Monday, December 31, 2012

The Week of December 19 in Review Part 5 of 5 – Four Books Four More Opinions

And so we come to our final chapter and the final post for 2012. I hope to generate some more interviews next year and do a few more opinion pieces; I will keep up the week in review and as always mix up how I do it. Finally I almost forgot the list for this coming Wednesday is here and here. The first is the clean list, the second the more detailed listing. Of that list Harvest #5 (of 5), Invincible, Colder, Fury Max, Punk Rock Jesus #6 (of 6) and I,Vampire are all highly anticipated.

The Black Beetle #0 – The Night Shift by Francesco Francavilla. Francesco is known to me as an artist from Left on Mission at Boom years ago to the Black Panther book from Marvel a couple years back and here he is giving us a pulp hero style book as writer and artist. Francesco style is not going to blow away anyone but its dark and blocky style along with his effective story telling has made me a fan of his work. Unfortunately the story is very pedestrian and a paint by numbers type of deal. We have seen it all before, the mystic artifact being sought by Nazis and the hero saving the damsel in distress and the hero saves the artifact.  As you read it you can hear the Indiana Jones music. The final twist where the hero uses the artifact himself to start something gave me enough hope that I will be back for the mini-series. My concern is that we learned so little about the hero and the story felt so plain that it may have turned off other readers who are not as easy going as I am. Let’s face it I’m an easy mark to try out your book and I will give the series a chance.

The Week of Dec 26 in Review Part 4 of 5 of December 19 – The Amazing Superior Spider-Man and Identity Crisis

SPOILER ALERT – I reveal what happens in ASM #700

The Ditko Variant - He is still "THE" Spider-Man Artist
I know I was going to continue to review some books from the week of December 19 and I have a couple more that I will get around to, but the bru-ha-ha surrounding the reveal of Amazing Spider-Man and the subsequent weighing in of opinions made me want to add one more grain of sand into the beach of opinions.
I have not read the book, but I have read some of the coverage and spoken to people who read the book. It follows in a straight line from what has already been revealed in ASM #699. Doctor Octopus has taken over Peter Parker’s body, but has all of Peter’s memories. Peter is stuck in Doctor Octopus’ body and has died in ASM #700. The new iteration of Spider-Man is going to be the short lived (IMO) series Superior Spider-Man. I give the book about a year or so.

I have been a Spider-Man fan on and off for many, many years. I finally fell off the series with One More Day. The magical re-set for me was a bridge too far .The character was now not who I had invested in. Heck, over the years, they have killed Aunt May, revived her, had MJ and Peter almost divorced and then the magic reset. Peter Parker is a classic example of why the reset button needs to be hit hard and either do a total restart or the character needs to age and move forward. Even James Bond has been reset over the years. The baggage, especially a solo character, generates over 50 plus years is enormous as is the impetus from an ownership standpoint to keep him the same character. The reason One More Day ended it for me was the dissolution of the marriage of Peter Parker and MJ done in a such a magical way that it invalidated what I thought was a core element of the character. At that point I left the title for awhile.

The Week of December 19 in Review Part 3 of 5 – BPRD #102 Hell on Earth The Return of the The Master #5 (of 5)

Congratulations to BPRD with what has to be the longest title ever for a book. So for the rest of the week in review I have slipped in a semi-review of a book from December 26 with Amazing Spider-Man #700 and have a few brief solo reviews for the last day of 2012. Normally I get into the doldrums with comics during the end of the year and through the first couple months. Maybe it was winter and not the comics. This year I’m in Florida and the last couple months have been great. So with that as the introduction let’s get into BPRD.

BPRD #102 by writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi with art by Tyler Crook and Colors by Dave Stewart was f**king awesome. I love BPRD but I also confess that the series has felt like it was just sort of meandering around. Since the end of the Plague of Frogs the whole Hell on Earth has been almost a stroll in the park. We have been introducing an expanded cast, we have had adventures in different parts of the world and we have seen BPRD become a UN organization. It has been decent but the cast is large, the story has seemed to have no real core to it. That all changed with this issue and we got to see what Hell on Earth is all about. It is all Hell breaking loose on earth.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: The Christmas Advertising Version

Well, Christmas has come and gone.  I hope y'all had a very Merry one.  Now it's on to New Years!  Yahoooo.  But I am not quite done with Christmas.  Just to prove to everyone that Christmas wasn't coopted by evil corporations in the last decade, I give to you Christmas comic book advertising from years gone by.

Superman's Christmas Adventure, 1940
It really shouldn't be a surprise that Superman tops the list of Christmas shilling.  Heck, Supes has been a marketing slut for decades... this is just an early appearance.

And, yes there's more below the break and many don't even have a superhero on them.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

STAR WARS #29 (1979)

I had intended to review Amazing Spider-Man #700 for this week’s post, but a surprise mini-sleet and snow storm on Wednesday made the roads treacherous (my wife did about five one-eighties taking our daughter to a friend’s house at the start of the storm).  Add that event to the snow falling on Monday and we actually had a White Christmas (or close enough anyway).  Then once the precipitation turned to rain a forgotten Re-Fi settlement prevented me from going that afternoon.  Yesterday, we packed up the kids to visit the (FREE) train exhibit at the U.S. Botanical Gardens in D.C., followed by our long delayed 20th anniversary celebration (sans kids) of lunch and dinner out plus a movie: Les Misérables.  The film was very moving and I highly recommend it (Wolverine and Catwoman can really sing well). 

While I should have been catching up on the HCs and comics that I’ve yet to finish reading this year (like The Flash), a debilitating migraine the Sunday before last forced me to move my nightstand pile to make room for a soothing caffeine-laden hot chocolate/coffee chased with some acetaminophen.  And I’m ashamed to say I’ve been too lazy to put the pile back in order, so the only comics relatively accessible were a few dollar comics I picked up at my store’s year end sale.  One of them was Marvel Comics Star Wars #29 cover dated Nov 1979. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

IDW Previews for February

Lee: And another year is done.  Let's close it out with IDW.
Thomm: So what’s on the IDW horizon these coming months? Let’s go see.

Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1
Roger Langridge (w) • J. Bone (a) • Walter Simonson (c)
You wanted more Rocketeer... and you've got it! Missing scientists! Plucky girl reporters! Betty and Cliff on the rocks! The mysterious Church of Cosmicism! And who is the sinister Otto Rune? Pulp thrills the way you like them as the Rocketeer comes up against a brand-new adversary in... "The Hollywood Horror!" FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Lee: Honestly, the Rocketeer character bores me to tears. And everytime I swear I am not going to get the next collection they assign a great writer/artist team. Right now it’s Waid’s run. Upcoming is Langridge… I don’t want to but I have to get this.
Thomm: I really enjoyed Langridge’s Snarked and have always liked J Bone’s work, so this is a good one to check out as far as I’m concerned. Truth be told, I haven’t read much Rocketeer and don’t have much feeling about the character, good or ill.

Classic Popeye, Vol. 1
Bud Sagendorf (w & a & c)
Re-presenting the classic Popeye comic book series that debuted in 1948 by Bud Sagendorf, the long-time assistant to creator E.C. Segar! Carefully reproduced from the original comic books and lovingly restored, Volume 1 contains issues #1–4, with stories such as "That's What I Yam," "Ghost Island," and "Dead Valley." Also includes all of Sagendorf's gloriously funny one-pagers.
HC • FC • $29.99 • 212 pages • 8.5” x 11
Lee: I really, really enjoy these old-timey comics. I picked up IDW’s sampler and these have been a ton of fun. Completely silly and totally insane is the best way to describe them. Not as totally insane as Felix the Cat… those people were doing drugs. But darn close.
Thomm: Just goes to show there were a lot of pages in those old books. Four issues comes to 212 pages? Even with filler stuff giving history, that’s a lot of pages.

5 more below the break!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snarked! Forks and Hope

Oh, what fun!  I had read the first issue of this and the FCBD issue, which more or less covered the same thing, and found it quite the all ages treat.  When the trade of 0-4 was available for free at Cards, Comics and Collectibles, it was an easy grab.  I guess there's not many all ages consumers at the store.

Based on the Walrus and the Carpenter from Lewis Carroll's poem within Through the Looking Glass, Roger Langridge gives the pair a far more full and interesting life than the brief sketch in the poem, where they simply served as vehicles for an ethical conundrum for Alice.

The pair are also quite nicer, though just as voracious for oysters.

Walrus (Wilburforce J Walrus) is the brains of the outfit.  He reminds me of Wimpy in Popeye, with his constant scheming for a free meal.  The Carpenter (Clyde McDunk) is a dim bulb, though good natured, who appears to be along for the ride with Walrus in the quest for oysters to eat.  Through some amusing coincidences they become champions of Princess Scarlett and Prince Russell (Rusty).  Rusty doesn't talk, but Scarlett says enough for both of them.  She's trying to find her missing father, the Red King.  After several scrapes avoiding the minions of the court handlers behind the disappearance, primarily their mercenary, Archibald Peregrine Gryphon, the quartet set sail to foreign lands to find the king.

It's all very light hearted and literary, much in keeping with Carroll's Alice stories.  Langridge nicely includes the source poem at the end of the trade, and some old school kid games and puzzles.  Obviously, young kids would enjoy this, but I found it to be very entertaining, too.  The charaters are well developed and the action engaging.  Even Rusty, a  pacifier dependent two year old, has a character all his own. 

I'm looking foward to the second trade, Ships and Sealing Wax.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DC Comics Preview Review for February 2013 – It’s You Not Me

Jim: So instead of the normal preview review I have decided to look at a bunch of DC titles and remark about my current feelings on the books. I think what DC did was a great marketing stunt and has generated a lot of interest. DC also gave Marvel a kick in the pants and made them review what they were doing and implement so long overdue changes. Success often breeds sameness as when you are winning, you do not want to change. Still I think DC’s idea was implemented too fast and with a lack of planning. The downside of what DC did was they broke the connection any fan of DC had with the Universe. That Universe is dead and gone. Also they started five years into the new Universe, so whatever we think we know we do not know. Characters have the same names, but not the same history. Some events have occurred, others have not and we have no clue what did or did not happen. So when a character refers to a past event we are supposed to know about we can’t even be sure it happened. Hell they are retro-conning as they go along as Tim Drake was a former Robin and now was not. It is with this framework that I want to review and comment on the state of the DCU as we look forward to February 2013.

Written by LEN WEIN
Art and cover by STEVE RUDE
One-shot • On sale JANUARY 30 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • MATURE READERS

Art and cover by ADAM HUGHES
On sale FEBRUARY 6 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 4, $3.99 US
Art and cover by LEE BERMEJO
On sale FEBRUARY 13 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 4, $3.99 US
Art and cover by J.G. JONES
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 32 pg, FC, 6 of 6, $3.99 US
Written by LEN WEIN
Art and cover by JAE LEE
On sale FEBRUARY 27 • 32 pg, FC, 6 of 6, $3.99 US

Jim: I think it speaks volumes when my favorite part coming under the DC banner is the Before Watchmen material. As this stuff comes to a conclusion I’m curious to see what DC will do to replace it. The quality of the creators is what drove this project and I would hope DC would be bending over backwards to get these creators to sign up for more projects, but I doubt is. The take away here it that my favorite material from DC has nothing to do with the new DCU.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

From everyone at ComicsAnd..., we hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Week of December 19 Part 2 – Before Watchmen Moloch

My plan is to do a series of solo reviews for both this and next Monday. So since I have no clue how many that will be.  I can’t state this is Part 2 of how many parts, but it is Part 2.

Before Watchmen Moloch #2 (of 2) by J. Michael Straczynski writer, Eduardo Risso artist and Trish Mulvihill colorist was just absolutely fantastic. I have not reread Watchmen in a long time, but if memory serves this book fit in seamlessly to Watchmen. The big surprise is not only was it a great character study of Moloch but it gave additional insight into Adrian Veidt.

JMS’ story felt almost pedestrian as it opened up. The first issue had given us a wonderful portrait of the villain Moloch, the Moloch seeking redemption appears on the surface to be an uninteresting character. Veidt finds Moloch and gives him a job. He constantly praises him and speaks of how much trust he has in him. Moloch’s job is to review three data sets side by side to insure that each data set is coming up with the same formulas. Per Veidt this is needed in order to insure that the test on a new energy source is in fact working as all three tests should yield the same results. Moloch takes his job seriously and he finds the tiniest differences. Veidt (Ozymandias) showers Moloch with the importance of his work and how well his has done. He enlists Moloch in helping deliver medicine to Dr. Manhattan’s old girl friend. It all seems so innocuous.

The Week of December 19 in Review Part 1 – The Emperor Has No Clothes – Or A Review of Hawkeye #6

Before we get to the crux of the matter we need to first provide you with a list of next week’s books, with the clean and concise list here and the more detailed offering page here. You will note the list is almost bare as it is actually a skip week. Publishers have cleverly decided to ask retailers to hold these books so they have something for the interim holiday week. I’m of course most curious to read Spider-Man #700 and see if Marvel is making a serious change or what they are planning. Sadly, like New Coke, I believe the backlash to any real change will be a hasty retreat to the status quo.

What this means for the blog is that next week will not be a week in review as I have asked my store to not ship anything until the next week. The postage cost will be half the cost of the books. I have decided instead to do a series of solo reviews of a few comics from my massive pile of over 40 freaking titles this week and will post them as few post over for December 24 and December 31. So it will be Part 1, Part 2 this week and we will see how many parts in total for next week. Of course readership is usually down during the holidays but still Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

The one and only book I’m reviewing for this post is Hawkeye #6 by Matt Fraction writer, David Aja artist and Matt Hollingsworth colorists. My pithy title for the post is due to the fact that this book is receiving almost universal praise as the best thing to ever hit the stands. Per many others it is monumental and blowing people away with it brash and boldness. If I believe all that was written I would swear this is the next Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen. (A quick side note, it has been too many years since someone has redefined the super hero in such a dramatic fashion.) It is a good book even a very good book, but it is not all that.

First off in regards to the actual series, let’s face it a Hawkeye series was only green lit because of the Avengers movie. Secondly no one at Marvel expected the series to be much of anything. That means that Fraction was left to play with this character. Fraction was allowed to make this Clint Barton vastly different from the many iterations of the character done before and in truth that is a positive. As I read the book this version of the character has a genuine quality to him that is lacking in many super hero characters. At the end of the day when this book was released the bar was so low that anything of quality was going to be a surprise. Fraction has infused the book with a light hearted tone and a street level feeling that makes this Clint Barton more of an everyman as opposed to a true super hero. As in the movie a guy with a bow and arrow next to a Norse God, high tech Armor and a super solider is out of place. Therefore Fraction removed him from that place. Add to that mix the artwork of David Aja and the color work of Matt Hollingsworth and you have a book that is a fun and quick read. This of course has created the showering of accolades for the book.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: The Christmas Version

In case you weren't aware Tuesday is Christmas.  I won't get into a rant about how "the holiday" started before Halloween.  Or how the kids have more sh*t than ever going on and I have been exhausted for a month.  It isn't time for that.  It's time to enjoy what's left of the Christmas season... and enjoy it with comic books.  Here are some of my favorites.

Christmas is Together Time
Few things say Christmas to me like Charlie Brown... and of course his Christmas special.  And, the title of this book really says it all.

More Christmas cheer below the break

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Recent Reads

Yesterday was my first day off for the long Christmas break and while I would’ve loved to have prepared this post on Thursday night, I was busy attending the 32nd annual Stevens Forest Elementary School play directed by the super-awesome Mr. Palmer.  Mr. Palmer has been the gym teacher since the school opened in 1972 and will retire at the end of this school year.  He’s a one-of-a-kind individual who generously gives of his time to the children in our community and I’ve had the privilege of helping him set up Field Day for the last several years even though I no longer have kids attending that school.  This year’s play was A Christmas Carol and it was a miracle that the school system allowed a work that acknowledged God to be performed (There was a reason why he waited for this to be his swan song production -- leverage).  It was spectacular, especially the Ghost of Christmas Future costume and the kid who did an outstanding job playing Scrooge, and I ended up seeing it twice.  So, I’m writing this hours before my deadline and I’m going to (try to) be brief (maybe too brief).  Six titles (I was going to do eight but I got too tired) are mentioned after the jump (there could be spoilers):

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hulk Visionaries: Peter David vol 3

A total lark, this one.  I've read various parts of Peter David's long run on The Incredible Hulk and even had a quite a bit of it in singles until I sold some and gave away the rest.  None of that was during the grey Hulk years, so when I saw this book I gave it a try.  It was worth the time.

Originally published in '88 and '89, the volume contains The Web of Spider-man 44, Incredible Hulk 349-354, and Fantastic Four 320.  The Fantastic Four issue was written by Steve Englehart rather than David, so there's a little bit of false adverstising to the title, but the issue's necessary to continue a story started in The Incredible Hulk, so there you go.

Pencils in all The Incredible Hulk issues are by Jeff Purves.  Alex Saviuk does the job in Web of Spider-man and Keith Pollard in Fantastic Four.  None of them were terribly familiar to me.  Purves has a style that reminds me a lot of John Romita Jr.  In fact, if I didn't have the credits, I would have guessed it was Romita.  That works for me.  I always liked Romita's work.  Saviuk's work reminds me of Sal Buscema and Pollard's is all his own, though nothing particularly distinctive.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Indies Previews for February Part 2 of 2

Continued from Yesterday.

Humanoids Inc
Muse HC (deluxe) by (w) Denis Pierre Filippi (a/c) Terry Dodson
Available for the first time in the English language, in its original size, and in its entirety are the sexy, dreamy adventures of Coraline, a beautiful young lady who serves as governess to a wealthy, inventive and very mysterious homeowner. Written by frequent Humanoids collaborator D-P Filippi (John Lord, The Bombyce Network) and drawn by U.S. comics superstar Terry Dodson (Marvel's Uncanny X-Men, The Defenders), Muse is a lyrical and titillating ride through reverie and nostalgia. 104 pgs, 9x12, FC, $34.95
Lee: Another relist so there’s still time to order this. Humanoids has fantastic reproduction which means this will look great. And, let’s be honest, it’s all about the Dodson’s art.
Thomm: Ok, it’s sexy. The art’s great. Got it. Is it entertaining to read? I’m not so sure about that. Then again, that may not be necessary.

Six more books below the break.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Indies Previews for February Part 1 of 2

Thomm: Who am I? What’s my name? Christmas still hasn’t arrived? I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I guess.
Lee:  I am with you on that.  What happened to Christmas being relaxing?  This year has been crazy and not always in a good way.  I need a vacation... from my vacation... which hasn't even started yet.

Alternative Comics
Failure GN by (W/a/c) Karl Stevens
The new book from the acclaimed author of Guilty, Whatever, and The Lodger. Failure collects Karl Stevens' beautifully rendered humorous comic strips from the Phoenix, Boston's leading alternative weekly. His slice of life vignettes and surreal anthropomorphic experiments are revealing sketches of urban America and beyond. Features over fifty pages of unpublished material. 180 pgs, 11x9, FC, $21.95 See a prime example of the strip here.
Lee: This is… well… it’s a collection of comix from an alternative newspaper. Do I really need to get into the details of it more than that? Either yer gonna love it or not. I think I’m gonna love it because I have a weakness for self-deprecating humor and this appears to be really good at it.
Thomm: Comix are always hit and miss for me. Too often there’s an in the know quality to the humor that escapes me. Obviously, I’m not in the know.

7 more completely different books below the break which look nothing like the first book I picked!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Week of December 12 in Review Part 3 of 3 The Conclusion

As we come into the home stretch let’s first dispense for the grade for the week and I will go with a C+, perhaps a little harsh, but I expect high quality and most weeks are B or a B+, I think I will be hard pressed to hit an A as I get some many books. This week had some “A” level talent and it was an enjoyable week, but the true “wow” factor was missing.

Onto the rest of what I read this week.

Winter Soldier #13 is Ed Brubaker’s swan song at Marvel. Not that he is gone forever, but with his creator owned material doing well and his TV writing career posed to take off Ed has left Marvel on good terms. This is the final story he wrote that is being published and it is a good one. Bucky with a little help from his friends is trying to save Natasha and stop the last elite soviet soldier, who was trained by Bucky. Butch Guice is providing the artwork and it is a solid adventure. I’m curious to see the next writer and if they will brand it Marvel Now. Personally I would prefer Bucky actually doing more spy work instead of super hero type battle with noir flair. After Brubaker the new writer gets a couple issues try out to sell me at best.

Battlefields #2 with The Tankies by Garth Ennis is another excellent effort. If you have any feeling or desire to read war comics, the best of the best is what Garth Ennis has done over the years. This is a Korean War story, but it doesn’t matter, Garth writes the best war books on the market, in a market that no longer has any war books even compared to the great stuff DC did years ago. Ennis material is more realistic and harder hitting. Of course it is a different era and you are allowed to do more then you could back in that time frame. The other key element in Garth’s work is his characters, they are so real that you relate to them and feel what they feel. The horror, the fear, the gore are all almost too real, but drive home the point that war in not glorious, but a brutal slaughterhouse.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Week of December 12 in Review Part 2 of 3 Getting Batty and More

Not for anything but Marvel watched DC smacked them around in sales for over a year and put together a plan to take back first place and Marvel Now is succeeding. DC is certainly still doing well, but I think the weaknesses of the new DCU are starting to show. Regardless DC’s rock is still in fine hands. Below I submit my proof to support my assertion.  

Batman #15 is that proof. Scott Snyder’s Batman has maintained extraordinary high sales and with Greg Capullo producing outstanding art this book is a great series. This issue we see Batman square off with the Joker and lose the battle, but ends up home recuperating. The “family” meets with him and demands to know why the Joker knows who they are and Batman states he believes the Joker is a liar and yet he has a secret about a battle with the Joker. In telling the story he reveals that it may be possible the Joker was in the Batcave years ago. They squabble and Bruce leaves to follow up on a clue as to where the Joker is setting up a trap. I think the Joker does not know the secrets as Scott has put out red herrings before in the Court of Owls story. He had us thinking Thomas Wayne (a heretofore unknown brother) was alive and now the Court’s man. The next issue he pulled it back 99%. Personally I hated the idea because it was so comic book cliché and Scott is a better writer then that, but I think his intent is to keep us guessing. With the Joker, if he knows then getting that genie back in the box will be way too hard. What was so unreal and very creepy was Batman’s narrative that he has seen it in the Joker’s eyes and he knows the Joker loves him. To me that is a psychological horror and on par with the stuff that Heath Ledger pulled off in the Batman movie. Capullo’s art has been nothing short of fantastic and Jonathan Glapion’s inks make the work even better. The one quibble I have is Bruce is drawn way too young and then when you show he has at least two ex-Robins and a ten year old son; it is still too much back story to fit into such a young man. It is a great time to be a Batman fan with this type of work being done; sadly DC has way too many books that don’t cut it. One final word, the back up with the Riddle was also very well done as Snyder makes him into a villain to be respected. What Snyder is doing has been building more back story for Batman and making the villains that he fight into modern versions that can still be a threat. A hero needs to face tough odds in order to stand as heroic.  

The Week of December 12 in Review Part 1 of 3 Round One

Nothing screamed at me this week as to how to break down the books, so I’m just going to run with doing so blurbs on each book. Some maybe long winded and some will be short and to the point. The breaking point will be somewhat random as I try to keep each post a reasonable length.

Of course before we hit the meat of the matter at hand I have the links to the clean list and the detailed list. These are provided for your research into next week’s books. It is a massive list as the week of December 26 is almost a skip week. I also believe many publishers are on a calendar year fiscal schedule and probably cannot legally count a book sold unless it ships. If I’m right that means a big push to get something out for year end.  Some of the highlights for next week are Before Watchman Moloch, Wonder Woman, All New X-Men, Captain America, Hawkeye, Happy, Saga, Black Beetle, Locke & Key, Rachael Rising and a ton of others, a massive week.

Alright let’s get into the books.

The Creep #4 brings this series to a conclusion. John Arcudi has produced a great character. I hope this book did well enough so that we get a second mini-series. The Creep solves the mystery of what happened to his old friend’s son and it is a tragic tale. It wasn’t so much his detective skill as just his dogged approach to not letting anything go. It is also a book that is a character study about a man whose disease disfigured him and changes the way he goes about his entire life.

Clone #2 takes this story to the next level. Luke, our main clone, gets to meet many of his brothers. We find out it was a project that was undertaken by the government as a scientist managed to use a cell and implant it in a genetically wiped egg and grow clones in a lot of women.  High level government officials are involved and clones are killing clones at the same time Luke is trying to rescue his wife. For a first time comic book writer David Schulner is doing a great job. This book has an all important credit, the editor. So many books need one.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: Rex The Wonder Dog

I've always found it interesting how comics reflect the times they are written in.  Whatever the latest 'trend' whether it be monsters, cowboys, or spacemen it's only a matter of time before it shows up in a comic book.  This week I want to look at a long running series that captured every single trend... often with inadvertently comic results.  That series is Rex The Wonder Dog.

Rex #9, May-June 1953
Penciller: Gil Kane
Ink: Sy Barry

It's not hard to figure out that Lassie is the inspiration for Rex.  But did lassie ever fight commie bastiches??? HECK NO!  Was Lassie ever able to hold her breath underwater (with a little help) to hide from the enemy??? HECK NO!

As silly as this cover is, it makes sense compared to the ones below the break.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Marvel NOW versus DC’s The NEW 52

Whew!  What a week.  I’ve had middle school and high school concerts to attend three nights in a row.  If you’ve got kids that age then you know most of those performances aren’t very short (although the band one last night clocked in perfectly at an hour). The worst was actually the non-stop treble choir rehearsals and then they cut 50% of the songs (from two to one)!!!  I only got to read one new comic so far this week (Fantastic Four #2) and it’s already time to prepare the next post (I’m trying really hard to finish them before Friday now, so the weekend can actually be totally relaxing – as much as possible with six children in the house).  Anyway, I thought this would be a good opportunity to weigh in on the new Marvel NOW relaunch and why I think it beats DC’s The New 52 hands down.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Marvel Masterworks vol 37: The Uncanny X-Men

Before I dive back into the more obscure trades of the independent world, a diversion to the glory days of the X-Men.  Hard to believe that there was a time when the X-Men only had one title and were immensely popular.  The Big Two these days mandate a minimum of two titles for even a moderately popular character or cast of characters, and no one can beat the X-Men for volume of titles.

Anyway, this volume collects Uncanny X-Men 122-131 and Uncanny X-Men Annual 3.  I vacillated on buying this volume for a long time because I already own singles of 122 and 126-131.  Even on sale at half off it seemed a bit much to buy for 123-125 and the annual, a grand total of 4 issues I hadn't read.  Still, in the end I bought it, and it was worth the money.

Nostalgia certainly has to be factored in to my fondness for these stories, but there's also the fact that one was being told really was new and really was well done.  Claremont was at the top of his game in telling these stories that lead into the grand Phoenix saga that will always, in my mind, conclude with Jean Grey's death on the moon, regardless of all the revisionary crap that's come along since.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Interview with Tim Truman and Ben Truman Co-Creators of A Man Named Hawken Part 2 of 2

Now for Part 2

Jim: Is it more fun being the artist or the writer or does each bring its own challenges?
Tim: When I'm writing I want to be drawing and when I'm drawing I want to be writing. Writing is usually a less frustrating experience for me, though. I'm my own worst critic when it comes to drawing. I'm seldom happy with what I draw. When I look back at a story I've done art for, it never really turns out the way that I ideally envisioned it. I'm quite self-critical and insecure about my drawing skills. 

Jim: How did Hawken come about? 
Tim: In 2010, my wife, Beth and I took a trip to Tucson Arizona to visit Ben, who lives out there, working as a writer and educator. We took this whirlwind tour of Arizona-- north to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, south to Tombstone and Bisbee. Along the way, Ben started telling me about this idea for a story he wanted to do about a sadistic mountain man. Somehow, the germ of those conversations started intertwining with input from the sights we were seeing. Our Kit Hawken character started taking shape pretty quickly. By the end of the trip, we knew we were onto something. Both Ben and I became totally obsessed with the character. When I returned home, sketches started pouring out of me and Ben and I were emailing each other and talking on the phone with each other very day-- sometimes three or four times a day-- running ideas past each other. We were totally on fire with the idea. In fact we still are, in many ways. It was really exciting. We finished most of the issue before we even started shopping the series around, which is really unusual for me. Initially we were just going to do Kit Hawken short stories-- wicked little horror tales about this grizzled old killer. But as things progressed, Ben and I knew we had a really solid tale on our hands so we started showing it to publishers. 

Jim: What is the process with working with your son Ben? Who does what?
Tim: Ben and I sort of "head-jam" on the basic concepts, working stuff out, flying ideas and reference material past each other, working out plot and character points. The beginning stages remind me of the way that Joe R. Lansdale or John Ostrander and I usually work together, actually. After that, Ben starts roughing in a script, usually shooting two or three drafts past me before we settle on something. 

We're quite different from each other as writers, actually, so we tend to play off each others' strengths: Ben is great at structure and plotting, and for throwing in these unexpected, unique scenes and action sequences. I have a penchant for dialog and for keeping the storytelling very direct and communicative.   

Anyway, after a few rough drafts, we final arrive at something we're both happy with. Ben finishes up the script so that the editor can easily follow it, then he shoots it to me and I go from there. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview with Tim Truman and Ben Truman Co-Creators of A Man Named Hawken Part 1 of 2

First Page I Purchased From Tim
A little background before we jump into the interview. I have been a long time Tim Truman fan from back in his days with First Comics all the way through his writing on Conan and to this project that he and his son Ben Truman put together. One thing I admire about Tim’s work is that it seems to still be getting better and better. Many artists over time seem to stop learning or take a lot of shortcuts and there material becomes a shadow of the work they did before. Not in Tim’s case, I think Hawken might be some of his best work ever and I’m a proud owner of a few pages of Tim’s art.

Second it is nice to see a father and son team up, especially in creating a new character. I have two daughters, but I always enjoy any sort of projects that we can do together and I be willing to bet that Tim and Ben pushed each other to do their absolute best and it shows.

Of you passed up on Hawken I encourage you to either go here and buy it or order it from you favorite comic book store. It is more then worth the price of entry. And if you want to keep up to date with Tim check out his official site here.

We have decided to run the interview over two days, so onto part 1.

Ben and Tim
Jim: Tim you have been in the comic book industry for a long time. Can you give us a little background of how you got into the business?

Timothy Truman: I was always into comic books. Growing up, I became a rabid fan.  I found myself paying attention to the work of various artists rather than following specific titles or companies. So I decided pretty early that I wanted to become a book illustrator or comic book artist. However, being a rural kid form West Virginia, I had no idea about how to actually land a career doing it.

After graduating from high school, I attended Columbus College of Art and Design for one year and then went to West Virginia University's Art Department. I flunked out of both places. I had specific goal of becoming an illustrator of some sort and really didn't have the patience to sit through all the foundation year courses, art education courses, and the like. After meeting my wife Beth at WVU, I sort of sat it out for a few years while she went for her degree there.

After she graduated, it was my turn to complete my education. Fortunately, Joe Kubert began his school in New Jersey at about that time. As soon as I saw the ad for the place, I knew I'd found my shot at entering the field. I started my courses there during the school's third year and ended up graduating on the Dean's List.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Week of December 5 in Review Part 3 of 3 The Rest of the Read

Sadly this week I did not get to read everything and since I cannot judge a book I have not read I can’t comment. Wish I had more time but holidays, watching the Sliders series (why I’m watching or even got the DVD sets I’m not sure, but they have an odd charm), work, football season and all the rest eat into my timing.

For what I read this week I will give it a B, some very entertaining books and nothing I read was a total waste, of course I have not read everything I got. The wrap up includes some excellent books and a book many think has been the best book of the week every time it comes out. Onto the quick hits on what else I read.

Hawkeye #5 is the book I referred to above. My friends at Cosmic Comix have voted this book to be the best of the week almost every time it comes out. Without David Aja on the art, who has never been able to do a monthly book, the book is still very good with Javier Pulido doing the art. Matt Fraction has developed a great rhythm with this book and it continues to be an elite series. It is nice to have a Marvel book allowed to be its own thing and have a small cast (Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, both Hawkeye).

Earth 2 #7 was a decent issue, but the thrill is gone. As I suspected it is taking way too long for this book to come together. This issue we are actually eight issues in, including the zero and no group is close to being formed. A lot of world building and character bits, but a new JSA is not anywhere in site.

Epic Kill #7 is just out and out action as our central character finally comes out of her coma and is now being forced to work for the US government. A hot Asian girl, solid art and plenty of action continues to make this over the top action/drama worth the price of entry.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Week of December 5 in Review Part 2 of 3 – The Magnificent Seven

I was only going to do a two part review this week and just have notes on every other book that I read, but these seven books deserve a little more than a quick quip about them. It has been an amazing few weeks of comics with so many excellent books and these certainly fit in that category.

Stumptown #4 by Greg Rucka and Matt Southworth was an astonishing issue. I’m a big Greg Rucka fan and love this series, but for me the first mini-series was better. This series while very good was not as good and then we got this issue. It is a car chase done as a comic book and it works. Now I will give Greg all the kudos in the world for creating a great character in Dex Parios. I’m ready for the TV series and want to be involved in the casting of Dex as we will need the right person to pull her character off. All that being said the comic was ruled by the art work. No one is ever going to mistake Matt Southworth for Ivan Reis or Byran Hitch, two of today’s bigger super hero art stars, but I don’t think either one of them could have pulled off making a car chase exciting in a comic book. The page layouts, the blurring of the art, superimposing an old style speedometer over the art, design, expressions the whole nine yards was flat out fantastic. Years ago a movie “Bullitt” (yeah I’m old) pulled off a great car chase scene and it is clear the Matt Southworth used it for an inspiration. You can click the link to compare. I’m not trying to take anything away from Matt’s work, I’m pointing out what appears to be an influence or inspiration for the car chase. What Matt has done is almost the impossible and this is made an exciting car chase depicted in still pictures. A simply amazing accomplishment and makes me look forward to see how the whole thing wraps up next issue.

Matthew Southworth said...

Hi Jim--

Actually, I didn't think of Bullitt while working on the chase (haven't ever seen the movie, though I've seen the car chase years ago), but it's bound to have been an influence. I deliberately didn't watch any chase sequences while working on it, though my favorite chase is probably Tarantino's DEATH PROOF, so that and others were undoubtedly in my head.

Stumptown is indeed a series of minis, and this arc is ending with issue 5. We haven't talked yet about what we're doing for the next one...

Jim: Thought we should add this to the body of the post - as Matthew clears up my impression with the facts. Thanks Matthew.

The Week of December 5 in Review Part 1 of 3 – Avengers #1

As I say over and over and over again, I’m letting each week dictate its own flow and narrative. Also what has become a reoccurring theme is I can’t keep up with all of my reading and therefore again a bunch of books just won’t be mentioned. I wish I had more time to devote to giving each book more of its due because even books I dislike had a lot of effort put into them to get made at all.

Before we begin Part 1, I first need to give you the links for next week’s books. The clean and simple link is here and the detailed list you can find here. I needed the detail list this week as Deathstroke was due to be taken over by a new writer. I checked the detail list and found out it was this month and the new writer is Justin (Luthor Strode) Jordan, so I added Deathstroke back on my list for a try out again. The books I’m anticipating the most Batman, Clones, Walking Dead, Conan, Creep and others. This week’s is finally down to a more reasonable number, so of course two hardcover collects are due out. One week I will have a small bill.

I chose to do a post solely on Avengers #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena not because it was the best book of the week but because it was a fascinating book on multiple levels.
Add caption
At its core it was just another setup issue starting a new series. The Avengers get together and go off to fight a menace and get beaten. Captain America gets back home and summons a new team. The new team is on the final panel and we see a large group of “C” list (to be nice) characters along with Captain American, Wolverine and Spider-Man. This idea was the genesis of the New X-Men back years ago when Professor X had Cyclops pull together a group of mutants to save the original X-Men after they were defeated by a major bad guy. That ultimately gave us the Claremont/Byrne era which catapulted the X-Men into the forefront of the MU. Of course a key difference is that entire adventure started and ended in one extra size issue. I can almost guarantee that this story will take at least six issues to drag out for a resolution. In fact with Jonathan Hickman in the driver’s seat I’d be willing to be bet he has an exact ending in mind and we will take a couple of years to finally get to the point of his story. Jonathan is very talented and a great writer and Marvel seems to love the decompressed story telling idea. Hickman can drag it out forever. Heck he started his Marvel writing gig with Bendis as co-writer so he learned from the master. This series will take a long time to come together.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Comic Covers Sunday: What the?!

Last week was a little too serious for me.  So this week we'll do something more humorous.  The Marvel satire mag, What The?!.  Enjoy.

What The?! #1, August 1998
Pencils:  Jon Bogdanove

Inks:  Al Milgrom
It's an 'eh' cover but it is the first issue.  And I like Hulk acting snobbish. 

No worries, there are better covers below the break.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Human Bomb #1 – A Review

Script: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Illustrated By: Jerry Ordway
Letterers By: Taylor Esposito
Colors By: HI-FI
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

If it wasn’t for my store’s huge end of the year sale, which runs for four more days, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this comic.  My stack of pull list books was already way too high, plus the extra off-the-rack incentives like the “Gangnam Style” Avengers parody cover only added to the mound.  That still didn’t include the ton (18) of $10 or less back issues (and collections) for only a buck (It should have been 19, but someone [I know who] pilfered my stack and I lost out on a sweet All-Out War Stories Dollar Comic).   However, when everything else is 40% off, it’s hard not to try something new.  And the cover of Human Bomb was just too captivating to leave it on the shelf with its classy Jerry Ordway art, cool logo, and dazzling orange colors.  Of course, I snuck a peek inside as well and liked what I saw.  So get ready for a SPOILERS filled review of the first chapter of this four issue mini-series.  It’s gonna be a BLAST!!!

Friday, December 07, 2012

What I read this week - Dec 7

So this week is a little of what I read and a little of what I saw.
Let's start with what I saw and that was Contagion.  The movies stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lawrence Fishburne, and many others.  If you couldn't guess from the title, it's the story about what happens when a plague hits the world and lots and lots of people die.

And... it's ok.  I think it's a scary movie for people who don't like to be scared.  It's a really good break down of what a worldwide epidemic might look like.  Think the Influenza Breakout of 1918 just sped up and modernized.  The science is fantastic and explained in a simple enough fashion that the layman can understand it.  The story takes into account the impact on different social strata's, lack of security, the red tape of modern medicine and even the blogosphere.  It covers all the bases.

But, for someone like me, who reads plague and environmental disaster novels it was light on consequences.  It shows food stores being raided but it never really touches on the fact that famine would be widespread.  It shows trash in the street because garbage pickup would stop, but doesn't explain how pestilence would spread.  Yes, it's morbid to think of such things but it's what would likely happen.  Bottom line, this is a Hollywood epidemic movie in which some good people die, but everyone ends up happy in the end.  Good but not deep.

Below the break, comics including Riven, Fatale, and Omac.  Sorta...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Downsized

There's something to be said for walking into a comic book store.  I find a lot of interesting things on the cheap that way.  Take Matt Howarth's The Downsized, for instance.  I'm walking through the store on Halloween when I see stacks of various books at cut rate prices.  This book originally $7, is at $2.  Howarth's name is somehow familiar, but even with subsequent research I can't figure out why.  But for $2, why not?

A very well spent $2 it was.  The book is a short story that takes place over the course of 2 nonconsecutive days.  Roland is a freelance writer in LA.  Some years ago he had a porn movie that he wrote become a bit of a sensation for its literary quality, but now he's just covering the porn industry.  Stevie, a young girl who was the best friend of Roland's ex, Pauline, lives with him but is jobless.  There's no romance or sex between them.  She just crashes at his place.

Roland and Stevie are back in Michigan for Roland's parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  The town isn't specified, but it must be near Flint, as the closing of the GM plant in Flint is mentioned several times.  Pauline still lives there, working for a temp agency, though not working very often and not working very happily.  She has a feeble cat named Leia (Roland and Pauline met at a Star Wars convention) that is paralyzed and needs frequent care.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The List - November 2012

Added a few things this month, one of which was on the strong recommendation of Former Fearless Leader, the great consumer of all things Comic Book.  Turns out he was right, too, as you'll see below.

1. Stumptown 3 - Baby's back with Mim.  Seems like the case would be over for Dex now, but, of course, it's not.  To complicate matters further, not only is our unfriendly female DEA agent perpetually peeved at Dex but now her friend in the city police department is peeved, too.  Seems she and Mim dated for a brief time, and now she's mad that Mim went to Dex instead of her for Baby's recovery.  Oh, and the skinheads are back.  They're more comic relief than Whale was in the first series.  Violent comic relief, but comic relief nonetheless.  As entertaining as all this is, I have yet to piece together what the missing guitar, skinheads, and some sort of smugling have in common that will connect it all.  I'm sure there are clues that I'm just not attaching the right significance.  Looking forward to Rucka and Southworth bringing it closer to its conclulsion next month.

2. Wonder Woman 14 - Eating brains to learn language?  Ok.  Efficient for the eater.  Not so great for the meal.  I'd guess our brain eater is a Titan except for the fact that he's a son of Zeus and Hera.  He's certainly large enough and having been missing for seven thousand years, the time line fits.  What the band of scientists hope to accomplish in reviving him is a mystery.  On the other hand, Siracca's very sad story is no mystery.  Not that it hadn't already been established in this book, but being one of Zeus's bastard children has a dangerously short lifespan.  Well, did have.  If he was still around it would be safer now that Hera is mortal and powerless.  I'm less thrilled with the arrival of Orion to the story than other readers, but I'm sure Azzarello will do something interesting with him.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Week of November 28 in Review Part 4 of 4 Four From Marvel

I will give the overall week a B, but it should be an incomplete as I have read next to nothing from this week. When my list gets too big and I have limited time to devote to reading the books back up way too fast. Still I have to say that in general I have been very happy with the quality of what has been coming out recently.

First up is FF #1 by Matt Fraction and Michael Allerd. I almost don’t want to like some of the Marvel Now books because I’m trying to cut my list down and these books are making it hard to do. This is going to be a quirky book as guaranteed with Mike Allerd’s art. He has a style that is unique and while I have learned to enjoy it, I can understand if someone does not like it. It has an elusive quality that makes it look different from anybody else, yet it is well done. Mike has all the technical skills to tell a story and certainly can depict any type of scene. The simple fact is his work is just different. The book itself is funny because the Fantastic Four recruit four people to take their place while they take a trip that is suppose to only take four minutes. Reed is putting together this pseudo FF just in case. I was also confused why we had all the kids talking to Scott Lang as I thought they were going on the trip with the Fantastic Four, but I’ll let that get worked out between the books. Fraction has really grown as a writer. He is structuring what appears to be a long form story with these two books and is doing some great episodic work over in Hawkeye. I have never been a huge Fraction fan (look an unintentional FF) but I’m starting to become one. Another side note; I heard the AR (Augmented Reality Application) had been updated and or enhanced and tried it out again. In this book it had some great video clips of Matt talking about the book and a nice segment explaining how Ant Man’s daughter died. I can officially endorse this idea and encourage DC to do the same. This is what all the digital books should be doing, embedding some extras into the books. At the end of the day the first issue was all set up to introduce the cast and next issue we will find out how Matt will make a 4 minute assignment last a couple of years.

The Week of November 28 in Review Part 3 of 4 – Three Independents

The independent publishers actually dominate most of my list. Take out the Vertigo and Before Watchmen stuff from DC and I bet almost every week that I get more from the other segment then I do with the big two.

The first of the three is Nowhere Men #1 by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde. I enjoy picking up various new series and giving them a try and this book was very reminiscent of what I call “The Lost” school of writing. It stems from the TV show where mysteries and ideas are strewn about and one wonders if or when they will ever be explained. Given my contempt for Lost and the way it ended I have little patience for the mysteries to be revealed. Nick Spencer is notorious with his ability to do this and I wonder why I followed Morning Glories for so long. Anyway this book is about four scientists who band together to open up the next great corporation called World Corp. We open with them walking out to a press conference and then have a two page spread giving us their backgrounds as a magazine article. Next is a two page spread that says years later and some monster is killing off AIM rejects. We jump to the boardroom as the three members who are left (is the other guy dead or what?) and they are arguing over where the company is going as the monster is their product. We get an ethics argument of a sort and we see the company founders are now at odds with each other. It appears to be many years in the future as they are portrayed to be fifty plus or more years old. The next jump is an abrupt shift to a space station where a virus has broken out and the group here is being told no one gets off as they are now quarantined. At the end we get a two page newspaper interview with the World Corp member who had quit. The timeframe that this occurred in is ambiguous. It is also unclear how any of this stuff ties together and what the f**k is going on. I mean if these guys had been together so long why is it just now that they are falling about? Simon, the guy who wants to keep the monster for profit, must have shown this type of morality for many years. Then, what the heck is this space station thing and how does that tie into everything. The most important credit missing from many new independent books is the editor. I will hang out for another issue or two as I know a lot of writers take time to pull their premise together, but I swear a good editor could help get these guys to craft better first issues. Most readers are not as easy going as I am to hang out for more than issue #1. It seems to me that a solid editor is missing from in books all over the place. Hell I wish I had an editor to review my work and help make it better. As a self editor I can tell you I miss way too much and think that a good editor could vastly improve my work.

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Week of November 28 in Review Part 2 of 4 – Three DC Books

As I said I selected 13 books for the week in review on and this segment is about the books published under the DC comic banner.

First up is Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #4 (of 4) by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Connor. I selected this book because it is the first Before Watchmen series that is coming to a conclusion and this has been a great series. I have no clue why some fans have been ignoring this stuff as it is what every fan professes to want to read, a great comic. Amanda Connor is doing some of the best work of her career and she has a slew of great work on her resume already. There is one two panel scene in this book that absolutely shows an amazing range of ability to express subtle emotion. Both panels are close ups of Sally Jupiter as she gets a phone call from her daughter Laurie (the Watchmen’s Silk Spectre). Laurie has run away and now she is finally calling home. Sally is an overbearing Mom, who truly loves her daughter. The first panel shows Sally worried and hopeful that she is finally hearing from her lost daughter. The second panel she is twisting her finger on the phone cord and her look is changed from worried concern to smug mother. You don’t even need the dialogue. I added the panels so you can see for yourself. Amanda is listed as co-scripter on the book and I’m guessing she did a lot of the dialogue or at least reworded the dialogue for Sally and Laurie. It all rings so true and as a father or two daughters I can hear the dialogue as well as read it. Cooke’s story gave us great depth to who Laurie is and delivers her at the end of the story right into the Watchmen book. It felt seamless to someone who has not re-read Watchmen in a long time. This was a great job all around and a mini-series that stands on its own as a great character piece.

The Week of November 28 in Review Part 1 of 4 American Vampire, Thor and Chew

So this week is even more of a crush on time then last week. First off the post office ran late and my books did not show until Friday. Second I had some fun time set up to visit my grandson Connor on the weekend. He is almost one already, time does fly. Next the Ravens game is on Sunday and that is a must watch. Add in to that work, putting together an interview for the blog with Tim and Ben Truman focusing on Hawken and well time is pressed. This means a whole different approach.

This week I have chosen 13 books out of over 30 to review. I read three of four books and then did the write ups. They were selected partially based on the fact that Cosmic Comix rated many of these the best of the week and others I choose for reasons I will explain as I get to them.

Before we get to this triumph trio of thrilling treats I will provide you with links for next week’s books. The clean simple listing is here and the detail listing is here. Using these lists is a good way to decide what you want and what you may want to pass on. The highlights for me are two Before Watchmen books the Comedian and Minutemen, Detective Comics, Hawkeye, Fury Max, Blackacre, Colder, and Shadowman. All in all it looks to be a good week to start December.

These three books were being touted as the best of the best by the Cosmic Comix website, so I read them first. All three are excellent and the rest of the books will be hard pressed to be any better.

First up is American Vampire #33 by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque. Not only is Scott DC’s newest and the fastest rising super star, he is becoming the “go to” guy for so many things. He writes Batman which is setting all sorts of records for sales, he has brought in two new writers for DC, he is teaming up with Jeff Lemire for Rotworld and he is teaming up with Jim Lee to give us a new Superman book. The guy is on fire and is a superb writer. With all of that in many, many ways this is still his best work. At the same time Rafael Albuquerque has grown up on this book from a pure super hero artist on Blue Beetle, to an artist who can do this dramatic horror title with great skill. This issue brings to close the Blacklist story and from page one to the end of the book it is impossible to put down. The pace is relentless and Scott is a true master of knowing when to shut up and let the art tell the story. The tragic ending of Henry was something that was destined as he was never going to allow himself to turn into a Vampire. Even with knowing the ending the sorrow and emotion of Pearl was palatable as you read the book. American Vampire is a book that I order the hard covers even with reading and getting the regular book. This is a seminal work for Scott Snyder, who looks like he will be building a lot of seminal runs on many books over the years. A great issue in what is a great series.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Comic Cover Sunday: Indians

Did you notice anything missing in the Thanksgiving post last Sunday?  How about the Indians?  Yep, they were a big part (sort of) of the first Thanksgiving so why did I skip them?  Well, the covers related to Indians were really so... so... good that they deserve their own spotlight.  They are way better than I would have thought.  Way more stereotypical too.

Indians #1, 1950 sometime.
I gotta admit with a cover logo that says "Manzar, The White Indian"... I'm dying to know what's on the inside.  This cover is ok but the bright colors really pull you in.