Archive | June, 2012

To be perfectly honest with you I didn’t read every word in this comic and I’m a better man for it.

19 Jun

By Ayo

“Bittersweet Reunions.”
X-Force, No. 76
Marvel Comics, 1998
John Francis Moore & Mike S. Miller

We could talk about Mike Miller’s art in this comic book, billed as “THE BATTLE YOU NEVER EXPECTED TO SEE– DOMINO(TM) VS SHATTERSTAR(TM)!” We’re not going to talk about Mike Miller’s art because that’s the least of what goes wrong in this tremendous disasterpiece.
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In 1995 I paid a dollar and ninety-five cents for a copy of X-Force # 44 and seventeen years later it occurs to me that nobody fights anybody in that comic book.

18 Jun

By Ayo

“…Already in Progress…”
X-Force, No. 44
July 1995
Marvel Comics
Jeph Loeb & Adam Pollina

Seventeen years and fifty additional cents. I bought another copy of this comic from a local fifty-cent bin. Much of it reads the same as it did back then: overly gestural art, body language more theatrical than real people ever would display. Fascinating graphic approach for a comic series that was born as a more hardline, rough edged X-Men. High school drama club, the comic book. A much greater focus was placed on facial expressions and emotive storytelling. Unfortunately, for all of his graphic ambition, Adam Pollina is undermining the script which is fairly undramatic.
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The superhero genre will never attain the thematic purity or unaffected honesty of 1950s-70s Jimmy Olsen stories.

17 Jun

By Ayo

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Happy Father’s Day.

At some point, relatively early on, in the retrospect of history, the people who make and published comic book stories realized that nobody would buy a story about Superman struggling to beat somebody up. Those rivers had long dried. He’s Superman. Nobody can beat him up. The people behind the comic book stories of the 1950s-1970s (roughly) had a pretty good idea: take the focus off of Superman’s ability to succeed and place the focus on Superman’s ability to cope with puzzling, unpunchable disasters.

The Superman comics of the time: Superman, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen and Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane were specific answers to a question that has since gone on to stump comic writers in the decades after their publication: “how can we get people excited about the adventures of an invincible guy?”

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The answer is simply this: the writer doesn’t confront his characters with problems that they already possess the skills to cope with. The writer confronts his characters with problems that the characters haven’t yet learned how to cope with, regardless of those characters expertise in other talents.

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Twitter style capsule reviews of 2012-06-13

15 Jun

By Ayo

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On Wednesday, June 13, I went to the comic book shop after a harsh day at work. I do not ever have a pull list, I just browse and nab what looks interesting. I could say a lot more about each of these comics but I won’t.

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Let’s look at pictures.

13 Jun

By Ayo

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This is a one-hour digital painting by Frazer Irving. I’ll say it again. Frazer Irving made this image in one hour. Your argument is invalid.
frazerirving.tumblr.com

xoxoxoxoxoxo

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Ben Oliver’s work from Ultimate X-Men #75. This version of the character Cable is so good that it retroactively validates the early 1990s.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

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Completely Unacceptable

13 Jun

By Ayo

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Ame-Comi: Wonder Woman, drawn by Amanda Conner and written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. Available from Comixology.

This is one of DC Comics new experiments in original content digital comics. What is best about this comic is that it is specifically designed to read clearly on smartphones. The pages are oriented in landscape and the drawing detail is arranged to read in blocks and at a reduced size.

I question the decision to make such a bloody, gory representation of Wonder Woman as the ambassador of comic books to the mobile market but seriously, whatever.

As always, Conner shines her brightest when focusing on the emotional responses that she can find in characters’ faces and gestures. Since this comic is explicitly meant to be viewed on small devices, Conner’s work is quite ideal since she knows how to bring out big, broad acting from characters.

This appears to be an experimental comic project. DC is testing the waters to see if mobile-specific comic books are viable and worthwhile. As such, the plot of this comic is a modern retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin. Personally, I hate origin stories, especially their retellings, but such is life.

I hope that it works out because I would like few things more than to get a steady dose of comics meant for the mobile phone market. This is up my alley.

Comic value

13 Jun

By Ayo

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At the back of my mind, whenever comic book industry pundits bemoan the popular decline in comic book sales, particularly the proportionally-dominant superhero genre, I think that they’re full of shit. Superhero comic books (and by extension, the comic book periodical format) aren’t popular because they explicitly began courting “serious art/literature” decades ago. Serious art is a bum idea.

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