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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September 20 – 26, 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:

OneTwoThree

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman: The Red Death #1.

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artists: Carmine Di Giandomenico

And I thought the parent book, DC Metal, was crazy.

It is hard to describe just what happens in this comic but, suffice it to say, that Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art is brilliantly vibrant, bloody, bizarre and over-the-top, the perfect counterpoint to regular Flash writer Joshua Williamson’s brilliantly over-the-top, bizarre, bloody and beautifully vibrant script.

This book is gonzo in the very best way, unexpected and insane, a story that sticks with the reader long after reading it.

I guess doing Batman is something like playing Hamlet – everyone wants to put their spin on it and Scott Snyder in DC Metal has built the vehicle to do so: the Dark Multiverse wherein alternate (and very evil) versions of Batman have taken the powers of their fellow Justice Leaguers to pursue their own ends.

I do not wish to spoil the chaos but, in this issue, Batman steals the power of the Flash and becomes The Red Death.

Anything named after an Edgar Allan Poe story cannot be good, right?

Batman: The Red Death is not good.

It is great.

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The 2017 Denver Broncos – Week Three: Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills


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Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills

Sunday, September 24, 2017

 BroncosBills

LAST WEEK’S RESULT

Prediction: Denver 30, Dallas 24

Actual: Denver 42, Dallas 17

BACKGROUND

Are the Broncos the surprise team of the NFL this year? Perhaps they are.

They have the number 1 3rd down offense. The number 1 (tied) touchdown leader at quarterback. The number 2 3rd down defense. The number 1 rushing attack.

I could go on.

Buffalo? It has not many of these things.

But the game is in Buffalo. The game is an early kickoff for the Broncos. They often do not play well in this time slot.

And, the season is young. We do not truly know what either of these teams will be at the end of the year.

But I do think the Broncos are better than the Bills…

KEY MATCH UP

Buffalo, for all its offense problems (it is hard to believe, even at home, they will score more than 17 against the Broncos, and that total would be a stretch), has a stout defense. The key match up that will decide the game is Trevor Seimian vs. the Buffalo Bills’ defense. If he can make the right throws, the smart throws and limit turnovers (he’s been a bit too prone to them through the first 2 weeks of the season), it’s hard to imagine the Bills staying with the Broncos.

If, however, Seimian gets rattled and the Bills’ defense takes the ball away a time or two, this could be a much closer game than it ought to be.

X-FACTOR

CJ Anderson is this week’s X-Factor. He is currently playing up to the hype. He is one of the best running backs in the league – this week – and keeping Jamal Charles at bay. He is running with authority, making plays in the passing attack and took over the game against the Cowboys last week.

LeSean McCoy may get more press (and, if he has a big game for Buffalo, he will be the X–Factor about whom I should have written) but Anderson is doing everything right at the moment.

As CJ goes, so goes the Bronco offense. If the running game is a hit this week, Denver wins. Easily.

PREDICTION

The “eye” test gives the one to the Broncos. While this could be a classic “trap game” (big win last week, big division game next week), it is also Vance Joseph’s first road game as a head coach. That, in-and-of-itself, should provide the team motivation. So should the fact that the media still seems to think they are something of a mirage.

Beat the Bills Sunday and some critics are quieted. Lose here, and be ready for a long week of “they couldn’t beat the Bills, how will they ever beat the Raiders?”

Make mine Denver. Big.

I BELIEVE!

Denver Broncos – 31

Buffalo Bills – 10

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Countdown to Star Trek Discovery – 7 Days: What’s the Best Trek?

Star Trek Discovery


On Sunday, September 24, Star Trek Discovery premieres. This is an exciting event for Trekkers everywhere and And There Came A Day celebrates with a week long countdown to the pilot episode!


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Represented today, my personal rankings of the Star Trek television series leading up to Discovery.

Televised Star Trek – Worst to First

Star Trek Enterprise TitleStar Trek: Enterprise

For a Star Trek show, this one ran pretty hard away from its roots. Let’s remember it was only called Enterprise when it premiered, it featured a pop song for its opening credits (a song I liked, by-the-way) and it had a embargo on connecting too readily to the established Trek canon. While most of those strictures changed during the run of the series, this Trekker had stopped watching before the “good” part of the show. When Star Trek loses me, it loses what should be its most easy audience. I wanted this show to be great. It wasn’t.

Star Trek the Animated Series TitleStar Trek: The Animated Series

A cut above normal children’s Saturday morning cartoons in writing if not in execution, Star Trek: The Animated Series is notable as it brought back many of the writers and almost all of the actors (sorry, Walter Koenig!) to the roles that made them famous. While some of the episodes are simply bad and others are bizarre, there is an amazing Star Trekiness about most of them. Freed of budgetary constraints, the animated series provides some interesting if barely more than 2-dimensional imagery. It also provided us with Kirk’s middle.

Star Trek Voyager Title CardStar Trek: Voyager

It must have been hard to be Star Trek: Voyager. There is much to like about the show: the concept of being stranded far from Federation space, the inclusion of natural foes the Maquis (a subplot far too quickly resolved), Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway… there is a lot to like. But, at the end of the day, the show was simply too bland to make much of an impression. Perhaps the idea that there was a glut of Trek is to blame, because there WAS a glut of Trek: two television shows, a movie series, a wildly popular fiction imprint. Trek was everywhere. Perhaps the creators behind the show were too much in a groove – they knew how to do Star Trek and they stuck too long with the same plan with which they’d seen success. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps… I am sure Voyager is someone’s favorite Trek. It just isn’t mine.

Star Trek The Next Generation TitleStar Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation did what was considered impossible: it (almost) made people forget Kirk, Spock and McCoy. It certainly established Star Trek’s bonafides as one of the most influential science fiction franchises ever. It launched Patrick Stewart, gave the vernacular the phrase “resistance is futile” and was Game of Thrones and Walking Dead level watercooler fodder each day after episodes aired. The totality of the seasons probably represents the “best” in quality televised Star Trek had to offer and the Next Generation is truly the touchstone for an entire generation of Trekkers. And that is appropriate. At its best, it was thought-provoking, heartwarming, entertaining and engaging. At its worst… well, The Next Generation didn’t have a lot of worst.

Star Trek Deep Space Nine Title.pngStar Trek: Deep Space Nine

For sheer audacity of storytelling, especially in the last three to four seasons, no Star Trek series matches Deep Space Nine. Created from the perspective that this new Trek should not be ship bound, featuring the first black captain (though Sisko was oddly only a commander in the initial seasons) and showcasing a cast of characters that truly had conflict with one another, Deep Space Nine was, in many ways, the most profound of the Star Trek series. Dark and gritty, it’s spiritual successor is far more the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and far less Star Trek: Voyager, the Star Trek series which premiered during its run. It also features what might – might – be the best hour of filmed Trek ever: Far Beyond the Stars.

Star Trek Title.jpgStar Trek

The first remains the best. We’re not necessarily talking about overall and consistent quality of episodes, but in terms of creating the model, the mission and the mode that would be considered Star Trek, there is no substitute for the original. What each subsequent incarnation of tried to replicate most was the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triad and the chemistry among the progenitor “magnificent seven.” If we’re honest with ourselves, I think each of the subsequent versions came up short. This is the gold (shirt) standard. Though the sequel series defined the parameters of Star Trek more than the original did, everything Star Trek flows from here. Everything.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: August 1 – 8, 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 #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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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Uncategorized

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: July 19 – July 25, 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 #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 – 6.9.17 – Greatest Romantic Movies


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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.

It’s my anniversary today so I thought it would be appropriate to feature a list I came across on Entertainment Weekly’s website last year: The Greatest Tearjerker Romantic Movies. There are some terrific (and terrifically sad!) movies here. Hard to argue with the list. Click the photo!

Ghost

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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

OneTwo

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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