Tagged: hate

Chris’ Comics: NEXTWAVE: Agents of H.A.T.E. Ultimate collection

51mCJ6NnvVL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_NEXTWAVE: Agents of H.A.T.E., The Ultimate Collection

Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger,  Dave McCraig

Marvel $34.99

It’s rare for me to cover a re-release of material that isn’t too hard to track down, but NEXTWAVE is a rare exception. Originally released in 2005, this 12 issue maxi-series was part parody part…..well okay it was all parody, but even so, it managed to be one of the best super hero books Marvel published around that time, and probably ranks in the top 20 off all time. For a book that Marvel tried sweeping under the rug continuity for a number of reasons, it certainly had it share of influences, as seen as recent as both Secret & Mighty Avengers and helped launched the career of the already talented but underrated at the time Stuart Immonen. Nextwave is arguably my favorite work of writer Warren Ellis, which says a lot, give my love of his massive library of comics material, but there’s some so fun and simple about the book that makes it very appealing to me.

For those of you who sicken me and have not yet read NEXTWAVE, allow me to sell you on the book. NEXTWAVE is the tale of 4 D-list super heroes and the Captain, who was created just for this series, who find out their employers H.A.T.E, is also funded by the same company backing the terrorist group S.I.L.E.N.T. . Our heroes, consisting of Elsa Bloodstone, Machine Man Aaron Stack, Boom-Boom and one time Avengers leader Monica Rambeau, decide to go rogue and put and end to the Beyond corporations doing, only to face some of the weirder elements of the Marvel Universe, both old and original. Their chief antagonist is one Dirk Anger, who’s as you can tell from the name is a Nick Fury stand in with a couple dozen screws loose. He’s kind of the best, but I won’t post any panels featuring him, as I would like any potential new readers to go into this book blind and witness his glory unspoilied.

next-wave-11-001Drawing Nextwave is Stuart Immonen, who would go one to replace Mark Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man after this, and is now drawing Star Wars. This isn’t Immonen’s finest work, as he’s constantly improving as an artist,  but its the first instance of him getting a little more looser and animated with his style. Immonen’s art is none the less perfect for this book, as he captures the insanity that Ellis’ script demands perfectly, giving us everything from Sentiment Broccoli men to X-men dinosaurs. Nextwave’s semi-cartoony look is perfect for the type of story being told, and still holds up after a decade. Inking Immonen is long time his someone who’s inked most of his work over the last few years, Wade Von Grawbadger, who kept the book looking bold and clean, and managing to keep all tiny  details From Immonen’s pencils in. The book was colored by Dave McCraig, who keeps the book looking bright and fun, despite the horror his collaborators induce..

Nextwave-1Warren Ellis’ writing is unmistakable on this title. Everything from the humor, to the violence to the insanity of some of the concepts are SO Warren, that it’s amazing that Marvel let him get away with what he did. The script and dialogue is a nonstop assault on you eyes, tossing out jokes in nearly every other panel or letting the art’s amazing visuals blow your mind. There’s also some genuinely DARK moments towards the end of the run that will catch you off guard, and are resolved in way that would feel lazy with any other writer, but works given what Ellis has established over the previous issues. While NEXTWAVE isn’t as complex as some of Ellis’ creator owned works, allowing him to play with Marvel’s toys for only 12 issues with some set rules also results in some of his finest work.

Before there was a Hawkeye or even an Immortal Iron Fist, NEXTWAVE was proof that some of Marvel’s best material is a result of just letting creators do their own thing. It’s a book that feels a lot like that fantastic Bruce Timm Justice League animated series, only with no name characters and slightly more mature content. If you’ve never read it, I can’t recommend it enough, as you can go with without knowing nothing about the characters, and still enjoy the whole thing. It’s a fantastic read that’s aged, quite well, and definitely one of my favorite comics. #RIPSpecialbear

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I’ll never be successful because I’m not crazy

Jodorowsky’s Dune finally came to Seattle this weekend, and I was painfully inspired by this doc. You basically get an animated Moebius film, in between beautiful H.G. Giger art, and topped with an amazing soundtrack that really feels essentially Dune. I can’t say enough good things about this film. For sci-fi, comic, film fans alike.
I followed the painful inspiration with a weekend of day drinking, nail painting, and reading. My magnum opus won’t be built in a day.

Adventure Time Annual 2014– The thing I love about annuals is that they come out once a year. They’re also bigger. They feature a new creative team. And sometimes they’re Adventure Time. Lucky for us, this one hits all those sweet spots. Joining the already extra special AT Team is husband-wife comic duo, Becky and Frank! They write and draw the super adorable webcomic, Tiny Kitten Teeth (that is hand painted, I might add). If you have diabetes you might want to keep a candy bar on hand for this one, because it not only features the sugary cuteness of their typical art style, but the story follows little Fionna and BABY CAKE! The sweetness is in the name! Just thinking about it gets me a little light headed. The two get into all sorts of magical trouble, but who could ever stay mad at a baby Fionna and Cake?!

Buddy Buys a Dump TPB

bagge3
Continuing the Buddy Bradley series from the collected books of Buddy Does Jersey, and Buddy Does Seattle, comes the first collection we’ve seen from Peter Bagge’s iconic Hate Annual series in seven years! But this newest collected version will also feature new pages created by Bagge; a major contribution to the renaissance Seattle is having right now of its alternative comics scene. Life for the junky, 1990’s famous anti-hero, Buddy Bradley has changed significantly. We find him now in his 30’s, with a wife, son, owning a junkyard, and wearing an eye patch. Pretty normal for Buddy I’d say. This conclusion to his most recent arc will be marked by the 25th anniversary of Hate Comix in 2015. I’d say that time has flown by, and something nostalgic like “I remember when these comics blah blah blah”, but I’ll be honest, Hate came out the year I was born. So I’ve had A LOT of catching up to do.(If you’re interested in the current work of underground Seattle cartoonists, look up the work of Ben Horak, Gnartoons, and Tom Van Deusen in their monthly publication, The Intruder)

Unlovable Vol 3 HC– Grotesquely hilarious, in only the way an illustrated journal of a teenage girl from 1989 can be. Unlovable, by Esther Pearl Watson, is what all of us were at some point in our adolescence, but wishing we never were. Summer is here for Tammy Pierce, and she’s ready to party, flirt with all the boys, and wear waaaaay too much mascara. This is a must read for all Tina Belcher fans. This is also a must read for anyone who likes fun!

Southern Bastards #1– Jason Aaron just made the South real dirty. Dirty with rednecks, piss, and dogs. Craw County is home to all of the above; it’s also home to the meanest sheriff the town has ever seen, and his brutality is the stuff of legend. But it’s very real to his son who has come back to town for the first time in years. His dad is dead, but his brutality lives on in the town, through a new boss who has this football town in his fist, and people running from his terror. While this may not be a welcome home for Earl Tugg, for fans of Aaron’s work on books like Scalped, this feels like we’ve been greeted with open arms. Originally from Alabama himself, this feels really down home Southern. Artist and co-creator, Jason Latour also hails from North Carolina, and these two don’t miss a beat when it comes to creating an atmosphere that’s soiled with too many memories, and too much power.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two #4– When you combine the most serious man in crime fighting, with two cute animal tour guides to Crimeland that sing rhyming tunes, you get only a piece of the wacky ride that is Judge Dredd Mega City Two. Dredd takes care of some old fashioned boss’s in the amusement park that caters to showing old-fashioned street crime! Sounds like a good time for Dredd and his film crew, until they run into a rogue Judge who turns their world upside down by giving up the law…to help the people. The art is out of control on this issue, and the contrast between the hyper detail of the city and landscape, combined with the cartoonish auxiliary characters gives this book a distinguishing flavor from anything that’s on the shelves today. And this issue definitely satisfies my need for some form of musical theatre.

Pretty Deadly Vol 1 TPB– Prolific author Gabriel Garcia Marquez may have left us, but this world is no less full of magical realism as long as Pretty Deadly is still around. DeConnick and Rios have left a sizeable dent in the comics’ world, following the release of their spaghetti western meets kung-fu epic. If you’re one of the poor souls wandering this wasteland of a planet lost and alone because you haven’t picked this book up yet, now is your chance to feel the swift righteous blade of death’s daughter, Ginny. Her origin is the stuff of legend; a tale that bards sing around a fire. But the wronged always know where to find her.

Pretty-Deadly-hed

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Name Rank Serial Number

The best comic of last week?  MARS ATTACKS POPEYE.  I don’t mean to give out spoilers, but the Martians lost.  I do hope they fare better this week against KISS.  Maybe with KISS gone IDW will start publishing a Jethro Tull comic book!

IDW Mars Attacks Popeye

ONE of the best comics of last week was Hellboy In Hell #2.  Elegant, creepy and fun, HBinH #2 made up for most of the first issues rambling clunkiness with big pay offs in both direction and character.  I am a crazed Hellboy Fanboy… a Hellfan if you will, though I stopped getting the spinoff title B.P.R.D. some time ago.  One thing that makes Hellboy in Hell so great is Mike Mignola back at the helm of both pencils and writing. The past few years worth of Hellboy books have been drawn (and possibly written) by several artists, including Richard Corben and Duncan Fegredo.  These are great, fun titles and both do amazing jobs carving out their own fingerholds in the Hellboy cliff face.  Hellboy The Wild Hunt was a fun, romp through the woods of Hellboy’s milieu, and a great place to jump on for fans eager to get caught up on Big Red.  This week sees the release of B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth Abyss Time #1 of 2, aka B.P.R.D. #103.  I believe that the current storyline focuses on the actual end times playing out on the surface of the Earth and the combined efforts of all concerned to stop it.  What struck me the most, oddly, was the title.  I’m not sure how many issues of Hellboy there have been, but I was struck by a question.  Would Hellboy in Hell #2 sell better or worse if it was just called Hellboy #85?

TITLES AND NUMBERS

Grant Morrison Action Comics #16Superman’s latest periodical hits this week in the form of Action Comics #16, which sounds far more accessible than Superman #2345.  Superman is going to go toe to toe with an evil demonic version of himself from an alternative universe.  Sounds great!  There are so many ways to read comics now, be it through classic single issues, trade paperbacks or even digital downloads.  Comic book names are getting a bit unwieldy simply because the publishers need you to be able to recognize the reprint trades when they hit the shelves later on.  So for example, Superior Spider-Man #1 hits the shelves this week, a guaranteed must buy (unless your boycotting Dan Slott), and I am sure we will see a few issues go down the pike before they’ve branded the book with a subtitle for the sake of trades.  This leads to a bigger thought on what the main draw to a comic is, anyway.  Dark Horse has a new Graphic Novel out collecting Peter Bagge’s recent comic RESET.  There are no titular characters we’re familiar with. Would it have sold better or worse if the book was titled after Bagge’s old indie comic which launched hom to fame?  Should this collection be renamed Peter Bagge’s Hate: Reset?  It’s fun to think about, especially when you take it to the extreme.  Since all comics derive from Superman, and Superman was the inheritor of the work done by the Gaines family on Famous Funnies, I think the most accurate title for this week’s Detective Comics #16 SHOULD be Famous Funnies Staring Superman #167895234, Batman Detective Comics A Death To the Family #16!

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 5: Rebel Spaceships, Striking From a Hidden Base

I feel like I have been doing this column long enough now that you all must be dying for a behind the scenes peek at how the magic happens. It all starts around 1:30 AM on Sunday night/Monday morning. That’s around 4 hours after I am supposed to have emailed this in to Tyler, our lovely wizard/graphic designer. I sit down in a chair and make up a bunch of stuff about new comics. I then send it to Tyler’s cauldron of spells/email account. He then does some process I don’t understand, blah blah blah, now it looks nice to look at. Then someone does something so that some internet nerds make it a blog post and someone else or maybe the same person does something so that printing nerds make it a newsletter. Viola! And that’s how it works. Same as the New York Times. It’s like Arthur C. Clarke once said to me, “Any sufficiently advanced low level comics journalism/sales pitch is indistinguishable from magic.” Anyway, there is a surprisingly good amount of new stuff on shelves this week and I have wasted a lot of space making jokes that only I will find funny, so let’s get on with it.

First, a moment of sadness and thanks to the great Jeff Lemire who wraps up his brilliant post apocalyptic coming of age story Sweet Tooth this week in SWEET TOOTH #40. If you haven’t ever read Mr. Lemire’s work you should be ashamed. SWEET TOOTH vol.1 is one of the true great joys of comics in the twenty first century. RIYL: SANDMAN, THE ROAD, or Children Of Men.

Also well worth reading no matter your feeling on superhero books, or anything else really, is WONDER WOMAN. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are quietly sitting in their own corner of the DC universe taking one of the most beloved characters in comics history and telling new stories for her that feel exciting, fresh, and look about as good as a comic can look. Matthew Wilson’s coloring on this book will be studied for years to come as the correct way to have coloring not just serve the pencil art, but to make coloring it’s own art. You don’t have to know anything going in, nor do you have to care about the rest of the DC universe. You just have to like good comics. DC is finally putting out WONDER WOMAN vol. 1 & vol. 2 this week. This is about as good as superhero comics get so you should get them. RIYL: Wonder Woman stories on any level, Clash Of The Titans or any modern takes on mythology

DEVIL IS DUE IN DREARY #2 is also out this week. I really loved issue #1 of this series that felt like a perfect cross between the modern western elements of PREACHER and the foreboding tone of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Add to that art that looks like a smoother Howard Chaykin and you have a really well made book. I know this is a book that will fly under most folks radars but that is a real shame. It has just enough uniqueness to make it stand out, just enough familiarity to be relatable, and is good enough to be a classic if people gave it a chance. RIYL: JONAH HEX or any modern westerns, FELL, PREACHER.

EERIE #2 hits shelves as well. I don’t hide my love for anthology comics and EERIE is a classic. Dark Horse’s relaunch of the series is off to a great start with weird short stories from Mike Allred (MADMAN, iZOMBIE, FF), Brian Clevinger (ATOMIC ROBO), and others. If you just want to read some fun & unusual stuff this is a no-brainer. Don’t be the guy or girl in your local comic shop who has to admit “I just like unfun & usual stuff.” RIYL: Old EERIE comics or other EC stuff, TWILIGHT ZONES, feeding your short attention span.

Peter Bagge is one of the modern legends of indie comics for his brilliant series HATE. When there is that much love and respect heaped on ones work it becomes easy for a lot of creators to shrink away from ever doing something substantial again. Fear of the followup or what have you. But Mr. Bagge has dived headfirst into new and brilliant projects one after another. From APOCALPSE NERD to YEAH! to OTHER LIVES his post HATE work has been varied and fun. It’s a different time for comics and it’s hard to get people as excited about a new book as it once was, but Mr. Bagge’s latest series, RESET, is maybe his best work since HATE and, if it were a different time, would be loved and talked about in much the same way. RESET is the story of a man who enters into an experiment that allows him to relive and change choices he’s made from his past. Weirdo stuff ensues. RIYL: Older Bagge stuff like HATE, the modern indie masters like Daniel Clowes or Charles Burns, or the idea of going back in time and messing things up like a creepy Marty McFly.

I don’t have much of an interest in Conan. Never did really. Some things aren’t for everyone. I know why people like it, I get that, it just wasn’t for me. Then Brian Wood wrote the excellent NORTHLANDERS series about badass vikings axing each other and whatnot and I immediately got the appeal. Apparently someone at Dark Horse did too because they snatched Mr. Wood up and put him on their CONAN book. I don’t know if that worked to bring new readers into the fold but it damn well should have. Mr. Wood is great at huge epics (DMZ, NORTHLANDERS), great at telling stories smarter than they need to be (COURIERS, CHANNEL ZERO), and great at working with amazing artists. For the beginning of his run, collected as CONAN vol 13: QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST he continues these trends. A smart Conan story that feels epic and has beautiful work by two of the more consistently interesting artists working today; BECKY CLOONAN (AMERICAN VIRGIN, DEMO vol II) and JAMES HARREN (B.P.R.D.). For those of you who have ever loved Conan and forgotten about it, this is the time to jump back on. And for those of you like me, who never saw the appeal, this is the comic that will make you fall in love with a barbarian with an ax. That’s a good thing.

RIYL: NORTHLANDERS, people using swords and stuff on each other, old pulp stories made relevant again.

END TIMES OF BRAM & BEN #1 is out this week. A buddy comedy set around the rapture. Image pumped out more good series debuts in 2012 than most people can afford to read and ETOBAB is their hope for their first big hit of 2013. This book is clearly gunning for the bookshelves of fans of smart and snarky comics and is definitely worth checking out if that is you. Co-writer James Asmus is a rising star over at Marvel but is also doing his time at Image on THIEF OF THIEVES with some nobody named Robert Kirkman. If you look for comics that have some action but really want to make you smirk this should fully be on your radar by now. RIYL: BATTLE POPE, CHEW, or the film Dogma.

My last recommendation is BETA TESTING THE APOCALYPSE. 10ish short stories from Tom Kaczynski that all play with the idea of exploring modern intangible concepts like capitalism or utopia and breaking them down into very tangible and very human stories. These are big ideas made very small and personal. Kaczynki’s style makes all the heavy stuff feel very immersive with out ever feeling oppressive. It is a delicate balancing act, and one that clearly he is comfortable with. BETA TESTING THE APOCALYPSE, like a lot of the Fantagraphics stuff from the last decade, is definitely one of those books that’ll please almost everybody who has the interest to pick it up and for a select few it will become a most cherished and prized possession. RIYL: J.G. Ballard, the more esoteric but personal stuff Fantagraphics puts out, CONCRETE.

Ok. I’m done.

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Comics Gud. Gud Comics, Take Comics Home.

You are in luck, my friend, as there are so many AMAZING comic books out this week that you could probably buy one at random and still get somethin’ snazzy! Still, my job as a Forbidden Planet columnist is to provide you with some professional perspective to guide the dart of your paycheck towards that big red bulls-eye of a great read.  Please consider the following:

Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus, Shannon Wheeler (W/A), Dark Horse

Back in my day “Hipster” was called “Grunge” and there were several great comics out detailing the finer points of Grunge anthropology. Peter Bagge’s brilliant “Buddy” and “Hate” comics spring to mind, as does Shannon Wheeler’s Too Much Coffee Man.

Too Much Coffee Man is the café culture’s zeitgeist, an armchair super hero who worries about the universe’s gestalt while sipping mocha with his friends Too Much Expresso Man and Too Much German White Chocolate With Almonds Girl. Yes, really.

They don’t fight much crime, but they do ponder their place in the vast quandary that is human existence…and it’s really flippin’ funny! The TMCM Omnibus from Dark Horse collects a snot load of this good stuff for a cheap-oh price! Pick this book up and drop it on your lavatory cistern for easy retro-cool credibility.

Secret Society of Super Villains HC, Various (W/A), DC

When you’re done feeling all erudite and superior after that last book, bring it back to basics with this collection of Super-villains punching brightly colored dufi in their collected bread baskets!

Secret Society of Super Villains HC is a gorgeous, full color reprint edition of silver age comics featuring silly DC villains trying their darndest to get the upper hand on their good-guy foils. It will be weird, it will be stupid, it will be silly…but it sure won’t be boring!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Continue reading

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