Good, clean fun. Introduces Dredd mainstays such as Judge Giant and Walter the Wobot. The art is a bit wobbly in spots. Most of the stories are six paGood, clean fun. Introduces Dredd mainstays such as Judge Giant and Walter the Wobot. The art is a bit wobbly in spots. Most of the stories are six pages - I'd like to see some of today's comic creators write a complete story in that amount of space!...more
The adventures of the manly Warlord in Skartaris (which lies deep within the bowels of the earth, which apparently is hollow), the land of barbariansThe adventures of the manly Warlord in Skartaris (which lies deep within the bowels of the earth, which apparently is hollow), the land of barbarians and dinosaurs and princesses who shave their legs even though Skartaris doesn't have any razors.
Second things second...I wanted to like Trinity. I have a fondness for Kurt Busiek, whose run on the AvengersFirst things first...this gets 2.5 stars.
Second things second...I wanted to like Trinity. I have a fondness for Kurt Busiek, whose run on the Avengers is my favorite for that title. KB doesn't play favorites and is good at showcasing his characters' strengths, giving them all something to do and making sure they all have a moment. This is very important in good team books (unless you stick your company's franchise characters on the team, in which case you can do pretty much whatever you want).
So...I wanted to like Trinity. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it. KB's weaknesses are on display, here: I kept on noticing his dialogue, which is sort of pokey. Also: tThe pacing was glacial, there were too many characters, and I had to stop reading before my head exploded. Great art, though; maybe someone with more patience with me will enjoy this.
I'm not sure if we're meant to have 52 issue storyline. I think the DC title that came closest to succeeding is 52, which in my opinion is still the gold standard....more
Omega: The Unknown isn't badly done, but it suffers from "Squid in the Mouth" Syndrome. If you don't know what that means, look here (http://www.sfwa.Omega: The Unknown isn't badly done, but it suffers from "Squid in the Mouth" Syndrome. If you don't know what that means, look here (http://www.sfwa.org/writing/turkeycit...), under Part Two: Paragraphs and Prose Structure.
This graphic novel gets three stars because there's lots of stuff to like. I enjoyed The Mink, and the way the robots spread their robotness to human beings. The main character was basically raised by a pair of vacuum cleaners, and is utterly monotone and boring. That's ok, because the rest of the graphic novel makes up for it, in spades.
Finally: Omega killing and eating the bald eagle and the little guy with the mayo jar were a bit too much for me. I noticed that the granite head (I can't remember his name) kept changing size, also.
I liked this enough so that if they ever made a sequel (extremely unlikely) I would read it....more
I heard about this graphic novel on the Newsarama or Robot 6 blog, I can't recall which. It's quite notorious. So this is my review.
Fletcher Hanks wriI heard about this graphic novel on the Newsarama or Robot 6 blog, I can't recall which. It's quite notorious. So this is my review.
Fletcher Hanks writes the same story over and over again. Here it is: a madman plots mass destruction and is stopped by one of Hanks' super-powered heroes, who then metes out poetic justice. Hanks' art style is so crude and unrealistic it reminds me of the men and women on medieval frescoes. His hero is a bloated 'roid freak and his heroine flies around in a slip sporting a skull face. Yes, his images have a sort of crude power, but so does a car accident or a triple homicide. And Hanks can't write a story to save his life.
Unlike others, I don't see this graphic novel as the creation of a genius. It reminds me of the work of a precocious nine-year old who has read too many comic books....more
A Drifting Life is the best graphic novel I've read in a rather slow year (2009). This book is all about the creative process. Some interesting informA Drifting Life is the best graphic novel I've read in a rather slow year (2009). This book is all about the creative process. Some interesting information about Japanese history and the the history of manga, also. I am not a big manga fan, nor am I a huge fan of comic memoirs, but I loved this longish (800+ pages) book.
My first introduction to Brit came in the pages of Invincible, where he appears in the aftermath of an extremely bloody battle between a Serpent SocieMy first introduction to Brit came in the pages of Invincible, where he appears in the aftermath of an extremely bloody battle between a Serpent Society ripoff and a few of the weaker members of the Guardians of the Globe. Brit bursts in, sees the bodies piled everywhere and says something like - 'wow, they made a real mess' - which I thought was funny. So I read the trade.
Brit - short for Brittany, he's not British - works for the government. He's really old. He's also a newlywed, having just married his stripper girlfriend. Brit is invincible. That means he can do things like strapping a nuclear bomb to his chest, have a superpowered yokel beat on him until he drops from exhaustion and get swallowed by a monster, all without getting hurt (all these things happen in this trade).
The plot: Brit's bosses decide to dissect him so as to make an army of invincible soldiers. Brit's buddy Donald, who is an android, warns him. Much bloodletting ensues. Recommended....more
It’s hard to describe LOEG: Century 1910. I mean this in the most literal sense. This graphic novel is a handful, and as such almost defies descriptioIt’s hard to describe LOEG: Century 1910. I mean this in the most literal sense. This graphic novel is a handful, and as such almost defies description. First, the characters: I was an English major in college, and had no idea who any of these people are. Don’t expect any help from Alan Moore; there is almost no back-story. Raffles is a thief – we know this because he steals something. Carnacki is psychic – we know this because he has a vision. And Lando is an immortal hermaphrodite who switches sexes, wields Excalibur and is involved in a love triangle with Mina Murray and Alan Quartermain, who is now young. Some of the characters sing, including a warbling Jack the Ripper, and Captain Nemo’s daughter makes an appearance. There is lots of violence, some of it against women, which seems to pop up a fair bit in Alan Moore’s works.
To the plot: unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Alan Moore is so busy being clever he doesn’t plot, except in the most rudimentary sense. There’s some mumbo-jumbo about magic (no sock snake, though) and we learn that The Moon Child is going to be born a century hence. I did not learn this from reading the graphic novel; I know it because I read an interview with Alan Moore, who states that the last volume takes place in 2010. Our heroes, alas, have no such resources, and thus spend the entire volume walking about confused. Since I was confused also (see first paragraph), I could sympathize.
And then there’s the stuff about magic. On the one hand I know next to nothing about magic (except for what I see in the movies); on the other, I understand magic perfectly. At one point in my life I had O.C.D. so badly that walking to school was an adventure. Magic, as described by Alan Moore, attaches great importance to certain rituals and numbers, and as such, it’s not interesting except to other people who have O.C.D. – oops, I mean other magical practitioners.
Maybe Alan Moore should write for that 14-year old boy he talks about in interviews. You know, the mythical 14-year old boy who is his supposed audience, who apparently knows enough about English history and literature to understand all of his obscure references. One last thing: this story should have begun and ended in 1910, not 2010....more
Just read the first volume of Strangers in Paradise. Boy oh boy, did it rile me up. In a good way, of course. Let's just say I admire this graphic novJust read the first volume of Strangers in Paradise. Boy oh boy, did it rile me up. In a good way, of course. Let's just say I admire this graphic novel, but I'm not its intended audience. Loved the art. It put me in the mind of Berke Breathed's Bloom County. For some reason Francine's mother reminded me of Bill the Cat.
OK, let's get down to it. Every single male character in this volume is an asshole. Every. Single. One. Does Terry Moore hate men? I doubt it – he is a man, after all. I think it's more likely that he's a shrewd marketer who knows his audience. I admire his audacity: you've got to admire a guy who can make moving statements about feminine empowerment and draw great cheesecake at the same time and get away with it.
SIP is a graphic novel about sex, minus the sex (the first volume is, anyway). Instead we have the slow, richly deserved torment of the male characters. Let's talk about those male characters, shall we? Freddie and David, the scalp-taker and the teddy bear.
Freddie, first; he's the scalp-taker. Go to a used-car lot and he'll try to sell you a car. Go to a bar and he'll try to pick you up. He's an asshole, but at least he's up-front about it. In the interests of fairness I must also state that guys like Freddie get laid a lot. Moore nails him; the only thing he doesn't get right is that there's no way he would wait a year for sex. A real scalp-taker cuts ties and says bye-bye after two weeks.
David is the teddy bear. He's worst than Freddie, because he can’t take responsibility for his filthy sexual urges. Here’s a scoop: every man has filthy sexual urges. David neuters himself. He is the mascot, the little buddy, the pet. David is the type of character women like, because he’s harmless; men despise and pity him. Unfortunately for him, no woman will ever, ever find him attractive.
I give Katchoo credit; she tells David to go away. He doesn't, of course. David’s job is to read puerile poetry and tell Katchoo he loves her and be her designated punching bag while she works out her aggression. This is empowering, for Katchoo. In the spirit of abusive relationships David sits there and takes it. At one point he tells her he had it coming. I guess it’s Katchoo's pure soul; either that, or he likes being slapped in the face. Whatever; he stays.
The laundered Mob money storyline was a bit incoherent. It also put my Melodrama Meter off the charts. One of the characters ends up being related to another character, which - in the words of the Church Lady - is rather convenient.
Oh, and there's a wonderful fight scene between a female assassin and a fat guy. Yes, I know comic book violence is not realistic, but if you outweigh somebody by 100 pounds, all you need to do is sit on them and the fight is over. By the end of that one I was waiting for the ninjas to show up; maybe they will, in Volume 2....more
As soon as I saw this graphic novel I knew I had to read it. I wasn't disappointed. Si-Joon has a recurring dream of being lost in the mountains as aAs soon as I saw this graphic novel I knew I had to read it. I wasn't disappointed. Si-Joon has a recurring dream of being lost in the mountains as a child, where he meets a woman wearing a tiara and pig mask. He agrees to marry her in exchange for some sweets. Eight years later, on the stroke of Si-Joon's 16th birthday, The Pig Bride returns to consummate the marriage. She is, of course, still wearing her tiara and pig mask. Si-Joon quite naturally thinks The Pig Bride an escaped lunatic, but she won't go away.
She and her female companion (a samurai) set up camp in Si-Joon's school, and soon The Pig Bride is everywhere: sleeping fully clothed in Si-Joon's bed; handing Si-Joon a towel when he gets out of the shower, sopping wet; sewing pictures of her face on all of Si-Joon's clothes to protect him from some nameless evil. About that nameless evil: it manifests as a snake woman who wants to kill Si-Joon. But never fear, The Pig Bride will use her magical powers to protect him!
Si-Joon has not yet gone insane, but it's still early in the series: plenty of time. I don't feel bad for him because he's a spoiled brat and The Pig Bride is a sweet, shy woman who happens to wear a pig mask, which she never takes off. BTW: I'm not sure why the Pig Bride wears a pig mask. They talk about a curse or something, but it doesn't really matter.
All you need to know is that The Pig Bride is romance as it should be....more
This isn't bad. The stories are entertaining, and trot along at a nice clip. I like the villains, whose ranks include a super-intelligent gorilla andThis isn't bad. The stories are entertaining, and trot along at a nice clip. I like the villains, whose ranks include a super-intelligent gorilla and manga versions of Clay Face and Two Face. My favorite is 'Lord Death Man,' who uses the power of yoga to cheat death!
The stories are a sci-fi/superhero hybrid, similiar to the campy Batman stories of the 50's and 60's. Not exactly realistic, but who cares?
My only complaint is that some of the stories end in cliffhangers, and are not continued; others start in the second chapter. This is somewhat annoying, and I'm not sure what the designers of the book were thinking. The book looks nice and all, but I'm in it for the stories not the design of the book. I'll go further - I don't care about the design. If the book doesn't fall apart in my hands the designer has done his/her job. This is, of course, my opinion. Take it for what its worth.
Bottom line: If they ever release more Bat-Manga I will read it....more
Scalped is a crime thriller set in South Dakota in the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation. The main character is licensed bad-ass Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse, who returns to the reservation after 15 years. Dash gets into a scuffle with the goons of tribal leader Red Crow, who is so impressed by Dash’s head-stomping skill-set that he makes him a cop. Red Horse needs the extra muscle, what with the opening of the new casino.
Dash soon sees some familiar faces. His mother, Gina, is an Indian activist who hasn’t spoken to her son in years. She isn’t happy with his new career choice, to put it mildly. Dash’s childhood sweetheart, Carol, is now married – sort of – and has a full-time career as a drunk. She’s also Red Crow’s daughter. Dash’s FBI supervisor, Agent Nitz, has a hard-on for Red Crow & Dash’s mom, and is using Dash as a sort of human battering ram.
Huh? Oh, that’s right: Dash is an undercover FBI agent. Since this information can be gleaned by reading the back cover of the graphic novel, it isn’t much of a revelation. That’s the basic set-up. What happens next is not unexpected: sex and violence and evil doings. The material is stripped down to the bone. With 100 Bullets there is a briefcase with a magic gun. With Scalped you have to settle for a gang of deformed meth addicts, in a twisted parody of superhero comics.
First volumes are usually tough reads because there is a lot of set-up, but Scalped jumps right out of the gate. There is oodles of graphic sex and violence. The violence isn’t realistic: Dash seems invulnerable, like Superman. Nobody is that much of a bad-ass. The meth head gun fight is ridiculous; you have to be totally incompetent to not even hit the guy. Some of the dialogue is pretty over the top, also: “beat that acid-throwing pussy with a pump handle…when you’re burying his ass alive…this ain’t my dick you’re feelin’, chief.” And then there’s the swearing. Yes, some of it is really creative, but there’s too much of it. Why not include some other dialogue?
What makes Scalped real are the characters – they’re angry; they’re damaged; they’re real. For me, the most sympathetic is Red Crow. He is plainly in love with Gina and gives Dash a job, which is a plain act of kindness. Red Horse acts like he cares about Dash. Why? Well, maybe it’s that soft spot he has for Dash’s mother, or maybe he’s Dash’s father. He sure does his best to keep Dash away from his daughter.
Scalped is an extremely well-done graphic novel; it’s also extremely depressing. Unless these characters change it’s going to be hard to give a shit about them. This is an unfortunate by-product of aging (if you don’t know what I mean, you’ll just have to wait and see): ten years ago I would have eaten this series up. As it is, I will be reading future volumes. Recommended. ...more