Saturday, December 18, 2004

Stuff starting to arrive now...

...and I'm starting to feel guilty that I'll not have time to read it before the new year. For once in my life, my social calendar is biting into my lying around reading time, dagnabit! I don't even have time for quick first impressions! Damn my friends! Damn my hectic holiday overtime regime!

(So, in the style of THE FAST SHOW's Jessie) next year, I will be reading:
THE PUNISHER: KITCHEN IRISH by the great Garth Ennis.
LOCAS by Jaime Hernandez.
SHE HULK: SINGLE GREEN FEMALE by Dan Slott and Juan Bobillo.
SGT ROCK: BETWEEN HELL & A HARD PLACE by Joe Kubert and Brian Azzarello.
THE LOSERS: DOUBLE DOWN by Andy Diggle and Jock.

(Mini-reviews added 29th/12/2004)
Well, the latest Ennis Punisher proves yet again that he's the only writer who's ever written about the Irish Troubles in comics with any subtlety. He's also singularly capable of making violence seem as squalid and horrific as it actually really is, rather that exciting, or glamourous. All good. The art, however, is cat melodian, as we say in Ulster.

Jaime Hernandez' work is the best stuff to stick in the hands of non-comicbook fans to make them comicbook fans. If you gave someone interested to know more about comics WATCHMEN or even THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, they'd probably be baffled. But give 'em LOVE AND ROCKETS and they'd get it immediately. I bought this despite the fact I'd read nearly all of it before, just to have it all in one place. Damn big book though - unwieldy to the point of unreadable.

Dan Slott's SHE-HULK is something of a guilty pleasure, but it handles everything, including its own inate ridiculousness, with such a sure-handed light touch that I can't help but love it. It's also a great example of how the artist on a comic book is essentially the director. When Juan Bobillo is the artist, the book just seems that much smarter than when it's drawn by Paul Pelletier. The script shines through, still, but the gags seem just a little less deft, coarser.

Have been leaving SGT. ROCK to a time when I can savour it, but the art looks great. Joe Kubert's work doesn't get any worse with age, though, it's magnificent. His line has reached a sort of minimalist sophistication that reminds me of Jordi Bernet. His water-colours and hand lettering also adds to the project's European flavour.

Don't really know how I feel about Diggle/Jock's second LOSERS collection. I enjoy it while I'm reading it, but afterwards kinda forget all about it. In that respect, its sorta like a Jerry Bruckheimer produced film, only with more anti-corporate, anti-CIA gibes. Kinda like a Michael Moore directed film. Or maybe it's "Steven Soderbergh's The A-Team". Now what a movie that'd be. I love it when a plan comes together.