Coming Up: Books Due in February 2010

Here’s what I thought looking through the latest Previews catalog. These books will be available in February 2010 or later. Orders are due at your local comic shop by December 12.

I know Previews is different than it used to be, what with order minimum requirements, Marvel’s separate booklet, and less dependence on periodical publishing, but it still surprised me to see that this month’s catalog was under 400 pages. If you only count comic pages, there are 266. Seems more manageable, but then I remember that I find fewer and fewer items of interest to me every month.

“Big Four”

Bryan Talbot’s Tale of One Bad Rat is getting a new hardcover printing (DEC09 0034, $19.99, April 28). This book is part of my canon, a comic classic everyone should read. It’s about an abused runaway who finds inspiration in the creations of Beatrix Potter. In this edition, Neil Gaiman provides a new foreword and the background material has been updated. Since part of it is about resources for sexual abuse survivors, that’s a good thing. And the hardcover binding makes it easier to stock this as a reference in libraries and other public service locations. (I’d heard, for example, that some therapists found it helpful to have a copy available.)

Hardware: The Man in the Machine cover
Hardware: The Man in the Machine
Buy this book

After dropping them as a teen, I started reading superhero comics again back in the early 90s, due to two things: the Legion of Super-Heroes and Milestone Comics. Together, the two showed me that the genre could tackle tough subjects. So I’m a sucker for Milestone Forever (DEC09 0178, $5.99, Feb 3), even though I find the two-issue miniseries a really stupid format. But they’re promising they’re going to “complete the tales told in the original runs of Static Shock, Icon, Hardware, Shadow Cabinet, and Blood Syndicate“, which I’d love to see. (Even though I know that wasn’t Static’s title. And pointing out that Milestone started 16 years ago is rubbing salt in the wound, though. I’m already feeling old enough.) I hope that 96 pages (in two issues) is enough to give everyone a satisfactory ending. There’s also a new Hardware collection (DEC09 0208, reprinting #1-8, $19.99, March 24) offered, hopefully just the first of many Milestone books to come.

I’ve been impressed by the look of Zuda series Night Owls, so I’ll be checking out their first collection (DEC09 0224, $14.99, March 24). I like their blend of period supernatural comedy.

The Lizard Prince Book 2 cover
The Lizard Prince Book 2
Buy this book

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the first Lizard Prince manga, so I’ll look for the second (and final) installment (DEC09 0294, $9.99, March 3). Fun all-ages comedy romance with a light fantasy twist: the boy turns into a lizard every so often.

This sentence should not be surprising, but Marvel doesn’t know how to write for romance fans. In amongst all the Iron Man movie tie-ins and rainbow Hulks appears Marvel Heartbreakers, a one-shot anthology promoted thusly:

This Valentine’s Day, drop that box of chocolates and satisfy the inner romantic with an oversized helping of heartache! In these four spandex-ripping tales, the fabulous femmes of Marvel discover that there’s no such thing as love without tears. … Find out in this special filled with passion, power, and pain!

Who wants to read about heartbreak on Valentine’s Day? Is Marvel playing to the stereotype of superhero fans being dateless losers by running stories that are about things not working out? Or do they think that their readers will love seeing female heroes they can fantasize consoling?

The Good Stuff

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Raina Telgemeier’s Smile (DEC09 0873, $10.99, Feb 3) for a long while now. It’s the story of how she dealt with losing her front teeth, but it’s also about being a teen, all in her beautiful, deceptively simple style.

Scott Chantler’s Northwest Passage (DEC09 0967, $15.99, Feb 10) makes an appearance in softcover. This historical adventure was one of my Best Books of 2007 due to its accomplished cartooning.

I’m thrilled yet disappointed to see the concluding volume of Pluto offered (DEC09 1026, $12.99, March 17). Thrilled because I know it will pack quite a punch, but disappointed because it’s such a great read, I hate to see it end.

2 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in February 2010”

  1. ~chris Says:

    This old-timer, who favors print, is very much looking forward to Smile. Also looking forward to the new Demo, though I think I’ll wait for it to be collected.

  2. Ralf Haring Says:

    They reprinted the Icon and Static collections in the past few months, but I doubt there’ll be a concerted effort to get the full runs into print. It’s like Marvel publishing the first volumes of a few New Universe titles to tie in with Ellis’ relaunch of that franchise a year or two back.




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