Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CBD 09/16/2009

Beasts of Burden, Tiny Titans, Batgirl, Batman & Robin, Atomic Robo

It's really nice when the comics I get meet the level of excitement that going to the store and getting them generates in me.

Beasts of Burden #1 - I am surprised that there was a copy of this on the shelf. I am guessing that it was purchased for someone and then accidentally got shelved. Yay me! This comics is written by Evan Dorkin and illustrated by Jill Thompson. I described it to my daughter as sort of like scooby doo, only the gang is all dogs, and a cat I guess fills the odd person out spot that Scooby occupied in his group. That is really only a valid comparison on the surface, and even then it's a sketchy comparison, but it made me laugh. The story is cool, the setting and the premise are even cooler, the characters are distinctive. There is humor and drama and right there tying it all together is art that is cute and stunning and fully capable of conveying the sort of horror/supernatural element of the story as well. Burden Hill is a town with dark and sinister secrets, according to a paragraph on the inside of the cover, and it is up to the animals that live there to protect the town and its other inhabitants. The Dogs and cats and scenery are all just beautifully done, and the animals work together using their wits and resources (including a dog that can cast spells!) to get through difficult situations (in this case a giant frog that is eating pretty much anything or anyone it wants to.) This isn't a kids title exactly, but I would certainly let my 10 year old daughter read it.

Batman and Robin #4 - Still good, even without Frank Quitely on board at the moment. There are some points where the art me be a bit confusing, but I don't see it as particularly bad or anything. I am viewing it like I am supposed to think it's awful, because everyone has worked hard to create that expectation. I am pretty sure Philip Tan is not a fan of that assumption. Frank Quitely is a pretty great artist. It would be hard to follow him on a title. Nothing in this book makes me unable to follow or enjoy the story, so I find it hard to have a negative opionion about the art. So I will say. Good job guys. We get Red Hood and Scarlet popping up in place of Batman and Robin, or ahead of them, and doing very un-Batman sorts of things. I don't really dig the whole 'let the punishment fit the crime' catch phrase, but 'who am I to judge' (maybe that will be my new catch phrase)

Batgirl #2 - I really like the Phil Noto cover to this. There is a sort of old school sexiness to the shot of a fully clothed woman pulling up or adjusting her boot. It is not done in a lurid way, it isn't cheesecake, or even overtly sexual, but I like the picture. The comic is ok, and features a good bit of Oracle seeming jealous of the new Batgirl, or overly protective or something. I liked it, but I don't think i will continue picking this up, unless I am in the situation where I can get it and still come out under 20 bucks.

Atomic Robo Shadow from beyond time #5 - This is the final installment of the third volume of Atomic Robo. I loved this series. This issue, for being strong and funny, and resolving things nicely, is probably the weakist issue of the series. That distinction still allows this issue to be better than a majority of comics I read. I loved it, it just didn't have the bang for me that some of the other issues did. It's still funny as heck, and has a really great take on non-linear time that feels almost like time travel but isn't, because time travel is impossible... There is a description of evil computers vs normal computers that is hilarious and brilliant as well. If you didn't read this as it was coming out, do yourself a favor and pick up the trade. Great stuff. Clevinger, Wegener, Pattison and Powell is certainly one of the all time best groups of four names to see together on the front of a comic. Here's looking to volume 4!!

Tiny Titans #20 - The latest installment of the Eisner award winner for best publication for kids, continues to delight. This issue deals with magical holes created by Raven, and their many uses. The best part of the issue is the spread where Alfred is polishing the Eisner! I would do that if I had an award winning comic that I wrote and drew. Good job Baltazar & Franco!

Wednesday Comics #11 - I will be very sad to see this over. The awesome thing about this issue in particular is how big everyone is going. I would say this specific issue has the greatest concentration of oversized panels of the entire run. The Flash wins for layout design, but Green Lantern and WonderWoman are also just beautiful. There is a lot of good in this issue. Looking at the whole run so far, I would say that Teen Titans is the only feature that didn't seem to work for me on any level. Even Emo Superman went big and bold art-wise. Once it is finished I will go back and read each feature straight through. This has been a very successfull experiment in my opinion. I sure hope they continue to push boundaries of art and design and such in other ways. I would love to see another weekly collection like this at some point.

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