Author Archives: Jeff Howard

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 26 – July 1, 2019

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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:

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 3.56.34 PMThe Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Flash #73

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist:  Howard Porter

I have been completely hooked by the Flash Year One storyline playing out in the characters’ eponymous title over the last few months. This Barry Allen is fun, on point and engaging – the perfect distillation of the character for the time. Williamson’s handle on his gets better with each passing issue and, while I have not been in love with the Turtle (really, ever) as the main adversary, one cannot deny that Williamson has a plan playing the Flash off him. I am also very much in love with the older Barry Allen both in terms of characterization and in terms of his overall design.

This leads directly into a conversation about penciller Howard Porter. He is back at the top of his game with The Flash and it is wonderful to see. His cartooning is perfect for super-speed antics and Williamson seems to be writing to his artist’s strengths. I love the resonance I (and others of my age) must feel with the classic Grant Morrison/Howard Porter Justice League

This Flash is terrific and terrifically fun. 

 

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Link’n’Blog – 6.28.19: Signed, Sealed, Delievered

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

Apparently, researchers have taught Grey Seals to sing the Star Wars theme and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star… Exactly why the did so is unknown.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 19 – 25, 2019

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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:

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 1.31.53 PM

The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Batman #73

Writer: Tom King

Artist:  Michael Janin

Yes, it looks like Batman will be the pick of the week from now until the end of the King run. And that is as it should be. Reading this latest arc underscores what King has been doing all along – that is telling one story, one coherent narrative about Batman. It’s a magnum opus and it is increasingly brilliant.

King decided – as Grant Morrison did before him – that all Batman stories were “true” and that all should be considered part of the continuity of the character. Then he set out to tell a story that brought some of the most disparate and interesting elements together: Thomas Wayne Batman, Kite Man and the list goes on.

As he and his best (in my opinion) collaborator Michael Janin continue to wind up in the run, the reader is the beneficiary of some of the best Batman stories in the last 10 years. If rumors are true that DC cut the planned 100 issue King run short because of criticism by fanboys, that is a shame and a regrettable decision.

Make mine King. And Janin.

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 12 – 18, 2019

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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:

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 8.42.30 PM

The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Event Leviathan #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Alex Maleev

First, I do not understand the title. 

Second, I do not need to.

Event Leviathan promises to be the event of the summer and is written by a dude who knows something about constructing summer events. With a goal of streamlining the covert agencies of the DC Universe as a backdrop, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev take on the DC characters – specifically a group of DC detectives – in what is labeled a “mystery thriller” and the first chapter delivers on all cylinders.

Maleev is the perfect artist for the kind of street-level story the first issue of Event Leviathan seems to be. He clearly is enjoying this high profile DC event and is reveling in working with his frequent collaborator Bendis. The two seem to play to each others’ strengths and that bodes well for this title.

The joy of the book is found in the most quiet moments and the best – by far – is the dialogue between Batman and Lois Lane. In a book that suggests high stakes are afoot, this type of small scene is welcome and brilliant.

This is Bendis at his best. This is events comics at their best. This is the oddly titled Event Leviathan. It might be the best book of the summer.

 

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Thank You, Dad | Father’s Day 2019



I am very grateful to Dad today.

The summer, especially June, especially in my family, is filled with celebrations. We have many, many birthdays and anniversaries and we tend to get together for each one of these events or, at least, celebrate them in combination when we are together.

Father’s Day is, of course, one of these celebrations and something very obvious occurs to me on the occasion of this Father’s Day: without my father, we would not be getting together for any of these events. In fact, this combination of people would not be getting together at all. Some of us most of us would not even be alive.

It’s obvious, I know. It’s how families work: a mom and a dad get together and begats began begetting. I understand. And, equally obviously, without our mother, we’d not be around either but today is about Dad and the following is true of him:

  • Dad instilled in us a deep love of family. He was deeply loyal and incredibly protective. My mothers and sisters inhabit that space he left us.
  • Dad was incredibly dry and funny and the whole family continues to lovingly joke with and tease each other just the way Dad did.
  • Dad cared about serving others and I think he would be so proud of the lives his children and grandchildren have chosen and are choosing.
  • Dad loved food and gatherings and all of us around a table and, try as I might, I cannot avoid the continuation of family celebrations. In truth I do not want to

I know that not everyone has the father and grandfather my sisters and were blessed to have. We were blessed and every day, my dad influences my life. No one is ever really gone, right? Dad is not. He lives in days like Father’s Day but he lives in each of us as well and in the many people his life of service touched and in the lives his family continues to touch

Happy Father’s Day, Old Man. And thank you.

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 22 – 28, 2019

Related Content from And There Came A Day:

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:

Screen Shot 2019-05-27 at 3.25.34 PM

The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Action Comics #1011

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists:  Steve Epting

Brian Michael Bendis has been building his Superman stories to the Event Leviathan and this installment is top notch. Plot threads are coming together and the stakes feel appropriately high as we reach the start of the Event Levithan miniseries. 

What I really enjoy about Bendis’ take on Superman is that his interpretation of the character is grounded. This seems to be a very difficult balance to pull off but Bendis handles it beautifully His Superman is Clark Kent in costume and Clark Kent is a husband, father and hero. Approaching the character in this fashion is something that few authors can handle. Bendis makes it look easy.

Steve Epting is a tremendous addition to both Action Comics and to the DC Universe. His realistic style goes hand-in-hand with this story. But when superpowers are in play, he delivers and the contrast between the more talky panels and his approach to action is wonderful. 

Superman hasn’t been in this good of hands in years.

 

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Link’n’Blog – 4.26.19: The End Has Come

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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

It’s time. Are you ready for ENDGAME?

If you’re not, click HERE for a primer from Screencrush.

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 9.12.49 AM

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