Friday, April 27, 2007

Weekly Comic Reviews for April 25th, 2007 -- NO SPOILERS

No spoilers because there were no books for me this week. But I have to review something right? Fortunately, I have reviews for Death Note volumes 8 through 11, The Makeshift Miracle, and Will Eisner's The Contract With God Trilogy. Yeah, I was sick for a while and it ended up helping me get some reading done.

Death Note volumes 8 through 11 -- I really don't want to spoil the series for any potential readers so I'll have to be careful here. As the story has progressed it has taken some pretty drastic turns. Some times I kinda felt put off by certain events because I liked how the story was going and the characters. But you really have to be prepared to let any of the characters go at any time. It's kinda tough for a guy who's used to reading North American comics where dead doesn't necessarily mean dead but I see the importance of these events to the story. And in the end, sometimes the ends (in this case, the telling of a compelling story) outweighs the means (sacrificing some characters that readers have become attached to). So enough with the cryptic stuff. The story continues to shift and turn at every opportunity and the suspense builds as Light gets closer and closer to his goal of his "perfect world". I haven't been too ecstatic about the women in the book though and when some characters make comments about how easy it is to use women by playing with their emotions, the knot in my stomach starts to tighten. I wish it was just the raving of a stupid character but so far of the few women that have appeared in the book they haven't really been portrayed very well. I am very eager to read the 12th and final volume of the series when it comes out. I think it's set for a July release and it's going to be a long wait.

The Makeshift Miracle -- The background on how I came about reading this: I've been a lurker on the blog of the writer/artist for this book for a while now. I think I found it via a link on Newsarama when he was talking about how to put a portfolio together. And I would drop by to check out his comments or see his art from time to time. So when he talked about this book, which is a comic he had posted online but has now collected for print, I figured why not give it a read. Gotta support a fellow Canuck after all. :) So as for the review. This is definitely a book that I'll have to give a second read. Not necessarily because it's so great (and that's not to say it's bad) but because it really slaps you upside the head suddenly. It's kinda like those movies with the big ending that you have to re-watch to see how it got to that point. The story seems simple yet weird as you kinda wonder what these characters are thinking when all these events happen. Overall, the story is worth reading in itself as it's quite the magical story with surprising emotion. The art was pretty solid and the style matched the story well but I just felt that something was missing from it. I just can't put my finger on a single overall problem I had with it but it really did have the feel of an amateur webcomic artist without the real punch of a professional. That probably sounds harsh and I really don't mean it to be but that's just what seemed to stick with me as I finished the book. Maybe in a few weeks or maybe even a month or two I'll re-read it. But I'd definitely recommend it for those looking for something a bit different.

The Contract With God Trilogy -- I think more so than the Spirit stuff I read this book shows off Eisner in all his glory. The stories contained in this book are all so meaningful and show the beauty and ugliness of life. Eisner really was a first class storyteller who simply chose "sequential art" to tell those stories and had more than enough talent to tell those stories well. Readers can easily project themselves or those they know on to the characters in each story and see a little bit of their lives told back to them. As we see life on Dropsie Avenue cycle and evolve Eisner paints a history that fills you in a range of emotion from love to hate, happiness to sadness, and joy to sorrow. I really can't say much about this book. It's a masterpiece and a shining example of the comic book/sequential art/graphic novel medium.

So that's it for this week. Looking at next week's list, I should have plenty to review come next Friday. And beyond that, I'll probably be slowing down a bit. Civil War is over and although World War Hulk is coming, I just can't see myself buying too many Marvel books as I really just don't like what they've been putting out. Everyone keeps telling me "Yeah, I dislike their books but I have high hopes that they'll be doing something cool from here." Personally, I've given up that hope I guess as I've been disappointed too many times in the past. And I just can't seem to get myself hooked on any DC characters/books. As for the graphic novels and such, I think I need to slow down a bit with them and get back to reading a few novels and other books that have piled up on my "to read" list. I'll see about getting "From Hell" done and reviewed but no promises. Plus, I'd kinda like to get back to doing some drawing of my own, especially with my new tablet. I think taking these last few months to read a wide range of books has put a bit of a fire under me to finish the trilogy I had planned. I've already said I'd get back to posting pages of Divine Leap on DrunkDuck (though I'll be cutting back to only one page per week). So I really should get going on it. So wish me luck. :)

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