Monday, May 12, 2008

What I Read This Week

...Or, The Last Week I Got To The Comic Shop.

DC Universe #0 -- The DC Universe is set up for the next year or so in this 50-cent come-on comic. I think it owes a lot more to Brave New World than it does to Countdown to Infinite Crisis insofar as it is a series of previews of upcoming titles with a somewhat weak through-story rather than the other way around. Still, I enjoyed it, and seeing all the big, epic storylines planned all in one place was nice, especially for the cost. Johns and Morrison are obviously having a blast working on this event, and the various artists give the work a broad feel -- the transition isn't jarring because of the wide range of previews inside.

Avengers: The Initiative #12 -- Uh, wasn't this supposed to be a face-off between Iron Man and War Machine? If so, why did they have about 3 lines of dialogue between each other? I guess if you were reading Initiative already this might be alright, but other than some fun at the expense of Henry Gyrich, and some nifty use of thought baloons, the whole thing falls flat. The whole point that Slott and Gage are making ("The Initiative is bad... mmkay?") kinda seems ill-advised considering the title of the book, and Uy's art is poorly suited for a superhero title. I feel like a sucker for buying this.

Caliber #1 -- In the West, a great conflict is brewing between the new settlers and the established natives, and only a weapon of great and fantastic power can stop absolute chaos and lead civilization. This Weird-West-Meets-Round-Table update is, first off, beautiful; the art by Garrie Gastonny is lush and does a good job of capturing the "wide-vision" landscape (an interesting contrast to Cboins work in the first few issues of Graveslinger). The story, by Sam Sarkar, wanders a little bit and struggles to get it's footing, but by the end becomes clearer and sets up what should be an appealing adventure. Definitely worth checking this one out, especially with it's reduced price point ($1.00).

glamourpuss #1 -- I don't think anyone is ever really quite sure what Dave Sim is going to produce except for Dave Sim himself, and glamourpuss seems to contradict even that. This comic starts out as an examination of the "photo-realistic" cartooning style as used by Al Williamson and his disciples for newspaper strips decades ago, with Sim trying to recreate this "beyond noir" style through the liberal use of lines and black ink. But then it seemingly starts to get away from him, descending into a sort of narrative about high fashion model glamourpuss, in a series of satirical jabs at the fashion industry and publications such as Vogue and it's ilk. It's all very strange but also quite captivating -- the kind of off-the-wall thing most expect from Sim considering that we are all living in the "Post-Cerebus" era, so to speak. Definitely not for everyone, but check it out, you might be surprised.

The Pick Of The Pile this week is a tough call. DC Universe was a lot of fun, but really not overly substantial; Caliber was exciting and very pretty, but had some unclear bits which required a second look; and glamourpuss was challenging and fun, but still pretty far out there. In the end, I am going with Caliber, which set the ball rolling for what promises to be a rolickingly Weird Western.

So what did YOU read this week? (And the one before that, I guess.)

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