Monday, September 12, 2005

What I bought - 8 September 2005

Yes, I know it's almost a week late. Football started this weekend. What am I going to do, write about comics while football is on? I don't think so!

It's a shame, too, because I got a lot of good comics last week. However, many of them fell into the "wait for the trade" category. That's the theme this week.

303 #5 by Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows
$3.99, Avatar

You know, it's been months since #4 came out, and although I still vaguely know what's going on, this is a definite Wait For The Trade title. It's very nice-looking, and the issue is a nice cat-and-mouse game between the Russian and the American sheriff, and there's more about the Russian escaping his ghosts, but it's still been months. It finishes next issue, and I'm curious how (or if) the final three issues will tie into the first three, but it will make a nice trade. Go look for it, because it's worth it, despite being frustratingly slow.

Detective #811 by David Lapham, Ramon Bachs, and Nathan Massengill
$2.50, DC

Well, it probably won't come out as a 12-issue trade, but Lapham's "City of Crime" will probably read better as a trade (or two, which is how it will probably show up). Despite this being a strong issue in which a lot happens, it's difficult keeping track of everything that has happened in this story, and DC putting it on hiatus for two months didn't help. It's nice to see the occasional Batman story in which Batman doesn't actually appear. It's not something I want to see all the time, but it's nice occasionally. This is still creepy, and still one of the best Batman stories I have read in a long time.

Elsinore #3 by Kenneth Lillie-Paetz and Brian Denham
$2.99, Alias

Here's another nice book that comes out on a ridiculously erratic schedule. Wait For The Trade. Especially as these characters are new to us and we're still trying to figure out the dynamic. Really nice art, creepy stuff going on, and lemurs. Lillie-Paetz must really like lemurs.

Fell #1 by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith
$1.99, Image

Hey, look! It's another cheap comic that no one will buy and then whine about how comics are too expensive! Give me an excuse for not at least trying this book - it's 2 dollars, Ellis writes it, weird and somewhat clearer than usual Templesmith art, and it's a single-issue story, which Ellis is really good at, which makes his tendency toward long, meandering stories all the more frustrating. Anyway, a lot of people have written about this, and it's good. And guess what - it doesn't feel shorter than your usual comic. Why? Because it's packed with story. It will take you longer to read most 22-page comic books. Go buy it.

The Intimates #11 by Joe Casey and Alé Garza
$2.99, DC/Wildstorm

It's kind of pointless to talk about this, since next issue is the last one. You can tell Casey is trying to wrap it up next issue, which is nice, and he's also having fun with the fact that the sales on this book suck. At least he still has a sense of humor! I'm not terribly mystified that this book died, but it's still a shame. Casey continues to be one of the more interesting writers of comic books, but no one buys his stuff. Go buy Gødland while you still can!

Noble Causes #13 by Jay Faerber, Fran Bueno, and Freddie E. Williams
$3.50, Image

When this first came out as an ongoing, I wondered about spending the money on it. Well, I wonder no longer, as this has quietly become one of the best superhero books around. This is the first issue of a new story, and it's got a shock ending that is a little annoying (I'd discuss why it's annoying, but then I'd give it away, and I don't want to), but with the somewhat erratic schedule of this book (it's better than a lot, but not necessarily monthly) and the lots of stories Faerber likes to juggle, you might want to Wait For The Trade. The trade of the first part of the ongoing is out - check it out. A very good comic.

Of Bitter Souls #1 by Chuck Satterlee and Norm Breyfogle
$2.99, Speakeasy

This came out a few weeks ago, but I just found it. It's okay. If you're a Breyfogle fan (and I'm a HUGE Breyfogle fan), it's good, but if you're not (and I'll admit, he's an acquired taste), this might not do it for you. It's not a bad idea, but we'll see how it plays out. It appears Christianity might play an interesting role in this series, which is intriguing and can go a really good way or a really annoying way. We'll see. Like I said, the art is the highlight of the book (for me, at least).

Rex Mundi #14 by Arvid Nelson and Jim Di Bartolo
$2.99, Image

Cronin doesn't like this book, but that's because he's insane. It used to be my favorite book, but its very slow publishing schedule has, like Planetary, moved it down on my list. Buy the trades and Wait For The Trade on this one, because it does really read better at one sitting. Di Bartolo, the new artist, looks fine, and the story moves along at its usual snail's pace, and Nelson promises that the next issue will be out in November. We'll see. When all is said and done on this title, I think it will stand as a masterpiece, but the journey is long and hard.

Sea of Red #4 by Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer, and Salgood Sam
$2.99, Image

Wait For The Trade. Another ridiculously slow title. It continues to be interesting, as Remender explores not just the bloodlust of vampirism, but other aspects of living as one of the undead. I think the first four issues are going to collected, which is kind of weird because this ends on a rather anti-climactic note, but it's a good read. This is Sam's last issue on art, so we'll see how it continues.

Seven Soldiers: The Manhattan Guardian #4 by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart
$2.99, DC

Well, it's a fun cover. We need more fun covers like this. Hey, if Stewart and Morrison can do this, where's that Seaguy sequel? Speaking of Seven Soldiers, everyone knows that what's-his-name is a what's-it-called, right?

The Stardust Kid #2 by J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog
$3.50, Image/Desperado

Wait For The Trade. It's a beautiful book, but I can't even remember when the last issue came out, and as DeMatteis is in full "weird-religion-fantasy-whimsical" mode, he tends to ramble, which reads better as a trade. Don't believe me? Try to read one issue of Blood without reading any of the others. Sheesh. Anyway, the neat thing about this book is the fact that it reads like great children's literature; meaning, DeMatteis makes it fanciful, but still slightly horrific. Kid's books shouldn't shy away from horror, and DeMatteis presents it well. But it's slow. Slooooooowwwwwww!

See how I love you? I tell you which trade paperbacks to buy and save you the frustration of reading single issues and saying "I have to wait six months for the next issue? Gaaaahhh!" I buy the monthlies because I care about you, the reader.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem with waiting for the trade for The Stardust Kid is that the last series by the same team, Abazadad, was never finished (it was put out by now-extinct CrossGen) and so was never collected as a trade.

So there is no guarantee it will make it to trade, although I will admit that chances are better with The Stardust Kid than they were with Abazadad.

9/12/2005 07:06:00 PM  
Anonymous RAB said...

"Speaking of Seven Soldiers, everyone knows that what's-his-name is a what's-it-called, right?"

Klarion the Witchboy is a...transvestite Winona Ryder cartoon drawn by Tim Burton?

I knew it I knew it I knew it. You just can't trust those Goth boys.

9/12/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

I'll be very interested to see what you think about Seven Soldiers when you read it all at once.

9/12/2005 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

That's true, Anonymous, but I don't think Image is going under like CrossGen did, so I have more confidence that it will eventually make it to a trade.

Lex, I'm dying to read Seven Soldiers. But I will be strong!!!!

9/13/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Alias, on the other hand, is not nearly as likely to be around long enough to guarantee trades of anything Mike S. Miller isn't in the primary credits for. Because of that, I'm stockpiling my Elsinore floppies to read straight through whenever the series takes a breath.

Fell was surprisingly good, and well worth the $1.99. Hell, it was even worth the $2.50/$2.99 I paid for some of the other crap I bought last week.

9/13/2005 03:49:00 PM  

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