Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kirby Your Enthusiasm, ep. 31: "When losers are winners"


IN THIS 20+ minute episode, I discuss some of my favourite titles that I read last month, including Lynd Ward's six "wordless novels" from the 1930s, Andy Diggle's The Losers, the exquisite Blue Is The Warmest Color and more!
Get into it HERE.

COMICS READING FOR MARCH: “Wordless brilliance”

* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *
*****     Watchmen, Miracleman, V For Vendetta
****      From Hell, Supreme, Swamp Thing, Fashion Beast, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (first two series)
***        Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
**         Promethea
*           LoEG: Century: 1969
DUD (or lower) any of his non-comics stuff

1. Slog’s Dad (Walker Books, 2010) ****½
Writer: David Almond/Artist: Dave McKean
I picked up this moving short children’s graphic novel from my local library for 50 cents, primarily because I love McKean’s artwork. Slog’s dad dies a horrible slow death from cancer, losing his legs through amputation before he passes away. One day, Slog and his mate Davie see a homeless man sitting on a park bench and Slog is certain it’s his dad, returned from Heaven to visit him. Is he right? Or is the bum hoodwinking him, as Davie believes? This haunting, beautifully illustrated short story kept me thinking long after I put it down. It’s well worth tracking down for both you and your children to read. 

2. Secret #5 (Image, 2014) ***½
Writer: Jonathan Hickman/Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
It’s picking up.
3. Velvet #4 (Image, 2013) ****¼
Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artist: Steve Epting
4. IDW’s Tales Of Terror Vol. 1 (IDW, 2004) ***½
Writers/Artists: various
Dammit. I think I already have this book. I can’t believe I bought it again. *SIGH* It’s very good though.
5. NEMO: The Roses Of Berlin (Top Shelf, 2014) ****½
Writer: Alan Moore/Artist: Kevin O'Neill
6.-8. Unmasked #1-3 (Gestalt, 2013) ****¼
Writer: Christian Read/Artists: Emily K. Smith (#1-2); Gary Chaloner (#3)
Check out my blog reviews for NEMO and Unmasked at

9.-14. Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts (Library of America, 2010) *****
Featuring Gods’ Man (1929), Madman’s Drum (1930), Wild Pilgrimage (1932), Prelude to a Million Years (1933), Song Without Words (1936) and Vertigo (1937)

15.-46. The Losers Vols. 1-5 (Vertigo, 2004-06) ****½
- originally published in The Losers #1-32 (Vertigo, 2003-05)
Writer: Andy Diggle/Artists: Jock & and friends

47. Intersections by Sean Phillips & Duncan Fegredo (Image, 2007) ****

48.-53. Shockrockets: We Have Ignition (IDW, 2010) ***½
- originally published in Shock Rockets #1-6 (Dark Horse, 2000)
Writer: Kurt Busiek/Artist: Stuart Immonen

54. Blue Is The Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
(Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010, 2013) *****

55.-64. Annihilation: Conquest Book One (Marvel, 2008) ****
- originally published in Annihilation: Conquest Prologue (****); Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1-4 (*****); Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1-4 (***); Annihilation Saga (****)
Writers/Artists: various
I likes me a good cosmic epic and this one is pretty sweet, especially as I came into the whole Annihilators/Guardians Of The Galaxy run late in the piece. The clear winner here is Starlord, a rollicking miniseries featuring the basic Guardians crew pretending to be the Dirty Dozen. Quasar should have been renamed Quasi-lesbian, with Quasar and lover Moondragon lezzing on to titillate the nerds. The storyline itself, with them rediscovering Adam Warlock, is a bit meh. That aside, this first book in the Conquest epic is overall pretty entertaining.
65.-66. Crisis #15-16 (Fleetway, 1989) ***
Writers/artists: various
The strident left-wing politics in this hit-and-miss British anthology was off-putting, but the there was some fantastic talent on show including Simon Bisley, Brendan McCarthy and Pat Mills, plus future talents like David Hine, John Hicklenton, Garth Ennis and John McCrea. And the free giveaway stickers were still intact on the covers, which was a bonus.
66. Tarot #84 (BroadSword, 2014) **
Writer/artist: Jim Balent
Great perversely erotic art, but Balent remains the WORST writer in mainstream comics, and Tarot remains one of the most ineffectual, lame “heroes” around. In this issue, she fails to save ANY kids being kidnapped and murdered by evil Krampus demons. Useless bitch.
67. Doctor Strange #8 (Newton, 1975) **
Writer: Steve Englehart/Artists: Gene Colan & F. Chiaramonte (Doctor Strange)
Writer/artists: unknown (Ghost Rider)
A nostalgic read from my childhood, but why the Australian company chose to put out a Doctor Strange comic is beyond me. It was never gonna make money.
68.-69. Anything Goes! #1, #5 (Fantagraphics, 1986-87) ****
Writers/artists: various
This fund-raising anthology (for Fantagraphics to fight the infamous Michael Fleisher’s lawsuit  is a bit of a hodge-podge, quality-wise, but any mag that features a brand-new instalment of Gil Kane’s Savage!, Gilbert Hernandez, Alex Toth, Bob Burden, R. Crumb and Eastman & Laird’s TNMT can’t be too shabby.
70. Miracleman #3 (Marvel, 2014) *****
Writer: Alan Moore/Artists: Alan Davis & Garry Leach
71. Revolutionary War: Super Soldiers (Marvel, 2014) **
Writer: Rob Williams/Artists: Brent Anderson & Tom Palmer
This series is going downhill fast, and this is the worst issue so far. Anderson is a crap artist, but this is the worst I’ve ever seen him. Has he had a stroke or something? Not even Palmer’s inks can save this shite.
72. The Auteur #1 (Oni Press, 2014) ****
Witer: Rick Spears/Artist: James Callahan
73. Revenge #1 (Image, 2014) ***
Writer: Jonathan Ross/Artist: Ian Churchill
Sick and dumb.

74. Deadly Class #2 (Image, 2014) ****
Writer: Rick Remender/Artist: Wes Craig
75. Black Science #4 (Image, 2014) ****
Writer: Rick Remender/Artists: Matteo Scalera; Dean White
I wasn’t a fan of his work for a long time, but Remender is arguably the most interesting writer in mainstream comics right now.

76. She-Hulk #2 (Marvel, 2014) ****
Writer: Charles Soule/Artist: Javier Pulido
77. New Warriors #2 (Marvel, 2014) ***½
Writer: Christopher Yost/Artist: Marcus To
78. Moon Knight #1 (Marvel, 2014) ***¾
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artist: Declan Shalvey
A promising start to this new series.
79. Rover Red Charlie #4 (Avatar, 2014) ***¾
Writer: Garth Ennis/Artist: Michael DiPascale
80. Starlight #1 (Image, 2014) ****
Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: Goran Parlov
A bittersweet 21st century reworking of the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers trope Correction: Millar is the most interesting writer in mainstream comics right now.    

81.-82. Otis Goes Hollywood #1-2 (Dark Horse, 1997) ***
83.-88. From The Ashes #1-6 (IDW, 2009) ****
89. Minimum Wage #3 (Image, 2014) ****½
Writer/artist: Bob Fingerman

90. Negative Burn #11 (Caliber Press, 1994) ***½
Writers/artists: various
Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Matt Feazell and an adaptation of one of Neil Gaiman’s earliest (and best) short stories? This anthology could be gold at times.
91. One-Hit Wonder #1 (Image, 2014) ***¾
Writer: Fabrice Sapolsky/Artists: Ariel Olivetti; Jean-Marie Minguez
Olivetti’s art is sublime in this offensive-but-fun tale of a child star turned psycho assassin.
92. What Were They Thinking?!  (BOOM!, 2005) **
Writers: Keith Giffen & Mike Leib/Artists: Wally Wood & Bill Molno
Great early art by Wood, but this Mystery Theatre 3000 remix of his old public domain war yarns falls flat. It just isn’t funny.
93.-96. Ocean #3-6 (Wildstorm, 2005) ***¼
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artist: Chris Sprouse
Nice cinematic art, but the storyline confused me in the end. Not the best work Ellis has done.
97. Super Pro K.O.!: Neon #1 (self-published, 2014) ****
Writer/Artist: Jarrett Williams
98. Justice League 3000 #4 (DC, 2014) ***
Writers: Keith Giffen & JM DeMatteis/Artist: Howard Porter
99. Revolutionary War: MotorMouth (Marvel, 2014) ***
Writer: Glenn Dakin/Artist: Ronan Cliquet