Friday, February 29, 2008

Short reviews

On my flights to and from San Fran, I read:

Shooting War--I felt awkward reading this in an airport actually but it was a good story focusing on what the future of the Iraq war might hold for us. Part satirical, part futurist predictions, part political drama, part action flick. And all of that actually works. (I'd still recommend waiting for paperback though, if I were you.)

Past Lies--How did I not read this before now? A detective story involving hypnotherapy and repression of past lives? Cool. Written by De Fillipis and Weir for Oni? Sign me up. Art by Christopher Mitten? Done deal. Looking forward to the reported sequel.

Last Call vol. 1--Hmmm, weird. I liked the head trip nature of the story, how the main character suddenly finds himself in a different place, on a train full of strange, inhuman characters. It's like a Gilliam film in some ways, and like a tripped-out Harry Potter in others. I will check out the second volume.

Maintenance vol. 1--Funny stuff but in the end kind of inconsequential. It's about two guys who work as janitors for mad scientists. But how far can you really go with that premise in the end? Is there going to be an overarching story, or just gag issue after gag issue?

First in Space--It's about the monkey Ham that was shot into space in the '50s as a test for the eventual manned US missions. It's really good. If Laika hadn't come out the same year as this, I think it'd have gained a lot more notice.

Fragile Prophet--Picked this up on a whim while walking Artists Alley. It's from a publisher called Lost in the Dark, and it's about an autistic boy who can tell the future and his brother who is accused of profiteering from his younger brother's handicap when really he's just trying to look out for and protect him. Art's OK, story's OK, but the pieces seem to add up to be something good.

Paul Goes Fishing--I like the Paul books overall, but this is probably my least favorite so far, since... it wasn't really that focused, I didn't think. At first it was about a fishing trip and then the story shifted midway through. What it was originally, I liked, and what it became, I liked. But the two things didn't gel together very well, I didn't think.

Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks AND Loyola Chin and the San Peligren Order--Both are early books by Gene Yang, author of American-Born Chinese, which I adore. These books are both set in the same universe, but Loyola isn't strictly a "sequel" to Gordon even though there is some character crossover. Anyway, both are high school dramas with a heavy mix of fantasy; you might even call them magic realism. And if you liked American-Born Chinese, you should check these out as well. Great stuff.

I also recently reviewed the "anthology" book Out of Picture for Playback St. Louis, and you can check that review here.

AND I just put out a mini-comic. If you're interested in learning more about it, visit my poorly designed website for it.