June 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm (Comic Books, Morrison)

It was Seven Soldiers that got me into this game, so, okay, this might get me back to playing again. Not necessarily great comics, but damn interesting ones that demand close reading and keeping track of themes:

Batman #700

(Kinda big spoilers for Mozzle’s Batman issues and Superman/Batman Annual 4, if you care about that kind of thing)

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Some Recent Vertigo Comics

June 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm (Comic Books)

Vertigo’s getting pretty interesting these days, too. I, Zombie has some good Allred art (looking like he used a brush and ink for a lot of its blacks, as well as sporting a much heavier usage of shadows and dynamic lighting to make the comic pop even more, although I maybe should be praising Laura here. On that note, the blurriness of her colors from X-Statix Presents Dead Girl and some of the Madman comics is thankfully gone here, too). The plot is even great, tying together lots of folktales but not being as self consciously clever as Fables, and has already set up a love triangle between a zombie, ghost, and werewolf without making it seem forced.

There’s even open talk of the gay subtext inherent in lots of werewolf comics, with the werewolf chided for his monthly “secret plans” as being an actual gay lover. He, of course, remarks that he wishes that were the case, and that little line quickly casts the entirety of the reading of homoeroticism into werewolf stories as wish fulfillment, a scathing, but intriguing, critique.

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Big and Little Things

December 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm (Comic Books)

Detective Comics #859

There’s a lot to like in this issue, most of which (I think) is the fault of Williams III. Most of these are small details: the simple motif of the ring in the first part of the flashback. It begins the issue as the pride of the navy, every fellow sailor exclaiming its beauty in jubilant glee (no one ever said this comic was subtle), in short: Kate as the favored. To compliment the favor, Williams III has the army dress when half naked moment, eroticizing the encounter for Kate (which, as we’ve already seen, has been a source of tension before in this book). Read the rest of this entry »

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Reed Richards was yelling at me after my last post:

November 14, 2009 at 8:08 pm (Comic Books)

Dude was right. And so I’m back. I’d like to say it’s for good, but lord knows I can’t keep a blogger’s promise to save my wordpress account password, so, let’s just see where it goes. At the very least, I’m back into reading comics regularly. Could writing about them be far behind? Read the rest of this entry »

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Inert, but Not Forgotten!

July 31, 2009 at 12:42 am (Comic Books)

Wednesday Comics #4

It’s already been four issues, hasn’t it? It seems like just yesterday this title was bursting with promise, and now it’s trying to actualize it. It could use a check-in.

(More reviews below the jump)

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I think I’m going to make this kind of a feature.

July 16, 2009 at 3:42 am (Comic Books)

Each week, I’ll review a comic that came out which inspired thoughts. Sounds like a great deal for visiting a comic blog, right?

After Wednesday Comics’ for the most part stutter step which may or may not deserve more mention, I instead turn to the impeccable but impeachable

Captain America #601

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My absolutely favorite type of superhero comic came out this week,

July 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm (Comic Books)

and it’s pretty much the reason I still, more and more briefly these days, digest panels, and its related to the format’s work-for-hire aspects, a tremendously negative effect in every artistic way (“Now, who here wants to work without knowing who your collaborator is necessarily going to be, and you also better finish by the end of the month, m’kay?”, I imagine Jim Shooter announcing during annual Marvel recruiting sessions. The rest of the crowd shouts back, screaming, yes, gloriously yes, just let me draw Deathlok!). I speak not of the deadline crunching aspect (eww!), but the sheer creative industry involved in making comics. Out of the contemporary scene’s soup, an editor plucks enough creators available to draw this month’s issue of Batman, and the random fill-in guest star could astound. When Bill Sienkiewicz first drew an issue of New Mutants, or Frazer Irving drew a Civil War tie-in comic recalls finding a lost gem more than reading a storied classic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Potshots from Mozzle, pt. 1 (of 2)

June 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm (Comic Books, Morrison)

(note: scanner works: images in; post more comprehensible. Also, Pt 2 was a never finished ramble on Seaguy 2 as being intentionally boring and repetitive in order to reflect the current state of comics sequels and crossovers, but would end with the declaration that self consciousness of the current dissatisfying trends in comics does not save it from still propagating the system. No, it was Cameron Stewart’s art that saved it).

Man, I’m so glad no one (that I read regularly) has reviewed this, yet. All my comments will read like pristine nuggets of wisdom and insight plucked from a wonderfully intricate puzzle piece that simply appeared as a straight forward super hero action story!

I’m sure tomorrow won’t be so kind, but, without further introduction, the return of ME (oh, and Batman, and, and the two headed comics-creating behemoth Quitely-Mozzle).

Batman and Robin #1

First off, what a cover! The minimalist background with the cheesy yellow cover, the placement of Batman and Robin stressing the difference in height and eagerness of the two (Damian’s stepping forward from batman, closer to the camera” and still so short, both tied together into a single image, a misshapen U, by their shared vehicle, the Batmobile. This is visually compelling work. I only wish it did not have the shoddy logo and creator names forming the U into a lumpy O, framing unimportant yellowness instead of its clever composition. Yadda yadda Quitely even gets lighting on shiny Kevlar and shiny car right, making the former a bright pulses, the latter a huge splatter.

Hey, here’s something pretty close to the ideal cover:


And onto content:

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March 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm (Comic Books, Music)

Azrael: Battle for the Cowl #1 is really, really amazing. It’s been a while since we’ve seen some Frazer Irving. March 08 had Gutsville #3 with full interiors, and July 08 saw X-Men: Divided We Stand #2 with a short penciled by him, but man I miss an entire story handled by Frazer, and it’s totally worth the wait.

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Linkblogging, linkblogging. It’s like news, but without journalistic integrity or objective events to report on.

February 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm (1, Comic Books)

I direct all my readers (you’re there, right!?!) over to Jog’s review of the latest Alan Moore Epic.

It sounds like a formal ball to untangle more than the blunt thematic push of the first couple volumes, but it doesn’t read as exhaustingly as the Black Dossier, and looks to be a solid addition to the LoEG saga in style if not in ideology, the latter of which Jog discusses at the end of his review, when talking about two characters, Orlando and Raffle.

First is the politics inherent in Moore’s portrayal of Orlando, a person occupying both genders who (in Jog’s words) can only seem to fit in a stereotypical dichotomy of male as combative and female as effete. He makes some pretty serious assertions that Alan Moore is (un?)consciously reductive of homosexual mindsets as found in his representation of Orlando, who is “set up in Black Dossier as torn between the sensuality of his feminine nature and the warlike thrill seeking of his masculine side; a little pat in the dichotomy, but sure. Unfortunately, the Orlando glimpsed in this comic is always male, and little more than a chatty, sashaying fop who — surprise!! — turns out to be hell in a fight at the end.

It’s remarkably close to stereotype, and even then only one part of a generally tee-heeing approach to male homosexuality that chafes against Moore’s oft-voiced yen for social justice and liberated eros. I eventually got to the point where I wondered if Moore deliberately omitted mentioning the averred gay subtext of Raffles’ character (perhaps so the League wouldn’t seem too gay) or just expected us all to know that already, and thus left it unstated amidst complaints of Orlando being a “he-she.’

I’ll get back to Orlando, but Jog pretty much describes Moore’s poor representation right there. I knew nothing of Raffle’s character before this, but the character after whom Raffle was modeled was George Ives, who was a progressive gay rights campaigner in the early 20th century, much before it became a national issue of the United States. Moore, who culls arcane bits of knowledge and tradition of fictional characters, the author whose art requires books of annotations, doesn’t seem to mention anywhere of Raffle’s homosexual sub text, especially when Raffle’s creator went to great lengths to provide it with some?

At least, I’m just going by Wikipedia, that other compendium of another’s interpretations of pop culture. When describing Georges Ives as the role model of Raffles, Wiki mentions that Ives is a discrete gay, even though a lot of Ives’ actual wikipedia page has most of its actual information involving his orientation. Raffle, however, did not read Ives’ histories of sexuality very well: although Hornung “may not have understood this sexual side of Ives’ character”, Raffles “enjoys a remarkably intimate relationship with his sidekick Bunny Manders.” At least if Hornung’s representation of Raffles lacked substance, he did not deny that part of the man. Alan Moore, however, seems to distort this lack of knowledge to a stylistic extreme, not even referencing an intimate relationship with a sidekick. The question on my mind is whether or not Moore is saving the reference for a later issue in the series.

It doesn’t seem too likely. (edit: 7:39 PM: especially since I just remembered that the series takes place over three teams and three time periods! *ulp*)

In an opportunity to demonstrate an advanced (or at least experienced) knowledge of gender, he sees a transvestite as bipolar, as agressively effete and feminine except when manliness is required in a life and death situation? This is an almost insulting paradigm applied to gender, and this comes from the author of Lost Girls, whose book practically begs to have eros unrepressed, cannot bring the same liberation outside of the bedroom? He determines his character’s identities by their deviant sexuality?

With a simple view on gender often comes an even more dangerous view on orientation, but it’s not like Moore does worse than rudely omit here.

I should mention that I’m most looking forward to actually reading the issue, though!

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