Thursday, September 17, 2009

COMICS I'M READING (& THE CURRENT STATE OF COMICS)

I haven't done a "Comics I'm Digging" post in awhile and for good reason - I'm not digging anything right now. There isn't a single book right now that has me anxiously awaiting the next issue. But, here are the books I am reading:

* DAREDEVIL: This has been "solid" since 1999. While its more of a crime noir tv drama than traditional superheroics, I find it enjoyable each month. Ed Brubaker (w) and Michael Lark (a) have just finished their short run and have left DD in a fun place for oncoming new writer Andy Diggle & artist Robert De La Torre to pick up from (preview) . The book thus far does read better in trade, tho, so I'm constantly debating whether or not hold off on the monthlies... we'll see how Diggle handles it.

*X-FORCE: Writers Chris Yost & Craig Kyle are the best x-writers since [pre-90s] Chris Claremont. Their New X-Men was surprisingly delightful and they should be writing Uncanny X-Men. Their X-Force is fun each month and is what I was praying for when I was 14. Normally that's a bad indicator, but this is an exception. Plus they've returned Warren to the Apocalypse ARCHANGEL version, which is my favorite! YAY! Hell, I even like X-23 under their pens! (Tell anyone that last part and I'll kill you).

*BATMAN and ROBIN: For the most part I love Grant Morrison's writing (the recent "Batman R.I.P." excluded) and when he's teamed up with artist Frank Quitley, its magic. Unfortunately this new Bat-Chapter is nothing new. Most of the premise was already covered in the 90's "Prodigal" storyline where Dick Grayson becomes Batman and deals with his own insecurities. That last bit is the biggest problem I have with this title - in this book, Dick is a big useless, wuss with no self-confidence. The character has gone through this already and matured past it. The title should be renamed "EVIL ROBIN & THE USELESS GRAYSON". But the art sure is sweet. Quitley leaves the book after issue 3. So will I.

*DETECTIVE COMICS: We're about 3 issues in so far with the new direction, creative team and character. The book now focuses on the "new" Batwoman. I normally like writer Greg Rucka, but this book is meh. However, I've been sticking with it for the gorgeous art by J.H. Williams III. As long as he's doing the interior art, I'll buy the issue. Although I may stop buying and just grab it in collected form.

* BLACKEST NIGHT: Eh, its not really that great, but its a fun read with some killer art. I may stop buying and just grab it in collected form.

* GREEN LANTERN CORPS: I'm not enjoying its sister book, "Green Lantern" so this helps give me my GL fix. Newish writer Peter Tomasi has done a surprisingly well job (no jab at Tomasi there). Plus you get the yummy Patrick Gleason art depicting numerous funky alien Green Lantern Corps members. It's not great, but its enjoyable.

* THE WALKING DEAD: Fantastic book all-around. However, reading it month-to-month is unbearable. I switched to reading in collected form last year. This one I recommend to others all the time!

BOOKS DROPPED.........
Over the past year I have dropped most of the comic titles I read due to my dislike of the writing, art, direction, crap-factor and/or price increase (many books jumping from $3 to $4). While the following titles were not always simultaneously being picked up, they are those books I once bought but am no longer:

* Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl, Batman, Robin/RedRobin, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, The Flash, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men: Legacy, Astonishing X-Men, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Incredible Hulk, Captain Britain & MI:13, Punisher, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man.

While my wallet glees with relief, my local comic book store suffers. I almost never go to it anymore and that sucks all around.

WAITING-FOR-THE-TRADE & THE NEW AGE........
I know, I know... waiting for the trade is bad for the monthly sales. If monthly sales drop, the book gets cancelled and then there's nothing to collect. I fought against being one of the "wait-for-the-trade-guys" for years. But at this point, I just don't care either way. I feel that we are in a NEW AGE of comics (ie "Golden Age", "Silver Age", "Bronze Age", "Modern Age"), and I personally prefer the Bronze & Modern stuff. That's what's going to remain in my collection. All this new stuff will either be on my shelf in trade, or given away (individuals). It's no longer "My Era" of comics. The torch has been passed to the next generation, just as it was to me decades ago.

But who knows... the Comic Industry is a rollercoaster... maybe in a few months I'll be screaming that comics are the best they've ever been.

Then again, Disney now owns Marvel.
Marvel is dead.
Long live the Mouse.

6 comments:

Victor E. said...

Whoa, that was kind of deep. And depressing! LOL

I never thought about Comics being in a new Age before. Interesting theory and I think it holds water. Comics you see now look and feel nothing like they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of that is good, some bad IMO. I guess History will decide when a new Age begins.

Bummer of your immense loss of reading titles, Jim. You must be going through withdrawal!

Anonymous said...

wow... now that is some smashing good stuff lol i kinda like some of the stuff u dropped but then again it wasnt long b4 i started reading comics so i guess i prefer modern over old mmm oh well, but yea i do have to admit some tittles have died down and otherss are just retarded

Jim said...

I've been getting asked about why I dropped the titles listed. Here's a quick breakdown of each:

Superman: Bailed during "New Krypton"

Action Comics: Bailed when Superman was no longer in the book.

Supergirl: Returned when Igle came aboard as penciller, but then lost interest with the whole SuperWoman/NewKrypton.

Batman: Don't like Judd Winnick's writing, or Bagley's DC work.

Robin/RedRobin: Dropped with Red Robin - Writing was bad (even tho it was Yost) and the art was sloppy.

Wonder Woman: Loved Rucka's run, was stoked for Simone's but it fell flat. I don't like Lorpresti's WW art.

Teen Titans: After Geoff Johns left, the book tanked.

The Flash: No longer care, post-Geoff Johns. Wally has twin kid sidekicks, Barry's back... could care less about this now. The Flash WAS my favorite for the past 10+ years (Waid through Johns)

Uncanny X-Men: This one breaks my heart. But Fraction's writing on this title blows. And Greg Land's shitty tracing, recycling art was the final straw.

X-Men: Legacy: Retconning garbage.

Astonishing X-Men: Normally like Warren Ellis, but this is shite. Everyone sounds so smug.

Wolverine: Daniel Way is the devil (Origins). In Weapon X he's fighting a team of guys with glowing wolverine claws (original! ugh) and Millar writes like an uneducated 15 year old. Now Daken is the main character.

Fantastic Four: Millar sucks. Hate the new costumes. Why can't they get this title right...ever?

Amazing Spider-Man: Jesus, this one's been sooo bad for sooo long. JMS sucked. Brand New Day is bland. I'm out.

Ultimate Spider-Man: Immomen art was nice. Now a reboot with crappy art. Perfect time to jump off.,

New Avengers: Bendis should write for Gilmore Girls and leave comics.

Dark Avengers: Boring. I like the idea... funny enough, the Dark Avengers are more interesting over in Dark Wolverine.

Incredible Hulk: Herc is in the 'Incredible' book (don't like), and we have Jeph Loeb's unreadible RED hulk... and now there's a Red She Hulk. Good grief.

Captain Britain & MI:13,: Was really digging this one and excited about the Dracula stuff. But it fell flat. Not worth the $3. Heard its been cancelled.

Punisher: Post-Ellis isn't bad, but its not holding me.

Nova: Budget concerns and a distaste for all things Cosmic due to DnA's butchery of that corner of the Marvel Universe. They know nothing of the characters and history they write about. Bring back Starlin.

Guardians of the Galaxy: See Nova.

Iron Man: Good read but I'm finding myself bored. Just not worth the money, IMO.

jaganar said...

CAPCHA WORD : unwell


do u remember the Classic STAN LEE commentaries in the 90's when he would make the predictions for the future . i remember once he wrote that comics would cost 6 bucks and be all doublesided artwork from cover to cover .
( possibly the late 90's =94 to 97=)

if any one remembers this hook JIM up for that image :)

*JAGANAR*

Brent said...

I <3 Walking Dead.
I wish I had the resolve to wait for collected editions, but Kirkman makes me care about the characters too much to hold off from the monthly fix.

If you haven't checked them out, go back and look at Ex Machina and Y:The Last Man. I got a kick out of both of those books, Jim. You might like them, especially since they both have the feel of a story plotted out with a beginning, middle, and end as opposed to monthly mainstream books which in my opinion have truly become monthly soap opera-esque books where nothing really lasting occurs.

Brent said...

Ex machina has awesome Tony Harris art, too!

And Y:The Last Man is a huge melting pot of different emotional responses, sometimes from one panel to the next.