Every month, I pick you up from my local shop, and I start by gingerly browsing your contents, seeing what new mysteries await. During this first perusal, the big announcements stand out. What new, Earth-shattering event is Marvel planning? Which gods of the DC pantheon are paying a visit to their lesser-known human contemporaries? Who is gracing Image Comics with a new, creator-owned story this month? What new world will Archaia be transporting us to?
Then, at some point after having lightly browsed your offerings for a few days, it is time to get down to business. It is time for the Previews party. My wife and I set aside an evening, and after dinner we pull out our Previews order form, a highlighter, some pens, and an alcoholic beverage or two. We then go through, page by page, making a list of all the titles that catch our eye. We take note of Dark Horse's latest explorations into the worlds of Buffy, Star Wars, and the dark mind of Mike Mignola. We wander the twisted halls of Vertigo where new names mingle with some of the greatest creators in comics. We visit with old friends from our childhood with IDW's Transformers and G.I. Joe books.
After taking a look at the big comics publishers, we go to my favorite section of the book: the small press publishers. Here you offer us the brightest and newest stars in the comics' universe. Archaia wows us with the richest stories and incredible art. BOOM! excites us with exciting, new takes on established properties and experimental new series from hungry, young creators. Here you'll find Princeless, Idolized, Footsteps, and Foster, comics that challenge conventional thinking and grew from a passion to tell new stories.
After all this, Previews, you still have 200-pages of collectibles, statues, toys, t-shirts, and more. Kotobukiya wows us with their phenomenal statues, Mighty Fine reinvents the nerdy T-shirt, and DC direct gives us more action figures than we'd know what to do with. Your last 200 pages are filled with more nerdy fun than my wallet can handle, yet I love you no less.
Previews, you are more than a catalog. You are an oracle divining the future of the industry I love. You are a friend who offers helpful reminders, so that I do not miss out on my favorite things. You are a diplomat who helps me communicate my desires and concerns about the future of comics to the publishers and stores I frequent. Thank you, Previews.