This week in comics, we… oh, it’s a fifth Wednesday, so basically nothing happened at all. Superman and Wonder Woman made out. That was big news for some reason.
This week in comics, Saga #5 finally exists just in time for Saga #6 to come out, I completely forget to pick up Avengers Vs. X-Men, and Rorschach gets the impossibly bland mini-series you always hoped he’d have.
This week in comics, Saga and Justice League are sold out at my shop so I don’t get to read them, Carol Danvers returns to the spotlight in Captain Marvel #1, and Mark Waid completely rocks.
Yesterday I got back from a nice weekend in Reading, PA hanging out with geeks aplenty, spending money I shouldn’t have and generally enjoying the hell out of myself. Here’s some highlights.
I picked up a bunch of sketches, but decided that the ones I preordered simply weren’t enough. I added two Galactus sketches to my haul, one by Dave Wachter (www.davedrawscomics.com) and one by the artist behind the Mumblepuss webcomic (www.mumblepuss.com). I also got Ken and Buz from The Living Corpse (www.corpsecomic.com). Pictures of some of the sketches (because my scanner has kicked the bucket) will be at the bottom of this article, as well as on my own blog, Musings from The Alpha Primitive.
I bought stuff. I decided to get the Tori Amos Comic Book Tattoo anthology from Image, which is a whale of a book that could easily be described as a tome. The thing is nearly a foot wide and tall, and close to two inches thick. I’ve read parts of it, and it’s gorgeous. I also picked up a signed copy of the first Mousegard hardcover with a little sketch from David Peterson in it. Haven’t cracked that one open yet; I’ll probably wait until after the move.
Wild Pig Comics was also there with 48 feet of table space full of long boxes. I grabbed issues 2-5 of Trinity, some early issues of a few Marvel Classic Illustrated stuff to try them out (Iliad and Picture of Dorian Gray), as well as some other random stuff to fill in some recent holes. And all of it was fifty cents apiece. I would honestly say that one of the only things I’m going to miss after I move is the fact that I can’t easily make it to the twice annual Wild Pig sales in northern New Jersey.
I also sat in on my first podcast, as myself and my roommate were invited to join Ian Levenstein’s Super Show episode of Comic Timing. We talked about the show for about two hours, and there was a lot of guests and madness and drinking and laughing our heads off at one in the morning in a Days Inn hotel room in Wyomissing, PA. I also threw in a little plug for read/RANT at the end there. It’ll go up as episode 72, and knowing Ian’s posting habits, it might be up by October of 2012.
Charlito (co-host of Indie Spinner Rack) performed a fifteen minute musical about Peter and Bryan of CGS. I can’t really explain it, and I don’t know if I’m ever going to be the same again.
Many other things happened, but I’m not going to write about those things. It was a great time, and a hell of a lot more fun than Wizard World Philly, so by default it was the best con of the year for me, and I can’t wait for next year.
Now, on to the sketches!
Dave Wachter’s Galactus:
The Mumblepuss Galactus:
Ken and Buz’s Mar-Vell
Billy Batson and The Magic of Shazam #1 (****)
Magic of Shazam is the new kids book, published under the Johnny DC imprint, that springs directly out of last year’s Monster Society of Evil mini by Jeff Smith. I know it got mixed reviews, but I read it in trade and loved it. Naturally I was very excited to get my hands on this new ongoing series starring the young Billy Batson and his sister Mary. First, the art is AMAZING. It’s this highly stylized/half-finished storyboard-ish thing that’s just really fun to look at. I know this is a kids book, but I seriously doubt the average kid reading this could truly appreciate the art. It’s pretty sophisticated stuff for kids. Shit, I doubt most people would be into this kind of style even in the main line. Moving on to the story… this is a first issue, so the writer/artist, Mike Kunkel, takes his time to properly setup the status quo for Billy and his sister and the introduction of a new villain, Theo Adam, a teenage malcontent bent on discovering Billy’s magic word for personal gain. Hmm, why does that name sound so familiar? There are quite a few call backs to the Jeff Smith mini, but not enough to mess with the flow of the story or to distract the reader with unnecessary continuity. I’ve been reading a lot of these “all ages” books lately, from both Marvel and DC, and I’m always surprised at how well-written and smartly conceived they are. Magic of Shazam is no exception.
Dan Dare #7 (*****)
DOUBLE-SIZED FINALE!!! This book delivers. FUCKING DELIVERS! Dan Dare by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine is my pick for “Sleeper Book of the Year”. I’m way late to the party for this review (for some reason I had neglected to order this issue from DCBS), so I won’t go into plot details as you’ve no doubt heard all about it from better reviewers than I, like the boys on The Pull List. What I will do is demand that you BUY THE HARDCOVER!! The ad in the back says it hits stores some time in September. Mark it down, people. Also, Virgin is promising the next Dan Dare saga this fall. By Ennis and Erskine, I hope? Count me in!
• Birds of Prey #120 (*): UGH, UGH, UGH, UGH, UGH!!! That’s it! I’m out!
• Fables #74 (**): Lately, Fables continues to disappoint me. Month after month, this book feels like a total phone-in. It must be nearing the end (I hope!), so I guess I can stick it out for a few more months.
• Green Arrow and Black Canary #10 (**): I stopped ordering this sucker. I think I finally just had enough. Everything about this book rubs me the wrong way.
• Liberty Comics (****): Support the CBLDF and all that…
• Nightwing #146 (***): Well, the first arc is finally over and I must say that I am very pleased at that. Not because it was good, but because OMG this arc was way too long! Tomasi is a solid writer, but he’s still trying to hard to legitimize the adventures of Dick Grayson. The final two pages with Superman read like a lame PSA from the 80’s. Please, Mr. Tomasi, please stop overwriting this book. I know you can do it! The Black Adam mini was wonderful. Please, quit trying so darn hard!
• Savage Dragon #136 (**1/2): This book is awful when compared to what it was, but it comes out so rarely that I don’t mind supporting it. I just wish it was more… fun?
• Spawn #180 (***1/2): Spawn has seriously never been better, too bad it’s probably gonna suck more than ever once McFarlane returns to the book.
• Trinity #6-7 (**): Wow. How can this book be so terrible and boring? Still happy I’m dropping it.
• Wonder Woman #22 (***1/2): The last couple of issue have been Grant Morrison style confusing, but the final page cliffhanger has me giddy to read the next issue. Good job, Gail… I guess?
I was planning to do a full write up on Captain Marvel #3 last night, but some internet issues made that an impossibility. To make up for it, here’s a bunch of mini reviews. Continue reading