Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sketch Reviews (April 14 2011)

Was talking with Tim the Retailer today about some annoying out of print books. I had mentioned that in reference to Jamie Delano's Hellblazer run where the second trade, The Devil You Know is out of print and I wished DC would get off their asses if they're planning on collecting the whole series/getting trades back into print. Another one that's been bugging me is the fifth volume of the Thor Visionaries: Walt Simonson series. Tim the Retailer mentioned that there's a similar problem with those Jack Kirby Fourth World hardcovers and the second volume. So, I looked online and he's right! That volume is out of print/sold privately for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much money. But, is there hope? Did I miss the announcement of DC republishing those books in paperback? Well, shit, I'll wait for those.

Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker #2: Michelle laughed at the title of this comic when she passed by my desk since it's on the top of the stack (for this very blog post!). I love Joe Casey's villains. He writes the best pure villains in comics right now. The villains that like being bad, that love that lifestyle. Let others write the complicated villains that think they're the heroes of their own stories. They're not evil, they're misunderstood! Not Casey's villains. They're evil and perfectly understood. Huddleston is wowwing me on art, too. [****]

Casanova: Gula #4: I love the way that Moon draws the reflections of Kubark and David X when they break Xeno out. Always have. Always will. I also love the little changes that happened since this first saw print. Against the Day becomes Inherent Vice. Hell, changing the final panels doesn't bug me. Why not do a little self-editing? It's what the big writers used to do a few hundred years back. Samuel Richardson did how many editions of Pamela? What is the definitive text of Ulysses? I'm surprised that more changes aren't made. I admire Fraction's restraint. Sure, the colouring is a change, but whatever -- I have the original editions, too. Different editions with changes like this are just fun. I do love the cover to this comic. In a big part because of the colouring. Maybe I'll try and talk about the colouring sometime. [*****]

New Avengers #11: I like this storyarc. I don't quite understand the point of it yet other than taking two three-issue stories and putting them into a schedule that works for the artists. I do like the shift in Deodato's line work. Not as slick. A little rougher. Some of his work still makes me cringe, though. And Chaykin is Chaykin is Chaykin. [***1/4]

Punishermax #12: The natural extension of last issue along with Born. Jason Aaron has done a very smart thing by taking Ennis's work on the character and just continuing down the same road into areas that even Ennis didn't hint at. The convicts shitting themselves over attacking Frank was funny. God, I surely do love this comic. [****1/4]

Secret Warriors #26: "Wheels Within Wheels" indeed. Funny how this one ends, eh? Definitely an issue where Hickman may have demanded too much of Vitti, because the LMD stuff did not come through in the art. And the way it was paced out, I'm not sure how it could have entirely. Still, that last page... you can't do much but laugh, eh? [****]

S.H.I.E.L.D. ∞: Some answers. Some fun. Some really good art. Some suggestiveness. I liked it. [***3/4]

Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3: "Hey, never mind that Stephen Segovia drew most of this comic over Yu's layouts with Yu coming in for only the final three pages, let's not put Segovia's name on the cover! Fuck that guy!" The ending of this was pretty obvious from the cover and it still seems stupidly random. Maybe whatever issue of Ultimate Spider-Man that came out this week explains that. What I'm left wondering is how this will affect this mini-series and the way that it's been working... which is pretty well. This issue brought some things to a head a lot quicker than you'd imagine. And, fuck, even I couldn't help but smile at the mistaking an actor on vacation for Fury line... also, Segovia does good work, very much in Yu's style. So far, I've probably been enjoying this mini more than the previous three. Things are just clicking... [***1/2]

The Unwritten #24: The shot of Pauly yelling "SHUT THE FUCKING DOOOOOOOR!!!" is just so awesone. A little bit of Steadman invades the talking critters world. The idea of them climbing to achieve something more than what they are and never getting there despite the 'corruption' of a 'mature' take on the talking critters genre is an interesting idea. Like the other stand-alone issues of this series, a strong read that had me for the whole thing. [****]