Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


I’ve just had this email from SpeedyHen, pertaining to my pre-order of the Loeb and Sale Batman omni
"Good afternoon,

I chased the publisher to find out when we may be receiving stock of this item but they have still been unable to advise a date. I wanted to make you aware of this and will of course keep you updated if there are any changes.

Kind regards,

Hazel Gearing

Customer Service"

Has anybody ever had something like this from SH? I pre-ordered only a day or so after it went live, but I’m worried they might not be able to fulfill my order having seen that copies are most definitely out in the world.


Don’t be too bothered by it, you might find your order despatches 48 hours later.

SH’s supply seems to be a bit variable, this is them keeping you in the loop - keep your order intact and be patient.


Up North for a few days with family. Took a stack of unread trades, see how I get on with getting thru them with the kids here :joy:

I read Ghost Fleet last night by Donny Cates and Daniel Warren Johnson.

It was a bit of a mess that I struggled to get through, despite it being the sort of story I’d have expected to very much work for me.
I found it very confusing, badly paced and it didn’t draw me in.

I was determined to finish it, but ultimately I don’t really know what happened at the end, I’d given up trying to make sense of it.
I felt there was pages missing at a few stages, where it just abruptly jumped from one thing to another.
Then I read at the back that it was 12 issues that had to be condensed to 8, that makes sense why it was all over the place.

The art was good to look at but the storytelling was really poor.

I can’t abide by a comic that leaves me several times scratching my head to what has happened from one panel to another, or in individual panels.

I’ll never revisit this so it’s straight on eBay.

NOT recommended.


Over the last few years, Valiant has had one hell of a run and put a lot of very excellent OHC editions, I’ve probably got somewhere in the region of 20-25 of them. To all things though, there comes an ending and I think Valiant’s run is coming to a close based on these reads:

Wrath of the Eternal Warrior OHC

This was good enough. While I can see what they’re going for with the white, black and red aesthetic for the art, it doesn’t work that well for me. The main plot is also unsatisfying due to being inconclusive.

Quantum and Woody OHC2

This was also good enough. It had some great highlights, like Quantum and Woody becoming unpopular once more due to Woody blowing up a panda on film. The link-up with Archer and Armstrong worked well too.

Neither of these collections are bad, but both are RRP $50, unlike past collections and, in that respect, they don’t cut it. I feel quite certain I could pick up an earlier OHC and find a superior product. That there has been personnel changeover at all levels of Valiant is telling, as it does seem to be having a negative impact on their output. Kind of shame but nothing lasts forever - it’s been a good run.


The Hard Place
Doug Wagner & Nick Rummel

I bought this off the strength of Doug Wagner’s Plastic mini series which I read in trade last year. If you have not read it, it is worth checking out. Pretty unique.

This is a 5 issue crime mini and it is also enjoyable enough.
I have a couple of issues with it in that there’s too many circumstantial events that occur to kick the book off. Guy gets out of jail after a bank robbery just so happens to get caught up in another one while he’s in the bank again to get a loan, literally days after his release. And the daughter of his former employer, local bad guy, not only happens to be there but also the robbers just happen to pick her as hostage
If you can get by all that then the story should work fine for most.

Second issue is with the artist. Asides from the fact I don’t like his style, his characters all look too similar and his lines are too thick - this becomes a problem where he doesn’t change the thickness enough between stuff in the foreground and stuff in the background and as a result the panel compositions can be confusing. Particular example I can remember is what I thought was a police blockade, turns out was police on a road above the road the robbers were driving on, cue me flicking back and forward repeatedly, trying to work out how they got by the blockade they looked to be heading for on the next page. There was a few issues like that.
His story telling and body language etc is generally fine but the lines are too thick to show facial expressions, all the characters look black to various degrees, which is a problem of both the colourist and the artist, mainly at the beginning but throughout I had issues in trying to work out who is who and the whole way through the book I had to stop and try work out who I was looking at in a new scene. There’s 2 other guys who look like the main character.
Basically the artist can’t draw faces at all, and when I say that I’m not talking about how it looks aesthetically or superficially. I mean in terms of the basics in actually being able to function as sequential storytelling.
The most important part of comic book art is serving the story as the be all and end all. If you can’t do that you have failed.

Art aside, Wagner does likeable characters and I was really rooting for the main protagonist within a few pages, which always help engage me in a story - the opposite was true of Ghost Fleet where I couldn’t have given a single fuck about any one of the characters within, which was mostly down to inconsistent characterisation where there was any at all.

It’s brief read, but it’s an really engrossing one. It’s quite a ride and it’s a real page turner. There’s good 90 minute high octane heist movie in here.

I’ll be looking out for Doug Wagner in future, he’s 2 from 2 for me. Plastic is the better of the two though.


Days of Hate volume 1

The good: The covers and logo are fantastic.

The rest:

I read the first issue of this when it came out and it really annoyed me. I understand that it’s there in the title, but i felt that this book did come from a place of hatred, which is something I feel so disillusioned, and helplessly disappointed by in the world today.

Bottom line is I don’t feel killing right wingers is going to solve a single thing, it would have the opposite effect and only recruit more people to that mindset, and lo, the downwards spiral continues.

The two things that really annoyed me were

  1. A comment about a bombing of a gay club, where one of the characters flippantly suggests the LAPd could have planned it.
    This sort of shit boils my blood.
    The police, brave people putting their life on the line for all the safety of all, and far from handsomely rewarded for it,
    They’ve become an easy target in recent years and it’s a train of thought that makes me sick.
  2. The light that an investigator for the department of Domestic Terrorism is painted in.
    Again, an individual doing a job that is designed to keep the majority safe, being painted out to be a corrupt, racist, right wing slimeball.

Not a good start.

However, I felt there was enough to this book to merit giving it a chance, especially as Zezelj is on art, who has long been a favourite of mine.
But even then, there is a massive problem in telling characters apart, worst of all is that I never noticed a character putting a wig on when going on to commit a terrorist attack, the wig making her look very much like another character in the book. It got to issue 4 where I had to go back again because it made less and less sense, only to realise that there wasn’t a 3rd character in the car, it was the second character with a wig on. It’s really not clear.

In the second issue something really petty annoyed me. One of the characters talking about drinking for the first time ever and the next day, feeling their anxiety disappear for the first time ever. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. Drinking alcohol will very likely kill your anxiety at the time, but the next day it will be back worse than ever.

Having read the entire volume there’s too many issues with it to buy the second.
You know things are bad when Jordi Bellaire is also having an off day.
The colour palate is terrible. The art is already murky as it is. There’s an additional issue of the colours being so dark throughout that it’s hard to tell where there’s a signal of change between present day and flashback and location changes.

The pacing of the book is terrible. This is all compounded in issue 5 where for some unknown reason, other than his own pretentiousness (if you have read Kot you will perhaps know where I’m coming from here, he is very pretentious, and often I think he is trying to ape his favourite writers or certain techniques without actually fully grasping where to employ them effectively) the entire issue employs 3 panel pages, and can be read in about 2 minutes. It doesn’t work at all. Very little happens between the start of the issue and the end - if he’s trying to build tension or concern for characters that are paper thin
Every character sounds the same, all think they are smartest person in the room, with indirect cryptic dialogue.

I’m actually annoying myself right now writing about it, it’s a load of fucking shite.

Basically here’s the story, it’s a couple of years in the future and every cunt is falling out because of the left and right divides.
A lesbian couple split up with each other because one of them is violent, a left wing terrorist, the other decides to help the anti terrorism folk track her down.
Dragged out over 6 issues.
Add a few quotes at the start of each issue that make you sound smart and well read.
Hey Presto you’ve got yourself half a 12 issue mini series.
Just to emphasise how well read Kot is, he adds a handy list at the back, so you can marvel at it.

Kudos to the letterer by the way, for fitting more words into the balloons than I’ve put in this rant.


Dealer Alert

SpeedyHen offers now active:

Rat Queens OHC2

X-Men Mutant Massacre Omnibus

Warship Jolly Roger Volume 2


Batman: Creature of the Night went up today, too. A decent price with the discount code.


By the way, my copy of the Berlin HC arrived today - thanks to you (and Bruce and Robert) for all the recommendations, it looks like a great book.


Doubt it’ll be out in time, last info I saw was #4 was due next year! Or has it changed again?


I know #4 keeps slipping, last I heard it didn’t have a fixed date. But I thought I’d get the pre-order in either way as they’ve always honoured these early prices in the past.


True. I’m just a bit wary of DC at the moment.

Batman: White Knight trade is a paperback, right? As SH have it as hardback.


I think that’s based on the early solicits - I’m pretty sure the version due out imminently is a softback.


The one coming out soon is a paperback; I think there’s plans for an uncensored HC next year.


Yep, this was his most recent comment on it I think:

Presumably hardback, although I’m not 100% sure.


Got this lot for a total of £68 at the discount FP stall at thought bubble. 21 books so pretty awesome deal. Includes a couple of pricey hardbacks as well.


Strange Fruit is excellent.
I also enjoyed The Names, Hard Time and Slott & Allred’s Silver Surfer is also brilliant.



Finished my super trade wait read of Batman: Eternal. Vol 3 was a great read pretty much from start to end. It doesn’t have the longer form storytelling of the earlier volumes, instead opting for a rapid fire succession of chaotic encounters, before the grand finale kicks in, and the mystery is finally revealed.

I enjoyed the series a lot. Reading it in such rapid fashion made up for some dodgy episodes along the way. But, overall there was a consistency of tone and plot across the entire series that I wasn’t expecting.

Whilst tying in to Snyder’s New52 Batman run, this was clearly masterminded by James Tynion. The series has a lot of his hallmarks, and clearly shows his love of the Batman family. It was pretty cool coming to this after his Detective Comics run; many of the same characters feature in both runs, and he sets up a lot of character dynamics that play out in that book. Good stuff.

I’m quite tempted in picking up a few of the spin offs that came out of this; I’ll probably do so the next time they are on sale on ComiXology.


Just read last night WW Hiketeia, and can’t get why people praise it so much. All sounds like it’s written simply to have Bruce and Diana one-on-one. Characters are paper thin, and Batman is shown absurdingly reckless. I mean, the set - up is interesting. The execution: not so much. The only worth here is JG Jones’ gorgeous art.

Oh, and this image:


Not the Batman!


There is not enough “prep time” in the world to handle Diana.