Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My End Of The Year Post

I know everyone and their dog are doing the end of year posts whether it's "The year in review" or "Top X comics of the year/decade" but I figured why go against tradition so I might as well join in. I won't be covering the decade or anything, this year was enough for me. It'll be a mix of comics/geek stuff and other things (but mostly comics) so you've been warned.

The year started off not so good for me. Ottawa was still dealing with a bus strike with no end in sight. And considering I don't own a car and am living in the burbs, I wasn't in a happy place. Friends and family stepped up to help with the essentials (work, groceries, etc) but other than that, I was stuck at home for the most part. It was a pretty rough time for me though admittedly, there were a lot of people who had it far worse.

So getting to the comics, this year really continued my transition away from the monthlies. I dropped titles or titles I was reading were dropped. It's got to the point now that after Buffy season 8 ends I will stop buying monthlies and go to trade paperbacks for my two remaining books, the Incredible Hulk and Elephantmen. On the topic of the Hulk, I initially hated the idea of the "new She-Hulk" but the character has grown on me a bit. I'm still not a big fan of her being "She-Hulk" as I'm still a fan of "the She-Hulk" but she's become someone I could follow. I still dislike the "Red Hulk" and Loeb's writing (on the Hulk books at least).

The first highlight in terms of print books was finally reading Sandman. It's a lot to take in but an excellent story. And I'm enjoying Invincible, the Walking Dead, Locke & Key, Fables, Jack of Fables (a recent/Christmas addition), Ex Machina, Umbrella Academy, and Mouse Guard, all in TPB or collected editions. I'm also looking forward to Powers picking up again and the conclusions to Planetary and Scott Pilgrim. So still plenty of reading, just in a different format. And I'll still be picking up the odd mini-series and such in collected forms.

Which leads me to the webcomics world. I was sorry to see "Celadore" and "Night Owls" come to an end, but at least they weren't like "I Rule the Night" which just stopped. I have picked up a few others along the way to fill the void. "Lily of the Valley" seems to be picking up as it goes and the "Abominable Charles Christopher" for instance may be my favourite webcomic. And I think Andy Belanger's "Bottle of Awesome" has been getting better as it's gone on. But admittedly, I have sort of stuck to webcomics on Zuda and DrunkDuck or followed some of the talent from those sites.

A definite highlight to my year was attending Canada Fan Expo 2009. It was my first big convention and I was a bit overwhelmed but it was definitely a weekend to remember. There were the tv/movie celebrities I got to meet (or just see in person) and there were the comic professionals. Most of the people I met were very friendly. I probably bugged Caanan and Andy Belanger the most by dropping by every once in a while to chat (when they weren't busy) but they were nice enough not to show any annoyance.

So that was a brief look at some of 2009 for me, at least the comic/geek related stuff (I'll leave the more personal rants and such for my friends and family). As for the coming year and the future, here are some of the things I'm looking forward to, either in 2010 or beyond. We have Josh Alves' latest webcomic, Heropotamus. It looks to be off to a good start and I enjoyed his Araknid Kid. There is the Guild comic written by Felicia Day (who took the time to comment on the sketch of Codex I did a while back, which was also a highlight of my year). Of course, there's Canada Fan Expo 2010 which I'm already looking forward to. We have Marvel purchasing Marvelman which I'll be picking up as soon as they get the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman stuff back into print (I was really excited by that news this year). And personally, I'll be kicking off the final chapter of my webcomic, Divine Leap. And of course, I'm looking forward to more great stuff from the above mentioned books I'm reading.

So I'll just end 2009 by saying thank you to everyone who's stuck around to read this blog, to everyone who took the time to comment, and to anyone who just dropped by. I hope 2009 was good to you and that 2010 will be even better.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for December 23, 2009

My last weekly comic reviews post of 2009. I am planning a "2009 Year End" post for next week. I just have to look through the year's posts and see what I want to say. :)

Fall of the Hulks Gamma -- I really want to avoid the spoilers here... Let's start with the art. I have to be honest, I have seen better work from Romita Jr. Some parts just looked rather bad, like he just rushed through it way too quickly. And I can't say for sure where the story is going but all the "surprises" and "twists and turns" of this issue seemed not only forced but also could be seen coming from miles away. I almost didn't expect them to happen because they seemed too obvious but I was wrong. I have an idea where the story is going but again, it seems so obvious that I hope I'm wrong. Overall, not really liking this issue and don't really have high hopes for the storyline at the moment.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow -- I think I could have passed on this issue. First up, it takes place before the series started, so much has happened that it seems like revisiting that time isn't really all that necessary. Unless there's something important which I may have missed. You see a bit more of Willow's character but not really enough for a full comic. And I found the writing and dialogue felt a little off in the beginning, I just found it a little hard to follow. I did think Karl Moline did a good job on the likenesses and the art was pretty solid throughout, though the inks may have been a bit heavy in parts. Overall, a good issue for Buffy fans I suppose but not a great issue in my opinion.

So I end the year on two not-so-positive reviews. I have a few TPBs coming in so perhaps I'll do some reviews of those to end the year on a more positive note. But with that...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for December 16, 2009

Let's get right to it shall we...

Darkness/Pitt #3 (of 3) -- First off, amazing artwork. I don't know if it was my print of the book or not but a few pages seemed a bit washed out where the inks and colours looked a little faded but still, really great. In some panels though the art seemed ... different than the previous issues. Maybe it was just the difference between when issue 1 was done and issue 2 but I don't know. Still, I really do love Dale Keown's work. It was a good conclusion to the story which I'd say was pretty good but really, it felt like just an excuse to get these characters together. And they were great together. Funny and intense. I did enjoy this series. One thing I said to Dale Keown when I met him briefly at Fan Expo Canada was that I almost wished the pages were larger to show off more of the detail of his work (though I don't think I put it that way and I think I just confused him or he thought I just wanted more pages, not too sure, but he was polite about it). Anywho, enough name dropping, I'd say this series is worth checking out.

Elephantmen #23 -- I was a little harsh on the last issue but I thought this one was much better in terms of art and the writing. It did feel a little weird and a bit jumpy as we get closure in some things and some new questions/stories seem to be starting up. I'd say it's a solid issue of what I consider a great series. And I guess that's all I have to say about that. :)

As an added bonus, here's the gift I drew for the DrunkDuck Secret Santa. It was for the user usedbooks who makes the comic Used Books.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for December 9th, 2009 -- SPOILERS

I decided to pick up the What if? World War Hulk special so a whopping two books to review. Spoilers abound.

Incredible Hulk #605 -- This was a pretty disappointing issue. I guess it all centers around Skaar feeling it necessary to be the one to kill the creatures from Sakaar but the book seemed to be all over the place. From Moleman's sad little story to Tyranus' appearance, it just seemed like a mix of things that were unnecessary to the story. Perhaps it's due to the fact that this is the calm before the Fall of the Hulks storm or it's just that I don't really care about these characters (including Skaar) all that much. Both Olivetti and Pelletier's art were nice but didn't really fit together over the story. And I felt the fight between Skaar and Tyranus could have been a bit clearer as to what was happening in some panels. Overall, not really a great issue in my opinion.

What if? World War Hulk #1 -- After the disappointment of the Incredible Hulk issue I really hoped this would be a good book. It wasn't. It was really bad. I almost wondered if the creators had even read the World War Hulk series. The Hulk just didn't feel like the "Green Scar" Hulk that was in World War Hulk. And the idea of "what if the heroes had lost" just seemed off because it's not really like they won World War Hulk in the first place. This was more like "what if the heroes really screwed up and killed themselves" and focused on the Skrull/Secret Invasion. The Thor joining WWH story was really bad. So a trainload of people convinced the Hulk to talk it out with Thor? That seemed really weak. Some of the cartoons at the end were pretty funny though. But a very week issue of What if? and not something I'd recommend.

So yeah, not a very good week I felt.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Very late reviews for December 2nd, 2009 (and older)

I was travelling for work last week but I was finally able to pick up my books from last week which included the second issue of "The Stuff of Legend" (my comic shop missed ordering it for me the first time around).

The Stuff of Legend #2 -- I thought that this was advertised as a two issue story but it looks like only chapter 1 is two issues and there's not a lot of closure with the ending of chapter 1. This was a really solid issue though. A lot of emotions at play and unique characters showing their range. And the art is really beautiful and solid storytelling for the most part (a few scenes took me a minute to figure out but weren't too bad). I have seen/heard people comparing this to Toy Story (it is toys coming to life after all) but I think that really does this a disservice, there's so much more to the story and the characters. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story and characters go so I'm a little disappointed in the length of time between issues (I think the second volume is set to start in the spring 2010, around the same time as the collected version of the first two issues) but at least they're upfront with the schedule. I definitely recommend checking this one out, especially with the Free Comic Book Day book online.

Fall of the Hulk Alpha #1 -- I was on the fence as to whether or not I would be picking this series up but I decided to give it a try, I need some books to review after all. I'll see where it goes and drop it if I need to pick up Loeb's Red Hulk stuff (seriously, even the characters who created him are refering to him as "a Red Hulk" as in "we will create a Red Hulk"?). First up, I love Pelletier's work. I thought the inking here was a little rough but still really impressive art. As for the story, I'm not a huge fan of this trend towards "Look, we have another group of masterminds who have secretly been behind all these events in the Marvel Universe. Isn't that clever?" How many "secret groups" are there and how many have Doom involved? Though I guess that makes sense for Doom. I do have to admit to kinda liking the explanation of this group being behind helping each other out when they get caught or worse, explaining their (and other character's) unexplained freedom and reappearances throughout the years. But in the end I was sort of "meh, it feels like it's been done very recently by the Illuminati and the Cabal." If you're a big Hulk fan and looking forward to Fall of the Hulks this is a pretty important book, but I wasn't really blown away by anything in the story yet. Just have to see where things go I suppose.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for November 25th, 2009

Only the one book came out for me this week.

Son of Hulk #17 -- I haven't been a big fan of this series but I was hoping for a good finale. Unfortunately I was left pretty disappointed. I found myself just struggling to make it through the issue as I really didn't care about the characters or what was happening. Every character seemed to be a throw away character. Even one of the "main" characters is listed as "MIA" at the beginning of the book which led me to believe there would be more to her story, there wasn't... So why should I have cared? I really should have stopped collecting this series a while back and I don't recommend it.

I'll be away next week for a conference (work related) so there won't be much happening on here for a little while.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for November 18, 2009 -- SPOILERS

Two books to review this week and I'll have to make them short.

Dr Horrible One Shot -- Good art, decent story, but not a great book. I felt the character's voices were there and it was interesting to see Dr Horrible's start but this book felt a little light on story. Some parts seemed to be dragged out over too many pages/panels and by the end I thought that it could have potentially been reduced to fewer pages and either put online or maybe had the other Dr Horrible online comics included in this print version. If you're a Dr Horrible fan you're probably going to pick it up no matter what anyone says and as a fan, I'd say check it out but don't expect something that great.

Incredible Hulk #604 -- My first thought was "When did Rick take over A-Bomb? And if he has, why hasn't he revealed to everyone who the Red Hulk is?" But I quickly figured it happened in Loeb's Hulk series (or not) and moved on. I do like both artists who work on this book and again, the two artists wasn't really as distracting as I've seen it in the past. The overall story is interesting, we get to see a lot more of Banner's thinking and current personality/state of mind, but parts felt a little quick/convenient/rushed. The Harpy/Marlo thing for instance, where did that come from so suddenly? And it disappeared as quickly as it started. I really want to like this book and I don't think it's bad, but I think the story could be told a bit better.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for November 11th, 2009

I got nothing. No books came out for me this week which really isn't too surprising. I'm not really too sure what I'm going to blog about when I switch to TPBs. I don't normally like reviewing those and they are months apart. Perhaps I'll try to post more about other comic news and webcomic stuff.

But if you're really desperate for some reviews I did read "I Kill Giants" and "Stitches: A Memoir" recently. And looking back, I wish I had separated them with a few more light hearted books instead of reading them one after the other.

I found with I Kill Giants that it took a few pages before I felt comfortable reading it. It's a little different visually than what I'm used to but it was the word balloons that I found a little challenging, always looking for the little line that indicated who was saying what. Either I adapted or it got better as the book went on. But overall, an extremely moving and compelling story and the art really fit and told the story well. Definitely worth checking out.

Stitches: A Memoir didn't have the dynamic art and layouts of I Kill Giants but told a very personal story in a more straight forward style. The art was more along the lines of storybook illustrations though it did flow rather well. I think this style worked here and anything more "dynamic" just wouldn't have fit. When I was done reading it I had mixed feelings about some things such as wanting to explore certain parts of the story more but I think David Small says it best in the write ups at the end, this is his story. He could have gone more into his mother's story or his father's but I think he's right not to and just leave it to the reader to think about. It's definitely a touching story that plays on many emotions. I'd say this one is worth checking out as well.

I also finally checked out an episode of "Ink: Alter Egos Exposed" and it was interesting. It was about politics in comics. The downside is that there is so much that could be talked about that you only get snippets in the 30 minutes they boil it down to and so much is missed. But on the other hand, they do talk about some interesting stuff that I hadn't heard about (such as Joe Sacco, a journalist who uses comics to report on what's happening). I really want to see the other 9 episodes they did for this show but then again, I can always stand to listen to people talk comics so that's no surprise.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Finally got around to watching the first episode of V and was pretty disappointed. I thought the acting was good but that was about it. The story didn't really hook me and it felt like they were trying way too hard with the whole "secret terrorist cell" to be relevant to the real world or something. And I found it extremely predictable. All the plot twists (really, how many do you need to throw into the first episode) were pretty transparent early on. Also, how many worm's eye views do you really need? They really seemed to be pushing the whole "Hey, crazy camera angles, that creates drama right?" thing. I really hope it gets better soon but if this what they thought would hook people as their initial episode I'll probably be dropping this show from my watch list pretty quickly.

Weekly Comic Reviews for November 4th, 2009

At home sick today. Nothing serious, I think it's just a combination of several things.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #30 -- Again, not really too thrilled with this issue. And it's the same things, the storytelling aspect just doesn't seem to be executed well. Sometimes it's confusing what's going on, who's talking, and their is just weird times where I'm trying to figure out if I'm missing something. I'm wondering about Twilight mentioning a god almost killing Buffy and her friends only it's not shown until half way through the next page. Can he see the future or something? Overall I've just found this series to be going downhill recently. I'm still hoping things get turned around but we'll see.

One other thing, once Buffy season 8 is over that'll most likely be it for my weekly comic purchasing. If I do decide to buy season 9 it will be through the TPBs so I'd be down to two monthly books at that point (Incredible Hulk and Elephantmen) and I was thinking of going with TPBs on Elephantmen anyways so that would just leave the Incredible Hulk. So long story short, there's no point and I'll be going all TPBs. Perhaps I'll drop by a store to pick up the odd one-shot (though if companies start selling online through Longbox or something else then I won't even do that) but that's about it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for October 28th, 2009 -- SPOILERS

I know, I'm really late with this review. And even now I have to make it quick.

Son of Hulk #16 -- I said in my last review that we seem to be getting dragged very slowly to the final confrontation (or whatever) with Galactus and here we have yet another issue supposedly building up to that. I'm really not into this series at all any more. Characters that I kinda cared about are dead and they just seem to be throwing random characters with no identities into the mix and killing them off. There really doesn't seem to be a strong pull for me to get into the story. If the next issue wasn't the last I would have dropped this series already.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What I've Been Reading

I'll be heading to my comic shop tomorrow. So until here then, here's a list of some of the stuff (TPBs for the most part) I've read over the last while:

All New Savage She-Hulk Vol 1 -- Yeah, I was ticked about the whole canceling She-Hulk and having this series come out using the She-Hulk name but after reading the She-Hulk bits in Incredible Hulk I decided to give it a try. I actually think it's well done and the character is interesting.

Irredeemable Vol 1 -- Better than I was expecting, really good actually. They're doing a good job of the whole "most powerful hero becoming the most evil person on the planet", an idea I initially kinda didn't think was enough of a hook for me.

Umbrella Academy Dallas -- I actually liked this volume more than the first. Somewhat out there but well done.

Wonderful Wizard of Oz -- Beautiful art and more faithful to the book (than the movie). Worth checking out.

Locke & Key Vol 2 -- Took me a bit to get back into it (had to really remind myself of the characters and where they were left off at the end of Volume 1) but some really interesting stuff going on. Definitely looking forward to volume 3.

Peter & Max -- Great novel and a must read for Fables fans. Non-Fables readers can also enjoy it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Comic Reviews Yet

Reviews will be delayed again this week until at least the weekend. Sorry but work is kinda nuts right now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for October 21st, 2009 -- SPOILERS

A little swamped at work at the moment so have to be quick.

Incredible Hulk #603 -- Not a big fan of two artists drawing one book/story, I often find it jarring. This wasn't too bad but still a little jarring. I don't really know much about Dakken and where he stands with Logan at the moment so some of the story was lost on me a bit. The punchline at the end was pretty funny though. The Lyra story was good in giving us some backstory and setting up the climax. All in all, just a good issue, not great.

Dark Reign List the Hulk (or whatever the title is) -- This one I have mixed feelings on. I was going along with it up until the whole Osborn exposing Banner to gamma radiation and thinking that somehow solves his problem. Yeah, I can see that solving his problem with Banner and maybe if Skaar kills the Hulk then maybe, but bringing back the Hulk shouldn't be something even Osborn does lightly. I guess I'll have to see where it goes. Though with the Hulk branching off into World War Hulks, who knows if that's it for this part of the story. We also get a reprint of an Amazing Spider-Man issue (where Green Goblin and Spidey stumble upon a cave that the Hulk is hiding in). It fits with the main story (as it's referenced) but I'm not really a huge fan of adding reprints to a book, it feels like it's being used as justification for the $3.99 price tag.

Elephantmen #22 -- Wasn't a huge fan of the artwork on this one. We spend a lot of time with a confusing conversation between Vanity and a guy I still don't really remember. And then a few other things happen. I normally love this book and I'm eager to see where everything goes but I just couldn't love this issue. It felt pretty jumbled to me.

Well, that's it for this week.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Another Webcomic of Note

A while back I was pointed towards Transmission X and Raising Hell in particular (a fun Zombie story). I got to meet Andy Belanger at Fan Expo Canada (and probably annoyed the hell out of him by re-visiting him from time to time) as well as some of the other Transmission X guys (all seemed like great guys and they hosted an entertaining Making Webcomics panel). But enough about that.

One of the books on Transmission X, The Abominable Charles Christopher, really stuck out to me as something interesting but I never really got around to reading it until recently. It's an incredible work that is beautifully drawn with an engaging story that has a wide emotional range, going from happy and funny in one setting to sad and serious in the next. I highly recommend checking it out. I've definitely added it to my must read webcomics.

Weekly Comic Reviews for October 7th, 2009 -- May Contain SPOILERS

Only one book this week, which may be one more than I pick up next week.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #29 -- Perhaps I should hold off reviews on this book until this storyline is over as it seems to have lost me a while back. Though I didn't find this book as bad as some of its predecessors in this storyline, I still wasn't into it. The problems for me continue in terms of the writing and the art. I just don't find it's a well done comic. There are too many times I don't know who's talking (pulling too far back showing only cartoony characters that all look the same with their army gear on, it's annoying to figure out who's saying what). And things just seem to be fumbling along making the story seem stretched out as we wait for a climax. The whole army versus powerless slayers and werewolves is definitely something they couldn't have done in the TV show and perhaps that contributes to this not really feeling like a Buffy story in some ways. Yeah, I'm really not digging this book right now. I hope it comes together after this arc is over and we start looking at the climax of season 8. I think for season 9 I'll be going the TPB route (waiting for reviews before picking it up).

I also picked up a few other books on Amazon, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Locke and Key vol 2 (which I was disappointed to find had several pages glued together), and the Umbrella Academy: Dallas. I've only read Locke and Key and the Superman one so far so I have some reading to do this weekend.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Kinda nice

The DrunkDuck awards were handed out a while back. No nominations (which were determined by user voting) much less awards (decided by the judge panel I believe) of course but now that they've posted a list of everyone who got a vote in each category I was pleasantly surprised by three categories. Best sci-fi, best action scenes (this one was a big shocker), and friendliest DrunkDucker. I have to admit, it's a pretty good feeling even if it is just one vote in each.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

And as for that whole FTC thing

Concerning the FTC thing on bloggers who post reviews, first up I'm Canadian so there's that. Plus, I've only ever been offered three things to review for free (that I can recall) and only took up the offer once. The other two I declined the free version to pay for it, mostly for wanting to support the creators of those projects. And for the one time I did mention being given the book to review so there.

I'm actually surprised that I was offered anything for free but I guess even a blog that's got as few visitors as mine could be a potential place to build up steam for a book.

I'm a Consumer

I recently bought a gaming system and it's surprising me how it's started me along a path of examining my life. The thing is that I've been thinking about buying this system (not sure why but I'd rather not name the system, probably just because I don't think it's relevant) but I've always talked myself out of it. Every time I thought about it there were the voices of those around me who questioned my purchase. There was the "Oh, don't buy that system because this other system is sooo much better" and there was the "so you're falling into the must-buy-the-latest-tech crowd" (despite the fact that this system has been out for a while now) and the "you shouldn't spend this money on yourself but give it to someone who needs it". It all made me question my motives to the point where I wouldn't feel right spending the money, especially on myself. So what pushed me over the edge?

I looked at my life over the last few years. I've been working at this job for 6 years and it pays okay but what have I spent money on? A condo (okay, a big purchase but everyone needs somewhere to live), a decent TV (at least when I bought it 5 years ago and I've paid for cable ever since), and a low end computer (with a low end Wacom Tablet). I don't even own a car (the reasons for which include: I don't like to drive, the bus can get me to most places I need to go, and I never felt right spending the money on it if I didn't need it or even really want it). But that's about it. There was also the comic book thing, but as you can see from my blog I only get a couple issues a week and the odd TPB purchase. But other than that I've always talked about maybe one day buying a Tablet PC to draw on or travelling to a convention or buying a game system but holding off.

There were the charities of course. I give to various charities through work and when friends do the "Run for..." or some other event. Could I give more? Perhaps. Do I give enough? How much is enough? Do I have to give away everything I don't need or until there is a cure? Or is just giving enough to clear my conscience enough? Of course, if friends guilt me enough that amount will change. But all that is a few blog posts on their own.

So the thing was, I wasn't spending money for my own enjoyment (other than the comics and cable TV). I kept holding out, it was almost like I didn't think spending money on myself was worth it. Or maybe it was that I was going to become the "evil commercial consumer" that was part of some sort of evil system that relies on money. Either way I felt I had to put my foot down. Everyone always says life is too short, if buying a game system or going to a convention was going to make me happy and I had the budget for it then why not? Why wasn't I worth spending money on? And as for giving my money to the evil corporations or what not (I'm not talking about the overly exploitive ones, I stay away from those, I just have too many people telling me all corporate entities or even individuals in it for money and such are evil), well if they're providing me with some enjoyment and they aren't hurting/exploiting anyone (which I know can be debatable in many cases) than why shouldn't I pay them for it? It's like artists (singers, comic artists, etc) getting blasted for wanting money for their work and people revolting, why shouldn't they be paid for providing people with some level of enjoyment? If they're improving my life in some way, even if it's just giving me 5 minutes of pleasure while reading a comic or listening to a song (an event that could last forever in my brain) why not compensate them. But again, that's another blog post rant.

And as for it not being the right system, well I strongly felt that it was the right system for me. Sure, each system have their pros and cons, I think it all comes down to getting the system that's right for you. And I feel strongly that this is the system for me and I'm not going to be told I'm wrong because it's not the system for those around me.

So in conclusion, I bought the system. I've spent a few hours on it and am looking forward to more. And I'm trying my best not to feel bad about it. If that makes me part of the evil corporate/capitalist/commercial system or makes me a worse person than I guess I'll have to live with it. But fortunately, with life being short and all that, I won't have to live with it for long... Unless I get reincarnated into something horrible, I guess that would suck. Or if that doesn't fit your religion of choice you can feel free to believe someone or something will judge me and I'll have to deal with that when the time comes.

It's rather scary how much the purchase of a $200 game system makes me ponder isn't it? But now you can see why it took me years to make up my mind. :)

Monday, October 05, 2009


Started the week feeling pretty good about myself. Fortunately Monday morning came along and brought me down to Earth.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 30th, 2009 -- SPOILERS

I know I'm late getting these posted, it's been a pretty hectic week.

Son of Hulk #15 -- Everything points to the Son of Hulk trying to get Galactus' attention for a final showdown but it seems to be taking a while to get there. There seems to be a lot going on that just doesn't feel important to the overall story. Maybe it will be later but for now, I'm just not feeling it. And it's weird, I feel in some ways it's well written, I just don't really care for these three legged people and what's going on with them. I've said in the past I would give the series a few issues to see where it goes, and it's getting close to those "few issues" being done and me dropping this title. I'll probably see it through to issue 17 (to see if the "climactic installment" is worth it).

Runaways #14 -- I've been rather critical of this book the last few issues. This issue seemed somewhat better in some ways but still felt off. It felt like I knew what they were trying to do with this issue but still came across rather messy and confusing. And as the supposed conclusion to the current arc I found it failed. It felt like it resolved none of the story and just started up new questions. Like who is this girl who looks like Gertrude and may have her own raptor but doesn't respond to Gert, an unknowing twin or something? And then there's the cliffhanger with Chase. It felt more like the start of a new story arc was thrown in so we didn't need to finish the previous storyline. I hear the book is being sidelined while they retool it, I'm not sure I'll be back after the retooling. I'll most likely drop it in the monthly format, wait to see what I hear, and maybe pick up the digests/TPBs.

I also picked up High Moon but I don't think I'll be posting another review, I've talked about that book enough and it's just a print version of what you can find on the website. I think they've improved the print version in comparison to Bayou's print version. I still don't think it matches the web version but I find it's an improvement over Bayou's version. But now I have a print version to put on my bookshelf. And it comes just in time for the newest chapter of High Moon to kick off on Zuda.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 23rd, 2009

I had asked my Twitter followers to recommend 3 additional books for this week but got nothing (yes, that probably sounds really sad). So only 2 reviews this week and due to issues at work they have to be quick.

Darkness/Pitt #2 -- I was slightly underwhelmed by this issue. The artwork is beautiful and there are some pages where I just thought "wow!" but the middle of the book felt a little off in terms of storytelling. We have Pitt giving more backstory to the virus stuff with snapshot after shapshot appearing under the narration. I just felt the backstory could have been introduced and presented a bit better, it didn't seem to flow well this way. And the last few pages felt a little choppy at times as well, as we went back and forth between Pitt/Jackie and the agents following them. But the final scene promises a whopper of a third issue. Still enjoying the series over all but perhaps this issue just fell into the typical middle "lull", trying to move the story from the intro to the climax.

Incredible Hulk #602 -- I have to admit, I don't like this whole "once he gets moving he can't be stopped" superpower of Juggernaut. I always took it as just boasting when Jugs claimed that as I always took his powers to be super strength and invulnerability (making him all but unstoppable). The "can't be stopped" version just seems stupid to me. Having said that, I guess it shows Skaar's ability to adapt and overcome (though I think the same could be done with a foe who is as strong or stronger than Skaar and totally invulnerable). But again, I wasn't blown away by this issue. It felt a little like they are going the same route as Loeb's Red Hulk, trying to show how badass Skaar is by having him beat the "unbeatable" (or at least "unstoppable"). Though at least here we have Banner planning it, though we are left wondering why (as are the Beast and Richards). So overall, it was a good issue and the art was very nice. I just hope there's more to the story in the end than just Skaar beating everyone up for no reason.

So that's it for this week. I also polished off the second TPB of Guardians of the Galaxy. I didn't really know too much about the characters going into the series but the writing is great and you pick up what you need to along the way. I was a little lost at the ending of this volume but I'm sure I'll make sense of it eventually.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Most of my father's side of the family were in town this past weekend for my aunt's wedding. I wondered how long it took before I got the "when are you going to get married/have kids" line or the "when are you going to come for a visit?" guilt trip. Both happened within the first hour of getting together on Friday. In under 30 minutes an aunt was insisting that not only should I travel to New Brunswick immediately for vacation but that I should talk to work about being transferred there (I guess she's been looking into it and saw that some employees who work in the same government institute as me had moved to New Brunswick). And upon seeing my new nephew (born Sept 12th) a second aunt made a beeline across the room to me to ask "so doesn't this make you want to get married and have kids?" I replied "No" and walked away.

At least that was it for the getting married/having kids thing (which was surprising). My other aunt wouldn't let it go and made sure she got my phone number so she could call to check up on how the plans to move to New Brunswick are going.

Friday, September 18, 2009

No Comic Reviews

I got nothin' this week. But to make up for this, and because I've been super busy and stressed over the last little while, I did order some stuff from Amazon. Just have to hope it gets to me soon.

One other thing I wanted to talk about was the whole kids/comics thing. After the Disney/Marvel thing happened I heard a couple people around me say "Good, maybe they'll make comics for kids again." After some questioning I've found that people are actually saying one of two things.

1. That all comics should be for kids (and that they were at some point) and adult readers should be pushed out (or at least shunned because they are reading stuff for kids). This really irks me but I don't know if it's worth while arguing with these people anyways, I doubt anything I have to say will change them from this mentality given how uninformed they are and how absolute they are that comics and adults don't mix. So I'll just bite my tongue and move on.

2. That there are no comics for kids. This one kinda bugs me too. And the truth is, I've come close to saying this in the past in saying that the North American comics industry does seem to be aimed mostly at older readers. But I think saying there are no comics for kids is also a mistake. Friends have recently asked me about comics for their kids and not knowing much about the options I had to do a bit of searching. But the truth is that I did quite easily find comics for kids. They may not feature prominantly at my local comic shops but they were there. So I send these friends off with some ideas, they take their kids to the stores, and sure enough they find some books for them. This leads me to respond to the initial group (the group complaining about no comics for kids) with questions like "Have you looked at Boom!'s Pixar stuff/Marvel Adventures/Tiny Titans/...?" Or "Have you actually taken your kids into a comic shop to have them look?" And the answers are generally very snarky and defensive which I guess my questions kinda lead to that. But in general I see that they don't actually try out the books with their kids and when they do bring them to the comic shops the parents tend to be more into shopping for themselves and not paying attention to stuff their kids might be interested in. And this is supported by what I tend to see at my local shops, parents bringing their kids in but it's only so they can pick up the latest Walking Dead TPB or something. The kids aren't even given a chance to look much less encouraged to check something out.

Of course this isn't all on the parents. I find my local shops aren't all that great for kids either. Their current customer base seems to be older so the stores stock more adult stuff so instead of cool toys a child may be interested in we get 12 inch statues of women showing off their underwear... Okay, that may be exaggerating to some degree but not by much. But can you really blame the stores? If parents aren't pushing for a kid friendly section/store then why bother changing?

And I find in the end, the comics that companies do try to put out for kids just don't seem to sell (especially around here) and get cancelled or not carried at all in my local shops. But can you blame them? If people aren't coming in to buy the children's merchandise they aren't going to carry them.

I guess in the end I'd say if you have children, and you want them to enjoy the comic experience, actually take the time to encourage it. Don't go to your local shop, scan the most recent comics seeing mostly adult aimed stuff, and call it a day complaining about the lack of children's material. It's out there, you just have to encourage it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 9th, 2009

Only two books for me this week. Actually, I only had one initially but I decided to pick up Hulk Team-Up even though I've made a point of not picking up all these one shots with the Hulk that are really not good in general. The story as to why I picked it up (skip if you don't care), I enjoy watching Comic Book Club on YouTube so when I heard that Alex actually got to write a story in this book I was tempted. Then, after watching the video they made of it where they talked a lot about how cool it all is, to get the artwork from the artist, to see your name on a comic, etc. And I thought "yeah, that kind of excitement should be encouraged. I will pick it up." So I'll start with...

Hulk Team-Up #1 -- As a disclaimer, I've grown really tired of these rather useless one-shots/specials so I didn't go into this with much hope. The first story was your standard one-shot/special story, with a few things happening to lead to the attempt at an emotional ending with profound words. Having said that, it wasn't bad, it was a decent story and the art was pretty good. The second story (Alex's story) was also pretty reminiscent of second one-shot stories of the past in that it wasn't all that great either. The writing was a bit clunky (and downright silly at times, and the sillyness didn't seem to work for me) and the art had me flashing back to the 90's/Rob Liefeld wannabe stuff at times. As someone who hasn't written before Alex did an okay job but I think his inexperience showed. It wasn't really that bad, it just wasn't that good. And in all, it reinforces my thinking that these one-shots usually aren't worth the money. If you're really looking for something to read, I can think of worse things, but I wouldn't really recommend going out to get it.

Elephantmen #21 -- So we knew MAPPO wasn't done with the "Elephantmen" but things are not looking good here. The artwork by Boo Cook is awesome, the action scenes really show off the intensity. This is just the first issue of this storyline so it's a little early to judge where it's going. On the one hand, it seems like a simple idea but on the other, it makes sense and leads to some interesting possibilities. I'm also thinking this issue could serve as a good jumping on point for new readers. I'm really trying not to sound like a broken record but this series continues to be one of my favourites. And I guess that's all I have to say.

I also checked out this month's Zuda competitors. To be honest, nothing really stood out for me yet. I may have to through them again. But it's okay, between the comics I currently read on Zuda, DrunkDuck and Transmission X I have enough webcomics to keep me busy for now.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 2, 2009

Still fighting this stupid head cold so a couple quick reviews and then it's back to napping.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #28 -- I've been a little down on this series as of late, this issue seemed pretty good though. Though admittedly, I could be biased due to the fact that I really just want this series to be good. There were some downs to this issue, the dialogue still seemed awkward at times though I think it was less noticeable as it wasn't intertwined with action sequences. The art was a bit hit or miss with moments I was left saying "That's ???" Or maybe it was the big character moments we have here that distracted me from the bad stuff. It's the same old story it seems, I like the big picture and the overall story, even if the individual issues may not be doing it for me.

Invincible presents Atom Eve collected edition -- I hadn't read this two issue series when it first came out (I read Invincible via TPB and didn't even know about these books). It's your standard solid Invincible writing with a mix of humour, emotion, and action (with probably most of the emphasis being on emotion). The overall story didn't really seem all that "new" and you kinda knew where it was going but it was still worth reading it to see how everything fell into place. If you're reading Invincible and didn't pick this up you really should.

So that's it, back to the couch for more nappy time for me. Cheers!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Another delay

Due to a really nasty head cold and deadlines at work I haven't been able to make it down to pick up my comics (I think I had one this week). But it's the long weekend coming up so I'm hoping to get some reading, drawing, and blogging done. I know I'll never get as much done as I'd like but I have to aim big.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fan Expo Canada 2009

I got back from Toronto last night after a very hectic few days in Toronto at Fan Expo Canada 2009. Here's a rundown of some of the highs and lows for me.

- Met Caanan, Andy Belanger, and some of the guys from Transmission X in person. Great bunch of guys. The Webcomics 101 panel was lots of fun (and I'm happy to say that no mice were eaten). Though by the end of the con I think they'd had enough of me dropping by. :) By the end of the weekend I had sketches from both Caanan and Andy.

- Got to meet Darwyn Cooke briefly, he was on the top of my list for artists I wanted to see. I was tempted to get a full sketch from him as the ones he was doing were amazing but unfortunately it would have broke my budget (not that they were that much but I placed myself on a fairly tight budget). He was kind enough to sign my sketch book with a quick Green Lantern doodle instead.

- Friday was mostly just trying to figure things out and waiting with my brother in line for autographs or autograph/photo tickets.

- Got to meet Bruce Campbell for an autograph and photo. He was everything I expected and more, he was quite the character playing around during the photo shoot. I ended up looking like a dork but my brother's photo came out awesome! It was definitely the highlight of my weekend.

- Photo with Lou Ferrigno, some people were saying he wasn't as big (muscle-wise) as they were expecting but the guy is still ripped. And he towers over my brother and I in the photo (though that isn't too hard, we come from a very short family).

- Accidentally ripped off J.Bone of $25 when purchasing an awesome sketch of the Hulk. Stupid mistake on my part and I still feel guilty about it but he seemed cool with it... Or he just wanted to get rid of me, who knows. :)

- Went to the Bachalo versus Maleev sketching duel where they both did Dr Doom "sketches". Both were awesome but I think I preferred Maleev's. It was really entertaining as both were lots of fun.

- Saw Dale Keown (a favourite artist of mine that I didn't think was coming) sketching. His sketches were unbelievable with so much detail being put into each one. I was tempted to get one but opted to ask him to just sign my sketch book (I know, just getting a page autographed may seem like a weird thing to get done but oh well). I also got to tell him that I thought Darkness/Pitt #1 was great.

- Photo with Leonard Nimoy. He was friendly despite it being a very busy and long weekend. The picture came out really nice too.

- Sienkiewicz versus Manapul sketching duel. This duel was also lots of fun. Both had good interaction with the crowd. We were kinda wondering about Sienkiewicz as he seemed to be talking a lot and not drawing, yet he was done his Hellboy sketch (which they both decided to draw) in no time. Even Manapul (who was spending more time drawing, not that he wasn't also talking) seemed surprised that he was done in such a short time. Both artists were done quickly and did Joker sketches next (Sienkiewicz deciding to do a two pager with the Joker's lower jaw on a second page so you could slide the pages together to make him laugh). Then they decided to do a third sketch with Manapul drawing the Flash and Sienkiewicz doing Elektra. All of the work was great. I really wish that I could have won at least one in the draws but oh well.

- Sunday was mostly doing a last pass through the floor, picking up a sketch or two, and other more relaxed stuff as it wasn't so busy, and saying good bye to the friends I met.

- While waiting for my plane I ended up sitting in the lounge area next to Avery Brooks and seeing Dan Didio (at least it looked a heck of a lot like him and he had a DC Comics bag) waiting while their plane was delayed. I didn't bother either of them but one guy decided to take some photos of Avery while hiding behind a pillar.

- The place was nuts. I heard they ended up having to lock the doors to the building on Saturday as there were too many people in there at once. I can believe it, walking the floor on Saturday was crazy and the lines for Bruce Campbell and Leonard Nimoy were huge. People that have gone in previous years seemed surprised by the crowds.

- When I told people this was my first big con (though some wouldn't consider it that big) they warned me about a couple things, one was the costumes. I knew what to expect so it wasn't a big deal. Some costumes were great, some weren't so great, but if they're having fun then that's all that matters. I would suggest some should re-consider their costumes though, walking around the floor inside a huge cardboard box can be really uncomfortable for you and the people you are constantly hitting/blocking with your outfit. Yes, there were the women in the more revealing costumes (body paint in some cases) getting swarmed for photos and to each their own I suppose. I did find it funny when some young female anime/manga fans dressed up as some sort of furry animals decided to try to mock the Bruce Campbell fans in the photo line holding mock chainsaws and other weapons.

- The organization seemed to leave something to be desired. People had no clue where to go and the volunteers we asked were often more clueless than us. People with non-VIP passes were being told to wait in the VIP line only to be sent to the back of the other line an hour later while VIP pass holders were being told the wrong way to go. And the autograph/photo ticket process for Nimoy and Campbell was throwing a lot of people off, especially for people who ended up having to wait in the autograph line for an hour to buy a photo ticket. I could go on into other stuff but in the end, it was confusing as all heck for a newbie like me (and many veterans from what I understand).

- One thing I learned, be friendly to those around you. Friends I met while waiting in line for one thing (like the Bruce Campbell photo) ended up helping us later in getting his autograph (which they had some sort of ticket, then numbered ticket, then sticky noted numbered ticket, process to it that we only knew about it through a new found friend, I like to think we paid him back by holding his place in line if he needed to leave for food or whatever else).

Honestly, so much happened over the last three days that I'll probably be posting stuff I forgot for the next little while. It was a great time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for August 26th, 2009

I'll try to make this quick, I still have a lot of packing and some laundry (yes, I said laundry) to do and I have to be up really early for my flight tomorrow. Oh yeah, did I mention I was going to Fan Expo Canada? Of course I did but I'll mention it again. I'm really looking forward to my first big (relatively speaking) convention.

Darkness/Pitt #1 -- It's been a long time coming but it finally started. I didn't really get into the Darkness but I'm a fan of Dale Keown and Pitt. The set up is a pretty simple one that I won't get into. Maybe there's more to the story than what we got but there's a page or two of dialogue that's a basic "here's what's happening, let's get moving". So far, it's no in depth story telling. It's "let's just get these characters together and get on with it." And I'm okay with that. And the art is beautiful. I kinda wished it was larger than a regular comic because some pages Dale just puts so much into. The character chemistry was interesting as well. No doubt, I couldn't wait for issue 1 and now I can't wait for issue 2.

The Incredible Hulk #601 -- Pak is back writing the Incredible Hulk (or should it be "Banner and Son") so I'm back reading a Hulk book. We have Banner showing off his smarts in several areas, Amadeus makes an interesting observation about Bruce, we even have an amazing link to Tales to Astonish #60/61. Solid art, good story, told well. I'm happy. I guess the only negative for me is the whole "8 smartest people" thing, I'm getting rather tired of that.

Son of Hulk #14 -- I had been enjoying this series since Jenkins took over but this issue was closer to being "just okay" for me. I think the further it goes from the characters I've known for a while (Silver Surfer/Galactus being the main ones) the more I find myself losing interest. It's not a bad book, just not a must read in my mind. I just don't find the new characters developing in my mind and we're having more and more characters thrown at us on this planet they're now on. I'm still curious to see where it's going but that curiosity may not last too much longer.

Runaways #13 -- I really liked Immonen's first issue (or two) but I think it's been sliding for me since then. This issue continued that slide. In terms of writing, I'm just not into the story, the dialogue and the flow seem weird and off throughout, and the art just isn't doing it for me. The purplish pages where everyone is darkened out, the lack of backgrounds throughout with no real establishing shots, it's just not working for me. Honestly, when I finished this book my first thought was "Okay, one more issue to go for this storyline and then that's it for me." Then I read that it seems the book will be going on hiatus for a while. So maybe I'll wait and see what happens there.

Well, off to do some ironing and finish packing. I don't think I'll get the opportunity to be around (here or on twitter) during the expo so I'll have to report in next week.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Miscellaneous Comic Ramblings (from Twitter)

Being the lazy person I am (and probably pretty annoying as well) I figured I'd write up a quick set of ramblings about stuff I've seen on Twitter recently. Sorry if I don't give credit to the people who passed along the info to me, I'll try to give credit where I can though.

First up, Ernesto Priego has a lot to say about this article about the internet being good or bad for high end artists. Now I don't have the business savvy to really say how things are going to turn out for comic artists/companies. I think there's no doubt the internet is changing things and companies may find themselves falling behind and the issues are plenty. But in terms of web comics (I'm using this term for comics generated for the web and not print comics scanned in) I do have to wonder where things are going.

Now I'm going off topic from the original article so bare with me if you will. For people looking to make a living from comics jumping into the web comic arena can be seen as a logical step. To get your work out there you simply have to do it and post it, there are plenty of sites you can post to or you can build your own site. This probably won't get you discovered though and this is where you have to do the self promotion thing. But in the end, you have to look at making money. Now I've never tried but my understanding is that advertising revenue just won't do it and you have to look elsewhere. Selling print versions or merchandise seem to be the top choices in my mind. But then I start to wonder, what is your primary product? Is it the webcomic and are the for sale items a way for people to support your comic? Or are those sale items the real product and your webcomic is just a way to hook them? Is your webcomic really just a promotional tool for your merchandise? And does it matter?

Getting back to the article, in the end I don't really see the internet as good or bad for all artists necessarily. It will be good for those who find ways to take advantage of it and bad for those who don't. But that's probably just me.

My second rambling comes from this post on the term "graphic novel". I know it's not a new discussion but it's still ongoing. Yes, I've used the term and I generally feel bad doing so. I don't like it and yes, I often get odd looks from people (especially non-comic people who instantly think it's a novel with lots of sex and violence, and then seem to get more weirded out when they find out it's a comic I'm reading). The problem for me is that no other term really gets the point across. I know, it's a comic and most of what I call "graphic novels" were originally a comic series collected in one volume but if I say I'm reading a comic called "Watchmen" people seem to assume I'm collecting a series of books. But now that I think of it, perhaps that's probably the way to go because non-comic people seem to be confused no matter which way I go. Okay, I've decided, they're all comics.

Lastly, Nancy Lorenz posting this "25 Essential Expressions Challenge" to fill out when designing a character (good for new characters or artists taking over a book). This seems like a great idea. I'm hoping to see some examples with a "pouty" Batman or a drunk Superman. And what to do with fully masked characters like Spidey or Iron Man? :P

Friday, August 21, 2009

No reviews yet

I haven't been able to get to my local comic shop this week so no reviews yet. Though, I'm not sure I'll have any even when I do get out there as I don't think I had any books come out this week.

I did read the latest volume of Invincible (which ends prior to the crossover and Conquest stories). I must admit that it wasn't my favourite volume of the series. It seemed like too many new storylines and characters were thrown in there pushing aside the main storylines that I felt needed to be progressed. I'm definitely expecting more out of the next volume, the trouble is avoiding the spoilers while waiting until it comes out (currently listed for March I believe but I'm expecting it to be pushed back like the last few were).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for August 12th, 2009

None of my regular books came out this week but since I didn't want to go home empty handed I picked up the new Ultimate Avengers or whatever it's called. I won't do a full review but it's a step up from where it was (both in writing and art in my mind). I have to admit, I'm tempted but I won't be adding it to my pull list. Though I may consider the TPB if I continue to hear good things about it. I also have the latest Walking Dead and Fables TPBs to read.

In other comic review news, I have been getting a few recommendations for webcomics I might be interested in so I may as well post about the ones I've enjoyed. To be honest, I haven't had a chance to look through too many of them (why do vacations always seem so busy, I guess I just had too much stuff piled up waiting for my time) but two I wanted to mention are Melody and Smash.

I wasn't sold on Melody during the competition stage but reading it now that it's done it is a very well done story. I was expecting something much darker out of it but was pleasantly surprised as the events unfolded.

Smash is simply a fun comic with a good balance of action, humour, and a nice level of seriousness to it. The art has a lot of character and the action scenes are really fun. I'm looking forward to seeing how they end season 1.

Hopefully by next week's reviews I'll have had a chance to look over some more of the suggestions I've received.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for August 5th, 2009

Only one book this week...

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 #27 -- I've said it before, I'm a fan of Whedon, I'm a fan of Buffy, and I really want to be a fan of this series. I still am for the most part, it is Buffy after all, but my enjoyment is wavering. I had some minor complaints about last issue and this one didn't seem any better really. I didn't really find the character dialogue and interaction as interesting as what I'm used to from Buffy and it just seemed to be a lot of rambling dialogue. Other than some interaction between Oz and Willow, all the dialogue just seemed like it could have come from anyone and it didn't really seem to matter. The first scene with Twilight seems confusing as in one panel Warren seems to speak as though Twilight is no longer in the room yet he's shown to be 3 feet away in the next panel. The overall story I'm still into, Twilight seems interesting and magic being Buffy et al's achilles heal is kinda cool, but the execution seems to leave quite a bit to be desired. I'm hoping the next couple issues of this storyline get better but I'm not holding my breath. I just hope it gets back on track with the next storyline.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"Constructive" Criticism

I'm often torn about offering up what I would consider constructive criticism or critiques for webcomic creators or artists. The first issues I have revolve around me. First off I realize my "criticisms" are only really personal opinions of what may or may not have worked for me. And on top of that, I (and many others I know) can come off rather preachy or overly negative, especially when offering up criticisms. And let's face it, I don't always know what I'm talking about (I'd say it's about 50/50).

Beyond that, I know a lot of creators really don't want to hear the negatives, especially from a "nobody" like me. What helps in this case is going back and looking at how the creators dealt with what I consider fair criticisms in the past. If they are met with "Well let's see you do better?" or "Your art sucks too!" or some other attack from the creator I know to just walk away, because obviously this is the so far beyond me that I can't appreciate the creators' talents and in fact, it's so good that it will never get any better. It's especially annoying though when these people ask for criticism saying they want to improve and then reacting negatively to it (ie. their call for criticism was really just a call for more people to check out their work and pat them on the back). Quick tip, if you're going so far as to ask for a critique of your work actually take the time to understand the negatives, digest them, and take a minute to really think about whether they apply or not. Never dismiss them outright.

So in the end, I hold my tongue. The odd time, if I've gotten to know the creator a bit or they've asked for some criticisms I may offer up a "maybe you could pull out every now and then to set the scene" or "you may want to avoid having the letter bubbles cover up your characters" or "didn't that guy have a beard on the last page?" but that's about it. That's probably for the best though, I haven't gotten into an internet rumble in quite some time and I like having my own little part of the web where nobody criticizes me or says anything negative. ;)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Comic Book Solicits

I'm noticing that comic book solicits, especially those from the "big two" companies, just aren't doing it for me. I know they have to go out there to try and get people's attention but I just keep seeing "The universe will never be the same after the shocking events of this issue" and I just find it hard to care. I figure that either the events will not be that shocking (or universe altering), or things will only last until the next "shocking event" 6 months down the road (and sometimes that next "shocking event" will just be the writer forgetting or ignoring the previous "shocking events"), or that the "shocking event" means they'll be taking a book/character/universe I like and changing it into something I won't. Though it's possible they'll change things to a positive but I might as well wait and see (reading spoilers online) to see, and picking up the TPBs if I eventually change my mind.

I guess I'm just getting too pessimistic about things, which is probably why I'm staying away from a lot of the monthlies and maybe picking them up in TPB if I hear good things after the fact. But that's just me, I know a lot of the books I don't care for and "shocking events" are selling really well.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 29th, 2009 -- SPOILER

These will be quickies, I'm a little under the weather so I'm eager to get back to bed.

Son of Hulk #13 -- I kinda went into this book expecting not to like it. I'm usually not into space stories, especially when they don't even feature characters I'm into. I also expected that this new "Son of Hulk" would either be someone just claiming the title or an actual son that nobody seemed to know about (which would seem odd to me, you'd think at least Caiera would have realized something before now). So I found a few bumps in this issue but overall, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It may have felt a little clumsy in parts as it tries to build up its own story but it was a decent enough start. So I'll be sticking it out for at least a few more issues to see where it goes.

The Stuff of Legend #1 -- I didn't get a chance to pick up the Free Comic Book Day book but I did see it online and ordered this shortly after. First up, the art is great for the most part. The style really fits the book well. There were a few times where I felt the layouts could have been a bit better, like some shots maybe could have been pulled back a bit and at least once I missed who was talking as the speech bubble seemed to be pointing to a blacked out figure in the foreground that I couldn't make out. The dialogue also seemed a bit off and clunky at times. Having said that, the presentation did work and the story is very intriguing with some interesting elements and twists to it. I'm really looking forward to issue 2.

Okay, maybe those weren't as short as I had hoped. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comic Con and Digital Comics (more ramblings)

So another Comic-Con is done and gone. I guess one of the perks of not going is I can follow all the stuff online through various websites while people there won't be able to make every panel and won't find out some things until they get home (or at least to a place where they can go online). Yeah, that's the story I'll be sticking to (until I get to Comic Con myself).

There were some pretty big announcements (MarvelMan was the biggest for me as I've been wanting the Moore and Gaiman stuff back in print for a long long time and I hope this is the first step in making it happen) and some interesting looking panels (Iron Man 2 panel looked pretty cool and the Guild panel seemed fun and filled with interesting developments there). But the negative discussions linger, has Comic Con gotten too big? Is it still "Comic" Con? What about the "little man/publisher/stores"? Should deodorant/Febreeze be handed out (or sprayed out) at the doors? Okay, that last one is a bit more of a stretch.

Now as someone who has never been to Comic Con (or any big convention) I'm not the best person to answer any of these but in my mind, maybe it's gotten too big for some people. But really, what can you do? As was pointed out on Valerie D'Orazio's blog, the studios and such see the "geek community" as a place to get ideas (for now) and to try and build a fan base by promoting their scifi/fantasy movies (and some that barely touch on anything sci-fi or fantasy). A big Comic Con appearance can build quite a bit of buzz. Do you really want to start drawing a line on who is and who isn't allowed at Comic Con, especially when a large amount of people have shown they want them there or the panels wouldn't be as busy as they were. Or is the problem you want the companies and the celebrities but don't want the crowds?

As for the little man/publishers/stores, I agree, it sucks. The big companies can throw around their money, grab more space, and make it impossible for these other companies to pay for their own space. It would be nice if the competition could happen on a slightly more level playing field. But then again, Comic Con may be "the" con but it's not the only one. Smaller companies do have their chances to get in there. Get talent on some of the panels, doing workshops, get artists into Artist Alley, etc. I know I just don't understand the problem or I'm being too insensitive to people trying to make a living, but I think there's a lot of routes inside and out of Comic Con for these people.

Is it still "Comic" Con? Perhaps not. Perhaps it's more like the upcoming Fan Expo Canada convention in Toronto which is actually 5 conventions (comics, sci fi, horror, anime, and gaming) merged into one. But Comic Con still has its roots in comics and it's still "the" convention for comic professionals so I think it still has that. And in the end, I think it'll continue as Comic Con even if/when the other stuff dries up.

But as for the "digital comics" part of this post, yet again I hear announcements of comics/media coming out for iPhone or XBox or whatever. Every time I hear these I kinda wince. As someone who doesn't own an iPhone or XBox or whatever I don't really like it when content is made for these, especially content that I'd like to see. But that's just the hit I have to take for not owning them. I just hope that people making stuff for those either have a plan for eventually moving the media off them or know that they're limiting their audience a bit (and could take a hit if they rely on technology that disappears... not really a problem for iPhone or XBox though). But that does highlight a positive of print comics, your audience doesn't need the latest gadget to read it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weekly Comic Book Reviews for July 22nd, 2009 -- SPOILERS

A whopping two books this week. And since I anticipate being swamped at work tomorrow, here goes. I'll only be posting one full review (and it'll be pretty short), you'll see why...

Runaways 3 #12 -- I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed by this issue. The good: We get a bit more of the story about what's going, always a good thing. Some of the art was good. The bad: The story seemed to jump around a bit too much and at bad times. The dialog seemed a little too awkward at times. I honestly could not tell what was going on for the first few pages, I'm thinking they were trapped under the plants and such but all I saw was a blank purple background. Was I missing something? Because even the people outside of wherever the Runaways were seemed to be standing in front of a purple background. At least it ended on a decent cliff hanger. But in the end, I really felt let down by it.

Incredible Hulk #600 -- Yeah, I bought it. I'll admit, part of it was the "600" hoopla and part of it was the blurbs I've heard about Pak's Incredible Hulk series coming out of this issue. Right off the bat I was irked by She-Hulk's constant use of "Banner", she's his cousin, she calls him Bruce. And I really don't want to spend any more time on Loeb's Hulk stuff. Despite this issue being somewhat better in some regards, I still think his run has been really really bad (I'm trying not to go overboard so I'll leave it at that). The Stan Lee story was silly but I expected nothing less from him. The Hulk Gray, well that was just out of place. It's Hulk #600, give us new material instead of revisiting Loeb's other Hulk stuff. And to put in just issue #1 of a 6 issue series seems wrong to me. Put something in that stands on its own, not a teaser to make people buy that series. Honestly, I just couldn't have even been bothered to read the "new She-Hulk"/Lyra story. I might eventually but not tonight.

All in all, a pretty disappointing week for me comic wise.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 17th, 2009

And I got none. Yep, no books came out for me this week. I don't even have any TPBs sitting around on my "to read" pile. It's kinda sad really.

Speaking of TPBs, DC's The New Frontier is a pretty awesome two books (for those of us buying the two volume TPB version). There were times where I found myself slightly lost at parts, not being a big DC reader and not recognizing some of the characters I'm meant to, and other times I had a feeling of some story elements being "been there, done that" in other stories but as a whole, it was really great storytelling. I've seen it ranked pretty high on people's lists of "Top X Graphic Novels/Stories" and I think it's deserving of that praise.

So I guess that's it for reviews. See ya!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Comics I'm reading

I keep talking to people and trying to list the comics I read either monthly, in TPB, or on the web (ie. webcomics, I don't download). Mostly I just want to keep an eye on my buying trends. One problem is I keep forgetting one or two every time I try to list them. So here goes an attempt to write them down (figured I'd share if anyone was interested)...

"Monthly": Skaar, Elephantmen, Runaways, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'll be adding "Incredible Hulk", "Son of Hulk", and the Darkness/Pitt crossover when they start up.

TPB or collected: Powers, Fables, Invincible, Astounding Wolf-Man, Walking Dead, Ex Machina, Locke & Key, and Mouse Guard.

Webcomics (yes, you'll notice a lot of these are on Zuda or have a connection to Zuda): Night Owls, I Rule the Night, High Moon, Bayou, Celadore, Sam & Lilah, and Araknid Kid.

Some webcomics I'm not necessarily sold on but I'm checking out: Lily of the Valley, The Hammer, Bottle of Awesome, and Raising Hell.

And there are a few on DrunkDuck that I may go through in another post.

So yeah, the webcomic list seems to be growing. The "monthlies" went down recently and will go back to the 6/7 range when the new books start up. And the TPB is around that mark as well plus I buy the odd other non-continuing series (like DC's The New Frontier or Joker).

Most of my webcomics tend to be from Zuda and from DrunkDuck as those were two communities that seemed enticing to me. Other sites I've tried just haven't felt as inclusive and I'm just not a big fan of keeping a list of various URLs for each webcomic for the privately hosted ones. I know I could do some of them in a feed or whatnot (to let me know when they update) but I just can't seem to be bothered to do it. I guess I'm just weird that way.

Monday, July 13, 2009


It may not be worth posting (as people who read this blog post probably have seen this already) but just in case...

David Gallaher shared a tip on how to improve Zuda's load time.

As for this month's competition, there are some interesting competitors there of good quality but I had a hard time finding one that really stood out as something I'd follow. And so far, I think Vigilante Granny may be getting my vote (and yes, I know that as I type this it is currently sitting in last place... My vote seems to be the kiss of death yet again).

As for the other competitors, you never know with me. There are some winners I didn't vote for that eventually won me over (or at least have kept me interested). Lately I've been keeping an eye on The Hammer and the new instant winner, Bottle of Awesome. Not sure I'm exactly sold on either series but I'm keeping up with them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Marvel 70th Anniversary Variants

So Marvel is doing 70th Anniversary variant covers with character borders and the X-Men ones have been released. When I first heard about Marvel's plan to do the border on books as part of their 70th Anniversary I kinda liked it(as someone who collected comics the last time they did these borders with their characters). Now that I know it's only on the variant coversit's sorta meh because I ain't paying the extra money for them. Or if they're 50/50 I'm still just "meh" because I don't like multiple covers in general.

A few quick comments:
- Liefeld's isn't horrible. Sure, it's not great and you can find stuff wrong with it but for Liefeld, that's pretty darn good.

- I don't like Land's (of course), Rogue's body just looks weird to me with her big chest and shoulders, skinny arms, legs, waist, and no butt.

- Why is the Red Hulk there??? Unless Loeb is doing a switcheroo, he's the only villain on that border. And in my opinion, he doesn't deserve to be part of the 70th Anniversary stuff. Maybe if there was a second villains edition put him on that. But perhaps that's just my hatred of the character/story/writing coming through.

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 10, 2009

A whopping one book this week for me. But I also got the two volumes of "DC: the New Frontier" to read so don't cry for me. :)

Elephantmen War Toys: Yvette (or whatever the official title is) -- If you've been reading my blog you'll know I like the Elephantmen series a lot. And looking back, I think the War Toys mini-series may be my favourite books of the series (by "series" I'm just going with all the Elephantmen books whatever title they go under). I had mixed feelings about going back there. On the one hand I really enjoyed that series so I'd like to see more but on the other hand, I was a little worried it wouldn't fit in with the original. After reading this issue, I feel silly for even thinking that. This issue fits in amazingly well and is a great Yvette story. It builds on the character, filling in a bit more of the story that didn't make it into the original War Toys series. I don't really know what else to say, I just really enjoy this series issue after issue.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for July 2nd, 2009 -- SPOILERS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #26 -- If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you'll know I'm a Joss fan, a Buffy fan, and a fan of this series (though I've felt some issues were stronger than others). This book felt mixed for me. The positives, the Twilight story is picking up steam after being dragged out for quite a while. Characters are coming together and acting in typical Joss fashion (witty and with plenty of issues). And we're seeing some of the previous stories (like Buffy's trip to the future) coming up again. The negatives, I felt like I was playing catch up right out of the gate here. After some length of time with slower issues I was left wondering "wait, what's happening now???" after only the first few pages. And this issue felt cramped with just too much going on. There was no time spent on what was going on, the story relied on the characters to tell you what was going on as there wasn't enough room for the art to do so and other times perhaps the art could have been stronger. Characters were jumping through emotions, seemingly rushed if the dialogue is to believed but not really rushing in the art, ... Overall, it just felt a little too rushed in several ways. And (SPOILERS HERE) I wouldn't have recognized the character at the end if he hadn't been put on the cover. In the end, I kinda liked the issue for the overall story but I think it could have been executed slightly better. I still recommend the series for Buffy fans out there.

USA Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special -- Picked this up on a whim, mostly because David Gallaher was promoting it due to the art being done by his High Moon artist, Steve Ellis (at least for the main/first part. Breaking it up in three parts, the first story was very good. It had a feel of the old stories and was well drawn by Ellis. It was definitely worth checking out. The second story was a reprint of an old Destroyer story. I find it always interesting to go back to see just how old school comics were done and how they hold up to today's comics. This one held up pretty well in my opinion but still has its share of campy/silly moments or panels. The last story was a short intro to another book which I generally dislike, and this one felt a little out of place here and didn't really get me all that interested in the series it was promoting. Overall though, the book is pretty solid and probably worth checking out.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Comic Reviews Update

My reviews will be delayed, probably until the weekend, due to family visiting from out of town (and maybe a little to do with Canada Day).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Vicious Circle of Life (of Comic Book Reviews)

So a reviewer posts a very negative review of a book that some people love, the fans of that book go on the offensive attacking the reviewer, the reviewer decides to attack back, which leads to the fans to attack that attack, etc, etc, yadda yadda yadda and all that.

That's what I like about my blog, nobody reads it so I don't have to worry about anyone giving a crap about (or knowing about) what I say.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Actors and Comics

It's not really new but every time I see an actor (or some other type of Hollywood person) putting out a comic I kinda wonder if they're really into doing comics or is it something else? Especially when their main characters look exactly like them. With Hollywood's current obsession with comics (and sci fi/fantasy) it almost feels like they are trying to get a comic going so they can go back to the money people in Hollywood and say "See, this comic has a following, comic movies are huge, so you should make this into a movie/TV show." And of course, with the character looking just like them they are the obvious choice to cast.

I know I'm just being cynical and I'm sure they have what they consider great story ideas and comics give them an affordable way of getting those stories out there (very affordable in comparison to a movie or TV show). Or others really are fans of the medium and have wanted to write comics for a while. And making the characters look like them helps sell it, people walking into a store will recognize their face on the cover and possibly pick it up because of that. Some of them may just be lending their likeness out there for a paycheck or because they think it would be cool to be in a "superhero comic". And maybe I'm just being a territorial geek, not wanting "outsiders" who aren't real comic fans working in the industry.

Or maybe it's a little of everything.

Or maybe I'm just really tired and rambling on like...

... like ...


What was I saying again?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for June 24th, 2009 -- SPOILERS

First up, I'll try to keep the SPOILERS to a minimum but if you don't want to know anything about what happens in Skaar or Runaways this week, stop reading now!

Skaar #12 -- It's happened, Skaar met his father (sorta... briefly... maybe... kinda). Well, he met the Hulk but not the "Green Scar/Planet Hulk/World War Hulk" Hulk but the standard "stupid" Hulk as has been seen lately (though seemingly written slightly more intelligent) who doesn't remember Sakaar (this is all touched on in the book). But enough recapping, this issue was good. The art was pretty solid and the story flowed well. It was cool to see a well written green Hulk. And the fight had some great moments. But it also felt like a bit of a tease. Skaar didn't seem into it as he saw the Hulk as a "clown". So the Hulk pummels him a bit. Though I found the ending interesting, Skaar cleaning up a mess that their fight created much like the Hulk has often done through his life. And we also get to see what's going on with Galactus which was somewhat unexpected for me. So good writing, good art, and a really good book. I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes in the Incredible Hulk 601. I'll be checking out the Son of Hulk book to see but at the moment, I have a feeling I might start to lose interest in it. The whole space/Galactus/Silver Surfer scene has never really been a big pull for me. But we'll see.

Runaways Vol3 #11 -- The new creative team of Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli hit the ground running here and they do so with a bang. The cover outlined that one will die, one will return, and you have to expect it from this book but I didn't think it would happen so quickly and that I'd be hit by it as much as I was (if it does actually play out this way...). In short, I was really happy with this issue. The pace seems to have been picked up with a lot happening. The characters are their usual selves (children dealing with major life/superhero problems while dealing with kid problems as well). The only thing I did find weird was a single page break away from the main story, that could have been maybe spread out to give the reader a bit more of an idea what's going on there. The end also left me with a feeling of "what the heck just happened?" but I'm pretty sure that was what they were going for, or I'm just really missing something obvious. All in all, I liked the art, I liked the writing, it was a great issue. I'm really looking forward to this storyline.

I also picked up the latest issue of Wizard. I have to go through it again but I found myself skipping most of it on my first pass. I guess as my tastes move away from the mainstream Marvel/DC stuff, not to mention my moving to TPBs for some books which means I have to avoid articles about books like Invincible, this is going to happen. Though I nearly ripped the magazine in half when I saw Bruce Jones listed in the top 10 Hulk creators.

And I'm hoping to have more interesting stuff posted soon. I have some webcomic stuff I'd like to talk about (what webcomics, old and new, I'm checking out), Longbox digital comics, and reading comics on various devices. But all that'll have to wait for now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for June 17th, 2009

I'm continuing to see my monthly comic purchases decline. Although I had three books this week one of them is ending and another I'm dropping after this issue. This may mean I'll be going to the comic shop less frequently and possibly posting less (if that's even possible) or trying to find other stuff to post about (like starting to review more webcomics and TPBs I'm reading). But we'll have to see. As for this week...

Elephantmen #20 -- This issue continues the focus on the women of the Elephantmen universe and this time it's Vanity Case in the spotlight. Marian Churchland's art has fit these issues well and there's been no trouble following the story visually. And the stories have had a range to them and were all well written. But I should probably focus on this issue instead of reviewing them all at once. It's just that this was another solid issue for this series and it's getting a bit difficult to come up with new ways of saying that for this series. If you aren't reading this series I highly recommend you do, maybe not starting with this issue necessarily but check it out soon.

Mysterius the Unfathomable #6 (of 6)-- At times I've felt this series jumped around a bit more than I would have liked and had a little too much going on but this issue really wrapped it all up nicely. Tom Fowler's artwork has been solid throughout the series and I thought it told the story nicely in this issue. The series may be worth checking out if you're into an odd supernatural sorta thing that's a little hard to describe to others... At least for me.

Angel #22 --I had been enjoying these last few issues a little more than the first 18 or so but I have to say I think it's gone down in quality as the issues went on. The storytelling seemed to get more and more choppy. Things were just bouncing from one setting/situation to another with no real flow. I'm either missing things or it's just not being fully flushed out. I almost started laughing in this issue when Angel literally run into a guy who conveniently points him in the direction he needs to go. When Angel gets there the same guy is there (at least it looks like him) but I thought he was running away? Why was he running to? To be honest, I'm lost by a lot of stuff going on. Maybe it's just me but the story just isn't working. So yeah, this will be my last issue of the series. Which also means I won't be recommending it.

On another Elephantmen note, I noticed that the cover to an upcoming TPB collecting these last few issues advertises a new story by Marian Churchland. I've made a quick comment on the Elephantmen blog asking about it but I have to admit, I don't like the idea of putting new content in the TPBs. Character sketches, pencils, scripts, stuff like that I don't mind. But if new content is going to be put in the TPBs it seems like a slap in the face to those of us picking up the single issues. And if that's the way they're going to go I'll be dropping the monthly subscription and going with the TPBs but I'd like to know up front.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for June 10th, 2009

A whopping one book came out for me this week, and it wasn't even put in my subscription box. But since things are a little hectic at work right now, here we go...

War of Kings: Savage World of Sakaar #1 (of 1) -- Right off the bat, yes, this book is pretty much your standard "tie in" where it has no real impact on the War of Kings story or Skaar's (even the final page teasing of a return to Sakaar seems empty given the events of the last few issues of Skaar). On top of that, you have the expected story of the two adversaries crash landing on Sakaar and turned into unwilling allies in order to survive (the planet itself and eventually Skaar). Having said that, there are a few twists to the story and interesting character stuff going on that keep you interested. Perhaps I would have liked a bit more Skaar interaction but that's just because he's really why I picked this book up but there was a lot going on here (which seemed nice given how so many books seem to have so very little actual content to them) so it was understandable. And the art was pretty solid in its storytelling. So to tie things up rather quickly, I enjoyed this book despite not reading War of Kings (which I hear is really good) and despite (or perhaps because) my expectations of your standard tie in to two other books.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for June 3rd, 2009 -- SPOILERS

Just two books this week:

Skaar #11 -- Liking the shortened title, it's easier to type. We get introduced to Skaar's inner child while also seeing what exactly happened on Sakaar when Galactus showed up. But the story of this book is on the last page (not a huge story if you've seen anything about the next issue). I like where this book is going and some of the parallels between Skaar and his father. The art was solid in telling the story and I didn't find the issue as "choppy" as some of the earlier issues. Though the story is turning more into a superhero book (bringing in Osborn, the FF, She-Hulk, etc, on Earth rather than a barbarian warrior on a distant planet) I think I'm actually enjoying it more, despite not reading any of Marvel's Dark Reign stuff (or any other Marvel book that I can think of at the moment). I'm looking forward to the next issue and seeing where things go with the Incredible Hulk series starting up again. And to bring it back to this issue, I give it a thumbs up (cliche I know).

Buffy Tales of the Vampires (one shot) -- To start, the art style wasn't particularly to my liking. I know a lot of people like it but I found it a little too distracting and hard to follow (I kept not recognizing characters for instance). The story was well written but it almost feels done before, the whole idea of vampires being seen as "cool" and nobody thinking of them as soulless demonic killers. I'm hoping the main Buffy series is going somewhere "different" with that. So, although it was well done I wasn't a huge fan of this issue. It did fill in a bit more about what's happening in Buffy's world outside of what's happening immediately around Buffy but it might have been possible to do that without doing it as a one shot with no recognizable characters. Fans of the series will still probably want to pick it up but shouldn't be too worried if they don't.

As for other stuff I'm reading, I did polish off "Was Superman a Spy?" a little while back and it was great. Really interesting stuff for those looking for a bit more insider stuff to their favourite characters and stories. I'm still working my way through "The 10 Cent Plague", it's also really well written and has some very interesting stuff in it. And I've also caught up on the first five volumes of Scott Pilgrim and I thought those were great, lots of fun. And I think that's it. Back to work I go.


Today is David Gallaher's birthday and I think it was suggested by someone (not pointing fingers here) that everyone should celebrate his birthday by going over and reading High Moon (or maybe the suggestion was to pre-order it on Amazon, I'm kinda tired and can't remember at the moment). So yeah, go over and read it, favourite it, and wish David a happy birthday.

This week's reviews will be up later today.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for May 27th, 2009

Let's see if I can get my reviews done before my cross validation results are in (that'll be the only science talk of this post, promise). So we have three books...

Ultimate Wolverine VS Hulk #6 (of 6) -- That's it? And I don't mean "That's it, I waited 3 years for that?", I mean "That's it, I bought 6 issues and that's the payoff?" Okay, the collars were a pretty new idea but this is "Ultimate Wolverine VS Hulk" and other than the ripping in half which was done in issue 1 and then replayed in pretty much every issue afterwards all we get are fancy collars. I was disappointed in quite a bit of this book from She-Hulk's apparent lack of a healing factor and the Hulk needing to "catch his breath" from a fall from a plane before he can even leap? Did I miss something there? Despite some funny and entertaining moments during this series (Logan's talk with his inner panda for example) this series feels like a let down for me. Not a big let down, but a let down nonetheless. Oh, and what was with the Hulk's size in those last few pages? I didn't think he grew when he got angry (to the point where his fingers were bigger than Fury).

Runaways #10 -- We have a one shot here as the new creative team fully kicks in next issue (Kathryn Immonen doesn't start writing it until next issue). But I liked this one shot. I think it captured a bit more of the fun aspects of Vaughan's initial run. Not that Whedon and Moore didn't put some fun into it, it just felt different. Molly's time with the X-Men was just silly fun and I enjoyed it. Though I can understand some not enjoying it so much, but in my opinion it's not really to be taken seriously so I can let a lot of things slide. It was just a simple, fun issue, with a pretty big emotional element to it that I won't spoil. But the real story kicks in next issue.

Mouse Guard Winter 1152 #6 (of 6) -- I do enjoy this series, the artwork is beautiful and the characters are unique (though I still have personal issues with distinguishing them by their look). But I think from here on out, I'll be waiting for the collected versions of the stories. They actually do a good job of making each issue episodic and you do feel like you get a story in each, but after reading the first in collected format and the second in individual issues I think I preferred the collected way. But I'm looking forward to the next volume, I'll just have to refresh my memory of the story and the characters when it comes out.

I won't be doing a full review of Invincible vol 10 or Astounding Wolf-Man vol 2 but I did enjoy both. But I am hitting one of the usual problems of going the TPB route, I've seen too many images from Invincible issues (covers and such) so I saw quite a bit coming. Though I have to admit, the thing with Cecil didn't quite go the way I was totally expecting so that was a good thing.

Oh, and I didn't finish this before the results were in but due to a brain fart I had to re-run the experiment. :( Oops, that was more science talk wasn't it?