Monday, January 31, 2005

Comic Book Notes (LJ) Jan 2005


I haven't been reading a whole lot lately. I've been kinda busy with other stuff. I finished off Ranma 1/2 Book 4 and Hana-Kimi Book 1, over a week ago. I'm winding down on Rex Mundi Book 1 and Scion Book 3.

Marmalade Boy Book 4 - I just started it. I'm not even halfway through the first chapter, which is kinda long. It opens with Miki and her best friend, Meiko, spying on Miki's step-brother, Yuu. He has been spending a lot of time with another good-looking guy, Satoshi. Naturally, everyone at school starts suspecting that they are gay, including Miki who doesn't want to believe it because she has a crush on Yuu.

I love the dialogue and how the characters convince themselves (of Yuu and Satoshi's relationship) without concrete evidence to back up their suspicions. Meiko, getting over her own soap-operatic moment in the sun in Book 3, is tickled pink over the possibilities. Miki only makes things worse for herself by eavesdropping on Yuu and Satoshi, and then trying to figure out what they are talking about in a round about sort of way. Anyhow I find it all very amusing.


I just read (on Newsarama)about Will Eisner passing away last night. I've read a few of his graphic novels. I think I have two of them, Fagin the Jew and another older one. Never got around to reading The Spirit.

I've been thinking more about buying some of the DC Archive Editions of this series and other series. I don't want to get them every month, but maybe once every three months I'll pick one up. They usually sell for 35% off (the $50 cover price) at MailOrderComics.

I'd love to pick up some of the Archive Editions that were drawn by Joe Kubert like Enemy Ace, Sgt. Rock, and Adam Strange. I'm primarily interested in Silver Age Archive Editions, but I'd also like to get New Teen Titans by Wolfman, Perez, and Giordano. Watching Teen Titans on TV really makes me wanna go back and read and reread the stories from the late-70's and early 80's.

Well I don't feel quite as bad as I did after reading the obit. Still, it is sad to be without such a prolific and influential talent. At least we still have his stories.


Well, my monthly shipment should be arrive today. I found out yesterday that two trade paperbacks that were scheduled to be included will not be, so I'll only be getting two trade paperbacks instead of four. :(

On time - Batman: The Long Halloween, Queen & Country Vol. 1
Late - Ministry of Space, Love Fights Vol. 2

At this point I'm just glad to be getting a shipment. I haven't had the time to make it to the comic shop lately and I ran out of new comic books a couple weeks ago. I've been living off of trade paperbacks (Rex Mundi Book 1, Scion Vol 3), manga (Marmalade Boy Vol. 4), and back issues (X-Men: The Hidden Years, Marvel: The Lost Generation, Superman & Batman: Generations 3, Route 666, Dreadstar).

S&B:G3 sucks by comparison to the previous two mini-series. Most of the issues are forgettable. Some of the artwork looks incomplete and most of it is very roughly drawn.

M:TLG is much better by comparison to S&B:G3 but that's not saying much. I bought both these series a couple years back and am just getting arounf to reading them. At least I don't feel like I completely wasted my money on them.


* Comic books arrived on time. Batman: The Long Halloween is a long book, longer than I realized, about 350 pages long. I spent about an hour going through the Previews catalog. There wasn't too much that caught my eye that I hadn't already earmarked.

* I hear it on NPR: an interview with Sharad Devarajan, CEO of Gotham Entertainment Group, which has licensed the Marvel Comics characters to be distributed in South Asia. Their first publication is Spider-Man India, featuring Pavitr Prabhakar as Peter Parker.

Link: Fresh Air for Thursday January 6, 2005 (you have to scroll about 2/3 of the way down the page to find the link to the audio of the interview. It is about 20 minutes long.

Trade Paperbacks and Manga

Currently Reading
+ Rex Mundi Book 1: The Guardian of the Temple
+ Scion Book 3: Divided Loyalties
+ Marmalade Boy Book 4

Waiting to be Read
+ Batman: The Long Halloween
+ Queen & Country Book 1: Operation Broken Ground
+ Human Target Book 2: Living in Amerika
+ Kare Kano Book 4
+ Scion Book 4: Sanctuary
+ Marmalade Boy Book 5
+ Marmalade Boy Book 6

+ Ministry of Space
+ Love Fights Book 2
+ Maxx Book 3
+ Stray Bullets Book 1
+ Y: The Last Man Book 2


So I went to liberty Comics and splurged today. Well, I spent more than I usually do. I bought X-Men Unlimited # 6 which features a story written and drawn by the crew that used to write and draw Negation: Paul Pelletier, Dave Meikis, and Tony Bedard. It was okay. It was no where near as good as Negation. What was missing of course was Laura Martin's colors. That and a decent story. Anyone could have written this one.

Comparisons to Negation: The way the four women in this story interacted did remind me kind of the way the main female characters in Negation interacted. Emma White would obviously be Evinlea. Kitty Pryde would be Corrin. I guess Storm would be Shassa, but the correlation isn't as strong. That leaves Sage to be Iress.

I also bought...

+ Teen Titans # 19 - final issue in the Titans of Tomorrow story

+ She Hulk # 9 - the art is by Paul Pelletier and I've heard good things about this series

+ Phoenix Book 2: Future - a year after I bought the first volume in this series I finally got the second one. Written and drawn by the godfather of manga, Osamu Tezuka. I really enjoyed the first book. Not short, but the first book was very good so I have high hopes for this one.


She-Hulk # 9 - Very amusing. Jen trying to learn to control her new strength. Hercules being sued (by a supervillain) for being too aggressively heroic. Very amusing, the whole thing was very tongue in cheek. I may just have to pick up the next issue. It didn't hurt that Paul Pelletier did the pencils.


Teen Titans # 19 - Good but not great. Not good enough to convince me to continue buying this series. I have yet to be truly impressed or satisfied with Geoff Johns writing. I tried JSA for a while and didn't care for it, now I tried Teen Titans and was equally un-wowed. I did enjoy the whole Titans of Tomorrow story. It wasn't bad, but I get the impression that it was the time travel elements and not the writing that worked for me.

Human Target Book 2 - Chapter one of this book (six of the series) is one of those stories that I thinks works a little better if you know the ending in advance. The story was plodding along and I wasn't that impressed with it until I saw the twist in the tale. Then it hit pretty hard. This chapter is a self-contained story. The Human Target is hired to impersonate a priest who is being theatened by a local heavy. Christopher Chance (The Human Target) isn't a religious man, but after spending some time in the role of the priest he finds himself starting to sense that maybe there are things he should believe in. Then he encouters the heavy, and finds out why he has been trying to 'off' the priest: he was molested by the priest when he was a boy. Maybe I should have seen in coming. The story is set in Boston. Anyhow that casts the story in a very different light. I won't give any more of the story away, but I did like how it ends. Still I think there should have been some foreshadowing as to the true motivations of the heavy and the true nature of the priest.


Midori no Hibi is no longer available at SnoopyCool. There ain't much available anymore at SnoopyCool, but from what I understand the anime of Midori no Hibi is going to be released in March, by ADV. I haven't heard anyword on when the manga will be available.I managed to download te first two-and-a-half books before the SnoopyCool went down in December.

No Fallen Angel in April, according to DC. The next and probably last issue, # 20, will come out in May.

Last issue of Adam Strange comes out in March. I wonder how long we'll have to wait for the trade of that?

I'm still not going to order the individual issues of Identity Crisis. Even though DC is rereleasing all of them in March. I'm waiting for the trade, even if I have to wait until 2006. There are plenty of other things to read in the meanwhile.

Human Target is ending with # 21. The second trade collects up through # 10. I guess that means that there will be two more trade collections, hopefully.

Iron Ghost from Image looks good. Written by Ron Marz, it looks like a riff on The Shadow. It is a mini and only runs six issues. I'll probably wait for the trade.

Trade-wise, this month I decided to pre-order the second trade of The Losers (DC/Vertigo), Hysteria Book 2 (Oni Press; written and drawn by Mike Hawthorne), and the DC Archive Edition of Enemy Ace.

OK, that's enough for now. Time to read some more comic books.