Category Archives: Batman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 5 – 12, 2017

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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:

OneTwo

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman #30.

Writer: Tom King

Artists: Clay Mann

Another week, another issue of Batman.

While Batman #30 may have been my least favor issue of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” arc, the overall story has been so very good that the least is, well, better than most.

Tom King continues his expanded and slow-paced look at the epic battle between the Joker and the Riddler that keeps Batman and Gotham City hanging in the balance and, while the conflict is showing signs of winding down, King’s story is, in many ways, just gearing up. I have noted before that I am always impressed when comic books can surprise me and King has surprised in this book both with his treatment of his plot and the manner in which he is developing his characters.

Yes, Kite Man is the focus here again.

Kite.
Man.

And I couldn’t be more happy. What King has done with this character is almost worth the cover price of the book.

Clay Mann is more than up to the challenge of this issue and, if we cannot have Michael Janin on each issue, Mann is an apt substitute for sure. His character work is excellent and it well serves the story King is telling.

I cannot wait (and I do not believe that is an overstatement) to read this entire arc in its totality when it is concluded. It lends itself so well to an extended read and I know I will notice all kinds of things escaping me in my every-other-week connection with the book.

Batman rules.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 1 – 8, 2017


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:

OneTwo

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman #28

Writers: Tom King

Artists: Michael Janin

Michael Janin is back.

Tom King is still writing.

The War of Jokes and Riddles continues.

Batman is one hell of a ride.

Here is the thing: King’s story is just fascinating. The manner in which he is playing his cards – for the very long game – is masterful. He continues to put Batman, a character with an over 75-year publishing history, into situations which are new, unexpected and breathtaking. That accomplishment, in-and-of-itself, is worth the top spot every other week.

What makes Janin’s art such a perfect compliment to King’s writing is how the artist tends toward the realistic. King’s writing, as gonzo as it is, is somehow, someway, rooted in realism. I am not sure of the writer’s process, but it seems as though he asks “what would happen to Batman if…” and then drafts the answers.

Powerful answers.

The focus here in on Jim Gordon and the role he will play in the Joker/Riddler war. Spoiler alert: it is going to be a painful one.

But not as painful as it will be for Batman himself.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 19 – July 25, 2017


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:

OneTwo

The best comic I read last week was Batman #27

Writers: Tom King

Artists: Clay Mann

There was an amazing run (pun intended) of issues of the The Flash wherein writer Geoff Johns re-told stories of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery to make the villains seem less cartoonish and more, well, villain-like. These were effective and provocative stories – instant classics.

Batman #27 not only reminded me of those stories, it exceeded them in at least two ways: first, it took place in the overall telling of a remarkable arc (“The War of Jokes and Riddles”) and, second, it took one of the most ridiculous villains of ALL TIME – Kite Man – and made him something… more. Something dangerous. Something sad. Something… wrong.

Well done, Tom King. Each month you surprise and delight. I cannot wait for your Mister Miracle title and I will follow you to any book you are on.

King is so good that his work here overcomes the loss of his key artist. Clay Mann fills in for Michael Janin and, while Mann’s work is competent if not inspiring, it is simply not at the same standard as Janin (or rotating artist David Finch for that matter).

But even a sub-par effort on the art cannot detract from what is another special issue in what is a spectacular run.

Tom King should write all the comics.

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Link’n’Blogs – 7.21.17 – Fighting the Dark Night


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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 thought provoking as I have.

When the Aurora, CO theater shooting happened five years ago at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, I received many calls and messages from friends who were checking that our family was not in the particular theater where the shooting took place. That we were not is a blessing, to be sure. And so is this story from Story Corps, a feature of National Public Radio. Yesterday was the anniversary of the shooting and two parents from Aurora remember their son who died and talk about what they do to never lose touch with him.

Heartbreaking and touching.

Row 12, Seat 12

 

Batman Ribbon

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 5 – July 11, 2017


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:

 

OneTwoThree

The best comic I read last week was Batman #26.

Writer: Tom King

Artists: Michael Janin

Perhaps I simply should link to my review of two weeks ago when I selected Batman #25 as the best comic I read… all that I said in that review holds true for this issue.

This second chapter of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” is as compelling as the first. It is as well structured. It is as well drawn. Frankly, the first two issues of this arc are something of a master class in how to write well known characters in well known dynamics and keep surprise in play.

If anything, this second issue is better than the first. It propels the story forward. It shocks and it engages.

Janin and King know what they have in Batman: an immense responsibility to one of the most popular characters in all comics. They are not squandering it.

At all.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 21 – 27, 2017


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:

ThreeTwoOne

The best comic I read last week was 

Batman #25.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Michael Janin

Batman has been such a terrific book since the Rebirth initiative at DC Comics and I think I’ve selected it over 10 times since Tom King took over the writing chores. It is high time I stopped referencing the author of the prior run. King has made the book and the character his own.

That is almost an impossible feat. Batman has been in continuous publication for over 75 years. Story-after-story has been written about him and his cast of characters. What new can be said?

As it turns out, plenty, and let us give DC editorial some credit for allowing King to run with his story. Risks have been taken. The status quo has been altered. Quirky narrative has been established. The plots have been decompressed.

And it has all worked.

Just when I believed an apex had been reached, King has succeeded in surpassing it with Batman #25. The first chapter of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” reads like something new and dangerous and something that will, again, change readers’ understanding of Batman. Set in Batman’s past, the first conflict between the Joker and the Riddler begins with such depth and promise that I am itching for the next issue. And is that not what a periodical should do?

Of Michael Janin I will only say what I have said before: can he draw ALL the comics? I simply love his style. His line work is so crisp and clean. His characterizations are consistent and distinct. He does more with expressions than almost any artist working today. He is, far-and-away, my favorite of the rotating Bat Team.

Read this Batman. Read it now.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 31 – June 6, 2017


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:

OneThreeTwo

The best comic I read last week was

Batman #24.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: David Finch

Batman has been a very solid book throughout the New 52 and Rebirth publishing eras. DC has wisely entrusted it primarily to two stellar writers, Scott Snyder and Tom King. When King took over the book, it seemed that he was following a thematic and structural path set out by Snyder but, in recent arcs, King has illustrated a new found deftness and confidence that is distinct from Snyder’s tone and exciting to read.

He’s been paired with a number of amazing artists who have alternated on the arcs of the book. This issue belongs to David Finch and Clay Mann and, while I believe Mann’s work is a better match for the tighter illustrations of Michel Janin than Finch’s, the combination works in this issue with Finch and Mann going back-and-forth on thematic parts of the story.

Finch is one of the top ten pencillers in comics and, while I have found his line work inconsistent in past issues, he delivers for Batman #24. Matching the tone of the writing, Finch layers on detail in quieter panels while shifting into solid action when the story calls for it. Mann has a sleek approach that I really like and his parts of the narrative deal very much with the emotions of the characters which he conveys extremely well. The two deliver artwork up to the impressive and important caliber of the story.

King’s pacing through the his storylines on the book has been extremely drawn out and decompressed. That fact has led to critiques of the book but, when long story threads play out the way they do in Batman #24, I cannot see why anyone would complain. Tying up loose ends from at least three prior arcs, King writes a powerful issue and, if the promise of the last page is realized, one that could actually alter the status quo of Batman for some time to come.

That cannot be said of every Batman story.

King understands his character and has made him a bit more accessible, a bit more human and a bit more… dare I say, fun.

It is interesting to see how the DC Comics Universe in general and this title in particular have tried to follow the company-wide mandate of telling stories about characters which are positive and hopeful. King has done that in Batman while staying true to the gothic roots of the Dark Knight. It’s been impressive to read.

 

 

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