Wednesday, May 06, 2009

New Comics Day

More like cool comics day!

Blackest Night 0
Power Girl (!)
Fin Fang Four Return (!)
Pherone (!!)
Seaweed (!!!)

I do not pay much attention to things like Free Comic Book Day, because the last thing I need is more comics. So little attention did I pay that I wasn't even aware of DC's giveaway kicking off Green Lantern's Blackest Night. And then it goes flying ever-so-freely off the counter disappearing for good. Luckily one of the few perks of my hobby is being recognized as a regular Green Lantern reader at the local comics shop, and the fine folks at Austin Books were able to mysteriously produce an issue as if from the very mists of Brigadoon. Score.

Ah, but the primo offering form DC this week is actually Power Girl #1. I was torn in buying the issue or waiting for the trade, but in the end the art by Amanda Conner won out. Silly me will probably buy the trade, too, so much do I love her work. I even bought Conner's cover, even tho the variant Adam Hughes cover is very, very nice.

What a surprise! Marvel follows up one of their best one-shots (from "Marvel Monsters" a ways back) with Fin Fang Four Return! Aw man, that Rodger Langridge art is too sweet. The book is funny as all get out, and kind of says a lot towards the kind of book from Marvel that I'll actually purchase these days.

An unexpected treat is Viktor Kalvachev's hardcover Pherone, collecting his stories first run in Heavy Metal. This book is slick as all get out, Kalvachev's amazing art being the number one point of sale. His work is a distillation of the visceral black and white punch of Frank Miller, the dynamics of Howard Chaykin, and the refined discipline of Brian Stelfreeze. The content itself is hard-hitting noir with dames and dirtbags throughout. Goergeous book.

Finally, this week I picked up one of the most amazing books I've seen in a long long time. Seaweed, by animator and character designer par excellence Ben Balistreri. It's a wonderfully oversized 12"x15" hardcover that makes the crisp, animated art style a joy to look at. The story follows Captain Seaweed on a high adventure over the salty seas, with a broad cast of characters that are, well... cool. It's personal work like this that really shines a light on how bland the vast majority of commercial offerings are in both visuals and content. If the main story isn't enough, a fair portion of the book's back end shows Balistreri's working process, providing wonderful insight into such a large project's trepidations among raw artistic talent. Thankfully Balestreri's blog notes another volume is in the works, so I hope this first one receives the sales and recognition it deserves. Seaweed is just plain great, and gets my highest recommendation.

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