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Thursday, September 02, 2004
"Mainstream" Comics Reviewed
Pink Sketchbook Vol. 1: Grrr! by Scott Morse: This is a nice little sketchbook if you're a Morse fan, or like me have this weird compulsion to buy every new book with his name on it. The theme is "monsters" and it's packed with lots of cute/weird beasts drawn, many in color, in Morse's retro-weird style. And it comes with a little pink sticker of a well-dressed werewolf as a bonus. I'm not sure what Adhouse has planned for future volumes in their Pink Sketchbook series, butthis is a great way to kick off the line. My one complaint: the little zip-lock bag the book comes packaged in is just about the same width as the book, which means I have to roll the book a little to get it in and out of the bag. A minor nuisance to be sure, but a nuisance none the less.
Girl Genius #12: If this were a Buck Godot book the series would be over by now. I love Foglio's art and humor, and I seem to be one of the few who wasn't annoyed by first the change to color and now the change in format the book has undergone (believe me, I heard many, many complaints in the store from customers unhappy with those changes), but it's so slow...It seems to take forever for anything to happen. But it's all made up for by the antics of the madpeople in the comic, particularly Krosp, the Emporer of Cats.
Caper #11: This arc is turning out to be very disappointing in comparison to the previous two. It seems like Winick had some crassness/nonsense to get out of his system. If so, I'd really rather have read a new Barry Ween book.
Ojo #1: Ah, another book I can show Sam Kieth fans only to hear them say "But Wolverine's not in it!" It's nice to see Kieth's work in black and white. It's suited to his scratchy art style and the mood he's been dealing with in his work recently. And this is a very "Kiethian" work. A disturbed child makes friends with some sort of creature that lives in the garbage, only to discover that the creature's parent doesn't seem happy about the arrangement. It's twisted and funny in a very bleak way.
Witching #3: I'm still fairly intrigued by this series. I'm not sure if there's going to be enough story to keep the title going after the initial arc, but Vankin's writing amuses me and Gallagher's art has a semi-cartoony appeal.
Conan #7: A thorough resolution to the previous storyline, and a broad hint at the events of the next storyline. Overall, this has turned out to be a fun series. It's true to the spirit of Howard's work, is more faithful than the prior comics, film, television and animated versions, but doesn't feel like it's too slavishly devoted to the source material. It gives me hope that we'll see a faithful version of Red Sonja someday...you know, the 16th century Russian warrior fighting the Turks that Howard wrote about.
Books of Magick: Life During Wartime #2: I never really had any problem with the two previous series about Tim Hunter. And I usually like Ormston's art. But I have no clue what's going on in this book, or why. I think this is going to become another thing that I just end up getting for Peter.
Ex Machina #3: I really like this series so far, and I'm glad it's doing well, not just in the store I work at but apparently all over. I think some of the complaints that people have made about how the book would have been improved by the removal of the super-heroic elements have been anticipated by Vaughn. The string of snow-plow driver murders and Kremlin's pleas both seem contrived to force the mayor to bring The Great Machine back. I can see Vaughan using that desire to have a super-hero solve everyone's problems instead of a man representing the will of the people as an Imporatant Point in a future issue.
Losers #15: Wow...Aisha is a cold-blooded witch, isn't she? The political allegory is even more heavy-handed than usual. And Garza's art has never been a favorite of mine (when is Jock coming back, anyway?), yet as fill-in issues go, this was pretty good. It was nice to see some back-ground given to the most enigmatic member of the squad, and I half-hope Diggle has similair one-off stories in mind for the rest of the Losers.
Blue Monday: Painted Moon #2: I'm meant to believe a 15 year old boy has never once masturbated? Please...Other than that one minor quibble, this was another good issue of this series. Clugston-Major's art is cutesy-fun, and I love her manga-influenced character design. Unlike most of the other "mangaesque" artists out there, her work never seems to be a pale attempt to appeal to manga fans by looking superficially like the real thing.
Demo #9: Well, Cloonan's art is as nice as ever, but the story in this issue was the first that really didn't do much for me. It's hard to feel any sympathy, or even any empathy, for either character.
We3: It's brilliant.
I am Legion: The Dancing Faun: It's a very impressive looking book, and the story is certainly ambitious, but for a work that is all prologue to the subsequent chapters, many of the characters are still only vaguely defined and I'm not quite sure who is supposed to be on which side and why. It will probably read quite smoothly once it's all together, but since we're looking at a wait of, what? An year or more between issues? I'd rather just read it in installments and hope I can remember enough details between chapters to understand it.