Tagged: 100 Bullets

TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 9: Rebel Spies Managed To Steal Secret Plans…

I am writing this column a day earlier than I usually do in hopes that with more time it will be better written and better researched. Weird thing is I didn’t do any more research and I am not sure why I would be a better writer at 3AM on a Saturday than I am at 3AM on a Sunday. Let’s chalk this one up to pointless planning and once again celebrate procrastination.

The one exciting thing about this week’s column is it’s my 9th. My final single digits column. So sad. To celebrate I will be rewarding 9 lucky readers with a no expenses paid date with Forbidden Planet’s resident Shipping Monster/Skinny Pants-Wearer, Ben. You thought I was going to offer up Tech Wizard/Baby Eagle, Tyler, didn’t you? Here’s the thing. Tyler reads this column. He has to. Hi Tyler. He would edit this part out before you all ever got close to hand feeding him the baby shrimp he eats for every meal. I am pretty sure Ben does not read this and I am very sure he can’t stop it before it comes out, hence my contest offering him up as a prize. Good luck everyone. May the best 9 men or women win. Anyway, there are a lot of good books out this week and I ran out of jokes in mid January so let’s get on with the show, shall we?

New Deadwardians TP

There are a few publishers in the world that have such an amazing vision, such a unique and well cultivated sensibility, that their brand can be trusted without question, their logo on a book jacket is basically a greenlight for smart readers. Vertigo has always been at the forefront of those publishers. Sandman, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Preacher, V For Vendetta, 100 Bullets, Transmetropolitan, Invisibles, Scalped, Y The Last Man, DMZ, Sweet Tooth, Fables, Unknown Soldier, and tons more. That list alone is sort of breathtaking. Unfortunately for everyone who likes good stuff, Vertigo has fallen on a bit of hard times. Long running books are being moved to DC, books that traditionally would be Vertigo titles are being lost to other publishers, and worst of all, books are being overlooked. NEW DEADWARDIANS is one of those titles. Smart, fun, social commentary on gender and class struggle as told through a society of zombies, vampires, and humans, trying to survive together in post-Victorian England, New Deadwardians is the kind of book that would have been a must have for savvy comic fans 10 years ago. I miss those days of great books getting attention.

RIYL: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the works of Jonathan Swift, the Buffy-verse.

Dia De Los Muertos #1

It’s always an exciting thing when you find an artist you can fall in love with and watch their work grow over time. Riley Rossmo is one of those artists for me. Falling stylistically between folks like Ashley Wood, Ben Templesmith, and Fiona Staples, Rossmo’s work is both unique and somehow familiar. Having honed his craft on books like Cowboy Ninja Viking, Green Wake, Proof, and Bedlam, Rossmo has once again put together a new project that looks like it may be his best work yet. DIA DE LOS MUERTOS is a short anthology series with a great concept, 9 good writers contribute horror stories about the Mexican Day Of The Dead for Rossmo to illustrate. Greatness ensues. The 1st issue of this 3 issue series is out this week and well worth the attention of anyone looking for the next great comic artist.

RIYL: The old Vertigo Anthologies, Creepy or Eerie, artists putting on a workshop for you.

Snapshot #1

Andy Diggle has written a lot of comics. Jock has drawn a lot of comics. Together they made brilliant comics like Green Arrow: Year One and The Losers. This week they are finally brought together again for the first issue of their “wrong time, wrong place” crime thriller SNAPSHOT. It came out in Judge Dredd Megazine in the UK but British people don’t always share their stuff with us well  so Image is re-releasing it for us stateside. Man, I’m so happy we had that revolution. If you have never read any of their stuff get ready for fast paced, gritty, clever, and beautiful. If you have then I’m sure you’re already buying this one.

RIYL: Criminal, Rear Window, Stray Bullets.

Zed A Cosmic Tale TP

I guess the story that everybody talks about with ZED is that it was Michael Gagne’s labor of love for 11 years. That is an awfully long time to work on a book. It would be heartbreaking if it was bad. Luckily for all of us ZED is pretty brilliant. This seemingly whimsical tale of an adorable alien turns very dark and brutal when the fate of his planet is thrust upon him. When I was young the stuff for kids that I actually cared about was upsetting, traumatic, and wonderful. Bambi, The Seventh Seal, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Pinocchio, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, Beetlejuice, The Witches, Lord Of The Flies, and on and on forever. That is something kids and YA entertainment has lost these days, the idea that it’s ok to be harrowing and terrifying. ZED has that perfect mix of innocence and brutality that makes it feel substantial enough for kids and adults to fall in love with. This is how classics are made.

RIYL: Bone, Wall-E, Lilo & Stitch.

Harbinger #0

I suppose a journalist should be impartial and have objectivity. I get that. Luckily, what I do is pretty far from journalism in most regards. Mostly I just tell you to buy stuff and you ignore me and buy Green Lantern. So with that first test failed I can move past and journalistic aspirations and put it out there that I have very little objectivity. There are comic creators who I like. I value their work and I pull for it to be successful. Luckily 99% of the time (maybe more like 87%) I am pulling for these creators because they are good and deserve to have readers. Joshua Dysart is one of those creators. I buy everything the guy writes. Remember a few weeks ago when I got real weird and preachy on how good Unknown Soldier is and how good his Harbinger vol. 1 is? Well now I am doing it again because I can. HARBINGER #0 is out this week. An origin story following the rise of the mysterious Toyo Harada, this issue is a great jumping on point for anyone who wants to read one of the best superhero books on shelves today. It’s nice looking, smart, and it isn’t something you have read 100 times before. Just do it.

RIYL: Morning Glories, Rising Stars, old X-Men books.

Well that concludes our 9th column together. Here’s to the next 9, may they be as sweet as our tears and as bitter as our dreams. Now to pick the 9 winners of the 1st ever weekly “Take Ben To Eat And See Where It Goes” contest. If you see a big $$$ at the bottom of this page  it means you are a winner! Drop by Forbidden Planet with donuts, lamb & rice (no salad), or Dos Toros to collect your prize.

$$$

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Hollywood Comicide

COMICS AND MOVIES

The line between comic book continuity and Hollywood has never been thinner, and both fan communities are adding fuel to the fire! The success of The Avengers movie has cemented another five solid years of comic book films, and that is only on Marvel’s slate. DC is SURE to throw their hat into the ring, either updating Batman in four years (ala Amazing Spider-Man) or finally getting off their keisters and making that Justice League movie everybody’s been waiting for.

MEANWHILE, indie comics both large and small continue to be a goldmine speculation business for producers. WHAT will be the next Walking Dead, and how can you be on the ground floor?

Here’s a quick guide to a few properties you might want to start reading…not only are they great comics, they could end up as big business blockbusters! Let’s start with the obvious and wind our way down to the obscure:

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

A great deal of people REALLY want you to like the T.M.N.T. in 2013. There are multiple television, toy and films being developed by several different entertainment conglomerates, all agreeing that, since the turtles were a huge runaway moneymaker once, it surely MUST happen again, right?

IDW’s current run of Turtle comics have been ALL RIGHT as far as these things go. The beautiful Turtle Archive book the same company has been publishing in deluxe hardcover have been a blast, too! Are the turtles books great? Well, they’re pretty darn good, and frankly, they are a refreshing breath of creative fresh air…since no one knew (at the time) this was going to be big business, the creators could throw ANY old thing in there.

BONE

Bone is one of those comics which must seem ancient to anyone born after it was created in the 90’s. Creator Jeff Smith and former publisher Scholastic have often toyed with turning BONE into a big screen blockbuster, and with good reason; Bone has already seen successful toys, video games, and multiple multi-volume printings.

But how is the comic? Continue reading

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Lepre-Seer

I have had MANY spectacular adventures writing about comics. I have been kidnapped by merpeople, (though they prefer the term H-2 Hombres) I have been transformed into a mummy, I have even been shrunken down to the size of a pretzel rod and eaten by a drunk. In all that time I can honestly say I have NEVER been pestered by a leprechaun…until last Tuesday.

Now he’s staying in my cave and he won’t leave me alone! He keeps poking me with sticks while I’m trying to sleep, and the most annoying part is that he denies he’s doing it. He puts the stick behind his back and shakes his head saying “No I’m Not, Boy-Oh.” DUDE, I can see the stick right behind you!

ADVANCED R&D

One of the few advantages to this arrangement is all the free comics I could wish for! See, Leprechauns LOVE comics, and they like to read them in advance, so he keeps using his Leprechaun magic to summon up the week’s titles BEFORE they hit the street! I’ve already read the SMASH first issue of IDW’s new relaunch of Mars Attacks #1! INCREDIBLE! I sure envy you guys reading that book for the first time this Wednesday, because Chew writer John Layman knocks it out of the PARK! That big secret thing that happens on page 7?! BRILLIANT!

I’m probably going to have to go to the Forbidden Planet to buy the Mars Attacks: Classics Vol. 1 book of reprints from the past. Same goes for IDW’s Complete Bloom County Vol. 5, also available on new comics day. The Leprechaun can’t magic up reprints or collections. Weird. I’m not sure how he got that new copy of this week’s Chew #27, as it’s more of less a reprint…must be all the new material jam packed inside.

Whatever, I have plenty of other, magically summoned new issues to get through! The long delayed first issue of Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in title Drusilla hits this week and, as promised, it is written by Drusilla herself, Juliet Landau. As a guy who read most of Anthony Daniel’s comics featuring C3-PO, I can tell you first hand that actors writing their own material doesn’t ALWAYS play out, but “HEY, If it’s on the crazy Leprechaun’s pull list, who am I to argue?” Continue reading

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Percent of a Watchman

Statistics is fun, let’s try some. 100% of you are reading this sentence….see how that works? 75% of those reading this sentence comprise 3/4ths of my readership. 12% are dying for a drop of 100 proof, which is to say 50% alcohol by volume, meaning that 12% want 50% percent while 88% could care two cents about the whole dang thing.

Now unless you’ve been living in the French Legionnaires for the past week you are aware via the internet (a series of tubes) that the Watchmen Prequel comic books have been green lit. We’ll soon have the adventures of Baby Rorschach, Nite Owl, and Silk Spectre from a variety of creators, none of whom are Dave Gibsons or Alan Moore.

There are only three aspects I want to focus on:

1) THE NUMBERS

This purely financial maneuver by DC, the comics company with the new, boring logo, may lead to some good books. With eight new titles, statistics make it hard for them all to be crap.

I’m very surprised that they had the wherewithal to re-team Brian Azzarello with Lee Bermejo from their fun graphic novel Joker onto a Rorschach book. Azzarello writes engaging crime comics full of losers, tough guys, and snappy banter…and he is the ONLY writer capable of making Rorschach, or his other title The Comedian, worth reading.

I’m THRILLED Adam Hughes will return to sequential art in Dr. Manhattan. I’m less than thrilled that J. M. Straczynski will be penning many of these new titles. Darwyn Cooke was the right guy for a Minutemen book…but let’s look at what they’ve done.

Get the team behind the grittiest crime comics to work on your gritty crime comic. Get the best post-modern, yet nostalgic, team book writer to write your nostalgic post-modern team book. Hire a big name to handle the rest and dole out art to whomever you can. I’m not saying go outside of your comfort zone, DC, I’m just asking you to show your cards a little less.

This is “Moneyball” for comics, a game DC has been playing for some time. They’ll have some hits, they’ll have some creative misses. They’ll make money…but will they burn bridges? Continue reading

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Speculative Diction

Anyone who believes in “comic books as lottery tickets,” that is to say that by purchasing collectible and significant comic books you can resell them in the future for a massive payoff, is a person of extreme optimism on a par with someone letting themselves get bitten by a radioactive spider in the hopes of one day kissing a red-head.

Still, you might want to pick-up Hellboy The Fury #3 and Fear Itself #5 this week for no reason whatsoever. Certainly nothing interesting is going to happen in either issue that might make them appreciate in value. Pffff. Perish the thought.

The better idea to make money off of comic books is to buy up every indie title you ever come across…for serious. Next time you go to a big con just walk yourself down artist alley and buy every single book down the line. ONE of those books is going to be the next big thing. Continue reading

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Vertigo Resurrected Jonny Double #1

Hey all you 100 Bullets fans!!!

Make sure to grab a copy of Vertigo’s classic Jonny Double.

In a story by the creators of 100 Bullets (Brian Azarello, Eduardo Risso) San Francisco P.I. Jonny Double is hired to watch over a rich man’s rebellious daughter. But after being seduced by the girl, Jonny finds himself mixed up in a scheme to plunder an old bank account that belonged to Al Capone.

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