On October 6th at 7 o’clock, Forbidden Planet is going to have a whole slew of amazing creators in-store. Writer James Tynion IV (The Woods, Batman Eternal) and artist Michael Dialynas ( The Woods) will be here as well as writer Marguerite Bennett (Batgirl, Batman), writer Chris Antzoulis (Paladin) and artist Fabio Valle (Paladin) will all be here to sign copies of their respective books. Woo.
Last Monday when I got to work, fellow manager Justin greeted me with a “There’s a book for you coming out this week.” Which can mean one of two things… either there is actually something that I will be excited about, or it’s something really stupid that can be used to make fun of my interests. My taste is simple but specific. I like sex, violence, horror, exploitation and satire. Find me some media with the right mix of all those things and I’m beyond stoked! Unfortunately for every honestly suggested upcoming release (Dinosaurs Attacks, Rue Morgue Special), the crew likes to mock my interests with a skewed version of what you could call a “Matt D book” with less than exciting suggestions (Zombie Tramp, GFT anything). This time was a bit of both…
Justin continues “SuperTrash Hermaphro Chic, Movie Fetish, 21st Century Anxiety. At first I thought it was a book about Hermaphrodite Porn, but it’s a sequel to a movie poster book. Either way I figured you would buy it.” Hermaphrodite Porn joke aside, he was right! I thought Jacques Boyreau’s Portable Grindhouse The Lost Art of the VHS was fine, was blown away by his Sexytime The Post-Porn Rise of the Pornosseur and I loved his Trash The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters, the book that first put Boyreau on my radar. A sequel to Trash? … how could I not give the fine people at Fantagraphics my money. Well I obviously already knew SuperTrash was hitting shelves soon, and yet still thanked Justin for the backhanded suggestion.
Fast-forward to Tuesday afternoon as we open the Diamond shipment and uncover the anticipated tome. SuperTrash delivers! I’m talking a pop culture cornucopia packed from cover to cover with vibrant violent pulp images! Consisting of movie posters, trading cards, magazine covers, comic book art, record sleeves and so much more from the realm under appreciated forms of art, throw in some words of wisdom explaining the Art Trash mindset so even the most mainstream minded can try to wrap their head around the concept of Hermaphro Chic and you have more of an experience than an art book. To me, a flip through SuperTrash is kinda like hanging out at a really cool old school comic shop and just rapping about all the weird items you uncover in those boxes that are under other boxes that are used to prop up the new release shelf.
I’ve been working here at Forbidden Planet for what seems to be almost nine years…. I think, and recently my imprint on the store has been summed up in two words scrawled next to my name on a piece of paper taped to the wall above the desk in the shipping department. To put the words in context, the paper is a list of what type of e-mails should be forwarded to who or what department… it reads as follows.
Toys – Toys (Alec)
Donations – Garbage
Esoteric Stuff – Matt D
I take that as a compliment I guess…
Maybe I should pitch Fantagraphics a book that contains photos of my collection. Well until you can grab a copy of Matt Desiderio’s Esoteric Stuff dig into SuperTrash!
Photos are from the Fantagraphics facebook page.
Before I start screaming about this month’s issue of Saga, I just wanted to give y’all (all 3 of you) a head’s up with what to expect over the next few weeks. Aside from weekly reviews, expect to see a few advanced reviews, a NYCC preview, and hopefully a toy review or two in the coming weeks. I’m excited to share all of this with you the reader, because I like to talk about some (hopefully) cool shit.
Brian K Vaughan/Fiona Staples
SPOILER WARNINGS: HEAVY SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW BE WARNED.
First off, I just wanted to say how much I dig the use of yellow on the front, back and interior covers of this book. It looks really sharp and stands out a lot. Aside from being a well crafted comic, Saga is also a brilliantly designed book, something I appreciate bunches.
So if you’re caught up with this book (HERE COME THE SPOILERS Y’ALL), Brain K Vaughan and Fiona Staples have been teasing the split up of our leads for the last few months. Ever since the announcement via narration, they’ve been dropping a ton of hints of how it was going to go down, killing me slowly. Well this is the issue that is goes down, and when it looks something we’ve been expecting to happen to go down…
Vaughan and Staples pull a 360.
The split still happens I’m sad to say. But not in a way you’re (probably) expecting. And it hurts, believe you me, but the bait and switch does leave some hope. It’s brilliant, as we see why Vaughan used certain words in the way he did. And then the ending hits and we’re given something that’s been building since issue one. It’s an awesome ending that sets the stage of this volume’s end next month all to well.
And while BKV delivers top notch dialogue, Fiona Staples continues to show why she’s won a bunch of awards for this book. The body language, page and panel composition, the colors, the facial expressions-EVERYTHING-is done for a reasons and executed flawlessly. It’s fantastic.
It’s no surprise that Saga #23 delivers. Every issue of has Saga has delivered so far, so why would things be any different this month. It’s HOW the book delivers that makes it stand apart from previous installments of the book. Another flawless installment by arguably the only perfect comic series on the stand today, I cannot stress enough how great this book is.
ENDS OF SPOILERS DON’T WORRY YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THE COLUMN!
Ales Kot/Micahel Walsh/ Matthew Wilson
SHAMELESS PLUG: This book’s writer (Ales Kot) will be signing his new Marvel title (Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier) at the store this Wednesday at 6pm. You should probably swing by and tell him how much you love his work and buy a bunch of his comics.
So yeah, in case the cover didn’t tip you off, it’s a MODOK heavy issue of Secret Avengers, one that fills in some gaps between the previous series and this one. It also reveals some answers to questions raised in the first seven issues of this book, reveals some cosmic horror and has some genuinely laugh out loud moments (especially with that last page).
Something I like about this title is how weird it can be at times without pointing it out. Ales Kot, Michael Walsh and Matthew Wilson (who’s does some amazing things with colors this months) blend espionage with humor and some really gonzo elements of the Marvel Universe that remind you that this is a spy comic that takes place in a world of spandex wearing heroes. It’s not afraid to not take itself seriously at times, and look great while doing so.
Secret Avengers is a book that feels like Warren Ellis and Jim Steranko tackled a Avengers book set in the movie’s continuity but were given free range to do whatever they wanted. The end results are as equally bizarre as they are amazing.
Jason Latour/Robbi Rodriguez/Rico Renzi
As someone who got into comics when he was younger due to Spider-Man, it’s funny how very little I actually read about the Wall-Crawler these days. I haven’t bought a physical issue of a Spider-book in some time, and I’m only catching up on Superior Spider-Man now via the Marvel Unlimited app.
That being said, when Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman was first announced, I was more than ready to spend money on this comic. The design by Robbi Rodriguez was hot to death, and the concept of having Gwen get bit instead of Peter really appealed to me. I’m not to interested in Spider-verse all that much, but I figured picking up this one shot couldn’t hurt.
Now that I have the issue in my hand and have read it a few times over, I have to admit I’m a little disappointed by it. I hate to toss shade at writer Jason Latour, but he played it a little too safe this debut issue. There’s a lot of cool stuff introduced and I lot of concepts I like, I’m just bummed out that we may not see any of play out fully in the near future. I know Spider-Gwen is going to be popping up all over the Spider-Verse event and the tie ins, but I want to know more about her world. It’s a good script, and it did a find job of leaving me wanting more, I just wish I was a little more satisfied with what I got to begin with.
That being said, visually the book looks great. Robbi Rodgriguez and Rico Renzi were the perfect artists to handle this one shot, as this story has all the pop and flair you want form a Spider-book. Gwen looks fantastic in action, and her amazing (UGH BAD PUN) costume really stands out. On a visual level I couldn’t be more satisfied with EoSM 2.
But yeah. Edge #2 is a good comic, but I was expecting a great comic. Hopefully Latour, Rodriguez & Reniz will have a chance at Spider-Gwen again sometime in the future.
Brian Michael Bendis.Kris Anka
Chris Bachalo‘s cover is easily one of the best UXM has been grace with since this 2013 relaunch. I really like it,(it serves as an excellent looking methaphor for the inner demons Cyclops is battling), so it may sound weird that I’m about to say that I’m glad he didn’t handle the interior art for this issue.
Uncanny X-men #26 addresses the fallout from 25 and how it’s gonna haunt the modern X-men. An uneasy alliance form, and questions and doubts rise in a really emotional issue of Uncanny X-men.
Which is why I’m glad Kris Anka drew this issue. Anka’s the type of artist you want to convey emotion in your comic, and he does a great job of selling Brian Michael Bendis‘ dialogue. He managed to hit the action pieces just as well, and the end result is a finely crafted comic, especially when you factor in how great the coloring is too.
Bendis by the way does an excellent job of writing an side of Bobby Drake we’ve never seen, as well as a Cyclops at his lowest. This was the sort of emotional baggage that should have been addressed sooner, but with Anka and Bendis handling it so well now, I’m okay with the wait.
If you hit the shop this week you may noticed that All New X-men dropped as well. I’m done with the book for this time being opting to go the trade route with it. Uncanny X-men, on the other hand, has become the X-book I don’t want to trade wait for. Between the 2 different art teams and Brian Michael Bendis’ solid scripts, it’s easily the superior X-book on the stands.
Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson/Clayton Cowles
Getting real tired of coming up with ways to praise this book. Part of me just wanted to leave it at “buy this book I already hit 500 words, just trust me”, but that’s kinda half assing things. So instead I’ll do a handy little checklist as you why you should read it if you’re not.
Is Wicked+ Div still a gorgeous looking book thanks to the talents of Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson? YES
Is Kieron Gillen‘s dialogue still incredibly clever and hilarious? YES
Is Wic+Div still the type of book that asks a little more from it’s reader instead of dumbing it down for mass appeal? YES
Is the murder mystery involving gods still incredibly compelling? Also are said gods also super interesting and insanely well designed? YES, although this issue is heavy on the Tron homage.
So yeah, The Wicked + The Divine is still great, in case I wasn’t clear enough above. It’s American Gods meets Phonograms, which is the type of mash up I live for. It arguably has the most diverse cast in comics outside of Saga or Mighty Avengers, and some of the best character interactions in comics today.
Writer Fred Van Lente and Artist Pere Perez will be joining us on October 1st at 6pm to celebrate their run on Archer & Armstrong! Number 25 marks an anniversary issue with an all-star studded cast of creators joining Van Lente and Perez on the book, for what is sure to be an awesomely bombastic issue. Don’t miss your chance to get it signed by its awesomely bombastic creative team.
On October 1st Forbbidden Planet is pleased to once again have Mr. Ales Kot (Secret Avengers, Zero) as our in-store creator guest to sign copies of his brand new comic from Marvel- Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier #1. We will be kicking things off at 6pm.
No… Matt D is presenting a VHS screening of Furious!
Video Vortex Presents Furious
Wednesday September 17th 8PM
Get Tickets Here… http://drafthouse.com/movies/video-vortex-furious/nyc_area
Tickets only $1! Hosted by Matt Desiderio (Horror Boobs) and Mike Hunchback (Seminal Psychosis). Bring your tapes! We’ll be set up for a tape trade, with rare VHS tapes also available for sale.
Special thanks to Scarecrow Video for making this screening possible!Video introduction from director Tim Everitt!
Reality is the enemy. We escape into movies and books and comics and our homicidal fantasies because the world we live in isn’t as satisfying as it should be. Occasionally, one of these fictional destinations proves to be so uniquely exciting that we never want to leave. FURIOUS is one of those places; an unexplored dimension populated by cackling sorcerers, whispering statues, fat adolescent warriors and lots and lots of live chickens. FURIOUS is power. It’s magic. It’s a kaleidoscopic siege on the concept of storytelling. And FURIOUS is “RED HOT KARATE ACTION! Filmed entirely on location in Southern California!” FURIOUS has no right to exist. But it does. There’s no fathoming its creation. It’s a movie with 10,000 ideas but zero story; impossible ambition coupled with the desire to alienate anyone watching. Filming a feature on 35mm is expensive, and so is interdimensional travel, or a giant, fire-breathing dragon with entire human skeletons between its teeth. But FURIOUS laughs off these challenges. Money is no object when reality is no option. The only remaining explanation is that it sprang fully formed from some spiritual and intellectual void, a starving chasm of chaotic darkness that feeds off the shock and confusion of human viewers. So feed it. FEED IT. (Zack Carlson, via Bleeding Skull)
Join the facebook event page… https://www.facebook.com/events/690244494397136/
G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Ian Herring
Look at that cover. It is a cover that is made of 100% pure joy, as well as paper and probably some chemicals.
Ms. Marvel has been a delight since day 1, but issue 8 may just be my favorite issue to date. As you can tell from the cover, Lockjaw of the Inhumans shows up, possibly in the most amazing and adorable fashion. Which I think is ultimately why I liked this issue so much, because it is the cutest thing to ever cute a cute. G Willow Wilson has done a lot to make Kamala not a stereotypical teenage girl character, so seeing the new Ms Marvel actually go head over feet for her new pet is more of a delight than it is insulting. Her Ms Marvel is a character that’s very 3 dimensional, so seeing her a different side of her every so often is fun.
Issue 8 also sees the return of artist Adrian Alphona, who absolutely owns his return. The book’s art certainly didn’t suffer during his break, especially with master colorist Ian Herring on colors but Alphona’s style is unique, so having him back just feels right. And we as readers are rewarded to some great art that’s beautifully weird, and packed full of small details and hidden jokes. It’s also great to see how Adrian illustrates the use of Ms Marvel’s powers, leading to some cool and hilarious visuals.
Ms Marvel continues to be one of the best books on the stands today, and it’s mostly due to the level of talent and dedication the creative team brings to this book. From cover to cover, the book is a refreshing alternative to most super hero books and is a ton of fun.
Matt Fraction/Annie Wu. Matt Hollingsworth
With the release of issue 20, we only have 2 issues of Hawkeye left. I am the saddest of Chris’ over this fact. The 3 sad faces above prove that.
Issue 20 is artist Annie Wu‘s final issue on the series, and ultimately wraps up Kate Bishop’s California adventure. A lot of questions are resolved and a few reveals are had, making for a satisfying, but not necessarily the happiest of endings.
While the book is a bit of a downer at times, the creators do a fantastic job on this comic. Annie Wu’s art is super expressive, and the range of emotions she can put into her characters and environments is impressive. Poor Kate Bishop takes a beating in this issue, and Wu does a bang up job of showing it, with some nasty bruises, bandages and messed up hair. But her Hawkeye is a warrior, and the final 2 pages show how much of a bad ass Katie-Kate can be when push comes to shove. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors really do Annie Wu pencils justice, mixing a lot of bright colors you’d associate with California with the traditional Hawkeye purple. It’s the same flat coloring style you see when David Aja is drawing the book, but it’s different enough to compliment Annie Wu’s style in all the right ways.
Matt Fraction‘s script of course brings the entire package together. His dialogue is sharp, the reveals he drops land and nothing feels out of place. It’s impressive to see how much he got out of Kate’s “new” supporting cast in such a brief period of time spent with them, but they all feel so fleshed out. And his Kate also remains a fun character that you can help but cheer for, especially when some of the shit hits the fans. He’s done wonders for the character, and I consider him the definitive voice of Kate, despite having nothing to do with her creation.
With this and Superior Foes of Spider-Man wrapping up soon, I’m really bummed to see 2 of my favorite books come to an end. However much like SUP FOES, Hawkeye’s ending seems like it’s coming to a natural ending point, and I’m sure the creators will stick the landing. The Kate Bishop California adventure does suffer a bit due to countless delays, but ultimately it does it’s job of ending one story and setting up the final story. I don’t want this book to end y’all, but I’m eager to see what Fraction, Hollingsworth and David Aja do with the final 2 issues after this issue.
Here we have the more “Affordable” $3 and $4 books. Insert back in my day rant here.
Sam Humphries, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, David Curiel
Light Spoiler Warning: Kitty Pryde appears in a banana suit in this comic. 10/10, Book of the Month.
I’m not sure how much access Sam Humphries had to James Gunn’s GOTG script before the movie and this comic launched, but I would not be surprised if you told me he knew everything about the movie’s plot before writing this book. This Star Lord feels a lot like the movie version, only with an updated taste in music.
This third issue of GOTG is a hoot. It’s a nice little done and one that expands Quill’s support cast, and undoubtedly plans a seed or 2 for future stories. Paco Diaz, Juan Vlasco and David Curiel still continue to deliver month after month, making this book look as good as it deserves to. Legendary Star Lord is a ton of fun, and I’m glad the success of the Guardians movie allowed this book to happen.
Tom King/Tim Seeley/Stephen Mooney
On paper I should hate this comic. The art is barely serviceable, it’s a tie-in to an event book/weekly series I’m not reading, and it’s starts on a major downer. In a way, it comes off as the type of comics that’s kept me away from DC in that past.
Despite a lot working against it, I ended up LOVING Grayson: Future’s End. It’s Batman meets Momento, where the book continuously flashing back to the past, ending at a beginning. Tim Seeley and Tom King take a risk with the plot of this comic, and despite all odds, pull it off with some incredible results.
It’s just a shame that this book doesn’t look as good as it has in the past. I’m not sure why regular series artist Mikel Janin isn’t present, but guest artist Stephen Mooney doesn’t posses the same talent. It also worries me that we’re having guest artists only 3 issues in.
Ultimately this book is saved by the story and dialogue. King’s own spy experience comes into play here, and you’ll want to re-read this issue once you figure out a certain plot element. Im also curious as to see if a few of the plot points introduced in this book are going to play out in the future of this book or not.
I encourage anyone who’s enjoyed the first 2 issues of Grayson to pick up this issue. Despite the dip in the quality of art, it’s still a good book that’s worth the $3.
Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Rachelle Rosenberg
Anyone who’s been reading SUP FOES for the last year could tell you the formula of this book. The previous ending is address in the first few pages, the Sinister
6 5 get out of one jam and into another, things look up for the team and the final page blows that to hell, setting up the next issue.
With the book wrapping up at #17, this issue turns the dial up to 11. The Sinister
5 4, chalk up several wins this time around, which only means things are going to get real bad for them real quick. This arc is called “Gang War” for a few reasons and readers will know why by the time they hit page 20.
Creators Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber and Rachelle Rosenberg are doing some career defining stuff with this book. We finally get to set the Sinister ( insert number here) work together as a team, but the creators have been on same page since day one, making this one of the most constantly great book on the stands.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man continues to be everything I want from a comic: humor, action and fully fleshed out characters. Issue 15 is all of that, and as sad as I am to see this book wrapping up, I have no doubt it will absolutely stick it’s landing.
Oh snap, it’s a two part review article for this week! I pulled a whopping 5 books , as well as a few trades, so expect ALL COMICS ALL THE TIME articles for the next 2 weeks. Yeah I know, that’s kind of business as usual for me, but I’m choosing to do that over word- vomiting over the release of TWO new Cyclops action figures, so pretend it’s special this time around.
I’ve divided the books up as the following: Comics that cost $5 and comics that don’t cost $5. We’ll be looking at the $5 books first (which unsurprisingly are both Marvel books), because…well because I said so dammit.
Gerry Duggan/Matteo Lolli/Cristiane Peter
I’ll be honest, this book was a tough sell for me when it was initially announced. I haven’t bought a straight-up Deadpool book in years, and I tend to be very weary of books starring Hawkeye not written by Matt Fraction or Ales Kot. The $5 price tag certainly did help things either, and I figured that is it was good, trade waiting it would be a valid option.
HOWEVER, after flipping through the first issue of said at the shop, I ended up liking what I saw and decided to take a chance on it. And you know what, I’m glad it did, but this book hit me in all the right ways. Gerry Duggan has proven he can tell a good Deadpool story plenty of times in the proper Deadpool series, and while Matteo Lolli is no David Aja, his art definitely works for this story.
The plot summary is as following: it’s Halloween night, and Deadpool and some folk familiar to both books are out trick or treating in a certain Avenger’s building. One of Hawkguy’s tenants has got himself in some trouble, so now Wade and Clint have some super heroing to do. The only problem is that don’t necessary want to work together as bro,s bros.
That by the way, brings me to my sole issue with this comic. We’ve seen Deadpool and Hawkeye work together in the past, last year in A+X, and currently in Secret Avengers. I may be playing the role of TURBO NERD here, but there’s material currently being published ( Thunderbolts, Hawkeye, the just mentioned Secret Avengers) thatclashes with this book. Maybe it with all make sense once those stories are all told, but only time will tell.
Continuity-nerd-issues aside, the book itself is fun. Both Lolli and Duggan obviously have some experience with Deadpool with past works, so it’s no surprise that the Deadpool stuff is handled really well. A little head’s up though, this book is DEEP into the current events of the main Deadpool series, so you may be a little confused about a thing or two if you’re not caught up on it.
That being said, the big surprise is how well the Hawkeye side of things are managed is handled. There are a lot of clever nods to Fraction/Aja’s run, including 2 double spreads that parody the 2 most celebrated issues of Hawkeye.
Obviously any encounter between Hawkeye and Deadpool should be humorous, and the jokes do not disappoint. Duggan knows how to handle mixing humor and action well, and the laughs land more than miss. Visually, Lolli and color artist Cristiane Peter are great, giving the book a clean, bright look that reminds me a lot of the late and great Mike Wieringo’s work.
Ultimately, this book isn’t going to win any awards or redefine the medium, but it’s a fun read for fans of the characters. If you’ve been enjoying Hawkeye and/or Deadpool, you’re sure to enjoy this double sized debut. If you want this to be your entry book to both characters though, you may want to look elsewhere.
Brian Michael Bendis/Chris Bachalo/ Several Inkers
I’ll be honest, this book can be summed up as a double sized issue where the X-men stand around and react to a retcon. That may not be your cup of tea, especially when you factor in that it’s $5 and there’s still a chapter in this arc to go.
That being said, if you don’t mind that sort of thing, it’s a compelling as hell issue. Chris Bachalo returns to draw the hell out of this issue, despite him not knowing how Kitty’s Pryde modern costume works at times, or Cyclops mask reappearing at random.
Those minor issues aside, the book looks great. The army of inkers complement Bachalo’s pencils and colors well, giving the book a crisp, bold, cohesive look. Cohesive and GREAT mind you, as Bachalo delivers some really powerfully scene, both emotionally and action wise. Also the way he colors Iceman is great, as it looks like actual ice.
Brian Michael Bendis isn’t a slouch either mind you, but your opinion on the script may be different from mine. I’m a fan of the retcons he’s introducing, but it’s bringing Xavier into some scorched earth territory. If you’re an Charles Xavier fan, you may have a bone or two to pick with these reveals, but I’m strictly on Team Cyclops Was Right, and am digging Bendis doing some new stuff here.
Again, at $5, this issue of Uncanny X-men comes down to a matter of taste. If you’ve been a fan Uncanny’s direction since the Bendis relaunch, you’ll probably like issue 25. If you’re only thinking of jumping aboard because Original Sin is on the cover, you can skip it.
Hey y’all. I just spent the last 5 days in Atlanta, attending DragonCon and attempting to find Ludacris. I was not very successful in the later, unless Luda was disguised as an otter at the Atlanta Aquarium. Which I sadly doubt was the case. Anywho, I’m back, so comics time is now.
Jim Zub/ Steve Cummings/ John Rauch/ Marshall Dillon
It’s rare for my wife to beat me to the punch when it comes to launch of new comics, but it was the case with Wayward‘s debut. Apparently one of the covers (there’s roughly a million of them btw) caught her attention months ago via Tumblr, and it made a big enough impression on her that she made sure I picked it up for her last week.
There’s a lot to like in this debut issue of Wayward. It has a cool story hook, solid art by Steve Cummings, fresh dialogue by Jim Zubb, and John Rauch‘s outstanding coloring that really makes this book pop out at times. It’s not exactly the deepest read, but a cute and fun debut with some ultra violence.
My only problem with Wayward is that there’s a character who comes off as several manga/anime cliches rolled into one. Hopefully the character will be developed more as the series continues, but her debut leaves something to be desired. Aside from that it’s a fun read, assuming you go into it thinking it’s the next Saga or The Wicked + The Divine. The book certainly doesn’t pretend to be, and it’s ultimately stronger for it.
Brian Michael Bendis/ Mahmud Asar/ Marte Gracia
Mahmud Asar comes back this month to launch the newest story arc in All New X-men, and his art here is much stronger than his previous fill in from earlier in the year. Issue 31 sees the team go after a new mutant all by themselves, and results in the 5 young X-men ending up in another Marvel universe. Which one you may ask? One that writer Brian Michael Bendis has been heavily involved in for years.
Asrar’s art is solid, but I think it’s a bit of a step down from the previous issue. His art isn’t as dynamic as Immonen or Pichelli’s, and a lot heavier on the black inks than the two of them, but still is serviceable. He handles the few actions scenes well, and his final page is particularly solid, definitely getting the reader hyped for what’s to come.
And even with a new artist, Bendis and series colorists Marte Gracia strive, making ANXM #31 another enjoyable issue. I’m curious to see what this storyline has in store for the readers, and am hoping that it continues to upkeep the level of excellence brought to this book by Stuart Immonen.
Brian K Vaughan/Fiona Staples
The painful event we knew was going to happen finally hits critical mass in Saga #22. BKV and Fiona Staples have been slowly been building up to it for months, but now the poop has hit the fan something fierce and things are going to get real bad real quick.
It’s impressive what Brian K Vaughan and Staples can do and do so well in a 22 page comic. We’re finally introduced to a long teased character, reintroduced to a few returning favorites and still have plenty of room for the story to advance. And by advance I mean destroy the readers in a mere 4 pages.
And those 4 pages man. Everything from the body language to the dialogue is perfect, making this, what is surely the first of several heart crushing blows, all the more devastating.
They say it’s always darkest before dawn, but man, this sort of darkness makes me sad. A great comic none the less, just one that you should not read without something to hug near by.
“Seconds” is the third comic from creator Bryan Lee O’Malley.
“Seconds” follows Katie, the chef/auteur creator of the best restaurant in the city, Seconds. She started the restaurant with all her friends, who have all since moved onto other ventures while Katie remained. With all her friends gone, she dreams of opening a new restaurant called “Katie’s,” with the excuses that the name fits on the pre-existing marquee of Lucky’s, the dilapidated building she bought to house her new endeavors.
Alright enough synopses, let’s talk formally. Second’s is by far the most well-crafted comic O’Malley has ever put out. The quality of cartooning and world building is top notch, something clearly O’Malley has a knack for as he’s shown us over the course of his career. The inclusion of color at the onset of this project (as opposed to the post coloring of Scott Pilgrim (which is colored by Nathan Fairbairn the same fella who colors this book)) keeps the work from being disconnected, or rather that one of the balls could drop in the perpetual juggling act that is making comics. That formalism aside, Fairbairn is a truly incredible colorist who fits O’Malley’s work like you’re dad’s old flannel you stole from his closet.
The most impressive thing (from a cartoonist’s point of view possibly…) may be how well O’Malley pulls off collaboration with three different creators on a book sold by his name alone. Having the drawing assistance of Jason Fischer and letters by the great Dustin Harbin is inspired. All too often, comics fall apart simple because the people collaborating on the project don’t completely synchronize into one vision. Writing can be great, drawing superb, but for whatever reason the people working together just don’t (man motions with both hands coming together with his finger’s interlaced). “Seconds” however does not suffer from this in the slightest. The “O’Malley Studio” syncs up without a stich to be shown despite being able to see the difference in drawing styles of Fischer and O’Malley, or the craftsmanship of Harbin versus the looser brush style of O’Malley.
The characters carry three dimensions though interestingly are not characters we all know. That is to say, they aren’t caricatures, you may know people in your life that are say a “Max or Katie Type,” but they have some many affects to their personality you would forever need to temper the phrase “Oh you’re toooootallly a Katie” with “Except you don’t yadayadayadayada.”
One issue I have with this book, that many disagree with me on, is an inherent issue I find with every comic that is attempting to be “novelistic.” O’Malley has said that he wanted this comic to be more like a book, hence I’m assuming the choice to have it put out by a book publisher as opposed to a comic publisher, though I’m sure distribution and money always play a heavy role. The issue I’m writing about is the extreme use of narration and exposition. The use of text is heavy, with little use of simple pictures being used to tell parts of the story. It falls into a category of comics that almost come off as “Learn How to Read Comics” or “Comics For Normal People.” An example being Alison Bechdel comics, where in the text is so heavy that the pictures rarely have a chance to shine. This argument is not to discredit the amazing and forward thinking work Bechdel and O’Malley both create or the moot argument of “Why Not Just Make It A Prose Book?” These people are cartoonist and they are telling the stories they want to tell in their medium, that’s not the issue. The issue is why not use the pictures More? There is scarcely an action that isn’t also accompanied by text describing what is happening. I can understand O’Malley’s want to be more novelistic in his approach to comics making but find it a lost opportunity to push the his own story-telling style where-in there is not just the surface quality of the picture making and the interesting story he threads for you, but also a more personalized vision of digestion. For the intricate Groundhog’s Day story that “Seconds” is there is little in the way of interesting Visual Story-Telling.
That very personal critique aside, (sorry everyone) Seconds is well worth your time. O’Malley is a supremely talented individual whose work remains consistently strong and consistently gets stronger. Go get Seconds so you cannot wait for his next book.
Hey today’s my birthday! Totally not relevant to anything we’re going to discuss tonight, except for like 1 gag, but you can wish me a happy birthday in the comments section if you dare!
Ales Kot/Michael Walsh/Matthew Wilson
Deadpool and Hawkeye team-up time is exactly the type of birthday gift I wanted. Thank you team Secret Avengers.
Deadpool is a character that if not handled properly can ruin your story and bringing any momentum to a screeching halt. Luckily, that’s not the case for Secret Avengers #7, where Deadpool’s 4th Wall breaking and straight up insanity makes for a hell of a read. It also helps that Ales Kot’s version of the character is genuinely funny here, using himself to interact with Wade on the page.It’s not the first time we’ve gotten such, but it’s certainly the best execution of it in awile.
Michael Walsh, Matthew Wilson & VC’s Clayton Cowles also get in on the fun, providing some hilarious (and sometimes chicken-based) visual gags and sound effects. The book has been plenty funny in the past, but this issue really takes things to the next level all while advancing the plot. Walsh and co also do a lot of experimenting with layouts, using double spreads, pages with 10+ panels and some other interesting choices that I rather not spoil. It’s the title of art that deserves more praise than it’s getting.
Secret Avengers was a great book in a week that saw a lot of strong releases. It’s the type of Marvel Comic that justified the $4 price tag.
G. Willow Wilson/ Jacob Wyatt/ Ian Herring
Jacob Wyatt‘s 2 issue guest stint on Ms Marvel returns this week with a delightful wrap of. Kamala’s team up with Wolverine has the pair fight a giant alligator and deal with a classic death trap while discussing Ms. Marvel’s new career path. Under lesser creators, this book would risk being preachy, almost a “very special episode” type of book. Luckily for us, the readers, the creative team remains flawless, and the end result is a very good comic.
I’m the type of dude who doesn’t like Wolverine, as I’ve suffering from Wolverine exhaust ever since I got into comics. That being said, Wolverine hanging out with teen lady super heroes is something I like…..oh man, I just re-read that past sentence, I apologize how creepy it sounds. Sorry :/
Creepy-ass commentary is now over. And since G Willow Wilson is pretty much perfect on this issue, which ends on a super fun note, we’ll talk about Jacob Wyatt some more. I really loved his art during this arc, as he was just as expressive and animated as regular artist Adrian Alphona, but very much of his own style. His Khamala is adorable, which….nope, no more creepy as commentary, sorry.
But yeah, another enjoyable Ms Marvel, with some great art, fantastic dialogue and the set up for some really awesome guest stars. All under a highly amusing cover by Jamie McKelvie that dropped right during selfie-month in DC. Forbidden Planet’s best selling series is a best seller for a reason, and the quality seen in this issue is proof of that.
Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie Matthew Wilson/Clayton Cowles.
Brilliant, simply brilliant.
Much like the first 2 issues, the Wicked + the Divine is a gorgeous books that has some of the best dialogue in comics. It’s also incredible smart, and isn’t afraid to challenge the readers, making you wanting to re-read it several time to pick up on everything.
Also the Stephanie Hans variant is gorgeous and continues my streak of buying variant covers for this series.
And it’s just not Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie doing some career defining stuff. Matthew Wilson (again) color’s are the realness, and Clayton Cowle‘s lettering is the type that you stand up and take notice off. It’s several creators coming together to make a fantastic comic.
Wicked/Divine is one of those books that makes picking out a favorite Image book difficult. While it may initally come across as collections of Gillen’s greatest hits (Music and Gods as themes), it’s definitely taken it’s own form and the results couldn’t be better. It’s an amazing comics, one that stands out among a week of fantastic releases.