And so here we are for the final time for 2011, the ‘Christmas’ edition of Previews.  It’s been a good year for comics, with every month being like Christmas with the release of so much good stuff – DC’s New 52 efforts, Marvel’s Daredevil and Punisher reboots, the many excellent independent/creator owned titles from Image and Dark Horse and smaller publishers such as IDW and Dynamite offering up some interesting properties and intelligent and hard-hitting drama.

2011 will also likely be a milestone year for the digital comic format.  While still in their infancy, like e-books, their day has come though to what end is yet to be determined.  Personally (and withstanding my business bias) I really can’t connect with them as a fan.  I appreciate where they have their values and advantages, such as no ‘shipping time’ (we’re so impatient these days aren’t we?), helping to increasing readership, and the fundamental issue for me is that collecting ‘digital’ content has no appeal.  I like my collections tangible, able to be rummaged through and, importantly, able to be seen by others on a bookshelf as a way of communicating something about me.  I think both formats will exist for sometime to come yet, I just hope digital doesn’t overreach itself and cannibalize the entire market, a concern I’ve noted respected comic professionals are voicing.

But to the here and now good people, I’ve highlighted some releases worthy of a closer look from various publishers, and here’s a couple more to consider giving a good home to:

DICKS #1 (Coloured) – Ahh yes, classic early Ennis, really starting to stretch his offensive writing chops.  This series he penned in the late nineties with his Hitman collaborator John McCrea.  Totally charged on below-the-gutter humour, it’s good to see this early Ennis magic revitalised.

If this is your thing, you might want to ask for the more offensive cover 🙂  It looks as though this will run as a monthly series for the time being, covering all the original issues and leading into a new ‘adventure’ for this couple of dicks.

NINJETTES #1 – Spinning out of Garth Ennis’ Dynamite hit, Jennifer Blood, comes some bad-ass ninja action.

This series will be written by Al Ewing (no relation to J.R.) who Ennis has hand-picked to take over the writing of Jennifer Blood down the track.

Ewing served his writing apprenticeship doing Future Shocks for 2000AD.  Ewing promises this series will be dark, sexy and violent and the cover suggests he may well be on the money.

ROAD RAGE – An adaption of the story collaborated on by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill. In the first of two stories, Throttle deals with a bikie gang pursued by a truck and its unseen driver… yep, these books are homages to Duel and might be a bit of fun.  Toot toot!

Orders for the December Previews officially close on Wednesday December 28.