Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CBD 10/07/09

North 40, Batman and Robin, Models Inc, Doctor Voodoo, Haunt

North 40 #4 - Aaron Williams, Fiona Staples - Still loving this series. I am not always a fan of horror, but this really has me hooked. It is well written, and the art is fantastic, with emphasis on just a great job on the colors. It isn't what I would call a comedy, but it certainly has a sense of humor. It comes off almost in a Twin Peaks meets Lovecraftian apocalypse sort of vibe. At this point the law is trying hard to maintain order in the face of all the strangeness, and things are gradually coming together. There is so much to take in at this point that i am not asking for the plot to move any faster than it is. Each issue brings us new mysteries and new insights into the characters we see. It's creepy smart and fun.

Batman and Robin #5 - Grant Morrison, Philip Tan - I like this title, and I liked this issue. I think it is well written, but just a bit more extreme than I am interested in . I think it's great, I just don't think it beats out some of the other titles I am reading for my comic dollars. This title vs Detective comics at this point... I have to go with BatWoman. It isn't really a contest like that, but given limited funds and rising prices, I do have to keep jockeying my money around where it gives me the most bang, or lets me pick up things I just 'have to check out'. The story lines move from a guy who replaces faces to a guy who eats them... I'll check back in with this title later I think.

Doctor Voodoo #1 - Rick Remender, Jefte Palo - I loved this issue. I haven't paid much attention to Doctor Strange in a really long time. I used to love it when I was in Middle School, though. For some reason, it was like Daredevil at the time for me, Maybe my local library had some runs of it and I read a lot of it. My library back then had these bins of single issues that were beat to hell, but you could check them out. They stamped right on the comic, it was kind of great. I like Brother Voodoo, and if this issue is an accurate intro into how this will consistently be, then I will need to put this on my pull list. It starts out with Dr. Voodoo getting the easy upper hand over Dormamu, and certainly gets no less awesome on it's way to a cross dimensional battle of indeterminate length with Dr. Doom. It was really awesome on a very high level for me.

Models Inc. #2 - I think this is a pretty decent comic. It has a LOT of human interaction, some murder mystery elements, etc., but probably isn't something I will keep picking up from this point on. I don't think this is a bad book at all, I just think it isn't a book I am particularly interested in reading.

Haunt #1 - Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Todd McFarlane - Despite the fact that I have been making fun of this character since the first picture of it was released (See... It's from Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane, and the McFarlane cover image really really looks like a cross between Spider-Man and Spawn... More like a hybrid of the two than like Venom in my opinion, but it has a venom-esque look as well.) That being said, this comic has some Spawn-like elements to it... Mercenary or government killer type who dies and becomes something else... That being said, it really is something wholly new. I really enjoyed this issue, and think it is a pretty great setup to an intriguing and interesting ongoing story. Ryan Ottley's Pencils have Todd McFarlane's inks over them, and the art is brilliant. My favorite 'panel' has the good guy jumping over the front of an oncoming jeep and simultaneously shooting the driver in the face while kicking the passenger in the face. As the story goes on, the soldier is killed, but his ghost keeps appearing to his brother who is a priest. When people show up to kill the brother, the soldier's ghostly self merges into his brother and becomes this other sort of creature. I guess it sort of is like Venom, if the symbiote was his brother. I was not at all surprised by the quality of this book, but I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. I am glad I succumbed to my curiosity and picked it up. It definitely has me for a few more issues at least.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Fistfull of SPX 2009 part 1

I've had a chance to get through a good number of smaller comics at this point, and I am pretty impressed with what I have read so far. I think it says a lot about the things I choose to pick up and buy, as well as a lot about the quality of the offerings at SPX this year that I pulled out a pile of minicomics and really truly believe they were all pretty awesome. I am sure I picked up some things that I won't love this much, but this first batch, pulled randomly, is filled with winners.

Bizcochito - Dennis Pacheco - - This is billed as 'a tale of sweet revenge', and 'a cautionary tale in two acts'. This small square mini is 24 single panel pages, and tells a story that spans a 13 year time frame, and highlights the fact that some people will wait far longer than you might think to exact revenge. It is very cute, very well drawn, and very available to read for free. If you follow that link you will be on a page that shows several of Pacheco's works. bizcochito is toward the bottom of the page. Well worth reading. Budgeting and a desire to get a wide variety of creators are the only reasons I didn't buy more of his work. He was not able to be at SPX, but his work was well represented.

Earth Minds Are Weak (1-4)- Justin J Fox - - here is the blurb about the first issue from his website.
"Issue 1 of an 80 pg. wordless adventure, The Story of Suave Prospects. This surreal tale focuses on four brothers. Born into the world as naive adults, they explore a mythical temple in search of their Ids. Magical candles, the living dead, dancing beer labels, alien plants, shape-changing mushrooms and a tavern in the belly of a whale are just some of the dream-like elements that they encounter. 4.25” x 5.5”/21 pages/b&w"
The art is fantastic in this. I am not sure I understood much of anything in the four small books, but it was interesting and made me think and try to decode what was going on, and what we were being told in each of the panels. In that regard I enjoyed it a lot. It's trippy. I don't think I ever have an opportunity to use that word, but it applies here. There is a heavy sense of design and mythology (central american) represented in the black and white. You get a lot of really heavy black and white, but also a lot of fine textures drawn in very thin lines. There is a strange mystical,sexual, and psychological vibe at work, and while I don't feel I understand it, I get it, and I like it.

Four Stories - Tom McHenry - - I was standing in front of Sara Bauer's table trying to figure out what to buy when I picked this up. I laughed so hard at what I saw on the random page I flipped to, that I felt obligated to buy it. The pieces in here aren't exactly funny, but the title of one of them just killed me... it was "Fucking Comics on the GodDamn Internet", which is a short sort of existentialist piece about two webcomics creators sitting in a cell talking about their place as basically mankind's last hope in some alien gladiatorial arena. It works. This also contains the story No Argument is Ever Won, which hits WAY too close to home for me about the dickish behavior we subject the people we love to, and geek... identity issues? The piece that hit me hardest is probably the Rag and Bone Man. Inside the strange sad story of a couple losing a baby, is this concept of selling things like memories and abilities, for money. This is a powerful and effective small volume. The art is good and the writing is great.

Hey Pais, the best thing in the WORLD - Sara Bauer - - Hey Pais is a journal comic by a cat. It is simple and cute and funny and endearing. It is really just a nice comic. It is also a webcomic, so follow that link and enjoy! The mini comic I picked up is especially precious. In March, Paisley decided that she was going to make a March Madness inspired bracketed competition to determine the Best thing in the world. It was divided into four divisions of People, Food, Activities, and Events. There is a tiny little envelope inside the front cover with a very small copy of the brackets, which include among other things: Ice Cream, Dropping Beats, Morrissey and Unattended Bread. There is one comic for an item in each division in each round. It is very cute, and very funny. Inside the back cover is another tiny envelope that contains the brackets with the results all written in. I LOVED this. It makes me smile to take out the little brackets. It's sweet and nice and funny.

Outreach - Raina Telgemeier - - It was really nice getting to meet Raina. She is just nice and friendly and accessible. Her art is fantastic, and she is a perfect choice for the graphic novel adaptations of the babysitters club books. I picked up two small volumes from her that have panels drawn from real life classes she has done for kids. I LOVED the fact that she had minis for sale. She has quite a few books under her belt, but she also had minis available, which is a genius thing to do in the context of a show like SPX especially. If she lived closer to Virginia I would be trying to figure out how to have her attend an event for our Girl Scout service unit. The cover for Outreach #2 is cute and smart. It has a boy and a girl reading comics on it, and the boy is reading a comic labeled comics for girls and the girl is reading the one for boys. PLUS her booth was giving away a cookie with each purchase!! it was delicious. <--- disclosure per the new FTC rules...

Ok, I am getting tired now. I know it doesn't look like much, but this is 9 comics covered. I have a bunch more that I have already read, but they will come in another day or so. Be sure to check out the sites for these folks!