Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Pull-list: 4-11-07

Do you know how many comics I bought last week? Since I didn't post a pull-list the answer is, "No, 'cause you're a slacker-ass slacker. Slacker."

But if I had posted you might've been surprised to see only two - just two - comics on my list and one of them was 52, which almost doesn't count. This week is a different story, with plenty of buttery-fresh comics to pile on your plate. I don't know what that means either; on to the list!

52 #49: I can't believe I've been buying this comic every week for almost a year (that's one for you, DC). I haven't missed an issue and neither has DC, putting it out every week without fail, which is incredible when you think about it. Not every issue has been a success. Some have felt like placeholders, some have been awkwardly written (or more often, awkwardly drawn), and worst of all some have been just plain boring. But overall? I've enjoyed this series and I'll be a little sorry to see it go. Not sorry enough to pick up Countdown (in your face, DC!), but I'm glad I kept up with it. Something I will miss are the consistently fantastic covers - I think this one might be my all-time favorite of the bunch.

All Star Superman #7: I hate to sound like an aging fanboy who looks back at the comics of 30 years ago with a fondness usually reserved for junior high school girlfriends and other impossible things, but I really dig the Silver Age vibe Grant Morrison has put into this title. And what I really, really like about it is the fact that it's all of the fun with none of the stupid. Weird, crazy things happen on an alarmingly regular basis in Morrison's Metropolis, but for some reason it all makes sense and even has an undertone of menace. Bad things happen and Superman can't save everyone, even though he tries like hell. My only complaint: Wasn't Superman supposed to be dying? What's happened to that little plot-point? Hopefully it'll be picked up again in this issue and if not ... who cares, it's got Bizarro! Oh, and Frank Quitely's doing his best work here, so check it out. first issue preview

BPRD Garden of Souls #2: So I typed something out, changed my mind because it sounded so corny and deleted it, and then changed my mind again because there's just something special about B.P.R.D. The title is melancholic and beautiful, with an atmosphere and characters that seem undeniably lonely. Everyone has questions and no one has all the answers, and in a weird way you relate to these fire-starters and fish-men. Sure, there are all sorts of supernatural goings-on, but they almost seem secondary to the missions of self-discovery the characters are put through. This is, quite frankly, the most emo book I read and I make no apologies. Plus, there's almost always some terrible monster that wants to eat someone's face. preview

Conan and The Midnight God #3: Dark Horse has been putting out so many Conan books that I actually have trouble keeping them all straight. But it doesn't really matter, because almost all of them have been winners (still looking at you, Jewels of Gwahlur). This is the second mini-series to tell a story of King Conan, and it's interesting to see the differences in the older, somewhat wiser ruler of Aquilonia. Of course, it's also fun to see things haven't changed that much; when someone talks smack and threatens his wife and country, the first thing Conan does is grab a sword and declare war. I've said it before about other Conan books and I'll happily, even giddily, say it again; somebody's gonna get their head chopped off. preview

Fell #8: Tell me you're reading Fell. Seriously, pleeeease tell me you've been reading Fell. If you haven't been reading this title, a: I pity you, and b: I pity you some more. And also kick you. Each issue is a self-contained story about police detective Richard Fell and the creepy city of Snowtown, where everyone seems a little screwed up and where they do very screwed up things to each other. Warren Ellis keeps his stories to a tight 19 pages, using recurring characters and themes that tie everything together while hinting at a larger plot. Plus, the gorgeous artwork of Ben Templesmith helps make the stark and moody Snowtown a character in itself. Do yourself a favor and pick this up (and avoid the ankle bruising). read the first issue!

Madman Atomic Comics #1: I have a soft spot for Madman. I'm not saying I always understand what's going on, but still. OK, let me try to explain a little: Frank Einstein (who's name isn't really Frank Einstein) was a guy who died and came back, complete with amnesia, blue skin, better-than-average acrobatic skills and a little pseudopod thingy that wiggles its way out of his forehead every now and then. He's got a hot girlfriend, a mad scientist for a mentor, and lives in a world that 50s sci-fi movie directors would tut-tut as unrealistic. There are random acts of philosophy. Mutant beatniks. A copius amount of robots. People say "ginchy" and "swell" without irony. Madman is basically a lot of fun, and I've heard that this first issue of the relaunch is a sort of flashback to past storylines, so now's a great time to hop on if you haven't already. preview

Utopiates #4: I've got a problem with Utopiates - I had a hard time finding it anywhere. I picked up the first issue at my local comic shop and naively thought I'd be able to pick it up the next month. Which means I didn't put it on my pull-list. Which means I missed the second issue because NOT ONE of the many comic shops in Austin was carrying it. Even the people at the big, popular store that prides itself on having the best indie selection in the city looked at me as if I was asking for a fried weasel. According to the publishers, I'm not the only one having this problem, and they're asking readers to tell their favorite shops to order copies of Utopiates so people can find it and, hopefully, become regular readers. I learned my lesson and put this title on my list after missing the second issue, and you should, too. Utopiates is a smart and interesting read about a near-future world where a drug offers what might be the ultimate addiction - the chance to be someone else, even if just for a little while. It doesn't hurt that this black-and-white indie is great to look at, with a style that manages to be photorealistic and sketchy at the same time. Do yourself - and the title - a favor and ask your store to put it on the shelves. (Oh, but don't look for this cover because I couldn't find an image for #4; this was the cover to #3. Something to think about, Bloodfire Studios). first issue preview

Wasteland #8: The concept behind this title shouldn't work. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone's agreed it's Western Day. There are mutants in the desert, hoity-toity "benefactors" running one of the only cities left, and a Man With No Name (OK, he's got a name, but you know what I mean) shepherding a bunch of refugees to civilization. It doesn't really sound like anything new, right. But it's so damn good! Wasteland is one of the best books of the year so far, with a subtly complex storyline bolstered by simple but evocative artwork. The first volume has been collected in trade, and I'd recommend starting with that and picking things up with the monthly issues - you don't want to miss what's been going on, and you won't want to wait until the next trade comes out. preview

2 comments:

Lisa said...

First off - I'm glad I'm reading Fell!

Second - I still don't get this fascination you people have with Wasteland. You of all people should know uber generic writing when you see it! Granted, I haven't read past the first few issues but that's because they were crap. The characters were so freakin' generic. I think I've read that story 400 other times. Poo I say, poo.

Maxo said...

Fell is one of the best books out there; it's one of the titles I look forward to most. Bonus point for you!

Now I take your point away!! You've got to give Wasteland a chance. It is very familiar (I mean, very, very familiar), but it's also done very well. What Wasteland has that others post-apocalyptic yadda-yaddas don't is a well-thought out setting and plot. Usually those kinds of stories are almost exclusively about survival, and there are elements of that here, but it's really more of an exercise in character.

Give it another chance - read the trade and the one-shot (I don't know if the one-shot if part of the collection). The one-shot alone should get you over the hump.

Read it, read it, read it - potty-mouth.