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.