Saturday, June 30, 2007

More free stuff

On Free Comic Book Day, my flatmate also got some comics. We didn't coordinate, so we didn't come away with 20 unique books, but there's still a few more to read. So I have.

First up, Last Blood. This book starts off with murky art, but it is underwater so that makes sense. But then when it exists the water, it is still dark and murky even in what should be bright sunlight during a summer day at the beach. The reproduction didn't help any since the art would be sharp on one page and blurry on the next. Maybe if I was part of the "everyone" who likes zombie stories I would love it anyway, but I'm not.

Next Salvador/Hunter's Moon flip book. Some being falls from the sky. It's mysterious, but not quite curious enough. Powerful man gets stuck with his kid for the weekend, but his girlfriend doesn't want to go on his little camping trip anyway so the kid gets stuck with it. He's not excited either. It stops before any conflict that might serve as a hook, though it tries to hint at some with the cover picture.

Then there's Jack the Lantern. This just served to confuse me. There's a bunch of demons running around that may or may not be just inside this guy's head, but they seem to have bad consequences for other people. At the end of the piece the reader meets a demon with a silly bit of training and his grotesquely drawn sister who must be the actual bad guys for the story.

Next Worlds of Aspen 2. This is teasing 4 different books, the third selection is the sequel to the first selection. There's something fundamentally wrong about marketing the books together like this. It's all fluffy fantasy with pretty pictures and bright colors. My flatmate liked this best, particularly Soulfire and particularly not Fathom. Which is too bad because Fathom seems to be on endless sale at Milehigh Comics.

Also Justice League of America. This hops through time, generally in mid-sentence, made confusing by the presence of ads. I'm not exactly used to a comic with ads in it and wasn't sure if they signaled the start of something new or just broke up the story so it wasn't as pleasant to read. When the scene changes drastically because there's been a time jump, this is even less clear. Overall this seemed to be a summary of sorts alluding to a dozen different stories that I felt like I was supposed to know already from having read the hundreds of books that make them up. And Batman was in moments brawn and no brain followed by being asked to be the detective anyway which I just can't abide by.

Finally there's Viper Comics Presents 2. This is decidedly the best in the bunch. The first Sasquatch story seems to know how to just have fun, though they second one has... problems. The rest didn't really capture my attention except for a vague offended feeling for the Underworld Railroad.

The Masterplan

No, not my master plan. Obscurity is still the first defense against plans thwarted, so I won't me mentioning mine. This is the book The Masterplan by Scott Mills which is part of my Top Shelf sale loot.

This is the story of how one man plans to save the universe from its eventual cold death. He will even get to see the results of his plan due to a series of fortuitous events. However, since very little happened beyond the bare bones action, it is difficult to say anything descriptive that isn't a spoiler.

The pacing of this comic is very slow. This could go unnoticed if the art were mesmerising, but it isn't. Whole pages are given over to some magnificent scene or other, but it never exceeds the detail of a thumbnail sketch. And the shapes of the people... when the action calls for running, the people put their best foot forward for a power walk. The expressions they wear are virtually unchanging, but that is all the level of detail and accuracy of line can achieve.

Also, the science is very silly. This isn't often noted in science fiction, but it does claim to be "in the grand tradition of" a list including Stephen Hawking on the back.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Old comic strips in new spaces

Can we please, please, please stop having Peanuts reruns in the newspapers? I know it's all well loved and generally timeless, but these are newspapers. The space should be given over to something that is actually new. Peanuts has already had its time in the sun and every few months is closer to being published in its entirety in book form. Should people want to read Peanuts, they are quite able to do so, start to finish. The space should be used to allow something new to be seen. If it is good, it will stay. If bad, it will once again make room for something new, but at least it hadn't already been published.

I miss Mother Goose and Grimm. I miss Rose is Rose. I miss things that aren't being written anymore like Boondocks and Calvin and Hobbes, but it is right that they no longer have space in the newspaper. But then there is Peanuts. Nothing published in that space cannot be found elsewhere and already dusty, it should also no longer have a space.