Chris vs. Previews: April 2008, Round Two

Last night, I promised that the second round of this month’s Chris vs. Previews would involve the worst thing I have ever seen. And while the statue of the girl in rocket-skates that comes with a suitcase you can put over her head because the statue itself is ashamed to be dressed in ribbons comes pretty close…



…it doesn’t take the top spot.

What does? Well, to find out, you’ll have to join me as I get through the indies and the merchandise in tonight’s ISB! Or, you could just skip down to the bottom. But really, where’s the fun in that?





P. 216 – Archie Digest #245: From the solicitation:



Who are the Hairies?! Why, they are the top of the iceberg–the part one can see justting out of the depths of the unknown! But what is at the bottom of this symbolic iceberg? Why, File 202 of course! And the secret of that, my friends, means more than mere fright–mere danger–mere death! But don’t let this stop you!

Wait, hang on a second… Sorry, that’s actually the intro text to Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #135. After further consideration, it appears that this issue does not involve Archie joining a “drop-out society” and leading Jughead through the Habitat to the Mountain of Judgment.

I apologize for any confusion.


P. 251 – Project Superpowers #5: I’ll cop to the fact that I haven’t read a single page of Project Superpowers thanks to my distaste for Alex Ross vanity projects, but I do see the covers when they come into the shop, and thus far, I’ve thought that the pairings they’ve been doing have been pretty interesting. This one, however: The Arrow (who shoots arrows) and the Target (who is a target)?



Well-played, Dynamite. Well-played.


P. 273 – The Eternally Hilarious DMP Yaoi Line: The Yaoi section of previews is always good for a few laughs, but I’m starting to get the feeling that somebody over at DMP was asleep on the job this week. I mean, the best tagline they’ve got this month is “More Than Just A Jam Session,” and that’s not even as good as the actual title of the series, Hard Rock.

It does, however, provide us with April’s number one interjection:


“Sweet Sexual Harassment!”


Try using it to add a bit of spice and creepiness to your next moment of surprise! Like, say, “Sweet Sexual Harassment! These Teddy Grahams are delicious!”


P. 322 – The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: As hard as it might be to believe now, there was a time when Judd Winick’s comics were actually something to look forward to and enjoy, and that time can be pretty much boiled down to The Adventures of Barry Ween.

For those of you who haven’t read it, here’s the high concept: It’s Dexter’s Laboratory meets South Park. The titular hero is a ten year-old genius who, along with his porn-obsessed best friend Jeremy, gets into all sorts of shenanigans involving space/time portals in his basement and swears like a sailor while he’s at it, and as cliché as those elements are, it actually is pretty funny stuff that’s well worth reading.

Or at least, I think it is. To be fair, I haven’t gone back and read it in years, and odds are that I wouldn’t be able to give it a fair shake if I did, thanks to Winick’s abysmal track record with… well, pretty much everything he’s written for DC. But I can assure you: If 19 year-old Chris was here, he’d turn down the Vandals and give it a very high recommendation.


P. 331 – Atomic Robo TP: 25 year-old Chris, however, is far more likely to turn down the Pipettes and recommend this:



I’ve already covered this in the weekly reviews, but if you missed it, I’ll sum up: Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener’s Atomic Robo is just about everything I want in a comic book. It’s smart, funny, full of great action, and revolves around a team of
Action Scientists who bear a strong resemblance to the original GI Joe team. What more could you want?




P. 441 – The Apparel Section: It’s been a few months since there’s been anything really worth noting in the once-mighty Previews Apparel Section, but this month, someone was working overtime on the shirt descriptions:



Admittedly, “Team Rainbow” seems to be directed at a niche market, and the less said about “Fruit Punch” the better, but man, “Grievance?” That is gold.


P. 480 – Invisible Man Model Kit:



Wouldn’t it be awesome if this thing was just an empty box with a base in it?

I mean, I’d laugh.


And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for:

P. 502: The Worst Thing I Have Ever Seen:



Where do I even begin with this thing? How about we just go through the solicitation one more time and see if you can spot the number of things that are truly awful here? HINT: It’s the same as the number of aneurysms you’re going to have by the end of the paragraph!

Imported from Japan! From the weird and wonderful world of Tandem Twin, Yamato presents master sculptor Kouichi Yamazaki’s latest incarnation: Dog Bonnie! Inspired by the Golden Retriever, the submissive Bonnie is the perfect companion to Tandem Twin’s Dominant Dog Alma (previously released). Use the accompanying chain to create a themed display of Bonnie and Alma. Kneeling at approximately 7″ tall, Bonnie includes chain, base and a host of accessories: two interchangeable heads, two interchangeable breasts, eyeglasses and mask.

Sweet Sexual Harrassment. Congratulations, Previews. You win. And as always, thanks for keepin’ it classy, Japan.



And on that note, it’s time to call it a night. As always, feel free to let me know about anything that caught your eye in the comments section, but if I don’t respond, it’s because I decided to soak my hands in acid to erase the feeling of actually typing that last one out.

54 thoughts on “Chris vs. Previews: April 2008, Round Two

  1. Wait. *Two* interchangeable breasts? So you can switch the right and left one? Or is there just one breast that’s swappable with a single alternate one? This fetish doll makes no sense!

  2. Sweet Christmas, move over! Luke Cage has a new catchphrase! Get his figurine with removable tiara and yellow shirt, or even swap in the Skrullish head. Its like, 16 characters in one!

  3. Ah, that statue is from the manga Air Gear I believe. I vaguely recall one of the characters dressing up like that by accident–and wearing the bag out of embarrassment.

  4. Actually, the Invisible Man model kit should allow you to remove the face bandages… revealing the head of Ed Begley, Jr.

    PS When I saw the Archie Digest cover, Chris, I suspected you were going to highlight it.

  5. It’s sort of a chicken-vs.-egg argument, isn’t it?

    As in did the second bomb make Japan this fricken cornbally, and will dropping a third bomb just accentuate the problem?

    And Chris, not just a complex arrangement of ribbons. But a complex arrangement of ribbons in a symmetrical fashion.

  6. As in did the second bomb make Japan this fricken cornbally, and will dropping a third bomb just accentuate the problem?

    Third time’s the charm, Dave. Third time’s the charm.

  7. I stopped reading Winick’s stuff a while back, but I have to ask: at what point did “Winick” become a four-letter word? I liked his run on Green Lantern and the early part of Outsiders, and even when I bailed on his stuff, I never would lump him in the same category as, say, Chuck Austen. On the up side: the Barry Ween stuff is choice, and Winick is supposed to be working on new Barry . . . which makes me a happy camper. I mean, I was happy with The Life Of Times Of Juniper Lee with the rated-PG content and the stories recycled from TAOBW, but that got booted off Cartoon Network far too soon. Seriously . . talking pug with a Scottish accent. Aside from possibly a cactus with an Irish brogue, how can you beat that?

  8. If she’s inspired by a golden retriever, shouldn’t she have eight interchangeable breasts? Along with…um…the eyeglasses and mask that most golden retrievers have?

  9. I’m tempted to order a Dog Bonnie figure and replace the head with a Destro one just for you, Chris.

    As always, Previews is not for the mild-hearted. The timid should just buy the Marvel insert and go forth in ignorance.

  10. And y’know, if we dropped two bombs on Japan and 60 years later, their golden retrievers have interchangeable breasts, as well as those eyeglasses and masks, I really really really really don’t want to make the call to drop anything else on them.

  11. I wonder if it’s two breasts of the same pair but are independently interchangeable, or two totally different pairs of breasts that are interchangeable. Either way, their marketing people have won. We’re all talking about it.

  12. You should see the stuff they *don’t* import from Japan. I get aneurysims walking to the grocery store…

  13. I’ve reread my Barry Ween books fairly recently. They seem to hold up pretty well, even with my general disdain for the man’s current work…

  14. Re Superpowers, having read the first two issues, I say you’re right in your boycott. Bog standard boring superhero stuff with no redeemable features.

    At least the AC comics versions of most of these figures are amusingly cornball.

  15. re Arrow and target…

    Many many years ago, like thirty, in one of his strips at the back of the DC books, Hembeck had Green Arrow meeting the Human Target and mugging to the audience, “My kinda guy.”

    So if the lineup really is played for laughs int he book (I haven;’t seen it), I strongly suspect Hembeck did it smoother and funnier in three cute little panels.

  16. I’m very amused to see the Aurora-style Invisble Man kit being released. That kit was originally planned for the tail end of Aurora’s first wave of Monster Kits, before they sequed into Monster Scenes and Monsters Of The Movies, but it never made it past the designs stage. There was a lot of rumors about it coming out a few years ago (along with an Aurora-style kit of The Fly, which was designed for Monsters of the Movies but never made), but it never did. Why?

    Because my father outbid the buyer for Polar Lights (who at the time was rereleasing lots of old Aurora recasts) on eBay for both of the final design maquettes. For weeks after that Dad had to field emails and calls about them, from people that wanted to buy them in order to chop ’em up and recast. They now stand amongst all of his classic Auroras. I guess they either found another maquette, or designed one based on the original design (there are plenty of pictures of it out there).

    Judging from the maquette, that should be a great kit. Lots of little details in the lab, and the unraveling of the bandages on his head to reveal nothing looks really quite nify.

  17. “at what point did “Winick” become a four-letter word?”


  18. Although I fully intend to use it, isn’t encouraging people to say “Sweet Sexual Harrassment” akin to a “Longbox-ian” request?

    Sweet Sexual Harrassment is totally Airwolf!

  19. There shouldn’t be a ‘T’ there, because without it we’d have ‘Sweet Sexual Harrassmen’ and who wouldn’t follow the adventures of that team?

  20. Drop a third… huh? We want to punish an entire country for being perverts? If I was president, America would subsidize Japan’s fetish industry.

    As a matter of fact, in my own small way, I am subsidizing it.

  21. Two federal agents in an unmarked van are on their way to your house, Mike. Don’t try to run, they’ll find you.

  22. P. 273 – The Eternally Hilarious DMP Yaoi Line: The Yaoi section of previews

    I got really confused on that bit since I thought “Arrow & Target” was the Yaoi Section’s comic.


    Aww genocide jokes refering to one of the biggest (if not the biggest) war crimes in history, based on “another” culture’s “preversions” (as Colonel Bat Guano would say). And some awkward entaglements of those views and jokes after a remark about a piece of “gay” literature… aah, comics world…

    Now I can’t stop imagining people in Germany making their own version of those jokes. And saying a condescending “Too soon?” when someone says something.

  23. I wouldn’t worry about the statuette too much. No man with that thing in their house is going to be contributing to the national gene pool. It looks like a highly effective girl repellent to me!

  24. “That’s not really the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but I guess seeing some creepy dude buy one, that might be the worst thing.”

    No. The worst thing is if you see the creepy dude, then realize it’s your beloved grandpa.

  25. No. The worst thing is if you see the creepy dude, then realize it’s your beloved grandpa.

    I believe that is called a “FUUUUCK! IT’S IN MY GENES!!!” moment. It’s a state of terror and suicidal panic mixed with a good will for the future of mankind so it won’t have any more of that.

  26. Frankly, it’s completely unnecessary to actually BUY that figurine. It will be visiting us all in our direst nightmares.

    The interchangeable Bettys just make it worse. What’s to say that either pair is the “standard” set? What if the standard is NEITHER pair? In effect, you have The Crying Game, only with a huge chain leash and dog tail. Sexual Harrassmen, indeed.

    I won’t sleep for a week.

  27. How can you overlook the Daredevil tee entitled “Double Dizzle”? Apparenlty Snoop is now writing for Previews…

  28. Somehow, the idea of “interchangeable heads” is even more frightening. I mean, women in real life can interchange their breasts, but heads? I expect the second head to have huge bolts in the neck.

  29. Sorry, that’s actually the intro text to Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #135

    Dammit, Chris Sims, you got me unreasonably excited about Archie for no reason.

  30. Anonymous poster # 29 bashing comics blogs and fans alike and spewing sweet, sweet anti-American agit-prop and condescension straight outta New Haven says:

    “Aww genocide jokes refering to one of the biggest (if not the biggest) war crimes in history, based on “another” culture’s “preversions” (as Colonel Bat Guano would say).”


    “Now I can’t stop imagining people in Germany making their own version of those jokes. And saying a condescending “Too soon?” when someone says something.

    Sweet moral equivalence, Batman! Because dropping A-bombs on imperial Japan was the exact same – I mean exactly – the same thing as as the National Socialists wiping out a million Jews. Tell us more Chomsky!

    Maybe Millar and Quesada can get you in on the editorial board at Marvel you have the right attitude!
    Was the A-bomb worth all the crappy Magna and hentai? Would more bombs stop them. As Jim Gordon once said – some questions are just too big!

  31. Wait, wait, isn’t “Condescension. Arrogance. Bellicosity. Straight Outta New Haven!” the tag line for The Decider, a comic about George W. Bush? Dunno what New Haven has to do with Joel’s weird opposition to tasteless jokes.

  32. Hi, Boredlawyer!

    Some people don’t think America is All That. I think Americans are even legally obliged to let them say so. I’m just saying. I’m also saying that your kneejerk patriotism is just as offensive to me as Anonymous’ kneejerk horror at seeing nuclear warfare being made light of is to you.

    Also: Air Gear: Author O!Great is like a continual font of WTF.

    And: Mark Millar needs a new idea injection, or, needs to retire.

  33. You know, I actually stopped reading the solicitation for the worst thing Chris has ever seen and then inflicted on his audience before the interchangable breast feature was brought up. I kind of wish I had just left it at that. I also wish I could find a way to tie the Dog Whisperer in to the conversation. Or Michael Vick, just to keep the tasteless humor trend going. But I just don’t have the strength at this point. Some one else wanna take that ball and run with it?

  34. Aww genocide jokes refering to one of the biggest (if not the biggest) war crimes in history, based on “another” culture’s “preversions” (as Colonel Bat Guano would say).

    What, too soon?

  35. Boredlawyer, I don’t really agree with Joel’s overall tone and his way of talking down, but to say there’s no equivalency at all is, ahm, weird. Ask Godzilla. Or convince someone to make a love column called “Ask Godzilla”.

    And people really need to stop using the O’Reillyian (hey it sounds like “…) phrase “anti-american”. If it gets more popular, my grandad will be able to say I’m “anti-grandpa” when I call him on his excessive drinking

  36. All humor is tasty. Atleast Japan is open with their depravities. Here, we keep it hidden, till the FBI searches your basement/crawlspace/shed in the woods.

  37. Of course Joel can say he doesn’t like America. And of course Boredlawyer can say that he does. If one is free to say it, the other is free to disagree with it. Quid pro quo, Owesome.

    And now, can we quit it with the politics and make with the comics talk?

  38. Cant someone like America and still think that dropping atomic bombs on not one but two civilian populations when the war was considered by some even at the time to be almost over anyway (We can say that the pride of the Japanese never would have aloud them to surrender unless something so major happened, but its all speculation)? I mean I dig lots of things about america; cheap and frequent flights, the blues, superhero comics etc, but still think that the bombings were excessive and something to be none to proud of. I wouldn’t call it even near the worse human rights vilotation ever (Wouldnt give Hitler and crew that (dis)honor either mind.) but its probably in my top 2000. Its an unfortunately long list. (Japan’s own treatment of China during occupation is on the list too, what with all the raping to death and what have you. Then again some Chinese stuff is on the list too).

    Taking a longer historical viewpoint than just the last 70 years… Im pretty sure Japanese was always gona turn out someways similar to now. The whole geisa thing and whathaveyou.

    But, as gross and wrong as this statue in question is, I still dont see how it makes the Mary Jane one any better, given the whole adult vs alledgedly all age pitch of the characters in question. Then again, the `vilolence is ok but sex is ebil’ tint in american censorship/clasification rules is pretty wierd to outsiders like myself too.

  39. And nightfly, `lets leave politics out of this’ or similar such comments dont make any sense. Everything is policital. I heard some sportsperson refuse to comment about the tibet issue because they didn’t want politics to interfere with a sporting competition… guy didnt seam to get that `not letting politics interfere with a sporting competition’ is the exact same thing as deciding that sport is more important than human rights. Jackarse.

    Hi Chris. Incredibly funny, and surprisingly helpful, as always.

    By the way, a friend of mine, Luke Write, had his poetry plagerised by some wanker performance poet in the Uk (dude was going around reading Luke’s poems at open mic nights, saying he wrote them himself). Luke sent a cease and desist notice and demanded the guy publically anounce his sham at all the pubs he’d performed at. I let him know about your own plagerisim experience for comparison.

    Im Earl by the way. Hi.

  40. I think I speak for everyone from Scans_Daily when I look at that statue and proudly proclaim, “Boobs do not work that way.”

  41. Mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is?
    I offer in embarrassment the usual excuses.”
    Billy Bragg – From the Great Leap Forward
    I will try to make this short because this is comics blog, not a political one, and would not like to see it become one. I come here out of my love of boots to head and, with few exceptions, do not see the need to mix the Burke and Rousseau with the Doc Martens. (Although – if you are into that stuff read the Nightly News) Besides, I must go bill more hours so I can afford to buy The Jack Kirby Omnibus 4, so I can finally get to read Hunger Dogs.
    Anyway – the reason I responded strongly is not so much I am John Walker Super Patriot, but found the original poster’s response really condescending to a bunch of guys whose comments I enjoy (because they are way funnier than I can ever be). And while it may not always be the case, I do find that most people, who draw a moral equivalence between the holocaust and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are not engaged in “nuanced” patriotism”, but instead are manifesting corrosive sense of pessimism and cynicism masquerading as knowledge and/or wisdom. An honest historical reading of the facts would seem to indicate that there is a substantive difference between the bombings of imperial Japan to avoid a ground invasion of the main island (to get an idea of that would have been like google the Battle of Palau), versus the wholesale genocide of group of people for no reason but their religious/racial identity. But really – this is probably not the place to get into it.
    The New Haven thing was just a reference to the fact the places like Yale have become feeding grounds for particularly virulent relativism and anti-western ideology, c.f., “God and Man at Yale” by Bill Buckley, or “The Closing of The American Mind” Alan Bloom.
    That being said, as to the penultimate question: we probably would have gotten dog ladies in bondage anyway. I imagine their might even be a course at Yale about it. The answers my friends – they lie out on the Zoomway.

  42. Earl – I’d much rather take this conversation out of here, as you have seen… But I will pause to state here that not everything is political. In fact, most of the best things are not political at all: love, joy, good food and wine, games and sports. The list goes on. In fact, thinking about non-political things politically tends to ruin them.

    Sure, there are political songs and poems and art, and even politically-themed comics – but unless the creators happen to also be very good at art, their work turns out to be clunky and uninteresting. The Clash were awesome because they rocked, and they rocked just as well on Train in Vain and Brand New Cadillac as they did on Guns of Brixton or Clampdown.

    In short, it’s nice to simply talk about things we enjoy (comics in this case) without fretting over the artist’s voting record or environmental footprint or what have you. Politics divide, but the ISB unites.

    :::Free Chris Sims:::

  43. I can’t believe I actually looked this up, but evidently the interchangeable breasts are by the pair. Once set is the clothed pair we see here, and the other is not clothed but still defying all laws of gravity.

    Pictures are available at . The nips are tastefully covered with photoshopped hearts over them, for those of you who might be at work.

  44. Nightfly

    I think we just have different working definitions of what `political’ means, but I agree with alot of what you’re saying (especially about the Clash rocking and enjoying comics, and freeing chris sims, and joining the church of Cobratology. Wait, you didn’t say that?) and even the parts I disagree with? I’ll still defend to Death your right to say it. As long as its the cute goth Death from Sandman, or the amusingly drole guy from the diskworld books, not the MU skeleton chick Thanos stalks or the Judge of that name sicne he’s too political for even my tastes.