I have been collecting comic books, in some form or another, for a very long time.
But that does not mean I know better than you… It simply means I’ve been doing it longer. Don’t allow any Geek “Know It All” to use their age or their years collecting comics to make you feel inferior or intimidated. Everybody’s a newb at the beginning sometime… And anyone who uses another fan’s innocence and lack of knowledge as a point of ridicule is hiding one huge chip of insecurity behind their flimsy shield of asshole bravura.
Your feelings of like/dislike– for a comic, character or a creator– are no less valid just because you’re new to the scene. You have a right to like what you like– regardless of what anyone tells you.
Me? I can attest to learning all this the hard way. No one was around to tell me it was “OK” to like what I liked. When I first started metamorphosing into a full-blown Geek, I didn’t have 8 GAZILLION websites pummeling me with views and reviews, telling me how to feel. The internet (as we know it) was just a baby when I began collecting comics. The closest I came to geek camaraderie was reading comic book Letters Pages and Stan Lee’s Bullpen Bulletin Page… And neither was exactly a great source for erudite commentary.
But there was always HYPE– lots of it. And it confused me… Greatly. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t like the Uncanny X-Men like everyone else… Or even the X-Men in general. I couldn’t grasp why everyone fawned over the first Image comics– while I found them to be overwrought underwritten pieces of self-indulgent tripe. It concerned me so much, sometimes I spent days worrying more about my place in fandom more than just enjoying the stuff I loved.
And that, my friends, is complete BULLSHIT.
Enjoy what you like. Be PROUD of it. Shout it from the rooftops if you must. Don’t let me– or anyone else– tell you what to like. Just like what you like… And don’t think for one second you’re wrong for doing so. Diversity is truly what makes the world go ’round.
In the meantime, you will do yourself a huge favor by remembering one constant: Your tastes will change. (I knew I’d eventually get around to discussing the headline for this commentary.) What I liked in the late 80s, I didn’t necessarily care for in the 90s, the 2000s or the 21st Century. Or maybe I rediscovered something I once thought I despised… Only to realize I was finally old enough to “get” what the creators were trying to achieve. And that’s a really cool thing too… So don’t spend hours decrying your previous lapses in taste– just roll with them. Discovering new comics, rediscovering older ones and redefining your tastes is part of every fan’s evolution. It’s not something to denounce or be ashamed of… It’s just part of growing up.
Adventure Time Sugary Shorts Vol 1 – Decided to pass…
Adventures Of Superman Vol 1
Art Of Millarworld HC – Oh No!
Art Of Millarworld HC (S&N Edition) – Oh No! (Double)
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth Vol 8 Lake Of Fire
Brain Boy Vol 1 Psy Vs Psy
Chronicles Of Conan Vol 26 Legion Of The Dead And Other Stories
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Vol 7 HC
Daredevil By Mark Waid Vol 7 HC – Recommended
Daytripper Deluxe Edition HC – Recommended
Doctor Grordbort Presents Triumph HC – Decided to pass…
Final Crisis (New Print) – Wish I hadn’t read it the 1st time
Ghost Omnibus Vol 5
Ghostbusters Vol 7 Happy Horror Days – Stopped reading these too…
Godzilla History’s Greatest Monster
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth Vol 2
Grimm Fairy Tales Tales From Oz Vol 1 – No!
Hayao Miyazaki Starting Point 1979-1996 HC
Itty Bitty Hellboy – Not enthralled with this “kiddie” trend
Joker Death of the Family – Own the Hardcover
Justice League Of America Omnibus Vol 1 HC – Recommended
Powerpuff Girls Vol 1
Rachel Rising Vol 4 Winter Graves – Recommended
Regular Show Vol 1 – Another pass…
Ro-Busters The Disaster Squads Of Distinction
Sex Criminals Vol 1 – Recommended
Spider Double Novel Vol 3 – Recommended
Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Vol 1
Star Wars Vol 2 From The Ruins Of Alderaan
Superior Spider-Man Vol 5 The Superior Venom
Superman Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Vol 2 1961-1963 HC – Recommended
Thor Epic Collection A Kingdom Lost
Transformers Dark Cybertron Vol 1
Trekker The Train To Avalon Bay – Recommended
Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol 2 HC – Been there, read that
Afterschool Charisma Vol 9
Dorohedoro Vol 12
Fairy Tail Vol 37
Missions Of Love Vol 7
No. 6 Vol 6
Sunny Vol 3 HC
Wolfsmund Vol 4
100 Bullets Brother Lono
Amazing Spider-Man 2 Prelude – Did anyone buy this?
Art Of Wind Rises HC
Astro City Shining Stars
Astro City Through Open Doors HC
Avengers Vol 2 The Last White Event – Own the Hardcover
Cap Fury Double Novel Vol 1 – Hmmm… Never heard of this!
Captain America Vol 3 Loose Nuke HC – Eep!
Critter Vol 4
Daredevil By Mark Waid Vol 5 – Own the Hardcover
Daredevil Epic Collection Fall From Grace (New Print)
Earth 2 Vol 2 The Tower Of Fate – Own the Hardcover
Earth 2 Vol 3 Battle Cry HC
East Of West Vol 2 We Are All One
GI Joe America’s Elite Disavowed Vol 3
Hayao Miyazaki Starting Point 1979-1996
Hayao Miyazaki Turning Point 1997-2008 HC
Infinity Companion HC – No!
Jonah Hex Shadows West – I’m sure I read these somewhere…
Legend Of Oz The Wicked West Vol 4
Lilith Dark And The Beastie Tree
Marvel Universe Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. Digest
Shadow Double Novel Vol 83
X-O Manowar Vol 5 At War With Unity
Alice In The Country Of Clover Nightmare
Deadman Wonderland Vol 2
Itsuwaribito Vol 11
Knights Of Sidonia Vol 8
Magi The Labyrinth Of Magic Vol 5
Megatokyo Omnibus Vol 1
What Did You Eat Yesterday Vol 1
Amazing Spider-Man Family Business HC – This Week’s POS*
Batman ’66 Volume 1 HC – Recommended
Batman Beyond Batgirl Beyond
Beautiful Scars Vol 1 HC
Bloodshot Deluxe Edition Vol 1 HC – Wish these had come out FIRST!
Brody’s Ghost Vol 5 – Stopped buying…
Clone Vol 3 – Recommended
Fatima The Blood Spinners HC – Recommended
Fear Agent Volume 1 Re-Ignition (New Print) – Read it. Recommended
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Own a different edition
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 1 Cosmic Avengers – Been there…
Hinterkind Vol 1
Judge Dredd The Complete Cam Kennedy Vol 2 HC
Justice League Vol 3 Throne Of Atlantis – Own the Hardcover
Justice League Vol 4 The Grid HC
Marvel Encyclopedia 75th Anniversary Edition HC
Marvel Knights Spider-Man Fight Night
Marvel’s Captain America The Winter Soldier The Art Of The Movie Slipcase HC
Maggie The Mechanic Locas Vol 1 (New Print) – Own it
Night Of The Living Dead Aftermath Vol 2
Noah HC – Different. Me likey. Recommended
Oz The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz HC (New Print) – Own it
Painkiller Jane The Price Of Freedom – Recommended
Phantom The Complete Newspaper Dailies Vol 1 1936-1937 HC – Recommended
Star-Lord Tears For Heaven – Already read it
Star Trek Gold Key Archives Vol 1 HC
Superior Spider-Man Vol 2 HC – Own the Trades
Superman Red Son (New Print) – Own it
X-Men Age Of Apocalypse Omnibus Companion HC
Battle Royale Remastered
Battle Royale Slam Book
Bleach Vol 60
Case Closed Vol 50
Dance In The Vampire Bund Omnibus Vol 5 – Own individual volumes
Dawn of the Arcana Vol 12
Dictatorial Grimoire Vol 3 Red Riding Hood
Dragon Ball Full-Color Vol 2
Eden It’s An Endless World Vol 14 – Manga Pick of the Week!
Hana-Kimi 3-In-1 Vol 8
Happy Marriage Vol 5
Hunter x Hunter Vol 32
Library Wars Love And War Vol 11
Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus Vol 4
Naruto Vol 65
Neon Genesis Evangelion The Shinji Ikari Detective Diary Vol 2
Nura Rise Of The Yokai Clan Vol 20
Pokemon Black And White Vol 15
Seven Deadly Sins Vol 1
Strike Witches Maidens In The Sky Vol 2
Toriko Vol 21
Voice Over Seiyu Academy Vol 4
If you’re wondering why I’m reviewing the Amazing Spider-Man Family Business Hardcover, ask IMJ Nation™ member Tiger Topher. He saw it near the top of one of my recent Weekly Stacks and commented,
“As much as I’d love to read some Spidey written by anyone other than Slott, I didn’t bother getting ASM: Family Business because the solicitations made it sound awful and Waid tends to be pretty bad at writing Spider-Man. Let me know if the book ends up being any good.”
Like Tiger, I’m open to any Spider-Man story not written by Dan Slott— especially when the Wall Crawler featured is the “real” Peter Parker… Not Doctor Octopus.
Too bad all my hope was for naught. Mark Waid and James Robinson succeed in writing the MOST GENERIC Spider-Man/Kingpin confrontation ever. It’s so lackluster, it doesn’t even remotely feel like a Spider-Man story.
Quick confession: I don’t know if I’ve ever really enjoyed a comic book which takes Peter Parker out of New York. The change in locale dilutes Spider-Man’s effectiveness– as if the superhero’s success is inextricably linked to unique feel of the city. So, of course, this OGN (Original Graphic Novel) takes place mostly in Monte Carlo… With the intent of exploring some goofy backstory concerning Peter’s birth parents.
At this point, I gotta ask, “Why do all the people and situations surrounding a superhero have to be so weird now?” Have all the good stories already been told… So much so that the hero can no longer carry an exciting new tale by simply being themselves? These days, Parker’s Mommy and Daddy have to be spies… And Peter’s suddenly got a sister? And the Kingpin just happens to be living in Monte Carlo too?
Trust me when I say this: You’re heart will sink as a ruckus erupts in a high-class Monte Carlo casino– and Peter Parker thinks it’s a good idea to don his SUPERHERO COSTUME during the melee… As if no one will wonder why Spider-Man is so faraway from home. It’s all a bunch of contrived silly nonsense.
Then there’s the art. I’m not a huge fan of painted comic book art– mainly because paints often lack the precise lines brought to the party by straightforward pencils and inks. What’s weird here: Werther Dell’Edera pencils this story and then Gabriele Dell’Otto paints over the pencils. I’ve seen this work described as, “Phenomenal” and “Stunning”… And all I can muster is a half-hearted “meh”. There’s nothing special about ANY of the art on display here. It leans toward horrid– lacking definition and fluidity. One fan even went so far as to say Dell’Otto’s art rivals some of Alex Ross’ best work. Maybe he’s comparing it to many of Ross’ recent lackluster cover paintings for Dynamite? Because Dell’Otto’s painting does look like that crap.
I truly don’t understand the purpose behind Marvel and DC’s recent Original Graphic Novels. With all the hubbub and talent involved, you’d think these books would showcase the best stories and art American publishers have to offer… But so far, the results have been the exact opposite.