Thursday, April 18, 2013


I reviewed the seventh and eighth books in the My Boyfriend Is a Monster series for Good Comics For Kids this week. That's the graphic novel series from Lerner devoted to teenage paranormal romance, in which human girls become entangled with inhuman boys. These two are He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (a Jekyll and Hyde sorta thing) and A Match Made in Heaven (an angel).

If you follow me on Twitter (Hey, you should follow me on Twitter!), then you've probably already heard me rave about the work of of He Loves Me artist Kristen Cella. I do want to take a moment here to point out that the other book, Match Made in Heaven, is written by Trina Robbins, and its heroine is an aspiring comics artist.

The above is a page from that book, in which her angelic beau tries to hide his true nature from her after catching her mid-fall and carrying her safely to the ground on a his giant, feathery wings.

But this, this is my favorite image from the book, and from almost any book I've read in the last month or so:
Please excuse the poor quality of the scan (it was a two-page spread in a digest-sized book), but that's the famous war in heaven that lead to the fall. You know, Lucifer rising up with the rebel angels, Michael and the rest of the angels kicking their asses and throwing 'em out of heaven?

What I love about this image is the various combatants that artists Irene Diaz Miranda and Laura Moreno Fernandez fill up the battlefield with. It's not just angel-on-angel violence; the good angels have a bull and a unicorn on their side, while the bad angels have a three-headed horse and a three-headed giant cobra on their side as well.

Kinda makes me wanna re-read Paradise Lost, because I don't recall there being any Pokemon-esque creatures in there.

And hey, speaking of magic horses! Today I have a short review of Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's miniseries Happy, which was just collected into a trade paperback, in this week's issue of Las Vegas Weekly.

It's a pretty strange little comic. Had almost anyone else written it, Happy might have seemed like a pretty decent, if somewhat cynical and desperate, read. But coming from Grant Morrison? It's kind of hard to overstate how disappoint it is (I think one great advantage Morrison has had the last few years is that he's been writing DC super-comics almost exclusively, and his work is always judged against, say, other Batman comics, or other corporate, direct market-addressed super-comics, and, in that small, often fetid pond, even mediocre can seem pretty damn good. But when he's building something out of whole cloth like this, and has an excellent collaborator with whom to work, then the work gets judged against itself, or all comics, not just Marvel and DC super ones, and thus doesn't fare as well).

A few things worth noting that I didn't have room to get to:

1.) Grant Morrison may be the single worst writer of profanity in all of fiction. There was hardly a line in the comic that didn't have at least one F-word in it, and man oh man, did it seem strange and unnatural. There was even one sentence, that came at a fairly climactic moment, that I just read over and over again trying to decipher its meaning, and I couldn't do it. The words were all English, but they just didn't make any sense at all.

2.) I was downright flabbergasted that a comic by two such great comics-makers, guys who have been making comics for much longer than I've been reading, turned out a narrative in which there were a few spots that didn't make sense, visually. There was some disconnect between the pair, I suppose, and the result was a scene that didn't make much sense.

The one that sticks with me a few weeks after reading was the one where the guy with the hammer is about to kill the prostitute servicing him. I guess he's supposed to be dressed in a cockroach costume, for some reason...? It's really unclear when you're reading it though; I couldn't tell if he turned into a cockroach in the middle of a sex act ,or if the prostitute turned into a cockroach and started devouring him with her insect head during oral sex (It turns out he's dressed like a cockroach, for some reason, and he gets shot in the head by our hero, and the shifting coloring and the way the scene is set up makes that unclear.

3.) The trade is actually a super-good value, though. It's only $13, which is only a buck more than the cost of reading the comic serially (Four issues at $2.99 a pop).

Finally, today at Robot 6 I have a review of Tom Gauld's You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, which is a very, very good collection of some very, very good comic strips, like the one above, which isn't necessarily one of the best, but does involve one of the ways I spend a much of my time (writing) and one of my favorite punchlines (bees).

No comments: