Monday, October 29, 2012

diary of a guttersnipe 10/29/12: earth a.d. ("after disaster")


by Shawn Starr

It's a short one this week because i spent three days in Maine being a lush, so Happy Halloween and try not to die in that hurricane.

Mini-Reviews

Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth, Volume One (DC)
by Jack Kirby, D. Bruce Berry, Mike Royer

If someone asked me to name the perfect action adventure comic, i could think of no better example than Jack Kirby's 'Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth'. Every single issue of this book, fuck that, every single PAGE of this book is exploding with the best choreographed action ever drawn, and idea's so purely Kirby that they defy explanation. Giving a plot summary of any of these issues is nearly impossible, because it loses something in translation. They're Kirby, that is all.

I think a lot of the "age of awesome" of the mid 2000's and the recent crop of high concept books try to ape whats going on in this book, but all they do is throw all these ideas at you that are primarily just references to other things (i.e. The 'Family Guy' method of comedy) and trusts the reader to identify them as cool (because hey i saw that movie once). 'Kamandi' on the other hand just sweats awesome, it doesn't need to reference anything because Kirby can just create something twenty times better than whatever movie you were thinking of. 'Kamandi' itself even started life as a "Planet of the Apes" rip off and then Kirby turned it into an entire world with so many possible stories and alternate histories that he could have stayed there forever and still had material to mine, something the latter "Planet of the Apes" films failed to do.

In conclusion, Fuck every other comic, i got 'Kamandi'.

Batman Incorporated #4 (DC)
by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn

I thought we all knew who Wingman was the second he was introduced?

Wolverine MAX #1 (Marvel)
by Jason Starr, Roland Boschi, Connur Willumsen, Dan Brown

I can't think of a book that's had such a dramatic shift in the general level of skill between artists as they trade off pages, Roland Boschi is a competent "mainstream" artist that doesn't do anything past exist and fill pages; while Connor Willumsen has this amazing Crumb mixed with Miller (circa 'Ronin') kind of style (along with a dozen other influences) that just blows Boschi off the page in every conceivable way. Which makes their pairing all the stranger, they don't complement each other in the slightest, one just highlights how terrible the other one is.

It also now seems Willumsen is off the book, which saves me from needing to worry about its existence anymore. Good game Marvel!

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3 (IDW)
by James Stokoe

Stokoe-Monster-Battle-Royale.

FF #23 (Marvel)
by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Cris Peter

The point of this issue (and what Hickman supposedly sees his run as ultimately saying) is that "Intelligence without imagination is pretty much useless, Creating is harder than knowing". He then goes on to "imagine" the completely original idea of Cowboys vs Dinosaurs vs Jello Knights.

I liked this issue (and Hickman's tenure on 'Fantastic Four' in general) but it doesn't work as an epilogue to the run it tries to encapsulate because Hickman's imagination ran out after the first arc. After the first arc was where Hickman began to focus on his hyper detailed mega-plot full of "awesome" moments and issues packed with exposition, and didn't show up again until 'FF' launched, and even that relied way to heavily on having all the exposition spelled out in 'Fantastic Four' and letting 'FF' exist as a side book (while occasionally still putting in fill-in exposition left out of the main book). Maybe having (old) Franklin push his younger self to have more fun is Hickman admitting he lost the thread a bit and perhaps urging Fraction to up his game a little bit for his upcoming run on the franchise.

==============MISS, GET OUT OF THE CAR ===============

Shifty Nifty

A bunch of "legendary" runs ended this week, and I am not sure what that means besides that they were long and generally well received. None of them changed comics, and they wont have any real lasting effect outside of being put on some publishers' "MUST READ" PR list whenever the next movie involving those characters comes out. Sure Fraction's 'Invincible Iron Man' is probably the best modern Iron Man run out there, but that doesn't make it "legendary", does it? Being the best run of something doesn't make your run "legendary", it makes it exist. If i wrote the "best" 'Witchblade' comic, does that mean i had a legendary run ? or does it mean that the level of competency on that book was so low that anything above shit was heralded as the next 'Watchmen'.? The better question is does it stand up to Jack Kirby's 'Fantastic Four', Frank Miller's 'Daredevil', Alan Moore's 'Swamp Thing' ? I don't think so. The only one which would possibly meet that criteria is maybe Brubaker's 'Captain America', but i couldn't read that comic past the first Omnibus because Frank D'armata is a terrible colorist. I mean he's like the worst colorist to ever color anything ever. It's the same reason i couldn't read Fraction's 'Invincible Iron Man' for any extended period of time because Frank D'armata colors everything in this vague shade of shit that makes me want to burn anything his over rendered hand touches. Maybe that was their lasting effect, teaching me that the colorists do matter.

That "Evil Dead" remake trailer looks atrocious, in the sense that it seems to be remaking "The Evil Dead" into a bland retread of every other horror movie from the past decade and dropping everything that made anyone care about the film in the first place by the wayside. Which brings the question of why remake a film that is so purely an expression of a single director and actor ? Especially when said film has very limited wide spread recognition (most people have a vague recollection of who Freddy Kruger and Jason are, no one knows who Ash is honestly), especially when you remake it into a broad base horror film that could have been named anything else and reached the same target audience (a.k.a. teenagers trying to feel up there girlfriends on a Friday night). (Editor's Note: while i totally agree with your take on the new trailer, can we at least agree that the star Jane Levy is really fucking gorgeous - Joey)

This was a interesting discussion on Ware's 'Building Stories'.

"Argo" was a solid film.

I watched "Demolition Man" recently and that film still holds up surprisingly well visually (Joey pointed out this as well with the 1995 "Judge Dredd" film recently on a Chemical Box episode), the production quality really sells the future setting. In this film the "underground society" looks like an "underground society" and the "Utopian" world looks "Utopian". They also do a great job of layering in both a "vague" history (the franchise wars, Schwarzenegger as president) along with new and interesting technology (what are the shells for?) to make it into an actual film.

"OMAC lives.... so that man may live !"

New Dash Shaw! Good,  i was starting to wonder where that guy went (besides animation).

A new Ben Marra comic came out, i somehow didn't hear anything about this until after it was released. I guess I'm slacking.

I liked this review of EC Comics by Chris Mautner.

Marvel solicited a trade collecting various female X-Men stories and anchored it with the Milo Manara / Chris Claremont 'X-Women' one-shot, because Marvel doesn't understand woman.

----Random Gulacy Kung-Fu to finish us out----


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