Chris vs. Previews: July 2007, Round Two

Happy Independence Day, everyone! And how appropriate the holiday is, because tonight’s focus shifts from the major publishers to the independents in the second round of the ISB’s all-out fight to the finish with July’s Previews!

Of course, there’s also the non-comics portion of the catalog, including the massive, lumbering target that is the Apparel section. Rest assured, dear friends, that it remains as classy as ever with this month’s Stupid Zombie Shirt, conveniently available in XXXL:



While we’re on the subject, remember that Countdown Jimmy Olsen shirt I ordered a few months back? Well, much like Countdown itself, it’s already started to develop loose threads that are keeping me from enjoying it as much as I’d like to.

The ISB t-shirts, however, continue to perform well above my rigorous standards for clothing, and make delightful gifts for anyone who loves anything.

Please, please give me your money.

Anyway, now that that’s over, let’s get on with the stuff that far less reputable companies than me want you to buy! It’s the indies, the merch and me, and only one of us is gettin’ outta here alive!





P.228 – Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics: I’m putting this here because I actually missed it myself the first four times I went through Previews, but if you’re one of the poor unfortunate souls who has never experienced the beautiful radness of Phil Hester’s The Wretch, it’s reoffered here and I honestly can’t recommend it enough. It is, after all, a comic where a mysterious, silent, and borderline creepy hero battles Galactus with the power of a See-N-Say featuring God.



Needless to say, it is awesome.


P.243 – Avatar Press Inc.: Hey, remember that time Mark Millar was going to launch a line of comics across multiple companies at the same time, and then it completely failed to actually happen? Well, welcome to round two: The big news from Avatar this month is that Millar’s The Unfunnies is finally going to finish, and at this point, I’m pretty sure that nobody’s going to care. The Unfunnies wasn’t really that good to begin with, living up to its premise a little too well–and probably not in the way that Millar intended–and would probably be the worst thing to come from that guy’s career. Except for Trouble, I mean, and even that didn’t ship three years late.


P.258 – Broadsword Comics: I probably have more of a vested interest in it than any sane person has a right to, but has anybody else noticed that the big full-page ads for Tarot always have extra articles of clothing added in to keep the characters from being completely naked right in the pages of Previews, but the actual covers–which are featured on the facing page–feature unretouched Ballentine nudity in all their relative glory? Cracks me up every two months, without fail.


P.300 – Fantagraphics Books/Eros Comics: And this month’s award for the most hilarious awful porn comic title goes to…



Aunts In Your Pants. Pee Soup, you may finally lay down your burden.




P.384 – Comic Foundry: Tim Leong is a damn handsome man. I mean, I think he’s a pretty good-looking fellow in general, but in the world of comics, which is populated largely with sasquatches like me, being able to pull off that Emo Ira Glass look is like being Brad freakin’ Pitt.

Huh. Did I just spend a paragraph talking about how good-looking Tim Leong is? Yeah, probably best to move on.

Anwyay, in case you missed it, the print version of Comic Foundry almost didn’t make it into the catalog, due to somebody at Diamond claiming that there just wasn’t a market for it–which is a pretty ridiculous excuse for the company that turns over a hefty amount of warehouse space to comics like the aforementioned Aunts In Your Pants–but thanks partly to a concerted online effort to show interest in the mag, it was picked up and (oddly enough) spotlighted in this issue. As for me, I’m excited about it, and not just because of any completely heterosexual man-crushes I may have on its editor; it’ll just be nice to have something that, you know, isn’t Wizard.



P.398 – The Completely MAD Don Martin HC:



Given the highlights of my freelance writing career, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m a huge fan of MAD’s maddest artist, and when I first saw this over at Sterling’s, my heart made a noise not unlike something Martin would’ve used in one of his strips. It might’ve been a SKWA-BA-DAP, it might’ve been a FUNKADA WUNKADA, but it was certainly enough to drown out any doubts I had about dropping $150 on a beautiful hardcover collection of thirty years’ worth of the man’s work. It’s the first in the series, and given that they’ve already collected all of Antonio Prohais’s work on Spy vs. Spy and others, I’m wondering who’s next.



P.430 – Stupid Stupid Zombie Shirts: And now, an open letter to Diamond Comic Distributors, LLC:

Dear Diamond,

I will buy you an entire pie–your choice of flavor!–if I never have to see anything like these shirts again.



Please stop,



P.438 – Marvel Super-Hero Squad Mega-Packs: I mention this pretty much every month right before I talk about some new action figure that I want, but I’m really not that much of a toy guy anymore. Even so, I did pick up most of the Marvel Super-Hero Squad figures, if for no other reason than the fact that you can buy a two-pack featuring a motorcycle-riding demon from hell and a murderous vigilante with a bazooka designed specifically for five year-olds gives me no end of joy. But this? This?



The Happy-Ass Bug-Eyed Devourer Of Worlds? That is genius!


P.460 – Star Wars Kustomz Star Destroyer Executor Roto Figure:



Please note that this product is listed as “Pending Licensor Approval,” thus implying that Common Sense was just circumvented outright.



And with that–a cheap shot at Star Wars and what I believe is the first use of the phrase “Happy-Ass Bug-Eyed Devourer of Worlds”–I do believe my work here is done.

23 thoughts on “Chris vs. Previews: July 2007, Round Two

  1. have yet to read Unfunnies, but the paragraph on Millar seemed overly harsh. Is he due punishment because of Civil War, or the Ultimates lateness? The ISB is normally a warm hug of a place, so this seemed a bit out of sorts.

    However, as this is the home of the ecstasy-fulled Galactus figure, I bow to your superior knowledge/power/girth/delete as appropriate

  2. Chris, you complain about the t-shirts but then express your love of small plastic dolls aimed at five year olds. I’m detecting the faint whiff of double standards.

    I thought the Undead Inside tee was actually quite amusing (if only for 2 seconds). Whereas that Galactus is just a drug-addled, plastic, purple headed toy.

  3. The Hasbro Superhero Squad is the ultimate toy line right now. The Nightcrawler is fantastic! Come to think of it, the entire Squad line from Hasbro is genius, from the Star Wars characters to the new and totally awesome Transformers line (Shockwave, Ravage, and Grimlock, how I’ve missed thee).

  4. I agree with no-last-name Jeff. Those poorly articulated kiddie toys are the best damn action figures being made right now. They’re good, goofy fun!

  5. I have Superhero Squad Hawkeye and Captain America on my desk here at work. They aren’t in the same weight class as my Colossus statuette, but they set off my Inbox quite nicely.

    I am unhappy to hear that there is a Nightcrawler out there that I have missed. But I am happy to see that I will soon be able to obtain a happy-go-lucky devourer of worlds.

  6. I keep scouring the stores for the Nightcrawler, to no avail. But just look at it:


    Truly, the most awesome action figure ever. It’s like a tiny little plastic adaptation of Spidey Super Stories. Sans lemonade.

  7. Wow… Darth Vader is racing for pink slips.

    And will this inspire a Star Wars / Rat Fink crossover comic?

  8. As awful as that “Aunt” thing sounds, if I’m remembering correctly it’s a series of Sergio Aragones silent strips featuring a dirty old lady who gets herself into all manner of odd situations. So the disturbing title is actually very misleading (fortunately).
    (My dad was a huge Sergio fan and had a copy boxed up with a bunch of his old Mad Magazines and Groo issues.)

  9. First post and I even misspell my own name! Oh, the shame!

  10. Yeah, THE UNFUNNIES is pretty grim stuff. Like TROUBLE before it, I reckon Millar thinks it’s groundbreaking stuff for comics, when in fact, it’s a little bit old hat. An old hat that passed him by ‘cus it wasn’t published by Marvel or DC.

  11. Chris, you complain about the t-shirts but then express your love of small plastic dolls aimed at five year olds. I’m detecting the faint whiff of double standards.

    So I have a double standard because I like some things… and don’t like others? Well you’ve got me there.

    As awful as that “Aunt” thing sounds, if I’m remembering correctly it’s a series of Sergio Aragones silent strips featuring a dirty old lady who gets herself into all manner of odd situations. So the disturbing title is actually very misleading (fortunately).

    My heart sank when I read this, because it being by Sergio Aragones would mean I would have to get it, and that would mean writing down the phrase “Aunts In Your Pants” on my order after a solid week of using it as a punchline.

    Fortunately, as is always the case, a cursory Google search proved that I was right:

    Italian writer Enrico Teodarani focuses his erotica powers on this dense romp through familial taboos. Featuring torrid stories about aunts and the nephews who love them, wonderfully illustrated by Saint Germain a.k.a. Luciano Bernasconi (creator of Wampus), Luigi Siniscalchi (Tales from the Clit), Marat Mychaels, and Ken Hunt (Tales from the Clit).

    Yes, the creators of Tales From the Clit. Incidentally, that one was released today, and I was highly disappointed by the lack of a Clitkeeper to frame the stories. I might have double standards, but some people don’t even have one.

  12. So I have a double standard because I like some things… and don’t like others? Well you’ve got me there.

    Well, I meant that you consider those t-shirts severely geeky but not toys of brightly coloured superheroes. But, erm, whatever!

    Mind you, if that goggle-eyed Galactus was kicking that Human Torch in the face, then – well – that would be awesome!

    Also, I like how the Comics Foundry mag has SEX in large letters on the front. Guaranteed to get readers! Let’s hope issue 2 has a Fangirl Fashion section – just to keep things, y’know, equal. ;)

  13. Sorry about that, Chris. I should have figured that it was just the same title. The only reference Google turned up for Aragones “Aunt’s in Your Pants: Memoirs of a Dirty Old Woman” was a notation at a site that seems to list most of his work
    It doesn’t look like it’s been reprinted since it’s original 1967 release date. Which is okay, because it’s really not that good.

  14. I now have the Don Martin book on order at my local comics shop thanks to you. Darn you! You keep finding new ways for me to spend my hard earned money! And women my age are supposed to throw out comics, not buy them! My neighbour keeps telling me to just toss out the kids comics ’cause the clash with the decor, not realizing that many of them are mine. I hope to someday see a collection of the Wit and Wisdom of Alfred E Neuman, taken from those little bon mots as the top of the table of contents page in my old Mad Magazines. I still have all my old Mads from 1972 to 1984. My kids, now almost adults themselves; read these old classics to pieces. I’ll never ever throw them out no matter how ratty they become. Somethings are meant to be treasured.

  15. I was going to pop up here and say that all zombie shirts are undeniably retarded, but man, I forgot about that Threadless one. That thing’s awesome.