Author: Scott VanderPloeg

Review | 7 Psychopaths

Boom! Studios has just released 7 Psychopaths trade paperback; this series completely slipped under the radar and I only spotted it because of Sean Phillips doing the art.  Originally published by Delcourt in French three years ago in that large beautiful European format as a sixty-three page hardcover, Boom! decided to shrink it down for the North American market to standard comic book size and split it up into three issues and then make this softcover collection.  Here’s the publisher’s blurb: With World War II in full swing, there’s only one way to draw it to a quick close: assassinate Hitler. But who would be insane enough to try? Joshua Goldschmidt knows just the men to do it. Insane, psychotic, mad, call them what you will, but the Seven Psychopaths are now the only hope the world has! In the vein of Inglourious Basterds comes a thrilling story never before released in English! Before I get anywhere that blatant association with Inglorious Basterds is so far off the mark it’s ridiculous: the only thing they have in common is the war.  This story is about a British colonel who upon returning from stress leave reads a letter from a man in an asylum with a plan to kill Hitler.  His goal is to form a group of seven individuals who are also mentally unstable as “they don’t know their...

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Review | Fables: Covers By James Jean

The title says it all.  Fables: Covers By James Jean is a 9×12″ hardcover collection of James Jean’s covers of seventy-four monthly issues, ten trade paperbacks, one on-shot and one graphic novel.  If you enjoy Jean’s work then pick up this book.  Nuff said. Wait a minute, that sums it up but it’s the details and package that make this a stand out volume not only because of the content but the way it’s delivered.  Let’s start with the stunning image above: that’s the front cover once the dust jacket is removed.  Why would anyone want to cover up that image? The interior layout is sheer brilliance: each cover receives a double spread with preliminary work on the left and the finished piece on the right.  The finished pieces are stunning and you get to enjoy them in all their glory but the work up pages on the left give the real story.  Have a look-see below. Here we have the preliminary sketch, pencils, published cover, text from the book that inspired the image and notes on media used.  And we have this for every image: a peek behind the curtain.  It’s impossible not to marvel at the skill shown in the roughs, let alone the pencils and completed paintings. After the art we are treated to an interview of Jean by Fables writer Bill Willingham, an afterward from...

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DC to stop shrink wrapping "most" hardcovers

DC Comics announced yesterday in its retailer newsletter Direct Channel #104 that it will stop shrink wrapping most hardcovers beginning in December.  Here’s the blurb: Please note that starting with books arriving in stores in December, DC Comics will no longer shrink-wrap most hardcover titles. DC will continue to shrink-wrap titles priced at more than $50.00 US, as well as titles that include extra materials such as sell sheets or cards. This serves two purposes: it reduces packaging which cuts cost and can be promoted as being environmentally friendly.  Of course if environment was the concern then the $50+...

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Fan Expo 2010 Day Three: Out With A Bang

Fan Expo 2010 is done for me. None of my Sunday goals were reached and the show remained packed; no last day slow down. It’s solid for the retailers but as a buyer I like bargain hunting at the end with dealers who don’t want to haul merchandise home. I wasn’t able to track Tim Bradstreet down so no sketch from him. Ethan Van Sciver still had a long list of sketches to go before mine so that was a washout as well. Chatted with Michael Cho who sold all his show art save for one piece. No surprise...

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Fan Expo 2010 Day Two: Art who?

Saturday at Fan Expo was crazier than usual: the crowds were so intense all afternoon there was a long line waiting to get in. If only the deals were that crazy… I dedicated the day to getting various hardcovers signed. Two options: snag a signature at the creator’s booth or at one of their signings. Some like Olivier Coipel and the Kubert brothers were only signing for one hour at a signing area; needless to say I didn’t get anything from them. I searched high and low for Steve McNiven but never saw him at his table. I had a chance to chat again with Darwyn Cooke about upcoming works. He’s been contemplating one or two self published collections of unseen or rare work but is looking to do them digitally. I asked about oversize reprints of his IDW works in the same format as The Man With The Getaway Face one shot but he doesn’t think that will explored until all four Parker books are published. Darwyn did say he loved seeing his work at that size as it showed all his mistakes. Chris Sprouse arrived very late Friday but was set up and ready to go when I arrived Saturday. He had a stack of pages for sale, all $40 each which is a steal in any economy. He apologized that he was charging $10 for head...

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