Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Threat - Stratum Comics (Austin Based)

It actually threatens to be a great book! I'm not goign to spoil any of the story, but I have to say the direction of the first two issues has allowed for a solid vision of the writer's intent as well as promised an exciting (And Interesting) future.

The art work as well as the coloring is far from standard fare for an independent companies title. I was impressed by the coloring specifically, as I have always felt that was one of the hardest jobs, to keep from detracting from the art itself while also adding something because the color exists at all.

My only problem is, I don't enjoy the layout of the book. It feels incredibly cookie cutter with the layout of it's panels. There were many chances to provide dynamic layouts that excited a readers eye and kept their eyes busy with more than just the art and the text. The standard non overlapping rectangles and squares actually detracted from the readability of the comic book for me, but perhaps they will take bigger chances and trend towards something innovative in the future, and even if I continue to find it troublesome, the story is definitely enough to keep me searching for the title!

I reccomend this book. It isn't the heroes you know, nor is it the same old story rehashed. It's new and fresh and I think you will find it worth a read. I would, however, suggest borrowing it from a friend or reading it in the shop to see if you like it. It comes at a steep five dollar price tag, which is slightly understandable for a local publisher, but still a lot of money for a comic book you may be taking a chance on.

For anyone interested, this is Stratum Comics facebook page! Go like them and keep up to date with all of their projects!

Graduate - Comics From Home

First off, this is one of the first comics from the new company Overground Comics. For many years now I have seen John Hughes at his booth at Comicpalooza, and last weekend I showed up to Space City Con and low and behold he is now a part of a new company here in Houston, making the first moves to push a new comic book company towards the ranks of DC and Marvel! Which is great on so many levels. I'm tired of the underground comics scene. I want to see a new big dog rise up and show DC and Marvel that they aren't the only powerhouses in the industry.

Enough of that though. Lets talk about this book.

Written By: John Hughes
Drawn By: Celia Calle

The story is intriguing. It follows Natalie, an invulnerable teenage girl, on her way to be trained to be a hero, and ends with a rather traumatic, in transit, event that leaves her with a strengthened resolve.

I find myself wanting to read the next couple of issue. This is obviously just an opener for what is hopefully a book with more substance and content, but I can't help but find myself displeased with the lack of emotion from the main character. Sure, she shouts and screams when she needs to, but I never get a sense of dread or fear from here (which could be attributable to her invulnerability), but what about the fear for those around her, or any sort of sorrow after events unfold in the book.

I've often felt that the first issue should immediatley form a connection between the reader and the main character. I'm not sure the frst issue has accomplished this at all. She doesn't show very many human qualities/emotions beyond shock, surprise, and a panels worth of determination.

Tracking down subsequent issues of Overground comics is going to be a chore and a puzzle all on it's own, but I can honestly say I will try to keep up with it, just to see if it isn't a slow starter and will be steamrolling after a couple of issues.

The art isn't entirely to my liking. It's edgy, it's different. I can appreciate that alot of people will find it aesthetically pleasing. It feels to me as though each scene is viewed through a slightly warped lense, and the artist was intent on finishing as fast as possible. I would compare it to Ben Templsemith's work (who I am NOT a fan of, but acknowledge his greatness nonetheless).

I am sure plenty of you will enjoy the art. Don't let my own personal preferences push you away from the book.

Stick with me. If I can hunt down more issues and maybe get into contact with the owners and talk with them about their vision for the companies as well as the character, I can shed a brighter light onto this title as well as their others!

 For anyone interested, this is Stratum Comics facebook page! Go like them and keep up to date with all of their projects!

Sidekick, a real world look at a dynamic duo!

First, I'm a huge JMS fan. I'm so much of a fan that if I didn't like his book, I am unsure if I could retain journalistic integrity and post on it anyways. (This hasn't been the case yet) He's just that damn good.

And Sidekick is shaping up to be no less than another huge top seller.

What does a Sidekick do when his whole life becomes meaningless? His Hero and leader is dead. He has no money, and he's stuck with the guilt of not saving the life of his great friend. Apparently he turns to hookers and booze while desperately trying to kick start (literally) his career or find another champion of justice to cling to.

However, by the end of the first issue, there are some new opportunities that definitely give our imaginations an interesting avenue to meander down.

Pick it up and read it. It will not disappoint.

"Villains Month" or "Watch DC Eff everyone over Month"

Honestly. The jokes on all of us. Nobody but DC will win during Villains month.

So they've replaced ALL of the main titles and are instead introducing a villain taking over said title. Very cool idea. Lets make it just a bit cooler. They are going to make all of the villain titles 3-D and look pretty deggum slick.

Now, lets allow comic book shops around the world to take pre-orders on these 3D titles and then, well after that, inform everyone that DC will be deciding how many 3D comics each store will be getting. Not the distributors... Diamond doesn't have a say in this. DC is laying down the law.

And suddenly the stores have to somehow deal with the fact that their customers may not be getting what they preordered, which inevitably will cause the stores to take blame as opposed to DC. Let's twist the knife a bit more... DC has made sure that 2D first prints will be available to all of the stores to fill the rest of their orders. So all of those people who are collecting these 3D comics can suddenly tell their store that they have no interest in the 2D comic and now the store is left holding the bag on a bunch of comics that nobody wants, because it  was NEVER what they ordered to begin with.

There are so many tiny consequences to this that can land comic book stores in trouble. I'm not even going to go into it.

I'll just wrap up in saying that apparently DC is taking on the Evil facade this month in the office to help support their comic book!

This Comic is TEN TIMES betters than a knife to the eye!

   No, really... You may be thinking. A whole lot of things are better than a knife to the eye!? Why would I have anything to do with this if it's only ten times better?

And you would be wrong! Visiting the In Laws, going to the doctor, all of those come in around 5 times better than ANY eye gouging. More importantly, if you read this comic, you will consistently be able to mock many of it's characters as THEY suffer said eye knifing. What's better than watching someone else getting something you don't want!?

But really folks. This comic has been running for a good long while now and it's been widely enjoyed by alot of people, but it's going to break huge soon. And that's straight from my Comic Book dealers mouth and I agree with him completely. This book has just been waiting in the wings, growing it's fan base. If you don't jump on now, chances are you will have a hard time hunting down some of the more important pieces of the Goon collection such as the Fancy Pants editions, or even the miniatures.

Beyond the collectibility of this series however, lies the pure joy it can bring an individual. I won't lie. The story itself is not Shakespearean, but it has moments of hitting you in the feels while the Goon is busy kicking someone else in their feels.

This book provides that warm fuzzy feeling of watching the wierd and the grotesque not only lose, but get berated and humiliated all at the same time by a huge, cuddly yet ugly, mobster and his psychotic sidekick who play Robin Hood in a town where you would find the Oblongs living.

The violence is beautiful people! Beautiful!

The ONLY problem... you need to be able to deal with the front of this runs art. It becomes quite impressive later when they transition to watercolors, but for awhile you will have to deal with a bit less than stellar artistry, but I promise you it's worth it!

Not to mention they got backed on Kickstarter for "The Goon" movie! You don't want to go to the movie blind (due to a knife in the eye or otherwise). So you NEEED to read these comics.

Besides, Eric Powell is an amazing man and he deserves your time.

...and when you are done you come back here and tell me Buzzard isn't just the baddest mamojama in the swamp!!!

Check out the Kickstarter for some info on the film!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Sound of Silence

...isn't a sign of me not writing. In fact after going to Space City Con, I've got many small publisher comics to read and reviews as well as some art to post and some general Con rants!

Updates soon! Be sure to tune in!