Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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The best comic I read last week was

Wonder Woman #20.

Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Bilquis Evely

 

Great sadness this week: writer Greg Rucka is leaving Wonder Woman in a few issues. That is certainly unfortunate as, as I have mentioned on more than one occasion in this The Best Sequential Art feature, Rucka is doing truly great things on this title. His grasp of Diana both in and out of her super hero costume is truly, well, wonderful. The narrative he has tied together in these first 20 issues comparing Wonder Woman’s early adventures to her contemporary ones has been seamless, thematically compelling and strong. Wonder Woman, in her 75th anniversary year, deserved greatness. In Rucka, she has received it.

Bilquis Evely will also be leaving the title and, while I am not familiar with her replacement, it is difficult to think that her successor can achieve anything like she has. I have compared her work to Dave Gibbons’ art in the past and that is intended to be one of the highest comparisons I can draw. Her lines are smooth, her action sequences direct and to-the-point and her character work stunning. She is the kind of artist to follow from book-to-book.

Wonder Woman has been terrific. I am excited to see where Rucka ends these narratives and so sad to see him go.

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Filed under Action Comics, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Uncategorized, Weekly Comic Book Review, Wonder Woman

Link’n’Blogs – 4.14.17 – Good Friday


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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.

Good Friday and Holy Saturday (and all of Lent, actually) lead to one place: Easter Sunday and, even today on Good Friday, we are a resurrection people. Hey, even Times Square gets it! Take a look at the videos and praise God.

 

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Kong: Skull Island – A Movie Review


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Kong-Skull-Island-poster-fullIs Kong: Skull Island a work of high art, deserving of award nominations and lavish praise? No. It is a hell of a fun movie that is more thoughtful than one might be expecting? Yes. Definitely.

This movie is a companion to the 2014 Godzilla directed by Gareth Edwards (ever heard of him? He directed a little thing called Rogue One). There are giant monsters which originate from Skull Island. Humanity would be well served to leave the place alone.

Of course, we will not do that.

Smartly, the movie opens with an exciting action scene that introduces the audience to Kong right away. Hiding the big gorilla from the audience is not the point. Wowing the audience with stunning visuals is. The movie’s prologue does just that: it wows us. The prologue will play into the overall plot of the film later on, so pay attention.

Pay attention, too, to the opening credits. This is a terrific sequence and sets up this alternate world in which monsters walk. Eagle-eyed audience members will pick up a thing or two about the upcoming movie if the watch closely enough.

John Goodman and Samuel L. Jackson are introduced as Bill Randa and General Preston Packard respectively. Both actors are at the top of their games here and both know that that game is: play the type, sell the monkey. Randa is a conspiracy theorist (with a hidden agenda) looking to prove the existence of the creature. Packard is a dedicated military man in search of one last mission to validate his service to the country. Yeah, the do not get along but, man, are they fun to watch.

John C. Reilly is in great John C. Reilly fashion as Marlow, a man who has been marooned on Skull Island for a long, long time. He interjects just the right amount of comic relief when comic relief is needed.

Along from the ride is the excellent Brie Larson as Mason Weaver, a Life Magazine photographer. She is an antiwar protester, an accomplished journalist and key to what happens when monkey meets humanity. Have you seen a King Kong movie? Then you likely know what is coming.

Also joining the fun (I think that is the fifth time I have used that word in this review) is the always enjoyable Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston plays an ex-British Intelligence officer named James Conrad who is something of a solider for hire and expert tracker. Oh, and he gets one absolutely bonkers, over-the-top action sequence.

In fact, the proceedings are entirely bonkers. There are some jaw-dropping effects and some pretty grisly deaths. There is a very nice plot twist in terms of the Kong character and the creature itself is utterly believable. He is actually pretty incredible. There is even an after credits sequence, so stay in your seats until the end.

What is surprising about Kong: Skull Island is that there is a little thematic depth. There are some themes – light themes, to be sure, but themes nonetheless – that play out through the movie. Also worth noting is the film’s treatment of women. They are treated very well here.

Additionally, the movie fashions itself as something of an homage to The Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now and damn if it doesn’t kind of work. Note the “Marlow” and “James Conrad” names we have here.

Kong: Skull Island is an enjoyable romp. It actually has some points to make and it has a lot of fun making them.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND receives FOUR SKULL CRAWLERS out of a possible FIVE.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 15 – 21, 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

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman #19.

TwoOne

ThreeWriter: 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!

 

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Uncategorized, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 8 – 14, 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

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The best comic I read last week was Action Comics #975.


Writer: Dan Jurgens

Artist: Doug Mahnke

 

I think I loved this comic because it was clever, fun and had a terrific reveal at its conclusion. One of the mysteries that is the backbone of the DC Rebirth-ed universe is the mystery of Superman and this issue (along with interlocking issues of Superman) goes a long way to solving it.

Dan Jurgens is an underrated writer. He is like the baseball player who hits for average and drills the occasional home run. You forget how good he is because he’s so consistent. His work, especially as he handles two parents who are searching for their lost son, is terrific. I love that he was part of the great Superman stories of the 1990s and is part of great Superman stories now.

I have written before about the terrific talents of artist Doug Mahnke and those talents are on great display in this issue. He treats readers to solid panel work throughout but the real magic of the issue is a series of splash pages of some of Superman’s greatest adversaries. Excellent work.

I am really liking the old/new Superman and this story keeps me guessing in a very satisfying way.

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Filed under Action Comics, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Uncategorized

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 1 – 7, 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

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The best comic I read last week was Doctor Strange #18.


Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Chris Bachalo

 

Perhaps some of the energy around Doctor Strange has died down since it’s been months following the very well received Doctor Strange movie. I suspect some of that energy will ramp back up when he makes his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok. However, until then, what we have is a superior comic book featuring the character.

It takes a great team to keep me interested in a character like Doctor Strange, someone who I don’t love but began to read in my own furor around the movie. Chris Bachalo is a tremendous artist and, as I have written before, so perfectly suited to this book. He is cartoon-y in approach and that fits here. What is also noteworthy is how twisted and dark his artwork gets in support of the story. Some of the images he’s created are truly haunting. He’s been a perfect fit here and, while there have been excellent fill-in artists during Bachalo’s run, he’s clearly the master here.

“Master” is also a term that fits Jason Aaron. In this issue in particular, he shows great facility with balancing other-worldly, supernatural plot devices with emotional beats and humor that really work well. In fact, this issue had me truly questioning whether readers were about to witness the death of a major character. Not many comics these days surprise. This one did. That’s saying something.

I have read that Aaron and Bachalo are getting ready to depart Doctor Strange and that’s a shame. It will take a superstar team to keep me reading the book. If this is the last arc I have with the good doctor, it’s been time well spent!

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Doctor Strange, Marvel Comics, Uncategorized, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: February 8 – 14, 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

 

 

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The best comic I read last week was Wonder Woman #16.


Writer: Greg Rucka

Artist: Bilquis Evely

 

Two issues in a row for Wonder Woman. This selection this week is a true testament to writer Greg Rucka’s ability to handle Wonder Woman. His work on this book has been pretty incredible and he’s kept up a standard through these first 16 issues no matter who the artist has been. That he’s been paired with pretty good ones has certainly helped, but I have found in following this book that it is his characterization and his plotting that keeps it at the top of my electronic pile.

The update that Wonder Woman has undergone in this “Rebirth” era of DC Comics has not been substantial, but has served to sharpen all of the elements that have made her such a great character, especially recently. What has happened to the supporting cast has been more significant and some of the threads that Rucka has woven in that regard begin to pull together in this issue. Wonder Woman has served up some very compelling, can’t-wait-to-get-to-the-next-issue cliff hangers and #16 is no exception in that regard. I am glad the book comes out every two weeks.

Bilquis Evely’s work is excellent, reminiscent of Dave Gibbons, and compliments the book nicely. With the departure of Nicola Scott (a real loss), DC could do worse than snag Evely for the near future.

I said this a couple weeks back and I say it again here: the Wonder Woman movie has a great comic book to live up to.

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