Wednesday, February 27, 2008

UPDATED: Solicitationary blatherings: May 2008

UPDATE on 2/27: One book from Oni. See the first entry below.

It's that time of the month again. I'm going with the same format as last month, jumbling everything together instead of separating comics out by company, and only mentioning new or notable books, rather than talking about everything that I'm planning to buy or check out. I'm writing this during the Oscar telecast, so forgive me if I diverge from the subject and start talking about Jack Nicholson or something.

Local #12 - The final issue! This has been a really good (if often late) series, so it will be sad to see it end, but probably satisfying, as it promises to come full circle and reveal what prompted Megan's twelve-year odyssey and what she learned, and various heartwarming crap like that. I'm sure I'll love it.

Marvel 1985 - The long-teased Mark Millar miniseries shows up, but I thought it was supposed to be a photo-comic or something. This says it's going to be illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards and have something to do with supervillains attacking our world. Eh, it'll probably be lame. Prove me wrong, Millar!

The Amazing Joy Buzzards, volume 1 - This new edition of the first volume of the awesome series about an adventuring rock band actually contains the first two volumes of the comic, with an upcoming new volume (the new volume 2) coming later this spring, I believe. So I implore everyone to check this out; it's super-cool.

Amazing Spider-Man - I don't usually read Spidey comics, but I gotta say, Marcos Martin is a great choice for an artist on the series. And that cover is awesome. I'll probably give it a flip-through.

The Complete K Chronicles - Keith Knight's weekly cartoon, which I think usually runs in alternative newspapers, is pretty good stuff. So, while I don't know if I'll buy the book, I will recommend it.

Final Crisis - Man, I'm conflicted about this one. I'm just generally not interested in big superhero events (or superhero comics at all these days). But! Grant Morrison! Big, crazy, universe-ending events involving Jack Kirby characters! Green Lantern! Wait, I don't care about Green Lantern. Eh, I'll probably succumb to Morrison's spell and read it. Dammit.

Finding Peace - A graphic novel from IDW about life in a wartorn country. It definitely sounds interesting, so I might try to make a point of reading it. We'll see. Also from IDW: the collection of the Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now miniseries, in hardcover, for $24.99. Unfortunately, I don't think it's really good enough to be worth that much. But it will also be available for downloading, so I'll be sure to point out where you can do that when it comes out.

Firebreather - This Phil Hester/Andy Kuhn series is apparently a continuation of either a graphic novel or a miniseries that I haven't read. I like both those creators, so it might be worth reading. We'll see how it goes.

House of Mystery - A new Vertigo series, reviving an old Vertigo series (which in turn revived an old DC series). I might give it a try, since it does sound interesting, and I generally like Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges' Vertigo work. Hopefully this will be more like Jack of Fables and less like Salvation Run. Also: that cover is creepy.

Igor Movie Prequel - I hadn't heard of this movie, but it's an animated film about a mad scientist's assistant with the voices of John Cleese, John Cusack and Steve Buscemi. It could be okay. This prequel is written by Dara Naraghi, who sometimes comments here, so I might try to check it out.

Immortal Iron Fist - Now that the second storyline of the series has ended (a few months in the future, that is), we get another interstitial issue following the adventures of a past Iron Fist. This is the one from the mid-1800s, and it looks like a cool story, illustrated by Khari Evans. I'm sure I'll get to read it in about a year.

Immortal Iron Fist, volume 2 - And here's the collection of that second volume, in hardcover format, which will be too rich for my blood. I'll wait an excruciating few months until it comes out in softcover. But I can't wait to read it.

Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin - I've been meaning to read this Joe Casey/Eric Canete miniseries, so now I'll get my chance. It certainly looks pretty. Should be good.

Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas - This looks to be the big tie-in to the Iron Man movie, since it's written by Jon Favreau, the director of said movie. It's illustrated by Adi Granov, who (slowly) did the first arc of the current series, written by Warren Ellis. Eh, I'll wait until it's collected and see what the reviews say.

Invincible Iron Man - I don't think I'll be able to pass this one up though; Matt Fraction should be able to do some awesome stuff with the character and his world. Hopefully he won't get mired in whatever big events are going on in the larger Marvel universe and just stick with cool techno-spy stories or something. Salvador Larroca is illustrating, and I generally like his current style, as long as he doesn't get to reliant on the photoreferencing. But he can do some cool technology and action, so I bet Fraction will give him plenty of stuff to chew on. Don't let me down, fellas!

Monster Zoo - Doug TenNapel has been cranking out these graphic novels, hasn't he? There's not too much information in the solicitation about this one; I guess the title is all that's necessary.

Newuniversal: Shockfront - Warren Ellis finally gets to return to the New Universe revival that stopped kind of abruptly. I don't know if this is a new ongoing series or a miniseries, but it's illustrated by Steve Kurth instead of Salvador Larroca this time around. I dunno, I'll probably wait for the trade.

Pretty Baby Machine - This is a neat idea. Gangsters Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and Machine Gun Kelly team up when they're all targeted by Al Capone. Could be cool. I don't know the writer, Clark Westerman, but the artist, Kody Chamberlain, did Punks, right?

Runaways: Dead End Kids - Joss Whedon's run finally ends next month (if it's not delayed again), so here's the collection. Looks like Marvel is going for the bookstore market, kind of like DC's trade dress for Jodi Picoult's Wonder Woman or Brad Meltzer's JLA. Eh, whatever. The story itself isn't bad, but it will certainly read better in one volume, rather than stretched out over a year or so.

Scrambled Ink - Comics from Hollywood animators that are supposedly "too big for the silver screen...undeniably innovative and stunningly beautiful...a great yarn spun in a whole new way". Wow, that's setting up some big expectations. If this isn't the best comic ever made, I'll be disappointed. And that's not going to happen. But it might be worth a look.

Sky Doll - The first entry in Marvel's collaboration with French publisher Soleil, this one is about a pleasure-robot becoming a freedom fighter, or whatever. It looks cool, so I'll probably check it out. Interestingly, Graeme McMillan wondered if the series is too sexy for Marvel to release uncensored, but hey, there's a nipple right there on the cover, so I guess not. We'll see how it turns out.

Steel Fist Riku - A superhero-like manga from DC/CMX, involving a martial arts-using crimefighter in a world full of talking animals. Could be fun.

Suburban Glamour - It's the collection of Jamie McKelvie's miniseries, so maybe now I can read it. It does look neat.

Tor - I'm not familiar with the original series, but this is apparently a revival of an old Joe Kubert comic, and it looks pretty cool. Hey, Kubert's an old pro, so it'll probably be pretty cool.

The Umbrella Academy: Apacalypse Suite - Here's the collection of the kick-ass series that just wrapped up last week. Gerard Way surprised everybody by actually writing a damn good comic. And Gabriel Ba is awesome, as usual. I'm surprised they're going for such a simple cover to the trade (if that is the actual cover) instead of having James Jean do one. Oh well, anyway, you should read this if you haven't already. It's awesome.

The War that Time Forgot - It's another revival of a weird old comic, in which WWII soldiers fought dinosaurs or something. I've heard the original is great, in a batshit-insane sort of way. So this new version will probably suck, and being written by Bruce Jones won't help. Although you never know, maybe it'll somehow be awesome. That is a cool Neal Adams cover though.

I guess that's it, although I'm sure there will be more to add later, since companies like Avatar and Oni haven't put out their solicits yet. So watch for updates, if you care. And more content soon, so stick around.


  1. I'm picking up that Amazing arc solely to see those glorious Marcos Martin pages. I wish he would work more.

    And am I insane for not liking this trend of "it" writer's names being so much bigger than the title on the covers of trades? It's a silly peeve to have I know, but I have it. I guess because neither company has figured out how to do it yet without having the cover look like ass. Hell, even John Grisham's name is no bigger (in font size) than the actual title of a book.

  2. Yeah, that cover looks pretty ridiculous. I suppose it could be a way to get bookstore browsers who might be familiar with Joss Whedon's name to pick up the book, but that still seems iffy. And that cover illustration is dumb when separated from the background of the original cover (which was the Punisher's chest, showing that Molly wasn't scared of him). By itself, it's just an image of a petulant kid. I do like that Christina Strain's name is prominent on the cover though; she's one of my favorite colorists.

  3. I quite like that Umbrella Academy collection cover, it'll go over well in non-comic book only venues as well. That Chip Kidd's aesthetic that's so popular right now

    I'm kinda miffed that it came out so fast though, in hindsight, I'd rather own the trade...but I suppose I might not have tried it if I didn't find myself liking the bite-size pieces first.

    Man, I miffed I have to wait so long for the softcover Iron Fist. But budgets are all for the good.

  4. Re: Scrambled Ink-hey, we didn't write that blurb-please don't hold it against us!
    Can't blame you for your natural eyebrow-raising, though--them there is heap big hyberbolic whatnot. But I rather suspect that it was simply a matter of most of us being unpublished(Ennio Torresan isa known and published comics artist in his native Brazil), and DH wanting to presell based on something--the something being that we're all people who work in animation.

    Actually, we were all story artists(I for one have never animated on any films, but only done storyboards)who intended to publish the book ourselves before submitting it to Dark Horse-it was a nice suprise for us that they decided to publish it.

    There are six stories, all as different as we are(and we are). Mine's a very personal, almost textless picturebook sort of piece; others are much more proper comix. I don't think any of us were thinking of film when we did them, not were they intended as film stories. Btw I've got a sketchblog where my own style is apparent, as do several of my coauthors.

    Anyway, it's pretty neat to see your blog come up when googling our title-thanks for the mention, skepticism or no.

  5. Thanks for the information, Jenny! I'm interested in the book, but I thought the hyperbole was just so over the top. However, after perusing your sketchblog, I'm very interested in the book. I gotta say, I love your drawing style. I'll let you know if I end up doing a review.

  6. Matthew--no problem at all! Thanks for the kind words, btw.

    Nope, thing is-I very much agree with your reaction. I'm understandably loathe to criticize my own publisher in any way(who after all is taking a chance on us, and it's a company I greatly admire to say the least-they have an impressive list and also put out imho great statues/toys).

    But I agree that the wording of the promo is so effusive as to sounds almost sarcastic/ironic, it's so OTT(as my UK pals would say). Yeesh! Especially when one considers the kinds of books that imho really merit high, high praise, for heaven's sake. I thank DH for it's praise but I wish it'd been a little more subdued. But their job is to sell books...I just cringe to think of critics or even buyers being turned off in any way. That said--I must cede to the marketing dept.!

    For the record here's my take: this book's meant to be a simply fun, frothy presentation of several very different artists, all of whom work on storyboarding in animation for their day jobs. Think "Afterworks", the books compiled by a great group of Pixar guys, as an example-though we limited our artists to 6.

    I think that all of us worked digitally, but the styles are all over the map and don't seem at all digital to my eye. We used a Wacom Cintiq for the stories(which for the last 2+ years we've been drawing our storyboards on)--do you know that device? It's a large-format tablet where one draws directly on the screen. I often miss using a Prismacolor, but I find the smoothness of the screen and the feel of the stylus is a pretty cool thing.
    Two of the stories are what I'd call true comics style(Ennio's and Dave Pimentel--the latter a former Disney animator on "Tarzan" and other features who's now a head of story on "How To Train Your Dragon" at Dreamworks); Dave Derrick's, Ken Morrissey's and mine aren't comics natrratives at all, but are done in the mode of a children's picturebook; and JJ Villard's is completely different--he'd be a guy you might see in the good old days of Last Gasp, Raw and such.

    Hope you don't mind the longish exculpatory comments! ; ) But believe me, as a person with her own blog that can be pretty opinionated I understand and respect your reactions, thumbs up--or down(the other blog, Blackwing Diaries-where I occasionally take animation to task in some way or other, frowning at the flaws while championing the great stuff), not my sketch blog).

    And after all this I also want to say--what a well done and interesting blog you've got here! I'll be back-and not just to read about myself, lol.

    Thanks again for the personal props!