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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 07, 2022
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WadeMonnig
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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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September 01, 2022
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Homebrewers Board Game Review

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August 31, 2022
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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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19 Feb 2013 20:21 #144670 by Michael Barnes
Oh yeah, it's surrealist and dadaist more than revisionist or neo-classical. If you don't like the first book, you'd probably better duck out early. It doesn't get any less absurd.

You might try the original Doom Patrol books instead- they might be more weird on your level.

Thinking about Poochie a lot over the past hour. I don't know that there is anything that encapsulates what is wrong with corporate-manufactured culture- especially now in the era of the "mash-up"- better than the phrase "I'm a kung fu hippie from gangster city".

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19 Feb 2013 21:15 - 19 Feb 2013 21:36 #144674 by dragonstout
The birth scene has problems even *beyond* the fact that she spends the next 72 hours running; as much as I was like "WTF, how can she be running so much right after birth", I kiiiiiiiinda wrote it off as being that she NEEDS to run to survive, survival triggers kicking in and allowing you to do more than is usually possible, etc. But before she starts running for survival...she's STILL just fine! Wisecrackin', talking about how "this actually feels good!", just fucking tons of wisecracking without showing any signs of having gone through, well, CHILDBIRTH.

Now of course comics and movies, when going for entertainment as the primary goal, present a heightened and unrealistic reality; I never ask that all dialogue be like Chris Ware's impeccably observed dialogue, or that it all be like Scenes from a Marriage. But I bet if you asked BKV what Saga's *really* about, he'd say it's about parenthood and becoming a new parent. That is the clear emotional through-line. I'm a new parent. This is targeted to resonate with me. Which means that there's a problem when, by page 2, I'm already thinking "there's no way that BKV is a father" (at the end of the book I looked it up, and he IS a father; I guess he wasn't at his kid's birth or something?). Even by the end, barely any of the parenthood bits got to me; I think there were a couple parenting jokes that made me laugh ("the first week of being new parents is as close as possible to the opposite of a honeymoon" stands out).

About Doom Patrol: don't expect it to be like Watchmen. At ALL. It's really almost the anti-Watchmen, pointing out that what makes superhero books fun is that they're so far removed from reality, whereas Watchmen drags superheroes into reality. And I'd agree that, while it gets better in my opinion, if you don't at least LIKE the first book you're not going to like the series.

Hotseatgames, what context are you coming from? Read comics throughout your life? Read superhero comics as a kid and then stopped? Never read comics, but then read Watchmen and wanted to read something else similar? If the latter, what was it you liked about Watchmen, and do you WANT more stuff that's like Watchmen, or you want to learn more about the breadth of comics? Are you interested in the breadth of comics as a whole, or the breadth of superhero comics; breadth of modern (i.e. post-Watchmen) superhero comics, or breadth of superhero comics throughout history?

The library doesn't have "The Black Glove" book that was in between the two Morrison Batman books I read; I feel like I was able to follow RIP okay, though I'm sure it would've been better to read everything in order (I had also read one random issue of the Black Glove arc, so I knew about the Club of Heroes characters).

Edit: to add just a teeny bit to the Saga rant: both Barnes and I have avoided mentioning the most blatant example, the goth/punk-looking "friendly, but with TUDE!" teenage ghost. In some ways, though, she's actually a less-egregious example, at least for the dialogue, because her being a teenager makes her match more with the voice that BKV has for every character. But even then: she's a GHOST, she died stepping on a landmine. You would think that dying and having her race genocidally wiped out would have some effect to give her character shading. But instead it's just "she's a teenager, dude!"; there's no effort to think about *any* character to figure out how the particulars of that character's life would change how they talk or act. And would you *really* casually joke about how your new friend who had the lower half of her body blown off "has no vagina", har har har?
Last edit: 19 Feb 2013 21:36 by dragonstout.

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19 Feb 2013 21:52 #144680 by metalface13
Well in Prometheus the main character performs a caesarean on herself in a medical robot tube, pulls an alien squid baby out of her and then runs and jumps all over an imploding planet without a problem. It's outer space time guys! Women are more liberated than in 2013. They can run around after having babies.

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19 Feb 2013 22:01 #144683 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, BKV was probably at Comic Con when his kids were born or something. I'm still not convinced that he's actually ever heard a woman speak.

Wisecrack, wisecrack, wisecrack. Smirk smirk smirk. It's like fucking POST-Joss Whedon, if that's even possible.

God damn it I hate that book. The teenage emo ghost just did me in. I see you edited your post to include her. SHE'S WEARING A GOD DAMNED TOBOGGAN FOR FUCK'S SAKE! I honestly do not know what people like about the book at all. The art is fucking hideous, too.

Can we please stop talking about it and talk about Youngblood or something instead? I would honestly rather talk about Rob god damned Liefeld than Saga. I think out of all the comics I've read since my triumphant return to the medium last year, that is BY FAR the one thing that sticks out as the WORST that I've read.

Have you read the Batman Incorporated stuff? Maybe you should just trundle on and check it out...I hated it at first, before I read everything before it and had no fucking clue what was going on. Having the context completely changed my opinion of it. The new series is just insane, it's about to end and he's off Batman. I think I have an idea of what's going to happen, it's pretty big.

One of the funniest things about the Club of Heroes is how they're all miffed at Batman because he set up the meetings and then didn't bother to come. What a jerk! That book is really good, probably the best of his Batman outside of the Batman and Robin run. The first issue of that is just amazing. Quitely certainly makes a difference.

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19 Feb 2013 22:03 #144684 by metalface13

Michael Barnes wrote: I think out of all the comics I've read since my triumphant return to the medium last year, that is BY FAR the one thing that sticks out as the WORST that I've read.


I dunno, it's got its work cut out for me if it's going to top that Magneto arc in New X-Men.

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21 Feb 2013 18:54 #144825 by dragonstout
A while back I wondered aloud about how to start reading Judge Dredd. I just found this guide online, for anyone wondering the same thing:

dreddreviews.blogspot.com/2013/02/housek...index-and-guide.html
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22 Feb 2013 19:15 - 22 Feb 2013 19:16 #144941 by hotseatgames

dragonstout wrote: About Doom Patrol: don't expect it to be like Watchmen. At ALL. It's really almost the anti-Watchmen, pointing out that what makes superhero books fun is that they're so far removed from reality, whereas Watchmen drags superheroes into reality. And I'd agree that, while it gets better in my opinion, if you don't at least LIKE the first book you're not going to like the series.

Hotseatgames, what context are you coming from? Read comics throughout your life? Read superhero comics as a kid and then stopped? Never read comics, but then read Watchmen and wanted to read something else similar? If the latter, what was it you liked about Watchmen, and do you WANT more stuff that's like Watchmen, or you want to learn more about the breadth of comics? Are you interested in the breadth of comics as a whole, or the breadth of superhero comics; breadth of modern (i.e. post-Watchmen) superhero comics, or breadth of superhero comics throughout history?


I've read tons of Spider-Man, I really enjoy the Punisher and Batman. Watchmen and Akira are as good as it gets to me. Also The Crow.

Since Red Jack has shown up, the book is getting better. Earlier on it just seemed like it was deliberately making no sense. I started feeling like I was reading Arkham Asylum, which I HATED. Makes sense, same writer and all.
Last edit: 22 Feb 2013 19:16 by hotseatgames.

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22 Feb 2013 20:49 - 22 Feb 2013 20:50 #144993 by dragonstout

hotseatgames wrote: Since Red Jack has shown up, the book is getting better. Earlier on it just seemed like it was deliberately making no sense. I started feeling like I was reading Arkham Asylum, which I HATED. Makes sense, same writer and all.

I *think* Morrison has gone on record saying that Arkham Asylum is his worst book? So don't judge the man based on that.

It *is* deliberately making no sense, kind of. I like to tell friends that get frustrated with Doom Patrol that their most-frequent criticism is CORRECT: it is absolutely, at least in part, "weird for weirdness' sake". But whereas I think this is a valid criticism of a lot of other crap, it's just not a *criticism* here. With Doom Patrol, "weirdness" is championed as a valuable thing in and of itself; weirdness, for example, due to its lack of connection to reality, gives you more of an escape from reality.

Since you're liking Red Jack more, stick with it through the next storyline, with the Brotherhood of Dada; if you don't like that, it's utterly hopeless and you should just move on to books more to your taste.

Another difference between Moore and Morrison is that while Moore is the most OCD comics writer of all time, with everything neat and structured to a fault, Morrison is messy as all hell, perfectly willing to just throw out a bunch of threads that don't go anywhere (as much as The Filth is one of my favorite Morrison books, there is at least one thing in there that I think he just *forgot* about continuing/resolving). Some of their best collaborators push in the opposite direction: Eddie Campbell's messiness helps From Hell breathe and live (he's one of the few artists who took a lot of liberty with Moore's scripts), while Frank Quitely's uber-clean and precise art maximally reduce the confusion from Morrison's scripts. (Dave Gibbons, also a great Moore collaborator, was on the other hand probably the most aligned with Moore's style, helping to make Watchmen the most neat and precise book Moore ever did)
Last edit: 22 Feb 2013 20:50 by dragonstout.

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22 Feb 2013 23:06 #145040 by Shellhead
Here's a link to the first of a four-part interview with writer Don McGregor, focused on his ground-breaking work with Killraven:

comicsbulletin.com/columns/5409/don-mcgr...s-worth-the-writing/

The Killraven run in Amazing Adventures remains one the best comics that most people haven't read. Believe it or not, there was some excellent writing in the comic book medium more than a decade before Watchmen.
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23 Feb 2013 00:13 #145047 by dragonstout

Shellhead wrote: Here's a link to the first of a four-part interview with writer Don McGregor, focused on his ground-breaking work with Killraven:

comicsbulletin.com/columns/5409/don-mcgr...s-worth-the-writing/

The Killraven run in Amazing Adventures remains one the best comics that most people haven't read. Believe it or not, there was some excellent writing in the comic book medium more than a decade before Watchmen.

I have not read Killraven, nor Panther's Rage. I doubt I'll get around to it for a while, BUT: as the resident Don MacGregor supporter, Shellhead, which of the two would you recommend more highly? I've always been skeptical of Bronze Age writers because of the insanely overrated Chris Claremont, Steve Gerber, Denny O'Neill, and Marv Wolfman.

Does anyone think there wasn't excellent comics writing a decade prior to Watchmen? Even if we just restrict ourselves to superhero comics, I think Kirby's Fourth World epic in the early 1970s, despite a weak final quarter, is still one of the top 10 best-WRITTEN superhero comics ever (best-drawn goes without saying); I know, though, that that's a pretty divisive book. The later Jack Cole Plastic Man comics I'd also throw in as being one of the top 10 best-written superhero comics (both of the above would be in my top 5 superhero comics, along with Watchmen, Doom Patrol, and All-Star Superman). Neither of those books are written down to kids at all.

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28 Feb 2013 16:49 #145706 by metalface13
This week I read Brian Wood's Supermarket, and Jeff Lemire's Underwater Welder and Sweet Tooth vol. 2.

Wood does his uber hip, trendy cool thing in Supermarket. Cool art, yakuza, Swedish porn mafia, etc. It's a decent chase story, kind of cyberpunk, the emphasis is on the rich, coolness and teenage attitude.

Sweet Tooth is solid, not really blowing me away, but solid.

The Underwater Welder was good. Quick read, I read the bulk of it on the train home from work yesterday. I really liked the watercolor shading. Very appropriate to the subject matter. I saw a lot of myself in the main character, but without the father issues. I got pretty depressed this summer when I couldn't find a job and we were bouncing around staying with family. I got pretty withdrawn and agitated and while I was there I wasn't always "there."

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28 Feb 2013 17:19 #145710 by Matt Thrower
Finally finished Judge Dredd case files #01. It's pretty much awful but, annoyingly, contains the Robot Wars storyline which is a long-standing favourite. I knew the plot from somewhere, but it's the first time I've actually read the strip.

Now on case files #02. Much better, in spite of the silly premise.

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28 Feb 2013 17:30 - 28 Feb 2013 18:17 #145713 by Shellhead

dragonstout wrote:

Shellhead wrote: Here's a link to the first of a four-part interview with writer Don McGregor, focused on his ground-breaking work with Killraven:

comicsbulletin.com/columns/5409/don-mcgr...s-worth-the-writing/

The Killraven run in Amazing Adventures remains one the best comics that most people haven't read. Believe it or not, there was some excellent writing in the comic book medium more than a decade before Watchmen.

I have not read Killraven, nor Panther's Rage. I doubt I'll get around to it for a while, BUT: as the resident Don MacGregor supporter, Shellhead, which of the two would you recommend more highly? I've always been skeptical of Bronze Age writers because of the insanely overrated Chris Claremont, Steve Gerber, Denny O'Neill, and Marv Wolfman.

Does anyone think there wasn't excellent comics writing a decade prior to Watchmen? Even if we just restrict ourselves to superhero comics, I think Kirby's Fourth World epic in the early 1970s, despite a weak final quarter, is still one of the top 10 best-WRITTEN superhero comics ever (best-drawn goes without saying); I know, though, that that's a pretty divisive book. The later Jack Cole Plastic Man comics I'd also throw in as being one of the top 10 best-written superhero comics (both of the above would be in my top 5 superhero comics, along with Watchmen, Doom Patrol, and All-Star Superman). Neither of those books are written down to kids at all.


Between Killraven and Panther's Rage, I would recommend Panther's Rage. It's more consistent in tone and quality, and delivers a full story from beginning to end. Killraven has a few bad early issues (despite some Neal Adams artwork in the first issue!) before McGregor started writing, but the best issues by the McGregor/Russell team soar above and beyond Panther's Rage. Unfortunately, the run got cancelled before McGregor got to tell the whole story, and the subsequent graphic novel fell far short of his original intentions for the overall story.

How does McGregor compare to the other bronze age writers you listed? O'Neill and Gerber seem a bit shrill and over the top now with their blunt approach to topics of the day. Wolfman wasn't doing anything remarkable until Teen Titans, and even that doesn't hold up well to this day. Claremont is a closer comparison to McGregor, in that they could both be wordy bastards. But Claremont was more superficial, and after he parted ways with Byrne, he developed this terrible tendency to cover up art with words that described the art. McGregor's wordiness comes out of his desire to address serious matters without being as blunt or topical as O'Neill or Gerber. Even some of McGregor's supporting characters have more depth than some of the main characters written by most other bronze age writers.
Last edit: 28 Feb 2013 18:17 by Shellhead. Reason: bronze, not silver
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28 Feb 2013 17:53 #145717 by Shellhead
My local library continues to expand its comic collection, saving me from spending money at the comic book shop. So I decided to give the post-Whedon Astonishing X-Men a try, despite my initial dissatisfaction with the first two Warren Ellis issues. I still haven't read all of the Ghost Box arc, so I will skip that.

Exogenetic (Ellis/Jiminez): Mysterious new villain using in-depth knowledge of old enemies against the X-Men. Overall, this was mediocre, especially the Jiminez artwork, but there were two outstanding scenes. Beast confronts Cyclops over his growing zeal and amorality in service of mutant rights, warning of a growing rift between the two old friends. And the confrontation with the villain is great, because he's a real-deal mutant, ugly, weak and deformed, and not a glamorous and exotic super-model type like most X-Men.

Xenogenesis (Ellis/Andrews): X-Men travel to Africa to deal with an unexpected mutant baby boom in a primitive village. Like in Exogenetic, there is a decent mix of new and old threats, and challenging ethical issues. This was a good read despite the bad artwork.

Then you can see where Marvel starts double-shipping (two issues per month) and things get hectic, with a different creative team on each arc.

Monstrous (Way/Pearson): X-Men travel to Japan for a funeral, and end up battling Mentallo and lots of monsters on Monster Island (which first appeared in Fantastic Four #1). This was a fun story, though there were also a few sad and emotional scenes that were written well. Also, Fin Fang Foom!

Meanwhile (Gage/Bobillo): X-Men go to space to help S.W.O.R.D. with a Brood infestation. Okay story, bad artwork. I don't like Brood stories, because they are so clearly a cheap ripoff of the xenomorphs of the Alien movies.

Exalted (Pak/McKone): This was my favorite post-Whedon story arc. Cyclops finds himself in an alternate reality, facing a difficult ethical dilemma. Alternate versions of several other X-Men are fun, especially an unusual version of Wolverine. Very decent artwork, crisp dialogue, and a fine story.

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28 Feb 2013 18:16 - 28 Feb 2013 20:05 #145720 by Shellhead
I also managed to read the last two trades of Incorruptible last night. I didn't realize what I was in for, or that I was getting too far ahead of the story in Irredeemable. The whole thing is finished now, and I need to read two more trades to find out what happened in Irredeemable.

Anyway, Incorruptible was entertaining. Brimming over with fresh ideas and lively plot twists, until it surged rapidly to a conclusion. I really despise the modern tendency towards decompressed storytelling. And so does Mark Waid, but he takes it too far in the other direction. By these last two volumes, Incorruptible is just skimming across the surface of the story, hitting major plot points nearly every page. Sometimes I would fumble with the page-turning, going back to check and see if I hadn't just skipped two pages accidentally.

Still, I enjoyed it. The long-awaited confrontation between Max Damage and the Plutonian was good, though it was never going to be as good as I was hoping by that point. The ending to the series was a bit jarring, like Waid got there too quickly and the emotions didn't feel earned by the story on the page. Even so, I recommend Incorruptible and Irredeemable to anybody who enjoys comics. Hopefully the final volumes of Irredeemable will live up to my expectations.
Last edit: 28 Feb 2013 20:05 by Shellhead.

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