- Posted by Johanna on July 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm
- Category: Shopping Guide
I can’t think how many decades I’ve been flipping through Previews, and much as I grouse about it, it’s still an essential part of reading comics in my mind. However, it’s times like these that I realize just how outdated a 500-page paper catalog is. Boom! and Archaia merged last month, and yet, here they are, still separate, due to press deadlines and lead time. What happens if I order from Archaia? Will everything transfer smoothly? It led to me thinking about how old-school printing and shipping around all this paper is. (And costly!) Yet trying to gather and sort through this information online just wouldn’t be as easy.
There’s another time capsule aspect, too — this catalog is asking me to order items for Halloween. On a 90-plus-degree day, that’s not something I’m likely to want to think about, or to be in the right mindset to do.
I know TNT has been targeting geek media with its ads for Falling Skies, but I was surprised to see a full-page ad for the June 9 season premiere. For one thing, they’re about a month late. For another, maybe we could go back to getting the catalog for free if they sold a few more ads. (The current approach of “Let me sell you something so you can buy more!” doesn’t do anyone much good.) It’s a great target market, since you know that the readers of this book are definitely dedicated geeks. Although it would blur the line even more between what Previews is supposed to be — the way retailers stock their stores — and what it is — how you get the good comics by committing to preorders.
KC and I decided to review our subscription list this month. (I share a lot of the sentiments that J. Caleb Mozzocco expresses — although I can afford them, $3.99 comics are too expensive for what they are, and I don’t enjoy many of the superhero books any more.) I wasn’t surprised to see that the only DCs I wanted were Batman ’66 and Li’l Gotham. Both are digital-first titles, but I still like the print.
I was surprised, in contrast, at how many Marvels I was enjoying — Daredevil and Hawkeye, of course, for doing refreshing, creative things with the characters and genre, but also Young Avengers, FF (not Fantastic Four, the kids/Allred one), All-New X-Men (which unfortunately means signing on for the Battle of the Atom crossover this month), and Wolverine & the X-Men. You’ll note that those titles all have something in common: teen heroes, which suit the genre best, with their overheated emotions and lack of adult concerns. They also have well-done, modern art styles and writers who know what they’re doing. (Although I will admit, I read All-New X-Men more for Stuart Immonen’s art than Bendis’ needs-more-editing writing.)
Weird seeing Powerpuff Girls (JUL13 0295, $3.99, five-issue miniseries) under the IDW banner, when it’s a Cartoon Network product, which is a sister company of DC Comics. But I doubt DC would give the property a new series and a bonus cover slipcase and a collected reprint. IDW loves that collector-chasing variant cover strategy, unfortunately, although I’m glad to see more comics for girls. Amazing what a really successful My Little Pony can drag along in its wake.
Wow, Image creators really have the most creative ideas in serialized comics, don’t they? Matt Fraction’s writing Sex Criminals (JUL13 0403, $3.50), about two people who stop time by having sex, so they decide to use their powers to rob banks. (Chip Zdarsky’s art looks great, too.) I don’t know the creators behind Reality Check (JUL13 0410, $2.99), but I love the concept of a comic hero bothering his writer because he’s lovesick. (Sadly, the preview pages make me feel old, since I can’t read the text at that size.) Then there’s Jimmie Robinson’s Five Weapons: Making the Grade (JUL13 0453, $15.99), which although the series is now going to be continuing, is a pretty good read as the story of young Tyler finding a way to outsmart those trying to kill him with a variety of obscure weapons and martial arts. It’s old-school battles, but done with creativity and purpose.
The book I’m most looking forward to out of this catalog is the fifth volume of A Bride’s Story (Yen Press, JUL13 1361, $17). The art is gorgeous and the examination of marriage customs in far-away cultures fascinating.