Saturday, 31 January 2009

Leonardi Request

Following an article I read on Brian Conlin's comics should be good, here
about who designed the Spider-Man black costume, someone posted whether they could find Zeck or Leonardi's designs online anywhere. While I get the impression that Zeck's sketch was just that, Leonardi's fairly complete designs were published in Wizard's Spider-Man 2009 1/2 and are scanned below for your pleasure.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Time Out and Happy New Year

Been a long time as always between posts. I got into a slump between my wedding and my honeymoon, which I'm now on.
I write this from sunny Bogota,Colombia, in the house of my family here accompanied by my wife and my mum's here for a bit of it too.
2009 holds a move of house which I'm very much not looking forward to. A flathunt ahead and literally tonnes of books to move makes it all seem a bit daunting. I've not thought of work stuff for two weeks and that's marvellous.
My chosen reading for the holiday, last minute, the evening before flying out, was Dylan On Dylan (the collection of interviews), Catch 22 (which I've not had any significant time to sink my teeth into) and a bunch of comic rereads.
As I invariably write about comics I'll focus on them.
The comics are:
Batman Year One. I brought the new version of the softcover with me (not the old hardcover or the original issues which sit at home). Yes, it's an obvious choice but a book that never bores me, that I read cover to cover every time I pick it up and casually read the first page "I should have taken the train...". Can't help it. The new version contains a new Miller text piece "22 year old paralegal Stacy Lynch withdrew charges of gang rape..." (thanks Frank) and waaaaay more impressive Loads of supplemental Mazzuchelli bits and 4 pages of new comic by the great man on the subject of...Batman. I'm aware that I'll dig out the issues when I get back too...
Trinity by Matt Wagner. I like Matt Wagner a lot. My old mate and boss at the comic shop agrued that he gets worse all the time. While I agree on both his main points (he's never done anything, visually better than the original Batman/Grendel and that his cover paintings for DC over the years have been really poor) I can't help but feel, as with Miller (artwise) that the choices he makes are based on choices, rather than arthritis or failing eyesight. Trinity suffered from the start for me by pitting the three DC bigguns against three respective villains, a little contrived. The book is full of nice moments for each of the characters showing that Wagner does have a strong opinion on how each of the characters should be handled. The art is solid, the storytelling as strong as one would expect and the art is elevated by Dave Stewart (one of the best elevators in comics). The book is strong enough that I manage to enjoy it while only caring about two thirds of the cast.
JLA Earth 2 by Morrison & Quietly. Not a great deal to say about thebook apart from it breaks my heart that Howard Porter got to draw all those great Morrison JLA stories when Quietly so perfectly nails each of the characters and so succinctly tells a great story full of great moments. "Their hearts are on the right side of their bodies". We get the Earth 2 Crime Sindicate so brilliantly realised that Owlman comes across as cool as Batman. Love to see more of it.
Lastly Metal Men by Duncan Rouleau. This was a second reading of this odd, dense but compelling book. The story is based on Morrison concepts (and I'd like to know quite what that means) and so is fairly mental. Rouleau's art has come a long way since Alpha Flight and Superman, largely thanks to a strong design sense and able use of, I assume, Photoshop to create digital collages of cityscapes and techno. His storytelling is ambitious, and some could argue at times overly so, but the end result comes across like a mix between Chris Bachalo and a modern Steranko. Storywise the book flows out 52 which I didn't read but explains the events of Oolong Island that act as a catalyst for everything in a way that makes me feel to read 52 but not that I have to. The colours are amazing in a Dave McCaig vain and contribute greatly to the feel of the book. Well worth look. Ambitious and inventive.
Next up, the last book of the holiday, a well overdue reread of Elektra: Assassin.