Sorry, readers. I try to get this thing up the Monday after Previews comes out, but things occur. Anyway, on with the show:
It’s time to stroll through the very cool and absolutely idiotic items that you, comic book consumer, can order for yourself in the latest issue of Diamond’s Previews catalog. First, let me offer a hearty congratulations to all of these titles for achieving Diamond’s new benchmarks. No, seriously, bravo, glad to see you’re all still standing. As usual, the books of serious interest and of ridicule are purely of my arbitrary choosing. You can find them all, among thousands of other items, in the catalog. We’ll start in the back portion.
As far as I’m concerned, Maybe the most exciting book in the whole catalog can be found on page 263. Drawn & Quarterly, working with designer and editor Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings), releases Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s 840-page autobiography A Drifting Life. Only thirty bucks for one of the most anticipated (by me) books of the year. 840 pages! Holy cow.
However, Top Shelf has the biggest news of the catalog (and yes, I’m jazzed for it; just not Tatsumi jazzed for it). Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, the League of ExtraOrdinary Gentlemen vol. III: Century #1 “1910”. 80 pages, eight bucks, Mina and Allan in London just after the turn of the 20th century. Expect tons of references to the history of adventure fiction and a ripping good time. Three preview pages in the catalog.
Dave Sim has another new series debuting in April – Cerebus Archive #1, which promises a light-hearted approach, and a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes raw materials in Sim’s “Archives File Drawer #1 (1972-1979).” Cerebus-philes, you are notified. This stuff may even pre-date Sim’s descent into raving lunacy.
SLG has the second collection of James Turner’s Rex Libris. Vol. 2: Book of Monsters collects issues 7-12, and Turner has a new 48-page one-shot, The Warlord of IO and Other Stories.
Joe Casey, Denny O’Neil, Tom DeFalco, J.M. DeMatteis, Len Wein, Shawn McManus, Joe Staton & Omaha Perez are among the many contributors to Ardden Entertainment’s Flash Gordon 75th Anniversary Special. Oh, I get it. Ardden Entertainment. Dale Arden. Haha. 70 pages, hardcover, fifteen bucks. So long as it doesn’t resemble that recent Flash Gordon TV series. I still get chills from the ten minutes I accidently saw while flipping channels one day.
Avatar has a new Warren Ellis series, Ignition City, with art by Gianluca Pagliarani. It’s apparently alternate history retro-punk. I swear he has a new Avatar series every third week.
Bluewater Productions looks to expand their line beyond President Obama comics, with Female Force: Michelle Obama. The cover art does Mrs. Obama no likeness at all. Wonder when the bloom’ll be off the Obama-as-comic-book-star rose…
You’ve probably seen it on the main site: Mark Waid’s Irredeemable #1 hits in April. Superhero goes evil. Sounds pretty cool. It was the best thing to ever happen to Hal Jordan. Muppet Robin Hood #1 also ships, by Tim Beedle & Armand Villavert, Jr. Robin Hood stories with Kermit the Frog drawn in the lead role. That’s just weird.
Dustin Nguyen has a print for sale via the CBLDF. Kozmo and Re-Run the Rocket Dog costs $20 and benefits the Fund. Or you can pick up a slabbed (9.8 – oooohhh) copy of the Walt Simonson variant cover of Liberty Comics #1. It is a good comic. Too bad you won’t be able to read it, sucker!
Fantagraphics, purveyors of fine comics goodness, have several outstanding titles on the docket. Prince Valiant vol. 1: 1937-1938 is a hardcover collection of the first two years of Hal Foster’s legendary strip. I admit I rather wish for more than 120 pages for thirty bucks, but still I’m going to have to check it out. (Whatever happened to their Pogo reprint series? I’m still waiting!) Love & Rockets’ Gilbert Hernandez has a new graphic novel, The Troublemakers, which I think was solicited about a year ago, but apparently it’s really going to come out this time. Beto can do no wrong. You’ll Never Know book 1: “A Good Decent Man” is the first installment of cartoonist C.Tyler’s memoir/biography of her father. I’ve read it and it’s pretty good stuff. Oh, and Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon are in TCJ #298.
James Sturm collaborates with two former CCS students on Adventures in Cartooning, a how-to-make-comics book for young readers. It’s a blast, trust me. Also the first book of Dong Hwa Kim’s trilogy, The Color of Earth, arrives in stores. It’s the tale of a young girl’s coming of age, and the preview art is gorgeous. First Second publishes both.
Transformers. GI Joe. Terminator. Star Trek. Angel. Doctor Who. Flip to IDW if you care.
Knights of the Dinner Table reaches its 150th issue. It must be doing something right. Good going, guys.
New Press publishes Harvey Pekar’s biography of radio personality and author Studs Terkel. Pekar’s really expanded his niche into the biographical realm convincingly.
Judd Winick’s one good comic, Barry Ween, gets an omnibus edition from Oni Press. The Big Book of Barry Ween collects all twelve issues of Ween.
Prion published The Best of 2000 AD in hardcover. How they chose from over 1600 issues, I’ll never fathom.
Geoffrey Hayes’ children’s book Benny and Penny: The Big No-No is available from Raw Junior. It’s still weird to think of them publishing kids books.
Stonecutter, a Chinese folktale, “rooted in Taoist principles” and adapted by Jon J. Muth with John Kuramoto, ships from St. Martins Press. 136 pages, hardcover, and Jon J. Muth for only fifteen dollars U.S. Jim Ottaviani and Big Time Attic release T-Minus: The Race to the Moon from Simon & Schuster. It’s the space race, by guys who make the rocket scientists look dumb. Cool.
Michaels Eury and Kronenberg and TwoMorrows come together for The Batcave Companion, an exploration of the Silver and Bronze Ages of Batman. Infantino, O’Neil, Adams and Giella are among the no-first-name-needed creators who’ll be interviewed. Mark Buckingham gets a Modern Masters volume from TwoMorrows also. I’m still waiting for my MM: Kyle Baker book, guys.
In the front, Dark Horse has: a relaunched Aliens franchise, with BPRD’s John Arcudi scripting Aliens #1 and Zach Howard on art. Lots more Conan stuff. Let’s see … what else? Who Wants to be a Superhero: The Defuser. HAHAHAHAHA! The first of what appears to be several books under the “Neil Gaiman Presents” banner, The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales. Since Neil doesn’t have time to crank out comics 24/7, and since we’re apparently running out of a short stories and novels of his to adapt to comics, we’ve now moved into the realm of reprints of projects that have Neil’s stamp of approval. Oy. Playboy’s Trump collects all two issues of Harvey Kurtzman’s short-lived, but long-loved (bah-dum bump) Trump magazine. Will Elder, Jack Davis, Al Jaffee, Mel Brooks and more lend Kurtzman a hand.
At DC, Bayou vol. 1 is the first of the Zuda comics line to jump to print. Vertigo apparently reinvents itself as a re-packager of its own greatest hits, with Preacher, Uncle Sam and Transmet all getting new, up-scale editions. (Vertigo does have a new Seaguy mini from Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart, so HELL YES!) Starman Omnibus 3 and the 26th and final Spirit Archives are worth not making fun of, however. They’re awesome.
Image is on the Viking bandwagon. Loeb/Liefeld: Smash! I can’t find a punch line as ludicrous as the reality.
Marvel has more Avengers/Dark Reign and X-titles than I can count. My eyes refused to focus after the first six pages of their catalog. And you think that’s a joke, but it’s not. Though my inner sixteen-year-old does wonder if the stories in that Spider-Man 2099 trade will hold up after all these years.