Back to the Back of a Block-rocking Comic Book!

One of my monthly pleasures before Lockdown was to scan the pages of Previews, the catalogue that would announce upcoming comic book and graphic novel releases. Things have changed since March: lots of titles have been cancelled (some creators have been cancelled, too, but that’s a whole different matter) and DC has split from Diamond distributors which has thrown the comics business into a great sense of foreboding and confusion. UK comics are being released a week later than the US at the moment which is a bit rubbish as the online hype and conversations about each week’s releases will undoubtedly spoil things over here. It’s good to have new releases, though.

I’ve just looked through the pages of DC Connect, which presents DC’s September solicitations. While DC is focused on celebrating the 1000th issue of Batman in Detective Comics (actually issue #1027), what interests me more are the crazy-looking spin-offs from Dark Knights: Death Metal Multiverse’s End, Speed Metal and Trinity Crisis. The first Metal series was fantastically crazy (I remember I was camping the day the first issue came out and had to track down a local comic shop to get the first copy).

Even more interesting are what look like very attractive hardback editions of the Hill House horror comics. Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill himself is a captivatingly gruesome tale in the tradition of Warren Comics. Mike Carey’s The Dollhouse Family was pretty good (though rushed at the end). I’ve heard good things about The Low, Low Woods, too. If they release The Plunge, I’ll probably buy that purely on the basis of having read its first issue.

I’d be tempted to get the single-volume Doomsday Clock but it’s a softcover and I try my best only to by hardcovers. Perhaps they’ll be a later hardcover release early next year. (If not, there are the two 6-issue hardback volumes to fall back on). When I read Doomsday Clock in single issues I liked the first few issues but it seemed to fall foul of whatever real-world crisis was going on editorially at DC and I didn’t think it ended well. It was certainly much better than the terrible HBO tv series. There’s also the deluxe edition of King’s and Gerads’ Mister Miracle that I’d love to buy. Likewise the new deluxe edition of Gaiman’s The Sandman (a comic I have to admit I don’t have in any form and haven’t read since university!). UPDATE: Just pre-ordered Sandman.

Bizarrely, right in the middle of DC Connect is a Word document informing comic shops that Diamond is no longer fulfilling orders and giving addresses of new distributors. It looks like UK distribution is being handled by Sideshow Collectibles (though I can remember reading somewhere that Diamond was continuing UK distribution for the time being). It’s pretty weird seeing such a jarring business letter in the middle of a stylish catalogue.