Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I Read: Sing Along Forever

Sing Along Forever by Liz Baillie

I really like the way Liz Baillie draws faces. I think that's what moved me to buy this comic. I stopped at her table after seeing her at a panel on "world building" at SPX. I was unfamiliar with her work so I flipped through the books on her table. Of them, this one spoke to me the most in the short time I spent looking.

Aside from the faces I also like the overall feel of the book. Her passion for the music of the Bouncing Souls and her sense of humor shine through her tale of going to see the band at a festival in 2008. It doesn't feel pretentious at all and can probably be enjoyed by most people even if they don't care for the band's music.

I was unfamiliar with the band or their music. I looked them up online, listened to some of their songs and bought a couple of them through iTunes. I would describe it as Punk with a Pop vibe.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What I Read - Sleeper: Season Two #7

#7 Pawns and Kings - This chapter was a fast read and for the most part self-contained. Once again I feel as if Brubaker is messing with my head. He is leading me down a corridor without allowing me to verify what floor I'm on or even check a compass to verify which direction I'm headed in. Sure, I could take what I read at face value but based on past experience I'm certain that there are mechanisms at work below the surface which will only see the light of day in future chapters.

Philips art continues to be more cartoony, which for my money works better than what he produced for earlier chapters. The colors seem muddy which goes with the mood but also seems to lessen the impact of the lines as they are blurred by the homogeneous color palette.

Before I read this chapter I thought about the title of this series. Is Carver still a sleeper? Tao knows who and what he is, even if he isn't aware of everything going through his head. Carver is no longer a sleeper within Tao's organization? Is he now a sleeper within IO? Doubtful; he isn't really a part of IO anymore and is only tangentially connected to it, through Lynch. Is there another sleeper? Miss Misery? Peter Grimm? Those are the only logical possibilities, although this idea may just my imagination at work trying to find something where there is nothing. Does the title still contain a meaning which has yet to be revealed? That's the real question.

Sleeper: Season Two by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What I Read - Sleeper: Season Two #6

#6 Four Sided Triangle - I'm still trying to analyze the art. What is it about the art that works and doesn't work? For me?

I sense that the story is starting to go in a direction that will ultimately make it more appealing to me. Based on my memories of Season One I think it is safe to say that Brubaker wraps the twists and turns that this story takes so tightly that it is hard to appreciate them until you look back at them after the fact. That's my way of saying that Season One didn't go to the places that I expected it to go and that Season Two seems to be headed in the same direction.

Carver is quite the narrator/protagonist: he's caught between two men, two sides who want his loyalty but also know that he's working for the other one. So who's side is he on? Neither one seems to expect his complete loyalty which makes the story that much more twisted. They both know he has compromised his beliefs and done things he once would never have done. The worst part is that he doesn't have a side, he's like a ping pong ball batted back and forth between Tao and Lynch. In this issue he seems to be starting to make a move to regain his sanity and find some solid ground. But that may just be a head fake. Either he may not be revealing all that's going through Carver's head or circumstances may force Carver to change his plans.

Sleeper: Season Two by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips

Friday, September 10, 2010

What I Read - Sleeper: Season Two #5

#5 Cat's Cradle - I didn't notice the art as much this time around. The story was crackin' great. It was a look back at the early years of Tao and Lynch, just after he escaped from custody. I read it fairly quickly and that's the way it is paced. Its a succinct little story within the much larger tapestry that is Sleeper: Season Two.

Sleeper: Season Two by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I Read - Heathentown

Heathentown by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Sara Bechko

I didn't love Heathentown. It is visually stunning but the story left me wanting more; more character development and a plot that flows more slowly. That's not the kind of story it is.

At its heart it is an old school horror film, of the monster/zombie/action variety. It opens with a tragedy and a mystery. As the story develops pieces start to fall in place. Eventually there is a showdown between the cops and the monsters with Anna (the main character) trapped in the middle.

I read Heathentown in less than a day, which is fast for me, given how long it is. There are no chapter breaks and I could not find any good stopping points. The pace and nature of the story made it feel like a much shorter story than the page count (96) led me to believe it would be.

The fake newspaper clippings, postcards, and photographs found in the back of the book provide hints as to the origins of some of the phenomena that Anna encounters. Not everything is fully explained but enough is put on the table to stimulate the reader's imagination to try and fill in the rest. I would prefer to have had the book open with the newspaper clippings, postcards and photos and don't feel that they reveal too much.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What I Read - Sleeper: Season Two #4

#4 Face/Two Face - The plot thickens. Honestly I'm not sure what else to write. I'm reading this slower than I did Season One, probably because the art ain't doing it for me. Brubaker continues to weave his web and only allow the reader to see some of the cards he's holding. I like story but I also feel like whining about the art and what it doesn't do for me.

Sleeper: Season Two by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips