Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Comics May 31 2015


Wayward #8

What I have really come to love about Wayward by Jim Zub Steve Cummings and Tamara Bonvillain is their avoiding over narration and explaination endemic in classic superhero comics. This issue reveals some things about my favorite character Ayane and made me like a coule of the others just a bit more. The neat thing about this issue was the storytelling choices that rely almost fully on Steve Cummings to tell the story artistically and the colors really shone through as my attention was drawn right into the panels trying to glean as much as I could from them. This is the kind of book that like Bucky Barnes that use all the strengths of sequential art in telling the tale. Really stood out and reminded me of why I so love comics. Full marks for this one.

Infinite Loop #2

Time travel stories certainly seem to be in vogue these days and this one got me in just one issue and it wasn't even issue one. My FLCS had just one copy of this by the creative team of Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier who apparently funded this initially on Kickstarter. Though a action adventure time travel story about agents that remove anomalies that may or may not threaten reality the heart of this story is the relationship that begins when our hero Teddy becomes attracted to one such anomoly and becomes the object of a search by her onetime colleagues. The art is remiscent for me of Bruce Timm being sort of animated but just sort and much more complex then it appears. This issue is partially an internal dialogue Terry has with herself about saving the girl shaped anomoly. I'm hooked again pretty close to top marks....


And since I missed commenting on this next one last week here's something you just may find you love...

Jem and the Holograms #3

Since I didn't get a chance to do so last weekend due to work I have to write about this truely charming character driven story. Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell are creating a true winner reimagining this eighties animation show. Between them and the glorious soft neon/pastel colours by M Victoria Robado these characters are slowly coming alive as is the impression of music and motion implied through the accents in the art. I was getting this because I love Sophie Campbell's style and character designs but have fallen in love with the characters. I find I really want to see the slow development of the relationship between a certain two characters grow, and have been charmed by another relationship too though I was not invested before. I'm loving the disfunctions and foibles that these characters have and find myself oddly invested in this one. Five stars.... Happily surprised....


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dead-Wood Comics Dispatch Pull List May 27 2015

So for those just joing me this is my weekly post that hits on Mondays or if I'm lax on Tuesdays and represent my comics pull list including books that I will be dropping my hard earned cash on. My real budget (eventhough I oft break it) is twenty bucks and I try to keep it at least close. I start my list with my must for the week, the book I would get if I could only get one and I finish up with a collection I would get for those who buy that way. So here we go

And now on what I think is really the big puts into Secret Wars... So my choices for a single comic is possibly a bit surprising...

Wayward #8

Jim Zub's Japan-centric urban fantasy romp usually hits high on my list but the fact that this new story arc is featuring the retune of then no so cat girl cat girl Ayane makes me pretty happy. The alt cover features the enigmatic girl hero who was my favorite from the initial story arc. She is still paying back up to the feature heroine of the story but that is usually the way for characters I take a shine to. The new main character introduced in issue 6 I also like lots and well the slow build on the overall tale has held and built my interest in this book and with Hexed winding down its nice to know my urban fantasy needs are going to still be well met. This also sates a bit of my need for manga as I am so so out of that loop right now.i just hope to score one of this cover for myself... Fun fun book if you enjoy Japanese manga and urban fantasy... $3.50

The Wicked + The Divine #12

This second arc of The Wicked and the Divine has done a lot story wise to cement my interest and attention revealing much more of the depth and complexity of the characters and the setting that they have been building. The last two issues have reveals that the two year time limit can be circumvented at of such such a cost and with this finale and the gruesome cover I am curious as to how this will wrap up. It may be a bit of the layout or art style and grim undertones in the story but this book reminds me in all the best ways of Preacher back in the nineties. As this is the end of the arc its possibly not the best place to start but it sure seems to have hooks to it to bring you in. $3.50


(Looks like my week may have gotten just a bit cheaper as The Wicked and The Divine may just be delayed till next week....)

MODOK Assassin #1

Among all the various Secret Wars books why you may ask why this one. Christopher Yost is not a writer that I was familiar with till I got the subscription to Marvel Unlimited and I find his to be surprisingly good particularly at dialogue. I also loved the things that Ales Kot did with this big headed sometimes joke in Secret Avengers so I'm willing to give this a go as I am taking a like to book that make me laugh and smile and this promises to have a dark sense of humor... Here's hoping. $3.99


Given that this month has been very expensive having a small week is a good thin and this week comes in at just about $11 dollars... If I manage not to pick up Secrt Wars 2099, Where Monsters Well or Infinity Gauntlet as I think I have to wait to read those latter and I'm so not good at waiting....




Strong Female Protagonist Vol 1

Given my current love for Mad Max Fury Road and is lovely lovely group of heroines too numerous to mention I'd be remiss in not mentioning Molly Ostertag and Brennan Mulligan's Strong Female Protaginist. This webcomic that you can read for free and really should be doing so is one that is also well worth supporting by buying the print version. Here is a link to the comics current page and I have to say think that between the two of them they created a book that rivals books like Invincible and powers for creating a non big two super hero universe that really stands on its own and manages to do so within one "title" rather then sprawling. The book has great pithy points to make and does it very much in the same way George Miller manages to do by avoiding the tired stereotypes and just telling a great story. $20.00 and worth it.





Monday, May 18, 2015

Dead-wood Pull List Dispatch May 18. 2015

The Dead-wood pull list dispatch plays by a fairly loose rulebook. I try to keep to my actual budget for me weekly comics of twenty dollars (though I often break that when I am at me FLCS). I start the list with my choice of what I would get if I could only get one book this week its often a hard choice and this week is no different. I also try to add a collection that I would suggest....

And if I could get just one its really a dead heat between A-Force and Jem and the Holograms and well I really don't think I could make that choice....

A-Force #1

Secret Wars #2 absolutely hooked me and with the comments by Jill Lapore and the amusing and much more well thought out and reasoned rebuttal via G Willow Wilson I have to read it. Really Marvel had me at G Willow writing it but with the promise that its a thought out look at female superheroes and by someone who writes one of my two favorite books and character recently well I'm in. Looking at the cover this could be a pretty crowded book but I don't expect to see all of them starring in this book so I'd be happy pretty much with any conceivable grouping. My hopes and my expectations are pretty high and given how great a recent non superhero movie I saw was this book has a high bar to reach. So looking forward to it though $3.99


Jem and the Holograms #3

Kelly Thompson's story has won me over and between her and Sophie Campbell's oh so charming beautiful art I'm reminded that I did enjoy the few episodes of the show I saw so long ago. I think that its great that there is a book out on the shelves like this now along with ones like Lumberjanes, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Giant Days to name a few alternatives to super spandex and horror stories staring great characters. So I'm won over, the story the art the coloring all of it is doing something very very good. Sure it may not be your kind of thing and that is totally ok because there is enough room out the for the things that are and diversity in stories and heroes is a great great thing. I'm so looking forward to how the story in this one developes. $3.99


Hexed #10

In last months advance orders I found out that issue 12 will be the end of this current story and it does seem that the status quo is going through some big big changes. The Harlot, the keeper of secrets has been an enigma for most of this book and now we get the big reveal and I suspect that its gong to be much much more then I might guess. Hexed has been for me the best of the urban fantasy stories around and that is saying a lot given Wayward and Buffy are both pretty excellent and fit different places in the genre. Its a book that more people should be reading. $3.99



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Comics May 14 2015

I can say that Captain Marvel 15 is one of the best comics I have read in a long long while. Everything about the issue was simply brilliant ; the honesty of Kelly Sue' s heartfelt writing, the expressions captured by David Lopez' s subtle art , the color palet chosen for the issue by Lee Loughridge right down the clarity of VC Caramagna' s lettering that could be distinguished dispite my tears. The "Next Right Thing" is a well crafted story about something relateable in everyone's lives the dealing with loss and grief. I won't say who Carol has lost that is made pretty plain right away but as with many of the losses I have had in life thus far its not one that comes as too great a shock but it is one that hits right at her heart and David captured her moment of realization so so well. Between the words Kelly Sue chooses to use and the body language of the characters I forgot all about the superheroes, the spandex and the in pending end(s) and felt really truly and deeply for Carol and her closest friends.

The story has all the elements of a great story no matter the media it's told in and their love and care really does show and this book makes me proud to say I love comics. Their use of subtle details and little things lend authenticity to the overall feel of the book and touches my heart even writing about it. Kelly Sue's letter to her fans in the end is equally honest and open as the pages they created. The story revealed more about the characters I love as people in what they choose to say or not say in the course of the story some are just there and present for their friend. This book might not be the top of some fans lists but its won a place in me heart as one of the best issues I've had the pleasure to read even if it left me crying and choked up. Top marks, five stars, ten out of ten... whatever scale you use ... tops.


Angela #6

This issue caps off the first storyline and stars so manny additional characters that is kind of amazing that it revealed so much about Angela herself and Sera. It also managed to fully hook me for the next story arc given some of the revelations Gillen and Bennett had up their sleeves. Though I didn't know if I loved the comic earlier in the run there was always something that kept me coming back. For me it will be a long wait till the end of Secret Wars to get back to the story hinted at on the final page. My newfound love of this title makes it a must have from this last week and one I am very happy that I stuck with eventhough I have some doubts, I shouldn't have given the writers but I did... Perhaps its a bit like Jonathan Hickman's work where it reads better in large doses...


Southern Cross #3

Becky Cloonan is a pretty good myster writer as I'm now more involved in the suspense mystery going on then the whole impending haunted space ship tale. It doesn't hurt the book that she is doing some pretty magnificent looking covers but I have to five credit to Andy Belanger who I didn't know about before this book he can do massive space ships, technology and people with equal artistic weight and captures the sprint of the cover artwork. This issue delves into the incidents that occured in stateroom 17 and hint heavily at deeper mysteries hiding among the crew. There are a couple of surprising developments and some things didn't go the way I expected and that is always a good thing in my book. So reminiscent of the power of the stroytelling in the original Aliens I can't avoid the comparison. If it sound your thing the issues are probably out there and you should so track them down. Pretty much top marks but Captain Marvel this week was impossible to top.




Secret Wars #2

So I liked Secret Wars #1 alright, it was a fine start that was epic in the sense of scale but it was a bit too fast to really hook me. Secret Wars two I knew I would eventually buy and given my FLCS owner put is aside for me when he was running low I had to pick it up and it was pretty marvelous all told. This is kind of where the story really starts throwing us in the deep and and explaining to us how to swim in this new strange and oddly fun setting. The old Odinson explains a lot of the working of the world to a new member of the Thor police corps and there are cameos a plenty throughout the issue along with the first taste of this setting. Hickman manages to really hit high notes of most corners of the Marvel Universe and point to some dramatic events that make me want to read a bit deeper into the whole thing more then I can afford to. I would caution people if you don't want to be enthused and exited about this event then skip this as it may well be the instigation incident that spends more of your money.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dead-Wood Comics Dispatch May 11 2015

The Comics Dispatch is my weekly column looking at what will be among the books I actually will be purchasing this week. I try to keep to an actual budget of twenty dollars though its not often I keep to it given how many good books there are nowadays but that is the aim (Oh god damn this week will be so totally broken, broken....) Each week I start with my choice for which one I would get if only get one and I follow the pull list with a suggested collection or original graphic novel for those who don't do periodicals...

(And again oh good god, how do I choose just one for this marvelous

Ms Marvel #15

Ok yes, I'm a predictable fan but this book is consistently the most honest and charming read on the weeks it comes out and reminds me of getting the books I loved in the eighties. G Willow Wilson puts just enough superheroing into the adventure that is Kamala' s geektastic life that i am reminded that life should always be a bit of an adventure. Last couple issues gave a bit of a fake out on the whole romance angle and added a lot of complexity to the developing cast of the book revealing just how much her friends and family do pay attention to her life. This title may not be for everyone but as with fantasy novels that explore the genre through the eyes of the other getting Kamala's fangirl view of life and her joy for life is refreshing in a genre that goes grim far far too often. $2.99

Captain Marvel #15

So this could have been my only one choice given how much I have loved this incarnation of the Carol Danvers story, she has such a rich history havering been around the Marvel universe for so long and Kelly Sue has been stellar in making her more then she's been before. Her long space bound adventure seems to be over so there are many reunions we can look forward to including the adorable Lt. Trouble, Spider-woman and Jim Rhodes.... What can I say about the book other then if you still haven't found it its time to take a read before the lights go out on this book for a coule months while the marvel universe ends or something like that. Kelly Sue Deconnick tops my list of comic writers and really why are you not reading this book. $3.99


Copperhead #7

The new sheriff of Copperhead gets some more downtime in this storyline as she takes the teacher up on the invite. I've come to rather appreciate books that take the time to delve into the non-heroing parts of their stories. Sherif Clara embarks on a bit of a social life while the colony may be in the sights of a violent gang and knowing that there is a Deputy Boo solo story on the near horizon perhaps this is the opening volley in that tale. Unlike Saga which is a bit of escalation with each page Copperhead is a more slow burn sort of affair that give both the payoff on your expectations and twists them in ways you didn't expect.mill do my usual pitch for this in case you all missed it before, its a bit like Adventures of the Galaxy rangers minus the super powers with liberal doses of Deadwood minus most of the cussing as it would disturb from the glorious art. $3.50



Southern Cross #3

Sci if horror has been a love of mine since I saw the original Aliens in the theatre, sure I was a kid and it so game me nightmares but I've always been a bit of a strange kid. The mystery and horror have been more of a background note so far but its pretty obvious from the artistic hints that there is something not too kosher on the ship Southern Cross. Belanger and his colourist have managed to get that odd mix of science fiction industrial feel and gothic look to truly work to create a very haunted house kind of vibe reminiscent of the Nostromo eventhough this is not a largely empty mining vessel. I also get the hints that Becky Cloonan has a novels length story somewhere lurking behind this introductory story. Excellent book especially at $2.99

Injection #1

Like Kelly Sue Deconnick the name Warren Ellis pretty much cliches my initial interest in a title and the addition of Declan Shalvey his partner on the that amazing Moon Knight run makes it doubly so. Injection looks to be a neat future cautionary tale of some sort but with Warren at the helm I can only assume it will be sheer brilliance and very very pretty to look at. Its only $2.99 so its a bargin given the creative staff. Any other week it would have been my if I could only buy one....

RunLoveKill #2

RunLoveKill was a book I boughten on a lark because I loved the cover three dee maquette look and it was priced right for giving it a go. Its the modern comic equivalent of Aeon Flux action wise and has about the same kinetic artistic power as Traad Moore and that is saying a lot. The comparison to Aeon is a bit unfair because its like that dystopic setting but without all the over the top gynoids misogyny which went along with that animation. The story feels very hard boiled-y blade runner ish with our heroine trying to not be trapped in a city about to wall itself in. Really can't wait to see more of the setting given the hints liberally dropped througout issue one. Its $2.99 and something a bit new and different and that is always a good thing.


So that gets me to right about twenty dollars and there is so much more goodness out there this week including Harrow County by Cullen Bunn from Dark Horse, Thor by Jason Aaron which promises to be the revelatory issue, Angela by Margarite Bennett and Kieron Gillen, there is also one of my favorites Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier too which I really just can't pass up so I'll be breaking my limit for pretty sure.


And for my OGN collection suggestion for the week...



The collection of the previous web series Nimona by the ever so talented Noelle Stevenson the cowriter of Lumberjanes which is a book I totally missed out on. I only read bits and pieces of it but it is well worth actually paying for now that it is no longer available for free and who doesn't love a book about a villainous sidekick and her villain poking holes at the pristineness of heroes and Law Enforcement. I always love a bit of subversion and this is such a cool looking book... Its out in hard and soft cover and its a steal at the softcover price of $12.99


Monday, May 4, 2015

Dead-Wood Comics Dispatch May6 2015

The Comics Dispatch is my weekly column looking at what will be among the books I actually will be purchasing this week. I try to keep to an actual budget of twenty dollars though its not often I keep to it given how many good books there are nowadays but that is the aim. Each week I start with my choice for which one I would get if only get one and I follow the pull list with a suggested collection or original graphic novel for those who don't do periodicals...

So now in a smallish week what is the one I would have to get ...

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5

The first three issues were a fun build up, but four, oh my god four was so laugh out loud funny that I will have to pick up five. I get a lot of pretty serious and thought provoking comics, cough that amazing Bitch Planet, I need a good gut laugh occasionally between all the superhero posturing, universal threats and deeps stories and this books fits the bill. Ryan North and Erica Henderson pulled out all the stops in issue four and I have to see them top it... Oh and along that same line I have been reading Adventure Time and crap if that isn't a blast too. So I guess this title may not need the signal boost but I do hope that Doreen and Tippy's book does not got the way of so so many other marvel books I have loved of late... $3.99

Rocket Girl #6

The story of time displaced teen cop DaYoung Johansson stick in the mid eighties New York with a future flight suit gave a great mix of teen superhero detective adventure against a bit of a sinister backdrop of manipulation and introduced a great cast of young and mostly female scientists. The book split its time between a pretty trippy 2014 which doesn't look like ours and a 1986 which did look pretty familiar and built the tale up from both ends. In addition to being a differnt take of modernish science adventure tales the art by Amy Reeder is pretty damn fantastic and I'm very happy its finally back around... $3.99


Descender #3

Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen's far future robopocalypse has been a beautiful ride do far considering the pretty soft pastel hued artwork with two competing groups looking for the same Astroboy like robot Tim. As with Rocket girl Jeff has been giving us two separate storylines one in the post apocalyptic now and one exploring the memories of out robo-protagonist. My curiosity has been peaked as to the ultimate direction that the book will take and given the pretty dire cliffhanger that ends the second issue I kind of have to pick this up. The seemingly water coloured art has a softening effect even given some of the violence in the comic. As of yet its pretty hard SF without the fairy tale contrivances of Spielberg which I hope never really creep in given my more grim outlook on things. Its a bargin at $2.99 for the quality of the book...


The Wicked and The Divine #10

Kieron Gillen is promising that this storyarc has a bit of Ragnarock in it makes me fear for the finally to the second story arc that is quickly approaching. I can't really reccommend jumping on right now without backtracking but the revelations of the last issue and its pulse stopping finale well its well worth tracking them all down because it is just that good. This book has had its slow bits but its full on when it comes to pay off of the mysteries its hiding just below the surface. Mark Wisons colours on McKelvie's art creat a book that looks all as characterful and brilliant as their stylish and distinctive covers. $3.50


This weeks pull list looks to allow me to go back and pick up some books I had to pass on last month and prior so well see what else I add come Thursday....


And no what collection would I suggest...


Rat Queens Vol 2

Kurtiss Wiebe struck a nerve which this series for me and its ever a must and I am tempted to pick up the collection even tough I have all the issues themselves. For me it is a pleasant reminder of when I had a group that I role played with reguraly as the four women who make up the adventuring group in this fantasy setting have just the right kind of friendly banter. Rat Queens has a well built world and such a love able cast of warriors, ne'er dowels, orcs, elves, dwarfs (oh the dwarfs... Such a great story there) romance and lots and lots of potential horror and death.This story delves into the pre series lives of the stars of the book and hopefully the Brakka special will be included because it was pretty great fantasy story starring an unconventional Orc come barbarian hero ala Conan or better yet Red Sonya .. $14.99 and it will please many a fantasy adventure fan....