Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Crazy Second Half to the Year

It's just been crazy the end of this year. It all started with a break in. All the valuable stuff stolen. The exception being the comic collection. With 30 plus short boxes I don't think it was an option. So, it took about a month to be recovered from that. Then my mother decided to send me my childhood and then some. So, now my garage (which houses the comic collection) is over flowing with furniture and stuff. So, now I can't even sneak into the garage pick a random box and pick a random comic to read. I don't even think my hubby knows I do this. The final straw was discovering the Twilight Saga. While I wouldn't call myself a Twihard. I think the books are really good. And so, I have quite the backlog of comics to read. I'm thinking Xmas day will be good for that. Fortunately DD hasn't learned to get up early for the presents yet. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday Comics

From DC Comics comes Wednesday Comics. What is this? Well, they have decided to get together various seriously top name writers and artists to put together a "Sunday Comics" style newspaper. Yep, it's on news print. It's every kids dream on a Sunday morning.

There are 15 different stories. Some are serious some are not so much. We have the big guns: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Teen Titans. There are a couple that I'd not heard of: Kamandi, Strange Adventures. And a few lesser known: Metamorpho, Metal Men, Sgt. Rock, Hawkman, Dead Man. And a few others.

The majority of it is a good read. My faves are Batman, Metal Men, Flash, Green Lantern, Super Girl. Metal Men as penned by Dan Didio is just a fun story of the men made of metal dealing with being out in the world. But then they are in a bank as it's being robbed. They just have to help even though the Doc warns that it would be a bad thing. And so in the process of stopping the robbery the security guard forgets about the bad guys and points his gun at the men made of metal.

Super Girl is a a hoot. Krypto and Streaky the super pets are going on a rampage. Flying through the streets with Super Girl chasing after them. She just can't understand what's going on. One minute everything is normal. The next Krypto is going after the mailmen in the city and Streaky starts chasing after a plane that has "Mel Mouse" on the tail. It's fun stuff in short bursts. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Now the two I really don't like are worthy of note as well. As there are really the only two. Sadly, they are Teen Titans and Wonder Woman. It's the artwork. I just don't like the artwork. The interesting thing is that they are polar opposites when you look at it. The Teen Titans are blocks of colors on the page. There is so little detail in the character design that it looks unfinished. I can see the circles, squares and triangles that the artist used to rough out the shapes. Boring.

On the other end of the scale is Wonder Woman. There is so much detail that it's impossible to read. I could tell you very little about what's going on in the story. I saw the words Ameratsu and dream. Someone should have given Mr. Caldwell a primer on how to draw for news print. It seems to have been a long time since his art school 3 minute figure sketch on a news print pad. Or maybe not. The style is sketchy and there is very little outlining to define the shapes. So, when the ink is put to news print it looks blurry. The color tones are close as well which just adds to the blurriness. And then there is the layout. It doesn't flow very well. When I try to read the word balloons it takes a long time to figure out where to go next. There are reasons for doing things the comic strip way. I just wish more of them were done with my favorite character.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Detective Comics

Ok, so it's not a pick of this week. But it's a book that I really like. I will be glad when my daughter starts reading comics so that she'll let mommy have a chance to read some too. As it is she's too interested in taking the book from my hands

I was unsure what to think of a Detective Comics with out Batman, a Bruce Wayne Batman. He is the greatest detective in many worlds. With all due respect to Dick Grayson, he's not there yet.

This new issue focuses on Batwoman. The last time we saw her she was in the process of having her heart cut out. The mystery to be solved in Gotham at the moment seems to be why the Cult of Crime wanted to cut her out and what is going on. She's recovered now and out with a vengeance. There are 13 Covens and there is one leader on the way and she's out to find out this new leader is and take them out before they come after her again.

The thing that really attracts me to this book. Ok, there are two things. The first is that she is so very different from Batman. He is the shadow you fear. She makes you fear what's in the shadows. She doesn't necessarily try to hide. How can she with blood red hair and cape? You know she's coming and that's ok. She comes out of the shadow and uses her sensuality and strength together to get the info she wants. The artist takes this seriously and there are no cheesecake shots which could come very easily.

The other is the layout. When she's Batwoman it's a stark red and black style. Which just looks cool. When she's _____ it's more of a realistic and almost soft style. There are two distinct worlds for Batwoman. In Bruce's world it was sometimes hard to tell which was more real to him. Daytime Gotham? Batcave?

I look forward to the next issue to see where she's going

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pick of the Week-- Last Week

The last two weeks I've only had 3 books to choose from. It's pretty lean and not much to choose from. Last week there were two that I really liked but they didn't make me scream OMG!

Anita Blake: The Laughing Corpse #2

The book was really quite good and I like Ron Lim's art. It's just that I know these early stories of Laurell K. Hamilton's books like the back of my hand. I can almost say the dialog before I see the word balloon. It's just really nice to see what has been in my imagination all these years. There is a weird juxtaposition in my head though. I'm also currently reading the latest novel which will probably never make it to comic due to the adult parts that are pretty integral to the story in this and previous books. In the comics, she's new to this world of vampires and trying to avoid Jean-Claud. In the book, she loves him dearly and she's his human servant.

Batman and Robin #1

Dick Grayson takes on the mantle of Batman with Damien (the son of Bruce Wayne and R'as al Guhl's daughter) as Robin. Dick is still a little unsure of his choice but he knows it's the right one. Damien is arrogant and has a rather self-important image of himself. Dick has no problem putting him in his place. One time he even offers to give Tim Drake his old job back. ;) I honestly wish it could have been Tim Drake. He's a little shit and I don't like him. I haven't since his introduction. It seems to me that Jason Todd was a shit as well and they killed him off.

The next big change to the universe is the new Bat Mobile. It flies!! It's a Bat Mobile for the 21st Century! My dh is not so fond of the idea. I think it's cool. Even Dick says that he wished for one when he was Robin. The thing that's keeping it from being uber-cool is that it kinda looks like the Hall of Doom from the Superfriends cartoon when it's in flight mode.

Frank Quietly is the artist on this book and usually I'm a fan of his artwork. It's a clean lined style but doesn't look like an animation style. In this book his pencil work is not so clean. It's more of a sketchy style even in the ink. I'm not a great fan of that style.

And so those are my two choices for last week. I'm still in the middle of my 3 books this week.

More later

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comic Pick of the Week-Spoiler Alert!

This is something new I'd like to try. I've been wanting to do it for a couple of weeks now. I'm picking one of my comics this week and tell you why I like it. I may talk about a few others as to why they didn't make the cut. Speaking of which... The reason I haven't done it sooner is because there hasn't been a book that knocks my socks off. Wonder Woman who is my all time fave has been good, interesting but not "oh my god you have to read this!" This arc has been somewhat confusing and a bit convoluted. Bruce Wayne is dead. I'm really not sure how I feel about this.

On to the one that knocked my socks off.
Wolverine #72

Nearly all of the worlds heroes are dead. With the exception of the few who kept their heads down or made a deal with the devil. When the villains unite and take over the country Wolverine is in the former category. At the beginning of the story we find a broken man. Wolverine is no more and Logan is just getting by. Wolverine is no more. Bit by bit we find out what it takes to break a man who up until now seemed unbreakable. In this conclusion to the arc we find out what it takes to make a man.

In this final chapter of this arc Logan having been recruited by Hawkeye to take a package across country to the President's Quarter. He arrives to find the Red Skull as president. Nutsy as ever Logan finds him wearing the Captain America uniform that he took off of Bucky's body. That was possibly the creepiest thing I've ever seen. Swastika's hang from the White House balcony and the Red Skull wearing the bloody uniform.

The moment that really struck me is when Logan gets home to his family to find them all dead. A kindly neighbor is telling him that the best thing is to bury them, grieve and move on.

Logan is silent for a very long moment. The man looks at him and says"Logan?"

"The name isn't Logan, bub." There is a close up of his eyes going dark.

You turn the page and it's a large 2 page spread of a bloody red "Snikt!"

"It's Wolverine!"

He pops his claws. The skin around where they come out of his hands is bloody. It looks like he hasn't popped them in years. All through this story he hasn't popped his claws. He gave up being Wolverine years before when he was tricked into thinking his fellow Xmen were the enemy and killed them all.

The whole story arc has been a satisfying roller coaster ride of what it takes to make and unmake a hero. I don't often read Marvel stories that aren't by Brian Bendis. I just don't find those stories satisfying. This story made me want to go back for more. As long as Millar is writing it.
It'll be interesting to see where they go with the new special continuing in this world.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wonder Woman the Animated Movie

To say I had high expectations for this is something of an understatement. I have been a fan of Wonder Woman since I was a little girl standing at the grocery store magazine rack waiting for my grandmother to finish shopping. It was the 70's and militant feminism was rampant. Betty Friedan and NOW didn't mean anything to a little girl. What did? Wonder Woman and the little fire truck my mom and her friend gave me to play with. (Which my daughter now plays with.) Now here was a hero for a little girl. She's smart. She's Beautiful and she can kick ass. What better role model for a little girl finally in a time when women were really asserting their strength in society.

I put the dvd into the player about ready to jump out of my skin. I haven't seen her in motion in 25+ years. The exception being in my imagination as I read the comics. I had my snacks ready and my husband was warned not to interrupt. My daughter? Well, that's a story for another day.

The opening sequence is a great battle. With all the violence and gore that I'd expect in a live action flick. It is a great battle between Hippolyta (WW's Mother) and Ares. This is not a film for children. I am more reminded of Xena, the Warrior Princess. Hippolyta wins her battle and is rewarded with a child. Formed from clay, Diana is born.

Despite being set in modern day the story stays true to the origin. Steve Trevor, pilot, lands on the island. The Amazons have a contest to determine who will represent Themiscyra to "Man's World." Diana wins and well, the rest is history.

The thing that truly interests me about this film is that she is not wholly perfect. I loved the live action show when a child. But as I watch it as an adult it's a little too sterile and perfect. In this film she shows at times her mild innocence of the interaction of men and women. My favorite is when Steve introduces her to Etta Candy. Etta is all about Steve flirting shamelessly. She asks Steve to move her desk to get her favorite pen. Diana just looks her and asks what's wrong with her. Etta is demurely surprised and sees a rival. Diana just lifts the entire desk off the floor picks up the pen for her annoyed that she would use her looks instead of her brains and muscle.

The truly fun thing about this film is the rockem sockem action. It is an adventure pic. It's about Wonder Woman trying to save the world from the God of War. It would keep any die hard Xena fan's attention. This film probably should have been made a decade ago. And now I'll change the subject before I get myself all worked up.

In all I enjoyed the film. I'm excited to see my hero out in the world for other girls to see. Maybe not little girls but teens could get into it as well. I just hope Warner/DC sees the audience out there and gives us a roll model for all woman.