Stan and Jack had already perfected their bit by the time Galactus first showed his big head in Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four, Vol. 5. Here wStan and Jack had already perfected their bit by the time Galactus first showed his big head in Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four, Vol. 5. Here we see them pushing up against the limits of the conventions they themselves created, crafting wonderfully weird tales like Blastaar's escape from the Negative Zone and the tragic introduction of Adam Warlock. It's easy to see why this is the gold standard that superhero comics continue to be judged against to this day....more
The 300-plus page count of this first volume is a clue to Plastic Farm's epic ambitions. For the first several chapters, creator Rafer Roberts (aidedThe 300-plus page count of this first volume is a clue to Plastic Farm's epic ambitions. For the first several chapters, creator Rafer Roberts (aided by the occasional guest artist) crafts memorable but seemingly standalone tales of rough justice, childhood nightmares, and desperate measures. But as so often happens, things are more connected then they initially appear.
Luckily, the growing complexity of the plot doesn't sap PF of its initial energy. Roberts is a skilled scripter, and his gritty, zine-influenced artwork adds to the book's cohesive feel. His collaborators also make the most of their particular chapters, adding pathos or dark humor as called for.
PF is a deliberately uneasy reading experience, both in its lack of traditional narrative and its macabre subject matter. Occasionally, it can be a little too overeager to cultivate that mystique. Nonetheless, fans of transgressive speculative fiction should find more than enough inventiveness and cosmic mystery here to keep turning the pages until the end....more
"Carlos Gonzalez’s Test Tube is an experiment in every sense of the word – and one that won’t leave its readers uncFrom my review for Broken Frontier:
"Carlos Gonzalez’s Test Tube is an experiment in every sense of the word – and one that won’t leave its readers unchanged.
In the realm of the Arts-with-a-capital-A, work has historically been judged on its mutually agreed permanence – the lasting impression it leaves on the world and its denizens. Such thinking has only recently been applied to comic books, once the domain of disposable, lurid pulp entertainment.
The creation of a comic book canon – and the flood of graphic novels into reputable bookstores everywhere – has deservedly brought a number of important works to a larger audience and elevated critical thinking on the medium.
However, Carlos Gonzalez’s Test Tube (originally self-published, now available in a compendium from Floating World Comics) defies art’s centuries-old drive towards public adulation. While such works strive to capture the essence of an experience, Test Tube daringly embodies a transformative experience in itself – one that’s closely tied to comics’ grimy, ink-splattered roots."
Brian Wood and Carlos D'Anda's run picks up shortly after the conclusion of Episode IV, and no one has much cause for celebration. The Rebels are tryiBrian Wood and Carlos D'Anda's run picks up shortly after the conclusion of Episode IV, and no one has much cause for celebration. The Rebels are trying to keep the revolution from imploding, Leia is mourning the destruction of her home planet, and Luke Skywalker is struggling with his new-found Force talents after the death of his mentor. On the flip side, Darth Vader finds that the Empire is none too forgiving when it comes to missteps. These are the sort of desperate times that Wood thrives in, and he does an admirable job of marrying his own creative vision with Lucas's multi-billion-dollar franchise. That means the relationship drama is just as riveting as the widescreen space action. Of course, kudos should also go to artist D'Anda, who's a pitch-perfect choice for this book if I ever saw one. His pages are packed without being crowded, and he draws some of the best-looking space battles I've ever seen in comic form. D'Anda has also mastered that knack of capturing an iconic character's likeness without being slavish to the character (an issue one often sees in the Buffyverse comics). ...more
This series has done more to endear me to the Star Wars universe than five-and-a-half movies ever could. This volume especially features a fantastic bThis series has done more to endear me to the Star Wars universe than five-and-a-half movies ever could. This volume especially features a fantastic blend of short dramatic vignettes and absurdist off-model takes on the classic characters. I have a soft spot for the latter, especially Dave Cooper's batty tale of a cantina band on the run and Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier's slapstick skit. But I also loved Jim Woodring and Robert Teranishi's "Life, Death, and the Living Force," which weaves the SW series' dangling spiritual threads into a beautiful (and succinct) new tapestry....more