Lee: And we’ve officially reached the end of the summer in previews land. The last of the last before the big countdown to Christmas… which should start next month. Actually, it already started at Dark Horse.
Thomm: As any retailer knows, the earlier Christmas shopping starts, the better. It’s not about some guy who rose from the dead later. It’s about profits rising.
The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1 (of 4)
Mark Waid (w) • Chris Samnee (a) • Samnee, Dave Stevens (c)
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Rocketeer with an all-new full-length series!
A ship docks in Los Angeles harbor from a far-off and exotic locale—with a big, mysterious… and living… cargo! Danger and mayhem abound as our hero leaps into the fray! Plus, we introduce a lovely new character who will be vying against Betty for Cliff’s affections! FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Lee: I’m not completely sold on the Rocketeer character but I am sold on this creative team. Waid’s been doing some great stuff lately, and Samnee is criminally underrated. Those two alone make it worth the investment.
Thomm: Waid’s the big draw for me here. I haven’t but so much experience with the Rocketeer, but Waid’s consistently good to great in his writing.
5 more below the break...
Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1 (of 5)
James Stokoe (w & a & c)
Introducing a new and exciting look at Godzilla's reign of destruction, courtesy of Orc Stain creator James Stokoe! The year is 1954 and Lieutnant Ota Murakami is on hand when Godzilla makes first landfall in Japan. Along with his pal Kentaro, Ota makes a desperate gamble to save lives... and in the process begins an obsession with the King of the Monsters that lasts fifty years! Don't miss the first decade in a tale of a lifetime! FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Lee: This is another book that I will get bassed on the creator alone. I’ve read most of Stokoe’s stuff and I’ve always enjoyed it. Some bits have been better than others but it’s always been fun. Plus, his hyper detailed art is perfect for Godzilla.
Thomm: Counting the scales? I don’t know Stokoe or his work particularly, and unlike Matthew, I’m not a big Godzilla fan, so I’ll pass on this one.
Deadworld: War of the Dead #1 (of 5)
Gary Reed (w) • Sami Makkonen (a & c)
Special All-new 5-part weekly series returns what has been called the forefather of all zombie comics! The undead have overrun the Earth! A small outpost, remnants of a twisted scientists’ scheme to defeat the plague, holds out against the army of King Zombie with their secret weapon, the Lepers—victims of a bizarre experiment that left them with dead flesh in breathing husks with flesh that even zombies won’t touch. FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Lee: Long before The Walking Dead there was Deadworld. This series actually started back in 1986 and seems to get an issue or three published every couple of years. The big difference here is that the zombies are intelligent and lead by King Zombie. That’s his first and last name… King… Zombie.
Thomm: Kinda reminds me of Zombie Priest from The Goon. Just the name, not the rest. The Walking Dead is my zombie fix, and I don’t think I need more.
Comics About Cartoonists
Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jack Cole, Dick Briefer, Winsor McCay, Chester Gould, Sheldon Mayer, Milton Caniff, Ernie Bushmiller, Basil Wolverton, Siegel and Shuster, Will Eisner, Elzie Segar, Harvey Kurtzman, Charles Schulz, & George Herriman (w & a) • Gus Ricca (c)
What's cooler than comics about cartoonists? NOTHING! You are going to read comics about cartoonists by these TOP cartoonists: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jack Cole, Dick Briefer, Winsor McCay, Chester Gould, Sheldon Mayer, Milton Caniff, Ernie Bushmiller, Basil Wolverton, Siegel and Shuster, Will Eisner, Elzie Segar, and Harvey Kurtzman! WHEW! Plus more by Charles Schulz, George Herriman and a 1940s comic about Walt Disney! A Who's Who of great cartoonists—drawing superhero, horror, funny animal, funny people, war and romance comics… about cartoonists! HC • FC • $29.99 • 192 pages • 8.5” x 11”
Lee: This is a nice oversized hardcover which appeals to me but beyond that I am not sure I care. This is collection of shorts so I imagine there will be some humor, some horror, and probably even a superhero or two. The theme is interesting but I’m not sure this is going to amount to anything more than an art book.
Thomm: Seems like a lot of navel gazing and inside references. Are you going to need to know a lot about the industry and its history to get any enjoyment out of this?
Elaine Lee (w) • Michael Wm. Kaluta (a & c)
The classic, galactic-spanning saga of Starstruck, the renowned stage play/radio drama/heady science fiction classic, continues in a beautiful Trade paperback!
Collecting all 13 issues of the completely remastered Starstruck series by Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta. 360 pages of Starstruck and Galactic Girl Guides adventures, covers, pin-ups, glossary, postcards, and so much more! A truly comprehensive collection of this material in one grand volume. This beautiful book features some of the finest art ever put to paper by Kaluta, including many pages that were never printed in the original run. Additionally, Kaluta painstakingly added approximately 20% of art to many pages to ensure the aspect ratio of the comic would be consistent and correct. The end result is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, a head-spinning, synapse-snapping, soul-searing ride to a world like no other… the world of Starstruck. TPB • FC • $34.99 • 360 pages • 7” x 11
Lee: This is the tpb of the expensive hc that came out last year. I have that hc and I really wish I had gotten around to reading it before now. This has been loved by many for years for the story. The appeal to me was the art because this was Kaluta at his peak. Great to look at but I have no idea how it reads.
Thomm: A year later and you haven’t read it? You know you can get counseling for that sort of thing. Kaluta’s the draw here, but without knowing the series or Lee, I’ll wait ‘til you get around to reading your HC.
Skippy Vol. 1: Complete Dailies 1925-1927
Percy Crosby (w & a & c)
Debuting in 1923 in Life magazine, Skippy moved to the comics pages in 1925 and soon became a sensation, published in 28 countries and 14 languages. In 1931, Skippy became the first comic strip to see its film version win an Academy Award. Crosby continued writing and drawing the feature until 1945.
Perhaps more than any other cartoonist before him, Crosby brought philosophy and politics to the American newspaper comic strip, ultimately leading to his exile from comics and his forced incarceration in a mental institution for the last sixteen years of his life. As a result of his tragic end, Crosby’s remarkable contributions to American culture have been largely eclipsed, until now.
Co-edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney, and designed by Lorraine Turner, the premiere volume contains the daily comics from 1925 through 1927 and is illustrated with many photographs and rare artwork from the collection of the cartoonist's daughter, Joan Crosby Tibbetts, and Skippy, Inc. HC • PC • $49.99 • 304 pages • 9.5” x 8.5” Read sample strips here.
Lee: This is interesting because it’s going to capture a real moment in American history. Daily strips like this, and Walt/Skeezix are fascinating because they give a glimpse into the mores and thoughts of ordinary people at the time. If you check out the strips, they are funny gag-a-day stuff but I think it’s the story behind the joke that makes it good.
Thomm: Now this is really appealing to me for both the national history and the personal history of the creator. I’m not often big on the back story for things because I think stories should stand alone, but this one benefits from knowing all the history.
Lee: Another solid month of from IDW. The Starstruck trade reminds me I need to read that book.
Thomm: A good looking selection. I like the variety IDW has, and the quality is high in this bunch.