A Very Late Previews

Really outdated thoughts on Previews, starting with the issue from February, because I am three months behind. But I couldn’t resist making fun of some things. Starting with …

Wonder Woman #31

Wonder Woman #31

Is this the most useless line in a comic description? “The story that changes Diana’s status quo forever continues!” (Wonder Woman #31) It’s just so emblematic of superhero comics these days — everything changes all the time, with outrageous, unbelievable claims for how important it all is, and it never seems to end. (You would think, if I searched Google for that title name, looking for that link, that DC would come up first. No. It comes up fifth. First is a link to Things From Another World, a shop run by competitor Dark Horse. Something to work on, there.)

I might be interested in The Literals, a new Vertigo miniseries written by Matthew Sturges (whose House of Mystery I enjoy), if I had any clue what it was about. Judging from the description, it’s only intended for those who already read Jack of Fables, where the characters were introduced. Even worse, all three issues are part of a nine-part crossover with that title and Fables. Apparently, the 90s, which were full of this kind of “buy more!” stunt, have returned. (Even better, when I got a press release for the gimmick last week, the headline managed to mispell Falbes [sic].)

The weird thing about reading Previews this late is seeing things that you know have been cancelled and will never appear. Like Wizard’s Anime Insider #68. Or Sista Samurai #3 from Ape Entertainment. So why am I reading the catalog now? Because I like to make a list of books I want to keep watch for, and since these titles are due to start coming out in April, I’m not quite unforgivably late yet.

Man, there’s an awful lot of wannabe superhero and zombie crap in the catalog these days, isn’t there? I don’t know how retailers go through this and make purchasing decisions every month. No wonder they stick to known quantities and old favorites.

From the solicitation for Boom! Studios’ Mr. Stuffins #1 (New Edition):

… the original edition of Mr. Stuffins #1 has sold out at convention after convention as fans asked, “When will issue #2 come out?” … the bear is back in a completely re-drawn and re-colored first issue …

You didn’t answer the question. Why would you bring the question up if you weren’t going to answer it? More, why would you want to remind people that this issue originally came out in April 2007? It’s only a three-issue miniseries. At this point, if you’re going to promise it’s going to be on time, why not go straight to graphic novel?

Lockjaw & the Pet Avengers #1

Lockjaw & the Pet Avengers #1

I cannot read Radical comics. Their art is so slick and painted that the words visually have no connection with them. Plus, the coloring is dark on heavy paper, making them murky. Not to mention my suspicion that they exist only to be movie storyboards, which is why the pictures take such precedence over the text and they’re all so “high concept”. Does anyone read them? Why?

So what am I buying? Manga. All my favorites seem to come out in the same month: Nana, High School Debut, Sand Chronicles, Oishinbo, Black Jack, Parasyte… good reading!

Woof! One down, one to go. Now onto March’s catalog.

Hey, there’s a Marvel book for me: Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers! (Marvel’s links come up second for this title. Newsarama comes first. Hmmm.) Who doesn’t love superhero animals?

Power Girl #1

Power Girl #1

DC has its own booklet this month due to some kind of printing mixup. What an interesting trial balloon. I admit, it was easier focusing on their products (even though I don’t want any of them) in a separate publication.

DC launches a Power Girl series with the “vivacious art of Amanda Conner”. I don’t think that was the word they really wanted. I think they mean “va-va-va-voom” but were afraid it would make them sound old.

My gracious! Image is selling a Compendium of 48 issues of Walking Dead under one cover. That’s 1088 pages. How do you bind that? Is it printed on Bible-weight paper?

Love Buzz

Love Buzz

In the chutzpah department, IDW is putting out a two-book slipcased hardcover set to commemorate their first decade of existence. For only $75, you too can be part of their birthday celebration. That’s like getting an invite and being asked to pony up for an expensive gift without even getting any cake. Seriously, I’m kind of surprised it’s been that long. If you go to the party, don’t forget to thank them for introducing the $3.99 standard issue price!

This month, the highlights are two Oni Press graphic novels: one, Love Buzz, is actually willing to advertise as being for “romantic comedy buffs” (it’s the story of a comic artist’s relationship); the other, You Have Killed Me, is the long-awaited reteaming of Jamie Rich and Joelle Jones, who previously worked together on 12 Reasons Why I Love Her.


10 Responses to “A Very Late Previews”

  1. A. Dave Lewis Says:

    I’m starting to get into the Radical Comics, particularly HOTWIRE. The problem? There’s typos in them!! *Nothing* takes me out of a comic faster than a messed up word balloon or typos…

  2. Alan Coil Says:

    Previews for March repeated many pages in the DC solicits from the February Previews, thus the separate booklet.

    I don;t know how many copies my LCS gets of Previews, but there are usually 4-5 copies on the shelf the first weekend. My LCS got exactly one copy of the booklet, which they then proceeded to hide under the counter.

  3. Mark S. Says:

    Oh Yay! more Power Girl!

    What now? They’ve done the angry young woman thing to death, given her yet another origin story undoing other origin stories, made her back into what she was originally but not quite…and she’s still angry.

    Just what the comic world needs is another super heroine with “knock(er)out art!” and an attitude!

    Why not just give her big books and a gun? It’s so much easier…

    Stuff like this makes me think that Marvel and DC are simply creatively bankrupt.

  4. Timo Raittila Says:

    Top Cow collected 50 issues of Tomb Raider in one TPB. I have it and it’s not easy to read or even lift. About 1240 pages on normal paper.

  5. Ross Richie Says:

    Hi Johanna!

    “You didn’t answer the question. Why would you bring the question up if you weren’t going to answer it?”

    Sorry, thought that it was implied via a complete re-do of the first issue that issue #2 follows monthly afterwards.

    And really, the answer is — #2 doesn’t come out next, a re-do of #1 comes first, then the rest follows.

    “More, why would you want to remind people that this issue originally came out in April 2007? It’s only a three-issue miniseries.”

    Because doing this is downright confusing. Believe it or not, we still get a lot of fans saying, “Where’s STUFFINS?” They remember. So, we need a clear message for retailers and fans who remember the original.

    “At this point, if you’re going to promise it’s going to be on time, why not go straight to graphic novel?”

    Because, as much as pundits and bloggers love GNs, the vast majority of comics consumption in the direct market is through periodicals.

    Skipping the serialization step not only leaves money on the table, it alienates a number of fans who’d feel “railroaded” into buying a trade when they really want actual comic books.

    My best to you and K.C.!
    -R

  6. elisabethf Says:

    You Have Killed Me looks really, really good. I got the chance to interview Jamie here, and we have a 10-page preview, too. I love Joelle Jones’ artwork!

  7. Johanna Says:

    Timo, I’m wondering about the binding. Does something on a book that big crack as soon as you open it?

    Elisabeth, thanks for the link.

    Ross, thanks for showing me the other side of the issue. I can’t imagine how you keep balancing all the competing needs of all the different audiences so well.

  8. Sebastian Says:

    “The weird thing about reading Previews this late is seeing things that you know have been cancelled and will never appear. Like [...] Sista Samurai #3 from Ape Entertainment.”

    I just noticed the official Diamond cancellations for the whole series and googled for a statement by Ape, but I didn’t find anything except your comment. So now I’m curious: where did you hear that the series was cancelled? And was there any additional information given as to a possible future for the series?

  9. Johanna Says:

    At the time, it was mentioned on the Ape Comics page. Now it just says coming soon.

  10. Sebastian Says:

    Ah, thanks. So since they actively changed back their website, one may perhaps hope for a rescheduled or repackaged release in the future.




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