No announcement yet.

Let's Talk Comics

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Let's Talk Comics

    I swear we had one of these, but I can't spot it anywhere, so I guess I'm making one.

    It's kind of old, but I wanted to give my impressions on a #1 issues: Seekers of the Weird. Standard no spoilers policy is in place for my descriptions.

    I went for Seekers of the Weird because its cover looks like a promo for one of those old adventure shows the Venture Brothers parodies; a pulp, 40s-era archaeology sort of thing (and I think the grown man on the cover is wearing Jonas Venture's signature outfit in a different color scheme). I didn't have any advance knowledge of what the book was about, so I just bought it on the strength of an interesting cover. Let that be a lesson to the industry.

    The art style is not one I find particularly sexy--the lines go thick in places that are weird to me, like the inker's pen had a leak or something--but the visual storytelling is extremely competent. The first page of the book has five panels, and they should be an example to anyone who wants to tell a story through sequential art. The first panel is of a boy wearing a sweater vest sitting on some bleachers outside a building whose three flagpoles tell me it's a school, if the bleachers left any doubt. He is reading a book and his toes point slightly inward, so I can tell he's a nerd, and in case that wasn't obvious, he's reading a book with a very well-realized expression of boredom on his face. He does not want to be where he is.

    The second panel is of some girls playing, uh, lacrosse, or whatever the sport with the butterfly nets is. The girl in the foreground is glaring at the goalie with a jaw clenched so tight there's no question she's doing anything but focusing on the goal of making her next shot, so we know she's focused, competitive, and athletic. She's wearing long pants and the other two girls are wearing shorts, so I guess that's the female equivalent of shirts versus skins.

    Unfortunately, in panel three, she trips on another girl's feet (that'll learn her to stare at the goalie instead of where she's going), leading to a pull-back shot of panel four revealing her shot went high over the net and is headed for the boy with the book. In panel five, he looks up with dumb, slow, cow-like lack of awareness as the shadow of the ball closes in on him, so we know reflexes and snap decisions are not his strong point.

    It's all very strong art, and I don't know why the writing on the next page had to ruin it with some of the clumsiest dialogue ever. Whoever wrote it had no respect for either the artist or the audience, because I'm barely exaggerating when I say this exchange follows:

    Boy: I am bad at sports!
    Girl: I am good at sports, but bad at school! Also, you are my brother!
    Boy: You are my sister, and I am good at school, but, as established, bad at sports!
    Girl: School is difficult for us, but for different reasons! Also, we have an estranged uncle!

    I'm being a little unfair to the writing, but not by fucking much. Every line is painfully crafted to deliver backstory in an awkward and forced manner. I will give it credit to say it tries to characterize Maxwell and Melody, but it does so primarily by reducing them to single characteristics--she's athletic and he's bookish--which doesn't win any points with me. I guess making the girl the physical character is an attempt to reverse gender stereotypes, but meh.

    I can't spoil the plot for you because I don't know it. Monsters appear, and bad things happen, and I think there's some kind of portal, and a dude shows up (I don't need to explain who he is, do I?) with a double-barrel pistol that shoots flaming skulls that turn into centaurs, except the human half is a skeleton and the horse half is a snake made of smoke. I honest to god don't know. A monster wants something the kids' parents have. That's the best I got.

    So yeah. I don't intend to buy the second issue. The first one had its chance and blew it. I recommend it for anyone who wants to learn something about the art of visual storytelling, but if you want a story, then I can't recommend.
    Last edited by JimB; 02-04-2014, 09:46 PM.

  • #2
    The preceding post originally mentioned a desire to discuss Black Widow #1. I deleted that because I really have nothing to say about the book. The art is fantastic, the writing is clumsy and expositional but not as much so as Seekers of the Weird, and Natasha annoys me because she's a supercilious badass whose response when someone reaches for a gun to shoot her with is to roll her eyes because OMG doesn't this guy know how badass I am? Shaw! It is also at least possible she's capable of shooting around corners. Whatever. Again, I'd say worth picking up on the quirky, almost Vertigo-esque strength of the art, but the story is mostly things happening that I don't pay attention to because she's not paying attention to them because she knows she so much better than the situations she's in that she finds them boring. Well, guess what, if the protagonist doesn't care, then I don't either.


    • #3
      I signed up for Marvel Unlimited a while back and re-read Uncanny X-Men(up to the 90's). I kind of hate giving Marvel money since aside the movies I haven't really like what they've treated their property and fans for quite a few years. Though the movies have made me kind of forgive them though I do wonder again some of the treatment I hear coming from the more recent comics. Since I have MU I really need to break down and read them to decide from myself instead of second hand. DC can continue to kiss my forum wide butt.

      Forever and always forward.
      Don't ask why that came to mind or that I felt the need to post it.
      I see the incorporeally challenged.


      • #4
        I began collecting comic-books in the 70s, primarily Marvel. Ghost Rider sucked me in. My favorite group at first were the Invaders (WWII era heroes). X-Men became hot after they revamped the original group, and the Proteus story was just too cool for words. And then the Dark Phoenix saga which was epic. But when they branched out their mutants that's when things took a dive for me. (The only good thing out of the "Exterminators" was Apocalypse.) A lot of the titles I had a degree of interest in. But then Marvel started taking dumps on their old stories. (Jean grey was alive all this time? o hell no!) And even though I could accept Juggernaut playing the hero, there was no way in hell I could accept an attempt at rehabbing Sabretooth after the Morlock Massacre.
        And then came the "Ultimates" which I found painful and ludicrous.
        I did like that they finally realized that there wasn't any real "level playing field" when a character was just not in another's league.
        Collected some DC and later Image but my memories are full with the 70s-80s Marvels. The storylines were just too good. And they seemed to get better...Rom, Nova...and how they connected later (via the Fantastic Four) was such an awesome (an immense) storyline. I'm in awe of how it all turned to crap in the latter half of the 90s.

        Mankind was once an endangered species. It will likely be so again. And mankind will only have itself to blame.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Shadowflame View Post
          Collected some DC and later Image but my memories are full with the 70s-80s Marvels. The storylines were just too good. And they seemed to get better...Rom, Nova...and how they connected later (via the Fantastic Four) was such an awesome (an immense) storyline. I'm in awe of how it all turned to crap in the latter half of the 90s.
          They started loosing me in the late 90's. In part because of limited funds and in part I wasn't enjoying them any more. I totally agree about Ultimates(at least as far as X-Men because I wasn't really following any of the others by that point). I liked some of the art, but... meh.

          By the time Scott started emotionally having an affair with Emma I was looking for a reason to just give up on them. They had made my favorite hero crap off an on but usually another write would redeem him a bit. To me his the one most directly responsible for the Cyclops needs to be Wolverine. Not that he wrote them similar but he created the whole setup that led to that. I think Whendon did a good job in trying to balance that, but it fell on deaf ears.

          So was so scared in happy when we heard about All-New X-Men because it sounded like they might take the opportunity to repair some of the crap that happened. It is BMB so I worried. Still the premise sounded ripe for promise. Lets bring the past selves into the future and see how their idealistic selves affect them currently(paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what BMB said in an interview). Yet really from what I've heard it mainly play out the opposite. Lets let the future circumstances screw that all up.

          Forever and always forward.
          Don't ask why that came to mind or that I felt the need to post it.
          I see the incorporeally challenged.


          • #6
            I have started collecting Hellboy graphic novels. Mike Mignola is awesome.

            I game. This is the way.


            • #7
              I started reading comics in the late 80s and by 97 or so I had stopped because wow, was it terrible or what? As I was leaving my easily impressionable teenage years, the worse aspects of the Iron Age became clear to how awful they were.

              About 10 years later Mutants and Masterminds reignited my interest in superheroes, with a particular interest in DC stuff, which I did not read in my youth at all aside from the occasional mini-series (I had a Marvel subscription and not enough money to buy DC as well).

              However, since my return both Marvel and DC have become worse and worse again. The ultra-mega-events got particularly tiring. And all that is aggravated by the fact that, once I got back to reading comics, I went after the very best stuff that I had not read before - I'm talking stuff of the caliber of Kingdom Come, Astro City and so on.

              With my taste in comics being dramatically different from my 13 years old self and both DC and Marvel presenting few titles that interest me, I expanded to reading stuff outside of the big two (well, 13-me liked the shit Image was publishing at the time as well. They have much better stuff now).

              These days I read stuff like Invincible (though I think sometimes Kirkman relies too much on gore for shock value), the current run of Astro City, many old all-ages titles from both DC and Marvel, eagerly wait for Stjepan Sejic to publish Teen Witchblade and Death Vigil (and I'm getting interested in the version of Aphrodite XIII he is drawing) and so on.

              You need a picture altered to fit your Exalted character, or just looking for some visual inspiration? Check out the twice-reborn Exaltification thread. And here is my Deviantart page

              Søren Kierkegaard + Kim Kardashian = Brilliance


              • #8
                Joseph Michael Linsner...Mom makes sure I don't order his stuff because I am running out of room.

                Bipolar vampire...can't decide to feast for fun or for rage...


                • #9
                  I've been meaning to write up reviews for several comics lately, but just can't ass myself for whatever reason. However, I just got done reading the second issue of Loki: Agent of Asgard. The plot involves Loki planning a casino heist and going speed dating.

                  I'll say that again: Loki went speed dating.

                  Why are you not reading this book?


                  • #10
                    Anyone else read Locke & Key? Crazy stuff and very World of Darkness.

                    - If you must be ridiculous, I must ridicule you.
                    - Those that can give up essential liberties in exchange for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin


                    • #11
                      For anyone who likes their superheroes dark and gritty -- in the sense of having unflinching realism within the circumstances in which they exist -- look no further than Uber.

                      Nazis discover the secrets of superhumanism with a serum that only 1 in 5000 survive being dosed with ... and it goes downhill from there. Written by Kieron Gillen and published under Avatar Comics.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JimB View Post
                        I'll say that again: Loki went speed dating.

                        Why are you not reading this book?
                        Loki went speed dating, and pulled a casino heist? Those sound to me like two very good reasons to not read it.

                        I game. This is the way.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Storyteller View Post
                          Loki went speed dating, and pulled a casino heist?
                          Yes, except he also didn't really do either of those things.

                          What? He's the god of mischief and lies.


                          • #14
                            WOOOOOOOOOOO. Kyle and Yost back on amazing x-men finally some good writers after a that long drought of shitty ones.

                            Also, I binged on New 52 TT. Wow that series was bad before the reboot and it continues it's tradition of being bad quite admirably.


                            • #15
                              The last panel of the new Walking Dead, I did not see that coming. Also, next week starts Buffy season 10!

                              Ortam + Malkavia makes a Requiem fun.
                              Posts in this colour are Persuasion.
                              Posts in this colour are Seduction.
                              Posts in this colour are Intimidation.