Friday, February 8, 2008

Frugal Fridays!

In a new continuing spot, "a lay of the land" is going to be looking at the crap I buy when it's Friday, and I get my tips from work. The tips usually come in an envelope with my delicious name and my delicious cash. So I went to my local comic book shops and bought some stuff I didn't need.
  1. Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 19: Death of a Goblin
  2. Thor Visionaries: Walt Simonson Volume 5
  3. Wildcats Version 3.0 - issues 1 through 20
  4. Crecy
  5. Elektra: Assassin - issues 1 through 8.
  6. FREE BONUS: A poster of the first issue of Fantastic Four 554, Millar and Hitch's first issue on the title. Squee!
  7. BONUS: A look at Dave Sim's new glamourpuss the preview edition that I couldn't let leave the shop owner's sight.
So let's take a look, shall we?

First up, Bendis and Immonen's first full arc together on Ultimate Spider-Man. This is a title that I only read in trade, and I own all the trades - all 19! I am a huge fan of Bendis and his work on USM has been nothing short of tremendous. Nobody is writing Spider-Man better right now. I've never been a huge Bagley fan, as I find his people too skinny or too fat, but his expressive faces definitely sell Bendis' angst. So I'm almost over-joyed to read Immonen, a terrific artist (Nextwave, Final Night - an underrated DC event), on this title. There's one panel where Kitty watches Pete swing away and her facial expression gives me more info than five panels of dialogue. So how about the story on this one? Well, it's kind of a re-tread of the Ultimate Six story and the original Goblin story, but the absence of Samuel L Jackson Nick Fury makes the situation more complex for little ol' Pete. We also get further development of Aunt May's romance with Snidely Whiplash Miles Warren, who at the moment of crisis, leaves in a very obvious bit of foreshadowing. Regardless, Bendis has both Osborns make an appearance and still manages to make both three dimensional. And this is saying a lot considering how frigging crazy Norman Osborn is. So there you have it. Death of a Goblin? Yes, recommended for fans of USM and slash or Bendis.

Next up is Thor Visionaries: Walt Simonson Volume 5. I will get to this in a later post, but I will say this. This volume carries the issue in which Thor takes on the world-serpent and it's 22 pages of splash pages. This is the comic that blew my face off Arseface-style.

Joe Casey's run on Wildcats is about branding and about consumerism, and I'd always heard good things about it, so I picked up a set for 25 bones. First off, I love the covers and I think they were designed by Rian Hughes, which is terrific. I haven't read any Wildcats since they were an X-Men ripoff. In fact, if I remember correctly, the last issue I read was Alan Moore's crossover between Spawn and Wildcats. That series was the worst pile of garbage ever produced by Moore. Ever. No hyperbole. It's not even good as an interesting failure. But anyway, Version 3.0 puts the Wildcats in less "superhero" antics and in more "political" and "social" contexts. I haven't finished it yet, but so far so good.

Warren Ellis' Crecy is probably my favourite single comic of 2007. I read a lot of comics, including the awesome Sinestro Corps War crossover and World War Hulk and the Perry Bible Fellowship, but Crecy tops them all. It's such a weird little comic. It features a main character and really the only one, and he speaks directly to the audience with knowledge of the future. So let me put it into other words - imagine if Warren Ellis time traveled to 1346 and dictated to a group of comic book readers ignorant of history. And it's really funny and interesting and a great read. Highly recommended.

Bill Sienkiewicz is a phenomenon. His work on Frank Miller's Elektra: Assassin is unparalleled except for maybe Dave McKean's covers on Sandman or David Mack's Kabuki. But back in the day, nobody was doing what he was doing. I used to be a huge Frank Miller fan until I grew up, so I mostly bought this for Sienkiewicz's art more so than Miller's bizarre fascination with ninjas. I haven't finished, but so far, it's very modernist and postmodernist at the same time. Very multimedia, but with a heavy slant on stream of consciousness a la Henry James. Yeah that's right, I just compared the writer of Booze, Broads and Bullets with the Master. I don't think I would recommend this to anybody other than a fan of Miller or Sienkiewicz.

glamourpuss is interesting. It's very beautiful to look at. Dave Sim can draw the shit out of anything I think. As a comic book? I don't know, I didn't really get a chance to read it. There's no real story or anything. It's just a bunch of meandering thoughts about random things from Sim, including pontifications on the realist style in comic books. It's all very interesting, and I will buy it, but it's no Cerebus yet.

Oh and a final note. Squee for Millar and Hitch on Fantastic Four. At first, in 2008, I was more excited for Grant Morrison and J. G. Jones on Final Crisis, but screw that! We've got Millar and we've got Hitch on the premiere Marvel title. Sign me up. My local comic shop was kind enough to give me a poster of the cover of issue 554 with the new magazine-style trade dress that the issues will carry. I feel fifty-fifty on the magazine style thing. On one hand, I enjoy the simple design - on the other hand, I don't like that its embarrassed to be a comic book rather than a magazine. But I guess we'll see.

So the first "Frugal Fridays" segment has ended! Join us next week for another installment, when I review the aforementioned reunion of Millar and Hitch. Squee.

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