Friday, December 30, 2011

CBR Review: Captain America & Bucky #625

I recently reviewed Captain America & Bucky #625 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "2011 is almost over and, to celebrate, Marvel Comics has lined up its shipping schedule to provide a triple dose of Captain America comics this week. It's both an ending and a beginning for the two issues of Captain America released, and Captain America & Bucky shifts dramatically from its opening storyarc with a new co-plotter/scripter and artist in James Asmus and Francesco Francavilla, respectively. More than that, the title puts the focus on a different Captain America and Bucky than readers expect: the men who replaced the originals after their 'deaths' in 1945."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Captain America #6

I recently reviewed Captain America #6 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "2011 is almost over and, to celebrate, Marvel has lined up its shipping schedule to provide a triple dose of Captain America comics this week. It’s both an ending and a beginning with Captain America #5 concluding the opening story arc of the relaunched title before issue six can pick up where it left off and start a new story. That the beginning of the new story ships on the same day as the end of the previous one makes for a smooth transition and could blur the line between the two, except Ed Brubaker and Alan Davis make such a strong impression in this issue that it stands clearly on its own."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Captain America #5

I recently reviewed Captain America #5 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "2011 is almost over and, to celebrate, Marvel has lined up its shipping schedule to provide a triple dose of Captain America comics this week. It’s both an ending and a beginning with Captain America #5, concluding the opening story arc of the relaunched title before issue six can pick up where it left off and start a new story. This issue puts its eyes firmly on what’s coming next, providing immediate closure of the dangers facing Captain America and company, and planting seeds for the dangers of 2012."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sketch Reviews (December 29 2011)

Christmas has come and gone. It was a nice few days. Nice to see my family and Michelle's family. Nice to just be away from the usual daily grind bullshit. This year, things seemed skewed towards books over DVDs and CDs as far as presents went. I guess people think I'm not reading enough. This week, my shop had a post-Christmas sale, so I managed to get caught up on Jamie Delano Hellblazer trades (the new edition of the second volume came out this week and my shop had the third and fourth volumes). I also got a couple of Astro City trades as well as Banner by Azzarello and Corben. There was plenty more that tempted me, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Also, Diamond shorted my shop on a couple of titles -- but they did overship the new issue of Angel and Faith (30 or so copies instead of the two or three my shop ordered), so that had them covered.

The Mighty Thor #9: A weird case of this comic being less than the sum of its parts. I genuinely enjoyed almost every scene in it and, yet, it didn't feel like it added up to anything. Maybe because it seems like we're in act two of it already. Maybe it's some unconventional storytelling that will add up in the end. [***]

Secret Avengers #20: For a time travel story, this was surprisingly linear. Last week of the year and this issue may have been enough to make me reconsider this title for my best of the year list. Damn fine comic book. [****1/4]

Spaceman #3: Bringing in Carter was a surprise -- and the end was pretty good. Each issue is more interesting than the previous. And... RISSO! [****]

The Ultimates #5: Man, pity those poor fucks who didn't pick up Ultimate Hawkeye... A bit of a breather issue as everyone tries to figure out what you do after a huge chunk of Europe is absorbed into a City populated by people that could kill the rest of the world without too much effort. Hickman doesn't quite push it as far as I'd like, but this is interesting territory -- like I said on the podcast, it's similar territory to where the X-titles have been at times, except it's actually addressing the issues raised instead of finding 'clever' ways to sweep them aside. Esad Ribic not doing the full issue is a shame, but Peterson's art is better than I remember... Not too sure about the ending, though. [***3/4]

Uncanny X-Men #3: Who would have thought that I'd actually enjoy Mr. Sinister as a villain? [***1/2]

The Unwritten #32.5: Another half issue, one that goes back to Gilgamesh and gives us some of the history of Pullman. Me, I'm just happy to read any comic drawn by Dean Ormston. [***1/2]


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Splash Page Podcast 2011 Holiday Spectacular

Tim and are back with a new edition of the Splash Page Podcast! It's our special Christmas gift to all of you listeners. In this episode, we talk mostly about the best of 2011 with such topics as Holy Terror, some Marvel books like Daredevil, The Ultimates, and Uncanny X-Force, Scalped, Bendis's Avengers work, Casanova: Avaritia, Vengeance, Tim's Alan Moore writing, and, then, we go into a long big talk about comics that touches on a variety of subjects before moving into books for the end. This episode is pretty much what you'd expect from us and was quite fun to do. Since it is a holiday episode, it's bookended by a couple of songs from the Barenaked Ladies's holiday album. So, download, listen, and enjoy -- and have a happy holidays!

You can download and listen to the Splash Page Podcast 2011 Holiday Spectacular HERE!

CBR Review: Batman, Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1

I recently reviewed Batman, Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Ostensibly Batman, Incorporated issues #9 and #10, Batman, Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1 ends the first ‘season’ of the title and sets the stage for next year’s return and conclusion to Grant Morrison’s tenure on the Batbooks. The wait for this comic may have been long, but with Cameron Stewart and Chris Burnham providing the art, it was well worth it. Morrison delivers both an entertaining ‘done in one’ style adventure spotlighting Stephanie Brown and an ambitious issue that pushes the story about as far as it can go before it breaks. It ends with the big reveal of who is behind Leviathan, the criminal organization that Batman has created Batman, Incorporated to fight. It’s the sort of issue that arrives just in time to remind critics that, maybe, they left Batman, Incorporated off their top ten of 2011 lists and that, obviously, was a mistake."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Avengers #20

I recently reviewed Avengers #20 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "There’s something inexplicably silly about Avengers #20. The return of Norman Osborn has, so far, been a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Brian Michael Bendis has shown the behind-the-scenes build-up to Osborn's eventual strike on the Avengers over the past few months in Avengers and New Avengers and, here, it begins: with Norman Osborn standing on the lawn of Avengers Mansion ranting and raving while everyone tries not to look too embarrassed about the crazy man who shouts too much. Finally, it has begun, and it begins like that? The follow-up is so by the book in its predictability that one wonders what the point is at times."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where It's At These Days

If I had Tumblr, that would be a better place to post this:
It's all on me, though; it's Charlie Brown kicking at the football. Pieces of shit act like pieces of shit. That's what they're supposed to do, it's why they're put on the planet. You don't get to be mad at D&Q for acting like D&Q, or at DC for acting like DC. It's the same rule for us as it is for creators: comics fucked Kirby, and it'll fuck you, too. I'm just a half-ass blogger with a small audience whose posting schedule got cut down by about 75 percent in the last year. I'm getting the exact treatment I deserve. The only difference is that I really don't care. I don't want to make comics, ever, and I don't ever want to have a professional job in comics past the one I have right now. They have nothing to threaten me with, nothing they can take away from me. I don't need review copies or advance previews or insider access. I don't need to be liked by people with no talent. I don't need to hear the gossip about who is sleeping with Paul Levitz' ex-girlfriend or the latest Scott Snyder office meltdown. Those are the things they try to ply you with: "Here's a story, the real story, about why Mark Waid doesn't work here anymore." Go away. Tell Rich Johnston. I don't care about any of it. Everything I ever hear about these people only convinces me further that I want nothing to do with them.

--Tucker Stone in an interview with Tom Spurgeon

Sketch Reviews (December 21 2011)

The sooner we get past all of this, the sooner I can relax... and sleep and hang out and just enjoy six days without work. No offence.

Batman: Odyssey #3: Deadman going batshit crazy on those trolls was fun. The 'war' was more tell than show. And Batman can't kill because wah wah wah. Loser. [***1/4]

Daredevil #7: Another holiday issue, Marvel? You made my heart grow three times. The best part is obviously "I hate that guy." [***3/4]

Punishermax #20: The strongest issue of this arc yet. The various flashbacks/memories were excellent -- and Frank showing how he'll sacrifice everything to win seems like it will come back into play. No one is getting out alive, folks. No one. [****]

Wolverine and the X-Men #3: I REMEMBER QUENTIN QUIRE! [***3/4]

Wonder Woman #4: Goddamn, that sequence with Hera on Paradise Island... goddamn Cliff Chiang! Also, that final page is just Azzarello showing off. [****]

I also got Officer Downe: Bigger Better Bastard Edition because I am a sucker. And, yes, Mr. Casey, I take that whole spiel about no subtext to be a challenge. Fuck your intentions. Like I care.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CBR Review: The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #6

I recently reviewed The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #6 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Upon finishing The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #6, the conclusion to the mini-series spotlighting Butcher prior to The Boys, there was a feeling of emptiness, that the comic that I’d just read was a bit unnecessary. The fifth issue ended on such a strong point with Butcher earning his spot in Mallory’s group that this concluding issue is an exercise in tying up loose ends that aren’t really loose at all. It’s the issue that answers the minutiae of Butcher’s past and ends on a crude note when he finishes his little monologue to his father’s corpse. The series to this point was compelling, but this is a dull, uninteresting place to end."

You can read the rest HERE!

Monday, December 19, 2011

CBR Review: Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #4

I recently reviewed Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #4 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. finishes its first story arc as Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos take on the Monster Planet that seeks to enter our dimension. Like the issues before it, there’s not much here except some high impact action and crazy ideas. Then again, what else does this comic need? Set the heroes up against hordes of monsters that no one feels remorse for and let them slaughter their way to our protection. This is a comic that wallows in the grotesque beauty of one set of ‘monsters’ slaying another."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Journey into Mystery #632

I recently reviewed Journey into Mystery #632 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Of all of the comics to do a Christmas issue, Journey into Mystery wouldn’t have been my first guess. Or even my twentieth. The focus on Loki and the Asgardians immediately makes a holiday-themed issue seem unlikely and, yet, here we are with Journey into Mystery #632, a Yule issue. And it works wonderfully. Kieron Gillen continues to write this series so well that any situation or context is appropriate and moves the story forward while showing us new things about each of the characters. Joining him this issue are Mitch Breitweiser and Bettie Breitweiser, who they capture the holiday look of the issue perfectly."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: SHIELD #4

I recently reviewed SHIELD #4 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Getting a handle on S.H.I.E.L.D. and where it’s going is always a challenge. For a series that is taking the long view on the Marvel Universe, it spends much of its time focusing on the smaller moments that affect the characters. Big, sprawling wars are glossed over, while discussions of motivations are given a lot of attention. On the surface, not much happens in S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 and, yet, in focusing on the smaller moments, even using the same three pages (altered in each case) three times, gives the issue an easy, relaxed feeling. It’s a comic that celebrates and luxuriates in the wonders that it deals in."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Sacrifice #1

I recently reviewed Sacrifice #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "After his last self-published hit, Our Love is Real, went through multiple printings and eventually landed at Image, there’s been a bit of buzz surrounding the first issue of Sam Humphries’ follow-up, a six-issue mini-series, Sacrifice. Self-published like Our Love is Real, Sacrifice is quite different in content, not focusing on the sexually liberated future of Our Love is Real and, instead, telling the beginning of an odd tale about a teen suffering from epileptic seizures who may be transported back in time to the Aztecs before the Spanish wiped them out. With Dalton Rose joining him on art, Sacrifice is as surprising and challenging a first issue as you’re likely to find."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sketch Reviews (December 15 2011)

Just pushing on through to the holidays. Hitting that point where I don't have much to say it seems. My Random Thoughts this week was half Tragically Hip lyrics for that reason. I'm just in a 'hunker down and read and watch and listen and not say a damn thing' mood. But, let's get to it anyway...

Avengers 1959 #4: At some point, I lost the plot and, yet, that doesn't matter. It's just watching Chaykin do his thing and going along for the ride that matters. The details are inconsequential. [***3/4]

Avengers: X-Stinction #1: I'll possibly do a '28' post on this and my love of Cable. I wasn't sure if I'd get this issue, right up until I walked through my shop's doors, and, then, it was in my pull file (probably because I buy the Avengers titles), so I got it. Very direct and some very nice moments on art. Pretty good, actually. [***1/4]

Batwoman #4: Increasingly, the writing seems to be coming into focus. The opening pages are wonderful... all of the pages are wonderful. [****]

New Avengers #19: I really hope that Victoria Hand isn't working with Osborn, because that would be stupid. The Avengers don't really trust her, so the betrayal is minimal -- it's almost like she would be proving them right. Osborn trying to outdo the Avengers in public is one of those plots that seems good in theory until someone with half a brain shrugs, says "Who gives a fuck what people think, you're a bad guy and I'm going to kick your ass," and then does so. You almost want Frank Miller's Batman to pop out from behind a bush and mumble about how the heroes have always been criminals and just beat the shit out of any bad guy he can find before disappearing into the night. Honestly, I could see Bendis make that a way to separare the Avengers and the New Avengers. Captain America and the Avengers are concerned with what the public thinks, while Luke Cage and the New Avengers are used to people not liking them and doing the job anyway. Still, an issue with some nice moments -- I liked the Luke/Jessica stuff. [***1/4]

The Unwritten #32: But... what about Frankenstein's Monster? Digging this storyarc so far. [***1/2]

Doc Bizarre, MD: An entertaining, goofy sort of story. Judging from the backmatter, this was originally an idea pitched to the Cartoon Network and it's easy to see why. Tone down Epoch a little, maybe make the first 'case' not about a Frankenstein-esque scientist who takes shortcuts, thereby making an impotent monster, and it's a good idea for a cartoon for kids. 'Monster doctor,' basically. Judging from reactions before I got this (finally!), I was expecting something a little more slight. Bizarre amused me quite a bit with his constant 'professionalism' no matter what happened. A bit more direct than Charlatan Ball. Suriano is damn talented. [****]

I also got the first half of Sgt. Rock: Between Hell & A Hard Place thanks to the first Vertigo Resurrected issue of this two-issue reprint (that also includes a couple of older Sgt. Rock stories with Joe Kubert art -- I assume the second issue will as well, which is a great idea). I haven't read it yet since the second issue is out next week and I'd rather just wait until then.


Monday, December 12, 2011

CBR Review: Moon Knight #8

I recently reviewed Moon Knight #8 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "There are some comics where the early issues tell you everything you need to know about it and the creative team. If you don’t like the first couple of issues, there isn’t much chance you’ll like issues seven or eight, and you can completely write that book off as not for you. The early issues of Moon Knight weren’t bad, or bad enough to drive me away, but they definitely didn’t suggest the rise in quality that’s slowly been happening as Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev build on previous issues to create a familiar sensation when you’re reading an issue. It’s not just a new issue, it’s a chance to hang out with characters that feel like friends. Moon Knight has become a pretty good ‘hang out’ comic."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Action Comics #4

I recently reviewed Action Comics #4 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "For the first time since its relaunch, Action Comics doesn’t read as though propelled forward by creative energy and a strange sort of madness. The first three issues all had a spark to them that drove them forward and, though this fourth issue continues the story they began, there’s something missing. On the surface, everything seems the same and, yet, there’s a feeling that this issue is merely a means to an end."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: 'Breed III #7

I recently reviewed 'Breed III #7 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The story of ’Breed finally comes to the end after three mini-series that started back in 1994, with Ray Stoner teaming with his half-brother to take down their father, the leader of the demons set on devouring Earth. This third and final series has seen its share of surprises from the salvation of Earth being a young cancer-stricken boy to Starlin bringing together his various creator-owned characters -- including Darklon the Mystic, Kid Kosmos, and Vanth Dreadstar -- to support Stoner. This finale packs in a few more surprises. It’s a satisfying conclusion that allows Starlin to show off his artistic chops more than he has in the past few years in the battle of two shapeshifters."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sketch Reviews (December 8 2011)

Looks like I could finish Trailer Park Boys tomorrow. Just have the last three episodes of season seven, the final TV special, and the second movie to go. Pushing on, boys. Pushing on. So, the comics I bought and am not reviewing for CBR:

Animal Man #4: Travel Foreman's refinement continues and is damn impressive. Jeff Lemire's writing is at its best in this issue when he's setting up mood... the plot stuff just seems to get in the way. [***3/4]

The Boys #61: Goddamn, Hughie is getting annoying. The comic recognises this, but still. The Mother's Milk stuff seems a little distracting at this point in the book's run. Everything else seems pointed towards the finish line except for that. Russ Braun... I almost dread Darick Robertson's eventual return (probably for the final arc) because his work has been great. They really lucked out with him coming aboard. [***1/2]

Deadpool MAX-Mas #1: Finally, David Lapham draws some Deadpool and Bob! A strange sort of mash-up of A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life where Bob is given every reason not to live. The perfect Christmas present. If this doesn't fill you with holiday job, only Cable can... [****]

The Defenders #1: An enjoyable first issue. A bit busy and superficial in places, but definitely one of the more promising things I've seen from Fraction at Marvel since Iron Fist. Consider me aboard for the first few issues at least. [***1/2]

Men of War #4: Real world power is powerless in fictional world... also, when Ivan Brandon leaves, I do, too. [***]

OMAC #4: My favourite issue so far. They managed to touch on Kevin's personal life and still provide some great action. At this rate, Max Lord will run out of people to send after OMAC... [****]

Stormwatch #4: Another book I'll probably drop when Paul Cornell departs (though, unlike Men of War, I'll possibly pick up issue seven to see if there's a big change). Probably the most cohesive issue so far with a stronger focus than the first three. Stormwatch itself is still so scattershot as a group that I don't have a handle on them. The end of the issue is promising... [***]


Sunday, December 04, 2011

CBR Review: Haunt #19

I recently reviewed Haunt #19 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The most immediate change for Haunt with this issue is the art. I hesitate to say something like 'Nathan Fox is the furthest thing from Greg Capullo as you can find,' but the two styles are different in many ways. At their surface, the focus on dynamic movement and mood over correct anatomy is a shared trait. Fox is willing to bend characters and events as far as necessary to get across the feeling of a scene. Late in the issue, when Haunt takes on some soldiers for Second Church, the pages are a mess of blacks, reds, and white, nothing but frenetic action that looks pretty damn cool."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Avengers Origins: Thor #1

I recently reviewed Avengers Origins: Thor #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Focusing on Thor, Loki, and Sif as young teens, Avengers Origins: Thor shows how Mjolnir was created, how Thor struggled to earn it, and, how, when he finally did, became so cocky and willful that Odin banished him to Earth to teach him a lesson in humility. Where Immonen’s writing shines is the way she writes the trio of Thor, Sif, and Loki. She manages both to make them seem like the characters we know better as adults and present them as teens with less maturity and subtlety. All three are far more prone to voicing their complaints and acting without thinking, as well as indulging in quite a bit of mockery at one another’s expense. That strong character work makes the well-worn plot fresher than it has any right to be."

You can read the rest HERE!

Friday, December 02, 2011

You Don't Just Want to Break Me, You Want to Tear Me Apart

I love writing negative reviews. I love trashing bad comics. I fucking love it. I also love writing positive reviews. I love praising good comics. Mostly because I love my job. As a reviewer, all I'm asked to do is read something and then spend 500 words telling you what I think about it, hopefully in an entertaining and well-written fashion. I'll certainly cop to falling down on that last part sometimes, but never on telling you what I honestly think (except for that Secret Invasion #8 review -- and I've apologised for that numerous times -- it was early in my professional career and haunts me to this very day). To me, a positive review is something that happens when I read a good comic and a negative review is something that happens when I read a bad comic (and an average review happens when I read a mediocre comic, which is far more likely). But, that's not how everyone sees it usually it seems.


I've never been on the same page as everyone when it comes to negativity. It seems that, in comics, negativity is the enemy much of the time. You need to be positive about comics! Comics are fragile little birds that need love and warmth to grow and if you continually point out how shitty a lot of them are, well, comics could disappear. And it would be your fault, you negative, hateful motherfucker. Comics are for entertainment! Stop thinking so much, sit back, just enjoy them for what they are. Comics were meant for kids, how good do you expect them to be? Comics are meant for people who already know comics, how good do you expect them to be? If you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all. You shouldn't review comics you don't already like. If you loved comics, you wouldn't say such mean things. The people making those comics tried really, really hard and you shouldn't dismiss those efforts so easily. You shouldn't take joy in hurting the feelings of another human being. What you say can cost someone money. Their job. Their house.



Negativity always seemed more worthwhile. Praising quality has always seemed somewhat empty in a way. What does it accomplish? It makes people feel good, maybe points people in the direction of something great, and provides a nice quote for press releases (or tweets or covers or whatever). And I do like celebrating the things I love. There's a reason why I do a 'best of the year' list and several posts spotlighting other comics I thought were great (or interesting) and worth notice. But, it never seems as useful as tearing something apart and revealing it for the useless piece of shit that it is. Focusing on the positive is too much like living in denial. If you ignore the crap, it doesn't go away, it's allowed to grow. The whole concept of setting a good example by praising books is about as effective as the idea that Superman acts as an inspiration for humanity. Does it change a few people? Sure. That's it, though. Part of it is that I both understand the difference in how people perceive positivity and negativity, and I don't understand it. It's okay to be honest and perhaps a little hyperbolic in my writing style when I love something, but it's not when I hate something. It's okay to be gleeful in praise, but not in harsh criticism... I understand why people see things that way (and I see things that way myself to a degree), but it strikes me as fundamentally unfair and hypocritical.


If something is great, you know what we say? It was worth the money spent. Meaning, it held up its end of the transaction. Part of me sees positive reactions as the standard, the bare minimum in a sense. I paid my three (or four or whatever) bucks and expected a good comic. I should be overjoyed when I get a good comic? Really? Bravo, you produced a 4 star comic! That's the goddamn job. That's what people are paying for. When a comic is bad, it's not living up to its end of the bargain. It's the terrible meal you got at a restaurant. It's something below standards. That's (one of the reasons) why negativity feels more essential, more necessary: it points out the things that aren't delivering what's promised. They're the wastes of money. And time. And effort.


I tend to hate it when creators e-mail me about reviews, positive or negative. Because I'm simply doing my job and being honest. I couldn't give a fuck about who makes the comics. I really couldn't, because what does it matter? I don't know these people, I'm not their friend nor their enemy. A positive review is the same as a negative review. I'm not doing anyone a favour by liking their comic book. That's not something to thank me for. On a personal level, I'm sure it's gratifying that I, as a reader, enjoy what you do and that's fine, but, as a critic, it's immaterial. Because I could have just as easily hated it and I would have wrote a negative review about it and, after that, felt the exact same as I did when I wrote the positive review. What it really comes down to is that I didn't do anything special when I wrote that glowing review of your work -- just as I didn't do anything mean or cruel by writing that review that completely tore all of your hard work to shreds. It's the same thing to me, it's the job.


This may sound terribly mean, but I'd much rather see 'death watch' lists on comics sites for comics that they think should be cancelled for qualitative reasons, not economic ones. I honestly could care less about what comics sell. What business is it of mine? It doesn't chance my buying habits much. Hell, whenever a comic is selling low and people start trying to raise awareness about it to prevent it from getting shitcanned, I wonder why they weren't already doing that if they supposedly love that comic so much. Why weren't you so active in trying to get it readers when there wasn't a danger of it going away? There's no good answer to that question, by the way. The only answer is laziness and the sort of thinking that leads to people blaming a last minute loss on a single action in a sporting event instead of everything that led to that moment being so pivotal. I've stopped getting upset over the economic realities of comics (and TV and movies and books and music). Quality will be ignored and disappear; mediocrity will be loved and flourish. That's the way it goes generally with exceptions -- many, many exceptions usually, more than you'd imagine exist.

Fuck sales numbers.

Leave that shit up to the people who are actually affected by them, which probably isn't you or me. If you cared so much, you'd put a much larger focus on what's good and what's bad. You would make the efforts to promote those things you love right away, not when they're in danger; you would also try to get rid of the horrible shit that clutters the shelves, the fucking gravel that chokes the flowers (or whatever your preferred metaphor is). It's not a one-way street and you already make those decisions to a degree. Seriously. When you don't buy something, you're basically saying "I want that to be cancelled because it's not worth my money." But, fuck, god forbid you're active about it. God forbid you hurt someone's feelings. You've already made the decision that a large group of people aren't worth your money... is it wrong to say that out loud? Sometimes I don't know. Sometimes I wonder if that isn't what we need.


It's not so much 'fuck positivity,' more that you need both and I wish people would realise that.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Sketch Reviews (December 1 2011)

Sometimes, things don't work out how you'd like. My shop didn't order me Doc Bizarre, M.D. or the new Vertigo Resurrected book. No big worries since I'll get them in a couple of weeks, but it kind of put a damper on my enthusiasm. Otherwise, it's been a day of Trailer Park Boys.

Batman: Odyssey Vol. 2 #2: Discussing Neal Adams's work on this series makes me feel like I'm stoner in the '70s. Just muttering "Crazy" over and over... [***1/4]

Daredevil #6: Oh, Marcos Martin... you make me read comics slow. [****]

Spaceman #2: Not as impressive as the first issue. This issue seemed to fly right by without as much meat on its bones. It relied on the art a bit more and reading between the lines on some things. Speaking of the art, it's Eduardo Risso... showing that he can dirty up the future like no other. [***3/4]

The Ultimates #4: Oddly, I was most excited by something Dean White said in his little interview at the end of the comic: "The People versus the Children is going to be pretty epic." Funny how, between this and Ultimate Hawkeye, Jonathan Hickman has made the titular heroes of this comic the least interesting thing in. Nice to see him return to his Ultimate Thor mini a bit. The end of the issue 'reveal' isn't much of one if you read Ultimate Fallout... but who the fuck did that besides me? Esad Ribic and Dean White are working some magic here, too. This has quickly become one of the superhero books I'm looking forward to most each month. [****]

Uncanny X-Men #2: Hey, look, fill-in artists! On issue two! It's mean, but I don't care why that's happening. Funny how every time something like this happens and it becomes a 'story' something comes out after about health problems or a death or something... why doesn't Marvel or DC (or whoever) realise that people will say shit and just head it off ahead of time? (The argument that the personal lives of creators doesn't hold much weight when those details are usually revealed anyway.) Anyway, an enjoyable issue. Sinister is a fairly interesting villain and Gillen is raising the stakes suitably... the art was one big wash of mediocrity. [***1/4]