Archive for October, 2011
This month for the Top Shelf selection, I give you Fingerprints by Will Dinski.
A comically twisted look at a cosmetic surgeon and his fabulous patients in Hollywood.
The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Lobster Johnson hijacks my show as I nurse the hangover from hell. His Pick Of The Week goes to Mark Waid & Marcos Martin for Daredevil #5 (Marvel). Fast Five picks include Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel), Journey Into Mystery #630 (Marvel), Captain Swing & The Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #4 (Avatar), Secret Avengers #18 (Marvel), and Wolverine & The X-Men #1 (Marvel). Spoilers!
In this special episode I give my thoughts on the second half of the New 52 Comics from DC. I continue to help you decide which titles you should be spending your money on, and which you should drop like a hot potato. Slight spoilers, nothing radical though.
The New 52 titles roll-on this episode! Pick Of The Week goes to Geoff Johns & Jim Lee for Justice League #2 (DC)! Fast Five picks include Batman #2 (DC), Catwoman #2 (DC), B.P.R.D. Russia #2 (Dark Horse), Red Hood & The Outlaws #2 (DC), and Wonder Woman #2 (DC). Spoilers!
Dark Horse Presents #5 by Eric Powell
While this cover is horribly depressing to me, I also find it rather beautiful at the same time. A lonely, sad robot at its wits end finally deciding to end it all after several months (even years perhaps!) aboard an empty space station. I love the watercolors seen in the sun’s rays and shadows of the moons. If I were a robot about to meet the blue screen of death, I’d chose this view as my last too.
Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes #1 by Keith Giffen
Excuse me? Baking powder? Of all the company-wide crossovers to happen, I did not imagine this one by a long shot! But now that I take a second to think about it, the meeting of these two properties in particular does make a lot sense. As usual with any first meeting among heroes, there’s a lot of fighting and misunderstanding (which can be seen with this cover). What absolutely blew my mind was Giffen once again channeling Jack Kirby style-wise, and I’m going ga-ga for it! It does seem like the kind of wacky tale he would design. With this cover and the success from the O.M.A.C. relaunch, I think Keith Giffen is once again on fire!
In this special episode I’m once again joined by my companion Sarah Jane Smith to discuss the last three episodes of this season of Doctor Who: The God Complex, Closing Time, and The Wedding of River Song. Spoilers!
A day late due to technical difficulties (*cough LIBSYN cough*), but I still have plenty to review for you! Pick Of The Week goes to Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy for American Vampire: Survival Of The Fittest #5 (Vertigo). Fast Five picks include Orchid #1 (Dark Horse), Frankenstein: Agent Of S.H.A.D.E. #2 (DC), PunisherMAX #18 (Marvel), Deathstroke #2 (DC), and Who Is Jake Ellis? #5 (Image). Spoilers!
Batwoman #2 by J.H. Williams III
As usual, J.H. Williams III kicks some serious ass with the Batwoman covers and interior art. It should almost be considered a crime, the guy is so good. I love the two sides we see with Batwoman, both her interior and exterior displayed through the magical x-ray water. The bones detailed flawlessly, with the underwater parts a softer tone than the surface parts. My favorite component of this cover though has to be the melting logo; fits together perfectly between both worlds.
CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 (Cover B) by Matt Wagner
I was just telling myself the other day; “Cammy, you need to read more Grendel“. I’ve always been a fan of Wagner’s look and style, and the color scheme on this cover in particular is what made it my favorite of all the different variants. The red roses intermingling with the light gray background really make Grendel pop out at you, seriously grabbing your attention. Even the movement and flow with both roses and Grendel falling at the same angle make it that much more exquisite in my opinion. I’d definitely like a print of this cover.
Orchid #1 by Shepard Fairey
Until I saw who designed it, I was going to say Fairey was obviously a major influence for the cover. Little did I realize that it was actually Shepard Fairey himself who illustrated it. I wouldn’t think that such a successful artist would grace the comic book world with a cover, so that’s why I dismissed what is now rather obvious. Sure enough, this looks to be his first comic book cover, and hopefully not his last. The amount of detail with the criss-crossing lines is astounding, that you have to remind yourself all it is really is just red and black skillfully intertwined together artistically. While it first appears rather simple, the execution is faultless.
The Unexpected #1 by Rafael Grampa
I haven’t the slightest clue what’s going on here, and yet I tingle with anticipation! Rafael Grampa, the Emperor of Eye-Candy, has delighted us with another insane cover that makes you instantly fall to your knees and thank *insert your deity here* for giving you sight. The blood splatter on the back of this assassins legs, high-heeled shoes and spiked ball tells you that she means business, while the skimpy striped outfit tell you that she can look good while massacring you. Skulls on the silver screen, a couple about to kiss, and a knife through the back of her mascot head: how does this cover not attract your attention and have you begging to see what’s in store?? So much fantastic detail in this cover, that I would kill to have this as a poster. It’s insane, it’s breath-taking, it’s just plain awesome.
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #2 by J.G. Jones
While J.G. Jones has been having somewhat of a cover renaissance with the New 52 relaunch, I’ve found myself only enjoying a selected few of what’s he’s submitted so far. This is definitely one of those that I thoroughly enjoy. As you can see, Franky has a lot of his mind; while working solo all these years, he now has the rest of his team to worry about. It almost reminds me of a scene from Locke & Key, more specifically one of the issues in Head Games where the Locke children are able to gaze into each other’s minds. I especially like the texture of the skin in Franky’s face, with the differentiating styles between forehead and cheeks. Even the toned-down and muddier colors really sell it, and make it feel so natural for a horror-pulp-action comic. Great stuff!
In this special episode I interview the creative team of the comic Zombie Outlaw, Brian Apodaca and Benny Jordan. We discuss how the comic came to be, future plans, and how you could possible be in the second issue! I apologize in advance for the slight microphone issues.
Animal Man #2 by Travel Foreman
I don’t know what I’m looking at, but I’m a little freaked out all the same. This is why you don’t genetically modify chickens…or squids, for that matter. The imagery is so bizarre, insane, and twisted all at once, that I think PETA might even have a problem with this cover. I don’t care though, because I love it! Animal Man and his daughter flee with good reason, for they have quite the gruesome jabberwocky trailing close behind. If this cover doesn’t intrigue you to take a peek inside, I don’t know what will!
Casanova: Avaritia #2 by Gabriel Bá
Finally, the version of Kung Fu Panda I wanted to see! Now if you’re like me and watch a lot of nature shows, you’ll know that the panda bear, while cute, isn’t friendly whatsoever. So with this cover I think Gabriel Bá really captured the raw power of the typical panda when confronted by samurai in its natural environment. The poses, the intensity, the simplicity; all these factors really make this cover work.
X-Men: Schism #5 by Adam Kubert
Uh, guys, LOOK UP!! Even with impending doom hovering right above them, Logan and Scott still have to fight over who has the bigger, uh, “X-Man”. I especially love the detail in the Sentinel’s hand as it powers up, about to completely incinerate them. Alas, boys will be boys, and the entire mutant race seems to be suffering because of it. I wish these two would just fuck and get it over with. Beautiful cover by Adam Kubert nonetheless.
In this rambunctious episode, I’m joined by Josh & Kat (01 Publishing), Jules (Valkyrie Squadron), and Patrick (World War Kaiju) to report on what took place at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) this past weekend. Bed bugs, bad booth neighbors, and the actual convention are discussed! WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT (at times)!
Rockin’ the rock, and walkin’ the walk! Pick Of The Week goes to Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat for All-Star Western #1 (DC)! Fast Five picks include The Savage Hawkman #1 (DC), Aquaman #1 (DC), Captain America & Bucky #622 (Marvel), Justice League: Dark #1 (DC), and The Flash #1 (DC). Spoilers!
Book Of The Month – October 2011
Hark! A Vagrant
Written & Illustrated by Kate Beaton
I have a confession to make; I came late to the Hark! A Vagrant party. My friends always talked about the webcomic with high praise, and how funny and genius it was. In my defense there are hundreds upon hundreds of great webcomics out there nowadays, and it’s so hard to remember to bookmark them all. Of the regular ones I visit, I know their schedules like the back of my hand (Penny Arcade and Gunshow Monday, Wednesday, Friday; Questionable Content and Our Valuable Customers Monday through Friday), but if you’re rather forgetful like I am, you tend to visit a new series if you suddenly remember and are near a computer, or if you’re bored at work and have a smart phone handy. My love of Hark! A Vagrant! blossomed after Comic-Con this past summer.
Jeremy Awesome (cameraman, cool dude) was picking up an advanced copy of the book (signed, limited to 300 mind you) for a friend who wasn’t able to make it. While lugging our camera equipment and spoils of the convention around throughout the weekend, I had a chance every now and then to sneak a peek at the book and see what all the fuss was about. Little did I know, but Kate Beaton would soon become one of those beautiful Geeky Goddesses that I worship (alongside Blair Butler and Felicia Day).
Just like xkcd is a webcomic for the nerds and science types to enjoy, Hark! A Vagrant is the same brand of catnip for the history and literature buffs. Myself being an English major, I was laughing my rump off comic after comic, and much like xkcd you don’t have to be a scholar of any sort to still have an enjoyable experience when reading it (but it certainly does amplify the effects).
The majority of the strips are in the standard three-panel format, with an extended six-panel layout sprinkled in here and there when required. The subject matter jumps from period to period, century to century without a linear timeline. Sporadic keeps things lively and interesting, and doesn’t feel like Beaton is only focusing on one period in time to find humor in. The humor in the strips ranges from sophisticated to just plain silly, with some slightly bizarre thrown in for good measure. There is also some superheroes present, and I must say Sexy Batman had me rolling on the floor for several minutes.
So whether you’re a fan of Shakespearean plays or ever wondered if it was possible to make jokes regarding The Great Gatsby, I highly recommend you check this collection out, then afterward go to her website and bookmark it for your viewing pleasure. It’s such a great looking hardcover, and to think this doesn’t even collect the entire archive! Leaves it open for much more goodness in another thick collection in the future, and I’ll definitely be picking up that one as well.