Post-comic book day hangover


My head is still fuzzy from all the story (good and bad) I imbibed yesterday. After an absence of several months, Kat and I stopped at the comic book store and picked up our haul. It’s quite a mixed bag.

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152, Issue 3(?)
Beautiful illustration, as always. It’s been 3 months since I read the previous issue, so I can’t recall exactly what Saxon is so pissed about, but the Kenzie-Sadie-Saxon story is good enough. Having recently studied the MG map in preparing for the game I ran at Dreamation, the length of the underground river strains credibility, but if I can swallow talking mice, i can certainly swallow that. What confused me is the Leaim-owl fight. It seemed that our redfurred ball of fury severed the owl’s spinal cord in flight, causing the bird to crash. That makes sense and is awesome. Then the owl gets up–I don’t get it. Maybe I shouldn’t think too hard and just look at the pretty pictures.

Comic Book Comics, issue #3
Damn, but Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey can make nonfiction fun! I first started reading their work called Action Philosophers where they give humorous–but accurate and insightful–biographies of philosophers and summaries of their work. If that appeals, they offer free previews of all their comics on their website!
Comic Book Comics is their history of the comic book medium, from its origins as compilations of newspaper strips nearly a century ago, through the formation of the comics code and beyond. I find it interesting and entertaining. I had know idea that Jack Kirby had gotten into so many legal scrapes over the decades–and seemingly lost them all! This one lets me think AND gives me gorgeous, fun pictures. Highly recommended.

Astonishing X-men #28(??)
I generally like Warren Ellis’ stuff when he’s not dealing with superheroes. Transmetropolitan was great. So is Fell, when it comes out. This whole storyline feels like filler. It doesn’t really matter to any of the characters. Plus, I hate the art. It conveys neither tone nor action nor character. Entirely not my cup of tea. Gotta remember to call the comic store and cancel this one.

Death Note, vol. 12
A manga about a guy who can kill people by writing their names in a magic notebook. Much cooler than it sounds. Volume 12 is the final volume and I’ve been anxiously awaiting this story to be OVER since volume 5. It ends very well, but volumes 6 to 11 have felt like filler; like the writer had pulled off the ultimate you-will-never-expect-it twist at the end of volume 5, and then had to improvise what to do next. I liked the live action movies better. But the art is gorgeous. It takes a lot of talent to make interesting pictures about people thinking.

Wonder Woman, issues #27-29
What a disappointment this series has become. I guess it’s inevitable–all Wonder Woman series become disappointments.
This time, the story in the writer’s head might be pretty good, but it’s not being told well. The information we need to appreciate what is happening and what decisions are being made is not being conveyed by the words and pictures on the page.
For example, there’s a cut-rate Doomsday wannabe called Genocide killing people and destroying property. We don’t know what this thing is capable of. We know it beat the crap out of Diana in issue #26. But now we’re supposed to be REALLY afraid of it because it has Diana’s lasso. But three issues have passed and we don’t know exactly why. Genocide blows up a building, now that it has the lasso. How do we know it couldn’t blow up buildings BEFORE it had the lasso? We don’t. I don’t know what these characters want, or understand the obstacles facing them. I want to *get* it, but maybe I’m not supposed to think so much and just look at the pretty, pretty pictures.

Powers: Cosmic trade paperback
We started reading Powers a year or two ago by picking up the trades when we could afford them. What a great, thrilling, meaty story it is. It’s too much, and too good for me to parse it all right now.

There were some more things in the haul, but I haven’t read them yet. If we cancel WW and X-men, we’ll be left with NO superhero books in our pull box. I’ve been trying to look at other titles to start, but our comic store makes it so difficult. They have everything you could ever want: superhero comics, independent comics, action figures, manga, magazines, RPGs, back issues, collectibles, DVDs, used CDs. However, you can’t take a breath without knocking over a stack of *something.* I can’t physically browse the store, and so can’t expand the pull-list.

The other option is the comic store at the mall that we left 8-9 years ago because they kept putting our pulled comics back on the shelf after 4 weeks. What’s a guy who wants to read comics to do?


8 Responses to “Post-comic book day hangover”

  1. Super-Hero Stacks
    You can’t browse the store because it is too untidy?
    What the eff?
    I will gladly loan and/or suggest some super-hero comics if you are interested.

    • Re: Super-Hero Stacks
      We haven’t been able to browse for the better part of a year, but have stuck with them out of loyalty–the owners are friends of a friend. Things are so disorganized, you can’t really look for anything. Now it’s gotten to the point where we not only cannot browse, but cannot walk the aisles at all. I think we’ll switch.
      Thus, I fully welcome your recommendations. I’m big into agnst, but based on your reviews have picked up the noir titles Fell and Powers and enjoy both immensely.

  2. Death Note: Hm, the films are any good? I know people liked the anime.
    And I love the manga, and yes, especially the early ones. It’s really really twisted logic, it’s top notch detective story in terms of thinking, if not in the actual story.
    To touch on the above two, that’s a reason I like the manga, in this case, even more than usual. I like to be able to put down the manga, think through all the knots in the logic, and go “Wow, just wow.”
    Sure, half the fun in movies like The Prestige is trying to do that while assaulted with more data, more things to think through, and no quiet time, but sometimes stopping and thinking is pleasure.

    • I like the moral questioning of Death Note “How far will Light go to stop crime?” “How far will L go to catch Kira?” and that kinda faded out after the first 4-5 volumes. Since you like the twisted logic, I’d say that the second movie “Death Note: The Last Name” would be more to your taste. The first film condenses volumes 1-3 into a single film, without too much that’s new. The second film condenses the “good parts” of the rest of the manga volumes, plus adds a twist ending that I, personally, felt was better than anything I’d seen in the manga.

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