Saturday, December 12, 2015

Comic Talk: 12/9/2015

Yeah! I love comic book day!

OK. Now that that's out of the way, lets get right into it. I have a pretty weird collection for this week.

Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #2

3 out of 5

I like the Pathfinder universe (and their graphic design) of Golarion more than I actually like their RPG. It's good, and I ran a fun, year long campaign before a TPK with it. Then I experimented with other systems and now have an almost allergic reaction to all the feats and fiddly bits with the system.

Back to the comic. I liked the original run of Pathfinder comics, under the pen of Jim Zub I believe, but wasn't thrilled with the art. They've closed that "ongoing" and opened and closed a few mini-series since then, continuing the storyline. This run, by F. Wesley Schneider and Tom Garcia, has the makings of a fun D&D adventure story. The various characterizations of all of the Pathfinder Iconics is consistent, it flows well, the art is quite good, though nothing special, detailed and fairly anatomically correct. Mohan finishes off Garcia's art with a pretty mellow and well done coloring. The issue leaves on a surprise cliff-hanger I didn't see coming. Story, though well told, like I said, was mostly filler-ish and introducing another group of adventurers, and ones less moral than the main characters. So they butt heads and agree that the mountain is big enough for all of them...for now. Then the shit goes down.

It was fun. I liked it.

Grayson #15 (Robin War: Part 2)

2 out of 5

Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin continue the tail of the Robin War crossover's passable. It involves Grayson taking over and training the "robins" and then things come to a head for the issue. The story telling is fine. Janin's art feels a little weak this issue compared to some of his others. The story itself is moving into an OK position, and between this crossover and Batman & Robin Eternal, DC seems to be really pulling for Grayson to be a major player in their universe. As he should be. He's great.

As a side note, because I'm a horrible person, I bought Detective Comics #...47 (I think) digitally because it released the same week and it's Part 3. I haven't been reading Snyder's Batman, but anytime Gordon's MechaBunny appears in a book, Its never really worked for me. Not because of some strong allegiance to Bruce (I personally don't really care about Bruce and liked it better when Dick was Bats before they reset the universe). I just don't find it all that engaging. Meh. entirely skippable issue if you don't care about the crossover. I hope the Grayson picks up in the next few months.

Giant Days #9 (of 12)

3 out of 5

I love Giant Days. It's about (mainly) 3 girls who became friends in college because they are either roommates or live next door. Sounds dumb, but John Allison's characters are a fun to follow around and Max Sarin's art is a joy to absorb. It does cartoony without resorting to the stupid Adventure Time stupid noodle-arm crap that seems to be all the rage in kids cartoons these days (I feel old typing that). This issue takes a slight departure and, instead of following the three main women, it follows Ed. One of the side characters who has a crush on the goth character...who doesn't think of him that way....awwww. Right? Anyways, the story is a little jumpy at bits and I thought I accidentally skipped a page occasionally, when in fact, it was just a time jump. That, and the fact that it relegated the characters I read this book for to the background, is the main reason this gets a 3. I still enjoyed the book and it was a fun story. 

I'll be sad when this is finised, but I'll be looking forward to the hardcover deluxe edition of this to collect all 12 issues.

Snow Blind #1 (of 4)

4 out of 5

Written by Ollie Masters and illustrated by Tyler Jenkins. This is the intro scene to a potentially interesting crime story. Main character is the kid who hates living in Alaska with his parents who he doesn't connect with and doesn't know that they're in witness protection. This issue revolves around him finding out that there's something going on and being determined to figure it out. Pretty simple. Very little dialog, lots of narration captions. Works for the type of story being told. Jenkins's art is VERY loose and the water colors make it feel even looser. If you can get past that (if that sort of thing is an issue for you), it works quite well. The art flows well and is easy to follow and helps tell the story the words are spinning. I'll probably be picking up the rest of this miniseries.

Toil and Trouble #4 (of 6)

4 of 5

The story of Macbeth as told from the view of the three witches. Written by Mairghread Scott and drawn by Kelly & Nichole Matthews. This has been a fairly fun read so far. The art style is VERY storybook which is now starting to contrast with the darkness starting to infest the book with the assassination of the king happening (I assume, based on where this issue left off) next issue. The writing has been solid all the way through and the witches, more like spirit guardians or gods of the land, have been interesting characters and their meddling and trying to find the best path forward for their country has been fun. This would have had a 5 out of 5, but the art seems to be a slight step down from the earlier issues. Still not bad, but maybe the monthly grind is affecting them. Hopefully they pick it up and really nail the last two issues.

Limbo #2

4 of 5

I'm just going to copy and paste the description from Image's site to describe this book because I'd just describe it as weird:

"A detective with no memory, no identity and no manners. A femme fatale seeking escape from a powerful crime lord. A voodoo queen with a penchant for mixtapes and hi-tops. A goat-eating TV… Welcome to Dedande City, where good people check under their beds at night and reality is never quite what it seems. A NEW surreal neon-noir series crossing 50s pulp with an 80s VHS visual aesthetic drawing from the likes of Carpenter, Cronenberg, and Lynch."

Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard weave the second chapter in this strange detective story in a fun, trippy way. The main character gets sucked into a TV by a Teleshaman and is chased through channels and is almost killed by various television characters. This is just a strange book.

The script is well written and the art tells the story very well. Its a pretty simple, but complete style that moves the story in an easy to follow manner. The neon-esque coloring is spot on and just fits. If you want a detective story that breaks from the mold of the tried and true stereotypes, give Limbo a shot.

 Birthright #12

5 of 5

This book, by Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan, has been dark and solid since it's beginning. It's a story about what happens to the kid that falls into (or is stolen into) another world and is told that he is the Hero of Legend. Sounds pretty standard, except this story picks up when that kid comes back home. What does he do. Well in this case, his family fell apart and he comes back all Conan-like (instead of being a scrawny...12(?) year old when he left 1 year ago). Now he's on the run from the law with his older/younger brother hunting down some renegade mages that escaped to our world. There's more stuff going on obviously, but thats enough. The art has a roughness to it that works for the story. Not that the figures or anything are rough, just there are no real clean lines. Everything seems to have a rough edge. Hard to describe. If any of this sounds interesting to you, go pick this book up. It's good.

Unless there's a burning desire for me to continue this (Based on my page views I'd settle for 2 people expressing interest), I'm probably going to stop "Comic Talk" as a weekly "This is what I bought this week" and leave it as an occasional "Here's something cool I want to talk about" type of thing.

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