Thursday, April 7, 2011

Previews: It's Your Future!

50 Girls 50 # 1

I just looked through the latest copy of Previews, and you probably should as well if you haven't.  Why?  Because it's fun, of course, and because you can expose yourself to everything instead of what your LCS thinks you want.  (Plus, if you listen to our show, exposing yourself probably sounds like a fine idea in general)

I think the best reason you should peruse and order from Previews is to help out your retailer.  They're doing the best they can, but it's a lot of guesswork, and if they guess wrong they're screwed.  Miss the mark short and you lose money on customers who will simply go somewhere else or forget the comic entirely.  Miss the mark long and you're stuck with non-returnable comic books collecting dust.

When you put in an order with your retailer, everybody is happier.  You get the book you want, and the retailer knows they've got themselves a sale instead of a guess.  It's not a perfect system.  It's kind of a pain in the ass, actually.  But it sure beats missing out on books or watching your LCS close their business.

A few things that caught my eye in this month's catalog of treasures:

50 Girls 50 # 1 (of 4)
Image Comics

As I recall, the hook for this space adventure is that mankind finds a way to warp travel, but as it turns out only women are able to do it.  Naturally we're left with a lot of really beautiful women in space suits blasting aliens and one would hope getting into jammied pillow fights.

I'm a little worried about this shipping regularly, but it's been simmering for over a year, so maybe Frank Cho and company were wise enough to get most or all of this in the can before soliciting?  I hope so, because this looks like a giant cheesecake bomb of fun, and I think we could all use that.

50 Girls 50 is co-written by Douglas Murray of The 'Nam fame, which is interesting.  Pencils by Axel Medellin.  Don't know much about him, but if gets the Cho Seal of Approval, I don't think we'll be disappointed.

Obviously it's tough to say if this will pay off or not, but I know this - Image is becoming the go to joint for energy and ideas.  And hot chicks in space suits.

Supergirl # 65
DC Comics

I have called for somebody to give Kelly Sue DeConnick her own high profile book, and DC answered.  Sort of.   Supergirl isn't quite as prestigious as her cousin, but she's no Blue Beetle, either.  DeConnick is slated for a three issue arc before giving way to someone else, Brian Wood if the rumor mill is accurate.  These days three issues is a pretty long stint any way.

Needless to say that I'm on board for this.  With any luck it will grab some editor's attention and Kelly Sue will get offered something shiny with an extended lease.  I can't believe that her work on Osborn didn't already accomplish that.  Well, I guess it's everyone else's loss and Supergirl's gain.

Some Thoughts on Flashpoint Minis

I just don't know how to feel about any of these.  Neither does anyone else, I'd wager, which is a big problem.  There's a metric crap ton of bizarre concepts, and they only run three issues long.  Almost none of them feature any name brand talent.  How is one supposed to figure out which to order?  By the time that first issue hits and you have some inkling about content and quality level, you've already ordered or not ordered the other two issues.

It's a really odd and frankly brutal thing for a publisher to do to their retailers.  Look, some of these look like they might be fun.  Palmiotti and Gray on a Deathstroke riff?  Yeah, you're never going to get cheated on that.  I'm interested in the Jeff Lemire monster title, and God Help me, I think the one that intrigues me the most is Lois Lane & The Resistance!

But what to do with something like Canterbury Cricket?  I don't know what the hell that's about, and the solicitation is no road map.  His power is his curse?  Surely you can do better than that.  What power?  Who's curse?  Show me Morrison and Quitely on the marquee and you can afford to play coy with me.  Mike Carlin and Rags Morales?  I'm afraid I'm going to need more info than that before I put in a substantial order on that one, folks.  

Some of these come with little trinket promo pins, like the delightfully tacky plastic rings that came with Blackest Night.  But that's just it, this is "been there, done that" territory.  The storyline smacks of Age of Apocalypse, the swag is old news, and correct me if I'm wrong but a good chunk of these books are written by editors!

I guess there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, and some of these cats might actually have some writing chops.  But this is your mega event?  Assistant editors writing the comics?  It would be like going to the World Series and watching the Yankees start their pitching coach and replacing Alex Rodriguez with the third base coach.

I guess a game like that might have some sideshow appeal, and you wouldn't begrudge these behind-the-scenes guys their inexplicable chance to shine.  But would you really want to pay for a ticket to see that game?  Or would you rather the World Series feature the best players the teams could produce?  It's a bad strategy to glut the racks like that in the first place.  Building your summer tent pole with editors is just plain bizarre.

- Ryan


Nick said...

Here are a couple I'm planning on getting.

Witch Doctor from image, it sounds like House meets Cthulhu. Ellis gave it his seal of approval.

The Red Wing - new Hickman 4 parter, I liked Nightly News and Pax so I'll give it a try.

Trailblazer from Palmiotti and Gray, an assassin travels back in time to hide out in the wild west.

Samurai's Blood and Shinku, both are books about samurai and blood. Shinku is written by Marz and I've liked his samurai stuff in the past.

Chronic Insomnia said...

Ooooh, Hickman! How did I miss that? Definitely gotta get in on that.