Jim: It is hard to believe that we are already looking at the April solicitations. One thing for sure is that Image is doing a lot of really diverse projects and unfortunately I believe some series may never make it to their conclusions.
Lee: Some? How about most? I have found that I enjoy Image much better when I wait for trades. Mostly because I know that I will get the entire story.
VIKING #1 script IVAN BRANDONart & cover NIC KLEIN APRIL 1 24 PAGES / FC $2.99
THE MOST VIOLENT CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD IN HISTORY! Finn and Egil, brothers - one bad, one worse - are trying to stab and steal their way to a seat at the table. Two men at war with the world around them. But today's the day the world fights back.
From the writer of THE CROSS BRONX comes a crime book for the 9th Century.Bi-monthly from Image Comics!
Jim: Maybe Garth Ennis does it better or maybe I’ve grown tired and the blood and gore stuff, but this series is not grabbing my attention.
Lee: The concept is no better, no worse than any other. I don’t think marketing it as a crime book is the right thing either. But Nic Klein is a very good artist and that has me interested. Unfortunately, I’m not sticking around for a bi-monthly book. It’s just not worth it so I’ll wait and hope for a trade.
You can visit Klein here.
THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT #1 (of 4)story MAC CARTER art TONY SALMONS cover ADAM BYRNE APRIL 8 40 PAGES / FC$3.99
When an ancient curse transforms young H.P. Lovecraft's darkest nightmares into reality, the timid writer becomes both an unwitting god of destruction and the only person who can battle the evil he's unleashed into the world. One part biography, one part horror pulp, one part fugitive thriller and you have... one weird tale indeed.
Retailers: Visit lovecraftcomic.com to redeem a limited edition poster and copy of Issue #1
Jim: Two remarks about this book. One, I need to read the original source material as I’m getting Lovecraft overload from comics. Second, they want retailers to visit their website to redeem a poster. You want the retailer to go out of their way to have to order a poster to promote your book, good luck with that marketing program.
Lee: Don’t worry about the source material. It’s 1920’s pulp stuff. Some of Lovecraft’s stuff was good, some was bad like everything else. You probably already know all the stories because they’ve all been in prints as comics at this point. This looks like a rip off of Edgar Allen Poo which was very good. Again, I’ll wait and see.
PHERONE OGNstory VIKTOR KALVACHEV, PATRICK BAGGATTA *& JIM SINKart & cover VIKTOR KALVACHEV APRIL 29 104 PAGES / FC$24.99
Following Eve, a dangerously seductive woman on the edge of her sanity, PHERONE weaves a dark storyline filled with espionage, mystery, and suspense. Armed with a killer body and a killer's mind, the femme fatale must hunt down clues to rediscover her own troubled past, bringing violence and danger to anyone who crosses her path.
Jim: I like that they are jumping right to a graphic novel for some stories, but the price point feels a little high considering there is no name recognition for any of the creators involved. I mean I like sex and violence as much as the next guy, but you need to let me see more of your product before I pony up $25.
Lee: If you need more go here. WOW! That is some great art. It’s really going to come down to the translation. I hope it good but from the previews I saw I am completely sold. Go look and see what I mean.
Jim: Okay, Lee is right, the art looks terrific and if it wasn’t $25 for 100 pages I could buy this book. Terrific art, but $25 for 104 pages is pushing it, yet I'm still considering it.
FRANK FRAZETTA'S NEANDERTHAL (ONE-SHOT)story CHRIS RYALLart TIM VIGIL & JAY FOTOScovers FRANK FRAZETTA, JAY FOTOS & NAT JONES APRIL 22 32 PAGES / FC$3.99
FRANK FRAZETTA'S NEANDERTHAL is the latest painting to be brought to vivid life in the true classic style of Frazetta Comics. CHRIS RYALL, TIM VIGIL and JAY FOTOS team up to present a tale of Paleolithic life fraught with danger at every turn. Beyond the usual threats from warring tribe and Sabertooth tigers, a tribe of Neanderthals runs up against a threat they couldn't possibly imagine... and can't possibly survive.
Jim: You know I think this gimmick has run its course. The Moon Maid one shot was weak and this sounds relatively lame. Unless they can come up with some more mini-series like the Death Dealer, they need to make sure they have a great single issue story before releasing it.
Lee: I’ve dropped off this bandwagon long ago. But someone must still be on because they keep releasing these “gems”
MR. UNIVERSE (ONE-SHOT) (RES)story VASSILIS GOGTZILAS & K.I. ZACHOPOULOSart & cover VASSILIS GOGTZILASA PRIL 15 32 PAGES / FC$3.50
Everybody needs Mr. Universe - the superhero whose adventures ring throughout the cosmos! Day and night, he watches over the city, offering help to the helpless! Without the luxury of a secret identity, unable to remain invisible among the crowds, he continues to fulfill his duty! Mr. Universe! The restless superhero! At least, that's what Tommy thought...
MR. UNIVERSE CAN TURN YOUR FAVORITE SUPERHERO TO DUST AT ANYTIME!
Jim: Was this re-solicited because the creators never delivered or because the sales numbers were too low and they are trying again. If the latter they are in trouble because I decided not to re-order this book.
Lee: I’m hard pressed to spend money on a one shot these days but this sounds interesting. Actually, I was more interested after I saw Gogtzilas blog here. I do wonder what Image is hoping to achieve between one-shots and bi-monthly books. Both are terrible ideas these days.
SMASH UNLEASHED! (ONE-SHOT)story JEPH LOEBart & cover ROB LIEFELD APRIL 22 32 PAGES / FC$2.99
Who or what is the SMASH! Captured and exiled by the Soviets in 1954, General Jacob Kurtz was transformed into something far greater and more terrifying than anyone ever imagined. His years lost to him, he is now captive of Project:Rebirth. Or is he? SMASH explodes back on the scene in this introductory one-shot that sets the stage for SMASH! to be UNLEASHED!
Jim: WOW, this is a nightmare come true. One of my absolute least favorite writers right now, teamed up with one of the absolute worse artists ever. What was this, a rejected Red Hulk script? I know Lee liked the Red Hulk stuff for its pure comic book big pictures and fight scenes, but I doubt he would have enjoyed it with Liefeld drawing it as opposed to Ed McGuiness.
Lee: This sounds awful even to me. Loeb doesn’t offend me like he does Jim but we’re both in agreement about Liefeld. An easy pass. It is amazing that one artist who was so hot, and so popular, has fallen soooo far.
APES AND BABES: THE ART OF FRANK CHO HC - GEM OF THE MONTHart & cover FRANK CHO APRIL 22 144 PAGES / FC$29.99
From the award-winning creator of LIBERTY MEADOWS, ZOMBIE KING and JUNGLE GIRL, comes APES AND BABES: THE ART OF FRANK CHO. This 144-page full color collection will showcase FRANK CHO's past and present illustrations and you will see why he's considered one of the top masters of the female form and fantastic beasts.
RETAILER WARNING: THIS BOOK MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES. BY THAT, WE MEAN THERE ARE BOOBS IN IT. C'MON. IT'S A FRANK CHO BOOK, DUDE.
Jim: I like to look at a nice rack as much as the next guy and apes are always good, but I have no interest in this book. Cho’s work is technically very good, but still is missing something.
Lee: I’ve had my fill of Cho art books. They’re nice. He’s got a great sense of style but I already have one on my shelf. I don’t need another.
IMAGE ILLUSTRATED CLASSICS, VOL. 1: MOBY DICK HCstory HERMAN MELVILLEadaptation BILL SIENKIEWICZ & DAN CHICHESTERart & cover BILL SIENKIEWICZ APRIL 848 PAGES / FC$12.99
The first volume in the Image Illustrated Classics Library brings sequential art master BILL SIENKIEWICZ's acclaimed adaptation of Herman Melville's monumental novel, MOBY DICK, into a re-mastered hardcover edition. Melville's classic tale of one man's ceaseless quest to conquer the white whale comes vividly adapted as only the creative mastermind behind STRAY TOASTERS could convey!
Jim: I still don’t think this would make me read this book.
Lee: Oh yeah it could. This is the only way I would read this book. I’ve talked about this before… it’s well, well worth the $13, even if you only look at the pictures. Go here to read a large preview.
PROOF #19 story ALEX GRECIANart & cover RILEY ROSSMO APRIL 29 32 PAGES / FC $3.50
"JULIA," Part Two
There's a killer loose in Victorian England and Scotland Yard suspects Proof's friends. Is the killer a circus performer? Meanwhile, the woman Proof loves chooses another man!
Jim: I’ll keep picking this book until everyone is reading it. More pure joy and brilliance then many comics ever generate and an obvious labor of love for these guys.
Lee: If you can keep picking this then I am going to pick Ducks every month in the Indies selection!
Jim: Fair trade off.
OVERLOOK #1 (OF 3) story JOSHUA WILLIAMSONart & cover ALEJANDRO ARAGON APRIL 8 32 PAGES / BW $3.50
Mickey "the Nickel" Nicholson will do anything for a buck. A dirty prize- fighter, Mickey is hired by a mobster gone straight to infiltrate an underground boxing outfit in the small corrupt town of Overlook. His goal: to find the mobster's stolen "rainy day" money and kill his wayward wife. In return, the mobster will assassinate a victim of Mickey's choice.
FOR FANS OF SIN CITY, CRIMINAL AND HARD-BOILED CRIME NOIR! HOT DAMES, SHADY CHARACTERS AND INNER MONOLOGUES, OVERLOOK'S GOT EVERYTHING A CRIME FAN COULD ASK FOR.
Jim: This is a Shadowline book and I will never order one of their mini-series again as they are the start of a story and very incomplete and then you never see the series again.
Lee: And now you see why I wait for the trades. It’s the only way to get complete stories these days. In a timely manner at least!
Jim: Even if they trade this, the the three issues are an incomplete story. Shadowline needs a new marketing plan.
Jim: An interesting month, but one that does not have me ordering anything new from Image.
Lee: Actually, Image seems to be slipping in quality if you ask me. There seem to be fewer, less interesting projects. But, to be fair, the new ones like Pherone, seem really really good.