Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And now, one of the most popular images on Great Caesar's Post in 2009

I can hardly wait for next year!

(You can read the whole sordid story in the "Blue Romance" series here.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Countdown to Christmas: Ho ho ho!

No joke, this is my favorite scene from any Christmas movie EVER. It's a great movie and retelling of the Christmas Carol story, but Bill Murray's speech toward the end just kills me every time. It's Niagra Falls, Frankie angel. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you know the sentiment is sincere.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Countdown to Christmas: Part 4

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Countdown to Christmas: Part 2

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



I've been fighting off a cold for the past couple of days, and this morning the Germ Armies waging war in my head-meats decided to up the ante by giving me a constantly running nose and sneezing fits every ... every ... ev...


Sorry 'bout that. In any case, I'm taking the appropriate medications and while I haven't had any orange juice yet, I have been eating a lot of tiny oranges that showed up in the office recently (in your face, #appleclub!)


Still, it is new comics day, so it's not a total loss. My list is light, but its heart is true and it's a pal and a confidant (holy crap, did I just quote the Golden Girls theme? I need a nap). Here's what I'm getting:

Incorruptible #1: I enjoyed Mark Waid's recent Irredeemable, even if it did seem to mostly cover the usual ground of good-guy-gone-bad (or in this case, really bad). Incorruptible is a kind of companion piece, this time following the story of a bad guy trying to go straight in a world essentially ravaged by its greatest hero, and I'm digging it already. Waid is building a whole new universe here, and it's shaping up to be some thought-provoking fun. You can take a look here.

Nola #2: I want to like this title more than I do, but for some reason I'm just having a hard time getting into it. I hope the characterization makes the character of Nola a bit less of a cipher while maintaining the unanswered tension behind why she's out for vengeance — otherwise, I'm afraid the burden of carrying a story with so much potential will rest on a character with barely enough substance to carry herself.

Underground #4: This continues to be a neat little crime comic with a unique setting and characters who become more fleshed out with each issue. I've praised this book before, and with Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber at the wheel I don't have any reason to think Underground will be anything but good stuff.


Quick Aside: So, I think this Girl Comics thing is a pretty good idea, and actually I wish it was a regular title instead of just a three-issue anthology. The name's kinda dumb, but I understand it's supposed to be a fun nod to Marvel's publishing history; it's a minor complaint in what I think is overall a very positive move from the Bullpen.


Holy smoke, I'm running out of steam here. I'd better wrap it up before I start hallucinating or ...

Oh, god.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Adventures in Sound: Part 14

Panel from Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter
Illustration: Darwyn Cooke

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review: Moon and Bá map the moments leading to a life in Daytripper

Daytripper is, quite simply, unlike anything else out there.

Sure, there are plenty of heartfelt, poignant and well-done stories on the shelves, but I can't think of any that match the unique sense of time and place seemingly grown so organically by brothers Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. In the first issue of a 10-issue limited series, Daytripper's Sáo Paulo, Brazil is at once new and familiar, a feeling which only gets stronger when the reader meets Brás, the drifting center of a delicate story that still evokes the scrape of concrete and the hum of power lines overhead.

Brás is an newspaper obituary writer, a job that pales when compared to the literary success of his father, an author considered a national treasure in Brazil. Making his way, alone and lonely through a day that is special for his father and which should have been special for himself, Brás wrestles with feelings of disappointment and the fact that those feelings come as no surprise. Instead the reader gets the sense these feelings are an ever-present ache, not an unexpected stab of pain, quietly endured and masochistically nurtured and prodded.

Still, Brás isn't unhappy and he isn't unloved, which makes the sudden and violent turn the story takes all the more tragic, giving readers a powerful and intriguing plot with a beginning disguised as an ending. Coupled with beautifully rendered artwork — as well as a gorgeous palette of color from Dave Stewart evoking both time of day and Brás' emotional state — Daytripper is equal parts heart and heartbreak

I've been a fan of Moon and Bá for a while now, an opinion that was cemented with their excellent De: Tales: Stories from Urban Brazil. But, De: Tales did have a sometimes tiresome tendency to fall into the realm of magical realism, and I'm hoping Daytripper avoids that. The story of Brás, and the days that come together to make up a life, have enough magic on its own.

Highly, highly recommended.

Read a preview of Daytripper #1 here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I got nothin'

So Random Spidey is go!

Yeah, I ... I don't know what's going in that last one.


Batman gives Alfred the day off!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Monday Fly: Go to sleep, Brutus!



Panel from The Human Fly #15

Bill Mantlo, writer; Lee Elias, artist; Ricardo Villamonte, inker

Friday, December 4, 2009

Adventures in Sound: Part 13

Panel from E.C. Segar's Popeye, Vol. 1: I Yam What I Yam
Letterers: E.C. Segar

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Butterflies in the sky

Sorry about the radio silence lately, kids, but things have been busy here at GCP HQ. Of course, not so busy that I couldn't swing by the library yesterday to pick up some comic trades and graphic novels I missed out on the first time around.

I'm lucky enough to have a library that is really active in bringing in a wide variety of comics, from the classic collections to the newer stuff and for all age ranges. Take a look at what I checked out (literally!) and tell me what you think of my selection in the comments.

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers Vol. 4 — Weirder and Wilder (by writer Jeff Parker and artist Leonard Kirk)

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers Vol. 7 — The Dream Team (Parker and Ig Guara)

JLA: The Hypothetical Woman (Gail Simone and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez)

Rasl Vol. 1: The Drift (Jeff Smith)

Goats: Infinite Typewriters (Jonathan Rosenberg)

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 — The Authorized Adaptation (Bradbury and Tim Hamilton)

Jack Kirby's The Losers (Kirby)

Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter (Stark and Darwyn Cooke)

I'm probably looking forward to reading those last two the most, though I've got to admit the Satanic chicken of Goats has its own special kind of gravitational pull.

And for the record, yes, I do read books without pictures, too. Especially when I come across something called I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President (Josh Lieb). A title like that is catnip, I tells ya.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Night Fights: The final countdown!

It's the final round of Friday Night Fights: Feet of Fury, and like the West Coast Sharks I'm in it to win it!

With victory in sizzling in my brain, I've unleashed the most brutal, the most classic, the most iconic face-plant in history. Witness the Grimmest Son of Gotham putting the hurt on the Kryptonite Kid!

It's so packed with awesome, I'm surprised no one else has ... has ...

... aw, crap.

Panel from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Frank Miller, writer and artist

Special thanks to Scott for asking me to play along!

Check out more Great Caesar's Post here — g'wan, make with the clicky-clicky.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Monday Fly: Yes — I flew ... like a bird!



(What's with the Fly and sky-diving, anyway?!)

Panel from The Human Fly #12
Bill Mantlo, writer; Lee Elias, artist; Frank Springer, inker

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ride the Lightning

So the last time I saw my nephew he was hard-core excited about a young adult series of books called Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which is apparently about the demigod children of classic Greek gods and their misbehaving parents. I'd never heard of it at the time, but it sounded kinda neat and I've been meaning to look into it ever since.

And then suddenly, this starts making the rounds.

Now, I'm not ashamed to admit this: I've had a soft spot for Uma Thurman ever since she ripped the curl on the half-shell as Venus in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I even forgive her (mostly) for that awful, awful thing she did as Poison Ivy. I won't watch it ever again, but I forgive her. And now that she's playing Medusa in The Lightning Thief? Pretty much guarantees I'll be seeing this in the theater when it comes out.

(And was that Rosario Dawson in there?)


(It was!)

Like a lot of kids, I went through a serious mythology phase when I was younger and it's a fascination that's always lingered. Which is probably why I'm also interested in the Clash of the Titans remake.

Zeus help me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Review: Rage and revenge flow through 'NOLA'

NOLA #1 is the definition of visceral.

Unrelenting in tone and unapologetic in characterization, it's a story centered on someone you wouldn't necessarily want to know, but still find yourself morbidly drawn toward. Nola was a fairly typical kind of person once; apparently successful, well-liked in the community, good to her mother and the people around her. If she's got a flaw it's her weakness for the married man who flaunts the fact that she'll never be anything more than the gal he bangs in the back room of a bar.

Set against the backdrop of the property damage and human wreckage left behind by Hurricane Katrina — no more than days past, judging by the waters still swallowing up homes and highways in the background — we can see disaster has hit Nola in more ways than just the obvious. Something Happened to Nola, and whatever it was has led her to hide her face behind a scarf, to launch an assault into her sunken city, to coldly and ruthlessly kill in search of revenge.

Clues are dropped in NOLA #1 that hint at what might have taken her from a life as a sophisticated, charming woman to someone barely recognizable anymore, a stormy reflection of a city suddenly deeply and poisonously scarred. It's these clues that give NOLA it's hook. Almost everything here is a catalyst, serving as clues to what drives Nola to pursue revenge in such an apparently single-minded way, no matter what or who gets in the way.

Vigilante violence is old hat, but an origin story is almost always intriguing, and NOLA has kicked its off with the sting of an unexpected slap. Normally I'm against decompression in comics; too much of it keeps a story plodding along when it should at least be jogging. But in this case, I hope series creator Chris Gorak and script-writer Pierluigi Cothran continue to take their time letting readers in on the big picture — a little mystery gives this story its tension, and there's plenty of other action to keep things moving.

I also appreciated the way characters speak with that particular, Southern-Gulf Coast drawl in a was that feels natural rather than forced. It's these details — the accents, the wrought iron chairs and fences, the all-too recognizable view of roofs poking out of the floodwaters like the bows of sunken boats — that help put NOLA in a particular time and place. I'd be surprised if New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina don't become characters in their own right in later issues.

Gorak lived in New Orleans for more than five years, and his connection to the city shows. I hope that authenticity carries throughout the story; I'm optimistic that we'll see the people of New Orleans and the victims of Katrina treated as characters, not caricatures, without minimizing what they went through for the sake of story.

My only minor complaint, really more of a pet peeve, is the art by Damian Couceiro. Let me be really clear here: There's nothing wrong with the art itself. Personally I'd like it if was a little cleaner, with stronger lines, but that might be more a matter of the way it's been inked and colored than anything else. Mostly it just looks a lot like the art that turns up in many other BOOM! books. That look has been less true prevalent recently, but as I reader I've seen similar artwork from the publisher enough times that, in my mind, it's the house-style. I'm ready for something with a different look.

Still, that could just be me, and the art is solid and detail-minded in a way that sets the stage — and the mood — for the story being told. The character of Nola herself is fascinating; she seems to be a real car-wreck of a person, with an internal, emotional ugliness you can't help but stare at as you try to put the pieces back into a shape you can understand. I'm looking forward to seeing where Nola's brutal story goes from here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Pull List (11-18-09): A good week for robots

Hey guys, I'd just like to apologize. I know that lately I've just kind of been phoning in posts lately and *ring! ring!* Oh, hey, it's a pull list!

Drone #1: I first talked about this title with writer Scott Chitwood way back in April, and I'm glad to see if finally coming to press. The concept — remote-controlled warbots are taken over by the bad guys and the only ones who can stop them are some good guy hackers who have been using the drones as a form of reality show entertainment — is solid, and the art by Randy Kintz looks lush and kinetic. Bringing the human element into contrast with the often depersonalized idea of the battlefield is something I hope will be explored in Drone — plus, it always fun to see things get blowed up real good.

Flash: Rebirth #5: It's never a good sign when you're putting your pull list together and you get to a title and wonder, "Wait ... was I still reading this?" Whether that's a reflection on the time between issues or the story itself, I'll let you decide. At this point, I'm in it out of sheer stubborness and a hope that Geoff Johns will be able to pull it all together by the time it wraps up with the next issue.

Nola #1: BOOM! Studios has consistently produced uniquely interesting stories that use some pretty high concepts as jumping off points. Not every title has been a winner, but hits have been more common than misses, which is what I'm hoping will be the case with Nola. A lot of people's nerves are — rightly — still raw concerning the events surrounding the Hurricane Katrina debacle, and I'm both intrigued and leery of a revenge story set around the disaster. It can either be gritty and real and honest — or it can be pandering, shallow and insulting. My fingers are crossed that the folks at BOOM! will guide it in the right direction.

Robot 13 #2: If Hellboy and Atomic Robo made sweet, strange love and had an awesome bastard child that was equal parts science, magic and mayhem, it might look a little something like Robot 13. The art by Daniel Bradford is appropriately pulped (though maybe too-obviously indebted to Mike Mignola), and makes watching a robot with a harpoon fight a kraken as much fun as it sounds. The script by Thomas Hall promises more fights with more mythological monsters for mysterious reasons, and that should be all you need to know to pick this one up.

Underground #3: Writer Jeff Parker continues his slow burn with his tale of intrigue and violence surrounding a greedy developer trying to open a cave as a tourist attraction and the park rangers who are in danger of being killed for trying to protect the natural wonder. Parker is single-handedly inventing ranger-noir amid a story of high-stakes spelunking, but I do wish he'd kick things into a slightly higher gear since so far things have been interesting, but lacking any real tension. Maybe that will happen with this issue. In any case, Steve Lieber continues to bring the goods with his artwork, particularly with his moody covers and claustrophobic interiors (though, again, the story probably would have worked better in black and white).

Victorian Undead #1: Look, I'm sick of zombies, OK? Just sick of 'em. But dammit, this is SHERLOCK HOLMES VS ZOMBIES. And I'm so, so weak.

So what did you pick up this time around? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Monday Fly: Put your hands in the air, Red




Panel from The Human Fly #6
Bill Mantlo, writer; Frank Robbins, artist; Rod Santiago, inker

Friday, November 13, 2009

Adventures in Sound: Part 12

Panel from Excalibur #9
Letterers: Tom Orzechowski and Agustin Mas

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It came from '94!

So I came back from lunch today (Seafood Delight, thanks for asking) and found the most incredible, the most improbable thing waiting for me on my chair. When I realized what it was, I may have squealed.

One of my coworkers had been digging around in the supply closet and hidden there behind dusty file folders and rusting, Neolithic binder clips she found something amazing, a true relic of mythic comic book history:

A copy of the September 1994 issue of Previews.

Deep from the heart of the overheated '90s, it's filled with all the excess and cross-hatching anybody could handle. Imagine my joy when I saw this:

Vampire Batman! And not only that, it's the goddamn SEQUEL to Batman: Bloodstorm, a book apparently so awesome it made Batman bite himself in radness. As if that wasn't enough, in a bit of prescience, look at who was on the back cover:

Suddenly I was back in my sorta-tender years, snappin' into Slim-Jims and wondering what was up with that Spider-Clone thing. If you were reading comics at the time, you couldn't help but feel the excitement. Previews wasn't going to let you get away with that:


... sorry.

Anyway, I can't think of anything that could capture the overwrought, over-hyped and over-not-a-minute-too-soon '90s comic scene like this copy of Previews. In celebration of this discovery, and as a warning to you kids out there, I'll be periodically bringing you selections from Vol. IV, No. 9, the issue that dares to ask, "Do You Grock Spock?"

You've been warned!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Monday Fly: The acrid, overpowering feline stench ...




Panel from The Human Fly #4

Bill Mantlo, writer; Lee Elias, artist; Rod Santiago, inker

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


As far as I'm concerned, this is still one of the best openings ever.


The Pull List (11-4-09): They call me Slim Pickin's

Hey, it's new comic book day! And yes, I realize it's late in the day and half of you have probably already gotten your books, but what about the other half, huh? What about them, tough-guy? Besides, I didn't want to go yet another day without posting because that's just getting ... ugh. So let's see what's on this week's list!

First, let me ask a question: Is the steady rise in the cost of monthly comics and the higher price for one-shots and limited series hurting you as much as it's hurting me? 'Cause seriously, it's getting so bad I'm starting to walk funny. Because of that, there aren't a lot of comics I'll be bringing home with me this time around. There are plenty I'd LIKE to get, but I'm on a budget, people! What am I going to do, borrow money from China?

Luckily, one of my favorite new comics is still at the $2.99 price point, and it's actually one I'd be happy to pay more for because it's just that good. Sweet Tooth #3 continues the darkly melancholy story of Gus, a boy with deer antlers making his way through a post-apocalyptic world with hard-edged killer and new BFF Jepperd. On the face of it, it all sounds a little goofy, but writer/artist Jeff Lemire is a master at telling a story that is really about much more than a kid with antlers coming out his head.

The writing gives readers an appropriately slow boil, unhurriedly but insistently raising the feeling of tension until you're sure something is bound to blow up. Language and dialogue also go a long way in helping establish character in Sweet Tooth, and Lemire handles it well enough that it becomes unnoticeable in the way that natural things do. And the scratchy, organic artwork strongly conveys the feel of the various settings, from the cool morning air of the woods to the cold, oil-stink grayness of an abandoned parking lot, making the environment as much a character as Gus and Jeppard.

There is really nothing about this book I don't like, and I hope Lemire is given plenty of time to tell his story. Sinister, sad and unpredictable, Sweet Tooth could be a template for almost any kind of coming-of-age story; thankfully, it's this one. Get a taste of the first three issues with the previews up at the Vertigo blog.

What else is on the list

Strange Tales #3 (of 3): I've really been enjoying Marvel's playful mash-up of superhero characters and indie comics creators, but at $4.99 an issue I'm kind of glad this is the last chapter.

Superman: World of New Krypton #9 (of 12): A lot of people have been giving writer James Robinson shit about his Justice League of America stuff (granted, deservedly), but I'd say give World of New Krypton a try. Co-written by Greg Rucka, this has been a title that's fun, wide-ranging and an interesting look at the guy who is equal parts Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman. A preview is available for download from the DC Web site.

X-Men Vs Agents of Atlas #2 (of 2): Jeff Parker writing about his beloved Agents of Atlas should be all you need to know in order to pick this title up. If not, you sir and/or madam, are a fool. The Agents (whether the original limited series, the regular monthly, THIS limited series, OR the upcoming continuation of the regular monthly title ... yes, it's confusing) is one of the best written team books available, period. The art by Carlo Pagulayan and Chris Samnee (hey, I was just talking about that guy) is pretty swanky, too. Check out a preview of the first issue here.

Other tales of interest

Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1

Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #1

Kill Audio #2

Stumptown #1

Think I'm missing an overlooked gem? Wondering what's going to have to wait until the trade? Care to point out my apparent weakness for lady-spies? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Suddenly ... WEREWOLF!

Why isn't Chris Samnee's work in more comics? Seriously, somebody tell me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Monday Fly: You're going to the party, right?



Panel from The Human Fly #1
Bill Mantlo, writer; Lee Elias, artist

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Smell my feet


Let me tell you, it ain't easy to get back into the semi-regular posting after a vacation filled with cloudy weather, chowdah and almost no Internet access. And have I mentioned that I visited H.P. Lovecraft's grave? IN THE RAIN?! 'Cause I did.

Aaaaaaanyway, I haven't even really had a chance to catch up on my comic book reading yet ...

(Longish aside: OK, I did read Justice League of America #38 since it was the "jumping on point" with James Robinson taking over the writing and also since I'm a JLA fan from way back, and I was ... unimpressed. I still don't understand DC's insistence on forcing Vixen down reader's throats, and you obviously need to have read other titles to know what the hell's going on. Not exactly reader-friendly. But! I really, really enjoy what Robinson and Greg Rucka have been doing with Superman: World of New Krypton, so I'm going to give it a chance to pull its meandering head out of its stilted ass. That is all.)

... wait. What was I saying? Oh, yeah — I'm still getting caught up on recent comics. I'm also struggling with full-on Halloween fever, so with that in mind here are some tricks 'n' treats for you. I love you, no matter what your mother says.

First, the treat:

Katie Cook is a master of the phenomenally cute illustration, as well as incredibly inventive papercraft. A case in point is this awesome Batman mask (Adam West style, yo) that you can print out and make for yourself! It's pretty great, and you can download the full version — complete with instructions — at her Web site.

And the trick:

I'm not saying it's right, but let's acknowledge for a minute that, once you reach a certain age and temperament, a person might not worry so much about candy as much as wrecking someone else's shit in the name of All Hallow's Eve. I'm not condoning it — VANDALISM IS WRONG — but I won't say I never threw an egg or roll of toilet paper in my day. I may have even spray-painted something on a wall here or there, and I know if the conditions were right I might even be tempted to use this:

Behold the affirmation of all things Fury. Beautiful in its simplicity of image and message, the complete version of this stencil by Joe D! can be found and downloaded in all its flag-wavin', black-ops glory at his site.

Y'know, just in case you run out of candy or something.

And now, a random image of Godzilla with a parasol.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And knowing is half the battle

Just in case you ever find yourself in Providence, R.I., and you happen to find a place with "Comics" in the actual name of the business — IT'S A LIE. Seriously, it's like a Spenser's, a Hot Topic and an FYE had some sort of bizarre three-way and gave birth to this "comic book" store.

If you're looking for CDs, DVDs, posters, tchotchkes, T-shirts, toys, backpacks or magnets for this guy, you'll be in the right place — otherwise, nose around in a lonely corner of the store and you'll be lucky to find a teeny-tiny selection from the week's comics. But probably not the one you're looking for.

And now you know.

I prove things ... with maths!

Image ganked from here (which I'm sure was ripped from somewhere else).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bending time and space

Beginning tomorrow, I'll be following the sweet siren call of cooler weather and infinite insanity as I take a trip to the wilds of Providence, R.I., home of Nibbles Woodaway and the grave of H.P. Lovecraft. As you might imagine, I can hardly wait!

The laptop will more than likely be making the trip, too, and I'm planning to update as regularly as I can — though that's always a dicey proposition. At the very least you might be treated to completely random photos from the road.

As always, thanks for your patience — see you in the dread airport bar of madness!

Panel from Cthulhu Tales #10
Jeff Lester, writer; Chee, artist

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Night Fights: Catching up

I've been absent from the Spacebooger sponsored mayhem known as Friday Night Fights lately, so I've just got one thing to say:

Panel from She-Hulk: Single Green Female, Vol. 1
Dan Slott, writer; Juan Bobillo, artist

Read more Great Caesar's Post here!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Adventures in Sound — Part 11

Panel from The Fury of Firestorm #9
Letterer: Adam Kubert

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Pull List (10-7-09): The house of Strange ideas

Here's the definition of "good times:" My telenovela ended with a wicked-crazy self-immolation, I recently acquired a collection of all four Christopher Reeve Superman movies, today is my 14th wedding anniversary AND it's new comics day!

If someone dressed as Princess Leia brings me pie, I'm gonna keel over with a big, stupid smile on my face.

But before that happens, let's talk comics!

Strange Tales #2 (of 3): I've been pretty picky lately where Marvel comics are concerned, mostly because the all-more-common price bump to $3.99 forces me to be choosier and because I'm not that big a fan of X-titles and crossover events written by Brian Michael Bendis. But while the cover price for Strange Tales is a full buck more, it is worth every penny (and not just because it's thankfully Bendis-free).

Pulling together some of the best writers and artists from indie comics, the Strange Tales anthology series is proving to be a wonderfully self-deprecating and lovingly delivered ode to the Mighty Marvel Manner. Most of the stories poke fun at the inherent silliness of superhero comics, but at the same time hit all the right notes to remind readers that these are the reasons we love the characters in the first place. This title is just fun, and it's nice to see the publisher apparently giving the creators the freedom to pull it off so well.

If you can take your superheroes with a grain of salt, and want to see some great work by writers and artists who aren't usually found in these spandexed circles, check this one out. You can also see a preview of Strange Tales #2 here.

What else is on the list

Batman and Robin #5: Philip Tan's artwork, while fine in other instances, just doesn't seem to fit on this title. It's not enough to take a lot away from Grant Morrison's note-perfect story about the adventures of the new Dynamic Duo, but it's enough to be distracting. I'm looking forward to past Morrison collaborator Cameron Stewart taking over on art with issue #7. Download the preview for issue #5 and see what you think.

Superman: World of New Krypton #8: I like Superman, OK?! And it doesn't hurt that writers James Robinson and Greg Rucka are putting together something that shines a new-but-familiar light on the qualities that make Superman interesting. Every issue advances the plot, gives the reader insight into the characters and ramps up the consequences for Clark by putting him into a steadily more complicated situation, all of which makes me happy. Punching an asteroid is easy, but what do you do when you're put in charge of a super-powered army? Check out a preview here.

Sweet Tooth #2: Weird, slightly menacing and undeniably melancholy, Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth is only two issues in and promises to be essential reading, so get to it.

X-Men vs Agents of Atlas: OK, remember what I said earlier about not being into X-Men books? Well, this is an exception. No doubt trying to get readers for the always excellent — but criminally ignored — Agents of Atlas, the regular series is being suspended for this mash-up with the ever-popular band of mutants. In a strange twist, this spray-cheeze and cracker combo is having the opposite affect (in my mind, at least) and making me buy an X-Men book because my beloved Agents are in it and because Jeff Parker's writing it. You win this round, mutants! You can also read a preview and root for the Agents here.

And maybe ...

Daredevil #501: Ed Brubaker's out, but Andy Diggle is in, making it hard to wait for the trade.

A Distant Neighborhood Vol. 1 and The Summit of the Gods Vol. 1: Both of these are by Jiro Taniguchi, and they both look beautiful. The plot of A Distant Neighborhood, while a familiar time-travel trope, still sounds interesting. Check out both at the link.

Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #1: I'm not gonna lie — this looks kinda awesome. That, or it's going to be terrible. It could really go either way.

Haunt #1: OK, not really — I just wanted an excuse to post McFarlane's Spider-Spawn cover.


Waiting for the trade

Criminal: The Sinners #1

Doom Patrol #3

Greek Street #4

Irredeemable #7

Jersey Gods #8

King City #2

The Muppets: Robin Hood (trade paperback)

Waiting for the library

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel (hard cover)

What are you getting this week? And where's my pie?!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Monday Fly: I don't think la señorita is listening, amigo!


Cuadro de The Human Fly #9
Historia, Bill Mantlo; dibujo, Frank Robbins; tinta, Mike Esposito

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Originally, this post was going to be a better-late-than-never pull list, but since there are only a couple of titles I'm definitely picking up this week (Green Lantern #46 and Unknown Soldier #12) ... well, it seemed kind of silly to call it a "list."

But there are a couple of other comics that are calling out to me this week, namely the Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu one-shot and the Justice League of America 80-Page Giant. Both feature old favorites, and it'll come down to taking a look at both of them in the shop before I can decide on either one. But since the Shang-Chi title reminded me of this incredibly awesome house ad ...

I think you can tell which way I'm leaning, Grasshopper.

What are you picking up this week?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Items! Of! Interest!

You know who can't be stopped? Well, yeah, Godzilla, but y'know who else? Kevin Church, the Internet's cheeriest comics and pop culture blogger who also happens to be a damn fine comic creator in his own right.

If you follow GCP regularly (or semi-regularly, as the case may be, and if so, why is that the case, jerk?!), you already know I'm a fan of The Rack and its limited series spin-off Lydia. This time Church is doing something a bit different with She Died in Terrebone, a crime/mystery strip he's writing, with art by T.J. Kirsch. There are four prelude strips that do a nice job of setting the story's tone and introducing the main characters, as well as giving readers a feel for Kirsch's appropriately rangy artwork, and the first story arc is already two strips in — get in on the story before all the other kids laugh at you.

As if that wasn't enough, Church is also partnering with artist Ming Doyle on another new humor strip called The Loneliest Astronauts, launching tomorrow! The premise sounds great, well-suited to Church's shank-to-the-kidney style of humor, and I can't wait to see Doyle's sketchy take on the trappings of life in outer space.


Behold! The Batman sketches of Eliza Gauger!

Are you man enough to handle the most disturbing Underoos ever?!?


Finally, I'm not doing this comic justice with a blurb but I wanted to make sure I mentioned Underground — by writer Jeff Parker and artist Steve Lieber — and how you should be reading the hell out of it.

Underground is a crime story involving dirty land developers, Native American concerns, park rangers with hearts of gold and, of course, a cave that serves as a character in its own right. Parker is writing a script that smolders with the kind of menace only greedy, amoral and all-t00-human characters can bring, and Lieber delivers the knowing touch for depicting nature and realistic facial expressions that helped make Whiteout famous.

My only gripe would be the coloring by Ron Chan, which seemed rushed or blocky in places throughout the first issue. This could just be a matter of bad registration off the press, and it certainly isn't enough to take away from what is shaping up to be a winning comic.

If you haven't read it yet there are previews of issues #1 and #2 at the Web site, and you can also download a black-and-white version of the full first issue there — so get to it!

The Monday Fly: Maybe if I try to cut its power ... ?


Panel from The Human Fly #3
Bill Mantlo, writer; Lee Elias, artist; Don Perlin, inker

The Human Fly has more pity than Mr. T.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Review: Detective Comics #857 and an unanswered Question

Believe it or not, this blog is still active — let's talk comics!

In particular, let's talk about Detective Comics #857. I've got a problem with the current incarnation of 'Tec, now featuring an updated Kate Kane as Batwoman. The concept behind the four-part "Elegy" storyline (which wraps up with this issue) is pretty derivative on the face of it. A tough-talking ass-kicker in a cowl is chasing a white-faced, murderous looney who is trying to release a deadly poison into Gotham City; sound familiar?

But that's not my problem. My problem is actually that, in spite of it featuring a Batwoman presented as a cookie-cutter, female version of the original guy with pointy ears, I really, really like it. The story is muscular and dangerous; unlike the ever-prepared Batman, the reader gets the sense Batwoman could lose and the bad guys might actually win this time. Her nemesis, a fairly obvious Joker analog (with a bit of Mad Hatter in the mix) called Alice is sadistically and charmingly nuts, and is one of the few new Bat-family villains I've liked enough to want to see again. (Rucka also manages to use her to make the whole Crime Bible/religion thing interesting for a change.)

That update I mentioned — Kate is the military daughter of an Army colonel who helps her in the field — works pretty well, and becomes a vital plot point in this issue. Writer Greg Rucka gives readers a believable Batwoman, and I'm looking forward to finding out more about how she got there.

But the real star of the show is artist JH Williams III, who seems to be determined to single-handedly dragging comic book layout and design forward. His chilly, nearly sculpted artwork is framed — but barely contained — by panels that take the shape of thunderbolts and misty, melting boxes that fan out across the page like a dreamy, bare-knuckled tarot deck. It is impressive, it's imaginative and it's simply beautiful. It takes me longer to read an issue of Detective than most other comics, and that's mostly because I just pore over every panel.

Detective Comics also comes with The Question as a back-up feature, and it's also written by Rucka, with art by Cully Hamner. Unfortunately there isn't much to say about this one. Rucka seems to be phoning it in, and while I loved Hamner on Blue Beetle I just can't get into his work here. I've never been much of a fan of Renee Montoya as the Question, and the work here drags the character down where it should be lifting her up.

You can check out a preview of both Detective Comics #857 and the back-up Question feature right here — and then let me know what you think in the comments!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Monday Fly: Progress


Panel from The Human Fly #19
Bill Mantlo, writer; Lee Elias, artist
; Ricardo Villamonte, inker

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adventures in Sound — Part 10

Panel from Atomic Robo: The Dogs of War #2

Hey! This is my 500th post!