Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Originally posted on my myspace blog on 10/18 & 11/2/2008

The power of the printed word...
I still enjoy reading newspapers and magazines, even though I read a lot of stuff online too. For some reason, words seem to carry more weight when in print. In order for my blog to carry more weight, I implore you to print it out. In fact, if you print my blogs out and read them by candlelight while burning incense, you may very well see your future in a transcendental vision.*

*The author assumes no warranty and makes no guarantee that you will see your future. Individual results may vary. Void where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted. No purchase necessary. Heightened extra-sensory perception is recommended.

IRON MAN/ POWER PACK: ARMORED AND DANGEROUS (Marvel, 2008)Collects Iron Man/Power Pack Nos. 1-4 (cover dates January- April, 2008)
I have been a Power Pack fan since the beginning. I bought issue 1 off of the stands in May of 1984, and stuck with it for several years. They re-launched the series a few years ago, and have collected them all in digest size. They are always a good time. This was typical Power Pack fun, and Marvelo DiChiara's artwork was kid-ish without being mang-ish. 







HULK: WORLD WAR HULK- X-MEN (Marvel, 2008)
Collects Avengers: The Initiative Nos. 4, 5, Ghost Rider (Vol. 3) Nos. 12, 13, Irredeemable Ant-Man No. 10, Iron Man (Vol. 4) Nos. 19, 20, and World War Hulk: X-Men Nos. 1-3 (cover dates August- October, 2007).
I am really sick and tired of all of these crossovers, and have avoided this one as much as possible. Being a X-zombie required me to purchase this one, though. The core X-Men mini was decent. Avengers: The Initiative were already collected in Vol. 1 of that series' trade, so that felt like a double dip. Ghost Rider was decent, but I have never been able to hang with this series in spite of the fact that I read both Essentials. Irredeemable Ant-Man completely, totally, utterly sucked! Product placement in comic books? Old Spice? Screw that! The story and artwork sucked, and that just made it worse. Iron Man was OK. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
CREEPY ARCHIVES VOL. 1 (Dark Horse, 2008; Hardcover)
Collects Creepy Nos. 1-5 (cover dates 1964- October, 1965)
Kudos to Dark Horse for making my dream come true! Long have I wanted to see this series collected in any format (i.e. trade, phone book, what have you), but to get it in hardcover is divine. To have Dark Horse commit to collecting the entire series in 13 (boo! scary!) over-sized hardcovers sends shivers up and down my spine. OK, bad puns aside, this is one of the greatest Horror comic series of all time, ranking only behind my beloved EC Comics. Many of the EC greats (Frank Frazetta, Reed Crandall, Jack Davis,Joe Orlando, Al Williamson) contributed to this series. The black and white artwork really lends an air of, um, creepiness to the proceedings. Seriously people, once you get past Tales from the Crypt, Haunt of Fear, and Vault of Horror, Creepy and Eerie are as good as it gets.
WATCHMEN (DC, 15th printing, 2005)
Collects Watchmen Nos. 1-12 (cover dates September, 1986- October, 1987)
I read this three years ago*, and decided to re-read it in anticipation of the movie coming out next year. There is nothing I can say about this series that hasn't already been said elsewhere. Great stuff that you owe it to yourself to read. *Yes, I admit that I didn't read this until 2005. Everyone claims to be an OG and have read Watchmen off of the stands, much like everyone claims to have liked Nirvana the day that Bleach came out. Whatever. I was in 12th grade in the fall of 1990, and can recall all of 2 kids wearing Nirvana shirts in school. Similarly, I can recall 2 or 3 people talking about this series circa 1986. Yes kids, elitist snobs abound in all walks of life, not just indie-rock know it nothings. 

AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL VOL. 3: MIND GAMES (Marvel, 2008)
Collects Amazing Spider-Girl Nos. 13-18 (cover dates December, 2007- May, 2008)
Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz (paired with Sal Buscema here) have delivered consistent quality, issue after issue, year after year. This is one of the best, if not the best, title out there today. Unlike many titles by today's superstars, this is appropriate for all ages. Tom DeFalco is a true comic book writer, who can deliver an issue with a solid plot that has a beginning, middle, and end, all the while building towards a greater story. Many of today's "greats" write in arcs, but they are actually one or two issue's worth of story padded out to 5 or 6. DeFalco does more in one issue of Spider-Girl than _______ (your favorite 21st Century writer) does in 6.

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