Primarily a DC guy, Image creeping up charts, Marvel a distant third. Read more comic book thoughts at http://royals13-alska.blogspot.ca/
It's a cold day here in Ottawa. Perfect for sitting on the couch, watching some soccer and waiting on the Sens game to start up. I've got the latest from a band called Merchandise on currently, "Children of Desire" - great for those fans of '80's Madchester sounds.
Rat Queens #1,2 (Image)
Brought to us by the writer of Peter Panzerfaust (Kurtis J. Wiebe), this title would have some expectations to live up to, given the popularity of his other title. I'm still not certain how long I'll still on this book though. It follows a team of female mercenaries in a small medieval town. Composed of elves, humans and what I've often referred to as a halfling this is a more comedic (and feminine) take on Dungeons & Dragons lore we typically see in comic books. There's drinking, fighting, talk, ogres, assassins and an underlying conspiracy to determine who's killing off the mercenary teams of the book's main town. It's humorous, action packed and drawn well enough - it may just require some time to feel out where a reader stands in relation to the core characters. I'll follow up on this at about the issue 5 or 6 mark.
Great Pacific #11 (Image)
I'd mentioned earlier that this title was becoming a non-issue for me. While wonderfully drawn (Martin Morazzo) and with no faults to the writing of Joe Harris, I just don't care anymore. This issue brings to light that all is not as it seems with Chas and his motivations, but really, I don't care anymore - it's really started to feel like a billionaire kid playing with toys and people. Meh. Pass.
Criminals #1,2 (Image)
Whoa. and criminals. But mostly, . Gloriously, wonderfully non-censored . Issue one is worth reading alone for the bathroom stall ed. class. Matt Fraction (W) is proving to be a writer whom I'll follow from title to title. He's got a dark humour to his writing that I really enjoy and his characters tend to not be so far from the realm of "someone I might know". I make mention often of the term "relatabiltiy" - to the point that I fear over using it, but it's the single most important characteristic to a creator's writing that draws me in and keeps me interested (in non-spandex books that is). The story thus far revolves around two regular folks discovering that sexual acts unleash a power within them that stops time. When they happen to meet at a party and go home together, they discover that they BOTH have this same power. Their back story is well handled through interesting flashbacks that cause the reader to reconsider their own sexual awakening. I'm not familiar with artist Chip Zdarsky, but I've been impressed with the restraint shown when putting together the scenes as they don't tend to have a sleazy, gratuitous feel to them - which would have been easy to do. This is worth the money.
The Shaolin Cowboy #1 (Dark Horse)
I really don't know what to make of this. I love Geof Darrow (W&A), but know him only as an artist from some tremendous work with Frank Miller (as an aside, Darrow's design work is all over The Matrix movies - honest). 'Cowboy is the re-emergence of a pre-existing character (circa 2005) that I had never read so this presented me with an opportunity to familiarize myself with it/him. What the story lacks in dialogue it certainly makes up for in big, splashy artwork and action. I tried to read the 2 page history/prologue but as it was typed in the smallest script possible this become a painful task and soon I gave up. I do feel that I was jumping in mid-story and that I was missing a great deal - that certainly hurt my chances of enjoying the story and instead I just took in the art. With that said, the art is so compelling and capable of driving the story at a certain level that I'll likely stay on this for a couple issues and see where it leads.
Pretty Deadly #1 (Image)
I saved this for last because this title has become so much more than "just" a comic book now, and it's worth mentioning because it speaks to an underlying issue within the comic book industry. In this age of instant media and socialization, you really have to be either cautious or truly not give a what people think. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground anymore. At a store in California (it really doesn't the name, this story has become almost allegorical) a manager was speaking to group of regulars and the topic of this comic came up. He voiced his opinion and in a show of sincerity and to emphasize his points, he tore a copy in half. Cue the sad state of the world. One of said regulars took a picture, shared the story and suddenly this store is persona non-grata. Image wants to cut off their access to future issues, Twitter went ape with comic book talent crucifying the store and manager. To make matters worse, the fact that this book was written, drawn, inked and featured females predominantly was forced into the forefront of discussion. This was suddenly a misogyny issue. Women In Comics was explored and they were found wanting (in terms of presence).
Christ. Here's the thing though that's been vastly overlooked. The manager? His opinion was, as far as I'm concerned, accurate. The book is a bit . I don't care if this was written, drawn and inked by a collection of the cutest babies the world has ever seen. As it stands now, the book is all over the place - it lacks a certain cohesion. I didn't much care for Kelly Sue DeConnick's work on Marvel's Captain Marvel either (and since that title is rumoured to have short leash, my guess is neither did many others). The art by Emma Rios was fine and had little impact on me.
Image has a tremendous track record of late and a reputation for quality. They've produced some on the most "in demand" after market books of this decade. As this was an Image First Issue, it was met with tremendous hype and expectation. In my opinion, it fell flat. Will I pick up the second issue? Yes. I think 22 pages is a tough window to fully judge something that maybe was a bit more "art" than "comic". Do I think there are not enough women in places to succeed in the comic industry? I have no clue. Honestly? I don't really care either. I read what I like and rarely do I give much thought to what was involved in it's creation. I just kind of trust that in an artistic industry that the best get recognized. Idealistic? I suppose. But if you can draw, you can draw. Same with writing. Talent is recognized, or at least I'm of a mind that there is sufficient avenues that exist that allow talent to be noticed. I just hate that one incident of (perhaps) poor judgement was used by people to further their own agendas. I truly value the opinions of my local store and the staff - , I think of them as friends and would never betray their trust. I take what they say into consideration but ultimately it's me that decides what I'll buy.
Anyways, that's enough about that. If you really feel the need to, print this off and rip it up. I won't Twittack you. Promise.
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