Jul 22, 2009

Comic Book Reviews @ The Temple

Blankets – Huh, I was not expecting this.  I heard about this back around valentine’s day as it’s a kind of love story book.  But it’s a big book (though actually a very quick read), so I kept stalling, plus it just didn’t seem like it would be that good, despite all its praise.  But it’s really a beautiful book.  It’s about a guy, his life as a kid with his brother, his life as a teenager falling in love for the first time, and his life coming out of from under the weight of a christian upbringing.  None of these stories is that close to my life, but somehow the story hits solidly.  The book is half poem, half painting, which is a stupidly obvious thing to say about any comic books which are quite literally those two things, but this one does both so well.  The art is simple in one respect, the people don’t have a lot of detail, it’s kind of wistful.  But the fantasy he dreams up, his imagination, his drawings, depiction of love, or fear, are absolutely beautiful.  The writing is also simple, he’s just talking to you, saying what happened, but there are moments of introspection that are, if not revelatory, at least genuine and emotional.  It’s kind of a sad book, there’s bits of hope at the end, and a feeling that makes it all okay, because he’s okay with it.  It’s hard to describe.  But it’s a very heartfelt book, he captures emotion better than maybe any comic I’ve read, it’s really good.

Maintenance by Jim Massey & Robbi Rodriguez - What a funny little book!  It's a very short series, I don't know if by intention or if it just wasn't popular, but it only has 10 issues.  It's about these two maintenance guys working in some sort of evil comic book villain think tank or research center.  It's basically a comedy, it's pretty silly, but I laughed out loud at least a couple times an issue.  It's too bad it's so short, cuz it was really pretty good.

Wasteland by Antony Johnston & Christopher Mitten – The first issue of this book was so fantastic.  I was 100% on board with the world, with the guy, with the mystique, all of it.  I loved it.  But as the series went on I was really kind of disappointed.  The art style is cool, but is damn confusing when action starts happening.  It’s black and white, very shaded and cluttered.  The narrative jumps around a lot (which is neat), but that means i have to figure out who is talking now to whom and what they are doing meanwhile.  I really just got lost a bunch and it sucked.  The overall arc of the story didn’t really impress me much either.  I only read to issue 19, and it was okay, but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be.  With this story arc over, it might move to the more mystical stuff the seemed so cool, but I probably won’t find out, sadly, as I don’t think I’ll read anymore.

Serenity: Better Days by Joss Whedon – The second Firefly comic, it’s alright.  I don’t remember loving the first one either.  The truth is reading Joss Whedon isn’t nearly as fun as watching.  And without the really great cast to bring the characters out, witty dialogue is as often corny as it is clever.  It’s not bad, it’s still a good world, but it’s certainly not as good as an episode.  The art is good for the most part, I’m not a fan of the extra realistic cover and internal cover art.  I can’t stand when things are based on real people, they try too hard and either get them creepily close, or get them creepily way off, either way it’s no good.  But oh well, I own the rest of the firefly universe, might as well own this too!

Black Hole – What a weeeeird book.  The premise is there’s this disease, sexually transmitted, that gives you mutations.  It doesn’t kill you, or disable you, you just get weird bodily features.  A tail, a lumpy face, an extra mouth, just mutations like that.  So the people with this get outcast of course and the book follows a couple people who have or get the disease.  Minus the disease, it’s kind of just a teenage angsty comic, with an exaggerated reason to feel like an outsider.  I was into it for a while, but it seemed to me not to develop into enough.  It didn’t have enough feeling for me, the story arc wasn’t satisfying.  There were moments that were great or shocking, but overall the strength of the book didn’t hold up against the weirdness.

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