Sunday, August 10, 2008

Observations on Recent and Upcoming Comics

I have a pretty full plate this weekend, with about 8,000 words to write for various print and internet publications sometime before Tuesday, but I don't want to ignore the blog-o-centric aspect of my career, and I do have some thoughts that I don't have time to develop into coherent and complete posts. So, here's the comic book related junk that's been kicking around in my mind as I should be working on other things:

Five comics with "Secret Invasion" in the title come out this week. That seems like two too many, at least. I will buy them all, of course, because that's what I do, but the whole Secret Invasion event seems to have stagnated for me. It started so strong, but, yup, the Skrulls have invaded. That's what's happened. And...

Still waiting for something more. Although Fraction on the Thor crossover should be good times. And, it doesn't have "Secret Invasion" in the title, but the Captain Britain book is Skrully and consistently excellent.

But if I had to graph my interest level in both Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, the latter would be on the upswing (even though I thought the latest issue was a bit too expository) and the former would be on a sharp decline. I'm not going to graph it, though. I have better things to do, like describing the imaginary graph to you on my blog.

The Olympics are on. I like the Olympics. It's all about personal sacrifice and humans striving to reach their full potential. But it can't really compete with the fail blog as far as my attention is concerned. That's got to be some kind of sad commentary on our society and/or my jackassery.

I'm on the Young Liars train. Chad Nevett convinced me to give it a second chance, and I think it's the best work Lapham's done yet. Sure, I liked Stray Bullets for a while, but this is tighter, more polished writing. Less ambitious, perhaps, but stronger. (The "animation" in that "trailer" freaks me out, by the way. Note to DC: Flash animation doesn't make comics cooler--it just makes them look dorky. The Watchmen animated thing I downloaded from iTunes is an atrocity. Stop doing that. I can't help but link to it, though. So you can feel the pain too. But the Young Liars comic is good.)

Being away from my LCS pull box for three weeks has really shown me what comics are not priorities for me at all. I'm still way behind on my reading for some books, and I'm not too concerned about ever catching up. Trinity, in particular. I decided to give it ten issues, and now I have issues 6-10 sitting here and I have zero interest in reading them. Trinity is not good at all, is it? Bagley can't draw an interesting page even after all these years in the industry, and Busiek can't seem to do anything I like at DC. I love his Astro City stuff, and I liked Arrowsmith too. His Superman was junk, and I don't think I'll bother reading any more Trinity. Does anyone like this series?

I read every single issue of Countdown, by the way. And yet I'm dropping Trinity. Take that as you will.

Why is the kid in the movie based on Cormac McCarthy's The Road so old? Isn't he like five or six in the novel? That's what I seem to recall, but I could be wrong. Or, I could be projecting the age of my son--or how old he was when I read the book. Anyway, the movie news made me recall the earlier days of this blog, back when I used to read real books and debate them with the likes of the mighty Frank Tempone. Now, I just whine about crappy superhero comics.

I have received a lot of mail in response to my first installment of "When Words Collide." It's all been very positive, and many of you want to get into some sort of debate about some assertions I made. That's cool. But I don't really have time to respond to everyone individually. Hopefully I'll have a "When Words Collide" forum at CBR sometime soon. That's the plan anyway. Then everyone can talk amongst themselves and I'll drop in to say something to piss everyone off two or three times a week. Until then, I'm reading all of your mail, I just probably won't write back anytime soon. Sorry.

I really like the Dini/Nguyen team on Detective. Maybe it's just spill-0ver from my love for Morrison's Batman (and, by the way, I keep reading people who still complain about his run on Batman. What is not to like? Please tell me), but I loved the most recent issue of Detective. It has jack to do with "Batman R.I.P." which is absolutely fine with me (better than fine), but it's a sleek little Batman comic and it makes Hush interesting for the first time ever.

I liked True Believers #1. Cary Bates, man. The guy wrote some classic Superman tales, and now he's doing some kind of Marvel-characters-as-internet-guerillas thing. Gulacy still draws those weird baboon faces on his women, but that's called a style and I like it more here than in some of his other recent work. But I'm in it for the Bates.


Matt Jacobson said...

After the wedding ( and the whole week prior dominating it, my honeymoon, and 5 days in the hopsital (don't ask, but I really don't recommend Colitis or an enlarged spleen), I have lots of comic related reading to catch up on right when I get back to work. It's exciting and sort of frustrating. The new wife going to the comic store for me to get my saver so I could read it in the hospital was awesome, though. I LOVED the new Final Crisis. It really showed the difference in the heroes' thinking andthe bad guys - the good guys were using an WW2 strategy, and the bad guys went online. The heroes lost before they started because their old ways of thinking are so outdated.

Anonymous said...

Trinity is indeed very boring. I thought I'd give it a chance because some of Busiek's ideas sounded neat, but he's taking the most boring approaches possible. he's even using the Crime Syndicate from his own damn run instead of the fresh new one introduced at the end of 52! And it really doesn't help that it's a super decompressed series, just because it's weekly doesn't justify the slow pacing. Sure I get a new installment every week, but I'm shelling out 3 bucks for it every time so you bet I want a goddamn story and not a fraction of one because Busiek can't actually keep a decent plot going for a whole year! I almost dropped it at 6, somewhat liked 7 and was dissappointed ever since and have dropped it after 9. No regrets.

Timothy Callahan said...

I have a problem with the word "boring" used as an aesthetic judgment. It's a meaningless thing to say, because it doesn't comment on the text, just on the reader's reaction.

But Trinity is so fucking boring.

Chad Nevett said...

I'm with you on enthusiasm regarding the Big Two's events. Final Crisis just keeps getting me more jacked up and wanting more, while Secret Invasion plods along and will probably conclude at some point, I assume. I'm enjoying the main series, but the endless parade of "Watch as Skrulls replace THIS person" issues are growing tedious for me. And I'm really considering not buying Fraction's Thor mini-series on principle alone. What principle I don't know, but it sounds good.

And always trust me when it comes to what to read. I'll consider getting you to try Young Liars again as payback for you getting me hooked on Scalped.

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying the hell out of Young Liars, its so twisted, that it at times, actually makes me physically uncomfortable...which isn't even why I'm reading it...but that's just how great the art and writing are. The fact that a comic can actually turn my stomach to the point where I want to put it down (seeing someone lose their genitals will do that) but lose my patience waiting on the next issue says something amazing about the author.

Anonymous said...

"But Trinity is so fucking boring."

I actually couldn't even finish the first and second issues all the way through (which were given to me to read for free!!!)

Anonymous said...

Im with you man. Trinity bored me after issue #1. To take this weekly? Ridiculous.