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.