Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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Emerkeith Davyjack said:
...#7
...Whooper , it was LWA:TMY #8 , I had bought it that day .
  I shot myself in the foot in trying to get the issue number , hurriedly , as my time ran out !
  I bought it at a Walgreen's , I cut off my relationship with my comics shop when I made a move which , then , ran into some problems and I have , furthermore , been having some large cash flow problems lately...:-( .
I read Superman/Batman Torment this morning. I've also read some comics over the last couple days from DC with some pretty bad artwork: the latest stuff from Birds of Prey and Titans. On the latter, there are two artists on it, and one is great and the other just needs to practice a lot more.

Read the second half of Eduardo Risso's Tales of Terror (written by Carlos Trillo). There were some more effective twists in these stories: I especially liked the one where a vampire attends a costume party dressed as a mummy. Risso has a lot of fun with the costumes in the crowd scenes: Catwoman, Batman, the Joker, Snow White, and Homer Simpson, to name a few. I imagine if that had originally been done for a U.S. comic publisher he might have been instructed to be less explicit about using trademarked characters. Lots of monsters in this group of stories, in fact: Frankenstein, a vampire/werewolf married couple, a real mummy, and an invisible woman shows up in two of them. The visual comparisons to 100 Bullets seem obvious, but I was also struck by similarities to Frank Miller, especially Sin City. Risso uses lots of heavy black shadowing and sillouettes, things he also does in his color work, but they're more striking in black and white.

 

In 1996 Vertigo began a series called Vertigo Vérité. These were all creator-owned, and emphasized realism over the supernatural elements common to so much Vertigo. The first was the Prestige format one-shot Seven Miles a Secondby David Wojnarowicz and James Romberger. Wojnarowicz was an artist and writer who was also an AIDS activist (he died from the disease before this book was finished). This autobiography describes his childhood as a prostitute, drug addict, and homeless person, then jumps to his adulthood after he contracted AIDS. It's brutal stuff, but not salaciously so; it's quite a bit less explicit than such a story could be. Wojnarowicz recounts dreams and fantasies which lend the story a hallucinogenic quality, emphasized by Marguerite Van Cook's sometimes psychedelic colors. The final section devotes quite a bit of space to Wojnarowicz's final diary entries, a heartbreaking recitation of his fight against illness while he feels himself fading away. Vertigo didn't publish anything else like this until recent autobiographical OGNs like Percy Carey's Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm and Harvey Pekar's The Quitter.

I read Dark Horse's trade of the first seven(?) issues of Magnus, Robot Fighter 4000 AD. That got kind of boring at the end. A lot of sameness there.

 

I also read Scalped: Rez Blues. Another fine collection in the Scalped series. I think Guera's art is getting better as the series goes along. Its a little bit cleaner now, and makes it easier to follow the action.

I finished a trade paperback collection of Phantom Jack: The Collected Edition, an indie title from the early 2000s written by Mike San Giacomo, a former reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He used to write a weekly comics review column (like somebody else we know ... ) and somewhere along the way decided to try his hand at writing comics rather than writing about them.

 

The "Phantom Jack" of the title is one Jack Baxter, hotshot reporter and columnist for a New York City newspaper. One day, he and a photographer get an assignment to check out strange doings at some factory. They see guys in hazmat suits doing what seems to them some weird choreographed dancing. Sneaking up on the site via culverts and drainage ditches, they get doused with mysterious chemicals -- shades of a 1960s Marvel comic -- and both come out of it with the ability to turn invisible.

 

With this magic ability, the photographer engages in an act of petty revenge against the editor who promptly fired the both of them rather than face any hassles from the federal agents in the eeeeEEEEEvil conspiracy these guys have found. Said photographer gets too cocky about the potential nefarious applications of this gift -- and, while invisible, gets run over by a car.  

 

Jack witnesses this, but doesn't help, paralyzed with fear over how to explain it all. Jack, you see, is no hero. On at least two other occasions in the book, Jack does the invisibility thing while someone else gets attacked and killed.

 

One of them is a source in Iraq; the book is set during the Iraq War, and one major storyline is about his brother, an Army soldier who wanders off while drunk and is captured by the Iraqis, who want to execute him for being a spy and won't believe he isn't one. Jack -- with the help of a woman from one of those shadowy secret spy agencies that exist in thrillers and comic books -- go rescue his brother. The woman -- a butt-kicking babe in leather -- also can do the invisibility thing.

 

The main impression I had was that this book was quite lousy. 

Marvel Team-Up #125 & 130
Age of Reptiles Omnibus vol. 1 by Ricardo Delgado. I liked it quite a bit. The last story was the weakest IMO though. It contained the best fight scene, but the rest of it was kind of boring. Plus he was using a much more muted, natural pallette for the dinosaurs, and it make sit less visual interesting. The first couple of stories you had popping red, blue, etc. This was mostly dark brown, light brown, green. Probably more realistic, but not as much fun, plus it was hard to see the dinosaurs through the trees of you will.
Man, I can't say enough good things about Scalped. Every issue is like a punch to the gut.

Travis Herrick said:

I also read Scalped: Rez Blues. Another fine collection in the Scalped series. I think Guera's art is getting better as the series goes along. Its a little bit cleaner now, and makes it easier to follow the action.

Since Thursday:

Fear Itself: Book of the Skull- I've already posted elsewhere about this. Solid set up for the next big Marvel event.

Invincible Iron Man 502- Things heat up between Tony & Doctor Octopus

New Avengers #10- Decent story with flaskbacks of an original Avengers team from 1959.

Avengers: Childern's Crusade: Young Avengers one shot: This is a bit of a side track on the current mini series. Still a good story and seems to be integeral to the ongoing conflict.

Batman Inc. #3- Nice art. Story, I'm not sure. I saw that there's a companion somewhere explaining this issue. Seems like it started with the middle of the story and none of the events are related.

Started Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá's Daytripper. I've waited over a year to read this--ever since it was first announced--and it was worth the wait. The first issue (the one where Brás is killed during a robbery) is one of the most perfectly constructed comics I've ever read. But the following two issues are nearly as good, and it's wonderful the way the series builds upon itself as it goes, each new chapter illuminating a part of his life.

 

The second Vertigo Vérité title was a three-issue miniseries by Peter Kuper called The System. Fully painted, it is commonly described as "wordless," because it contains no dialog. But it's not really wordless, because Kuper cheats quite a bit via newspaper headlines, television banners, ATM screen messages, and the like. It's an urban tale inspired by a NYC subway ride and newspaper stories about a missing woman, police corruption, the World Trade Center bombing, and insider trading. Kuper's story includes a sleazy stockbroker, a corrupt cop, a bomber, a serial killer stalking strippers, a tagger, and a political scandal. The subway acts as a connecting device, a junction point for all these disparate players. The story manages to hang together without dialog, although it's a bit more episodic than normal. And all of the story lines are resolved in the end, with one left as a cliffhanger. This was given special deluxe treatment, similar to the Jonah Hex miniseries. The issues were printed on heavy stock, with no advertisements (not even on the covers), and carried a $2.95 cover price (other Vertigo titles went for $2.25 or $2.50 at the time). The System was collected into a trade paperback, which is presently out of print.

Thor #620 - Ferry's art has been superb throughout his run, lending an epic feel to what should be an epic story yet Fraction's work has been teetering of late. His characterization of Thor has been off as well which surprises me because I liked those four Thor one-shots he did a few years back.

 

The Flash #9 - Delays have hurt this book and again like Thor, Manapul's art saves the day. DC just announced #12 will be the last issue. That really, really annoys this Flash fan.

 

Usagi Yojimbo #135 - The only consistently good comic I've been reading for awhile. A simple story with a beginning, a middle, and an end (which you can figure out along the way) but under Sakai's masterful guidance, it resolves into a great comic. Love this book.

The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans, my first foray into Rich Geary's true crime books, and it was as good as advertised. I've always liked his art.

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