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#41 thebiz

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon - Daytripper is a brainy melodrama written by Brazilian twin brothers that follows the one life and many deaths of Bras Domingues, an obituary writer and son of a renowned author. At the end of each chapter Bras dies and at the beginning of the next chapter Bras life continues on as life would have occured without the dying. In the end we see the whole canvas of possibilities of Bras life and therefore our own (at least I'm thinking that's the point).

Its a clever book, at times wonderfully so (following a drowning the next chapter opens in a kitchen with a takeout sushi menu on the table), and at other times too much so. The narrator that often opens and closes each chapter ends up reminding me of the uber-annoying Grey's Anatomy/Real Housewives/ect narrator.

Some of the stories are too telegraphed (i.e. A story that begins with a trucker popping no-doze...hmm wonder how that's going to end) while others strike from out of the blue and lack reason but the ending is excellent, the transitions between each story are fun, the drawings are fresh and stylish (kind of a clean but dreamy water-color look) and the cover/chapter images are framed amazingly well and are often very memorable (like the one below that transitions from one chapter in the sea to another in the desert). This would be a nice one to own in hardcover as the Vertigo softcover is cheap and crappy (a common trait in Vertigo soft covers). In the end it feels more important and innovative than it actually is but its a solid read thats lovely to look at.

8/10

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#42 thebiz

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:00 PM

"Baltimore - The Plague Ships" is one of the latest from Mike Mignola (Hellboy) which concerns itself with WWI monsters (a vampire zombie kind of scourge) and the man at war with them - Lord Baltimore. Additionally there is a plague taking place to provide a legion of the dead. Baltimore has a Captain Ahab thing going complete with pegleg and harpoon and is every bit the asskicker you expect in a Mignola story. The WWI theme fits the story well with submarines and zepplins and ghouls decked out in 1910 military uniforms. The visual style is similar to Hellboy though perhaps a bit more vague/unfinished.

Its pretty solid fun but I never once doubted that Baltimore would end the victor against insurmountable odds and little jumped out to set it apart from Hellboy or any other well made Monster/Hero story.

7/10

Edited by thebiz, 05 March 2012 - 07:10 PM.

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#43 6hm

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:37 PM

100 Bullets - First Shot, Last Call

100 Bullets has a solid theme involving a mysterious Agent Graves who shows up on the doorstep of many a victim with a briefcase full of 100 untraceable bullets and information on how they became a victim in the first place. What they do with the bullets is completely up to them. Its straight crime/pulp with nary a superhero in sight.

The first story involves a hispanic girl fresh out of prison lamenting the fact that her husband and son were gunned down while she sat in the joint. An unfortunate starting point as much of this episode feels like a caricature of 1990's urban life with much of the artwork reminding me plenty of GTA3's cutscene material. The second story rachets it up a bit focusing on a dive bar and tossing in a wonderful twist at the end.

As I said, Im not a fan of the way the hispanic urban culture is drawn here but overall there is a lot of style in the graphics with some heavy heavy shadows all about (noir much?). The best stuff focuses on strip joints, dive bars and police precincts with two-dimensional two-color backdrops sitting stylishly behind the action. Based on the enjoyable overall theme and the second half I might be checking out the next installment in the not so distant future.

7/10



Biz, you should def look a little further into the 100 bullets series. It goes well beyond Hispanic gang bangers and revenge.. High society, minutemen, and nobody trusts anyone. Agent Graves gives out more Atache cases and we get more detail of the characters and what their motives are... I'm currently on volume 6 of 13 (yes i bought all 13 volumes)

A solid crime based comic
I have 20 friends.... TMU tells me so!!:taz:

#44 thebiz

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:51 PM

Biz, you should def look a little further into the 100 bullets series. It goes well beyond Hispanic gang bangers and revenge.. High society, minutemen, and nobody trusts anyone. Agent Graves gives out more Atache cases and we get more detail of the characters and what their motives are... I'm currently on volume 6 of 13 (yes i bought all 13 volumes)

A solid crime based comic


Thanks for the advice Sixy. I might be up for another 100 Bullets in the future but my wish list is growing (Bulletproof Coffin is first on this list).

Interestingly, I was looking around for things I might be interested in reading in the future and Im kind of enamored with a different Azzerello/Risso series called Spaceman. It looks pretty freaking excellent. I dont think its collected yet (9 issues) but Im completely on the lookout.

http://en.wikipedia....aceman_(comics)

Edited by thebiz, 03 February 2012 - 07:02 PM.

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#45 6hm

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

Thanks for the advice Sixy. I might be up for another 100 Bullets in the future but my wish list is growing (Bulletproof Coffin is first on this list).

Interestingly, I was looking around for things I might be interested in reading in the future and Im kind of enamored with a different Azzerello/Risso series called Spaceman. It looks pretty freaking excellent. I dont think its collected yet (9 trades) but Im completely on the lookout.

http://en.wikipedia....aceman_(comics)


I was looking to check out a title by Brian Azzarello called "loveless" I havent heard anything on it but it's a western... guess now i have spaceman to look out for too

actually i just purchased the first 8 comics of Loveless... i'll keeep you updated if you're interrested

Edited by 6hm, 05 February 2012 - 06:54 AM.

I have 20 friends.... TMU tells me so!!:taz:

#46 thebiz

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

So I did indeed grab the first issue of Spaceman. I'm torn on the idea of grabbing individual episodes of comics. I grabbed the first episode of Chew (so much grabbing going on) and enjoyed it some but the fact that I had already read the 1/6 of the first collected GN kept from purchasing said GN when I probably would have otherwise. Such is life. Spaceman was only a buck and you cant beat that. However, things I really disliked was the advertisements on the inside cover and on the back for shitty tv shows. Not particularly cool man (as kid millions likes to say these days).

What I did like was the cover which is excellent graphics and the premise which is a man bio-engineered for a manned exploration of mars, who ends up being a scrap metal collector in a world gone to shit. Toss in a Lindbergh baby abduction from a Brangelina type celebrity couple who adopt based upon the results of a reality show competition for orphans and we are golden. Except for the dialog which has a slang dialect going on that reminds me of the the things I hated about the first episode of 100 bullets. Still, I like the environment, the premise and the artwork very much. Lets give it a 8/10 for now and see where this goes.

...that was easily the worst review I've written to date. Huzah on my decreasing writing skills!

Edited by thebiz, 25 February 2012 - 04:30 AM.

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#47 thebiz

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

In high school there was inevitably the super cool senior with cool hair who listened to "alternative music" and had a loner vibe going except when he wasn't hanging with the girls who really liked Morrisey and The Cure. This guy doodled in notebooks and no doubt made some of the coolest underground comics ever known (or unknown) to man/woman/child but you never got to see more than a glimpse of them cause you were a dork. Bulletproof Coffin is that comic and its every bit as awesome as you thought it would be.

A man with creepy kids/wife/dog discovers a crappy superhero suit and fluctuates between a some bizarre reality and some bizarre fantasy existence written by two crotchety old comic book guys who pack heat (Shakey Kane is a great and troubled man). The art is crappy awesome, the story fun and gory and there's a boatload of extra kicks to sift through in this series. Gains immediate entry to my top 5 favorites (in no order Bulletproof Coffin, The Dark Knight, Asterios Polyp, The Nightly News, Fell)

9.5/10

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#48 thebiz

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:56 PM

I happened onto a pretty excellent interview with Shakey Kane and David Hine, the creators of Bulletproof Coffin. Good questions, interesting and amusing answers. Some of my favorite quotes...

"I’m not blaming anyone for selling out. If some Hollywood producer comes to us and offers us big bucks we’ll sell out as fast as anyone – that’s what the final chapter is about. We’re not saints. Our ethical standards are probably not much higher than anyone else’s but at least we have the good grace to feel bad about it....

....Honestly though, it’s hard to keep your integrity when it’s so easy to compromise to make a living. All the self-flagellation in The Bulletproof Coffin is a reflection of that."

and...

"The comic book shelves, to a casual browser are mind blowing to contemplate. It’s a sea of Skrull-chinned zombie carcasses, painted by, and I could be wrong here, the same guy who knocks out landscape paintings for the tourist market in a some far-off subterranean sweat shop.

What was the question again?"

A good read for those so inclined.

Edited by thebiz, 05 March 2012 - 07:08 PM.

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#49 thebiz

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:34 PM

Cassanova Vol. 1: Luxuria - Super Spy Hipster Badass all snazzed up for the future with self deprecating wit, self referencing humor and wonderful art by Gabriel Ba' (one of the twin brothers responsible for the afore mentioned Daytrippers). It is enough complex that you may want to immediately reread each chapter but thats not a bad thing as the story and the art are amusing and inventive enough to warrant an immediate 2nd look. Many great moments like the two below (a memory full of empty words - and emphatic but still empty words and an excellent action scene searching for a catchphrase). My next purchase will be volume 2. Excellent.

9.0/10

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#50 thebiz

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

So they are making a movie based on the comic book that is based on Richard Stark's Parker series. If you look back through this thread you should see one or two reviews of the comics. They are great. Interestingly, this movie was already made in the 90's with Mel Gibson (Payback). Anywho, Jason Statham should make an excellent Parker but I really wish it was set in the 50s and looked a lot more stylish than it does. Such is life.

The last comic I read was the excellent Infinite Kung Fu which matches zombies and 70s blaxploitation films to some badass kung fu warriors. Visuals are all black and white with a dash of caligraphy-esque prints. Cool characters and vibrant bizzare world. Its nice and hefty too (464 pages) which makes for a nice, fun, prolonged read. 9/10

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Before that I read the second Cassanova (6/10 - still looks wonderful but the crazy dissapointing ending screws up the fun tone), the third Parker (8/10 - good but more of the same...now in orange hues), and the second BulletProof Coffin (8/10 more meta post modern takes on the super hero genre but lacks cohesive storyline of the first one). The Parker and and BC books are well worth a look even if the sequels lack that new car smell.

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#51 thebiz

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

I came across this excellent bio on Donald Westlake, the author of the Parker crime novels which are the inspiration of the currently scripted as a Jason Letham action movie (boo!) and the excellent Parker Graphic novels listed in this thread. Its a really good read on a classic American author. I did not know he was so prolific, multi-faceted and funny.

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#52 thebiz

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:57 PM

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday so if you have a local comic book store you've been meaning to see the insides of, this would be a good chance to stop in and take advantage of my second favorite four letter "F" word (#1 being "fart" of course). Grab a free comic and then head to your local watering hole for a Mint Julep and a horse race. Its a good Saturday.

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#53 Johnny Ex

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:33 PM

I took my boy to see the Avengers on opening night, which was the day before Free Comic day, they had a comic trivia contest before the flick (promoting comic day), complete with cool prizes.
I had my shot too when posed with the question of "Who was the original Avengers lineup?"
I nailed it, except, I added The Scarlet Witch, that cost me a damned cool Captain America hoodie...
My son has never let me live it down.
Alas, Free Comic Book Day rocks!
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#54 thebiz

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:59 PM

Hawkeye - My Life as a Weapon Vol. 1 - I don't generally go in for superheroes (and the Hawkeye character from the Avengers Movie was pretty awful - made even more awful after watching Renner's role in Hansel and Re-Gretal) but this one was getting a whole lot of accolades, the visuals look great and its cheap so I grabbed it

Not bad. The story lines are fun veering more towards what Hawkeye does with his free time (bangs broads, cookouts on his roof with his neighbors, fights with his tracksuit clad slumlord's hoodlums who can only utter the word "Bro!") rather than his Avenger work. The writer is Matt Fraction who also penned the previously mentioned Casanova series and this is similarly sassy. Style is very 60s modern with a highly knowing graphic design vibe (similar a bit to Jonathan Hickman's The Nightly News). The only real negative is that there's an episode from The Young Avengers tacked on at the end that is written by Fraction but looks and feels completely different from the other five chapters. Feels like padding to me. Still, when I find myself with an extra 13 dollars and nothing better to spend it on I will likely pick up volume 2.


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7.5/10

Edited by thebiz, 13 April 2015 - 05:20 PM.

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#55 thebiz

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:02 PM

Lone Wolf and Cube Omnibus - Vol 1 - 700 pages of very good bloody, revenge laden, Ronin Assassin tales. Originally written in the 70s this series follows a disgraced Samaria turned God of Death Assassin as he travels with his toddler son and his deadly babycart (kind of like a samaria batmobile). Panels are all black and white with a stark style and the hefty book feels like solid quality - no noticeable binding issues. Lots and lots of death and dismemberment and cute toddler moments. Stories are suprisingly deep at times and the morality is a wonderful shade of grey.

At 12 dollars on Amazon its a steal. Volume 2 arrives this August and I will likely be on board. Was also a series of films that are apparently very highly praised.
8.5/10


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#56 thebiz

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 02:11 PM

The Manhattan Projects Vol. 1 - Science Bad

The Manhattan Projects is a "what if" comic. What if the nuclear bomb was the least insane weapon created by batshit crazy scientists during WWII? What if Einstein was his own evil doppelganger from another dimension? What if Dr. Oppenheimer was a multi personality cannibal who attained knowledge from the things he eats (hello Chew)? What if FDR died but was preserved as a computer AI super genius who serves as head of a US shadow government? What if....well you get the idea.

Its all pretty fun and a bit demented at times but somehow I didn't really connect with the stories and while the characters explore several dimensions, they all remain rather one dimensional cliches - particularly the military general in charge of it all. A lot happens but it doesn't really matter as there's no reason to care beyond seeing what mayhem will ensue.

The art is squiggly and loose and I really like the red and blue tones that signify um..something.

Kind of a disappointment.
7/10

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#57 thebiz

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:45 PM

MIND MGMT Vol 1 - There a lot to love about this comic with its skittish water color art and crazy story (governmental psychic network employed since WWII). Each page includes field tips in the headers and footers. As the story progresses the field notes turn into notes directed at the reader. There's a mess of action and interesting characters and evil villains but it is Matt Kindts ability to marry his distinctive style to his distinctive story to create something unique and awesome. I got sucked in by the first trade episode which is priced at a buck (and you can likely still find it on shelves). I will buy the collected volume 2 the day I see it in the stores (mid October).

p.s. Apparently the rights of the comic were purchased and a film is in the works with Ridley Scott producing. HEres hoping some of the visual style can be incorporated within.

9.5/10

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#58 thebiz

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:51 PM

I had never heard of Shaolin Cowboy before today but found this interesting article about the Author Geof Darrow and love the look and vibe of the comic. Apparently it came out six years ago and is difficult to find. Darrow's artwork is distinctive though (I recognize it from glancing at something called Hard Boiled) with lots of lines and details. Kinda sqirmy and intricate. The character is a lumpy middle aged cowboy with shoalin training and a large price on his head and a staff with chainsaws on both ends. The storyline sounds like its pretty abstract and crazy. The comics haven't been collected into a volume yet so they are pretty hard to find but apparently he will be releasing a new batch of episodes this october. I will be looking forward to them.

Anywho, the article is a fine read about his early days working for Hanna Barbara on their PacMan cartoon as well as the Shoalin Cowboy. Pretty funny stuff and a good read if your into these types of things..which I am.

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#59 thebiz

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:08 PM

Punk Rock Jesus - Sean Murphy's stand alone (the story is completely told in this one book - a rare treat) tale of of the near future where a Truman Show type of Reality TV show uses the DNA of Jesus to create a clone birthed to a virgin who grows up on live tv. The story is told from the viewpoint of an ex-IRA badass who is hired to protect the child from the varying group of crazys intent on freeing or killing the boy. The first 2/3 of the story is excellent dealing with the exploitation of the child and the manipulation of the audience for ratings. The last 1/3 of the tale deals with the clone escaping his confines, joining the worlds last punk rock band and going on an anti-religion crusade (in which Murphy seems to say that all crusades are bad crusades).

Overall, I loved the black and white art and enjoyed the premise a lot. The second story (the punk rock part) didn't work as well for me as the reality tv show part but it wasn't horrible (though its hard to swallow all that hard core punk rock earnestness).
8/10


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Edited by thebiz, 13 April 2015 - 05:21 PM.

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#60 thebiz

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 02:15 PM

I finished the Dark Night Strikes Again (DKSA), which is the 2002 follow up to Frank Miller's 1986 The Dark Knight Returns (DKR), the grandfather of dark antihero comics that are everywhere today. Where the DKR was manic, blunt and fun, DKSA is manic, blunt and dumb.

In the years since the supposed death of batman, the US has watched personal freedom wither as a price for safety (a kinda worn out theme). Turns out an enormously overfed Lex Luther is the man behind the President and he holds superman in check by holding hostage a preserved miniature city of krypton. And supes has an incredibly awkward um...romance with wonder woman in some of the unintentionally funniest superhero sex sequences ever.

The Dark Knight Returns worked because of the darkness of the mood (and the crotchety old man factor). Dark Knight Strikes Again has a lot more comedy (mostly black) but largely fails as the tone never felt right to me. Meh.

5/10.

Edited by thebiz, 18 February 2014 - 02:40 PM.

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