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oliverkinne
October 03, 2022
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Town 66 Review

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oliverkinne
September 30, 2022
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Sagrada Review

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Michael Barnes
September 30, 2022
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September 29, 2022
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September 29, 2022
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September 07, 2022
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September 06, 2022
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September 02, 2022
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Union Station Board Game Review

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Homebrewers Board Game Review

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Aquamarine Board Game Review

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August 24, 2022
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Undaunted: Normandy Review

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11 Feb 2013 22:39 #143841 by metalface13

Shellhead wrote: So yeah, Morrison's New X-Men was a breath of fresh air, but I personally found the air to smell a bit peculiar at times. Morrison is a one-man army of creativity, but he doesn't always get complete ideas on to the comic book page. I suspect he has those ideas in his head, but isn't able to successfully communicate the ideas to any artist that he has ever worked with, even including the suspiciously named Frank Quitely.


That's another problem, when Quitely is drawing it's great, but there was a lot of changing artists and most of them not very good.

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11 Feb 2013 22:51 #143842 by Shellhead

metalface13 wrote:

Shellhead wrote: So yeah, Morrison's New X-Men was a breath of fresh air, but I personally found the air to smell a bit peculiar at times. Morrison is a one-man army of creativity, but he doesn't always get complete ideas on to the comic book page. I suspect he has those ideas in his head, but isn't able to successfully communicate the ideas to any artist that he has ever worked with, even including the suspiciously named Frank Quitely.


That's another problem, when Quitely is drawing it's great, but there was a lot of changing artists and most of them not very good.


Maybe I'm shallow, but that's the main reason why I haven't read the rest of the Morrison run. I understand that creative teams change from time to time, and I understand that some artists work a little too slowly to consistently meet monthly deadlines. But I really hate reading run where the artists keep changing. Imagine watching a movie where different scenes have different directors. Or reading a book where different chapters are written by different writers. It messes with the tone of a work, and in some bad cases, makes it hard it identify characters. This is also my biggest gripe with Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.

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11 Feb 2013 23:12 #143846 by dragonstout
Okay, it's been a while and I wasn't so crazy about New X-Men to want to reread it right now to remind myself, but: my memory is that Magneto's plot being a cliched parody of supervillainy is *right on* and intentional, pointing out that the book has moved past that and he's now impotent. This is a vague recollection, and certainly "it was intentionally bad" is everyone's favorite Morrison defense, but I vaguely recall it being spelled out pretty plainly by either Magneto or someone delivering some speech to him at the end of the arc. Which doesn't necessarily make it good at all; Morrison writing comic stories that are meta-criticisms of comic stories is both common and, in my opinion, a pretty narrow point to make.

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11 Feb 2013 23:20 #143847 by dragonstout

Shellhead wrote:

metalface13 wrote:

Shellhead wrote: So yeah, Morrison's New X-Men was a breath of fresh air, but I personally found the air to smell a bit peculiar at times. Morrison is a one-man army of creativity, but he doesn't always get complete ideas on to the comic book page. I suspect he has those ideas in his head, but isn't able to successfully communicate the ideas to any artist that he has ever worked with, even including the suspiciously named Frank Quitely.


That's another problem, when Quitely is drawing it's great, but there was a lot of changing artists and most of them not very good.


Maybe I'm shallow, but that's the main reason why I haven't read the rest of the Morrison run. I understand that creative teams change from time to time, and I understand that some artists work a little too slowly to consistently meet monthly deadlines. But I really hate reading run where the artists keep changing. Imagine watching a movie where different scenes have different directors. Or reading a book where different chapters are written by different writers. It messes with the tone of a work, and in some bad cases, makes it hard it identify characters. This is also my biggest gripe with Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.

It's not remotely shallow; the shallow thing is that Marvel & DC seem to think that it's not a big deal and no one will notice, as long as the book stays on time. All-Star Superman was slow as HELL, and sure people complained about it at the time, but for the next few decades that book'll be on the shelf, no one will ever give a shit about how "slow" it was. I just waited 11 years for Chris Ware's followup to Jimmy Corrigan; quality takes time, unless you're Jack Kirby.

New X-Men has some godawful art. Igor Kordey, Ethan Van Sciver, and Marc Silvestri turn in some pretty bad stuff. Some of the worst art I can think of connected to a Morrison comic, and he's never even been too picky about his artists!

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12 Feb 2013 01:27 #143867 by Shellhead
I just want to say that I really enjoy talking about comics here at F:AT. I also belong to a large comic book discussion forum, but the quality of the conversation is vastly inferior there. Too much bias, basically. People who refuse to read modern comics. People who refuse to read classic comics. People who are mindlessly following specific characters, no matter how bad it gets. People who randomly despise certain creators. Comic fans here at F:AT are primarily interested in one thing: quality.
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12 Feb 2013 02:34 #143874 by metalface13

dragonstout wrote: Okay, it's been a while and I wasn't so crazy about New X-Men to want to reread it right now to remind myself, but: my memory is that Magneto's plot being a cliched parody of supervillainy is *right on* and intentional, pointing out that the book has moved past that and he's now impotent. This is a vague recollection, and certainly "it was intentionally bad" is everyone's favorite Morrison defense, but I vaguely recall it being spelled out pretty plainly by either Magneto or someone delivering some speech to him at the end of the arc. Which doesn't necessarily make it good at all; Morrison writing comic stories that are meta-criticisms of comic stories is both common and, in my opinion, a pretty narrow point to make.


But why take time-out from your story just to make that point? The whole series is crescendoing to that point: the drug Kick, Xorn, Quentin Quire's rebellion, etc. It's time to go out in a bang, not something poorly executed and half-assed. If you want to make a commentary on the creator/creation dynamic then make that the basis of your comic (Unwritten) or Aquaman parody (Sea Guy) then do that.

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12 Feb 2013 03:33 - 12 Feb 2013 03:38 #143878 by OldHippy

Shellhead wrote:

metalface13 wrote:

Shellhead wrote: So yeah, Morrison's New X-Men was a breath of fresh air, but I personally found the air to smell a bit peculiar at times. Morrison is a one-man army of creativity, but he doesn't always get complete ideas on to the comic book page. I suspect he has those ideas in his head, but isn't able to successfully communicate the ideas to any artist that he has ever worked with, even including the suspiciously named Frank Quitely.


That's another problem, when Quitely is drawing it's great, but there was a lot of changing artists and most of them not very good.


Maybe I'm shallow, but that's the main reason why I haven't read the rest of the Morrison run. I understand that creative teams change from time to time, and I understand that some artists work a little too slowly to consistently meet monthly deadlines. But I really hate reading run where the artists keep changing. Imagine watching a movie where different scenes have different directors. Or reading a book where different chapters are written by different writers. It messes with the tone of a work, and in some bad cases, makes it hard it identify characters. This is also my biggest gripe with Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.


I'm another one who got bored of The New X-Men because of the rotating roaster of artists.

I don't think it's a bad thing if the writer writes with this in mind... which I think Gaiman tried to do in Sandman. Alan Moore is, obviously, one of the best at this kind of thing. Grant Morrison does write with an artist in mind but with New X-Men it felt like that artist was Quitely so when they change artists you see art that doesn't fit. I get the feeling he didn't change the script or story at all to accommodate the new artists. If he had of done that I might have continued reading because I do like that technique.

It similar to when David Lynch purposely switches who's playing which character so you have the same actors but now they're playing different people. Louis Bunuel does that in one film where the love interest is played by two women, depending on the scene, or in Louis CK's show he switches who plays which character occasionally (his mom for example). I really like when people do that and it's not an accident.

I'd actually like to see more of that in comics... done well that is.
Last edit: 12 Feb 2013 03:38 by OldHippy.

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19 Feb 2013 17:36 #144649 by metalface13
I read the final volume of Animal Man and Essex County this weekend.

Wow, Animal Man vol. 3 was really good. I felt the first two volumes were kind of uneven, but Morrison really "brought it home" (as they say) in the end. Although, was Morrison's "life isn't fair" moment really when his cat died? That sounds more like the insight of an 8-year-old girl. I'd say he had a pretty fortunate life to make it that far before realizing how brutal life can be. Well, that was meant to be a small aside. Like I said, Animal Man pulled through in the end.

Essex County was really good, too. Sure, for the most part the stories are of the typical lonely child and estranged brothers variety. And I'm a sucker for those types of stories, the heart-string pullers. But I know not everybody likes to be emotionally manipulated. Lemire has got a lot of talent. I really enjoyed his quick, inky, black and white art. It really fits the Canadian country town setting of the stories. Another showcase of when I really like it when art and story are done by the same person. Cartoonist I guess would be the label for someone who writes and draws, but "cartoonists" just feels to belittle their talent.

Now I'm on a Lemire kick, put Underwater Welder and Sweet Teeth vol. 2 on hold, also getting Brian Wood's Supermarket and Vaughan's Saga, just because I've got to see for myself if it's brilliant or awful.

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19 Feb 2013 17:52 #144652 by Michael Barnes
Lemire is really good. He's pretty versatile too, he can do the smaller, introspective stuff and he can go big too. You've got to read his Animal Man stuff- it stands up to the Morrisson mterial. Shit gets CRAZY. I've liked everything I've read from him. Sweet Tooth is great.

Lemire's big score last week was Green Arrow #17, which was one of the best Green Arrow issues ever. Not saying a whole lot there, but it could be a character-defining arc if he plays it right. He's definitely gunning for the Daredevil "strip 'em down" tactic.

Mostly reading Immortal Iron Fist right now, which is freaking great once you get into the "7 Capital Cities of Heaven" storyline. And then Brubaker leaves the book.

#2 of the Brian Wood Star Wars was bad ass. I'm sold on the book now. There's a couple of bits of dialogue where I think he captures that very rare "this is Star Wars" sense. The storyline is shaping up to be cool. Won't spoil the reveal, but a familiar icon from the movies gets a makeover that's pretty awesome.

Saga blows. Smarmy shit for teenage girls.

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19 Feb 2013 18:19 #144655 by jay718
Underwater Welder is fantastic. Jeff Lemire is quickly becoming one of my favorites in the industry. I've only read a few issues of Sweet Tooth. It never really captured my imagination, but I'm gonna give it another look. I had no idea he was working on titles as mainstream as Green Arrow. Very out of the loop.

I read Stuck Rubber Baby this week and was just blown away. I can't remember the last time a comic elicited such emotional reactions from me. Possibly Maus. I can't recommend it enough. I also read Reset by Peter Bagge. Can't say it ranks up there with the Hate stuff, but it's a good read; certainly worth a look.

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19 Feb 2013 18:22 #144657 by dragonstout

metalface13 wrote: Another showcase of when I really like it when art and story are done by the same person. Cartoonist I guess would be the label for someone who writes and draws, but "cartoonists" just feels to belittle their talent.

Now I'm on a Lemire kick, put Underwater Welder and Sweet Teeth vol. 2 on hold, also getting Brian Wood's Supermarket and Vaughan's Saga, just because I've got to see for myself if it's brilliant or awful.

"Cartoonist" is the right term, and since I'd estimate that 95% of the best people to ever work in comics are cartoonists, there's nothing belittling about it. The term may make it sound like it can only be humorous comics, but then "comics" also implies humor. Humor really is still the greatest strength of the comics medium, regardless of all the advances since. As Chris Ware has said (I'm paraphrasing, can't remember the exact quote): "am I nuts trying to write a serious novel in a medium designed to tell jokes?"

As for Saga, brilliant or awful: so, I'm in the middle of reading Are You My Mother?, but all of a sudden two books that I had holds on came in from the library, and my dad's lending me another book I wanted to read, so Bechdel is on hold for the moment (which is alright, considering how dense and tangled each chapter has been; time to sink in is a good thing).

Saga is neither brilliant nor awful. In fact, it's pretty close to Runaways as my favorite Brian K. Vaughan comic. For me, it's a "bookstore" comic: I used to sit down in big bookstores to read whatever comics they had, and invariably the comics they had were partly shitty and partly addictive, but never so much that I was ever inspired to read past whatever the bookstore had; two series that I read in the bookstore were Invincible and Ultimate Spider-Man, and Saga is *exactly* on that level. There are no pop-culture references because it's sci-fi, duh, but that doesn't stop EVERYone from talking with the exact same voice, which is the same as Yorick and the Runaways as well: "sassy back-talking 20-year-old who seems to have picked up their speech pattern from Joss Whedon". I get the feeling Vaughan thinks he's being really "irreverent" by having all these fantasy/sci-fi-looking characters talk this way, and it's just irreverent like Poochie is irreverent, i.e. in a super-duper corporate mainstream way, more "Hansel & Gretel: Monster Hunters" than "Time Bandits". It was not helped by beginning with the most ludicrously unrealistic birth scene I've ever witnessed in something actually recommended to me. Anyone who has been there at a birth: please read the first 15 pages or whatever it is, and tell me whether it was even *imaginable* as real.

It could be argued "they're aliens, of course their birth isn't like ours", except that the whole point of the book is that *every character* is supposed to be just like a 2013 20-something, so I don't buy it. Lastly, the biggest problem is probably just that the dialogue Vaughan thinks is "funny" (i.e. every other word balloon) just doesn't make me laugh. If you just want to read a funny comic, there are literally dozens of other options.

But the Brian K. Vaughan fanboys will love it; it was exactly what I expect out of a BKV comic, but better than usual and more creative visually.

Then I read Batman: R.I.P. (though I haven't read the two post-RIP stories included in the hardcover yet). Pretty damn far from being my favorite Morrison, it seems closer to the same level as JLA or New X-Men, which still means it's good. Holy crap, Snyder wrote his Court of Owls story right *after* this? Man, that was poor timing! How many "there's been a big conspiracy in Gotham that challenges what Batman knows about his parents" stories do you need in a row? And this one was much more believable, though the traitor reveal and counter-reveal did not make sense when looking at previous scenes (specifically the counter-reveal). Joker actually said something that made me laugh, which is important to me for the Joker, and overall the character was written the way I like him. But this was a "MORRISON AT MAXIMUM VOLUME!!!!" comic, and those are *never* my favorite Morrison comics; the art admittedly contributed to that "maximum volume" feeling, Tony Daniel does not exactly seem adept at character work.

Next up before returning to the Bechdel book is the book I'm borrowing from my Dad, Four Color Fear, which looks *incredible*. But comics from the 1950s tend to look better than they read, so let's see how the stories are.
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19 Feb 2013 18:29 #144658 by Shellhead

Michael Barnes wrote: Mostly reading Immortal Iron Fist right now, which is freaking great once you get into the "7 Capital Cities of Heaven" storyline. And then Brubaker leaves the book.


Speaking of Immortal Iron Fist, and also filler artists...

It was brilliant the way they handled filler artists in Immortal Iron Fist. David Aja is very good, but too slow for a monthly title. So Brubaker and Fraction swiped the heavy use of flashbacks from the old Kung Fu tv show, and had the filler artists do the flashback scenes. It was a great way to reconcile the jarring changes in art style, by making it a way to show the change in time period.

Actually, now that I think about it, the original Iron Fist from the '70s was also heavy on the flashbacks. But instead of using filler artists for flahsbacks, they just had rapidly changing creative teams from issue to issue, until Claremont and Byrne took over. Btw, everybody knows that Claremont and Byrne did their best work on that classic X-Men run. But they also did some very good work together on Iron Fist and Marvel Team-Up.

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19 Feb 2013 18:40 #144663 by dragonstout
Man, WTF, there are 50 variant covers for Justice League of America this week? What is this, the mid-90s?

All this Lemire love...I reserved Underwater Welder from the library, but then once it came in I found his art so homely that it killed my interest in reading it; plus the publisher, Top Shelf, has a lot of really half-assed literary comics, they're not half as discerning as Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly. But now you guys've made me want to give it a shot again, I'll reserve that again.

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19 Feb 2013 19:35 #144668 by Michael Barnes
Welp, Andy pretty much summed up everything I think about Saga, including the Poochie reference. Poochie is one of the best references you can possibly make. Poochie embodies so much of corporate entertainment over the past 20 years.

The birth scene really sets the book off wrong. It's AWFUL, and clearly written by a man who has never experienced (or paid attention to) childbirth. She gives birth and spends like 9 issues running right afterwards. The fucking horned guy (can't remember his name, don't care) is/is drawn like the biggest fucking douchebag in comics. I can't believe I read almost all of it that is currently out. Once the spider-lady assassin thing is calling her ex-boyfriend on a cellphone, you know it's time to burn the book in a fire.

Did you read Black Glove before RIP? I think you'd be more into that one.

On Iron Fist- yeah, most of the art was great, but there was one artist who was just fucking awful. He drew Danny's face like it was a side of ham. I usually don't care for Dan Brereton, but I really liked his art for the part he did- very pulpy and with a warm tone that was wholly appropriate.

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19 Feb 2013 20:07 #144669 by hotseatgames
I've been reading volume 1 of the Doom Patrol. So far it has not grabbed me. It makes no sense, really. I do appreciate that we are dealing with non-traditional super heroes here, but so far this is a far cry from The Watchmen.

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