Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Recently I’ve been revisiting the surrealist comic book authors who have successfully conveyed the kind of disruption of reality which I experience in dreams. I want to pinpoint the ways in which they have been able to successfully communicate and provoke a kind of emotional dissonance with their work.
Neil Gaiman (and by extension, artist Dave McKean) immediately comes to mind, specifically on his long-running and groundbreaking series; The Sandman, but also in works like Black Orchid and The Books of Magic. In many ways this is the most linear representation of truly surreal environments that I can think of. He provides us with entire universes of insane, nonsensical, mythical imagery and logic, but he presents each story in a very direct, linear manner. His way of telling a story in this context is very much like a fairytale, with one event leading inevitably to the next, it is deceptively comfortable, almost hiding the craziness inside. When he does move the storyline towards something more evocative of chaos (i.e. towards the end of the books) he still lays all of the elements out carefully so that by the end the reader can happily piece together a logical continuity (that is to say it is logical within the context of the universe he has created). Continue Reading »
There are comic books I have bought for their cover and only for their cover. While the interior hasn’t displeased me, this meat of the comic book is not what drew me to it, nor (more importantly) what made the purchase a satisfying one. These are comic books I won’t sell or give away, even though I probably won’t read them again. While the interior are strongly echoed by the covers, it is the comic book as a container which interests me. Like most people, I try not to be a superficial person, to judge for the beauty inside, but for me, in these instances, the covers lend so much more weight to the stories which inspired them, that they become substance in their own right.
Let’s get this out of the way right away: There are DEFINITELY GOING TO BE SOME TOTALLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK images underneath the cut. Just so you know! And I asked our own Kelly Thompson to review this with me, ’cause that’s just how I roll, yo.
Continue Reading »
At some point Arkham Asylum became an archetype. Within the comic book world, it provides a uniquely consistent space to explore the facets of madness. Creating art that can communicate and explore the unique logic of the insane is an impressive thing. Through this seemingly innocuous medium, the device of Arkham Asylum offers us myriad opportunities to explore the human psyche. Continue Reading »
Continuing the epic forage through my childhood comic book collection, moving into the realm of comix. Once I’d browsed and reminisced through my superhero comics to my hearts content, I moved on to the darker, more mysterious contents of the remaining boxes. Continue Reading »
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.