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

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Nothing yet today but so far this week I've read the Askani'son and Storm mini-series. They were both very good and they featured interesting artists before they became big names: Gene Ha on Askani'son and Terry Dodson on Storm.
I have a bunch of comics to read. I picked up two weeks worth on Wednesday but still have quite a bit from the last time I went to the shop when I picked up nearly a month's worth of comics. I still have two graphic novels to read I picked up in the trip before that.
Anyways since Wednesday I've read:
Batman & Robin #16- Good ending to Morrison's arc.
Incognito: Bad Influences #1- This was awesome. Great start to the mini.
Secret Avengers #5- The last story arc was ok, this was I can tell is going to be better. I realize this is the first chapter of the new arc but it was still pretty awesome.
Secret Warriors #21- Things are wrapping up for the series, this issue was pretty intense.
Started Locke & Key Vol. 2: Head Games, which is picking up from the first volume very nicely. The history of Luke/Zack and his connection to the Locke family and the house are intriguing. Picked up Scarab again, issues 5 -6 of 8. Can't say it's getting any clearer as it goes. The arc started in issue 6 involves psychically capturing the scream of the Hiroshima dead and using it as a weapon. Reminds me a bit of The Invisibles, but it's even more arcane and incomprehensible.
Finished Head Games, which has complexity only hinted at in the first volume. Lots of history behind the keys, with the promise of a lot more to come. Finished Scarab, too, and not a moment too soon. I can't believe the letters comparing it to The Sandman. Doing that right requires a lot more than pretension and a bunch of nonsense about World Webs and Labyrinths. By the end I was rolling my eyes so much I was having trouble reading. I'll try to pick something I liked the first time for my next bit of historical rereading.
A bit of light reading, as I took a break at Barnes & Noble. Hulk vol. 6: World War Hulks collects issues 22-24 of Hulk, which marks the end of Jeph Loeb's run. I followed this series entirely through TPBs read while sitting at Barnes & Noble, which is as much as I was willing to commit to it...but I'll admit, as ham-handed and poorly written as I often found this series, I ultimately came away kind of enjoying the series — or, really, the ideas behind the series. A lot of the execution left me rolling my eyes, but I think Loeb left something that could be played with very well in the future (which I understand Jeff Parker's Hulk is already running with). This book itself was more of the same, really; tons of exposition and "stuff happens" moments that you have to turn your brain off and not think about if you're going to enjoy the story at all.

Also read Secret Avengers #1, which was collected in the Heroic Age TPB. I can't remember what the response to this book has been on this board, but I enjoyed the set-up and the implementation of the characters. Though if I had a gripe, I'd argue that "top cop" Steve Rogers should probably be delegating these missions rather than leading them on his own... (The Heroic Age book also collected Avengers and New Avengers #s 1, which I've already read, and a whole bunch of other #1s that I haven't read yet, but I had stayed at B&N long enough by that point, so I felt it was time to get going.)
I just finished Zot! 1987-1991: The Complete Black and White Collection, by Scott McLeod. I never read more than a couple of issues back in the day, and never more than two in a row, so it was ... interesting ... to get nearly full immersion into the title.

I say "nearly full" because this isn't "Zot! The Complete Collection." The first 10 issues of the title, which were in color, are not included. Neither are issues #19 and #20, because McLeod didn't draw them; Chuck Austen drew them from McLeod's layouts while McLeod was on his honeymoon. Instead, the book presents those layouts. McLeod plots stories by scribbling them out on 3" × 5" note cards and taping them together, and then draws full-size layouts with markers (and tapes those together, too). It's weird to not have the two actual finished tales, but the layouts are rendered well enough to follow.

And there's some backup tales that, we are told, may run in a future volume. We are told over and over again that including those would have boosted the page count from 576 pages to 752.

Anyway ... about the stories. Zot deals with the contrast between the title character, a dashing teenage hero from an Earth in an alternate dimension that's like Disney's Tomorrowland on steroids, and Jenny, a high-school girl from here who is rather glum, unsure of herself, and thinks of this Earth as a hellhole. It doesn't help that her parents are divorcing and her older brother is a lout.

Over the course of the series, McLeod conspires to dim Zot's sunny optimism. Not by changing him, but his environment. He loses one key battle with an adversary, and goes far, far away from everyone he knows to cry it out. And Jenny is so enamored of Zot's world that she declares, more than once, she's going there to stay ...

... so McLeod throws us a real curveball by stranding Zot here with no way to get back.

The last nine issues of the series are character studies of Jenny, family and friends, and they well capture teenage angst over developing identity and sense of self. And, in places, the art is pretty and lovingly rendered. In places is isn't; McLeod readily admits he's weak at figure drawing. He offers commentary after each storyline, and for the one in which Zot and Jenny discuss whether to have sex, McLeod complains that, 20 years later, he feels his drawing just wasn't up to the task and felt so even while he was working on it, but restrained himself from redrawing the whole thing.

Fine reading, and I think the book holds up. I enjoyed it.
I read the first issue of the post-Brand New Day Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos this morning. What a chunk of comic book for $3.99! First off, I was amazed by the artwork, as I knew I would be. I've loved Ramos's art ever since he was on Impulse, so I'm going to like the fact that he's on a book that I read regularly again.

Dan Slott's script was incredibly well-done. This felt like another "brand new day" for Spider-Man, as much of the baggage heaped on him toward the end of BND was shaken off. No spoilers, but let's just say it was a very positive issue that made me happy without being schmaltzy. The Spider-Girl back-up was also excellent. She comes off as being very likable, and I think the three issues of ASM being gone won't change a thing now...because I'll most likely be reading two issues of ASM and one issue of Spider-Girl every month if this is what I'll be treated to on a regular basis.
I love Paul Tobin's writing, so Spider-Girl has been on my order list.
Doc Beechler said:
I love Paul Tobin's writing, so Spider-Girl has been on my order list.

Between Tobin on writing and Clayton Henry on art (and the fact that I generally like the character of Araña), I'm very tempted to break my unemployment-imposed comics buying ban... I won't, because that way lies trouble, but I'm tempted.
I read Uncanny X-Men #334 and X-Men #54, the last couple of issues in the lead-up to the Onslaught crossover.


Alan M. said:
Doc Beechler said:
I love Paul Tobin's writing, so Spider-Girl has been on my order list.

Between Tobin on writing and Clayton Henry on art (and the fact that I generally like the character of Araña), I'm very tempted to break my unemployment-imposed comics buying ban... I won't, because that way lies trouble, but I'm tempted.

A trade paperback or hardback will still be on the shelf within about six months, good sir! I know you'll have a job in no time, and that will be waiting for you. More to enjoy in one lump! :)
Started Elk's Run, which I picked up at last summer's Heroes convention mainly because of recommendations here. It's a very effective suspense story, which I'm enjoying despite not liking the art much. If I had just been judging it on sight, I probably would have put it back down instead of buying it.

Still back in 1994 with Vertigo: a Vertigo Visions one-shot, Dr. Occult by Dave Louapre and Dan Sweetman. It's got an odd introduction which reminds us that Dr. Occult was last seen in The Books of Magic miniseries, but with jokes like "Chaos doesn't do lunch." The story's not at all light-hearted, though. Dr. Occult and his female alter ego Rose find themselves thrown into an identity crisis while attempting therapy with a young female sexual abuse victim. Not bad, but Louapre tends to overwrite, as he did with the earlier American Freak: A Tale of the Un-Men miniseries.

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