Author Topic: Comic Reviews and discussions  (Read 40510 times)

Faust

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #345 on: February 09, 2015, 08:56:17 pm »
Nameless was indeed pretty great!

Chris Burnham keeps getting better and better. Stylistically he looks like Frank Quitely crossed with Philip Bond (A solid mix!), but that's only just the superficial gloss. His technical skill and storytelling is headed off the charts.




Wow that's beautiful, I'll have to pick it up.

Faust

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #346 on: May 14, 2015, 10:54:39 pm »
There's been a few things I've enjoyed in the last months (though I haven't been reading much at all).

I picked up Here by Richard McGuire. This is one of the more unusual Graphic novels I've read because it uses a fixed point perspective for each page, and the reader remains at this point, small windows are overlaid upon a base image, each from different points over the years. so effectively you are looking at the same spot, but throughout history.

When I saw this I thought it would either annoy the shit out of me,  or be a cool way of building a narrative. The results are mixed but it's a cool idea.

It's difficult to explain without an example



It's very much using the visual medium of comics to drive the story, the slices that are joined together from different time periods are connected thematically, or by the actions occurring or by the dialogue. For the most part it describes several different families lives in this space and builds together fragments of the drama and mundane humane aspects of their lives, thought the sixties, up to the twenty-first century.

As it builds up the narrative and you start to see the connections between events, the time periods broaden, and this is where the execution of the concept lost me a little, it goes into Sci-fi future/early history periods. While it has some stunning visuals for these periods, I actually found the tight knit family stories far more interesting.

Conceptually, it's really impressive, and for the most part it is a deliberately bold attempt and making the reader feel like a voyeuristic nosey neighbour, or grand observer of history, and artistically I've seen few things use the medium to such a degree, only a handful of things spring to mind like in Hickmans work and a few others.

I would recommend it wholeheartedly if you are interested in how comics are made and the narrative process.

Bobby Campbell

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #347 on: June 25, 2015, 06:30:24 pm »
Here looks awesome! I'll have to check it out.

My oldest son is hooked on Hickman's FF stuff, a gift from Faust that keeps on giving! He mostly likes the Val, Franklin, and friends stuff. It's fun watching him dig into some fairly heady sci-fi stuff.

Consequentially I got pulled into Hickman's Avengers epic. I probably should be reading stuff like Scott McCloud's Sculptor, but nope, sucked into Hickman's blockbuster cosmic superhero opera. The scale of this thing is pretty impressive. Also, the skill level of the top tier Marvel artists is pretty insane. I thought it was weird that younger comic fans seem to hate my old favs, Bagley, JRJR, even Mike Allred, but I kinda get it now. The new gen of artists have gotten really good at approximating the CGI aesthetic of the movies. I still prefer the quirkier stuff, but I understand getting accustomed to such a dense level of spectacle.

Also, the Marvel Unlimited App is pretty cool and interesting glimpse of the future of the medium. Pretty close to my long wished for Netflix of Comics. The whole pay-$4-for-10-minutes-of-entertainment thing has to go. This is an interesting step forward. I hope a good indie equivalent comes along soon.

Faust

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #348 on: June 25, 2015, 09:36:12 pm »
Hate of Mike aldred seems crazy, his style is so energetic and fun. But what you're saying rings true, they want the comics to look like the movies, it looks polished, but it can become a bit too standardised because of that, some of the character is lost.

I read the start of his arc with "Everything dies" and it did something really cool with marvels illuminati who had before hand been just a plot device, they are then thrown into an unpleasant complex moral problem.

At this point I will say I am not an event fan, I've always found them sensational with little lasting change or dramatic impact and that they just derail existing not only one existing title, but several to push a sales up for a period.

So I read infinity expecting the same thing to happen and was pleasantly surprised: The main narrative not only continued to develop but didn't seem to have been pushed out or changed to accommodate this. It has its big-fights but it also has some great sci-fi.

Now it probably pulled other peoples titles in and did exactly what I said about derailing them, but I wasn't reading those titles so it didn't bother me.

Bobby Campbell

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #349 on: June 28, 2015, 11:49:50 pm »
Yeah, event books are this really weird mixture of art and commerce. They start out as corporately mandated cash grabs, but they also tend to bring in top tier talent in their prime to execute them, and so whether good or bad, the results are usually pretty interesting, even if only viewed from afar. Hickman seems particularly good at threading that needle.

I like the idea of how, these days, the event books tend to have all these optional storylines branching out from the main narrative, which you can either follow or ignore. Susie asks Johnny to get her a cup of coffee, and if you want you can read the story of Johnny's trip to the Coffee shop in JOHNNY COMIX #5, or you can ignore it, and Johnny just comes back w/ the coffee in the main book.  I mean, I know they're essentially hidden advertisements disguised as content, but once you get into a buffet style digital distribution business model, those narrative devices can be used more creatively.

I think guys like JRJR and Bagley seem so bad to younger readers because they sometimes use a "deadline style" to get more work done. Those guys often do 2 books a month, whereas the more cinematic guys don't tend to stick to a monthly schedule. The Allred hate confuses me as much as the Frank Quitely hate, but I guess any unique style is going to provoke strong reactions.

The first 2 issues of Fight Club 2 are worth mentioning!



Cameron Stewart is one of my very favs, but kind of an odd choice for the book, though he's kind of nailing it.

It's really kind of weird, and sometimes pretty cheesy, but like in a good way somehow.

I thought it was going to be dark and serious, but instead it's cartoonish and a bit over the top.

I like that they don't make the protagonist(s) look like Brad Pitt or Ed Norton.

I assume it's Chuck Palahniuk's first time writing a comic book, as there's almost an experimental/underground quality to it.

He does this neat thing where the protagonist is foggy from prescription drugs, and these pills frequently spill over and obscure the comic pages.



It's got me psyched for the next issue at least!

Faust

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #350 on: January 06, 2016, 10:03:07 am »
Working through some of the stuff I got for Christmas. Loved the Sandman Overture. I wasn't expecting much what with it being a prequel to a series from the early nineties and I am always hesitant when a writer revisits their old works, but right away it drew me in.

The structure is much looser then the old sandman comics, with a more abstract dream like focus, with beautiful art from J.H. Williams complementing the more chaotic narrative well. The story is rather simple, an aspect of the dreaming has died and the Morpheus needs to set out and find out what happened.

 The threat is presented in two ways: the first is the metaphorical representation in the dream world, of a mad star convincing all the others to end the universe, the other which is more subtle is what is supposedly happening in the physical world.
These were really interesting because they are only presented in very fragmented snippets with the art style shifting into the prophet Kirby's outer space sci-fi style.
It's never explicitly said, and I might be wrong about this but I believe the big space battle was a reference to the events of Crises on Infinite Earths. Now I hate it when comics tie into big summer events, it tends to derail the narrative, but in this case, referencing a big superhero summer event from 30ish years ago is pretty hipster. It's implied that the battle mentioned all those years ago in preludes and nocturnes that sapped The Sandman's strength could well be the Crises, through the variations of the aspects of the sandman, a different one for each world, even ending in a similar fashion.

At the heart of the story is still the core theme of family, and we get a little more insight into his relationships with his brothers and sisters, making his relationship with Desire even more complicated, expanding on Desires character in the love/hate relationship with her brother, and even giving insight from the other siblings like Despair as to their take on the feud between their siblings.


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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #351 on: January 06, 2016, 01:00:49 pm »
I agree, it was very well done.  I had been experiencing a personal Gaiman backlash of sorts, in that his stories (especially prose) are all of a type, and asking yourself "what's the most fairy tale/mythic/Joseph Campbell thing to do right now?" usually determines major plot points, but his writing always draws me in, despite that.

Faust

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #352 on: January 07, 2016, 09:51:52 am »
Yeah I definitely find that with him you really have to be in the mood for him or it can be frustrating. American gods frustrated me on the first read, but I gave it a month or two and loved it then.

Bobby Campbell

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #353 on: January 08, 2016, 06:19:44 pm »
Great write up on Sandman Overture, Faust!

I have to admit my attention wavered a bit during the last 2 issues, but that was mainly due to the difficulty of following all those double splash page, circular reading order, dissolved border panels on an iPad. I'd have to zoom in and then get lost searching around for the next sequence. It all looked beautiful though! As much as I enjoy weirdo non-linear story telling, I much prefer all the insanity to be contained within a clearly ordered Ditkoesque panel structure. Though I'm sure it reads much better in print.

I thought the addition of the Endless' parents was really well done, and actually felt like something revealed, rather than something tacked on.

I liked all the Crisis stuff, which made it feel interconnected w/ Morrison's Multiversity & Hickman's Secret Wars, the Monomyth in action.

Other recents Favorites:

Klaus by Grant Morrison & Dan Mora

Described by GM as All Star Santa Claus, and boy is it fun! A subtly pagan, psychadelic, origin story for Santa Claus, beautifully drawn by Dan Mora. GM's writing is kinda minimalistic on this. It's a relatively straight forward story, w/out much clever language, but the premise is fun and the art is OUTSTANDING.  I've spent quite a bit of time zooming in on background details. Mora has a kinda Joe Mad + Matt Wagner style, and his attention to detail is killer. For example, the way he draws frost gathered in the gaps between cobblestones  :fnord: :fnord: :fnord:

Airboy by James Robinson and Greg Hinkle

This is one of those intentionally over the top comics like Garth Ennis used to write. It's James "Starman" Robinson doing a GM meta-fiction, self insert bit, but the real meat of the comic is Robinson super candidly dealing w/ his real life issues. Like, for example, that he's maybe a one hit wonder, as he hasn't done particularly good or successful work since Starman, and also how he became an alcoholic/drug addict. Greg Hinkle's hyper-detailed cartooning makes the series work where it might have otherwise fallen under the weight of Robinson's self-loathing. (Which is both a critical observation and also a plot point in the story!) As much as the book could easily be dismissed as a sort of shock-jock type of thing, it is neat to be reminded what comics can do that no other medium really can. What other medium can include straight up XXX scenes amongst a meta-psychological action-adventure story?

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

Indie comic by a writer/artist who went to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer. Super creepy story in an archetypal grotesque underground cartoon style

Brian Michael Bendis' early Marvel stuff

Surprisingly hooked on BMB comics on Marvel Unlimited. I know he eventually became so ubiquitous that the backlash against him is almost insurmountable, but damn these comics are REALLY well done. His runs on Daredevil, Alias, and Avengers are super addictive and a treasure trove of sequential art innovation. Obviously, since it's where the money is, a lot of ground breaking comic technique is going to be in super hero comics, and BMB does some great stuff in these books.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 07:37:45 pm by Bobby Campbell »

Faust

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #354 on: April 09, 2017, 11:30:59 am »
In the last year, I have spent very little time reading (detrimental as that is to my relaxation), I get in a lot of reference books and stuff for work, a lot of study on houses but it’s all very dry stuff. I managed to get a bit of time this weekend to read Alan Moore’s Providence.
It’s the last part of his H.P Lovecraft series. The last volume: Neonomicon was a hard read because of the violence, sexual and otherwise, though excellent in its own right was quite cruel to Lovecraft, focusing on his sexual insecurities as an analogy for the cosmic unknowable horror.
Providence is a lot kinder, and the whole thing reads as a love story to Lovecraft’s gift to science-fiction, horror and religious significance. It's about a closeted homosexual newspaper writer for the Herald living around 1919, who's lover has recently killed himself over being spurned. In his grief, he travels across New England meeting the various creatures from the stories, each issue focusing on a story or two.
Unlike Neonomicon the creatures don't present a threat, in fact they jokingly refer to the writer as The Herald man, his role being to document them and in some weird way thus bringing them into existence, there’s a lot of trippy metacontext to this.
I was afraid The Herald Man was a stand in for Lovecraft that Moore was making another mean joke at (the closeted homosexual I though was going to be a misplaced jab at Lovecraft), but he doesn't go down that route, in fact Lovecraft himself shows up and plays a role in the story, and though it still acknowledges he certainly had hang ups, its hung without judgement or assumption of what he is.
A slight spoiler for this that the events directly act as sequel to Neonomicon, with the herald man’s writing and ushering in of the new creatures directly tying into the pregnancy at the end of Neonomicon giving some nice closure (as much as you can get from a story that focuses on alienation and the unknowable forces that manipulate us). Gender, sexuality, child birth and people’s fears around them are examined but coming from a much kinder place than the earlier story which as an apology gives an even more detailed study of Lovecraft’s work.

Bobby Campbell

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« Reply #355 on: June 15, 2017, 03:01:06 pm »


I’m all about that BUG! Comic :) The Allred fam going off in the kirbyverse is about as ginchy as it gets!

I just recently & finally got into Allred's Madman stuff, which was everything I wanted it to be, and now seeing that same style brought to the New Gods characters is a real cool time :fnord:
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 03:03:37 pm by Bobby Campbell »

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #356 on: August 08, 2017, 01:39:05 pm »
So there's a Frank Quitely exhibition on at the Kelvinhall in Glasgow. Popped along on saturday and went fucking snap happy. Enjoy!

https://goo.gl/photos/kzn6zvuVtYcVG98t8
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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #357 on: August 08, 2017, 04:36:42 pm »
Thanks so much for sharing the Quitely stuff, P3nt! Great pics!

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Re: Comic Reviews and discussions
« Reply #358 on: August 08, 2017, 07:40:44 pm »
YW. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd never heard of Frank Quitely before and I thought I was pretty well versed on the brit pantheon :oops:
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Octomom Auxillary Heat Exchanger Repairman
walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and it’s not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesn’t matter." -- Max Tegmark