
wait to see what others' reactions are and perhaps pick up the trade if
there is one.)
And for all those who thought this description of WANTED sounded cool:
In a way the high concept of this might be all your worst
nightmares are true. Every conspiracy theory, ever, is true.
The Illuminati exists, they're running the world and guess what,
they're super villains. That's a bit of what this is about. As a core
concept, that's really cool. The idea that there's a senior council of
twelve people that control the world economy, that's spooky. Then
assume that there's those twelve people and they're all like Lex
Luthor. That's really spooky!
You might want to check out this
, which did the whole "supervillain secret council ruling the
world" thing several months earlier.
OK, now onto the all the "Previews Review" columns for guidance in
assembling my order.
First off is Previews Review
but, sadly, they don't have
anything on the October catalog yet.
Next is Comic Readers
excellent site I neglected to mention in last month's "Previews Review"
column roundup). Comic Readers splits up its Previews sifting
into four columns (each hilariously titled "Hundred Pages of
I really like this division because it keeps good stuff in the back
of the book from getting lost in the shuffle. (Hopefully
visitors to the site don't just ignore everything except the
"Mainstream" listing.) Anyway, here are some of the things that
jump out at me from their recommendations (ignoring the
- MANIAC KILLER STRIKES AGAIN! by Richard Sala
Books). Definitely. I've only recently discovered Sala's
work through Peculia, but I'm looking forward to reading more of his
quirky humor/horror stuff.
- MARIKO PARADE by Frederic Boilet & Kan Takahama:
Maybe. I remember seeing this everywhere when I was in Paris, but
I think I'd like to check it out before I buy it.
- TALES OF THE VAMPIRES #1 (Dark Horse Comics).
Possibly. I like the creators (Joss Whedon and Cameron Stewart)
but I'm a little burned out on all things Buffy.
- VERTICAL (DC/Vertigo): Most Likely. Mainly for the
from Mike Allred & Philip Bond.
- PLASTIC MAN: Probably Not. I was thinking of getting
but the sample pages in Previews put me off, ironically. It looks
as though the storytelling will be even more stretched out (ooo - bad
Plas pun) than your average Marvel comic.
- AVENGERS/JLA #4: Duh.
- ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #1: Absolutely Not.
despite what Comic Readers claims, I don't think Chuck Austen has
signed an exclusive deal with DC; as far as I know, he's still slated
to write a lot of Marvel books, such as AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-MEN,
even as he writes Superman in ACTION COMICS for DC.)
Johanna Draper Carlson
- RUROUNI KENSHIN Volumes 1 & 2: Likely.
Especially considering that each 208-page volume is only $8. And
the near-universal buzz I hear for this series doesn't hurt,
reminds me that HALO & SPROCKET
getting its first collection. I found the first issue of the
series in a bargain bin not too long ago and enjoyed it, so I'll
probably be getting the trade. I also think I'll check out the
big (352-page) and cheap ($20) collection of JACK STAFF
it's always looked interesting (and reminded me of Union Jack, a
little-used Marvel character I have an inexplicable fondness
for). And like Johanna, I'm excited that DC is putting out another
, but I'll probably wait to order this from
Amazon. Johanna also points out a couple of old/updated books I
already own, but I'd definitely recommend them to readers who don't
them yet: The SLINGS & ARROWS COMIC GUIDE
"browsable, readable, quite entertaining critical reference guide that
covers tons of comic titles with attitude and wit" as Johanna puts it);
and MANGA! MANGA! THE WORLD OF JAPANESE COMICS
, a wonderful
resource for those wondering what all the fuss is about these Japanese comics. Finally, Johanna has a similar experience to the one I
had with the Plastic Man preview: "I really appreciate the
extended DC art previews, especially when they help me decide not to
spend my money." Exactly.
De Blieck Jr.
focuses exclusively on trades this time around, which
reflects his growing
to "wait for the trade" like more and more comic fans nowadays.
Augie corrects an oversight in his weekly column by recommending the
collected edition of the excellent SLEEPER
in the Cold
(Just giving you a hard time, Augie - I definitely know what it's like
to fumble for words to describe things I just really like.) Augie
also points out something from Marvel that slipped my notice (one,
because I'm not big on Marvel; and, two, because I seem to have
misplaced my separate "Marvel Previews" supplement—I wonder if Marvel
considered that when they made the decision to break off from the main
Previews catalog): AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: 500 COVERS
, a "two
hardcover slipcase edition reprinting all 500 covers of Marvel's
venerable series." Might be kind of fun as a coffee table type
book, but that $75 price tag sobers me up real fast. Augie is
annoyed with Wizard for offering their BEST OF X-MEN
hardcover in this Previews, since the book was only supposed to be
available to those who bought Wizard #0. Augie also recommends
the HALO AND SPROCKET collection. Yes, yes! I'm ordering it
already!! And I'm seriously considering getting the Elegant.
Sophisticated. Expensive. KYLE BAKER CARTOONIST
BAKER PRESENTS" as Augie refers to it) as well.
Ninth Art's Chris Eckman
soldiers on, despite the wearying size of Previews, and manages to find
a couple things to recommend. I will be picking up THE AMAZING
ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #1
by Michael Chabon and, uh,
"various." Yes, the $8.95 price tag is intimidating, but it's
also an 80-PAGE GIANT (not affiliated in any way with DC Comics).
The solicit from Dark Horse claims this collection will feature "the
first new story in seven years written and drawn by Howard Chaykin,"
but I swear I just saw an Hourman story completely written
and drawn by Howard Chaykin come out a couple weeks ago. Perhaps
DC was getting back at Dark Horse for snatching up the Escapist rights
by undercutting Dark Horse's hype a bit? Dark Horse
is also putting out STRIP SEARCH
, an anthology collection of
new talent. It sounds interesting, but I'll probably wait to look
it over first. Chris mentions a couple things already covered
above (KYLE BAKER: CARTOONIST; VERTICAL; JACK STAFF), and
he also plugs Alternative Comics' 8 1/2 GHOSTS
which looks really interesting to me, especially now that publisher Jeff
has announced that they'll be reformatting the book "to be a
really nice oversized 8-1/4 inches by 10-5/8 inches using very
luxurious, heavy text and cover paper stock" for the same $3.95
price. Chris also mentions some great magazines that I'll be
getting—THE COMICS JOURNAL #258
(the Ditko issue) and COMIC
(always a sharp-looking mag).
D. Emerson Eddy makes a couple recommendations (look here
Like me, D. is tired of Mark Millar's tendency to write shock for
shock's sake (and like me, D. enjoyed Millar's largely ignored run on
SWAMP THING). Ironically, the MillarWorld project that most
interests D. is THE UNFUNNIES
, the book whose sole reason for
appears to be...to shock for shock's sake. D. also spots a
book from iBooks that caught my eye as well—BLACKSAD
anthropomorphic noir thriller. I was all set to get this—until
I saw the price tag: $12.95 for 48 pages. I don't care if it's
FULL COLOR OVERSIZE DELUXE FORMAT as the ad explains in ALL CAPS; that
just seems a tad steep to me. (D. disagrees with me, citing the
book's expected high-end production values as a justification for the
cost. You can find our exchange here
looks through Previews (scroll down til you hit the section titled
"December Previews – Escapist Fiction and Futuredrama"). The
MASKS: TOO HOT FOR T.V.
special sounds silly, but I think it's
to. I'll check this out, especially with the talent lined up (Ed
Brubaker and Doug Mahnke; Marc Andreyko and Richard Corben; Patton
Oswalt and Amanda Conner; Jill Thompson and Tony Akins; and Judd Winick
and Whilce Portacio). Chris offers his thoughts on other stuff,
too, but either I've mentioned it already or I'm simply not interested.
Finally, Randy Lander and Dave Farabee scour through Previews in two
) over at The Fourth Rail. Randy's "Big Four Pick Of
The Month" is a book called SLEEPER, which is getting its first TPB
in the Cold
. I'll echo Randy's
recommendation: Everyone should be reading SLEEPER, so buy this
trade if you've been putting off checking out this series. Most
of the other books Randy and Dave discuss have been covered above, but
they do mention the ASTRO CITY/ARROWSMITH
one-shot, which (as a
both series) I'll be getting, and RUMBLE ROYALE #1
appeals to me due to the artistic talent involved (Cameron Stewart (Catwoman
Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung-Fu
); and Chip Zdarsky (Prison
Lord, after all that, is there anything I'm interested in that hasn't
already been listed? I guess a couple things, but nothing really
new—it's mainly ongoing stuff I already know I'm enjoying, such as
BATTLE ROYALE VOL 5
; GOON #4
; FINDER vol. 5: DREAM
this when it was first solicited); and all the DC series I read, with
one change: I finally decided to drop JSA (both the regular
series and that dreadfully dull mini-series), so that leaves me with
GOTHAM CENTRAL, HERO, HUMAN TARGET, SLEEPER, TOM STRONG, and WONDER
Did everyone remember to order this
? OK? Good.