Thursday, December 30, 2004

quit city #1 Warren Ellis and Laurenn McCubbin

This is one of the Apparat books. The imaginary comic line the Ellis created. The books were all supposed to ship in the same week, but that went out the window when Ironwine shipped a few weeks back. I really enjoyed Ironwine. It was Columbo for the twenty-first century. Ellis essentialy said so himself.

I'm not sure what quit city is supposed to be. It's an interesting concept. Emma Pierson has come back home after quitting her gig with Aeropiratika, a group of adventurers something like DC's Blackhawks from what I could gather. The problem with this book is that it doesn't feel like it could go anywhere from this first issue. I know it's only an imaginary line of comics, but I thought the idea was that these were first issues designed to bring us into the world of this comics line. Unlike Ironwine, I wouldn't bother to pick up the next issue of quit city, if there were going to be one.

The biggest problem I have with the book is Laurenn McCubbin's art. It just doesn't work for me at all, from the loose rendering to the in the camera's face story telling. Her work looks like she took photo reference of every single panel then traced over it with her left hand. I know Ellis is a big fan of her art, but I just don't get it.

So the Apparat tally so far is 1 for 2, which is not bad, but not what I had hoped for after reading Ironwine.

Following Cerebus #2

This book is on it's way off my buy list. Too much material I've already read in here and the rest is not well written. Who really wants to read a 30 year old inteview with Barry Smith done by Dave Sim? The only interesting information to be gleaned from the interview is that Barry Smith was a pompous, self-important ass well before he added the "Windsor" to his name. I like Smith's work from that period, but fer Christ's sake, it was Conan the Barbarian. Come on. And the new material, okay, let's not mince words. It's badly written. Pretentious, present tense prose on the genius of the storytelling in Cerebus and it's not particularly insightful. I'll pass, thanks.

Comics 12/29/2004

This weeks books in no particular order.

Strangers in Paradise Pocket Book 2
The Incredibles #1 & 2
Ultimate Nightmare #4
quit city #1
The Amazing Spider-Man #515
The Invincible Iron Man #2
Ultimate Fantastic Four #14

Reviews to follow.

Comics 12/23/2004

This weeks books in no particular order.

Queen & Country #28
Black Window #4
Wolverine #23
Astonishing X-Men #7
Following Cerebus #2
Creatures of the Night
Ulitmate Elektra #5
GloomCookie #22
Black Hole #12

Reviews to follow.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Avengers 503, Avengers Finale, New Avengers - Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch and Danny Miki

So it's all done and there is a new beginning.

Let's start with the ending. Avengers #503. It's not bad. The art is good. The writing is what it is. I think it works, but I didn't really like it. There are some great bits. It all fits together so neatly. The Scarlet Witch has been unstable for a long time and this is the ultimate culmination of everything that has happend to her over the years.

There are some bad bits. It all fits togehter so neatly. I'm sorry but I've seen this story so many times with this character. It was handled so well and in a very classy way. I loved the use of the Lee/Kirby pages at the end of Avngers #503. But come on. The Avengers are in the biggest trouble they've ever faced and it's the Scarlet Witch, again. Or it's Henry Pym and Ultron or the Vision or, well you get the idea. The biggest problem the Avengers seem to face are their own members. I knew a change was coming with The New Avengers coming out, but I was hoping the event heralding the change would be something new, not more of the same. Instead it was a wrap up that gave us more of we've seen in the Avengers for the past 20 years. It's just very, very disappointing. That's all.

Avengers Finale. Yeah, whatever.

The New Avengers #1. Bendis loves writing Spider-Man. He loves writing Matt Mudock. Not Daredevil. Matt Murdock. You can tell because he really has fun with them. He also puts them into books that they just plain don't fit into. I hope this goes away soon. I hope it gets thrown away as a bad idea sometime in the next few years. These characters just don't belong in The Avengers. The book feels like that horrible relauch of key Marvel titles by Image guys a few years ago. Bleh.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Catch Up Time

I have three weeks worth of books to look at so let's get to it.

B.P.R.D. The Dead #2 - Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis
B.P.R.D. is a great book. I've been enjoying it more that the Hellboy books that have been coming out in the past couple of years. Hellboy feels like he's hit a wall as far has further character development is concerned. I'm haveing a lot more fun watching Liz, Abe and Roger grow and take the spotlight. The last 2 mini series have featured art by Guy Davis which really seals the deal on these stories. There is no one better at this kind of story. If you like this kind of stuff I also recommend Guy Davis' "The Marqius" graphic novels.

Powers #7 - Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
Powers continues to entertain. It's on the buy list. Not as high as it used to be, but still a good read.

the Question #2 - Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards
I'm liking this a lot. I expected to and I haven't been disappointed. Rick Veitch is the right person to bring this character into the 21st century while respecting the characters origins.

Y The Last Man #29 - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra and Jose Marzen, Jr.
Vaughan was trying to be misleading. He was trying to be tricksy. He was both, but the way he got out of it was weak. My basic reaction to the resolution was, "Oh, please. How lame!" That aside, I am still buying and reading this book. I have been cutting my buying drastically, because so many books just suck and I'm tired of paying for sucky books. I'm still buying this book.

Tales of the Vampires Trade Paperback - Joss Whedon and friends
Great fun. If you are a Buffy fan you need to read this. Stories by Joss and other Buffy writers and a great team of artists. One of the best reads of the past month.

Comics 12/15/2004

In the order they came out of the bag.

Little Lulu #1 - Lulu Goes Shopping
Strangers in Paradise - Pocket Book 3
Trigger #1
Ocean #3
The Powerpuff Girls #57
Ultimate Spider-Man # 70
The Wizard King Trilogy - Book One:THe King of the World
American Spelndor - Our Movie Year

Reviews to follow.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Comics 12/8/2004

In the order they came out of the bag.

Powers #7
B.P.R.D. The Dead #2
Fables #32
Rising Stars #23
Demo #12
Uncle Scrooge #333
Shonen Jump #25

Reviews to follow.

Comics 12/1/2004

In the order they came out of the bg.

the Question #2
The Ultimates 2 #1
The Avengers #503
The Avengers Finale
The New Avengers #1
Y The Last Man #29
Tales of the Vampire Trade Paperback
Sleeper: All False Moves

Reviews to follow

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Syphons Curtis and Beachum

Oh, this book sucks! Suckity suck suck suck. It's a reprint of a '90s revival of an 80's series from Calibre and it sucks. I couldn't even read it. I ordered it based on an interesting description of the premise and a piece of decent looking sample art. I am such a moron.

The writing is a mess and the art is impossible to follow. Each individual panel is not bad, but the story telling is just plain bad. The spotting of blacks is completely random and it hurts my eyes just to look at a page for more that a few moments. I tried to read it. Really I did. Several times. I couldn't get more than 6 or 7 pages into it. That's how much it sucks.

You need to understand that I will read almost anything. Once I start a book I have to finish. I'm about 75 pages from the end of Ayn Rand's Atalas Shrugged and I will finish it. It's boring me to tears, but I must finish. I won't finish Syphons. I'm not even going to try.

Bad dialog. Horrible characters. Spastic cheesecake T & A art. This book is beyond sucking.

You know how sometimes a book or a movie (especially a movie) can come out the other side of bad and actually be good in that bad/good way? Well this book doesn't do that. This book is the black hole of sucking. And I spent $15.95 plus tax on it. Moron!

Whew, that feels better.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Amazing Spider-Man #514 Straczynski, Deodato Jr. and Pimentel

Thank goodness that's over. My last pre-ordered issue coincides with the wrap up of the Sins Past arc. If you want to know what I think of this arc take a look at my post on issue #513. I'm not going to re-hash it here. This is just a good-bye to the book. After an great bunch of stories by Staczynski early in his Spidy run, it ends, for me, with a whimper. It was very predictable, right up to the little epilog. I won't give it away here. If you really have to read it the go read it, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Frank Ironwine #1 Ellis and McNeil

Frank Ironwine is pure, unadulterated Warren Ellis. From the zen master detective, Frank Ironwine, who goes on a bender after soving a case then sleeps it off in a garbage bin to the new case he's called on to solve. There are no apologies here. Like it or don't. I like it.

I've been looking forward to the Apparat stunt for a while now. For those of you out of the loop on this, Ellis talked the people at Avatar into creating a fictional comics line for one month. (But just how fictional is a comics line that's being published, even if only for one month?) Ellis has written four first issues of original creations. He hand picked the artistes he wanted to do each book. The books were all supposed to be released in the same week, but scheduling problems scuttled that plan. However that's a minor detail. Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) does a solid job on the art. I can see why Ellis likes to work with her.

The book is a little pricey at $3.50, but there is a lot of story here. This isn't the epic, decompressed story telling of Ellis' Planetary or Ulitmate Fantastic Four. There's a lot going on here and it's nice to pick up a comic that takes more than 5 minutes to read. Frank Ironwine is a book I'd buy again, if there were going to be another issue.

Black Widow #1-3 Morgan, Sienkiewicz and Parlov

I am really enjoying this book. This is a mean, sharp edged Black Widow. This is how I imagine someone who has been through the cold war and gone through the crap Natasha Romanova has gone through would turn out. She's smart, sexy and ruthless.

I don't know if Phil Dexter is an orginal creation of Richard Morgan, but he's a great character who plays well against Natasha's coldness.

Goran Parlov is doing a good job telling the story visually, but it's really Bill Sienkiewicz's work that got me to buy the book and I wish he'd done the layouts as well. This could have been an exceptional book if he had.

The story is pretty basic. Old school cold war Russian agents are being killed and Natasha is on the list. She decides to do something about. That's about it. What makes this a fun read is the character work. I'm not even annoyed by Natasha's narration. Well, not too much anyway. Definately worth a look.