Chris vs. Previews: September 2008, Round Two

You know what I like most about the merchandise section in Previews? There’s something in there for everyone.

Sure, it might look to the untrained eye like a vast wasteland that caters to the maladjusted collector of Japanese tchotchkes, but that’s just on the surface. In reality, the good people at Diamond devote the back half of their monthly catalog to servicing every niche market they can think of. Seriously, check this out:

Hey Previews! Show me what you’ve got for The Girliest Girl Who Ever Girled.



Huh. A figurine of Tinkerbell the Fairy sitting on a glittery hot pink high-heeled shoe that is decorated with rhinestones and flowers. Yep, that’ll do it.

But that’s not the only market they’re going for, and tonight, the ISB goes toe-to-toe with the small press and the merch to bring you the highlights!





P. 228 – Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #53: Yep. Those are definitely nipples in a full-page Previews ad.



Either that, or poor Crypt Chick–who is ironically the only recurring female character in the series to never appear fully nude, probably because her miniskirt and top are made of ectoplasm or something–desperately needs a new bra. But here’s the weird thing: Until Dorian pointed it out, I didn’t even notice, probably because fifty-plus issues of Tarot have almost completely desensitized me to Jim Balent’s take on the female form unless it involves spiders or octopi or something. (Yes, that’s in the issues. No, I will not scan them.)

Incidentally, when I asked Dorian if he’d mind if I covered the same thing he posted, he said he was cool with it becasue “Tarot’s sort of your thing.” And I’m not sure how i feel about that.


P. 254 – Black Terror #2: I’ve been pretty vocal about my distaste for Alex Ross’s work in the past–which is mostly based around the fact that he likes his super-heroes to look like photographs of his doughy old neighbors in ill-fitting suits, and I prefer them to look like, you know, art–but I gotta say…



…that’s the best thing he’s done since the Flash Gordon DVD.


P. 264 – Junior Escort v.1: Hey, wait a second…



“Scandalous Nights?” Wasn’t that a song by Loudness?


P. 301 – Mr. T Graphic Novel: That’s right, folks! In a move that I can only assume was designed to appeal specifically to me, Mr. T returns to comics for a third time with an all-new graphic novel, and this time oh my god he’s wearing a leather jumpsuit with a giant golden T on it and fighting supervillains.

This is going to be totally awesome.

However, I do feel that as a scholar of Mr. T comics–owning, as I do, a full run of Neal Adams’ Mr. T and the T-Force–I should point out that this is actually more an extension of T’s second foray into comics, as writer Christopher Bunting was also behind the one-issue Mr. T series that AP Comics put out back in 2005. And I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that for the brief time that it existed, that book was totally the Dark Knight Returns of the Mr. T universe.

As to whether Bunting can recapture that success in the graphic novel, I’m not sure. I just hope it’s got this in it:



P. 308 – Blue Monday: Thieves Like Us #1: No joke for this one, just a reminder for anyone who may have missed it that there’s going to be a new round of Chynna Clugstons’ Blue Monday, which I quite like despite the distinct lack of shark-punching. There is, however, hooliganism, unrequited love from at least four parties, and other various shennanigans that make it read like the best teen movie never filmed, so it all balances out in the end.




P. 403 – GI Joe Mighty Muggs: Okay, I’ve mentioned before that aside from the 25th Anniversary GI Joes and Legos, I’ve been trying to cut down on buying toys that I really don’t need, but seriously?



It doesn’t even matter whether I want to buy these or not. It’s just going to happen. I can try to resist, but eventually, I’m going to come out of a fugue state and see the most adorable Cobra Commander ever menacing Yotsuba on my bookshelf. If only there was someone who could end his super-deformed reign of terror! Someone of similar scale that offered change I could believe in!


P. 436 – Barack Obama Action Figure:



Ah, there we go. Crisis averted.


P. 449 – To Heart 2 – Another Days – Nanako-Chan Sukumizu Ani*Statues White Regular Edition & Black Limited Edition:




And that’s Previews. As always, if anything caught your eye this month, feel free to mention it in the comments section below.

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to figure out if even the combined might of Beta Ray Bill, Jimmy Olsen and Mighty Mugg Snake Eyes could stop the juggernaut of terror that is… Cardbo.

22 thoughts on “Chris vs. Previews: September 2008, Round Two

  1. Alex Ross definitely deserves some props for working both a sword and a missile into the same cover. If he could have somehow managed a locomotive and a key, he woulda hit the phallic grandslam.

  2. Bah! Action Figure Obama accomplished nothing in his years in the PLAYMOBIL senate. He’s totally unqualified to be president of Toyland!

    Also, I’m not quite sure what to think of a Blue Monday. Tell me Chris,

    How do I feel? Tell me now how should I feel?

  3. I don’t like calling females sluts, especially since my sister would get on my case about it, but hey Tinkerbell, if the shoe fits….

  4. I love how the fist sucking catgirl doll comes in two colours, as if the creepy paedophile (yes, that’s how we spell it in England, it’s not a typo) who buys it will sit there deliberating which one to buy.
    “Hmm, well, the blue one matches my basement better, but the white one would look great next to all my statuettes of Chii from Chobits…”

  5. Regarding the first and last images in this post and their possible similarities.

    I’m afraid to ask but… if you turn that Tinkerbell figurine around a little, can you see up her skirt (like it seems you can with all the other female figurines in Previews)?

  6. Kate, in England, we spell it “bloody paedophiles! Out to be strung up! Bring back hanging!”.
    Or, that one time, pediatrician. Boy did that mob degenerate into an awkward apology quickly.
    I think all Black Terror’s covers from now on should be scenes from Dr. Strangelove.

  7. If I had any artistic ability whatsoever, I’d draw up Batman wielding nunchuks made of Mr. T. Or Mr. T. wielding shark nunchuks vs. Batman wielding shark nunchuks.

  8. I think the real problem is that the “Limited edition BLACK” figure is clearly BLUE and not BLACK. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT, JAPAN? CARE TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF?

  9. Y’know, at first, I was going to try to say that those weren’t nipples, they were metal studs attached to her bra…

    Then I looked closer. Nope. Nipples. That thing’s got to be a pain to put on. She probably spends forever making sure the holes line up with her nipples exactly. Really, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

    (Oh, and I’m not a big Alex Ross fan either. His art always seems too stiff, it never conveys motion properly. But I doubt anyone will care what I think after the nipple comment.)

  10. “You’re the first person I’ve heard totally diss Alex Ross. Ye gods!”

    Well, then, let me welcome you to the Internet!

  11. I have to say that I was worried about you after part 1, wherein at least one image had no rollover text (the Captain America one). I decided that I would read part 2 in an effort to allow you to redeem yourself, and after seeing that you somehow included rollover text on an ANIMATED GIF, I feel ashamed for every doubting you and your technological wizardry. Mea Culpa.

  12. I think Alex Ross was once a decent artist. I think Marvels is a truly beautiful piece or artwork, especially his drawings of Gwen Stacy.
    But yeah, his work ever since about halfway through Kingdom Come and onward just seems to be getting worse and worse, with a scant few examples of truly good artwork. it’s like he stopped trying as hard, or something. Or perhaps he’s been replaced by a Skrull deep cover agent. Or something. Sorry, it’s one in the morning, all my attempts at humor are going to be lame and unfunny.

  13. Actually Chris, there’s two issues of that Mr. T comic from AP. Looks like you found yourself a new holy grail to search for.

    Also, have you seen the new infomercial (Flavor Wave?) starring Mr. T? My wife refused to stay on it when she came across it yesterday but it’s now my mission to watch the whole thing.

    I’m still hoping someone convinces the guy to do Mr.T Science Theatre 3000… that is Mr. T doing commentary tracks for any movie he feels like.