Dark Horse

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Episode 55

Lots of fun stuff this week, but the 2 big winners for me were Sword of Sorcery and Ghost.

When I was a kid, I used to be able to go up to the Git-N-Go by my Gramma’s house and get Amethyst comics.  I loved these and then they were just gone, and I forgot about them.  Then a couple of years ago, a lady came in and sold in her whole collection. She didn’t have all of them, but she had most of them and now I have them. I was amazed at how Girl Power these were even after all these years.  So I was super excited to see that they were bringing her back, even if just for a bit.  I really liked this issue. It was darker than I was expecting, but still really cool.  I can’t wait to read more.  Oh! And that’s not even mentioning the Beowulf stuff which I also thought was super cool.  I have never read that character before, so I am really interested to see where it goes.

Next we have Ghost from Dark Horse.  This is also billed as a reboot, and I have not read the old stuff. That said, I really liked this.  It’s a cool supernatural/scifi story with interesting characters.  I love the art, and I especially love the way the title character is mostly silent, so her actions are very eloquently drawn.  As she discovers she is solid, she reaches out and touches a book, and you can see her puzzlement in the crinkling of her brow.  Very subtle, but really effective.  I just wish I had more of these in the store to hand-sell.

Otherwise we had lots of good stuff and one disappointment.  I really liked the Justice League #0 because it was all Shazam and he is almost my whole reason for reading Justice League right now.  Revival is continuing to be excellent with #3, and Batwoman #0 was good if sort of far-fetched.  My disappointment was with The Womanthology Space #1.  While it was mostly pretty ok, I was really sad that not a single story in it passes the Bechdel Test. I mean, a whole collection of short stories by all women creators and not even one?  Weird.  Weird and sad.

This coming week should be a lot of fun. Lots of new #0s and a new National Comics One-Shot that looks kind of cool.  Yay!

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Episode 12

What an insanely complex week this has been. With the election and the new store opening, it feels like it’s been a month since my last podcast, but (this time anyway) it’s only been a week.

And what a week. No matter what your politics, it was a nail-biter. And since I carry those Obama/McCain Bio Comics I mentioned a few weeks ago, people have been coming in to talk politics. It’s been educational, to say the least. When I am speaking here or as a representative of The Comic Book Shop, I try to not be preachy. But I do have very strong political opinions, and I have been doing my best to be nice to people and not rise to the bait when people want to start an argument. Whew. Exhausting.

In less angsty news, our Valley Mall store is open and it looks pretty darn good. I went out there today for the first time to check it out, and I think it’s really great. I do wonder how the guys at Waldenbooks (next door) feel.

Avengers Initiative Vol 02
New Release

Avengers The Initiative Vol 02 Killed In Action Writers Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the Cloud 9 character and most of the MVP/KIA stuff, but the more I think about it, the more Komodo bothers me. I mean, she’s part Lizard now, so when something gets cut off, it grows back. Fine, I can buy that. But when she powers down and goes into her non-super state she is a double amputee. And I can sort of live with that, except it looks like her legs from the knees down just vanish when she powers down. I think I could let it go if they, like, fell off or something, but that they just vanish weirds me out. Does the remaining leg re-absorb the bones and flesh? Ick either way.

House of M

Marvel

House of M Writer Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils Olivier Coipel

This is the second time I read this, and it was really neat to read it again. I read this the first time about a year and a half ago, and though it was cool then, now that I have some context and know who more of the characters are I got way more out of it. If you are reading X-men, or Avengers or any of the A list Marvel stuff, but you haven’t read this, then you should. If you aren’t reading the current stuff, but want to get into superheroes in modern comics, this would be a good place to start.

We3
Dark Horse

Serenity Better Days Writer Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Artist Will Conrad

Yay. I loved Firefly and I love all things Serenity. This book makes me happy, like I’m hanging out with an old friend. I don’t think this book is quite as good as Those Left Behind, but it still scratches my Mal Reynolds itch.

Afro Samurai

Viz

Fairy Cube Vol 01Art/Story by Kaori Yuki

Thanks to Jenny, my new closer, for recommending this one. The cover is so cutesy and mildly fan-servicey that I had sort of just ignored it. What a mistake. This is a creepy love and revenge story about a boy whose life and likeness is stolen by an evil spirit. He gets the help of an angry little fairy to try to put things right. The art is expressive, beautiful and richly detailed. My only complaint is that the artist uses a lot of non-directional word bubbles, and sometimes this makes it hard to follow the conversation. Otherwise very cool.

Thanks again, and if you have requests, suggestions or comments, just let me know.

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Hey again. The weather is beautiful this week, and I am healthy again, so no weird “how fast can I get it recorded?” show this week. I’m posting this a little early because I get to go back out to the store and see if I can swap out the cash register computer for one that actually works. If you are one of my regulars, odds are that you have been in while it was doing its update thing. Everyday, usually around 2ish, the computer does a virus scan update, but the scheduler is locked behind a password that no-one seems to be sure of. So we have to wait while it eats up all the system resources and grinds sales to a halt. This happened recently at a really bad time. There were a couple of guys standing near the register and having a loud conversation about how much they hate the government, and what they’d like to… um…. do about it. In sort of graphic terms. This poor woman came in and just wanted to buy some Wonder Woman stuff for a present, and the computer seizes up. She’s standing there, looking more and more uncomfortable, and I’m trying to just appear calm and competent with all the loud nonsense coming from right behind her. Pretty quickly I gave up on the computer, and did the transaction by hand with a calculator. I told her if she needed her receipt she could come back for it. She looked me in the eyes, and said with desperate sincerity, ” I don’t need a receipt. I just need to GO“. So it’s time to do the computer switcheroo.

Dead Boys Detective Cover
New Release

Sandman Presents: Dead Boys Detectives Written by Ed Brubaker; Cover by Dave McKean; Art by Bryan Talbot and Steve Leialoha

Yes, I know. More Sandman stuff. It’s good though, I promise. This one came out in singles in 2001, and is just coming out collected this week. I really enjoyed this one with all it’s creepy darkness. There’s just something nice about ghost detectives that have play sword fights while dressed as Sherlock Holmes.

New Avengers Cover

Marvel

New Avengers Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Ok, so I kind of read the entire run of New Avengers this week. I was just going to pick one up, read it, review it, and get on with my day. Instead, I read volume after volume until I got to the end of Vol 7 and realized that now I am caught up with where I started reading the singles with Secret Invasion. So obviously I really liked it, but there’s a little too much ground to cover to easly sum up what I read. I will say that I really like the team dynamic that we see with Captain America, Iron Man and Luke Cage feeling like the core power structure. I also really liked the ongoing drama around Spider Woman. And I now have a total comic crush on Luke Cage. So. Yeah. I hit this one hard this week, and really liked it a lot.

Conan Cover
Dark Horse

Conan Vol 01 The Frost Giants Daughter & Other Stories Written by Kurt Busiek ; Art by Cary Nord & Thomas Yeates

Hmmm. So parts of this I really liked. And parts of it made me uncomfortable. It is a great story in the barbarian tradition. The art is gorgeous and easy to follow. Unfortunately, all the women are either throw away plot objects, coniving devil women, or harem girl slaves. Conan even tries to rape one of them. So, while I thought the book was beautiful, and the stories well told, I kept getting squicked by the sort of misogynistic use of women in the story. I will probably read the next volume just to see where the story goes, but right now, I don’t think I would recommend it to most of my female customers. Men: sure, ladies: not so much.

Black Cat Cover

Viz

Black Cat Vol 01 Art and Story by Kentaro Yabuki

This one is not really a fair review, because it’s the first volume in a 20 book series (13 so far in US). I intend to continue this one, so we will talk about it again. I was pleasantly surprised with how serious the story was. Having just flipped through it before it looked sort of silly, but having now read the whole book, I find that it has some really human characters with complex histories and motivations. The bounty hunter plotline makes the part of me that loves Cowboy Bebop happy. I do think the anatomy of the male characters is a little strange, giving them grown-up looking bodies, but sort of tiny, kid proportioned heads. I got used to it after awhile though.

Alright. Wish me luck on the computers. I’m giving it about 50/50 odds that I’ll be able to get it done with no major deal-breaking hang-ups.

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