My Comics, Your Decision

I wasn’t halfway through this month’s Previews before I realized I had a problem. Way too many book I’m interested in. My budget is only so big, and my desire is even bigger. What to do? Simple: I will call out to comics fans far and wee to help me decide.

Here are the items I have already picked out that exceed my budget by 58.17%:

  • Concrete Vol 1: Depths (Dark Horse)
  • Astro City: The Dark Age #1 (DC)
  • Tom Strong #33 (DC)
  • Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere #1 (DC)
  • Sandman: Endless Nights TPB (DC)
  • Neotopia Pocket Manga v4 (Antarctic)
  • Shaolin Cowboy #4 (Burlyman)
  • Action Philosophers All Sex Special #1 (Evil Twin)
  • Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate (IDW)
  • Knights of the Dinner Table #104 (Kenzer)
  • Ice Haven GN (Pantheon)
  • Beck vol 1 (Tokyopop)
  • The Plot (W. W. Norton)
  • Fortean Times #198 (FT)
  • Fortean Times #199 (FT)
  • d20 Apocalypse (WOTC)

In addition to those items, there are a few others that call to me:

Valerian Volume 1: the solicitation for this says it was the inspiration for the cult sci-fi film The Fifth Element. Now, I absolutely hated the cult sci-fi film The Fifth Element. But I can’t deny that the look of the movie was cool, and I can’t deny that most movies inspired by a comic are usually far worse than the actual comic. They make it sound like this comic too is a classic. If you’ve read it, is it worth getting? Is it typical European Sci-Fi Heavy Metal/Humanoids fare?

The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty: I got the first issue of this, the Free Comic Books Day issue, and thought it was fine, but didn’t continue to pick it up. Now it’s collected. But jeez, 22 bucks? For that money it better make my face implode. Will it?

So comment me a comment. What should stay and what should go? What have I callously or mistakenly overlooked? (Note that Hellboy, Albion, and Otherworld are things I’m planning on buying in trades.) The $18 Sandman book is sitting there with a big target on it for culling, but who knows, I like Sandman. Is it, as they say, All That? Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate is there for my love of the steampunk; should it not be? To you, comics readers, I open my mind and, indirectly, my wallet. Help me decide what deserves my dollars. I’m counting on you!

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12 Responses to My Comics, Your Decision

  1. Lanf says:

    I vote for saving the Endless Nights TPB for next time. But really, I’m only doing that because I know Anna will vote that you keep Neil and drop something else. So HAHA, you get two data points that effectively cancel themselves out!

    Also, don’t get d20 Apocalypse. I can almost guarantee it will suck and present you with no new information. It will only embitter you to the post-apocalyptic genre…and we don’t want that now do we?

  2. Porkspam says:

    Well take a look at what is still going to be available in a month or 2… i know sandman will ALWAYS be there. especially in soft cover TPB.. It’s not like its a hardcover

  3. Anarkey says:

    You probably already got your comics for the week, but let me just say that although I enjoyed Endless Nights very much, I don’t necessarily think you would. Give it a pass or wait on it. Also, I’ll be happy to loan you my hardcover of it any time.

  4. Greg Burgas says:

    I would get Astro City, because it’s always good. The Plot looks really cool, especially if you don’t know a lot about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I’m picking that up. As for the rest – skip ’em!

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  6. ADD says:

    ICE HAVEN is the only must-have on that list. Miss it at your peril!

    I mean, look at this cover! :
    Tell you what, if you buy the comic, I’ll send you a free drawing of anything you want.
    -Ryan Dunlavey
    artist/troublemaker of Action Philosophers

  8. Dave says:

    Thanks for the comments so far. Endless Nights is certainly worth a pass for the moment. It’s Sandman, it’s softcover…it’s not going anywhere.

    The Plot (a graphic novel by Will Eisner discussing the history of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion hoax) and Ice Haven (new graphic novel by Dan Clowes) are going to make the cut. d20 Apocalypse also isn’t going anywhere. Neverwhere I can wait for the trade on. So I’m gradually whittling down the month.

    Ryan, wow, that’s a kind and tempting offer, but I think AP had already made the cut anyway. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

    I went to the website for Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate, which is here and although the art looks very cool indeed, there’s somethign about it that kind of gives me the willies. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    Having two issues of Fortean Times solicited in the same month is weird and annoying. It’s a pricey mag, but the only one I read from cover to cover. I don’t know why there’s two issues here, but that’s eating into my monthly budget as well. Wish I knew what next month’s Previews held…

    Thanks for the comments, and more are invited.

  9. Althalus says:

    Well, Valerian is definitely a classic. The series has now been running for almost 40 years and the artist has produced 19 albums (and some short pieces) in that time. It probably has influenced many other science-fiction-themed works, though I don’t know about the Fifth Element (because Moebius should be the biggest influence there, as he actually worked on the film’s design, IIRC).

    I don’t know if it is what you think of when you say “typical Heavy Metal/Humanoids fare”. I haven’t read all volumes, only a few (never had the money to collect all, so I had to take what the library offered), but although some were a bit psychedelic in style or coloration, most also had a solid story and all were interesting (if my memory is still accurate after 10+ years).

    The basic setup is a “secret agent” story… this guy and his female partner have to travel through time and space in their ship and solve certain problems. That gives room not only to very different settings, but also to very different plots as well… they have the whole universe to play with, and at any time, after all.

    My advice: take a look at the english section of the official website of one of the authors here ( ) or just buy the first volume to test it.

    The series has been published in many languages (I read it in German), there has even already been an (unsuccessful) english edition in the early 80s (the foreword by Will Eisner is still up on the aforementioned website). It supposedly ran for 4 volumes.


  10. Althalus says:

    One other thing: when I wrote the above I hadn’t read the actual solicitation. It seems IBooks collected the first 4 albums into one volume. An interesting approach. You’ll get 4 full stories for the price of 1 and a half original volumes, in full color and not even all that much smaller (7×10 vs. 9×12). Only 5 volumes for the whole series to date. A good deal, if you ask me… I’m even tempted myself, since I don’t actually own any volumes of the series, yet. I still don’t have the necessary money to buy the French or German editions and one translation can’t be much worse than another… ^^;


  11. Althalus says:

    Seems I have to correct myself: Mezieres *did* some work on 5th Element. He helped design the set and props; says on his website he actually did more than Moebius (“who only came a couple of times, or at least less often than I”). He also later published a sketchbook called “Mon Cinquieme Element”, collecting some of his works for the film. I still don’t see any huge similarities, story-wise, between Valerian and 5th Element, though. They don’t feel anything alike, in my recollection.

    who really misses an edit button here…

  12. Paul Guinan says:

    Stumbled across your mention of “Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate” for your comics wish list–SUPERTHANKS! Hope you enjoy it. Just wondering what familiarity you have with the previous appearances of the characters? It’s been a few years since HB’s have been asskicking.
    Thanks again,