Not sure what to think of this one. I enjoyed the gentle pace and small town setting of the first two volumes, but suddenly there are warring secret gNot sure what to think of this one. I enjoyed the gentle pace and small town setting of the first two volumes, but suddenly there are warring secret government agencies, a Russian zombie carrying a mad scientist's brain in a jar, a ghostly superhero possessing the body of a main character, side trips to Rio and a zombie apocalypse to boot. It feels like too much, too soon. Still lots of fun though....more
Roberson and Allred are having a lot of fun with iZombie. The pop culture references come thick and fast in this volume: there are panels mimicking ScRoberson and Allred are having a lot of fun with iZombie. The pop culture references come thick and fast in this volume: there are panels mimicking Scooby Doo, 50s horror comics and Casper the Friendly Ghost. I was a lukewarm about Michael and Laura Allred's art and colours in my review of iZombie #1, but they're growing on me. Gilbert Hernandez guest pencilled an issue too....more
I initially passed over iZombie when I saw it at my local library, partly because I'm suffering from zombie fatigue and partly because of the groan inI initially passed over iZombie when I saw it at my local library, partly because I'm suffering from zombie fatigue and partly because of the groan inducing name, but after reading mostly positive reviews I decided to give it a shot. I'm pleased that I did, because iZombie is a smart, fun comic.
It's really Chris Roberson's story that really makes the comic work for me. The setting he's created reminds me of True Blood - a small town that unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants is home to vampires, werewolves (a were-Terrier at any rate), ghosts, mummies and of course a zombie. Not at all the shambling zombie story I was expecting. Gwen, the titular zombie, is hip and cynical, and it's a real pleasure to hang out in her world.
Some reviewers have complained that the story moves too slowly, and if I had to wait a month between instalments I might feel the same way, but reading iZombie in a collected volume the story zips along. I actually appreciated the fact that Roberson takes some time to introduce his characters and set the scene rather than ploughing straight into the action.
Mike Allred's pencils are at times brilliant, but sometimes feel rushed. Laura Allred's colouring is solid, but nothing to rave about. Good colouring should convey the tone of a scene, in the same way color grading is used in film. JD Mettler's colors for Ex Machina are a perfect example. Allred's color treatments for iZombie don't vary much from scene to scene, so although they don't detract from the art they don't lift it to a new level either.
All in all a solid 3.5 stars, which I'm bumping up to a 4 in anticipation of the next volume.
I have to admit that what really attracted me to The News: A User's Manual was the beautiful design by Katrina Wiedner. The hard cover copy I picked uI have to admit that what really attracted me to The News: A User's Manual was the beautiful design by Katrina Wiedner. The hard cover copy I picked up from my library is a joy to behold. The writing on the other hand I had to slog through.
De Botton is constantly referencing classical art and literature, holding it up as an example of what the news should aspire to be. Instead of being instructive, this nostalgia for the past sets up a high art / low culture dichotomy that comes across as elitist and idealistic.
I wholeheartedly agree that we need to learn to navigate the news effectively in our age of information overload, but it seems misplaced to imagine that things would be better if "Tolstoy, Flaubert or Sophocles were in the newsroom". If it's literary journalism we need, don't long form essays, magazines and specialist books already fulfil that role?
De Botton's light philosophical enquiry into the the news is entertaining enough, but for my money an examination of the political and cultural forces behind the news (a la Noam Chomsky) would have added weight to his analysis. Someone who enjoys philosophy more than me will probably find more to enjoy about The News: A User's Manual....more
**spoiler alert** Scar Tissue starts strong, with a whirlwind account of Anthony Kiedis' misspent childhood, highlights of which include smoking weed**spoiler alert** Scar Tissue starts strong, with a whirlwind account of Anthony Kiedis' misspent childhood, highlights of which include smoking weed at 11, losing his virginity to his father's girlfriend at 13, clubbing with Keith Moon and sharing a bed with Cher. Predictably the fun times quickly degenerate into a treadmill of drug binges and rehab stints, which gets tiresome to read about after a while.
It might have helped if Kiedis had expanded his narrative to include more about the lives of the people close to him instead of documenting his own drug habit so diligently. It is disconcerting that in a 450 page book Kiedis only spends one page reflecting on the death of his best friend and founding Chilli Pepper, Hillell Slovak, from a drug overdose. For comparison, an anecdote about dressing up as a Spice Girl gets the same amount of attention. I guess that's a reflection of Scar Tissue's linear "this happened, then that happened, then another thing happened" narrative style.
Despite these flaws I found myself rooting for Kiedis to rise above his addiction and find some peace. Scar Tissue may not be an earth shattering story of redemption, but it is a satisfying distraction, and the insight into The Red Hot Chilli Peppers' personnel changes and song writing process is fascinating for a sometime fan such as myself....more