Normally, I like to start off the second night of my stern, uncompromising look at Previews with one of my dubious “favorites” from the Apparel section, but over the past couple of months, there just hasn’t been anything there to catch my eye. Maybe it’s the result of a concerted effort to class up the ol’ Diamond Comics Warehouse, or maybe the deal to get distribution rights to those shirts where the wolf cries while howling at the moon that has Dale Earnhardt’s spectral face on the surface fell through.
Regardless, I’ve been taking it easy on the t-shirts for a while now. And then they had to go and bring us this:
Man oh man, that thing is a masterpiece. Because seriously, next to the dreaded tie-dye/dragon combination, there’s nothing that makes a worse t-shirt than actually drawing the abs. Genius!
And that’s just one of the fine products you might be missing out on if you skipped the back half of Previews! Now let’s see what other gems we can dig up from in there…
P.205 – Azumanga Daioh Omnibus Edition: Back when this was originally solicited, I mentioned that I’d picked up the first couple of volumes based entirely on the strength of Kiyohiko Azuma’s other work, Yotsuba&!, which is hands down one of the most enjoyable comics I’ve ever read. So enjoyable, in fact, that I wondered if it was that high standard that caused me to be pretty underwhelmed by Azumanga Daioh.
Then again, here’s a typical strip:
See that big empty space in the last panel? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure that’s where the punchline’s supposed to go, and in like three quarters of the strips, it’s mysteriously absent. Of course, I did end up picking up all four volumes and after Netflixing the run of DVDs, I’ll concede that it works a lot better in animation than it does on the page, but even with the impenetrable humor that runs through it (which I’ve got to assume is just a matter of it not translating well), it’s surprisingly addictive thanks to Azuma’s incredible knack for interesting characters and recurring gags that, seriously, take like four years to pay off.
It’s not Yotsuba&!–and really, what is?–but if you enjoy his work, it’s well worth checking out, especially since it’s so much cheaper than getting them all separately like I did. Oh, the folly of youth!
P.224 – Betty #173: You heard it here first, folks:
BETTY COOPER IS A SKRULL.
P.244 – The Godfather Chronicles #1: So, Mark Waid, of Kingdom Come fame, is going to be writing an adaptation of The Godfather for comics. I don’t really have a joke for that, but all things considered, I don’t think that’ll be a problem here.
Oh wait, here’s one, sent in by Mark Hale, age 29: “That’ll be great for people who don’t live anywhere near a video store or a tv with cable. Or a TV at all. Heck, you could probably stick a spoon in your mouth and catch a broadcast of The Godfather.”
Thanks, Mark! Your No-Prize is in the mail!
P.261 – Army of Darkness/Xena: Why Not? #1: For it is written that a weary world cried out for succor and the skies did open:
That’s right: John Layman, writer of Dark Xena–or as we know it around here, the single greatest work of fiction ever crafted by the hands of human beings, has once again come forth, to release what will surely become the basis of all civilization for millennia to come. In fact, I–
[Green Light]John Layman ex-Wildstorm editor and writer for books such as “Stargate” and “Bay City Jive,” has been increasingly vocal about his dissatisfaction with publisher Dynamite, complaining to other comics professionals, as well as Marvel higher-ups, about lack of royalties on their “Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness” series. Apparently Layman was under the impression there would be further compensation from Dynamite if the book did well in the marketplace, and is now upset because no compensation appears forthcoming. I understand that Layman walked away from completing the fourth issue of the just announced “Army of Darkness/Xena” four-issue cross-over.
–Rich Johnston, Lying in the Gutters 1/07/08
I’m sorry… There… there are no words.
P.283 – Selfish Mr. Mermaid: Okay, here’s something that’ll cheer me up:
Okay, two questions here:
1. How can he be a mermaid when he, like Derek Zoolander, is clearly a mer-man, and..
2. Is Selfish Mr. Mermaid the greatest yaoi title ever, or the greatest title for anything ever? U-DECIDE!
Comic Book Comics #1: If you’ve ever found yourself reading through Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Action Philosophers and thinking “You know, Kant and Wittgenstein are nice and all, but I wish they’d talk about guys that really matter, like Jack Kirby and Winsor McCay,” then have I got some good news for you.
Yes, the creators behind the most awesome educational comic since Ninjutsu: Secrets of the Invisible Art are reuniting to bring you the sordid true story of the origin of American comics, and if that sounds like anything less than the most awesome comic of the year, then check your car battery at the door, buster.
P.305 – The Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted #1: And now, the easiest joke I will ever make:
So in order to celebrate the launch of their new line of Star Trek comics, IDW’s releasing a book with four covers stapled onto one comic. Coincidentally, they’re also doing that with the Ghost Whisperer book, but that’s just because it was the only way they could fit Camryn Manheim in the picture.
P.326 – North World v.1 GN: Kevin sent me the link to Lars Brown’s North World webcomic last week, and while I didn’t get a chance to get more than about ten pages into it, those ten pages involved a guy talking to another guy about how weird it was that he always ended up fighting giant animals, and then going to fight a giant talking bear.
This book, therefore, pretty much sells itself. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that the bit that I read was clever and very sharply written, either. But seriously: Bearfighting. Get on it.
P.384 – Comic Foundry #2: Just a reminder here for those of you who skip the magazine section in an effort to avoid luminaries like Horrorhound and Girls & Corpses: International playboy/bon vivant Tim Leong took a break from being almost unbearably handsome to put out a second issue of my favorite comics magazine, which now includes a snappy redesign, full color, a cover story on ISB Favorite Matt Fraction, and still clocks in at a penny cheaper than Wizard. So do like the guy from The Legend of Zelda says and buy it already, will ya?!
Normally, this is where I’d go after the merchandise section, but since Sterling already got to all the good bits–and by good, I mean mind-shatteringly terrible–I thought I’d start the new year off with something different: The ISB’s first-ever look at…
So turn down the lights… light a candle… and let’s do this thang.
P.1 – Initiation: Except for all those times that I claim to know what funny is, I don’t claim to know what funny is. But this?
This is hilarious. Between the positions of the “nametags” (especially Henry, because seriously, what the heck happened there, bro?), the fact that it’s from the charmingly named Class Comics and the so mind-shatteringly awful it’s brilliant tagline (“Getting through college doesn’t have to be hard… but it helps!”) this thing manages to surpass even all but the best of DMP’s lineup.
P.5 – Young Lusty Sluts: On the off-chance that you’re wondering, allow me to assure you that I generally just look through to see if there’s a new issue of the best porn comic ever, Colleen Coover’s Small Favors (there’s not, but the uncollected #8, the color special, is offered again). Still, occasionally something’ll catch my eye, and a title like “Young Lusty Sluts” is one that’s gonna jump out at you.
As it turns out, though, Young Lusty Sluts is not a porn comic at all, but a collection of lurid pulp novel covers that actually looks really entertaning and comes pretty highly recommended if you’re into that sort of thing. And really, who doesn’t have room on their bookshelf for Young Lusty Sluts?
Also, on the off chance that you just got here from searching the web for “Young Lusty Sluts,” I’m sorry to disappoint and I don’t usually go for skewing my Google hits, but Kevin bet me that I wouldn’t use the words “Young Lusty Sluts” seven times in this post, so, well, my apologies.
Young Lusty Sluts.
P.8 – Love Is Like A Hurricane: Good heavens!
I’ve been reading comics for twenty years, and that’s the unhappiest young man I have ever seen.
That’s it! And now that a good portion of the folks who read the ISB from work have sworn me off for nearly getting them fired–and come on, you can’t say I didn’t warn you–I think it’s time to call it an evening. As always, if there was anything that caught your eye in Previews this month, feel free to leave a comment.
Especially if you can explain why Suicide Girls Magazine has taken two years to come out. Seriously, it can’t possibly be that complicated to put together.