Saturday, 25 March 2017

Diamond Preview Picks: March 2017

Travis Pelkie returns with his regular monthly selection for Cerebus fans of comics and books featured in the latest Diamond Previews catalog. Travis is co-founder of the Atomic Junk Shop, a site about comics and other fun pop culture. To see your comics featured here or at the Atomic Junk Shop feel free to send an email to Travis at: atomicjunkshoptravis [at] outlook [dot] com. 

Secret Sneyd: The Unpublished Cartoons Of Doug Sneyd
by Doug Sneyd
Dark Horse, $14.99
On sale: April 2017
Diamond Order Code: DEC160115

The publisher says:
Veteran artist Doug Sneyd presents a collection of unpublished cartoon concepts created throughout his career with Playboy magazine. This novelty book is packed from end to end with one-liners and pretty girls-funny, charming, and risqué jokes, each one full of all the life and expression that only a master artist can impart with a few strokes of the pen and brush! Over 200 original cartoons! Foreword by cartoonist Arnold Roth.

Dave Sim says:
(from an AMOC Comment, 27 December 2016)
Of the Playboy painting cartoonists, I'd rank Sokol WAY at the top -- particularly his early to mid-60s work -- followed by Jack Cole followed by Canadian Doug Sneyd... I think Fantagraphics has just solicited a book of Sneyd's Playboy cartoon preliminaries. That was how the cartoonists pitched cartoons to Hefner with colour roughs. I prefer Sneyd's finished work, but I think it would be an interesting reference work for someone who was looking to see how spontaneous you can be with painted colour.  

Drawing & Life Lessons From Master Cartoonists
curated by Craig Yoe
IDW, $49.99
On sale: July 2017
Diamond Order Code: MAR170625

The publisher says:
An unparalleled book, the very first of its kind! Taken from uber-rare, never-before reprinted cartooning courses with expert teachings from cartooning's rock stars: Peanuts' Charles Schulz, Little Nemo's Winsor McCay, Superman's Joe Shuster, Flash Gordon's Alex Raymond, Terry and the Pirates' Milton Caniff, The New Yorker's Whitney Darrow, Jr., Betty and Veronica's Dan DeCarlo, Prince Valiant's Hal Foster, Barney Google's Billy Debeck, Plastic Man's Jack Cole, Gasoline Alley's Frank King, Popeye's E.C. Segar, and many more icons of comic art. These esteemed geniuses act as life coaches with inspiring stories of how they succeeded and give stirring and wise encouragement to propel you to your own success. For beginners, seasoned professionals, teachers, students in school classes hungry to learn, and even those that are passionate about comics history, this will be an invaluable classic in the field.

Travis says:
Alex Raymond is included here in a collection of art lessons by famous cartoonists. From the image shown in Previews, he's showing you how to draw nekkid wimmins. A bunch of other great cartoonists as well, including "Batman's Joe Kubert" (hey, that's how he's credited!). 

Motor Girl
Absract Studios, $15.99
In stores: May 2017
Diamond Order Code: MAR171184

The publisher says:
When a UFO crashes into her desert junkyard, Samantha and her imaginary gorilla friend, Mike, repair the ship and win the heart of the little green pilot named Bik. Now an industrial tycoon wants to seize the property so he can  install his new anti-UFO weapon but Samantha is determined to stop him. What happens next is out of this world in Terry Moore's new series, Motor Girl! Collects issues #1-5.

Travis says:
Self-publisher Terry Moore's latest series, Motor Girl, is collected in a trade here, with the first 5 issues under one cover.  Imaginary gorillas, UFOs, and a cute mechanic combine for fun.

Songy Of Paradise
by Gary Panter
Fantagraphics, $34.99
In stores: May 2017
Diamond Order Code: MAR171775

The publisher says:
Fantagraphics is proud to present a major all-new book by Gary Panter. Songy of Paradise is an inspired interpretation of John Milton’s retelling of the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan after being baptized by John the Baptist and fasting for forty days and nights in the Judaean Desert. Panter’s version doesn’t rely on Milton’s words, but faithfully follows the structure of Milton’s Paradise Regained, with one notable exception: Jesus has been replaced by a hillbilly, Songy, who is on a vision quest before being tempted by a chimeric Satan figure. Gary Panter is one of America’s preeminent artists, designers, and cartoonists, whose work defined the L.A. punk scene and the vibrant work of the television show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Songy of Paradise presents Panter’s singular vision in an ornate, hardcover format that does justice to Panter’s densely packed pages, with a stunning two-color stamping on cloth covers. It will be an art object, a brilliant literary experiment, and the most eye-popping graphic novel of 2017.

Travis says:
This one caught my eye as a sort of companion piece to Cerebus in Hell?, maybe. Songy of Paradise is by the great Gary Panter, with the role of Jesus in the desert played by a hillbilly and the entire graphic novel is "inspired by" Milton's Paradise Regained. Definitely a strange one. 

Comics Revue: April 2017
edited by Rick Norwood
Manuscript Press, $19.95
On sale: May 2017
Diamond Order Code: MAR172362

The publisher says:
America's longest-running magazine of classic comics now has twice as many pages of strips as the earlier version, on better paper, includes 8 pages of full-color comic strips, and features "Tarzan" by Russ Manning, "Rick O'Shay" by Stan Lynde, "Flash Gordon" by Harry Harrison, "Gasoline Alley" by Dick Moores, "Alley Oop" by V. T. Hamlin, "Steve Canyon" by Milton Caniff, and "Casey Ruggles" by Warren Tufts. Plus, in black and white, "The Phantom" by Lee Falk, "Krazy Kat" by George Herriman, "Buz Sawyer" by Roy Crane, "Sir Bagby" by R&B Hackney, "Steve Roper" by Saunders and Overgard, and "Modesty Blaise" by Peter O'Donnell and Romero. 

Travis says:
Dave recently talked about Comics Revue here at AMOC, so here's the listing for the latest issue.  Good looking stuff.

by Stephen King & Bernie Wrightson
In stores: May 2017
Diamond Order Code: MAR171842

The publisher says:
Now back in print: the graphic novel adaptation of Stephen King's Creepshow, based on the 1982 horror anthology and cult classic film directed by George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead) and featuring stunning illustrations by the legendary Bernie Wrightson with cover art by the acclaimed Jack Kamen! A harrowing and darkly humorous tribute to the controversial and influential horror comics of the 1950s, Creepshow presents five sinsister stories from the #1 New York Times bestselling author - "Father's Day," "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," "Something to Tide You Over," "The Crate," and "They're Creeping Up on You." Unforgettable tales of terror to haunt your days and nights! 

Travis says:
After the recent passing of Bernie Wrightson, I had to feature this one. A reprint of the movie tie-in comic drawn by Wrightson in the EC style. As I went ahead and ordered this myself, I'll be reviewing it at some point over at AJS.  DC also, coincidentally, had a collection of House of Secrets starting with the Swamp Thing introductory story in this Previews, but it's way expensive and it's DC, so screw them. (ahem!)

More Diamond Previews picks at Atomic Junk Shop's regular Flippin' Through Previews column.


Anonymous said...

Doug Sneyd? There are arguably better "Playboy" cartoonists, but Doug Sneyd has given me hours of pleasure that has nothing to do with the obvious reason Doug Sneyd would give me pleasure. [Not that there's anything wrong with that.]

And Terry Moore has yet another book out? I loved "Strangers in Paradise" like everybody else, "Echo" bored me and even though I have the complete collection, I've never bothered to read it, and "Rachel Rising," I've never gotten through more than a few issues. But it looks to me like Terry Moore has come the closest to doing exactly what we've always wanted our favorite comics creators to do with their lives, write, draw and publish the comics they want in whatever manner they want, in whatever genre they feel like working in for the next several years, in total alignment with the comics medium. Julius Schwartz and Mort Weisinger would look at that cover and say 'it's got a gorilla? Pass.'

Although it's basically a given that he'll never surpass his "earlier, funnier stuff" ["Strangers in Paradise"] damned if Terry Moore hasn't done exactly what comics geeks have dreamed of for decades, a creator doing 30-40 issues of a given story and then moving on to his next 30-40 issue story. Decades ago, people could only conceive of it being done in the context of the Marvel/DC Universe.

John Byrne has a story about how he and Chris Claremont were doing "Marvel Team-Up" and asked why traditional Spider-Man villains were never used, which had bothered them, so they wanted to use Kraven the Hunter, and the Spider-Man office turned them down because the editor [and writer?] had plans for Kraven in three years or so. They complained to newly-installed editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, who thought the process was as stupid as they did, and soon Kraven appeared in a Claremont/Byrne "Marvel Team-Up."

Decades ago, that was the limit of the vision for the creators and audience alike. Now Terry Moore just does what he wants to do because he doesn't have to answer to editors, publishers, lawyers, or whatever actress is currently under contract to play Katchoo.

I'll buy the books if I happen to see them in a comics store, but I rarely get to a comics store, so I can't really be considered a serious customer, but I am totally thrilled like a Doug Sneyd girl to know what Terry Moore is still doing regular comics.


crazyyears said...

Chris W,

Although I agree with your assessment of Terry Moore as a self-publisher, in that he comes closest to doing "exactly what we always wanted", I do want to offer a differing opinion on his work.
I think Rachel Rising is his best work to date. I think he has indeed surpassed his "earlier, funnier stuff."
Strangers In Paradise was a damn fine read and you can definitely see Moore's cartooning and storytelling chops improving throughout the run, but it was a story conceived on the run and it shows. The twists and turns the story took were often because Moore had decided he wanted to tell a different sort of story with these characters then when he began. As a result the overarching story does not hang together very well. It is a testament to Moore's creation of these characters that they are so well developed that even if the situations they suddenly find themselves in don't ring quite true the reader is still very engaged.
Echo was a story conceived in it's entirety. It's more of a science fiction story in the Stephen King vein than a superhero tale. It unfolds slowly and the various characters develop in fits and starts not unlike King's. But it has a beginning, middle, and end, and the tale told is internally logical.
Moore's strength has always been in portraying the relationships of his characters realistically and with a depth rarely seen in comics. That is especially true for his women characters. His ability to realistically draw women of various shapes and sizes as well as portray their interior lives is undoubtedly what lead to the mainstream (well, for comics) popularity of Strangers In Paradise.
He brings all of that, his artistic and storytelling abilities at their strongest, to Rachel Rising.
His characters have never been stronger, and like a really good novelist it is not just the protagonist for which Moore makes us root. There are at least half a dozen characters in the story that are engaging enough to make you celebrate their victories and mourn their losses.
The story itself is complex. As in Echo it unfolds slowly. As the scope of the tale widens from the mystery of one women's murder to the mysteries of creation itself, it does so naturally.
Moore's art is simply fantastic in Rachel Rising. His ability to convey body language and to draw bodies simply (simply!?) looking like their walking or lifting something heavy or sighing or getting up from a chair or...anything, everything. It is remarkable
Rachel Rising is a horror comic. Moore builds suspense and tension expertlty. His reveals...? Well, I'm not squeamish, but I have genuinely been creeped out by some of the scenes he's drawn. No, not creeped out. Horrified. Genuinely horrified.
Horror isn't the only thing on display however. I have never read another comic that could make me belly-laugh, bring me to tears, and turn my stomoch sour all in one 20-page issue.
It really is a remarkable comic, conceived and executed by a man still getting better at his craft.
I haven't read Motor Girl yet, but I've been buying them and stockpiling them. It looks much lighter in tone than his previous book and I don't wonder why.

--- Michael Hunt

crazyyears said...

Dammit. I swear there are paragraphs in there. I keep forgetting blogger doesn't pick up the indentations. Sorry to be so hard on the eys, folks.

--- Michael Hunt

Dave Kopperman said...

That Doug Sneyd sure can draw, but man if those Playboy cartoons of his deeply unfunny.

Steve said...

For funny Moore you can't beat his less-known 'Paradise Too'.

He's got a range (from as mentioned horror to sparkling humor) that's hard to beat.

Other than Sergio Aragones' autobiographical work, Moore's is the only currently published material I'll darken the door of my LCS to buy.


Anonymous said...


I won't disagree with your comments about "Echo" or "Rachel Rising" because I simply couldn't get into them. His art's as good as ever, his characters are doing what we expect from Terry Moore characters. Usually consisting of sexy girls [from memory, 'if I'm going to sit at a drawing board for ten hours to make someone's butt look good, it has to be a butt I want to look at'] but that's fine.

This is just my opinion, but for all my compliments of Terry Moore, SiP was the result of countless attempts and early ideas and stuff that didn't work but later he figured out a way to fit in. From what I read of "Echo" and "Rachel Rising," they were ideas he came up with while doing "Strangers in Paradise" (and if I remember, "Rachel Rising" was something he came up with doing "Echo.") Technically, you may be entirely correct and they are better than SiP, but that's what makes the "earlier, funnier stuff" distinguishable.

The Terry Moore who started "Strangers in Paradise" was just doing a three-issue miniseries about characters he'd lived with and developed for many years. The Terry Moore who started "Echo" was a master of cartooning who'd finished his great work and had to decide what he was going to do next. The Terry Moore who started "Rachel Rising" was a lot closer to the Terry Moore who started "Echo," he just had one more great work added to his published library.

I see a modern Terry Moore comic, and I smile at how warm and inviting his entire style is. But nothing really interests me the way some of the most minor SiP events did. I do buy his new comics whenever I see them because, like I said above, Terry Moore is still making comics? That's worth a few dollars on the spot.

Steve, I too found "Paradise Too" to be a wonderful delight. A bit heavy on notes and sketches, but those were entertaining as well.


Jim Sheridan said...

I like all of Terry Moore's stuff, but he seems to draw similar-looking characters, to the point with Rachel Rising that it occasionally got confusing as to who was who.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the "SiP Kids" first issue, my heart exploded and my reincarnated body wound up reading it in the car outside the comics store before I even left the parking lot. It was just so nice to see the characters again, reconfigured to be cute and cartoony.


Jeff Seiler said...

One of these days, I will buy everything Terry Moore has ever done. He's that good, regardless of whether the story is interesting or not. I have and enjoyed his "How To Draw Women".

He's no Dave Sim, but he's close.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I must be off my meds or something, but I feel sunnier and brighter just reading today's post and comments ... Thanks, guys.

I agree with Chris W. that SiP is a bit all-over-the-place, and I side with him in finding that part of its charm and effect. The all-over-the-place bit is one of the reasons I like Cerebus too. And in both books' run, we can see the growth in skill and confidence of the creator. You can almost see their creative minds expanding as they realize, "Hey, I can use comics to do ... this now!" Moore's later work is surely more accomplished and cohesive and (thinking critically) better than SiP, but that work still holds a place in my affections.

-- Damian

Dave Sim said...

Don't get your collective hopes up about CREEPSHOW. Berni was called in way late on that one and basically had to turn the whole thing out in an impossibly short deadline (the movie was already most of the way done when someone said, "Hey, how's the comics adaptation coming along?" Well, it wasn't. The artist -- one of the EC guys, I forget who: Jack Kamen? That would make sense since it was his cover -- was still waiting to hear back about what he was supposed to do with this pile of stills and the shooting script they had sent him. All he had done was the cover.

There are some good pages: AMAZINGLY good for the short deadline -- but BADTIME STORIES it isn't.

That having been said, it really MADE Berni Wrightson's reputation in the Real World because it linked him permanently with Stephen King.

It's also a really bad movie, in my opinion: Stephen King and George Romero doing a BATMAN TV SHOW riff on EC. I used to watch it as a "so bad it's good" traffic accident. Sadly, Berni's adaptation is really quite faithful to it. :)

Dave Sim said...

Just had a nice note from Rick Norwood asking if I was interested in doing the cover of COMICS REVUE #400 (like most of the comics field, he hasn't heard that I can't draw any more) which is a couple of years away, I think.

It's interesting: my question back to him will be: how soon will you know what the contents of #400 are? i.e. the exact sequences of each of the strips? If he can send me print-outs of all the strips, I can do a wraparound CEREBUS IN HELL? cover featuring all of them. Interesting in the sense that we're the only people working this far ahead.

Dave Sim said...

I preferred ECHO (what I read of it: Paradise Comics was supposed to be putting it away for me and they forgot with about five issues to go. Then forgot to get me the last trade paperback) to STRANGERS IN PARADISE and RACHEL RISING (what I read of it: I haven't been in a comics store since the first couple of issues came out) to ECHO.

It's all really over-the-top feminism, but a) that's Terry and b) pretty much everything in our pop culture world. If you don't want to read over-the-top feminism don't consume pop culture. Which, mostly, I don't.

Anonymous said...

Damian, I think the 'all over the place' versatility is really what distinguishes an artist's "earlier, funnier" stuff, at least when we're talking about the best artists in any medium. That's when they know what they want to do, but have no idea if they're any good at it or not, or how it fits with whatever they're working on at the moment.

Easy example: In Dave Sim, we have an extreme case study where he genuinely had years to work out details and decide the best method and place to put them. Heavy text pages, for instance. Terry Moore may have been inspired by "Cerebus" to use heavy text pages, but even if he wasn't, he was thinking about the best way to deliver a lot of information in a short amount of space and develop his characters and the overarching story.

Even if he was inspired by "Cerebus" to to heavy text pages, Dave was (at least partially) inspired by that issue of "Howard the Duck" which was nothing but text pages and illustrations, which Steve Gerber hacked out because he was behind on his deadlines and moving to California.

All among comics' greatest figures, Gerber was desperately trying to keep his book on schedule, Dave was taking an artistic risk on his own successful comic, and Moore was making his way on his own successful comic and maybe never read "Howard" or "Cerebus" to begin with. But they all arrived at the same answer, heavy text pages.

The "earlier, funnier" artist will throw in everything he can think of, because it's something he's always wanted to try, it's a long-held goal he's always wanted to achieve, it seems like a good idea at the moment, whatever. I think that's why "Strangers in Paradise" and "Cerebus the Barbarian" will always be what Moore and Sim will mostly be known for. Extra kudos will be given to Moore for always starring sexy chicks and to Dave for his other accomplishments, but attention will always return to the 'earlier, funnier stuff.'

Hell, Will Eisner just celebrated his centennial, and I've seen very few mentions of anything that happened on Dropsie Avenue in the last hundred years.

Barry Deutsch said...

There's a definite energy to the characters in SiP; the central three characters feel almost iconic. But the writing really isn't the strongest aside from that.

"Rachel Rising" is definitely my favorite Terry Moore comic so far. The characters don't have that same iconic I've-known-them-my-whole-life feel, but the story is so much more coherent, and it ends at the right moment. (SiP kept on telling the same story over and over; it would have been stronger if it had ended sooner.) Moore seems to keep getting better with every project.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I think this might be as good a place as any to mention this: The Collected Neil the Horse is finally coming out next month!

-- Damian

TFitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Seiler said...

Nice job, TFitz, giving away the ending!

TFitz said...

It came out almost a year ago. Really didn't even think about that, to be honest.

Jeff Seiler said...

That's okay, TFitz. I am usually slow to get caught up with non-Cerebus books. I do want to see it, though, because I've always liked Terry Moore's stuff.

Good of you to delete the post, though.