Tag Archives: Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 29 – December 5, 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:

One

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman Annual #2.

Writer:  Tom King

Artist:  Lee Weeks and Michael Lark

The cover of Batman Annual #2 reads “Date Nights | Last Rites” and it should be taken literally. Writer Tom King continues his engrossing exploration of the Batman/Catwoman relationship which has, recently, taken a turn toward marriage. This annual reframes the beginnings of the conflict between the two characters as a budding flirtation centered on the idea that they both fill in pieces for the other, that each fits in the other’s life.

It is a compelling premise and the “joke” at the center of it – that they cannot agree on when they actually first met – plays out effectively and fulfillingly throughout the issue.

Broken into two parts, the Date Night portion and the Last Rites section, this issue is remarkably satisfying and surprisingly affecting. If the Last Rites chapter represents the “true” history of Batman and Catwoman, there is much for which to root and much for which to despair.

Lee Weeks handles the Date Nights section and Michael Lark the Last Rites piece. Both are terrific pencilers and have very complimentary styles. Both hew closer to the realistic than the cartoon-ish and, in that, they are perfect for writer King whose most absurd tendencies as a plotter remain anchored in the real world. And Lark draws the cutest black kitten you are likely to ever see in a comic book.

King and collaborators continue to make Batman a must, must, must read. This annual was no exception to that rule.

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

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

One

The best comic I read last week was The Doomsday Clock #1.

Writer:  Geoff Johns

Artist:  Gary Frank

Perhaps it was inevitable, but it is also kind of gutsy: to revisit and write what amounts to a direct sequel of one of the most revered comic book narratives of all time. It was inevitable because, let us face it, there is money to be made. It is gutsy as Doomsday Clock will relentlessly be compared to Watchmen, the classic 1980s graphic novel and there is hardly any way to imagine that Doomsday Clock will not come up wanting.

I expected something different from this book. I expected it to be more of a DC Universe/Watchmen crossover than it actually is. Though Superman appears at the end of the book (and in remarkable fashion: Geoff Johns has had a terrific feel for this character for years), Doomsday Clock is very much chapter 13 of Watchmen and it plays exceedingly well.

Gary Frank is not aping the work of original artist Dave Gibbons here, but he is adopting the panel structure – of course – and is bringing to the book his top work. Frank is an artist whose best asset is the detail he puts into the page, the expressions, the stands of hair, the crumpled garbage in the streets. He is on point in Doomsday Clock and his gritty realism really works here.

I love what Johns did in continuing Alan Moore’s appropriation of DC properties. In Watchmen, Moore used facsimiles of the Charlton characters DC had just purchased. In Doomsday Clock, Johns creates the Marionette and the Mime, DC’s Punch and Julee simulacrums and the trick is pleasant and works.

The whole issue works and I read it three times this week. Each time, I was more deeply pulled into the story. I am sure I can dive in and feel the same way again.

Big event comics seem to rarely deliver on their promises these days. Doomsday Clock, at least for one issue, does.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, Marvel Comics, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

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

 

One

The best comic I read last week was The Batman Who Laughs #1.

Writer:  James Tynion IV

Artist:  Riley Rossmo

DC Metal rocks on this week with another tie-in issue featuring a dark Batman doing dark things.

James Tynion IV has made himself into a key Batman writer over the course of the past few years and he shows a talent for the macabre in this issue, the premise of which features a Batman who is not only the fusion of Batman and the Joker, but the mastermind behind much of the invasion of the DC Universe from the so-called Dark Multiverse. Evil and scary, Tynion’s “The Batman Who Laughs” is one hell of a creation and one that will, likely, live on beyond the end of the DC Metal event.

He is just too terrible (and I mean that in the very best way possible) not to.

I am not familiar with Riley Rossmo’s art. His style is somewhere nestled between heavy cartooning and comic book draftsmanship and is more than passable. While not spectacular, Rossmo gets the job done and creates some truly ugly panels, which is what this book needs.

If I have one complaint, it is that there is (and has been in other installments of this series) an awful lot of exposition and unveiling of master plans leading to crowded panels and overlapping art and text. Additionally, the font selected for The Batman Who Laughs when he speaks is actually hard to read.

Or I am getting old.

The Batman Who Laughs is a crazy book and a perfect ramping up to the next issue of DC Metal which I eagerly await!

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 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:

OneTwo

 The best comic I read last week was Mister Miracle #4.

Writer:  Tom King

Artist:  Mitch Gerads

We are four-for-four with Mister Miracle being a Pick of the Week and, unless something highly unforeseen occurs, I think we can pencil this book in for the next eight issues as well.

What most surprises me about my reaction to King and Gerads’ Mister Miracle is that my fervent devotion to it cuts against a feeling I typically have about art. There is far more going on in Mister Miracle than I understand. In fact, there is much to decode here and, as a consumer of the comic, I am being asked to decode it.

That normally drives me nuts.

Not in this book. I read it three times last week and marveled at the art, at the structure, at the writing. I also marveled at how little I understand what is going on and how much I love it.

Now that the series is a fourth done, I will re-read the first issues in order to see what I learn. No doubt it will be much.

Mister Miracle is the best comic out right now. I do not think that is in dispute. I am glad I got in on the ground floor. It is not too late for you to jump on, too!

 

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

One

The best comic I read last week was Captain America #695.

Storytellers:  Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Do you like your superheroes heroic?

Do you like your Captain American non-Nazi flavored?

Do you like your comic books to read like four-color fantasies?

Then Captain America is the book for you.

Captain America #695 (I LOVE that Marvel Comics has returned to their old numbering… DC Comics, the ball is in your court) marks two returns: the first is the return of Cap to something heroic and special, a character whose patriotism, heroism and wholesomeness are not weaknesses but great strengths. It also heralds the return of the Waid/Samnee creative team and, as previously noted on their tremendous Daredevil run, I wish they could do all the comics.

They credit themselves as storytellers and it is difficult, in terms of writing and plotting, to determine where Waid ends and Samnee begins, but the fluid, cartoon art – a perfect fit for Captain America – is all Samnee. His Cap is tall, broad, square jawed and stunning. He is the perfect counterpart to the story Samnee and Waid are telling: a story about a man who, for about two minutes, questions his place in the modern world and just as quickly puts those questions aside.

His place is in the spotlight, standing up for what is right, taking down what is wrong.

Man, we need THIS VERSION of Captain America in our lives.

I am so thankful Waid and Samnee are delivering it!

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Filed under Captain America, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: September October 25 – 31, 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:

 

One

The best comic I read last week was Flash #33.

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Howard Porter

It is wonderful to see pencils by Howard Porter. One of the unsung heroes of DC Comics Grant Morrison written JLA, Porter dropped out of the comics scene for quite a while due to health issues. In the last few years, he has emerged with a slightly altered style but with no less command of the page. His work now evokes his prior JLA lines, but is more sleek and confident and he is the perfect artist for The Flash, a book I have not regularly read of late but picked up this month because of its tie-in to DC Metal with this, the first issue of a crossover with Justice League.

“Bats out of Hell” is a terrific title for this arc and writer Joshua Williamson illustrates just why he is on the rise at DC. Tying all but seamlessly into the Dark Nights one-shots and the parent DC Metal book, this issue of The Flash feels like an important but not critical read.

That is something of a difficult line to walk, writing a book that must have its own energy and tension while not making it so critical to the main book that readers feel they must buy it to understand the overall proceedings. This is something DC promised to avoid and, with the first issue, it seems Williamson means to deliver on that promise. His opening chapter is fine, tight, appropriately focused on the Flash (a character he writes very, very well) and sets up the Justice League follow up quite nicely.

If you are enjoying DC Metal (and I very much am), you will want to pick up this crossover.

It is so good, frankly, it may inspire me to begin reading The Flash anew!

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Filed under 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: September October 18 – 24, 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:

Untitled

The best comic I read last week was Batman #33.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Joelle Jones

Joelle Jones is a revelation. Keep her in the rotation on this title, DC Comics. She has a tremendous sense of composition, draws a truly intimidating Batman, an equally powerful Catwoman and displays a terrific sense of humor in her work especially as she treats the “Bat-Boys.” Her work is clean and crisp and not a bit cartoon-y. It is a great compliment to Tom King’s narrative and a terrific partner to Michael Janin and David Finch on this book. She is wonderful and her work her simply shines.

This book follows (SPOILER HERE) …

… Selina Kyle’s acceptance of Bruce Wayne’s marriage proposal and while the “Bat” and “Cat” pet-names (see what I did there) do not play particularly well for me personally, everything else in this issue does.

It seems that the engagement is not destined to last long as the two characters look to face certain death next issue.

Of course they do.

The real magic of Batman #33 is not the A-Story, but the B-Story of the Bat-Boys finding out from Alfred that Bruce is to be married. Those pages in-and-of-themselves are worth the cover price.

Batman remains a terrific title. Come for the story, stay for the art or come for the art and stay for the story. Either way, you are in for a challenging and compelling experience.

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