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!
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.
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.
HA HA HA HA THAT IS HILARIOUS 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.