Tagged: Popeye

Anna Reviews Stuff

Holy moly. This time next week I’ll be back in my beloved second city, New York City. For NYCC! I’m going to hug everyone at Forbidden Planet so hard they won’t know what hit them. I might just actually hit people instead. Either way, there’s a solid amount of talent going to NYCC that don’t normally make it to very many conventions, like: Joe Mad! Paul Pope, David Lloyd, and Ramona Fradon (whaaat?!). Personally, I’ll be holding it down with the awesome ladies and gents of Oni Press (booth 1844!), so you should come and say, “Heeeeey”, just like that.

I’m super pumped! Also pumped about comics this week (and every week)!

(I should cut back on parentheses)

 

Shaolin Cowboy #1

darrow-shaolin-spidey

Shaolin Cowboy; Geoff Darrow; ongoing. Three awesome things to read in tandem. The classic, and fan-favorite, kung-fu fighting cowboy returns to Dark Horse this week with a new and on-going story. It’s an easy spot to drop in if it’s your first time venturing into the wild, chainsaw-wielding West, but it also has everything the tried and true fans of Darrow’s hyper violence want out of the series. In case you missed that, yes, chainsaw-wielding. I read an interview in which someone asked Darrow about why he liked to draw them so much, and he replied by saying he wasn’t sure where the fascination came from, he just liked to draw them, oh but wait, my uncle did sever his leg with a chainsaw when I was younger.  Regardless of the chainsaw origin, there’s never been anything more right than an outlawed Shaolin monk who fights badies that are after the bounty placed on his head. Am I sufficiently making it clear to you how awesome this series is? So good to have you back old friend.

 

Popeye Classics #15

Oh, you thought I only like to talk about super violent action books? I have a soft spot for the classics, and feel it pertinent that people know your parents/grandparents/self(?) had a few things right with these timeless comics. And thanks to the publishers at IDW, cartoonist Bug Sagendorf is finally being recognized for his work, and held up alongside the greats like Carl Barks (Donald Duck), and John Stanley (Little Lulu). Sagendorf did Popeye comics for almost 20 years, and in that time developed a comedy style that still makes me laugh every time I read them. If this is the first time you’re picking up a Popeye Classic, you don’t really have to worry about a plot of who’s good, who’s evil, what interstellar space race is trying to destroy the planet, you just have to try to get this into the hands of youngsters to set them straight on a long and happy life of comics reading/appreciating/loving.

This sentiment translates to all the classic, all-ages comics that are being published right now: Nancy, Peanuts, Little Lulu, Donald Duck. They’re all fantastically funny, heartfelt, and surprisingly relevant.

Realistic-Popeye

Rocket Girl #1

If I had a pick of the week, this would be my pick of the week. The plot line itself might make your head explode, so take precautions while reading this: a teenage girl who fights for space police in a high-tech version of 2013 travels back in time to gritty 1986 New York City to investigate the conglomerate, Quintum Mechanics for time crime. Along the way she discovers alternate realities! Utopias v. rampant crime! Landline phones! This uber-successful Kickstarter project from writer Brandon Montclare and fan-favorite artist Amy Reeder, turned Image project, has been teasing fans for months with back page ads that look like they’re ripped from 1986. If you’re a fan of the tough ‘80s action movie female characters that used to be so prevalent in classics like Predator 2, Robocop, and Terminator, then Rocket Girl will not disappoint. Amy Reeder’s world building, highly saturated colors, and eye for detail (particularly for fashion, especially if you remember their Halloween special last year, Halloween Eve), is essential in telling this period piece story. A teenage police officer, who travels time, and wears a jetpack is pretty essential too.

 

Archer and Armstrong #14

A Valiant reboot of a solid buddy-team comics appears to be their strong suit, and I for one am not complaining. If you’re unaware of the basic plot, let me catch you up: Archer was raised to respect and love his family, who in turned trained him to fight a great evil that threatens his family and their beliefs. That evil turns out to be the constantly old, and constantly drunk, Armstrong. But instead of killing him, Archer realizes that he may have been lied to his entire life, and that his parents are really a part of an age-old organization called the Sect, that has its claws in every religious and government body in the world. This new arc is a solid jumping on point as the various factions that make up the Sect are tired of each other, and a massive civil war is about to be unleashed. It’s no surprise who the only two people are that can stop them are, but we have no idea how! These books are easy to read, easy to get into, and never disappointing in action or comedy. Valiant really tries to remember that comics really are the best medium for one-liners, and they don’t hold back.

 

There’s fortunately, a ton of other stuff I want to pimp this week, but for the sake of my laziness, I’m going to condense them into a Halloween/Fall package of awesome:

Coffin Hill #1 is the newest addition to the Vertigo family. There’s something about New England that makes authors want to write truly F’d up novels and comics, and novelist Caitlin Kittredge upholds that maker with a story about a cop, Eve Coffin, forced into early retirement who makes her way back to her hometown. Only to discover that a night of drugs, drinking, witchcraft, and murder 10 years ago has left a lingering impression in the woods, and her dark past is seeking revenge. Art by Inaki Miranda (Fables!)! Creepy Comics #14 Good gravy there are so many people working on this issue: Ray Fawkes, Dan Braun, Peter Bagge, Matthew Southworth, Tomm Coker, Tim Seeley, David Palumbo. My job is done, you’re probably already reading this now, aren’t you? More convincing? It’s only $3.99 and 40 pages long! Lucifer TP Vol 2 I don’t talk about collections that often, but if you didn’t get a chance to read the Sandman spinoff, Lucifer, before it went out of print, then there is little to zero time to waste when it comes to picking this up. The Satan that people love to hate is building his own Garden of Eden, and playing, well, God? This is some of Mike Carey’s best work, and the density of these books makes them worth every penny, and every page.

 

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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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Existential Yams

A human being can create or perform an item or action, functional or non, and describe both the process and the result as “Art.” With such wide parameters, it would be easy to view “Art” as an “X,” an indefinable value in the equation of our experiences, yet we have developed many tools and expressions to help us bring Art to the other side of the “=” sign for our illumination.

“Art” comes to full fruition when observed, just as a tree falling in the woods makes no impression except on the ground. The most useful way to define “Art” is to gauge the emotional impact on the audience. There is a miracle that occurs when we experience a new piece of art, an instant change of our souls and physical beings towards a deeper inner meaning and celestial place.

There are times when the world can seem an uncontrollable, a monster, a rampaging beast that does what it does without thought or direction. We, as humans, can strive to impact this chaos into order though action and deed…this can often take the form of Art.

But maybe creation isn’t our strong suit. What weapons exist in our arsenal to combat entropy sans creation? By exposing others to the art that has shaped our consciousness, we all enrich and enliven each other’s spirits, and subsequently become closer to each other as a result.

“Magic” is showing someone a believable miracle.

Here’s the part where I become a wizard with the following magic words: “GO READ GROO VS. CONAN and POPEYE.”

GROO vs. CONAN #1, Mark Evanier (W), Sergio Aragones (A), Dark Horse


Groo is a classic, silly comic created by two of comics finer talents, the legendary Sergio Aragones of MAD magazine and the unsung Mark Evanier, hardest working writer in the biz. WHO is Groo? He’s a sword swinging, blood splattered one man army killing his way across an exciting landscape of warriors and scantily clad maidens. YES, that ALSO describes Conan, because Groo IS Conan.

Well, a parody of Conan. The main difference between Conan, the  legendary sword swinger of film and story and Groo is that Groo likes Cheese Dip.

If you’ve ever read a Groo comic in your life then you know that THIS is a book to get. If you’ve never read an issue of Groo before then remember the magic words. Go Read Groo Vs. Conan.

And the New Popeye! Continue reading

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