Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Darth Vader v.1: Imperial Machine

This was an ok start to Soule’s run on this book. Taking place immediately after Episode III (bravely, the story even kicks off with the infamous Nooooooooo scene), we see Vader growing into his new role as Palpatine’s second, including getting to grips with his armour and finding himself a lightsaber.

It’s fertile territory for a Vader story, but it also risks destroying what’s left of the character’s mystique. Happily though, Soule maintains Vader’s fearsome reputation while still allowing for some growth as a character, a decent balancing act.

There’s a fair amount of action, some good character development and even quite a lot of humour that works pretty well.

Unfortunately Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art isn’t particularly to my tastes. I found it a bit loose and cartoonish, occasionally even caricatured, which pulled me out of the story a bit. It does the job perfectly well - it’s clear and fairly consistent throughout - but the style just didn’t quite fit the story, for me.

Black Cloud v.1: No Exit

Now this is a book that provoked the opposite reaction: nice art, but not sure about the story. In fact, I’d struggle to sum it up at all, as I felt like I lost the thread of things completely a couple of times, didn’t really feel compelled to continue, and only persevered with it because there was the occasional lovely page like this.

The plot revolves around the intersection between the real world and a world of fantastical creativity, but beyond that I got fairly lost in the convoluted backstory and mythology, the solipsistic worldview of the characters, and the slightly clumsy real-world political allusions that all added up to much less than the sum of their parts.

It all looks pretty good though, with some strong design work for the book itself that helps it to stand out, and some decent artwork with occasional real highlights - as well as stuff like the above page, I also like Greg Hinkle’s creature designs.

But even so, I won’t be following this any further.


I read the first volume of Black Magic yesterday and I also really, really enjoyed it.

The art is stunning.


That’s my major beef with it, too. I mean, “Throne of Atlantis” is currently being touted as essential Aquaman reading. It’s a template that maybe ought to have been retired. The Sea King needs to be a badass out of the sea, too.


As a consumer, I think that’s a perfect plan.

Where it will fail is on price. We expect trades to be cheaper than the total cost of the issues they contain (unless Absolutes or something). But the only reason they are is because the publisher has already made their profit on the monthly. If those 12 issues are being put out for the first time in a trade, the trade will have to be the same price as 12 monthlies. Now while, intellectually, you will realise you’re not paying any more than you would for the monthlies anyway, emotionally you’re saying, “$36 for a tpb? WTF?”


personally, I’m OK with that.


Anarky: The Complete Collection Series

That strikeout’s there for a reason. Not knowing a huge amount about Anarky, I assumed this was all his solo series stuff, what with “complete” being flagged up there. But the first issue included has a foot-note referring you back to “Anaraky mini-series #3”, so… I guess not. (I don’t know if it’s already been collected elsewhere).

Anyway, taking this series on its merits, I can see why Grant is so laissez-faire about it. There’s an interview with him where he says he pretty much only did it because Breyfogle needed the work rather than because he thought Anarky would work in an ongoing, and (setting aside the fact that Breyfogle probably could have picked up other work with DC easily) I can see Grant’s point. I mean, the first issues starts with Anarky having mathematically proved that for the universe to exist as it does, there must be a point that an aberration from outside its natural laws will enter and disrupt it, and him trying to convince the Justice League of this. It doesn’t seem a natural fit for a character built on the idea of social and political anarchy. And that theme continues through the 8 issues the series manages to last, with a weird Day of Armageddon tie-in and copious Green Lantern stuff. There’s only a couple of issues where Anarky gets to really feel true to its roots, as he goes up against Ra’s Al Ghul, but it’s not amazing stuff. There are some interesting ideas that aren’t well explored.

Breyfogle’s art is very nice though.


Dealer Alert

This doesn’t look bad:

Collects SUPER SONS #1-16, SUPER SONS ANNUAL #1, SUPERMAN #10-11, #37-38, TEEN TITANS #15 and a story from DC REBIRTH HOLIDAY SPECIAL #1.

20-odd issues for £28 ain’t bad. RRP is £44.99 / $49.99

Also suggests DC have realised omitting crossover issues from OHCs is really irritating too.


But that’s where you set up a subscription model, whether a centralized one for everything or with spinoffs for publishers who could handle it.


This just arrived and it actually contains more material than the recent Rebellion published Lawless trade. It has the Long-Range War story from Meg 380-385 included.


Heh, well that’s reason for me not to buy the second trade, isn’t it?

Except the BD model charges higher prices and seems to do just fine with yearly publication. Of course, part of that is to do with quality and density - like 2000AD they pack a lot into each, with top-notch art. So, quality product? People will pay for it.


BD albums tend to be 48-64 pages. What’s being suggested here is at least 240.


Yeah - the most I’ve heard of BD going up to for an album is 100-120 and they’re rare. You could still scale the price and, if the quality is there, perhaps still pull it off. Though I think consumer expectations play the bigger role and BD consumers are used to that model. Try and transfer it to a different setting and all bets are off.

OHCs tend to collect 2-3 trades, which in turn justifies the price - to the degree now that a 2-trade OHC that has RRP $50 is up against other, same priced editions that collect 3 trades. Of course, if the trade size is 4 issues that skews this quite a bit.


The Fall of Deadworld

It seems strange that there’s never been a more substantive account of what happened on Deadworld until now, but there wasn’t. Then this new guy to me, Kek-W and Kendall went to work on what is a great horror read.

As it’s 2000AD it packs a hell of a lot of the space it has and it does it all with this glorious painted style that Kendall uses. Unlike Dark Justice, this feels like a different take on the Dark Judges and, for me, it was one that was far, far creepier.

The hardback edition from Rebellion is also superb, nice, thick, glossy paper in an oversized hardback where the size really shows off the art.

The Last Templar: Volumes 5-6

A two-volume sequel to the initial quartet, this once again has Tess and Sean delving into forgotten history three years on.

What follows is very much a comics version of the kind of story that has made Dan Brown loaded. There’s a villain, albeit one with a point - British-Iran history isn’t pretty at all, which our heroes oppose. There is one notable difference - in the previous quartet, it concluded with what was thought to be Christ’s journal being lost to the sea which was a bit too neat. This arc reveals that was a forgery, but there are other gospels, which they obtain 35mm copies of! It would be interesting to see if a third arc follows through on this element , which makes it work far better for me.


Picked up this omnibus for £23 on Amazon, still sealed. I have absolutely zero interest in reading it but thought I could flip it on eBay for a bit of profit.


Glad you enjoyed it Ben, I really like the world that Kek & Kendall have built - even more so after I spoke to them at the 40th anniversary Con.

The series absolutely oozes atmosphere and there’s that weird sense of almost fuzzy dreamscape throughout.


The recent interlude from a month or two back was astounding.


wow how did you manage that? Just a marketplace seller with a cheap listing?


My buddy has something called camelcamelcamel (not heard of it before) that works as a price tracker. He routinely buys omnibuses cheap for reselling and he alerted me to this one. Just a cheap marketplace seller.


From the pages of CLINT!

Complete with an ending.


Speedyhen voucher watch: SPRING18 gives you 5% off an order of £50 or more.

You can currently pre-order the Ex Machina omnibus for £71.03 with the voucher, which is the best price I’ve seen yet.