Archive for August, 2007

31
Aug
07

Walking Dead #41

Written by Robert Kirkman

Art and cover by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Image Comics $2.99 

After a mild and pretty much peaceful(if you don’t count the amputation) issue last month, Walking Dead comes out early this month and arrives with quite a bite.  By reading this issue you get the strong impression that, when the crew at the prison aren’t practicing shooting, they’re essentially waiting around for the war with Woodbury to start.  Though there isn’t much dialog devoted to the subject, Kirkman devotes a bit of his time to showing the tense mood building, which just might erupt next month maybe kind of sort of.  I actually have come to really have a fondness for not knowing when the shit is going to hit the fan, but knowing that, at some point, there’s going to be this kind of gang war in the post apocalyptic world full of zombies.

I figured Carol was up to something stupid when she was acting normal and trying to be friends with Lori again.  And I was right as hell, but it was incredibly entertaining to watch her go down via a pair of rotten teeth.  I’m all in favor of killing off the idiotic characters, not because I really hate them or anything, but because I know that eventually they’re going to fuck it up for the group.  Oddly enough, I really care about the group and want them to be okay, so when Carol goes down, it’s for the better and makes me smile.  What is VERY interesting is Alice’s idea to keep a zombie under surveillance and study them.   I think that her desire to understand them or find a cure could prove to continue to conflict with Rick’s personal craziness and controlling attitudes and it could become a lot of fun to unfold.  The idea of science in a new era without electricity or any of the advances our society has enjoyed over the last 100 years.  One of the most interesting concepts about Walking Dead is the idea of rebuilding in a world that isn’t destroyed, but it’s almost devoid of intelligence.  I hope that these concepts will be touched on sometime in the future.

Or maybe just a whole lot of fighting with some murderous strangers.

31
Aug
07

World War Hulk: Gamma Files

Written and illustrated by various writers and artists

COVER BY MARKO DJURDJEVIC

Marvel Comics $3.99 

In the Marvel universe-wide crossover of the summer, I’ve been introduced to a whole army of characters that have been around for a whole lot longer than I have been alive.  Though Wikipedia has provided me with a constant onslaught of information on these new(to me) characters, but an entry can often be a long diatribe involving the history of the character’s appearances.  When a character has been around for sixty years, it can be incredibly difficult to sift through all of the history to see how this person related to the Hulk, New York and the current situation.

This alleviates that problem entirely.  A dossier of sorts, Gamma Files has descriptions, abbreviated histories, explainations of their relationship to the Hulk and usually a new piece of art showing the character in action.  There are dozens of characters, from Hercules to The Sentry, all described, explained and shown without having to get online and sift through all of the old stories.

For four dollars, it’s well worth the small investment because you get a reference book to grab every time someone comes into a scene where you don’t know what the hell is going on.

27
Aug
07

comics shipping this week

Shipping This Week: AUGUST 27, 2007

The following products are expected to ship to comic book 
specialty stores this week. Note that this list is tentative 
and subject to change. Please check with your retailer for 
availability.

PREMIER PUBLISHERS

PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS

JUL070005	PREVIEWS ADULT VOL XVII #9 	PI
JUL070001	PREVIEWS VOL XVII #9 	PI
JUL070003	PREVIEWS VOL XVII CONSUMER ORDER FORM #9 	PI

DARK HORSE COMICS

MAR070083	CLASSIC PEANUTS CHARACTER #8 WOODSTOCK 	$39.95
JUN070023	CONAN #43 (MR)	$2.99
JUN070029	EMILY THE STRANGE VOL 2 DEATH ISSUE #1	$3.50
JUN070018	HELLBOY DARKNESS CALLS #5 (OF 6)	$2.99
MAY070061	HELLSING ULTIMATE ZIPPO LIGHTER 	$29.99
APR070056	SHAMAN WARRIOR VOL 4 TP 	$12.95
JUN070035	USAGI YOJIMBO #105	$2.99

DC COMICS

JUN070158	52 AFTERMATH THE FOUR HORSEMEN #1 (OF 6)	$2.99
JUN070173	ACTION COMICS #855	$2.99
JUN070152	AMAZONS ATTACK #6 (OF 6)	$2.99
JUN070262	AMERICAN VIRGIN #18 (MR)	$2.99
JUN070164	BATMAN ANNUAL #26 HEAD OF THE DEMON	$3.99
MAY070143	BATMAN SECRETS OF THE BATCAVE TP	$17.99
JUN070230	CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY #36	$2.25
MAY070230	COMPLETE BITE CLUB TP (MR)	$19.99
JUN070145	COUNTDOWN 35	$2.99
JUN070146	COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE #1 (OF 8) (CD)	$3.99
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MAY070203	EMPTY EMPIRE VOL 5 	$9.99
JUN070242	EX MACHINA MASQUERADE SPECIAL (MR)	$3.50
JUN078190	HELLBLAZER #234 (MR)	$2.99
MAY070178	MANHUNTER VOL 3 ORIGINS TP	$17.99
JUN070248	NINJA SCROLL #12	$2.99
MAY070218	NINJA SCROLL TP	$19.99
JUN070163	OUTSIDERS FIVE OF A KIND WEEK 5 GRACE WONDER WOMAN	$2.99
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JAN070399	REACTIVATED SER 3 SUPERFRIENDS BATMAN AF 	PI
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JAN070395	REACTIVATED SER 3 SUPERFRIENDS INNER  	PI
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JAN070397	REACTIVATED SER 3 SUPERFRIENDS WONDER WOMAN AF 	PI
JAN070402	REACTIVATED SER 3 SUPERMAN SOLID PACK 	PI
JAN070403	REACTIVATED SER 3 WONDER WOMAN SOLID PACK 	PI
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JUN070226	TEEN TITANS GO #46	$2.25
JUN070220	TEEN TITANS VAR ED #50	$3.99
JUN070249	WETWORKS #12	$2.99
FEB070375	WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE DONNA TROY BUST	$45.00
JUN070154	WONDER WOMAN #12 (AA)	$2.99

IMAGE COMICS

JUN071907	AMORY WARS #3 (OF 5)	$2.99
JUN071874	BOMB QUEEN IV #1 (OF 4) (MR)	$3.50
JUN071871	BRIT #1	$2.99
MAY071909	KISS 4K #3	$2.99
JUL071921	MICE TEMPLAR #1	$3.99
MAR071857	TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD IMAGE ED #8	$3.50
MAY071883	WALKING DEAD #41 (MR)	$2.99
JUN071942	WITCHBLADE TAKERU MANGA MACK CVR B #7	$3.99
JUN071941	WITCHBLADE TAKERU MANGA SUMITA CVR A #7	$3.99

MARVEL COMICS

JUN072162	AVENGERS INITIATIVE #5 CWI	$2.99
JUN072140	BLACK PANTHER #30 CWI	$2.99
JUN072226	CABLE DEADPOOL VOL 7 SEPARATION ANXIETY TP	$17.99
JUN072235	ESSENTIAL DAREDEVIL VOL 4 TP	$16.99
JUN072150	FANTASTIC FOUR #549 CWI	$2.99
JUN072220	HULK AND POWER PACK PACK SMASH DIGEST TP	$6.99
JUN072151	LAST FANTASTIC FOUR STORY	$4.99
JUN072209	MARVEL MASTERWORKS CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL 2 HC VAR ED 82	$54.99
JUN072208	MARVEL MASTERWORKS CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL 2 NEW ED HC	$54.99
JUN072120	MARVEL SPOTLIGHT HALO (MR)	$2.99
JUN072184	SILVER SURFER REQUIEM #4 (OF 4)	$3.99
JUN072129	SPIDER-MAN ONE MORE DAY SKETCHBOOK OMD	$2.99
JUN072161	WORLD WAR HULK X-MEN #3 (OF 3) WWH	$2.99

WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT

JUL073170	WIZARD MAGAZINE HEROES PHOTO FALL TV CVR #192 	$5.99
JUL073171	WIZARD MAGAZINE SPIDER-MAN ONE MORE DAY QUESADA CVR #192 	$5.99

COMICS

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JUN073371	ANGEL FIRE GN UPDATED ED 	$18.99
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JUL073965	EMMA GOLDMAN A DANGEROUS WOMAN GN 	$17.95
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JUL074107	GARFIELD GOES BANANAS TP 	$11.95
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MAY073774	INCREDIBLE CHANGE BOTS GN 	$15.00
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JUN073340	JEREMIAH HARM VOL 1 TP	$14.99
JUN073256	JUGHEAD #184	$2.25
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JUN073727	KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #130	$4.99
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JUL073346	LADY DEATH VS PANDORA PRISM FOIL CVR #1	$12.99
MAY073689	LEATHERJACK GN 	$23.99
MAY073648	LET DAI VOL 8 GN (0F 15) (MR) 	$9.99
JUN073891	LIFE VOL 6 GN (OF 9) (MR)	$9.99
SEP063510	LOCAL #10 (OF 12) (MR)	$2.99
JUL073475	LOOKING GLASS WARS HATTER M PX HC	$24.99
APR073531	MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST WAR COMICS 	$17.99
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MAY073614	PROJECT EON TP	$14.95
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JUL073506	SUNFLOWER GN	$12.95
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JUN073443	SUZUKA VOL 5 GN (MR)	$13.95
JUN073266	TALES FROM RIVERDALE DIGEST #23	$2.49
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JUN073850	TALES TO DEMOLISH #1 (MR)	$3.00
JUL073813	TANK GIRL VOL 1 GN (O/A) (MR) 	$16.95
JUN073362	TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE VOL 5 TP (MR) 	$24.99
APR073856	TEMPLAR CHRONICLES THE HERETIC CVR A #3 (OF 6)	$3.50
APR073857	TEMPLAR CHRONICLES THE HERETIC CVR B LTD SKETCH ED	$5.95
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JUN073671	TRANSFORMERS MOVIE PREQUEL #1 WWLA EXCL ED 	PI
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MAGAZINES

JUN073813	2000 AD EXTREME ED #24 	$5.99
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RELATED MERCHANDISE

JUL074866	3 X 3 EYES VOL 2 LEGEND DVD  	PI
JUL073388	ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN RADIO SHOW AUDIO CD SET	$14.99
MAR078180	ARMORED CORE CREST CR-C840/UL CLOSE COMBAT VER MODEL 	$24.99
APR074285	AVENGERS TV 2008 WALL CALENDAR 	$16.99
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JUN074630	BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN ANGEL DOG GID VINYL FIGURE 	$10.00
JUN074631	BABY QEE DIY 3.5IN ANGEL MONKEY GID VINYL FIGURE 	$10.00
JUL074095	BALTIMORE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER & VAMPIRE HC 	$25.00
JUN074340	BATMAN SPRAYPAINT LOGO GREY T/S LG 	$21.99
JUN074339	BATMAN SPRAYPAINT LOGO GREY T/S MED 	$21.99
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JUN074341	BATMAN SPRAYPAINT LOGO GREY T/S XL 	$21.99
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JUN074149	BTVS DARK CONGRESS TP 	$9.99
MAR074444	BTVS DLX AF SER 3 WILLOW & KENNEDY 	$127.92
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JUN074109	CULT FICTION ART & COMICS 	$37.99
APR074935	DA CAPO II KOKO TSUKISHIMA PVC STATUE 	$29.99
JUN074574	DARK CRYSTAL GARTHIM BUST 	$50.00
JUL073741	DARK LABYRINTH BY LUIS ROYO HC (O/A) (MR)	$24.95
MAR074555	DEUS MACHINA DEMONBANE FINE SCALE MODEL KIT 	$45.00
JUL073559	DEVILISH GREETINGS KRAMPUS POSTCARDS ARTBOOK	$18.95
MAY074734	DISNEY TRADITIONS CAPTAIN HOOK AND SMEE 	$65.00
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27
Aug
07

Black Summer #2 of 7

Written by Warren Ellis

Art by Juan Rose Ryp

Avatar Press $2.99 

Some readers seem to have a problem with Warren Ellis because, like most of the English, he doesn’t particularly abide by the nonsensical adoration and respect toward superheroes and formula storytelling that Americans are used to.  It’s actually because of this that I really enjoy his superhero stories.  Like Garth Ennis or Grant Morrison, you get an outside perspective on an old theme, but getting a superhero story from someone who doesn’t particularly like superheroes is great because you get to witness a writer take something bland and make it stand out.  Not just to the reader, but to the writer as well.

Black Summer is about the most powerful superhero in the world, John Horus, who has just killed the president and endangered the superhero team he’s part of by involving them by association in the event.  This issue mostly focuses on what we do when we’re backed into corners, when we’re scared and when we’re forced to fight.  The outcome is generally bad.

Ryp has seriously cleaned up his art for this issue, which improves the look quite a lot.  Instead of a messy, cluttered panel, you get a neat, clean one like above. This is far less a distraction from the story and more like an additional dialog you get visually, which only aids the story’s progression.

All in all, this was a great issue where Ellis tries to humanize the superhero by showing  them under pressure and terrified, not knowing what to do.  By doing this, showing human beings who happen to be superpowered, he comes very close to what Alan Moore did in Watchmen, making the fact that the main characters are heroes secondary and making the fact that they are people with problems primary.

26
Aug
07

Sunday Afternoon Webcomics round up

toothpaste for dinner

dinosaur comics

Boy on a stick and slither 

26
Aug
07

Batman #667 & 668

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart

DC Comics $2.99 

Grant Morrison has made a name for himself in mainstream comic books by taking old ideas that many people have forgotten about, revamping them, exploring old characters and concepts and making them very VERY relevant and fresh to the modern reader.  I’ve noticed that there are a few creators who are interested in old ideas who make them incredibly interesting again.  Alex Ross would obviously be an easy name to come up with when talking about old ideas being recreated.  Morrison’s work on Batman is no different, as far as resurrections of the past, than his work with Uncle Sam or Metal Men.  It’s different, great and pretty fucking entertaining.

Revisiting the Batmen of all nations in what would seem like a weekend getaway for Batman, Robin and a handful of “second rate wannabe Batmen” as Robin put it, Morrison turns this three part arc into a murder mystery weekend with a bunch of incompetent heroes who are past their prime and incredibly suspicious of each other.  It’s incredibly entertaining to see all of the various Batmen from different countries and how some of them resent Batman’s success, but they all have to work together, as they’re trapped on an island with a murderer on the loose.

Williams’ work is immediately satisfying and only gets better upon multiple viewings.  He’s particularly successful at rendering costumes that look like cloth, instead of the weird porno-spray painted bodies that usually dominate superhero comics.  He has a firm grasp on shadows and dark/light balances, which is great because most of this story takes place at night in a big mansion full of old relics and costumes.

Meanwhile, boring comic book nerds everywhere are crying because this story doesn’t have any typical villains and its’ not formulaic enough.  I think it’s fantastic and I think I see where this is leading and if Morrison is planning on a big family get together, it’s going to be one hell of a summer-ending arc.  I’ll also be excited if they keep cranking out two issues a month like this, it’s great for a manic reader like myself.

26
Aug
07

The Sunday Hangover with Warren Ellis

the sunday hangover

THE SUNDAY HANGOVER

So what do we know today that we didn’t know last week? Well, there’s members of the Quebec police posing as demonstrators in order to kick up a ruckus and create an excuse for their uniformed comrades to go into the otherwise peaceful protestors with batons. The Quebec police, caught red-handed, openly admit they did it, with a “and what the fuck are you going to do about it, Anglo peegs?” attitude. Which would be new, if most people didn’t already know that French Canadians are among the most unpleasant mammals on the face of the planet. I couldn’t give a fuck how many soldiers they send to serve with the United Nations — if Canada wants to impress me, it needs to saw off the French bit and float it out of the Cabot Strait and into the North Atlantic. Let’s see how long those shiteaters last when they only have each other to sneer at.

What else? Ah, yes: it turns out that a company hired at great expense to take on dangerous and difficult demolition work at Ground Zero in New York City doesn’t actually… exist. This is a wonderful story. This company has no records to speak of, its president is contractually prevented from talking to the press or anyone else, and very few people in the architecture and engineering trades have actually heard of it. Which may possibly explain how, on Friday, one of their workers lost control of a pallet jack — not the most complicated bit of apparatus you ever saw — while working on the 23rd floor of the building, managing to somehow drop it on a temporary shed and all but killing the two guys inside it. And it was the third incident there this summer to harm or kill firefighters. The name of this operation? The John Galt Company. Who is John Galt? That’s the question that runs through mad-as-arseholes Ayn Rand’s novel ATLAS SHRUGGED, wherein he appears as a mysterious character hellbent on destroying the world that terrible leftie types made. He’s a fake engineer. And John Galt Co would appear to be a fake company, insofar as they don’t seem to have done anything but make the area more toxic and kill even more people. People on the net, of course, are already asking if John Galt Co are a shell or storefront company for the CIA. Which sounds like bullshit at first blush, but, really: who could invent the idea of a fictional company actually named for a fictional character getting hired to clean up Ground Zero and doing nothing but making more mess and killing more firemen?

And, apparently, a great Cosmic Nothingness has been found. A void in space that’s a billion light years across – a significant chunk of the visible universe, in fact. Right now, as I type this, cosmologists and technologists are developing a perfect explanation of why we have dragged ourselves from the amniotic muck of early time, through a history rank with blood and horror, into an age of scientific marvels, striving to see through millions of years of old light and across the immense and jeweled universe itself – to look at a fucking great hole.

See, this is why I don’t have a fucking jet pack. “No, no, we need umpty million quid to look for fucking great holes, why on earth would we want to cure cancer, the common cold or Frenchness?” Bastards. Happy Sunday morning. Now fuck off.

read Warren Ellis’ column here  or buy his book