The “Christmas in October” edition. Comic book time is just weird.
by KC Carlson
REAL WORLD STUFF: Due to the Christmas holidays, Diamond Distribution will not be distributing comics the week of December 26, so most of the comics that month will be squeezed into the previous three weeks. As for books that are late in December — better luck next year!
HELLBOY IN HELL #1: Written and drawn by Mike Mignola. I’ve waited a long time to type that, and I think thousands of fans around the world have been anxiously anticipating it. Hellboy in Hell is a new ongoing series from Dark Horse, years in the making! Hellboy is dead, having sacrificed himself to save the world. Now he’s cast into the most bizarre interpretation of Hell you’ve ever seen! And if you want more Hellboy secrets revealed — you’ve got ‘em in this next phase of Hellboy history. Get two copies, one for each eye!
ALSO AT DARK HORSE: To Hell You Ride is a new five-issue horror series written by actor Lance Henriksen and Joseph Maddrey (Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film) and illustrated by the vastly underrated Tom Mandrake. A flesh-burning curse is unleashed on a small town when an Indian burial ground is disturbed . . . Steve Niles’ greatest characters come together in a final showdown in the four-issue Criminal Macabre: Final Night – The 30 Days of Night Crossover. It’s illustrated by Christopher Mitten with covers by poster artist Justin Erickson . . . If you’re looking for something decidedly more lighthearted, check out Faith Erin Hicks’ charming Adventures of Superhero Girl. Can you balance a life of leaping tall buildings and defeating alien monsters while buying your capes at secondhand stores and having a weakness for kittens? The trials and tribulations of a young female superhero are presented in this 112-page color hardcover with a sense of humor and knowledge of what it’s like to be entering adulthood with abilities but no idea how best to use them . . . Look out! Evan Dorkin’s Milk and Cheese is back in the one-shot House of Fun. And so is Murder Family and Eltingville! Collecting recent Dorkin material from Dark Horse Presents #10-12.
MARVEL: Still more Marvel Now! changes. Here’s the checklist:
“New” comics being launched this month:
Amazing Spider-Man #700 (with almost as many covers!)
Comments: I guess that means new Wolvie and Spidey #1s next month. Although there are lotsa hints something big is brewing in Amazing Spidey. Writer Dan Slott is warning retailers they haven’t ordered enough of some of the issues leading up to this one, so who knows what the heck is going to happen there? . . . Looking forward to seeing how the oft-cerebral Jonathan Hickman will handle the traditionally action-oriented Avengers . . . It seems that Avengers Arena could be named Teenage Superhero Snuff Book, since it’s presenting a big cast of young heroes (including Avengers Academy alums), but only one will survive. It’s written by Dennis Hopeless (as is Cable and X-Force), so I’m hoping the title isn’t as hopeless as his name. I can’t quite figure out how “see if your faves die!” is an appealing concept . . . And yet another Thunderbolts book? Do we need two? (Although the other – real – one is now called Dark Avengers.) To quote famous critic Rocket J. Squirrel, “That trick never works!”
MORE MARVEL: Due to the success of the graphic novels, a new Castle tie-in five-issue miniseries – Castle: A Calm Before the Storm – launches in December, written by Peter David and illustrated by Robert Atkins. (Technically, it’s actually a Derrick Storm miniseries, but Castle fans already know the drill!) . . . Congratulations to Ultimate Captain America for becoming President of his alternate world. Can I move there?
DC COMICS: Before Watchmen: Moloch has been hastily solicited, with issue #1 not being offered in the traditional manner. (Schedule problems in Watchmanland?) It’s a two-issue miniseries written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Eduardo Risso. Beyond that, we don’t know much, as the solicitation material for #2 is particularly useless. It will have three covers, though . . . Arrow #1 and 2, based on the new WB TV series, debut in print in November (although they will be available digitally first). Written by the show’s creators Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg with art by Mike Grell, Jorge Jimenez, and Sergio Sandoval.
DC COLLECTIONS: All 12 tie-in issues of Batman: The Night of the Owls are being collected into a 360-page hardcover by a gaggle of top creators . . . Justice League Vol. 1: Origin by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams is now available as a trade paperback for those of you who want to buy it again and again! As if the six or seven printings of some issues weren’t enough . . . The new Batman, Incorporated TPB collects the first eight issues (of the non-New DC run) into one big 264-page paperback at a great price! . . . The “cult” trade you should not miss is the long-awaited Hard Time Volume 2 (collecting issues #7-12) by Steve Gerber and Brian Hunt. Unfortunately, DC waited so long to publish this that Volume 1 has gone out of print. (Sigh.) . . . There are some giant Vertigo Omnibuses (Omnibi?) you should check out: House of Secrets Omnibus collects the entire 25-issue series (along with Facade and a story from Vertigo: Winter’s Edge #1). Written by Steven T. Seagle and (mostly) drawn by Teddy Kristiansen. 752 pages! Also, Sleeper Omnibus collects the entire noirish Sleeper saga (24 issues plus five issues of the Point Blank series and two Coup D’etat issues). All written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips, Colin Wilson, and Jim Lee. 720 pages. Plus, Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency (illustrated by an all-star cast of exceptional artists) is now available in one massive 288-page trade paperback. Yahoo!
IDW ARTIST EDITIONS: The instantly sold-out Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition is going back to print in January, so now is the time to get your orders in! Don’t wait! If you need a reminder, the Artist Editions are printed at the same size as the original art, and they are actually scanned in color, so you can see blue-line art, editorial notes and corrections, and other ephemera from the original pages. IDW’s Artist Series is probably the most popular archival format out there — because fans can now have the next best thing to owning original art! If you missed this the first time, don’t do it again! And eat your vegetables!
PERHAPANAUTS: We reminded you last month that there’s a new Perhapanauts series from Image comics (Danger Down Under) by Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau. Issue two is now available for order, plus you can also catch up on previous adventures with The Perhapanauts Volume 2: Treasure Obscura TPB. It’s 128 pages of buried treasure from all over, including The Perhapanauts #5.5, The Perhapanauts #6, Halloween Spooktacular #1, Molly’s Story #1, and never-before-published “Tales from the Perhaps” online series. And best of all — it’s not Perhapa-naughty. (i.e. it’s a great series for kids!)
HEY!: Don’t skip the list below. There are some big deal things including Pogo, E.C. collections, and the final volume of X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan!
CLASSIC COMIC BOOK REPRINTS
Archie: Best of Dan DeCarlo Volume 1 (IDW): Now in paperback for a reduced price. 152 color pages featuring stories from the mid- 1950s to the early 1970s.
Brothers of the Spear Volume 2 (Dark Horse): Collecting the back-up features from Tarzan #68-109, with art by Russ Manning. 264-page color hardcover.
Creepy Archives Volume 15 (Dark Horse): Collects issues #69-72, featuring a dozen stories written by Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated by Richard Corben, Bernie Wrightson, and others. 248-page B&W hardcover.
Essential X-Men Volume 11 (Marvel): Collecting Uncanny X-Men #273-280, X-Men #1-3, X-Factor #69-70, and some Annuals, by Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Paul Smith, Andy Kubert, Peter David, and more. The stories are great, but what was going on behind-the-scenes is even more interesting. Too bad that’s not in here… 544-page B&W paperback.
Fiction House Collected Works: Planet Comics Volume 2 (PS Artbooks): Collecting issues #5-8 from 1940 (May through August). Big SF thrills and scantily-clad females! (Who, if they were real, would be about 90 years old today.) Includes art by Carmine Infantino. 288-page color hardcover.
“50 Girls 50” and Other Stories (Fantagraphics): Collecting all of Al Williamson’s stories for EC’s “New Trend” comics. (Not just the classic SF stories, but his crime and horror stories also.) Plus, three stories by frequent Williamson collaborators Angelo Torres, Roy Krenkel, and Frank Frazetta and exclusive notes from EC experts. 240-page B&W hardcover.
Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Witches Tales Volume 3 (PS Artbooks): Collecting issues #15-21 from October 1952 to October 1953 and featuring art by Jack Sparling, Warren Kremer, and John Sink (no relation to Kitchen Sink). 288-page color hardcover.
Also, Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Chamber of Chills Volume 1 and Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Witches Tales Volume 1 are now available as slipcased editions including a limited edition print.
Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider-Man Volume 15: Collecting Amazing Spider-Man #143-155 (plus a story from Marvel Special Edition Treasury #1) featuring the return of Dead Gwen Stacey. Is she dead, is she Gwen, or is she something else? Meanwhile, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson share their first kiss. No, it’s not a romance comic. The Jackal, the Scorpion, the Tarantula, the Shocker, and Sandman see to that! 264-page color hardcover.
Roy Thomas Presents Phantom Lady: The Collected Works Volume 1 (PS Artworks): Collecting stories from Police Comics #1-23 and Phantom Lady #13-15 of the legendary Quality Comics character. Features art by Matt Baker and Carmine Infantino. Limited to 1,700 copies. So, is Roy Thomas now trademarked as a logo? 288-page color hardcover.
Roy Thomas Presents The Heap: The Collected Works Volume 2 (PS Artworks): More Heap by Infantino, Starr, Bolle, Peddy, Barry, and more. New cover by Mike Ploog, and new introduction by Thomas. So who would win in a battle between The Heap and The Jeep (from Popeye)? 288-page color hardcover.
Showcase Presents: The Justice League of America Volume 6 (DC): Collecting Justice League of America #107-132, featuring the first appearance of the Freedom Fighters and the villainy of Felix Faust, Eclipso, the Injustice Society, and more! 528-page B&W softcover.
“ ‘Taint The Meat… It’s the Humanity” and Other Stories (Fantagraphics): Collecting all of Jack Davis’ 24 stories from Tales of the Crypt for the first time, all written by Al Feldstein. Another great EC Comics collection from Fantagraphics. 240-page B&W hardcover.
CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS
Bringing Up Father Volume 2: Of Cabbages and Kings (IDW/LoAC): Collecting all the dailies and Sundays from February 22, 1937, to December 31, 1938, featuring Jiggs and Maggie traveling to London for the king’s coronation. By George McManus. 272-page B&W and color hardcover.
Johnny Hazard: The Newspaper Dailies Volume 2: 1946-1948 (Hermes Press) is being resolicited. if you want it, please re-order it now. Previous orders have been canceled.
Nancy Likes Christmas: Complete Dailies 1946-1948 (Fantagraphics): Three more years of uber-gonzo Nancy strips — over 1,000 in all — by Ernie Bushmiller. The mind boggles. Answering (or not) the big question: What am funny? Plus Sluggo. Intro by Bill Griffith. 344-page B&W softcover.
Pogo Volume 2: Bona Fide Balderdash (Fantagraphics): Including all the strips from the 1952 political season of creator Walt Kelly’s acidic political satire. Plus two full years of Sunday strips in color for the first time. Annotation by R.C. Harvey and an introduction by Stan Freberg. 352-page B&W and color hardcover. Plus, if you were foolish enough to miss Volume 1, it’s now available in a full-color slipcase with Volume 2!
X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan Volume 5 (IDW/LoAC): The final volume of Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson’s classic spy strip features all strips from June 13, 1977, to February 2, 1980. 288-page B&W and color hardcover.
KC CARLSON: Going as Santa for Halloween this year. This Christmas in October thing is getting to me.
WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.