3 days left to PREORDER your comics in October! Here is how! The FINAL Part!

Here is the promised final part.

Just in time to order, pull the trigger by this Wednesday 24 July 2019!

 

Books worth pre-ordering by 24 July 2019, and save money off cover price, of books being released early October! Halloween!

Here then are the recommended books!

 

Books worth buying from Marvel:

While Marvel under the auspices of the great film division helmed brilliantly by Kevin Feige, are doing gangbusters on the big screen and television screens; the comic books are a train-wreck. I’m not talking talent wise, I think Marvel, The Comic Book Division has talented and creative people actually writing and drawing and creating the books.

Where Marvel falls down is in marketing and pricing their books, and over saturating a small market, with a lot of noise. I think Editorial and Marketing between the two of them are steering the company, periodical wise, at high speed right into a wall.

You do not have to be a genius to realize, Johnathan Hickman or any writer, is not going to revamp crap, if you are diluting and smothering a good idea, (in this case the ‘revamping’ of the X-men) right out the box, by comprising your jump on story 6 to 12 new titles, by that many creative teams. It is the moronic, diminishing returns crap, Marvel publishing has been doing for the last few years. Drowning whatever signal they may produce, under a crap load of noise.

 

One X-men title. One exciting creative team, writer, artist, colorist, letter. One steady price-point, $2.99. Not 10 mutant titles to dilute and confuse your audience. One title. One jumping on point. One easy brand to market to retailer and customers. If you are a Marvel Comic book company, with Marvel Studios having done the hard work of giving you a potential GLOBAL audience of BILLIONS. And you can not sell ROUTINELY hundreds of thousands, if not millions of EVERY issue of X-MEN, the issue is gross mismanagement.

It is not the customer, it is not people do not read, it is not competition from video games or movies, it is gross incompetence by your marketing/management and arguably editorial divisions.

Disney needs to farm out the marketing and management of Marvel Comics, to anyone but the people who are currently failing at it.

Books to buy from Marvel:

None

 

Books to buy from DC:

My above rant about Marvel periodical, also applies to DC periodicals. (With the exception of their $1 reprint line, one of which you will see below).They raised their periodical prices to $3.99 to coincide with hiring Marvel Poster Boy Brian Michael Bendis. And they were on an upswing before doing that. Following their price hike I dropped all of the books that went up in price, except Christopher Priest’s DEATHSTROKE. And to this date, that is the only periodical book I am buying from DC Comics.

 

TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING

 

Alter Ego 161 - Click Image to Close

November 2019 – 100 pages (FULL COLOR)

ALTER EGO #161 (100 pages, $9.95) is a full-issue tribute to Stan (The Man) Lee and his contributions to comics! Roy Thomas writes on his more than 50-year relationship with Stan—and shares 21st-century e-mails from Stan (with his permission, of course)! Art by Kirby, Ditko, Maneely, Everett, Severin, Romita—plus tributes from pros and fans alike—and special sections on Stan by Michael T. Gilbert, Bill Schelly, and even the FCA! Vintage Galactus cover by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta! Edited by ROY THOMAS.

Diamond Comic Distributors Order Code: JUL192270

 

Order Books here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice?AffID=200301P01

 

3 days left to PREORDER your comics in October! Here is how!

‘Preorder? Preorder?

We don’t need no stinking preorder!’

Little bit of a bastardization of the famous line from the great john Huston directed, Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston led movie, TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.

Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, and Walter Huston in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

One of the best films ever made, and a must watch if you have, in an age of Disney Blockbusters, never seen this quintessential bit of Americana. From 1948, the film is as riveting as SICARIO or any other thriller you will see today, and amazingly still as timely and as timeless.

Pre-ordering is something unique to that weird world of comic books.

Not every comic store can carry every comic. There are a lot of publishers, coming out every month with new titles. Staying on top of it can be an initial learning curve.

But pre-ordering helps you save money, depending what online or brick and mortar retailer you use, the amount is typically between 10% and 50% savings.

The particular online retailer I use, and that I recommend, saves you 35% off the cover price of your comics.

Why do I use the retailer that saves you 35% as opposed to the retailer who saves you 40 to 50%? Well I’ve used that 50% off retailer in the past, and had issues with their customer service, as well as problems getting the issues I ordered, and problems with how i was being charged.

With the 35% off retailer, the customer service has been excellent, and I get the books I ordered in quality condition.

Therefore they are the ones I use, and the ones I recommend.

Okay this is part one of my comic book pre-order tutorial, the little trailer/preamble if you will.  I am hard at work on part two, with suggestions of what to order and the link you can use to order from my retailer of choice.

Give this post a like, and come back in about 4 hours to see the 2nd and final part of this pre-order for books shipping in over 2 months, in October.

Thanks!

On JESSICA JONES Trailer, Tom King’s BATMAN, and DCs SWAMP THING show!

Let us start in the middle Tom King’s BATMAN.

I listened to a recent podcast where they were bemoaning the news of Tom King stepping off the BATMAN comic. All kinds of speculation on him being removed, etc. That he was doing a brilliant run on Batman, etc, etc. And they couldn’t understand how DC could not see what a great, innovative job he was doing, and that DC execs must not like great stories, yada, yada.

This very minor and relatively harmless rant from this podcast I watched, illustrates perhaps a less wholesome issue with our culture in whole. This inability to see or look for, or acknowledge, viewpoints other than our own.

The truth is out there, to paraphrase a show I was never a fan of, beyond the odd ‘monster-of the week’ episode.

The truth is out there, but we have to look, and we have to do our homework.

It doesn’t have to be controversy when we get news we do not expect or agree with.

It doesn’t have to be DC executives are stupid.

It could be as simple, if Tom King was removed, as simple as the books were not moving in the numbers they liked, or meeting with across the board praise.

A simple look at reviews of Tom King’s BATMAN run, whether podcasts, or Youtube videos, or blogs or websites, when you extend the search beyond your circle, your chorus, you see a run, a body of work, that from the first trade on, was conflicted. And grew more uneven and conflicted, in terms of the writing, and the response to the writing with every trade/issue.

I think a lot of people make excuses for Tom King”s work when they do not love it. Like they refuse to admit they didn’t love it because of Tom King, so they blame the publisher, or the editor, etc.

A writer is a lot like a director, you get the praise when a product is great. You should also carry the blame when a product isn’t. A lot of people like to give King the former, and make excuses to keep him from the latter.

Stop making excuses or trying to blame Editorial if you do not like a Tom King story. You do not try to give them the praise if you love a Tom King story. So let’s not be hypocrites.

And I am not anti-Tom King, I am not one of these knuckle dragging anti social justice warrior, anti-woman, anti-diversity, psuedo neo nazi nuts. I judge the work, on the work, and wait to read it, before having an opinion on it.

Tom King can be a great writer.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

https://amzn.to/2MAm9GC

His VISION series is one of the greatest things I have read in years. (And if you have not read it, I urge you to pick up the collected hardcover… it is that good.)

His OMEGA MEN very good.

https://amzn.to/2EZQGHG

His Batman, in pieces, standalone, I’m thinking specifically of ANNUAL 2, can be great. Annual 2 was great.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

https://amzn.to/2MzJsk0

However, specifically to Batman, other than that standalone story,  his actual run on Batman, the first 4 or 5 trades, I found awful. I mean… awful. “I am suicide!”As his take-away on the character of Batman. Really???!!

Batman: I Am Suicide (The Complete Story) - YouTube

The great flaw of Tom King’ s BATMAN (for me), was always Tom King’s take of the character. He keeps writing the same broken, suicidal, and ineffective character, over and over again. And while it worked for the Vision and Mr. Miracle, shoehorning that Hamlet type protagonist and calling him Batman or Kid Flash, does not work at all.

He keeps trying to tailor these heroes and archetypes to his ptsd framework, and it increasingly does not work. He needs to start writing to the character, than simply shoehorning them into his rigid story.

We get it,

Tom King brings a military background, and a CIA background, and an espionage background, and a background of those places where we all break under stress and pressure. And again telling that story with certain characters can work, however retelling that story with every character does not work.

There are more stories than that. And another reason we look to these heroes is because they are our aspirations writ large, they should not all be stand-ins for the places where we fall down, they should be the standards of how to standup. They should be our hopes writ large, not our insecurities. The VISION type stories should be the exception, not the rule.

I do not want to read a comic with a Superman dealing with PTSD. It starts to become one note writing, rather than great writing, to make all the heroes analogs for the common man, or the Hamlet in us.

So yeah, while I will not be picking up the individual issues regardless of who writes BATMAN, because paying more than $2.99 for a single Marvel or DC comic is insanity (Marvel and DC should both be ashamed of themselves for charging more than $2.99 for scant pages of comics. Now, smaller Independent publishers I cut them slack on pricing, because their page count and quality is usually higher. However Marvel and DC has the economies of scale to keep prices low. To not do so comes down to mismarketing, mismanagement, and short term greed, over long term sustainability and growth) , I will, if the word of mouth is good, check out the books when they hit the $1 bins of the secondary market or in collected edition at the libraries.

I look forward to a new take on Batman, and a new writer.

Okay… next topic…

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JESSICA JONES Season III trailer. Here is the thing, I was not interested enough to watch the 2nd season of JESSICA JONES. And by all reviews I did not miss much. But I went into the the trailer for season III hoping it would be good. I have to tell you, I found it incredibly uninteresting.

I can only take so much of brooding, not quite likeable, characters so, just with the way the protagonist is played, with a listless, can’t be bothered attitude, the performance of Jessica Jones is typically the weakest part of the show JESSICA JONES.

https://s15-us2.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Ft0.gstatic.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AANd9GcTfEODizVkEhjX5DTd2Fp-EKHQdU-yX9y0FllP-kS2TgqSH8JQEVA&sp=ced14d29e1bfd30e584288dacec803c5&anticache=124267

So that said, you need charismatic, interesting people surrounding her to make the show worth while. You need a Luke Cage, you need a Purple Man. You need dynamism to counteract the plodding, disaffected, and starting to get annoying, performance of the protagonist.  And unfortunately the trailer for Season III offered none of that. Offered an Antagonist, absolutely as uninteresting as the protagonist. A battle of who could bore me more.

 

So yeah the trailer to Season III of JESSICA JONES, a hard fail. That is not going to make my watch list, based on that trailer.

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https://s17-us2.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Ft0.gstatic.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AANd9GcRewaG-8fAXhxFf9lOTCExTuJSTRmAqCeY83ZOieU-7ZSR1JdRg&sp=2c79f4941178f19f38dc309b58dfd647&anticache=375506

Finally, the news that the DC Swamp Thing show has been cancelled before the 1st season really starts.

It has come out the reason DC/Warner Brothers pulled the plug is largely because North Carolina, an increasingly politically suspect state (excuses to my North Carolina Friends, but you are starting to be run by the pointy hat crowd. And I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. You know you need to start cleaning your house, much the same way the Nation needs to clean its house) basically bailed on their promise to help finance the production of SWAMP THING in their state.

It is a great shame, because I have to tell you, I absolutely loved the full trailer to SWAMP THING.

They looked like they had all the elements for a wonderful , long form story, worthy of the kind of eerie, brilliant, haunting storytelling that creators Alan Moore, Bissette, Totleben, Wein, and Wrightson laid the ground work for.

Such a shame.

Maybe someone else will add the additional funds so we get to see this vision of Swamp Thing, eventually played out.

Well that’s it guys.

Just wanted to put my 2 cents in on those 3 topics. Take two seconds and support today’s recommended comics.

You know when I was saying I cut Independent comics a slack, because of their quality of content and packaging. ALTERNA COMICS and AHOY COMICS are two cases in point. There are a lot of great writers/artists in comics, arguably one of the best of them is Eric Powell. I absolutely am enamored with his GOON and his HILLBILLY and his SPOOK SHOW. And ALTERNA comics addreses all the issues with price gouging that we are getting from the big two, Marvel and DC, while giving us quality products. So you can preorder comics from both publishers and get them direct mailed to you.

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice

 

Use the links above get great books, support these publishers, and earn a few pennies for this blog. A win-win!

 

“Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. ”

J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

The End of American Comic Books?

With the major two American Publishers (Marvel Comics and DC Comics) Marvel Comics (Real) | Spiderman animated Wikia | FANDOM powered ...Dc Logo Png Transparent - Dc Comics Logo 1976 - Free Transparent ...largely pricing themselves out of the periodic comic book market, ($4 for a 22 story page comic? Are you on crack?! 🙂 ) and failing to engage any sizeable readership in the sub-thirty market, and losing readers in their dwindling above 30 market, they are kept around largely to just be an idea space/loss leader for the actually profitable divisions of the multinational oligarchies that own them.

That is not to say there are not brilliant writers and artists that work for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, but unfortunately they are crippled by a few things.

First a pricing structure (over $3 for a couple dozen pages of comics. 10 minutes of reading entertainment is moronic. It is a poor value for dollar when compared to just about anything else) , second a quality structure ( abhorent paper and cover quality. Poor and obtrusive placement of ads, especially when compared to better Indy publishers. Marvel Comics is especially culpable in this) and third a flawed editorial structure/mindset ( lets inundate the MARKET, dilute the brand and confuse and frustrate the readership, with too much overlapping, and conflicting, and redundant books, and events, and storylines. Let us not give prospective readers one clear on-ramp to our comics, a single Batman book to follow, or Spiderman book to follow, when we can publish 20 poorly selling, and market-fractioning books instead. And let us not place the books or advertise the books, places where our demographic could actually find them).

All three of these ingrained ‘sales’ structures of major American comics, seemingly just designed by moronic frat boys, rather than capable professionals who really love and want to grow/expand the medium.

Marvel and DC comics for the last few decades since the 90s, proving themselves inept at selling American Comics to Americans or anyone else. Think about it, Marvel and DC comics, these publishers, their inability to sell 100 thousand comics in a nation of 300 Million people, is an unprecedented level of failure. Especially with the hard work of selling these characters to the mainstream already done by the movies and TV shows.

If I were the parent companies, AT&T and Disney, I would wholesale fire the Marketing and Editorial departments of both companies, and bring in fresh blood with fresh ideas. Because, clearly the people currently running these divisions have not the slightest clue how to sustain and grow their print model/readership.

Now on the Independent comic book publishing Front, there are still promising companies, IMAGE COMICS, and some of the smaller companies such as Alterna and Albatross etc. these companies are really challenging the ingrained pricing and content and quality deficits of marvel and dc. these companies resembling more the mad creativity and broad appeal of marvel comics in its bronze age glory days, before it lost its way. before the peter principle took hold of marvel and dc, and they grew past their best and most useful state.

WHERE I BUY JUST ABOUT NOTHING MONTHLY FROM THE BIG TWO (Exception being Christopher Priest’s DEATHSTROKE) I buy just about everything from ALTERNA, and ALBATROSS and a bunch from IMAGE. Dark Horse, IDW, Ahoy, Aftershock, Titan, all companies putting out great books.

However a recent rash of buyouts of Indy comic companies, by deep pocket Chinese companies may bode ill for true Indy American Comics. and may signal an end to this current golden age of american comics.

AND YES, I WOULD ARGUE THAT LOW SALES AND OTHER ISSUES TO THE CONTRARY, WE ARE IN A GOLDEN AGE OF COMIC BOOKS, graphic literature, slims. cause when you get away from the reprehensible shenanigans and mismanagement and flooding the market tactics of the big two, the comics themselves, have truly never been better, or richer, with nearly every genre of book being published, and across the board, a higher level of story and art then ever before.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

Ahoy Comics | Expect More

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.

i grew up in the bronze age of comics, i love the bronze age comics, and there were some great comics. but across the board the quality and creativity is better today. you just have to push a lot of that noise of the big two out of the way so you can see eric powell’s hillbilly and goon, so you can see brubaker’s criminal, so you can see rucka’s lazarus so you can see walker’s bitter root, so you can see dingess’ manifest destiny, and the list goes on. and even in marvel, great comics are being made,  ta-nehisi coates black panther and captain america, jason aAron’s thor, montclare’s moon girl and devil dinosaur, g. willolw wilson’s ms. marvel and the list goes on, it is just marvel has made these books (for reasons mentioned) unpalatable to pick up monthly. it is better to wait for the collected edition and read the story that way.

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for monthly comics I really like the Alterna model in terms of pricing, and seeking old fashioned newstand distribution. And hopefully other companies can follow their homegrown lead so we continue to have American comic book companies not potentially censored by allegiance to foreign interests.

Hope you found the above slight tirade useful. It comes from a place of love for the medium, and love that a home grown, domestic comic book company… can endure.

If you want to buy the back issues of any of the books I mention, or subscribe to books (preorder new books, I highly recommend it) use the below link. You will get great books, and it will earn a few pennies for this blog. Enjoy!

https://www.mycomicshop.com/?AffID=200301P01

 

Podcast of the Day : Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog & Bendis Trojan Horse!?!

Podcast of the Day : Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog & Bendis Trojan Horse!?!

http://comicsalternative.com/episode-286-the-july-previews-catalog/

Great podcast, around the 30 to 40 minute mark you’ll find a nice bit on how everything  thoughtful is somewhat political. Give a listen.

It is a nice overview of items you can find in this Month’s Previews.

Previews for those uninitiated is a prE-ordering system for comic books. Especially with the outrageous cover prices Marvel and now DC are charging (I’m telling you, Brian Bendis was a Trojan horse for Marvel 🙂 , jumping ship to eff up DC’s lower, and more successful $2.99 pricing structure. I was picking up a good # of DC $2.99 books, but suddenly Bendis defects to DC, after defending Marvel’s awful business practices and price points for years, and now DC’s books (with a couple welcome holdouts) have shifted to the higher; and in my view, too expensive, Marvel price point of $3.99 minimum).

Pre-Ordering comics allows you to save (depending on the service you use) between 30% and 50% off cover price.

A sizable savings off the no-discount you would receive if you wait to  get the books off-the racks at your local retailer, when they come out.

The deadline to order upcoming comics at a sizeable discount, this month is 25 july. So in a few days at the time of this writing.

Thankfully there are several online retailers that allow you to preorder your comics and have them mailed to you. I’ve tried them all, Milehigh, Westfield, DCBS, to name a few, and while not the cheapest, the one I find to be the best, with the best packing, best customer service, and best quality of service and ease of use… is MY COMIC SHOP.

Order them here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice/previews?AffID=200301P01

Come back in a little bit and I’ll have up my list of must buys! I will give you a hint, fire marvel and dc (the movies are much better than the books anyhow. case in point, in the comics they moronically feel the need to both ride off the coattails of the movie version of nick fury, and diminish him at the same time, Black nick fury as white nick fury’s son??? that is just stupid.

what moronic writer came up with that lame, and more than a bit wasp centric idea?

Oh nick spencer. 

yeah, why am i not surprised. 🙂

I KID because i love! Unlike the moronic anti social justice warrior crowD, [basically any idiot who thinkS he is so witty for having a new short hand derogatory label, ‘SJW’, to try and diminish something that scares them, and they don’t quite understand. if they weren’t attacking sjw, they would be burning crosses no doubt. :). if you are subscribed to these clickbait morons on youtube or etc, stop being part of the problem and unsubscribe from them.

] i do not give an eff about cap being a hydra agent for two minutes. i just didm’t buy them.but it enforces a precedent of spencer perhaps not having the greatest ideas. 🙂

here’s an idea. marvel has a multiverse. why can’t the sam jackson nick fury, be his own man. from that splendid multiverse, where he is called nick fury and he is black, and his dad was black, and his mom was black, and his grand parents were black, like the sam jackson nick fury would have to be with a complexion that dark. 🙂

and that should be a great and fine thing! we have some mixed, melting pot families. that’s fine. but we have a lot that are not, and that should be fine too!

why does he have to be a junior to the wwii version of nick fury. it is worse than being blindly bigoted, which a lot of supposedly liberal people are… it is just stupid.

that is why the movies are better than the comics, they have better writers, and other creative people. and don’t get me started on tom king’s batman. talk about the emperor not having any clothes.

tom king is a fantastic writer. his ‘vision’ is i think, without argument, a masterpiece. However there is a repetition to king’s writing, and having the suicidal, deranged, falling apart protagonist that worked so well for the vision, as his goto archetype for every subsequent story is a failing.

it worked less well for the omega men, jury is out on on mister miracle, and it absolutely does not fit with batman. i am suicide? as the definition of batman? it is  the absolute oposite of everything it would take to endure, which is the definition of batman that rings the truest.

I took the trouble of getting and reading the five volumes of his batman run from the library, it is not good. i think he has one voice for all his male protaginists, and it is a voice that doesn’t fit his batman run. that said, when he gets away from his ‘not working’ longer storyline, and sticks to self contained stories, that’s when you see the genius of tom king.

HIS BATMAN ANNUAL 2 is case in point. forget trying to weave this long form story, and delivering issue after issue that underwhelms, give me a 100 stand alone stories of the quality of batman annual 2.

unfortunately he took the wrong thing from the success of that annual. he thought it was about milking that one storyline for a hundred issues, the strength of that issue is it was complete onto itself. king is trying to do doug moench, when he should be trying to do frank robbins. self contained over long form

 

How is that for an aside?! :))

so all that to say fire the over-priced, variant and gimmick saturated marvel and dc comics , and get periodical comics from people who respect their readers and just want to tell good stories in the periodical format. marvel and dc, do have fantastic creators, but they are being sabotaged by $4 to $8 ‘high way robbery’ price points. i absolutely want to read coates’ captain america and black panther, priests’ deathstroke, same for many other books. i refuse to pay their price gouging amounts. rather do what i do, wait for them to be collected and either read it for free from the library or buy it at a discount at your local bookstore or online store.

marvel and dc, are pridefully ignorant, a catching disease as our political landscape shows too well. such ignorance can not be reasoned with, it must be actively chastised the only way the pridefully ignorant understand, in dollars and cents.

stop buying them in periodical form. job done.

and instead buy periodicals from companies that are still excited by that format and price point. buy from the new marvel and the new dc for the 21st century.

 

I’m talking of the Canadian company CHAPTER HOUSE, AND THE AMERICAN COMPANY ALTERNA. AT LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE OF MARVEL AND DC, I BUY EVERYTHING THESE GUYS PUT OUT. THESE GUYS MAY JUST BE THE NEW, AND GOOD, MARVEL AND DC. 🙂

 

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Slims vs Comic Books! Diamond Preorders for books shipping July 2014!

The internet has made buying anything, a process far easier than I think we truly grasp. The technological leaps ahead that we have done in a few scant decades, taken for granted, underplayed and underacknowledged by a population seeking to numb itself from its horrors, by conversely meeting with jaded cynicism its wonders.

Reading is likewise much changed in the age of the atom.

This post particularly, concerns itself with reading slims (my name for the product hard-headedly referred to as a comic-book. Hardheadedly because it is neither typically humorous or a book).

The term ‘Slim’ poises it correctly as something periodic and sleek and a bit sexy and just as well suited for grownups as Dvds or books or paintings.

Today’s recommended Slims are:

Slims suffer from a bit of a distribution issue. For the most part you are not going to find them in the spinner racks of convenience stores any longer, nor in the big box superstores of say a Target or Walmart. So while Graphic Novels have never been more popular or influential in our society, the serialzed, periodic form of the Graphic Novel, the Slim, suffers from a visibity issue. They are hidden away for the most part in niche stores, called “direct market comic stores” that our misnomers that will not attract anyone but those already in the know, or nostalgia seekers.

It is an insular inbred model that does not shine its light beyond its own living room, and as such is not new reader friendly. Which is a shame, because as someone who has grown up with this oddest of hobbies and artforms, here in 2014 the width and breadth of story and art of the medium has never been better.

From scifi to mystery to historical drama to horror to humor to instructional to spy thriller, you name a genre and there is a writer, artist producing great work in this medium of Slims, of graphic literature.

That said there is, as in any medium, a lot of garbage out there, particularly in the most visible genre of Slims… the Superhero comic. A genre hampered by monopolistic collusion to the point the very term Super-hero has been jointly trademarked by the colluding companies of Marvel and DC. An idiotic trademark, attempting to own a term as much a part of the cultural venacular as God or myth or justice. But it is the choices of fawning to uncreative monopolistic interests that results in flooding the medium with a lot of noise, a lot of bad books.

The rising popularity of digital gives new options to find books, which is a great thing, however it also increases the odds that the books you come across will be bad, will be the noise rather than the signal.

And with Slims being $2.99 at best and $3.99 on the worse end, you can’t afford to experiment at this price point. This is no longer the day of 25cent comics, so each purchase of $2.99 or $3.99 has to justify itself. The $2.99 or $3.99 has to earn its value against a world rife with options from gaming to streaming to dvds to itunes to traditional books.

Which is why preordering is a pretty fantastic idea. Diamond is the monopoly that distributes Slims. Retailers order from them two months in advance. Customers like you and I preorder from Retailers. The benefit of preordering from your retailer… discounts of typically 35% to 40% off!!! WooHoo! Sign me up! :).

Now that said, that discount only means something if you’re ordering a great book. For a crappy book even getting 99% off is not reason enough to get the book.

So the following are books you can order by the end of May, at a discount, for July shipping. I’ve done the homework for you! 🙂

MAY140044
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1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*1 FOR $1 MIND MGMT #1 (O/A)*
MAY140047
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1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*1 FOR $1 STAR WARS (O/A) (C: 1-0-0)*
MAY140048
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1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*1 FOR $1 THE MASSIVE #1 (O/A)*
MAY140050
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1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #1 (OF 8) *Special Discount*
MAY140010
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1 @ $1.75 = $1.75*GHOST #6*
MAY140062
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*GREAT PACIFIC #18 (MR)*
MAY140707
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*MANIFEST DESTINY #8*
MAY140712
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*MERCENARY SEA #6*
MAY140713
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #2 (MR)*
MAY140719
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*REVIVAL #22 (MR)*
MAY140723
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*SAGA #21 (MR)*
MAY140726
*
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Go here to order : http://www.dcbservice.com/
Tell em HT sent ya!

The return of UNDER THE RADAR Vol2 Iss 2! Pt 2 of 2!

Here’s the remainder of recommended pre-order items that will arrive in stores in January (Along with links to buy current issues):

IMAGE COMICS

$3.50 INFINITE VACATION #1

story NICK SPENCER art & Cover CHRISTIAN WARD JANUARY 12 32 PAGES / FC $3.50 WELCOME TO THE INFINITE VACATION, WHERE CHANGING YOUR LIFE IS ALWAYS JUST A CLICK AWAY! Mark lives in a world where alternate realities are up for sale, and buying and trading your way through unlimited variations of yourself is as commonplace as checking your email or updating your status. But when other “hims” start dying suddenly and he meets a mysterious girl who wants nothing to do with “life-changing,” he’ll learn the truth about the universe he stumbles through, and what happens when your vacation turns on you.

I’m hearing good things about this Nick Spencer, I’m pretty sure this is the 3rd of 4 books I’m picking up by him. Hoping the story and writer… impress.

$2.99 INVINCIBLE #80

story ROBERT KIRKMAN art & cover RYAN OTTLEY & FCO PLASCENCIA JANUARY 19 32 PAGES / FC $2.99 DINOSAURUS returns! Hellbent on righting what he sees as wrong in the world he comes face-to-face with Invincible and the result is devastating.

$3.50 MORNING GLORIES #6

story NICK SPENCER art JOE EISMA cover RODIN ESQUELJO JANUARY 19 32 PAGES / FC $3.50 Mutually Assured Destruction. “Nick Spencer gives each of our six teens a distinct voice, whereas Joe Eisma gives them each a distinct look. I think this is a case where one is not better than the other, they expertly mesh into a fairly flawless book.” -Newsarama Best Shots “Verdict is that anyone that loved the Runaways needs to check this out. It’s a strong story with awesome artwork. This will be a book I will watch very closely!” -Eric Ratcliff, Comic Related

I was late to the game with the Luna Brothers’ THE SWORD , which was a great series that recently ended. I’m getting the same vibe from MORNING GLORIES. You can pick up the previous issues here.

$3.99 PROOF ENDANGERED #2

story ALEX GRECIAN art & cover RILEY ROSSMO JANUARY 12 32 PAGES / FC $3.99 “ENDANGERED,” Part Two–Proof’s deadliest enemy is going to kill the people Proof cares about. And he’s willing to destroy all of Chinatown to get at them. Elvis and Ginger are in for the fight of their lives and there’s no way they can win unless Proof surrenders himself.

I missed out on the first series of PROOF, so happy to get on board with this new series.

$99.99 SWORD COMPLETE COLL DLX HC #1

If you can afford it, I highly recommend the Luna Brothers’ THE SWORD. I own the original issues and I’m still tempted to get this oversized collected edition. It’s odd about the art of the Luna Brothers, the cover artwork I don’t typically find impressive, it can look very stilted, but their interiors I find excellent. They are very good storytellers. Try preordering this book to get it for at least 30% off.

$100.00 WALKING DEAD OMNIBUS HC VOL 03 (MR) #3

story ROBERT KIRKMAN art & cover CHARLIE ADLARD & CLIFF RATHBURN JANUARY 5 560 PAGES / B&W $100.00 S&N LTD ED $150.00 This deluxe hardcover features the next 24 issues of the hit series along with the covers for the issues all in one massive, oversized slip-cased volume. Perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a heavy object with which to fend off the walking dead. Strictly limited to a print run of 3000. Collects THE WALKING DEAD #49-72 WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

I had owned the previous two omnibuses, but sold them both for multiples of what I paid for them, and now I’m kicking myself, because it would be nice to have them back. So I’m definitely buying this one. The quality goes up and down, but I’m generally now convinced of writer Kirkman’s skill, and am along for the ride. And I don’t even like ghoul/zombie movies or books!

$3.50 WEIRD WORLD OF JACK STAFF #9

story PAUL GRIST art / cover PAUL GRIST & BILL CRABTREE JANUARY 26 32 PAGES / FC $3.50 Sgt. States is the embodiment of the American Dream–a symbol of hope in a time of despair. He’s also a bloodsucking vampire killer, but everyone has their dark side. But what could make Sgt. States seek out the help of his former teammate, Jack Staff, and the woman he killed, Becky Burdock?

$2.99 MURDERLAND #5

story STEPHEN SCOTT art DAVID HAHN & GUILLEM MARI JANUARY 19 32 PAGES / FC $2.99 “LOOSE ENDS & FRIENDS”–Before The Arabber renews his pledge of non-violence, he has a pair of loose ends to tie up: The Fairy Bombs. But to any roller derby squad, there are more than just two players. It may be hard to kill the Arabber, but it isn’t impossible. WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

DARK HORSE COMICS

$24.99 FINDER LIBRARY TP VOL 1

Carla Speed McNeil (W/A) On sale Mar 16 b&w, 616 pages $24.99 TPB, 6″ x 9″ Lose yourself in a world beyond your wildest dreams… Since 1996, Finder has set the bar for science-fiction storytelling, with a lush, intricate world and compelling characters. Now, Dark Horse is proud to present the first four story arcs of Carla Speed McNeil’s groundbreaking series in a single, affordably priced volume! Follow enigmatic hero Jaeger through a “glorious, catholic pileup of high-tech SF, fannish fantasy, and street-level culture clash” (Village Voice), and discover the lush world and compelling characters that have carved Finder a permanent place in the pantheon of independent comics. * This first of two Finder Library volumes collects the multiple Eisner Award-nominated story arcs Sin Eater, King of Cats, and fan-favorite Talisman. * Introduction by Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics).

IDW

$39.99 AMAZING 3D COMICS HC

(W/A) Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bob Powell, Al Jaffee, Russ Heath, Milt Stein, Alex Toth, and more (C) Various Before there were 3-D movies, there were 3-D comics! In the mid-fifties, comic-book great Joe Kubert hit upon the idea of doing comics in 3-D, which resulted in some of the best-selling comics of all time–print runs in the millions! Eisner Award-winner Craig Yoe collects the best of these stories and samples by artists like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Bob Powell, Al Jaffee, Russ Heath, Milt Stein, Alex Toth, and many more. Carefully re-mastered and reproduced in large format so that every dynamic, eye-popping effect can be looked at in astonishment. The comics cover every genre: superhero, jungle adventures, horror comics, science fiction, funny animals, satire, western and romance! The fascinating behind the scenes introduction is by the mastermind behind 3-D comics himself, Mr. Joe Kubert! Rare art and ephemera as only Yoe Books does it. And, yes, of course, this book comes with special FREE 3-D GLASSES! BUT WAIT! There’s more! This must-have hardback book has a special lenticular 3-D cover that puts the amazing in Amazing 3-D Comics! Expected in-store date: 1/19/11 HC, 9×11, 176pgs, FC $39.99

AARDVARK VANAHEIM

$3.00 GLAMOURPUSS #17

(W/A) Dave Sim glamourpuss “tees off” on “honor killings” by certain unnamed South Asian and Middle Eastern religions while Dave Sim provides the cover feature, “The Wit and Wisdom of JFK.” In the History of Photorealism in Comics section, the events of September 6, 1956 continue to unfold. 24pgs, B&W $3.00

I’m not a fan of Dave Sim’s views, but I find his artwork/history rumination in the pages of this mag, extremely compelling. Pick up current and previous issues
here.

ANTARCTIC PRESS

$3.99 SARAH PALIN VS WORLD ONE-SHOT

(W) Fred Perry (A) Ben Dunn Sarah Palin — politician, author, commentator… maverick. She’s on the way to meet her dream job. But to get it, she’s got to defeat some of the nastiest opponents in the country. From career politicos to “gotcha” media men to secret service agents, they all want some control of her dream. Has she got what it takes to beat the world? You betcha! 32pgs, B&W $3.99

Not a Palin fan. But to be fair I don’t like most people, but still this looks idiotic enough to give me a chuckle or two.

$3.99 TIME LINCOLN CUBA COMMANDER ONE-SHOT

(W/A) Fred Perry Time Lincoln his Travelers Team journey to the Bay of Pigs on April 1st, 1961 to face Cuba Commander and his Chronocommunists! The villains plan to have their own monstrous agents replace key CIA operatives who are running a secret mission in Cuba, turning the whole country into a massive atomic “time bomb” factory. Things turn sour for both Time Lincoln and Void Stalin when Cuba Commander double-crosses his leader and traps everyone within a paradoxical vortex. Now Stalin’s only hope for escape is the Travelers Team, and Lincoln’s salvation lies with the Chronocommunist cabal! 32pgs, FC $3.99

Wow! What an insane description. Have no idea what it means, but I’m interested.

$3.99 SOCORRO #2 (OF 2)

(W) Steven Grant (A) Tony O’ Donnell, Adam Sutherland Socorro is a CIA-trained former soldier of a brutal Latin American dictatorship. When he finds that he cannot stomach the atrocities of his superiors, he escapes to Los Angeles and begins a one-man crusade to bring justice to the poor, the disenfranchised, and those with nowhere else to turn. Created and written by comic legend Steven Grant (Punisher, 2 Guns)! 32pgs, FC $3.99

APE ENTERTAINMENT

FREAKSHOW #1 (OF 3)
(W) David Server, Jackson Lanzing (A) Joe Suitor Ape Entertainment’s long-awaited dark superhero epic launches with a giant-sized debut issue! When five refugee survivors develop monstrous mutations from a devastating chemical explosion that leaves their city in ruins, they band together to seek revenge. But do these terrifying new abilities make them monsters — or heroes? 48pgs, FC (1 of 3) $3.95

$6.95 TEDDY SCARES RASPUTINS REVENGE GN

(W) Jim Hankins (A) Various The Teddy Scares are back for vengeance in the second season premiere! Artist Rob Guillory and Rolando Mallada head up a twisted group of artists in this latest installment, which features a revelation about Rita’s past and a fight for the dump with the terrifying Rasputin! (C: 0-0-1) 6×9, 52pgs, FC $6.95

ARCHAIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

$14.95 TUMOR HC W/ DUST JACKET

(W) Joshua Hale Fialkov (A) Noel Tuazon Frank Armstrong has an inoperable brain tumor that’s killing him. In his final days, with his body, senses, and mind failing him, he’s going to do the one thing that he’s never been able to do before — save the girl. After debuting on the Amazon Kindle and holding the #1 spot on the Kindle Graphic Novel Bestseller list for over two months, Archaia is pleased to bring this acclaimed graphic novel to print! (NOV090604) (C: 0-1-2) MATURE THEMES HC, 6×9, 224pgs, FC $14.95

$3.95 FREAKSHOW #1 (OF 3)

(W) David Server, Jackson Lanzing (A) Joe Suitor Ape Entertainment’s long-awaited dark superhero epic launches with a giant-sized debut issue! When five refugee survivors develop monstrous mutations from a devastating chemical explosion that leaves their city in ruins, they band together to seek revenge. But do these terrifying new abilities make them monsters — or heroes? 48pgs, FC (1 of 3) $3.95

ASPEN MLT INC

$2.99 LADY MECHANIKA #2 CVR A BENITEZ

(W/A) Joe Benitez THERE’S A NEW LADY IN TOWN! From the imaginative mind of Joe Benitez with colors by the incomparable Peter Steigerwald, comes this all-new supernatural action-adventure series! The tabloids dubbed her “LADY MECHANIKA”, the sole survivor of a psychotic serial killer’s three-year rampage through London. Found locked in an abandoned laboratory amidst countless corpses and body parts, with her own limbs amputated and replaced with mechanical components, her life began anew. With no memory of her captivity or her former life, LADY MECHANIKA eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. But, she has never stopped searching for answers… Now, disturbed by haunting memories from her past, LADY MECHANIKA is consumed by a need for answers and focuses all her efforts on investigating the mystery of the Mechanical Girl. The trail leads her to a traveling show run by a band of gypsies, where help might not come as easily as anticipated. But even with the aid of the Gypsy Queen, can LADY MECHANIKA discover who created the Mechanical Girl and why? And will the answers bring her one step closer to uncovering the truth about herself? LADY MECHANIKA#2 is in stores January 12th, 2011! FC, 32pgs $2.99

BONGO COMICS

FUTURAMA COMICS #53
(W) Rogers (A) Kazaleh, Pepoy A volatile cargo, a damaged ship, no food or water or means of communication to the outside world, and a renegade group of cannibalistic robots are all part of the Planet Express crew’s latest mission. And this time it looks like Professor Farnsworth will be paying his employees in wages of fear! 32pgs, FC $2.99

$2.80 SIMPSONS CLASSICS #27
(W/A) Matt Groening When Moe’s gall bladder goes on the fritz, Homer, Carl, Lenny, and Barney are forced to face the prospect of life without beer — unless Moe’s Bar’s best barflies bound from their barstools becoming bartenders to save their buddy’s bread and butter. Then, Homer drives a tank to work, escalating tensions and hurl Springfield toward the brink of destruction! Magazine, SC, 64pgs, FC $3.99

$2.10 SIMPSONS COMICS #174
(W) Boothby (A) Ortiz, DeCarlo While Lisa’s best humanitarian instincts lead her to restore an injured owl to health, Homer’s base behavior towards his fellow man intrigues Mr. Burns, who takes advantage of those qualities in a “get rich quick” real estate scheme. SC, 32pgs, FC $2.99

BOOM! STUDIOS

$3.00 (save $0.99) 28 DAYS LATER #19
(W) Michael Alan Nelson (A) Ale Aragon Britain is destroyed. The U.S. Military is trying to re-build the island. Someone in their ranks has their sights on Selena. Can Clint and Selena survive the Infected while also being hunted down by a rogue agent? You’ll know by the end of this senses-shattering issue of the horror series that continues to shock fans everywhere! Cover by Sean Phillips. SC, 32pgs, FC $3.99

I was not a fan of the movies, but I’m hearing good things about this series. Pick up previous issues or the trade
here.

$3.00 (save $0.99) WALT DISNEYS COMICS & STORIES #715
(W/A) Daan Jippes, Carl Barks, Don Rosa Classics are back at BOOM! Celebrating 70 years of Walt Disney’s comics, this oversized anniversary issue proudly presents some of the greatest Disney stories ever told! Join Donald, Mickey and the gang for the unforgettable adventure “70th Heaven!” by Daan Jippes in its American publishing debut. Check out the previously untitled Li’l Bad Wolf/Donald Duck tale by Gill Turner in its first appearance since 1950! See Ruud Straatman & Don Rosa’s Daisy Duck story “Forget Me Not” from 1989, and the 1969 Carl Barks written “Life Savers” story, redrawn by Jippes in the Barks style and staring those Junior Woodchucks — published for the first time in the U.S.! (C: 1-0-0) 40pgs, FC $3.99 (preview artwork is available)

BROADSWORD COMICS

$2.95 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #66

(W/A) Jim Balent “The Trickster God,” Part 1: “Loki.” A thunder god falls to earth. A trickster god demands that Raven Hex be his mistress. Salem is cut off from the rest of the world. Tarot and her mother are imprisoned. A lone Graveyard Guardian with a legendary hammer in his hands sets off on a fatal quest to take on a God. MATURE THEMES SC, 32pgs, FC $2.95

KING HELL

$16.95 SHINY BEASTS GN

(W/A) Veitch (W) Alan Moore (A) S.R. Bissette Another showcase of Rick Veitch’s innovative Epic Magazine stories that seared the minds of a generation of Marvelites. These nine fully-painted fantasy shorts create unimagined worlds that entertain, enlighten, shock, and horrify. Completely remastered from the original art, this volume includes “Love Doesn’t Last Forever” (written by Alan Moore) and “Monkey See” (with S.R. Bissette). (FEB073614) MATURE THEMES SC, 10×8, 84pgs, FC $16.95

MOONSTONE

$2.99 SPIDER #1

(W) Martin Powell, Gary Phillips (A) Pablo Marcos, Roberto Castro For the first time ever, since his beginnings in 1933, The Spider now has his own ongoing straight-up comic book series! The most relentless destroyer of the guilty the world has ever seen is back in all of his “bloody pulp” action! There was no escape for Nita Van Sloan, abducted by a horde of inhuman monstrosities, doomed to become the victim of a diabolical experiment. The Spider, Master of Men, strikes back with a vengeance, fighting alone against the brutally brilliant creator of the Frankenstein Legion, in a desperate race against time to save the only woman who shares his darkest secrets! Covers by Dan Brereton and Doug Pagacz. (C: 0-1-0) 32pgs, FC $2.99

$7.99 SPIDER BURNING LEAD FOR THE WALKING DEAD GN

(W/A) Mark Wheatley Eisner Award-winner Mark Wheatley brings us a plague of blood crazed zombies that are spreading across the city. Only the swift cold justice of The Spider stands between the remnants of humanity and the hoards of the Cannibal Queen. Will even The Spider have enough burning lead for the walking dead? 7×10, 64pgs, B&W $7.99

NBM

$20.00 FRACTURE OF THE UNIVERSAL BOY GN

(W/A) Michael Zulli The acclaimed Sandman illustrator retreated for years to produce this semi-autobiographical tale that takes readers into the most treacherous recesses of the human experience. Nearly two decades in the making, Fracture is less a graphic novel and more a self-exorcism onto the printed page, evidence of how emotionally explosive graphic novels can be. MATURE THEMES SC, 208pgs, B&W $20.00

ONI

$3.99 SIXTH GUN #8

(W) Cullen Bunn (A/C) Brian Hurtt In a decaying mansion in the blackest heart of the Louisiana bog, Drake uncovers more secrets of the Six… and angers a spirit that wants to ensure the gunslinger never leaves the swamp alive! It’s man versus some of the meanest man-eaters to ever crawl out of the marsh! FC, 32pgs $3.99

REBELLION

$19.99 COMPLETE BAD COMPANY TP

(W) Peter Milligan (A) Brett Ewins, Steve Dillon Danny Franks knew that the war against the Krool would be hell. They kill without compassion, taking prisoners for torture and experimentation; their armies are infinite; their weapons are horrifying. But Danny had no idea that the real horrors would be his comrades — he’s in Bad Company! (C: 0-0-1) SC, 320pgs, PC $19.99

$22.50 GREYSUIT PROJECT MONARCH TP

(W) Pat Mills (A) John Higgins The covert operatives known as Greysuits enforce the British Government’s interests in the world’s most dangerous places. Specially conditioned to have heightened strength and reflexes, Greysuits are the most deadly secret agents alive. (C: 0-0-1) SC, 128pgs, FC $22.50

TITAN

$75.00 SUCKER PUNCH VISIONS O/T FILM LTD SGN ED HC

(W) Zack Snyder (A) Various From Zack Snyder, the director of 300, Dawn of the Dead, and Watchmen, comes Sucker Punch, an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. In this official book, Snyder guides you through the many amazing worlds and characters of the film, with eye-popping production art and stunning photographs by Clay Enos (Watchmen: Portraits). This gorgeous limited variant comes in a slipcase exclusive to this edition, in a print run limited to 750 numbered copies, each signed on a special bound-in sheet by Zack Snyder himself! (C: 0-1-2) HC, 11×8.5, 256pgs, FC $75.00

VANGUARD PRODUCTIONS

$39.95 ART OF NEAL ADAMS HC

(W/A) Neal Adams From his Ben Casey newspaper strip to Creepy magazine work to his groundbreaking work in comic books, Neal Adams’ work serves as an inspiration for every illustrator who works in the field. Included in this collection are classic and rare works spanning the artist’s noted career and a unique selection of Neal’s seldom-seen paintings. Fully annotated by the artist, this is the one we have all waited for. This Deluxe Signed Slipcased Edition, which comes with 16 additional pages of vintage Adams artwork is a Previews Exclusive edition. A standard hardcover is also available. DELUXE SIGNED EDITION (MAY101154)–HC, 9×12, 152pgs, FC $59.95 REGULAR HARDCOVER (MAY101155)–HC, 9×12, 136pgs, FC $39.95

There are quite a few sites you can do online preorders from. DCB Service is a popular one among comic book pod-casters. However, I don’t use DCB Service because their site requires javascript for functionality. And I don’t support javascript… ever. So that and Flash required sites are probably the two easiest online ways to stop me from giving you my attention or my money.

So some other alternatives are Westfield, Mile High Comics, G-Mart and Lone Star Comics.

That’s all for this installment, quick and to the point. 🙂 .

The return of UNDER THE RADAR Vol2 Iss 1! Pt 2 of 2! Previews Preorders for Comic Books Shipping in December!

Here’s the remainder of recommended pre-order items that will arrive in stores in December (Along with prices after discount):

Comic Books
DC COMICS (DC UNIVERSE)

$1.95 (save $1.04) DOOM PATROL #17
$1.95 (save $1.04) JONAH HEX #62
$1.95 (save $1.04) POWER GIRL #19
$1.95 (save $1.04) REBELS #23
DC COMICS (VERTIGO)

$1.50 (save $1.49) HOUSE OF MYSTERY #32
IDW PUBLISHING

$2.80 (save $1.19) IRON SIEGE #1 (OF 3)
IMAGE COMICS

$1.95 (save $1.04) CHEW #16
$1.95 (save $1.04) MURDERLAND #4
$2.60 (save $1.39) PROOF ENDANGERED #1
$1.95 (save $1.04) WALKING DEAD #80
MARVEL COMICS (HEROES)

$1.95 (save $1.04) SHIELD #5
$1.95 (save $1.04) THUNDERBOLTS #151
ONI PRESS INC.

$2.80 (save $1.19) SIXTH GUN #7

There are quite a few sites you can do online preorders from. DCB Service is a popular one among comic book pod-casters. However, I don’t use DCB Service because their site requires javascript for functionality. And I don’t support javascript… ever. So that and Flash required sites are probably the two easiest online ways to stop me from giving you my attention or my money.

So some other alternatives are Westfield, Mile High Comics, G-Mart and Lone Star Comics.

That’s all for this installment, quick and to the point. 🙂 .

The return of UNDER THE RADAR Vol2 Iss 1! Pt 1 of 2! Previews Preorders for Comic Books Shipping in December!

UNDER THE RADAR was an experiment I started a while ago that I was quite proud of. Basically a very cool PDF I launched out to comic book retailers and fans to highlight titles you would otherwise miss, or get lost in the deluge from bigger publishers flooding the market.

It was fun, and very intensive, and very time consuming, so when time became an issue it fell by the wayside.

But I notice my old UNDER THE RADAR posts get a lot of hits, and even though a lot of people are doing preview podcasts, those can be quite time consuming, when what most people are looking for are a quickly viewed list of recommended items they might otherwise miss.

So with that in mind, UNDER THE RADAR is back, but in a FAR simpler format. No PDF, no long diatribes. just a monthly listing of new titles to preorder or be on the lookout for. Okay without further ado, this is a list of a/titles you can purchase now, at the time of this writing Oct 2010, and b/titles you can preorder this month through your local retailer for December 2010 arrival.

Okay Section 1. Comics I recommend purchasing for Oct 2010:[See tomorrow’s post for this info]
(The links will take you to My comic Shop.com where you can view and if you choose, purchase the titles in question. All purchases done through the links help this blog with a few pennies to continue. So get great books, and support this blog in one fell swoop.)


    Section 2: Comics to pre-order (by November 1st) for December 2010 arrival:

    Marvel

No letters pages, no back matter, ads breaking up the story.

All these odd decisions from Marvel give no incentive to buy marvel issues monthly. Seemingly, they don’t care enough to give you a something beyond what you would get in the trade paperback, a real sense of a Stan Lee dialog, or sense of a monthly behind the scenes look at the creative process, so generally I say eff em. I’m talking about the publishing policies and policy makers of Marvel, not generally the creators, (as marvel has some great creators, but perhaps in service of not the greatest decision makers) but rather the lackluster way the creations are fed to you.

There are two types of companies these days, in my opinion. Companies that value you as a monthly reader (and provide the extras and the pricing to show that support) and that type of company you should support the individual issues with your dollars, and on the other side of the coin there are those companies that pretty much insult their monthly reader-base, and that’s a company you should really relegate to picking up at the library, or borrowing from a friend, or browsing the trade at a bookstore.

Marvel is the latter type of company.

So generally if there is a storyline you’re hearing decent things about, avoid the overpriced, and featureless single issues and wait for the trade, or pick up the books in the quarter bin, but don’t pay $4 for what I see as Marvel’s pretty evident air of disrespect to their potential readership. So all that said are of the 100s of products Marvel is releasing for December arrival, what are the ones that meet my criteria of giving you back-matter (letters pages, columns, articles, etc) and sufficient bang for your buck? Well I’m glad you asked 🙂 They are:

$2.99 SHIELD #5

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN Penciled by DUSTIN WEAVER Cover by GERALD PAREL Historical Variant by DUSTIN WEAVER “The Forgotten Machines of XXXXXX XXXXX” The story that has taken the comic book world by storm marches on with an issue so secretive that we can’t even reveal the full title! WHO IS THE NIGHT MACHINE?! Find your answer here from Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR) and Dustin Weaver (X-MEN). Every issue has sold out and gone into multiple printings. IT’S GOOD! WE PROMISE! Don’t miss the sleeper hit of 2010! 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this so far self-contained series by Jonathan Hickman of NIGHTLY NEWS fame. It also offers that backmatter I was alluding to, and the price point as $2.99 is right.

You can find issues 1-4 of SHIELD here:

$81.25 (save $43.75) THOR BY WALTER SIMONSON OMNIBUS HC
Written by WALTER SIMONSON Penciled by WALTER SIMONSON with SAL BUSCEMA Covers by WALTER SIMONSON Considered by many to be the greatest run on Thor ever, Walt Simonson’s classic tales of the God of Thunder are collected here–completely remastered from the original artwork and newly colored by Steve Oliff! And there are too many timeless tales to count: The Casket of Ancient Winters! The death of Odin! The origins of Asgard! The sacrifice of the Executioner! Thor as a frog! The Mutant Massacre! The curse of Hela! The debut of Thor’s body armor! Guest-starring Beta Ray Bill, Nick Fury and the Avengers! Featuring the threats of Fafnir the dragon, Loki, Lorelei, Malekith the Dark Elf, Surtur, Hela, the Titanium Man, Kurse, Zaniac, the Marauders, the Absorbing Man, Fin Fang Foom, the Destroyer and the Midgard Serpent! Collecting THOR #337-355, #357-369 & #371-382 and BALDER THE BRAVE #1-4. 1192 PGS./Rated A …$125.00

This is really, really expensive. But you are getting around 50 issues worth of comics, and Simonson’s run, unlike many of the omnibuses, is really deserving of such a format. And were you to buy the original issues, you might be able to come in a little cheaper (plus you would get the letters-pages, which I don’t think the omnibus will include, if you can’t tell I’m a huge fan of conversational type extras), but the hassle of doing that compared to just having one large book with everything in it to put on your shelf… it’s an individual call. For me, I know these issues, and with the pre-order discount, I’m in.

$2.99 THUNDERBOLTS #151

Written by JEFF PARKER Penciled by KEV WALKER Cover by GREG LAND Come sit by the fire and prepare to be frightened…we’re going to tell you a “Ghost Story! The Thunderbolts own psychologist, Moonstone, peels back the layers and delves into the mind and past of the brilliant and mysterious paranoid known only to the world as Ghost! How did his war on the corporate system begin and what made him leave his humanity behind? Even his hardened criminal teammates will be forced to admit that some things are better left unknown. Learn more than you ever wanted to about Iron Man’s fearsome foe in the latest issue of the series that has IGN.com raving: “I can’t recommend this book enough–you need to be reading THUNDERBOLTS.” 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99 (changed from $3.99)

I’ve never bought an issue of THUNDERBOLTS. But I’m aware of them. The fact that they dropped the price on this series, and it sounds like a done in one story, and Jeff Parker is writing, has me intrigued enough to plunk down my money. But it better have some extras/letterspage if they want to keep my money coming.

uhh– yeah that’s all for Marvel. There glut of product actually works against them. If there was one X-men book, or one spiderman book, or even one Thor book, I would be interested in reading it, but I’m not going to try and sort through 20 different takes on one character to find the ‘great’ one, the pure singular vision. So because of Editorial’s diarrea of production 🙂 I buy none of those books.

Well to end on a positive, come back tomorrow as I get into the really good stuff with Image, Boom, Dark Horse, Radical, DC and other great companies.