As far as I know, the only thing I have ever read by David Lapham is issue one and two of Spider-Man: With Great Power.... I know that he is famous for Stray Bullets and some mystery graphic novels, but I haven't read any of those. This book isn'[t exactly making me rush out to read any of his other work.
Here we have the sordid romance of Danny Noonan and Sadie Dawkins. It is very well written with a keen eye on dialogue. Problem is I don't like the characters and it seems to me the events that are set in motion at the end of this first issue are just deserts.
The art does nothing for me either. It is competent enough, it has that adult cartoonist style to it. The lines are strong and consistent, but while it is more polished then say Black Hole, it lacks the emotional power of something like Blankets. It just leaves me kind of "meh".
In a sense this is the anti-Vinyl Underground. Both have characters that I despise. This one is superbly written, the other not so much. Liars is not pretty, Underground is gorgeous. Yet based on first issues alone, something about Underground has kept me compelled to keep reading, this one... I may just thumb through issue 2.
The New Dynamix #1
Published by Wildstorm
Written by Allen Warner
Art by JJ Kirby
A comic book about missing Super Heroes. Seems like there is one of those every other week these days. Here the twist it is a character we haven’t seen in a while, Black Halo, is going to figure out what is going on. We also have the Sword and a new hero named Love Rocket.
I was unfamiliar with even the old characters here. Probably has something to do with me missing the Image years of Wildstorm. There has been an awful lot happening in the Wildstorm Universe as of late. Armageddon and Revelations. Horribly late titles and oh yeah, apparently it is part of the DC multiverse now. Great books like Welcome to Tranquility are on hiatus. It all leaves one scratching their head, saying “what’s going on?”
That is exactly the feeling I had reading this book. Not knowing who anyone was bad enough, but it all just kind of happens. There are long soliloquies in word bubbles, but they don’t ring true as dialogue and more often than not, they don’t really help the story progress. There is an interesting enough premise, a super powered being takes a kid hostage during a super powered being crisis. This guy wants Black Halo to come out of hiding, but it doesn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. Wow, when you say it like that, it just seems that much more derivative.
The art is weird. The character designs are nice enough and Kirby has a strong line and sense of action. However, he has an uncanny knack for choosing to put the weirdest expressions on the faces of his characters. It is a little unnerving.
All in all, if I weren’t a junkie and didn’t have a near limitless budget for comics, I would probably give the second issue a pass. However, I know that second issues are sometimes capable of turning a series around. So here’s hoping it comes out on a light week and doesn’t end up in the back up pile.
"Ultimate Comics, we have more comics then your shop has!"Comic Book Comics #1
Published by Evil Twin
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Ryan Dunleavy
As you may be able to tell, I absolutely love comic books. They are my favorite form of entertainment. Through the years, various writers and artists have found a myriad of ways to take this medium and tell any number of different stories. From the simple beauty of Little Nemo In Slumberland to the complex prose/graphic design fusion of Jonathan Hickman's work, there is simply no other flight of fancy that elicits the same joy and excitement from me.
This particular endeavor by the genius's behind Action Philosphers is especially appealing to me. While their previous book was intriguing, it was a niche book in a niche segment of entertainment. While the idea of that book appealed to me, I heard about it a little late and never got around to checking it out. For the second time this week, I am compelled to read an earlier work becuase of the strength of a first issue. This book is just what the title implies, it is a comic book about comic books. To be more exact, it is a comic book history of the medium. It picks up the story in October 18, 1896 (the day William Randolph Hearst started publishing The American Humorist) to the dawn of the Golden Age. It is an informative and often hilarious look at the early years of the funny book.
Dunleavy employs a cartoon style for much of the book. The genius here is that he mimics early forms of comics. This adds to the heavily researched work by Van Lente and actually shows the thought and care given this project. It also sheds a glimpse into just how much the art form has changed over the years.
I've thought about this one for two days now. It really impressed me more than any other comic I have read recently (except for Dave Sim's absolutely incredible Glamourpuss) and while some may disagree with me, I think it is a perfect comic book in it's fusion of words and pictures to give us a history like none other before it. It is a unique achievement and something the creators should be proud of. For me, it is the best comic book of this week.