Friday, September 14, 2012

Comic shop comics: September 12

It Girl! And the Atomics #1-#2 (Image Comics) I think it says something about something that I was unable to purchase the first issue of this series off the rack of my local comic shop the Wednesday afternoon it came out (last month), but had to wait until this week, for a pre-ordered copy of the second printing.

I think it says that the series is extremely popular, and sold out really fast—not only at my shop, but in such numbers that Image had to rush a second printing to press.

Or that Image did a poor job of estimating the market for the book, and thus didn't publish enough copies.

Or that my local comic shop did a poor job of estimating how much demand among their customers there was for the book when placing their orders.

Or that I don't pay enough attention to new comics coming out, as I wasn't aware of the fact that Image was publishing a new comic based on Mike Allred's Atomics cast, drawn by an artist I really like (Mike Norton) until the week it was released, and thus it was way too late to pre-order.

At any rate, a month later, I can read the first issue of It Girl! And the Atomics featuring perhaps the best designed character (man, that logo/hero icon is the best!)with the coolest super-powers (the ability to take on the characteristics of whatever she touches, essentially becoming it) from Allred's spin-off, written by former Oni editor Jamie S. Rich (who has impeccable taste in comics and artists and has edited a lot of my favorite comics, although a lot of his writing has left me cold-to-luke warm) and drawn by Norton, with covers drawn by Allred and colored by Laura Allred.

The paper and cover stock is awesome. I love the way the book looks and feels. Before even opening it, It Girl! seems like the Platonic ideal of a comic book. It's what I want to see and feel when I'm near a comic book. If I were a movie producer/art director and a scene called for a character to be holding or reading a comic book, this is the comic book I'd give 'em, as it just says "comic book" so very perfectly eloquently.

And then I opened it and, well, it's less than perfect on the insides.

Allred characters by someone other than Allred, and in an art style so very far removed from Allred's, certainly underscores the virtues of Allred's particular writing and drawing style, the overall aesthetic of his comics. This, and while reading, I kept wondering if it was because it was missing Allred. Like, maybe Madmen and The Atomics weren't actually better written comics, but maybe Allred's art made them seem better...?

I don't know. I just know that this was extremely mediocre, basic superhero comics writing, distinguished mainly by it's old-fashioned, dismemberment and rape free plotting and the superior costume design to that you'd find in the vast majority of today's super-comics.

Norton's art remains great, and it is interesting seeing his particular take on so many Allred characters, but it's worth noting he's dialed back the super-stylized cartoonishness that characterized the last work of his I spent an extended amount of time with—Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam—and I wonder if he dialed back a little too much.

I'm gonna stick with this a bit longer, in part because Rich promises China Clugson fill-in art in the near future, but I was a more than a little disappointed in how run-of-the-mill the comic turned out to be.

The Judas Coin (DC Comics)I purchased this, and read most of it tonight. I won't say any more, as I'll probably give it a full and thorough review somewhere else in the near future. Wait, I will say it's writer/artist Walter Simonson and letterer John Workman telling a half-dozen loosely connected stories taking place in several different time periods, allowing him to draw modern Gotham City, the Old West, Viking times, the future, etc. And I will also lament the fact that one of those time periods was not World War I, so there is sadly no Simonson-draw Enemy Ace flying the Simonson-drawn deadly skies.

Saucer Country #7 (DC) Just like last month's issue, this one features a guest artist (David Lapham, depsite the appearance of regular artist Ryan Kelly's name on the cover), and consists of a character giving a presentation to another character, in which writer Paul Cornell couches an issue-length history lesson.

While Saucer Country #6 was more or less a "true" story, or at least one that cites real (or "real," I don't know; UFO shit is hard to talk about!) events from the history of human belief in UFOS and aliens, this one focuses on the fictional (or fictional as far as I know; maybe Cornell is referencing UFO lore that's simply new to me) group The Bluebirds that have appeared in the series before, and are being set up as kinda-sorta antagonists, or at least rivals, to the cast of protagonists.

After these last two issues, I'm kind of wishing I would have trade-waited this series, as, structurally, it's kind of like watching a television drama that only airs episodes once a month.

Awesome cover as usual, though.

Negima! Vol. 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17-20, 23 and 26 (Del Rey),
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days Vols. 3, 5 (ADV Manga) and Sgt Frog Vols. 6, 11-13, 16 and 19 (Tokyopop) My local comic shop was having a "manga blow-out!" sale, apparently to rid themselves of the last of their manga stock. This means that all manga that was priced at $9.99 or under was now $2 ($2!) and all manga $10 or more was now just $4. Now, I don't really need all of these manga immediately—I think I left off on like the fourth or fifth volume of Ken Akamatsu's Negima!, for example, and there are obviously large holes in these collections, but all three of those are series I started and planned to finish some day, and, well, it's not terribly likely that I'll someday find cheaper deals on them then $2 or $4 dollars, you know? So I blew about $80 I could have better spend on, say, medicine or food or gasoline on manga this week. Damn you, local comic shop and you're unbelievably good sale...! (I typed that last sentence using only my left hand, as I was using my right hand to make a fist to shake in the general direction of my local comic shop while I typed it).

No comments: