Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Wolfskin Vol. 1

I love reading comic books; I always have. For as long as I can remember (or at least since 1977), I can remember having comic books around. While I don't consider the "official" start of my hobby before January 9, 1983, they were always there, even if I didn't collect them. I took a sabbatical from the hobby some time in either late 1989 or early 1990 (I can't remember which), and came back sometime around 2003. (These stories are all available in greater detail in some of my earliest blog postings.)  I love nitpicking about paper quality, I love the feel of paper, and the fact that comic books are a physical medium. This is why everyone's interest in digital comic books eludes me. Yes, the obvious benefit would be in storage (much easier to store 25-30 boxes worth of comics on a hard drive), but I really don't see the allure of the iPad or other gadgets. I feel like I spend too much time already plugged into gadgets. My PC, laptop, smart phone...I feel like I have too many gadgets to update, charge, upload, and download to and from already. With comic books, there is no backing up, no crashing, no re-charging, no downloading, no viruses... In other words, a true escape from an increasingly digital world. I have always read comics for escapist pleasure, and the fact that they are not on my computer makes them even more escapist. I like how no one, no advertisers, are able to monitor when or what or how long or how often I read something. (I realize that this is rendered moot by the fact that I post 95% of what i read in my blog, but hey.)
There are tremendous benefits from computers in our hobby, too. The networking with other fans and creators is really something special. In the '80s, I had 2 friends who read comic books, and that was the extent of it. Maybe the occasional conversation with another fan at a comic book store, but these were few and far between. The sheer availability, both on online stores and eBay, can eliminate the hunt if you let it. I kind of like rummaging through boxes and shelves at comic shops and conventions.
If comics ever do go all digital, then I will have the excuse that I need to quit this hobby. A series of icons on a screen is not a collection. Rows of that is a comic book collection. I may be a dinosaur, or a romantic, but this is just how I see things. Digital comics are the future, but they are a future that I won't be partaking in. Younger fans may enter the hobby this way, and we will likely see trade paperback and hardcover releases even if the periodical format ceases publication. I just enjoy the tactile experience of comic books too much to go all digital. If the day ever comes where physical comic books end, I can always re-read the thousands of comics that I already have, and that is fine by me.
WOLFSKIN VOL. 1 (Avatar, 2009; softcover)
Collects Wolfskin Nos. 1-3 and Wolfskin Annual No. 1 (cover dates April, 2006- June, 2008).
Holy crap! Excellent writing by Warren Ellis and brilliant artwork by Juan Jose Ryp on the core series make this an absolute must-read. I love how something so violent and gory is so beautifully rendered. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse also deserves a major shout out for his tasteful palette choices. Seriously, the artwork and coloring in Issues 1-3 are things of beauty. I am not a huge medieval/ Dungeons and Dragons type, but the premise works here. The second series will be collected in a trade paperback later this year or early next year, and I am looking forward to it. 
A sampling of the carnage in Wolfskin.

1 comment:

  1. Now you have to do an intro for every new entry.