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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
COMICS I READ LAST WEEK
The best comic I read last week was Batman #19.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: David Finch
If you like your stories of the “slow play” variety, and I do, you’ll love Tom King’s Batman.
You will absolutely love it.
King has all but perfected this drawn out storytelling and is using it to full effect in this latest epic “I Am Bane.” Everyone knows the Joker is Batman’s arch-nemesis (except maybe the LEGO Batman). It would be difficult to deny that Bane is almost as significant. The man who broke Batman’s back has returned, blaming the Dark Knight for the vendetta upon which Bane has embarked, and he seems more deadly than ever.
In a very clever twist, King pits Bane against Batman’s Rogues Gallery in a very neat reversal of what Bane did to Batman in their first ever confrontation. The result is a very entertaining and creative read.
The artwork by David Finch and Danny Miki, Trevor Scott and Sandra Hope more than compliments the writing. It completes it. Finch’s pencils have been hit-and-miss for me since he became the “main” Batman artist but this issue is all hit. He’s choreographed some spectacular fight scenes and illustrates Batman’s villains with the horrible edges they all deserve.
I cannot tell where one inker stops and the other starts, and that’s a good thing. The issue is crisp and tight and brilliantly colored by Jordie Bellaire. Truly the art and the story are worthy of one another.
Looking forward to the next Batman movie appearance? Don’t wait. Start reading DC’s Batman comic while it’s this good!