Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Comics Day

Good stuff this week!
FC: Rage of the Red Lanterns
Empowered v4 (!!)
Kill Your Boyfriend (!)

Empowered 4!!!! Empowered 4!!!! My love for this series is high and mighty, I cannot wait to crack it open and dig thru the myriad of Warrenesque superhero shenanigans. While repleat with scrumptious and hyperkinetic artwork, Empowered is also one of the best examples of Adam Warren's uncanny writing skills that instantly endear you to new characters, a ridiculously rare skill not found in 99% of new properties. Even rooted in comicbook hero canon, Empowered introduces new and fresh concepts snuggled ever-so-deftly into the zeitgeists of pop culture, something many (many) books could take lesson from.

Kill Your Boyfriend is one of my all time favorite comics. It's just been re-released in a snazzy new edition, if you haven't read it, just buy it already. It's Grant Morrison spinning yarn at his non-superhero best. The art by Philip Bond, another fave of mine, is a perfect match. In fact I think it was Kill Your Boyfriend that first introduced me to Bond.

Final Crisis, Rage of the Red Lanterns, it's the only FC tie-in I've picked up. Or that I have a desire to, In that I've a continued interest in the Lantern Spectrum storyline. The book is (while not my highest endorsement) written by Geoff Johns, who is directing all things Green, so the FC tie in appears more of a marketing decision than something directly tied to whatever the Final Crisis turns out to be.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Comics Day

Final Secret Crisis Invasion!

Final Crisis
Secret Invasion
Northlanders v1

Secret Invasion, okay. As it has, it looks amazing, but reads a little less so. I found the epic scenes this ish to be a bit more worthy, and I feel they could have been even more so if such things hadn't been over emphasized in previous issues. Here at the tail end, I was really hoping for more of a mindfuck. Some consequence, even. Silly me, right? There is a possibility that the last issue could turn everything upside down, but I'm not counting on it.

Over in Crisis land, man I tell you I still don't know what the actual "crisis" is. At least with Infinite Crisis there was a driving plotline, if negligibly defined as a "crisis," and the outcome of the restored multiverse. I do want Morrison do do his thing, but in regards to the DCU, what thing is that exactly? I see the direction of the story, and the conflicts involved, but have yet to make the connection to the universe spanning crisis and its supposed finality.

On the FC subject of artistry musical chairs, Jones cannot be faulted for being unable to finish the book if it was DC's decision to pull in some ringers. This ish was way late and momentum counts in crossover events. And the finishing choices of Pacheco and Manhke are strong contenders each for my wanting to have seen them on the whole series, let alone a chapter or two. Regular comics readers know that the choices and execution could have been much, much worse.

I dug the look and feel of Northlanders, but decided to pass on the floppies. Northlanders to me is the perfect book to pick up as a trade, and for Vertigo to start releasing exclusively as trades. Vertigo does need to make careful choices here to meet costs, where the Northlanders trade uses a lighter paper stock, the coloring and art style of the book works well with it. As a side note, the trusty sales clerk pointed out to me that the trade costs $15 less than the individual issues. Trades are the future, people.

One more note on trades and paper. Today marked the release of the first volume of very nice hardcovers for Y the Last Man. Excellent, clean package and great paper. I've since sold off my collection of Y and looked at this series of hardcovers as a likely replacement candidate. If you'd like to get into Y, or like me replace your issues, this is a great way to go.

BONUS!! Hulk # 7 oooooh yeahhh... An issue divided between Art Adams and Frank Cho??!! DREAM DUO.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

99 Bullets

From DC's solicitations for 100 Bullets #99,

"...this is not a jumping-on point in case you were wondering."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No Comics Day

No comics of interest for me this week, but a couple good pickups nonetheless.

I've been a follower of Illustration Magazine for some time. Whenever I'm down or blue about the state of art in the world today, along comes Illustration to remind me of all the greats that came before; dreams of the future of art need only look to its past to see the unbridled potential. Every issue is an amazing look at the history of the form at its best, and the last few issues have been have been extra so.

Speaking of amazing Illustration, I also picked up Mike Hoffman's Newspaper Girls, a fantastic collection of experimental pinups Hoffman did over the course of a year-- all with a sharpie on actual newspaper pages. Super cool.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Comics Day

A sweet book and some comics.

Green Lantern
Green Lantern Corps
Young Liars
Hellboy Library v2

I tell you, I cannot resist such things as the Hellboy Library Editions. That is because I both love Hellboy and have a library. Oversized, clothbound hardcovers packed with great stories and art are good old fashioned biblioporn.

Every once in a while, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps ship the same week. Maybe on purpose, maybe just because the release schedules fall out of sync. On one hand you'd like to offer comics readers and GL fans something to return to the store for and pick up every other week, spread out the spending. Especially in light of other potential offerings like oversized, clothbound hardcovers. On the other hand, just give GL fans an extra helping of what they like all together. It's an odd call.

But What I'd like to talk to you about today is David Lapham's Young Liars. Not because it's a good book. Because it is a cray-zee goooood book. It started as a wild adventure romp amongst friends starting local and moving international, with quirk tumbling over quirk amidst strained relationships bearing monumental emotional baggage and history. This is doled out in little chunks throughout a madcap run-and-gun and was addictive as the series established its start.

But now as the story enters its second arc, things have gone batshit insane and it is awesome. Things previously hinted at about Sadie's character are expanded on in bizarre and unexpected ways. Her actual story takes center stage rather than the antics of the character that demanded it in chapters prior. Sure, practically anything goes as far as the series has been setting up so far. But writer/artist Lapham takes that shit all the way south into realms of absurdity that can only be observed as genius. The book is at times brash and harsh, at others a roller-coaster of the improbable. Ridiculously entertaining, it's a book I must read as each new issue comes forth and simply can't wait for the trade.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Comics Day

Top 10
Vampirella Crimson Chron. Maximum
Savage Sword of Conan

Top 10? Aroo? Where did this come from? It may not be Alan Moore behind the curtain but it is Gene Ha and Zander Cannon, and that ain't bad. Um, waitaminnit. Wasn't Gene Ha supposed to be doing Authority? Oh, no, that was abandoned and Authority started over again this summer. WildStorm is a clusterfuck on a good day.

But here's a treat: Vampirella Crimson Chronicles Maximum, v1. Luscious late 60's-early 70's art in delectable black and white, by artists who know how to draw. I'm telling you, this shit is bananas. Plenty of Vampi cheesecake to boot, snuggled inside those wacky tales of a bygone comics era.

Treat number two is a companion of sorts, Savage Sword of Conan v4, also a boon of black and white goodness. But WHY Dark Horse WHY? Why did you wait until volume FOUR to start printing on the good paper??? I am mystified as much as I am enthralled by the now extra-crisp Buschema art.