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Joe Rice Media Review 1/24/07

You may have noticed that I did not write a column last week.  That is, if you were not struck blind by the list of awful comics Burgas reviews and enjoys for some reason.  I’m certain I had a good reason.  I just don’t remember what it was.  I was probably dabbling with the oscillating impregnatron; it requires only a few more calculations until it is ready.  Anyway, last week there was only one comic anyone needed to buy or read and so the lovely folks at Rocketship saved me a copy till this week.  AND NOW FIND OUT WHAT I THINK ABOUT THINGS!!!!

The comic worth reading last week was The Spirit.  In it, we get this “era” or whatever’s introduction to P’Gell, THE femme fatale of comics.  It takes turns that traditional P’Gell stories did not but they work, fleshing out the cartoon character naturally while also keeping her a cartoon.  Eisner dealt with archetypes before they were cool (and way before they were cliched).  But Cooke seems to be working at allowing them to remain types while also layering on some more naturalized characterization.  Anyway, it was a good done-in-one issue, the way these sorts of things should be.  (It occurred to me that if you’re going to want me to care about men in costumes hitting each other, you’re most able to do it in small doses that have endings).

I thought I had Gaiman’s Eternals story all predicted.  Now, either I’m even worse at that than I thought or he went for quite a different track here.  Wonder of wonders, his Hank Pym is fun and charming.  The art is typically beautiful of Romita, and the story takes a religious angle that–so far, at least–is quite interesting.  Makkari was always my favorite Eternal (Jesus Christ, the things I can truthfully say . . .) so it’s fun to see him getting such a spotlight.  This COULD have been an ending . . .I’m curious what this suddenly-needed seventh issue will be.

It seems weird to review Criminal.  It’s very, very good.  It’s by two top talents, working hard.  It’s dark and sometimes quite difficult, but also full of human moments and touches.  But if you’re not reading it, the odds are that you’re not going to put down your copy of Moon Knight or whatever to give it a shot.  Ah, what’s the point?

Doctor Strange:  The Oath might be the best superhero mini Marvel’s put out in a long time.  The art is fluid, expressive, and beautiful to behold.  The plot winds in fun, interesting ways.  The dialogue is clever without taking over the entire book.  And any book that has a superhero shooting a giant evil vagina with Hitler’s gun pretty much wins a prize right there.  Neil, I see why you like this guy.  The Doctor, done right, is quite awesome.

Jesus, DMZ can go from tense to downright harrowing fast.  I haven’t the slightest idea how this is going to resolve, but I love not knowing.  How can I get someone new to read this book?  It’s readily available in trades.  It’s a killer premise with excellent art and can’t-guess writing.  If this were TV, all you nerds would be watching it.  Read this book.

If, when hawking Dwight T. Albatross’s The Goon Noir this week I have to say more than “Brian Posehn writing a Tony Moore story, Thomas Lennon writing a Guy Davis story, and Eric Powell himself” then you’re not even a goddam human being.  You’re like a mushroom (that isn’t even tasty) or a sand dollar or an Irish.

Ohmigod.  Mouse Guard.  You are so great.  I love you, Mouse Guard.  The big battle scene?  It was like pure-kickass.  I felt like I heard Zepplin or Wolfmother and the rolling of dice and the faint smell of weed.  This is what fantasy can be.  I do hope you people are either reading this or getting the trade.  My opinion of you will be lowered even further otherwise.  Give me one good reason not to read this.  ONE!  It’s got epic battles, treachery, forgotten heroes and all the slaying a mouse can handle.  Muah, I kiss you Mouse Guard.

If you don’t like Johnny Ryan, you won’t like his latest Blecky Yuckarella collection, Back in Bleck.  If you do like him, A) you’re better than that other guy I was just talking to and B) you will like this as much as I did.  And “Fonzie with Aids” is my new favorite show, too, Blecky!

So I read a few glowing comments about this Paper Rad guy (?) and feel like an old fart for not knowing what the hell it’s about.  So I got Cartoon Workshop/Pig Tales today.  Jesus, I dunno.  Maybe I AM an old fart.  But this was frickin stupid.  And not Blecky stupid, either.  Like the lame weird kid who tries to imitate the charming weird kid’s sense of humor.  Chuck Norris jokes?  Really?  Semi-traced drawings of copywritten, dumb characters?  And those colors!  Like my wife said, “This is awful.  It looks like something you’d get for free at McDonald’s.”  Do people really like this?  Who?  What’s the point?  I don’t mind surrealism or semi-primitivism.  I hearts me some Gary Panter.  But I can’t tell if this guy’s (?) just too much a hipster or functionally retarded.  The people that love this probably don’t come anywhere near this site, so I may never find out the appeal.  All I can say is, “At least it isn’t one of Burgas’ comics.”

9 Comments

Wow. Two shots at me in one column. Well done.

And I got Moon Knight AND Criminal. And enjoyed them both. What the hell does that make me????

“You’re like a mushroom (that isn’t even tasty) or a sand dollar or an Irish.”

Say what? I’m gonna kick yer bollicks inta orbit, yeh wee shite! Soon as I finish this pint.

DMZ does rock.

I’m intrested in Mouse Guard, but am afrayd that my friends will make fun of me for liking it. Is it cool?

I picked up a copy of Mouse Guard at my comic shop, and a beautiful, half-naked woman walked in and looked at me. Then I put it back on the shelf and she left.

Further testing is required.

“That is, if you were not struck blind by the list of awful comics Burgas reviews and enjoys for some reason.”

Because he is a tool with terrible taste in comics?

“Wow. Two shots at me in one column. Well done.”

Just wait ’bout half an hour.

Well, Paper Rad’s outrageous imagery is the largest part of his appeal. He takes iconic images of geek culture and places them in an artistic rather than entertaining context. It seems like pandering to the common denominator of the modern art crowd in one aspect, but his art has a unified aesthetic and incredbly distinctive design, something that most upcoming modern artists lack. You’d have to assimilate yourself in the Fort Thunder art scene (or at least become somewhat knowledgeable) to properly appreciate the art and what it’s trying to do, but taken out of context? It’s like Coltrane’s later dissonant jazz work.

That said, I don’t know that much about his work, having only seen a small chunk in Ergot 5, but it seems strictly for the hipster art crowd. I like Panter more, too.

Thanks, XyphaP. That kind of makes sense . . .I still don’t think it’s a good comic, but I’m almost beginning to see why it might appeal to some people. (That’s a lot of modifiers.)

Stealth: If your friends make fun of you for Mouse Guard and not for Captain America, then they’re retarded.

I believe Paper Rad is actually an artists’ collective rather than a single person. I haven’t read any of their stuff, but Jog is always singing their praises, and I respect his opinion. BJ and Da Dogs is supposed to be good. Of course, I’m just giving secondhand opinions here, so feel free to ignore me.

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