Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What I Read This Week – Feb 14

This week was I managed to get back on track. That isn’t true… I just managed to ignore Wife and Kids long enough to read something entertaining.

I read some intellectual material from The New Yorker.  I read some pure fluff from People (Poor Demi she really is in a bit of a pickle), and of course lots of comics.  Ok, maybe not lots but I did manage a couple of hundred pages in two books.

This week I read Rocketeer Adventures Vol 1 and Tales of Supernatural Law. You can see why I loved them, or not, below the break.

Rocketeer Adventures Volume 1 HC, written by a pack of people, art by even more people, published by IDW, 128 pgs, $25.

I am not sure what inspired the recent boom in Rocketeer material but I can tell you that I was excited by it. First there was the fancy hc collection of Dave Stevens work which had mouth wateringly beautiful artwork. Then there was a series with names like Kurt Busiek, Jonathon Ross, Mark Waid, Mike Allred, John Cassaday, Darwyn Cooke, Kyle Baker, Gene Ha, Michael Kaluta, Bruce Timm, and Chris Weston amongst others.

This is a collection of shorts by some of the biggest names in the industry so it should be amazing! Shouldn’t it? Well, I can say the art is just stunning throughout. It is just page after page of mind blowing pencils, inks, and colors. I can’t say enough about how good the art is.

But… because there’s always a but... the stories never really get above fine. The problem is that I never cared about the characters. They were nothing more than props to get to the next action sequence. It’s just assumed that you know who the characters are and why they do what they do. Which is really bad assumption. It’s kinda like watching an action film. As long as you don’t want any actual plot other than blow things up, then you’re gonna love it. 

Tales of Supernatural Law, written and illustrated by Batton Lash, published by Exhibit A Press, 192 pgs, $17.

Beware the creatures of the night -They have Lawyers! And these lawyers are Alanna Wolf and Jeff Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre. This collection collects the first 8 issues of the comic of the same name. 

This was far and away one of the funniest books that I have read in a long, long time. I’m not sure I’ve ever read as many puns in one sitting as I did in this book. It’s literally page after page, sentence after sentence of puns related to lawyers and monsters. IT’S AWESOME! At a point you start to groan, and then you pass into a whole ‘nother level of pun-dom in which you say “no way he can make any puns in this situation” only to be proven wrong time after time. It’s outstanding.

Even more amazing is the fact that the humor is just part of a much larger, on going story. Lash makes the entire cast real people, with somewhat real problems (considering some of the characters are swamp monsters, were-houses, and vampires). Each story has a plot and then there are several subplots that Lash develops along the way. It's a very entertaining and humorous story.

Lash's art is perfect for the material too.  He has a loose, stylized line that would fit perfectly in an Archie book.  Solid layouts, fun character designs, and even a couple of visual jokes make the art a perfect compliment to the story.

Supernatural Law made the transition to a web comic a couple of years ago.  You can read it here.

That’s it for this week.

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