Monday, July 04, 2005

Okay, going to try to start something new, partly because some of my comics-reading friends read this blog, and partly to force myself to write something with some sort of regularity. So I'm going to talk a bit about the comics I've read this week, so far:

Shaun of the Dead #1 from IDW.
Pretty much what it says on the tin, it's a straightforward adaptation of the fantastic movie from last year. (Last year? I think last year.) I pretty much got it to bump up sales for them, which would hopefully increase the chances of IDW publishing original movie creator Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's proposed graphic novel sequel, From Dusk Till Shaun. The adaptation had a couple of bumpy spots where it didn't seem to really capture the feel of the scenes it was adaptating, but for the most part was okay. And the art was nice.

Angel: The Curse #1, also from IDW.
This one is a sequel to the TV series, which I loved. Wisely, it doesn't follow directly on from the fantastic ending of the TV series, but picks up some time later. It's written by Jeff Mariotte, who does fabulous work on the horror Western series Desperadoes (the most recent miniseries from IDW, where he used to be editor-in-chief) and decent work on CVO: Covert Vampiric Operations, a sort of vampire commando comic. He's also written Angel novels that I haven't read. His script here feels like it fits naturally with the tone of the TV series, but is definitely a story tailored for comics (unlike the Shaun adaptation). The art, by David Messina, is very nice. Angel--the only character from the series--is clearly recognizable, but doesn't look like he was traced from photographs. Overall, the art is somewhat reminiscent of Mike Mignola, but not too derivative of him. Dark and moody, and totally in keeping with the feel of the series, if this first issue is indicative of the tone of the Angel comics to come from IDW, I think I'll be sticking around.

Planetary #23 from Wildstorm.
By Warren Ellis and John Cassiday, this has been a personal favorite since it premiered, I don't know, at least five or six years ago. Very much sort of an X-Files type story set in a comic-book universe, it's become this really fascinating science-fiction story. Things are definitely coming to a head, with the end apparently in sight, but the book comes out on a pretty irregular schedule, so who knows how long it'll be until we see that last issue? However, we're finally getting some of the blanks filled in for the main characters, and the mysteries behind the entire series look to be gradually revealed. And the art, by Cassiday, continues to be stunning, and proof--as if more were needed--of how wasted he is on a book like Astonishing X-Men.

Albion #1 from Wildstorm.
Alan Moore plots and his daughter and her boyfriend write the revival of some of the greatest British comics heroes of the 20th century. Britain has never really had much of a superhero tradition, so I'm looking forward to the revival of all of these oddball characters who, quite honestly, I've never actually heard of. My first impression is it's Paul Grist's comic Jack Staff crossed with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen. This first issue is an intriquing set-up that provides very little hard information, but definitely makes me want to come back for more. And the art is gorgeous. Of course, there is the slightest bitter taste knowing that this is one of the last projects Moore will be working on for DC, but it's not like he created these characters anyway, so that's not too bad.

Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities #4 from Dark Horse.
Written by creator of The Goon, Eric Powell, and drawn by Kyle Hotz (whose art makes him appear to be the bastard offspring of Kelley Jones and Berni Wrightson), this comic is almost but not quite as completely mad as The Goon. Worth the price of admission to witness the exchange between old-world Hammer Horror style Dr Frankenstein and Billy the Kid, who lets loose a stream of accusations of pedophelia, homosexuality, and bestiality reminescent of classic Joe Lansdale.

Nat Turner #1, created and published by Kyle Baker.
48 page of gorgeous Kyle Baker art telling the early life of Nat Turner, almost entirely wordless. Fantastic!

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