Monday, 25 December 2017

Diamond Preview Picks: December 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.

If you read this blog and you don't buy this, you're a dirty Hsiffie...

AMAZING CEREBUS #1 DEC170967 (W) Dave Sim, Sandeep Atwal (A) Dave Sim, Gustave Dore (CA) Sandeep Atwal
"Cerebus' Guide to Chicks"; Pineapple Guys; Ironic Punishment Division; "Bull-Fighter" the super-hero; Also reprints online strips from October 2016: Triplicate Girl; Job Motivation in Hell; Getting High in Hell; King Solomon's New Poem: "My Colostomy Bag Is Almost Full"; Pixilated (1848); Schizophrenia; Monomania (1823); Projection (1557); Jack Kirby's Demon vs Matt Wagner's Demon; the (Minimum) Wages of Sin; Cerebus vs. The Amazing Hulk and Superman and Pigeon-Man; Cerebus: Hard-Boiled Detective In Hell; A Little Repentance; Groot? or Suicide? and more!

Travis sez: It's that weird looking little gray guy.  You know the one.  Nice cover.

EC ARCHIVES EXTRA HC  DEC170107 (W) Al Feldstein, Nick Meglin (A) Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Wally Wood, Bill Elder, Basil Wolverton (A/CA) Al Feldstein
Daring stories of cub reporters and grizzled newshounds, across the country and around the world! Collecting the complete run of Extra! from the crack artistic talents of Johnny Craig, John Severin, Reed Crandall, and Marie Severin. Featuring a foreword by John Arcudi.

Travis sez: Dark Horse continues the EC Archives with this collection of the full run of Extra!, one of the post-Code books they tried before folding it all up (except for MAD).  Can't go wrong with Johnny Craig, Reed Crandall, and the Severin siblings!

ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST #24 DEC170122 (W) Wendy Pini, Richard Pini (A/CA) Wendy Pini

What words can possibly do justice to this, the grand finale to the greatest ElfQuest series of them all? Forty years in the planning and making, heroes' journeys that were begun in the Original Quest will find their resolutions here. Fateful events set in motion last issue continue to have unstoppable consequences, as dire battles are fought on both the physical and the spiritual realms. Now decisions must be made that will affect everyone-elves and humans alike-on the World of Two Moons far into the future. Can the Great Wheel of time and history, broken so many thousands of years ago, ever be made whole again? A finale forty years in the making!

Travis sez: Elfquest is ending, "a finale forty years in the making", as the solicit says (and nearly that many different publishers, the wag in me says!).  Congrats to the Pinis for finishing the saga out the way they want.

DEADMAN #4 DEC170274 (W) Neal Adams (A/CA) Neal Adams
From behind the scenes rises "He Who Is Always There," Ra's al Ghul, the very worst option before or after the death of Boston Brand. No path, no future will remain uncorrupted as long as Ra's al Ghul remains alive. Deadman would be better off if he halted his quest before death is the best of two options.

Travis sez: Neal Adams back at a Deadman series.  Let's hope it's anywhere near as wacky as Batman Odyssey was!

BATMAN BY NEAL ADAMS TP BOOK 1 DEC170387 (W) Bob Haney, Frank Robbins, Dennis O'Neil
(A) Dick Giordano (A/CA) Neal Adams
Neal Adams' epic tales of the Dark Knight are presented in a newly recut collection of stories from WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #175-176 and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #79-85. These stories include Batman's team-up adventures with Deadman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow and the Teen Titans!

Travis sez: Speaking of Neal Adams, there's a new version of the collected edition of his Batman stories offered here.

MAD MAGAZINE #550 DEC170372 (W) Usual Gang of Idiots (A) Usual Gang of Idiots
Better than a dozen roses or a box of chocolates-it's the  February issue of MAD. It may not be romantic, but it's sure to get some laughs!

Travis sez: It doesn't mention it in the solicits, but apparently 550 is the last issue of MAD being produced in NYC by the Usual Gang of Idiots, so let's tip our hats to them for a fine run.  (MAD is going to be produced in Cali like the rest of DC's stuff from here on out, with a different editorial team.)

It's been three years since the events of The Dark Knight Returns, and everything is fine. At least on the surface. Together with his army of Bat-soldiers, including Carrie Kelley-formerly Robin, and now the new Catgirl-the Dark Knight wages a new war on a diseased world that's become completely lost. Now DC presents the epic three-issue miniseries in black and white for the first time!  

Travis sez: Well, they wanted a sequel, Frank Miller gave 'em a sequel.  This is a black and white edition of Dark Knight Strikes Again (AKA DKR2), which is a book I dig plenty but I thought worked in part because of Lynn Varley's neon computer colors.  YMMV.

HAWK AND DOVE THE SILVER AGE TP DEC170394 (W) Steve Skeates, Gil Kane, Neal Adams (A) Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Neal Adams (CA) Michael Cho
The original run of one of DC's most thought-provoking concepts is collected in its entirety. The Hawk and the Dove were gifted with super-powers by a mysterious voice that sets them on their quest for justice...but their approaches to this mission could not be more different. In the course of these late 1960s stories, the duo battles inner-city crime and corruption as they struggle to get along. Collects SHOWCASE #75, THE HAWK AND THE DOVE #1-6 and TEEN TITANS #21.

Travis sez: The original run of the war vs peace characters, with writing and art by Steve Skeates, Steve Ditko, Steve Kane, and Steve Adams.  No, sorry, that's Gil Kane and Neal Adams. 

RICK VEITCH THE ONE #1 DEC170547 (W) Rick Veitch (A/CA) Rick Veitch 
The classic revisionist superhero saga that predates Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns! 
Rick Veitch's ground-breaking series has been called the last word on superheroes. It is a world-spanning, continent-crushing, over-the-top adventure story that brings the United States and Russia to the brink of annihilation... from both nuclear warheads and crazed superheroes-run-amok! Completely remastered with new scans and updated color, all overseen by Veitch himself, The One presents a shocking worldview that almost predicted today's political climate!

Travis sez: IDW has remastered the Epic series from the Veitchmonster, who oversaw the new coloring on this book.  I've only read the first issue of the original, I believe, and it's been awhile, so I can't comment further, but c'mon, it's Rick Veitch, of course it's good!

BEEF #1 OF 5 DEC170593 (W) Richard Starkings, Tyler Shainline (A/CA) Shaky Kane, John Roshell
The creator of ELEPHANTMEN and the creator of The A-Men join forces with TYLER SHAINLINE (Liberty Justice) to bring you the story of Meat Men! Chuck is a mild-mannered meat factory worker who is a little in love with a strawberry picker named Mary Lynn. But everything changes when Mary Lynn falls victim to the Vodino Brothers....

Travis sez: Richard Starkings of Elephantmen is co-writing (with Tyler Shainline) a bizarre sounding story drawn by the very cool Shaky Kane.  5 issues from Image.

X-MEN GRAND DESIGN TP DEC170935 (W) Ed Piskor (A/CA) Ed Piskor
Over six tumultuous decades, the X-Men have carved a singular place in comic book lore and popular culture. From their riotous birth in the '60s, to their legendary reboot in the '70s, to their attitude adjustment in the '90s, to their battle against extinction in the '00s, the X-Men have remained unquestionably relevant to generations of readers, the ultimate underdogs in an increasingly complicated world. Now, New York Times-best-selling author Ed Piskor (Hip-Hop Family Tree, Wizzywig) takes you on a pulse-pounding tour of X-Men history unlike anything you've ever experienced before, an intricate labor of love that stitches together hundreds of classic and obscure stories into one seamless X-Men masterpiece! This volume also includes 1963's X-MEN #1, masterfully recolored by Ed. Presented in the same dynamic, oversized format of the best-selling Hip Hop Family Tree! Collecting X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN #1-2.

Travis sez: Ed Piskor, who namechecked Cerebus in one of the Images of Youth comics he's been doing for Image Plus magazine, is doing a retelling of the X-Men saga.  Looks cool but dang, that's pricey!

MASTER OF KUNG FU EPIC COLLECTION WEAPON OF THE SOUL TP DEC170956 (W) Jim Starlin, Doug Moench, Gerry Conway, Len Wein, Steve Englehart, Roger Stern (A) Paul Gulacy, Ron Wilson, Al Milgrom, Ross Andru, Keith Pollard, Alan Weiss, Walter Simonson, John Buscema, Ed Hannigan, Aubrey Bradford, P. Craig Russell, Frank McLaughlin, Jeff Aclin (A/CA) Jim Starlin
One of the most groundbreaking Marvel comics of all time! The series that captured the kung fu craze starts here! Born to be the world's most fearsome fighter, Shang-Chi's life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers the truth about his father, the villainous Fu Manchu. So begins the epic story of the Master of Kung Fu! In his quest to end the reign of his malevolent patriarch, Shang-Chi pits his deadly hands and unstoppable spirit against incredible foes like Midnight, Tiger-Claw...and even the Amazing Spider-Man! He's joined by Sir Denis Nayland Smith and "Black" Jack Tarr of the British secret service, who will stop at nothing to end the devil doctor's reign. Collecting SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15-16, MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) #17-28, GIANT-SIZE MASTER OF KUNG FU #1-4, GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #2 and material from IRON MAN ANNUAL #4.

Travis sez:  This doesn't get close to the Gene Day stuff yet, but it at least indicates that someday there will be collections more affordable than the big HC Omnibus versions that came out recently.  Maybe.

ELEANOR & THE EGRET TP VOL 1 DEC171041 (W) John Layman (A/CA) Sam Kieth
The most daring art thief in Paris has struck again, and the police have assigned their best detective to the case. His only clue? A single white feather left at the scene. Could this feather belong to the thief? To the thief's accomplice, an oversized talking egret? Or will his investigation lead him to somewhere even stranger? (Answer: all of the above.)
Presenting a peculiar and unforgettable tale of birds and banditry, paintings and pets, larceny, love and...lamprey-wielding assassins? From the legendary creator of THE MAXX and co-creator of SANDMAN, Sam Kieth, and the considerably less-legendary creator of CHEW, John Layman!
"Gorgeous artwork by Sam Kieth and Ronda Pattison and a script by John Layman that subtly lays the groundwork for a magical world make ELEANOR & THE EGRET...a fascinating debut! 10 out of 10." - Robert Reed of

Travis sez: A bizarre tale of an art thief and her talking egret accomplice.  By the mastermind of Chew (and Cerebus superfan) John Layman and the mastermind of the Maxx, Sam Kieth.  Sounds fun.

REBEL ANGELS TP DEC171086 (W) James Turner (A/CA) James Turner
Welcome to Hell! As the Infernal Regime prepares to slay Thermidor and purge Baal, the Arch-traitor, Lightbringer Nolous gives disgraced Infernal Knight Balthazar the chance to reclaim his place as Hell's foremost warrior by leading the attack, but his agenda is far more sinister...and things are not what they seem. Now in softcover, previously offered as a digital comic through Comixology, this is an epic drama set in Hell from the creator of Rex Libris.

Travis sez: James Turner of Rex Libris has a book set in Hell (who smells a Cerebus in Hell? crossover opportunity?  No, sorry, that's just my feet).  This was supposed to come out ages ago, so hopefully it actually does this time!

CHARLTONS NIGHTSHADE TP DEC171344 (A) Jim Aparo (A/CA) Steve Ditko
This edition collects the first appearance and origin stories of Nightshade as published by Charlton Comics with art by Steve Ditko and Jim Aparo. Included are full-length stories from Captain Atom #82, 85, and 86 as well as the back-up stories from issues #87-89.

Travis sez: More old Ditko stuff (and Jim Aparo, too).  This was also supposed to come out ages ago, but didn't, so I hope this comes out for real this time.

DAVE SHERIDAN LIFE DEC171586 (W) Dave Sheridan (A/CA) Dave Sheridan
Dave Sheridan collects the best of the legendary underground cartoonist's tripped-out comic strip hilarity. It includes Sheridan's solo comics, many reprinted for the very first time, and his collaborations with Fred Schrier and Gilbert Shelton (who writes the foreword), along with his record covers, beer labels, and advertisements for more...cough, products. The book includes a biography and reminiscences from fellow artists, friends, and family members.

Travis sez: For the underground comix fan, a collection of Dave Sheridan comics.

BLAZING COMBAT HC DEC171596 (W) Archie Goodwin (A) Various
Written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by such luminaries as Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan, Blazing Combat was originally published by independent comics publisher James Warren in 1965 and '66. Following in the tradition of Harvey Kurtzman's Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat, Goodwin's stories reflected the human realities and personal costs of war rather than exploiting the clich├ęs of the traditional men's adventure genre. They were among the best comics stories about war ever published.
Blazing Combat ended after its fourth issue when military post exchanges refused to sell the title due to their perception that it was an anti-war comic. Their hostility was fueled by the depiction of the then-current Vietnam War, especially a story entitled "Landscape," which follows the thoughts of a simple Vietnamese peasant rice-farmer who pays the ultimate price simply for living where he does - and which was considered anti-war agitprop by the more hawkish members of the business community.
Writer Archie Goodwin and the original publisher James Warren discuss the death of Blazing Combat and market censorship as well as the creative gestation of the series in exclusive interviews.

Travis sez: Here's a new printing of a Fantagraphics collection of the Archie Goodwin war anthology from Warren.  Cool beans!

MEANWHILE #9 DEC171795 (W) Gary Spencer Millidge, David Hine (A) Gary Spencer Millidge, Mark Stafford, Sarah Gordon
Gary Spencer Millidge, David Hines, Mark Stafford,  Sarah Gordon, Martin Simpson The Needleman, Part Two. The sense-shattering conclusion of Martin Simpson's tour-de-force. Doig and Swift give us a lovely story of finding your way in North. Gary Spencer Millidge's Strangehaven builds toward the finale. Decisions made by Sarah Gordon's The Collector may not be for the best - for him, for the town, for the world! Mark Stafford and David Hine present the penultimate episode of The Bad Bad Place. Danger lurks everywhere for Ginny Skinner's Gail Key's Psychic Lost Item Helpline.

Travis sez: Gary Spencer Millidge's Strangehaven builds toward the finale, which should be all you need to hear.  I need to catch up with this anthology!

An All-Star Editors Issue! A Pro2Pro roundtable of past and present editors reveal... "How I Beat the Dreaded Deadline Doom"! Plus: retrospectives of Archie Goodwin and Mark Gruenwald, a vintage interview with fan-turned-pro E. Nelson Bridwell, a career-spanning interview with Diana Schutz, Allan Asherman revisits DC's '70s editorial department, Marvel Assistant Editors' Month, and a history of the most famous editor in comic books, Perry White! Featuring an unpublished alternate cover of 1981's Captain America #259 by Mike Zeck!

Comic Book Creator is double the fun with two main features - Michael Allred (iZombie) and Bob Burden (Mystery Men) -who share a surf-crazy jam cover featuring their respective creations, Madman and Flaming Carrot hanging ten! Keeping with wacky comic-book characters and their creators, Reid Fleming, the World's Toughest Mailman cartoonist David Boswell tells us what's happening up there comics-wise in the Great White North. Plus we feature part two of our interview with the late, great Archie Comics artist Stan Goldberg, and the conclusion of Batton Lash's career-spanning interview which discusses his Supernatural Law series. 

Showcasing Gil Kane, one of the Silver Age's greatest artists-with gleaming Golden Age roots in the Simon & Kirby shop! Incisive and free-wheeling Kane interview conducted in the 1990s by Daniel Herman for his 2001 book Gil Kane: The Art of the Comics-plus Gil's incisive article from the Spring 1974 issue of the Harvard Journal of Pictorial Fiction, and other surprise features centered around the artistic co-creator of the Silver Age Green Lantern and The Atom! And beginning the autobiography of Golden/Silver Age Flash/GL scripter John Broome!

Jack Kirby Collector #61's theme is Jack Kirby: Writer! Whether creating stories while drawing, or pecking away at a typewriter, Kirby gave his work a unique voice which fans either love or hate. Don't miss this examination of the quirks of Kirby's conceptualizing and wordsmithing, from the operatic Fourth World to melodramatic romance work, and beyond! There's a feature-length Kirby interview, Mark Evanier, and our other regular columnists, galleries of pencil art including New GodsDestroyer Duck2001, and more! Unseen Kirby cover painting! 

Travis sez: TwoMorrows offers their usual batch of awesome.  Back Issue 103 focuses on editors, including a career spanning interview with Diana Schutz!  Alter Ego 149 spotlights Gil Kane, while Comic Book Creator 8 features Mike Allred AND Bob Burden (and David Boswell of Reid Fleming fame AND the second part of a Batton Lash interview, so don't pass that one up!), and Jack Kirby Collector 61's theme is Kirby the writer. 

COMICS REVUE PRESENTS FEB 2018 DEC172093 (W) Various (A) Various (CA) Romero
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 more classic stories in black & white, including Lee Falk's The Phantom and Krazy Katby George Herriman!

Travis sez: the latest issue of classic comic strip reprints.

NEON VISIONS COMICS OF HOWARD CHAYKIN SC DEC172058 (W) Brannon Costello (A/CA) Howard Chaykin
In the 1980s, Howard Chaykin broke new ground in American comic books with a series of formally innovative, iconoclastic works that turned the traditional action-adventure tales of mainstream comics into a platform for personal expression, political engagement, and aesthetic experimentation. His original creations American Flagg!Time², and the notorious Black Kiss, along with his reshaping of familiar titles like The Shadow and Blackhawk, generated acclaim and often controversy as they challenged expectations of the visual design and subject matter permissible in popular comics. In Neon Visions, Brannon Costello offers the first book-length critical evaluation of Chaykin's work and confronts the blind spots in comics scholarship that consign this seminal artist to the margins.

Travis sez: A book length look at the fascinating creator Howard Chaykin.  I like him because he once said at a con that I had alright hair.  Cool!

Travis sez: There are a bunch of reoffered comics from Dover Publications, including the Puma Blues collection (with a foreword by Dave), Border Worlds by Don Simpson, Wandering Star by Teri S Wood, and several books by Sam Glanzman, among other things.  [Just check under Dover here:]

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


Anonymous said...

Say... what happened to that "Cerebus in Hell?" collection that was mentioned a few mo the ago? Did Sim ever get that bag and card situation resolved? I guess not.


Travis Pelkie said...

Me likee how this turned out. Thank you, sir, looks good!

I'm hoping the next one doesn't take me as long....

Ma Hunkel said...

MAD heading west means that the last vestiges of DC Comics have vanished from New York City, the birthplace of American comic books.