The List: Mostly NYCC Books, But Some Other Stuff, Too, Part 2

New York Comic Con! My local comics shop! The library! Comics goodness (and, sadly, a little badness) abounds from a variety of sources. Here are some more brief thoughts on stuff I've read lately:

Annihilation: Book 3 - It's been a while since I've read the first two Annihilation collections, but Book 3 brought me back up to speed pretty quickly and finally delivers the meat of the story, and it's tasty indeed (bad metaphor, I know, but let's move on and never speak of it again). While I certainly got the Giant Space War story I was expecting, this took off in a number of directions I wasn't expecting, and I was all the happier for it. Lots of stuff going on, all of the major cast members get their times in the spotlight, and we see that a satisfying conclusion to a story isn't always the same as a happy ending. Just fantastic space opera goodness here, and I'm now quite excited to move on to Annihilation: Conquest, Nova, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Damn shame that this got overshadowed by the mess that was Civil War, but in superhero comics as in pro wrestling, the truly entertaining stuff isn't happening with the flashy main eventers, it's with the hardworking mid-carders.

Carl, The Cat Who Makes Peanut Butter Sandwiches - This is a Jim Mahfood book published by Nerdcore, the people who makes the calendars with the naked ladies engaging in geeky pursuits. And the title pretty much explains it all. Carl's a cat who spends his time either making peanut butter sandwiches or dealing with his sex-crazed human girlfriend. His sandwich making for the mob has pisssed off the Eskimos, though, so violence happens. Bizarre, but a dumb kind of fun, especially if you're a Mahfood fan and aren't easily offended by sex or violence, as there's a lot of both. Not for the kiddoes.

Half-a-Chicken - A mini-comic by Michelle Fariss that retells an French folktale about a half-chicken, the king that wrongs her, and the retribution she seeks with the help of a fox and a river. The story is narrated traditionally, but the dialogue from the characters is decidedly modern. This and the cute artwork make for a decidedly fun comics experience.

Agents of Atlas #1 - I was going to wait for the trade on this series, but I figured I'd cave and at least check out the first one, given how much I'm enjoying reading Captain Britain & MI13 in issues, and while it's certainly more of the same storytelling excellence from Jeff Parker (especially Gorilla Man's quick page one summation of the past few years' worth of Marvel events), it didn't grab me quite the way I was expecting from the get-go. I certainly enjoyed Parker's story, and Carlo Pagulaya's artwork is gorgeous and a worthy successor to Leonard Kirk's pencils on the mini, but it didn't leave me with that sense of urgency. I'm sure I'll love the collection when it comes, but I'm willing to wait to get this one in a big story chunk.

Daniel X: Alien Hunter by James Patterson and Leopoldo Gout - I should probably wait until I finish a book to talk about it, but I can't promise I'll actually do that with Daniel X. I'm maybe 10 pages in, and it's already pretty terrible. Danny Boy here's an alien hunter, which is an alien who, um, hunts other aliens, I guess. He can imagine anything into being, be it monster, weapon, or his own best friends. Overwritten narration, corny dialogue, thin characterization... is this typical of Patterson? He's sold a bajillion of those "Maximum Ride" books, so I assumed he must have been at least okay. But a lot of people read stuff like "Left Behind" and "Twilight," too, so maybe that doesn't prove much. And Gout's artwork... not a good fit. Way too cartoony for the story being told. All in all, a very amateurish package for something published by Little, Brown and Company. Glad I was handed this for free at NYCC, or else I'd be pretty mad to have dropped money on it.

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