It’s time once again to pore over the pages of a new Previews in an effort to learn what wonders will come our way in September.
The idea of the Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine intrigues me, but I wish things were being done a little differently. I was an avid follower of Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy when it was being published by Burlyman Entertainment, the vanity publishing house set up by the Wachowski Brothers after the Matrix came out (it’s Doc Frankenstein, by Steve Skroce, was awesome too). Anyway, Dark Horse is reviving the character, but is doing it in a pulp-style magazine format, with prose written by Andrew Vachss and illustrations by Darrow. I’d rather read it as a comic; I don’t really like Vachss’s prose; it’s Darrow’s insane visuals that made the character work. Still, good for them for trying something different.
I see that Vasilis Lolos is going to be drawing Conan the Barbarian starting with issue 8. This is a surprise, as I was not sure I’d ever see his name again. Lolos is a great artist, but he’s developed a reputation for leaving titles abandoned (Pirates of Coney Island and his own Last Call), so I hope Dark Horse already has his arc in the can.
John Arcudi and Jonathan Case have been killing it on The Creep in Dark Horse Presents, so I’m happy to see it getting its own four-issue mini-series. I’ll be buying that for sure.
It looks like it’s time for a new wave of titles to add to the ‘New 52’, and I have to say that the pickings are looking awfully slim. Talon is co-written by Scott Snyder, who has been impressing me with Batman and American Vampire for some time now, so it will get a look, but I’m not sure I’m all that interested in a series spinning out of the Court of Owls story; it feels like it’s gone on long enough. I also feel like this title could run the risk of becoming the Azrael of the New 52.
Phantom Stranger is being written by Dan Didio, so that’s an instant pass. If Brent Anderson is the artist, what does this mean for the Astro City comic we were promised? Likewise, neither Sword of Sorcery (with Amethyst – really?) and Team 7 are my cup of tea.
I’m also not too excited about the ‘zero month’ gimmick that DC is going to be running throughout the New 52. Anytime that editorial mandate disrupts the flow of the story, I get annoyed. I found that the post-Zero Hour ‘0’ issues, One Year Later, and Marvel’s ‘Nuff Said’ month all left me cold. That makes September a good month to reassess which titles I’m buying. The latest issue of The Flash, while being okay, made me realize how little I find myself caring for any of the characters in the book. Now, faced with the knowledge that the zero issue is going to retell Barry Allen’s origin for the four hundredth time, incorporating all that stuff about his mom that Geoff Johns spent a year hitting us over the head with, means it’s time to say good-bye. I don’t know if I can continue to justify buying this book just for Francis Manapul’s beautiful art…
I gave up on Action Comics last month, and now that I see that Ben Oliver is drawing an issue, I’m glad I did. His Ariel Olivetti-style art isn’t a good fit here.
Hey, do you think anyone at DC remembers that JH Williams’s Batwoman actually started with a zero issue before the relaunch, which still fits within Kate’s continuity? How are comics folk going to file this one?
Happy is a new four-issue series by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. When Morrison works on a creator-owned property, there is no telling what might happen, and no promise that I’ll understand all of it, but it’s usually impressive. This is an easy buy.
I just counted, and I’m buying more Image books in September (18) than I am ‘New 52’ titles (16). Image really is the strongest publisher in the field these days.
Last month, Marvel had a misprint in their Previews supplement, which stated that Matt Fraction was writing Journey Into Mystery instead of Kieron Gillen, causing me to comment that I was dropping the title. Mr. Gillen contacted me to explain (always a gentleman, he is), but you know, seeing as how for two months, JIM is tie-ing in to Fraction’s Mighty Thor, I have no desire to read half a story, or to buy three issues of Thor that I know I’m not interested in. Hence, I’m not picking up JIM again until the cross-over is finished. I’m pretty sure that’s the opposite of what Marvel wanted to have happen with this…
I’ve decided that it’s time to let New Mutants go. It’s ironic that the month I decide to axe it, Marvel is actually only publishing one issue, but since this is one of the most frequently double-shipped books, it’s not worth it to continue with it anymore. If it were monthly, I’d probably keep buying it out of apathy. It’s never really figured out its purpose, and I’m tired of waiting. This latest story arc was probably the weakest yet.
In September, I’m pre-ordering 23 Marvel comics, but those consist of only 15 titles (counting Fantastic Four and FF as one title, which they are). Were Marvel not so insistent on double-shipping so many books, I’d probably also be buying Dark Avengers, Scarlet Spider, Venom, Captain America & Black Widow (it’s hard to pass up on Francavilla art), Captain Marvel, Punisher, Age of Apocalypse, Astonishing X-Men (hadn’t noticed it’s a $2.99 title now), X-Men Legacy, and New Mutants. So, to gain 8 sales, they are losing 10. Do the math, Marvel…
I guess Archaia really is moving towards just publishing graphic novels now, as The Killer, the amazing French series by Jacamon and Matz gets the hardcover treatment for its fourth volume (which would have been the third mini-series had it been published that way). This is a very good series, and Archaia kind of sucks at putting out monthly or semi-monthly comics, so I guess this is a good move.
So I see that Avatar is continuing to go through Alan Moore’s garbage or something, as they begin their serialization of his ‘unearthed’ screenplay, Fashion Beast. I’m not all that interested. Next month, the adaptation of his grocery list!
Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, who have co-written two excellent Planet of the Apes mini-series, are now getting their own on-going series, Planet of the Apes Cataclysm. The premise, which involves Doctor Zaius (yes, I hear the Simpsons song even as I type this) having to save the world from nuclear Armageddon. Or, I guess, more nuclear Armageddon. As seems to be the case with new Boom titles these days, there is no artist named. I’m hoping it’s Hardman himself… I guess the other PotA series, by Darryl Gregory and Carlos Magno must be finishing, because this is now the second month it’s not been solicited. It’s one of the best comics on the stands, so I hope it’s on hiatus or finishing because the creators want it to, and not because of poor sales.
I’m very happy to see that Stumptown is coming back for a new mini-series. This is an excellent private detective comic by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth, which makes really good use of its Portland setting. I’d given up on seeing more of it, so this is very good news.
I’m very excited to get my hands on Chris Ware’s new book, Building Stories. Ware is a genius. I don’t usually drop $50 on a single graphic novel, but this one will be worth it.