If you are a comic book geek, then you know about Previews Magazine, which comes out once a month. This thick book (well over 500 pages) includes all the comic books that you can order through your local comic book shop. Books listed in Previews generally come out two months later, although that depends entirely on the publisher's schedule and ability to put their books out on time. This post covers the July 2005 Previews, which lists books due out in September 2005.
Previews is divided into sections based on what is offered by the publisher/vendors in each section. The first section is generally the "Premier Comics" which include the four biggest publishers, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics. These four publishers put out the majority of new materials you will find in a comic shop each week. They are also the least likely to have really good Oz or Oz-related material, so I will usually be skipping them.
The second section is the section of the most interest to Oz fans, the "Comics & Graphic Novels" section. This includes every other comic book publisher distributed by Diamond Comics, and will usually be where I find neat Oz items of interest.
After this comes several shorter sections: "Magazines", "Books", "International" (Imports), "Trading Cards", "Apparel", "Toys & Models", "Games", and "Videos". As with the first section, if I find Oz or Oz-related materials in these sections I'll mention them, but usually I'll end up skipping them.
Ok. Now that I've explained what Previews is, this is what I plan on doing with it. Each month, I write a long post on my main blog called Flipping Through Previews... I plan on writing an Oz edition for this blog. I'm going to try to find every Oz item in Previews and list it here, as well as a list of non-Oz items that I think might be of interest to Oz fans. I'll start with the directly Oz stuff and finish up with the non-Oz stuff.
Final piece of introductory material: How do you get this stuff? There are two ways. Some of this can be ordered directly from the publisher at the website I list, everything else should be ordered through a comic book shop. I suspect that some of the folks reading this blog have no clue what a comic shop is, or how to order something through one. First off, a comic shop in the United States is a store that carries (you guessed it) comic books. You can find a local one using Diamond Comic's nifty Comic Shop Locator Service. Just type in your zip, and it'll show you the nearest shops. If there aren't any local shops you can get to, don't despair. You can also order comics through on-line services like Mail Order Comics or Westfield Comics. I don't endorse either, since I've never actually done business with them, but at least there are solutions out there.
Once you've found the company you want to order your comic books from, you need to contact them and ask how they want you to order your books. Some stores will ask you to prepay, even though you won't get your books for two months (or more) because they don't want to lose their money. Regardless, you should give them the order code and title. Good shops will be able to use just the title, but some will need the code as well. Whenever possible, I'll include the order code in my listing of an item to help you out when ordering it.
Whew. Let's get to the actual books, shall we?
Our first book in this category is Oz: The Manga from Antarctic Press. This series is a retelling of the Oz story in a Manga style by David Hutchison. There will be a total of eight issues in this first mini series. I've already gotten the first two issues, and I'm enjoying this series a lot. Because of the publisher, I'd be willing to bet my Aquaman heroclix that there will be a collection of this series, probably in Manga-sized digest form. However, it's probably not too late to re-order the first few issues if you want to get in on the originals.
- Oz: The Manga #4 - Order Code: JUL05 2615 - $2.99
- Oz: The Manga #1 - Order Code: APR05 2602 - $2.99
- Oz: The Manga #2 - Order Code: MAY05 2477 - $2.99
- Oz: The Manga #3 - Order Code: JUN05 2744 - $2.99
Next up is a somewhat adult version of Oz. We've seen a lot of these "dark" versions of Oz come out recently, and this one looks to be a little different. This story focuses on Alice Liddell and Dorothy Gale as college students who have forgotten their respective childhood adventures, which is too bad, because their childhoods are about to catch up with them. The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles is from BuyMeToys.com, and you can get the Preview book directly through the website. Previews lists two new products in this series, including a poster.
- The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles #0 - Order Code: JUL05 2737 - $2.99
- The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles Poster - Order Code: JUL05 2736 - $7.99
This section would not be complete, or even started, without the amazing book from Illusive Productions. The book, Dorothy, is another retelling of the story of Oz in a graphically enhanced photo format that, for lack of a better term, I'm calling fumetti. This is also meant for older readers and is a bit darker than some Oz fans will appreciate. Eric and I have been enjoying this series immensely, though. This month they are soliciting their first collection, which should include the first four chapters. You can get the first three issues through their website.
- Dorothy Volume 1 - Order Code: JUL05 2960 - $14.95
- Dorothy #2 - Order Code: JAN05 2840 - $5.00
- Dorothy #3 - Order Code: MAR05 2987 - $5.00
- Dorothy #4 - Order Code: MAY05 2838 - $5.00
Coming out from Alias is a book called Lullaby. This book started with a mini series of four books from Image comics in which Alice (from Wonderland) goes on a quest to Oz and runs into Little Red Riding Hood, the Pied Piper, and some other fairy tale characters. I've got up to issue three of the original mini, and the group has not yet reached Oz, although we've seen some Munchkins. This is the first issue of what appears to be a continuing series.
- Lullaby #1 - Order Code: JUL05 2561 - $2.99
- Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker #1 - Order Code: DEC04 1535 - $2.95
- Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker #2 - Order Code: JAN05 1606 - $2.95
- Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker #3 - Order Code: FEB05 1594 - $2.95
- Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker #4 - Order Code: MAR05 1693 - $2.95
- Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker Vol 1 (collection) - Order Code: JUN05 2684 - $9.99
First up in this category is a couple of collections from AiT/Planet Lar called Colonia about a boy named Jack who is transported into another world with his two rough-and-ready uncles... a world in which the Americas were never colonized and where magic seems to work. The second collection is being solicited for the first time, and the first collection is being offered again.
- Colonia Volume 1: Islands & Anomalies - Order Code: JUL05 2550 (STAR15096) - $12.95
- Colonia Volume 2: On Into The Great Lands - Order Code: JUL05 2552 - $12.95
This is not a particularly Ozzy book, but it does have a nice little nod to Oz in it, so I'm just going to mention it. The first volume of the new Hardy Boys graphic novels from NBM has a single visual Oz reference.
- The Hardy Boys Volume 1 - Order Code: JUL05 2999 - $7.95
Top Shelf puts out a book called Owly which will appeal to the younger Oz fans. Owly stories have no words, only icons, symbols, and expressions.
- Owly Volume 3: Flying Lessons - Order Code: JUL05 3175 - $10.00
- Owly Volume 1: The Way Home - Order Code: JUN05 3273 (JUL043246) - $10.00
- Owly Volume 2: Just A Little Blue - Order Code: JUN05 3274 (DEC042913) - $10.00
Whew. So that's it for this month's Flipping Through Previews (Oz Edition)... If you found something I missed, feel free to use the comments below to point it out. If you have any questions, also feel free to comment. I promise that next month's version will be shorter, since I'll leave out most of the introductory stuff.