Jack Cross #3 - DC (2005)

I really want to like this comic book but each issue makes it harder and harder. I enjoyed the first issue but the second didn't do much for me. The primary complaint I had about the comic as a whole is that Gary Erskine isn't conveying the action scenes well at all. His compositions are static. There's absolutely no sense that the people are moving. They look like they're posing for a photo comic.

Issue #3 has more action than the first two issues combined. It's one big action scene with a little dialogue thrown in as connective tissue. Which, unfortunately, means that this issue falls the flattest.


There's a scene involving a couple of helicopters which would have been very exciting if I could have figured out what the hell was going on. Same thing goes for the fight scene depicted on the cover. Flat.

Jack Cross is written to be a man of action. Literally. He sees what needs to be done and he's not afraid to do it. There is no separation between thought and action for him. That's what Warren Ellis intends to get across, anyway. He gets no help from Erskine.

Not that Ellis is completely off the hook, here. I am one hell of a Warren Ellis fanboy. He's one of the reasons I want to write comics. I want to make people feel about characters I create the way he has made me feel. However, this story and these characters haven't hooked me. It's issue 3. This story just isn't my cup of tea and the slow art simply isn't doing it any favors.

I'll pick up #4 to see how the story ends but after that I'm dropping it from my hold box.

At least Desolation Jones and Fell continue to rock.


Many, many comics

I bought enough comics to build a house out of comics. A lot of things from my hold box came in today and I got several recent back issues I've been trying to find for a while thanks to another shop selling most of its stock to my favorite local comics emporium. For example, I picked up issues 1 - 3 of GØDLAND and the Essential Iron Fist collection. This week's haul was rather indie heavy so keep a weather eye out for many reviewings and opinionatings from Noetic Concordance Headquarters.

Tonight, however, I'm gonna read until I pass out.

EDIT: A closer scan of the comicblogland shows that I'm not the only one who bought a metric fuck-ton of pulp today. At least I'm in good company.


Astro City: The Dark Age

I sat down to write my review of Astro City: The Dark Age and her's how it went:



"Ooh! A shiny thing!"

Fortunately, Mark Fossen of Focused Totality stepped up to the plate and wrote a great review of it.

Plus, Neil Diamond Quotes!!


Dial B for Blog has an excellent collection of scary comic covers.

Reviews resume tomorrow.


In darkest night...

Comics Ate My Brain has some cool insights on my favorite comics subject: The Green Lantern Corps!


Fin Fang 4 #1 (of 1) - Marvel (2005)

All right. You know the drill by now so I'll boil it down to its essential elements:

Get this comic. It's awesome.

Here's the awesome cover by Eric Powell:

That cover looks familiar

Here's a sample of the awesome art by Roger Langridge:

Who dares to mock Goom?

See, it's awesome! I'll wrap this up with some sort of threat to a quality or object you hold dear if you don't read this comic.


Where Monsters Dwell #1 (of 1) - Marvel (2005)

In the proud tradition (1 issue so far) of Devil Dinosaur #1 we now have Where Monsters Dwell. If you read my review of Devil Dinosaur (or, gasp, picked up the comic) you know what to expect from this one. Unlike the first of these Monster-related one-shots, WMD (nice initials, there) contains three new tales by Keith Giffen, Peter David and Jeff Parker along with a spectacular cover by Eric Powell which ties them all together:

The Giffen story is my favorite (for the credits banner, alone) but they're all good reads and the art is high-quality all the way through. There's also a reprint of a classic crab-the-size-of-Montana story at the end.

The image of the splash page below does NOT do it justice! Lovern Kindzierski faithfully recreates the pointilist, four-color style and lays it over Giffen's Kirby homage bringing about a stunning combination of nostalgia and post-modernism that makes me want this Bombu cat to get his own series. Woah! I got all "comic-blog lit crit" on you there. Sorry about that. Er, check out the groovy page:

So, don't buy any of these monster comics if you're, y'know, averse to fun.

Blogger see; Blogger do

If you don't check out BeaucoupKevin's gallery of Star Trek comic book covers the terrorists have already won.


House of M #7 (of 8) - Marvel (2005)

I'm out of town this weekend so I'm short on time. Therefore, in the great tradition of Haiku Movie Reviews (and others) I present my review of the latest issue of Marvel's crossover alternate-reality comics-fun-a-palooza:

So many panels
Yet only one thing happens.
Um...the cover's nice.


Yo soy Señor Lazypants

I was all set to write a bunch of good stuff about Elk's Run but Mark Fossen from Focused Totality beat me to it and said it better and more thoroughly than I would have.

Read what he has to say and see if it's your cup of tea, too.

The Goon: Fancy Pants Edition - Dark Horse (2005)

Of all the gin joints...

I got my copy of The Goon: Fancy Pants Edition last Wednesday despite the fact that it apparently doesn't hit the shelves until tomorrow. Eric Powell lives around here so I'm guessing that's why we got ours early.

I wasn't going to get it but I flipped through it and noticed that it only cost $25! Holy crap! I'm new to The Goon. The first issue of the comic I picked up was # 12 (review link) and I have been making plans to get the trades so I'll have the background.

Then this thing comes out. Wow.

It's got The Goon's story presented chronologically (including the two self-published issues) along with a soupçon of never-before-published material. This is exactly the thing I've been looking for.

I haven't read it yet (review forthcoming) but this thing is beautiful! I'm not a hardcover guy when it comes to comics but I'm glad I gave this one a second look. It's a class act right down to the endpapers. Well worth a couple of sawbucks and a fin. And, hey, the thing's even signed by Powell. Way cool.


Viva Dave's Long Box

Dave of Dave's Long Box fame is back from vacation and brings us some comic stuff and this report:

[T]wo raccoons got in a fight outside last night, and I had a hard time getting back to sleep after that. Have you ever heard raccoons fight? They fight to the death, man. It sounded like somebody was butchering a tauntaun outside my bedroom window. I broke it up, and the little fuckers scrambled up some fir trees, but I could hear them talking shit to each other in their native tongue – Hamburglar - for an hour after the fight.


Fan vs. Creator! Who. Will. Win?

Well, here I go again, linking to a Jason Rodriguez post. If the dude would quit making so much sense I'd lay off all the links.

In this one he has some great advice for aspiring comics creators (or artists of any kind). In brief: Don't shoot yourself in the foot by spewing bile at people in the business.

No babies were harmed in the creation of this post.


Devil Dinosaur #1 (of 1) - Marvel (2005)

Eric Powell!

Devil Dinosaur!!


That's pretty much all I need to say in this review. You'll make up your own mind about what those elements mean to you.

However, I will go into a bit more detail:

This story takes place in a time before recorded history. When things were simpler and gods walked the earth, barely noticing the lesser creatures around them. I am, of course, referring to the Silver Age.

Powell (writing & drawing) and Tom Sniegoski (writing) knock this one out of the park. It's a silly, bombastic story with time travel, fightin' and aliens in Kirby suits. The page below has most of the artistic elements that make this book the most fun thing I've read in weeks:

As you can see above, J.D. Mettler's colors are spectacular. The page which puts it all together is best shown in a larger size than my blog can handle so I provide this link.

This issue also contains a reprint of a 1960 Jack Kirby/Dick Ayers story which features the first appearance of Xemnu who shows up in a few early Defenders issues, this one, for example. It's is a bargain at twice the price!

If the other ones in this series are this good, I'll buy the individual issues and consider picking up the inevitable trade just to loan to my friends.


Night Mary #2 (of 5) - IDW (2005)

Save vs. Death Magic!

The second issue of Night Mary doesn't contain as many gruesome images (and suggestions of same) as issue #1 but it's no less dark and even more frightening.

Mary Specter, the title character, enters the dream of a guy whose self esteem has been beaten into oblivion. The plot thickens as we learn a bit more about Mary's comatose mother. Also, there is something actively following Mary through dreams and it doesn't like her.

This comic is scary and disturbing in all the right ways. Rick Remender is doing a great job of building the suspense and maintaining a sense of mystery and fear.

The art by Kieron Dwyer fits the story perfectly. We get a couple of new styles in this issue to indicate the differences between dream landscapes.

If you're looking for something scary to read by candlelight this Halloween you could do a lot worse than the first two issues of Night Mary.


Indie 500

I mentioned HeroesCon before. I've been checking their site periodically for new guests. Check out the pile of indie creators they've scheduled.


Polly and the Pirates #1 (of 6) - Oni Press (2005)


More people should be reading Ted Naifeh's comics. He writes and draws exciting, charming stories about interesting people doing cool things.

He's started a new miniseries called Polly and the Pirates which is about a very good, by-the-book, little girl at a boarding school who ends up on a pirate ship. This is an excellent setup issue in that it establishes the world and the characters without boring the reader with exposition. Several well-made secondary characters are introduced and I hope we see more of them in the series.

Like the Courtney Crumrin comics, this is a book that kids and adults can both enjoy. The pirates are scary to Polly but there's nothing here that will induce nightmares.

As you can see from the cover above, the art is similar to his work on Courtney Crumrin. It's cute and spooky and cool. Also like the Courtney books, the interiors are black-and-white which really fits the story and allows Naifeh to show off his abilities with shades of gray and lighting effects.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. If this looks like your cup of tea and your local purveyor of serialized, sequential entertainment devices doesn't currently have a copy, order it. It's still available.