Saturday, October 29, 2005

Weekend Wind Down

Well, folks are not doing to well here at the Karguth residence. A cold has over taken everyone, but the youngest. Cough, and stuffy noses appear to be the norm, however, I will consider myself lucky to have myself alone tomorrow. No doubt settling in to the antics of my old pal Jughead.

I think a new keyboard might be in order, I was attempting to clean this one, and now the space bar isn't working so well.

A longer blog when I can get that sorted. Any tips?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some Recommendations

I know two blogs in one week... ah well, I had to tell you about a comic I got this week, "Justice" #2, put out by DC. It's a bit pricey at $3.50, but it has to be one of the most fun DC comics I have read in awhile. A long while. For those of you who are not reading the series, let me give you an idea of what the first issue, and the series itself is about. For reasons unknown, explosions are occuring across the world, and we see the devastation and tragedy through the heroes' perspectives. Superman loses Lois Lane, right before his very eyes, etc. etc.

There are a couple of exciting twists, all which quickly finalize the setup to get a major battle between DC heroes and DC villians. It is very fun, very old school storytelling, in fact, I think the setting may be about a decade preceding events now, which makes the explosions, or rather the loss of Lois less impactful to the reader.

Now issue 2, which will probably stand out as a favorite of this run. It begins with Riddler explaining his attempts of trying to hack into the Bat-computer, and his reasoning that if you are going to hack into a computer like that, use the computer of one of the richest men in the world to do so. The artist pulls back to a full shot of Wayne Industries. I just about laughed outloud at this point, such an obvious story move, but so well done.

And I think knowing they pulled it off, they continue, as a lone figure quickly makes his way towards the Riddler. The computer picks up Bruce Wayne, the Riddler finds (to his surprise) Batman. Which puts a stop to his defensive move of deciding to face Wayne. I cannot tell you how fun this sequence was... being in on the joke. And still it continued through one more turn.

Add to this, that Alex Ross is doing accompanied art, and he had the Riddler looking like the late, great Frank Gorshin. It is all beautifully done. And the excitement just goes leaps and bounds, add to that I learned a few new things about the Riddler.

I want to share with you a bit of the story, the Joker when seeing that the Riddler was captured and begins comicly expressing that he wanted to be in on this plan by the villians. Joker thinks they planned the explosions. One of which had Batman trying to save a group of children by taking them to the sanctuary of the Batcave. To which the Joker says "Saw Batman lead all those children down into the cave. Ho! Do you think he let them all dress as Robin before they died? Ha ha ha ha!" There was some great characterization all around. And the writer made believable the sense that evil could be so insanely driven to keep failing.

Runaways #9 was also very very good. And even Daredevil vs Punisher #4 finally gave the Devil his due, I thought. Did anybody else pick up any thing good this week?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

January already?

That was my thought upon seeing three of the big comic companies posting their listings well before the end of the month. But, as anyone who knows me can testify, I am not one to complain (unless my wallet will be shrinking dramatically). In fact, it is a fairly safe bet that I will be thinking of little else for about two or three days.

It is always exciting, watching where creators will go, what gorgeous covers are going to be around, and who will be guest-starring in a book. There is strong argument for knowing too much about your comics too soon, but all the same this has to be one of the highlights of my month.

So, without any further delay, here are some of the new titles I will be picking up in January:

Hard Time Season 2 #1 (DC) ... $2.50- This title impressed me from having bought the first trade. And since DC was kind enough to renew it, I am going to be here for the first issue. 16 year old, Ethan Harrow, is sent to prison, it is a vicious fight for survival, but Ethan has a secret. As he sleeps, a strange entity comes to his aid, righting the wrongs that occur, and bringing grown men to a state of jittering fear. This is a graphic series that pulls no punches. I highly recommend it.

INVINCIBLE SCRIPT BOOK #1 … $3.99 - If you have been reading awhile, you know that I am a huge fan of the process behind the making of comics. This book is no exception. Invincible is being hailed as some of the freshest and most inventive superhero storytelling. And I can hardly pass up 6 issue in script format for that price. I think this may be my most anticipated purchase.

Cable/Deadpool #24... $2.99- I have... I think two issues of this title. I am only getting this particular issue because it is guest-starring Spider-Man. I know I was suckered, but the wise-cracking Deadpool tackling the witty Wall-crawler. This comic was made for me. Love the humor stuff. One of the lines in the first issue I got went like this,
DP: Where is this mercinary job you want done?
The Client: Well, it will be in France.
DP: I'm sorry, I can't work with countries the US is at war with.
TC: The US is not at war with France.
DP: Oh, okay... count me in.

Hellblazer #216 ... $2.75- New writer (Denise Mina) New artist (Leonardo Manco)and the start of a new story "Empathy is the Enemy." Constantine meets Chris Cole, an ordinary bloke who made the mistake of messing with a "harmless" bit of magic. He looks to Constantine to pull him out from the nightmare. This looks to be a promising jumping on point, and I intend to do just that.

Plastic Man #20 ... 2.99 - This is one of those series that I kept telling myself I would pick up. And now with this being the final issue, I wanted to do just that. It is a fun all-ages series written and drawn by Kyle Baker. The trades are still available so I might purchase those too.

For this week, let's see, I have to recommend picking up She-Hulk #1. Just give it a chance if you see it, it really is as good as everyone will say it is. Thanks for checking out things to come with me. And if you want to do some looking for yourself in January, go here for Marvel, here for Image, and here for DC . Darkhorse link will be posted when available. Happy hunting.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chewing up greenery pastures

So, I am going to talk about a few things... and in the process, I can't even promise I will have a topic. I am going to stay focused because I have alot to say, but really, I don't think anyone one thing will relate to another. First and foremost, my blog is moving to weekly for the time being, I have had a few added responsibilities, and to be quite honest I have not felt that my comics have been anything I need to talk about on this blog, not like I used to anyway.

This is really hard, my head is swimming with all sorts of stuff at 2 am., but mostly what I am surrounded by... comics. I would really like to vary discussion, but I would be lying to myself if I tried moving to far away from that. Life is standing still for me I think, and has been for a long time. I am at a point, where I am standing in the middle. I am not so bogged down with work, or kids, or anything else that I need to slow down, and yet I wonder why I am not content. I am working three days a week, five hours a day, and getting paid too much for it. And I don't want that. It fits my life nicely at the moment, but I am pushing away...

When my wife starts work, which she wants to do very soon, I will be the caretaker for two. I am not a good father, and I don't say that for pity, or anything like that. I am stating fact. My children would be better elsewhere. Or maybe, in a more fitting sense, I should be elsewhere. Who must I be, to feel as though I am?

Ah well, to bring this back to comics. I wanted to suggest a column, required reading as it were. It is called, Girl In The Clubhouse. It is an insightful column that expresses the closed of nature of comic books and comic shops. And how to embrace that comics are becoming some of the best literature available. While very straightforward, I guarantee it is nothing that any good-natured, sometimes self-loathing, and socially awkward comic geek does not already know. Anyway, if you are anyone who has wanted to dip your toe into some comics, she has some great suggestions. And as an aspiring (read "never going to happen) comic shop owner, I liked this second installment alot.

As far as online shops to find some of these recommended reads check out and scroll down to find sales links to some great shops.

Sorry to say I can't even recommend a comic this week. One that I found amusing was a Marvel Monsters book which was pricey. Gravity had a fine finale, but I have a feeling I will be recommending a new series for that soon enough. I also grabbed the Kingdom Hearts GN (yes Wade ... it's Tokyopop) but I am finding that the video game has a better story, the challenge is in being a talented enough game player to finish it, which is not much of a challenge admittedly. The GN is not bad per say, but it was confusing enough for me, and I know the story. The art is quite excellent for the most part though. Next week I will have at least a couple of comics to recommend you give a glance at. **cough** She-Hulk #1... trust me :^D

Monday, October 10, 2005

Props, Pampers, and Pit Stops

I don't have all that much to write about. The comics I have been reading have been pretty good, but nothing to blog about. Fell is still really good, so if you see it at the shop, and feel so inclined, support it. It really is going in a great direction, both in story, and for the comic book medium in general. I am not dropping Powers yet, a good solid story came through, so I will keep reading.

I want to say a bit about Peter David. Not only does he have an interview on Fanboy Radio (which meanders but is still highly entertaining) but he also has an article with Newsarama. He has some new series coming out. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, which I am going to go out on a limb, and say that if you have ever enjoyed Spidey, his guest spots in New Avengers, or guest spots anywhere. I would encourage you to pick this up, because Peter David really gets Spidey. And chances are that aspect that you enjoy about Spider-Man will be in this series. It will be part of a crossover for the first four issues though, so I hold no guarantee for issues 2 and 3 (since they are being written by other writers). More on this in an interview today by Pulse. Still another interview this time with Crawl Space! I have to say that the thing I loved most about all these interviews, is that they explore the many ventures PAD is a part of.

He is doing a new ongoing series, X-Factor. Which will be a dark noirish book about a group of mutants dedicated to fixing the world after House of M, and the trouble that results because of that. It also spins out of the Madrox mini-series, which I cannot recommend highly enough. And pretty much last, is Fallen Angel, a cancelled creator-owned series that is coming back in a big way. I was not a huge fan of the first series, but Peter showed such great enthusiasm that I had to give it another try. Plus the painted interiors... gorgeous stuff. Comes out in December though, so you know, if your retailer gives you a dumb look, wait a month.

Not alot of stuff going on here. I am currently pulling my hair out over a little side project I am working on. Which considering my free time ends in two days, I really should get the ball rolling. I have accepted that for the most part my house will be in disarray, it was hard with one kid, impossible with two. The new job also has me pulling my hair out, but I think that can be easily handled.

I was going to start off about how excited I was about having five comments, until I thought about it and it came closer to three. Ah well, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Comics To Come

FELL #2 $1.99- I am already going to give this comic, "Best of the Week", even though I probably won't get it this week. My comic shop might surprise me though. The pricing also makes it easy to say that if I only had the money to get one comic.... this would be it. And I would be quite content I think. It is the type of comic that just makes you glad to be a fan. And glad to know someone cares about the fans.

AMAZING FANTASY #13 $2.99- I am hoping this book surprises me. I have read a very disappointing review online. But as any comic friend can attest, I have pretty low expectations. All I look for in a comic is that it entertains me. And this... "western" part of the Marvel Universe sounds like it should at least do that. And it has been so long since I got to enjoy a Karl Kesel written comic

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #8 $2.50- Sean McKeever has been doing what few Spider-title writers have been able to do. Tell a straight forward and fun tale about Spider-Man. He doesn't try to leave his mark, or create some new aspect to the life of Peter Parker, he just tells great stories with a great character. And nowadays, that is really something special.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #13 $2.99- The heroes band together to bring down the power of an insane alien. And even if they weren't brought together by choice, they are not going down without a fight. I am looking forward to this issue. Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Nova, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel... the witty banter is going to be thick as molasses. This is a great book to get a taste of what is going on with the Marvel Universe.

POWERS #13 (MR) $2.95- This is the third thirteenth issue this week, I am glad I am not superstitious. I hate to say it, but Powers is faltering for me. Sometimes it has the best emotional sequences in comic books, and sometimes it feels like I am getting the issue for the letters page. I will keep with it a few more issues though.

SPIDER-MAN THE OTHER SKETCHBOOK $2.99- I am a sucker for sketchbooks. I think it is my desire to want to see every aspect of creation in a comicbook. I love the writing technique, the art technique, the history of it all. The books about comic books are so few and far between, it is a great thing to be privy to such things, I think.

Next week looks to be a very good week for comics. Hopefully I will be able to talk about all the great stuff that came out.