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Monday, January 29, 2007

Chris vs. Previews: February, Part Two

Last night, the ISB kicked off its first-ever Previews roundup with a look at what's being solicited from the major publishers, but tonight, I'll slug it out through the rest of the mag to give you the commentary you so desperately deserve.

I can assure you, however, that nothing I recommend tonight will look like this:



Now: The action!




Comics

P. 230: Archaia Studios Press: Since you're reading this on a comics blog, odds are you've already heard about how great Mouse Guard is from pretty much everybody. On the off chance that you missed all the hype, however, allow me to reiterate: Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 is well worth the $24.95 cover price for the scene where a mouse with a fish hook battles a crab to the death alone.

P. 230: Archie Comics: Behold! The much-touted Degrasisified Betty and Veronica redesign is here for your ordering pleasure, and as the only person I know who actually reads Betty and Veronica Double Digest, I'm interested to see how it all works out.

In other news, Veronica #110 features the apparent return of a mysteroius, Jason Stathamesque charcter who gives people eleven dollars, which somehow saves Veronica from falling down a well in the clearest example of Riverdalean Logic that I've seen all year. Plus, this month's issue of Jughead and Friends Digest features Jughead hooking Wendy Weatherbee up with Bingo Wilkin, and I'm pretty sure that only one person who reads this is going to agree with me that this is a totally exciting development. High five, Phil.


P. 252: Broadsword Comics: There's no new issue of Tarot solicited this month, but they are offering #39 again, and in case you've forgotten, here's what I wrote about that little gem when it first came out last July:

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #39: ...And speaking of comics that need justification, we have what may be the least enjoyable issue of Tarot ever--and that's saying something. Oddly enough, it's bad for the same reason as last week's Justice League of America #0, in that this issue focuses on imaginary futures for each character, including: One where Jon fathers children with both Tarot and her sister, which is something I think we're supposed to be cool with but yet still manages to give me the jibblies; Raven Hex building a new civilization after the government gets mad just because the witches take over one little town, a scenario that includes Raven Hex liberating witches from concentration camps; and the postmortem adventures of the Skeleton Man, the World's Most Retarded Supernatural Avenger. So yeah: Not exactly Shakespeare. On a more serious note, though, this issue also includes a disclaimer that I hadn't noticed before that expressly forbids the electronic reproduction of any of the contents without written consent of the creators. Which sucks, because I was totally going to scan that picture of Tarot being puked on by a zombie warthog and use it as my sig file on Girl-Wonder.org.


For some reason, I haven't heard back on my application to write solicitation copy.

P. 261: Dynamite Entertainment: Look, Dynamite, I'm all for giving Mike Kaluta as much work as possible, but is it too much to ask for you to dial back on the ridiculous amount of variant covers you guys produce? Seriously, it's not helping anything.

And that goes double for you, Avatar.

P. 297: IDW Publishing: So: A Star Trek comic that re-tells classic episodes from the Klingons' point of view, and there's a Klingon language variant? If you're a guy who collects comics and you find yourself still able to have sex with a woman, this is the sort of thing that'll clear that right up.

P. 317: Oni Press: In addition to another issue of the Chris Sims Approved Wasteland, Oni's offering up a couple of new graphic novels that look awesome. First up, James Vining's First In Space, which combines my twin passions of monkeys and rocketships for a "rousing adventure" that's based on a true story. It won the Xeric Grant last year--probably because there's nothing in that description that doesn't sound awesome--and with a $9.95 price tag, is definitely worth checking out.

Right next to it is The Annotated Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler, which I read as it was coming out on the reccomendation of my pal Phil. It's an excellent and well-crafted historical adventure that totally lives up to its promise, and given the small amount of notes that Chantler included in the regular issues, the annotations should be a great touch.

P. 330: Tokyopop: Bratz now exist in comic book form. Some days, it's really not worth getting out of bed.

P. 346: Top Shelf Productions: Despite my reputation as a fan of bare-knuckled action stories where people get punched so hard their heads explode, I really, really love Andy Runton's Owly. There. I said it.

Also of note, there's a mention of Aaron Renier's Spiral Bound: Top Secret Summer, which I absolutely loved but never hear anybody talking about. It's in the Star System, though, so if you're curious about a group of cartoon animal kids builting submarines and zooming around on secret underground rollercoasters, you can order it from your local comic shop (or from Amazon) right now.




Books

P. 383: Sterling already mentioned The Big Book of Breasts, but while I'm every bit as interested in "five decades of natural big-breasted nudes" as the next guy--or in some cases, way more than the next guy--I feel a lot better about the comics reading public knowing that this thing had to be solicited twice.

Then again, that could just be because its market is already being filled by Sexy Girl Ultron.




Super-Classy Apparel Section

P. 406: Look, I say this as someone whose daily wardrobe is at least a quarter composed of t-shirts produced by Graffiti Designs, but if you happen to look down one day and find yourself wearing one of these...



...just step in front of a bus and get it over with.

P.407:



HA HA HA HA THAT IS HILARIOUS DO YOU GET IT?!

DO YOU GET IT?!?!?!?!?!


Well. That was a little more vitriolic than I intended. Let this be a lesson: The Previews apparel section, much like gin, makes a man mean. So it's probably best if I call it a night here, especially since there's nothing else that really sticks out for the rest of the catalog.

Except, of course, for a great-looking set of Avengers Mini-Mates and the ridiculous amount of Doctor Who merchandise, which there's absolutely no reason for me to want as much as I do. Except for the talking Dalek bank, I mean, because that thing's got the words "talking" and "Dalek" right in the product description, and as I've mentioned, those things are pretty rad.

30 Comments:

Blogger Mark Hale said...

I really hope Sexy Girl Ultron makes out with Ultimate Sexy Girl Vision. I need more interdimensional-lesboroboincest in my life.

1/30/2007 1:29 AM

 
Blogger LurkerWithout said...

I need more interdimensional-lesboroboincest in my life.

This needs to be a t-shirt. Or possibly a series of movies that I keep hidden under my mattress...

1/30/2007 2:04 AM

 
Anonymous joegross said...

So: A Star Trek comic that re-tells classic episodes from the Klingons' point of view,

= GENIUS.

and there's a Klingon language variant?

AND THERE THEY GO OVER THE SHARK!

1/30/2007 2:47 AM

 
Blogger Filthy McMonkey said...

"If you're a guy who collects comics and you find yourself still able to have sex with a woman, this is the sort of thing that'll clear that right up."

I did the L of the O of the L, right there, you magnificent bastard.

1/30/2007 3:16 AM

 
Blogger Filthy McMonkey said...

Also, I feel it might be tough to fit interdimensional lesboroboincest on a shirt.

However, for good or ill, I really like the way lesboroboincest rolls off my tongue.

1/30/2007 3:22 AM

 
Anonymous Fiendenstein said...

"Stay Classy, Gold Digger Fans" is quite possibly the funniest thing I've read this year...

...and I've seen the Aberzombie and Witch logo

1/30/2007 6:10 AM

 
Blogger CapVsBats said...

About Tarot's disclaimer - it's interesting because Jim Ballent is one of the few creators who has taken the time to send an e-mail to ZCultFM and tell them NOT to post his comic in cbr format.

So any of the weekly DCP posts with the new cbr comics are forbidden to have Tarot in them. I wonder how Zcult would respond if Joe Q would get off his lazy ass and send such an e-mail?

1/30/2007 6:32 AM

 
Blogger Philip Looney said...

>>Jughead and Friends Digest features Jughead hooking Wendy Weatherbee up with Bingo Wilkin, and I'm pretty sure that only one person who reads this is going to agree with me that this is a totally exciting development. High five, Phil.

BINGO WILKIN IS MY HOME DOG

Seriously? I was very excited to see a new Wedny Weatherbee story - and then I saw it also featured Bingo Wilken. Yeah!

I wonder what Samantha thinks of this?

1/30/2007 8:46 AM

 
Blogger Jeff Rients said...

...manages to give me the jibblies;

The Previews apparel section, much like gin, makes a man mean.

Strong Bad and Milk & Cheese references in the same post? It's like you're writing this blog specifically for me.

1/30/2007 9:35 AM

 
Anonymous Looking for my 80's Badger t-shirt said...

"P. 297: IDW Publishing: So: A Star Trek comic that re-tells classic episodes from the Klingons' point of view, and there's a Klingon language variant? If you're a guy who collects comics and you find yourself still able to have sex with a woman, this is the sort of thing that'll clear that right up."

Laughing so hard as to have a seizure

ps: P. 330: Tokypopop = Tokyopoop, which I am fairly sure you can get from a vending machine in Japan.

Hee-haw hilarious post.

1/30/2007 10:06 AM

 
Blogger Tutorialblog said...

i got it
funny post

Reg
Marv
My Photocommunity

1/30/2007 10:14 AM

 
Anonymous Mason said...

The Previews apparel section, much like gin, makes a man mean.

Chris speaks the truth! About the gin, I mean.

1/30/2007 10:15 AM

 
Blogger Dorian said...

That's okay, Chris, you can have your big book about breasteses, I've got plenty of "sophisticated all male entertainment" to entertain me.

1/30/2007 11:32 AM

 
Blogger Uncle Cubby said...

Oh Snap! I loves me the Doctor Who Merchandise. Can my budget hold out? That's it, Tarot--you're getting dropped.

1/30/2007 12:49 PM

 
Anonymous Julian said...

Chris, thanks again for giving us your Previews picks. I hope you can continue to do that for many more moons.

1/30/2007 3:46 PM

 
Blogger Bill D. said...

Are there going to be more Spiral Bound stories someday? There really oughtta be, because that was all kinds of good.

As for the Jim Balent thing, look at it this way: you geenerally have to pay a cover charge to see cartoonishly large boobs in real life, so why shouldn't cartoonishly large cartoon boobs be any different?

1/30/2007 4:29 PM

 
Anonymous Brian Smith said...

Funny that you quote Milk & Cheese -- I rediscovered my "Fun With Milk & Cheese" compilation in a long box last week. I went flipping through it, and I wasn't feeling the Milk & Cheese love, and I was wondering if I'd gotten old or if society had become too over-the-top...

...and then I re-read "Vomit." It ends when Cheese proposes that he and Milk drink their own alcohol-laden vomit that they just spent two pages spewing, and Evan Dorkin writes, "Good God! There's no way I'm drawing that!", and I laughed and I was right back in my college years.

Also? Please add me to the list of fans of the phrase "interdimensional-lesboroboincest."

1/30/2007 4:35 PM

 
Blogger Hulkster said...

Y'know, even as a regular reader of a wide variety of comics blogs, it's not every day I get to see a picture of an anatomically impossible naked chick getting ready to take a dump.

I think that's probably a good thing, actually.

1/30/2007 5:33 PM

 
Blogger Richelle Mead said...

Oh...and here I thought nothing could cheer me up after the disaster that is new Blogger vs. my home server.

Except...wait. Does this whole Tarot disclaimer mean that you can't do recaps of it anymore? Because some days, that's all that keeps me out of the liquor cabinet.

1/30/2007 9:30 PM

 
Blogger LaRue said...

In Chris' "Every horrible thing" picture, the Dalek is yelling about not needing love because he wasn't invited to the interdimensional-lesboroboincest party. Poor lil' Dalek.

word verification: Tkuqrr, a Klingon word, meaning "not getting any."

1/30/2007 10:16 PM

 
Blogger evan said...

Hey, I guess it just occurred to me that you never review Gold Digger, Chris. Does that mean you're not reading it? Is that really the joke (and the wardrobe selection) that the Gold Digger fans in your area are asking for? If so, wow.

Gold Digger is incredible, man. Seriously, read some bricks, do a post.

2/01/2007 12:58 AM

 
Anonymous Mikki said...

"On a more serious note, though, this issue also includes a disclaimer that I hadn't noticed before that expressly forbids the electronic reproduction of any of the contents without written consent of the creators. Which sucks, because I was totally going to scan that picture of Tarot being puked on by a zombie warthog and use it as my sig file on Girl-Wonder.org."

Yeah, well, they can put in any disclaimers they like, but that doesn't mean they can actually enforce them. There is such a thing as "fair use" out there, and one of those uses is reproducing parts of something for review purposes. I quote the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. ยง 107:


"[F]air use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."


There are some other considerations, such as whether you're making money off the work you're reproducing (as opposed to making money off your criticism or commentary of the work), and how much of the work you're reproducing, but essentially, "criticism" and "comment" are the key words here.

So, this means what? I'm glad I pretended you asked me that, because that makes it easier for me to tell you! You make fun of it, it's perfectly legal, and their disclaimer doesn't mean dick. (If you were to just post the images without any kind of comment and didn't bother to take a dump on it, that would be a different thing, so essentially, the more you mock that shit, the safer you are. Now, I don't know about you, but I love just punching things and watching candy fly out.)

Go forth, my good man, and regale us at once with the horror that is Tarot!

2/01/2007 5:22 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son of a....

I've been making that "Aberzombie" joke for years to my 8th grade students, fashion-bewitched as they are. I knew I should have opened that Cafe Press store sooner.

Word verification: fjrzcpq
The anticlimactic end to Namor's attempt at romance with lesborobo Ultron. Note to self, Namor: lesborobos and water do not mix.

2/01/2007 6:36 AM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

I'm shocked that I have to point this out, but from what I understand, Gold Digger revolves around the adventures of a busty cheetah-woman.

The reasons I don't read it should now be abundantly clear.

2/01/2007 11:05 PM

 
Blogger evan said...

Ignore Gold Digger if you want, but if you're going to make fun of it, you should at least read it to know what's up. I've never thought you've come across as uninformed about comics before, but this lion t-shirt joke is bizarre and wouldn't make any sense to someone who reads the book. How about, "Stay classy, Catman fans?" or "Stay classy, Narnia fans?" Weak.

Like I said, read a brick and do a post. Even if you hate it, at least you can do some solid material on softcore werecat fetishes or whatnot, instead of strange and unrelated alt text gags.

2/02/2007 5:03 PM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

Sir, you are not staying classy.

2/03/2007 1:57 AM

 
Blogger evan said...

Chris, you pulled a stealth edit on me. Which is totally cool, I thought your first version (as far as I saw) was a little dismissive.

You've read full runs of both Gen13 and Tarot, and commented on those comics well and hilariously. But when you deal with those books, you deal with roughly 10,000 readers for Tarot, and 30,000 current readers for Gen13 (compared to whatever the astronomical amount was in 1994, I couldn't google that figure successfully). When you mention Gold Digger, you're dealing with less than 3,500 readers. The-ISB has (?) probably ten percent that amount in individual hits daily, and I would think a lot more. Positive or negative word-of-mouth from you SERIOUSLY affects this book.

Gold Digger is a title that has been consistently written and drawn by the creator (Fred Perry) for over 50 b/w issues and 80 FC issues, monthly(ish) since 1994. In North America (and I could be wrong), only Dave Sim, Sergio Aragones, and Erik Larsen have a catalog for one title to compare to that (please correct me if I left anyone out). GD is pure adventure vision, a sprawling epic as authored by a single man drawing from all the same influences as every other kid who knew that knowing was half the battle.

If you ever choose to read Gold Digger, Chris, I don't want it to be at the behest of "this annoying P.O.S. on my comments section who couldn't take a joke." It may be that GD, like Alf before it, is just a property that can't be enjoyed unless the reader is exposed to it before the age of 10. And if that's the case, tear GD a new one, man. Read that brick and rip that brick to shreds if it sucks. But please let us know about it.

2/03/2007 6:50 AM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

Evan: I have no desire whatsoever to read Gold Digger, let alone purchase it.

2/04/2007 1:09 AM

 
Anonymous Lorene said...

And that goes double for you, Avatar.

Triple from me, Chris. Every freakin' month, it takes up at least three or four pages for those damn Lady Death variants. Or the Friday the 13th ones. Or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre ones. Or the Nightmare on Elm Street ones. There are days where I want to take all the Previews into the back and slice out the entire Avatar section before selling the catalogue to anyone. But then I remember my customers are too savvy to fall for those variants... they're too busy buying those damn Civil War sketch covers.

2/04/2007 10:54 PM

 
Anonymous Wilfred said...

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