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Monday, February 26, 2007

Chris vs. Previews: March, Part Two

After slugging it out with the major publishers in last night's installment of the ISB's monthly Previews Roundup--because you demanded it!--tonight belongs to the rest of the mag: The indies, the merchandise, and of course, a stern look at the Super-Classy Apparel that the tastemakers at Diamond have decided to unleash on a weary public. So of course, the question on everyone's mind tonight is...

What am I going to say to cheese off the readers of Gold Digger this time?

If I was a betting man, I'd say it's probably got something to do with this:

But there's only one way to find out! Part Two Starts Now!


P. 231: Archie Comics: It's offered again here, but I remember seeing the solicitation for Archie #500 the first time around, and thinking how weird it was that it promised to show the 500th time that Archie gets thrown out of Mr. Lodge's house, the 500th time he accidentally makes the same date with Betty and Veronica, and so on, because that's essentially trying to sell you on the book by saying: "It's everything you've seen before, just done again!" Of course, this was before I realized that that's pretty much the tactic DC's using to sell Justice Society of America, so now I just think it's nice that Archie's honest about it.

P. 242: Avatar Press: Earlier tonight on the Bad Signal, Warren Ellis, commonly known as the creator of Nextwave and therefore the Savior of Modern Comics, mentioned that he'll have a lot of work coming up from Avatar over the next year, and that he wants to "completely change people's expectations of that publisher."

You know what'd change my expectations of Avatar? A month without twenty-two covers worth of Lady Death.

P. 269: Del Ray: Okay, so from what I can understand from the solicitation here, Avril Lavigne's Make Five Wishes concerns everyone's favorite insultingly faux-punk Canadian pop tart appearing via mystical powers to her fans and inspiring them to believe in themselves and achieve their goals. Which essentially means that it's the exact same comic as Mr. T and the T-Force, except with Avril Lavigne.

If she fights Space Dinosaurs in volume 2, I will be on 'til the break of dawn.

P. 294: First Second Publishing: Expect a full review later on this week, but just so everybody knows where to find it, The Professor's Daughter's solicited here, and it is easily one of the best graphic novels I've read in the past year. It's funny, sad, action-packed, well-written and absolutely gorgeous, and will probably be the single greatest love story between a proper Victorian Englishwoman and a mummy that you read all year.

P. 374: Wildcard Ink: Bob Burden likes Gumby a heck of a lot more than I do, but from the one issue I've managed to scrounge up of his work on the title, it's like he's on a mission to show everyone else exactly why he loves the character so much. And it works, too: The stories he does with Rick Geary and Steve Oliff capture the great visuals and surreal fun of the concept in a way that the claymation stuff never managed to do for me, and they are pure joy to read. There was an issue solicited last month, but the trade of Volume 1's right here. Check it out.


P. 420: Even in these divisive times, I'd like to think that we can all join together as one people and agree on this:

Tie-dyed t-shirts need to stop. And tie-dyed t-shirts involving super-heroes need to die a swift and horrible death, never to be thought of again save for reflections on our most shameful hours.

P. 422: Like Sterling, I am simultaneously repelled and intrigued by the idea of footwear that I could purchase at a comic book store, but this can't possibly be a good purchase. Admittedly, I gave up my studies of cobbling when I realized that there was more money to be had in fields that haven't been obsolete since the 19th century (like, say, the daring jet-set field of internet-based freelance comedy writing), but those things don't look like they're one-size-fits-all. Still, fourteen bucks makes it almost tempting enough to order just on general principle.

The keyword, of course, being "almost." Those throwing stars over on page 498, though...

And that's the catalog. There's plenty more actually in there, but, well, what can I say about the allegedly Lovecraft-inspired statues of busty Anime girls in bikinis that isn't implicit in this very sentence? If you've got any questions, though--or just want to hear me extoll the virtues of the Cutey Honey live-action movie (p. 526), feel free to leave a comment below.

Seriously, though? I'm totally getting those throwing stars and building a fort out of long boxes of ROM: Spaceknight. Believe it.


Blogger Carla said...

Those shirts should only be offered in XXXL.
And have a dragon thrown on them. Just to make it official.

2/27/2007 3:48 AM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

You know if there were a t-shirt maker that actually OFFERED their shirts in 4X and above I'd be tempted by it. No matter how lame the art...

While I'd prefer shirts that were, you know, not lame, I (like many nerds/geeks) am REALLY FUCKING FAT. So stuff from threadless or the vast majority of webcomics types (who all have kick ass tees) are right out. I get tired of the plain tees from Big & Tall at times...

2/27/2007 3:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet those sandals are also on sale at Pier One.

2/27/2007 7:25 AM

Anonymous The Mutt said...

Dude, those tees are groovy. Tie Dye is deep, man. You bind the cloth so that the image hidden within it can be freed. You think you know... you think you know, but you don't know what you're going to get. It's like you make the tee in partnership with chance. Like, you put it in the hands of fate, man. It's almost like the tee... makes... itself...
That's heavy cotton, man.

I could dig a Wolverine poncho, man. A real poncho, not like a Sears poncho.

2/27/2007 9:12 AM

Blogger Nimbus said...

Actually, I quite like those t-shirts - especially the Captain America one (although it would be better if it had the words "I QUIT" on the back).

But those samurai slippers - what the flippin' nora!?! They look like something a grandmother would knit for her new-born grandchild. The germans aren't missing out there, I can tell you.

2/27/2007 9:38 AM

Blogger Max Radical said...

You totally have to do the Cutie Honey Movie Review. When the best things that even the makers can find to say about it on the box is "features computer graphics transformation sequence!" then you know it's something special.

Of course, it's likely far too dangerous to endure myself. That's why we keep you around, Mr Sims!

2/27/2007 9:40 AM

Blogger Greg said...

Yeah, but Avatar does have Streets of Glory by Ennis and Mike Wolfer, which promises lots of blood and guts in the Old West. So how can you go wrong?

And I'm jealous that you already have The Professor's Daughter. I was already going to get it, but now that it has the Chris Sims stamp of approval, I'm even keener on it!

2/27/2007 9:52 AM

Anonymous Sad Captain Party said...

It'd be so easy to design some aesthetically-pleasing superhero merchandise, so why do Marvel insist on just constantly getting a hideously over-rendered picture of one of their properties in an angry 'action' pose, and sticking it in the middle of a t-shirt/clock/remote-controlled car/whatever?

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and aw that, but the images Marvel use are always so amazingly ugly, with the most grotesque colouring imaginable. It's like they dinnae actually employ designers of any sort, they just buy up some blank t-shirts and go "man, Andy Kubert has drawn a gnarly picture of Hulk screaming, let's get it in photoshop, colour it with no respect for how it kills the image, and stick it on these shirts! About in the middle should do. Man why don't the mainstream like comics? Don't they respect Hulk's strength and loud howling?"

Sorry. It is a sore point with me, is all. It leads to incoherent rantings.

2/27/2007 11:21 AM

Blogger Jason said...

I wonder why Ellis wants people to rethink their idea of Avatar? I mean, Avatar seems to be pretty happy with their whole "big boobs n' horror" image. As long as they keep pimping Lady Death to.....well, death, that's not gonna change. I realize they publish other kinds of books, but it's like saying Marvel will redefine their image by publishing 3 non-superhero books.

2/27/2007 11:36 AM

Blogger thedeadpenguin said...

I was a little confused about that Ellis comment, since I don't have any familiarity with Lady Death and such so I only associate Avatar with awesome Ellis, Ennis, Moore, etc books. Whatever it is he has planned, I'm all over it. His Avatar books have been thoroughly excellent.

I can absolutely understand why the ugly merchandise is a sore point, sad cap'n. Marvel's merchandising is one of those things that consistently embarrasses me. Have you ever gotten a crappy, snarling, overmuscled and badly colored Hulk shirt as a gift from a friend or relative who isn't into comics? There's a unique kind of horrible feeling you get when you realize that this is what they think your interests are like.

The saddest thing about their merch quality? Immonen is right there. He's got some of the best design sensibilities in comics, he's working for Marvel... put two and two together, guys.

Also, why's there no sad clown Hulk from Avengers #1 on a shirt? I loves me some sad clown Hulk.

2/27/2007 12:42 PM

Anonymous Sad Captain Party said...

Oh totally, Immonen could design a great shirt. And any image from Avengers #1 would be amazingly preferable to the crap that is normally used. 60s comic book art is iconic enough to work very well on a shirt - it can suggest "hey I like and understand the power of pop art", "hey I am retro and hip" or "I like comics but am not a fashion-blind loser".

I've never been given a hideous Marvel shirt, but one birthday I walked into college to see one of my friends had bought me an X-Men poster and put it up right above my desk for me. It was horrible. All Ultimate goatee Wolverine and, er, Ultimate soul patch Cyclops. I couldn't exactly take it down, as then he'd know I hated it. But how was I supposed to look cool and sophisticated to the older girls with that monstrosity there? Sad times.

Sad, sad times.

2/27/2007 1:01 PM

Blogger Jason said...

Actually, Target and Wal-Mart of all places have had some great Marvel shirts for sale. There was a very cool Romita Sr. Spider-man shirt, a shirt featuring the Cap for President button drawn by Byrne and an old-school Avengers group shot (artist unknown).

The only problem is that, since they are at Target & Wal-mart, everyone has them.

2/27/2007 2:16 PM

Anonymous The Mutt said...

The only superhero tee shirt I would ever wear is one that looks just like the actual shirt the hero wears. I have Punisher, Captain America, Superman and Batman (no yellow oval). Wearing a Captain America tee shirt will really help you watch your weight.

2/27/2007 2:38 PM

Blogger Jason said...

I always wanted to get the Thor shirt like that. It was just four big circles.

2/27/2007 3:14 PM

Anonymous the dark knight said...

The emblem shirts are preferable, but should be used with discretion.
I have a T-shirt with the Bizarro S-shield on it, and I get an average of six people per day asking if I realze that my Superman shirt is on backwards.

And purple.

2/27/2007 4:53 PM

Blogger Michael said...

Man, if Mr. Rogers had changed into samurai sandals every day when he got home from work then I wouldn't be wearing these red Chuck Taylors right now.

And I swear to Kirby, there's no way in hell that Warren Ellis is getting me to buy a Lady Death comic. Um...

There's no way in hell that Warren Ellis is getting me to buy an Evil Ernie comic!

2/27/2007 11:57 PM

Blogger Mike Haseloff said...

What the fuck are you TALKING about, Sims?! George Perez was like a pig in shit over those shirts!!!

Now if they sold Wonder Woman bikeshorts...

2/28/2007 4:30 AM

Blogger Ferrous Buller said...

That's why we keep you around, Mr Sims!

"You expect me to blog?"

"No, Mr. Sims - we expect you to die!"

2/28/2007 5:58 PM

Anonymous Jon H said...

How about some of Lex Luthor's jewelry from Superman II?

Not reproductions, but the real thing.

There's a big costume auction in England, with things like Alec Guiness' Obi Wan robe from Star Wars ($100,000), costumes from Highlander, Terry Jones' helmet from Holy Grail, a Supergirl costume from the 80's movie, etc.

The Lex jewelry is only expected to go for about $1600-$2000.

3/02/2007 12:08 AM

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