Thursday, February 04, 2010

IDW Preview Reviews for April

Jim: I’m really having fun focusing on IDW. They have a good eclectic mix of products and seem to be doing a good job and willing to work with any and all parties.
Lee: IDW really has a great marketing strategy. Between newer offerings, and older strip reprints there’s something for everyone.

The Last Unicorn #1 by Peter S. Beagle, Peter B. Gillis (w) • Renae De Liz (a & c)
Whimsical. Lyrical. Poignant. Adapted for the first time from the acclaimed and beloved novel by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn is a tale for any age about the wonders of magic, the power of love, and the tragedy of loss. The unicorn, alone in her enchanted wood, discovers that she may be the last of her kind. Reluctant at first, she sets out on a journey to find her fellow unicorns, even if it means facing the terrifying anger of the Red Bull and malignant evil of the king who wields his power. Adapted by Peter B. Gillis and lushly illustrated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon. You can see Renae De Liz’s art here FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Jim: A pass for me, but certainly sounds like it could sell well to the right audience. What caught my eye was The Last Unicorn had to face The Red Bull. You know he will be wired!
Lee: This is a really tough decision for me. The kids and I love the animated movie (which we own) but none of us has ever read the book. I know the girls would like it but I wonder if it will suffer in comparison to the movie. No matter what, it’s worth taking a chance on.

Art of P. Craig Russell HC
Now back in stock! For the first time ever, a hardcover volume devoted to one of the most legendary and influential comic book artists of the past 35 years-P. Craig Russell! This book offers readers and fans a chance to witness his immense and phenomenal career from start to present, offering glimpses of previously never-before-seen material from Russell's files and sketchbooks, as well as beautifully reproduced images of his personal favorites. $ 49.99

Lee: I’m sure this has been out for awhile but I didn’t get it the first time. Russell is one of my all time favorite artists and I just might have to get this. I’m not a huge fan of art books but Russell is too good not to have something like this in my collection.
Jim: Not a huge fan of art books? Is this the same Lee that I know? P. Craig is a unique talent in this industry and his work is certainly great. I love looking at the art, but find art books alone are books that end up just being on my shelf, so it is a pass for me.

Kill Shakespeare #1 by Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col (w) • Andy Belanger (a)
What Fables does for fairy tales, Kill Shakespeare does with the greatest writer of all time. This dark take on the Bard pits his greatest heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Othello Falstaff) against his most menacing villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) in an epic adventure to find and kill a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare. This debut— featuring a full 32-page story—will change the way you look at Shakespeare forever.*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio. FC • 32 ad-free pages • $3.99

Jim: This will either be very cool or be a total bust. The premise sounds good enough for me to sign up to check it out. I would love to see a preview of this series.
Lee: Since we both liked Helen Killer, I’m betting we’ll like this too. But you’re right, it’s either going to be great or suck. Really really suck! There isn’t a lot of middle ground for this type of book.

Danger Girl HC (deluxe ed.) by Andy Hartnell (w) • J. Scott Campbell (a)
Sexy girls spies, drawn as only J. Scott Campbell can! Danger Girl follows the story of renowned Archeologist and adventurer Abbey Chase as she is recruited by the super-secret spy organization, Danger Girl. Along with fellow operatives, Sydney Savage and Natalia Kasstle, Abbey receives her first mission: to locate a series of mystical relics and keep them out of the hands of the Hammer Syndicate, a huge criminal network bent on world domination! The massively popular Danger Girl is collected in an oversized hardcover book with a new cover and over 20 pages of Danger Girl drawings and sketches by J. Scott Campbell, many published here for the first time. $ 50.00

Lee: Uummmm, didn’t DC do an absolute of this material? What’s the difference between the absolute and this? Besides after market prices? Good for those that liked it, but a pass for me.
Jim: The difference is $50. The market must be good for the material, but this is essentially another art book.

Pantheon #1 by Marc Andreyko (w) • Stephen Molnar (a) • The Sharp Brothers (c)
Created by TV and movie star, MICHAEL CHIKLIS! Earth in the near future is a place where the only gods worshipped are money and power. When black-market artifacts dealer Hamilton Finch stumbles upon a cache of ancient treasures, he does not expect to come face-to-face with Zeus himself! Is it true? Do the gods walk among us? And what event has caused them to show themselves after so many millennia? FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Wire Hangers #1 by Alan Robert (w & a) • Robert, Nelson (c)
Rocker Alan Robert of the legendary metal-crossover music group, Life of Agony, writes and illustrates this twisted horror/conspiracy series. Wire Hangers uses nightmarish visuals and graphic storytelling to depict a wave of abductions plaguing New York City. Pill-popping detectives, corrupt secret agents, and a mysterious, disfigured homeless man are all inter-connected in this horrific tale of revenge and redemption. *2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio. FC • 32 ad-free pages • $3.99

Jim: Why is it that all sorts of “stars” want to have their name on comic books? Are these just vanity projects and they are footing the bill or is there a worthwhile comic here?
Lee: I think the “stars” thing will continue as long as Hollywood keeps plucking ideas from comic books. In the case of Chiklis, I think he had a great idea that he wanted to pitch and couldn’t do it on his own. Hence, we have a comic book that has his name but he really didn’t do anything with. I figure that it will be a waste of money.

BUT, I think Wire Hangers might actually be good. Robert actually graduated from School of Visual Arts for college in NYC. Before being in a band, he was a fanboy like you and me! He’s been to conventions. He owns original art from Mike Zeck. He’s actually read lots and lots of comic books. He wanted to draw comics for Marvel!!!! All that amounts to, “I’m interested.”

So, in summary, Chiklis, actor with no knowledge of comics equals easy pass. Roberts, will skills and knowledge, I’m taking a chance on.

Star Trek: McCoy #1 by John Byrne (w & a & c)
Space, the final frontier... and on that frontier and beyond, humans and aliens alike need medical care. Enter Leonard McCoy, Doctor of Space Medicine, late of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE... his first assignment: save the human colonists from a mysterious plague on a distant world whose only native lifeform is a vast and suddenly hostile jungle. Shipped with a special variant Byrne “gag” cover! *2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio. FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Jim: Is it just my imagination or has John Byrne managed to piss off almost everyone in the industry so he can now only get Star Trek work from IDW?
Lee: It’s probably a little bit of both. Byrne has pissed off everyone but at the same time he’s been around so long that he is no longer “hot.” Comic books is a vicious business that uses and spits out creative skills like few others. Byrne still has talent, I just bet he can’t find work at the big two anymore.

The Pilgrim #1 by Mark Ryan (w) • Mike Grell (a & c)
Artist Mike Grell (Jon Sable Freelance, The Warlord) teams up with writer/actor Mark Ryan (the Transformers movies) in an amazing story 15 years in the making. Weaving together true timelines from WWII and the present day, The Pilgrim is a tale of war and the supernatural, drawing on the history of the occultism used by both British and Nazi forces and fusing it with a modern day intelligence and espionage story ripped from today’s headlines. FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Jim: The premise sounds great and I have always like Mike Grell’s art, so at least issue #1 is coming home with me.
Lee: You bash Byrne for working on Star Trek yet you don’t bash Grell for working on this nothing project! You need to be more equal opportunity in your slamming! Grell is very hit/miss for me so I’ll pass. Let me know how it is.

Bloom County: Complete Library, Vol. 2 by Berkeley Breathed (w & a & c)
The second Bloom County collection begins the day after Volume One ends. Collecting every daily and Sunday strip from September 27, 1982 through July 1, 1984. This is the book that kicks Bloom County into high gear and sets the tone for all that is to come.Berkeley Breathed will be back supplying more insightful and funny commentary, in addition to the occasional Context Pages sprinkled throughout. HC • PC • $39.99 • 304 Pages • 11” x 8.5”

Jim: Such an easy sell for me. Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes were both some of the best material ever done in a comic strip. I own the hernia edition of Calvin and Hobbes and look forward to many more volumes of Bloom County/Outland and then Opus.
Lee: The first Bloom County was good but this is where the strip really starts to hit it’s stride. Hopefully, Breathed commentary, which was spare in the first volume, will be better in the second.

Krazy Kool Kids Komics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, and more (w) • Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Walt Kelly, Dr. Seuss, and more (a)
This huge, luxurious hardcover volume lovingly collects the brilliant kids’ comics that such luminaries as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Walt Kelly, Dr. Seuss, Syd Hoff, Jules Feiffer, George Carlson, John Stanley, Dan deCarlo, Sheldon Mayer, Carl Barks and myriad other brilliant geniuses created during the heyday of kids comics in the 1940s and ‘50s, and beyond. Astute comic book fans and their eager young fans alike will love the funny and beautiful full-color stories of slapstick superheroes, fantastic fairy tales, and awesome anthropomorphic animals. HC • FC • $34.99 • 304 Pages

Jim: I want this, but I have so many books and never enough time to read them all that I will have to sadly, maybe I will get it, no I will have to no… maybe not …think about getting it.
Lee: This has been on my radar for so long it’s ridiculous. I can’t remember when the news leaked of this book but it’s been a long time. I am completely sold! The chance to see Ditko and Kirby doing something far, far removed from the superheroes they are known for is too good to pass up. Not to mention the stories will be good because good humor never gets, a huge page count, and cheap price, this really is an easy sell!

Jim: IDW has a lot of product to offer and you can see from their offerings they are building a sound company with a bright future that will make the first 10 years be just the beginning.
Lee: Another great month. IDW is slowly but surely becoming a larger part of my budget than Marvel!


  1. I was amused by Jim's comment that he wouldn't get the P Craig Russel art book because it would just sit on his shelf. Isn't that the fate of most of Jim's books?

  2. Clarification #1: I am the art guy but I do like stories too. I have very few pure art books, which is why I might pass on the Russell one.

  3. Red Dog-

    No no no. Jim loans most of his books out (nice guy that he is) so they all get read. Many, multiple times.... just not by Jim.

  4. LOL. So, Jim is a sort of public library, for those in the know. I should probably get a library card, as I've only had a loaner of his Walking Dead trades once.

  5. Public is awfully strong. Might be more of a pubic library depending on what room the books are in!

  6. Geez, sadly most of the comments are true, but I have made some progress as Lee has seen some hard cover original graphic novels stop and his home before going onto Gwen. It is a mail chain, you just have to be willing to mail it onto to the next person.

  7. No that's a chain letter I'd sign on to. Do they cycle back to the library?

  8. Red Dog - A few do, some end up moving onto friends of Gwen (sounds like an organization), we go for widely read.