What a WEIRD week!
The Holidays seem to bring these MASSIVE DUMP weeks with certainty. It’s THAT time of year– when publishers assault us with a plethora of product– much of it so bad, you might want to cry… Especially if you get snookered into buying some of it.
All I can say is… Robert (Walking Dead) Kirkman and Brian Michael (I’ve almost written 200 ISSUES of The Avengers!) Bendis better be glad that Pat Lee’s Widow Warriors graphic novel was also released this week. If Lee’s reportedly reprehensible business conduct didn’t still loom so prevalent in my mind, I could have easily given either of the above creators’ latest trades the dreaded IMJ Piece of Shit designation.
Since my basic distaste for many of Mr. Bendis’ current works is more than well-known…. Let me focus on something you probably never thought you would see here: An ultra-negative review of a Robert Kirkman comic book collection. Many of you already know that Kirkman is one of Jose’s favorite creators. I also think he does fine work. What’s curious: While I love Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Jose prefers the writer’s Invincible– and he’s only read the first few issues of the zombie classic.
Well, I’ve read every Walking Dead graphic novel (some of them twice– which is very rare for me) and I can say, without reservation, that Volume 15: We Find Ourselves is the most DISAPPOINTING volume of this series ever published. I am hypothesizing here but I can’t help but believe that the stress and workload of starting his first TV series– plus attempting to write 3 to 5 monthly comics– is directly related to this trade’s MASSIVE DECLINE in quality and originality.
Let me make it clear: I am NOT suddenly saying that Robert Kirkman is a HACK. He’s not. Far from it. But this Walking Dead volume is so listless, so repetitive, so… BLAND– that it should NEVER have seen print. The characters in this series have always been talky… But the amount of discussion (at the expense of action– and weirdly, also character development) is downright ridiculous.
Here’s a prime example: (NO REAL SPOILERS HERE!) In the final third of the book a character suddenly starts expressing his displeasure with Rick Grimes in a very long speech to some of his friends. Then unbelievably, the man REPEATS almost the entire long-winded statement about TEN PAGES later.
Maybe Kirkman got distracted while writing this story arc… Called away from his comic writing to take care of a creative problem on the TV set… Then returned and forgot he’d just written the same character saying the very same monologue a few pages before. Whatever the reason, it has to stop. The execution of this story is that horrible and monotonous… Shuffling around in a circle like one of Kirkman’s walking dead.
Still, this is the first time this series has ever really disappointed me– so I am willing to look the other way… This time.
There are already people carping about the GLUED-IN binding on this book… That the lack of white gutter space– especially near the middle of this massive accomplishment– makes some of the word balloons near the book’s spine hard to read.
My question: Who truly buys a 1,200+ page hardcover to READ it? I can see many people displaying this as some kind of impressive geek status symbol or as the focal point of their comic book themed decorating scheme… But READING this? This is the antithesis of the iPad 2 or Kindle. You will most certainly have to lay this omnibus flat on a table or sit it carefully on your lap. Even then, if you are even a bit visually impaired– lifting it up and down will be a nice workout.
Overlooking the weight/size absurdity, there are FAR MORE hits than misses in this omnibus… With many of the #1s reprinted here extremely fun to read. I recommend buying it– but at a steep discount. That way, when you don’t read it– using it to smack an intruder on the head instead… You won’t feel so bad.
28 Days Later Vol 6 – RUNNER UP PICK of the WEEK!
500 Portraits HC
Alan Moore Storyteller HC
Absolute Promethea Vol 3 HC
Andrew Loomis Figure Drawing For All Its Worth HC
A Tale of Sand HC
Chuck Jones Dream That Never Was HC
Clive Barker Omnibus
DC The New 52 HC – HOT PICK of the WEEK!
Deadpool Max Nutjob – Own the Hardcover
Essential Rawhide Kid Vol 1
Essential Spider-Man Vol 6 (New Print)
Fat Torino HC
Fables Vol 16 Super Team
Farscape Vol 6 Compulsions
Flash Gordon Comic Book Archives Vol 5 HC
Garth Ennis Complete Battlefields Vol 1 – Own the Hardcover
Green Hornet Vol 3 Idols
Green Hornet Year One Vol 2 Biggest of All Games
Hitman Vol 5 Tommy’s Heroes
Killing Pickman HC
MMW Nick Fury Agent of Shield Vol 3 HC
Moon Knight by Bendis and Maleev HC
Mush Sled Dogs With Issues
My Favorite Martian Vol 1 Complete Series HC
New X-Men By Grant Morrison Book 8 (Digest Size) – Own the Trades
Nightly News Anniversary Edition HC
Pat Lee Widow Warriors – POS* of the WEEK!
Reading Comics Postcard Book
Rocketeer Adventures Vol 1 DM Exclusive Edition HC
Salt Water Taffy Vol 5
Same Difference Special Edition HC
Scrooge & Santa
Secret Warriors Vol 5 Night
Secret Wars (New Print)
Secret Wars 2
Sherlock Holmes Greatest Cases Vol 1 HC
Showcase Presents Batman Vol 5
Showcase Presents Wonder Woman Vol 4
Solomon Kane Vol 3 Red Shadows
Spider-Man by Mark Millar Ultimate Collection
Star Wars Episode I Adventures
Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace
Tales of the Batman Don Newton Vol 1 HC
Transformers IDW Collection Vol 5 HC
Turok Son of Stone Vol 1 Aztlan
Walking Dead Vol 15 We Find Ourselves
Witch Doctor Vol 1 – Looks VERY intriguing
Wolverine and Jubilee Curse of Mutants
Arata The Legend Vol 8
Betrayal Knows My Name Vol 2
House of Five Leaves Vol 5
Itsuwaribito Vol 4
Kekkaishi Vol 29
Maoh Juvenile Remix Vol 8
Naoki Urasawa 20th Century Boys Vol 18 – MANGA Pick of the Week!
No Longer Human Vol 2
Tezukas Princess Knight Vol 2
Michael Alan Nelson / Alejandro Aragon
I have been a huge booster of Michael Alan Nelson since he began writing for Boom! Studios… And I’ve been promoting this book whenever I can. To be blunt: 28 Days Later is different from almost every other film-based comic simply because it DOESN’T SUCK. Nelson’s story is derivative only in the sense that it uses many of the tropes established in the films. (Which you would expect.) Otherwise, this series is a completely unique concoction– riveting and well written. Alejandro Aragon’s art also greatly suits the narrative– depicting the bleak atmosphere perfectly.
Pat Lee / Lloyd Chao /Christine To Chi-Long
If you don’t know anything about Pat Lee and his various– and allegedly nefarious– business dealings… You should GOOGLE him. Stories of his seeming misdealings are legion. Just on his rep alone, this book is This Week’s Piece of Shit. Personally, after reading the stories I have read– I don’t need another reason. After you finish learning about Pat– I bet you won’t need any other reasons either.
If he truly does owe all those creators/artists money (and, in some cases, art credit), then SHAME on DYNAMITE for publishing this book and giving him any forum in the comic industry. I truly wouldn’t buy this trade with YOUR money.
And Dynamite Entertainment? I increasingly find myself not caring for their stuff… And I believe I have purchased every collection they have ever published. (Except for this one, of course.) In truth, I am a gnat’s hair breadth away from dropping their entire line… And if they didn’t publish a couple of Garth Ennis books, I would probably decide to stop spending money on their publications before I finished typing this sentence.