Saturday, January 29, 2011

DMZ #31

Blood in the Game: Chapter 3
By Brian Wood (writer) and Riccardo Burchielli (artist)

The speed at which this story moves and should be read varies quite a bit. This chapter, for example, opens up with a splash page and moves along fairly quickly until Matty gets interviewed by Liberty News. At that point the story hits rush hour traffic and slows down considerably. The dialogue and narration up to this point have been sparse and the story has in large part unfolded visually.

The interview portion of the chapter, in which Matty is asked about his associations with Parco Delgado, is very dialogue heavy. Unlike the rest of the chapter, it isn't possible to get the picture by breezing through the visuals in this part of the chapter. Even if one is reading the visual narrative slowly, it takes a different skill or ability to process the interview portion. It is more than just a matter of slowing down but a matter of switching gears or possibly even vehicles because the terrain has changed.

DMZ is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DMZ #30

Blood in the Game: Chapter 2
By Brian Wood (writer) and Riccardo Burchielli (artist)

The story continues to focus on the politicization of the media. Parco Delgado and Matty discuss the topic as Parco seeks to convince him that the unbiased journalist is a thing of the past or a lie. Feeling pressure from both sides, Liberty Media (his employer) and Delgado, he picks a side.

Ricardo Burchielli's art continues to depict war-torn Manhattan using very few straight lines. Instead of grounding Manhattan in the grid of streets he focuses on the denizens and draws the multicultural stew of people very fluidly.

DMZ is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DMZ #29

Blood in the Game: Chapter 1
By Brian Wood (writer) and Riccardo Burchielli (artist)

Starts in the middle or near the end of the story with Parco Delgado, one of the pivotal characters in this arc, getting shot. Matty, as usual, is smack in the middle of the situation. As in at least one of the previous arcs, he does not seem to be a neutral observer but to have chosen a side. Is it possible or does it make sense for a journalist to try and remain neutral in the DMZ? Probably not.

By no means decisive but it is the first chapter of a longer story that will probably run the length of this collection.

Having been away from DMZ for quite some time it was refreshing, even if it was also a bit jarring, to be thrown into the story so quickly. The dual narration, which has probably been used before in this series, helps to emphasize the fractured nature of life in the DMZ. It also should resonate with anyone who lives in a country, such as the US of A, where the media is politicized, a tool of the larger political factions; where it is no longer the neutral observer it once was.

Comic Cons 2011

I've started to make my comic book convention plans for 2011. I went to 3 cons in 2010. I'm planning to double that number in 2011. I'm a little worried that I may be taking on too much but it's a risk I'm willing to take. In the first half of 2011 I'm planning to attend 4 shows.

- Emerald City Comic Con (Mar 4-6; Seattle, WA)

- Wild Pig Spring Con (Apr 3; Springfield, NJ)

- Comic Geek Speak Super Show (Apr 29 & May 1; Reading, PA)

- Heroes Con (Jun 3-5; Charlotte, NC)

In the second half of the year I'm planning to attend a couple more cons...

- Baltimore Comic Con (Aug 20-21; Baltimore, MD)

- Small Press Expo (Fall; North Bethesda, MD)

My plans may change but I'm already locked and loaded for Emerald City and Super Show. Wild Pig is a little less certain, although it will probably be the least expensive trip, after SPX which is just a 1/2 hour drive from my apartment. I'm still in the planning and logistics stage for the other conventions.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Battlefields: The Night Witches #3

By Garth Ennis (writer) and Russ Braun (artist)

Chapter 3 (of 3)

The final chapter resolves Anna and Graf's stories. Anna finally gets an up close and personal look at the war but not before experiencing a personal tragedy. She is the focus of the chapter.

The ending wasn't quite as grim as I imagined it would be. Some of what I foresaw came to pass but the end result wasn't quite as dark as it could have been. One of the main characters is dead but it isn't the one that I thought it would be.

The final chapter did read a lot faster than the previous two. It felt more like a half chapter although all the loose ends did get wrapped up. Despite the fact that the ending contradicted expectations it probably isn't too surprising how it did wind up based upon who wrote it.

This was an excellent story. As should be clear from this accounting this is a complex story in which characters from both sides of the fight are portrayed as 3-dimensional characters, which makes it that much harder for someone who is reading the story with an open mind to easily empathize with one side and not the other. Highly recommended for anyone that likes grim and gritty stories.

Preview: Garth Ennis' Battlefields: The Night Witches #3