Sunday, April 27, 2003

comic reviews

New stuff over the weekend (some of the books I ordered came unexpectedly early):

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah #2 by Carlo Vergara - Dig up your copy of issue #1. Read and enjoy it. Then break out your copy of the new (and concluding) 70+ pages issue and marvel with me at the sheer inventiveness, freshness and elan of Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. A wonderful complete story arc, Filipino but crafted well enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of world comics. But do not be misled by your enjoyment - this is no superficial read. Under the veneer of comedy and action are reflections about love, friendship, gender issues and what it means to be a hero. Go and get a copy at Comic Quest (and other distribution points as the rollout commences).

Sparks by Lawrence Marvit - An Eisner-nominated, telephone directory-thick ($36) meditation on self-esteem, the search for love and validation, and growing up, told through the device of a 20 year-old girl and a junkyard robot with a human heart. This is a beautiful (albeit flawed) creation, deserving of the accolades it garnered. This is Andi Watson done with no self-awareness, little conceit and best of all, honesty. It is difficult to write about love and hope without falling into the pit of preciosity. This does not. Well worth the astronomical price tag.

30 Days of Night by Steve Niles - Outstanding art, good concept, poor execution. Yes, this is the book that triggered a Hollywood bidding war for movie rights (closing at $1M). It's as if the author fell in love with the concept but didn't know how to tell the tale. Still, in strict idea terms, it's a gem. Too bad it sucked as a story.

Pistolwhip: The Yellow Menance by Jason Hall & Matt Kindt - Like the previous volume by the same creative team, this book is a challenge to read, and does not stoop to entertain little minds. For that, and the manner of execution, I respect this book. It's a keeper.

Creature Tech by Doug Tennapel - By far, this is the book I enjoyed the most. A clear yet surprising story with a structure that works, dialogue that sounds right and a tempo that maintains a balance between quiet and loud moments. In certain aspects, it is reminiscent of the best of Mignola's work in Hellboy and The Amazing Screw-on Head - that ability to tell a story with words and art that move, provoke and entertain. Excellent.


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