What? Not this again? Yes, I’m afraid so…you may be sick of it, but not me, brother, because I take each new issue of Diamond Previews as a challenge, to wrestle to the ground each and every month finding only the best and classiest items for your perusal, and saying completely unjustified and unfair things about them. This month: July 2007. Past months: in the sidebar somewhere. So follow along, if your heart can handle it!
p. 59 – Hellboy 8″ Qee and Tara McPherson Variant:
Don’t get me wrong; it looks neat an’ all, but I just keep picturing what Hellboy’s reaction would be to looking like that variant. “What’s that on my stomach…’HUG LIFE?’ Oh, I need to punch somebody, NOW.”
p. 136 – Uni-Formz: Batman (Modern):
The “super-deformed” Bat-figure is kinda neat, I suppose, but when they get around to the promised Superman figure, I’m going to be hard-pressed to not be reminded of this cover from Superman Family #181:
p. 146- The Mice Templar #1:
Okay, I know it was coincidental, I know David Peterson’s got no beef with the fellas who do this comic, I know it looks like a different take on the same subject…but I also know all I’m going to hear from the customers when it comes out is “Wow, these guys are totally ripping off Mouse Guard!” I see a lot of ‘splaining in my future.
p. 201 – Alex Ross Thor Mini-Head Bust:
Chubby-faced Thor wants you to take him home and squeeze his fat little cheeks! Oh yes he does!
p. 236 – Betty & Veronica: Boy Trouble Volume 1 TP:
Calling this “Volume 1″ may be a bit optimistic, since it seems as if this “new look” Archie went over like a fart in church.
p. 248 – Mark Millar’s The Unfunnies #3 & #4:
Wha-huh? You mean…you mean this series may actually be completed? It’s been, what, three years at least since issue #2 came out? (According to the solicitation info, these issues were rescheduled from the Dec. ’03 and Jan. ’04 catalogues.)
Well, good on Millar for finally coming through with them, I suppose.
p. 315 – Star Trek Alien Spotlight: Gorn:
Dear IDW Publishing:
So, it appears you have found a way to get me to buy one of your Star Trek comics. Well played, IDW, well played.
p. 334 – Nexus’ Greatest Hits One-shot:
Wait just a gosh-darn second…isn’t this the comic we were giving away on Free Comic Book Day? And now you want us to charge folks $1.99 for it? I think I’ll continue giving away the leftover copies instead, like I have been.
p. 404 – 101 Ways to Flip the Bird SC:
“In 101 Ways to Flip the Bird, Jason and Rick Joseph, bird-watchers extraordinaire, provide a brief description of each variation, a detailed drawing of how to execute it, and suggestions on when to employ it.”
I hadn’t realized there was an art to this. And “when to employ it” — friend, when the time is right to give someone the finger, you’ll know.
Plus, everything you need to know about bird-flipping style you can learn from this photo of Stan the Man:
p. 408 – Star Wars Holocron: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy:
Oh, man, how does this not look absolutely brilliant? That’s a giant pop-up Vader head, there, flanked by pop-up full-figure Vader and Luke.
No joke, here, really…I just can’t help but look at that pop-up Vader head. It is both frightening and compelling.
p. 408 – The Unofficial Star Wars Trivia and Quiz Book:
Was this the easiest book in the world to put together, or what? If there’s one thing there’s not a short supply of, it’s Star Wars trivia. Name of the critter in the Death Star trash compactor? The dianoga. There you go, one question down.
p. 429 – Zombie: “Inside” black t-shirt:
Two trends — zombies and “Intel Inside” parodies — well past their sell-by date, mixed together in one completely out of style shirt!
p. 435 – Transformers: The Movie Icon Cushions:
Okay, I’m about 100% indifferent to the Transformers…couldn’t care less about ‘em, don’t care about the cartoon, don’t care what the forthcoming movie did or did not get right re: the characters…but these pillows are actually kinda, sorta neat. But I won’t get them, because I’m not about to spend the next few years (or however long the pillows last) of my life explaining “No, I’m not a Transformers fan. I just liked how the pillows looked.”
p. 440 – The Clash Icon Collection Action Figures:
Something about action figures based on the Clash is creating a bit of cognitive dissonance with me.
p. 440 – Freddie Mercury 18-inch Action Figure with Sound:
On the other hand, a Freddie Mercury action figure just seems about right. And AWESOME.
p. 442 – Peeping Cthulhu Plush:
Only noting it here because, during my first pass through the catalogue, I thought the item was called “Peeing Cthulhu Plush,” like it was a water-filled squeeze toy or something. HOURS of fun!
p. 455, 458 – Star Wars Chubby Series 1 Figures:
Okay, one…I snickered at the name, because I’m twelve years old, I guess. And two…Star Wars Russian nesting dolls? That’s just…I thought Star Wars Transformers were weird. Well, I guess I had no idea what “weird” was. Look at those doe-eyed Wookies. And I kind of like the heavily-implied symbolism of the Vader figures, where at his core is just a scared and lonely little boy. But it’s STILL WEIRD.
p. 460 – Star Wars Darth Vader Jumbo Chubby Figure:
“Jumbo Chubby!” (insert immature laughter here)
p. 470 – Beowulf: The Crown of Beowulf/Golden Dragon Horn Prop Replicas:
I know nothing about this forthcoming Beowulf movie, except 1) Neil Gaiman is involved, and 2) there’s all kind of merchandise for it being advertised already. And it’s pricey – $150 for the wearable crown that your kids are going to break while playing with it, and $200 for the golden dragon
p. 480 – Star Wars Tusken Raider mini-bust:
Okay, show of hands…who isn’t at least vaguely familiar with what the Star Wars Sandpeople look like?
I realize that there’s a real world reason for this, that designs aren’t finalized on the statues and whatnot, and that’s what they’re actually hiding, but I still can’t help and look at stuff like this and think, even for a moment, “I know what a Tusken Raider looks like, who are they fooling?”
p. 505 – Doctor Who Tardis Talking Ice Bucket:
“The Doctor thinks you’re drinking too much. Put the bottle back in the Tardis, please. No, no…leave the bottle open. Thank you.”
p. 505 – Doctor Who Dalek Webcam:
Basically we’re at the point where we can hollow out just about anything, squeeze some USB ports or a webcam into its body, and vee-ola, Instant Computer Peripheral Novelty Item. Hmmm…maybe we’ve found a new use for those already out-of-date Civil War busts.
p. 522 – Super Smurfs Figurines:
Rock on, Paul Shaffer Smurf!
p. 524 – Disney Traditions Figures: Minnie with Pumpkin:
Whoa…Minnie, dressed as a witch, accompanied by her evil cat familiar, sitting atop a pumpkin inscribed with pagan-esque symbols? Wait until I notify the bishop about this!
p. 526 – Chief Robot:
(Cheap joke in 3…2….)
“Don’t call me ‘Chief Robot,’ Robot Olsen!”
What he’s chief of exactly is unclear, but he’s certainly better off than this next fellow….
p. 526 – Robot with Wheels:
…this poor bastard doesn’t even have arms. Of what practical use is this robot? Maybe you can use him to wind up the garden hose on the axle attaching the wheel to his body. Or paint a spiral pattern on the wheel, and use him in your stage hypnosis act.
p. 530 – Assorted Hasbro games:
I’m not familiar enough with game sales to make assumptions, but I’m going to anyway…are sales on the plain ol’ original versions of the games so low that “novelty” versions are required to bolster sales? Or are sales just fine, and the money the novelty versions bring in just a little extra gravy? I imagine there are collectors who buy every variant of each of these board games, too.
I’ve joked before about how we’ll all eventually have our own personal versions of Monopoly, but there are other movies I’d like to see licensed like this. Like Wicker Man Clue, for example (“Hmmm…we can’t seem to find the body….”), or The Game of Life – Santa Sangre Edition (“Arms hacked off…go back three spaces”), or Requiem for a Dream Monopoly (“Get TV your son sold for drug money out of hock – pay $100″*).
p. 548 – I Am The Amazing Spider-Man Personlized (sic) DVD:
“From one photo, you will be transformed into the webslinger himself, fighting crime spidey-style! This 26-minute, action-packed cartoon adventure DVD includes bonus features such as a photo personalized music video featuring the 1960s theme song, as well as an educational tutorial on spiders in a segment titled ‘Learning with J. Jonah Jameson.’”
“Learning with J. Jonah Jameson.”
“Let the cranky, Hitler-mustachioed Jameson yell at you and call you names as you get minor bits of spider trivia wrong, wrong, WRONG!”
p. 550 – Snot Rocket and Super Detective DVD:
Marvel p. 28 – Fantastic Four #550:
How can someone manage to make a stretchy guy’s anatomy look wrong? Oh, and please, enjoy the Invisible Woman’s butt. Thank you.