Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What I read this week...

So, Jim has finally motivated me to discuss all the things that I read the previous week. I've always held out because I don't read nearly the volume of material that he does. Then Thomm pointed out that no reads near the volume he does so here I am...

I read 2 books this week. The Fallen Angel Omnibus and Pinocchio.

The Fallen Angel Omnibus, written by Peter David, illustrated by a couple of artists, published by IDW
This unnumbered omnibus collects the first 21 issues of the IDW series. Not to be confused with the original DC series which was collected in the Volume 0 omnibus, or the Volume 2 omnibus which collects subsequent issues.

Fallen Angel is about well.... a Fallen Angel who lives in the mystical town of Bette Noir. Her son, Jude, who was 2 weeks short of taking his final vows to enter the priesthood, has taken over as Magistrate of the city. And so, in the span of 21 issues you learn the origin of the Angel, watch her son try to manage a city that has a life of it's own, and encounter all sorts of baddies along the way.

I think it's ironic that whenever we talk about greatest writers we never mention Peter David. When I think of it, for sheer longevity, creativity, and some of the best stories ever, he is right up there with Moore and Morrison and Miller. It can be argued he's even better than 2 of those 3. This is one of his best series and that is saying alot. Having grown out of the DC series, the move to IDW allowed PAD to really explore the mythology of having an Angel as a central character. Juxtaposed again the story of her son trying to do right in a city that is basically evil and the excitement never lets up. And, even more impressive is that you don't need to read the DC series to really get it.
The bulk of the art is by J. K. Woodward, with a couple of fill in issues by Kristian Donaldson, Billy Tucci, Joe Corroney, and Dennis Calero. I believe this is some of Woodward's first pro work and it's very polished. It's interesting to watch his art get slightly looser as the deadlines start to get tight.

A couple of minor points: (1) for maximum enjoyment I recommend reading Vol 0 first but it isn't necessary, (2) this is also out of print so you have to search for it alittle but it is so worth it, and (3) it's amazing to read 21 consecutively fantastic issues.

Pinocchio, written and illustrated by Winshluss, published by Last Gasp.
Ummm, this isn't the Disney version, that's for sure! Basically, this is an updated version of Pinocchio that follows the basic plot but incorporates many comix, anti establishment themes.

So, Gepetto is a war manufacturer who created our little man as a... well drone... if you will. Everything would have been fine if Jiminy Cockroach hadn't screwed up Pinocchio's wiring while trying to illegally access cable televsion. Once on the road, the story more or less follows the original tale including the whale scene, and a special appearance by The Sleazy Seven.

Winshluss is a French comics creator and this story won the top prize at Angoulême, the European equivalent of San Diego. It's easy to see why. The story is wordless, except for Jiminy's intermissions, so the art has to carry not only the narritive but also all the emotions of the tale. I'm not sure how to describe the art as anything short of gorgeous. Don't be fooled by the title either. This is most assurdardly an adult book with many adult themes and nudity. It's closer to comix than comics. There are as many laugh out loud moments as there are "oh that's just wrong" times.

One note, this is an oversized hc which isn't for everyone, but it's a great package and beautiful presentation. If you like edgy comics then this is for you... even if you have to leave it on the top shelf out of the reach of minors.

So, that's what I read. Two great books in one week is really hard to beat.

1 comment:

  1. Fallen Angel is a superb series both the first part under the DC Banner and the continuation with IDW. DC messed up with this series by not making it a Vertigo title and by not really promoting it at the beginning.

    It is something not for those that are thin skinned about their religious beliefs. David mixed various theological and mythological elements to create this world. There are some heavy ideas that can be thought about if you want to see more than just the action and well crafted tales.

    One thing about Fallen Angel is that there have been a couple of minis released since the end of the ongoing series you discussed.

    Thank you for shining a light on a great read and one of the best writers in the industry.