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