Tuesday, 8 April 2008


Here we go. Brief recap of my reads from the past month due to waiting and waiting, keeping loyal before finding out my order'd been missed. For the most part I'm up to date and even read a couple of new things that I'd otherwise not have picked up.
In no particular order...

I picked up Kick Ass #1 and subsequently #2 in the out of a sense of keeping my finger on the pulse and always hoping for the best for JRJR. For the record, I get the idea that Mark Millar is 1) a really nice guy b) loves to publicise/overpublicise himself and thirdly, operates in his own bubble in the world of comics.
Every interview I've heard with him tells us how the artist he's working with is the best currently working in comics. Steve McNiven has something, Tommy Lee Edwards is a great illustrator, and Bryan Hitch has come a long way baby. John Romita Jr is probably the closest his claim comes to validity. His art on Kick Ass plays to one his many strengths which is street level. The book looks gorgeous, inked by Tom Palmer who couldn't do any wrong over such a great draftsman. The colourist Dean White also did a great job over him on Black Panther.
The problems start with what I think is Mark Millar's weak point; the high concept. Warren Ellis used to suffer the same thing for me. You come up with a great idea. "A+B=Wow. Now to add to the idea and you have a story". The problem with this is that you get the nice element of surprise at the newness in the firstplace, enjoy it all the way through but can never go back to it. Twelve issues of Wolverine by JRJR, inked by Klaus Janson and I just couldn't go back and read it.
Kick Ass already has that feeling for me. If I get a slow week I might continue with it and keep you posted but I'm not optimistic.
To get it all out of the way, I also picked up the Morrison Batman I'd missed. The story's taken an up swing and has a great Batman moment at the end to remind me why I'm sticking with it but the art attached backs up my feelings about Tony Daniel. Roll on the fill-in issues.

Now Jonah Hex, moving on and up is just a joy. I found one I hadn't noticed in Previews, while desperately seeking my fix. Plus a new one. Great, (generally) stand alone stories by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray that I'd read every month if I didn't have to pay for 'em. I'm spoiled for working in a comic shop in the past to the point of only buying books I feel I'm gonna keep wanting to go back to. Fortunately, every xth issue is drawn by Jordi Bernet who has a mixture of classic styles in his own, not the least of which is Alex Toth, and I feel a bit of John Buscema, Dan DeCarlo there too. As you'll see from the scans, it's just fuggin gorgeous. The stories give him plenty to work with, in terms of environment, characters, violence and comedy and is completely faithful to Michael Fleisher and Garcia-Lopez stories from the 70s. Pick it up!
Wolverine's on a roll. The regular monthly has a three parter by Jason (Scalped) Aaron with Wolverine hunting to kill Mystique, who's generally a treacherous bitx, and great for it, but really screwed the X-Men during the recent X-Men crossover. This was one of those great meetings of the stars. Ron Garney who's comics I always want to buy the writing lets him down, Jason Aaron who's great and, well so far so good. Lastly Wolverine who's a character I love to read done well.
Ron Garney's drawing it, at his absolute best, adapting his style for every project and to this one bringing a lot of John Buscema, shot straight from pencils which gives it a good, rough, Klaus Janson finish. His story telling is great and fluid and his Wolverine is great.
The story is twisty-turny, violent and fun and recommended for Wolverine fans, not however recommended for people that don't like Wolverine.Marvel Knights Logan is by Brian K (he's good) Vaughn and drawn by Eduardo Risso. Dean White colours and while its loud, its also good. A good water colour vibe without the apparent colour blindness that afflicts Richard (three tone) Isanove or Guy (one tone) Major. Dave Stewart makes it look easy and has plenty of peers to show that its not.

Its Risso so its gorgeous. Its Risso Wolverine so it can't go too wrong for me. Plenty of reviewers have gone on about another lost Logan love and another surprise, old enemy who needs revenging and to be honest, I don't know what they want. There's really not too much to add to the character. Get over it. Don't read comics you know aren't going to offer you something new because you only disappoint yourself.
George Pratt wrote and drew a great looking Wolverine story called Netsuke a while back. It bombed, isn't collected because...it's not following the 'formula'. Wolverine+Revenge...Wolverine+Loser at Love=...Wolverine+PLus World War 2=...
This is just a good Wolverine story...And its gorgeous.
Bachalo's just come on for his first arc on Spider-Man with the funny and fun Zeb Wells who never disappoints me and Tim Townsend inking who does him the most justice of any inker (close second of Richard Friend).
I, for one, don't care about Spider-Man's marriage, deal with the devil, dead/dying/alive aunt. I've been seeing scans of pages here and there for a while so I was stuck for what to scan. Hence a good Spidey picture! This is one of those 'does what it says on the tin' reads. If you like the look, pick it up. I thought it was great.Paul Smith on the Spirit. I was excited by the prospect but found the experience jarring. One minute its Paul Smith, the next its Eisnery. Good fun, good Lee Loughridge colours, good fun Aragones and Evanier story...though Cooke is missed. Both Ploog and Smith, I feel, are being overly reverant in dealing with Eisner's flagship character. They could both relax a bit. Regardless, I'll stick about, though I'm really, really dreading Waldon Wong (deadline corrector) who only seems to emerge from the shadows of comics shadows to ink great artists into the ground when they can't meet deadlines.The Iron Man movie's coming and so there's a lot of Iron Man comics about. This is one of the few I jumped at. I fked up a bit and bought the issues, not banking on a collection as Joe Casey+Great Idiosyncratic Aquired Taste Art generally= Critical acclaim, commercial flop.
Great, contempory, year one type story by Casey, incredible art by Eric Canete (see the blog links above) and DAVE STEWART on colours! The quality starts there! Saturfaction guaranteed! Seek it out or buy the book in a couple of months!
To be continued with All Star Supes, New Horizon Special and Action Comics.


Anthony Hope-Smith said...

Thanks once again, Mr Shyne!
That Garney Wolverine page looks lovely - why aren't they keeping these guys on the book? The Millar/McNiven thing could have been a mini and still done well. And God knows Marvel isn't usually shy about flooding the market with product.
Speaking of Millar, Kick Ass 1 was beautiful, but I don't know if I'll be following this series through.
The Risso Wolvie was nice too (got issue 1), and it was nice to see a different style of colour over him, and done well at that.
I got Smith's Spirit, and it was lovely, certainly some of his best stuff in a while. The tight Eisner homage is understandable, this has to be a fairly intimidating job. But yeah, I know what you mean.
Can't wait for the Iron Man Enter... collection.
Look forward to what you thought of the new Killing Joke. I know a lot of people think that the new palette isn't as distinctive as the old, but the old one never did much for me (same as Watchmen), the line work looks much clearer in the new Bolland version, from the previews I've seen. Reckon I'll be up for this one.

Anthony Hope-Smith said...

Sorry, the above was a bit long!
Typing as I think it again!

Will Shyne said...

"Typing as I think it again!"
You should be sorry. Typing as you think is MY style. If I proof read as opposed to 40% proof wrote I'd never get anything done.

David N said...

I've been trying to work out how I feel about Kick-Ass ever since I read the first issue. I think I hated it. JRJR is a god, obviously, but Millar is incapable of writing without hyperbole - everything has to be to the nth degree, there is little nuance, no subtlety (I think the only exception to this in his work is the first half of the second arc in the Ultimates, where its all build-up, and he has to play it differently). I liked the second issue better, maybe because I knew what to expect.

Love Paul Smith but didn't even know about this. Will get it.

Will Shyne said...

You might be right David. I felt I liked the second one more but still just not enough...
The Nth degree thing is why that 12part Wolverine story is unreadable. You get Wolverine monologing about how he's killed 2000 shield agents/ninjas in his journey from the end of the last issue to the beginning of the latest and I'm sure there're 15 year olds somewhere punching the air about how cool it is but, meh.

David N said...

That Wolverine arc reminded me of the Loeb/Lee "Hush" Batman story. The plotting seemed driven by a need (commercial?) to fit in as many guest-stars and villains as possible. Sort of a tour of the universe. Really irritating.