Monday, June 28, 2010

A conversation worth reading

Hey Everybody! Joe McCulloch has posted a transcript of his really cool Conversation With Bryan Lee O'Malley from SPX-2008. This is exciting because I am featured prominently in it!!*

*sort of, but not really

It is actually exciting because it was my first SPX that I attended, and I was very excited about this program specifically since O'Malley is awesome for any number of reasons.

So... Read this piece, and don't skip the questions. I am AUDIENCE #7. I make fun of something that someone else said and then I ask a question about Working with Hope Larson on Bear Creek Apartments, which I was pretty high on at the time. Mostly I wanted to say out loud how awesome I thought it was. My words are captured in all my sputtering half finished sentences glory.

It's a neat conversation, and O'Malley is fun to listen to. It is certainly worth giving it a read.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection

A friend of mine went to the book signing event for the Trickster Anthology of Native American 'trickster' stories. He surprised me with a copy of the beautiful paperback volume signed by a good number of people involved in the collection. I will start with my only complaint about this book before I say anything else. The cover, which is great, and is the image I am including with this, is printed with a good portion of it matte black. It is a finish that provides a great contrast to the image and slightly raised text. Sounds good so far, right? My only issue is every time I touch this thing I feel like I must be the oiliest guy on the planet. Despite my best efforts, I add new fingerprints each time I open it. Honestly, that's it as far as complaints go.

The project itself is a great idea. It pairs Native American story-tellers with artists and presents 21 tales which range from pure myth to How the elephant got it's trunk style tales, to more classic trickster stories. I like the loose interpretation on the theme as it allows for pretty decent variety. I have only read the stories once, but really there are only two that stood out to me as being particularly similar in theme. The art, and the styles of telling the stories are all visually very different as well. Some are cartoonish and some are very much written as children's stories, but not all of them are that way.
The book is $22.95, and is worth having if you are a fan of comics or mythology and folk tales, or both. I didn't love every entry, but there are surprisingly few instances for an anthology of this size where I didn't like both the art and the story, and a healthy majority where I was taken by both. I also enjoyed reading the blurbs about all of the participants. It is a nice feature, and there is something about each of the artists and storytellers.

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne

This is an important post, so everyone will want to read it. It's not like you've heard this from 50 better blogs than mine already.

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne from Grant Morrison and Chris Sprouse(issue 1) and Frazer Irving(issue 2) is a mini series that is well worth picking up. I don't buy a lot of Batman these days. I get Batman and Robin, and only picked up Detective Comics for Batwoman. I was not able to get myself worked up for Final Crisis, but I can't say too much negative about it if it resulted in this.

So far in this series we get to see Batman as a caveman and Batman as a pilgrim. Those stories are made out of love for the character. Both issues contain more or less self contained stories that also tie in to a larger thing, and support what has been going on in Batman and Robin with the recent scrutiny of Wayne Manor, and exploration of the grounds, etc. The real concept here is that Batman is made of survival. Also, no matter what you do to him or where you put him, etc. He is the World's Greatest Detective, and maybe the most determined and driven character in the DC universe.

The art in both of these is great. Sprouse and Irving each do an amazing job. I guess if I have to pick I prefer Irving's art which is in Issue #2 as there are opportunities in the story that take great advantage of his style and are just beautiful. Beautiful tentacle monster no less.

I wasn't going to pick this up because, among other things, it is $3.99 an issue, and I really try to limit the number of 4 dollar and up comics that I get. This is worth it, and if you are inclined to like Batman, but haven't been picking much up lately, this promises to be awesome.