End of Series – Vinyl Underground

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 2008 – Vertigo – 12 Issues

I find it so surprising how sucked into the first issue I was, and how horrible I found it ever since.

The group is very ragtag. They had such colourful pasts they were initially interesting. I was excited to see how it all played out, but then when it did, it seemed more like a gimmick and wasn’t believable to me.

All that wonderful exposition in the first issue seemed minimized throughout the book. It was there giving us history that I didn’t care about and didn’t end meaning anything to the story. It was more like a desperate clinging to something that was at one time beautiful and inspiring, but had past it’s days and should have been left to fond memories than cheapened.

The whole occult spin didn’t end up too well, either. The African boy ended up being all about drugs, and project Urizel ended up being a drug thing funded by a psycho into the occult, but didn’t really do anything occult. It was just an experiment that got cleaned up possibly by MI-6, but that never really got answered.

And then we have this framing by his little sister that made herself look exactly like him, but of course, she probably wouldn’t have sounded like him, being a girl. And she did all this because she was mad and decided to steal his life and all these little crimes they had solved were all set-up by her to draw him in.  Solving occult crimes in the UK, my arse.

Whatever.

When I saw what looked like the head of Moz, I thought either he’s dead by the end of this, or he’s been dead through the entire thing. The former would have satisfied me, though the latter might have brought this book out of stupidity for me if it were done right and I could re-read it and catch all the clues. But no.

I’m glad Caulfield decided to loosen up and not be such a stickler, but she was also the only character I liked in this book. It’s sort of neat she decided to hang with the crew, but at the same time, I can’t help but think what a waste.

It’s over, and I’m glad. Now I can devote my energies into other books. This was hugely disappointing for someone that has had a lot of enjoyment out of Vertigo’s books. But of course, it’s mostly luck, I suppose. I haven’t read every thing of there’s and it’s inevitable I’d hit something I didn’t like. I’m just shocked how stark my dislike was. I expected such great things from this. The first issue was really good. The second was crap and it stayed in the septic tank ever since.

Ah well. Better luck next time.

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End of Series: A Dummy’s Guide to Danger

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2006 – Viper Comics – 4 Issues

A primary example of a really neat idea that spirals downwards into the annoyingly painful, but there really isn’t much that could have been done about it. Having a detective believe his toy dummy is actually a person is wonderful. It’s such a great idea, but of course, it gets annoying with issues like ensuring his guns are loaded and other tasks. I realize that’s the way of things. It’s just really hard for me to look beyond that.

You really have to wonder what the Hell happened to make this guy believe such a thing and just how he manages to keep on believing. He’ll never eat his food, despite any comments of starvation, he’ll never do any tasks asked him, how can it be? I’m a bit disappointed we couldn’t see more into his mind and how he ended up that way. Though it was nice to see the scene involving Bloomberg’s paralysis with the dummy actually moving and acting on his own.

The mystery had me interested in the beginning, but the concept of a killer that harvests body parts and assembles them into a new creation isn’t a new idea, nor is half the bad police bit and girlfriend victimization. Boring. That was another big hand in killing my enjoyment.

There was a moment when my heart briefly fluttered the instant the killer was shot and he’s babbling about how the dummy couldn’t move. If I saw that dummy sitting lifeless as he always does with a smoking gun on the table next to him, I’d be raving about this book. It would have erased every negative view I’d have. That would have been wonderful. Did the dummy really fire that shot? I wouldn’t care. The questions and possibilities would have been enough for me.

I’m disappointed with this. I can’t help it. The only thing I can like at this point is the concept. Everything else just seems like a bad crime drama re-run or made for TV movie. I’m left craving something different, something more psychologically terrifying, not another crime show.

End of Series: Goblin Chronicles

2008 Ape Entertainment – 3 Issues

I really wanted to avoid writing anymore about this and just leave it out, but part of me struggles to come to terms with the very thoughts of omission. Writing down thoughts on an issue-to-issue basis is fine, but an examination of the series as a whole can be just as useful, if not more.

Damn my conscience and it’s cruel need to extend my suffering.

I’m keeping this short. I just don’t have the energy to rip into this steaming pile of gloop. It could have gone so much better with a few more issues and better writing. The very beginning had promise, a poor little goblin aspiring to be something his family rejects. That’s a good story. This sudden prophecy, the war, everything ruined all chances of this ever being good. Everything is so rushed and it’s just so stupid. STUPID!

I get so frustrated when I read the beginning of something that appeals to me and watch how it spirals down the toilet and I wonder what were they thinking?

I could just claw and scrape my face away and let myself rot in a corner from all this frustration. But it is over and never again must I subject myself to such a terrible children’s tale. But now is a time of rejoicing and moving on to better things and not having to deal with this flamin’ gloop anymore.

End of Series: Kingdom Of The Wicked

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1996 – 1997 Calibur Comics – 4 issues

I haven’t had such a good read in a long time. I found it very difficult to muster enough willpower to avoid reading it all at once and flooding Super Nice again with rapid succession reviews like what happened with Super Human Resources. I sort have bended at the end, though.

I have always loved fairytales as a child and there are a number of comics rooted to the idea or known well known fairytales, but none have had such an effect on me as this one. This story is such a wonderfully written concept. Here we have a man whose childhood writings and imagination have  paved the way for a successful life as a top-rated children’s author. The stress eventually wins him over and he finds himself plunged into the world he hadn’t visited since a child that has been turned into a tragic warzone.

The emotions we see in Chris, the disbelief, the desperate attempts to rationalise what’s going on, the sorrow of seeing his childhood friends suffer and die before his eyes by something he never created, it’s all so believable. And we’re right there alongside him feeling the same emotions, raising the same questions knowing only as much as he does until the final scenes.

I didn’t think this story would successfully pan out over the four issues. Before I even started reading, I had feared that it was another old comic that didn’t make it and it’s ending would never be known. Thank the powers that be that it’s all there.

I love the surreal art of D’Israeli. It didn’t seem like much in the beginning, but as the story progressed, I soon saw how perfect a compliment it is to the story. His style adds an eerie quality that lends itself to the decaying of Castrovalva.

This series has made it on my personal list of all time faves and earned a place In The Super Nice Spotlight.

A graphic novel collecting the entire series is available.

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