Archive for February, 2008

Dork Tower / Sandman crossover

February 28th, 2008 by Martin

Susie just sent Florence and I this awesome Dork Tower comic. For those of you who haven’t read Dork Tower before, it’s easily one of my favorite web comics.

I even got a chance to meet John Kovalic at last year’s convergence. He was on the other panel about Board Game creation (I had presented earlier in the con on nearly the same topic). He’s worked on a bunch of board games, including Munchkin, Apples to Apples, and of course Dork Tower the game. There was also an issue of Dork Tower called A Brief History of Gaming that was particularly good, I thought. Although when I asked him about it at the con, he said he’ll probably do the rest of the history of gaming as a TPB, rather than additional Dork Tower issues. I know I’d buy it!

Email update from The Source (links you don’t want to follow)

February 27th, 2008 by Martin

(Believe me, you don’t want to follow either of the links in this post. Both of the websites appear to be run by a five day old monkey.)

1. The Source is our local (awesome) comic book shop. Their latest mass email was the inspiration for this post. They are having a midnight release next week for the new Dark Tower series. They’ll be open from 10pm to 1am next tues/wed. They don’t mention if they’ll have all of that wednesday’s new comics for sale, or just the Dark Tower issue. They do mention: “Who knows what other specials we’ll have at this event?” (As of this writing, the source’s website does appear to be “down”, as when you go there, you get a directory listing. Maybe they’re inviting us to look through their files?)

2. The email also plugged the relatively far-off Microcon, which is a local comic “con” (read: giant vendor sale with some creators –mostly locals– also present) that is slated for Sunday April 27, 2008. This website is slightly more bearable in that it is actually a website. It doesn’t have any information about upcoming conventions though, only the ones that were held last year.

Y the Last Man #60

February 26th, 2008 by Susie

Y 60 cover When I read the last issue of Y the Last Man, I had this feeling of deja vu. I felt to me like the last chapter of Lord of the Rings. Both are basically a really long epilogue. All the plot threads have been tied up and the story is pretty much over. They serve to tell us what happened to the heroes once the adventure has finished and both give a bittersweet view of what happens to heroes once the adventure is over. The issue begins sixty years after the previous issue ended. The human race has tentatively recovered from the plague that killed all creatures with a Y Chromosome, back in issue one. A vaccine has been developed to prevent the plague, and cloning has advanced to the point that the population is on the rise. Whether the old fashioned way of making babies will make much of a come back is uncertain. As for Yorick Brown, the only survivor of the plague (along with his helper monkey Ampersand), he is an old man. He had become an important symbol of hope to what had remained of humanity. His daughter now in her sixties is the president of France and seeing him grow bitter and suicidal in his old age, fears the affect should his condition become public. He is locked up in straight jacket and kept company by several, far too well behaved, clones of Ampersand. The only possible way to bring him out of his funk, she believes, is to have him spend time with one of his many clones. Through a series of flashbacks ( that to the reader are still flash forwards) we see what became of the supporting cast, and it is indeed bittersweet. Each one eventually dying . He is once again the lone survivor, this time of his makeshift family instead of his gender. The young Yorick clone is twenty-two and the spitting image of Yorick from issue one. But this man is as much a cheap imitation as the helpful Ampersands copies. It is clear that what formed Yorick into the man we have grown so fond of over the last fifty-nine issues, is the journey he took and the relationships he formed during those fifty-nine issues. It is telling, and fitting, that the one flashback we get to happier times, takes place amid rotting corpses and eminent danger. The last page hits just the right note. Leaving you to decide if Yorick is Frodo going at last to the the Grey Havens, or Sam returning to his family sad but content. Maybe both. So while I hate to see this series end, I can’t wait to find out what Brian K. Vaughn will do next

The Pulse, Vol. 2

February 25th, 2008 by Martin

I just finished The Pulse, Vol 2 today, and it was superb. I only vaguely remember the whole Secret War thing, but you don’t really need to know more than the gist of it to “get” how this book ties in with the story. Although I will say that this TPB more than any others in the Alias series does seem to rely on your knowledge of the outlying Marvel universe.

When I first read Alias, I didn’t like Jessica Jones. Of course, by the end of the series, I was totally in love with her. Or anyway, with the idea of her. And she just keeps getting better. She’s such a no-nonsense character. A breath of fresh air when you start to imagine it in the context of the whole convoluted era of Secret War, for sure.

So if you haven’t heard of it, or maybe you’ve just never gotten around to it, I highly recommend you read Alias. (No, it’s not anything like the TV series, and neither is based on the other.) The Pulse seems to just continue the series under a different name (I have no idea why they changed it… although this does seem plausible.) and is also quite excellent.

I have the next TPB upstairs, and I think I’m going to have to read it tonight or tomorrow.

Comic Book Conspiracy

February 20th, 2008 by Martin

Just a quick post to link to the Comic Book Conspiracy’s blog. There’s a lot to read there, but basically, it’s an organization of people who make comics. Amateur comics, although I suppose there’s probably lots of overlap.

more free online comics

February 19th, 2008 by Martin

Ran into this article on free graphic novels through some random twitter link. I’ve actually already read a bunch of these, but some of them are really good. I’m going to check the rest of them out sometime soon.

Kevin Cornell’s web creations

February 19th, 2008 by Martin

While we’re on the subject of webcomics, my friend Kyle introduced me today (yesterday now) to Kevin Cornell’s Bear Skin Rug (via Typesites). Cornell is an illustrator by day, and it shows in that his site features mostly one-off newspaper-type comics, but they are pretty funny, and well worth a look.

Also, Cornell is one-half of The Superest, “a continually running game of My Team, Your Team. The rules are simple: Player 1 draws a character with a power. Player 2 then draws a character whose power cancels the power of that previous character. Repeat.” (From the site.) Anyway, it’s pretty… um, super. Check it out.

Freak Angels

February 19th, 2008 by Martin

Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield have just launched a new weekly webcomic called Freak Angels. Not bad so far. I’m certainly not hooked, but as big a fan of Ellis as I am, I’ll definitely be back for future issues.

Buffy Issue #11

February 16th, 2008 by florence

Read the latest issue, and then click below to read my review (SPOILER):


Astro City: Beauty

February 16th, 2008 by Martin

Astro City floors me. It’s one of those rare comic books that actually reaches the level of high art. A comic that actually means something when you get done with it. It’s a title that I am not even slightly hesitant to call literature. It consistently tells stories that are powerfully meaningful, even when taken out of the context of superpowers and costumes and cosmic space battles. Astro City has all that, but the story is so good that you get to the end of an arc, and you realize that it didn’t even need all that stuff. The part that sticks with you is that human story. But of course the point is that these stories are in that context. It uses that backdrop all the more powerfully to illustrate and punctuate the nature of what it means to be human by contrasting it with the inhuman elements present in the superhero genre. It’s a story telling formula with seemingly limitless possibilities, because the series continues to impress me with new and impressively compelling stories.

This issue in particular, did a good job of telling a very heart-warming story in the context of a relatively feeling-less robot character. We are hearing the story of a girl robot who is modeled after a Barbie doll. (I’m sure Barbie was changed to Beauty to avoid trademark infringement.) She has super strength and can fly, but she is also curt and tactless when it comes to human interaction. She’s made of plastic, and she saves the world on a regular basis, so most people give her a break. But we learn that she doesn’t know where she came from, or who she is, and that question nags at her, troubles and bothers her, making her far more human than external appearances would have us believe.

I’m not going to say anything more, for fear of ruining it for you. But let it suffice to say that finding out about her past is as deliciously fun as it is meaningful and thought provoking.

All in all, another home run for Astro City. You should read it now!

Sword #5

February 13th, 2008 by Martin

I just read Sword, issue #5, by the Luna Brothers. This is easily one of the best comic book series in publication today. The story and characters are just so surprising. The luna brothers really know how to make an engaging and compelling story.

The art is relatively simple, (as with all of their work), and not really anything to write home about, but it does the job just fine, and they have improved quite a bit from their early work, (which could be a bit distracting at times), to the point that now, if you notice the art, it’s because something was particularly well done, not the reverse.

I really look forward to this title, and can’t wait for the next one!