Saturday, July 02, 2005

Halfway through the year, and some good stuff you may have missed

I don't know if you saw this, Brian, but someone out there really likes you. I'm going to steal some of the reflected glory, since he mentions the whole site, but it's you he steals (I assume it's a guy, sue me if it's not). "This is one of the best comic review sites out there." That's what he says, I swear!

We're halfway through the year, and some comics have been good, and some not so good. I'm not going to focus on the not-so-good ones, because what's the point, but I am going to remind you about some excellent stuff that you may have missed. These are just trade paperbacks and original graphic novels, because most of you seem interested in that stuff and not necessarily the monthlies. Also, that would take too long. So, in alphabetical order, here are the TPBs and OGNs I think are the best so far this year:

The Batman Chronicles Volume 1 from DC. Yes, I excoriated it on this very web site! But it's awesome. It's a great idea, and one that I hope DC follows up on (I thought I heard something about more of these coming out, but I'm not sure), because I would buy more, even if they did Superman (and I don't like Superman). Read all about it and then buy it here. You will so not regret it. Maybe Nik will stop by and say how awesome it was, since I sent him a copy.

Deep Sleeper from Image. I reviewed Deep Sleeper in the first part of this post, so I can't really say anything new. It's marvelous. Technically it's a horror book, but it delves into the nature of reality, the nature of identity, religion - and it makes you squirm. A simply fabulous book. Go read what else I wrote and then buy it here.

Different Ugliness, Different Madness from DC (Humanoids). In the second part of this post, I talk about this graphic novel, which is one of the best OGNs I've read in a long time. It's a beautiful book, one that came and went with little fanfare, but can be purchased here. I highly recommend this.

Filler from AiT/Planet Lar. Filler is a weird little book that a bunch of people in the blogaxy read and liked (for the most part), but here is where I discussed it. It's a twisted little noir tale, and for a short book that deals basically with a crime and a revenge plot, it makes you think a little. Pick it up here.

The Legend of GrimJack Volumes 1 & 2 from IDW. I have been raving about the new GrimJack mini-series, but not as much about the old series being republished in trade paperback form. I never read the old series (yes, I suck), and this is a wonderful way to read them and experience the Ostrander/Truman magic. These are really fun, all-action, blow-shit-up kind of comics, with Ostrander throttling forward and John Gaunt rising above the stereotype of a grizzled old mercenary to become a truly fascinating character. The stories are (so far) no longer than three issues, and they are packed with information and crazy villains. By setting what is basically a film noir hero in a pan-dimensional city, Ostrander can keep things gritty and "realistic" while indulging Truman's ability to draw almost any crazy thing. The evolution of Gaunt, even in these early issues, is nice to see too, as Ostrander is able to grow his character without engaging in 22-page bitchfests about how his girl doesn't love him anymore. After pages and pages of Stephen Strange looking stoic but not doing a damned thing (sorry, belated shot at Bendis), reading GrimJack is like chugging Red Bull and Dr. Pepper while barreling down a mountain in a runaway truck (and there's no ramp in sight) and listening to AC/DC. What the hell are you waiting for? Buy Volume 1 here, and pick up Volume 2 here. Volume 3 should be out soon - look for it!

Kingdom of the Wicked from Dark Horse. Brian did a nice synopsis of this book here, so I'm not going to go into it. It's a very nifty book, although I'm not sure if it came out this year or last (it has a 2004 date on it). I know I only saw it this year, so this year it is! It's a pretty book to look at, and it asks questions about growing up and when we leave childhood behind, plus it's a little creepy. Buy it here if you're interested, and look for Edginton and D'Israeli's Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, which should be good.

Nil: A Land Beyond Belief from Slave Labor Graphics. I talked about how cool Nil is here, so if you're interested, check it out. Nil is one of those books that is really unlike almost anything you've ever seen, and although, as somebody somewhere in Internet land pointed out, it doesn't end terribly satisfactorily, I think that's part of the point. As I mentioned in my review, it's terrific value for 13 dollars - well over 200 pages, and although 200 pages wouldn't be good value if it was crap, it's not crap. Buy it here and check out Rex Libris by the same author/artist when it hits stores soon. And if Layne ever stops by, he can tell us if it's as awesome as I say it is, because I sent him a copy. See? I'm democratic!

Scurvy Dogs from AiT/Planet Lar. Brian again gives us the goods on this book, and I liked it even more than he did. This is one of the funniest things you will read this or any other year. If liquid doesn't come out of your nose at least once while you're reading this, you're either a heartless Commie or, you know, you're not actually drinking anything (not that that's an excuse!). I still chuckle when I think about how funny this is. "Shillings in the belly. The oldest Portuguese leper trick in the book." Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Don't get me started, or we'll be here all day. If Harvey happens by here, he can back me up on this, I'm sure. Unless he's a Commie. You will buy Scurvy Dogs here! This is not a request.

See? Good comics abound in our world! Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

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Blogger Chad said...

Am I the occasional potty mouth? Fuck me!

7/03/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Burton said...

Fart hell damn!

7/03/2005 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...



7/03/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

The bribes are finally paying off.

7/03/2005 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Oh, and let it be known that I shall purchase Scurvy Dogs! Soon-ish, anyway. Also looking to get Street Angel.

7/04/2005 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

Chronicles is some fun stuff, those early Batman stories are clunky and goofy by our standards but it's kind of fun, like seeing some medieval text or something. I remember reading the old "Dr. Death" story in my "Batman from the 30s to 70s" book way back when and I never got to read the conclusion until now. Holy cliffhanger!

7/04/2005 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for backing me up, Nik. I just bought Street Angel about a two weeks ago, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. It's just sitting there on my coffee table, looking at me accusingly ...

7/04/2005 04:01:00 PM  

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