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The Official Newsletter of Heroes and Dragons


Issue # 8.30 — March 1, 2004

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More Powerful than a Locomotive —
Comic Club Meets This Thursday

Has it already been a month since we met to discuss Torso?

Yep — and it's time to get together again, to share our thoughts on two classic Superman stories:

  • Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
    by Alan Moore, Kurt Schaffenberger, Curt Swan, and George Pérez

  • Man of Steel
    by John Byrne and Dick Giordano

Was the reinvention of Superman necessary?  Does the "new" Superman speak to readers differently than the Silver Age version?  Bring your thoughts on these and other topics to our next meeting — this Thursday, March 4 at 7:30pm — where we'll compare and contrast both stories.

If you've never attended Comic Club, this is a great chance to meet our members and learn all about the program.  If you decide to join, there's a $20 per year membership fee, which also entitles you to a year-round 20% discount on all graphic novels (not just the ones we read for Comic Club).

March Previews Files Now Available

The latest Previews files are available for download right here on  Our subscribers (or anyone else, really) are welcome to download these files and use them in compiling their monthly Previews order.

Available files include:

  • The complete text of the March 2004 Previews catalog (for items shipping to Heroes and Dragons in May)

  • The complete text of the Previews Adults-Only Supplement (no dirty pictures)

  • The Marvel Comics Previews Catalog

  • A complete list of cancellations, detailing which items from previous issues of Previews are no longer scheduled to ship to Heroes and Dragons

  • A list of all the one-shots and first issues shipping in the month of May

  • The complete STAR System catalog, listing all previously offered items that are available for re-order

Download them all here.

Once you have all the information you need to be a savvy comics buyer, you can place your order for May-shipping comic books, graphic novels, t-shirts, and novelties right here at

Orders from this issue of Previews are due Saturday, March 13.

On the Go: Our 2004 Convention Schedule

We've posted the rough outline of our convention schedule for 2004 — and it's ambitious.  We're hitting all the major conventions this year, so chances are good you'll get to meet and greet the Dragon crew, even if you're not local to our Columbia, South Carolina headquarters.

Click here to check out the biggies — and remember, this is only a skeleton for our 2004 travel plans.  We'll be hitting lots of smaller regional shows in addition to these national events.

Pick of the Week — Swamp Thing (Vol. 4) #1

By New Comics Manager Tug Baker

Just looking at the numbers for this week, it looks like a small week for comics — which is the perfect time to pick up a new title that you might not have given a chance otherwise.

What’s the best and brightest of the bunch this week? Why, it’s our old friend Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing! Or is it?

Swamp Thing (Vol. 4) # 1 hits the shelves this week, and it looks like this may be the best incarnation of the fan favorite muck monster since Mark Millar’s run on the book (back before anyone knew who the heck Mark Millar was). Written by Andy Diggle (Losers) and with art by Enrique Breccia (Batman: Gotham Knights and the recently released Lovecraft hardcover), this new book spins out of last week’s issue of Hellblazer, in which Alec Holland’s soul has been separated from the Swamp Thing. This means the Swamp Thing is likely to get out of control again, and guess who comes to stop him?  None other than Mr. John Constantine. This kind of tight, intertwining storytelling is what has really set DC above and beyond other publishers this year.

The story for the issue is quite good and looks like it will be faithful to the older versions.  There's enough focus on Swamp Thing’s continuity to please old fans, but a quick recap of the back story keeps new readers from becoming confused. The real “draw” (sorry, couldn’t resist) is the beautifully dark art by Enrique Breccia. Like his father before him, Breccia adds the depth and detail to horror art that gets lost more often than not. He’s definitely cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the comic world here.

Still don't think Swamp Thing is your thing?  No problem — I've got four other great picks for you at

  • G.I. Joe Reborn # 1

  • Marvel Age: Spider-Man # 1

  • Alpha Flight (Vol. 3) # 1

  • Captain America and Falcon # 1

Click here to read my mini-reviews of these four titles.

For Tug's complete review, click here.

Toys of the Week — Hellboy and Sammael

This week, we welcome a new contributing columnist, The Toyman.  If you'd like to learn more about the Toyman, click here.

By The Toyman

As a big fan of Hellboy, I’ve been looking forward to this toy line almost as much as I’ve been looking forward to the movie they are based on. And they do not disappoint.

Mezco has grown into an impressive company. They quickly put behind themselves the mess that was Underworld and focused their energy on bigger and better things. The Dark Carnival and Gangsters lines both look great, and the Hellboy toys look even better. We’ll begin this review with the first two figures in a six-figure lineup: Hellboy and Sammael.

The detail is great, from the BPRD logo on Hellboy's coat to the cracked stone texture of the Right Hand of Doom.  Hellboy’s face is sculpted in his trademark grimace — if only he were chomping on a cigar! — and if that’s not your style, there is also a variant headsculpt of a calmer Hellboy.  The soft plastic trenchcoat blends perfectly with the body. It was definitely the superior option over cloth.

Two impressive toys from an even more impressive line. The rest of the line includes Abe Sapien, Hellboy without his coat, Rasputin with Baby Hellboy (i.e. "Hellboy Junior"), and Kronen. Both Hellboys have variant head sculpts (calm and angry), and there are Diamond exclusive versions of Abe and Hellboy. (Diamond's Hellboy is battle-damaged with full horns.)  As a companion piece, there is also an 18” Hellboy (and another exclusive version of it at Tower Records). Expect a review those figures in part 2 of our look at the Hellboy movie line.

Quick news bits:

The rumors that have been circulating about the end of Playmates' World of Simpsons line appear to be true. The Playmates license to produce Simpsons merchandise expires at the end of this year. Chances are that Series 16 will be the last full series, but there may be a Treehouse of Horror 5 wave and possibly a few extra exclusives. More on this as it develops.

Vote for Hasbro's Star Wars Fan Choice Figure #6 here.  All the choices will be repackaged figs, but it's a great chance to fill a hole in your collection.

See you next week! Same toy time! Same toy channel!

For the Toyman's complete review (and more news nuggets), click here.

Dollar Deal Days Roll On ...

Our unbelievable four-for-a-dollar deal is going strong all week!

By now, you've been bombarded with e-mail about this exciting event, so I'll keep the hype to a minimum.  Just remember:

  • Our entire 90,000-book dollar comic inventory is on sale for 25¢ per comic.

  • You can fill up an empty long box (provided by us) for only $50.  (That's about 300 comics at an average price of 17¢ per book!)

  • The sale ends this Sunday, March 7.

This is no crappy close-out inventory, folks — we're talking about the Monster Stock of dollar back issues, which contains most comics published after 1980 that guide for less than $10!

This is a sale so good even the employees can't resist it.  We've already picked up runs of Justice League International, Legion of Super-Heroes, Alpha Flight, X-Factor, and Grimjack from these boxes.  Who knows what you'll find in there?

(Sshhh — don't tell anyone, but we're blowing out these books to make room for a brand-new stock that will be worked into the store soon.)

Coming Events

Lord of the Rings CCG League meets Tuesday, March 2 at 4:00pm.

Comic Club meets Thursday, March 4 at 7:30pm.

Site to See

Love 'em or hate 'em, cell phones are here to stay — and so are customized ringtones.  If you're a ringtone collector and can never find that exact sound you "need" for your phone, stop searching.  Just create it!

Brrring!  Xing!  Click here to create your own custom ringtones

Xingtone 3.0 allows you to create ringtones from any audio file.  Use CD audio, MIDIs, WAV files, television samples, even voice recordings to create that perfect ringtone.



Dragon's Breath is written and administered by Scott Simmons.
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