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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What’s in the bag?

Going to try something new this week and if it works out I’ll probably start doing it regularly. Since I get to the comic store pretty early on Wednesdays, I figure I can do a quick read through my purchases and comment on the initial reaction. I tend to buy quite a bit of stuff each week so there should be plenty to talk about.

This is what I got today, 7/12/2006, and some quick thoughts.

*** Be warned, there is a good chance a spoiler may slip through. ***

52 #10 – This has been the top of my reading list each week and today is no different. We get to see more of Clark Kent, Black Adam and Booster Gold plus more of Supernova. Decent story this week but I keep coming back to the odd feeling that the Booster we see now is not the Booster pre-Infinite Crisis. But I’m starting to get the feeling that Supernova is the original Booster. The idea of it being Superboy is just too obvious. We’ll see.

Superman #654 – The debut of Busiek and Pacheco as the regular creative team is helped by a decent single-issue story. There is enough plot threads dropped here to make the issue important but it’s a good jumping on point for new or returning readers. And the cover is very eye-catching.

The Cryptics – This is the surprise of the week. Not known for his humor, Steve Niles has crafted a collection of short and funny stories based on elementary school versions of classic horror monsters. The stories are really cute, charming and funny. But what really brings it home is the art of Ben Roman. He is able to bring the whimsical style he used on I Love Halloween to this very different book. A lot of fun for your money here.

Green Lantern #12 – Hal and Guy go to rescue a bunch of Green Lanterns that were believed to be dead only to find that the Cyborg Superman has teamed up with the Manhunters… and it gets worse from there. I was unsure of the return of Jordan when it was announced, but this has quickly become one of my favorite books for both the writing and the art.

Snake Woman #1 – The second titles from the new Virgin Comics and I have to say I was really surprised. Not surprised at how good or bad it was, but surprised at what the book appeared to be. When I picked up Devi last week, it looked, felt and read like a Top Cow comic. Everything about it had that Top Cow house style to it. So this week when I picked up Snake Woman I was quite surprised that it didn’t look anything like a Top Cow book. It looked like an IDW book. The art by Michael Gaydos could just have easily been Nick Stakal or Kody Chamberlain. And the cover could have been Ashley Wood easily. Perhaps that’s Virgin’s plan, make a book like each of the other publishers to try and pull from their customer base.

The next three books I picked up because of a connection of some sort to the artist involved.

UTF #2 – Many of you know that Tone Rodriguez is one of my best friends… in or outside of the industry… so of course I buy the books he does. In this case, his art is the reason to buy this book. The story doesn’t do much for me, the coloring is ‘hit or miss’ and the cover stock is identical to the interior page stock. I want to recommend this book, but I can only do that if you are a fan of Tone’s work… because he does some beautiful work here.

The Next #1 – The artist, Dietrich Smith, is a buddy and he’s jumped in on an upcoming project… so I’m biased that I like his work. But trying to read this is odd. Like someone took notes during their drug trip. I’m curious as hell to see where this thing is going… I may not like it, but I want to know.

10th Muse #11 – I haven’t been reading this book and I know nothing about it so I’m not going to comment on the story. The artist, Weshoyot Alvitre, is an acquaintance on MySpace so I picked it up to see her work. I have to be honest; I don’t think she is ready for this book. I think she has a lot of raw talent but needs more practice. She is currently penciling and inking which may be part of the problem… too much too soon. Some of the panels and pages are strong and have a Trent Kaniuga feel to them while others look rushed and amateurish. She can convey a lot of emotion in her work but it’s not consistent through the pages. I’ll be curious to see how she progresses from here.

Now over to Trades and Graphic Novels; these are too big to read quickly so I’ll just mention what I got and a thought or two.

Down – I love Warren Ellis’ writing and Tony Harris’ art so I’m really looking forward to this book. The negative here for me is Top Cow padded the book by throwing two issues of Tales of the Witchblade in that Ellis did a long time ago. I would rather them focus on just Down and give us a cheaper book.

Bomb Queen: Woman of Mass Destruction – I didn’t get into this series until it was halfway through, but what I saw of it was a riot and the art is top notch. Looking forward to reading the whole thing now.

Nick Fury, Agent of Shield – These are the old Jim Steranko issues. I just haven’t read them in a long time and with him going to Comic-Con this year, the urge to see them again got me to buy it.


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