Locusmortis’ PREVIEWS Hits & Misses™ – Rating Comic Shop Offerings for August/September 2012

Every month I pre-order comics, trades and other related items from Previews magazine. Even though there is information online for just about everything, I still find the Previews catalog to be the simplest way to scan through the different items and to get some inspiration on what I want to buy.

There’s lots of stuff being offered by Diamond this month: Plenty of great stuff and plenty of crap too… So I will try to sort the wheat from the chaff and hopefully point out some good items that you might order or buy from your LCS or Online Retailer. Our taste may differ– so if you buy something and I hate it… Don’t blame me. I did my best to warn you!

The STATUS in the description of each product indicates the likelihood of whether I’m going to order it ranging from Firm Order as the most likely to POS (Piece of Shit)– with everything else being somewhere in between. I’m sure you can figure it out!

Beasts of Burden One-shot
32 pages

Status – Firm Order

Additional NotesBeasts of Burden was one of the best mini-series of the last few years. If you don’t buy Dark Horse Presents (like me), then this one-shot reprints 3 short stories that originally appeared there.Creepy Archives Vol 14 HC
272 pages

Status – Firm Order

Additional Notes – This collection has stories by Archie Goodwin, Esteban Maroto, Jose Ortiz, John Severin, Richard Corben and more… Quality stuff.Michael Avon Oeming’s
The Victories #1 (of 5)
32 pages

Status – Trade-Waiting

Additional Notes – As you can see by the title, this is Oeming’s book. He’s writing and drawing it– so no pesky Brian Michael Bendis to ruin things. The preview pages for this series look really dynamic. However 32 pages for 3.99 is a bit much– so I’ll wait for the Trade.Classic Marvel Characters Series 2 #3
Captain America Statue

Status – POS

Additional Notes – This looks just plain awful– hideous in fact. These statues are meant to use an iconic pose from a characters past– but I’ve never seen one of the classic Marvel artists using a pose as horrible as this. There’s so much better to spend your money on.Action Comics #12
40 pages

Status – On the Fence

Additional Notes – 12 issues in and what the fuck has happened in this title? I can’t answer that… Maybe you can? I expected much more from Grant Morrison on Superman. I’m close to dropping this comic.Batwoman #12
32 pages

Status – Firm Order

Additional NotesWonder Woman appears in a comic drawn by JH Williams III? I’m in.

Grifter #12
32 pages

Status – I wouldn’t let YOU buy this for me!

Additional Notes – Last month it was HawkmanNOW this month’s WTF Liefeld?!? cover is Grifter. Bonus points for no pouches but loses points for unbelievably gritted teeth.Superman: Earth One Vol 2 HC
136 pages

Status – Probable POS

Additional Notes – So this is the book that JMS bailed on the Superman: Grounded run for. Will it be as boring as Grounded? Probably.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Alan Davis HC
272 pages

Status – Wait for Amazon

Additional Notes – Man, I love Alan Davis, but I’m not so sure about him on Batman. Also, DC usually uses glued– instead of sewn– bindings on these hardcovers… So I’ll probably wait for the reviews before ordering this.The Annotated Sandman Vol 2 HC
520 pages

Status –  Probable POS

Additional Notes – Just how many times can this material be repackaged? Oh wait, the Sandman Slipcase Set is also being offered this month, silly me. (Check out Insideman’s thoughts on Vol 1!)Pathfinder #1
32 pages

Status – Firm Order

Additional NotesThe Pathfinder Tabletop RPG has been kicking the crap out of AD&D the last few years and I like the look of this book. Even the interior art looks good– which is unusual for Dynamite.J. Scott Campbells Fairytale Fantasies
2013 Calendar

Status – POS

Additional Notes –  $20 dollars for a calendar? You’ve gotta be kidding me.

Black Kiss II #1 (of 6)
32 pages

Status: Trade-Waiting

Additional Notes Image $2.99 books have gone self-cover. I hate the flimsiness of self-cover comics, so I’ll wait for the trade. This book has Howie Chaykin writing and drawing something he likes… That means it will be very good.It Girl and the Atomics #1
32 pages

Status: Trade-Waiting

Additional Notes – Same deal as with Black Kiss– So I’m gonna Trade-Wait this. I loved Atomic Comics way back when and this comic has a good creative team on it: Jamie Rich writing & Mike Norton art.The Bulletproof Coffin Vol 2 Disinterred
200 pages

Status: Firm Order

Additional Notes – This is where Trade-Waiting becomes trade buying. David Hine is a good writer but this purchase is all about Shaky Kane. OMFG I love his art… It’s like Jack Kirby on acid.Peter Panzerfaust Vol 1
144 pages

Status – Firm Order

Additional Notes – Another title I was Trade-Waiting for. Image is THE company for creator-owned books at the moment. Snap this up!Spawn 20th Anniversary Poster #3 (of 4)

Status: POS

Additional Notes – Waitaminute, there has already been TWO of these? Someone buy this for Insideman! 🙂Barbara
444 pages

Status: Probable Order

Additional Notes – To be honest, I’m not that knowledgable about Osamu Tezuka… And that’s something I should rectify, really. I normally ignore books from this company but this caught my eye as I was flicking through Previews.Judge Dredd Restricted Files Vol 4
272 pages

Status – Probable POS

Additional Notes – The Restricted Files books usually comprise done-in-one Dredd tales from Annuals and specials and are almost entirely slight and/or unessential tales. The collection also includes Mark Millar written Judge Dredd stories– so be warned.Shakara The Destroyer
160 pages

Status: Cheaper on Amazon

Additional NotesShakara is one of the best stories to come out of 2000AD in the last decade, principally fueled by Henry Flint’s incredible art. It’s worth getting Shakara The Avenger TP first– as Destroyer is a continuation from that book.007 Magazine Archive Files
You Only Live Twice #1

36 pages

Status: Firm Order

Additional Notes – $12.99 for such a thin magazine may seem like insanity– but it really depends on the quality of the photographs used and the standard of the writing inside. This magazine represents high quality in both areas.Ciruelo – Book of the Dragon
36 pages

Status: Already own it – Recommended

Additional Notes – This is the umpteenth printing of this art book and Cireulo is one of the best traditional fantasy artists out there. The book tells the story of Dragons– their ecology and history– but it’s really the pictures that sell this book.V for Vendetta: Black Line Mask White T-Shirt
$15.99 – $17.99

Status: POS

Additional Notes – For the anarchist who wants to look like a corporate shill… And a twat.Star Wars: The Clone Wars
R2D2 1/1 Scale Monument
Gentle Giant Designs

Status: If I won the lottery AND was also mentally ill

Additional Notes – This is a life-size statue of R2D2. For this price, I would want it to be a working R2D2 that would deliver me drinks when I desired them.Fantasy Figure Gallery
Hajime Sorayama’s Hot Box Statue
Yamato USA

Status:  If I won the lottery– then sure!

Additional Notes Sorayama is a master of painting the female figure and this statue is a brilliant interpretation of his work. The price is enough to make your eyes bleed, however. Star Wars: Darth Vader
24-inch  Super Deluxe Talking Plush

Status: POS

Additional Notes –  What is this…? International Over-priced Star Wars Crap Month? This really is a hideous piece of tat. If you buy it, I will find you and beat you up.Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot Deck

Status: Severely tempted

Additional Notes – I collect fantasy themed tarot decks and Anne Stokes is a great artist– so this has me tempted. Also offered this month is Luis Royo’s Dark Tarot Deck– which I already own and recommend.Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection
Blu Ray

Status: Its cheaper on Amazon…. And a POS

Additional Notes – Whether you like or dislike these films, there is no doubt that this collection is vastly over-priced. $500 for 31 discs comprising 8 films and extras? Maybe if you got a date with Emma Watson with it…

That’s it for this month. Let us know if there’s anything coming up that you think is worth looking at.

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20 Responses to Locusmortis’ PREVIEWS Hits & Misses™ – Rating Comic Shop Offerings for August/September 2012

  1. Quick question: Is the CREEPY trade a collection of the old CREEPY comics? ‘Cause I picked up #9 last week and it was terrible.

    • Insideman says:

      WD, since I’m here… I’ll go ahead and answer.

      No, the Hardcover Archive collections Locusmortis buys are NOT from the NEW Dark Horse Creepy Comics. (They’re starting a new quarterly Eerie book as well.) There’s a softcover collection of the new Creepy Comics out… And you’re right. I’ve read it and it is horrible. (And not in a good way.)

      These Creepy and Eerie Hardcover Archive editions are from the Warren Publication magazines that (I believe) started in the early 70s. They feature Classic Horror stories (often very mature in nature) and unbelievably beautiful art from a stable of consummate artists the likes of Esteban Maroto (and the others Locusmortis mentioned). I own every volume and it is great to see these excellent Horror stories stand the test of time (in most instances).

      As you well know, good horror is good horror and timeless– no matter the decade produced.

      I can understand Dark Horse– seeing success with these over-priced volumes (I own them all)– thinking, “Hey, we own the name of the magazines… Let’s do some NEW stuff.” But as is often the case– with things like The NEW Twilight Zone, The NEW Outer Limits, etc… The new stuff just doesn’t match up quality-wise– or even come close to competing with the older stories.

      The late Archie Goodwin— besides being one of the NICEST PEOPLE to ever work in comics– was also one of the most talented and professional. His quality stamp is all over these collections… And since no one is competing with Dark Horse on the reprint front (understandable, they own the rights), I pay the price to buy the classic archives and always end thinking it is well worth it (especially with my discount)… But, like you, I would strongly urge people to pass on the NEW Dark Horse versions of the Creepy comic. (Since the NEW Eerie is not even out yet, I can’t vouch to whether it will follow the same sad path as the NEW Creepy comics.)

      • I picked up Eerie #1 last week as well, the art was a little better, but the cover art was the only enjoyable thing in that comic.

        I’ll definitely have to get my hand on the these collections, though. I remember reading an old ratty copy once, couldn’t tell you what stories were in it, but I really liked it and haven been wanting to read more of these old horror comics. It was what I foolishly hoped for in the two NEW version issues I picked up last week.

        • Insideman says:

          So Eerie #1 did come out. Good to know. (I never pay too much attention unless I am compiling the weekly Rate The Covers! post– and I had to skip it last week.)

          Unfortunately, if the Eerie is only a little better art-wise than the new Creepy stories I’ve read– then it has little to recommend.

          The Archive collections, while pricey– are worth it… Especially if you can snag a discount.

          • Locusmortis says:

            As IM said, the volume I included above is for the classic series.

            I got the first half dozen issues of the new Creepy series and while issues 1 and 2 weren’t bad, the others dipped quite badly in quality.

            The Creepy archives on the other hand keep a steadily high quality, not only Archie Goodwin as Ian mentioned but also Bill DuBay was an important writer/editor for many years. Volume 13 of the Creepy archives arrived in the post this week and in my opinion, Creepy was really going through a golden period in that era. You’ve Rich Corben doing several colour stories, Bernie Wrightson with 2 masterful black and white stories and a number of the Barcelona artists from the S.I. agency like Gonzalo Mayo, Jose Bea, Martin Salvador and others. The retail price is a lot but I usually get them for 29.99 from DCBS

            • Insideman says:

              Bill DuBay! There’s a name I haven’t heard in years! What a nice guy Bill always was too.

              When I first got into the comics industry, I made a point of meeting all these older gentlemen every chance I got. A lot of my friends would blow them off and it used to rankle me… Because if these people hadn’t been willing to work for $5 to $10 a page (if that)– there wouldn’t have been a comic book industry. I’ve always been a big history buff– so I was intensely interested in the history of comics too. (Way before there was any significant History Lessons on the Net.)

              One of my favorite nights was having a steak dinner with Julie Schwartz, Gil Kane and a few other fine people down at San Diego… Before it turned into a Movie/TV/Toy con.

              LM, you’ll like this: I actually got to meet Jack Kirby just before he passed too. He was mobbed at San Diego and I decided not to bother him. Then I thought, “Ian, you may never get another chance like this.” so I went over and introduced myself and we chatted for like 10 minutes. Back then, I had your encyclopedic knowledge of pretty much everything that had gone before… So it was easy to strike up a fairly meaningful conversation.

              I’ve always been taught to respect my elders and I still intensely remember meeting a lot of these older pros. For a geek, meeting almost every one was a highlight. Plus, I have lots of sketches of nude female superheroes. It was sorta my thing back then– and few people had the balls to walk up to, say, Dan DeCarlo, and ask for a buck naked scene of Betty & Veronica at the beach. 🙂

              • Locusmortis says:

                You lucky guy, the amount of things you could ask Jack Kirby about, I’ve seen a very short video clip of the King from the SDCC in his later years and he’s as sharp-dressed and enthusiastic as he ever was.

                I hope Bill DuBay starts getting the respect he deserves through these archive books, Archie was the genius, everyone acknowledges that but BD was the steady hand that kept the Warren books going during the times that Archie left to work for other companies.

                Having worked for playboy I’m sure Dan DeCarlo could whip up a nudie sketch toot suite 😀

                • Insideman says:

                  Oh, Jack was very sharp dressed. Impeccably even.

                  I knew about Dan’s days of Good Girl Art but I still had a hard time figuring out how to phrase what I wanted. I was stumbling around trying to find the right words and he finally just asked, “Ian, do you want them naked?”

                  I blushed a little, I think… After all, I’d just admitted I wanted to see Betty & Veronica naked. (Actually more Betty than Veronica.) Dan was swamped at the show– so he took my cash ($75) for a sketch (which was a lot back then) and said he would send it to me.

                  About three weeks later, he sent this huge piece of Betty and Veronica at the beach playing with a beach ball. FULL PENCILS AND INKS with LOTS of DETAIL. It was twice the size I expected and they were only half nude– which sorta added to the pervy thrill.

                  He even decorated the outside of the paper mailing tube with a quick sketch of Archie/Betty/Veronica– and of course, it was hand addressed. I remember thinking, “I’m keeping the tube too!”

                  Man, am I glad I did that.

                  • Locusmortis says:

                    half-nude? oh well, you know that Veronica shaves and Betty just trims 😉

                    Still though, gotta say I’m a Betty man too 😀

                • ed2962 says:

                  Although I’d known that Dan had done Archie/Mille the Model type stuff I was a little surprised when I eventually found out that he did work for men’s magazines.
                  I had a similar reaction when I found out about Bill Ward (who I knew from Cracked Magazine) doing similar stuff that was borderline fetish material. I wasn’t offended or anything, it was more like, “Whoa! He did this stuff too?”

  2. kurumais says:

    when ever i look through previews i keep think who buys all this stuff? i think it was last month i saw a che guevara doll for over a hundred bucks. and they were selling a bunch of 60s munsters merchandise. who is buying that?

    • J. says:

      People who like Che and The Munsters and have the money to do so?

      My question is who is buying all those shitty comics in Previews? Possibly the same people who are buying Che dolls and Munsters merchandise.

      Having worked at a comic shop I can safely say that every product has a potential buyer. You wouldn’t believe some of the shit I have ordered and sold to customers.

      • kurumais says:

        i read an articlre a while ago which stated the exact number of comics offered in previews one month i cant remember exactly but it stunned me.

  3. Morlock50 says:

    Hey Locusmortis. I have the individual issues of the Alan Davis drawn Detective. If you’re still on the fence, I would highly recommend the collection. The stories are very good and it’s some of Davis’s best work.

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