Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Comics

And then I sold a whole bunch of old and shitty comics and used the proceeds to buy new and neat ones. That worked out well.

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I’ve got into this habit of letting issues build up for a couple of months before buying them. Stuff like Herogasm or Greek Street can stay in the folder for a little longer, because I can wait and a more substantial read every couple of months is surprisingly productive.

This has worked particularly well with Wednesday Comics, which is easy enough to skip for a couple of weeks and more than made up by ingesting three massive pages of the same story in one go. It means I’m a bit behind right now, but will get a suitable dose of four colour glory with the climax next week.

This maans a lot of the new comics I got on Saturday have been out for a few weeks or months already and might already be stale in the vast collective comics unconscious, but I still loved ‘em to bits.

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Okay, so I never let any Morrison sitting there for more than a week, ‘cos he’s still my fave.

And low expectations for Philip Tan’s art on the latest Batman and Robin were completely unwarranted. It was entirely satisfactory. It is nice and dirty and gloomy, just like it should be and the odd awkward pose is a small price to pay. He’s no Quitely, but who is?

I guess it’s supposed to be a big mystery about the Red Hood’s identity, so I’m gonna say it’s the Joker. He’s ways, after all, the first Red Hood, but never a buff and bloodthirsty anti-hero before. It would certainly fit with Morrison’s take on the Joker as a constantly reinventing super-personality. So that’s my vote.

* * *

I missed Kick-Ass #7 a couple of weeks ago, but I’m glad I got it because the last half dozen pages were so magnificently entertaining they made me laugh out loud.

It’s the most MARK MILLAR book out there which is still a positive in my book. So there is obviously something wrong with me.

* * *

The Boys is starting to go into some really interesting places and the last two issues of the Self-Preservation Society are suitably meaty. I did dig the Allies teaming up again to kick an evil Nazi scumbag to death, but it’s all about the Butcher.

While some horrible things have been happening in The Boys since day one, it’s all been a bit of a laugh. The attack on the Female has brought some righteous retribution down on the clods responsible and Billy Butcher is going to make them pay.

You know it’s serious when he sends that bloody dog off.

That last page of #34 is the scariest damn thing I’ve seen in a comic book in a while. Butcher with a meat clever and some very important questions doesn’t need any more elaboration. He is going to do bad things and he will probably enjoy them.

(Plus I just like it when he says stuff like “Leg it, mate.” and “An’ you’re a fuckin’ insult to the lads that did.”)

And as it gets more horrible and brains start coming out of people’s heads, it’s good to see Wee Hughie - the hero of the goddamn comic - showing his revulsion. He is glad to see punishment done, it’s just the reality is so fucking horrible, it’s good to see a character that is still human enough to act like one.

Shame about the arm.

* * *

I also got the first two issues of Herogasm, which cast a lot of light on what just happened in The Boys and features some truly remarkable sexual positions, while still being really, really horrible.

What the fuck is up with Homelander?

* * *

I kept getting Fantastic Four after Millar and Hitch bailed because I enjoyed the climax to their story. The one that they didn’t do. I just really liked Millar’s Doctor Doom.

The first issue of the new creative team is enough to keep me going for a while. Hickman’s writing is smart, funny and human when he leaves the self-righteous characters out of it and Eaglesham is the most beautifully average artist is super-comics.

(This is good. I love beautifully average artists. Eaglesham, Bagley and – at the highest end – the great John Romita Snr and the mighty Alan Davis: I’ll read their comics ‘til kingdom come.)

* * *

Jack of Fables is still ridiculously entertaining and I always enjoy its free-wheeling nature. It’s a comic where anything could happen and consequences be damned.

It’s a little weird that Willingham and Sturges’ superhero comics tend to be so po-faced and turgid when they show such a light touch here. It’s nice to read a comic where the main character for the past 37 issues wanders off and away from the narrative. That Jack has got fat and boring and his sidekick can’t do anything interesting any more, so the audience wanders off, just like that little blue bull, who has had enough of these losers.

Luckily there’s a new Jack and while he is a bit of a na├»ve and whining little punk, Willingham does that thing he’s done a lot in Fables and created a vaguely annoying character who turns out to be a complete badass when it comes to battle. A quick and intense four page battle establishes the new Jack as a character worth following, all set up with the required amusing sidekick. So he’s worth following for a while, then.

5 comments:

Nik said...

Where do you sell your comics, I used to unload on ebay in the US, I keep meaning to trim the lot so to speak.

Sorry about missing your last email, we went to Melbourne for a week or so! Will try again soon...

Nik said...

Oh and agree about Batman and Robin, from some of the net babble you'd think Philip Tan killed Christ or something. Serviceable enough art and a fun story, still the only Batman book I read regularly.

Bob Temuka said...

Just over TradeMe, Nik. As long as you don't expect to make huge profits, you can unload a lot of unwanted stuff there. I recently worked out I'd made several thousand dollars by getting rid of all those Superman and Spider-man comics I didn't need any more. (I just made more than $150 on a bunch of stuff this week.)

Cheap comics can be hard to find in the godforsaken wildernesses of places like South Canterbury and Taranaki, so buyers are keen to snap stuff up.

The Beast Must Die said...

Yeah Tan's glitzy, trashy artwork suited the pulpy violent tone just fine. Plus it reminded me of Miller and Lee's insanely great ASSBats work.

I'd never describe Alan Davis as 'fantastically average' though. Just a personal thing. I have extremely fond feelings towards his Captain Britain work and DR & Quinch. He also draws some of the finest ladies in comics. Certainly enough to lodge in my 14 yr old brain...

Bob Temuka said...

Oh no, Alan Davis is easily one of my favourite artists ever. I will always, always buy his comics because he started doing Excalibur when I was 12 and I loved it so hard I still have a chubby for it.

By fantastically average, I mean he's an artist who style doesn't really evolve much anymore, but he's got a clean straight line, superb storytelling skills and he does draw the finest ladies in comics.

Comic readers rarely get obsessed over artists like this, get more excited about the hot young thing and tend to take them for granted, but they're some of the best artists in the business, even if they will never be truly spectacular.