Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WTF Wednesday: I bet she says that to all the two-headed Old West zombies

Wow. Um ... why don't I just let you soak this one in, OK? I'll just be over ... ahem ... yeah ...

Click for a larger ... oh, awkward ...

Panel from "For Neck or Nothin'," published in Wild West Show Vol. 1
Norman Partridge, writer; Marc Erickson, artist

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Pull List (4-30-08): Wait, what do you mean Blue Beetle speaks Spanish?

The return of old favorites, unexpected shake-ups and at least one shocking resurrection — it's like a Mexican novela around here! Speaking of fun things with an accent y con sabor muy Latino — vamos a la lista!

Blue Beetle #26: You might have guessed from the espanich, but I'm pretty excited about this month's issue of Blue Beetle. I'm sure some people are grousing about it, but DC deserves some credit for publishing a comic in a language that's now spoken by a fairly large amount of people in this country (not to mention others). And it's pretty canny — Latinos make up the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, and it makes sense to start feeling them out as a potential market.

But really I'm mostly stoked that someone at DC realized that for a lot of people, particularly those living in border towns like El Paso, English is not necessarily the default language. The social situation that Jaime and his non-Spanish speaking girlfriend (the awesome Traci Thirteen) find themselves in when they go to a family gathering where no one is speaking English isn't far-fetched at all (even if most people along the border tend to be bilingual). This is particularly true when the border cities are so deeply integrated that having business, friends and family on both sides of the border is so common it's taken for granted.

This story is a great way to touch on aspects of Jaime's character, as well as the cultural background that is an integral part of him and the city he calls home. As I've mentioned before, I grew up and lived most of my life in El Paso myself, so it's nice to see some attention paid, not necessarily to the spot of geography itself, but to what that geography means in terms of culture, history and the people who are a part of both.

Of course, Marvel already did a Spanish-language issue with Fantastic Four: Isla de la Muerte, but I'd argue that Blue Beetle has a chance to resonate more because while Isla translated characters that normally speak English into Spanish, speaking Spanish would be a natural part of who Jaime Reyes is — it would be more remarkable if Jaime didn't speak Spanish once in a while. And in a smart move, DC is including the script in English for those who don't know Spanish (or those who are, er, not as fluent as they should be ... ahem ...), which is something Isla could have benefited from. Especially since Puerto Rican Spanish is a little different from Mexican Spanish ... which is a little different from Cuban Spanish ... which is ...

Is it a gimmick? Sure. But it's a gimmick that will help add another layer to the character of the Blue Beetle, who also happens to be a young Latino named Jaime Reyes. In that case, I'm all for it. Check out the preview and see what you think.

(By the way, I still see it debated here and there, but Jaime's name really is pronounced that way.)

The rest ...

DC Universe Zero (one-shot): You know you want to see what Grant Morrison is coming up with, too. Stop looking at me like that.

Immortal Iron Fist #14: The conclusion to the best mystic kung-fu/super-science/crazy-ass espionage movie that happens to be a comic book.

Local #11 (of 12): Finally! Did you know this series was supposed to wrap up in January? 2007? According to writer Brian Wood, in spite of the sketchy schedule "it's undoubtedly a better book for all the delays." And y'know, I can't argue with him — Local is a wonderful bit of superior storytelling with beautiful artwork by Ryan Kelly. I'll be sorry to see it go when it concludes with #12 in May. Supposedly.

Trading up ...
(Titles I either am, or will be, picking up in trade)

Abyss #4

Green Lantern #30 (a six-issue retelling of the GL origin? Seriously?)

Jack of Fables #22

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #8 (of 8)

Maybe ...

Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula #1

Thor: Ages of Thunder #1

Recommended ...

Amor Y Cohetes: A Love and Rockets Book: I tend to evangelize for Love and Rockets and almost anything Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez produce, but I'll also be the first to admit that they can be tough to just jump into. If you ever really wanted to start from the beginning — and I mean before Maggie or Palomar were more than nebulous ideas just taking shape — you'll want to get Amor Y Cohetes, which collects the first 50 issues of Love and Rockets ever. It should be considered essential, and at $16.99 there's no reason this shouldn't be added to your library.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cover up: Amazing Spider-Man #135

The day job has my hands full, but I thought I'd share a cover that's always been a favorite — Amazing Spider-Man #135.

Click for bigger view!

One of the things that's great about this dynamic cover by John Romita, Sr., is that it not only promises a ton of story — it even says, "This issue's got everything!" — but it actually delivers. Every single thing on this cover happens at some point in the story, and it's as awesome as it looks.

This comic also has the distinction of being my introduction to The Punisher. I don't remember seeing the character before, but I certainly remember reading about him in this one. And what the hell kind of rifle is Frank packing there, anyway?

You could argue that this cover is too busy, but I think it succeeds in spite of its crowded design. In my opinion, something like this works better than a static "portrait" cover. What do you think?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seven-day Spotlight: Caffeinated and ready to go

Here's a word of advice: If you're ever feeling like you don't have the energy to post — and seriously, how lazy is that? — having a coffee drink called a "Trabano" will knock the lethargy right the hell out of you! Whoo! Hey, let's see what everyone else was up to this week before the crash hits!


Bitterandrew gets in your face with Karma, the punk rock superhero!

Lesbian disco orgy at Church's (with an assist from Sims)! Whee!!

Lee and Kirby are always getting ripped off; good thing Bully's on the case.

Sims for the win! (Even if we never really wanted this clash of titans to end.)

Collected Editions wants to know: Why aren't you reading Manhunter trades? (Be sure to read the reviews of the other collections, too.)

No, not Schatzi!!!

Rob chats with the man behind the late-night Aquaman.

Attention speculators: Mike Sterling is not fooled.

Laura Hudson reflects on good PR, bad PR and knowing the difference.

It's a Second Printing, and the second coming of Jon Carey, Big Mike, Benhatt and Devon Sanders!

Marvel! Stop monkeying around in DC's territory! Doctor Polaris commands it!

Ragnell tackles ... well, a bunch. It's some interesting stuff, so go read it.

Urgh ... coffee ... wearing off. I'm sure I'm missing ... something, but ... don't know if I can ... zzzzzz ...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Night Fights: Milk and Cheese can be bad for your health

For this week's round of Friday Night Fights, a pair of infamous but aging fighters are being brought out of retirement and into the ring. But the question hangs in the air like the subtle stink of Chinese leftovers and lofty dreams gone bad: Can the past skills of these champions of menace still hold up?

Or have they gone stale? Has the ferocity and sheer brutality of the pint-sized beserkers known as Milk and Cheese become moldy with age?

Nope — still tastes funny!

(I wonder if this is making Bahlactus hungry — for violence!)

Following a link? Check the fridge and see what else Great Caesar's Post has got!

Panel from Milk and Cheese #5
Evan Dorkin, writer/artist

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Comics in the Wild: Dave Gibbons meets Jethro Tull

So I was reading the latest issue of Comic Foundry earlier today (a great magazine, by the way) when I came across an article about album covers drawn by comic book artists. And there, giving me a look I hadn't seen in years, was Jethro Tull.

More specifically, Jethro Tull's 1976 album, Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! I didn't know it before, but according to the article — and the liner notes — the iconic cover was drawn by legendary artist Dave Gibbons, who we all know for his work in the equally legendary Watchmen.

Man was I surprised, mostly because this album has been a part of my life since I was about seven years old and I first started flipping through my dad's collection (new stuff at the time), and I had no idea it was done by Gibbons.

Quick aside: OK, so if you're ever wondering how to spark your kid's imagination, just get a bunch of old records. Ever seen a Boston album? If there was ever a primer for a future sci-fi and comic book geek, it was album covers in the 70s.

Since I more or less inherited my dad's collection, I dug out Too Young to Die! after I read the Comic Foundry article to take another look at it. And it's as striking as ever. But it's not just the cover, because what the magazine didn't mention was that the inside cover features a full story drawn by Gibbons stretching across the entire double-spread! Gibbons' talent is already evident (check out that fantastic motorcycle scene), and at the time it was the most British thing I'd ever read. You can imagine what kind of impact it had on a little Maxo.

Here then is the complete story of Ray Lomas, an old rocker who's living in the past — until the past somehow catches up to life.

(By the way, the phrases in red represent the song titles that were worked into the dialog; click for the larger size!)

Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! sleeve design by Michael Farrell
Illustrations by David Gibbons

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WTF Wednesday: Happy landings!

Honestly, I'm a little surprised Superman didn't do this more often.

Click to Planet-size!

Panel from All-Star Squadron Annual #3
Roy Thomas, writer; Wayne Boring and Jerry Ordway, artists

Monday, April 21, 2008


Well, shit.

Sadly, Dave Campbell of Dave's Long Box is calling it quits after blogging about comics for more than three years. Dave retiring is like Ali stepping out of the ring, a recognized champion going on to become a legend.

Woof, that's sappy. But let's consider the facts: Campbell was one of the first people to regularly blog about comics, building a tremendously loyal readership that not many other bloggers can match. He was funny, he was enthusiastic, he was insightful and he was consistent (mostly).

When I began trolling through comic blogs, the Long Box was the first one I read and it told me a lot. It told me that it was OK to be a comic book reader, and it reminded me that it was supposed to be fun. Eventually, reading the Long Box (along with Chris Sims, Kevin Church and Bully) would be what would give me the push to start my own blog. Thanks to them I rediscovered the joy of communication and community, things I thought had been ground out of me years before. But I've never forgotten that it all started with Dave's Long Box.

Most of all, though, Campbell just made me laugh. Every. Damn. Time. Seriously, go read the archives and look for The F*@% Yeah Files or Boob War, or just randomly click on entries. It won't matter because he's that good. And even though I'm sorry to see the shutters going up at the Long Box, I'm glad he's got a gig blogging for ABC and even happier to know he'll still be doing a personal blog of some sort.

Guys like Campbell can't keep quiet for too long. I know I'm looking forward to hearing what he's got to say.

Finally, here's my favorite moment from Dave's Long Box, if for no other reason than it made me and my wife laugh for an entire day:

Thanks, Dave. Stay Airwolf.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Night Fights: In your face, Earth ninjas!

Someday, when the lunar colony seems quaint and Uranus is the latest trendy hot spot*, remember this when you gaze into the velvety darkness of space:

Look out — a ninja could be hiding there.

Sweep the leg, Johnny!

Click panels to monolith-size!

Not even the vastness of space can hope to contain a ninja, especially one with muttonchops! So as you look into the night sky, don't wonder when the ninjas will get there — instead, ask yourself, "Omigod, how long have those ninjas been there?!?"

Luckily, the master already has his own space-dojo.

Following a link? Read more of Great Caesar's Post here.

Panel from American Space Ninja (in Space) mini-comic
Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount, writers; Ryan Yount, artist

*I'm so, so sorry.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some challenges are better left unknown

So I was reading through this week's The Brave and The Bold #12 when there was a little unexpected break in the action — a bathroom break!:

I was thinking, OK — weird. But maybe he just got used to it when he was an astronaut and now he wait a minute Red wasn't an astronaut he was a motorcycle stuntman OH MY GOD HE'S GOING IN HIS PANTS!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WTF Wednesday: Well, someone's having a meltdown

When you throw the X-Men and the Fantastic Four together like spandex-clad particles in a super collider, you don't just get science — you get SUPER-SCIENCE!

Click to reactor-size!

Extra! Extra!

And now, Sue Storm — liberated woman:

Welcome to the 80s, Working Girl!

Panels from X-Men King-size Annual #5
Chris Claremont, writer; Brent Anderson, penciler; Bob McLeod, inker

The Pull List (4-16-08): Return of The Damned

There doesn't seem to be a lot of comics on this week's pull list, but I'm honestly excited about reading every one of these titles. Like what, sez you? I sez — to the list!

The Damned: Prodigal Sons #1 (of 3): First off, I've got a complaint: Why didn't I know about this until I checked the solicitation list? Am I going to have to start buying Previews now? I would've hoped Oni Press would be promoting the hell out of this, because if there was ever a book that deserved it, it's The Damned.

The first limited series ingeniously blended 30s gangster noir and demons from hell to produce a creepy crime thriller with all the grit of a cigarette ground under your heel. Brian Hurtt's black-and-white artwork has always been a favorite, but his use of shadowing and stark contrasts in scenes that are detailed but never crowded look like his best work to date. And believe me, that's saying something.

Cullen Bunn had impressed me with the previous series, but his scripting on Prodigal Sons seems to have taken him — and his characters — from solid to self-assured. It feels as if Bunn has really gotten under the skin of his various mobsters, gunsels, molls and demonic hitmen, and his writing is muscular and fluid. Things start off fast and brutal in this book, and I get the feeling it's going to be that kind of ride straight to the finish. Strap in and go read the preview.

The rest ...

The Brave and The Bold #12

Captain America #37

Cthulhu Tales #1

Infinite Horizon #3 (of 6): I love this book — go read the preview of issue #1.

Trading up ...
(Titles I either am, or will be, picking up in trade)

Annihilation: Conquest #6 (of 6)

Maybe ...

'76 #3 (of 8): Is this any good? The fact I don't remember hearing anything about this title makes me leery, but I like the blaxploitation feel so I'll be flipping through it in the shop.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1: On the plus side, there's Doctor Doom taking Iron Man to hell. On the negative, it's apparently the "long-awaited conclusion of 'The Camelot Legacy.'" I don't even know what that means.

Pigeons From Hell #1 (of 4): Joe R. Lansdale is one of my favorite writers, and the idea of him adapting a Robert E. Howard horror story called Pigeons From Hell might be more than I can resist. Judging just from the preview, I'm not sure what I think about the art (it seems to have a real 90s-era Vertigo vibe to it) but the real test will be the actual horror scenes. I've got my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Treasure hunting in the quarter bin

I don't go diving into back-issue boxes very often. Mostly it's because I'm disorganized and can't remember what I'm looking for once I get to the shop (you'd think I'd be able to add it to my pocketful of lists), but it's also because I know my addiction. Letting me loose on longboxes would be like Cookie Monster running amok in the Keebler factory.

Those poor little dudes. Where's your elven magic now?!

Anyway, a nifty alternative to the miles of back issues at my comic shop is a local chain of second-hand book stores. The comics they cram into a corner tend to be a mix of pretty recent releases, a lot of 90s-era crap and some gems that make a little digging worthwhile.

A couple of weeks ago I found these:

The answer should've been "AWESOME."

Best part? The Renegades are total hippy-slackers.

Truth in advertising: Doll Man actually goes to the chair in costume!


Total price: $1.48!

They also have grab-bags offering 50 comics for five bucks; I think I'm jonesing already. If I break down I'll give a full list of what I end up with and we'll see if it was worth it or if I got royally screwed.

Place your bets!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Human Bomb doesn't have time for your guff

Whoops! The day kinda got away from me there, so it looks like I might have to fall back on a random, out-of-context panel — what do you think, Human Bomb?

Eesh. That's one tough cookie.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Black and white and dread all over?

When the latest 12 rounds of Friday Night Fights ended about a week ago, ringmaster Bahlactus laid down the ground rules for the next bout by declaring all entries had to be in black and white. This, of course, made me think of Joe.

Joe is a friend of mine who I used to work with at a comic shop here in town. He's a great guy and has some of the best stories I've ever heard, not to mention a mean Schwarzenegger-as-Conan imitation. He's also a big comics fan, and like a lot of us he's got his quirks. His love of Batman is enormous, and his full-on obsession with sidekicks is even bigger. The guy loved him some Spoiler, and he was pissed when DC killed her off.

But the thing that threw me off was his refusal to read anything in black and white.

I'd seen this attitude before, of course. But it surprises me every single time. I don't get it. What is it about black and white comics that makes people — who will otherwise read just about any crap they come across — suddenly and violently allergic?

My theory is a combination of fanboyism and indieism (it's my theory, I can make up words if I want). See, I think a good portion (if not nearly all) of the comic reading population starts out with superhero comics. I know I did. And I'd guess that a chunk of those folks never stray too far from that genre.

(Quick aside: Can we all agree that comics are a medium and there are different genres within that medium? Thanks, that's been bugging me.)

Historically, these comics are in bright and energetic full color, which makes sense considering the stories tend to be cranked up to 11. It fits. So-called indie comics, on the other hand, are often printed in black and white. A lot of that has to do with smaller publishers and printing costs (as a very rough example, consider how much it costs to make a regular black and white copy versus a full-color copy at Kinko's), and sometimes the type of stories many indie comics are telling are better suited to black and white. It helps set the tone for the story.

Here's the crux of the problem, I think: Indie comics have a reputation. Even people who know better tend to think of words like "navel-gazing," "autobiography" and "whining emo-ass" when they hear the phrase "indie comic." They also think "no color." Right or wrong, a lot of people equate black and white with these preconceived notions and reach a simple conclusion: Black and white equals boring.

Which is a shame, because while there are some painfully self-referential black and white books out there (just like there are corny, immature and exploitative superhero books giving the good stuff a bad name), there's some excellent reading these people are missing out on. Just off the top of my head there's the Scott Pilgrim series, the Queen and Country series, Wasteland, The Damned, Pantheon High, Local, Emo Boy, Rex Libris, Phonogram, Action Philosophers and The Nearly Infamous Zango. And those books run from thriller to action to comedy to science fiction and everywhere in-between. Only one could be considered navel-gazey, but you've got to have a balanced diet, right? (Also, it's excellent.)

Don't get me started on the manga-hate out there.

Ultimately, it's a matter of preconceived notions that keep people from reading a black and white comic (and vice versa — it wouldn't kill the hard-core indie contingent to read Superman once in a while). Some comic book readers might think a black and white comic would be boring, but someone's buying all those Essentials and Showcases, right?

Which brings me back to Joe. At some point he got hooked on the Gunslinger Girl anime and tore through all the DVDs he could get his hands on. So one day we're at the counter and I overheard him talking to someone about the series.

"It's really, really good," he said. "But y'know, I read the first book and there was a lot of detail in there that was cut from the anime. There was a lot more about the characters' backgrounds. Really interesting."

My ears pricked up like a dog hearing a can opener: Was Joe saying he read the manga version of the series? The black and white manga version of the series?!

Joe gave me a look that made me think he was going to pat my head like an indulgent uncle.

"Yeah I read the book," he said. "It's good."

I'm curious to know what you think: Do you read black and white comics, or do you have a strict color-only policy? Do you only read black and white? Or are the racks your comics smorgasbord, where you pick up a little bit of everything? There's a new poll you can answer on the right, and I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Pull List (4-9-08): Simone, Amazons and the royal treatment

OK, I think I'm finally kicking that addictive laziness that comes from taking a few days off from work and I just had some chips and salsa, which for me have the same affect that Super Energy Vitamin Pills had on Underdog. So what, you ask?

So ... to the list!

Wonder Woman #19: I'll admit it: I was never a big fan of Wonder Woman. Wait, that's not entirely true. I was a huge fan of the 1970s TV show, but I think that had more to do with Lynda Carter and my nascent awareness of girls than any real fondness for the character. For the most part I followed the comic book Wonder Woman through her adventures with the Justice League or by catching her during guest appearances in other titles. In the years (and years) I've been reading comics that's pretty much been the MO where the Amazon princess has been concerned, especially since most reviews of her solo books weren't usually ringing endorsements. Basically, when it came to Wonder Woman I just wasn't interested.

Gail Simone changed that.

Simone is one of the more reliable — and frankly, one of the best — writers working in comics today. Simone is known for a creative style that puts imaginative plotting and tooth-rattling action hand-in-hand with naturalistic dialog and never-too-cute humor to create books that are just fun to read. Wonder Woman is no exception, and for the first time in ever I'm buying the title on a regular basis.

There's always talk about the trouble writers have with the character of Wonder Woman, how no one seems to "get" her. It would be tempting to say that Simone gets it because she's a woman (the first ongoing female writer the title's ever had), but that wouldn't be fair to either her or the character. Simone is just a good writer who understands the complexity of this hero, and that's something Wonder Woman — and its readers — have been waiting for, for a long time.

I could go on, but I'll leave it with just four final words describing the current storyline: Wonder Woman in space. WONDER WOMAN IN SPACE. Download the preview and give it a try.

The rest ...

Booster Gold #8

Justice Society of America #14

Wasteland #16

Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse: Calamari Rising #3 (of 4)

Trading up ...
(Titles I either am, or will be, picking up in trade)

BPRD: 1946 #4

Criminal #2 (but maybe the singles instead since the jam-packed extras won't be in the trade)

The Exterminators #28 (this over-the-top series ends with #30)

Suburban Glamour #4 (of 4)

Maybe ...

Aqua Leung Vol. 1: Neither the plot nor the overly familiar art style of this graphic novel grab me, but people whose opinion I trust have been talking it up so I'm curious. This is one I'll actually have to flip through in the shop before I can decide whether to pick it up or not.

Batman: Death Mask #1 (of 4): It'll seem like blasphemy to some, but I don't read any Batman titles. It didn't happen on purpose; I just sorta fell out of it. So I was thinking a nice, self-contained mini-series would be a good way to get my Dark Knight fix, but I'm not sure this will be it. The storyline of a mysterious killer who might be linked to Batman's past is played out, and the indistinct art is the kind that gives non-manga readers their ammunition when they complain that it all looks the same. They're wrong, but this ain't helping. Read the preview and let me know what you think.

Number of the Beast #1 (of 8): Superheroes and the Biblical end of the world? I love that idea, especially when you stop to ask, "Wait — why didn't these 'good guys' ascend into heaven with everyone else?" Hmmm ...

Titans #1: Y'know, I used to dig the Teen Titans, and the art on this looks sharp. Maybe it's time to give them another sho ... oh. Judd Winick? Never mind.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday miscellany

Strangely enough, taking a couple of days off from work doesn't necessarily translate to more time spent blogging. I know! I'm as shocked as you are. Regular content-type stuff is gearing back up as we speak, but in the meantime here are some things that have crossed my mind lately (feel free to share you opinions in the comments):

You're making me tired, Marvel. If you can't get the characterization right for someone as established as Doctor Doom, what hope is anyone supposed to have that you'll be able to pull off your Hey, Everyone's A Skrull "event?" I'm really beginning to think people sit around a table at Marvel HQ thinking up hi-larious ways to dick with fanboys. The problem? It hurts all your readers and makes your books read like crap. Plus, chalking bad writing up to a character being a Skrull has already become a cliche and Secret Invasion has barely started. There's already been quite a bit of discussion on this panel, but Lisa Fortuner has a good breakdown of why characterization is important, and how Marvel missed the mark (via Kevin, who really should be writing Doom's dialog).

As I was leaving the tax guy's office today I noticed a kid playing with a paper cutout of Batman. It was a simple thing, and looked like it might have been scissored out of an activity book or maybe even copied first and then snipped. The cutout had been colored, mostly in dark blue from what I could see, and as my wife and I walked past I could hear him whisper a raspy "Batman!" as he walked the Caped Crusader across the couch cushion.

That made my day.

Speaking of juvenile behavior, a question occurred to me earlier today: When Sue Storm gave birth to her kids, wouldn't it have been AWESOME if either one of them had come out invisible!? Man, I'd pay good money to see a panel of a nurse holding a blanketed bundle WITH NOTHING IN IT! Better yet, can you imagine if the baby was like poppa Reed Richards? Seeing Sue give birth to that kid would be like watching a magician do that trick with the handkerchiefs.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

High-tech, lowbrow

So, the main problem with digital comics? I can't exactly take my laptop into the bathroom with me.

... or can I ... ?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WTF Wednesday: They call him Big Daddy

People were making a big deal about Cable and his X-baby carrier a couple of weeks ago, but besides being good for a laugh it also served as an important reminder of one of the undeniable truths about comics:

Whatever Cable does, Volstagg did it first.

Click to 'Stagg-size!

I love how stoic Hildy is sitting there in her baby pouch, and why would you worry if you were strapped to the Lion of Asgard? It was a nice try Cable, but chalk up another victory for the cornerstone of the Warriors Three!

Panel from The Mighty Thor #366
Walter Simonson, writer/artist

Shoulda taken the plea bargain

When I go through the list of comics being released every week, I usually end up hitting publisher and review sites to get information on titles I don't know much about. But rarely do I get to read something like this first paragraph from the solicit copy for Tokyopop's I-Doll Vol. 1:

"When four troublemakers are arrested for a variety of crimes, the judge hands down the ultimate sentence: The quartet must form a band!"


Oh, Japan ... I love you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Pull List (4-1-08): Busy, busy, busy!

I haven't done a pull list in a while — and I'm barely doing one this time! Things have been hectic around here, so here's a quick rundown for this week with random comments as they occur to me. To the list!

This week ...

American Splendor #1 (of 4): If you haven't been reading Harvey Pekar's recent salt-in-the-wound looks at everyday life, then you're a goddamn communist. Or you have a life that's so well-balanced there's something wrong with you. Either one. Also, great work from a variety of artists in every issue.

Metal Men #7 (of 8): I'm still not sure what's going on in this series; I still don't care because it's fun as hell with zippy writing and gorgeous, hard candy shell art.

North Wind #4: Adventure in the frozen wastes of Los Angeles really kinda sells itself, doesn't it? If you still need more, try this on for size: Giant white bison riding (still not a euphemism!).

Zorro #2: I like Zorro, OK? Matt Wagner on writing duty just seals the deal, not to mention I feel as if I missed the boat by not reading Dynamite's Lone Ranger title. If you've read the first issue, be a pal and let me know what you think the prospects are for the second in the comments.

Trading up ...
(Titles I either am, or will be, picking up in trade)

Jack Staff #15

Scalped #16

Maybe ...

Countdown Special: Kamandi 80-Page Giant: Aw, crap — that's some serious Kirby right there.

Recommended ...

Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah (trade paperback): A strange and strangely funny story by Mike Mignola that squeezes themes of promise and loss into a potent mash of Lovecraft, steam punk and the salty tang of a seaport town and its citizens. You can tell Mignola had fun with this one; see for yourself with a preview.