Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest” of what’s coming your way in the now-available September 2015 Previews catalog. Having already taken a look at what Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, and Image have lined up for us, it’s now time to check out the other 75% of the catalog. Before we jump into the things you should keep an eye out for, a quick reminder:
And second, as one-half of the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, I go through the whole Previews catalog each and every month with co-host Mike Romeo, talking about things that catch our eye and quicken our pulse. If you listen to those episodes, you should still read this column because there will not be a 100% overlap, and if you don’t listen to those episodes, they are a great way to hear Mike & I go into further detail about some of the things I’ve spotlighted here.
That said, let’s dive in!
10. Color Me Creeped Out!
This is the second coloring book I’ve seen solicited in Previews, the other being a Marvel one for ‘Age of Ultron’ a few months back. Of the two, I think this one has the edge. There’s just something about pre-Code comic art that makes it a little more boundary-pushing than even its counterparts of today doing the same material. The juxtaposition of older art styles with excesses we think of only modern work capable of is great and one of the things I like most about this work. And this book not only gives us that, but it’s going to be a blast seeing these pages show up on Tumblr and Twitter with updated coloring approaches. Everything old is new again!
Haunted Horror Pre-Code Cover Coloring Book Vol. 1
Illustrated by Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, L.B. Cole, Dick Briefer, Don Heck, Lee Elias, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand
Published by IDW Publishing
Beware horror fan, for the blood(-red marker) is on your hands in this brand-new coloring book for adults! Featuring Pre-Code comic book cover frights from Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, L.B. Cole, Dick Briefer, Don Heck, Lee Elias, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand and many more! This do-it-yourself deluge of dark delights is sure to send goosebumps of titillation and stand hairs straight on end for fans of the gruesome, gross, and macabre! Nearly 60 full page scare-filled classic horror covers for you to color from the creepiest, most sordid publishers of the time!
9. Sous Chef Confidential
We actually mentioned this book on our “Seconds” episode as one of the supplementary reads for that Bryan Lee O’Malley graphic novel. At the time (which was really just a few weeks ago) we saw that Fischer had the comic available on his Etsy site. But since then he’s upgraded to having it offered in Previews from Alternative Comics. A little late on either front to help us out with that episode, but now it’s even easier for you to get it in your hands to enjoy and read (and listen) along with the book!
Written and Illustrated by Jason Fischer
Published by Alternative Comics
Seconds Helping is my new 16 page memoir comic about working as a drawing assistant to Bryan Lee O’Malley on his newest graphic novel, Seconds. After working remotely on the book for 4 months we still had 200 pages left to ink with only 5 weeks left till deadline! This comic centers around those final 5 weeks when we lived and worked together to finish the book.
8. Ellis. Warren Ellis.
James Bond has ruled the silver screen for over 50 years, but his grasp of the comics page hasn’t been nearly as strong. It’s been almost 20 years since he had a series to call his own, but Dynamite is looking to change that in time for this fall’s Spectre, and they’re bringing in Warren Ellis to handle it! And in case you didn’t know or hadn’t guessed, Ellis will be taking what source material cues he does use from the original novels rather than the films, where until recently Bond wasn’t shown as nearly the damaged soul that Fleming envisioned. Dynamite has been hit-or-miss with me in the past, but every once in a while they line up the right creator with the right property and make their comics explode!Continued below
James Bond #1
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Jason Masters
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Beginning “VARGR”, the first story in the ongoing James Bond comic series by best-selling writer Warren Ellis! James Bond returns to London after a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, to take up the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. But something evil is moving through the back streets of the city, and sinister plans are being laid for Bond in Berlin…
7. All Dolled Up!
Another in the line of Soleil comics making a comeback at Titan Comics. Titan will be reprinting the first 3+ volumes (there was a zero volume) that have already been released in Marvel Comics, and will follow that up with the never-before-translated fourth volume. I don’t think they will all be in this “Decade” volume, but I could be wrong. What I know for sure is this is a gorgeous series that looks at love in all its forms (spiritual as well as physical) and what it does to people and societies when it is expressed or repressed. Not just eye candy, this one…
Sky Doll: Decade GN
Written by Barbara Canepa, Alessandro Barbucci
Illustrated by Barbara Canepa, Alessandro Barbucci
Published by Titan Comics
When Noa the Sky Doll is liberated from her life of drudgery by missionaries, it turns out that she is more than just a pretty android built for pleasure. With religion, sensuality and what it means to be human all at stake, Noa must find her true purpose in life.
6. Weird War Stories
It’s been a long road for these stories, from Ellison’s typewriter to your shelf, by the time this book gets there. These five short stories were originally written in the late 60’s, adapted by artist Ken Steacy in the pages of “Epic Illustrated” in the early 80’s, revised in the original “Night and the Enemy” graphic novel from 1987, and now getting another lease on life with this reprinting that includes the extra story from the Graphitti Designs hardcover of that graphic novel as well as new artwork. Being a longtime fan of Ellison’s who hasn’t read these stories, plus being a fan of Steacy’s particular brand of colorful artwork since his two-part Iron Man story in “Marvel Fanfare”, I can’t wait to finally get my hands on this!
Night and the Enemy GN
Written by Harlan Ellison
Illustrated by Ken Steacy
Published by Dover Graphic Novels
These five Earth-Kyba stories by legendary science-fiction master Harlan Ellison, winner of multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Edgar awards, have been specially adapted and fully illustrated in vibrant color by artist Ken Steacy. Unavailable for nearly three decades, this tale of the Earth’s war with an alien race features a clever framing device specially written by Ellison that links the individual stories. Also includes Ellison’s short story “The Few, the Proud,” new Introductions by the creators, and four pages of new artwork. Contains adult material.
5. Universal Themes
“Box Office Poison” was a little before my time. I was reading comics back in the late 1990’s, to be sure, but hadn’t really broken free of the gravimetric forces that superhero comics were enacting on me, barring a few exceptions. But “BOP” was enough of an established property that I did eventually read one of Robinson’s later books (“Too Cool To Be Forgotten”) and enjoyed it a lot. So I’m looking forward to not only giving “Our Expanding Universe” a shot but picking up that newly solicited “BOP” printing designed like an old VHS tape. Because I remember what those things were and it speaks to me. Hopefully Robinson was smart enough to have that tape’s tab broken off or it might get taped over…
Our Expanding Universe
Written by Alex Robinson
Illustrated by Alex Robinson
Published by IDW/Top Shelf (or Drawn & Quarterly depending on the solicit you read)
Alex Robinson returns with a “spiritual sequel” to his Eisner-winning debut Box Office Poison! It’s been 15 years since the young cast of that beloved drama has graced the stage. Now, Our Expanding Universe introduces another Robinson ensemble to explore how time can transform a group of friends. Marriage, children, affairs, divorce… and that’s just the beginning!
4. Ready Freddy!
You’ve heard of Tintin. I’ve heard of Tintin. Everyone’s heard of Tintin. You sell 200 million copies of your books and have them translated into 70 languages, you’re going to be on people’s radars. But who the hell is Freddy Lombard? Someone who owes a lot to Tintin, that’s for sure. But once you get past that, there seems to be more going on under the surface than a mere more-mature Tintin pastiche. This collection pulls together all the Freddy stories from late creator Yves Chaland and I am looking forward to getting to see what all the fuss is about!
Freddy Lombard HC
Written by Yves Chaland
Illustrated by Yves Chaland
Published by Humanoids Publishing
A “must have” collection of classic adventures for older readers of Tintin by one of Europe’s most feted cartoonists. Impetuous Freddy Lombard and his frustrated, but faithful, friends, Dina and Sweep, go on six different adventures, from exploring Belgian castles and African jungles, to being swept up in revolutionary Budapest or caught up in the secrets surrounding a futuristic jet! Forever broke, the trio constantly look for ways to hustle enough money to live and continue solving mysteries in these tales with unexpected twists and lots of laughs.
Some writers have their sweet spot in terms of genre and rarely, if ever, deviate from that. Busiek isn’t one of them. Whether it’s superheroes with his “Astro City” (where he gets to tell all manner of stories through the cape-and-spandex lens) or stories like “The Wizard’s Tale” or his ongoing “Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw” with Ben Dewey, the man is versatile. So you tell me that he wrote a fantasy GN drawn by this guy? And that I can get it in oversized hardcover? I will ask you where I can sign to have those delivered to me ASAP.
Redhand: Twilight of the Gods Deluxe HC
Written by Kurt Busiek, Sam Timel
Illustrated by Bazal, Mario Alberti
Published by Humanoids
The perfect warrior is unleashed in an age of barbarism and magic, but all he wants is the peaceful life he’s destined never to have. Touched by a prophecy, imbued with incredible fighting skills and immune to magic, he is fated to one day destroy the gods. Yet Redhand has no interest in this prediction, and no use for his destiny. Yet how can a man escape his own fate? From award-winning writer Kurt Busiek (Marvels) and artists Mario Alberti & Bazal (Retroworld) comes a violent and intelligent story that challenges and enthralls.
2. A Cut Above The Rest
I’m behind the times when it comes to “Lumberjanes”. I hear the praise, I see the quality in the previews, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it in full like I should as someone trying to keep their horizons broadened. But I recognize the fact that, in addition to all that, it is an important series for bringing into comics new or peripheral readers and giving them somewhere they can feel safe while they maybe explore other parts of their LCS for what else might be out there. And seeing that series get the type of oversized hardcover treatment usually reserved for hardcore fanboy superhero or fantasy titles just warms my heart. It’s a sign of respect, to be sure. And BOOM! (Box/Central/Archaia) puts out such quality hardcovers that this news is even sweeter!
Lumberjanes To The Max Vol. 1 HC
Written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Illustrated by Brooke Allen
Published by BOOM! Box
At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Includes Lumberjanes #1-8, a foreword by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters), the never-before collected Lumberjanes short from BOOM! Box 2014 Mix Tape, all of the Rad Mix Playlists, and more!
Imagine what it would have been like to walk into “The Studio” back in the NYC of the 1970’s and seeing Barry Windsor-Smith, Michael Kaluta, Bernie Wrightson, and Jeffrey (Catherine) Jones all working literally within feet of each other. And while the first three are artists of the highest order, Catherine Jones was on another level. Although she didn’t have quite the comics output that the others had, that didn’t stop her work from looking like she’d been doing it for decades. You can see some samples of her paintings and sequential work (which will be collected in this book) at this blog post by artist Ty Templeton from when she passed in 2011.
Jeffrey Jones: Idyl I’m Age
Written and Illustrated by Jeffrey Catherine Jones
Published by Donald Grant Publishing
Two legendary graphic strips by the late Jeffrey Jones are collected for the first time. Idyl ran in the pages of the National Lampoon while the later I’m Age appeared in Heavy Metal Magazine. Now available is Idyl – I’m Age, a 96-page oversized 9″ x 12″ art book celebrating the unique vision of celebrated artist Jeffrey Jones. The book has both an Introduction and an insightful Afterword by award winning artist George Pratt. Please Note: Due to a late production error the I’m Age strip from the October 1982 edition of Heavy Metal Magazine is missing from this collection.
Well, that was fun! Be sure to check out the Robots From Tomorrow September Previews episode on Thursday and hear us talk about these books and a whole lot more. And let me know what books YOU’RE excited for in the comments section.