Maybe I have a little too much of what might be termed “peripheral vision.” As much as I enjoy the comics that carry the thrust of the “mainstream,” I tend to follow whatever flows off the main stem to see where they may lead. I like the periphery, the left field, the off-beat, the eccentric. Show me an edge and I’ll sail off it. I’ve been very lucky: I’ve been able to work on a lot of comics that had a reputation for straying from the pack. That streak of luck has continued with DC Comics-The New 52. Have you heard about ANIMAL MAN yet? It’s already garnering a reputation for being different from the pack. I’ve read a lot of comic books, and I’ve never seen anything like what Travel Foreman is putting into his pages. He’s clearly inspired by the scripts he’s getting from Jeff Lemire, in which Buddy Baker … and his whole family … are forced to confront strange new worlds they never counted on seeing in their lifetimes. Jeff’s also behind FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. This is a far cry from Mary Shelley’s monster: he’s now a secret agent for the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, wielding a sword against monsters ten times as ugly and formidable as he is. Alberto Ponticelli’s been drawing this, and he and Jeff seem to be in a friendly competition: the more insane the concept, the more Alberto tries to one-up him in the visual department. A thousand monsters in a panel? A city in a globe? A strange new incarnation of Father Time? The ideas fly between them pretty fast, and the results are astounding! When you see J.G. Jones’ electrifying covers on MISTER TERRIFIC, you’ll know we’re going for a vibe you won’t find just anywhere. Eric Wallace has hotwired the adventures of the World’s Third Smartest Man, keeping one of Michael Holt’s feet firmly planted in the Ninth Dimension and the other in the chaotic California of the DCU. It’s super-science with the volume cranked all the way up, and Gianluca Gugliotta’s pencils make the otherworldly concepts seem really incredibly otherworldy! Ivan Brandon’s one of the brightest guys currently working, and I was eager to see what he come up with for the new Sgt. Rock. He didn’t disappoint. The book is set in contemporary times against contemporary landscapes, but with a twist: it’s set in the DC Universe. It’s a race to see who outstrips whom: MEN OF WAR or the headlines. Tom Derenick keeps things earthy and real with his approach to the art. Also confronting a new landscape is Jonah Hex. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray have dropped him in the middle of a world beyond his understanding: Gotham City. If you’ve checked out Moritat’s work on THE SPIRIT, you’ll know what dizzying heights of draftsmanship he’s capable of … and they’re all on display in ALL-STAR WESTERN. These are all singular reading experiences, as far from the norm as we could make them! Both the war and Western books also have some room to test out new concepts, as they’re all slightly larger than the rest of mags. We’d like to know what you think of ‘em, so like everything else, write and let us know. I read all the mail, and that’s me writing the letter columns for the books, so for these and for the upcoming MY GREATEST ADVENTURE, don’t spare us. Write us!