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Tuesday November 11, 2008 6:22 pm

A Problem with Previews




Posted by Jonas Hinckley Categories: Editorials, Image Comics

Invincible and Atom Eve

I’m going to assume that anybody taking the time to read about comics online is familiar with Previews, that strange hybrid of retailer catalog and consumer buying guide (and major publisher propaganda piece) put out on a monthly basis that contains the full range of items filling your local comic shop’s shelves.

I use Previews sort of like I used to use TV Guide back in the day when that was just a weekly pamphlet: it allows me to more or less keep tabs on the goings-on of hundreds of series without having to either purchase or read every single thing that comes out, which is way beyond my budgetary means.

But in order for this to work for me—and, I’d say, for retailers looking to gauge interest in a title—both the art and the copy for each solicit really has to grab you. And this is my current quibble… which is probably less with Previews than it is with whoever’s handling copy for Image Comics, but details, shmetails. Accompanying the cover of issue 58 of Invincible is the following text:

Read More | Previews

Invincible and Atom Eve are finally together. Young love… how interesting.

Um, not really.

This is a joke, right? I mean, I have to believe this was the first draft/placeholder for whatever was supposed to be in the final solicitation, ‘cause that’s really selling this book short. There’s not even an exclamation point after “how interesting,” which might change the tone of the whole thing in that Stan “the Man” Lee way. The way it reads now, it reads as just about the most boring thing ever, which, no matter what one thinks of Invincible, it’s certainly not boring.

And you could say that that’s the point: I guess it’s possible that the solicitation is as vague as possible in order to pique some interest in actually purchasing the issue in order to ascertain the specifics of said young love—When you’re already wearing skin-tight spandex costumes, do you care to get each other naked? Do Invincible’s goggles steam up when he’s amorously excited? Will everyone’s parents approve? Will there be some deus ex machina that will force them apart by the end of the issue in order to prolong and extend the romance? Will Atom Eve now be forever used solely as a stereotypical victim/target now that their love is out in the open?—but based on that text, I think I’d be safe to simply wait for the next issue to see what’s afoot.

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