Wednesday Woundup: Revolver by Matt Kindt, Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis, and Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6!

So each week I’ll be reviewing new comic books and graphic novels I’ve read that week.

I am very lazy.

The goal is for this to come out on Wednesday or Thursday. So probably Saturday.

This post is actually an edited collection of reviews I’ve written recently for friends of mine that don’t actually deserve the benefit of my opinion. Starting next week I’ll start posting new stuff.

Revolver by Matt Kindt. Published by Vertigo.

Revolver by Matt Kindt. It's very good.

Matt Kindt is quickly becoming one of my very favourite comic creators. Any serious comic lover needs to read his 3 Story or Super Spy graphic novels immediately. DC seemed to have realized how good he is, as they gave him a pretty sweet gig with this Vertigo book, and I think it’s only a matter of time before he starts writing superhero books for them.

Unfortunately.

I say unfortunately because there’s no way DC is going to let him write smart, original stuff like this in their books. It’s the story of a guy who is pretty much at a dead end in most aspects of his life. He has a girlfriend, that he doesn’t really like. He has a job that he pretty much despises. He goes through this mediocrity until one day when the world starts to fall apart. He starts to hear about a massive avian flu epidemic, the economic system is close to collapse, and by the end of the day several US cities have been destroyed. He ends up sequestered with the boss he despises waiting for things to get better. They do.

And they don’t. The next day, his world goes back to the way it was, but the only person who knows about the other reality, is him. He then starts to alternate between the two realities, drifting back and forth between these two worlds: One where he’s bored but safe, and the other where he’s in constant danger but happy. Eventually, he has to choose which one he’d rather live in.

This is a sci-fi classic. It’s an incredible work by a young artist/writer at the top of his game. Kindt’s pencils are getting cleaner and tighter with every project, and while this might not be as intricately plotted as his masterpiece Super Spy was, his focus here is on emotional resonance, and I’d say that he succeeds nicely. He blends raw emotion with genre storytelling in a way that’s rarely seen these days. Going to be on my best of the year list for sure.

Rating: A

Dark Avengers Vol. 2: Molecule Man by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato. Published by Marvel Comics.

Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis. I once saw him ride his bicycle to get groceries in Portland. He doesn't mention that in here.

This might end up being the last Avengers trade I ever buy, partly because I’m trying to save space, but mostly because the mainstream superhero stuff is boring me to tears. That being said, I really liked this little series, and in fact I wish they had kept Norman Osbourne in charge of the Marvel U for a little bit longer. Also, when did Mike Deodato become the best penciller Marvel has? Holy crap did that guy ever get good.

Rating: B+

Scott Pigrim’s Finest Hour: Vol. 6 by Bryan O’Malley. Published by Oni Press.

After 7 long years, one of the best comic series of the past decade
comes to an end.

This is Scott Pilgrim. It's his finest hour.

The advantage O’Malley has had with Scott Pilgrim is that the early volume’s successes have made it possible for him to take the time to ensure that the later volume’s don’t drop in quality. In anything they improve with every volume. Not only that, but because they are released as big manga-style volumes and not individual issues, I find that the plot is much tighter than many similar sized stories. Basically, this is as close to a perfectly consistent comic story as you can get, in terms of pacing, and tone, and like Matt Kindt, O’Malley deftly blends real pathos with genre ass-kickery. The final volume wraps everything up about as nicely as you could hope, with Scott learning valuable lessons, and getting the girl.

Rating: A-


Advertisements

First Post. Ta Da.

Lil' Doom. Awwww...!

Ok. Since this is my first post, let me get a few housekeeping things out of the way. These will be the rules by which this blog will be governed. SO SAYETH DOOM!!!

1. Don’t take me too seriously. Although I am VERY passionate about the topics I cover here, my primary goal is to entertain. So if I say that anybody who would actually pay to see something like the A-Team or Jonah Hex should be cast into a boiling stew comprised of the rotting flesh of the cast of Jersey Shore, I’m not actually talking about you. Well, I am, but with love.

2. I tend to like obscure things, so my goal is to try to shed a little light onto musicians, movies, and comic books that a) you may not have heard of, or b) you’ve heard of them but don’t know much about them, or c) you’re very familiar with them, and completely disagree with whatever bullshit opinion I’ve come up with.

3. Disagree if you will, but do so with respect to the original creators that I’ll be reviewing. Real people create this stuff, so let’s try to be respectful of their personal lives.

It's one to grow on.

4. I really don’t care about spoilers. To me, the way a plot is crafted is far more interested than the actual story beats of said plot themselves. That being said, I’m in the minority, so I’ll try to label spoilers as such. Please do the same.

A few things about my tastes:

Music: You know how when you ask someone “What kind of music do you like?” and they respond by “Oh, I listen to everything”, when what they really mean is “I listen to everything that society has deemed acceptable for me to listen to, so mostly a smattering of watered down pop, rock, faux-country, faux-rap, and dance music. Oh, and I also label everything I don’t understand with the word jazz.” ? That’s not really me. I do listen to everything, but for me that’s about trying to constantly broaden my horizons, and to listening to as many types of obscure music as possible. I really try to give a fair shake to everything, but for the most part music that’s played on the radio isn’t my cup of tea. I love music from many international genres, but my 2 true loves are jazz, and soul. And peanut-buster parfaits from Dairy Queen. So it’s actually 3 true loves. Well, and there’s my wife. 4 true loves. If you see her, tell her I mentioned her first ok?

I have MANY favourites, but some artists that constantly find their way to my ears include: The Abyssinian Gospel Choir, Ornette Coleman, Son House, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Fugazi, Tom Waits, Clifford Brown, Fela Kuti, Jerry Butler, Lou Rawls, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Otis Redding, Art Tatum, Andrew Hill, Captain Beefheart, and MANY MANY more.

Contrary to popular belief I don’t just listen to music by dead black guys, and some modern acts I dig include: Mi Ami, Dirty Projectors, Red Baraat, Tallest Man On Earth, Mastodon, P.O.S., BLK JKS, the Jim Jones Revue, The Dirtbombs, Staff Benda Billili, Marnie Stern, William Parker, and MANY MANY more. I’ll be doing album and concert reviews regularly.

Son House. He's dead. I like his music.

Movies: I love all sorts of movies, and genre doesn’t mean much to me. I love big budget adventure movies when they don’t treat me like I’m an idiot, and I love little foreign indie-arthouse movies when they don’t treat me like I’m a pretentious douche. That being said, I hold films up to a very high standard and don’t believe in sugar-coating my reviews. Some recent favourites of mine would include: A Single Man, Let The Right One In, Revolutionary Road, Moon, District 9, and some classics that I love would include: Night Of The Hunter, Touch Of Evil, Unbreakable, F Is For Fake, Rear Window, Unforgiven, and for some god-forsaken reason, Diggstown. I’ll be doing movie reviews regularly, and I often get to see big budget films a few days before they come out.

Comic Books: This will probably the medium I review most. Although I grew up in superhero land, and still have a lot of love for well-told stories in that medium, I love well-told graphic stories in all genres, including western, political non-fiction, history, fantasy, sci-fi etc. I love the work of contemporary creators such as Chris Ware, Darwyn Cooke, Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Karl Kerschl, and Warren Ellis, grizzled veterans like Jaques Tardi, Dennis O’Neal, R. Crumb, and Rick Geary, and past masters such as Will Eisner, and Bernie Krigstein.  I plan on writing a week in review column about the books that came out that week that I read, but I also plan on discussing older works that I’ve recently rediscovered.

The Spirit, created by Will Eisner. Legacy later shat on by Frank Miller.

I hope you enjoy.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then we’ll begin.