Thursday, January 12, 2006

Some comics thoughts

Infinite Crisis #3 - All Luthor confusion aside (see a little ways below), I'm still really enjoying this book. Batman's breakdown and subsequent conversation with the Earth 2 Superman were both well portrayed, showing the deep bonds that exist between these two icons, regardless of which versions of the characters are involved. And, as has been the case with the previous two issues, the last few pages build to a real "Holy Shit!" of a cliffhanger. Big, dumb event comics aren't everyone's cup of tea, I know, but if you like that sort of thing even only once in awhile, then you really should be reading this series.

Geraniums and Bacon #3 - This is the most recent mini-comic from fellow ECB posse member, Metrokitty. The issue is made up of several short stories, including a sort of word-art piece about Adult Ed classes, instructions on how to dance to upbeat-yet-politically-gloomy pop music (which can be found here), and a trip to the movies gone horribly wrong. The stories are all a lot of fun, and I found her art style to be very pleasing to the eye - lots of thin, soft lines, a bit cartoony, but not to "bigfoot" proportions. If you like the art in books like Manya and Max and Lily, you'll dig this, too. Really great stuff, and I plan on buying the rest of her mini-comics whenever the money makes itself available. Ordering info can be found here.

The Maze Agency #1 - Mike W. Barr's "fair play" mystery series has been a favorite of mine since about 1990, when I got an issue in a grab bag from my then local comic shop, Nostalgia Ink. I was instantly hooked, and spent the next decade and a half tracking down the rest of the series (just finished last year). So, needless to say, I was pretty psyched that the book came back though publisher IDW, even if it is for just a mini-series. True to form, this first issue was all kinds of good. A radical '60s activist is murdered, and as usual, private detective Jennifer Mays and her boyfriend, true crime writer Gabe Webb, are on the case - provided their efforts aren't completely hampered by pesky FBI agents Black and White. The story more or less follows the same formula as every other issue of the series, but honestly, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This series is the comic book equivalent of a 70s detective show like Columbo or Banacek. It's not particularly fancy, but it presents some good pot boiler mystery stories that never talk down to the audience. It fills an important niche in comics, I think, and I'm glad to see it return.

Penny Arcade 1x25 Cent Edition - This is a promo book for the upcoming Penny Arcade trade paperback collection from Dark Horse, presenting the first year or two of the popular online comic strip. Sadly, it seems thrown together with little thought or effort, and really doesn't do much to make you want to go out and buy the book. There's no introduction, no explanation of the strip or the characters... just a seemingly random collection of the earlier strips. I knew what was going on, and who was who, but then, I've been reading the strip online for awhile. Someone coming in fresh is likely to be completely lost, and probably won't be terribly inclined to buy the book. Hell, I like the strip and this gave me second thoughts about picking it up. This was a real disappointment, and considering this comic cost all of a quarter - no, wait, I bought this through DCBS, so it was less! - considering this comic cost me all of 12 cents, I think that's saying something.
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