Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Brother's Keeper

Happy Holidays All!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Confessions

This year was probably one of our more financially beneficial Christmases here at the Karguth corral. It helped that we were a bit better off compared to Christmas past. I suppose if I were a bit more into the sort of thing, I would say it was karma. We gave a better bounty this year... there was some gifts I felt genuinely very good about. I am still mad because my brother took my idea for my father's gift (but that's for a blog closer to the New Year). Ah well, Dad will probably like mine better, W, that is just all there is to it :^D

Anyway back on to the confessing part of that title. I have stolen two gifts this year. Forgive me Father Christmas... for I have sinned. The first was given to my son... it is a bank which counts coins with kind of like a calculator in the feeder so that it gives a digitally displayed read out. Well... I took it. And I have $15.50 worth of change... and it feels good!

Now on to the next thing, I am not sure I mentioned it on this blog, but I get a retailer's magazine. (I know I am not a retailer... *looks around* shhhhh). Well, this time when it came, I got a calendar. A really cool calendar. From the folks at CBG (you should all be getting this magazine- see past first blog entries for info). I was so happy, I have to say, it is pretty cool. I will take a picture of the cover to show off here.

So... there we go, confessed... deep breath and all that. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, plenty bountiful in it's own way. I will have a picture of my two favorite little elves in a day or two. That's the thing about Christmas, the camera is always in use.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Raw and Uncovered

Sometimes I try
to leave far behind
this longing I feel
so deep inside

If left denied
with time spent to hide
Perhaps it is best that its over

Well, I've...
begun to take these moments
and examine them so well
then I take the keys I've found
and I lock myself up tight

I take a breath
of this thorny rose
it sinks to my chest
and I decompose

And I am chasing this
a surreal bliss
it felt so heavy on my shoulders

Well, I'm...
a danger to myself
and I know it all too well
but, I can sink beneath the ocean
and be gone forever more

Copyright ©2005 Justin Karguth

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Comics to Come (12-21-05)

Shipping This Week: December 21, 2005


JUSTICE #3 (OF 12) $3.50- What a series! I have always said that I would like to be able to approach the DC Universe with one book. A kind of starter book, and then if I wanted to, I could branch out from there. This book fits that spot very nicely, it spans the heroes and villians and puts them all in an unusual but exciting situation. The bad guys think they are the only ones who can save the world, and the heroes don't even know it is going to end. Plus with assisted interiors and story plot by Alex Ross it looks as great as it reads.


IMAGE FIRST TP (MR) $6.99- It is very rare when a company puts a product out that I will say something like "following so and so's lead". But this is one exception, because it is painfully obvious that Image is doing this in response to Vertigo's excellent First Tastes TPB. I am not going to fault them for that, I would like to see all the bigger companies doing more books like these. Vertigo is on their second volume, so it must have been successful. And really the price points are really good for a variety of first issues. My only complaint would be if this is comics that Image first came out with, as I think they have a much better range of material recently then their initial superhero fare.


MARVEL SPOTLIGHT JOHN CASSADAY SEAN MCKEEVER $2.99- I am not sure what to expect from this magazine. I think that magazine better describes the material that is going to be presented rather than the format, in this case. And really they picked some top notch talent to spotlight in this first issue. I am less familiar with John Cassaday but I did get to see his artwork in the Astonishing X-Men TPB, and it is really excellent. Realism mixed with the wonder of the fantastic. And Sean (*Eisner Award Winning) McKeever, I have sang his praises so many times on this blog that I would be surprised if you did not know who he is. He writes the amazing title Gravity, along with two Mary Jane miniseries, and an upcoming series Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, also Marvel Adventures Spider-Man. And all of them are great reads. I am crossing my fingers that I like this new Spotlight, as I am now buying it a couple of issues in advance. *Sean Mckeever insists everyone call him Eisner Award Winning

RUNAWAYS #11 $2.99- Wow, it seems like more often than not, this is the title I have to think back in my head as to what happened. There is no denying it is a well-written and drawn series... it is just that so much happens. And I like to know whether to recommend a book on its jumping on issue, this current issue is mid-arc, so it might be a bit hard to get into it. But this has also been one of my favorite arcs. Those Los Angeles outcasts kicking it with the old pro heroes in NY city. What's not to love?

SPIDER-WOMAN ORIGIN #1 (OF 5) $2.99- This is one of those books that I would not have gotten probably even a year ago. I just did not care for the character, but this is not unlike She-Hulk, in that this is a character I am quickly gaining interest in thanks to thought out writing. And I figured since I was planning on getting the ongoing series (coming sometime next year). And I trust both writers Brian Reed and Brian Bendis. Brian Reed co-wrote the excellent Ultimate Spider-Man game along w/ Brian Bendis. Bendis, who writes alot of great Marvel comics now... like oh New Avengers, Pulse, Daredevil and lots lots others. And art by the Luna brothers who were fan voted on the Bendis message board. Should be beautiful stuff.


JUGHEAD #170 $2.25- This is here to remind a friend of mine to look into giving this character a try this week. I will be getting issues in March. So I can comment more then.

JUGHEADS DOUBLE DIGEST #118 $3.59- This is my last month of chasing this title down, as I have already added it to my DCBS shipment for January. I always liked Jughead, he just to me seemed the most level-headed and relaxed of the Archie crew. I mean the main characters (Betty, Veronica and Archie) all have eccentricities. But they rarely change. And even if they do, it just feels forced. Where as Jughead has that ability to surprise me every time I read, and yet it is still very true to his character. He is very smart, but he does not make it a point to let that be a distinguishing quality. And it is not that he hates girls, as many will say, he quite fancies and is a good friend to Betty. He lost his first love when she moved away, and later she came back, and their love was renewed, only to have her move again. I think that his non-commital attitude is so that he can maintain a solid wall. He has very few male friends, to be honest. And I much prefer Jughead's approach to Archie's... who just paints himself as a silly hormone driven goof. Beyond all that deeper thinking, I also relate to Jughead's wit, and willingness to stand up to convention. I like his speeches on being lazy and eating. He just is a very broad and fun character. I would continue reading Jughead if I got to read nothing else.


COMICS AS PHILOSOPHY HC $45.00- If anyone has read this or seen a review. It looks like it might be pretty good. I would have to get the softcover version though. Thanks for any help.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Live and Let Lie

Well, I'm not the kind of man
who goes crying in his beers
or chasing all my pain away
with a drink beyond my years

I don't get all emotional
that's the way it's always been
yet you never fail to leave me lost
when you pack up again

An empty heart
and a pack of lies
rolled up in my sleeve
my day won't start
until I realise
Ask and she shall deceive

There's a wedding
somewhere in San Antonio
I changed my address
so I might not have to know

I didn't think she could hurt me more
and I suppose that much is true
but if I could do one single thing
I'd probably toast the groom

"She's got an empty heart
and a pack of lies
she's probably gonna leave
but your life will start
when you've realized
Ask she shall deceive."

Copyright ©2005 Justin Karguth

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Comics To Come

I am anything if inconsistent, but it really seems this might just be a weekly blog, perhaps I should put the date in the title? Just to spice things up a bit.

This Week: December 14, 2005


BEST OF THE SPIRIT TP $14.99- This appeals to me quite a bit. I feel a connection to the Spirit since he first appeared on June 2nd, 1940 and I first appeared on June 2, 1981. And really, as a comics fan I should have read at least some of The Spirit by now. In a few months there will be plenty go around though. In March Darkhorse is coming out with The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist Vol. 3 TPB features the late Will Eisner’s final return to the Spirit, in a crossover tale with the Escapist. Moreover, in June 2006 (hopefully the 2nd) will be a new series by the talented Darwin Cooke that should please fans new and old.


GLX-MAS SPECIAL $3.99- I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is probably the first overpriced Christmas comic that is worth every penny. What's that? Oh, I know I haven't read it, but Dan Slott can weave a one-shot story with the best of them. And the original series GLA (GLA: Misassembled TPB out this week as well) made me think, and feel, and enjoy characters I had never read before. One thing I can say with a great deal of certainty, it will probably be one of the most unexpected Christmas comics you will read for some time.

GRAVITY BIG CITY SUPER HERO DIGEST $7.99- Here is another series that I have been singing praises about since before it came out. And it did not disappoint, old school superhero fun with modern twists. Pick up the story of Greg Willis... Wisconsin native, new to New York, with powers that will have you falling all over yourself. (Okay, that was bad) But trust me, this book is an excellent stocking stuffer. If you want a superhero that you can start fresh with... experience along with... and relate to all on your own. This is your go to book. Oh, and just for proper assurance... that stocking stuffer reference... I meant my stocking.

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #21 $2.99- Well, this is where I here the story kicks in to high gear. J. Michael Strazynski takes the wheel and floors the gas, in a story that is paying off threads since JMS began his run on Amazing just a few short years ago. It has been bellowed about message boards (and by some who are no longer comic fans) that the heroes never change. But JMS has changed quite a bit already, and yet in the beginning as a reader you couldn't help but feel he was walking that same line. He would give the reader a possibility, but then make sure that is found out to be neither truth nor lie. Well, the same cannot be said now... I would not be surprised if when the smoke clears, things are really different. Until Gwen Stacy sleeps with the Green Goblin, make mine Marvel ... ... Oh, right.

SON OF M #1 (OF 6) $2.99- David Hine. Daredevil: Redemption's David Hine. Taking on the hero who was responsible for screwing up the world. Add to that he also responsible for millions and millions of mutants losing their powers. Is he also powerless? What is he going to do when those he hurt most come after him? The first of those being the Amazing Spider-Man... well you pull a Fugitive and run like hell. Or as fast as a powerless Quicksilver can run. Give it a try, you could do worse then David Hine... and that cover. Gorgeous.

X-FACTOR #1 $2.99- Spinning out of last year's noir hit, about a man who can multiply himself (Madrox is out in trade now) and when the multiples come back to him, he absorbs what they see and learn. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to see a group of heroes like you have rarely seen before, solving crimes you have rarely seen before. I am only mad Marvel moved the release date of the first issue, now I have to try and track it down.

Until we meet again.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Comics To Come

This Week: December 7, 2005


HARD TIME SEASON TWO #1 $2.50- The sleeper hit of last year returns. And DC welcomes it with open arms. I was quite a late supporter of this series, I saw the trade at somewhere around the ten to twelve dollar mark, and I have to say it was a great purchase. Ethan Harrow is your typical cynical teen, only this guy is doing 50 to Life (the name of Season 1's first and only trade). Now we get to see what happens to young Ethan as he comes to grips with an entity that escapes him at night to correct the injustices that happen while he is locked up. I think what I enjoyed most about the trade was that the main character had it way to easy, I am anxious to see what progressed with issues 7-12 and also where this new series will go. If you see this on the rack and enjoy it, order more this will be a series that really needs the support.


FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #3 $2.99- Here we go. 6 issues done, and six more to go. This starts off J. Michael Strazynski's 3-part finale. I have high hopes. JMS's endings have most of the time left more to be desired, but that ride has always (except for what he did to Gwen) been enjoyable. That all being said though, this is one time I wish I would have waited for the trades. (And even then probably only the second one).

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #10 $2.50- I love this series. I love Sean McKeever. To me there should always be a Spidey title on the racks just like this one. These are just wonderful "done in one issue" stories, and yet it establishes it's own cues for those of us hoping to be long time readers. The problem with Marvel Age (a previous attempt)... is that it relied to heavily on big events... the key moments for Stan and Ditko when Spider-Man started, and copied the words with new art. So readers who remember or have read this are unimpressed and maybe put off buy the new package. And new readers (the few there were) were confused at the leaps that the series took, and by the idea that something was not quite right, and took their money elsewhere. New stories, new feel, classic fun... that is the way to go. And in the words of Marty McFly, "Your kids are gonna love it."

MARVEL TEAM-UP #15 $2.99- Alright here they come, cats and kittens. The loveable, sales-friendly, but ultimately forgotten heroes of the 90s. Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Speedball... just to name a few, along with some very popular heroes newly created Arana, Gravity, and X-23 (again, just a few). These will be the folks that pull the big boys out of the fire... but can they do it, and maybe even make a name for themselves? This is another book that could use support and very much deserves it. I cannot stress enough that this is the series that can be enjoyed for fans new and old. If you want to dip your toe in the Marvel Universe, this is so spanning and yet so personal that it gives you the ability to get to know loads of characters in a short time. And if you are a fan from way back... it's a fun read, you can revisit characters that have long been neglected and keep up on the current universe without buying every book out there. It is more book for your buck, and there is never anything wrong with that.

NEW WARRIORS #6 (OF 6) $2.99- The end of a great mini. I was very sad to see this last issue was coming out. But this was a good way to test the waters on a very funny and quirky series. A team of heroes reunite, at the request of their former leader, and reluctantly decide to start a reality show: To Bring Super to Smalltown America. This fascinated me right off, because as a child I was quite distraught that I did not live in New York and so would never see Spidey. And so it is fun to see the bus breakdown in Wichita, Kansas. That and this is the series for people who are tired of reality TV. This nips it in the bud, by giving reality a healthy dose of escapism. And really, couldn't we all use that anyway?

SPIDER-MAN BLACK CAT EVIL THAT MEN DO #4 (OF 6) $2.99- I suppose on other blogs that do this you will see the long-winded moans of how long they waited. Not me, this has DD... 'nuff said. The fantastically drawn (if laughably unrealistically drawn) breasts are an added bonus.

ULTIMATES 2 #9 $2.99- This series has come to a boil. I mean this has just been kick ass rollercoaster type stories. This is the best thing I can say about it. If the Avengers had been written like this I would have loved the Avengers. And up until recently, I never touched an issue. You will come away from this book having strong opinions about each and every character. And you will be kicking and screaming to know what comes next. This is just no excuses, kick you in the teeth, and have you knowing you like it storytelling. This is the book that let's me know that a part of me will always feel guilty for being a Mark Millar fan.

This is probably the first time since I started this Comics To Come, that I will actually need these entries. It will be fun to see after I read these, hopefully somewhere around the middle of the month, if what I thought actually holds true. Oh, and I know my reviews seem fairly one-sided, most of the time, but there is a simple reason for that. I try to buy what I love. And I think great books should be praised as much as possible.