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John Workman Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

1987 And All That: Fantastic Four #304-307

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

FF11987 And All That: Fantastic Four #304-307  (Marvel) by Steve Englehart, John Buscema, Joe Sinnott, Glynis Oliver (#304-306), George Roussos (#307), Phil Felix (#304), Janice Chiang (#305), John Workman (#306-307), Don Daley (#304), Ralph Macchio (#305-307)

There are two core components to the Fantastic Four: 1. awesome sci-fi superhero excitement, and 2. familial relationships and the drama that comes with them. Every creative team strikes their own balance between these elements, and I’m not here to say one blend is better than any other. I will say that these four issues, the first in a long run written by Steve Englehart, definitely focus hard on the interpersonal stuff (though there’s a healthy dose of action in each issue, too), and the results are great. Almost every character we see, whether they’re part of the titular team or not, has a lot on their respective plates, everyone carrying heavy personal baggage that informs what they do and how they act in interesting ways. There are villains with pathos, heroes who sometimes act like childish jerks, and many characters who seem as though they might break down completely at any second, adding a nice underlying tension to everything else that goes on. All of this is heightened by John Buscema’s expressive artwork, which delivers moments of quiet, brooding reflection with just as much oomph as the most hard-hitting action, and nails everything in between as well. Though these issues are not at all flawless, they’re consistently entertaining, they’re not afraid to make big, bold moves, and they shake up this title effectively and efficiently, which seems to be their primary goal. And they’re a nice reminder that we are all many different thing, that each and every one of us has our own inner turmoils and conflicts to wrestle with, and that these kinds of things don’t necessarily ever resolve for good so much as they grow and change and become more complicated over time. Continue Reading »

1987 And All That: Wild Dog #1-4

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

WildDog1Wild Dog #1-4 (DC) by Max Collins, Terry Beatty, Dick Giordano, Michele Wolfman, John Workman, Mike Gold

I have sort of a weird relationship with Wild Dog. Unlike most of the comics I review for this column, this is one I’ve read before. Multiple times, in fact. But I don’t revisit this series because it’s one of my favorites; on the contrary, I find it mostly disappointing, with too much wasted potential, mostly flimsy characters, and a glorification of violence that’s extreme even for a superhero comicbook. Wild Dog is arguably not a superhero title since the main character has no powers, but if you put on a mask and have a fake name, you’re a superhero in my mind. If Batman and Green Arrow count, Wild Dog certainly does. Anyway, my original point is that I’m not a very big fan of this comic, but even after all this time, I want to be a fan. I wish this book was better, meatier, more worthwhile. It seems like it wants to do a lot of things that I would really enjoy, but it never quite gets there, too trapped in its own weird structure and mixed-up priorities. Continue Reading »

Comics You Should Own – Starman

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Hey, I’m back! With one of my all-time favorite series!
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Year of the Artist, Day 326: Erik Larsen, Part 3 – Doom Patrol #8 and #13

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issues are Doom Patrol #8 and 13, which were published by DC and are cover dated May and October 1988. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 325: Erik Larsen, Part 2 – Teen Titans Spotlight #10 plus a short web-slinging bonus!

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Erik Larsen, and the issue is Teen Titans Spotlight #10, which was published by DC and is cover dated May 1987. But before we get to that, I want to show a few scans from Amazing Spider-Man #287, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated April 1987. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 176: John Paul Leon, Part 5 – The Winter Men #6

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is John Paul Leon, and the issue is The Winter Men: Winter Special (it’s the sixth and final issue of the series, but for some reason it wasn’t labeled as such), which was published by DC/Wildstorm and is cover dated February 2009. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 132: Walter Simonson, Part 4 – Alien: The Illustrated Story

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Walter Simonson, and the comic is Alien: The Illustrated Story, which was published by Heavy Metal and is cover dated 1979. These scans are from the re-issue, which was published by Titan Comics in May 2012. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 115: Chris Bachalo, Part 2 – Legends of the Dark Knight #64 and Generation Next #4

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Chris Bachalo, and the issues are Legends of the Dark Knight #64 and Generation Next #4, the first of which was published by DC and is cover dated September 1994 and the second of which was published by Marvel and is cover dated June 1995. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 49: Marshall Rogers, Part 5 – Batman: Dark Detective #6

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marshall Rogers, and the issue is Batman: Dark Detective #6, which was published by DC and is cover dated September 2005. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 30: Alan Davis, Part 5 – Batman and the Outsiders #31

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Alan Davis, and the issue is Batman and the Outsiders #31, which was published by DC and is cover dated March 1986. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 14: Mike Mignola, Part 4 – Gotham by Gaslight

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Mike Mignola, and the issue is Gotham by Gaslight, which was published by DC and is cover dated February 1989. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 13: Mike Mignola, Part 3 – Cosmic Odyssey #1

10-24-2013 03;24;33PM (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Mike Mignola, and the issue is Cosmic Odyssey #1, which was published by DC and has a cover date of November 1988. Enjoy!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 366: Doom Patrol #63

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Doom Patrol #63, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1993. Enjoy!
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Trade paperbacks, older editions, and miscellaneous for December 2012

I think this way of reviewing the many trades and older stuff I get is good, so I will continue doing so. I hope it’s good for all of you!
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Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 348: Faith #5

Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. As it’s now December, I will be examining the LAST pages of random comics, so watch out for SPOILERS! Today’s page is from Faith #5, which was published by DC/Vertigo and is cover dated March 2000. Enjoy!
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