Thursday, April 21, 2005

My Hate Could Only Last So Long

Boy, I hated comics two days ago. They were a pile of crap that had wasted years of my life and stunted my creative growth. I wanted to set them all on fire as a sacrifice to some dark, brooding demigod. Teenagelus or something. But guess what? Some beauties came out this week. And I learned to put off all the awful things my shop guy give me as torture/humor until I'd already bathed myself in an orgiastic Great Comic Calvacade.

After finding myself despondently disappointed with Zatanna, Klarion dragged my love of Morrison comics up from the grave to serve as my humble zombie slave. By Croatoan, what a beautiful book! You don't usually see art this pretty outside of top shelf (not Top Shelf) indie work, but let's all be glad that Frazier Irving did this comic. We get a petulant, snotty boy who I actually like (tough one to pull off, point for Morrison). We get encapsulated in one issue an entire limbo society, full of politic and religion. We even get a reason to root for a boy in nail polish (but not in drag). And let me tell you, that Kit Kat felt holy somehow. Great plot, great characterization, beautiful art. Kisses.

I've read complaints about Veitch's prose in the Question. I dunno, it didn't bother me. It felt organic for the character to think that way. It was insight through text. And, hell, at least it had a distinctive voice at all. Most comics sound like they could have been written by anyone at any time. You already know this comic is gorgeous, and if you haven't been buying it, it's too late now, honestly. Just read the next thing these guys do, and hope for a trade. Superheroes, some maturity, and some darkness . . .and actually done with skill and grace. Gasp!

The two most important up-and-coming genre comic writers each had two books this week: Brian Vaughn and Robert Kirkman. There's some backlash against both of these gentlement, but I think it's all for outside reasons and not any fault of their own. Did Ex Machina deserve all those Eisner nods? Honestly, probably not. But it's not as outrageous as Michael Turner being nominated for anything other than therapy. Does some of Kirkman's Marvel work seem to have less vitality than his creator-owned stuff? Of course. And guess what? Morrison's JLA can't hold a candle to the Filth or the Invisibles. What's true is true, and Runaways, Ex Machina, Invincible, and the Walking Dead are strong damn books. They all deal with familiar genre material, but the care put into the characters lift them above the tedium normally found there. One gets a feeling the characters have favorite bands without having said favorite bands explicitly stated. They have consistent characteristics without being one-sided (BATMAN IS MEAN). And even when body parts are flying, they're a damn blast to read. If you like genre or cape comics but want them done as well as they can be, look to these two. Moore and Morrison can only last so much longer before saying "Screw it."

I've said it before and here it is again, take it from someone who doesn't usually like Amerimanga art, "sexy" comics, Marvel superstuff these days, or jargon-y and trendy books, but Livewires is fun stuff well worth your three bucks. Don't complain about a lack of fun if you're not buying this.

In Hate, Buddy's "new look" is so hilarious that I refuse to mention anything else in the issue.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. "It goes against everything the Amazing Spider-man has ever been to live in Avengers tower with MJ and Aunt May." I don't care. You know this won't last forever. As long as it's handled in a fun way and we get some neat moments out of it, I'm fine. And this first issue of it was chock-full of neat little bits. Straczynski's May, MJ, and Peter are so strong and likeable that even art I don't care for can't keep me from enjoying this book. The character interactions feel real and familiar, while staying true to the essence of who these people are. Screw the purists, this is a fun temporary change. (But Mr. Deodato Jr., I could do without the nipple shots on the cover.)

Alex turned me onto Eric Powell and the Goon. And yet his love has waned while mine only grows stronger. Can't you love anything, Alex? Can't you? Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities suffers mostly from Not-Being-Drawn-By-Eric-Powell-itis, but so does every book other than The Goon. It's got the same sense of adventure, naughtiness, and humor. It just wears similar influences differently. I'd check it out if I were you and I liked having fun while reading things. And I AM you and I DO like having fun while reading things.

And there was a bunch of other shit that was either good-but-not-good-enough (Fantastic Four and, er, 4), no longer interesting (Young Avengers) or just crappy (everything else). But to hell with all that. Focus on the elite and give elitism a good name.

6 Love Letters:

Blogger John Lombard said...

Actually, my worry was that someone would notice that Peter Parker's Aunt was living in Stark Tower and wonder how she could afford that. ^-^

6:44 AM

Blogger Joe Rice said...

Oh, like old people ever go out or have friends!

Seriously, maybe they'll address that, maybe they won't. JMS is leaving in, what, another arc or so? I doubt whoever comes to replace him will keep any changes (see: Morrison, Grant).

6:54 AM

Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Speaking of loving comics, Joe, you (well, mainly Alex, but you will appreciate it as well) have to check out

All Green Lantern sketches from cons!!

6:11 PM

Blogger Ed Cunard said...

How long can your quiet last, hairball?

Entertain me.

2:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

2:05 AM

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