Vertigo

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100% Awesome

Wow, it’s been a busy month or so in comics news.  I’m been so busy with the spring time home ownership stuff that I’ve been neglecting GDRC again.  The biggest news has been, to me anyway, Gail Simone leaving Wonder Woman.  There was a couple of days where we all held our breath to see who would pick it up. There was speculation that it would be the rumored Grant Morrison Story, but no confirmation.  We mostly just crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t be some misogynist ass-hat.  Finally the announcement came that it would be J. Michael Straczynski.  I am sad to see Gail Simone leave the title, but I am sort of ok with JMS picking it up.  I have liked most of what I have read of his, and he has this way of taking over a title that then gets made into a movie.  So I am hopeful, but in a “withholding judgement” kind of way.

The really happy news is that Gail Simone will be returning to 2 of my favorite titles, Welcome to Tranquility and Birds of Prey.  I am over the moon about Welcome to Tranquility.  I remember picking it up and loving it, only to have my heart broken by Andy telling me that it had been canceled and that  I had just read the entire run of it. Sadness.

Cosmic!

I have been buying a lot of stuff lately.  Like a ridiculous amount of stuff.  Happily, it’s all been things that I am very excited about.  I used to read a ton of Archie when I was a kid.  I wanted so badly to grow up to be Betty Cooper, and as I saw it, the only thing standing in my way was that I was a brunette.  I read all the Archie family books too, like Josie and the Pussycats, and Katy Keene.  When I saw Jetta in Preview a couple of months ago, I was so spiffed.  It was an Archie family book that I had never read, and it was about a rocket age teen girl! Holy Crap!  I am loving it so far.  I haven’t had a chance to read it cover to cover yet, but what I have had time for has made me really happy.  There is tons of historical stuff in here, and pages and pages of homage pin-up art by modern artists.  I looove this book.

Not for young readers!!

Not For Young Readers!!

This is going to be an awkward transition.  Um.  I also love this book…Wow.  Ok, so Crossed is like as far away as you can get from Jetta without folding reality somehow.  It’s really good though.  The problem for me is that as a retailer I have trouble recommending a book where a character is named “Horsecock” because he uses one to hit people over the head.  This is a dark, violent book.  That makes it sound too dainty.  This is a vicious, disgusting book that happens to have a really compelling story with interesting characters and a fascinating setting.  And it has a rampaging mob of sort of undead crazy people that stab people and then rape the stab holes.  So yeah.  I actually really like it, but it’s a tough one to sell.

If you are a Spokane dweller, make sure you come visit us on Free Comic Book Day, which falls on May 1st this year. There will be all kinds of awesome going on.  For details visit The Comic Book Shop online.  At 5:30 the Northtown mall will be honored by a visit from the 501st Legion.  Come get a picture with Lord Vader, a Tuskan Raider, or a Scout Trooper.  I am personally very excited.

Also coming up soon is Spokane ComiCon. It will be at SCC this year, and there are going to be a boatload of cool guests.  I’ll be there, and so should you.

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Episode 29

Fierce!

Madame Xanadu Vol 02 Exodus Noir Written by Matt Wagner, Art by Michael Wm. Kaluta

Ok, I know I already reviewed the first volume of this one, and pretty recently really, but this  is so good, I can’t let it pass by.  The two volumes have drastically different art, but both are so excellent that this is now near the top of my “recommend to new readers” pile.  Exodus Noir features 2 stories that are beautifully interwoven.  We have the murder mystery set in 1940, and the tragic romance set in the days of the inquisition.  Magic, love, passion and death.  All told with some of the most eloquent layouts I have seen.  I need to get a scanner hooked up one of these days so that I can post examples.  In the meantime, you’ll have to just go out and buy this.  It’s really that good.

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Episode 27

Wow! I am having so much fun reading lately.  This episode, I have a couple of favorites from my pull list, and the next installment in the Wonder Woman series.  Firstly, her star-spangled self.

Wonder Woman – The Circle

I am so happy to be getting into the Gail Simone run of Wonder Woman.  After some frankly mediocre storytelling, we finally get some 3 dimensional characters with honest feeling human motivations.  The ladies of the Circle are flawed and frightened, but willing to fight to defend what they cherish.  The story continues on with some of the plot points from the prior stuff, but is much more satisfying.   The art is still exceptional and gorgeous with more work from the Dodsons’ as well as some very good stuff from Bernard Chang in the Green Lantern story in the back of the book.  I do feel like it could be confusing to try to pick up the Wonder Woman title with this book, and I am glad that I deferred to Andy’s suggestion to start with Who Is Wonder Woman. But this really is the good stuff.

Chew Vol 01

Next, I am so glad that Chew is finally out collected so that I can tell you to go and read it.  This is one of the weirdest books that I get, but I love it so much.  It has sold out every single issue so far, and for good reason.  Chew is the story of Tony Chu and his very special talent.  Tony is a cibopath.  That means he is a psychic who gets impressions from the things he eats.  Fruits, vegetables, meat.  People.  You know.  The story takes place in a sort of darkish future where chicken is outlawed, and only outlaws eat chicken.  Like I said – weird, but one of my very favorite things on my pull list.  Rob Guillory does the art, and as fun as the story is, I don’t think it would be half as successfull under a different artist.  Rob and writer John Layman should stick together, they make a great team.

The Unwritten Vol 01

Lastly, I have The Unwritten. This title, like Chew, I am subscribed to in single issues.  When I saw the first issue in Previews months ago, I knew that there was no way I was not going to sign up for it.  Written by Mike Carey with art by Peter Gross? Automatic addition to the pull list right there.  Combine that with a story about the power of stories and it goes right to the top of my stack every month when I take it home.  My only complaint about this series is the covers.  I actually like them as art, but as something to sell a non-reader on the series, they are disappointing.  If I were just scoping out the wall looking for something cool, I would almost certainly pass these by.  That would be a crying shame because this is one of my favorite titles since the Books of Magic series (also with art by Peter Gross).  This feels like the Vertigo stuff that got me to read comics in the first place.  Yay!

This was a fun podcast to do from a gear aspect as well.  I have a new microphone, and I really like the warmth I am getting out of it. Now I just need to work on my guitar playing and I can start writing angsty folk songs about the tragedy of secret identities, and how no one understands how alone super heroes are.  Or maybe I’ll leave the nerd music to talented people like Kirby Krackle.

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Episode 23

Happy Saturday!

I have a short show for you today, but I wanted to make sure I got these 2 out while they were in the front of my brains

muppet_vol1The Muppet Show Vol 01 Art and Story by Roger Langridge

I don’t want to hurt my parent’s feelings here, but sometimes it feels like I was raised by Jim Henson.  I’m from the latch-key generation, and I spent an awful lot of time parked in front of a TV with Sesame St, Fraggle Rock, or the Muppet Show on.  I learned a lot about resposibility, friendship and even a little Spanish and Ameslan.  The Muppet Show was wild and weird, from Sweetums to Lew Zealand(the guy that throws fish), and I am so happy that this comic totally captures the fun and mild insanity that comes with an episode.  I have this one in single issues, but I will be buying the trade so that I can have the previously unreleased, additional issue at the back.  It’s only $9.99.  Go buy yourself one.

Abs_DeathAbsolute Death, Neil Gaiman and tons of Various Artists

This is a pretty book.  I mean a pretty book.  It is a sexy slipcover edition of some of my favorite stories, with a few rare things and some ephemera thrown in for good measure.  It looks perfect next to my Absolute Sandmans.  (Sandmen?)  That said, unless you are a nutty Gaiman fan like me, I don’t think this is a must have.  I mean, it’s definitely a must have for me, but for regular people?  I love the stories in here, but most of this can be found in the pages of Sandman, the 2 Death graphic novels and short story collections like Endless Nights.  So while I think people should read this stuff, most could get by with the paperbacks.  To hear me go on about the stories in here, you can listen to Episode 15

Halloween is coming, and we will be giving out FCBD comics at the mall again.  If you are a local, and you want to keep your kids inside where it’s warm and well lit, then come on down.  I might even be in costume, which would be a first in like 6 or 7 years.

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Wow, episode 20. I feel like I should bake a cake or something. I am working on some site stuff, so if you come back soon and things are broken, don’t worry. It will be better soon.

This week, I mostly talk about Brian K Vaughan’s Ex Machina.

I found this to be really cool. Sort of in a long haul way. I had been reading Secret Wars, and not really getting into it, so I picked this up and time just passed. It didn’t blow my mind, or change my worldview, but it is, so far anyway, a cool story with solid, expressive artwork. The characters are all people I want to know more about, and the way they are drawn gives them a unique life. At the back of the book Tony Harris does a little “how to” and shows the basics of the process. I thought the filmic way he does his mock-ups was really cool. At the end of the first volume, I wanted more. I actually picked up the Deluxe Hardcover, so take that as a sign that I am ready to invest. The second Deluxe Hardcover is due out this winter, so expect a revisit when I have more of this series under my belt.

Like I said, I’m working on Secret Wars. This is a heck of a book (not really in a good way.) It is so weird and blatantly a commercial for toys that it’s kind of hard to just read. I will keep trying to work my way through it though, if only to read about Spider-man’s Alien Suit origin. Man though. I find that I just want to read something more interesting. If I can actually get through it, and have a different opinion on completing it, I’ll let you know.

Lastly, I went and saw GI Joe. I am almost afraid to say that I had a good time. It wasn’t the best thing ever, but it was fun. I am so spiffed that Heavy Duty was so important. I love that actor, and I was excited when I saw him on the cast list. I also really want to be Scarlet when I grow up. Or at least I want a crossbow. That thing was awesome, if totally cheeseball. So yeah, I guess you could say I liked it. So far, most of my customers have not. A couple of guys are actively mad that this movie ruined their child hood, or at least their favorite character. What do you guys think? Love or hate?

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