Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quick Comic Reviews - The Indestructible Hulk Volume 1

The Indestructible Hulk Volume 1 - Before getting into the comic itself I have to comment on the hardcover printing of this book. First up, I was a bit disappointed that this book wasn't the same quality (and increased size) of the last two Hulk hardcovers. I think Yu's art could have benefited from the size increase. But that's acceptable. Secondly, and more importantly, the binding was rather disappointing as I found it difficult to fully open the book on some pages without potentially destroying the binding. This was especially annoying given the art (and sometimes the text) went to the edge of the page and there were a few double page spreads (or least panels that spread from one page to the next) that ended up being somewhat ruined by it. I was also surprised that it was only the first 5 issues but whatever.

As for the content, I really enjoyed the writing. I really like it when the highlight the genius of Bruce Banner. I enjoyed it when Pak did it and I think Mark Waid is taking it to the next level. I wasn't as big a fan of Jason Aaron's psychotic Banner but that's another story. I think Waid's writing on this is great, I've really enjoyed much of his work and this is living up to my expectations. Leinil Yu is a bit hit or miss with me but I like his work here more than I normally do. There were a few parts that I felt were a bit messy and hard to follow/figure out but overall, it was dynamic art that really popped off the page. The page layouts were creative but flowed well for the most part. So this one definitely makes my recommended reading list and I'm incredibly happy to see a Hulk book of this quality.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quick Comic Reviews - Swamp Thing Volume 2

Some days I think about setting up an anonymous blog to rant/vent about stuff. I know a private journal would be a better idea but somehow I think it would feel better for it to be public, even if nobody actually reads it.

Swamp Thing Volume 2 -- This volume didn't feel as strong as volume 1. Part of it is that this one seems to come to a climax rather early on and then feels like it fumbles a bit to try to find its footing again, at least to me. It's still an interesting story, some solid art (even though it has some substitute artists for the last few issues) and enjoyable but I was a bit let down by it. I also felt that I was missing out not knowing who Anton Arcane was. That reminded me of an issue I've had with many of DC's 52, that despite the "reboot" they are still really written for the regular fan and new fans just feel that they aren't in on the whole story. I'm still planning to pick up volume 3, to see how Snyder's run comes to an end, but it doesn't really feel like a must read any more.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Quick Non-Comic Review -- The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury

The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury will probably be the last Walking Dead thing I read. I'll still watch the show for the time being but I'm done with the comic and the novels. This one was a little interesting, the characters were a bit more unique and it was another early zombie outbreak story which I find more interesting than the stuff going on in the comic now but overall, it just wasn't really that interesting a story. You sort of saw the Governor's slide into darkness continue for a part of this book but it just wasn't really enough to warrant a novel. The "main" characters in this book seemed mostly throw away characters and as it switched from different perspectives it seemed to do so at bad times, never really giving the full story behind a character's thoughts or actions. And in the end, none of it seemed to matter anyways. So, for me at least, it really feels more like a money grab than a story that really needed to be told. Walking Dead fans may enjoy it, but it doesn't make my recommended reading list.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ottawa Comiccon 2013 Recap

Ottawa Comiccon has come to a close today and what a convention it was (for me at least). This one had a heavy Joss Whedon feel to it with the likes of Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite, James Marsters, Nicholas Brendon, and Felicia Day attending among others (not to mention Summer Glau who ended up cancelling at the last minute due to a passport issue, it happens but she was missed by all). But it also had a much better comic book/artist alley line up compared to last year with the likes of Chris Claremont, Neal Adams, Dale Keown, Richard Starkings, and George Perez coming out. So all in all, I had high hopes for this weekend and I really wasn't disappointed other than Herb Trimpe failing to attend again this year (not sure why).

With a slightly smaller crowd, Friday was a good day for me to knock off quite a few things. Like signing up for a commission from Dale Keown, dropping by Richard Starkings' table to get the Elephantmen print signed and talk comics with him (he's great with his fans by the way), buy a Chewbacca bathrobe (which is awesome), grabbing autographs from Jewel Staite, Felicia Day, and Nicholas Brendon, and a photo with Jewel.


Day two was so much more hectic on the floor but fortunately for me, I had a "VIP" pass that helped get me into the Nathan Fillion/Jewel Staite panel as well as the Felicia Day panel, along with front line access to Nathan Fillion's autograph and photo and the Wil Wheaton/Felicia Day photo. Then there was the Nicholas Brendon panel. Then I picked up my sketch from Dale Keown (an incredibly awesome Abomination drawing). And at some point (the day is a bit of a blur) I grabbed a sketch from Pia Guerra (who, in my humble opinion, should charge much more for her sketches).
Pia Guerra's Yorick and Ampersand

Dale Keown's Abomination

Day three was a bit easier on me. To start, I had the Nathan Fillion panel (the VIP pass helped yet again) and that panel became Nathan and Jewel part 2 (which was awesome again). Then it was shopping (grabbed a page from the Hulk/Pitt one shot from Dale Keown) and just seeing what I might have missed the first two days. My brother, Brent, decided to grab a George Perez Thor sketch and to be honest, I'll probably regret not getting one myself once I'm awake enough to really think about it. But at that point, I just couldn't bring myself to stand in another line. Then I screwed up. I asked Mike Rooth if I could buy a coaster with a Hulk sketch on it but with everything going on, my tiredness, and needing to make sure I had Mother's Day covered I completely forgot to go back and get it. I feel absolutely horrible about that and I'm hoping I can get in touch with him via Twitter so I can make amends at Fan Expo Canada or some other convention.
George Perez sketching Thor for Brent
So, all in all it was a great time for me but I am completely exhausted. One nice thing about it being in Ottawa is I get to meet up with local friends there. Friends who don't make the trip to Fan Expo Canada. And getting to see how happy they are to meet Nathan Fillion or Gillian Anderson, or just sit in on a Nicholas Brendon or James Marsters Q&A panel makes a convention so much better for me. I think the best thing about comic conventions for me is just seeing the joy you see in people when they meet their idols, whether it's an actor, a writer, an artist, or whatever else. That feeling just seems infectious (almost as infectious as the "con flu" that I'm bound to get) but seeing it in your friends' faces just amps it up a bit. So thank you to the organizers, the volunteers, exhibitors, guests, anyone else I haven't covered, and my friends/family including Brent, Carl, Michelle, Meaghan, Amy, and Sean, for making this convention so incredibly awesome. See ya next year!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Quick Comic Reviews - Angel and Faith Volume 3

Free Comic Book Day seemed to be very successful with both stores I visited having plenty of customers coming and going. Many seemed to be new to comics or at least not current customers. A lot of kids and women as well, which I feel is a very good sign.

But this weekend is Ottawa Comiccon which I was pretty excited for, I love conventions. But with Nathan Fillion added at the last minute, I'm absolutely bouncing off the walls. There are just so many people I'm excited to see but Nathan, he's been near the top of my list for a while. Joss Whedon (which I realize will never happen) tops the list, by the way.

Angel and Faith Volume 3 -- This book continues to be a huge step up from the previous Buffy/Angel books, even making those books somewhat more palatable. Still not edible, just slightly less toxic. So maybe it's that those books were just so bad but I'm still enjoying this series. It may not make my recommended reading list, even for Buffy/Angel fans, but I don't regret picking it up. Which seems like a backhanded compliment I know but it's the best I have at the moment.

And now to get back to thinking about Ottawa Comiccon. I'll be sure to post a recap at some point.