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Exclusive Preview | Daredevil #8

Matt and Felicia, sitting in a tree — or, actually, more like a giant hole instead of a tree, and I guess Spider-Man being electrocuted kind of kills the mood …

Courtesy of Marvel Comics, we’re pleased to present an exclusive preview from Daredevil #8 by writer Mark Waid and artist Kano, with a cover by regular series artist Paolo Rivera (who returns to drawing the interiors with issue #9). It’s the second part of a crossover with Amazing Spider-Man #677, which is also written by Mark Waid and features art by Emma Rios. The solicitation text refers to the Spider-Man/Black Cat/Daredevil as a love triangle, so I guess we’ll see if sparks fly figuratively between Daredevil and Black Cat as the sparks fly literally for Spider-Man.

This is the comic that topped CBR’s recent top 100 comics of 2011 list, and many of us here at the blog are big fans as well. It’s kind of cool to see a title like Daredevil, which has had very strong creative teams working on it for the past 10 years or so, reinvent itself with a completely different tone and still remain impressive.

Enjoy the preview, and look for both Amazing Spider-Man #677 and Daredevil #8 in shops later this month.

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Exclusive Preview | Is That All There Is?

Courtesy of Fantagraphics, we’re pleased to present one more preview from the publishing house–Dutch comics artist and graphic designer Joost Swarte’s Is That All There Is?

The book collects virtually all of Swarte’s European alternative comics work from 1972 on, including stories published in Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly’s RAW Magazine in the 1980s. It also includes an introduction by Chris Ware. Some of the stories were done in watercolor, retro duotones and Zip-a-Tone screens, and Fantagraphics is putting a lot of care into matching the coloring.

Please note this preview contains some nudity, so it’s probably Not Safe For Work and isn’t for children. Check it out after the jump. It comes out in February.

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Comics A.M. | Filling void left by Atomic Comics bankruptcy

Atomic Comics

Retailing | In the wake of the August closing of the Atomic Comics chain, Mesa, Arizona-area retailers are searching for ways to diversify in an attempt to keep their own stores afloat. Mike Banks, owner of Samurai Comics, has even opened a new location next to Atomic’s former flagship store to serve customers who suddenly found themselves without a comics shop. [East Valley Tribune]

Creators | Mike Mignola talks about his plans for next year’s Hellboy in Hell: “It’s a personal story about him, but with huge ramifications for the structure of Hell. I’m trying to get Hellboy free of the giant, Beast-of-the-Apocalypse storyline. That story has to get bigger before it can be put away. This first arc is the culmination of all the prophecy crap I’ve been trotting out throughout the years. We put a lot of things to bed.” Mignola also discusses his plans for B.P.R.D. and why he can’t watch the pilot of The Amazing Screw-On Head. [io9]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon continues his holiday interview series with a lengthy chat with Jeff Parker that spans his early comics-reading experiences, the influence of his artistic background on his writing, and his career at Marvel. [The Comics Reporter]

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Preview: The Activity #2 by Edmondson and Gerads

The Activity

Courtesy of writer Nathan Edmondson (Grifter, Who Is Jake Ellis?), we’re pleased to present a preview of the second issue of The Activity, which goes on sale Jan. 11. Illustrated by Mitch Gerads and published by Image Comics, The Activity debuted this past week and focuses on the U.S Army’s last secret special operations tribe, The Intelligence Support Activity, or Gray Fox. Within Gray Fox is a team of elite men and women whose mission is flexible, whose technology is bleeding edge, and whose execution is precise and lethal. They are Team Omaha, and they serve The Activity.

“After the overwhelming response to issue #1, we’re primed to light the fuse on issue #2, out in just two weeks!” Edmondson said about the preview.

Check out the preview and solicitation text after the jump. You can read more about the series in CBR’s interview with Edmondson about the book.

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Preview: Jughead Double Digest #176

Of all the Archie lines, the Jughead comics seem to be the most interesting. I know the main Archie comic has Kevin Keller and Kiss and all that, but the Jughead authors seem to mix things up a bit more and come up with more original story lines.

What struck me about this preview, though, was the art in the first story—it’s very much in the Archie tradition (look at Jughead’s sideways smile in the first panel, below) but somehow more dynamic as well. Penciler Ron Frenz seems to be a longtime Archie artist, so I don’t know why I’m noticing this for the first time, but it really pulled me in. That said, the first page is a bit disturbing; I think it’s the look on Archie’s face that does it. He’s simpering. Archie does not simper, dammit!

Anyway, here is a quick look at two stories from Jughead Double Digest #176; if you like ‘em, the comic goes on sale this week.

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Exclusive Preview: Jughead #210

While the Life With Archie magazine is getting a lot of attention, something interesting is going on in the Jughead comic as well. In the current story, written by Craig Boldman, Jughead leaves home after a disagreement with his parents and crashes in the homes of various friends. As I mentioned earlier this year, this storyline shows Jughead being a bit more introspective than we are used to seeing him—just a bit, as every situation is still played for maximum laughs. It all seems to be coming to a head in Jughead #210, when he decides to move in with Trula Twyst, a fellow student with a penchant for pop psychology. The comic comes out next week, but we have an exclusive preview after the jump.

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Swastikas removed from Image Comics artwork for December’s Previews

Pigs #6

Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson said on his blog yesterday that the cover for Pigs #6 and an image from Glory #23 include swastikas and thus will not be featured as originally drawn in Diamond’s December Previews. The catalog is distributed in Germany, where the law prohibits the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations,” which includes the swastika if used in conjunction with Nazi idealism.

“This is nothing new,” Stephenson wrote. “Swastika-laden images have been prohibited from appearing in publications sold in Germany for decades at this point. I’m not sure I understand what the point is, though. World War II did happen, and Nazis did exist. I understand not wanting to encourage modern day Neo-Nazi groups, but censorship isn’t a particularly effective weapon against hate groups of any kind. Plus outlawing specific Nazi iconography seems strangely revisionist, as though it’s best to just not acknowledge the impact that symbol had, or the evil associated with it.”

The law Stephenson refers to is a remnant of the “Denazification” efforts in Germany by the Allies after World War II. Among other initiatives, the Allies sought to remove all symbols of Nazism, such as the swastika, from German culture. In a post written in 2009, when a swastika appeared on a cover for The Boys, German writer Marc-Oliver Frisch noted that the law has an exceptions clause, that it “shall not be applicable if the means of propaganda or the act serves to further civil enlightenment, to avert unconstitutional aims, to promote art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes.” While The Boys issue with the swastika was not distributed in Germany, the German version of Maus, however, uses the original cover art that includes the swastika — but convention posters that used the Maus artwork have also been known to be confiscated by German authorities.

“Now you could argue that the paragraph clearly says that one of the exceptions is a work of art, which comics clearly are,” German blogger Subzero wrote in a post earlier this year. ” Well, not here in Germany and I guess it’s going to take a few decades till somebody here is willing to go to court on that point. In Germany comics don’t have that position.”

The Glory image that will appear in the catalog will not include the symbol, while the Pigs cover will be blurred out, as seen in the above image. You can find the Glory image by artist Ross Campbell, and a larger version of the uncensored Christian Ward-drawn Pigs cover, after the jump.

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Preview: Super Pro K.O.! returns for a second fall

Super Pro K.O. Volume 2

The second volume of Jarrett Williams’ awesome wrestling comics, Super Pro K.O.!: Chaos in the Cage, headbutts its way into comic shops today. Courtesy of Oni Press, we’re pleased to present a look at 23 pages from the new volume. Check it out after the jump.

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Previews: What looks good for December

The Dare Detectives: The Snow Pea Plot

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Life with Archie is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Ape

Richie Rich Gems Winter Special - In addition to their modern-look Richie Rich, Ape has also re-introducied the classic version in both new and reprinted adventures. I missed the solicit for Richie Rich Gems #44 last month (which picked up where the Harvey series left off in 1982), but the series continues with not only the Winter Special, but #45 as well.

Arcana

Dragons vs Dinosaurs - I haven’t had great luck with Arcana’s books in the past, but c’mon. The title alone…

Hero Happy Hour: On the Rocks - This, on the other hand, is no risk at all. I’m a big fan of Dan Taylor and Chris Fason’s superhero bar stories and this is an all-new, 80-page adventure. Not reprints; not even a printed version of the webcomic. It’s all-new and I need it.

Archaia

The Dare Detectives: The Snow Pea Plot Collected Edition – Archaia prepares for their publishing Ben Caldwell’s Dare Detectives: The Kula Kola Caper by re-publishing the first story that was originally put out by Dark Horse.

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The Middle Ground #72 | Internet fail, apparently

I’ve written before about my frustration with Previews, the monthly catalog that’s roughly the size of what we used to call “a phone book” — just think, one day phone books won’t exist, and yet we’ll still say that things are “like a phone book,” because that’s how language works — but this weekend, I realized: Previews is still better than the Internet.

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Preview: Betty and Veronica’s bikini battle

Those of us in the East Coast Division of Robot 6 have already endured an earthquake, which knocked the pictures on my office walls askew and caused several moments of consternation; now there’s a hurricane pounding its way up the coast towards us. Time for some escape reading! In these previews of B&V Friends Double Digest #217 and Jughead Double Digest #173, both due out next week in comics shops and digital apps everywhere, Betty and Veronica are still at the beach, battling over bikinis, and at the mall, battling with Jughead. Get some bottled water, make sure there are batteries in your flashlight, and settle down for a little light reading!

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Preview: Sail the high seas with Betty and Veronica

Another Comic-Con is over, and even those of us who didn’t go are probably suffering convention fatigue from the deluge of news and awesomeness. Time for a break! Here’s a quick preview of B & V Friends Double Digest #216, which is out in comics stores tomorrow — but here at Robot 6 today!

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SDCC ’11 | Check out pages from Constant, Scott and James’ Torn

Following up on the interview I posted today, we’re happy to bring you a preview of Torn, the graphic novel by Andrew Constant, Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey, Secret Six) and Joh James (I.C.E., RPM). The pages include the prologue drawn by Scott (who also drew the cover), followed by a sequence of pages drawn by James.

The book is published by Gestalt Comics, who can be found in San Diego at booth #4500-4501. Check out the preview after the jump …

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Preview: Archie’s Weird Mysteries

Let’s take a break from the mid-July Comic-Con madness and get into a Halloween mood! Archie’s Weird Mysteries is an Archie trade paperback that compiles stories from the comic of the same name, which was based on the animated Archie’s Weird Mysteries series—writer Paul Castiglia explains the relationship between the comic and the cartoon on his blog, and in a 2009 interview he discusses the challenges of writing Archie horror comics. Of course, this is Riverdale, so the horror is pretty lite. Really, they are just having fun with the conventions of the genre.

Anyway, enjoy a couple of pages of Betty being mildly terrorized after the jump. The book arrives in comics shops next week.

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Previews: What looks good for September

Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Planet of the Apes is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Ape

White Picket Fences: Red Scare and ongoing series – One of my favorite Ape comics is getting collected and then relaunched as an ongoing. I’m a big fan of Micah Farritor’s art in Red Scare, so it’s sad that he won’t be back for the ongoing, but the little kids vs. UFOs concept is ripe enough to keep me interested, particularly in the wake of Super 8.

Archaia

Man, Archaia lays low for a couple of months and then BAM!

Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand - I saw the presentation on this at C2E2 at it looks amazing. No Muppets, but Henson’s fingerprints are all over it in the surreal, subversive craziness that he’s known for.

Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes - This is an illustrated novel, not a comic, so I debated about including it, but it’s being Planet of the Apes and published by Archaia won out. It’s set during the original movie and covers stuff that we know happened, but didn’t see (the fate of Landon, for instance) as well as working in characters from other movies (like Dr. Milo from Escape from the Planet of the Apes). And when they say it’s illustrated, they’re talking about folks like Jim Steranko, Joe Jusko, and Dave Dorman. This is a must-have.

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