When I first heard about Saga, I wanted to write about it. I didn’t. When the cover art of the first issue was released capturing one of the main characters breastfeeding (causing a handful of people’s heads to explode), I wanted to write something. I did not. When the double-sized first issue came out, I wanted to write about it. I didn’t. Issue after issue went by and I knew I wanted to throw my two cents into the ether. I didn’t. Well here it is! Chapter Six of Saga. Boom.
I am in contact with two very different niches when it comes to the comics community. There’s the group that reads creators’ work. Often times they create comics themselves. They know all about the upcoming books, how they work into current continuity, how the creative teams will change in a few months, etc. Then I talk with the folks that read for characters. They will buy every off-shoot of Batman, because they love Batman. Or they will follow just a handful of books because they grew up with the characters. And like that of a religion, they will pull their books every week and seldom stray from their forged path.
I like both groups of people. They both love comics. They both spend their money in hopes that they will be rewarded with a tale they actually care about. However, their opinions are rarely in compliance. I can tell you, quite honestly, that I have talked to people that genuinely do not like Saga. I am not that person. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m not big on the space-time continuum. I’ve discussed my reasons before. Because of that, I’m not a fan of multiverses, but it’s just a thing in comics so I carry on. I don’t care for things that label themselves as “Extreme”. It’s just a hang-up of mine that has no real reason.
I picked up X-Treme X-Men #1 today. And it is a story labeling itself extreme with the cute play on words, telling of a problem in the space-time continuum in which the multiverse is falling apart. So I hated it, right? Ah…I didn’t tell you the most important parts. It’s written by Greg Pak. And Dazzler plays a big part. So…no. No, I didn’t hate it. Read the rest of this entry »
I assume if you take on the stance of “I’ll never read a chick comic” you simply do not care how stupid you sound. Nobody can rid you of that stupidity. I can talk until I’m blue in the face and you’ll still be an idiot. Then I’d be an idiot since I was fighting a losing battle to begin with. So if that’s your stance, nothing I’m about to say will change your thought process. Go on back to being a fool.
For the rest of you, let’s talk Captain Marvel #1.
I ranted and raved about Marvel’s inadequacies when it came to female title characters. They didn’t even exist for a while. How can Deadpool carry more titles than all the women of Marvel combined? Didn’t seem right. So, although the numbers are painfully low given their competition’s books, Marvel has not only released a new Carol Danvers title, they’ve announced that Jeff Parker will be offering his talents in writing Betty Ross for Red She-Hulk #58. It’s a start. And if these books will be anything like Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel, it’s going to be a great time to be a Marvel fan again. Read the rest of this entry »
First I sat with my mouth open. Blinking. I had goosebumps. I got cold. I was wickedly uncomfortable. I was freaked the hell out. Revival by Tim Seeley. Art by Mike Norton.
This book is creepy. Like super creepy. Like I never want to go to Wisconsin creepy. So good.
Revival is the story of a small town in rural Wisconsin and a group of dead folks didn’t stay dead. They aren’t zombies, they just brushed themselves off and carried on. Now the local police (and the nation) is trying to deal with all the craziness surrounding this incident. We follow Dana specifically. Police officer in a district where her father happens to be sheriff. Issue one is our introduction to key characters and a feel for the hysteria. It also exposes us to one of the revived. And…um…wow. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a good chance that I’m going to reveal a bit too much of my psyche this week. I like extremes in my comics. I like ultra-violent. Or ultra-poetic. Or ultra-sexy. Or just over-the-top fun. This is what I enjoy. Sexy, complex characters surrounded by explosions in a bloody mess while having a good time. And you know what? I found that book. That book is Dark Horse’s Conan The Barbarian and I have gone on record as saying it is one of the sexiest books I’ve ever read.
It starts as Brian Wood’s adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s Queen of the Black Coast. People like pirates, right? They do. Yo ho ho. Everybody’s got a little part of them that wants to latch onto that devil-may-care attitude. No rules; just you and the sea and a sword. It just has a seductive quality to it. Then there’s blood-lust. That’s a thing. And then there’s sex. Which generally gets high ratings, yeah? Conan is a man who fights his way onto a pirate ship where he falls in love with a pirate queen and they go on murderous, thieving rampages together.
Read the rest of this entry »
Without a doubt, you’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about creator-owned rights and contracts regarding certain…popular title spin-offs this week. Okay, we’ve all got our opinions on the subject but I think we all can agree that what the world needs now is love. Sweet love.
No. That’s not right. Creator-owned comics. Sweet creator-owned comics.
So what better than a book that offers not one but *two* creator-owned stories? But wait! There’s more! It also includes a Neil Gaiman interview! And if you order now, you get editorials and informational articles on the process of making comics! Now how much would you pay?! Hopefully $3.99 or above because that’s how much I expect you to dish out. Read the rest of this entry »
How many of the books in your pull list make you think?
Now, I don’t mean books that you *choose* to think. I’m not talking about finding social commentary in an X-book or contemplating sexism in literature and entertainment. I’m talking about books that require thought to make it through the story. How many?
I don’t have many, if at all. Until this week. I really wasn’t ready for it.
I like explosions. I like punching. I like quippy one liners. I like explosions. The average book doesn’t give my brain much trouble. So here I sit, reading Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT from Dark Horse and I think, “Wow, I don’t like this.” And I finished it, but I realized I should have liked it. So I read it again. And it got better. Then I read the margins. And I liked it. Then I read the back-up story and I really liked it. And then I read the letters column and I loved it.
So that’s where we are. Let’s talk about why this book is different than any other book you’re reading: Read the rest of this entry »
Today, kids, we talk about romanticism. Calm down. No flowers and sonnets. Today we talk about true romantics. Those so passionate about their work and ambitions, that they sacrifice their relationships and well-being. There’s a glorified, endearing quality to these folks. They fight every step of the way, chasing whatever dream it is, and almost always we see the sense of loss and regret when they finally realize it isn’t all they thought. In this case, we’re talking a life of crime in Image’s ongoing Thief of Thieves.
I like crime books. Whether it be noir, procedurals, drama or thrillers-I dig it. So I look at a book like Parker: The Hunter, and I enjoyed it. But I enjoyed the brains, not the characters. In fact, a book like that, I absolutely hate the characters. What if you had all the sexy grit of Parker, but you put some heart into it? Now that? That I can get behind. That is what Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer, Shawn Martinbrough and Felix Serrano give us here. Read the rest of this entry »
For reasons unbeknownst to me, I have not been able to get excited about Avengers Vs. X-Men. I mean, I dig The Phoenix. I like fighting. You’d think I’d be sold, right? But I’m not. At all. But I still read Avengers vs. X-men: VS #1 this week. Because I want Jason Aaron and Kathryn Immonen to get money. And I trust them. In all things.
At the end of the day? I still don’t care. And yet, all that aside, I liked this book. It made me laugh. Curve ball: I didn’t laugh at Jason Aaron’s story as much as I did Kathryn Immonen’s. Let me elaborate. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve got a weird fascination with vintage things. Old clothes, home decor, cook books, people-I love it all. So, naturally, my favorite kind of music is of the older persuasion. We have an AM radio station here in Colorado called 1430 KEZW. In the evenings they run “When Radio Was”. It’s basically just a radio show that plays old-time radio dramas and comedies. That was my first introduction to The Shadow. No, Alec Baldwin wasn’t first. I didn’t read any of the pulp fiction. I just know Orson Welles and Agnes Moorehead. And let me tell you, I dig the radio show. And then Garth Ennis walked in.
We all know how much I love Garth Ennis, yes? Trust me, I do. But let’s just say that he’s a wee bit darker than the writers of 1930s radio programming. Shall we set my nostalgia aside for a moment?
Conceptually speaking, I really like the premise of The Shadow #1. We’re waist-deep in a Japanese/Chinese turf war in New York. The Shadow’s doing his thing: killing ne’er do wells, being spooky, knowing stuff. And his alter-ego Lamont Cranston is being charming and annoyingly prophetic-like he does. His sassy, female ‘love’ interest Margo Lane is being sassy and sexy-like she does. Read the rest of this entry »
The feeling you get when you’ve read an awesome book? Pretty great. It’s the sort of validation we need when we get involved in this hobby. That feeling you get when you realize this book has been around a while and you’ve never even heard about it? Just terrible. Where I have I been? Why didn’t I know about this? Why didn’t past-me buy this book? I had that feeling today with Lady Mechanika #0 from Aspen Comics.
Here’s something: I don’t read a lot of Aspen Comics. So, by that token, I don’t know about a lot of books from Aspen Comics. I picked up Lady Mechanika #0 today simply because it was shelved right next to Atomic Robo and the cover was beautiful. That’s me. Judging books by their covers since 1985. Read the rest of this entry »
Today I’d like to talk about the role of narration. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Buckle up, Buttercup. We’re doing this.
Look back at Golden Age comics (hell, some Silver Age comics too). Every single panel was spelled out. Our narrator held our hands through every step of the way. They didn’t need to. They just assumed readers are dumb (some are…obviously.) And then, the prototypical narrator got kicked out. Replaced by intelligent panel layouts, effective dialogue and movement within the art. I believe, just by reading my generic synopsis of the history of comics, you can tell which I prefer. But then, I run across proper narration. The kind that guides the story instead of dragging it along. I love that narrator. The omniscient commentator. So rarely used correctly.
And then a book like The Defenders comes along. And shakes up my world. Have you read this book? Do you have any idea how much great narrating is done here? Numerous narrators. All at once. Coherent narration. Read the rest of this entry »
Do you have it in you to like a book even when you hate the characters? Not in the sense that you hate how the characters are being portrayed but legitimately hate them ‘as people’? I don’t. I struggle with it all the time. If the main character is an unbearable, I have a tough time picking the book up. It’s like having to deal with the asshole at work. I just give myself a pep talk and mutter, “Let’s get this over with.”
Joe Hill’s The Cape is a great story. Little kid discovers that a ratty old cape seriously gives him the power of flight. He and the cape are separated and as an adult, they’re reunited. It would seem he wasn’t a good guy to begin with, he’s even worse with the extra power. Read the rest of this entry »
Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I read an Archie comic? I grew up on those things. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Riverdale: where the teenage girls dress whorish, polygamy is socially acceptable, and you can eat hundreds of cheeseburgers and not get fat. I fell away from Archie and the gang back around the seventh grade. Little did I realize, many years later I would pick them up again when Archie Meets Kiss. Archie and Gene: together at last.
How can you say ‘no’ to that? Well, I could. And did for a the first couple of issues. Then, one day, my local comic shop had all of the Francavilla variant covers available…I do love me some Francavilla. It was the perfect storm. They came home with me that day. They aren’t good but I sure did enjoy them.
I think the most accurate description I can give this story arc is “fun”. You remember Alex Segura (former Publicity Manager at DC), well now he’s Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing at Archie Comics! And he wrote this four-part story!
There are monsters in Riverdale, right? Sure. I guess. Sabrina the Teenage Witch gets together with Archie and the Gang to cast a protection spell…which is a perfectly acceptable thing for high schoolers to be doing in a tree house. Seven teenagers in a tree house! (Holy Cow!) Things go wrong and monsters show up (Including a mopey vampire-since they’re “in” this season). They’re here to drain all the fun out of Riverdale! (Oh no!) With a necklace! (What the hell?) And then Kiss shows up. To fight them. With the power of rock. Yes. Turns out, Kiss are a bunch of dicks! They’re so mean to everyone. (That’s not fun, Kiss. Not. Fun.) Meanwhile, these fun-sucking monsters are turning everyone into mindless zombies (because no brains=no fun…their words, not mine). Our friends are about to get lame-oed, and who saves the day? THE GAY GUY! Kevin. Read the rest of this entry »
Peter Pan Syndrome. I haz it. Okay, I don’t actually know if you can have it when you’re female-but you get my point. I am also affected in that I love me some Peter Pan. You name it: Disney, Mary Martin, Robin Williams-I’ve seen it and loved it. So with the advent of the first ever Image Expo coming up next week, let’s talk about the latest incarnation of our puer aeternus: Kurtis Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins’ Peter Panzerfaust.
You have the adventurous boy that doesn’t grow up, but what if you threw him into a situation that has robbed millions of children of their childhoods? War. And maybe the Lost Boys aren’t just a rag-tag group of roughians; they’re actually orphans in France during the German attacks in the 1930s. That sounds like a perfectly reasonable situation for a Peter Pan story, right? Right? NO! But it’s awesome that someone thought it was. Read the rest of this entry »