Friday, August 04, 2006

INVINCIBLE... a true sales success rarity. But why does it read so much better in collected form than in floppies? Today at the main site, a look at INVINCIBLE: ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL.2!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's the return of "Should It Be A Movie?" at the main site! Today, a look at THE EXPENDABLE ONE, the story of a man who cannot die who decides to use his power to be a hero... with some disastrous and hilarious results!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why does a good book miss greatness? Today, Marc checks out WAR-FIX at the main site and addresses that very phenomenon...


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Alt-comix powerhouse Jordan Crane returns to the printed page with his new series UPTIGHT. Learn all about it today at the main site...


Monday, July 31, 2006

Two new indies, ADRENALINE and ALICE IN NEW YORK, today at the main site...


Sunday, July 30, 2006


I’ll tell you all a little secret: I kinda miss doing a regular column. With the format I’ve set up for the new site, I’m keeping things pretty separated. Reviews go up individually on the appropriate publisher page, and that’s it. Plus, I feel obligated to write longer pieces. Quick and dirty don’t rule the day. But that changes today, because they’re at least going to rule this weekend.

Today’s topic: a full suite of books from Ross Richie’s Boom Studios. Boom has become quite the overnight success story, going from fledgling indy to mover/shaker in less than a year. By publishing work by top-notch creators with high-quality production values, they’ve become hard to ignore. I have five new Boom efforts sitting here in my hands; let’s take a look and see how they’re doing.

JEREMIAH HARM #4 (written by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant, drawn by Rafael Albuquerque) is the penultimate chapter to this “space bounty hunters on steroids” saga. When last we left Harm, he had defeated one of the three baddies intent on destroying the universe itself, and had the other two in his sights. Giffen and Grant waste no time getting to the next ridiculous, over-the-top fight as the book opens, throwing as much action at the reader as possible. If you stopped to think about the logistics of the plot or the motivations of the villains, HARM would be in danger of collapsing on itself, but for pure shut off your brain entertainment, it’s hard to beat this book.

Last issue, SECOND WAVE took a bad tumble, losing some of the goodwill the book had built up from the beginning. Issue five (written by Michael Alan Nelson and drawn by Chee) spends the first two-thirds of the story mired in the trouble spot where it left off. Nelson is trying to demonstrate how quickly society has fallen apart because of the Martian attack, but it all feels too familiar. However, the final third of this issue sees the book begin to regain its composure. One good thing: the return of the Martians to the scene; their absence being part of the book’s stumble. Extra points for the creative murder of a crooked sheriff’s deputy.

Milo and Captain Valor head to therapy in HERO SQUARED #2 (written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis and drawn by Joe Abraham), and it’s easily my favorite issue of the series to date. The writers have become somewhat known for being experts and producing “talking heads” comics, and this book cements that rep. However, unlike the excesses that have marked some writers’ efforts over the past couple of years (*cough* Bendis), this never stops being a terrific, riveting piece of entertainment. By the end you realize the true theme of this book: the nature of self-loathing. Milo and Valor are the same guy, genetically, but each other’s version does nothing but remind them of what they hate most about themselves. Great work.

Never a fan of writer Joe Casey’s work, I was hesitant about THE BLACK PLAGUE #1 (drawn by Julia Bax). However, this was pretty decent. We open with a retired superhero and his retired former arch-nemesis playing a lovely game of chess in the park, but soon enough, we discover that there’s a lot more going on in this town that anyone would suspect. And that perhaps the old villain has a lot more up his sleeve than anyone could guess. BLACK PLAGUE’S strongest moments come from Bax’s art; it’s very clean and has a simple look, but conveys action and body language very well. There’s a BLACK PLAGUE mini-series coming down the road to clear up these mysteries, and despite my feelings about Casey, I think that’s a good thing.

Finally, we have THE 2006 DAVE JOHNSON FULL-COLOR SKETCHBOOK, a bookshelf-format edition presenting a wide variety of the artist’s work. Containing everything from odd doodles to designs for 100 BULLETS and CAPTAIN AMERICA, this potpourri of work is a must if you’re a fan of Johnson’s. There’s still worth to be found here if you aren’t, and even with the $10 price tag, that’s still better than laying out a ten-spot for a convention sketchbook that was printed by an artist at Kinko’s the night before the show. If Vertigo ever produces a coffee-table book of his 100 BULLETS covers, this has convinced me I’d have to buy it.

That’s it for the CWR Weekend Blog Extra. Tune in to the main site through the week for new stuff!