Posted by Rimes on February 26, 1998 at 13:55:03:|
In this column, I will point out comics scheduled for release in the new issue of Previews which may be of interest to long-time comics fans, or those who prefer the so-called "old school" style. I also will most likely mention new comics being produced by classic, longtime creators. Had I been better informed about the current work of such longtime favorites of mine, I probably would have bought more new comics during the 1990s, instead of dropping out of the comics-buying habit. So, don't quit, fellow old-time fans! There's still some good new comics to be bought!
The May releases which I'll be discussing here can still be ordered from your local comics shop through Previews. (The deadline listed on the order form is March 14, but I know at my local shop the deadline is a little after that.) Check with your local shop to see if they can order comics for you in advance; if they can't, try another shop!
Now, on to the releases scheduled for May:
Whenever I get my latest copy of Previews, I usually turn to see what comics ACG (aka Avalon Communications or Ballistic Press) will be releasing, and I usually order almost every title because they reprint a lot of old genre comics from the 1960s.
For May, ACG is scheduled to release Executuioner Songs #1 which reprints "tales of rope & steel" by masters like Ditko and Pat Boyette. A romance anthology reprint titled I Love You Special Edition is also scheduled. Doomsday + 1, which was one of John Byrne's early efforts for Charlton in the mid-1970s, is reprinted in a first issue.
Also in the "A" section, we have AC Comics, which has scheduled Golden-Age Men of Mystery #8 for May. This 52 page, $5.95 B&W comic reprints tales of Golden-Age superheroes like Mr. Scarlet, Midnight (by Jack Cole), Captain Flash (by Mike Sekowsky), Rocketman and Rocketgirl (by Al Plastino), and The Owl and Owlgirl. Another AC reprint title is set to debut in May, titled Best of the West and devoted to western comics of the past.
The "A" section of Previews has another company which reprints vintage comics. The publisher A List Comics reprints 1940s Fiction House comics in their Jungle Comics, Wings Comics, and Planet Comics series. Wings Comics #4 is scheduled for May. I've begun ordering these reprints after being impressed by the reproduction quality (albeit in B&W) of an issue of their Jungle Comics I bought. A title worth checking out if you are a fan of Golden-Age comics.
Although the Archie Comics Group is not an independent, it is a company whose releases are usually overlooked by fandom, perhaps with good reason! However, there is one Archie comic worth getting in May: Archie and Friends #30, which will be entirely by Bob Bolling. Writer/artist Bolling, most famous for his "Little Archie" stories, has been a favorite of mine for almost the past 15 years, and I recently praised him on the Survey board, without knowing about this upcoming Bolling issue. Check out Archie & Friends #30 in May. It's only $1.75 (Archie comics still being 20 cents cheaper than any other comic on the stands).
Gemstone Publishing continues turning out reprints of EC classics. Their monthly reprint of Piracy is a major event. So far they are up to issue #5 (and #7 will be the final issue). I wonder what series will replace Piracy in the line-up once the series is finshed. Hopefully it will be another rare series. As long as Gemstone keeps reprinting the rare EC stuff in an affordable format ($2.50 for a full color reprint), I'll be there. Also scheduled for May are Two-Fisted Tales #24 (final issue) and Vault of Horror #24. This is one company to watch, because they're reprinting some great stuff that fans of old-time comics won't want to miss.
Felix Comics will be publishing Felix the Cat B&W #3 in May. This 32-page B&W comic costs only $1.95. This is a great title for younger readers, or for anyone who enjoys Felix the Cat, a perfect character for B&W comics. By the way, the second issue came out this week, so you can look for that on your comics shelves right now!
Frank Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated's (released by a company of the same name) second issue is scheduled for May. This is a full color, 80-page magazine size fantasy comics series that sells for $5.95. Talent involved in the second issue include The Hildebrandt Brothers, Joe Madureira, Tony Harris, and Moebius, among others. Sounds like the old Epic Illustrated. The first issue was scheduled for February, but I've still not seen a copy. Has #1 been delayed or did i just miss it?
Comic Book Profiles #3 can be found in the magazine section of the current Previews. The entire issue will be about Neal Adams. (By the way, #2, which is all about Bernie Wrightson, was released last week and can be found on the shelves of better comics shops everywhere.) The magazine is B&W and costs $2.50.
The cry is often heard -- why doesn't Jim Steranko draw comics anymore? Well, a few weeks ago saw the release of the Tales from the Edge issue devoted to Steranko (although it was too texty in a weird way for my tastes), and in May, Sternako contributes a cover and pin-up to Day One Comics' Astounding Space Thrills #1. This is a 40-page B&W comic priced at $2.95. There is a back-up story about a character named Jet Victor which from the ad looks like it is drawn in an old-time style. This is a bimonthly series.
Dreamsmith Studios' BOOK #1 is a new monthly scheduled for May. It will be a 72 page B&W comic for $3.50, and feature fantasy stories by a variety of artists. George Perez contributes to the covers of the first issue. The new Previews has a 3-page ad for the comic (pp 253-255) with sample pages from each of the comic's serials.
Bullseye Comics' Secret Fantasies #1 is a 48 page digest-sized romance comic by Dan Parent (who works on Archie's Cheryl Blossom comic). But this will be a romance comic with a twist, considering that one of the stories in the comic is about a vampire. Price is $2.25.
Basement Comics has three releases scheduled for May: Cavewoman: Missing Link #4, Jungle Tales of Cavewoman #1, and Tigress #1. I deicded to order the latter two titles, because the covers and description were intriguing and because I heard a rumor on the Superboy board that Karl Kesel was thinking of writing a Superboy/Cavewoman team-up. The Previews description of Tigress #1 says "The story is written in the fashion of the master fantasy/adventure books of the 1950s and 1960s. After you check this out, you'll feel you pulled it from a treasure-filled trunk in the attic instead of a comic book shelf." All three comics are by Budd Root, are 32 pages, B&W, and cost $2.95.
In May, Dark Horse Comics will release a 4-part Tarzan mini-series titled Tarzan: Carson of Venus by Darko Macan and Igor Kordey (two names unknown to me -- are they good?). This will be going on a the same time as Mike Grell's Tarzan: Primeval arc is running in the regular Tarzan title. The second issue of Grell's arc is scheduled for May. Both are full color, 32-page comics, for $2.95. Worth a look for fans of classic fantasy adventure.
Frank Miller will be doing a 5-issue historical mini-series titled 300 for Dark Horse beginning on May 27th. This is a full color series (colored by Lynn Varley), 32 pages, for $2.95. It looks like a sideways-book judging by the sample pages printed in Previews.
Other independent titles scheduled for May include Gen 13 #29 (Gary Frank is the regular penciler now, and he's a good artist, but not enough for me to get this), Astro City Vol. 2 #15, Leave It To Chance #10, Detour #1 by Ed Brubaker, Hate #30 (final issue!), and Rogue Satellite Comics #1 (guest-starring The Flaming Carrot).
Fantagraphics Comics is releasing a Duplex Planet Value Pack in May, consisting of #1 thru 15 of this great indie series. Supposedly the Value Pack only costs $19.95, which would be a savings off the original cover price. Hope it shows up that way when they come in.
Finally, I have to cite some Marvel & DC titles scheduled for May which old-time fans will want to check out. DC is printing an 80-page giant, newly edited by Julius Schwartz, as if it was 1963 again. So, it will have early Hal Jordan reprints, and a 1940s GL reprint. Costs $4.95, in the format of the recent "Secret Origins" one-shot reprint. There will also be a series of new 80-Page giants from DC this summer, including one for Secret Origins and another for (can it be?) Adventure Comics!
In May, the Superman titles have Superman in various time periods: the Golden-Age, the 1960s, the 1970s, and the far-future. Adventures of Superman #559, drawn by Tom Grummett (with a Dave Gibbons-inked cover), takes place in the Silver-Age and looks the most promising. Also, The Kents western series releases its final issue (#12) in May. The final issue of Challengers of the Unknown (#18) will be released in May, and will be penciled by one of my favorites, Mike Zeck.
Richard Corben contributes a story and Brian Bolland contributes a cover to Veritgo's Gangland #2, a new anthology 4-issue mini-series about crime. Paradox Press' Weird Magazine #3 will also be released in May.
Sight unseen, I will be adding the following DC sci-fi mini-series to my pull list: Hardcore Station, written and penciled by Jim Starlin, and inked by Joe Rubinstein. It is a 6-issue mini-series, full color, and costs $2.50.
From Marvel in May, look for Thor #1, an Avengers Rough-Cut comic showing how Perez's Avengers #1 pencils looked, illustrator John J. Muth as the artist on Silver Surfer, the last issues of MArvel Team-Up, Man-Thing, and Werewolf By Night (the latter to be continued in a new Strange Tales anthology), Marvel Universe #2 starring the Invaders (Byrne does one cover, Dave Gibbons does the variant), and Shadows & Light #3 (which includes a Starlin-written story, and Silver Surfer by Bob Layton).
There's some personal choices for releases scheduled in May -- proof that there's still plenty of comics out there worth checking out. Since your shop may not normally carry many of the comics listed here, it's best to order in advance to make sure you get a copy. I've noticed that my local shop has begun carrying certain obscure comics after I've begun ordering them.
Additions and comments welcomed!
P.S.: While you wait for the new comics to arrive at the shop, you can check the New Comics Releases page. The New Releases List on that page shows what comics will be released in shops the current week. Andrew Troth's Late Comics Report, also on that webpage, shows what comics are currently being delayed. Obviously, independent titles are among those most likely to be delayed or cancelled. Sometimes titles which are cancelled before publication are re-solicited in subsequent issues of Previews.