December 16, 2013

Comics Review – Mid December 2013

10:50 am in books,comics,reviews,weird,zines Ulises Farinas

I decided i’m not gonna write the artists names and stuff in the title anymore, just cause sometimes there’s way too many artists to be writing in that small title line. And date seems more relevant for me. It’s been a long time since my last write up, which was the wrap up of November. December has started off on fire though, really enjoyed most of the last two week’s comics. I never know what i’m gonna get, and i don’t care if it’s #2 or #1 or #343 of a series, i just read it and leave it, on to the next one. As always, my rating system is: Horrible, Crappy, OK, Good, Great, AMAZING. I realize right now, that sometimes i say something is terrible instead of horrible. Probably not the most reliable system, but hey, nobody’s perfect. And if there’s a significant difference in the quality of art vs. writing, that’ll be indicated.

FINAL CRISIS – Grant Morrison & J.G.Jones – Art – Good, Words – ALL OVER THE PLACE

Morrison will never be as good as he wants to be. I suspect that Morrison thinks he’s better than he’s ever been. This comic is 5 years old at this point, and it’s interesting to see that for all the wordage, Morrison’s ‘love letter to the superhero genre,’ has led to a point in his career where the relationship is as stale as a middle aged wife’s sweatpants that she purchased in her big plan to get fit again. If you look at the new 52 and you read Final Crisis, you can see how big their dreams were, and there are points in the story where you believe, that this shit can really make you believe in spandex. The whole segment of Superman in the omniverse or whatever, is Morrison really running at full speed towards the galactic barrier, his muscles all sinewy and the beads of sweat falling off his brow like diamond stars. But oh fuck, motherfucker got a cramp, and he just shit his pants. Constantly, the story reaches high, and then it hits a ceiling. That ceiling is SUPERHERO COMICS ARE MADE BY AND FOR IDIOTS. Yes, there’s really great stuff out there, but as long as this narrative of Final Crisis has to come back down to the world of mortals, it is slave to a story that will ultimately CHANGE nothing, and as a result, SAY nothing. Beyond Superman 3D on it’s own, would have benefited immensely if it really was JUST ALONE. But its place in the complete story, just doesn’t make much sense, even if on its own its the strongest story (and sorta about story).

Darkseid is the big evil. But there’s a bigger evil, its this vampire guy. Why are they evil? What do they want beyond just “I SHALL END THE UNIVERSE?” Nothing. You know what kinda story that is? Its the same exact story my six year old self made up when i played with toys. Morrison wants to be a great writer, but at the end of the day, he’s constrained by the fact that he has just written a really complex plastic Skeletor action figure plot, and that all his notions of story and character, all the conflicts he’s set up, he’s solved by having them punch each other. Grant Morrison has written some of my favorite stories, and his All-Star Superman is my definitive Superman. But event books don’t do the very thing that they should do. Instead, they wimper along like a bitch ass, insisting that you read this comic and that comic, and that this is all real important, and i’m saying something really big here, but its like a limp dick in a magnum condom: All intention, no erection.

Overall, if you wanna see batman get written out of a comic in a sloppier fashion than Richie Cunningham’s brother, then this comics is for you. It’s got chunks of story that work, but overall, this love letter to superheroes is marked ‘return to sender’. Its enjoyable fluff thats weighed down by meta-pretensions that amount to nothing.

Final Verdict – Read Superman Beyond 3D, don’t go beyond the robot superman part. And there’s some beautiful comic covers in this series.

Deep Frito – Matt FurieArt – BAD Words – Sometimes sorta funny? Eh. Read it in the store.

Ugly is popular. This story has got ugly subject matter, ugly drawings, and its got way too much Dude-ogling for my comfort. I get it, that that’s the point, taking a kind of indifferent look at some carnival kids being losers, but for fuck’s sake, is that all we get sometimes? As a writer, i don’t want to take an indifferent look, i want to actually say something. This reminds me of St.Owl’s Bay, which was in the same vein. I lived this life, i went to carnivals and said stupid things about girls. I grew up, being a pervert, i had friends who were juggalos, and i treated girls like they were just things to put my dick in. You know why i don’t write a comic about it? Because i don’t need to get praised for being a little snot nosed shithead. But all these comics, in a way, are just masturbatory ruminations on being a gross person. They don’t provide any insight, and its basically bathroom graffiti as a genre. I’m not gonna say this doesn’t deserve to exist, but i won’t think it would look out of place next to a shit smear.

Inhumanity – Matt Fraction & Coipel and some other artists randomly, OK

Speaking of EVENT comics, this is Marvel’s next event. And it’s really hard to care. Like i wanna believe, “Fraction’s ’bout to do a slick freestyle, bust some heads and spill some blood like an OG” but i don’t believe it. I know that this comic is gonna be a long long long adventure that won’t end, just sorta of transition to a new event. Perhaps, Ironman will have a new outfit by the end of the book. Who knows. Still, there’s some good moments, but it’s really just a huge exposition issue. It also commits the unforgiveable sin of switching artists mid story and then switching back. Fuck that noise. Marvel, you and your artists and your writers are all professionals. Your only job is drawing funny books, month after month after month. Unless i read that the artist cut his thumb open, midway through the book, there’s no excuse for it. Its simply shitty. Leinil Yu provides like 3 pages, and it’s nice, but still, just don’t do it. This is a minor distraction in this book, but i’ve seen comics that had like 4 different artists. Just scrap that shit and start over. Anyway, Light-bulb head is speaking wise on some inhuman history, which is cool and all, and then the first issue ends with a predictable C-level type hero dying. You don’t get event comics without sending one of your characters into comic book limbo.

Gray City – Ryan Dirks – Ok/Good

Don’t got much to say about this, its pretty trippy, has got grey aliens on grey paper, and the mood itself is pretty grey. I prefer to spell grey with an E by the way. Even though the art isn’t really polished, i found myself enjoying this surreal noirish little diddy. He’s set up a weird scenario, got the dude with amnesia figuring it out along with the reader, and who doesn’t like black eyed Greys staring at you from a page. I was speaking to Brandon Graham recently, about the quality of art and how the soul of a comic is somehow tied to that, and ‘nicer’ art would somehow diminish the entire work. This might be a good example of that. The wonkiness kinda adds to the atmosphere.

Black Science – Remender & Scalera & Dean White – Art – Good, Words – OK

I mentioned earlier this evening, that i can’t fucking stand human breasts on ALIEN species. Like, do dudes not even think twice about making some frog creatures look like Beyonce? Is that the only way we can understand why the main hero decides to save the frog-damsel in distress. Its not that looking at sexy women or drawing them or any of that shit is bad, its that its so boring. Here, they’ve drawn a world of giant tortoise islands, with tribal frogs living on them, and skies of lightning, and their imagination got short-circuited when they got to Frog-lady. The story on the whole moves fast, and the inner monologue of the hero is a bit whiney. I’m not sure if his wife is already, or might die, but he’s gotta save his kids, he keeps talking about, and then his female partner gets killed, she must not die in vain, then he saves the frog lady, and frog-dude saves him in return from other frog dudes. Males just don’t think for a second, how corny and redundant their story choices are, but if this comic was called SUPER MARIO DIMENSION, it wouldn’t seem out of place. I think if it was a bit fresher than George Lucas’ rhyme book from the 1970s, it could be a great comic. The art was top notch, and i did like the hustle of the story, but how many times do i gotta read about a dude who’s motivation is some dead ladies. Remender should’ve killed the kids, that’d take balls. No one ever shoots the kids in the face.

Hawkeye #14 – Matt Fraction & Annie Wu & Matt Hollingsworth – GREAT

Now this is what a Superhero comic should be. I haven’t read a floppy comic, that was this simple, this fun, this well drawn, this well colored, this well written, since when comics were in bodegas. You remember those comics, that had the hostess cake ads in them, the rough paper, and when you were a kid, you knew you probably wouldnt be able to buy the next issue, cause your pops wasn’t always so generous. This reminded me of that feeling. Its got a hook for the next issue, but it just STANDS ALONE. Why is this unique? Why don’t all floppies aim for being a good read, in the here and now, rather than craft some soap-opera garbage for emotionally stunted manboys. I gotta make a special mention for Matt Hollingsworth, cause that man is a samurai slicing flower petals. Colorists are like when you hear a rapper throw a producer’s name into a song, cause you know that song would fall apart without the man behind the curtain. He’s got a style thats unique, subtle and completely inspiring. If i was a colorist, i’d turn off the photoshop filters, open this book and listen like moses did to the burning bush. This is your education. This was the best read, and it wasn’t nothing complex or trying to be transformative. It just looked at its medium, look at it’s genre, took all those ingredients and made a perfect meal.

Also, why aren’t comics onĀ  magazine stands. WWE magazine is on magazine stands? US Weekly serves up garbage every week. Why hasn’t any major publisher decided to venture back out there? I really don’t know, i’m not too wise on that side of things, so anyone care to enlighten me, just let me know on facebook or the comments. (here’s the discussion!)

Conditions on the Ground – Kevin Hooyman Good!

I liked this. Its navel-gazey, but its doing it in the right way. If you’re gonna be philosophical, actually ask a question thats actually kinda intelligent. Not something like “I wonder if god exists” Who gives a shit anymore? But even more importantly, your answer to the unanswerable is the very craft of your comic. The answer in this comic is a big ol’ Big Foot, that doesn’t really seem annoyed or disinterested, but just having it’s own questions. The Bigfoot is quiet though, sometimes you just listen, sometimes listening is what gives us the most comfort. A lot of the short stories feel like that, with an end that is comfortable with just having been able to verbalize what we sorta day dream about. These aren’t any big questions, and the back cover ends the book with the words, “Easy does it” Easy does it is exactly how this comic feels. I would give this to someone who was having some weird days.

I got a like six more to go, Pretty Deadly and Velvet and some other things, but i’m tired. So I’ll review those later! Seeya later!

 


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