thehefner: (Darkplace: Dean Nodding)
Here we are, folks. The big finale!

The best compilations of older (pre-2000) material that came out this decade! )

And finally...

Honorable Mentions: the great efforts )

What think you, folks? Agree? Disagree? Have I forgotten anything great that deserves a shout-out? I haven't read BLUE BEETLE, for instance, which could well earn a place here, by all accounts.
thehefner: (Galactus' Mighty Hat)
The best of the ongoings, which hopefully won't turn to suck by the time they finish )

Next time, the final part of this epic list: "Collected Editions," which are worthy compilations of pre-2000 material, as the AV Club themselves did, followed by "Honorable Mentions."
thehefner: (Two-Face: Mounds! No Almond Joy!)
First off, GIP, courtesy of the amaaazing [ profile] disc_sophist


Behold... the cover of WEDNESDAY COMICS, plus *tons* of previews of the bloody amazing comic book goodness it shall contain )

I'm so nervous that this is going to flop, though. Response from fans has been a lot of concern about the oversized format and the price, capped off with this report from a recent convention:

At Saturday’s DC Nation panel, editors Ian Sattler and Brian Cunningham provided fans with a first-ever look at a printed copy of “Wednesday Comics.” The weekly, star-studded, 16-page comic produced on massive newsprint pages, was described as one of the most unusual, impressive, projects in DC’s recent history, a “Kramer’s Ergot” #7 with superheroes.

But DC Nation, or at least the cross section attending the panel, showed more interest in the tedium of DC continuity. Not a single question was asked about “Wednesday Comics.”



Holla at my GL flist buddies--particularly [ profile] nymphgalatea, [ profile] kali921, and [ profile] kagome654--What think you of James Robinson's depiction of Hal in these preview pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE # 1?

I mean, I've been a bit unimpressed by Geoff Johns' take on Hal, so this suddenly proactive take on Hal is rather cool. But is it in character? It definitely seems to be more in keeping with the Hal that Parallax exploited, but that Hal wasn't really in character in the first place.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is, when you look at this page, do you think, "BADASS" or do you think, "Wow, what a dickhole"?

Judge for yourself )

On one hand, hey, awesome, he's actually showing off leadership capabilities, and it's keeping with someone who has crazy huge amounts of willpower! On the other hand, even Scott Summers might think Hal should cool it down a little.

I look forward to seeing how this storyline pans out. Either way, I want smart-ass fun-loving wise-cracking Hal Jordan back. My ideal Hal is like the bastard child of John Crichton and James T. Kirk with liberal dashes of Bruce Campbell thrown in for good measure.


How Zatara brought peace to two warring kingdoms. )

... huh.

I can't even call crack on it, like Golden Age Wonder Woman, because damn, it actually seems damn well straightforward! So to speak.

And damn, Zatara is a sharp motherfucker. But then, he's the father of Zatanna, so he'd have to be. We need more dash and top hats in comics, says I.


The Robot 6 blog did a piece on "The 6 Comics That Made Us Cry," and folks have been responding with their favorites. For me, there have been several, but only one gets me choked up just thinking out it: the one-two punch of that issue of I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, when they find Ice in Hell.

First, when Guy Gardner, of all people, just keeps whispering, “Please come back, Tora. Please come back. Please come back.”

And second, at the end, when Bea and Guy hold each other, sobbing.

There was more genuine, heart-wrenching emotion in this silly comedic B-list superhero spin-off than in all of the INFINITE CRISIS titles going on at the same time. I’m getting misty just *thinking* about that issue.

What about you, folks? What comics have made you mist up or sob?
thehefner: (Green Lantern: Orange "Mine!")
Paul Pope's first page (uncolored) of his ADAM STRANGE story for DC's WEDNESDAY COMICS )

Posted for all the Pope fans out there. I confess, I'm not really one myself. It's not that I don't dislike his art (although it's a wee bit off-puttingly hipsterish in style), but I don't quite understand the sometimes-slavish obsession I'd see from some customers at the comic shop.

I mean, Pope's great, but if you want to know which modern comic master *I* slavishly adore along with everyone else? I'll tell you straight:

Darwyn goddamn Cooke, who's adapting Richard Stark/Donald Westlake's PARKER novels into comic form, starting with THE HUNTER )

Click here to read fifteen more preview pages of PARKER on IDW Publishing's site. I'll be all over this book like surly on Lee Marvin.
thehefner: (Charlie: Shun the non believer!)
Speaking of [ profile] bitemetechie, I'm compiling a "Why Superman Actually Doesn't Suck" mix of graphic novels for her to read during out mad twelve-day excursion to Orlando Fringe Festival.

And really, I've needed to make this collection for some time now. After all the years of hearing people complain about how they hate Superman, it's only in the past year or two that I think we finally have some amazing Superman comics that can finally depict what we fans have always known in our hearts and seen between the bright colors, boy-scout heroics, and lack of grimdark angst.

Therefore, on the "musts" list for this "Why Superman Actually Doesn't Suck" collection, I think it's essential to have the first part of Geoff Johns' current ACTION COMICS run. Start with ACTION COMICS ANNUAL # 10, which for some reason is idiotically not collected anywhere*, even though it contains crucial material.

And then, go on to SUPERMAN: LAST SON (which I didn't love at first, but it leads to get stuff later with Zod), skip the BIZARRO WORLD story (unless anyone here thinks it's awesome/essential), go right to the LEGION OF SUPERHEROES story (the book that finally helped me get the Legion, and features three heart-stopping Clark moments), and finally, SUPERMAN: BRAINIAC (I dislike Brainy 1.0's new muscle-bound look, but it's better than the bony 90's-esque monstrosity he's been sporting recently).

Besides that, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. I mean, duh. I think that should go after the Johns stuff. Let that be the grand finale of Superman. I hate, hate, hate what Morrison's done with BATMAN and FINAL CRISIS, but after rereading ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, I'm just in awe of this book's elegant power and joy. Throughout, he and Quitely are able to say so much with so little, making it tempting to breeze through the stories as if they were light little trifles, and thereby miss out on all the incredible detail they cram into each panel. Like a Sergio Leone movie, no one says a word of dialogue unless it's absolutely essential to the story.

Plus, Mark Waid's introduction to Vol. 2 really helped me better get what Morrison is showing here with this perfect portrait of who Superman is and why does what he does. He particularly nails it at the end:

But the big moment is the perfect line of dialogue. It comes in Chapter Ten, when Superman, without a second's hesitation, takes time from his world-building feats to embrace and comfort a suicidal young girl. When he tells her, "You're much stronger than you think you are," they become the most moving words we have ever read in a Superman story. And they are perfect because they reveal, in one sentence, the fundamental secret of Superman and why we love him so:

Gods achieve their power by encouraging us to believe in them.

Superman achieves his power by believing in us.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Besides the Johns and Morrison essentials, I was thinking of including maybe the two Excellent Superman Comics That Don't Actually Feature Superman: IT'S A BIRD, by Steven T. Seagle and Terry Kristiansen, and SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen (which is criminally out of print now! WTF?), not to mention SUPERMAN: RED SON, which is the one truly great thing Mark Millar has ever written.

I've considered SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT, but I didn't get it for the same reason I didn't pick up Geoff Johns' "One Year Later" arc, UP UP AND AWAY, because it just seemed a little too been there, done that. Good stories, but nothing that'll really persuade somebody who doesn't like Superman. Maybe I'm wrong?

Meantime, I'm reading Alan Moore's two SUPREME collections. I'm not sure I'd put them on the list, as they're more about superheroes and comics in general rather than Superman himself. But damn if they aren't fun. Anyone who thinks Moore is too grim and serious should check these out, if they're even still in print. Cracktacular meta superheroics galore!

So yeah, to sum up my list, in the following order:

The Essentials


Other possibilities


What think you, Super-fans? Any other suggestions? If nothing else, do assure Techie that these books are actually good, because I suspect getting her to read 'em will take some persuasion.

*More and more, I'm trying to figure out some way to campaign against Bob Joy, the editor of collected editions at DC. I've noticed so many problems in DC's graphic novels, such a drop in quality compared to previous editors like Robert Greenberger, that I feel like something seriously needs to be done. Who else is the blame for putting all the tie-in issues of SINESTRO CORPS in a separate volume, rather than integrating them into the actual story as they're SUPPOSED to be read?

But the one sternly polite letter I'd written him regarding my displeasure of the BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE collection went unanswered, and I feel like there's nothing I can do to voice my frustrations to any powers-that-be. It's seriously hindering my interest in buying trade paperbacks from DC.
thehefner: (Default)
First, for those wondering when this was coming out, behold: the official solicitation of WEDNESDAY COMICS:

In July, DC Comics gives a fresh twist to a grand comics tradition with WEDNESDAY COMICS, a new, weekly 12-issue series by some of the greatest names in comics today!
WEDNESDAY COMICS is unique in modern comics history: Reinventing the classic weekly newspaper comics section, it is a 16-page weekly that unfolds to a sprawling 28” x 20” tabloid-sized reading experience bursting with mind-blowing color, action and excitement, with each feature on its own 14” x 20” page.
Spearheaded by DCU Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello, whose past editing credits include BATMAN BLACK & WHITE, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER and SOLO, each page of WEDNESDAY COMICS spotlights the continuing adventures of DC heroes, including:
• BATMAN, WEDNESDAY COMICS’ weekly cover feature, by the Eisner Award-winning 100 BULLETS team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso
• ADAM STRANGE, by writer/artist Paul Pope (BATMAN: YEAR 100)
• METAMORPHO, written by New York Times best-selling writer Neil Gaiman
(bolded for those among you here who might be interested) with art by Eisner Award-winner Michael Allred (Madman)
• THE DEMON AND CATWOMAN, written by Walter Simonson (Thor, MANHUNTER) with art by famed DC cover artist Brian Stelfreeze
• DEADMAN, written by Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck, art by Dave Bullock
• KAMANDI, written by Dave Gibbons (WATCHMEN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS) with art by Ryan Sook (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL)
• SUPERMAN, written by John Arcudi (The Mask) with art by Lee Bermejo (JOKER)
• WONDER WOMAN, written and illustrated by Ben Caldwell (Dare Detectives)
• GREEN LANTERN, written by Kurt Busiek (TRINITY, ASTRO CITY) with art by Joe Quiñones (TEEN TITANS GO!)
• TEEN TITANS, written by Eddie Berganza with art by Sean Galloway
• SUPERGIRL, written by Jimmy Palmiotti (JONAH HEX) with art by Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL)
• HAWKMAN, written and illustrated by Kyle Baker (PLASTIC MAN, Special Forces)
• SGT. ROCK, written by Adam Kubert (SUPERMAN: LAST SON), ilustrated by legendary comics artist Joe Kubert
• THE FLASH, written by Karl Kerschl (TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE, THE FLASH: THE FASTEST MAN ALIVE) and Brenden Fletcher, illustrated by Karl Kerschl
• METAL MEN, written by Dan DiDio with art by Ian Churchill (SUPERGIRL)
WEDNESDAY COMICS will arrive in stores folded twice to 7” x 10”, with the first issue set to reach stores on July 8.

Issue #1 on sale July 8; Issue #2 on sale July 15; Issue #3 on sale July 22; Issue #4 on sale July 29 • 1-4 of 12 • 7” x 10”, 16 pg, FC, $3.99 US

I haven't bought single comic issues for a couple years now, but I will be picking up every single issue of this. Daring concepts like this need to be supported, and the fact that it's featuring some of the greatest talent working alongside hot-as-hell indie newcomers on some of comicdom's greatest characters is just gravy.

Honestly, the only thing that could make this even better is if I could find out who this girl is and propose to her:

Found via [ profile] box_in_the_box, with whom I will battle in the Pit o' Death for this lady's affections. I mean, I love Plastic Man, but she pulls off ol' Eel's costume so much better that it's a wonder it wasn't a female character's outfit from the beginning! I tells ya, the Golden Age was a strange combination of innovative and questionable costume designs.

The fact that someone at Box's LJ responded to his query as to this girl's identity with "... Rachel Maddow?" just makes her all the more gloriously maddening. I must know who she is, if *only* to partner up costumes at a convention. But the question is, which female character should I man-itize to wow and woo Plastic Woman?

Sigh. Someday, Lady Plas. Someday.
thehefner: (Simpsons: ...Comic Books?)
Filling in for a day at the comic shop, and as I helped check in tomorrow's shipment, it occurs to me that there are some damn good comics coming out that people oughta be reading.

You should know that these four comics are awesome, just in case you were not already aware... )
thehefner: (Simpsons: ...Comic Books?)
Every week, someone posts something on [ profile] scans_daily that makes me think, "Shit, I need to link to that in my LJ as an example of just *awesome* comics."

I dunno why I haven't. Maybe because half of them would be [ profile] cyberghostface's EC and CREEPY posts, and maybe it's because every other awesome post is f-locked to just s_d members. I think I'm getting antsy, not being able to play overenthusiastic-comic-pimp to people since I quit Big Planet.

Well today, no more. This one just deserves all the attention it can get.

Ray Bradbury's "The Flying Machine," by the masterful B. Krigstein, published by EC Comics (TALES FROM THE CRYPT, WEIRD SCIENCE).

Krigstein was a masterful artist who believed that every panel should be a work of art unto itself, and his adaptation of "The Flying Machine" was his finest EC work, followed closely by "Master Race."

A fun side note: the whole relationship between EC and Bradbury is itself a fascinating story, and well worth reading. Just another reason why I love them both.
thehefner: (Jaws: Hay Guyz!)
Bizarre question: anyone know where I can find one of those LJ questionnaire memes usually reserved for teenage girls, or something of the like? Y'know, turn-ons, turn-offs, that sort of thing.

Also, y'all should read [ profile] heykidzcomix's webcomic Goodbye Chains, about a cheery Boston Communist and a nymphomaniac drug addict bank robber. It's delightful.

Finally, have a list of The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dip myself in a vat of OFF!

September 2012

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