Saturday, August 25, 2007

Disenchantment with Comics: The Update

I am sitting here with this week's stack of comics in front of me, still filling disenchanted with comics. To give you a barometer of how I am feeling, let me mention a few individual issues and the way they made me feel.

Birds of Prey #109: the internet is already going crazy about this issue, so I am going to try and be brief. Tony Bedard doesn't know his character's history and the editors of the book didn't correct him. This is irresponsible and saddening. What should have been a pivotal, emotional issue is basically a piece of crap. To top it off, they killed a character to further an upcoming event, rather then centering it around the Birds of Prey book. Bottom line: this issue is a pathetic waste of my money other then the nice art by Nicola Scott.

Amazing Spider-Man #543: I really hate this book. It isn't Peter Parker anymore. It is some guy in a Spider-Man suit doing what Marvel editorial dictates and I am sick of it. Bottom line: More dreck that I wasted my money on.

Astonishing X-Men #22: a bright spot for me. This isn't my favorite storyline ever, but I am warming up to it. Did I mention that I think artist John Cassaday is a really hot, talented guy? I love the variant cover, which showcases Wolverine's powerful thighs. Nice touch. Bottom line: Decent stuff.

The Punisher (Max) #50: the book that saved me from losing all faith in humanity. It is really late because of a foul up my retailer had, but I loved it. I am not crazy about Howard Chaykin's art, but it didn't make me cringe here like it did on Hawkgirl. Garth Ennis, I love you too. Bottom line: Courageous, hardcore reading material.

Wolverine #56: A fill-in issue that I actually liked better then the Loeb-Bianchi extravaganza. Once again Chaykin is on art chores. Unbelievable. Bottom line: It was alright- didn't buzz my bells, but didn't repulse me either.

Outsiders crap fest featuring Metamorpho and Aquaman: Josh Middleton's art didn't work here at all, and the story was awkward. Can we just cut the chase and get to the Batman and... series? Bottom line: Hated it!

In better news, I reread the first chapter of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns last night. It has helped heal some bad feelings. I also pulled a few old Wonder Woman back issues to read along with the new Showcase book. Through back issues and excellent trades, I am hoping to start to get my love of the medium back. It certainly isn't going to resurface through this week's new stuff.


Lisa said...

Chaykin must be Marvel's "Go To" guy when they find out that an artist has fallen behind. He's one of those guys that can crank out art like nobody's business. The bad part - there are a lot of people that don't like his art style so they won't buy his issues.

I didn't think BOP was THAT bad - I liked the end where Sin and Barda were playing Pokemon. The rest wasn't that great though. I'm just looking forward to seeing what McKeever does with it - I almost didn't read this issue at all thinking I'd just wait for McKeever's run to start.

As for Amazing - Straczynski can't get off of it soon enough. People have been steadily leaving this comic, although hard core fans want to read the "One More Day" part. I think once that's over and Straczynski is off of the comic it might be the time to read a few issues and see if it's worth keeping or not. I am hoping that things improve after Straczynski gets his hands off of Pete.

Swinebread said...

Your comic book remorse is so delicious…

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, girl! The solace of your back issue boxes will surely pull you through the disappointment.

There's a certain laziness and cynicism that's crept into modern comics storytelling, to the point where I don't even think the creators recognize it anymore. The negativity and dreeriness of so. many. comics. is just unrelenting (JMS Spidey...I'm lookin' at YOU!), and it's time to fly the coop on these overpriced turds.

You have every right to feel angry and ripped off...but don't abandon comics altogether just because we're going through a trying transition. I've weathered MANY such times of transition during my years of collecting comics, and there's always some undiscovered gem back there in the back issue bins waiting to be discovered and ready to restore your faith in this wonderfully entertaining medium.

Carl said...

Welp, sorry I haven't been around for the other posts. I always feel like I am playing catch-up when I post after the conversation seems to have died down.

Anyway, I haven't been reading much of anything comics-wise, skipped the comic shop this week too. Some of it has just been busy with medical follow-ups and drama with work and friends stuff.

I just find it so hard to really keep going to the well that seems to do nothing but give heartbreak lately. I won't read Marvel since Cap was murdered (no one except for people with wills of iron like me understand-- I haven't worn a Punisher/Marvel shirt or bought but one Marvel Comic since that day but the first issue of Thor) and DC seems to trying to beat out Marvel in auto-pilot non-editing.

Really, what I've mostly enjoyed is just a few books, The Walking Dead,
Army of Darkness, The Lone Ranger, The Spirit, Buffy TVS, JSA, Death Dealer and Battlestar Galactica (the one and only series). And if you notice only one mainstream superhero book in there. How sad is that?

Also, I love Howard Chaykin but I just can't imagine him on a regular "spandex tights" mainstream book. He does a wonderful Superman and Batman butttttttttt, Wolverine?! That's like getting Frazetta to do a Toyota ad in my opinion. Chaykin does his best work in the mystery men, the pulp or Sci-Fi action heroes. I've met him a couple of times, nice guy but kind of with a snarky Harlan Ellison streak now and again...

Wish I could help with the Discontinuity Comic Blues but I'm afraid they are here to stay for a while as long as people will pay for that crap...

Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa, I was wondering that about Chaykin as well. Hmm.. I am not a big fan of his style, but the stories he illustrated made up for it mostly. :-)

BOP- I have to just disagree on this one. The editorial error just killed it for me. At this point, I am just waiting for McKeever!

Amazing is indeed awful. It just is. It makes me very sad.

Crossing my fingers for big improvements sooner then later!!

Heidi Meeley said...

Swinebread, lap it up, Baby! It is still coming in metric ton loads to be sure.

Heidi Meeley said...

Mark, it is definitely back to the basement for me comic book wise. My basement, that is. I am going to continue to try and clean stuff up and read old issues to help weather this storm. I am also planning to prune heavily in the next Previews. God I hope it helps.

Thank you for all your encouragement- it means the world.

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, I appreciate the suggestions for what to read based on your list. I am definitely fighting the disillusionment blues around here. Jim kinda has them too, but he is trying to prop me up. Hopefully it will get better instead of worse!

Eaglewing said...

Thank God for Ennis... :)
As for Chaykin's art, I for one don't mind it. I've seen better, but I've seen much, much worse too.
And Dark Knight Returns is an excellent throw back to kick start the comic doldrums. I remember reading that trade when I was on dialysis and it made the time fly. I still pull it down to read from time to time. Excellent stuff.

Heidi Meeley said...

Eaglewing, it sounds like Dark Knight Returns works miracles?! Seriously, books like that are just what I need right now.

I am pondering reading Ennis' Preacher run for nostalgia's sake... good choice?

Eaglewing said...

Yes, yes...good choice! I'm only through the third trade - was going strong (and lovin' every minute of it), then life got in the way for a bit. I gotta get back to more Cassidy!