lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
#11 – FASHION BEAST by Alan Moore & Facundo Percio
This is a comics version of an unmade script that Moore wrote from a story by Malcolm McLaren in 1985, basically their take on Beauty And The Beast. It's set in a city where the fashion houses rule the impoverished populace, there's a mysterious designer, a girl needing a job, a pair of Ugly Sisters of sorts.... I know bugger all about the fashion biz, but it definitely strikes a chord with the way people follow designer labels and the cult of celebrity. It's definitely good, and the art by Percio is great. I suspect that, if made as a movie in 1985, it would have been really, really shit, and if made as a movie now it would probably be pretty damn good (albeit condemned by Moore as propaganda of the evil Military/Entertainment Complex.) Definitely worth seeking out this graphic novel collection from Avatar Press (collecting the 10-issue series).
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER: THE LAUGHING CORPSE – ANIMATOR by Laurell K Hamilton and Ron Lim. This is a hardback graphic novel adaptation of the second Anita Blake novel, which I'd got free as a handout at a convention a couple of years ago. I know nothing about the series – thought it was one of thse cliched things for teenage girls, but actually this isn't bad at all (well, there's the appearance of vampire master Jean-Claude, but I suspect he's meant to take the piss out of the whole Anne Rice subgenre), and jumping on without knowing the first book wasn't a problem – it was pretty much self contained, with any necessary background exposition slotted in. It's a sort of police procedural mystery thing with zombies and vampires, and felt tonally very like the Harry Dresden books, which is a good thing. The art is nice too. What's not nice is that it collects five issues of comic and ends on “to be continued in The Laughing Corpse- Necromancer” which I haven't got. Still, it does actually make me wonder if the novels are of of a similar Dresden-ish tone, and so I may have to try one if I see one...
lonemagpie: are you afraid of your people yet? (v)
On Wednesday I pondered "how do you express hatred for one lot of psychos without thereby showing solidarity with the opposing lot of psychos?"

Of course the answer is:

So, yeah, I wanted something suitable to reflect the Charlie Hebdo attack, but also all the other shit in the world. So I wanted a point that had been drawn in comic form - and here’s my favourite.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Oh, today I read JLA- The Hypothetical Woman, by Gail Simone and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Pretty good trade paperback of the 6-issue mini. Really loved the handling of Bats, J'onn, and especially Wonder Woman. Great that it's the John Stewart GL in this too, as he's my favourite GL. I was left a bit puzzled to who and what the eponymous Sybil actually was, though - not sure if that was something introduced or explained in previous stories.
lonemagpie: like it says (fuck it)
The Fall Of Cthulhu: The Fugue, by Michael Nelson & JJ Dzialowski- Again, plenty of promise, but ultimately unsatisfying. I don't mind updating the Mythos to the modern day, but the characters (except for Mr Arkham) were unengaging, the domestics between the lead character and his girlfriend were just cliched, and the plot developments were very obvious, but the biggest problem was with the art. At first it looked like it'd be good, with subtle colour tones providing depth- but it turned out that wasn't the case, and the panels tended to be just muddy.

While it's true that the Mythos tends to drive its characters mad, I doubt the confusing jumps and odd discordancies between script and art (e.g. references to a face on a knife handle, which don't seem to be there in the art) were deliberate for that purpose.

So, showed, promise at first, but ultimately disappointing.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Why isn't this a better regarded movie? (ditto also The Shadow, and, especially, The Rocketeer. Actually, the hell with it - it's Trailer Tuesday so I'm gonna post their trailers too!)

So, let's ask the same of The Shadow - Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The second of three underrated 90s comics-based movies...

And then there's the very best of them all, with a brilliant Timothy Dalton villain...

lonemagpie: if only (by me)
Belated due to a change of artist, this finally comes out this week.

I'm not sure if they reissued #1 as a lead in, but there'll be a trade edition after #4 comes out, no doubt.

Of the comics I wrote, this miniseries adaptation is the one I'm happiest and most proud of.

lonemagpie: b7 finale (b7)
Batman: Four Of A Kind collects the Year One stories for four villains, from the 1995 Annuals.

Alan Grant's Poison Ivy story has the best art, but a weak story. The art does very much sexualise Ivy, but works in context (like when she's actively trying to seduce Bats), and actually adheres to proper anatomy. Unfortunately her self-proclaimed backstory is the sort of astoundingly cliched "all men are lying hypocritical abusing bastards" that your average MRA type thinks is what feminism is about.

Chuck Dixon's Riddler story is the best story, with a good punchline, but has the worst art. It's a good read, though.

Doug Moench's Scarecrow story is pretty decent, with disappointing art, but really suffers from an unreadable italic font in most of the caption boxes.

Chuck Dixon's Man-Bat story is nice, and has nice enough art, but it's strange that it's included in a villains' backstory collection, as the Man-Bat is clearly *not* a villain, and does nothing evil in the story - he's just a victim. But Batman does beat the shit out of him and drug him, just in case.

Anyway, a reasonable collection overall, if variable, but nothing really standout.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Iron Man: Extremis by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov is the best of the three Marvel collections I'd read over the last few days. It really is a great jumping on point and intro to Iron Man, which relaunches the character for the modern age (so well that its flashback origin for him is used as the basis for the first Iron Man movie's origin act.)

The art is lovely, and the story very grounded in the real world - in sometimes uncomfortable ways. It's also very much a solid self-contained story. All in all, a fantastic entry for us casual readers or newbies, and I'd like to think longtime fans love it too.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
As Marvel graphic novels go, that was better. Of course it's Noughties Marvel, so superior. Thor Reborn by J Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel was really nice. Great artwork, a script that gets the importance of mythology, and lovely quotable lines and sentiments.

It works well as a jumping-on point for the likes of myself who are less familiar with the series- there's only one bit that obviously hangs over from elsewhere (something about Tony Stark having done something with DNA samples) but it's not a big problem.

The highlight was probably the Medicines Sans Frontieres chapter in Africa, though at the same time this felt a little uncomfortable in the sense of "look, this is a blonde blue-eyed actual fucking Norse god solving Africa?!" thing, but thankfully this was then actually addressed by the characters in the story.

Good mix of humour and epicness, love what happens with Asgard and the town meeting... I like the female Loki too.

It didn't really have a proper ending, but, as a jumping-on point that doesn't matter, as the whole purpose is make me want to read on, and it certainly did that. I like this Thor...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
So, in this day and age when DC are douchebags who mess things up with New 52, and don't believe audiences could accept a female superhero movie, while Marvel have hit a stride that pleases fans and casual folks alike, it's sometimes hard to remember how one came to be more a DC fan and not like Marvel.

And then something like Spiderman: Birth of Venom reminds you of exactly why. Because, back in the 80s when you started getting into proper comics, DC were reinventing the medium with mature writing, and Marvel were producing tales where both the dialogue, the thought bubbles, and the descriptive captions were all repetitively telling you what you were supposed to be seeing in the inferior art.

Yeah, you can tell I just read this collection, right?

Mostly written by Tom DeFalco, I guess I have to blame him for the crap telling us what the panels should be showing us, and the repetition. It might be the Marvel house style of the time, really - though I have some Essential Wolverine and X Men books that don't do this - but even if it were, the last two chapters, by other writers, avoid it.

The penultimate chapter, by Louise Simonson, comes over a bit better, though still has some of that style, and doesn't have as awful dialogue and phrasing as DeFalco's issues.

The last chapter, Amazing Spiderman #300, is by David Micheline, and avoids that style entirely, reading as a decent regular comic. The art by Todd MacFarlane is a bit weird, mind you - MJ suddenly is a Victoria's Secret icon in every panel, and while the story emphasises that Eddie Brock is way more the bodybuilder type than the lean Peter Parker, MacFarlane draws Petey as hugely bulked up as well.

So, a big "meh" for this 80s Spidey collection.

Thankfully there have been great Marvel titles since- Ultimates, 1602, etc. Basically from the end of the 90s they seem to have got their shit together...
lonemagpie: if only (by me)
The cover for an upcoming book from Sequart Press - and, why, yes, I *have* written one of the chapters, actually…

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Went through Conan: The Blood-Stained Crown And Other Stories, by Kurt Busiek and various artists, yesterday. It was good fun - the first story in the collection was actually pretty moving, all of them are good, and the art is very nice throughout.
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Albion (Alan & Leah Moore, John Reppion, Shane Oakley & George Freeman) - A lovely tribute to the forgotten British IPC and AP comics characters, some of whom I'm old enough to remember. (I certainly remember and recognised Captain Hurricane (who's actually the scariest character), Grimly Feendish, Robot Archie, and various others).

Storywise, it could have done with better editing - bits are too rushed and other bits are too empty - but overall it was good fun, with a nice meta plot, and endless references and easter eggs. Best of all, the trade paperback also included some of the original 60s and 70s strips, which is cool.

This is something that the British film or TV industry really ought to do on screen (perhaps Moore would be less hostile to that)...
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
Read Witchblade Vol. 2 by Ron Marz et al outside while it was sunny. Oddly this collection is issues 86-92 or something...

With Marc Silvestri out of the way the sexism dialled down a lot in this volume - despite the typically lurid covers, Sara actually dresses sensibly for a New York Cop throughout - except for in the last episode, which has his take on Sara as Botticelli's Venus, gratuitous nudity, and does the Witchblade's origin as both predictable and a total ripoff of the origin of the Slayer line in Buffy.

Before that, however, it's actually really good - Sara does proper police work, there's action, atmosphere, good art, somewhat predictable storylines (hello "Fugitive"), and... Yeah, actually pretty decent. "Partners" is especially good- very moving, female-friendly, takes some risks...

Good jumping-on point for new readers, and an improvement on where I'd left off in the series back around the #30s or so.
lonemagpie: Vastra and Jenny (vastra)

Basically their argument amounts to “well, we want our comics to reflect reality, so since reality is patriarchal, we won’t bother saying anything that suggests there’s a better way.”

FFS guys…


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