Marvel Previews Picks: December 2012

September 30, 2012

Alright, let’s see if I can get through this with a minimum of bitterness, cynicism and sarcasm.

… I’ve already failed, haven’t I?  Oh well.  There’s still stuff in here I’m looking forward to even if the cost/page ratio is skewed somewhat unfavorably.

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20th Century Boys vol. 22

September 28, 2012

Yeah, I know I said that this would be coming on the weekend, but after last night’s post I figured some distance was in order before I write up the “Marvel Previews Picks” for December.

With that out of the way, this volume of the compulsively readable title is its last regular volume.  It is, however, not by any means “The End.”

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Marvel’s War on Tradewaiting

September 27, 2012

I was planning on writing up my thoughts on vol. 22 of “20th Century Boys” (it’s coming this weekend, honest), but then I went and read this over at Bleeding Cool.  $25 for four issues of “Uncanny Avengers?”  Even after the Amazon discount you can count me out of that.  I know it’ll be discounted once the collection hits softcover, but this is unreal.  As Rich points out, it comes to $6.25 an issue for what was originally a $4 comic.  So if you’re a dedicated tradewaiter like me, why not go out and buy the single issues for this one?  Well, while I’ll admit that Rick Remender and John Cassaday make a hell of a team, the comic would have to be really goddamn good to justify those prices.  If not “Garth Ennis’ ‘Punisher MAX’” good then at least “Nextwave:   Agents of H.A.T.E.” good.  Not only do I not think that’s likely, it also seems like another step on the company’s path to pricing its comics line out of existence.

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Image Previews Picks: December 2012

September 26, 2012

Robert Kirkman and original “The Walking Dead” artist Tony Moore have reached a settlement in their dispute over ownership of the series.  If nothing else, I’m glad that this didn’t escalate into a Gaiman/McFarlane level throwdown, or the ongoing winner-take-all battle between Marvel and the heirs of Jack Kirby’s estate.  Kirkman has been doing a lot to advocate for creators’ rights and to spread the wealth of his success around through his Skybound imprint and this could’ve ruined all of that if it had drug on and gotten ugly.  That said, if the writer is really as underhanded as Moore claimed in his initial statement with the case then it’ll be borne out sooner rather than later.  As others have noted, keep an eye on the indicia for “The Walking Dead” comic and TV series to see if anything’s changed in the wake of the settlement.

In other news, issue #105 of the comic in question has an extreme close up of an angry Carl pointing a gun right at the reader.  More thoughts on actual comics after the break!

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Two more years and it would’ve been able to buy us drinks!

September 25, 2012

Anime News Network announced today that the greatest comic being serialized today will finally be wrapping up in the issue of “Afternoon” shipping this December.  I speak, of course, of “Blade of the Immortal” which will be reaching its conclusion after nineteen years.  NINETEEN YEARS!  I know that other series have run for much longer, but after a certain point (probably the first decade of a title’s existence) you start to expect that it’s going to run forever at some point.  Now, this isn’t a problem if you’ve got a strong enough hook as “Golgo 13” can just keep plugging its main character into any current global hotspot, “Fables” has the entirety of public domain fairytale characters to work with, and “The Walking Dead” is dealing with nothing less than rebuilding civilization.

Then there are the titles where it looks like producing the series has become a “job” for the creator.  In the sense that they’re not working towards a definite endpoint but are just going to keep at it until the readers have had enough.  “Oh! My Goddess” comes readily to mind here.  It’s also not hard to see the most popular Shonen Jump titles operating under this logic, and I’m ecstatic that “Bakman” was just popular enough to allow its creators to end it on their own terms.  So rather than despair at “Blade’s” end, the news that Hiroaki Samura is steering his signature title to his own conclusion is reason to celebrate more than anything else.

Now if we can all just glare disapprovingly at Kentaro Miura long enough so that he’ll stop playing “Idolm@ster” long enough to get back to work on “Berserk.”

Thief of Thieves vol. 1: I Quit

September 24, 2012

After the “not bad, but not great” “Astounding Wolf-Man” and the utter creative and commercial misfire of “The Infinite,” Robert Kirkman has finally replicated the creative and commercial success of “The Walking Dead” and “Invincible” with this series.  At least, that’s what the hype and buzz told me.  Working with a rotating cast of writers to replicate the “writer’s room” feel of “The Walking Dead” TV series, the first of which is Nick Spencer of “Morning Glories” fame, and artist Shawn Martinbrough, we’re introduced in this volume to master thief Conrad Paulson who, as the title indicates, has had enough of this life.  That being said, would it surprise anyone to learn that something happens to force him back into it?

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Guarding the Globe vol. 1: Under Siege

September 23, 2012

The concept behind this spin-off from “Invincible” was simple:  While the title character was out in space fighting “The Viltrumite War” we’d get to see what the other superheroes, and professional behind-the-scenes-string-puller Cecil Steadman, were doing to maintain order on Earth.  Co-written by series creator Robert Kirkman and Benito Cereno, with art by talented newcomer Ransom Getty, it had all the makings of a surefire success.  Then, for reasons that have yet to be made public, the six-issue mini-series went through a series of delays that almost made serialization of the Millar/Hitch run of “The Ultimates” (yes, I really do like using that as a touchstone for this kind of thing) look timely by comparison.  The ongoing series by writer Phil Hester and artist Todd Nauck will hopefully improve on that and give us more of the twists and surprises we’ve come to expect from the parent title.

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DC Previews Picks: December 2012

September 21, 2012

Greg Rucka is leaving Marvel and DC behind and he’s got some fascinating words to say about the two companies.  I may have more to say about that at a later date, especially when you consider that while the A-list is stronger than it has been in quite some time for DC, everything else below that is struggling to keep what traction it has.  As you’ll see that there’s PLENTY to be deeply cynical about after the jump, we’ve still some good stuff to be found in these solicitations.

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Comic Picks #116: Genshiken

September 20, 2012

You'll learn more than you ever wanted to about Japanese "otaku" from this series, but the way Shimoku Kio does it with humor, honesty and humanity.

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Dark Horse Previews Picks: December 2012

September 19, 2012

Sometimes it’s a painful reminder to realize that while these are only solicitations for the serialized comics from Dark Horse arriving in December.  Any collected editions being featured here will be arriving two months later (as always) in February.  Considering that something I’ve been eagerly awaiting since it was announced by the company is shipping in that timeframe, that’s disappointing.  Of course, if nothing else I’ve learned patience in the occasionally long wait between volumes of the mangaka in question’s signature series.

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