No Foolin, I Need Previews Advice!

Okay, I’m not kidding around this time. This month’s Previews is chock-full of goody goodness! It is so big, and my budget so small! And since a lot of what I’m looking at is trades of previously released material, I need advice on whether that material is worth getting.

Also, as usual, point me to good things I’m overlooking.

AS INCENTIVE, I’m giving away a FREE PRIZE to one person, chosen at random, who comments on this thread WITH USEFUL ADVICE. Feel free to talk about how much you like TV or pie, but only useful comics-purchasing advice comments will be in the running for the fabulous prize.

So, here’s what I’m looking at:

Concrete: Strange Armor TPB (Dark Horse) — I’m sort of getting these Concrete trades. That is, I got the first one and added the rest to my Amazon wish list. I’ll probably do the same with this one. I like Concrete.

Usagi Yojimbo TPB vol 20 (Dark Horse) — I’ve always depended on the kindness of TJs to supply me with Usagi, but dammit, I should be getting it for real. Usagi rules.

BPRD – The Black Flame TPB (Dark Horse) — Definitely a getter.

Showcase Presents: Elongated Man vol 1 (DC) — Don’t know much about this guy except his wife was in the news last year. These are almost always a solid value, though. Yea or nay?

Astro City: Samaritan Special (DC) — I didn’t really like the first arc of The Dark Age, but this seems more of what I want.

Manifest Eternity (DC) — Definitely a wait for the trade if a get at all, but does anyone know if it should even be on my radar in the first place?

Top Ten: Beyond the Farthest Precinct TPB (DC) — I loved the original Top Ten series. I’m guessing this isn’t exactly as good, but is it nearly so? Or will it merely make me want to re-read instead the original?

Sloth (DC) — Gilbert Hernandez! But…hardcover? I think not. Anyone know if this will eventually come out in softcover?

Fear Agent TPB (Image) — Ten bucks for a TPB isn’t bad, even if it’s only four issues. But is the series any good? Has anyone checked it out?

Jack Staff #12 (Image) — Ah, the cruel tease that is soliciting Jack Staff continues. Hasn’t this issue already failed to come out, or is this a new issue that will fail to come out?

Skyscrapers of the Midwest #2 (AdHouse) — I got the first issue and was kinda unmoved by it. Is it something you’d say I should stick with?

Robotika #4 (Archaia) — I like the artwork. I’ll finish the series out.

Flight vol 3 (Ballantine) — I loved the first two volumes. It’s pricey, but in my opinion worth it.

Little White Mouse Omnibus Edition (Cafe Digital) — I enjoyed the miniseries’ I got of this a long time ago, but man, between this and Flight there’s half my budget gone.

Digital Manga Publishing — I’m gonna put out a magazine for fans of their manga and it’ll be called “WISPY”.

Action Philosophers: The People’s Choice (Evil Twin) — As if I wouldn’t get this.

Dragon Head vol 3 (House of Milky) — I liked the first volume and I’m grabbing the second today.

Hikaru No Go vol 7 (Viz) — Again, an automatic getter.

Fortean Times #211 & 212 (Magazine) Hooray! TWO issues solicited for TWICE the budget-straining! No, I’m still not subscribed yet.

You can see why I’m having so much trouble! Any help whittling that down will make you eligible for an amazing prize.

But let’s Be Here Now (or at least at the comic shop soon) and look at what’s coming in today! There’s the aforementioned Dragon’s Head vol 2, in which we explore further the mystery of the wrecked train; there’s East Coast Rising, Becky Cloonan’s comic about, like, pirates or something; Banana Sunday TPB, in which monkeys are funny; and there’s


which is by Kevin Huizenga and therefore makes the world a better place.

Say it with me:


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13 Responses to No Foolin, I Need Previews Advice!

  1. David Thiel says:

    I’m on the fence about Elongated Man myself. I’m all about Silver Age DC, and it’s likely that virtually all of this will be new to me. I don’t believe EM was ever more than a back-up feature, so I wouldn’t expect stories of any great complexity. That could be good or bad. I’m presuming (perhaps incorrectly) that there’ll be a lot of Carmine Infantino art, and I know he’s not a favorite of yours. Still, there’s something to be said for being able to boast that you have the entire run of Elongated Man. As I wrote, still on the fence.

  2. Lanf says:

    I have no knowledge of most of these, unfortunately, but I have read a good deal of Concrete. The first series was good, but as it progresses it seems to really devolve into navel-gazing. It seemed original and then eventually a lot less so. Also, “Strange Armor” is a retelling of the origin story. This could be a good thing, since the origin was neat, but it could also be a re-treading of old material. I’d say put it off until you can flip through it at the library or someone’s house.

  3. Rob Barrett says:

    I’d pass on the Top 10 book–the new series wasn’t very good, even with Ordway doing a fine job on the art.

    If you want good Top 10 stuff, you need to get the 49ers. Moore and Ha goodness in a post-war Neopolis!


  4. Johanna says:

    Fear Agent is very manly-man space opera. Rogue character wisecracks and fights his way across the universe kind of thing.

    Jack Staff #12 is a new solicit. We’re still waiting on #10 (due September 2005) and #11 (due December 2005).

    Little White Mouse is the MUST recommendation for me this month, but I loved the series so much I wrote an introduction for one of the previous collections. I’m just thrilled to get the whole thing in one big book.

    I’d skip Flight, myself, but that’s because I don’t see a need to reread any of the previous volumes. Very pretty to look at, but light on the story content, I thought.

    I have some of the same concerns about Concrete that the previous commentor mentioned. I’ve got some of the earlier collections still on my to-read stack, and I’m having a hard time wanting to get to them.

  5. roomtemp says:

    ditto on the concrete; in fact, an exact ditto of johanna’s situation. i picked up a bunch of concretes i didn’t have from the quarter bin months ago and just … can’t … quite … get around … to them.

    the elongated man stuff is highly regarded as some of broome and infantino’s best work. i believe those were the stories (pushes glasses back up nose) that infantino lobbied for so he could ink his own pencils (ba-DUM-bum). infantino’s style was looser than the dc house style and inkers had to tighten up his work, which annoyed him. but the bosses wanted him penciling interiors and, especially, covers, so he wasn’t allowed to do much inking. anyway, i don’t own it, haven’t seen it, and only speculate, but it’s almost certain to wind up on my shelf sooner rather than later.

  6. Brandon says:

    I would avoid Top Ten. It’s not bad, but it’s not as good as the original and makes you long for that goodness.

    DEFINITELY get Usagi Yojimbo. Is there anything else being published regularly that is so consistently great?

    And why even fool yourself into thinking you’re going to see that Jack Staff issue? Didn’t number one come out two years ago? Good stuff, but still . . . .

  7. Jim Kosmicki says:

    Well, as has been posted already, Elongated Man was always a backup feature, which means a lot of short, plot-heavy stories. If you read them one at a time, separated by time in between, as intended, they work great. Read a whole bunch of them altogether, not so great. In fact, this comment is true of pretty much all DC Silver Age material up until 68 or so. The Marvel Essentials collections read much better — there’s a sense of forward progress in the stories.

    As for Top Ten — if you like Terra Obscura — go for it. I found this mini to be about the same as those two trades. It’s not as good as the original (or the 49ers GN).

    Of the 3 Dark Horse you list, I’d go for the Usagi on the grounds that the Concrete is basically a rehash of stories you already have and UY is a stronger book overall than Hellboy or BPRD.

    I really liked Skyscrapers #1 and found that #2 improved in the storytelling. it’s a good, creepy story. Reading it reminds me of my initial reactions to the early issues of Yummy Fur and “Like a Velvet Glove” in Eightball.

    The omnibus of little white mouse is a must-get, unless you already have the material in another form. If I already own it, these bigger collections only get bought when it’s a great deal or I have splurge money.

    I’m definitely with Johanna that the previous editions of Flight were beautiful but left me with little sense of substance. I’ve never gone back to read Vol. 1 (which I bought), and have only checked out #2 once from the library and have had no desire to read it again. Pretty is pretty, but if you are limited in budget, go for the story that you will come back to over and over — it’s the much better buy in the long-run.

  8. Sebastian says:

    Well, I don’t know if my comments will actually help you, since our tastes seem to overlap only a little.

    While I strongly second choices like Usagi Yojimbo, Jack Staff, Flight and Hikaru No Go, you’d never find stuff like Elongated Man, Top Ten, Skyscrapers of the Midwest, Action Philosophers or Dragon Head on any of my shelves. BPRD, Manifest Eternity, Sloth, Fear Agent, Robotika and Little White Mouse are on the fringes of my taste in comics, and with so much better stuff around, I personally don’t have the budget for them. BPRD, Sloth and Fear Agent look like the better picks of that batch, though. I don’t know anything about Concrete, Astro City and Fortean Times, and most of DMP’s output just does nothing for me.

    Jack Staff is indeed still late… I doubt we’ll see that #12 in 2006. Wasn’t #10 supposed to be finally out in March, by Grists own comments?

    Other things I noticed in April Previews were the SOLO issue of Sergio Aragonéz, which will be the first (and probably only) one of the series I’ll order. Also there’s the collection of the two issues of Rod Espinosa’s MetaDocs from Antarctic Press (the first half of which is online here: ).

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  10. aaron says:

    Wow. The only one that you’re really on the fence about, “Sloth”, is pretty much the only one that really excites me. That said, yes, the world is a better place with comics by Kevin Huizenga. Good luck with the Previews order!

  11. Dave says:

    Dave Thiel: I don’t dislike Carmine Infantino. The reality is, I doubt I could pick Infantino’s art out of a line-up, and same goes with most comics artists (other than an obvious few). As for Elongated Man, I’m not sure I need this one, at least, not right away.

    Lanf et al: Yeah, Concrete may go on the wishlist, but that doesn’t count towards the budget since that stuff is hardly ever actually purchased anyway. I like Concrete, but I agree with most of you that there’s only so much of it one needs.

    Rob etc: Sounds like Top Ten’s a pass, then. That’s a shame, as I think it was the strongest of the ongoing ABC titles. I did just get the Forty-Niners in softcover.

    Johanna: I’m really leaning towards Little White Mouse. I dug out the issues I do have and even though they’re autographed (bought them from Sizer himself at a Comicon many solar cycles ago) it would be great to have the whole thing in one package.

    aaron: I’m only on the fence over Sloth because of the hardback. I’m cheap. If there’s a softcover on the way, I’ll hold out for that. If not, I’ll get the HC.

    Okay, Usagi is definitely on the list, but it was pretty much always there.

    Thanks all! This really is quite helpful!

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