Hey, and we’re back to being off-schedule! Isn’t that exciting? I blame the Angel of Migraines for wrecking me for the two days I would’ve spent getting, reading, and writing about the comics. Anyway, here’s the last week of January.
Adventure Time #12 written by Ryan “Que” North, drawn by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, extra coloring by Lisa Moore, lettered by Steve Wands. “The Ice King & His Magical Matchmaking Mini-Comic” backup written by Alexis Frederick-Frost and drawn by Andrew Arnold:
“WOAH, THAT’S KINDA NEAT I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE BUT I GUESS I’M FINE.”
Ryan North’s got a great style of dialogue, which, in retrospect, makes sense: H
is biggest project does involve using the same images with new words every installment. Regardless, his writing is recognizable and flows easily in banter. I really like Paroline and Lamb’s art too; it’s respectful to the source material, but they understand the flow of comic panels enough to make changes when necessary. THIS IS A GOOD COMIC AND THUS IS HARD TO DISCUSS PAST ITS OWN CRAFT. Plus, the backup that teaches kids how to make their own comic is adorable on a scale heretofore unknown to all mankind. I really hope some kids come into the shop to sell comics they made after reading this.
Batman Inc. #7 written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Chris Burnham and Jason Masters, colored by Nathan Fairbairn, lettered by Carlos M. Mangual:
“The birthplace of the beast. The mother of the fatherless.”
Morrison’s been doing this comic with the same art team for almost a year, so look: I liked this comic. That’s a foregone conclusion. Morrison gets in some “Holy Shit, Batman” and Burnham and Fairbairn sell the moments that need selling. THIS IS A GOOD COMIC AND THUS IS HARD TO DISCUSS PAST ITS OWN CRAFT. On another note, Jason Masters does a really good job in his three fill-in pages; I didn’t notice the change on the first couple of read-throughs, and
since DC seems intent on keeping the book on schedule, it’s good to see fill-in pages that successfully mimic the artistic quality.
SPACE JAM OF THE WEEK
Hawkeye #7 written by Matt Fraction, drawn by Steve Lieber and Jesse Hamm, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Chris Eliopoulos:
“I know who Jay-Z is. I was just pretending. For effect.”
I really like that Fraction’s been able to use Hawkguy to kind of trick general comics readers who might not normally buy a comic about a “nice guy who fights bad guys and helps his pals move,” but will if it stars an Avenger. It feels like a way for him to tell stories his Marvel work usually doesn’t let him tell, and this is a great platform for it while we wait for more Casanova. THIS IS A GOOD COMIC AND THUS IS HARD TO DISCUSS PAST ITS OWN CRAFT. In addition, it sure is nice to see Steve Lieber’s art again, and read some work by Jesse Hamm, whose work feels familiar, but I can’t remember why. Good art, y’all.
Mara #2 written by Brian Wood, drawn by Ming Doyle, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Ming Doyle:
“They love you.”
I know I talk about writers first most times, so let’s mix it up
and start with the art. I’ve been a fan of Doyle’s since her work on The Loneliest Astronauts, and it’s great to see her get some mainstream success. Her linework’s never been clearer, and what’s more, she’s showing improvement with every page; while it seemed like she was having trouble showing the physicality of volleyball in the first issue, the action is much clearer in this one, and her faces and clothing remain as good as ever. Even better, Jordie Bellaire’s colors are absolutely incredible. But, back to the writing, Wood’s got a really interesting concept, but his mini-series tend to read a little bit stilted. Despite only having a few issues, Wood has spent quite a bit of time on exposition, and the rest of the comic suffers. Hopefully, he can turn it around , and make it a good one.
Nowhere Men #3 written by Eric Stephenson, drawn by Nate Bellegarde, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Fonografiks:
“I’ve transformed into something way cooler than I was before!”
Three issues in, and I’m still not feeling the love for this comic. I mean, gosh, is it pretty; Bellegarde makes other artists look like they don’t even try, and my nigh-obsession with Bellaire’s colors is documented. Still, the finished work just hasn’t gelled with me yet. Part of that has to rest on Stephenson’s shoulders. While he’s done a great job building the world
and assembling a team of artists and designers to construct a universe that I absolutely believe in, his character work is sorely lacking. He’s writing the series as if it’s an ongoing, but last I checked, there ‘ll only be five issues, and with that limit of space, he needs to have already sold us on the characters. Stephenson’s used precious little space to show people’s personalities, throwing them from plot point to plot point. As a narrative strategy, it’s pretty off-putting. I want to know more about these characters because of their designs, but he’s only got two issues left to finish the entire story. I don’t know, maybe he’ll save it perfectly in the finale, but I’m really disappointed so far.