Apr 14, 2010

Comic Book Reviews @ The Temple

Pride & Joy by Garth Ennis & John Higgins – This is a quick book, 5 issues or so in length.  About a single father whose past comes back to haunt him.  Cheesy ass way to describe it, but then the opening line “Blood only flows downstream. It’s got nowhere else to go.” is pretty effin cheesy. The book isn’t really, though.  It’s a kind of straightforward book, an ex-criminal has his past threaten his family, and two father-son relationships. It’s well done, though, there are some shocking moments. It ends in the only way it can, which is slightly disappointing.  I feel like I’m not really seeing anything I haven’t seen, or won’t see again.  It’s a well done story, but it’s also a done story. I’m starting to wonder why Garth Ennis is such a genius.  I guess I haven’t read much of him, his punisher was just ok, he has a lot of short lived contributions to big books that I haven’t read, I’ve still yet to get to preacher which I’m pretty excited about. Maybe should read Hellblazer too.  Anyway, it’s good I guess, but it didn’t amaze me or anything.

Alan’s War by Emmanuel Guibert – Took me a while to read this because it’s kind of thick, but it was good. This guy Emmanuel befriends an old WW II vet who lives in France. They have a friendship of some years and Alan tells stories of his time in the war. He came into the war late, never saw any real combat. All the stories are weird little vingettes almost, things mostly you haven’t heard before. None in particular is amazing or worth making a movie about. But they all fit together into a very charming view of the war and the reconstruction. I know it’s weird to call war charming, but that’s only because he didn’t see much real war. His stories are about friends and girls and broken tanks. It’s drawn black and white, fairly simply, but that suites the story and the story teller. You really do get a feeling of this old guy telling you these little stories from 50 years ago. It’s pretty good.

The Filth by Grant Morrison – In the end, this book is not a winner for me. It’s trying to be Watchmen meets Transmetropolitan, both of which I love. So it is an outrageous and over the top future where crazy things happen and its all very violent and sexual. It is also very meta and post modern trying to comment on comics and society and such. Unfortunately, it does not have the extremely weird charm or world-building-solidity of Transmet. And it definitely doesn’t have the quality of Watchmen. There are interesting parts, and the world itself is certainly interesting in places, it’s not all bad or anything. But as a whole, I don’t believe it succeeds in either what it was presumably trying to do or in just pure entertainment value.

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill – Coool book. This is apparently from a well known suspense novelist named Joe Hill. It’s a story of a family that moves back to their parents home town after their father is killed. Then some spooky shit starts happening. Some sort of ghost in the house, keys that open magical doors and do crazy things. It’s kind of bloody. It’s very very well drawn. It draws you, no pun, into the atmosphere of the story with fantastic skill. I’m kind of amazed how much it felt like a movie or something, being immersed in the atmosphere of this town, Lovecraft. It’s only an introductory few issues, I’m pretty sure I have to get more, I really enjoyed it.

Current Subscriptions Update:

Invincible – Still very good. The events feel smaller though. It’s still building to a big Viltrumite war which is exciting. And they are still drawn beautifully and clever. But reading it month to month is harder when I’m slogging through the in betweens.

Walking Dead – Also still very good. Enough happening book to book that it’s not quite as slow going as Invincible. But I do long for the good ole days when I read the first 2 years in one weekend.  If I didn’t love Robert Kirkman so much, I’d cancel the subscriptions and wait for a trade.

Chew – This book started out super interesting. It’s a world of overbearing food restrictions, and chicken in particular is banned. FDA is a powerful agency, and one agent (Tony Chou) has the super ability of knowing everything about anything he eats. It was such a crazy ass original idea, I was in. It’s starting to wear thin, though. They aren’t all that great so far. I’ll give it a couple/few more issues to decide, maybe it’s warming up to coolness.

Haunt – This one seems like it can’t fail. Kirkman and McFarlane together! It’s just started, the story is a guy possessed by his dead brother, and together they turn into a crazy (rather Spawn-like) badass. Brother worked for some super agency and there are still mysteries to be unraveled, it’s only 5 books in. It has hope, it looks pretty good, I’ll give it it’s first year probably to really sell me.

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