Friday, July 21, 2006

Still a Week to Go

Shipping This Week: July 19, 2006


JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #0 $2.99- If it were any other writer, I probably would have not gotten this book. DC usually fails to get me to buy a book simply because it is new. But this is Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis... you know before the insane Infinite Crisis). And that book was really great... I never felt to lost. It was a beautiful touching story. It was sort of hype, but I don't mind that if it is a good story. Kind of like if Civil War was just coming out on it's own. They can hype 7 issues to high heck for all I care. Anyway, I just want to see if Meltzer can surprise me again. Maybe this can be my connection to the DC universe (proper). Well, this and Wonder Woman... still can't quite believe I am getting that. Good stuff though.


CABLE DEADPOOL #30 CW $2.99- Daredevil appearance, nuff said? Alright... DD and Deadpool meet again. Might be worth a look. Alright, it is worth more than a look it tells who the new DD is, looks to be a pretty big appearance!

CIVIL WAR #3 (OF 7) $2.99- Oh, I can't really say what's going to happen. The pacing on this book is very nice. Like a good action movie, linear but still wild. The sides are being forged, I will be surprised to see where Cap's group of refugees ended up. And I am also surprised to see what the next moves will be. This has me excited.

DAILY BUGLE NEWSPAPER SPECIAL CW PI- I like these newspaper specials, enough that I would almost buy something which highlights the goings ons of titles on a monthly basis. Catching us up on the lives of those in the MU, but then I think it would lose that unique quality. If you just want to dip a toe into Civil War or know someone who does, this should be priced just right.

ETERNALS #2 (OF 6) $3.99- I am loving this book, I finally read issue one the other day. And it is very entertaining and not nearly as overwhelming as I thought. It helps that one of the characters is hopelessly lost when it comes to the mythology aspect too. And what a cliff hanger. Even though I am preordering, and thus tied down to upcoming issues regardless, I still love a good cliffhanger.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #10 $2.99- This is a good book, especially since it broke away from The Other crossover. But there is alot of muttering on the internet, just alot of talk about who dropped it and such, I hope that is not indicative in the sales. The only problem I see is that it embraces continuity. A new reader is going to see Spidey in some pretty strange, but I hope easily readable adventures. It reminds me of when I was given some Spider-Man 2099 comics... and I thought it was just Spider-Man... completely messed with my head. It is high concept but fun, and you can tell Peter David is having fun with the character he started writing for Marvel years and years ago.

RUNAWAYS #18 $2.99- Oh, let's see Vaughan pulled his usual twist cliffhanger. And it blew my mind. Seriously, it just takes the idea of a cliffhanger the usual stuff... somebody dies... stuff like that, and throws a curve ball. He even walks you through it too, you are feeling pretty good, just following along, and BLAM! pulls the rug out.

SHE-HULK 2 #9 $2.99- Oh yes, I remember ... the wedding. Poor Pug. Bastard John. Andy you canniving cuss. Jen, you ignorant slut. (Ok, that was a Saturday Night Live reference) but considering her recent not being in control of her mind, a bit harsh. Anyway if you have no idea what I am talking about. Get the trades. Three great volumes. Take them and call me in the morning.

X-FACTOR #9 CW $2.99- I love me some X-Factor. In fact, if I had one complaint, it would be that I miss the original artist. Quite alot. The book has not been the same quality since he left. Still quite good, but I think it would be liking taking Gaydos off Alias, or Maleev off DD. The team fit the book.


COMICS BUYERS GUIDE OCT 2006 #1621 $5.99- I might have to drop this. I still like it, would still recommend it. I just have not been having time to read it. I am hoping that will change now that I have gone back to twice a month shipping. It really is one of the best comic magazines out there.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What A Saturday

Well, it all started easily enough. My journey to a new comic shop. With the kids gone and B not going to work. We had a more than reasonable start. I didn't have a list of comics to get, but more on that later.

Now, onto the shop. Which we arrived at pretty close to the opening I think. The outside looks fairly... comic book shoppy. In fact it had me a bit dismissive at first. Kind of a "get the boxes and leave" attitude which I was having. And you go in, and that all evaporates, and you are taken aback a bit. By the counter art lines the walls. Which is always neat to see sketches and such. I think there was even an original Terry Moore 'Strangers in Paradise' sketch, if not, someone was very good at aping his style. Now on the left side of the store bookcase line the walls... filled with trades. I was not really looking for trades so I merely scanned that quickly. I am assuming it followed the same pattern as his new released singles (more on that further down). Then you move along and in the center of this trades collection (all spined out by the way, very bookstore) is a shelf full of kids comics. Mary Jane, some Disney, Jubilee, I was v. tempted by the whole display. But managed to pull myself away. And then you look to the right, and the store is putting their own drawer boxes to good use, and you can just feel the space that product gave to the store. No more tables lined with boxes underneath and on top... nope you want a comic you just pull the drawer open and file through. And according to B it is insanely alphabetised.

Then you make a U turn in the store... which was a bit tight. But I underestimated it. And you see the action figures. And on the right wall was all the new releases. And what a display, not light shining down from the heavens, but just the attention to detail. First you had Marvel alphabetical order (beauty) I picked up Ghost Rider, Sensational Spider-Man, and DD what if (which I forgot until I left the store that I had already). Not too bad, but here is where the real genius comes in... as you move along next up are the indies... I picked up Local #4, Flying Friar, and Toupydoops (which I had heard so many good things about). And man did they have indies... wowza. And they kept things like alot of older products up. I was only sad that they did not have Snakewoman. After all that you hit DC issues. There in lies the genius... you kind of have to see those indies.

And they welcome people who might be behind on the series by keeping previous issues right behind the recent ones, I am a huge fan of that. The icing on the cake, I found DD #27 for 5 bucks. The missing issue in my collection of Vol.2. I think we freaked the guy out a bit in a good way. Here came two people off the street. Never seen us before and we walk out with $80 worth of stuff. And I wish I could go again. It is probably the best store I have been to... a love for comics and the meticulous attention required to keep a great store.

Is that all you ask? Did the day end there? Not hardly. B wanted to go to a mall in the city. So, I agreed... she wanted to get a dress for some pictures. As luck would have it, we got there during a mall wide sale. So I got two ten dollar shirts. And we did alot of wandering... dress shopping is grueling. But I was in pretty good spirits. And it was not long before we hit a bookstore, an oasis, as it were. Now, even I thought I was pretty comic booked out. So it was just supposed to be a break for me... I was tired of women staring at me like I was the wheelchair perv. But, I got in and found more than I bargained for... the Vertigo First Offenses trade... 5 bucks I would be a fool to pass it up. Then if B had not taken so long, I would not have also gotten the Essential Marvel Handbook. *sigh*

After that, we finally headed home. What a day, eh?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another Comic Getting Monday


ESCAPISTS #1 (OF 6) $1.00- Look at that price! One Dollar. And there is no mistaking this will be worth it. From writer Brian K. Vaughan (Runaways), comes another comic book follow-up to The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. And I, for one, have been waiting a long time. Before this, Dark Horse tried the anthology approach and had various creators penning the adventures of the Escapist and all related topics. And while there are certainly gems to be found, I thought the price point was just too high. And now the story will be a clear, solid and follow a similar route which the novel took, embracing the stories of fictional creators and their comic book characters. Give it a try, it might even be the best comic of the week.


KABUKI REFLECTIONS BOOK #6 (MR) $5.99- Alright take your focus off of that six dollar price tag. Because it is irrelevant, this book needs to be picked up and enjoyed. I remember watching an old movie, and it was a story of a newspaper man wanting to out the local fat cat businessman. Showing where he was charging too much, all for a big scoop. And when the two met, the businessman said, "My products are used and enjoyed over and over again, and after time the use exceeds the price paid." That logic can be put to this book, everyone will take something different away, and it is more than worth the price. It is a rare glimpse into a great comic.

SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #28 $2.99- I dropped this book not too long ago. The art didn't thrill me, and neither did the story. But that arc has since moved along. And I figured this title would be back on the pull list. Well, Marvel got me a bit to early, with the outing of Spider-Man. I suddenly want to know every aspect of what is unfolding as a result of his unmasking. Hopefully, I don't get fooled twice.


COBB OFF THE LEASH #2 $3.99- I am going to (quite wrongly) take the fact that this doesn't say 2 (of 3) to mean this might not be a mini. That would make me very happy, indeed. This is a top notch indy title. The art is great, the writing is great, and most of all, it is clear what type of book you are getting. I hope there is lots of support this for this action comic.

JUGHEADS DOUBLE DIGEST #123 $3.69- *whistles*

SNAKEWOMAN #1 $2.99- This is one I might have to go out of my way to snag this weekend when I hit a shop. I completely missed that the art was being done by the highly talented Michael Gaydos. That makes it certainly worth a look.

Yeah, that's it. Let me know what you thought if you picked any of these up. Or what other stuff caught your eye this week.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Comics At My Door

Shipping This Week: July 5, 2006


ARCHENEMIES #4 (OF 4) $2.99- I have read the first issue of this and it was a good comic with a fun idea. What if your roommate was your archenemy? It's the odd couple of the superhero sets. I hope to catch up to issues two and three before my package ships in a week and a half.

DARK HORSE TWENTY YEARS $0.25- I would be remiss if I didn't pick this up. It looks to be at least nice on the eyes, with various Darkhorse creators trading off characters and adding new styles.


DETECTIVE COMICS #821 $2.99- The beginning of the Paul Dini (co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series), and it took that and the addition of J. H. Williams III to finally get me to pick up a Batman solo title. I was only slightly letdown in learning that this is the only issue for JHW, but it should be a good read.


BEYOND #1 (OF 6) $2.99- Dwayne McDuffie and Scott Kolins take on this mini that is a sequel to Secret Wars. Or an addition to at least. Yes, that's right, the original Secret Wars. And Dwayne McDuffie is a quality writer who is likely up to the task. Here's hoping it woos me more than Bendis's mini did.

FRANKLIN RICHARDS SUPER SUMMER SPECTACULAR $2.99- Wonderful run of one shots and kid-friendly. I would say they were strictly for kids, but I like them to much. Starting off as back ups for (and being the highlight of) the Power Pack series that came out. I was glad to see this get the break away treatment. And I hope it continues to take off.

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #17 $2.99- The return of MA Spidey after, I think a two issue hiatus. Such is the way with this title I think. I had also taken a hiatus when it started, and then Sean McKeever came aboard and knocked my socks off. Not two issues off and it announced that Peter David will be writing Spider-Man. Want a safe bet for a good read, anything Peter David and Spider-Man. I am even picking up an issue with Man-Wolf. And werewolves terrify me.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #22 $2.99- Freedom Ring continues. And Robert Kirkman continues to show why he is one (of a growing number) of breakout writers working at Marvel. And this is his best arc yet, as he finds an everyman character, and plays it out. While this does tie into previous issues of Marvel Team-Up, it would still be fine to read on its own. Not sure if the new character introduced will take off, but I hope so. I like seeing amature heroes.

THING #8 $2.99- This is it, the big finale. And it's going down by betting it all. On a Marvel Universe poker game. All the heroes are invited. And knowing writer Dan Slott. I am betting all of them will. This is an issue where there is a first for the Marvel U. Don't know what that first will be, but I am excited. *gasp* I just realised, I have not read issue 7. I got as far as Ben Grimm breaking the arms off of the Venus De Milo. It's a tired joke, but I dare you to read that first page and not chuckle. And while you are doing that, buy issue 8!


JUGHEAD AND FRIENDS DIGEST #12 $2.49- Jughead, nuff said!

MIDNIGHT SUN #1 (OF 5) $2.95- Ah, my indy dose right here. Sometimes with the indies you have to think really hard about what interested you in the title. They don't have press releases for every little thing. If I recall this series is about a reporter in Antartica... anyway it has a very nice Blankets style, which I am a sucker for. Love the simple elegance there.

SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR #3 $2.99- Ah Simpson's own parody superhero comic. I fell in love with this book when I saw issue 2 at a bookstore. Great stuff, and often written by some big names in the industry. I can't wait for three, and I can't wait to track down issue one.

TALENT #2 (OF 4) $3.99- The first issue of this title certainly surprised me. I was expecting to love the art. It is done by (I am sure) a soon to be talked about artist, Paul Azaceta. But the story is quite compelling to. A man is inexplicably the lone survivor of a plane crash. The government assumes he must have been a terrorist who helped to cause the crash. He is hassled before he even leaves a hospital bed. Along the way, he finds he has inherited the talents and memories associated with everyone else who was on the plane. Definetly worth a look, and I hear might even become a movie. I am hard pressed nowadays to think of any creative property that isn't, but ah well.

Books that really sucker punched me: Daredevil, Runaways, Ultimates, and Young Avengers

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Spell Is Broken

Well, seeing as how there are no reviews of Gargoyles #1 that I could find (and since I finally have it) I thought I might give a review. Within the first few pages fans of the series will be taken back, to the point of hearing each characters distinctive voices in their head. And why not? The creator and writer for the majority of the episodes is at the helm here. I think it says something when a writer can make each character unique beyond surface design, and to do so within a comic also must be praised.

I will say that I don't believe this first issue is as perfect for new readers. There are some elements that are merely touched upon. Some moments that are purely for the fans. Now that is not to say that a quick search on Wikipedia could not set you straight. Or that even this review could not do the same. So it was a worthy effort in that respect.

One change I did notice in the writing which gave a subtly more adult tone to the book (if one needs such things as an indicator) was the near inclusion of the words "Monster loving wh-" directed at a human female friend of the Gargoyle leader. It is small potatoes in today's comics, however, this was certainly a level that I cannot recall the Disney cartoon having.

Another bit of background that should have been included for new readers was the pathetic tactics of the villians at hand. Gargoyles have one very prominent weakness, and that is that they can be turned to stone. The villians which were featured in this issue only attack gargoyles during the day, basically they go out with a hood and a sledge hammer and get to work smashing statues. Now that is alot of statues when one considers that there are only 8 or 9 living Gargoyles left in this section of the US (and maybe in the US entirely). But all the same it shows a cowardice that would be very much relatable to a new readers. The bully which is fearful of something and would only seek to destroy it when no harm can come to them. That could all still be explored next issue or in future issues.

I would also not mind an issue #0 a bit of a meatier summary of what has happened to the Gargoyles before this issue. I suppose the page summary given might intice new readers to seek out the DVDs available, but I don't think so. Now, onto the art. Where this seems to fail with me, is that it feels quite back and forth at times. Sometimes adopting an animated simpler style, but more often than not, opting to give a more 3-D realistic look. Which came across to me as awkward in most panels. It is likely a bit of familarity lost... as I just kept thinking, this is too much, it doesn't really look like so and so anymore. But on the whole it did quite well, and I think conveyed each of the previous characters well enough. Especially in those introductory shots ... the first time I would see certain characters I would think, Wow, that looks spot on. And then in the panels that followed it would not be the case. The coloring is also excellent, and seems to fluxuate more succesfully between the changes of style.

One thing that sticks out about Gargoyles for me, and in this comic too. Is that conflict is always there. The leader (Goliath) has trouble with one of his charges, in particular. And in a new world with new rules, Goliath is often risking more, while demanding isolation from others.

I think the romance between Goliath and his human friend will increase. There is a strong vulnerability there. Not alot can hurt him, but knowing that she risks her life even being aware of his existence. For such a behemoth of a creature, I have always found that he conveyed weakness and emotion quite well.

All in all, you could do a lot, lot worse then Gargoyles. And I know I have a bias, but this is probably one of the strongest indy issues I have purchased. As the writer says on the final text pages "a hard hitting drama with influnces ranging from Gummi Bears to Hill Street Blues to the complete works of William Shakespeare. There is continuity, a large ensemble cast of characters (heroes yest but three dimensional villains and everything in between). There is comedy. There is tragedy. There is romance and heartbreak. And of course, lots and lost of action."

Ultimately I could see this comic surpassing what has come before. And becoming a comic for kids and adults. It's off to a fine start.