June 2011 Previews: The End of the Summer

I’m not late yet — orders are due today! Consider this a last-minute reminder of what you may want to watch for.

Angel and Faith

Angel and Faith #1 (Dark Horse, JUN11 0009, Aug 31, $2.99) might be what I need to start reading Buffy comics again, after being turned off by the too-big scale of the Season 8 storyline. I hope it makes sense without reading those issues, because teaming up these two characters has a lot of appeal. I’m not sure what’s going on with the three covers, since only one is available to order, but I’m not a variant person anyway — shame that that gimmick still works so well, since it ties up money that would be better used buying more different comics, not alternate copies of the same one. Content-wise, it’s a good idea not to pin an ongoing series on Angel alone, since broody is best with someone to play off of. I hope Spike guest stars! 

Speaking of which, IDW offers a hardcover collection of Spike Volume 2 (JUN11 0463, Aug 17, $21.99), completing their series run. I thought about catching up on his comics, but IDW makes it so difficult! There’s no listing anywhere I can find of which books they’ve released, so I couldn’t figure out where I left off in 2007, and they let collections go out of print, at which point they don’t mention them any more. Plus, obsessive that I am, I wouldn’t want a hardcover to go next to my paperbacks anyway. I hope that they put together an omnibus of all eight Spike issues later.

DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman — Neat! Seeing the reprinted covers I remember in the catalog reminded me how much potential this character has. If we have to set her stories in the past to get readable comics with her, so be it. The 80s (JUN11 0212, Aug 3, $4.99) is by Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler, while William Messner-Loebs and Paris Cullins tackle The 90s (JUN11 0213, Aug 17, $4.99). It’s a shame that I have to pay more to get a backup reprint that I already own (and very probably have read), but I suspect we wouldn’t see DC putting out the books — or hiring older creators — otherwise. The whole Retroactive line is full of “wow, yeah, I wish we saw more from him” names. I’m particularly curious to see what Ron Marz does in the 90s Green Lantern one. 

It’s gruesomely fun reading all these DC solicits knowing that, in effect, they’re all final issues. Many hint at it, with mentions of “shocking finale” or “final battle” or “never be the same” or mention of storyline conclusions, but others sound like business as usual. I wonder if August’s comics will be low-ordered, since they don’t “count” now, and wind up collectible in the future? Or does no one pay attention to that sort of thing any more? 

Archie: The Best of Harry Lucey (JUN11 0466, Aug 17, $24.99) continues IDW’s selection of classic Archie comics based around their artist. They’re attractive volumes, and entertaining to read. And if you’re interested in Archie history — it provides a fascinating glimpse at the attitudes of the times the stories were originally printed — Archie itself is providing an excellent deal with The Best of Archie Comics (JUN11 0841, July 27), with over 400 pages of reprints for $9.99. Be aware that it’s printed in the Archie collection house style, which is miniature at 5×7 inches.

If you like reading about true-life experiences around the world, you should definitely order A Few Perfect Hours & Other Stories (Alternative Comics, JUN11 0793, Aug 24, $12.95). Josh Neufeld and his girlfriend travel through Thailand, Serbia, and elsewhere.

Enjoy movies? Especially jokes about them? Then Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show (Chase Sequence, JUN11 0987, Aug 24, $19.95) is for you. This webcomic collection, based around theater workers and their snarky comments, was available for order online last year, but now it’s in Previews, for convenient comic store purchase.

Drawn & Quarterly is having an Adrian Tomine month, with just about everything he’s done offered again, to go along with a new issue of Optic Nerve. #12 (JUN11 1064, Aug 17) is 40 pages for $6, and what a nostalgic moment for those who remember the glory days of indie periodical comics.

Oooh! A second Spell Checkers book (Oni Press, JUN11 1201, Sep 21, $11.99)! Think mean girls as literal witches, and you’ll get an idea of the fun black humor in this series by Jamie S. Rich, Nicolas Hitori De, and Joelle Jones.

I’ve been curious about Craig Thompson’s long-promised Habibi (Pantheon, JUN11 1212, Sep 21, $35) since I read his travel diary prepping for it, Carnet de Voyage, back in 2005. Habibi is almost 700 pages of black-and-white comics exploring the Islamic world. Smartly, Top Shelf is reoffering Carnet (JUN11 1247, July 27, $14.95) and Thompson’s breakthrough tour de force Blankets (JUN11 1246, July 20, $29.95) to tie in. Now that graphic novels are established as a legitimate literary category, Blankets is no longer the impressive accomplishment it once was, and its story shows some loose ends on a reread, but it’s still a gorgeous 600 pages. Its release was a seminal moment in the development of the medium, the longest comic-format book then published.

A new Amelia Rules! is something to celebrate. The seventh book in the series, The Meaning of Life… And Other Stuff (Simon & Schuster, JUN11 1239, Aug 17, $10.99), shows some key growing-up moments for our young heroine, as her rocker aunt is away on tour and friends are moving in different directions. Amelia stories are always wonderful reads.

I called The Middleman: The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse (Viper Comics, JUN11 1295, July 27, $7.95) a “fitting goodbye” to the awesome TV show, gone too soon. They’re relisting it as part of Previews’ Movie Month, highlighting comic tie-ins and inspirations for films. It’s a great idea for promotion, to focus on the source material to get more readers interested, even if it does make me a little sad underneath.

But since I know how seductive seeing your favorite heroes on the big screen can be, if you enjoyed watching Green Lantern, you’ll definitely want Constructing Green Lantern: From Page to Screen (JUN11 1361, July 27, $35), a glossy design book about making the look of the movie.

One Response to “June 2011 Previews: The End of the Summer”

  1. James Schee Says:

    I read the blurb, it seemed to sum up most things pretty well for you to follow without having read all of S8. Basically understand that Angel is wallowing in a well of self pity over something he did (shocker I know! :) )) and Faith is just trying to figure out where she fits after Buffy did something huge.

    Can IDW make anymore Spike omnibuses given that the property rights have been sent over the Dark Horse? I guess DH could do them though.

    I’m getting the GL 90s, its one of a handful of series runs and characters I got emotional attached to. Surprising given all the bile towards the character, that he’s one of the small few still going fairly strong all this time later.

    I need to try to catch up on Amelia Rules! it was such a favorite of mine at one point but I lost contact with it.




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