Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Amazing Heroes Preview Special......

Looking over the Alan Moore interview from a 1984 copy of Amazing Heroes, I felt a wave of nostalgia for the magazine and in particular the wonderful Amazing Heroes Preview Special?

Amazing Heroes was a comic magazine published from 1981 to 1992 by Fantagraphics. It was a news and reviews magazine dealing with the more spandex clad end of comics, much lighter in tone than it's sister publication, the notorious Comics Journal and had a tendency to read more from a fan's perspective than as comic journalism.

Given that Fantagraphics books was an alternative publisher with an almost pathological hatred of anything wearing spandex, the magazine hadn't really sat well in the Fantagraphics' line-up since it started, and the situation only got worse through the 80s as Fantagraphics' stance became more and more hardline.

Working in Nostalgia & Comics towards the latter half of the magazine's run, I used to read it alongside Comics Journal, treating the two as opposite ends of a comic spectrum.

The absolute highlight of the magazine was it's twice a year Preview Special edition. This was a huge edition with extensive glimpses into the next six months plus of issues of most of the comics being published by the majority of the publishers of the time.
Often the previews were written by the writers of the books themselves which just added to the sense of being let into a secret club looking into the future.

In many ways, the AHPS was a lot more fun, a lot more interesting and certainly a lot less time consuming than actually getting the comics themselves. At it's best, it was a fascinating glimpse into the thought processes of some of the best writers in comics. At it's worst, a puff piece that allowed harassed comic book till workers to keep up with what was going on in some truly awful comics, thus saving us the pain of reading them for ourselves.

I wish there was something similar now. But until then, can someone point me in the direction of a nice summary of the last 10 years of Marvel and DC Comics, allowing me to satisfy a curiosity to actually know what went on in House of M, Infinite Crisis et al without having to waste my time actually reading them. Thanks.


  1. You could try Wilipedia plot summaries.

  2. Cheers Pete.
    I know I could use Wikipedia, and have done when blogging about stuff when I needed it.
    But I was having a nostalgic flashback about how nice it was to settle into an easy chair and peruse the AHPS, getting excited about what's going to happen.

    I also find that Wikipedia, although hugely useful and informative tends to be a bit dry and lacking any interesting writing.

    Or maybe it's just me wanting everything like it used to be?