The Return of Chris vs. Previews!



From February 2007 until December 2008, I went through the Previews catalog every month, highlighting the notable (and notably insane) items in each catalog in a feature called Chris vs. Previews. It was actually pretty popular as far as recurring features on the ISB go, but I stopped doing it after I suddenly remembered that I totally hated the format I’d set up for myself.

But now, after almost a full year of agitation from readers (and Benito Cereno), Chris vs. Previews is back at ComicsAlliance!

It’s a slightly trimmed-down version of the old feature–I used to spread it over two posts–but it’s got everything you’d expect from one of my posts, right down to a look at the classiest import statues Japan has to offer. So give it a read, and if there’s something that caught your eye in this month’s catalog, feel free to drop a comment over at CA.

39 thoughts on “The Return of Chris vs. Previews!

  1. Obamouse.

    If this nonsense continues for much longer, I’m going to begin to suspect a plot by comic book publishers to annoy comics readers to the point that they vote en masse for the Republicans in 2012.

  2. I’m glad that you take the time to highlight things you’re genuinely recomend, like the Blacksad collection.
    Probably more fun to write about that yet another creepy Japanese figurine.
    That said. Japanese figurines are massively creepy.

  3. Glad to see the return of the classic. Wish you’d keep more stuff on-blog, though. It seems like all you do here now is talk about Anita Blake and Tarot, and pretty soon your blog’ll be at dangerous concentrations of non-action and giant Balent titties.

  4. Guy’s building his brand, has to get his hustle on. One man’s opinion.

    Anyway, good job Chris-v-Previews-Emerald-Attack-Team! Now let’s keep pestering him about the return of Spidey Super Stories!

  5. I don’t remember how I stumbled into The ISB in the first place, but I do remember that it was the “thanks for keeping it classy, Japan” line that made me come back. And since I live in Tokyo, I’ve often had to repeat that line to myself throughout the week. (Chris, your royalty check is in the mail, I swear!)

  6. Yeah, Chris. The blog’s been nothing but Tarot, Blake, Many Emotions of Batman, Week In Ink, random comic panels, Warrior Wisdom, recaps of weird comics I’ve never seen before, and bonus content for your Bonus Content for so long that I barely remember what it was like when it used to be exactly that same thing only with slightly fewer links off-site, slightly more updates with a single panel of a comic, and a different weekly Friday feature.

    This place has changed in a way that gives us even more free content and that’s just inexcusable.

  7. Two things:

    -Rock on return of Chris vs. Previews!!

    -So, the annoying, black-hole of charisma from Mass Effect 1 is the main character of Mass Effect 2? The only thing she had going for her in the first one was that she was bisexual (“Whoa… vagina!”), and even that wasn’t good for much other than the controversy.

  8. Next time I’ll read the article first… That book could actually be decent; I just dont’ want to play a game centered around her. Love the “Choose your own Dialogue” concept, lol.

  9. She’s the main character of the tie-in comic, Steve, not the main character of the game. Why would they make a sequel to a game with a totally customizable character where you can’t customize the character?

  10. Wow. No matter how accommodating you try to be Chris, I am astounded at the number of people who take it upon themselves to be backseat bloggers.

    I can understand saying that you like a feature and would like to see it again on the site, but these over-arching critiques appear rather off-base.

    Remember people- feelings aren’t thoughts.

    -Citizen Scribbler

  11. Maybe just change this site’s name to

    @Citizen Scribbler: people are providing feedback to this blog about the content and lack thereof on it and how displeased they are with the current direction it’s taking. the other and/or next step is to just quit coming here and stop looking at it.

    I used to visit daily now it’s twice a week. The less actual content I find here the less I feel like coming here. I know how to bookmark comic alliance and go there directly if I want to.

    I don’t really know what your point is other than to be an apologist for Chris. Which he doesn’t need. He speaks his mind clearly and often with wit.
    Those are my thoughts.

  12. Oh man, I was wondering why I’ve been sad all the time lately, now I realize it was because Julius Brown has only been visiting my site twice a week! And here’s me thinking we were best friends.

    Now I know I have a heart. Because I can feel it breaking.

  13. Has Chris ever been unclear about his desire to make a career for himself as a professional writer? Maybe I just misunderstood for the last few years, but it seemed to me that the ISB was always a stepping-stone, and that the whole idea was that he would outgrow the blog. Do you guys think he’ll be doing nightly 1000 word articles on Jimmy Olsen when he has a gig writing Sleepwalker or the Kickers, Inc. relaunch or whatever? I don’t know what comics blogging pays, but it’s not like the guy can do a printed collection of his columns, the way internet cartoonists do, since he doesn’t have rights to the panels he makes fun of. And the only ads I’ve seen are the Amazon sidebar. So what career-building options does that leave besides writing columns for people who’ll pay him? Or actually publishing a Solomon Stone novel (*hint!*)?

    Sims doesn’t need an apologist, nor does he need a defender, and that’s not what I’m doing. What I hope to point out is that this kind of complaining, and the flaming which inevitably results, does nothing but bum out those of us who still wish to read the ISB, regardless of these criticisms. Since the man needs to stack paper and build a resume, kicking his own ass to make strangers laugh for free isn’t a good option anymore. Therefore, complaints about where on the internet free content is located can, at best, provide material for what is, frankly, one of the weaker segments of War Rocket Ajax. If Sims’ writing stops being worth “free” to you, vote with your feet. If it’s not worth a mouseclick to help a writer you like get over in the game, that’s your call. But enough with you guys being buzzkills for the rest of us. Again, one man’s opinion.

  14. I’ll be honest. I have been missing those posts where Chris writes about some insane issue from 25 years ago. I feel something missing when I hold the mouse over a photo and there’s no geniusful alt text.

    But, on the other hand, the fact that Chris is finally getting paid dollars (as opposed to Amazon-change)to write about comics is so hope inspiring, I can’t hate too much regardless of the temptation that my elaborate hating might end up immortalized on a podcast.

    Why don’t all you haters put your anger into something useful, like starting your “In 30 Seconds” entries. I’m sharpening my crayons as I type.

  15. What am I looking at here? People complaining about clicking a link? Really? Oh, Internet, you never cease to amaze.

  16. Let’s just call it “tough love,” Chris.

    (Actually, I’m just lashing out unfairly. The whole Disney Princess discussion this week took me to some pretty uncomfortable places and I’m still processing a lot of it.)

  17. The only real difference being the loss of the fabulous mose-over pic comments. Which, I confess, I still look for, because they were typically nuggets of comedy gold.

  18. @ julius brown:

    Oh, so I’m not allowed to give feedback on the quality of other people’s feedback?

    I will remind you again sir, feelings aren’t thoughts. Your opinion that there isn’t as much content as there was or that there has been a decline in quality is offbase. Why? For one thing, you provide absolutely no facts to back this up. And yet you mistake your incorrect subjective feelings for a fact. Perhaps you’ve become less of reader in this time- ever consider that?

    You’re right. Chris doesn’t need me to defend him- but I thought I might spare him the bother- you really are only worth the time of a peon like myself.

    Nobody here knows who you are, nor do they much care for your illogical complaints. But I think I’ve got your number- you just wanna appear on the “Big Ups” segment.

    I mean, really! Do you really think Chris is going to change the content of his site to please people who tell him that he’s doing a crummy job? I’ve never met him, but even I know him better than that. I hope, someday, I do meet him, so I can shake his hand and say “Thank you. Thank you for making me laugh.”

    All I’ve gotten from you, Jealious, are bad vibes. Where’s your blog, so I can go there and jump up and down on the end of your bed?

    It is possible to contact Chris privately, but you’d rather take it upon yourself to try and harangue him publicly.

    I bet you don’t like ice cream anymore because somebody told you it isn’t as “cool” as it used to be.

    -Citizen Scribbler

  19. In my defense, I said 25 years ago.

    It’s really about that alt-text. I’m so addicted to the ISB, when I’m anywhere on the net, I hover the mouse over pictures wondering what Chris Sims might joke about it. Even on Facebook.

  20. 3 PREVIEWS items that I would have bet cash money that you’d have highlighted:

    – Spider-Man and Captain America, in SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE #9, holding Abraham Lincoln’s coat and hat while he beats the tar out of some asshole.

    – Archie holding his 2 newborn twins by Betty, with a look on his face that says “My sperm did this.”

    Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Music Box.

  21. – Spider-Man and Captain America, in SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE #9, holding Abraham Lincoln’s coat and hat while he beats the tar out of some asshole.

    That’s a reprint of a story that originally ran online and–I think–has already been reprinted in trade. But it’s worth reading. It’s by Fraction!

  22. I’m just glad to be able to read Chris’s work (it’s mostly entertaining–now THERE’S an endorsement!); without him I wouldn’t have my current appreciate of wild animals getting punched or kicks to the head and I would have never heard of Herbie, Dr. McNinja, Tarot–okay, probably should quit after that one. If I have to click a link to read his stuff, no problem; I’m happy that he’s getting reimbursed for his good work.

    Well, okay, I’m happy for him, but also intensely, intensely jealous, because I would sell my soul to get paid for writing about things I love.

    Okay, maybe not MY soul, but definitely someone’s (I really should have gone through with that scheme I had back in college to test the “faith” of atheists on campus by offering to buy their souls (including resale rights) for $5 a pop. I could have had a nice stockpile that would have come in handy).

  23. is a Mose-over when you click on Dwight’s brother?

    Sadly, I know that Mose is Dwight’s cousin. And he was also the Barefoot Beet Bandit.