Scribs’ Picks: Atomic Empire Edition
Three weeks ago, the comic book and games store that I worked in went from being this….
More photos still to come, but MAAAAAN, it’s been extremely, overwhelmingly amazing to work in this huge space. Everyone working on this has been freakin’ awesome, and each week it gets better and better.
Because of this huge move, I’ve been unable to provide you awesome folks with my weekly reviews, despite reading the new stuff anyways. So, to make up for it, here are the last three weeks of my top picks. Spoilers ahead!!
Scribbles Says: “Re: Comics Industry - SPEAK UP!”
In recent months, a slew of well known artists and writers have been quitting Marvel and DC, citing poor working conditions and unfriendly treatment by higher-ups. Greg Rucka, Rob Liefeld, Chris Roberson, and Roger Langridge are four in just as many months to have disagreements with either of The Big Two and the ethics by which they judge their creative talent. Liefeld named a handful of others who have been quitting for similar reasons.
Yet with all this sour news coming out of DC and Marvel, I’m still reading their comics. They still have my favourite characters, and there will always be people willing to write stories about them. But as an avid comic reader, I will always look for a writer or artist I love first when it comes to finding a new series to read. I would have never picked up “Batman” if I hadn’t already known Scott Snyder for his work on “Severed” from Image Comics and for “American Vampire” from Vertigo. And if not for Cullen Bunn’s work on “Sixth Gun,” from Oni Press, I wouldn’t have planned to pick up the “Scarlet Spider” and “Venom” tie-ins for his story “Minimum Carnage: Alpha” coming next month from Marvel. And if not for Marc Silvestri’s fantastic work on “Witchblade” and “Darkness”, both from Top Cow, I doubt I would have touched the most recent run of “Incredible Hulk,” which premiered with his art.
At the end of the day, I’m going to follow the artists and writers that I like, regardless of who’s publishing their material. So I would encourage these guys to keep quitting. Find a publisher you like - there are dozens of them. IDW, Dynamite, Image, Boom!, BDP, Antarctic Press, Darkhorse Comics, Sofawolf Press…. all of these guys not only publish, but offer direct distribution. And most of these guys maintain a you-made-it-you-own-it copyright system for material you produce. Seriously, guys - there are options out there. Don’t be discouraged by the crappy atmosphere at Marvel and DC. In this age of information, it’s easy to get word out to your fans that you’re going to be looking elsewhere for work. They will find you.
And to all you aspiring creators: the first step to seeing your title on the new releases rack is submitting your work to a publisher. Don’t be afraid to put yourself on the line. Look at guys Liefeld, or Neeves, who - despite so much protest from geeks - continue to find work in the industry. Know why? Because they keep submitting their material to publishers. Eventually, somebody picks up on it. It’s the first step, and it’s the hardest step. Just don’t hesitate to communicate - us geeks know you’re out there. We just want to hear from you. So speak up!
Scribbles’ Pick: “Ghost” #0 by Deconnick and Noto
Last week I mentioned that I planned to start reviewing my favourite comic of each week with you all. So, welcome to this week’s pick: “Ghost” #0, by Kelly Deconnick and Phil Noto, with cover art by Jenny Frison. Overall I think this one’s got some potential. The characters are likeable, and, as a good first issue should, the story manages to hook you enough to make you want to keep up with the forthcoming issues. On to the breakdown…
Ryuu’s Review: “Ultimate Comics: Ultimates” by Hickman & Humphries
Issue #13 of Marvel’s “Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates” began an epic Ultimates Universe crossover story that has simply rocked. It serves as a great hopping on point for the Ultimates series of comics, and so, with that in mind, I decided to review their version of the Avengers, to see how this incredible story got its setting. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not terribly fond of team comics, but I tend to make exception for stories like this where I can get so caught up in all the excitement. It’s a fast paced, action-movie-style, pull-no-punches kind of comic, that dives right into the deep end. I feel like the image above, captured from the cover of issue 13, is a perfect description for the series. Ultimates is intense, over the top, and explosive. Hickman’s writing style has you constantly excited to see what’s next. Overall, this has been a very fun series, and I am looking forward to see how this current story arc, ‘Divided We Fall’, concludes.
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
- Gorgeous artwork
- Very exciting, action-movie entertainment
- Solid, well constructed plot and writing.
- No seriously, the art is awesome.
- Hard to pin down - the story moves so fast, that you don’t really develop an attachment to any particular character.
I liked this series over all. The recent run of it has been exciting, but extremely chaotic. Some people like this about it - it dives right into the action, because it assumes you already know who the heck these guys are. Which means you can just sit back, and watch the explosions. I think that’s exactly what this series is about. Take a bunch of dudes who we know and love from comics, and put them into the most extremely high-end, explosive, world-threatening disaster you can think of, and watch them kick some serious ass. Kinda reminds me of The Expendables, in that sense. The difference being that this series has an AMAZING plot.
MARVEL PANEL OF THE DAY
From: Daredevil (2011) #2
Cap’s shield does not get enough love. It is a thing of beauty.
Great walking away line, especially after being attacked by Steve.
Are you fucking telling me…that that shit…is EXPANDABLE???
wait wAIT WHAT
My god!!! Others must know!!!
Ryuu’s Review: “The Green Hornet”, by Kevin Smith and Ande Parks
Sometime last month, it was announced that Chris Robberson would be writing for a crossover of classic pulp heroes called “Masks”, and it was to be illustrated in its entirety by Alex Ross. My curiosity was piqued, and so I’ve spent the last month reading and catching up on all the characters to be involved in this event. The longest recent run of these being “Green Hornet.” I grew up on the tv show with Bruce Lee as Kato, and was one of those dorks who went to see the movie that came out not too long ago. When this series started, I really enjoyed Kevin Smith’s writing on it. But after the first ten issues, the series took a different approach. With it’s first fantastic story arc concluded, it became a much more episodic series. A reader could hop in at any point past then and be good to go! It was a drastic change in how it read, and Ande Parks’ handle on the character, while very entertaining, was also a very different type of comic.
Overal Rating:3.5 of 5.0
- Amiable characters that are easy to get a feel for.
- Colourful and vibrant art.
- Easy reading for casual comic-goers.
- “Monster of the Week” stories make it feel like less of a story and more of a kids show, which doesn’t lend well to the setting.
- Divergent plotlines keep you hopping around different characters’ stories from issue to issue.
- A lack of consistency in character growth and devopement.
Meh. It’s an okay series if you’re a casual reader. The characters’ personalities are pretty set in stone, and they don’t really seem to be developing in any particular direction. That said, this is following up a very old character design that was very much grown up and solid. So, in a sense, it’s what I’d hope for out of a Green Hornet comic. Toss a villain at our hero, and see what clever way he comes up with to defeat him by the end of the episode… er… story arc.
I’ve never had much luck in convincing my coworkers that Spider-Man is the coolest dude ever. But, he does have the coolest principal ever! Clearly he’s doing something right.
Ryuu’s Review: “The Sixth Gun” by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
Today we take a look at The Sixth Gun, a Wild West story filled with every bit of classic cowboy tension and drama mixed with the action and adventure of a Hollywood thriller. Mix in occult mythology and classic ghost-stories paced to an end-of-the-world beat, and you’ve got The Sixth Gun. During dark times after the Civil War, evil men came to possess six otherworldly guns of terribly evil power. When the Sixth Gun, the most powerful and dangerous gun of the lot, came into the possession of the innocent Becky Montcrief, the evils of the world took notice. And only Drake Sinclair, a sharpshooter with a helluva history, stands in their way. Top notch writing, classy humour, and incredibly expressive characters make this a very entertaining series.
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5
- Clever writing follows a plot that you want to see more of.
- Strong character development; you love to love the heroes, and love to hate the villains.
- Excellent dialogue and narration.
- Vibrant art that lends well to it’s mystical story.
- Very linear writing style - pick up the vol. 1 if you want to start this series.
- A sense of humour that is catered only to certain people.
I don’t like westerns. Never did. Clint Eastwood seemed like a dick when I was growing up. But I always loved old American ghost stories! And the Civil War is ripe with them. This post-war tale feels like a really long ghost story/mystery/post-apocalypse/comedy. It’s got a little bit of everything, and I love it. The characters are pretty built around classic archetypes (the hero, the damsel in distress, the villain, etc), and even the character names feel like something that a guy came up with in his D&D campaign. But the dialogue is so perfect that it instead of it feeling cheesy, it actually adds a flare of nostalgia that works fantastically for the setting.