This week is CRAZY. Crazy in the sense that it has AMAZING HIGHS and equally DEPRESSING LOWS. Still, variety IS what makes the world go ’round… So thankfully (and despite their best efforts), there are more companies producing comics than Marvel Entertainment.
As another cliché goes: There is no accounting for taste. Jose and I do NOT revel in slamming shit books as much as you may believe. I know I can safely speak for Jose when I write that we BOTH wish there was MUCH LESS to criticize… That we lived in a world where the MASTER ARTISTS & WRITERS never grew old and died, never became jaded or overly impressed by fame and fortune.
But, alas, that’s NOT the way life works. What TIME & DISEASE does not STEAL from us, GREED & AVARICE corrupts unequivocally. Very few innocents’ lives end in remotely near the same PRISTINE condition as they started.
To hijack the CGC Grading System, we may all start off as a 10.0s but most of us are lucky to leave as 3.0s at best.
American Vampire Volume Two HC
by Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque
Published by Vertigo
Come on, if you glanced at this week’s SHIPPING LIST, you had to know this HOT PICK was coming. Jose and I are HUGE FANS of Scott (Detective Comics) Snyder— and we both love artist Rafael Albuquerque too.
To be blunt, a little over a year ago I seriously did not know how to process the initial announcement that Vertigo/DC had somehow cajoled Stephen King into writing back-up stories for Scott Snyder’s American Vampire comic. I mean, who the HELL knew who Scott Snyder was? The cynic in me thought the hiring of King was simply a marketing ploy. The optimist thought that somebody at DC must be VERY HIGH on Snyder– as they knew King’s first regular comics work would cause the story written by a new comic writer in the same book to also be heavily sampled.
Thank god the optimism and anticipation I had for American Vampire proved to be warranted.
And I can tell you from personal experience that DC does NOT hand over the reins to Detective Comics easily or carelessly. They may not always treat Batman with the dignity or respect the character deserves (and that’s putting it mildly)– but even the biggest DC idiot seems to understand the iconic status held by the Detective title amongst comic fans. In hindsight, the announcement that Snyder would be taking over Detective– so quickly after American Vampire hit the pipeline– should have been PROOF POSITIVE that this guy was NO fluke.
In fact, I am here to happily inform you that American Vampire Volume Two is better WITHOUT the involvement of the illustrious creator of Carrie and The Stand.
Let me make this clear: That last statement is ABSOLUTELY NO slam against Stephen King. Not only is the man one of the most talented of his generation and one of the most generous writers that has EVER lived– I thoroughly enjoyed his American Vampire stories… So much so that I would LOVE to see him continue them. I just think that King’s tales would be better suited for a SEPARATE title. American Vampire Volume Two is a much more fluid read now that the story is Snyder’s to tell alone. There’s no flipping back and forth from author to author. We are treated to one comprehensive, cohesive story.
Rafael Albuquerque’s art is nothing short of ASTONISHING. He depicts CARELESS SAVAGERY like no other artist in comics today– except maybe Steve Dillon. But unlike Steve’s clean line work, Rafael’s pencils evoke a natural sexiness that I believe is INSTRUMENTAL in creating any GREAT HORROR COMIC or MOVIE. (Don’t believe me? Name one excellent horror tale for either medium that doesn’t have some kind of a sexual taint somewhere inside.)
Not to belabor the point, American Vampire is the PERFECT UNION of wordsmith and graphic artist. You can also tell that these guys enjoy working together.. And most importantly, respect each other.
Long live American Vampire and the team of Snyder and Albuquerque!
Now that our personal trials and tribulations are hopefully over, we sincerely hope that Mr. Snyder has time for us to take him up on his numerous offers to appear on an Inveterate Media Junkies Podcast… As we have both wanted to talk to Scott for a long, long time! :D
HARDCOVERS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
5 Ronin HC – If IMJ NATION™ member MIKE F likes it, I’ll try it!
Al Capp Complete Shmoo Vol 2
American Vampire Vol 2 HC – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Angel Yearbook – NEVER!
Batman Brave and the Bold Emerald Knight
Binky to the Rescue Vol 2
Captain America Man Out of Time HC
Captain America Official Index to Marvel Universe
Chaos War X-Men
Charlaine Harris Grave Sight Vol 1 – From the creator of True Blood
Classics Illustrated Vol 13 Ivanhoe HC
Crossed 3D – Oh, what the hell
Deep Sleeper HC
Doc Macabre HC
DV8 Gods and Monsters
Emma Frost Ultimate Collection
George RR Martins Doorways HC
Green Lantern Corps Revolt of Alpha Lanterns HC
House of Mystery Vol 6 Safe as Houses
Invincible Iron Man Vol 7 My Monsters HC
Justice League International Vol 6
LA Banks Vampire Hunter Vol 1
Lucid HC – Looks cool!
Marvels Project Birth of Super Heroes – Own the Hardcover
MMW Daredevil Vol 2 SC
MMW Thor Vol 10 HC
Modesty Blaise Vol 19 Double Agent
Mystique by Brian K Vaughan Ultimate Collection – RUNNER UP PICK!
Power of the Valkyrie Fate of Gods & Men – NO!
Punisher In Blood
Slaine Lord of Misrule
Slaine The Horned God Vol 1 HC
Tarzan the Jesse Marsh Years Vol 9
That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore Zombie Tale
Thunderstrike Youth in Revolt
Tom Strong And The Robots Of Doom
Transformers 3 Dark Moon Movie Adaptation
Transformers IDW Collection Vol 4 HC
Ultimate Comics Captain America HC
Ultimate War HC – POS* OF THE WEEK!
Uncle Scrooge Messes Become Successes
Unknown Soldier Vol 4 Beautiful World
Warhammer 40K Horus Heresy Garro Legion One
Zombie Movie Encyclopedia
Arisa Vol 2
Atelier Series Official Chronicle SC
Fairy Tail Vol 13
Ghost Talkers Daydream Vol 6 – MANGA PICK OF THE WEEK!
Kannagi Vol 1
Mega Man Gigamix Vol 1
Meloncholy of Suzmiya Haruhi Chan Vol 2
My Girlfriend’s a Geek Vol 3
Negima Vol 29
Saturn Apartments Vol 3 – 2nd MANGA PICK OF THE WEEK!
Shugo Chara Vol 10
Mystique: Ultimate Collection
by Brian K Vaughn, Jorge Lucas, Michael Ryan & Manuel Garcia
Published by Marvel Comics
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS ONLY INTENDED FOR JERKWADS. IF YOU ARE NOT A JERKWAD, THEN PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS MESSAGE PERSONALLY!
Hey, Jerkwads! Keep those ANONYMOUS emails, tweets, IMs, direct messages, cards and letters coming! I totally LOVE to hear how I ALWAYS hate on Marvel or how I am a DC Zombie. (WTF? LOL! Where did THAT last comment come from?) Or how I am just “… a prissy punk who only likes Indie Books because I think liking them makes me look cool.”
First off, I am NOT prissy. If you think I am kidding, then bring your cute women friends over and let them pick which one of us looks and acts more like a man. #2, I am not a punk. True punks would not be caught playing football. Punks do NOT box in a ring. Punks don’t jump onto NYC subway tracks and stop some poor lost soul from committing suicide by touching the electrified third rail.
However… I do like Indie Books and I do think liking them makes me look & feel cool… But NOT for the reason you Ding-Dong Dilettantes think I do. I think reading indie books makes ME look cool because MOST indie books ARE cool!
Oh Shit! Now look what you immature twats made me do! Since I had to use FOUR PARAGRAPHS defending my CRED as a REVIEWER, I have PRECIOUS LITTLE SPACE to devote to my love for this MARVEL trade paperback collection.
I am sure Brian K Vaughn would not appreciate the interruption in my praise either– or the harsh on my buzz. Yet, it is incumbent upon me to add at least a few syllables to this post for the book.
To start, I am NOT a big X-Fan. In fact, I am not much of an X-Fan at all. I only tend to like mutant-centric comics written by GREAT WRITERS… And most of the X-writers that I like (Roy Thomas, Joss Whedon, Warren Ellis, Rick Remender, etc…) could write their prose on the back of an OATMEAL BOX and I would read it… So that means I really just like the writers I like and I am NOT the least bit invested in these inexplicably popular, often grossly self-centered, whiny mutant fucks.
Also worthy of note: This Mystique Ultimate Collection represents EARLY Brian K Vaughn… Which could have been a problem, because writers– like artists– have to find and develop their voices/talent too. But what I discovered with Mystique– when I originally read this series (in the near-impossible to find FOUR VOLUME original trade paperback collections from several years ago) is that ANY Brian K Vaughn writing makes for GOOD— or GREAT— comics.
So, despite my dislike of the X-Men– I highly recommend the Mystique Ultimate Collection to one and all. The art’s a little shaky in a few of the issues– but this distraction is momentary and no cause not to buy the book.
There. After singling out MARVEL trades for either the top HOT PICK spot or the RUNNER UP PICK for the last THREE out of FOUR weeks— you’d think it would be reasonable to hope for all the email tirades to stop, right? Not gonna happen. Any Marvel Zombie worth his/her stripes eats strictly Marvel Meat… And they tolerate no deviation from their obsessive passion– no matter how many GREAT COMICS they miss out on in the meantime.
Imagine eating PEANUT BUTTER 24/7 for your only sustenance and you’ll understand what I am attempting to describe here. Yuck.
Ultimate War HC by Mark Millar & Chris Bachalo
Published by Marvel Comics
I have been mentioning off and on for several months now that Marvel Comics is repackaging their comic book collections in DIFFERENT FORMATS– in what seems to be a premeditated, serious effort to CONFUSE fans into buying older stories that they may have ALREADY purchased or read.
This Ultimate War Hardcover is a PERFECT example of this scheme. The comics in this edition were originally collected as the MUCH CHEAPER Ultimate X-Men Volume 5 Graphic Novel. Now the collection is suddenly a MUCH PRICIER HARDCOVER presented under the “CORRECT NAME” for the first time… As the floppies reprinted inside are issues #1-4 of a comic book called Ultimate War.
So, again, if you’re not paying attention– you’re screwed. Royally. Thanks Marvel. It certainly looks as if you are aiming to screw your fans EVERY WEEK.
Sadly, some seem to find these attempts at subtle subterfuge funny. I don’t.