Monday, July 14, 2008

Comic Timing

Just finishing off Ch.3 of 'The Missing', with the help of Maureen. Still plenty of work to go and with Madam Vin doing the first read through of 'DarkFather' and the new short story I've started, things are busy, busy, busy.

Been able to do quite a bit of reading over the weekend by sticking mainly to comics:

Skin was banned and few people wanted to publish it when it was first touted. The story of a violent skin head Thalidomide is not going to be every one's ideal subject matter and while the comic is worthy it is intrinsically flawed due to its main character. You never sympathise or really care about Martin 'Atchet and early on you realise the inevitable ending. It is however, well written with clever use of language and the bright almost hypnotic art work is uplifting.

Batman Year One I first read years ago and seems to have aged well. It's Miller's re imagining of the Dark Knight, gone is the ludicrous 70s version (including the rubbish Robin character who I've never liked) and in its place is the darkness and film noir of a Gotham in need of a violent anti-hero. Clever, violent and very, very dark.

Ministry of Space is an alternative history piece concerning what would have happened if Britain had won the space race and not followed WW2 with a decade of depression and a huge national debt. What's best here is the art work, it's magnificent, full of Dan Dare type vehicles and colours. It's only problem is the ending, too quick and too obvious.
It is written by Warren Ellis who also produced Freakangels, which I am enjoying and can't wait to read the next episode of.

The Last American is a futuristic 'last man' story that just doesn't seem to go anywhere. It feels as if the writers and artist both got bored with the project and gave up after several episodes. This a shame because it was building into a good story and the small detailed art work gave it a claustrophobic and empty feel, perfect for the attitude of the hero.

My favourite read has been Batman: The Killing Joke. At last a comic book that understands the Joker, how twisted and unbalanced he really is. This Deluxe recoloured version is amazing, lush and sharp. It also highlights what a good writer Alan Moore can be when working with an artist ready to curb some of his more outlandish digressions. Almost perfect.

This blog is now also going out on SFCrowsNest run by the talented (and probably very busy Stephen Hunt. If you haven't read the website or Stephen's work I can highly recommend both.

Read this week:
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
Lat American by Alan Grant, Mike McMahon and John Wagner
Ministry of Space by Warren Ellis, Chris Weston and Laura Martin
Batman Year One by Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis
Skin by Peter Milligan, Brendan McCarthy and Carol Swain

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