|Private Eye - inside cover|
|Private Eye pg. 10|
|Private Eye - pg.4|
Hi Mom, Time for more of your favorite subject matter. Comic books! And not just comic books. REVIEWS of comic books, specifically graphic novels.
I am going to shamelessly steal text from GOODREADS, but fear not, I plan to make some short though pointed remarks.
I read a lot of graphic novels while I was ill this last week when I should have been studying Calculus and Java. Now, I did not read ALL of these in the last week, I have been assembling a stack all year, but I did read many.
Of them all, arguably, the best work is this one, and I proudly give it a 10/10.
Before the shamelessly stolen Good Reads TEXT, I will wax a bit on why. One thing I love about Private Eye is the smart way it allows the world's background to emerge. One difference between visual media such as films and comics is that the visuals can carry a great deal of information that would have to be described in prose and a reader will hold this visual information in abeyance until it is explained. So it is with Private Eye. Why does the guy have a fish head? Why is that woman wearing a a suit that makes her looking like a Tiger walking upright? Why do we see an ad that reads: "The LA Times: Your tax dollars at work!"? It's all explained eventually, but at first, it's all a strange and wonderful future that is fascinating and mysterious. When we finally get that street shot, shown above from page 10, and see all the different people, if we're not hooked by the story, we should be hooked by the visuals.
Plus, Mom, this was a Christmas gift from Dad and as such from you, too. I ordered it for myself, but then had Dad go to Fanfare and buy it to gift me. I finally got around to reading it in the last two weeks.
The Private Eye: The Cloudburst Edition
by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin (artist), Muntsa Vicente (Colorist)
Because retailers, readers, and ROBERT KIRKMAN demanded it, the online sensation from PanelSyndicate.com’s BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (SAGA, PAPER GIRLS) and MARCOS MARTIN (The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange: The Oath) is finally coming to print with this gorgeous deluxe hardcover edition, presented in the story’s original widescreen format!
Years after the digital cloud “bursts” and exposes all of our worst secrets, THE PRIVATE EYE is set in an inevitable future where everyone has a secret identity. Following an unlicensed P.I. who is thrust into the most important case of his life, this sci-fi mystery explores the nature of privacy with frightening prescience.
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published December 17th 2015 by Image Comics (first published December 2nd 2015)
ISBN 1632155729 (ISBN13: 9781632155726)
I had misplaced my copy of BATMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 1, so I ended up buying it digitally so I could re-read it before reading the second one.
I love Gary Frank's art. I like these better than the Superman ones. These two volumes are riveting and powerful additions to the Batman mythology.
Batman: Earth One, Vol. 2 (Batman Earth One #2)
by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank (Penciller), Jon Sibal (Inker), Brad Anderson (Colourist, Cover Artist)
Following the events of the #1 New York Times bestselling original graphic novel by Geoff Johns, comes the highly anticipated sequel BATMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 2!
The Riddler has arrived in Gotham and he’s terrorizing the city with his own twisted brand of anarchy. But why is he attacking now, and what is his endgame? The Riddler isn’t Batman’s only problem, as Killer Croc is on the streets and his violent crimes can’t be ignored. Meanwhile, the Dark Knight has trouble reconciling the increasingly conflicting ideologies of Alfred Pennyworth and James Gordon in this gripping re-imagining of the Batman mythology.
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank bring you Batman as you’ve never seen him before in this thrilling original graphic novel that continues their unique take on the Dark Knight
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by DC Comics
ISBN 1401241859 (ISBN13: 9781401241858)
The Superman volumes are interesting but not as strong compared to the two Batman Earth One volumes. Here we see Superman face off against Zod while the Luthors manipulate events. There are new twists on the mythology and a new woman in Clark's life, a "model/actress" named Lisa and Lexa, Lex Luthor's sister, who becomes THE Luthor at the end of this volume. Clark is serious enough about his new love interest to take her home to meet Mom. The art is solid, though not as good as Gary Frank's Batman work. I like JMS, but this one's just not as good as the Batman stuff. That said, it's the BEST Superman stuff on the market right now.
Superman: Earth One, Vol. 3
(Superman Earth One #3)
by J. Michael Straczynski, Ardian Syaf (Illustrator)
The follow-up to the NEW YORK TIMES #1 bestselling graphic novels SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 1 and 2 is here! Written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Ardian Syaf (BATGIRL), SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 3 follows a young Clark Kent as he continues his journey toward becoming the World's Greatest Super Hero. After defeating villains terrestrial and beyond, Superman faces a threat that he can't simply outmuscle. A threat smarter, more cunning and deadly than he can imagine: the Luthors!
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by DC Comics
ISBN 1401241840 (ISBN13: 9781401241841)
Preacher, Vol. 1: Gone to Texas
by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon (Illustrator), Joe R. Lansdale (Introduction)
One of the most celebrated comics titles of the late 1990s, PREACHER is a modern American epic of life, death, love and redemption also packed with sex, booze, blood and bullets - not to mention angels, demons, God, vampires and deviants of all stripes.
At first glance, the Reverend Jesse Custer doesn't look like anyone special-just another small-town minister slowly losing his flock and his faith. But he's about to come face-to-face with proof that God does indeed exist. Merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Jesse now possesses the power of "the Word," an ability to make people do whatever he utters. He begins a violent and riotous journey across the country in search of answers from the elusive deity.
Paperback, 199 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Vertigo (first published January 1st 1996)
9.3/10 rating. I had forgotten about this comic. I had bought the first volume many years ago and then never got around to reading it until my wife asked me if I had heard of a comic called Preacher as it was due to be a TV show on AMC and looked good. I went and found my copy and read it all in one afternoon convalescing on the couch. It's damn good stuff. The premise may be difficult to translate to TV, especially the AMC cable network, so I am curious to see that. But why had I not started to eat my way through this classic Vertigo series so far? I am on to volume two now.
The Fade Out, Vol. 3: Act Three by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips (Illustrations), Elizabeth Breitweiser (Illustrations) The final act of the bestselling Hollywood noir comic from the award-winning team of Brubaker and Phillips! Collects THE FADE OUT #9-12
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 17th 2016 by Image Comics
ISBN 1632156296 (ISBN13: 9781632156297)
RATING = 8.8/10
I love these noir, retro comics by Brubaker and Phillips. I still have not read both hardcover compiled volumes of Criminal, but what I had read I loved. I followed Fatale, lovingly, though in trade paperback, which is also how I have chosen to follow The Fade Out, in fact reading trades is the theme of this blog entry. I did not collect any of these series in single issues.
I liked Fatale better, plus the ultimate answer to the murder mytsery, though somewhat satisfying, is not revealed well visually or in terms of narrative. The story takes several wrong turns, in my opinion, hence the sub-nine rating. But it's still good, and the glimpse into the post-WWII world of Hollywood film mania and the McCarthy Communist witch hunts is at least historically satisfying. I hope Brubaker and Phillips do other stories in this time period and setting.
Men of Wrath
by Jason Aaron, Ron Garney (Illustrations)
Ever since Great Grandfather Isom killed a man over some sheep, a black cloud has hung over the Rath family. Now, over a century later, Ira Rath, the coldest hitman ever to walk on Alabama soil, has taken a job that will decide the fate of his cursed family once and for all. Writer Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards, Scalped) and artist Ron Garney (Weapon X, Thor: God of Thunder) reunite, to bring you the story of a Southern family, whose only heirloom is violence.
COLLECTING: MEN OF WRATH 1-5
Paperback, 136 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Marvel (first published April 14th 2015)
ISBN 0785191682 (ISBN13: 9780785191681)
Literary Awards: Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominee for Best Writer (for Jason Aaron) (2015)
RATING = 10/10
Scalped, Vol. 1: Indian Country
by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guéra,
Brian K. Vaughan (Introduction)
Jason Aaron, the up-and-coming writer of the critically acclaimed series THE OTHER SIDE teams with gritty artist R.M. Guera for an intense crime drama that mixes organized crime with current Native American culture.
Fifteen years ago, Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in hopes of finding something better. Now he's come back home armed with nothing but a set of nunchucks, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and one dark secret, to find nothing much has changed on "The Rez" -- short of a glimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs and organized crime. Is he here to set things right or just get a piece of the action?
Cover by Jock
Collects Scalped #1–5
Paperback, 126 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Vertigo
ISBN 1401213170 (ISBN13: 9781401213176)
RATING = 8.6/10
This comic is good, but it drops several points for me simply because of the art. I am sure many people are great fans of R.M. Guéra, but his scribbly, scrawly figures and backgrounds lack definition and contort faces in ways that I find unpleasant to look at for page after page. Nice work with women's bodies, but still, the lack of definition doesn't work for me. Aforementioned artists like Lark, Epting, and Garney manage moodiness without sacrificing body definition and clean lines.
But the story and dialogue and all the researching (as Jason Aaron is NOT a Native American) give the story a good foundation. I am going to read the rest, and I am going to move on and read Southern Bastards and the Other Side, as now I am an official Jason Aaron fan, but as an overall product, Scalped did not thrill me as much as other comics on this page with higher ratings.
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 259 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1603.20 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.