Squiddy Thought Bites #1

My comic reading has been pretty steady, but there hasn’t been anything where I could write more than a tweet or two. I just haven’t been able to find enough things to say about things-even things I like. I’d hate to see this space vacant again for so long, so I’m going to start up a series dedicated to short, likely disjointed, and probably useless impressions.

Bat Lash. DC 2008. Issues #1-4.

This is a guy that has been around since the late sixties and one of few westerns I have read despite being a fan of a good gunslingin’ cattle drivin’ bar brawlin’ scalpin’ story. This mini was okay. After each issue I wanted to continue even though it didn’t really have a unique plot. Overall, the feel of the book fell more into the soap-opera variety revolving around a forbidden romance. It is the ending what ruined things for me. I half expected something along those lines, but not so… rigid. It also felt a bit on the rushed side even as comics go. For a formulaic feeling story, it still was a good read, but I’m not so sure these good feelings hold with my disappointment over the ending.

Lady Rawhide. Topps. 1996. Issue #1

This is very 90s. VERY 90s. I’m still in shock from the exposure. The exposition is really hard for me to get through. I could tolerate it back then, but now? You don’t even need pictures to know what’s going on and that really gets under my skin these days. Unless the art is crap, I can tell what I’m looking at and what’s going on without the narration. The content of the book is also very 90s and I could barely get through it. I still groan about it having to write this little blurb. I didn’t like it. I’m not sure if I will like it once I get used to it, but I do have more of it, so I may as well read them.

Marineman. Image. 2010. Issue #1

I don’t know what this is. Our hero is a marine bioligist tv-documentary star. The bulk of it seemed more of an educational thing than anything else. An event did happen with a free diver dying under mysterious circumstances, however, this issue doesn’t go anywhere with that. You get not villain introduction, no action, no build towards anything whatsoever, and no cliffhanger of any kind. It really didn’t go anywhere. It’s like watching a horror movie for 45 minutes waiting for something to happen. Nope. Don’t recommend it. Won’t be reading anymore.

Magnus Robot Fighter. Dark Horse. 2010. Issue #1

I had read some scattered classic issues of this guy, and I liked the cross-dressing guy well enough. I liked this one well-enough, but it didn’t pop. This isn’t anything I feel compelled to keep going with and there were a few places where I was a bit lost in what was going on. My interest just wasn’t held enough for me to want anymore. Also, I would never name my crayon red cat Tomato.

Chronos. DC. 1998. Issues #1-3

A time traveling thief gets into a lot of trouble. It reminds me of old shows like Time Trax, Quantum Leap, and Sliders. It’s not terrible as far as writing and art goes, but it also doesn’t grab me, either. I’m just not interested in the story or his problems or the interesting twist that’s there. I believe I have all of it, so I will read through it, but, again, 90s. Not that there is anything wrong with words, and this isn’t nearly as bad as Lady Rawhide, I still think some of them don’t need to be there.

Deity Requiem. Image. 2005. Issue #1

This was a hefty book with some pretty good Michael O’Hare art. It seems to be more-or-less a self-contained story, but it’s evident that it’s part of a much larger whole and I’m interested in seeking out more of it. It’s a nice blend of fantasy sci-fi with religion thrown into the mix of the whole dark world vs light world thing. Yes, it is a tired concept, but I actually enjoyed this. It had a nice fold-out cover, too.

Demo “The Waking Life of Angels”. Vertigo. 2010. Issue #1

Of the batch of things I’m reviewing this post, this is the best. This book is so far above the others in terms of storytelling, writing, and art. It captivated me after just a few panels and by the end, I immediately put it on my list for my next shopping trip. It has a very almost Hitchcock feel to the story in which you weren’t entirely sure what was going on, but you knew it wouldn’t end too well.

The Devil’s Keeper. Alias. 2005. Issue #1

Terrible. Boring. Done. I didn’t even make it through the entire issue before returning it to its sleeve and filing it away. Sadly, I have more of it. Oh, well.

Doc Macabre. IDW. 2010. Issue #1

This was another big winner out of this batch. This is a different kind of Ghostbuster and I really enjoyed it. He charges a fee for his services and uses tech of his invention to deal with the supernatural disturbances. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Will be getting more of this one, too.

Doctor Solar Man of the Atom. Dark Horse. 2010. Issue #1

This is another classic character I had been interested in reading more modern appearances of. I liked this one more than Magnus, but again, I wasn’t particularly grabbed by it. I felt bored reading it and didn’t care too much for the issue’s crisis. I’ll be giving this a pass.

Aside

Proof: The Company of Men

Cover2009 | Image

Writing: Alexander Grecian
Art: Riley Rossmo
Colour: Fiona Staples | Adam Guzowski
Letters: Alexander Grecian

Collects issues 6-9.

Ginger, Elvis, and Proof set off to Africa to rescue a dinosaur targeted by big game hunters. Unfortunately, it was all a trap to capture Proof and serve him up as dinner at a banquet.

After reading the first trade, I imediately set into the second. It took me a bit of time to get through, mostly having other things vying for space on my proverbial entertainment platter, but it was a nice savoury piece of betrayal, drama, and satisfying conclusions. I never suspected anyone at the lodge of being a traitor. Not so soon into things, and it just came out of nowhere. Nicely done.

What they did with the Colonel at the end of that mess I found to be quite satisfying. Will he be causing more trouble in the future? Probably. I don’t see why he wouldn’t and he seems bent on escape. I suppose we shall see.

I’m not sure how I feel about Elvis cutting his hair and getting that makeover. It doesn’t look like him at all. I’ll agree it is good to make a good first impression, but he’s already met Ginger and if you’re gonna dress nice and stuff, you want to at least still be true to yourself, right? I liked his weird style.

Oh well.

 

Pretty Deadly #1

Cover

Oct 2013 | Image

Writing: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art: Emma Rios
Colour: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Emma Rios

Two traveling storytellers weave a warning disguised as a tale of Death’s Daughter to the people of an old western town. 

Well, this is weird and I can see where the Sandman and Preacher marriage come from, but it is not Sandman nor is it Preacher and I think it tries too hard.

I had to read the first issue twice to get a feel for things and ensure that I really aren’t clueless from it all. The most I gained from this book is the story of how Ginny, Death’s daughter, came to be. I don’t particularly like how it’s done. I don’t like this story-within-a-story thing going on with the rabbit and the butterfly talking and then the comic proper taking place within that. I got tired of this presentational method a long time ago.

A lot of characters were introduced and the book basically just throws you into the middle of something and doesn’t do it comfortably. I feel like I missed out on an issue #0 and that’s a bad way for me to feel reading the debut of something new which I know nothing about. Everything packed into this book all led up to a weak cliffhanger which doesn’t even compel me to continue on. I found it all to be quite ‘meh’ in all honesty, but I at least found the art enjoyable.

Despite this book having no impact on me at all, I’m going to give it one more chance with a second issue. Perhaps it is just poorly paced for the format and something better suited to exist in a collected form. Some books are like that and better read like that.

We’ll see.

Proof: Goatsucker

Cover2009 | Image

Writing: Alexander Grecian
Art: Riley Rossmo
Colour: Tyler Jenkins | Riley Rossmo
Letters: Alexander Grecian

Collects issues 1-5.

Agent John Prufrock, Proof, is a sasquatch, a sasquatch that happens to work for The Lodge, an organisation that investigates and works with the strange creatures that live in our world. Proof receives a new partner and investigates a sighting of the chupacabra. 

Riley Rossmo earned a place on my art stalking list when i first read this book. I really like it and I need to see what else he’s worked on. I really like his style and the creatures in the habitat, the faeries and that awful devil were magical things. Of course, there’s also the Goatsucker herself. I really need more. I currently only have the first two trades.

In an episode of Comic Chat, I had spoken about comics that could make great television shows. Proof is one of them. It’s intelligent, interesting, and everything is believable. They provide enough for everything to be reasonably explained in a non-supernatural manner. These are all normal creatures without magic or any other hocus-pocus tomfoolery. I think there’d be great appeal for this and it could be quite good with the right people on it.

One can dream.

This trade collects the first story of the series, Goatsucker, which entails tracking down the chupacabra who keeps changing skin while also getting us familiar with the Lodge and what it does. It also sets us up for the future with something very strange going on. The Goatsucker and a resident of the habitat all spoke of the same thing and eluded to some future mystery. Oh, curiosity!

It’s an excellent read for anyone who likes urban legends and I highly recommend it.

Ghosted #4

CoverOct 2013 | Image

Writing: Joshua Williamson
Art: Goran Sudzuka
Colour: Miroslav Mrva
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover: Sean Phillips

The possession plan is the best idea the group has for stealing a ghost which is further supported by unfortunate events leading Trick to be possessed and things only get worse when the group is stuck in the house after dark.

Well, there’s no denying the place is haunted now. There were little stepping stones that strung things along until until the ghosts hit the fan and our nonbeliever didn’t have too much to say in his shock. Finally more answers, too! We have a possible reason for the ghost theft and it isn’t what I expected. My mind had gone more elaborate routes thinking it had to be something more than what it turned out to be. What a cliffhanger, too. I wanted to know what happened after dark. Gah! I want the next issue! Now!

Again, this book continued to deliver and my interest continues. I’m really excited to read the next issue and see how they’re going to get out of this mess and what the boss’ sinister master plan is. Oh, the suspense!

 

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