Saturday, March 12, 2005

Catching up on reading

Between last July's visit to the San Diego Comicon and being on DC's press list, I've got piles of trades and graphic novels that I'm meaning to read. I'd like to get through most of them before I inevitably end up buying a bunch more at this year's Comicon, so I've been doing my best to catch up. Here's what I've read lately.

Seaguy (Grant Morrison/Cameron Stewart, DC/Vertigo)
I'm kind of hot and cold on Morrison, but after loving We3 so much I was happy to see this show up in the mail. Sadly this is more cold for me, reminding me of stuff like Marvel Boy where Morrison throws in 53765486 ideas in the span of three issues and just totally derails any point he may or may not be trying to make. We3 was focused and remarkably affecting; this is scattershot and largely unmoving, mostly because about halfway through I gave up trying to understand it at all. Still, nice art from Stewart, and a few funny moments. Ultimately, though, it lost me.

She-Hulk: Single Green Female (Dan Slott/Juan Bobillo & Paul Pelletier, Marvel)
I heard so many good things about this that I just had to pick up the trade. It's exactly the kind of thing I usually enjoy: Smart, funny superhero comics with a love for tradition and continuity but a forward-looking mentality that tweaks the formula. Slott takes on the idea of superhuman law with zeal, treating it at face value and wringing plenty of comedic value from it. He also gives his central character plenty of depth and redeems some dregs of the Marvel universe, making them likeable and readable. Some people found Bobillo's art too unconventional for this book, but I liked it; Pelletier's more traditional superhero look worked just as well, though. I'll look for the next trade and maybe pick up the ongoing when it resumes in October.

Slow News Day (Andi Watson, Slave Labor Graphics)
I like comics with small human drama and simple art; Watson's linework is very evocative with only minimal elements. But the story here felt too slight to me, and I had a hard time really identifying with the characters. I suppose the point is that very little happens, but it left me wondering why I was reading about these people at all.

Terminal City (Dean Motter/Michael Lark, DC/Vertigo)
What a disappointment. I loved Motter's Electropolis that came out from Image a few years ago, so I was eager to read its predecessor. It does have the same retro-futurism and noir style as Electropolis, and Lark's art looks great. But the story is completely incomprehensible; there are far too many characters, twists and double-crosses to follow. After a while I just gave up trying to figure it out, but it left me feeling kind of hollow. I picked up the sequel in individual issues for 50 cents a while back. I was excited to find it at the time, but now I'm much less eager to read it.

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