Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best in 2010 cuz i said so.......

by christian: assistant to the director of special projects

the "author" aged 8

-Scalped (w/Jason Aaron a/r.m. Guerra)
still going,still awesome.still totally heart wrenching and effed up.this series also did two of the best single issues of the year back to back!bam.
-Sweet tooth (w/a Jeff Lemire)
the book so consistently good its almost pointless to speak of.if yer reading it you know what im saying.if not READ IT NOW!treat yo self.one of my pet peeves in comics is improperly drawn guns and Jeff cant drawn a realistic gun to save his life....but i don't care!this book is good it doesnt matter and the impact and weight of the violence is still intense and gripping reading.
-Sixth Gun (w/Cullen Bunn a/Brian Hurtt)
This one snuck up on me like my wife throwing me a surprise party.it has so many of my favorite things(well maybe just a few:horror,cowboys,awesome/mythical guns and no shittyness.terrible is totally absent from THIS production.)and i had no idea it was coming and would be so darn rad. The first issue was actually a free giveaway for free comic book day last year and it knocked my socks on my ass.plot is....good for nothing gunslinger/paranormal investigator has to stop a resurrected civil war general from getting six magic guns that will allow him to rule the world,good for nothings gotta get it together and save the day.read it if you dig awesome.

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL.....or trade,or whatever.im including reissues as well,so there.
(holy crap by the way.so many great collections came out this year it was a little crazy.my wallet is aching!!!!)

-Acme Novelty library vol.20 (w/a Chris ware)
its acme and it came out in 2010,so its one of the best.lets move on.
-Parker:The Outfit (w/a Darwyn Cooke)
its no secret that Curtis loves street level heroes and i love slightly despicable protagonists that i cant help but root for.Mr.Cooke's best work since the previous Parker adaptation.
-Scott Pilgrim vol.6 (w/a Bryan Lee O'Malley)
Great end to a phenomenal and hilarious series. there's a whole lot more substance to the Scott Pilgrim series than i initially thought. memories are strange and maybe Scott isn't the plucky and aloof wunderkid he thinks himself to be........

-Bulletproof Coffin. strange in all the best ways possible
- Strange Tales 2. awesome "indie" talents running amok in the Marvel universe.MORE!
-Strange Science Fantasy (w/a scott morse)
Awe inspiring single issue stories combining all the greatest elements of pop culture into characters and then unleashing them against each other.wars of gear heads!space shoguns!answers to all mysteries!?fully painted by mr.morse with one page back ups by Paul Pope!

-Strange Science Fantasy #6 (w/a scott morse)the answers to everything.seriously
-Scalped #35 (w/jason aaron a/Danijel Zezelj)Scalped takes a much appreciated breather from the taught noose that is life on the "rez" and treats us to an emotional tour of an elderly couples love for each other.
-Detective Comics #859 (w/greg rucka a/j.h. williams) "the origin issue" This is an incredibly tight story! Why is Katy Kane batwoman?Why does her father help her even though she was discharged from the military? what part does "dont ask,dont tell" (but still be a complete a hole)play into her origin??? great stuff, strong characters,and j.h. has like 4 different styles he uses to showcase all the different facets of batwomans persona.my eyes are still reeling and this came out in december....of last year.

-Kick Ass 2.so silly and sensationalized it made me realize the first series is stupid and the movie a piece of shit.
-Myself,for still reading the Walking Dead.every month for 80 months.
-Planetary finally concluding and with that,the realization that there will be no more Planetary. :(
- no volume of league of extraordinary gentlemen: century in 2010? balls.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Liz in 2010!

At the behest of the powers that be, I have compiled a handful of appreciated titles from this past year.  Do these all fit into the categories that their listed in?  Probably not.

Best GN

  • h day (Renee French/Picturebox Publishing)
  • X'd Out (Charles Burns/Random House)
  • Guerillas (Brahm Revel/Image Comics) - I can already hear you judging me.  Liz, you say, this was a serialized comic book and we all know that when serials are collected, they are a trade paperback, not a graphic novel.  But wait!  What happens when the series gets canceled without finishing in singles?  And then!  It gets released as one complete story, in one complete graphic novel?  Huh?  What about that?  Yeah.

Best New Series

  • Chi's Sweet Home (Kanata Konami/Random House)
  • IZombie (W-Chris Roberson A-Mike Allred/DC Comics)
  • Meta 4 (Ted McKeever/Image Comics)

Best Single Issue

  • Scalped #35 (W-Jason Aaron A-Danijel Zezelj/DC Comics)

Best Mini Series

  • Demo II (W-Brian Wood A-Becky Cloonan/DC Comics)
  • Bulletproof Coffin (W-David Hine A-Shaky Kane/Image Comics)
  • Sky Doll (Various writers and artists in the newest incarnation of Barbucci and Canepa's creation/Soleil via Marvel Comics)

Best Ongoing

  • Sweet Tooth (Jeff Lemire/DC Comics)
  • Chew (W-John Layman A-Rob Guillory/Image Comics)
  • Walking Dead (W-Robert Kirkman A-Charlie Adlard/Image Comics) - I feel obligated to insert a little addendum here for the Walking Dead.  I have been consistently reading this title since its release, on a monthly basis.  For me, its become something like that girl you just can't help calling at 3am when you're drunk, because you know she'll always answer.  Or, like a manageable heroin addiction.  Just a dose here and there.  You don't love it, but you have to do it.  You might feel a little dirty or ashamed when it's over, but it's just something that has to happen.  I can't get away from the Walking Dead.  So, while it's listed in my 'Best Ongoing' category, I may not think it's the best, exactly, but I am reading it every month and usually having a conversation about it afterward.

Nick's 2010 List

I'm glad we started up with the comic blogging again. I hope any of you out there reading this stuff enjoyed and were possibly informed by our bullshitting and ranting over the past few months. We'll try and keep it up, and, now that the holiday season is winding down, there should be more posts, more regularly. Probably.

Here are some of my favorite books of 2010. Here, also, are some other books that were released in 2010. Similar lists from different nerds will be popping up on this blog shortly.

Do all of these make sense? Were they released in 2010? Were they just released partly in 2010? Shut up, who cares:

Best Ongoing Series
  • Irredeemable (w/Mark Waid, a/Peter Krause)
  • Sweet Tooth (Jeff Lemire)
  • Rasl(Jeff Smith)
Best Graphic Novel
  • Acme Novelty (Chris Ware)
  • Revolver (Matt Kindt)
  • Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk (Ben Costa)
Best New Series
  • Biomega (Tsutomu Nihei)
  • Thor, The Mighty Avenger (w/Roger Langridge, a/Chris Samnee)
  • Sixth Gun(w/Cullen Brunn, a/Brian Hurtt)
Best Single Issue
  • Sweet Tooth #11: "Gonna Kill Everyone..." (Jeff Lemire)
Best Mini Series
  • Stumptown (w/Greg Rucka, a/Matthew Southworth)
  • Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain (w/Mignola, Arcudi, a/Peter Snejbjerg)
  • Scott Pilgrim (Brian Lee O'Malley)
Things I Was Really Looking Forward To That Ended Up Kind of Sucking
  • Incognito: Bad Influences (Ed Brubaker, what's happened to your work? Are you okay? I still believe in you.)
  • Superboy (I still don't believe Jeff Lemire actually wrote this.)
  • Daytripper (Stick to drawing, Moon/Ba.)
Books I Sincerely Meant To Read This Year But Didn't, For Whatever Reason
  • King City (Can a brother get a first issue?)
  • Joe the Barbarian
  • Morning Glories (so much hype!)
Biggest "Aw, Shit" Disappointment of 2010
  • Unknown Solider Getting Canceled by DC/Vertigo
Biggest "Aw, SHIT!!!!!" Awesomeness of 2010
  • Planetary #27 and the Conclusion of One of the Best Series of All Time

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Acme Novelty Library #20

Written and Drawn and Everything'd by Chris Ware

There's almost no point in reviewing some books. Every month we have the same conversation about some titles, some authors. It goes something like:

Counter Boy #1: (monotone, eyelids half closed) Hey, dude. Did you read the new Sweet Tooth?

Counter Boy #2: (yawning, shoulders drooped) Yeah, it was amazing. Like usual. Who gives a shit.

Counter Boy #1: I agree. It pretty much changed my life. What a fucking shocker.

This probably is a troubling indicator of how jaded and broken we are as human beings, but it does raise a valid(ish) point. Some creators are so good, some titles are so consistently fantastic, that reviewing them either casually or via blog is almost a redundant, needless exercise.

Chris Ware is ABSOLUTELY one of those creators. A new Acme Novelty Library is an Event for me and my peers. So, all that being said, here are my bullet point, redundant, needless-yet-still-true thoughts on the new piece of brilliance from Chris Ware, in no particular order:
  • Anyone who reads Chris Ware should contact three friends before hand to let them know. They should check on you periodically for the next week to fifteen days to make sure you're okay.
  • Amazing. Best yet? Maybe maybe maybe.
  • Main character not a sad sack, pathetic loser: he's a blow hard pathetic loser. What a difference! Seriously!
  • Panels are UNBELIEVABLY well done. Even for Chris Ware. Expresses birth and coming to consciousness as a human in a way that could only be done in a comic book. Shit.
  • This is part of a larger work. When can I read the whole thing? From start to finish? WHEN?!?
  • The binding and printing of this book is gorgeous. BUT, it's been pointed out to me: you can't roll a joint on this book. Cloth inlay.
  • This is a comic book!
  • I didn't cry. I swear I didn't cry. I didn't.
Sixteen out of Sixteen painful moments of self-realization while reading Acme Novelty Library #20.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


TRON: Betrayal
w - Jai Nitz a - Jeff Matsuda & Andie Tong
Yeesh! I'm in the middle of a full blown TRON flip out and this book ain't helping me break out of it!This book is the bridge between the original 1982 film and the upcoming sequel TRON: legacy (have you heard of this? yeah! there's a TRON sequel on the way!) WAIT! if you have not seen the original TRON then put TRON in the old dvd player, take of yer thinkin cap,but on your eyeglasses of visual awe and get ready for a great ride.The story explains some events that are only hinted at in the trailer so i'll try not to spoil it.......too much. Kevin Flynn (jeff "the Dude"bridges) has a baby on the way and is the new CEO of software mega-corp, Encom and has a little to many responsiblities on his plate. In addition, he is making major breakthroughs in the development of his world/society within the computer called "the grid."To maintain productivity in all areas of his life and be a good family man, Flynn attempts the impossible.......to make a perfect replica of himself within the computer to oversee "the grid." When this is a success and the replica,dubbed CLU begins to think for himself things get a little dire.
I thought this comic was pretty sweet.its hard for me to set aside my over enthusiasm for TRON and assess the comics strengths and weaknesses but it provided awesome answers to some burning questions i had for the sequel.The art makes the grid look cool as hell and thats mostly what i want from all things TRON. I dont need great characters are strong plot,i just want the world in the computer to look as awesome as possible and with as many light cycles as the frame can hold.Will the TRON:legacy be rad? i dunno.......im sure the acting will be blah,the plot dismissable but the grid will look effin' amazing!!!!! Check it out if wanna be totally in the know when TRON:Legacy drops in theateres Dec.17th.

3.5 out of 5 phenomenal and genre re-difining films released in 1982 there were overlooked and are now classics!!!! (Blade Runner,Conan the Barbarian,John Carpenter's The Thing,and....... Megaforce)

7 Billion Needles

by Nobuaki Tadano

An anti-social high school girl on a field trip gets decimated by the brightest light she's ever seen, like she really gets destroyed.  That's her skeleton on the cover there.  Flash forward.  She's back in school with her headphones on staring out the window, bored to death (no pun here) in class.  A voice inside her head tells her that she is now a host (unwilling, to say the least) to an alien life form, and that it is here to save the world from another of it's kind.  She eventually accepts her destiny and seeks out the bad guy.  Sweet battles ensue and she loses a few body parts.  Luckily, she can just pop them back into place.  Thanks alien life form!  I'm curious to see how the story progresses.  The art is great and the story is good enough to keep me interested.  This comic is loosely based on the novel 'Needle' by Hal Clement from 1950.

7 (billion) out of 10 needles.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pang: The Wandering Shaolin Monk Vol. 1

Written and Drawn by Ben Costa

I saw this big-ass, red, sweet looking hardcover show up during the unpacking of stuff at the olde comic shop one sunny Wednesday morning and I was all like, "whaddafudge izat?" Then I was distracted by a bumble bee or something and forgot about it.

A few days later me and the X-Man (see below, brilliant review of Serenity: A Shepard's Tale) were "hanging out" and out of the corner of my eye I see that redness, that round, bald head fleeing from something. The book's sitting on homeboy's backpack. "Hey, I'm trying to read that," I say, though I hadn't thought about the book since I'd seen it that fateful Wednesday morn.

"Well, tough nuts, dawg, that shit is MINE," Xmas replies, not making eye contact.

"Aww, don't be that way."

"You should have thought ahead, my man. I saw this mess in a Previews Magazine three months ago and knew it would be dope." Now he looks at me, and I know he's speaking Truth.

"Is it dope?" I ask sheepishly, begging with my eyes for the table scraps from his bounty of dopeness.

"I dunno." Xmas looks away and brushes at the air with the back of his palm. He won't even look at me! He knows I am like a peasant who couldn't think ahead; he is the proud noble who foresaw this terrible winter. "Take it. You read it."

And from his greatness, from his generosity, I received dopeness. Pang is awesome! The dialogue reads like a modern comedy (think Scott Pilgrim) with the snappiness and the all-the-time wit. But the whole book is CHOCK full of history: history of the Shaolin monks, history of feudal China, history of martial arts, etc and etc. And the words! There are so many effing words in this comic book! I spent days reading it! And couldn't put it down!

And that's not all. Ben Costa's panel work throughout this full color volume borders on brilliant. Like, almost Chris Ware-style good. He doesn't quite have the page room that Ware does, and as a result things can get kind of tricky and confusing, but there is ambition in the layout of this graphic novel. This guy is taking the comedic-historic-fictional-kung-fu comic book in a completely different direction.

And did I mention it's self published? Read!

4.5 out 5 comic shop counter boy beards.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Serenity: the Shepherds Tale

written by-Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon picture boxes by Chris Samnee

Whoah.If yer a Serenity/Firefly fan you have been waiting for this story for years.This one of the best episodes from the brown coat 'verse and it was never even on t.v.! The long anticipated questions are answered.Where does he come from?Why is his knowledge of alliance weaponry so detailed?Why does he have high level Alliance clearance? Why find God in a bowl of soup? (to me God IS soup,but that's a whole post by itself.another time perhaps.) The graphic novel opens with Shepherd's final battle at the Haven mining colony and through a series of flashbacks (Memento style!) the legendary past of Shepherd Book is revealed.This totally delivered on my very high expectations.After the cancellation of Firefly and no more Serenity films forthcoming,this is the character i wanted more of, the most.Written by Zack Whedon (co-writer of Dr.Horrible) from an original story by Joss.Although its not directly written by Joss do not let this dissuade you.Zack nails the character and tone perfectly!I'm gonna start reading his other comic, "Terminator 1984" right now!......oh this is pretty cool.It takes place right at the end of the first movie and Kyle Reese is alive!?!?And some new time traveler and Sarah Conner are gonna break him out of same crazy research facility!?That's pretty awesome.ill definitely pick up the second issue! .....oh, sweet.I guess they're about to bust in this facility and.....oh snap.sorry y'all,i got sidetracked.Terminator '84 is pretty right on though.okay.right.Serenity.You could even read this book without seeing Firefly at all!If you like an awesome morality tales and character driven stories with a protagonist with a haunted past no reason ya wouldn't enjoy this bad lad.

5 outta 5 years of waiting totally worth it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mesmo Delivery

by Rafael Grampa

This is a review of Mesmo Delivery, but also a tirade about one of the best artist/writer/comic-ticians that I've seen in a long time. It's a great book, to be sure. An ex-boxer named Rufo gets a job with Mesmo Delivery delivering packages unknown. He's partnered up with a skinny Elvis impersonator by the name of Sangrecco. What happens next can't be expected or explained, but I assure you it's incredible. Grampa's art stands out. I'm gonna start name dropping, ready? Paul Pope, Geoff Darrow, Frank Quitely, and Nathan Fox. He reminds me all of all these guys in different ways, but has a style all his own. He writes, draws, and colors his own stuff, which is incredible! The layout and panel work are amazing! The way he drives his stories with total design rules. A great comic book is everything working in concert; art, layout, color, lettering, all of it. Rafael Grampa is a master of the comic book medium and should not be missed. Look for him on some mainstream publishers in the near future. Daredevil and Batman are both lookin reeeeeal good, as you can see below.

5 out 5 harvested human organs

Percy Gloom

by Cathy Malkasian

Cathy Malkasian has made the jump from animation to print!  This woman is responsible for shows like: The Wild Thornberry's, Rugrats, and Aaah! Real Monsters.  A veritable Nickelodeon legend!  Humorous and bewitching at the same time, Percy Gloom is a unique gem of a story. Living with his mother in an unreal world of secret societies, bureaucratic security, and the looming prophecy of the Gloom death-slap that killed his own father, lazy-eyed Percy Gloom fights to overcome the loss of his wife, Lila, to a truth-pointing, lotharian, cult-leader. Approached by his doctor to help protect some special people and given advice by some talking goats, Percy comes to terms with his place in the gloomy world and finds himself reaching enlightenment (literally).  She has done an excellent job transitioning from all-ages television into classy, grown up stories for insightful adults.  The art is beautiful and draws you into Percy's sad existence with ease.

8.5 out of 10 ridiculous product warning labels. 

Also, check out Temperance, her newest book.   Temperance is an eyewitness's account of recovery and awakening. This graphic novel works on two levels. It considers the concepts of violence, stories, and belief, and their place in holding a culture together, slyly echoing contemporary political issues in a nation at a stressful time currently at war with a ubiquitous enemy.  Sagacious and intricate, good shit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Four Eyes

Written by Joe Kelly
Illustrated by Max Fiumara

Queens, New York 1934.  America struggles in the grip of the Great Depression, and ten-year old Enrico is willing to make any sacrifice to take care of his mother.  Even if it means taking a job in the one place he's forbidden to go...the ring of fire where dragons are trained and fought for cash and glory.

Whaaaaaaaaaa?!  Dragons in the criminal underworld of the Great Depression!?  This book is great!!  It inspires emotions across the spectrum...love, sadness, excitement, fear.  Enrico is the bad-assest little bad-ass ever!  He stands up for his mother with conviction and does everything in (and beyond) his power to be the man of the house.  The story is brimming over with honor, clandestine activities, and heart warming moments.  No spoilers here.  Read this book, and be prepared to beg for more.

9* out of 10 scaly beasts in a ring of fire.

*this book only receives a less than perfect score for leaving me wanting so much more*

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Batman Incorporated

'w-Grant "the concept" Morrison a-Yanick Paquette
Bruce Wayne is back!How?Don't worry about.Why have him dissapear in the first place? Lets not talk about it.Batman, Inc. follows Bruce Wayne resume the mantle of Batman and going on some serious globetrotting.The reason for these international travels? Why, what any good corporate CEO and worlds greatest detective would do........recruit and spread their brand! Thats right y'all,Batman traveling the globe trying to make unified vigilante agency.Think about it......Scandavian Batman!Palau Batman!It's awesome.First stop? Tokyo to battle Lord Death Man! (no seriously)Come, travel the globe with Bruce Wayne and a very uhm lets say....friendly Catwoman as they solve murders and assemble a world wide Bat-police force!
the art is very rad as well,.....Batman's new metal codpiece is really strange and slightly distracting though.
3.5 out of 5 robins

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Written by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou
Art by Alecos Papadatos

More entertaining than any comic about the foundational quest in mathematics or logician Bertrand Russel has any right to be.

Twelve out of fourteen brilliant mathematicians made obsolete by computers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


by Doug Tennapel

A boy survives a plane crash and is rescued by a Bigfoot named Flink. They form a close bond by learning about the loss of each other's family members.  Emotions run hot in this one.  It's truly an endearing story of misunderstanding and misinformation.  You might just shed a tear.

All age appropriate.  4 out of 5 sassy quatches.



"Killer of Killers"

this is a book about a japanese snow monkey that gets possessed by the soul of an assassin. and then, he fights bullseye. Dude, he is a monkey that shoots guns , outsmarts bad guys, wears a suit and SHOOTS GUNS WITH HIS FEET!! do you love shit like this?

well i certainly do.


this book is also totally violent! YAYeah!!

Superman: Earth One

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Shane Davis

Let's do a thought experiment: you are Superman. You're twenty year old, moving from Smallville to Metropolis, the Big City, for the first time. You're still wet behind the ears, kind of a hayseed, but still, you know, fucking Superman. And you know this. The big question: do you become the world's first superhero, and also the world's biggest freak show, or do you use your superpowers to get rich and get laid? Quite a pickle. And you should make up your mind, because there's an alien invasion in like, twenty minutes and they are super-pissed about something...

I really like this book. Released as a hardcover from comic book super-scribe J. Michael Straczynski (The Twelve, Babylon 5), Superman: Earth One is officially the hot-shit of the minute. The second printing was announced before the first even hit the streets and that first run is nowhere to be seen, sold out as soon as it materialized. And there's good reason for that. Many attempts have been made by many writers to bring Superhero X "into the twenty-first century." The results of these endeavors are generally mixed, typically erring on the side of pandering. References to Twitter and Facebook, after all, aren't gonna cut it. But Superman: Earth One feels contemporary without resorting to these kinds of ploys. I could go on about Clark Kent as a metaphor for our culture in the new century--brimming with possibility but also directionless, a little vain, probably dangerous--but my co-bloggers would make me eat no end of shit for this.

More than anything, S:EO reaffirmed what working in a comic shop has made inescapably clear over the past few years: there are no bad superheroes, only bad writers. Even the most well-worn, cliche ridden funny-book characters can seem relevant and interesting in the hands of a proper wordsmith. And you can't get much more worn than old Supes.

Plus there's a pretty good giant-robot fight in the third act.

7 out of 8 iPods streaming YouTube videos of Justin Bieber.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


mc - David Hine
on the beat - Shaky Kane

"Someone once wrote that the moon is a balloon. They were wrong. It is, in fact, a pockmarked skull. A skull that gazes down in baleful disapproval of our nocturnal activities." -Destroyovski 1967

This book is a trip down the bunnyhole of pseudo comic history that force feeds you dopeness. The layout and design of this book has Boner city written all over it. Its the story of this regular schmoe (he's a good dude) Steve Newman who has a wife and (creepy) kids that wouldn't notice if he never came home. He's got a terrible job that he doesn't mind doing...and a love for old comics. Golden Nuggets comics. Comics created by "the creators". By the end of number one he has found the suit of one of his favorite characters, The Coffin Fly, and who knew(?) it fits fucking perfect. He dons it and (time?) travels to crazy places and teams up with crazy awesome heroes...but is it a dream? What happens when these far out dreams bleed into reality?? This is a 6 part comic and part six is about to come out. They have ill bonus shit like dope fake ads for the old timey books that are all on topic and beautiful. EVEN THE (new)OLD COMICS THEMSELVES ARE IN THERE! There's no lame ass ads in these...none. No ufc dudes in their undies or the ruining of a story arc with a mountain dew ad with skateboarding in it. Nope, its like they actually fucking care.



I'm giving it an 8 babes to every dude at a dance party, and i know you like those odds ;)

Rambo 3.5

by Jim Rugg

You won't find this comic on many shelves, but if you see it on ours you should certainly purchase it.  100% Bro-tastic!  John Rambo + George Bush = one of a kind action.  Big guns, big muscles, big plans!  Jim Rugg delivers an awesome punch of machismo to the face of every Rambo fan.  Buy it.  Love it.  Tell your friends.

Burying Sandwiches

by Rob Sato

This is the story of a girl's tumultuous, lifelong relationship with food.  Janice Takeda doesn't care much for it.  From a very young age she has struggled with the idea of eating.  The whole process sickened her and by the age of nine she had decided to never eat again...UNTIL, the ghosts appeared.  They took care of her food for her, and she quite enjoyed their company.  One day, in the middle of a tirade about proper etiquette, she was overtaken by the urge to devour these critters.  And, no surprise to her, they were delicious!  The illustration is superb with heavy black ink and meticulous attention to detail.  This book is, hands down, my favorite comic ever.  I have recommended it countless times, complete with a money back guarantee, and a copy has never been returned.  It's absolutely delightful.

Rock solid 10 out of 10.


by Benjamin

A beautifully illustrated story of selfish teen angst.  Orange is a teenager that's having a hard time making the transition from girl to woman.  Everything is fake.  Nothing matters.  The story opens with her standing on the edge of a rooftop with suicide note in hand.  We then backtrack to get some history on her situation, finally coming back to the opening in the end.  Benjamin generally works in digital painting using a pen with a graphics tablet and image editing software.  Whatever he's doing, it looks fantastic!  The story is mildly irritating, as most teenagers can be.  The lush art and the cuteness of the main character make it forgivable.  And, lets be realistic, being a teenager really isn't easy.

25 oranges out of a bushel

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dragon Puncher

by James Kochalka

An all-ages funfest!  With clever use of photos and illustration, this book delivers satisfaction.  Meet the Dragon Puncher, a cute but ruthless kitty in an armored battle suit, dedicated to defeating dangerous dragons wherever they may be. The Dragon Puncher and his would-be sidekick Spoony-E (a fuzzy little fellow armed with a wooden spoon) confront a gigantic, drooling dragon and have a ridiculous, hilarious brawl.   The balance of words to pictures will appeal to even the most ADD of readers.  Jump on it, kemo sabe.

Enjoyment factor alone gives this book 10 out of 10 toes.

Dungeons and Dragons #1

Written by John Rogers
Art by Andrea Di Vito

I felt hopeful reading it, being a huge fan of the animated television series and a player of the game (way back when, and hopefully again in the near future). The cover art appealed to me more than the interior art.  The illustration is a little too polished for my taste, I need some grime on my adventurers.  The story is on point.  It contains all the classic elements of a fantasy adventure story; the witty warrior, the snooty elf, the arrogant dwarf, the cute and lovable thief, and the sexy magic user.  Will this combination of scoundrels find the origin of the zombies invading their town?!  Their interactions are comical and the action is high.  The cliffhanger ending invites the reader back for another issue.  Will I take the bait?

Overall, I'd give it 6 out of 10 eyes on a Beholder.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cassanova Relaunch

Written by Matt Fraction
Pencils by Gabriel Ba

So. In the nether reaches of time (2006), before they were two of the biggest names in the comic book industry, Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba made this incredibly sweet book called Casanova. It's about a secret agent (sort of) who (basically) slips into an alternate universe full of blackmail, double/triple agents, and weird, pan-sexual monsters (among other things). There was shooting and sexing and time traveling and so on. I read the hell out of this book.

Fast forward a couple of years. Casanova runs for 14 issues under the banner of Image Comics before it is shit-canned. What was planned as a seven story-arc series was cut short at two. And the Sadness ensued. Do independent minded books stand a chance in this work-a-day world? Is there no room for the weird? For the pan-sexual monsters?

But then...hope!
Marvel comics picked up Casanova under their "Icon" imprint and began republishing the series, from issue #1, earlier this year. The new edition is fully re-colored and features occasional extra content from Ba's brother and collaborator Fabio Moon. All 14 parts of the original series will be released on a monthly basis; four have been released so far. When the original run is complete, the creators plan to pick the series back up for the much anticipated third volume, comprising new issues 15-21.

"But what is the point?" you might ask. Here's the point: it seems to me that because this printing was toted as a "relaunch," Casanova might have slipped under the radar of those who didn't read it the first time around. And that is crying shame. Go snag Casanova #1 from your local comic book shop. You will be hooked. Get on board for this kick-ass monthly book that, lucky for us, was brought back to life by smart people. It'll be like we live in an alternate universe where Casanova was never canceled in the first place...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unknown Soldier #25

Written by Joshua Dysart
Pencils by Alberto Ponticelli

Vertigo's relaunch of Unknown Solider ended today with issue number 25. It was an unbelievable banger of a comic book. Though DC cancelled the series unilaterally, Dysart wrapped that shit up with the best story arc yet and I heard that Ponticelli literally drew his ass off. He is without ass. He left all of it on the pages of Unknown Solider #25.

For my money, this series has been the best thing coming out in single issues for the past two years. If you haven't checked this one out yet, do yourself a favor and scoop up the first trade paperback collecting issues #1-6.