Friday, January 12, 2007

Comic Reviews for January 10th, 2007 (SPOILERS)

It was a slow week for me with only White Tiger #3 coming in. I considered getting the Hyperion/Nighthawk series set in Darfur but passed on it for now. I'll wait and see how the rest of the series is received and then maybe hope for a Trade Paperback. But I also finished Making Comics by Scott McCloud so I'll have some final thoughts on that book.

White Tiger #3 -- I found this issue to be an improvement over the previous two but it still seems to be missing the mark for me. The characters (especially White Tiger herself) are well thought out and interesting but the storytelling seems off. Spider-Man's extremely brief appearance seems to come out of nowhere and he really doesn't contribute too much (just a brief insight and a few jokes) before running off on the next page. Some parts feel disjoint, like when two people talk about not knowing where White Tiger was and the next panel says "A few blocks away" while showing her confronting a guy trying to steal a car. Then we're taken away from that scene back to the two people. It just seemed too choppy. And her narrative about how she's spending her days doesn't match up with the panels (she gives the narrative and then it's followed by several panels, the narrative could have been broken up so that each part is with the panel it matches). Then there are the 2 page displays. They feel out of place here and not very effective. It was almost like they were trying too hard to make more out of some scenes than was necessary. It didn't help that some slender panels were put right in the middle of the two pages, you kinda overlook them as they get lost in the crease of the book (which made me miss some dialogue in my first pass). Although the story seems interesting it still seems to be struggling to get out of the gate. And even though I'm enjoying it on some level I wouldn't recommend this book outright.

Making Comics by Scott McCloud -- I know I'll be singing the praises of Mr McCloud for quite some time now. I started reading his books just because of the praise he was getting on various message boards and now I see why. I don't know about his "Redefining Comics" (which came in the mail yesterday), I've heard it's not as good, but Making Comics and Understanding Comics are great books. Understanding Comics is really for the comic enthusiasts out there but is a great overview of comics in general. Making Comics carries on for those interested in... well.. making comics. There are tidbits in there that might be of interest to others but yeah, for the most part it's all for the makers of comics. He might not go into the level of detail as some other dedicated books (like David Chelsea's book on comic book perspective or Gary Martin's book on comic book inking) but he covers so much already. And although some of those books cover the how to as well as the why/when (though many books out there just cover the how to and not the why or when) McCloud breaks it down with theory and clear explanations. His love of comics in all forms (though he seems to really push Manga) really opened my eyes to a lot of the comic book world that I had passed over in the past. I don't think this book will go on my shelf for quite some time as I'll probably be pulling it out to look something up so often. It'll just be easier to leave it next to my drafting board for quick access. I really can't praise this book enough and I think every comic book creator, whether it be a penciller, inker, writer or editor, should read it.

Although I got "Redefining Comics" in the mail yesterday, I may take a break from Scott McCloud's books so that I can read the other books I got. Those would be the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume 1 and 2.

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