Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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dorianwright [at] gmail[dot]com

"Reading his blog is like watching a beloved 50's Rat Pack Vegas act"--Larry Young
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"It's always fun to see Dorian be bitchy."--Chris Butcher
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Always Forgive Your Enemies; Nothing Annoys Them So Much 

Now that the unpleasantness of the election season is over, let's look at the slightly less despair-inducing lunacy of Diamond Previews, shall we?

Dark Horse has a new edition of CLAMP's long out of print title Clover, making Dark Horse the collective's fourth US publisher.
I really wouldn't mind if Dark Horse picked up the rest of the CLAMP titles TokyoPop published in English, either.

I was vaguely interested in the set of Turok cards until I realized that they were recreations of the covers by Pete Von Sholly and not the actual covers originally published by Dell. Hell, the covers were frequently the only half-way decent art on the Dell/Gold Key adventure comics, and I wouldn't mind a nice collection of those. But a recreation? That just seems pointless, especially as there really aren't that many Turok fans left out there.
UPDATE: Apparently these are all new pieces of art inspired by the original covers, and not recreations. Which, given that what it says in Previews is: "Veteran illustrator and dinosaur expert Pete Von Sholly has created an absolutely stunning series of trading cards depicting the weirdest and most mysterious covers, with scientifically accurate dinosaurs, effective updating this classic genre work.", it is strongly implied that these are re-dos of the original covers.

DC is putting out the fourth volume of their Diana Prince: Wonder Woman series, which finally reprints the issues written by Samuel Delany.

I like to think of him as "black, gay Santa Claus."

DC also has a new series based on the upcoming Brave and the Bold cartoon, with the fantastic, blocky, retro character designs. Imagine...a fun Batman cartoon. It's been decades since we had one of those.

If you can't love that, there is no joy in your heart. Or you write reviews for Comics Buyers Guide. Which is pretty much the same thing.

I enjoyed the first volume of Fabien Nury and John Cassaday series I Am Legion when Humanoids published it through DC. In fact, I was enjoying almost all the Humanoids books that were published through DC. The price and format for the line were perfect for me.
I don't need a six-issue mini of I Am Legion at $3.50 a pop, though.

Viz has the first volumes of two Naoki Urasawa manga titles, 20th Century Boys and Pluto, the re-imagined Astro Boy. 20thC. Boys should fill the hole left by Monster well, but I'm still not sold on Pluto. Oh, and I notice that Viz is using this opportunity to creep their prices up, at least on their "mature" titles.

I am strangely intrigued by this. And we definitely need more manga for kids. (And adults. And less of the already glutted teen girl aimed products. But that's a rant for a different day.)

Oh, man! The DC Superhero Figurine Collection finally gets listed in Previews...and it's for six figures and a seventh "deluxe" figure, total SRP of $110. I...I still think I want them. But, fuck, seriously? Seven in one go? And at a $2 mark-up over the Marvel figures? I mean, I realise that Marvel was desperate for licensing money at the time those started coming out and that Eaglemoss probably got a really good deal on the license, and that DC pays creators royalties on licensed products, but still...
(Also dampening my enthusiasm, the first wave of figures is Superman, Batman, Joker, Spectre, Creeper, Darkseid and...Donna Troy. Really? Donna Troy?)

A "Death" hoodie. Because Goths get cold ears, too.

I'm fairly ambivalent to the prospect of a Flash Gordon, 80s movie version, action figure:

Now, the planned PlayGirl variant? I might not mind that.
(You really have no one to blame but yourself if you click that link, by the way.)

So what do we think is going on in this ad?

Masturbating samurai? Really bad case of crabs?
And why is it in regular Previews instead of Adult Previews?
I mean, pretty much everything in the "statues" section of Previews is calculated to get you labeled the neighborhood weirdo by anyone who comes into your house, but this seems beyond the pale even by Diamond's standards.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

All Art is Quite Useless 

It's time once again to look at the sublime, the ridiculous, the mockable and the proofs of Satan's existence in Diamond Previews.

A new edition of Bryan Talbot's The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is due for release, at a very reasonable $18.95, which is nice, as it's a book I've been oddly unable to find easily. This new edition also promises to be based on new scans of the original artwork, so there's an implied promise of this book looking spectacular as well.

Thing That Should Not Be: Example 1

Godfather busts. Because Scarface merchandise wasn't quite tacky enough.

An Amanda Conner drawn Terra series? Oh, yes please, more Amanda Conner comics are always a good thing.

Hey, you know what the Superman books need? A ton more Kryptonians.
(Yes, I am just poking Sims with a stick there.)

Hey, you know what Justice Society doesn't need? A bunch of Kingdom Come tie-in specials.

Oh, fuck you, Japan.

Hey, when did uncensored, bare nipples become okay for ads in Previews?

Little hint, guys. If you put the information in your ad, it stops being a "surprise."

Finding a fourth volume of Cavalcade of Boys solicited this month is a very pleasant and unexpected surprise, as I had somehow managed to overlook the fact that Tim Fish had continued the serial as a weekly strip.

There is also a new book by Maurice Vellekoop, featuring beefcake pin-ups in his unique art-style. Definitely a must have book.

In more upsetting book news, I was terribly excited about Rogue Leaders, a retro-spective on LucasArts adventure game glory days, especially since I have a choice of Guybrush Threepwood or Purple Tentacle covers. But not at $60. And not after what Mike did to ruin the Monkey Island games for me.

I can't fucking believe someone thought a Secret Invasion hoodie was a good idea...

So, so tempting. Especially since I had one of those Autobot mini-radio things back in the day that I still had an intact Gen 1 Optimus Prime.

Man, if I'd taken better care of my toys when I was a kid, my pocketbook would be less in danger of losing weight when things like this come along.

Oh wow! German Fetish Model Barbie is back in production!

Things That Should Not Be: Example 2

"Let's play Staw Waws, Timmy!"
"My guy attacks youw guy wif his wight sabew."
"My guy attacks youw guy wif his candy cane."
"Youw guy's dead, Timmy."
"I know..."

You know, every month I'm convinced that the bottom of the "Marvel Super Hero Bust" barrel has been well and truly scraped.

Every month I'm wrong.
I'm sure Marrina's fan will be very happy.

No, seriously, fuck you, Japan!

"Come hither" stares on half-dressed underage cat girls is a new low...

Okay, I'm out of booze, that's all I can take of Previews.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative 

Harvey Comics Classics Vol. 5: The Harvey Girls: I know the truism when it comes to comics is that someone, somewhere, is masturbating to it, but oh, God, please no...let it not be true this time...

Magicman is quite possibly the gayest super-hero ever. And I'm finding it really hard to believe there's enough perceived demand for a $60 hard-cover collection of his adventures. Unless I'm really misjudging the demand for flamingly effeminate super-heroes in tacky drag.

It's cute how publishers like to pretend that celebrities have more involvement in the creation of the comics bearing their name than having their assistants sign off on the likeness rights...

So, now that IDW has the licenses for G.I. Joe, Transformers, Angel, Star Trek, Galaxy Quest, Ghostbusters and Doctor Who, is "mega-crossover" too much to expect? 'Cause, you know, I would pay top dollar for a comic in which Davros, Cobra Commander and Megatron team-up to take over the world.

Sterling Publishing has been putting out these nice omnibus editions of Asterix, and I love them to bits, as they're much nicer and better value than the individual volumes, but the way they're going about publishing them drives me batty. They released volumes one and eleven first, and this month they solicit volumes two and ten.
Seriously, guys, putting them out in numerical order is just as good, if not better.

Last month Tokyopop solicited forty-four titles, and it was a light month for them. This month they solicit sixteen. It's not hard to see the writing on the wall at this point. And yes, I've already got a draft version of my "I come to bury Tokyopop, not to praise it" post saved. I'm thinking of titling it "Lessons the Comics Industry Should Learn from the Manga Bubble Bursting, But Won't."

I'm curious to know how much space, if any, will be devoted to the fact that Leyendecker was gay and that his work is, well, teeming with homoeroticism. I like Leyendecker's work, but in most of the things I've read about him, his sexuality is either ignored or used as an excuse to claim his work is inferior. Because gay men can't draw women, apparently.

So there are five different L. Ron Hubbard books for sale in Previews, at $10 each. I wonder how many credits for cleared Thetans you get if you buy them all?

I know of a spoiler for the Tropic Thunder film that makes this piece of merchandise hilariously ironic. And it's the kind of irony that that film's target audience, I suspect, will not appreciate.

Huh. I, uh, I may want a twelve inch tall "Indy disguised as 'German'" action figure...

It's that she's covered in pink slime more than anything else, this time.

Speaking of Japan, I'm not the only one really skeeved out by the popularity of "bandaged Rei Ayanami" figures, right?

Out of the four Torchwood cups for sale, two of them feature Gwen and Jack. None of them feature Jack and Ianto. Do the marketing people not watch the show?

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ours is essentially a tragic age 

Dear DC,


Poster. Seriously. If I'm asking for a poster of an Alex Ross cover, it must clearly be his finest work ever.

Del Rey is releasing a manga tie-in to the Phoenix Wright video games. I suspect this will fall into my "where were you two years ago when I still had people asking for Phoenix Wright manga" category when I do the manga order...

Oh, I hope that's not the actual cover...

While I wait, ever so patiently, for the latest Pogo reprint series to begin, I suppose I will have to content myself with a collection of fairly uncommon Walt Kelly comics material...

Actual thoughts that go into ordering manga:

"Legend of Zelda comics! Finally! After years and years and years of constantly being asked for the damn things, we'll finally be able to sell some!
"Oh, crap, it's manga, not the Acclaim comics. Oh well. One copy for the shelf it is, then. The people who keep asking for it wouldn't be caught dead buying manga."

The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection has four different figures solicited this month. I've yet to be tempted to buy any of the figures. I would, however, almost certainly buy the whole series of DC figures.
That is, if Diamond bothered to carry them.

Dexter bobble-head...

I don't recommend putting this on your desk at work.

"Hey Bob..."
"Yeah Stu?"
"You know what the single most annoying thing about gamers is?"
"The smell?"
"Apart from that."
"Their tendency to speak in nothing but Monty Python quotes?"
"Yeah. Think there's any way to profit off that?"

So, this ad:

As if a hand-job reference wasn't cringe-inducing enough:

This is the follow-up:

Free panties with DVD purchase...way to pander to the worst aspects of anime fandom there, guys...



Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It was as an ordinary secret sinner that I at last fell before the assaults of temptation 

First, a little something from Class Comics:

I always kind of wonder, given the general nerd reaction to anything resembling "teh ghey", how retailers react to the usually prominent ads Class puts into Previews. The only one who's convenient to ask is Mike, and his response is always "Oh, something Dorian is going to want."
(And, yes, "Redneck Farm"...I'll be wanting that.)

Dynamite has published enough Army of Darkness comics to justify six trade paper-backs? That feels like more of a trade presence than a cheesy horror property really warrants, somehow.

Oh, Hack/Slash, just when I'm just about talked into checking you out, you go and do this:

Teaming with a self-important porn site? No, thanks, but no. I'll go read something else.

Love and Rockets: New Stories features a serialized super-hero story by Jaime Hernandez. I know a few art-comix snobs whose heads will likely explode when they read that.

Dear Viz,
You've been doing your ads for new titles like this for a couple of months now:

Please stop. Seriously. The real solicitations for manga titles are usually vague enough without the ads trying to be "cute." I need to know what the damn book is about so that I can determine whether or not it's worth ordering for the store.
At this rate, these ads are approaching TokyoPop levels of uselessness.

Okay, I'd wear it.
I'm not proud of that.

So this set of Super Hero Squad figurines features The Sentry, a character no kid in America has ever heard of, the Punisher, a mass-murder, and the Red Skull, a freaking Nazi.
They're not marketing this line to children anymore, are they?

Thank you, Japan, for once again classing up Previews



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh, Let's Look At Solicits, Shall We? 

DC's are up, and there's actually stuff here worth commenting on.

I'm just not feeling the Final Crisis trade dress yet. You've got your choice between the "sliver" image and the "iconic" image, and the allegedly iconic images frankly bore me, and the "sliver"'s just not working for me. I'll probably end up going with the "sliver" design because, frankly, they tie into the narrative, and I like my covers to represent what's in the book.

Final Crisis: Requiem
A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who’s been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying!
This is the solicited cover:

So, if you had any hopes of the Martian Manhunter making it out of this cross-over alive, well...
(Right now, on scans_daily, someone just became the world's biggest Martian Manhunter fan...)

On the "vaguely ties into ongoing plot threads" scene, Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge and Reign in Hell look like they have the most potential to be entertaining, Rann/Thanagar: Holy War will be okay, but under-appreciated, and Ambush Bug: Year None will be brilliant and wildly hated for making fun of the wrong things, instead of feeding the confirmation biases of most super-hero fans.

I'm sure the five Joker's Asylum one-shots aren't just a shameless attempt to have as much Batman and Joker branded comics on the shelves in time for the movie to come out, oh no...
(And while I like the idea of Two-Face: Year One, it seems to be part of the same impulse.)

I'm actually disappointed that Catwoman and The All New Atom are cancelled, as I was enjoying those. Will Pfeifer's run on Catwoman was good enough his next book gets an automatic look from me (and, oh man, am I ever hoping that it's not yet another Avengers or X-Men spin-off). But I'm always annoyed that books I like get cancelled and books that are simply terrible live on. Like Robin.

Blue Beetle gets a new writers, and as nervous as I was about John Rogers ending his tenure on the book, Matthew Sturges, from what I've seen so far, should do quite well as well. Like the also recently returned Manhunter, this is one of the books you really should be reading for good super-hero adventure stories.

Oh, my, that's a lot of implied penis on the cover for Justice Society of America Annual #1...I hope the fanboys can take it without having panic attacks...

Long forgotten, and in one case, probably deservedly so, cross-overs Millennium and Invasion! finally get trade collections. AT $20 and $25 dollars, they seem a little pricey, but given that Millennium alone had about 500 cross-overs, those are bargain prices.
I'm sure showing other publishers that DC already did those stories never factored into the decision to put these out at this point in time...

At the kid-friendlier DC line, Mike Kunkel's Shazam series starts, the surprisingly better than you thought it would be Super Friends continues, and look who shows up in Tiny Titans:

( Arm Fall Off Boy seriously appearing in Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century? Really?)

Okay, so Christos Gage hasn't done me wrong yet, and that whole Armageddon/Revelations/Number of the Beast story-arc in the Wildstorm books has proven to be pretty good...I'm still reluctant to pick up a new Wildcats book.

G'Nort action figure:

The world just got a little bit better.

Another World of Warcraft action figure gets solicited, and I only have three words to say:

A Tauren Hunter. Finally.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Scene From the Comic Shop 

Dorian: You know, for some reason, I had the Mego Lt. Uhura doll when I was a kid.
Mike: Really?
Dorian: Yeah. Though eventually she ended up wearing Spider-Man's costume.
Mike: So at one point you had a naked Uhura.
Dorian: Only briefly. More importantly, I had a naked Spider-Man.
Mike: So when you were a kid, you picked out clothes for women and kept naked men around you?
Dorian: Yeah. Some things really shouldn't have come as a surprise to my parents.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Beings That Are Human Only In Name 

It's two whole months in a row where there was enough amazing/horrifying things in Previews to warrant a post.

Let's start with Dark Horse

That is easily the evilest cat I've ever seen.

But that's okay, between Indiana Jones Adventures, The Complete K Chronicles and Wondermark: Beards of our Forefathers the publisher easily makes up scaring a year or two off my life-span with horrifying Japanese cats.

It's not directly relevant to the issue of Buffy solicited here, but I do want to note that straight guys congratulating themselves for their commitment to diversity by putting hawt lesbo sex into their films, comics and tv shows really aren't fooling anyone at this point.
Of course, I'm sure someone will pop along any minute now to lecture me about how Buffy having sex with another woman for the titillation of her male fanbase is empowering to women...somehow...

There are actually quite a number of things coming out from DC that are interesting, but they're interesting in that "I've been reading super-hero comics for 25+ years and this looks like an entertaining example of the genre." Which is a rather select value of "interesting" but there you go.

Image has a new issue of Tod Nauck's under-rated Wildguard comic...and another beefcake-ish figure from McFarlane Toys...that's two months in a row. Weird.

Avengers/Invaders is drawn by Steve Sadowski, so that'll look good...and, yeah...that's about as nice as I can be to Marvel this month.

All I'm willing to say in public about Dave Sim's Judenhass at this time: yeah, something tells me this isn't going to end well.

This is awfully random merchandising:

I know others have mentioned it, but this “zombie variant cover” shit has got to stop:

At this rate I fully expect Archie to get in on the action.

Gemstone brings us the third collection of Carl Barks Duck stories paired with a sequel by Don Rosa. This is a very good thing.

Knockabout Comics has an adaptation of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Hunt Emerson. This is going to be one of those very good, very worthwhile comics that almost no one will talk about.

Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who story “The World Shapers” is collected by Panini.
Doctor Who. By Grant Morrison.
It pretty much goes without saying that you should be buying it.

Platinum Studios has something called I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space. For ninety-nine cents. From Platinum Studios. Only $ 0.99. Platinum Studios...
I’m genuinely torn...

Radical Comics seems to have slipped under my radar, but I see they have a Free Comic Book Day sampler coming out, and a very potentially beefcake-tastic Hercules comic, as well as a Western retelling of Arthurian legends. Both these ideas are interesting to me, even if the samples in Previews look a bit heavily Photo-shopped for my tastes, coloring wise. I’m cautiously curious.

There is what appears to be a fumetti version of the live-action Asterix film Asterix at the Olympic Games coming out from Sterling Publishing. I’d really rather know when a Region 1 release of the live-action films can be expected.

Viz is re-releasing Rumiko Takahashi’s One Pound Gospel, which surprises me, as I seemed to recall it not selling well during its inital release. At all. Like, below Urusei Yatsura levels, which Ranma 1/2 and Inu-Yasha fans seemed to reject in droves. I’ll probably pick it up this time. Though I would really like to see the return of Urusei Yatsura...
They’ve also got the Kazuo Umezu series Cat Eyed Boy, which feels pricey for manga at $25 a volume, but look at this:

Yeah, I’m there.

Okay, so I know I was just praising the idea of Indiana Jones Adventures, but an Indiana Jones Magazine just seems like over-kill.
We’re going to be sick to death of Indy by the time the movie comes out, aren’t we. It’s going to be The Phantom Menace all over again.

Of course, a magazine isn’t as much overkill as a "fake leather" $75 hard-cover...

Previews also has John Barrowman’s auto-biography, Anything Goes, solicited for sale...that’s a little surprising. It’s mostly about his career in theater.

"Say Mr. Comics Retailer, I wish to purchase a t-shirt that advertises to the world my devotion to the lowest lows of pop-culture ephemera."
"Well, young lady, how do you feel about a shirt featuring a pedophile with erectile dysfunction that is allegedly a Star Wars parody?"


I suppose it was only a matter of time before we started to get Song of Fire and Ice merchandise of this nature but still I was surprised to see this:

Eddard and Sandor look fairly book-accurate, but something about Daenarys feels really off to me.
Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with a somewhat sexualized statue of a fifteen year old girl...

Dear Japan,
A cloak and knee-boots are not acceptable winter wear;


A page and a half of Sweeney Todd last, the real motive for making the film is revealed; giving Hot Topic something to sell the nine months out of the year no one gives a fuck about Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

From Hell's Heart I Stab At Thee! 

I only occasionally bother to do a full score look at Previews. Frankly, there's too many other people out there doing it. So I really have to hold off on it unless there is sufficient material I find appalling enough to merit taking the time to do one. And by "appalling enough" what I mean is: I feel the need to go wash a couple layers of skin off with a pumice stone when I contemplate being in the same building as people who want to own these things.

Yeah, this was one of those months...

Liberty Meadows Keychain Trading Figures—Page 63
How to get me to buy Frank Cho merchandise:

Make me a little duckling riding a dachsund.
(There's going to be a huge-breasted woman on the package, isn't there?)

Cybercontroller Statue—Page 64
I'm a fairly shameless Doctor Who fan, and the success of the new series has meant that, finally, I can get my hands on decent merchandise. And still…

A $300 "Weta Collectibles" Cyberman statue? No.
(We will not mention the $330 Dalek statue…)

Spawn: Age of Pharohs—Jackal King—Page 177
Okay, the picture isn't that great, but:

It's nice to see McFarlane toys finally putting out a toy with a noticeable package in addition to the obligatory female figure with big…assets.

Secret Invasion—Marvel Previews Page 41
Only two cross-over titles…that's positively restrained. 'Couse, I'm not the slightest bit interested. Largely this is due to the series getting sadled with an artist not even remotely the slightest bit to my taste. But also because I already sat through this storyline with the Dire Wraiths. And the Manhunters.
(It wasn't very good those last two times, either.)

Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle—Page 266
No joke, I just wanted to be sure Pete saw that a Harry Dresden comic was coming out.

The Nye Incidents—Page 274
A new graphic novel from Devil's Due. This is the first line of the ad:

Okay, so we're looking at some sort of non-fiction comic, like Palestine or something by Harvey Pekar, right?

Ah, so "True Events" is evidently a typo for "Unadulterated Bullshit." Devil's Due really should hire a better proof-reader.

Thirsty For Love—Page 290
This is the description for this yaoi title from Digital Manga Publishing's June' imprint:
Orie Nakano’s girlfriend is cheating on him with two other men! One is the mysteriously untouchable Tatsumi, and the other is the basketball-playing upperclassman that Orie idolizes.
But things are far from being as simple as they seem, and now the three men are inevitably pulled towards each other and bond together by their love for Yuka, which extends much farther than just the girl herself. Love, admiration and lust intermingle around them in an inescapable spiral in this coming of age sexy romance.

Teenage boys sleeping with the same girl leads, somehow, to gay sex…Yeah…You know, some gay men really don't like the way yaoi depicts gay men. Plots like this sort of drive home why.

Mack Bolan, The Executioner: The Devil's Tools—Page 306
Given how many comic-book characters are thinly disguised riffs on Mack Bolan, it's nicely full circle that a new comic featuring the character is coming out.
Man, The Executioner. I can remember a time when there were two or three bays full of "men's adventure" novels in every bookstore I ever went to. I can't even remember the last time I saw even a single copy of something in the genre in a bookstore. Low sales killed off the genre, I guess. Well, to be more specific, the self-fulfilling prophecy of "men don't read/let's not put out light reading for men" killed the genre. Now I can find seven or eight bays worth of books about plucky young women going to the big city and getting their dream job and a guy who will put them in their place (but for the love of all that's holy, don't call the book a "romance").
I don't even like men's adventure novels (well, the cover art is usually a hoot) and I feel put out that the genre's gone…

Captain Action #0—Page 319
Really Moonstone? That's the license you went after?

Okay, I'm scanning the next two, because if I don't someone's going to call me a liar:

Okay, I'm going to save all of you lovely people $220. The comics industry started when a bunch of gangsters looking to launder their money found a way to cheat a bunch of teenagers and people who couldn't break into real illustration jobs out of their intellectual property. They made a lot of money doing so and have done their level best to whittle away their audience ever since. Now we are left with an industry where Marvel and DC screw Diamond, Diamond screws every other publisher, everybody screws retailers and fans complain that they're not being sufficiently coddled to.
Honestly, what's the market for these books? I'm picturing them appealing to the same sort of people who sign up for a $2000 course in "How to Save Money."

A Whole Shitload of Indiana Jones Novels—Page 408
If I'm not mistaken, all these books are reprints of the novels that came out after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when Lucasfilm tried to create an "Expanded Universe" for the Indiana Jones films, given that it didn't seem likely that a fourth film would be made and they had to get more income off the property somehow.
I made the mistake of reading one of them once.
I'd advise against them.

Family Guy Presents Episode IV: A New Hope Premium Trading Cards--420
Trading cards based on the Star Wars parody episode of the worst animated series since Capitol Critters.
I'm not going to make fun of anyone who buys these. How could I possibly add to your shame?

American Flagg! Ltd Edition Hardcover Book Set—Page 427
This is not the long-awaited new collection of this series. No, this is a set of old hard-covers that were, presumably, sitting around in some warehouse somewhere. I can't help but feel that the presence of this listing in the catalog should be taken as a sign that the new collection still won't be coming out anytime soon.
I expect we'll see the next issue of Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine before we see that collection.

The Golden Compass Basic Action Figures—Page 446
In case you somehow missed picking these up when every toy store in the country had shelf after shelf of pegwarmers going unwanted before Christmas…

The Princess Bride: Talking Dread Pirate Roberts Plush—Page 450

Oh, I hope it's in scale with the Another Country plush dolls!

Randy Bowen's Gargoyle Statue—Page 466
Get it now, before Disney's lawyers get wind of it:

I'm just sayin'…

Medieval Wooden Sword—Page 518

I love this little reminders of the fact that Diamond still considers head shops and Ren Faires to be an important part of their business model.

Labyrinth Door Knocker—Page 519

I just want to draw your attention to one line here: "…One can hardly speak and the other can hardly hear, making them a form of living irony."
i-ro-ny, noun, "the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning."
A door knocker that cannot speak or hear because of where the ring is placed really doesn't fit that definition. At all.
(This observation submitted by Little Mikey Sterling, Aged 52, of Greater San Buenaventura, California)

Sweeney Todd Razor Prop Replica—Page 521

This has been your "oh dear God, these fucking prop replicas need to fucking stop already" entry for the month.

Doctor Who Micro Universe Game—Page 535

Doctor Who clicky-style collectable miniature game? Oh, my yes.Yes yes yes.

Eleven Men Out DVD—Page 548
I nearly dropped my copy of Previews when I came across this. In the midst of all the anime, bargain-basement horror films, nerd-core television shows and soft-core porn, Diamond is soliciting a European film about a gay soccer team. It's unprecedented!
I wonder what they thought they were soliciting…

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Four Fours 

Four Things In Previews That Make Me Happy

Diana Prince: Wonder Woman: The white jump-suit/I-Ching era of Wonder Woman is pretty universally panned for a reason. That being said, it does give us Wonder Woman fighting evil lesbian street gangs and, eventually, Samuel R. Delany.

New series Doctor Who comics...with Martha!

As glad as I am to see this, part of me wants to wait in hopes that the edition with the diorama and Near's figurines gets a US release.

Now, I have no intention of buying any of this crap...but I like that it exists. Because, as questionable as my taste can sometimes be, at least I can still feel smugly superior to Star Wars fans.

Four Things In Previews That Amuse Me

Lesbian Mini-Mates...I think I'll pose them next to my Hawkgirl, leaving Hawkman open for my Wildcat...

Well, that's quite a change in tone for this series...

Yes, I am entertained that the figure that was basically just a repainted Optimus Prime with new accessories is now a bust that's...just a repainted Optimus Prime bust.
Of course, Transformers fans have shown a willingness to buy just about ANYTHING, so this also doesn't really surprise me.

At the rate the series is progressing, those "Parental Advisory" stickers on MPD-Psycho are just going to keep getting bigger and bigger.

Four Things In Previews That Confuse Me

Torchwood Magazine? From the people that give us all those cheesey licensed television show magazines that are low on content but high on merchandise ads? I'm having trouble picturing Torchwood as part of that crowd of shows...

A Japanese action figure of a female character...that's sensibly and modestly dressed? Can such things truly be? The cognitive dissonance of stumbling upon this item has forced me to go lie down for a bit...

"Toon" Buffy merchandise really is just far past time to let Buffy go.

But, but, people keep telling me that manga is better than American comics because it's not sexist or misogynistic...did the blogerati lie to me?

Four Things In Previews That Appall Me

It's not so much the existence of a $40 piece of scrap metal that I find's that there are people who will see this and say "Forty bucks? What a deal!"

No, seriously, fuck you Marvel.

Non porn comics based on porn performers...pathetisad.

Oh God...the symbolism of this piece alone...



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Clever Previews Related Title 

I'm not sure what boggles my mind most in this month's Dark Horse solicitations; the $100 Batman vs. Grendel hard-cover, the book of toy ray-guns that ties into a Weta Workshop "give us money between films" toy-line, or the trade collecting the original "Comics Greatest World" comics.
Or maybe it's Playboy Interviews: The Actors, as Dark Horse shows a particular understanding of why people read Playboy...
Nah, it's probably "glue huffing Winnie the Pooh":

I quite like the cover for Search for Ray Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight:

But then, I'm one of those horrible, horrible people who actually kinda likes the DCU at the moment.

Oh my gosh, DC hates fun they made Bat Mite a villain!

That's right, I'm calling the reaction to Gotham Underground #2 now.

I'm honestly surprised there hasn't been a Harley Quinn collection before now. I remember that character used to be immensely popular. I think Harley Quinn merchandise was probably the second most requested item by "civilians" in the store, after Wonder Woman merchandise.

A collection of Bob Haney's "super son" stories is on the list as well. These...aren't good. No, not even by Haney's standards. But look for selected panels to show up on your favorite blogs this holiday season!
(I mean, honestly, it's almost as if DC publishes some of this stuff for the sole benefit of bloggers.)

The art on the World of Warcraft, or, DC's answer to Halo comics, is a LOT rougher than some of the preview materials suggested it would be. IS a fantasy comic written by Walt Simonson.
No, I'm still not telling you my character's name.
World of Warcraft also gives us this month's beefcake selection:

It's not like I was spoiled for choice...

That Todd McFarlane...he's all class:

The "Grendel's Mother" action figure should probably be considered a spoiler...

Oh, who are we kidding, it's not like anyone is going to see this...Hello, Uncanny Valley! I haven't seen you since you caused The Polar Express to bomb!

Pete: "God I hope not..."

Okay, Marvel Illustrated...the question's been bugging me, but I gotta ask it: these are clearly not intended for the direct market. This is Marvel hoping to corner some of that education/library market for graphic novels. So...why even bother with comic book versions for the direct market? Is their expected margin on these things so damn slim they need the pittance of sales these have in comic shops?

Do you think anyone will ever address the fact that both of Captain Marvel's kids are gay? Or am I the only one who wants to see that scene?
Also, no Rocket Raccoon on the cover...once again, Marvel ignores their greatest asset.

I can't believe Marvel is going back to the "House of M" well again with House of M: Avengers. Seriously, guys...let it go...

Marvel is re-releasing God Loves, Man Kills as a hard-cover. For $20. For 96 pages.
Now that's nerve.

Marvel's Beefcake for the month is Nova:

Can't...quite...put my finger on why this cover appeals to me...

ADV is coming out with an omnibus edition of Yotsuba creator Kiyohiko Azuma's series Azumanga Daioh. I don't know whether this should make me happy that now I don't need to buy the volumes I'm missing, or annoyed that I bought any individual volumes at all.

Classic Comics is putting out a collection of Irwin Hasen's Dondi stip. Irwin Hasen created Wildcat. Therefore, this book is fantastic!

Oh, Hack/Slash, your referencing of raunchy Archie gags only makes me want to like you more...

Dear Fangoria Comics;
Michael Madsen cannot "star" in a comic book. Oh sure, you can slap his name on it as a "co-creator" and draw the main character to vaguely resemble him...but a real, live, flesh-and-blood human being cannot "star" in a comic. It just can't be done. Sorry to have to break it to you.
Also, Michael Madsen? I thought Dee Snyder was scraping the barrell for celebrity tie-ins to your line...

Gemstone has another in their series of Barks/Rosa reprints, pairing a classic Carl Barks story with the Don Rosa sequel. This is a great idea for a series, and I'm incredibly glad to see more are coming.

Every month, I think "Surely this is the month in which Marvel has run out of minor, obscure characters to turn into statues" and every month...

Wendigo. Man...

Oh sure, every other blogger horrified you with that "high kick panty shot" statue, but me...

Bunny-eared, high-heeled, swim-suited pre-pubescent girls...yeah, panty shots just don't compare on the "skeeve me out" scale.

I don't want this:

I need this.

The Smurfs is coming out on DVD, but the original comics are still not available in English. This disappoints me.



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dorian Vs. The End of Civilization in Review 

I opened up my copy of Previews, and it immediately flopped to this postcard. That's a hell of a thing to have to see right off.

And no, no "Boob Count" this month. Do you have any idea how damn depressing it was to do last time?

Groo is apparently coming back, and bringing with it some of its subtle political themes. Of course, I don't remember online conversations about politics being quite so...vitriolic...the last time a Groo comic was on the stands. No doubt we'll see a "hilarious" blog post from the conservative comics blogosphere debunking the "Global Warming Myth" hinted at in the solicitation for Hell on Earth.

Dark Horse is bringing John Norman's Gor books back into print. One of the most blatantly misogynistic fantasy series of all time, if not the most misogynistic fantasy series. A series alleged to have inspired real-life crimes against women.
And I've yet to hear a peep about it from anyone...

Yet another new edition of The Pro is due, Ennis is just determined to cause Steranko a coronary, isn't he?

Oh, great...more zombie crap...

No, seriously...Gold Digger still comes out? Well, good for Fred Perry, I guess.

This is me avoiding a cheap shot at The Unfunnies.

Dear Bluewater Productions: you are, in fact, allowed to use colors other than brown.

I think DMP needs a theme song. Any suggestions? (Yes, "Dude looks like a lady" is too obvious.)

Has anyone been reading these Fangoria comics? I've flipped through a couple in the shop, and they're incredibly unpleasant. Both in terms of quality and subject matter. Real pandering to the lowest common denominator stuff here. I'm half curious to know if anyone out there actually is enjoying these things.
But then, I also think they may be aiming at a market other than comic fans. Have they been hyping these things in the magazine and the horror fandom circuit?

Also, this seems as good a time as any to mention it, but if you've never gone through the "Adult Previews" supplement, I highly recommend it. There's nothing quite like that moment of cognitive dissonance you get when, after going through three or four pages of solicitations for soft-core lesbian porn you come across a full page ad for Japanese boy-love comics.

Oh, all right. "The Unfunnies? Talk about truth in advertising!"

So, after all that grief Diamond gave Tim Leong about Comic Foundry not meeting their standards (reminder: Diamond carries such products as the Rich Little Bitch DVD and Girls and Corpses magazine), they carry it and give it a "Spotlight On" tag...Granted, Housewives at Play: Lez Be Friends is also a "Spotlight On" item.
Also, go tell your friendly local comics retailer that you want Comic Foundry.

You thought I was kidding about Girls and Corpses, didn't you?

From the solicitation for God's Gift: Over 100 Studs, Stallions and Dreamboats of the 70s and 80s:
"From Arnold Schwarzenegger and Patrick Swayze, to Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Mr. T, this sexy collection of over one-hundred Lotharios, Romeos, and Casanovas from the '70s and '80s is sure to make your pulse race..."
Now, I lived through the 80s...I don't remember Mr. T at any point being considered a hunk. Hell, I think they're stretching to include Arnie...

"You're sure this is a legitimate modeling gig, right? Not some weird fetish mag?"

Surprisingly, not the gayest toy in Previews this month.

Oh, so Asian kids don't get names, is that it? Mezco are a bunch of racists!
(That last line may have been a joke...)

Who's the cutest widdle mass-murderer? You are! Yes you are! Oh, yes you are!

This would be the gayest toy in Previews this month:

There, fangirls, are you happy? A man being objectified in the exact same way as all those girly statues and toys! Happy? Satisfied?
(That last line may have been a joke...)
[Yes, it really was a joke! He's in a strong, assertive pose, not waiting to be mounted. So not at all like any of the girly statues, really.]

Oh, I think I may have found a cuter widdle mass-murderer!

Pete, if you're reading this, no, I do not really find mass-murderers cute.

Actual conversation I had with that jerk Mike when I placed my order for this:
"You know Dorian, you should really get a Cyberman. Martha and the Doctor need someone to fight."
"Oh, they're not going to fight, Mike."
(Yes, I did order the Cyberman. But not Novice Hame. Though, man, she does look cool...)

Man, a new edition of Talisman and a Kingdom Hearts CCG? Nerd Bliss!
(Admit it, some of you are shocked that I'm a geek for one of those things, much less both of them.)

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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

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

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

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:

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.

Boob Count: 5. All for Iron & The Maiden.

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.

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?

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...

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.
Boob Count: 2, not counting what I'm sure are thoroughly tasteful offerings in the Previews Adult catalog.

CLASH: I'm trying to avoid dismissing this as yet another attempt to rewrite Watchmen and failing.

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.

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?

Boob Count: 2

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.

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.

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!

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.

Page 470:

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:

Timing people!

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.

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.

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.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

You Decide! 

Stupidest idea for an Archie comic ever? Or stupidest idea for any comic ever?

Or just "stupidest idea" period?

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