Sunday, February 22, 2009

You've Been Warned Vol II Issue VIII

**As always, mind the spoilers, fanboy.**

- OPENING REMARKS -

The Zombies that Ate the World
by Jerry Frissen & Guy Davis
Devils Due Publishing

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Aside from one hideous George Romero quote on the cover, this first issue (term used loosely) is quite a bit of fun, which isn't something one would typically expect from a zombie book. Refreshingly convention breaking, this primary issue follows the bumblings of a family of, for lack of a better term, zombie handymen as they dispose and/or acquire reanimated loved ones. In particular I found the scope and range in which corpses are returning to life to be amusingly clever (that being multi-specied, with no account of time of death and completely lacking explanation). Zombiefied punkers, starlets, and dinosaurs; this book has them all. I wouldn't expect anything less from something Guy Davis was involved with.

Without a doubt, having barely read anything else ever thrust into the market by this publisher, I can confidently say this is the most worthwhile endeavor Devils Due has ever been involved in.

Solomon Kane #5
by Scott Allie & Mario Guevara
Dark Horse Comics

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Maybe this is my whithered, warped, stunted-by-bad-television-and-flashy-video-games attention span talking, but this series' pacing seemed to move slower than frozen snot. I just could not get into this book to save my eternal soul. Even after issue #4, when freaky demons began appearing and eating people, all I could ponder was, "Why didn't these things show up two issues ago, when I was still willing to get excited about it?"

I guess in this day and age it's a little hard for someone like myself, so gorged on non-stop, fast paced action, to get behind the meticulous adventures of a religious bigot, even if said bigot cuts folks up with a big freakin' sword. Forgive me, Lord, but I shant be following Kane's adventures further.

Bottomless Belly Button
by Dash Shaw
Fantagraphics Books

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I bought this mammoth book because I received, like, five goddamn comics in my hold slot this week. I needs me shit to read, dammit.

This is my introduction to Dash Shaw, and I must say I am very, very impressed. Bottomless Belly Button is a voyeuristic look into the traditional family unit, directly in conflict with the struggle to maintain individual freedom. It's a heartfelt, honest portrayal of very vibrant characters, woven together by Shaw's unique stylistic renditions, which run the gauntlet of being quaint, disturbing, titillating, and funny as fuck (i.e. an inhaler, taken out to sea, sprouts pleading eyes as its owner tries to rescue it, or one character who just happens to have a frog head). All in all it's a touching, engrossing, and confusing examination of the many forms human relationships assume. It's a story that invites you in with warmth and compassion, as if you were one of the family. Such a thing is rare to find in this day and age.

All in all, I have to say I'm glad my hold slot was so damn empty this week, or I may never have read this wonderful book.

- PICK OF THE WEEK -
Ghost Rider #32
by Jason Aaron & Tan Eng Huat
Marvel Comics

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This is one of Marvel's worst selling titles. It's also the best Ghost Rider storyline I've ever read (and I've read a fuckin' lot of them). Never before have I seen this often directionless character energized with such burning purpose (no pun intended). It's part B-movie over-the-topness, part Greek tragedy, part super-hero insanity. And this first story was just the beginning. I can't wait to see where Aaron takes us now that he's warmed up.

I never thought I'd live to see the day Ghost Rider would be awesome again. Wonders never fuckin' cease.

- PAN OF THE WEEK -
Ultimate Fantastic Four #60
by Joe Pokaski & Tyler Kirkham
Marvel Comics

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In the past I've said something along the line of, "the best thing this series will ever do is get canceled." I was wrong. Not only is half of the Fantastic Four absent in this final issue, but the title breaks the cardinal rule of concluding without leaving the reader with some semblance of closure. Compound that with flat, unlikable renderings of Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, and Namora, the only good thing I can say about this issue is that it didn't give me some sort of communicable disease (that I know of).

In this late hour I can only assume that the creative hands responsible for this abomination are blackmailing a Marvel big-wig. If that were in fact that case, they should have made some better demands.

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

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