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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 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!