The Solicitations Have Broken the Walls of Their Pens.

*Everytime a blogger neglects to review the latest monthly solicitations, an angel leaves its wings on a bench in the park and by the time the angel realizes they're missing some fool kid has already pinched them and the angel has to take the bus back to Heaven and the bus doesn't have restrooms. So it's a bad scene all around.


- Scott McCloud's name on the script for "Superman: Strength" caught my eye. It's a three-part Prestige Format mini, focusing on young Clark's moral growth. I'm waiting for McCloud's new book of theory myself, but I do recall enjoying the first collection of "Zot" back in the day, so maybe this'll get a look.

- That is one killer fucking line-up for "Bizarro World", though the $30 price tag is going to restrict it to hardcore fans of the talents involved. But there's gotta be a lot of hardcore fans of at least some of these folks. There's old masters like Harvey Pekar and Eddie Campbell. Beloved humor stars like Tony Millionaire and 'Dirty' Danny Hellman and Evan Dorkin. Some pretty big names out of the younger batch, like Craig Thompson and Derek Kirk Kim. Even some folks who haven't done comics in a little while, like Dave Cooper and Bob Fingerman. It's gonna be hard to wait forever for the softcover...

- Speaking of which, we also get a softcover edition of Howard Chaykin's graphic novel "Mighty Love", which received some pretty mixed reviews upon its original release. All criticism aside though, there was no way I was paying $25 for a less than 100-page hardcover, and I'm a fan of Chaykin. It's still a little pricey at $18, actually. But I'm more willing to check it out now than before.

- Ah, good! It looks like "Lucha Libre" is going to be a recurring feature in "Metal Hurlant". Frissen might be unfocused with his scripts, but it fits Bill's excellent superdeformed manga fusion style. Still no Jodorowsky though.

- "Promethea" #32 is still absent. Perhaps they're holding it for that rumored Moore/Sprouse conclusion to "Tom Strong"? And for the record, Moore and Gene Ha's "The 49ers" is also nowhere in sight. There isn't even a new "Tom Strong" this month. Moore fans will not want to miss the reissue of the "Mr. Majestic" trade if they don't already have it; it features an obscure Moore short originally presented in "Wildstorm Spotlight" #1.

- My! I certainly did enjoy that spoiler for "Planetary" in the solicitation for issue #22! Oh well, I ought to be happy that it's even still coming out on a semi-regular basis given Ellis and Cassaday's current workloads. EDIT (12:48 AM): Wait, no. My mistake. That wasn't a spoiler at all. Carry on.

- That sure is a lot of "Hellblazer" trades.

- "We3" #3 (of 3) is go for mid-January! Issue #2 is out next Wednesday; it didn't feel like that long of a wait, I'll confess. Also: the "Seaguy" trade for only $10, even though it's longer than the $18 "Mighty Love" softcover. It's a swell value, and one of my very favorite miniseries of 2004. And it's not hard to understand either; it's a very funny book that can be understood and enjoyed on multiple levels, and I know it's gonna read a lot clearer in single-volume form. Give it a shot!


- This X-23 person from the pages of "NYX" is getting a six-issue mini. I'm doubtful that "NYX" itself will be finished by then, but Marvel's sure trying to push her...

- It's not the Negative Zone, dudes, it's the N-Zone!!! It sounds like someone trying to discuss football with their dentist while blasted with Novocain. Maybe that's the plot. Did Victor Van Damme break someone's tooth? I hope Teenage Superstar Reed secured dental coverage.

- From "Amazing Spider-Man" #516: "Another pulse-pounding issue of ASM done in the stupendous Straczynski style! Peter must confront a foe who—like himself—was given amazing powers during a science experiment gone awry." And by "science experiment" they mean "lots of sex with Betty Brant hundreds of issues ago".

- Now this "Combat Zone" thing looks pretty neat. A five-issue mini concerning American soldiers in Iraq, written by Karl Zinsmeister, a long-time embedded journalist. Curious that we've all heard nothing about this book until now; it seems like the sort of thing Marvel would want to show off to the outside press.

- And... wow. That's all that catches the eye. Um, lots of people seemed to like that "Loki" mini, and now it's getting a hardcover. That's nice.


- A new anthology is coming out, "Four Letter Worlds", featuring stories set around the terms 'love' 'hate' 'fear' and 'fate'. Lots of Image and Oni regulars on the creative list. It's good to see Image still pushing the anthology format like in "Flight".

- Yikes. "Negative Burn: the Very Best from 1993-1998". Collecting lots of stuff from the first 50 issues of Caliber's long-running anthology series. Lots of Alan Moore song adaptations no doubt (beating Avatar to the punch by many years) and obscure work from a huge list of good folk. This will probably be worth picking up, 200 pages for $20.

- Bruce Mutard had a very good entry in the wildly uneven "SPX 2004" anthology (review coming very soon). His style is heavily reminiscent of classic newspaper adventure cartoonists like Hal Foster, and he's got a good grasp on conflicted characters (even if he's a little awkward in his dialogue). Now Image is putting out his graphic novel "The Silence", which promises to ruminate on the nature of 'art'. He's got my attention, and at $10 it looks like I'm gonna give this one a shot.