Monthly archives: October, 2008

Drawing with water

This is a short but fascinating look at how Emmanuel Guibert created the art for Alan’s War from First Second.

First Second released the excellent Prince of Persia graphic novel this summer. We’ve also got an overdue review of their Slow Storm book by Danica Novgorodoff on the way.

h/t: The Daily Dish

Trinity #22

22In the lead: Alfred the super-spy is on a freighter headed for America. He remembers his meeting with Tarot and the scroll case he gave her…

In the back-up: …which belonged to Prince Khufu, one of the past lives of Hawkman. Back in issue #16, after Hawkman helped Gangbuster rescue Tarot, he went back to help the Trinity and got hit with some magic that made him relive all of his past lives simultaneously. Turns out, the magic made at least one of his past selves do the same thing. Khufu realizes he’s seeing into the future and that something terrible is going to happen that he must stop. He writes his visions down and puts them in the scroll case that several thousand years later ends up in the hands of Alfred.

Back in the lead: The JSI’s non-meta shock troops attack Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma, who easily repel the assault. While this is happening, Kanjar Ro steals an airship and hightails it. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Green Arrow and Speedy disappear in a puff of smoke while Ragman is giving them a piece of his mind. Seconds later, Ragman and Tatters don’t remember anything strange happening. The female half of Firestorm tries to escape from JSI custody but gets taken down by Tomorrow Woman. That’s strange, since Tomorrow Woman is also in Metropolis fighting giant robots. In another puff of smoke, the JSI’s Tomorrow Woman disappears.

My take: Busiek & Co. decided to change up the standard issue formula here by throwing the “back-up” after the first page of the “lead” and then switching back to the lead. And as a result, this is the first issue of the series that felt like one continuous 22-page story. I actually like this method of structuring an issue better than the way they’ve been using so far. (more…)

The Doomino Effect for Oct 22, 2008

I have 12 books in my stack this week. No lie.

First up is Final Crisis #4, which is definitely my favorite issue of the series so far. This, of course, is relative to how awful I thought the first three issues were.

Back in college, I took a beginning screen writing class from a wannabe has-been, whose professional filmmaking experience was something like driving a van for universally panned low-budget indie films. Even he taught us “Show, don’t tell.” If you want something to resonate with an audience, showing it to them will make them believe it.

Morrison apologists have defended the decision to remove critical pieces of the story as a form of artistic experimentation, even comparing it to subtractive songwriting. Inherently, there’s nothing wrong with taking such an approach, and it can obviously lead to a rewarding reading experience. The key difference, of course, is that songs like “Raspberry Beret” are fantastic pop songs — they don’t have to be forgiven or defended based on their methods.

Though I end up switching places with reviewer Chris Miller, he’s absolutely correct in pointing out the problems that can arise when one chooses to remove critical points in the story.

It’s just that it has no emotional resonance. The narrative style relentlessly leaches the dramatic impact out of what it depicts. It skips around among seemingly unrelated scenes, often eliding important developments, showing effects but not causes, while shifting characters on and off stage seemingly at random… thus almost deliberately avoiding dramatic tension.

Previously, we were just being told about the threats to Earth, the multiverse, etc.: Evil won, or was winning, or the end was near or the end is here. Stuff like that. This time, we actually saw it. We see the hordes overrunning the cities; we see the heroes falling; we see a gnawed off Green Lantern arm; we witness Turpin’s struggle, and eventual failure, to resist Darkseid. We see Barry Allen’s calm confidence as some kind of anti-life cure. I also loved that part of the resistance movement included printing and distributing a newspaper — I actually think that tiny element made this whole struggle seem that much bigger. (more…)

Book of Doom:
Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch

This week’s Book of Doom is Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch — the first Hellboy comic drawn by Mike Mignola since 2005.

On the heels of the second Hellboy feature film, legendary artist and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola returns to the drawing table for this standalone adventure of the world’s greatest paranormal detective!

Hellboy investigates an ancient chapel in Eastern Europe where an artist compelled by something more sinister than any muse has sequestered himself to complete his “life’s work.”

As always, email us your reviews to be included in the weekend roundup. Capes Comic Book Lounge shoppers — look for HITCOM in the featured “ pick of the week” section.

Coverage of Omaha zombie walk

The Omaha World-Herald covered Sunday’s zombie walk.

The fundraiser was held in conjunction with World Zombie Day. For the past 15 years, horror movie fans have gathered on Oct. 26 to celebrate zombies and help charities. Omaha was one of 57 cities to participate this year.

“We’re having a great time, but we weren’t counting on this wind,” Tibbott said. “I guess zombies don’t like this (weather).”

Donations, however, were being briskly delivered to zombie headquarters. Tibbott estimated more than 100 pounds of donations were gathered for the Food Bank.

According to the World-Herald, there were only 17 participants in Sunday’s walk. Sources tell the final headcount at Saturday’s walk in Benson was 202, not including people who left early and/or didn’t want their picture taken.

Meaningless Awards of the Week- 10/22/08

BoP 123Most Pointless- Birds of Prey #123

A few weeks ago, I said that the ending to Birds of Prey #122 was the Best Ending of the week. It ended with The Joker entering BoP HQ with Barbara Gordon all by herself. Well this issue started with the cops showing up and scaring The Joker away, and ended with The Joker going back to confront Babs. So essentially we’re exactly where we were at the end of last issue.

But surely something else must have happened, right? Nope. The Birds go pick up the Calculator, which was pretty uneventful. All he does is tell the ladies about the different villains in the Silicon Syndicate. And man are they boring. Gizmo shoots cool guns. The Matchmaker helps pedophiles use Myspace. The Caretaker has a people zoo. Evil, yes. Interesting, no.

Best Writer- Ed Brubaker

Is it just me, or does it always seem like these big name writers always have all their books come out on the same day? A couple of weeks ago, Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead and Invincible came out on the same day. The same week, Geoff Johns’ Action Comics and Green Lantern both dropped. Well, it’s Ed Brubaker’s turn this week, with Captain America #43, Daredevil #112 and Criminal #6 all released on Wednesday. (more…)

Book of Doom:
Superman: New Krypton Special

New Krypton SpecialGeoff Johns. Do we have a hard-on for that guy or what? This marks the fifth consecutive Book of Doom written by him. But I assure you that this is mere coincidence. There’s even two other writers on the book this week. We just can’t help it if Johns is a kickass writer and makes us really want to read his stuff.

Speaking of previous Books of Doom, two weeks ago I said that I was probably going to sit the New Krypton arc out. I didn’t want to be dragged into buying two more books that I didn’t usually buy (Superman and Supergirl). But I actually thought the arc was going to be a whole lot longer than it really is, like four or five months. Turns out it’s only nine parts, a much more manageable crossover. So I decided to buy the Superman: New Krypton Special and use it to decide whether or not I’d continue buying the arc.

Turns out, I’m glad I did. The first nine pages were a great epilogue to the “Braniac” arc that just ended in Action Comics, drawn by series regular Gary Frank. In it, we see Pa Kent’s funeral, Superman fantasizing about beating the snot out of Braniac again, and Clark going through the chest that his father kept of their fondest memories. I really liked the inclusion of the horseshoe that Clark heat-visioned “World’s Greatest Dad” into, which was actually a scene from the current Johns/Frank run.

Then we transition to a government facility where Braniac is being held and tested. Braniac escapes and kills some scientist before Agent Assassin takes him down. I had no idea who this Assassin guy was, but thankfully it was later explained that he’s a villain from the last Superman arc. Then it’s back to Smallville from some awkward/touching/sad moments between Clark and his mother. I’m not sure if Pa’s death will actually factor into this arc at all, but I’m glad the writers aren’t ignoring it to deal with it later. (more…)

Local news – Oct 25, 2008

• Big thanks to the good folks at Krypton Comics for being awesome 24 Hour Comics Day hosts. They fed us sandwiches, pizza and donuts and provided us with free drinks for the whole 24 hours. We met some cool people and had a great time.

• The Lincoln Journal Star covered Lincoln’s 24HCD event and our own Colonel Doom covered Omaha’s 24HCD for The Reader.

• Omaha is hosting two zombie walks this weekend, and one starts in just a few hours. Here’s what you need to know.

KidzExplore Treat Street is tonight at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, and Krypton Comics will be there. The MAC will be decorated to provide a safe and fun environment for trick-or-treaters.

Capes Comic Book Lounge has begun featuring the Book of Doom in the shop. Capes customers and readers are encouraged to email us your review of the weekly pick to have it included in Saturday’s roundtable.

• Friday, Oct 31 is the deadline for the Omaha Public Library’s Fan.Art.Fusion anime / manga contest and art exhibit.

The 24 Hour Comics Day Roundup

As promised last week, here’s a roundup of all the 24 Hour Comics I could find.

First off, from — we’ve been posting our 24 Hour Comics throughout the week, but here they are in one spot:
“Portals of Doom” by Fin Fang Doom
“Space Dinosaurs from the Future” by Doom DeLuise
“The Garden” by Jim Doom
“Man Alive”, an incomplete entry from Doom & Gloom
Doom, Where’s My Car? and Colonel Doom both participated also, and we’ll get those links in here as soon as we have them.

Elsewhere on the web — strangers and new acquaintances:
“Green Noir” by The Astral Gypsy
“No Way, Jose” by evinou_art
“Muñeco” by Quiet Bubble
“Everything is a First Repeating Itself” by Star
“Once Upon a Love Story” by Josh M
“Jenny Everywhere and the Golden Key” by fesworks (a Lego “comic”)
“The Foodle Book Mystery” by Glenn R. Wichman

They gave it their best — the rules of 24 Hour Comics Day are fairly strict, and it’s not called a challenge for nothing. These folks may not have been able to fully complete the challenge, but they’re sharing their work with their heads held high:
“Golden Wing Versus the Freezer” by Zander (had to use a 25th hour to finish — way to stick with it)
“Action Heroes” by Van Jensen (had to use more than 24 hours and didn’t go 24 pages, but it’s a complete story)
(something in Dutch) by Jango Jim (he finished 14 pages — not bad)
Untitled by Podunk (gave up after 9 hours spent on 2 pages — understandable)
“Fata Obstant” by Ryan Cody (he pre-designed characters and plotted the story in advance, plus the posted images have been Photoshopped and re-lettered, but the final product looks nice)
“Hippie and the Creature” by McHozer Comics (posting one page per week after digital improvements)

Still waiting on… — these folks declared their intentions to participate and post the final product, but there’s nothing uploaded yet. Keep an eye out.
Keith Chan (he has video proving he did it!)
Alfredo Lopez Jr.

The Comics Reporter has a roundup too.

The Drop List- 10/22/08

I read too many damn comics. This fact was made all the more apparent two weeks ago when I got laid off from my part-time job (otherwise known as the job that lets me buy comics). While I couldn’t convince myself to drop any of my usual stuff last week, this week I was able to find four comics to add to my drop list. And quite frankly, I’m a bit surprised I was able to let these four go.

Final Crisis 4Final Crisis
Dropped as of #4

Grant Morrison sucks. He’s really just a lousy writer. I’m talking Hudlin-esque here. Yet for some reason I felt compelled to buy Final Crisis. It was supposed to be this massive crossover that changed the DC Universe. But this week I realized I just don’t like reading it, and things in the DCU aren’t going to make any less sense if I’m not following Final Crisis. In fact, Final Crisis is the reason things don’t make sense.

Over the short term, this might make a couple of the other books I read intolerable. Since I’m not following Secret Invasion, the fact that every frakking Marvel comic is about Skrulls right now is sort of pissing me off. Thankfully, FC is primarily contained to the mini-series and its spinoffs, so Catwoman-riding-a-dog won’t be showing up in Birds of Prey or anything.

X-Factor 36X-Factor
Reading since 2005
Dropped as of #36

X-Factor used to be one of the best comics out there. In fact, we here at Doomkopf called it the Most Underrated Series of 2006 and Jamie Madrox the Best Hero of 2006. But for about a year, this series has been pretty terrible.

The downward spiral of this series pretty clearly begins with its inclusion in the Messiah Complex crossover from last fall/winter. Layla Miller, the most interesting member of the cast, was left in the future as a result, and Wolfsbane had to leave the team because Marvel wanted all of the hunter types to be on the new X-Force. Then the book slogged through an uninspired Arcade arc before shipping the team off to Detroit in order to turn Darwin into a Latino character. (more…)