Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Comic Quotes Should Be Good for the 12/21 Comic Week

On the side of this blog are a lot of fine blogs where folks talk about comic books. Each week I pick out ten cool quotes about comics from those blogs during the past comic week. I cannot promise that my picks will be thorough, or even the best quotes. They are just quotes that made me laugh or smile or say, "Good line." Please note that the folks who write on this here blog (Comics Should Be Good) are excluded, as it strikes me as a bit too self-serving to quote any of them here. But be assured that I think they are all quite good!

Let's begin!

Johhny Bacardi gives us a series of short reviews of the December comics he read. I am sharing with you the one he did on
ROCK 'N' ROLL (Image)S/A: Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, Bruno D'Angelo, "Kako". Best of show here, unsurprisingly, is the segment written and drawn by Moon and Ba. Chances are if you're interested in this at all, it's because of them and they don't disappoint- Moon's work is a lithe and graceful as ever. "Kako" also pulls off a nice Mignola-esque style in the third installment. All of this in service to a story which gives us a father and daughter who get mixed up with some sort of rock 'n' roll cult. I can't say I wouldn't mind finding out more about this premise, but somebody's gonna have to put some meat on these plot bones for me to do so. B+
Joe Rice reviewed some books that rightfully should be appearing in comic stores everywhere,
Quentin Quire: Kid Omega continues to surprise. This "mission of learning and peace" thing really seems to be going somewhere. The conversation with the waitress seemed very authentic. It still feels weird seeing Tomine working on a Marvel book, a mutant book at that. But it's only four issues in. The phone call? Jesus, I felt that.

OK, JLA had some pretty insane stuff this month. Zatanna and Plastic Man's encounter with the Incorrection Board was amazing and spooky at the same time. Cliff's disdain for Red Tornado's dorkiness still cracks me up. And you know I'm not making up that moment that Batgirl and Captain Marvel shared. That was cuter than a bag of puppies. When they turned around and whipped up the house New World's Finest style, I called out a big FUKYEA!
David Campbell takes a look at Jack Kirby's Fourth World, in a review of Mister Miracle (Vol. 1) #10,
Kirby’s Fourth World books told the story of two warring planets chock full of exotic superhumans, the idyllic New Genesis and the malefic Apokolips. The original comics were Orion, The Forever People, New Gods, and Mister Miracle (I believe) and they have spawned a number of series and mini-series since their inception in the early 70’s. Kirby created a massive Manichaean mythos* from whole cloth, populated by iconic figures and strange beasts. It’s one of the most ambitious and wildly creative works in comics – second only to Lords of the Ultra Realm. Kidding. I kid.

This comic kicks ass; I don’t know how else to say it. It’s told with such vibrancy and confidence that it just sucks you in. Jack Kirby was a master of his craft, and he produced outrageous, wacky shit like this with such certainty and skill that you either had to embrace it or just stop reading comics altogether because you suck.
Johanna Draper Carlson reviews one of my favorite mainstream comics out today, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (#72, to be precise),
With so much going on, there’s something here for almost everyone. On top of the ongoing stories, there’s a stand-alone plot about Harvey being pressured to throw a party while his parents are away, foregrounding the importance of trust. Kids act up, but Sabrina and Llandra are able to minimize trouble with their magic.

This is all potent material that lots of kids can relate to. Not everyone has an idea of what they want to be, and not every relationship works out the way you hope. Feeling alone is typical for a teen, even one with special abilities.

The art (by Tania del Rio and Jim Amash) remains vibrant, with an eye-catching candy-coated palette provided by Jason Jensen. There’s also a backup story (script by del Rio, art by Chris Lie and Dan Davis) featuring the manga Josie & the Pussycats meeting Alan. The art’s both flatter and more crowded than the lead story, and there’s not much to the piece beyond the character introduction.
Jog does an excellent job of looking at Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #2,
I mean, it’s pretty tough for me not to see this issue as an admission on writer Grant Morrison’s part that this project is best taken as exactly that: a single project. I have no idea if it was planned this way from the very beginning and Morrison was simply toying with everyone via interview, or if he somehow managed to sense the emerging lack of modular self-sufficiency among the project’s titles mid-stream (mid-scripting? quick additions late in the process?); hey, maybe he really does think that this thing is working on a miniseries-specific structural level, but in that case I dare say this issue belies some sort of subconscious doubt on the writer’s part. It’s all about tying up threads in this one, searching through disparate strands of information to grasp that big picture. There’s ludicrous coincidences, but since the project has already revealed itself as madly self-aware, perhaps we’re only glimpsing a more tangible (though not the most tangible - that's in Zatanna #4) manifestation of the author’s (authors’?) hand(s).
Sean Maher takes a look at
Fused! Tales is a great example. Steve Niles writes the opening story (apparently this is his character - I'd gotten it confused with a Joe Casey property, probably because both books had Ashley Wood doing art at some point) and it's drawn by someone known only as Chee. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for more books with this guy's art - there's a few pages in particular towards the end that just blew me away.

Oh, but then, I realized I didn't explain the setting for the art. Fused, we're caught up to very quickly, is about a scientist who got trapped in a giant mechanical body. He has conversations with his "CPU", the computer running the robot body, is alienated from his wife, and has to deal with constant malfunctions in the machinery of his new form. It makes sense, when you think about it - if a dude got stuck in the thing, it stands to reason there'd be other troubles with the prototype. So now he goes around helping The Government and bringing his regular-Joe perspective to the wild world of a giant mechanical weaponized robot. A lot of this makes me think of Mignola's Hellboy (Fialkov even writes in Hellboy's signature line, "Oh, crap"), and I think fans of that property would find a lot to enjoy here.
Here is a glimpse of Jeff Lester's comic reviews this week,
TESTAMENT #1: Failed a casual flip test--I picked it up and put it down no less than three times (but then so did The Goon, and this was while working in a comics shop two days before Christmas)--but I kept trying and got dragged in eventually. Parts of the premise and approach remind me of Promethea(which I doubt is accidental), and Liam Sharp's art is gorgeous, plus it's interesting to see DC/Vertigo, normally skittish when it comes to Christianity, publish potentially blasphemous material. But it seemed more interesting the first time when I skimmed it too fast and I thought they were portraying the God of the Old Testament as a fiery bull-headed deity. Too soon to say where it goes from here, but it's of interest, I guess. Since this is the week for it: OK.
Kurt Addams reviews Bad Planet #1,
This is high-concept sci-fi stuff and it works provided you don’t think too hard. The series revolves around alien DeathSpiders (which have apparently been trademarked – a move best described as ambitious at this early juncture) that have landed on Earth with havoc-wreaking intentions until the Convict arrives to clean up this one atmosphere town. The cast is rounded out by an 11-year-old, laptop-wielding, African boy -- who, along with the Convict, is on the cover but makes no appearance in the book, one of my top five comic annoyances -- and a hottie science gal who probably should have been on the cover if for no other reason than to give Larosa and Bradstreet another opportunity to lovingly draw her ample bosom. All will team up to battle the invaders although you don’t get much of that in this first issue.

So this looks to be more space western than space opera, which is fine by me so long as it doesn’t slide into odd-buddy team-up territory or try to get too clever with the dialog. The moment the alien Convict starts sounding like Bruce Willis or the African boy tells the female lead, “You go girl!” the whole of it will unravel faster than that awful sweater my aunt knitted me for Christmas when I was twelve. Regardless, they’ve got me on board at least through the third issue which will include a handful of 3D panels and 3D glasses to boot. Really I just want the glasses.
Mark Fossen gives us a fan's eye view of Elk's Run #4,
If you want pure impartiality on Elk's Run, you will need to look elsewhere. I am a fan.

That said, Elk's Run #4 is even better than I was expecting. Remember the oft-repeated cover blurb of comics past: "This Issue: Everything Changes"? Remember how nothing ever actually did? Well, in this chapter everything changes. Though the issue has been delayed due to various issues with new publisher Speakeasy, the wait was worth it. "Compression" in comics isn't just about a Silver Age-y packing in of as many events as possible. It's also about making comics that juggle theme, plot, and character skillfully. It's about making comics that read well on many levels. It's about comics that are dense and chewy and rewarding. That's what's so often missing from the decompressed storyarcs of "The Big Two", and what is so plentiful in Elk's Run. This issue is the high point of the series, as Joshua Hale Filakov skillfully fits major plot development, significant subplot development, massive thematic development, and a damn fine story into 24 pages. Once that Herculean labor is accomplished, Noel Tuazon and Scott Keating then come along and kick it up a notch ... or twelve.
Finally, here is an opinion of Chris Sims that I totally disagree with, but because I love him, it is still cool to read,
I'm not the first person to talk about how Corey Sutherland Lewis the Rey's Sharknife is awesome, and I'm pretty sure I won't be the last, so I won't waste your time. I will, however, say this: Every good thing you've heard about this book is true.

It's a masterpiece, from the literal love letter to comics at the beginning to the story of the villain's life as told through his suits, to the cookie fortunes Sharknife says when he transforms. It's probably why the word "kickass" was invented.

Plus, in the Free Comic Book Day Special--which I hope gets collected for you poor souls who missed it--we find out that Sharknife fought a bear. And if there's one thing I've grown to love in 2005... it's bearfightin'.
Thanks, folks, for providing me with so many great quotes! See you next week!

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Blogger Brad Curran said...

I liked that Free Comics Day Special Sharknife story a lot. Not sure how much I'd enjoy the GNs, though, but I plan on giving them a try.

12/30/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I bet Sharknife reads a lot better in short story form, as there is not enough opportunity for Lewis to just do 80 pages of fight scenes.

12/31/2005 03:02:00 AM  

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