Pondering Previews for July 2013 (Shipping in September and Later)

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 However, it’s times like these that I realize just how outdated a 500-page paper catalog is.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.

2 Responses to “Pondering Previews for July 2013 (Shipping in September and Later)”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    I’m almost entirely broken of my habit of reading Previews to fill out preorders. I switched off of buying collections through a mail order comic shop in favor of Amazon, and my single issue collecting days are long gone. I will continue to get paper single issues for a few infrequently-appearing sentimental favorites – Astro City, Age of Bronze, ElfQuest, Sandman – and two somewhat recent launches I really liked – Manhattan Projects and Prophet – but everything else has been cut. I used to buy paper issues of at least the first arc of potentially-interesting series before deciding if I wanted to continue reading it at all (as collections) – East of West, Saga, Batwoman, etc. – but I’ve switched to digital on that “sampling” front … as long as I own the files. That’s how I sampled Rucka & Lark’s new Image series.

    As far as this Previews month goes, I think the thing I most wanted from it was the BPRD: Vampire collection, the mini by Mignola, Moon, & Ba. Or maybe it’s the first volume of Vinland Saga from the creator of Planetes? Hard to remember which month is which when you’re thinking so far ahead.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I haven’t read Previews in over 5 years. Being a digital first customer (stuff I really like I’ll get the later TPB/HC) I can get what I want as it comes out or later if I so choose.

    I was wary at first of comixology as you don’t own the books, but most of what I read is fun only in the moment and I can’t see myself revisiting 10 years from now anyway. Though even that looks to be changing when you see Image leading off selling PDFs of their books now.




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