It’s time to start our monthly walk-through of Diamond’s Previews catalog. As is my preference, we’ll start in the back section of the catalog and hopefully draw your attention to a few projects that caught my eye or that might catch your eye.
Adhouse Books has Ronnie Del Carmen’s (Batman Adventures and Pixar story supervisor) And There You Are scheduled. It’ll be a spotlight on “the life of fan-favorite muse Nina,” who has previously inspired Del Carmen’s Paper Biscuits series. I missed the latter, but Del Carmen’s an excellent artist and well worth paying attention to.
Comics’ greatest star of 2008 carries strong into the new year, as Barack Obama returns for Obama: The Comic Book Inaugural Edition One-Shot from Antarctic Press. Chris Allen writes and draws the latest from comics’ latest great character.
Jamie Delano’s new series, Rawbone, with art by Max Fiumara, debuts from Avatar, along with the usual assortment of violent stuff from Vertigo’s line-up of writers circa 1996.
I’m not typically big on media crossover projects (see my indifference to the Watchmen movie brouhaha), but I noticed that Boom Comics’ partnership with Disney/Pixar begins to bear fruit in March. Mark Waid’s four-issue The Incredibles debuts, with Marcio Takara on art. Since Waid’s humorous jaunt on Impulse is among the best work of his career and I’ve often wished he’d write more comedy, I’ll give it a page-through. Alan J. Porter and Albert Carreres handle the four-part Cars miniseries, if you’re up for more of the worst Pixar movie ever. And coolest of all, the awesome Roger Langridge rocks it on a four-issue Muppet Show serial. I don’t really care what it is, so long as it’s Roger Langridge.
That Rich Johnston fellow (I think he writes for a competitor site) collaborates with Simon Rohrmuller on the parodic Watchmensch one-shot from Brain Scan Studios. Will there be a film for it to mock?
For the good-cause supporters among you, the CBLDF two fund-raising prints, Echo #8 signed by Terry Moore, and Fear Agent by legendary EC artist Jack Davis. The Hero Initiative has two signed prints, Gene Colan’s Captain America and Frank Cho’s Howard the Duck.
Dabel Brothers jumps on the best-selling novelist bandwagon with Dean Koontz’s Nevermore. Keith Champagne handles the script and Andy Smith draws. Dean Koontz, always late to Stephen King’s ball.
Wolverine: Progidal Son (by Antony Johnston & Wilson Tortosa) and X-Men: Misfits (by Raine Telgemeier, Dave Roman and AnZu) will satiate your desperate need for mangafied Marvel mutants. Del Rey publishes. Marvel couldn’t hire these creators to do the same thing? I don’t get it.
Si Spencer and Hitman’s John McCrea have Pandora’s Box from Desperado Publishing. I know nothing about it, but I love McCrea’s work. The solicit says noir thriller, glamour model, kinky sex and drugs. Sounds like a good time to me, and Desperado puts out some interesting stuff.
D&Q publishes the first book in their John Stanley Library, collecting the Melvin Monster strips by the Little Lulu legend. If it’s half as good as Lulu, I can’t wait for it.
Beetle Bailey and Hi & Lois creator Mort Walker gets the big spotlight in The Comics Journal #297.
Harvey Pekar is among the contributors to The Beats: A Graphic History, along with Joyce Brabner, Trina Robbins, artist Ed Piskor and more. Hill &Wang publishes the do-wop ditty.
Media tie-in fans, pay attention: IDW has Angel: Blood and Trenches by John Byrne, starring the Buffy character in World War I action. Byrne’s also behind Star Trek: Crew #1 while Ty Templeton and Steve Molnar handle Star Trek: Mission’s End #1. The latter apparently bridges the gap between the original series and the first movie. And if you think IDW’s books cost too much, check it out: Omnibus editions of Fallen Angel and Desperadoes, each running in the neighborhood of 500 pages for only $24.99.
Larry Gonick’s always delightful historical graphic novels return with The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 2, self-published. If you want to know what occurred in the world between the American Revolution and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, this is where you should look. Good comics that teach you things!
Top Shelf announces a new paperback printing of Alan Moore’s novel Voice of the Fire. All I can say is, good luck getting past that first chapter. You’ll be a better person than I if you do. Peter Kuper’s editing the 39th issue of lefty protest mag World War 3 Illustrated, an all-silent issue with contributions Kuper, Barron Storey, Seth Tobocman, Ryan Inzana and more.
Paul Hornschemeier’s new book, Life With Mr. Dangerous, looks pretty interesting. Villard’s publishing. It’s got a girl, romantic entanglements and obsession with cartoons.
In the front part, you’ll find:
Dark Horse’s Achewood vol. 2, more of Chris Onstad’s uber-popular online comic now killing trees. Taking advantage of The Spirit’s by-then five-month-old swan dive out of theatres, The Spirit Storyboards collects Frank Miller’s … well, storyboards. Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The New Adventures Archives collects the entire eight-issue run of Kitchen Sink’s The Spirit: The New Adventures. And for you completists, they’ve designed it to look like DC’s Spirit Archives, even including a volume 27 on the cover! Why exactly didn’t DC put this out in the first place? Don’t know, but Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Eddie Campbell, Mike Allred, Paul Chadwick, Mark Schultz, John Ostrander, Kurt Busiek and many more create. Goon #32 is the tenth anniversary issue. You do the math.
DC has a zillion Batman: Battle for the Cowl projects. No Batman, yet more Batman comics than ever. In keeping with the theme, Superman’s not going to be in Superman or Action Comics. How does this make any sense?! Green Lantern Chronicles vol. 1 hits stores to take advantage of the GL lovefest coming with summer’s Blackest Night. V For Vendetta goes Absolute. Personally, I’ll probably stick to the Jonah Hex trade, with Darwyn Cooke, J.H. Williams III and Jordi Bernet artwork, and maybe the second Shooter Legion trade (Enemy Manifest, collecting through the series’ final issue), because I’ve a soft spot for the Legion and a few friends have recommended it.
Over at Image, lots of characters who appeared in high-selling, late-(if at all)-shipping comics fifteen years ago guest star in Invincible #60. Wonder no more about the fate of Pitt or Ultra! Ultra? I’ve never even heard of that one. Eric Shanower’s Age of Bronze #28 comes out. It’s not an anniversary, but I have to mention it because it’s a brilliant series. Witchblade reaches issues 125, which is typically a hoopla for readers.
Marvel has more Stephen King, more Marvel Illustrated, more Ultimatum, and more X-Men titles than I can bother to read solicits for. Holy Christ, I thought there were no more mutants?! Some Dark Reign stuff, too. War of Kings looks pretty interesting. Also, if you’re inclined, piles of Omnibuses will be out, including the complete Millar Ultimates, Iron Fist by Fraction and Brubaker, and Daredevil by Brubaker. In trades news: Terry Moore’s Runaways and Spider-Man Loves MaryJane collections also hit stores, as do a thousand Secret Invasion collections.