Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Week of October 10 In Review Part 4 of 5 – Four Great Books

The four and four just worked out as I ended up with four additional books that I think deserve your attention.

First up and another four is Punk Rock Jesus #4 (of 6) by Sean Murphy. If it wasn’t for Batman #13 this book would have been the best of the week. I have no clue how Sean Murphy is packing so much into each issue, yet making each issue an easy read. This is an outrageous book sure to piss off many people and insult religious and political sensibilities of many groups. Of course that means Murphy is speaking to a kindred spirit as I have never lacked for my questioning of authority or questioning accepted beliefs. In this issue Chris gets to see his mother die by being squeezed to death by metal doors. After that his natural tendency to be a rebellious teenager kicks in high gear and he learns about all the things that his handler has been keeping from him. He uses the platform of being the master of ceremonies of an award show to trash religion and America. He also becomes a punk rocker and there is so much more in this book. It is a book that is flat out amazing. Even if you disagree with what Sean has his character saying you have to respect the great art and the amount of story he is telling in each issue. This is the best mini-series of 2012 at this point. Of course how it ends is always critical, but damn has Sean Murphy put together a great book.

The Creep #2 by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case was another excellent book this week. The Creep, who suffers from acromegalya a deforming disease, is both a private eye story and a character study. It is a fascinating story and I find I’m more interested in understanding the character then I am about the possible murder he is investigating. Not that the base story is uninteresting it is just getting into the mind of a man who was a normal looking guy until the disease changed him into a almost monstrous caricature of himself is absorbing. The Creep continues to try and figure out what happened to an old girl friend’s son but has also avoided allowing her to see him or even know he is actually trying to solve the case. So he has been almost harassing this other women whose son was a friend of the boy and also killed himself. John Arcudi is a huge talent and yet has never reached that super star writer status. He deserves more recognition in the industry. One minor gripe is the lack of a small introduction in front of the book allowing for someone to jump in after the beginning. Another gripe I have is the unwillingness to use the characters name often enough. I can only remember him as The Creep and not his actual name. Finally I’d be remiss if I did not mention Case’s artwork which conveys the story very well and is almost subtle in eliciting our sympathy and feeling towards The Creep.

Halloween Eve One Shot by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder was beautiful. This book was a showcase of Amy Reeder’s talent as she did all the artwork and the coloring. I got my signed copy via the Kickstarter program which included a nice numbered card and a cool little book explaining how to put a comic book together. I’m not sure why Amy split with DC on the Batwoman book, but boy did they lose out. This little fantasy tale of Eve having an adventure in a world of Halloween was magical. Was it a dream or real? Who knows, but at the end the effect is the same and brings Eve out of herself imposed shell. Amy’s work is some of her best and I’m a huge fan of her work and own a page of her art from the Madam Xandu series. Not sure where she lands next, but any project would be richer for her participation. Brandon’s story was a great little one and done and gave Amy plenty of opportunity to strut her page design, storytelling ability, facial expression and just flat out beautiful artwork. For $4 this book is a bargin.

The final book is Before Watchmen Dr. Manhattan #2 (of 4) by J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Hughes. Where issue #1 left me flat and thinking this might be the weakest of the Before Watchmen series, this issue made me think maybe none of the series can be anything less than very good. First off Adam Hughes work looked great and we had a lot more shots of him being able to draw and show off women. Not as cheesecake but as in more normal settings. The story was an excellent alternative history where Dr. Manhattan never is created and the world spins out in various directions. In this timeline the world of the Watchmen unfolds in a different manner and instead of a world that is saved from itself it is a world that dies.
Four books that were great and all books that I think will be enjoyed by many, although PRJ will piss off a lot of people.

Later today we get the conclusion of my five part review and I finally grade the entire week.

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