Apart from getting rid of old comics (Trimming the Collection), reading a variety of stuff I wouldn’t buy (From A Library), and being silly (Q&A), I do actually buy comics as they come out. Shocking, I know. Since starting a new job that is in the opposite direction from my comic shop and home, I don’t get to buy them on a weekly basis. Therefore, in a startling new feature here at Clandestine Critic, I review some of my recent comic book purchases.
All-Star Superman #3
Utterly charming. Grant channels his love of the old Superman stories through a modern sensibility without being twee or corny. Not being a Superman reader, I had no idea if Samson and Atlas are regulars in the cast, but I didn’t care and didn’t need to know; this is how comics should be. Apart from a couple of ropey panels, Frank’s art is lovely (Zilla nails it with the perfect panel) and captures the mood beautifully. Left me with a grin on my face and warm sensation in my cockles, or perhaps the sub-cockles. This is despite my current reading of Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones and the treatment of comic book creators.
Ex Machina #19
Politics continue as Ex Machina emphasises the job of Mayor over Machine in this issue. I think that most people would be surprised to find themselves reading a comic book about what it is like to be Mayor of New York, but Vaughan makes it engaging and Harris’s art makes it feel real and engaging. I feel that I enjoy this more because I’m British, viewing New York from the point of view of fascinated onlooker, so don’t have any real familiarity with the source material.
In which things are explained. Ellis’s dialogue, with its bare-bones approach yet information-laden effect, results in superhero poetry, and Cassaday’s art sings as always. Despite the hideous wait, each issue is well worth it, the consequence of a wonderful comic book by all involved. It will be a shame when it has to end.
I enjoy Scott Kurtz’s gaming magazine sitcom, even if I find myself enjoying it more on the computer screen than the printed page; seeing it on paper highlights the lack of background and artistic perspective in the artwork, leaving it to the facial expressions and the writing to carry the load. The collection in this issue wasn’t the strongest, and the duplication of a strip on the same page seemed a little insulting to the paying audience.
Usagi Yojimbo #92
An ‘in-between’ story, as Usagi and Tomoeh cross paths with Kitsune, the wandering entertainer/thief, and her young charge. Even small stories are wonderful in Usagi Yojimbo, with Stan Sakai consistently bringing quality comics. This is leading up to the next issue, with the tea ceremony between Usagi and Tomoeh, who deserve to be a happy, romantic couple, but the samurai code looks set to intervene. It’s far too long to wait until the next issue.
I also bought Queen & Country #29, as I have been buying it in singles since it began, but I can’t bring myself to read it yet. This is because it relies on what has happened in the Rucka-penned novels, A Gentleman’s Game and Private Wars. I have yet to buy these because I don’t buy hardback books; it was only through researching for this post that I discovered that the first book is in paperback. (I don’t like buying hardbacks. It seems an expensive and storage-intensive manner to own a book. The only hardback I have bought is my copy of The Art of Usagi Yojimbo. Yes, I know I am odd.) So, do I read the comics and spoil the novels? This seems a shame, as I really enjoy Rucka’s novels; I have his Atticus Kodiak books, and they are great. I am on the horns of a dilemma. What to do? The agony of choice.