Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

Kindly direct email to:
dorianwright [at] gmail[dot]com

"Reading his blog is like watching a beloved 50's Rat Pack Vegas act"--Larry Young
"One of the few comics blogs I always make time for"--Antony Johnston
"Dorian Wright is intelligent and slightly bitter, like a fine coffee."--Kevin Church
"Absolutely huggable."--Bully
"It's always fun to see Dorian be bitchy."--Chris Butcher
pomobarney's photos More of pomobarney's photos

Current Diversions


Doctor Who
Paperback Book Club

200404   200405   200406   200407   200408   200409   200410   200411   200412   200501   200502   200503   200504   200505   200506   200507   200508   200509   200510   200511   200512   200601   200602   200603   200604   200605   200606   200607   200608   200609   200610   200611   200612   200701   200702   200703   200704   200705   200706   200707   200708   200709   200710   200711   200712   200801   200802   200803   200804   200805   200806   200807   200808   200809   200810   200811  

Comment Policy
Offensive, harrassing or baiting comments will not be tolerated and will be deleted at my discretion.
Comment spam will be deleted.
Please leave a name and either a valid web-site or e-mail address with comments. Comments left without either a valid web-site or e-mail address may be deleted.

Atom Feed
LiveJournal Syndication LOLcats feed

This page is powered by 

Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Batch O' Reviews 

American Virgin: Head by Steven T. Seagle, Becky Cloonan and Jim Rugg, published by DC/Vertigo
While Becky Cloonan's art in this book, collecting the first four issues of the Vertigo series American Virgin, is quite nice to work with, it's a shame it's attached to a story that manages to be both smug and insincere. It's as if Seagle wants to talk about the hypocrisy and short-sightedness of the American Evangelical movement, but he's afraid to make his main character either unlikeable or too obviously a pawn of others. And then the issue is dodged by transplanting the story rather hurriedly to Africa, where it becomes a revenge story with unimaginative anti-American terrorists as villains. The end result is a muddled, and frankly dull, book that wants you to think it's as important as it thinks it is.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham and others, published by DC/Vertigo
Of the current crop of adult fantasy comics, Fables is my favorite, and arguably the best. This new hardcover of original stories is set in the early days of the Fabletown community whose story the monthly comic chronicles, and in it Snow White, held captive by a villainous sultan who plans to murder her, staves off her execution by relating stories from the pasts of the various characters making up the cast of the regular comic, in a parallel to the story of Scheherazade. The stories range in tone from tragedy to comedy, and most of them relate either the "origins", if you will, of the characters, or relate how they came to Fabletown. The centerpieces of the book are two stories about Snow White herself. The first provides several significant clues about one of the running jokes in the comic, namely why you should never mention the dwarves to Snow White, while the second tells how Snow and her sister Rose Red first met the wicked witch, Frau Totenkinder, which itself contains a lengthy flashback to the witch's history, revealing her to be a far more significant element of the Fables world than had previously been suggested.
The art styles for each story range from classical illustrations to more contemporary styles, by a large variety of some of the best artists working in the comics field today. There isn't a bad bit of art or an unentertaining story in this volume, and at $20 for an original hardcover, the package as a whole feels like an excellent value for either fans of Fables or of beautiful comics illustrations.

Mad #471, by various, published by DC Comics
I try very hard not to over-sentimentalize the things I enjoyed as a child. So, when reading through the latest issue of this long running humor magazine, I tried to avoid direct comparisons to the version of the magazine I read as a kid. Viewed on it's own, the current Mad is something of a disappointment. It's not that the humor is too transgressive, or too kid oriented. No, it's more like the humor is something that an adult thinks a kid would find transgressive. Flipping through it, I don't see very many things that kids would relate to. But, at the same time, the jokes are a little too dumbed down to really be appreciated by adults.
When I compare it to the Mad I used to read, the current edition is even more of a mixed bag. In general I would say that the quality of the art has improved, while the quality of the writing has gone down. This new version seems to do a lot of talking down to its audience, something I don't really remember the magazine ever doing in the past. The features also seem very short, and many pages are crowded together with multiple features on the page. It bespeaks a presumption of a short attention span in the audience. About the only thing that's consistent between the two versions is a creepy preoccupation with borderline homophobic gay jokes.

Rock Bottom by Joy Casey and Charlie Adlard, published by AIT/Planet Lar
Joe Casey's story of a man slowly turning to stone is his best work yet. Thomas Dare is a musician going through a messy and complicated divorce, while dodging the phone calls of his now pregnant mistress. He soon discovers that, through some unknown, but apparently hereditary process, he is slowly and painfully turning to stone. His condition tests his friendships and relationships, while exposing him to a kind of freakish fame he never wanted. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him, literally, and it his story becomes one of a man seeking nothing else but to die with dignity. It's a moving and emotional examination of mortality, friendship and the human spirit. It's remarkable that Casey is able to pare down the story and touch on all the major themes he raises in such a compact and quickly moving story.
Charlie Adlard is one of those artists I've always thought to be criminally underrated. He works in a stark black and white here, the only tones being the gray of Thomas Dare as he slowly succumbs to his illness. It makes for a visually arresting experience that highlights the story that Casey is telling in an exceptional way.

Seven Sons by Alexander Grecian and Riley Rossmo, published by AIT/Planet Lar
This retelling of the Chinese legend of seven brothers, each with remarkable powers, moves the story to the American west during the Gold Rush. The events of the story play out more or less in the same pattern as in the traditional folk tale, but the new context that Grecian and Rossmo put that story into allows them to play with additional themes, such as racism and xenophobia, as well as good old fashioned fear-mongering. It makes for an interesting read, and a nice example of a stated theme within the book itself, that the best stories grow and change.
The art in the book is a slight distraction. It has a visually distinctive style, but it often looks too rough and a little unfinished or broadly inked, and in some sequences that makes it difficult to easily determine what is meant to be happening. It is by no means bad art, but slightly more clarity could have assisted in the storytelling.

Tag #2, by Keith Giffen, Mike Lieb, Kody Chamberlin & Chee, published by Boom Studios
The second issue of this zombie comic builds on the premise set-up in the first issue: that becoming a zombie is a strange curse bestowed on you during a supernatural game of tag. The history and "rules" of the curse are investigated in this issue. The premise works remarkably well. There's a creepy internal logic that's compelling. The art, done in moody gray and green tones adds a lot as well, accentuating the surreal nature of the predicament the characters find themselves in.


Featured Links

Blue Marble Bounty
Hallowed Tree Furniture
Jed Dougherty
John's Journal
Inner Light Community Gospel Choir

Latest Links

Stuff Geeks Love Armagideon Time Living Between Wednesdays Benjamin Birdie
Get Off The Internet
Ken Lowery

Comics Blogs

New Comic Weblogs Updates

Again With the Comics
All Ages
Artistic License
Batfatty Vs. the Chocodiles
Bear in the City
Benjamin Birdie
Blockade Boy
Broken Glass Makes Me Laugh
Bully Says
Chaos Monkey
Clea's Cave
Collected Editions
Comics Ate My Brain
Comics Fairplay
Comic Treadmill
Crisis/Boring Change
Dave's Long Box
Delenda est Carthago
Doctor K's 100-Page Super Spectacular
Eddie-torial Comments
Flesh-Head's Treehouse
Gay Comics List
Gay League
Milo George
Giant Fighting Robot Report
Heroes & Villains
House of L
House of the Ded
The Hurting
In Sequence
Inside Out
Invincible Super-Blog
Irresponsible Pictures
Jog-The Blog
Johnny Bacardi Show
Kid Chris
Lady, That's My Skull
Ledger Domain
Let's You and Him Fight
Living Between Wednesdays
Motime Like the Present
Near Mint Heroes
Noetic Concordance
Of Course, Yeah
one diverse comic book nation
Polite Dissent
Precocious Curmudgeon
Pretty, Fizzy Paradise
Prism Comics
Progressive Ruin
Project Rooftop
Random Happenstance
Random Panels
Read About Comics
Revoltin' Developments
Roar of Comics
Seven Hells
Silent Accomplice
Snap Judgments
So I Like Superman
Sporadic Sequential
Super Underwear Perverts
Suspension of Disbelief
Trickle of Conciousness
Vintage Spandex
Welt am Draht
When Fangirls Attack
Word on the Street
Written World
Yaoi 911
Yet Another Comics Blog

Comic Creators and Publishers

Bloodstains on the Looking Glass
Boom! Studios
Brit Doodz
Channel Surfing
Comic Book Heaven
Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
Ferret Press
Tim Fish
Flaming Artist
Kaja Foglio
Steve Gerblog
Highway 62
Illusive Arts
Innocent Bystander
Ralf Koenig
The Less Said The Better
Steve MacIsaac
Man's Adventure
Grant Morrison
Mostly Black
Tom of Finland Foundation
Viper Comics
Mike Wieringo's Sketch Blog
X-Ray Spex

Web Comics

Adam and Andy
Best of Friends
Captain Confederacy
Deep Fried
Dork Tower
The Gay Monsters
Get Your War On
K Chronicles
Kyle's Bed and Breakfast
Pass Fail Studios
The Rack
Split Lip
Tom the Dancing Bug
The Web Comic List

Culture & Politics

Kevin Allison
Armagideon Time
Dario Argento
BBC News
Big Bad Blog
Brian's Drive-In Theater
Camp Blood
Captain Corey
Center of Gravitas
A Child of Atom
Commerical Closet
Paul Cornell
Crocodile Caucus
Culture Pulp
John Oak Dalton
Dark, But Shining
Dark Loch
Dave Ex Machina
Philip K. Dick
Digital Digressions
Feminine Miss Geek
Film Experience Blog
Final Girl
Fortean Times
Gay Gamer
Gay Porn Blog
Rick Gebhardt's World
Get Off The Internet
Good As You
Homefront Radio
Insufficient Homosexual
Joe My God
Chris Karath
Kung Fu Monkey
LeftyBrown's Corner
Little Terrors
Ken Lowery
Miraclo Miles
Mr. Dan Kelly
My Three Dollars Worth
No Sword
Phil Ochs
One Hundred Little Dolls
Or Alcoholism
The Outbreak
Outpost Gallifrey
Pop Culture Gadabout
Pulp of the Day
The Rude Pundit
Screw Bronze
Sock Drawer
Something to be Desired
Street Laughter
Stuff Geeks Love
Tales from Treasure Island
Terry Pratchett
This Boy Elroy
This Modern World
Toner Mishap
Trusy Plinko Stick
Turning the Light Around
TLA Video
Unnatural Devotions
Vintage Beefcake
Warren Ellis
Wax Banks
Where Threads Come Loose
Where Threads Come Loose-Links
Whiskey and Failure
Wisse Words
You Know What I Like?

© 2007 Dorian Wright. Some images are © their respective copyright holders. They appear here for the purposes of review or satire only.