Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Best and Worst of Last Week

This week is a lot different then normal as only one "regular" comic book made my list. Let's get the bad out of the way first.


Marvel Illustrated The Last of the Mohicans #1 (of 6) - Maybe I was too tired when I was reading it, maybe the actual story has never been one of my favorites, but for whatever reason I found the book to be unreadable. After trying to plow through about 8 to 10 pages I just put the book down. So this was an easy pick for worst book of the week, but I'll wait to Gwen reads it to get a better picture of it. I should have started with a classic story that I enjoy to get a better feel as to whether these will be a good thing or not.

Best of the Week

First in Space - Graphic Novel from Oni Press - by James Vining This was only $9.99 for an original graphic novel done in black and white. Now I admit that "the whole Jim loves it when a monkey is involved" has some basis in fact, but this was a wonderful book. This is a book that should be in every grade school library and is really a fantastic book. It does what I think comics can do almost better then any other medium, it can teach and entertain all at the same time. The book is a well researched volume depicting the training and eventually space flight of chimpanzees. In the early sixties (late fifties) the US used chimpanzees as guinea pigs for humans. Before sending a man in space the chimps were making sure it was safe. That time was a great time to be alive as a child when the world was full of wonder and the idea that man was going to explore space was really exciting to a young boy. Action Philosophers is another great book that entertains and teaches all at the same time. I think this was a great all age read as well as just a great read. A wonderful picture of history focusing on an unknown hero "Ham" the First in Space.

Walking Dead Volume 6 - This Sorrowful Life - by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard - This is one of the very few comics that I get as a trade paperback. The premise (for those who don't know) is that an event made the vast majority of the world become Zombies and we are following the story of a small group of survivors. The tag line for the book has always been a favorite of mine " in a world ruled by the dead, we are finally forced to start living." At this point the group we are following are lead by Rick (an ex-sheriff) and his band that have used a prison as their refuge. The prison works to keep the zombies out. They have encountered another group of survivors and they do not appear to be be friendly. Rick is coming to grips with his rapid decline of morality (as he sees it). Kirkman is showing (intentionally or not) how Maslow's hierarchy of needs actually works. I also enjoy that we are experiencing this world from a ground level. We only know what our characters know, we have no idea what happened in the rest of the world, why this happened or if anyone is working to fix it. It makes the book feel more like we are in it with them. Often in movies or other stories the story cuts to a different location and we find out what the main characters don't know. In this story we learn what Rick and his group learns, no more and no less.

Green Lantern #19 - By Geoff Johns and Daniel Arcuna. The entire Green Lantern saga has a feel of a lot of stuff is going on. Between the Star Sapphires, the Sinestro Corps, Ion and what is happening in the GL Corps I think Green Lantern is poised to have a really interesting year. When Hal came back I felt like so what, we had seen his story and there wasn't anything more to tell. Now I look forward to this book and it feels like we are being given insight to the why and wherefores of what is behind the guardians and their mission.

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