Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Top 10 things Comic Books do Better than any other Book...period!

Comic Books are for everyone....A simple sentence that would have jocks, the "cool" crowd, academics, and "arm-chair" philosophers with delusions of grandeur snuffing and snorting their disapproval. But it's true...why else would Hollywood keep making films based on Superheroes? Because people want to be entertained.

Most people have a picture in their mind of some comic book cover from the 50's whenever someone talks on the subject, but the comic book genre of today is some of the best writing, artwork, and vision of anything anywhere. They are now written and drawn for an adult audience....so if you haven't been in a comic shop since you were 8, check one out and peruse through some of the books.....

Alan Moore's Films.....(Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

Alan Moore is disturbed, and his works show a psyche much like Stephen King's. His writing is legendary, spanning works with characters from DC Comics and Marvel Comics, as well as several independent collections. It's the independent stuff that has made him a legend, and arguably the most influential comic-book writer in mainstream media (Frank Miller being the only one close to him). Books like From Hell, Tom Strong, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, & Watchmen have made him famous in both written and cinematic form. The Watchmen Graphic Novel is the all-time best-selling graphic novel, and the only comic-book to appear in Time Magazine's top 100 Novels. The following are the Alan Moore film collection:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tsai Chih Chung's "....Speaks" Books (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

Much in the same mold as Larry Gonick's "Cartoon History" series, Tsai Chih Chung's "...Speaks" series is entertaining, informative, and fun to read. Written and drawn by Chung, with Brian Bruya translating the text to English. The six books I own include (in order by publication date):

Top 5 Comic Book Artists

This list comprises the best artists in the Comic Book Industry. Although I could make this list very long, these are the ones that when I see their work....I salivate.

Superman/Batman by Jeph Loeb (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

The Superman/Batman series is AWESOME!! How; if you are a fan of either character...or even more if a fan of both, can you not love and collect this great series? I find myself asking that question more and more as I see sales dwindling every month to the point that the "cancellation" whispers have begun....the only answer I can come up with is that Jeph Loeb is no longer writing the series. He IS that good!!

Loeb wrote the first four Volumes of the Superman/Batman series that generally sold around 80,000-100,000 issues per month (compared to the 30,000-40,000 that it is selling now under different writers).....making it one of DC's best sellers. The "out-of-continuity" series was in a universe all it's own, with Loeb as mastermind of this universe, and include the following volumes:

Hawkman by Geoff Johns (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

Geoff Johns created another masterpiece with his run as writer of the Hawkman series. He penned the first three volumes of Hawkman, which after he left faltered, was re-titled Hawkgirl, then cancelled after sales dwindled even lower.....but I loved this series and what Johns did with it. Saturated with Egyptian myth & history, delving into past lives and an undying love between a man and a woman, this series delivered great stories, enough action to keep you interested, and a different twist on some of DC Comic's most historic characters.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Superman by Geoff Johns (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

Geoff Johns is my favorite Writer, so when he began tackling the most difficult DC Comic's character to write; the iconic Superman, I had complete confidence that it would be great! I have not been disappointed. After years of average Superman stories (see: "O.K." Superman (Review)...), and a horrible movie (see: Conspiracy Theory.....How Marvel Comics tried to kill Superman)....I was just about ready to give up on Truth, Justice, and The American Way, but Geoff Johns has saved my love for The Man of Steel!

The following Volumes are in chronological order following the "O.K." Superman Volumes:

Batman by Paul Dini (Review)

Citizen's Grade: O.K.

I love Batman comics, and generally enjoy whomever is writing and doing artwork for Batman comics. Paul Dini (Emmy & Eisner Award winning writer, and TV producer-writer for Batman: The Animated Series & Lost) has been "hit or miss" with me. He is currently writing the Batman comic "Batman: Streets of Gotham", and I've been on the fence about whether to continue collecting volumes he writes. When he is involved in deeper plots like "Heart of Hush", or "The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul" I really enjoy him....when he does "stand-alone" stories, he frustrates me.

Batman by Matt Wagner (Review)

Citizen's Grade: O.K.

The Dark Moon Rising series of Batman, written and drawn by Matt Wagner, is "old-school" Batman! Matt Wagner's art always gives me that feel of "times past", and these two volumes tell stories from early on in Batman's crime-fighting career. Well-written as well, you get drawn into the detective stories trying to unlock clues to stop crime in it's tracks. Even if you aren't an avid Batman fan or collector, you can still enjoy these "stand alone" volumes, since they don't connect (i.e. out-of-continuity) to the current storylines in the other Batman books.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trinity (Review)

I must admit; as a Catholic, that I sometimes feel guilty refering to Superman, Batman, & Wonder Woman as the "Trinity". I understand DC Comic's reasons, and that they are not trying to turn the three into gods for us to worship, but you just have to wonder who really might be behind that name (if I may be cryptic for a moment..lol). There have been two collections titled "Trinity" released in Graphic Novels (that I am aware of), Matt Wagner's and Kurt Busiek's. They couldn't be more opposite....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Elephantmen: Fatal Diseases (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

Volume Two of this incredible series isn't quite as great as Volume One, only because the first volume (Wounded Animals) was so great that nothing could possibly equal it! Elephantmen: Fatal Diseases details the continuing, complicated lives of Hip Flask, Ebony Hide, Obadiah Horn, and the rest of the survivors of MAPPO's genetic experiments in Los Angeles, 2259, as a meteor falls in Santa Monica Bay and a new epidemic must be contained! The characters converge in cataclysmic fashion, showing the deeper elements within the Elephantmen's lives.

Elephantmen: Wounded Animals (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

The first seven issues of the Elephantmen on-going series are collected in this deluxe volume. In the year 2224, a mad scientist named Dr. Kazushi Nikken creates giant human-animal hybrids....elephants, rhinos, camels, zebras, crocodiles, etc. After brainwashing them into an army of fearless killers, he sends them off to kill. But the United Nations liberates the elephantmen and integrates them into society.

That's the basis of the series, which offers an original look into racism, xenophobia and globalism.

Elephantmen: War Toys (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

The story of the war to end all wars now in one volume! The prequel to Image's hit series, Elephantmen! Africa and China are at war. The battlefield: Europe, recently devastated by a lethal virus. Enter: MAPPO's soldiers, The Elephantmen. Even in the face of blistering resistance, it seems that nothing can stop MAPPO's advance across France to the North. But as Hip Flask comes face to face with the last vestiges of humanity in the frozen Scandinavian wastes, he discovers that only the dead see the end of warfare.

Hip Flask: Concrete Jungle (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

This volume, The Big Here & The Long Now, is fabulous! I can't over-state the beauty of the story and the artwork!

The story takes place in 2162....They are the survivors of genetic engineering experiments and indoctrination by Doctor Kazushi Nikken and MAPPO, a sinister organization which sought to create superhuman weapons of mass destruction. Now, freed and rehabilitated by the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, the "Unhumans" now live amongst men. Legitimized by the Elephantmen Act, they are nevertheless denied the right to bear arms and must survive on their wits alone... Collecting Hip Flask: Elephantmen and Hip Flask: Mystery City into one handsome volume.

Written by Richard Starkings, with artwork by Casey & Ladronn....this is the second volume in the growing Elephantmen series.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hip Flask: Unnatural Selection (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Awesome.

The Elephantmen Series from Image Comics, created & written by Richard Starkings is arguably the best on-going comic series in the industry right now! Hip Flask: Unnatural Selection was the beginning....setting up the future volumes, and showing the futuristic world of Hip Flask, Ebony Hide, & Obadiah Horn...among others.

Duck Dodger's Green Lantern Oath

just because......

Green Lantern Corps monthly series (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

The Green Lantern Corps Volumes tell the stories and events taking place in the lives of the Green Lanterns, excluding Hal Jordan (the main character of the Green Lantern series). Based mostly around a few major characters, the book reads like a soap opera, sci-fi, action flick! I love this series so far, and so do a lot of other readers as well, making this the best-selling "spin-off" series in DC Comics. The plots often play off of what is going on in the main Green Lantern books, but from the perspectives of the thousands of other Lanterns. This makes for multiple stories and plots taking place simultaneously, as detailed in the Scavenger Review for Emerald Eclipse (there's not enough space here to detail all the multiple angles and plots going on in every volume).

Batman by Grant Morrison....(Review)

Grant Morrison is a great writer; one of my Top 5, and these volumes prove his worth. I fell in love with his writing during his JLA run, which portrayed Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, & Green Lantern Kyle Rayner as Iconic figures saving the time, space, the world, and the universe on countless occasions.

In his Batman run so far, these following volumes have taken The Dark Knight into uncharted territory with Morrison's unique way of thinking and writing.

Batman: Under The Hood (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

Before the Animated Movie "Under the Red Hood" (the same story, but with a slightly different title) is released in a couple months, I thought I'd give a review of the book. Originally released in two volumes, Batman: Under the Hood is dynamite!

A figure from the Caped Crusader's past unexpectedly returns, forcing him to revisit the most tragic event of his crime-fighting career. The psychotic, disfigured Black Mask has seized control of Gotham City's criminal underworld, but his rule is challenged by the mysterious Red Hood, who has hijacked a crate full of 100 pounds of Kryptonite.