Crystal Ball: March 2007 Solicitations, Part II

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Support GOOD Comics! Pre-order something new EVERY month.

Part I featured a look at Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse’s offerings for March 2007, and now Part II casts the spotlight on the most interesting books being solicited by “independent” publishers. Links to full solicitations from almost every publisher can be found at MillarWorld.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your local comic book shop (LCBS) offers a pre-ordering service, download a convenient order form from Diamond and be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]

PICK OF THE MONTH: INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS

Savage Tales #1
ARCHIE COMICS

BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #150,
Written and art by Dan Parent and various.
Digest format, $3.69, in stores on March 14.

The end of an era as this is the final issue before the complete visual revamp of the kids from Riverdale. A surprising move, I think, considering the weight Archie puts on their characters’ familiarity, which is central to their appeal in outlets like Wal-Mart, where parents can comfortably pick up copies for their kids without worrying about depictions of excessive violence or rape. Unless, of course, they’ve been overstating their sales in those outlets. A potential collector’s item! ;-)

BOOM STUDIOS!

LEFT ON MISSION #1
Written by Chip Mosher, art by Francisco Francavilla.
32 pages, $3.99

Boom!’s latest movie pitch series attempts to leverage the recent successes of the James Bond revamp, Casino Royale, and the Bourne Identity movies. Francavilla’s work on the Black Coat was impressive, but the $3.99 cover price is a bit steep, encouraging some to wait for the trade. Has Boom! released a TPB yet, though?

DEVIL’S DUE

G.I. JOE: AMERICA’S ELITE #21
Written by Mark Powers, art by Mike Bear, cover by Clement Sauve.
32 pages, $3.50

A new creative team takes on a 4-part story arc featuring the Baroness. Joe Casey did a great job establishing a foundation over the first 18 issues, and I suspect the franchise will be just fine as it continues under Devil’s Due solid creative direction.

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

SAVAGE TALES #1
By various, covers by covers by Arthur Suydam, Mel Rubi and Richard Isanove.
48 pages, $4.99 (Foil Cover edition, price TBA)

Dynamite takes a stab at a bi-monthly anthology series, “featuring the savage and brutal worlds of Red Sonja and The Hunter, Cthulhu and the Old Ones, Gleaming Atlantis, and much, much more!” Sounds like it could be fun, and the price is right.

NASCAR COMICS

NASCAR HEROES #1
by Jeremy Diamond & Matt Cassan
24pgs, FC, SRP: $3.95

According to the solicits, “The first ever officially licensed NASCAR Comics series in the Nextel Cup era has already been featured on NBC’s Today Show! 75 million NASCAR fans will be reading — will you?” After enjoying Cars way more than I expected to, I can see the potential in a comic book tied in to Nascar, I think it would have a better chance of success through a direct partnership deal like Miles the Monster pulled off than in the direct market. Considering an attempt at Nascar comics failed miserably back in the 90s, it’s not the least bit encouraging that Nascar Comics doesn’t seem to have a web site or any Google presence at all beyond its Previews listing.

ONI PRESS INC.

WASTELAND BOOK 1: CITIES IN DUST TP
by Johnston, Mitten, & Templesmith
MATURE THEMES; SC, 160pgs, B&W SRP: $11.95

The first issue of this was intriguing but didn’t grab me enough to make my pull list, but Greg Burgas likes it and he generally has pretty good taste, so I’m going to check the TPB out. I’ve wanted to read something else by Antony Johnston since his adaptation of Alan Moore’s [weird-ass] Hypothetical Lizard mini-series a while back, and it’ll either be this or Julius.


POCKET BOOKS

BLOKHEDZ VOLUME 1 TP
by Mark & Mike Davis
SC, 6×9, 112pgs, FC; SRP: $12.95

I first heard about these guys earlier this year when I was one of the judges for the inaugural Glyphs Awards, where they were nominated for the Rising Star Award for Best Self-Publisher. They didn’t win, so it’s particularly great to see Simon & Schuster recognized both their talent and the potential, signing them to their Pocket Books imprint.

TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING

MODERN MASTERS VOLUME 5: JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ
SC, 8×11, 120pgs, PC; SRP: $14.95

This is listed as a new release instead of being “offered again”, but either way, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez is hands-down one of my favorite artists from my earlier years reading comics — Atari Force was a particularly underappreciated delight — and this retropective is a must-own. Check out some sample pages via Google Reader, and I dare anyone to name a single one of these so-called “Young Guns” from the past decade who even comes close to his skill.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

As in guillotine. Old/new media pragmatist. Sometimes loud, sometimes poet, always opinionated. Beer, bourbon, books, games, running.

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