NEXT MEN VOL. 1: SCATTERED (IDW, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Next Men Nos. 1-4 (cover dates December, 2010- March, 2011)
Creator, Writer and Artist: John Byrne
In the immortal words of Keannu Reaves: Woah! This is one messed up, topsy turvy mindf*ck of a good time. Things are jumping back and forth so much and the concept of reality is stretched so thin that it's getting threadbare. I will assume for the sake of the story that this is the Next Men's reality and not another manipulation or simulated reality. I will definitely need to sit down and re-read the entire series again after the next (and supposedly final) hardcover comes out.
John Byrne's writing and artwork are at all-time highs here. It's wonderful to Byrne pour so much effort into his artwork, as it really shines here. Time travel has long been one of Byrne's pet themes, and he is really going for it here.
The OCD zone- The cover image is screen printed onto the book itself- no dustjacket required. I've got to admit that I prefer this to having a dustjacket, at least for a smaller hardcover like this. The paper is a thick coated stock. The book has sewn binding and lays completely flat, a huge plus for someone who lays his books down on the bed as he reads. A high quality product that gets a thumbs up.
I often toy with the idea of changing the name of blog to A day late and a dollar short. I often buy stuff when it comes out, but by the time I finally get around to reading or watching it, it's old news. Couple that with the delay of the material in collected editions, and I am quite far behind. Here in the nanosecond Twitter/Facebook reality of the 21st Century, there are reviews popping up the day that this stuff is released. I simply don't have the free time to dedicate to the pursuit of my hobby. Sure, I eventually read (and try to review) everything, but there are times that it all seems futile. I have a family and the comic books and movies come second. Take, for example, the television series South Park. Prior to having kids, a new episode of South Park was a cause for celebration in the Shaw household. My wife and I would watch the episodes together. Once we had kids, I am up so early in the morning with them that the 10PM EST is late for me. I'm in bed sometimes, and if I am still up, I'm reading.
The DVD box sets were a godsend. (I didn't upgrade to digital cable with On Demand until a few months ago...TV doesn't matter that much to me.) I was buying them so I could re-watch the earlier episodes. Then, as the kids came, I simply waited until the box sets were released to watch the episodes. Now, the box sets come out, and it takes me 5 months to watch 3 discs' worth of episodes. Which brings us to...
SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE FOURTEENTH SEASON (2011)
This was the most enjoyable season in quite a while. My biggest regret is that I didn't see them at the original broadcast time, because South Park has always been super timely. My favorite episodes were the Facebook one, the Coon & Friends trilogy, and the Shake Weight one. The Facebook one is great because I am a FB addict, and Tron rules. The Coon and Friends plays up to my love of the graphic panel artform, known in less pretentious circles as comic books. My wife actually owns a Shake Weight, and so that seemed really funny to me. One of the things about the DVDs that is not as funny is that the expletives are not beeped out like they are on the broadcast version of the show. For some reason, the beeps (they are silent) are funnier than the actual cursing. That's just my opinion, though. Your mileage may vary.
I guess that Season 15 is well underway on Comedy Central. Maybe I will peek at On Demand and see if I can catch some of the episodes now. Ahh, who am I kidding? I'll just wait for the next box set.