Saturday, September 30, 2006


It’s the return of the review version of the Blog Extra, and to celebrate, I have looks at five new books from Image Comics!

Tom Beland’s TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD moves to the “I” and gets a new number one issue, and that’s excellent news. Beland’s memoir of how he met the love of his life, Lily Garcia, and the path their relationship has taken isn’t just the best thing to hit the “romance comic” in the past twenty years; it’s also one of the best comics being produced, period. With Beland moving away from self-publishing and getting the support of Image and its placement in PREVIEWS, hopefully the sales will get to the point where they should be. I’ve used TRUE STORY to hook more than one non-comics reader in the past, and you can, too. Go give it a look.

I gave the first two issues of ELEPHANTMEN a lukewarm review, but issue #3 shows signs of improvement. Once again, there are two stories, both written by Richard Starkings (drawn respectively by Tom Scioli and Moritat), but rather than one feeling pretentious and dragging down the other, these two provide a solid balance of entertainment. Scioli’s reliance on aping Jack Kirby is far less intrusive when illustrating the Elephantmen’s reality, and Moritat delivers a spectacular job on the back-up story. If this keeps up, the book could really grow on me.

Kieron Gillen writes, and Jamie McKelvie draws, the second issue of their PHONOGRAM miniseries. Issue one presented us with an interesting character, David Kohl, who was as big a bastard that’s graced comics in a while. The plot, revolving around Kohl’s abuse of music-based magic coming back to haunt him, was sort of wonky and undefined, however. Part two still leaves chunks of the plot making no sense whatsoever, but there’s some solid forward movement in Kohl’s request to save his own ass. I suppose there’s something to the idea that I enjoy reading the book, and about Kohl, even though very little of what’s going on makes sense to me. Plus, the book is undeniably lovely, McKelvie turning out one amazing page after another. Not thrilled, but I’m still solidly onboard.

Issue three of HATTER M, written by Frank Beddor and Liz Cavalier and drawn by Ben Templesmith, starts putting the character into the homestretch of his adventure. We learn what exactly happened to send Hatter and Princess Alyss out of Wonderland, and just why Hatter is willing to go to the ends of the Earth to save the girl and bring her back to their world in one piece. The shipping of this issue coincides with Beddor’s THE LOOKING GLASS WARS novel finally shipping in an American edition and delivers plenty of intrigue for fans of either the prose work or the comic to sample the other. Plus, Templesmith continues to do consistently lovely work. It should be interesting to see how the story plays out.

And to finish out the weekend… OCCULT CRIMES TASKFORCE #2. When I opened the new Comics Waiting Room in July, the first book to grace my “Should It Be A Movie?” column was issue one of this title. Actress Rosario Dawson had worked with writer David Atchison and artist Tony Shasteen to create a perfect “proof of concept” book, and I was sure it would make it to the screen. And last week, word came down that it was going to happen. So I congratulate the creative team on a job well done. And I’ll certainly buy a ticket. But the movie is going to have to improve on what we get out of issue two. While it looks gorgeous, the story here is so choppy that entire scenes make no sense. There are places where caption boxes or other aids to help transitions were needed and left out completely. There’s no excuse for not being able to follow what’s happening, especially in the equivalent of a “summer blockbuster” entertainment.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back here next weekend with another CWR WEEKEND BLOG EXTRA, and here through the week with site updates!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Closing out the week... THE UNTOUCHABLES meets J-horror in THE DAMNED #1! Go take a look...

Plus: yummy baked goods from a friend of mine. Try some.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Boy, oh boy... when it all goes wrong, it all goes really really wrong. The site has been updated every day this week, though this is the first time I've been able to tell you about it.


Please click over for reviews of LONE RANGER #1, BONEYARD VOL.5, and FAMOUS FIGHTERS. And pray that the internet starts treating me nicer.