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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Why I Hate Previews
Everybody else seems to do a regular or semi-regular rundown of Previews, but I don't. It's not because there's nothing I find noteworthy in the magazine, it's just that I find the experience of reading it so soul-crushing and mind-numbing and infuriating that I can't imagine that it would be much fun for anyone else to see my reaction. So I went and did the post anyway. I also decided to count the number of covers/toys/ads which seem to use women's chests on display in oddly prominent ways to attract attention.
Dark Horse The thing that strikes me the most about the Dark Horse listing is the sense of "going to the well too many times" so many titles give me. Groo, Richie Rich, Star Wars, Buffy, Conan, Aliens vs. Predator, Neil Gaiman, The Mummy of all things: I'm mostly shocked there's still perceived demand some of these things. Boob Count: 1
DC I've already talked a bit about these solicitations already, and I really can't think of much more to add. Though I still think the odd insistence on "armored versions of characters" in the action figures is sort of odd. Boob Count: 10
Image The apparent offensiveness of Special Forces is only mitigated by the fact that it's Kyle Baker doing it.
I think the existence of a Jon Bon Jovi cheap plastic statue "action figure" should be taken as final proof that Todd McFarlane has too much money, if he can waste it acquiring licenses like this. And doesn't it seem like the Jack Bauer action figure should come with some torture "interrogation" accessories? Boob Count: 11
Marvel Sigh...I want to like you, Marvel. Honest, I do. But you just make it so hard... Boob Count: 12
I'm also honestly surprised that with all the (deserved) grief Marvel has taken lately, this slipped under people's radar:
Granted, most of the men don't get arms either, but that's still tremendously creepy.
And here's a little cock panic for the straight boys:
Wizard I can't believe people pay money for these shitty magazines.
Anarchy Studios Boob Count: 4, all Vampirella, if that makes any difference.
Antarctic Press The Boob Count is only 2, but in the middle of their solicitations is an atrocious ad for "To Heart 2" figures, so it feels like I should bump that up, even though Antarctic had nothing to do with the ad placement.
Arcana Studio Boob count: 2. The ad for Kade is so prominent, I think it should be counted as well.
Archaia Studios Killing Pickman sounds like something I might be interested in, but not at $3.50 for six issues. I can wait for the trade. I think the ad for Starkweather justifies a Boob Count of one.
Aspen Boob Count: 5. All for Iron & The Maiden.
Avatar Boob Count: 5 Ass Count: 1 Crotch Count: 1 Covers Count: 24 Actual Comics Count: 13 Well, at least they've found a business model that works for them...
Basement Comics Boob Count: 3. Mike tells me Cavewoman used to be readable...
Big Bang Comics Boob Count: 1. But they're Kirby knock-off boobs.
Bloodfire Studios Boob Count: 2, counting their ad. But they're sci-fi elf-girl boobs!
Bluewater Productions How many different names has this company been under? Anyway, Boob Count is 4.
Broadsword You know, I'm not even going to bother with a Boob Count. It's almost the friggin' point of the line...
Broccoli International Boob Count: 2. 250 pages into the book before we get our first manga t&a.
Checker Book Publishing Group With Growing Old with B.C. you can chart Johnny Hart's progression from occasionally funny hack to insane fundamentalist racist, all in one convenient volume!
Class Comics I keep forgetting Diamond carries this line now, and since it's only really listed in the adult supplement, it's not hard to imagine why. Plus, I'm always more than a little surprised to see Diamond carrying gay porn anyway.
Dynamite Entertainment We get five full page ads before we even get to their section. And we get a Boob Count of 21, counting those ads. A new record!
I had a comment all ready to go for Lone Ranger, about how the best way to kill my interest in the Lone Ranger is to put out an incredibly decompressed comic, prompting me to wait for the trade, and then put the trade out in hard-cover...with a variant cover...but the hard-cover isn't solicited in this issue, so the point seems moot.
Del Rey You know, I'm surprised I can't bring myself to justify a Boob Count for Del Rey, given that I've seen Suzuka before, but this cover is downright prudish compared to previous volumes.
Devil's Due Boob Count: 5. Amazingly, G.I. Joe isn't one of them.
Digital Manga Publishing This month they've got Pop Japan Travel: Essential Otaku Guide, a manga-format travel guide to Japan's nerdiest destinations. Something tells me this might be one to stock up on...
Digital Webbing Presents Boob Count: 5
Dynamic Forces I'm just going to pretend that all this crap doesn't exist. It's better that way.
Eighty Eight MPH Studios An "Ecto-1" lithograph from the film Ghostbusters...why?
Fantagraphics I really fail to grasp the appeal of Johnny Ryan. He's so busy trying to be "outrageous" and "offensive" that he always forgets to be "funny."
Graham Crackers Comics Boob Count: 1, for Transformers comic...cripes...
IDW Boob Count: 2, for Gene Simmons Dominatrix and variant. I can't help but think some kind of punctuation is appropriate there, probably an apostrophe, though a colon doesn't seem unreasonable either. Frankly, I'm appalled the market can support six different Transformers titles...none of which seem particularly appropriate for children.
Linsner.com Boob Count: 2, not counting what I'm sure are thoroughly tasteful offerings in the Previews Adult catalog.
Moonstone CLASH: I'm trying to avoid dismissing this as yet another attempt to rewrite Watchmen and failing.
Oni Yes, I'm the jerk who doesn't like Scott Pilgrim. I'm also frankly baffled by the hipster kid ironic nostalgia for heavy metal music, which Black Metal seems to be trying to tap into.
Tokyopo Boob Count: 2. Slow month for Tokyopop. I do reserve the right to mock mercilessly anyone who buys the Star Trek manga.
Tyndale House Manga Messiah: of all the things that come to mind when I read that title, a straight-faced adaptation of the Bible, with a frankly cynical attempt to make it appeal to kids and teens by using manga-style art, wasn't one of them.
Valiant Entertainment What, seriously?
Virgin Boob Count: 2
Viz Boob Count: 1, but it's for a title called Kurohime, which looks so ridiculously over the top I'll probably need to check it out. I mean, look at it:
I break out into giggles every time I see it.
Viz also starts the weekly releases of Naruto. The best explanation as to why that I've seen is that they want to burn off all the volumes containing an unpopular storyline, and gimmicking them out this way is the most financially logical way to do it.
Zenescop Entertainment Boob Count: 4.
Magazines Boob Count: 2, both Femme Fatales. A magazine which can never seem to decide if it's a Maxim-clone or a Playboy-clone for nerds.
Books I'm always baffled by half the stuff that gets solicited here. I can only imagine that the section exists to fulfill the obsessive collecting needs of those shut-ins who haven't heard of Amazon. Also, there's a Chronicle Books ad on page 403 for Wonder Woman merchandise which, as far as I can tell, are not solicited in this issue of Previews. Timing people, timing!
International Boob Count: 3, which is surprisingly low for this section.
Trading Cards That's cute...they think there's still a market for trading cards...
"Hey man, what's that supposed to be on your t-shirt?" "Oh, it's the Silver Surfer. But as a zombie. Pretty cool, huh?" "...You don't get out much, do you?"
Toys & Models Boob Count: 6. And how fucking creepy is it that the "toys" section deserves a "Boob Count?"
General hint when going through the toy section: anything that says "sold in case lots only" may as well read "we're forcing retailers to over-buy because the profit margin vs. perceived demand is nonexistent."
McDonaldland action figures: who buys this shit? No, seriously, I want to know, because if they have that kind of money to waste, they may as well give it to me.
On page 448 there's a "Steve Irwin: Wildlife Adventures Ocean Dive" playset. Which strikes me as being in slightly poor taste...
That's just hideously off-model. And nightmare inducing. And they want $40 for it.
There's a $10 difference in price between those two statues. Seems hard to justify to me.
Okay, setting aside the fact that anyone reading Previews is likely to know what Han Solo looks like, this is what's on page 471:
And then there's a bunch of over-priced vinyl figurines for hipster kids.
Import Toys and Models Boob Count: 13
I fucking hate nerds...apparently, in the series this figure is from, she doesn't even have a name, just a title. You know, to make the dehumanization even easier for fetishists.
It's a base for your Char-piloted Gundams. Sold separately. That's actually kind of brilliant in it's evil.
I want to work up some bile over the "Hostel" action figure on sale on page 504, but honestly? The popularity of torture porn just makes me depressed.
Collectibles & Novelties Is there any good reason why this stuff can't be merged into the two other toy sections? Because I honestly don't understand why Star Wars fake helmets are "toys" but 300 fake helmets are "collectibles."
"World of Faries and Elves Figures"
I know some people get annoyed when they see obvious head-shop junk "gifts" in their comic book and collectibles catalog, but I love it. It's a none too gentle reminder of where, exactly, comic book stores place in the retail hierarchy.
Games Monte Cook creating a new back-story may actually get me to pick up a "World of Darkness" game. Because almost anything has got to be better than their regular campaign back-grounds.
Videos Like the book section, I'm baffled as to who this is useful for. You can get every single thing in this section sooner and cheaper anywhere other than a comic shop. The only thing I use it for is to keep track of anime release dates. So that I can then go get them at Fry's. For about $5 to $10 less than Diamond has them.