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Episode 13

Wow

I’m surprised I could even find this place, it’s been so long. It’s good to be back though. Retail holiday crap is over with now, and I can get back to the very serious and important business of reading comics and then talking about them.

A lot of really fun stuff has come out since last time, and I had a tough time choosing my books this week. Too many cool things to read isn’t so bad a problem to have though. For example, right after I went on break, Fables Vol 11 came out, and it was so good that I sat in the pub and cried while I read it. In public and everything.

I am such a nerd.

Secret Invasion
New Release

Secret Invasion Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils by Leinil Francis Yu

This book is kind of a big deal in the Marvel Universe right now. Not only is it central to the direction of the whole Universe, but it’s an experiment to see if people will pay $29.99 for an 8 issue trade paperback. If the sales of the singles were any indication, then Marvel should be able to move forward with their secret plan to force subscribers to pay in limbs, children and precious bodily fluids. It’s a fun read though.

Doom Patrol

Vertigo

Doom Patrol Vol 01 Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Richard Case, Doug Braithwaite, various

I honestly believe that Grant Morrison is at least a little bit insane. After I read this, I did actually have a nightmare about the scissormen. Blegh. Interesting though, and I feel like I need to see where it goes.

The Nightly News
Image

The Nightly News by Jonathan Hickman

While I really liked the dark, sort of psychological story it was telling, I got a little bogged down in the fine print fonts. There were a lot of little info boxes in teenie-tiny type, and I felt like if I didn’t read them all, I would be missing important content. So, this book gave me a headache from squinting, but it was worth it.

Phantom Dream

Tokyopop

Phantom Dream Vol 01 Natsuki Takaya

This is a relatively new release that’s actually an older series. This was Natsuki Takaya’s first published manga, before she did Fruits Basket. To me it feels like an artist’s early work, in that the story is kind of rough and when you compare this with the art in Fruits Basket, you can see how far she’s come. It took me a couple of chapters to get into this story, but once it sort if got itself together, it was fun.

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

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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.

Subscribe to my podcast to get the full reviews.

Or click here to listen to it now.

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Wow. This marks my 10th podcast. I can’t help but think that’s kind of cool.

So we got some wacky things in at the store this week. One was a nerf football designed to look all Incredibly Hulk-y. So it’s a squishy green ball covered in veins. I cut open the box, and there were a pair of them sitting there, looking all testicular at me. I had to show them to every regular that came in. Most of them agreed with my assessment. Then the next day, my boss dropped of a box marked “Darth Slipper” I swear to all that is nerdy, slippers with Darth Vader heads on them. I love my job.

On to the comics!

Blue Beetle 04
New Release

Blue Beetle Vol 04 Endgame Written by John Rogers, Justin Peniston and Jai Nitz; Art by Rafael Albuquerque, Andy Kuhn, Mike Norton and Trevor Scott Cover by Albuquerque

This one was a listener recommendation, and I am so grateful. I loved this book, I love the character, and I had a great time getting to use my very rusty Spanish. Que Fantastico!

Ultimates 1

Marvel

Ultimates 1 Superhuman Writer: Mark Millar, Pencils & Inks, Bryan Hitch

I liked this book a lot, but I hated a lot of the characters. I really liked Thor, and Iron Man didn’t bother me, but Betty Ross and the Pyms just gave me angina. I’m going to keep reading though, because I do really like the story.

We3
Image

We3 Written by Grant Morrison; Art and cover by Frank Quitely

This is listener recommendation number 2 this week. I command all of you to buy this book. If you have $13 and you do not own this book, then you have no excuse. This 3 issue short story is one of the best things I have ever read. Ever ever.

Afro Samurai

Seven Seas

Afro Samurai Vol 01, Takashi Okazaki

Ok. This book has ridiculously gorgeous art. It is highly stylized, and the use of small splashes of red with the black & white is so elegant. But the story didn’t do much for me. If you are a fan of the classic revenge story, then you will love this book. Next week, I think I will read a romance.

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

Subscribe to my podcast to get the full reviews.

Or click here to listen to it now.

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Episode 09

Yay!

2 Podcast weeks in a row, here we are, back on schedule! There were even 3 birthdays last week to celebrate, including my own, and I started crocheting a very special baby hat for a friend of mine. I don’t want to link just yet, and maybe spoil the surprise, but if I manage to get it to come out half as cool as the person who made the pattern, it will be incredibly nerdy/cool.

On to the comics!

Wolverine
New Release

Wolverine First Class Written by Fred Van Lente, Pencils and Inks by Andrea Di Vito

Mr Van Lente said in an interview with Comics Should Be Good that regarding Kitty Pride “I wanted a hook to get female readers interested in the series.” It worked. I’m interested. I’d just like to see her be a more rounded character. Right now she seems pretty shallow, even for a 13 year old girl. The art is very pretty though. Oh, and I should post this correction: In the podcast, I mention that the colorist for this book deserves his/her own bow. Then I mention Glynnis Wein, who did the color on the Wolverine first appearance at the back of the book. The colorists for the new stuff are credited as the following: Laura Villari, Guru eFX, Chris Sotomayor, Wilfredo Quintana, & Val Staples. So bow, the lot of you. You did good work.

Essential Doc Strange

Marvel

Essential Doctor Strange Written by Stan Lee, Pencils Steve Ditko

This is my first foray into the Essential books, and so far, I am having a good time. The lack of color is a little distracting, but you get used to it, and the crazy 60’s stories are like groovy and far out, man. I’m only about half way through this monster sized book, but I am really liking it a lot.

Scud
Image

Scud The Disposable Assassin The Whole Shebang – Rob Schrab

Another one from Andy, my trail guide in the comics wilderness. This is so awesome in so many ways, but at 800 pages, I have no idea where to begin explaining it. If you are a fan of the absurd and violent, this book is totally worth it’s cover price and you should just go out and buy it.

Phoenic Wright

Del Rey

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Art by about 50 different people, credited as Capcom.

Wow. I wish I had played the game, then I might have had some idea what was going on. I was under the mistaken impression that you hadto yell at your DS in order to progress, and I did not want to be the crazy lady on the bus. I did enjoy this, but I would have gotten much more out of it if I knew what was going on. But that the elderly lady client’s name was Ms. Oldbag absolutely cracked me up and had me showing the book to random people that came into the store.

Thank you so much for hanging out with me again this week. Wish me lots of luck, me and Grammar Cowboy signed an offer on a house on friday. It would be awful nice to have a whole room to do this recording stuff in.

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Episode 07

Wow, did you guys miss me? It’s been a weird week, but things should be going better soon. As I mentioned in the show this week, we are trying to buy a house. I swear it shouldn’t be this hard. All we want to do is give someone a large amount of money. Usually people like money. The house we are looking at went into foreclosure between when we made our offer and now, so the house that we like is in limbo. So think happy thoughts for us. My apartment gets smaller by the day.

We have 5 books for you this week, since I made you wait so long.

The Twelve Vol 01
New Release

The Twelve Vol 01 Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Pencils by Chris Weston

This book was a surprise. I was expecting camp and silly, and I got a dark, deep story with serious and compelling characters. I am looking forward to the second half.

Wolfman Cover

Bonus New-ish Release

Astounding Wolf-man Written by Robert Kirkman, Art By Jason Howard

I liked this book for a lot of reasons, but I still feel like it feels a little rushed. Doesn’t stop me from enjoying the heck out of it, though. Oh, and the link from the picture goes to Kirkman’s blog. Usually I link to publisher sites, but Image’s site makes it pretty much impossible to have a link to a specific book. Kirkman is pretty cool anyway.

Conan Cover
Marvel

Spider Woman Origin Written by Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed, Art by Luna Brothers

After my New Avengers binge a couple of weeks ago, I decided to grab this one to round out Jessica Drew’s story in my mind. I think this was a good story. The art didn’t wow me, but I thought it was interesting. It’s not as fun as the New Avengers, but it does offer some insight into her motivations, and there are some really cool fight scenes. I just don’t get why they had to start her out as a blond.

Stray Bullets Cover

El Capitan

Stray Bullets Vol 01 Story and Art by David Lapham

Ok. I give up. I’ve read it. I wrote a 3 pages in my fancy new Tara McPherson notebook about it. I talked about in this weeks show. I’m still not sure if I like it or not. I definitely respect it, but it squiks me out something fierce. You’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.

Other Side
New Release

The Other Side Of The Mirror Story and Art by Jo Chen

There are 2 books to this series. If you see them, go ahead and grab them both. The serialized story of Lou and Sunny really gets moving in the second book, and the short stories in that volume are also sweet and solid. Jo Chen also does beautiful painted covers. Her Runaways covers are some of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.

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