Wednesday Woundup: Batman by Neil Gaiman, Depressing WW1 comics, and a hungry mountain

More recent reviews that I’ve posted elsewhere. New comic stuff starts next week.

It Was The War Of The Trenches By Jacques Tardi. Published by Fantagraphics

Despressing WW1 Comic that you can impress your friends by owning.

Tardi is one of the most respected comic book creators on earth (think a French Kriegman, Eisner, or Spiegelman), but due to his work not being translated into English, is pretty much unknown in North America. So I was excited when Fantagraphics announced they were going to start translating his work into English. This is the first book of his that I’ve read, and I can say without hyperbole that it’s magnificent. It’s the story of WW1. Not THE story, but many stories. Lots of horrible little stories that serve the purpose of reminding us of the futility of War. If this book doesn’t turn you into a pacifist, then you’re beyond hope. Or your name is Sarah Palin.

This book depressed the shit out of me, but I’m glad I finally got to read it. Incredible work by a true master.

Rating: A

Batman: Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader by Neil Gaiman & Andy Kubert. Published by DC Comics.

The funeral of Batman, just in time for the return of Batman.

I picked up the 2 issues of this when it came out, but I liked it so much that I bought it in TP. This isn’t going to change anyone’s life, but it’s a nice little tribute to one of his favourite characters by a consistently creative writer. I can’t say it’s equal to Alan Moore’s ‘Man Of Tomorrow” that is the obvious template for this coda , but the circumstances here are very different that they were then. I will say that Andy Kubert’s pencils are incredible here. Some of the best superhero work I’ve seen recently. I’ve always liked Kubert, but this is one another level from previous work of his that I’ve seen. How he’s not doing all of DC’s big event books is beyond me.

They pad out the TP by adding a couple of other Gaiman Batman stories. Only one of them is good. It’s a Batman/Joker story Gaiman wrote for Batman: Black & Night. If you’ve never checked it out, it’s also currently available for free on the DC app for iPhone/iPad. Awesome little Joker and Batman story.

Rating: B+

Flight Vol. 7 by various  artists and writers.

I hate it when the mountain tries to eat me.

This is an annual anthology of stand-alone comic stories by young unknown creators. The focus for this anthology has always been more about art over plot. As such, it’s visually stunning, but I’d like to see different people involved next year so we can get a more well rounded view of what’s happening in the indie comics world. That being said, there’s enough about this volume to recommend it, but if you have other previous volumes, this might be one to pass on.

Rating: C+

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2 thoughts on “Wednesday Woundup: Batman by Neil Gaiman, Depressing WW1 comics, and a hungry mountain

  1. Hi Tim. Nice blog! I used to love and collect comics. My favourte series was the Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters. I think it was probably a spoof on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Anyway, I thout it was pretty funny. Do you know it?

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