Chris vs. Previews: January 2008, Round Two

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:





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–

Wait, what?

[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…


Previews Adult


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.

35 thoughts on “Chris vs. Previews: January 2008, Round Two

  1. Congratulations, you now have the DuckTales theme stuck in your head.

    Damn you, Chris Sims. I’ll be singing this for a week now.

  2. Premptive Generic Comment:

    Gee, Chris, why didn’t you write about BLANK? BLANK and BLANK are doing great things with BLANK, and I thought that would be right up your alley!

    Just thought I’d get that out of the way early…

  3. The Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted…


    Look, there’s Xena/Army of Darkness… I just don’t know where the boundaries are any longer.

  4. The best part about that “New Parallax” shirt…well, the second best part, after the abs…is that the character existed for, like, a month in the fall and no longer does. The shirt comes out in…March? To commemorate the three or four appearances of Kyle Rayner as Parallax? Um…

    I’m really tempted to read “Selfish Mr. Mermaid” on the strangth of the title alone. God, that’s a good title…

  5. Even before I read your alt text I was already singing that song. And now I’ll go on singing it. Sigh.

  6. I was going to point out that MAYBE some people don’t have three hours they want to invest in watching “The Godfather”. I mean I know I’ve returned it to Netflix TWICE without getting around to watching it (and its at the bottom of my queue again). And MAYBE they just want to READ a version of the story…

    And then I remember its originally a book…

  7. If I remember right, the first few volumes of Azumanga Daioh had a different, crappier translator than the later ones. So jokes that were already ill-suited for the English language suffered even more. Eventually they brought on the guy who did the translation for the anime, so the second half of the Omnibus is LOADS better. It still suffers from the fact that puns and cultural jokes don’t translate well, but the new guy included things like footnotes to explain the obtuse stuff. So while you’re not necessarily laughing, you do “get it”. And that counts for something, I guess.

  8. That unhappy young man is unhappy because John Layman’s not finishing Xena/Ash. Or possibly because there are no Young Lusty Sluts nearby to save him from the pedophile who is lifting him up bodily.

  9. I demand an Army of Darkness/Ghost Whisperer crossover. Whispering vs. chainsawing – which is more effective on the undead?

  10. Let’s get this out of the way, as well…

    1. So THAT’s how Clark Kent paid off his student loans so quickly.

    2. The new Smallville spin-off JUSTICE has been retitled BIG LEAGUES.

    3. Not Pictured: Bartholomew Henry “Barry” Allen.

    And so forth.


  11. so does that mean the Army of Darkness/Andromeda book’s been pushed back too??

    c’mon Dynamite, pay the man!

  12. I happen to love Azumanga Daioh; I’ve read through the entire manga series. But when I look at an individual comic I STILL can’t figure out WHY.

  13. c’mon Dynamite, pay the man!

    I sincerely hope they’re paying Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson for The Boys — I’d hate to see that series end, particularly due to cheapness.

  14. Happily, I love the Duck Tales theme tune. Whether I will ever be able to separate it from that image as long as I live is another question.

    God damn! I see Mike Sterling highlighted that horrendous Dalek Sec voice changer. It’s bad enough in pictures, but I have to put the damn things out at work! It’s in an open-faced box, too. I can feel them staring at me with their single, unblinking eye as I restock the Spider-man stuff opposite. Guh…

  15. “Getting through college doesn’t have to be hard… but it helps”
    Best bit of writing ever.

  16. At least with her new elasti-arms Betty won’t need Archie’s help beating off guys anymore.

  17. I think the joke of the Azumanga strip is that Tomo has named her cat and dog very generic, boring names and Osaka is mocking her lack of creativity. Maybe. I think I read it somewhere…

    It probably works better in Japanese. Either that or it’s just not a very good joke.

  18. Not to get jumpstarted on talking about the week’s comics or anything, but I actually didn’t hate Hulk #1. McGuinness was superb as always, and while the story could’ve been done twice as well in half the pages, it wasn’t, you know, godawful.


    (Plus She-Hulk punched a bear, and that is awesome)

  19. Actually, If you’re at all familiar with Class comics, you will note that this was the most restrained and realistic pornography they’ve solicited.

  20. “At least with her new elasti-arms Betty won’t need Archie’s help beating off guys anymore.”

    I read that incorrectly the first time. I hope.

  21. Is he getting ready to spank the uke in that last pic? Because it really looks like it, and I really hope so.

  22. No, the Best Porn Comic Ever was Horny Biker Sluts, John Howard’s epic. Followed closely by his She-Male Trouble.

  23. Oh man, we’ve been making fun of Selfish Mr Mermaid since Previews came out. I can’t get enough of that title. The Yaoi section of Previews is always the best section.

    And, yes, that Parallax t-shirt is awful. I do actually love the Batman and Captain Marvel hoodies in the apparal section this month, but we can’t get Gaffiti stuff in Canada.

  24. Actually, Chris, if that van Lente joint really DID have a palindromic title, it would be: “Comic Boob Cimoc.”

    See? I just handed you your first million dollar idea. Don’t spend it all in one place.

  25. aww, you totally missed the point of azumanga daioh. just cause its in a 4 panel format doesnt mean they dont run together.