Friday, November 30, 2012

What I read this week - Nov 30

It's been  a long time so I'm getting right into it with simple, ultra short reviews.

The Complete Major Bummer Super Slacktacular!
(w) John Arcudi, (a) Doug Mahnke, published by Dark Horse, 348 pgs, $30
Just a boatload of fun.  Arcudi creates the world's worst superhero and puts him into weirder and weirder situations.  All expertly drawn by Mahnke.  Tons of action and lots of humor made this a great read.  I wrote a long review here
More short reviews and some longer ones below

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rex Mundi, vol 1-3

Lee sent me the first three trades of Rex Mundi, published by Image and then Dark Horse from 2003-2009.  I can see why he sent them to me, as the premise of the book is intriguing; however, there are some flaws that make it hard for me to like.

First, the background.  Rex Mundi is set in 1933 Paris.  There's no threat of rising Nazis in Germany because in this world the geopolitics is more akin to feudal times than our 20th Century.  Juliene Sauniere is a doctor.  The medical profession is governed by guilds, as are all other professions.  His former lover, Genevieve Tournon, is also a doctor.  She has been appointed the physician for the Duke of Lorraine.  These are the three main players in the story, at least to the halfway point I've read.

Despite the feudal structure to governance in this world technology has advanced at the same pace it had in our world.  It looks like our 1933 Paris.  This is a little odd because feudalism wasn't conducive to technology.  On top of that magic is an actual force in this world.  There's even a guild of sorcerers.  The existence of sorcery, it seems to me, would also retard the development of technology.  Why bother with technology when sorcery can get things done for you?

The most interesting part to me is the geopolitical, which looms large throughout.  France is largely the France we know but has fewer colonial holdings than the France of our world.  Spain doesn't exist.  It's still controlled by a Muslim emirate.  Germany is Prussia.  The Holy Roman Empire controls central Europe.  The Ottoman Empire is still going strong.  The United Kingdom, like France, is more or less like our United Kingdom of that time.  I like this core premise a lot.  The Duke of Lorraine is essentially a mix of Hitler, gnosticism, and the plot of The Da Vincie Code.  He stirs up race war against Muslims while secretly working to become king of France and then the rest of the world, claiming to be a direct descendent of Jesus and the rightful kings of France.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Indies Preview for January

Lee: This was a short month because of the holiday so Indies has been reduced to one day.  I am not sure I've ever only done Indies in one day for a full month.  Still lots of great stuff though.Thomm: Short month for comics. At work I end up with three paychecks for November because of the way the Fridays fall. Good timing for an extra pay in a month.

:01 First Second
Curses! Foiled Again GN by (W) Jane Yolen (A/C) Michael Cavallaro
Aliera Carstairs is back. This time she's got her cousin Caroline in tow, and the stakes are higher than ever. The realm of Seelie, the fairy kingdom of which Aliera is the hereditary defender, is under attack, and only Aliera and Caroline can set things right. Caroline, fragile and wheelchair-bound, may seem like more of a liability than an asset, but Aliera knows there's more to her quiet cousin than meets the eye. 176 pgs, 6x8.5 , PC, $15.99  Visit the artist here
Lee: I've always loved Cavallaro's art and :01 First Second has been releasing great all ages books for a long time now.  This is well worth checking out.
Thomm: I know nothing about this book but it has a good premise. Besides, the title is too amusing.

7 more below the break with a strong mix of old and new.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Week of November 21 in Review Part 3 of 3 – Everything Else

This week I have too many books to be able to read everything so some will not make the cut. Overall I give the week a C+ based on what I read. It suffered from comparison to last week, but there were a lot of really good books but too many blah books. Onto some quick quips on each book I read.

Uncanny X-Force #34 is limping to a close. This book was a great series and Phil Noto is a fine artist, but the two are not fitting and it is to the detriment of the book.

Wolverine and the X-Men #21 was garbage. I checked in as I had read the book was good, but this felt like a poorly done rerun of work done better by Claremont and Byrne years ago. Also Nick Bradshaw’s art has a lot of issues.

Nightwing #14 was okay, but I get tired of the incompetent hero. I understand the danger level is supposed to be high, but Dick was outflanked on every turn in this issue. I want the hero to succeed.

The Week of November 21 in Review Part 2 of 3 Five Books That Surprised

Five books jumped out at me this week for different reasons. Each book was surprising for different reasons, but it just shows how writers and artists can try to do some different things to make a book different. Oddly enough four are Marvel and one is from IDW. As I type this I still have a bunch to read, but DC was a little blah this week to me, more on everything else in Part 3.

Lighting is glare from my lights
First up is Frankenstein, Alive, Alive #2 by Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson. Only 16 pages of new story and art and then the actual Frankenstein novel is being serialized in the back. As I have recently read the original work in an edition with all of Bernie Wrightson’s work the backup material is not for me. Now for a $4 book you may think I’m being ripped off to only get 16 pages but you are wrong. Bernie’s work is so stunning and so amazing it is possibly the best pure artwork ever produced for a comic book. I own a page of artwork by Berni from a Marvel story and still regret that I did not buy a Doc McCabre page one year at Balto-Con. Bernie Wrightson has always loved Frankenstein and the artwork in this book shows that love. The level of detail and the depth and breadth of his work is nothing short of astonishing. I have added five photos along with the cover to give you an idea of how fantastic his work is on this book. Even with great draftsman like Dave Stevens, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, Wally Wood and an incredible list of phenomenal talent in this industry this stands out as work that will be hard pressed for anyone to ever match. If I had $5,000 to spend I would love to own one of these pages (time to but a Powerball ticket). In addition to all of that the actual story itself is good. Niles set up Frankenstein’s death and now that he has learned he may not be able to die we are getting the sequel to the original book done with respect and admiration and staying true to the source material. It may take Bernie a long time to complete these pages, but after looking at the art I wonder how he did it so fast.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Week of November 21 in Review Part 1 of 3 Six Number Ones from Four Publishers

Hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving. It is the least commercial major holiday that we have and usually one that everyone enjoys; of course it did delay my getting my books until Friday. Last week was a glorious week and no matter what this week was going to bring it could not match last week. Still between Marvel and Image the number one issues continue to roll out unabated. Did they all make the cut or not?

But, before we start that let’s first give you the links to next week’s books. On a personal level I have to do a purge of my list again as all the new number ones are crushing me. This is especially true as Marvel rolls out 2 issues of a new book in a month. The clean and easy to review list is here, the detailed list giving you creators and hype is here. I find both lists to be useful in determining what I’m getting. The highlights for me are the return of Before Watchmen books with both Ozy and Silk Spectre, the new Joe Kubert Presents, Batman Incorporated, All New X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, Chew, Fatale, Stuff of Legend and Tower Chronicles, another huge list.

Now let’s get to the six new number ones.

First up from Image Comics is Comeback #1 by Ed Brisson and Michael Walsh. I’m assuming this is a mini-series as the Shadowline portion of Image does not go for unlimited series. They seem to prefer doing a mini-series, check sales and green light a second one if it works. I’m fine with that approach but as a consumer let me know what my level of commitment is going in. Image is hands down doing more to open up comics to different genres than anyone else. In fact science fiction themes are alive and well at Image. The premise for this series is that there is an illegal time travel agency that helps people “Come Back” from the dead. The idea is that a love one dies and you hire these guys to go back and save them from that death. It means staging the death and essentially doing a whole new identity for the person in the future. It is a very cool premise and the first issue was okay, but not without some story structure problems. First we start with a job that goes bad. Now this job plays into the story, but I think maybe establishing what the book is about with a quick successful job would have been better. Also a lot is going on with one agent looking to quit soon, another agent redoing the job that went wrong and people are spying on Reconnect. Sadly the entire issue comes together when I read the blurb for issue #2 which states “An FBI raid throws, Reconnect, an illegal time travel agency, into a panic” and it goes on from there. The book should do the job on its own, especially with a number one issue. I was on the fence whether to continue with the book until I read the blurb since I was a little lost at the end. That should not happen with a first issue, I should be able to read it and have discern that from my reading of the book. Still the premise is very interesting and while time travel is always filled with problems this looks to be a good read. The art by Michael Walsh has a nice noir quality and it takes what is a science fiction premise book and makes it into an almost crime novel type of feel. The distinctiveness of some characters needs to be worked on as Seth and another guy look way too much alike. The basic storytelling is strong and all in all I like Walsh’s style. A strong enough start by two creators I was unaware of before and I will be back for more.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Thanksgiving Style ... Sorta

I figured this was a gimme post.  All I had to do was find a couple of covers that were Thanksgiving themed and I was done.  WOW!  Was I ever wrong.  Christmas cover, easy peasy.  Holiday covers... which are all Christmas covers.  Even easier.  But Thanksgiving... not so much.  I searched on Thanksgiving and came up with... NADA.  Nothing.  Which forced me to use other common Thanksgiving words.  Wait until you see how well I did.

I starte with Turkey and ended up with...
Adventures in Turkey, 1953
Ummm yeah.  Remind me of a line in a movie, "Son have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"

It only gets better.  See below the break.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Selling Marvel Comics

There was a mix up in our scheduling and this day ended up without a post.

Normally I don't "advertise" here for my ebay sales, but what the heck.

I send my books out to various people and Gwen is one of those people.

She is very busy being a new Mom and a teacher now, so she is an infrequent contributor.

The massive amount of books I have given her (even with her also giving many away) is way too much, so I have been doing some ebay sales for her.

Right now I'm listing all of her Marvel titles. Essentially at 50 cents a book and a $1 a book for buy it now plus postage.

Click here to see what is up there and help keep Henry in diapers :).

Friday, November 23, 2012

DV8: Gods and Monsters

This was a total flier, purchased solely because Brian Wood wrote it.  I  know nothing of the artist, Rebekah Isaacs, nor anything about the characters in the story.  In fact, I have little to go on with Wildstorm, which was where these characters were published.

These are some damaged people with super powers.  There are 8 of them, all late teens or early twenties, I think.  The story is told from the perspective of one of them being interrogated by a disembodied voice after the team is recovered from a planet where they had been summarily dumped without explanation.  The team had done black ops for a now gone leader.  The members of the team often don't get along.

So, the interrogated member is Copycat, who can take control of other people and had a split personality but now seems to be just one personality. 

Frostbite appears to be a stable personality.  He can take the heat from any object or person.  He also seems to create some sort of shielding for himself.  Evo is a guy who's lupine in appearance and can become altogether feral.  Sublime can alter the density of her body from intangible to rock hard.  Threshold is a sort of superman.  Bliss can manipulate other people's emotions.  Freestyle is really smart and can calculate probabilities with great accuracy.  Powerhaus absorbs energy, becoming larger and stronger the more he absorbs.

Image Preview for January

Lee: It's the special Friday after Thanksgiving edition of Image previews.  Wheee what fun.  This month there's alot to talk about but only one matters. 
Thomm: Oh, big milestone for Image this month. I think I’m looking forward to this even more than I was The Walking Dead. Could be because I read so few superhero books now.

story Robert Kirkman
art Ryan Ottley - John Rauch
48 Pages / FC / T+ $3.99
10th Anniversary Landmark 100 th Issue Spectacular! It’s all been building to this. Mark Grayson’s entire life as a superhero, all he’s learned, all he’s endured, it’s all been leading to this one moment. Will he become the hero he was meant to or will he choose... a Different path? The aftermath of this Extra-Sized issue will shock you.
Lee: Can you believe Invincible made 100 issues? It’s incredible. And it’s been good for the entire time. And in honor of the celebration we have a chromium cover. Sigh… good ideas gone bad.
Thomm: Well, at least it’s not the 40 different covers that were done for The Walking Dead. Of course, I’ll just be getting the standard cover. I’ve never figured out the logic on the multiple covers. It’s not like the story inside is any different. Ah, well. This should be a great issue.

More below the break!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We're taking the day off.. like you should too.

Now, if you like your family, go enjoy them...

Otherwise, hide in your room and watch one of the greatest Thanksgiving celebrations ever in Addams Family Values.

Still a classic!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 11 of 11 – #1 Batman #14

In a week that I would rate as a B+ in general and one that had a lot of very good and great books Batman #14 still stood out as the best of a very good week. Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion continue to hit it out of the park with this book.

Batman is the foundation of the Batman line up of books and the Batman line up of books is what is carrying the DCU at this time. You can look at it in many different ways, but Batman has to be considered the flagship title for DC. Normally it is a group book, but while Batman does not cross over into every other book when you think of the book out of the DCU Batman is that book. Hell Batman Inc. is a terrific book as is Batman and Robin, I can’t think of a time when Batman had so much going for all the books at the same time.

Capullo and Glapion have produced great art book after book after book. No matter what Scott has asked them to portray they have done it with style and panache. I knew Greg’s work from Spawn but never followed the book; here I believe he has stepped it up another notch. His work with shadows, camera angles, dramatic full panel shots and all the action is fantastic. Scott is already a master of knowing when to let the art carrying the story and when he needs to add dialogue to move the plot forward. It is a seamless marriage of word and pictures.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 10 of 11 – #2 Thor God of Thunder #1

Wow, what a great start to a series by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic, Thor God of Thunder #1 is a definite new addition to my list. Of all the Marvel Now books this is the best of the bunch so far and I will be hard pressed to imagine anything surpassing it.

This series is set up to be a series unto itself. I love that idea as I like being able to invest myself into a book and not worry about how it is going to be affected by an event in the greater universe that it exists in. Jason has been starting to hit on all cylinders in the Marvel Universe as his work on Wolverine and the X-Men has been fun (I only get the book on occasion) and this series was a beautiful setup to start a series.

We get Thor in three different ages. First is Thor from a millennium ago where he answers Viking prayers and comes to a village to take out a few Frost giants. Afterwards the drinking, eating and whoring all break out to the grand enjoyment of Thor. A body washes ashore and the villagers ask Thor to check it out. Thor recognizes the body of a god from a foreign pantheon who apparently was murdered. While Thor brushes it off he does note he has never seen horror in someone’s eyes before.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 9 of 11 – #3 Great Pacific #1

Great Pacific #1 by Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo got off to an excellent start.

Number one issues have the advantage of being a blank slate so that it is new. New is usually always a big plus as a new thing of any type is after all bright and shiny and new. Of course it also has to meet the burden of being new. New out of the box that doesn't work is worse than the old thing that is not working for just a little while.

Great Pacific has to set the premise and give us a reason to come back. It has the burden of not having any familiar character to draw us in. Also, let’s face it Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo are not stars in the industry. Joe has certainly been around and done work in film and comics but has yet to have that signature series. Martin Morazzo is a total unknown for me. Both delivered a very good opening issue.
Starting with the art first. Martin does the art and colors. The coloring part is well done and the art does a good job of conveying the story and makes the book an easy read. At times I think his ability to make enough of the characters distinguishable is not there and most of his design and layouts are standard but it is very professional. I have no clue as to what level of experience he has with comic book work but I look forward to seeing him progress over time. If you look back at many artists their initial work is often rough compared to how they get as they learn to hone their craft.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 8 of 11 – #4 Locke and Key Omega #1

Locke and Key Omega #1 by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriquez and Jay Fotos becomes the last arc in what has been one of the best series ever done.

I understand that is a bold statement when you talk about Sandman, Scalped, All Star Superman, the original Doom Patrol, Planetary and the list goes on and on, but Locke and Key deserves be in the discussion. What is great about this book is that even once this story is completed I believe there are still a ton of stories to be told about the Locke house.

If you have not been following the story before now I believe that you could still pick up the series with this issue. The basic premise is set that the demon from another dimension that had taken over a character named Dodge now inhabits Bode, the youngest member of the Locke family. Bode is in possession of the Omega key and plans to open up the home dimension of his kind and allow all the demons into this world. While you may not be as vested in all of the characters as I am, you can still enjoy the bulk of the story.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 7 of 11 – #5 Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four #1 by Matt Fraction, Mark Bagely and Mark Farmer was a great start.
I had fallen off the book as I believe Jonathan Hickman had finished his story about six months ago or so and the rest has been filler as we moved towards Marvel Now.

Any comic is a mixture of writer, art and characters. Matt Fraction has not been a favorite writer of mine, but I feel his work has been getting better and better. Hawkeye is his latest work and his best so I was cautiously optimistic on that front. Matt delivered the goods with this story. He has kept all that has gone before with the Future Foundation and the feel of family remaining at the core of the story. Johnny still controls a large portion of the Negative Zone and apparently has the cosmic rod in his control. We start out with an adventure in the past and Reed has an injury to his arm unlike anything he has seen before. When they get back Franklin has a premonition about going into space, so of course the FF and the families are going to travel into space and explore different universes. The great part is that Reed has discovered that the unstable molecules that give them their powers are now degrading and is killing him and maybe killing the rest of the group. Of course Reed instead of trusting his wife and friends wants to hide it from them as he searches for a cure amidst the subterfuge of exploring and teaching the kids.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 6 of 11 – #6 Conan #10

Conan #10 by Brian Wood, DeClan Shalvey and Dave Stewart returned this series to its top tier again.

The last two issues I was thrown off by the art change mid story arc, this issue we return to the sea as Conan and Belit are back on the Tigress. I have read this is planned as 25 issues or so and is basically a long chronicle of Conan’s time as a pirate. I think it is a great idea and Brian has done a terrific job with the book.
Ultimate as most stories are it is about Conan and Belit and their relationship. It has changed from one of Belit being the commanding force in the relationship to one where Conan and she are almost on an even keel (unintended pun). The passion remains between the two but there is an underlying difference and the seed for the end of the relationship already can be seen.

The Tigress and her crew are being killed by their success. For the most part these are people who live from day to day and the glory of bold strikes and blood thirsty raids on ports and other ships is their life blood. They have been so successful that no one wants to fight them and are willingly surrendering and giving them whatever goods and gold they have to give.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 5 of 11 – #7 Sage #7

Saga #7 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples continued this enjoyable series taking us into the next chapter of the adventure.

It seems that I got locked into different thought processes as I review and think about comics in general and one thing I have realized is that a good unlimited or very long form story needs to have a good premise and an idea of where it is going. At least an outline of the major story beats. As the writer gets into each chapter he has to make adjustments and it may shorten or lengthen his story. One of the great advantages of during creator owned work is you are not beholding to having to extend a story for reasons outside of what you feel the story demands or are forced to shorten something due to a publishing whim.

I have not been a big fan of Vaughn’s work before as I dropped off “Y the Last Man” and “Ex-Machina” but this book has a lot going for it. It is part Star Wars, part Romeo and Juliet and contains the epic story telling scope that makes it a true saga.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 4 of 11 – #8 All New X-Men #1

The All New X-Men #1 by Brian Bendis, Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger promises to be one of the oddest series yet. The whole premise is fraught with peril and headaches as we are mixing up time travel with super heroics. Of course it is comic book stuff so it looks to be one for us to just having fun and go along for the ride.

The problem with time travel is that once you accept that any sort of time travel is real the first question is how come no one has come back to visit us from the future. The answer can always be our time was too boring for them to bother. The next question is that if someone travels to the past and changes time how would we know anyway as we are only aware of time as a linear thing. That is why in order to enjoy time travel type of stuff you have to throw a lot of logic out the window and just enjoy the ride and see what the author wants to do with it. As the writer has full control and can let the impact be as far reaching as creating a new Universe to just impacting the story a little.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 3 of 11 – #9 Think Tank #4

What I love about Think Tank #4 by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal is the background material and Matt giving us links about some of the stuff he throws at you during the course of the story.

Our story is about David a super genius the military uses to make weapons. He has grown tired of being someone whose technology is used in killing. So he has decided to escape from the military with his girl friend as she was being held captive by the military.

This entire issue is how David had planned everything out with is escape. Matt throws in stuff about Drones, metalstorms, carbon nanofibers, EMP grenades, light chameleon suits, military golf courses, threat assessment and more. It is all seamless woven into the story. After you have finished reading he gives you references to read up more on your own and tells you what stuff he just made up for the story.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 2 of 11 – #10 Mind Mgmt #0

Mind Mgmt is a fantastic series by Matt Kindt and the zero issue was actually a published version of three short digital only stories In many ways these are just more back story on the character Meru with more of  the history of the company and Harry Lyme being mixed in. It is perhaps the most straight forward issue of the book to date. Matt packs in plenty of material into these three short stories that add more richness to the overall series itself.

One thing that is interesting is the advent of more and more material that is going straight to digital and then may be published later. We are seeing the true advent of the digital age impacting comics like never before. Even two years ago going direct to digital was basically unheard of especially for bigger publishers.
There is a ton of material that is out there from smaller publishers that is digital only, we have Mark Waid now pushing digital only, Marvel and DC targeting books for digital only and then publishing it later or adding it to a collected edition.

The Week of November 14 in Review Part 1 of 11 – Everything Else

Okay, I have decided to do something radically different this week. As I have said each week dictates how the review is going to go. This week I got a massive amount of books and there were a lot of really good books. I thought it would be fun to do a top ten list. So each one of the top ten books I will count down from #10 to #1. This post will have a note on each of the other books that I read. Then the next ten posts will be a lot shorter as I will do a review/commentary on each book. That means we are spacing this out for three days. It is a little different but gives each book it's own spotlight.

Before we jump into the books the clean list for this Wednesday’s new books is here and the detailed listing is here. It is another monster week with the new Judge Dredd book being a highlight along with Frankenstein Alive, Alive; Harbinger, Goon, Hawkeye, Captain America Now and Wonder Woman to name a few. Not as strong of a week as this week but many independents are coming out. Now let’s go back to last week and some brief commentary on the books that did not make the top ten.

Walking Dead #104 – This book almost made the top ten. Carl sneaks onto the vehicle that Negan is taking back to his place and Carl comes out shooting. It does not end well and while some claim the book has jumped the shark, I’m enjoying the book. The showdown between Rick and Negan promises to be a monumental one. Another high note is that Season 3 of the TV series is in high gear and also very entertaining.

Bloodshot #5 – This book was also a top ten candidate. Bloodshot is tracing his origins looking for answers and for revenge. It will be interesting to see what the series becomes after Bloodshot takes down his makers. What will be his reason to get mixed up into adventures once he succeeds in destroying or at least neutering those who made him?

Punk Rock Jesus #5 (of 6) – This was probably #11and was a lot of set-up to get us to the conclusion of the series. Sean Murphy packs more story and spreading of his gospel in one issue then three issues of other books. Hands down one of 2012 best series.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Marvel Adventures

Last week we showcased DC all ages line to support the Batman animated series.  Marvel was a little slower to respond but in the late 90's they released their own kid friendly line of comics.  Dubbed Marvel Adventures it was kid friendly with one and done stories.  It didn't last long but as you'll see, the covers were alot of fun.

Marvel Adventures #1, April 1997
Pencils: Andy Kuhn
Inks: Andy Kuhn
There's something about this cover that really appeals to me.  Maybe it's the way that the Hulk's hand is reaching out as if to say "pick me up and buy me or Hulk smash."  Who knows, it's just fun.

See'em all below the break.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

MARVEL NOW! Mini-Reviews: Fantastic Four #1, Thor God of Asgard #1, and All-New X-Men #1

There were so many good comics that came out this week (Batman was stupendous) and my list just keeps getting bigger and bigger lately (not a good thing).  It’s ridiculous -- I’m probably now buying as many books a month that Jim does in a week! Marvel Now! is certainly partly to blame (just like the New 52 was last year).  You just want to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing and even if it doesn’t float your boat, you can always resell it on ebay!  (The Scottie Young “babies” variants have been very eye-catching too.) I’m also a long time Marvel fan, so despite the fact that “my” continuity universe probably died sometime after Heroes Return, I love the characters and want to be excited about reading them again. 

Other than the disappointing Point One issue, this was the first week that I really got any of the new titles: Fantastic Four, Thor God of Asgard, and All-New X-men.  Thanks to an unusually calm Wednesday afternoon, I actually got to read them right away (and two of them out loud to my son, so I didn’t rush the experience).  What was the verdict? Read on…

Friday, November 16, 2012

DC Preview Review for January 2013

Jim: As long as that Mayan Calendar prediction is wrong we should be rolling into another new year very soon and this is what DC has to offer.  Of course right now we are still doing the reviews without Gwen (hi Gwen, hi Henry) as she is off being a new Mom.

While the new way DC is handling their lineup makes the picks a little harder to handle as new series are not always a monthly thing I have to give them credit as they aggressively try to manage the line up and make each book better. I think they miss as often as they hit, but they are trying and try to keep the genre fairly well mixed.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Backup story art by GARY FRANK
Variant cover by LANGDON FOSS
1:100 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
“We Can Be Heroes” Blank variant cover available
On sale JANUARY 23 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with five covers. Please see the Order Form for details.
• “THRONE OF ATLANTIS” continues!
• Aquaman can barely hold on against Ocean Master even with the League by his side!
• The United States loses faith in the Justice League and enters the battle against Atlantis, setting in motion the creation of the Justice League of America!
• More on the Superman/Wonder Woman alliance! 
• Plus: In the backup story, the origin of SHAZAM! continues!

Jim: I can’t believe how much I don’t like DC’s flagship title. It has been poorly written and the characterization of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman don’t lineup with their other books. Also I prefer Marvel’s deal that if they charge $4 you get a free digital copy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Drinking to the End of an Era, & Saying Goodbye to my Favorite B*stard

One of my favorite scenes in a comic book involves Satan and Guinness.

A man had sold his soul to Satan (the First of the Fallen) in exchange for being able to use magic. Sadly, as this man’s life was coming to an end, all this mage did was live in a room under an abandoned church and turn Holy Water into Guinness. So long as a candle on the table stayed lit, the Guinness would not turn back into Holy Water. John Constantine was dying of lung cancer and he met this mage friend of his for a few drinks and to BS about the old days.

As Constantine and his friend sat there drinking, the Mage dies. Satan had to claim this man’s soul by midnight, or the Mage was out of the deal with the Devil (one of three running Hell), and therefore could escape eternal torment. Constantine sticks around to meet the First of the Fallen for the first time. Satan walked into the room with a definite smugness and warned Constantine that nothing would stop him from getting the Mage’s soul.

Constantine told Satan that he would not dream of trying to stop him, and poured himself and the Devil two pints of Guinness. He proposed to Satan that they should have a toast over the dead Mage’s body because in that one moment Constantine would have shown up his dead friend’s entire life by doing so. Satan knew of Constantine’s reputation and informed him that he likes his wicked ways. Both drank their Guinness.


In one fell swoop I re-read the run of Incorruptible, the other half of Mark Waid's exploration of what happens when Superman goes bad.  Really bad.  Not the old Red Kryptonite kind of bad.  Kill millions kind of bad.

Of course, that main story was told in Irredeemable, which I didn't finish reading because it seemed to have reached a point of being stuck in amber.  This story is a look at what happens to the arch nemesis of the Plutonian (Superman stand-in) once the Plutonian goes bad. 

Max Damage, a great name for a villain, is a guy who group up with a crappy home life, no friends but for one girl a few years younger, and an abiding outrage at the existence of the Plutonian.  Sort of Lex Luthor but not so smart.  Not nearly so smart.  Max can withstand just about anything and has superior strength, both of which increase in power the longer he's awake.  The drawback is that the longer he's awake the more he's sleep deprived, just like anyone else, and becomes incoherent and irrational.  When he wakes up he's a normal human for an hour, give or take, before his powers start kicking in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IDW Previews for January

Lee: We’ve had so much going on lately that we’ve fallen behind on our normal previews post. Hopefully we can right the ship and get back at it.Thomm: Busy? I only work 2 hours a week of mandatory overtime, schlep my daughter to dance nearly every day, and try to maintain the physical condition of my house and myself. Why would I be busy?

Mars Attacks Popeye
Martin Powell (w) • Terry Beatty (a) • Ray Dillon (c)
Mars Attacks Zombies vs Robots
Chris Ryall (w) • Andy Kuhn (a) • Ray Dillon (c)
Mars Attacks Kiss
Chris Ryall (w) • Alan Robinson (a) • Ray Dillon (c)
Mars Attacks the Real GhostbustersErik Burnham (w) • Jose Holder (a) • Ray Dillon (c)
Mars Attacks the Transformers
Shane McCarthy (w) • Matt Frank (a) • Ray Dillon (c)
The weekly event of the year starts on the second day of the year! Mars Attacks Martians invade five different IDW timelines and universes this month, starting with their assault on Sweethaven. How can Popeye, Alice the Goon, the Sea Hag the rest of the one-eyed sailor's friends and foes possibly contend with this threat from beyond the stars?  FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Lee: I am not sure I care about the series but all the covers are really, really cool. Take the Ghostbusters one… how can you not like a comic book cover with a flying cow on it? And check out the udders on that cow! YEAH BABY! As for the story, I am sure it will be fine in a fluffy way.
Thomm: Ah, parody. The Big Two’s constant crossovers are certainly ripe for it, but it’s been done lots of times already. I don’t know that this will add anything to the merriment.

A whole bunch more below the break.  I liked alot this month!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Week in Review November 7 Part 4 of 4 – The Conclusion

The week itself gets a B+, now as you read my remarks for everything else you may think the grade was a little high, but very few books were just plain misses and a lot of very good books makes the overall grade what it is.

AvX Consequences #5 (of 5) – One hell of a long epilogue and it ultimately is just setting up the next iteration of the Uncanny X-Men title. I like how we will have the young Cyclops and now a fugitive Cyclops both around at the same time. Not sure how thrilled I am that Bendis is handling both books. Bendis has some really great ideas, but his execution lacks at times and his dialogue can be just plan horrible.

Avengers #33 is wrapping us Bendis’ Avengers work and this book is focusing on bringing back the Wasp from the dead since fans have been clamoring for it (haven’t they?)

Age of Apocalypse #9 has the distinction of being a book that I keep questioning why I’m getting it. I’m not following the plots closely, the characters are not all defined well enough for me, the art is muddy and over colored, yet I find myself intrigued by enough of the characters to hang in there. The $3 price tag makes it a keeper also, because this many borderline issues can make a $4 book disappear.

The Week in Review November 7 Part 3 of 4 – 4 Good Books and 4 That Got Away

The week broke down a little odd and with the ton of books I got and timing of things I was unable to read 4 books. The 4 that got away are Planet of the Apes Cataclysm #3, The Shadow #7 with a new creative team, The Manhattan Projects #7 (what the hell happen to Secret by Hickman?) and Criminal Macabre One Shot, which is a collection of DHP material. No reason they missed the cut, just too much to read and not enough time.

The four good books that deserve at least some brief comments follow.

Battlefields #1 by Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra. Since this is the third Battlefields series I did not place this in my new number one line up. As I have stated ad nasuem Ennis’ best work is his war books. This story spotlights “The Tankies” and maintains the only ongoing character in the Battlefields series and boasts some of the hardest dialogue ever to read. The reason is Ennis maintains his own spelling so as you read it you can get the accent of the tank commander. It is fooking difficult to read at first and then you almost fall into it as the book progresses. This time the venue is the Korean War and as an American and old MASH TV show fan I forgot that other countries even had troops over there. Ennis just seems to manage a sense of realism with his war stories that never short changes the people involved but always makes us understand how brutal and nasty a business war can be.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Week in Review November 7 Part 2 of 4 - The Big Two’s Best - 4 DCs and a Marvel

Well Part 1 was a freaking long post so these next segments are going to appear puny in comparison. For the most part I have lots of complaints about the big two, but they provide a lot of quality entertainment and this week I think these six books were either very good or excellent comics.

Detective Comics #14 by John Layman and Jason Fabok was excellent. I had dropped Detective but with John Layman now on his second issue this book has gone from a pass to one of my favorite DC titles. Batman now has a writer line up of Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi and John Layman, hell even Dark Knight is coming along as a decent read. Layman continues to redefine the Penguin, building on what Snyder did by making his family one of Gotham’s elite. Layman is making him over into the negative of Bruce Wayne. It is interesting to see him be given a level of gravitas that turns him from a joke into a potent foe for Batman and Bruce Wayne. Then Layman moves the story forward with Poison Ivy trying to take out a polluting plant owned by the Penguin. While Batman does not disagree with Ivy’s goal, he cannot support her methods. So many shades of gray are built into the characters that it makes for a great read. The surprise that Clayface shows ups announcing Ivy is his wife is explained in the back up story, also by Layman. I’m very impressed with the range of Layman as he writes Chew, Mars Attacks and Detective and every book is well written, planned out and all three are very different in tone and content. Jason Fabok’s art is nice and it is great for a super hero book. I believe he worked with David Finch and it shows in a good way. All in all I almost hate DC for  bringing me back to a book that I had dropped.  Plus they announced Lemire is writing Green Arrow and Keith Giffen is teaming up with Levitz for LOSH, two more books I will be getting again.

The Week in Review November 7 – Part 1 of 4 - One Is The Loneliest Number

Comic books thrive on the number one book and I’m sucker to try out new series. I guess my hope is that it maybe something new or slightly different and of course number one issues garner higher sales. As an ex-retailer I can tell you that ordering number one issues is a hard task. In the direct market, you order it, you own it. So try and guess which of the many number one issues will be sought after month after month is a very tough game. Of course on a personal level to make room for new books I have to kick some others to the curb. This week I decided no more Demon Knights and no more Damsels. Both books are okay, but not good enough when my list has gotten too big again.

Before I jump into some commentary on the number one issues this week I need to give you the links for next week’s books, the clean list is here and the detailed listing is here. Next week is a ridiculously big week for me with 38 items on my list. The highlights have to be Great Pacific, Walking Dead, All New X-Men, Batman and Punk Rock Jesus. A ton of great stuff is coming out.

This week was no slouch either and the chance of me having time to write about all of them or even reading all of them is slim. I have six number one issues to hit, so let’s get to it.

Colder #1 (of 5) by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra hit the stands from Dark Horse. First I have to thank Dark Horse for actually letting me know it is a mini-series as some companies are playing with not mentioning a book is a mini-series. I have no clue if this is the first in a planned series of mini-series, but it was a great start. This is a horror title and it does a great job in setting up the scenario for us. It starts back in 1941 with a fire in an insane asylum in Boston, Massachusetts. As the fire is going on and people are dying and running around like madmen (couldn’t resist) an odd man steps out of a breach in the universe. He is hungry but walks up to a man (Declan) who appears to be almost robotic and tells him he will grow colder. Next we jump to today and find our odd man walking about the city unseen. He jumps up into a cell and convinces a man to hang himself and feasts on his soul. Next we find Declan again, now being cared for by a social worker who took him in. He is now almost a frozen entity and a total mystery to his caretaker who has had him for five years. The odd entity appears and speaks to Declan and after he leaves Declan announces to the young woman who is his caretaker, they need to talk after five years of never saying a word. Juan Ferreyra’s art is very well done as he captures all the nuances the story needs and his story telling ability is very strong. The book does what it should do on every level. It gives us the set-up and cast of characters. It gives us a menace and it gives us mysteries.  After reading this book I know I can’t wait to come back for more.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Batman Adventures

I am sure everyone remembers Bruce Timms animated Batman series from the 90's.  It was a huge hit, and still very watchable to this day.  Heck I have the DVDs.  But, do you remember the comic book series that went with it?  It was an all ages, done in one, series that was... well... great!  The issues can be found in the back issue bins and I highly recommend it.  Here is a selection of some of the best covers. 

Batman Adventures #1, October 1992
Pencils: Ty Templeton
Inks: Ty Templeton
This is the issue that started it all.  And I can't think of a better cover.  It showcases both our hero, and a well known villain. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

ARROW -- A Recommendation

Yesterday afternoon got away from me what with an unexpected Charlie Brown stomach-ache, so I don't have lots to say this week.  However, I did want to give a shout-out to the AWESOME new CW series ARROW (I didn't see that anyone had mentioned it previously in my hasty search).  It really is a tremendous show and my wife and I are thoroughly enjoying it.  I don't think we've watched a first-run TV series together in (almost) real-time since the first season of Heroes.  It doesn't help that we have pitiful limited basic cable (leaves more funds for my comic budget) that doesn't even present the show in HD.  What does help is that you can watch all the episodes (sadly with commercials) online for free here! We just stream it later and I'll be watching the fifth episode tonight.

Friday, November 09, 2012

What I read this week - Nov 9

Another week, another lame intro.  I saved all my words for the reviews...  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Just two books this week, Chico and Rita and King City.  Both very good in completely different ways.

Chico and Rita
(w) Fernando Trueba, (a) Javier Mariscal, published by SelfMadeHero, 216 pgs, FC, $25

In case you weren't aware, this is actually the comic adaption of the Spanish, animated film of the same name.  I'd heard good things about the film, and it was nominated for 2012 Oscar, so I thought I would give the book a try.  You can see the movie trailer, and hear some of the music here.

You can see what I thought below the break, and hear about the other book I read this week, King City.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The List - October 2012

I don't know why I had it in my head that I'd have this up on November 1.  No way I'd make that kind of turnaround time.  So, here we are.

1. Stumptown 2 - I'm not putting up the whole sub title each issue.  Just know that this is "The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case" and not the first arc.  The baby in question is a guitar that's gone missing.  Of course, Dex quickly has ended up in the midst of a federal investigation of something bigger, 'cause that's the way things go with Dex.  On the plus side for Dex, she appears to be on the verge of a bit of romance with the drummer from the band.  Well, given the history of drummers in rock bands, it could be short lived, but this one seems a low key sort of guy. Finally got a little appearance of Dex's brother, Ansel, but not much yet.  As always, there's bonus material with Rucka writing about his love of PI stories.  And Southworth's art kicks ass, as usual.

2. Fables 122 - After the last arc taking Terese to adulthood while her siblings remained children, I was surprised to see this one start with an adult Aloysius.  Married and settled in a suburban lifestyle, albeit with a talking cat, he's an author at whatever point in time this story occupies.  That's just the intro for a two part story of Bigby's days back in the Lands.  He's a young, impetuous and powerful wolf consumed with acquiring enough power to kill his father.  Naturally, Willingham brings in the previously mentioned character of the former queen who's now a tortoise with her kingdom in a teacup on the back of her shell.  She's wiser than Bigby, who's convinced that he's going to die shortly, as divined by a green skinned woman.  I'm eagerly awaiting the concluding installment.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Week of October 31 in Review Part 5 of 4 – We Have A Superman

So I thought I had wrapped up the week in review then I read Superman Earth One Volume 2 by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis and knew the week was not done yet.  I needed to give this book a little solo spotlight.

DC has killed the Superman character for years. Outside of All Star Superman, the actual Superman character has been a mess. They married him off to Lois Lane and for awhile it worked. Then for various reasons writers forgot about Clark Kent and therefore the supporting cast. The problem with that is Superman has always been the false identity and Clark Kent is the true persona, in my humble opinion. Oh there have been some good moments, like a few moments by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank in Action comics. Those moments were few and far between for years. Then DC removed him from his book and we had Mon-el running around as Superman substitute, while Kal-El went off to New Krypton. Before the new 52 the same writer of this excellent portrayal of the character did a horrible job of having Superman walk around the country. Putrid, the character that was the cornerstone of the company was a shambles.
Next up we get the New 52 which has been putting more and more nails in the coffin. Grant Morrison’s Action comic version of the character has been a disjointed mess and it is obvious that George Perez was never told what Grant was going to be doing when he was writing Superman. The stories of the editorial mandates and last second adjustment coming out of DC have been all over the place. No one had a back story for the character. Again we get no real supporting cast and the portrayal of the character from book to book had all the consistency of Velveeta Cheese. In the Justice League stuff Johns’ version of the character is totally different from Superman and the Action comic Superman. I think the Superman character has ton of potential but like a rookie sensation can’t hit the curveball. I also understand he is one of the hardest characters to write, but it can be done.  John Byrne did some great work for a few years with him and All Star Superman was the best series ever done on Superman. The problem is that I have not seen a decent Superman character for a long time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Week of October 31 in Review Part 4 of 4 The Rating and the Rest

The week was weak. A few very good books to be sure but so many just okay books and outside of Happy few wow books that it goes down as  C. Some of the books in this segment make me want to call it a C -, but the overall is a solid C.

I’m still giving some books a second chance and Aquaman #13 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis is one of those books. I have been reading about and know a few people who have been disenfranchised by the new DCU. This book is one of those that bring home those elements. It is all very familiar, but nothing what you think you know you actually know.  Mera, Black Manta and Orm are all characters that you know, but the relationships are skewed in unknown ways. Reis’ work is flat out great, but the story was the ending of story line, so not a fair representation of what the book is about.  I’ll be back for issue #14.

Phantom Lady and Doll Man #3 (of 4) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Cat Staggs and Tom Dernick is way too standard. Since it only has one more issue to go I will follow it to the bitter end. This book emphasizes that if the first issue is not a winner I need to drop the book right away. A mini-series is too easy for me to be sucked into. Plus it feels like DC has no real plans for some characters being reintroduced via National Comic and the occasion Gray/Palmiotti mini-series. DC has locked themselves into this pretend number of  having just 52 series.

The Week of October 31 in Review Part 3 of 4 - Four Books That Saved the Week

No grade for the week yet, that is for Part 4, but these four books were very good.

The best of the week in my mind was Happy #2 by Grant Morrison and Darrick Robertson. It starts with Nick breaking out of the mob hospital, then Nick playing in a crazy card game, and ends with a nasty Santa Claus who is kidnapping children. It has blood, violence and bad language and it also has Hailey’s imaginary friend a small blue donkey with a unicorn horn and wings who is helping Nick out at every turn and trying desperately to get Nick to help save Hailey. I keep hearing Eddie Murphy’s voice from every time the blue guy speaks to Nick, blame Shreck movies. Darrick Robertson’s art is stellar as his realistic style is perfect for all the serious stuff and his depiction of the blue donkey is a wonderful cartoon that makes such a jarring juxtaposition with the rest of the book. The cartoon blue unicorn donkey super imposed over the violent and alcoholic ex-cop killer for hire Nick is perfect. The humor and over the top violence make this book a very unique and pleasurable read. Nick is the most unredeemable bastard you could meet. He promises stuff to get what he wants and immediately goes back on his word. One of the funniest lines is when the blue guy (I’m guessing he is Happy) tells Nick if he does not save Hailey she will die. Nick’s reply was: “Hailey is never going to grow up a bitch and make some slob’s life a living hell, boo-f**king-hoo.” In our PC world this type of harsh rhetoric is usually edited out of books, so it makes it great to see it added to this book. It is the character and it helps define him. The use of the violence and language by Morrison never feels like it is shock for shock value, but it used to further the story and build the character. Between this and Punk Rock Jesus we have had 2 great mini-series to look forward to at the end of the year.

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Week of October 31 in Review Part 2 of 4 – The Horror of it All

I’m not big on horror movies and can’t say that I am a big horror fan, but surprising a lot of what I buy or at least this week’s pile has horror or horror elements in it. Heck the five books included here all have to be considered almost straight horror books. I guess what it comes down to is I like to look for good stories and genre is only one consideration in my decision process.

First up is Bedlam #1 by Nick Spencer and Riley Rossmo. I’m a huge fan of Rossmo’s art and I want to like Nick Spencer’s work more than I do.  I know that creator owned stuff is the best way to go for most of these guys, but I still believe they would benefit from a good editor. I guess trying to hire an editor is beyond the budget of most of the people involved. Anyway Bedlam has a lot of Batman versus the Joker in it and in other ways it plays as a straight horror book. The bad guy is a psychopathic killer of extreme magnitude. They start 10 years ago and show the brutal scene of a mass killing at a movie theater. A Batman like characters comes in to take out the bad guy. Not sure of the need to do the whole Aurora, Colorado deal, but okay we get that he is a bad guy. It is not just him; he leads a group or perhaps henchmen. We then jump ahead ten years and begin a madding sequence of back and forth time jumps that destroy the narrative flow of the story. The present story line appears to be about the same bad guy who now is apparently been released and perhaps is on medication. He is floating around town and almost forces some tough guys to shoot him, has a flashback or hallucination about dying and calls the police and the story ends until the next issue. Spencer loves mystery and being vague, you can call it challenging the reader or you can call it poor story telling. Rossmo’s art will keep me around and hopefully the story will be clearer in time. Personally I think an editor would have told him tell the past story first, and then tell the present story and layer in past pieces more as a page or two at a time instead of panel by panel at times. Also I believe the story had flashbacks and hallucinations and the method of demarking “what was what” was not 100% clear was. It is almost like Spencer is fighting himself as there are some good ideas in the story trying to breakthrough a weak story structure.

The Week of October 31 in Review Part 1 of 4 – In Memorial to Joe Kubert

Before I jump into the week in review here are the prerequisite links for the books for next week with a detail peek here and a straight forward easy to review list here. Thankfully by the time I get my books the election will be over. Living in a battleground state makes you afraid to turn on the TV. Back to comic books, the ones I’m looking forward to the most next week are Detective Comics, Sweet Tooth, Uncanny X-Force, Stumptown, Mars Attacks and Storm Dogs. For the record I canned Dial H as it was just too convoluted to follow as a monthly, it might be better as I trade, but I’m not betting on it.
I’m starting this week with some commentary on two books that have the commonality of being graced with work by Joe Kubert.

Joe Kubert Presents #1 has two stories by Joe Kubert, one is a Hawkman story and it is 22 pages of phenomenal art.  The version of Hawkman Joe uses is the Silver age Hawkman, but it is not a strict use of that version as Joe makes up new powers and an altered background for the character. It is a nice one and done story. Not the strongest story in the world as it is a little heavy handed about trying to make a point over how we are a society are hurting our own planet. It actually feels a little too preachy at times and just reads like a lecture more than a solid adventure. It doesn’t really matter because it reminded me of how great Hawkman can be as a character and how great Joe’s artwork is in depicting Hawkman. The rest of the book has Angel and Ape by Brian Buniak, USS Stevens by Sam Glanzman and Spit by Joe Kubert. All were great. Spit was the first part of a boy in a time of whaling ships and sets up the first part of a longer story. The book acknowledges that Joe died before it was published but we don’t get any background information on what is yet to come. Was the book completed? Will Andy or Adam have to fill in? I had tons of questions and no answers, but in some ways this was my favorite book of the week.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Man-Thing

It's Halloween.  Actually, Halloween was a couple of days ago but that doesn't mean we don't celebrete it here at ComicsAnd....  I wanted to go with Halloween covers but most of them were Casper (funny, not scary), Archie (funny, not scary), or just generic monsters (dull, not scary).

Where's a Halloween loving person to go for a scary cover?  Why, Marvel's Man-Thing of course!

I'll skip over the 70's version and skip right to the late 90's series written by J.M. DeMatteis, and art by Liam Sharp.  DeMatteis did a good job of trying to control his desire to over write and the series was pretty good, if short lived.  But, the best part was the art.  Liam Sharp drew one of the creepiest, and most frightening Man-Things ever.  You can find these in the quarter bin and it's well worth it, even if you just look at the pictures.

Man-Thing #1, December 1997
Pencils: Liam Sharp
Inks: Liam Sharp
This gives you a feel for what you're in store for.  You can see that Sharp is trying to make the Man-Thing his own.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Secret (Post-Crisis) Origin of the Metal Men (circa 1993)

With apologies to Don Fransciso, I’ve “Got To Tell Somebody”!  You see I’ve just learned the TRUTH!!!  And to echo Charlton Heston’s raspy shouts at the end of his 1973 SyFy classic, “[THE METAL MEN] ARE PEOPLE!!!”  And I’m just as upset about it as he was…

Friday, November 02, 2012

What I Read This Week - Nov 2

Ok, I have a huge amount of books to talk about because I missed last week so I'm going to try something different and keep it short.

Bloody Chester
(W) J.T. Petty (A) Hilary Florido, Published by :01 Second, 160 pgs, $19
This is a good western with some different takes on classic themes and a wicked twist at the end.  Petty does a good job moving the story forward and creating the appropriate tension.  Florido's art is a little cartoony for the subject matter but it works.  This is another one of those books were I felt I missed something.  I think there were some subtle things that I overlooked the first time so I'll read it again. I want to say this was great but I'm sticking to good until I read it again. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Cuba: My Revolution

Sometimes it's a nagging around the edges of the mind that wins the day on the purchase of a book.  Dean Haspiel's name was one of those distant recollections whose origin and significance was lost but was nonetheless enough for me to buy Cuba: My Revolution.  The fact that it was on sale half price at the Baltimore ComiCon and the topic was one woman's experience of the Cuban Revolution didn't hurt, either.  I like a good perspective story that doesn't pretend to be an objective "truth" of historical events.

Turns out Haspiel worked with Bill Sienkiewicz on The New Mutants and with Walt Simonson on Thor in the best periods of both books, a way back in the '80s.  Both are some of my favorite works, both in the period and overall.  In fact, I still have all of them.

Inverna Lockpez lived the story, sort of.  A lot of it is taken from her life, but some parts are fictional or representative.  Who knows which is which?  Lockpez, I hope, but not me.  Whatever elements aren't from her life are incorporated so well with those that are that it's seamless and believable.  Nothing fantastical and out of the realm of possibility.