Friday, 4 April 2008

This week I have mostly been reading...

I'm feeling a little tender and nauseous at the minute after being sent home from work with a flare up of a recent condition leaving me taking a course of antibiotics. As there's nothing on tv and I'm not ready to draw again yet, I've been attacking my backlog of graphic novels. It's been ages since I did any reviews, but here's my thoughts on what I've been reading this week...

Age of Bronze Vol 3a Sacrifice: I started reading Eric Shanower's retelling of the Trojan war in monthly issue but soon gave up as despite having distinct features, the cast is sprawling and it's difficult to remember who everybody is in monthly chunks. The collected volumes are far easier to navigate and what wondrous waters they are. The art of course is stunning but the complexity of the story is allowed to unfold naturally at its own pace, with the story researched so well that this feels like the most realistic depiction of an ancient society you'll ever find on the comics page. 26 issues in and the story is only 3 years into the 10-year conflict (with battle finally on the horizon), letting the story unfold far more accurately than the two or three day skirmish of the Brad Pitt Troy movie (which was pretty dull but did have an impressive introduction of Achilles' character!)

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born: This was another series I picked up on monthly basis but is so beautiful to look at, I had to have the hardcover. Isanove's the real artistic power her though: compare any other recent Jae Lee project to this to see the difference. Lee's work here is definitely his best but suffers from a distinct lack of facial expressions. Everyone's glaring all the time and as a result, there's no sense of joy in Roland's affair with Susan. The story however is a treat for DT fans, retelling chronologically events depicted in various episodes of the book series (mainly Wizard and Glass, my favourite). I loved #1 but began to feel disappointed by the end due to Lee's lack of emotions but the collection reads alot better as a whole.

Ultimate Power: The crossover between the Ultimate and Supreme Powers universes. For something promising to reveal a traitor and a character moving from one universe to the other, I wondered why there wasn't much of a fuss about this but know I know why: it's pretty forgettable. There's next to no plot and too many double page spreads: but what would you expect with decompression masters Bendis and Loeb involved? At least Bendis gets in some good dialogue with Spidey. I bought this mainly for Greg Land's work: I know he has his detractors but I enjoyed his Sojourn work, although less so his Ultimate FF. This though was pretty awful. For an artist so reliant on photo reference, it's hard to see how Land went SO wrong with some of his figures. The women frequently have overextended torsos or ultra-thin legs, while the guys (Hyperion in particular) just look distorted for the most part. I'd avoid this if I were you, although the unexpected reappearance of the real, original Squadron Supreme was a nice surprise.

The last volumes on my bookshelf waiting to be read are The Walking Dead HC 3, the ClanDestine HC, the Black Dossier (which I've had since its release but still haven't even cracked open the polythene cover!) and Cannon, an oversized Wally Wood collection.

And after that, still the stack of Steve Rude and Wood/Williamson sci-fi EC issues.

And after THAT, a small pile of books and graphic novels picked up from a second hand bookshop about six months ago...

This is why I'm almost never bored...

2 comments:

Rol said...

"Bored"?

What's that?

kelvingreen said...

See, I couldn't get on with Marvel's Dark Tower stuff. There are gaps in Roland's story, and they could be exploring those, rather than just doing the novels... only with pictures! I just don't see the attraction.

That said, I'd be up for a comic of 'Salem's Lot, perhaps with Frazer Irving drawing it.