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From the Comics Bin/Raves and Reviews

Comic Previews for week ending 19 Nov 1999

 

THIS WEEKS PREVIEWS

BOOKS SHIPPING FEB 2000

FEATURE: A Review of WAYNE BARLOWE'S INFERNO

Here's our growing Archive of MUST READ reviews

Essential Reading

CHECK OUT OUR NEW SECTION:BLOOD ON THE TIGHTS

 

If you're one of these early birds looking to get a jump on your comic buying in the new Millennium, pick up the latest issue of Diamond Previews (available on line or through any of the companies listed below). They are now accepting preorders for books shipping February 2000. Good thing about preordering it saves you the hassle of running down to your local comic store, only to find out the books you want are gone. Also depending on the service you use you can save between 20 and 40% off the cover price of your favorite comics. Included is a list of links to several services that can assist you with your comic purchasing needs.

 

The following list of recommended purchases for February was created through a lot of trial and error. Basically I try the books, so you don't have to waste your money. If you're new to trying comics, a returning reader, or even an old timer, this list is set up so you can very simply get your feet wet, and get a decent idea of what this medium has to offer.

 

rolandvar.gif (11883 bytes)Before going into the list I want to leave you with a few words from Shane L. Amaya.  I recently read his  ROLAND DAYS OF WRATH, available at finer comicshops everywhere. I almost didn't read this book, several times just flipped through it and put it down, but last weekend sat down and read the three available issues. And I'm glad I did, glad I made the time, it is one of the better self published works I've seen in a long time, and his commentaries in the back of the books are almost worth the cost of the books by themselves.

He says eloquently some of the things I've been trying to say with this website, about literacy, and art, and oral traditions and the importance of this medium. Definitely do yourselves a big favor and pick up these very literary books, just click on any of the images to purchase the books. These are comic books that are so good they'll change your mind. But till you do here's a line Shane Amaya wrote:

"Comics are some of the best examples of the visual brilliance literature can evoke. Comics exist because people need to see the pictures. People are drawn- and always will be- to other dreams than those they have dreamed. Many academics have an inexplicable disdain for comics, especially those that illustrate famous stories. It is but one interpretation and no less worthy than the one in their own lecture notes... comic books continue the legacy of many great medieval literary traditions-in formation, in style, in language, in heroics. The seeming rift between art and literature in modern America is as close today in comics as it was centuries ago in illuminated manuscripts.

The decline of the comic industry in America is the result of a problem more fundamental than vendor returns or a monopolized distribution system. We have undermined our institutions for the Arts and Humanities that protect and guarantee universal love and proliferation of art and literature-- the National Endowment of the Arts and our public schools, for example. Americans are not reading comics because Americans--young and old--- are not reading they are not being taught or encouraged to love the beauty of books of any kind."

 

Shane nails it on the head, I can not overstate the importance of reading. Click here to get my take on Reading as fundamental, Natural Imperatives, and the story.

 

The great guys at NextPlanetOver.Com has extended orering of any of these books till November 29th. So if you see any titles you want click here to pre-order them. Now, without further ado here's my recommendation for books worth your money and time.  Books without comments beside them have already been covered in depth in previous reviews, so stop by the archive section for those reviews.

From Marvel Comics:

Avengers #26    Black Panther #16

From DC Comics:

BATMAN:GOTHAM KNIGHTS #1 -I personally feel there are too many Batman, Superman, Spiderman comics, and the glut of books hurts rather than helps. So as a rule I don't buy any of these books. Just the occasional one shot or tradepaperback collection. I'm making an exception in this instance because this book has a backup story written by Warren Ellis, and if you order in advance you can get this 40page book, for $1.70 which is a really good price.

BATMAN:NO MAN'S LAND V.2 TPB,  BATMAN:NO MAN'S LAND V.1 TPB -I raved over volume one in an earlier review, now this is your chance to get it, and volume 2 of the best Batman storyline in years.

HITMAN #47    JLA #39   

RELATIVE HEROES #1 -Six part mini-series this actually sounds pretty cool. Teenage heroes coming of age roadtrip. Sounds like it might be worth a look.

From DC Comics/ Vertigo Line:

100 BULLETS #8

FAITH #5- The conclusion to Mckeever's   mini-series.TED MCKEEVER doesn't do many comics, but when he does it's an event. With this series he revisits characters from his incredibly popular EDDY CURRENT and METROPOL storylines.  If you haven't picked up the first issue it's probably in stores now. Recommended!

FOUR HORSEMEN #2

HELLBLAZER #146 -Warren Ellis has packed his bags and left this title, after DC messed with his murder in the heartland storyline. Stepping in to take the reigns is Brian Azzarello of 100 BULLETS fame. Azzarello is a very good storyteller and is taking everyone's favorite mystical brit, John Constantine, someplace he's never been before. Prison. Sounds pretty interesting, take a look.

PREACHER #59 - Wow, I'm getting it through the grapevine, that  issue 60 will be the last issue, and will conclude the five year story that has been the PREACHER. Jesse Custer wraps up his five year search for God.  Regular readers of my column know I have praised and hated this series to death. It has really changed the face of comics, and is as despicable as it is good and funny. It makes you feel everything and nothing, and when all is said and done, regardless of how it wraps up this series has already proved itself the finest sustained work ever produced in the comic medium.  It is the BABYLON 5 of comics, reinventing through share guts and tenacity a much abused art form. The PREACHER is literature, as valid as anything London has done, or Crane, or Dickens. That's what PREACHER most reminds me of, Dickens transplanted to Texas, smoking the best mesquite money can buy. Simply essential reading. To Ennis and Dillon and Fabry, great run guys, take em out with a bang.

PROPOSITION PLAYER #4     STRANGE ADVENTURES #5         TRANSMETROPOLITAN #31

 

FROM DC COMICS/WILDSTORM:

AUTHORITY #11   KURT BUSIEK'S ASTRO CITY #21

TOM STRONG #7

Finally we get out of DC territory and onto other companies. Next on the list is...

DARKHORSE COMICS:

HIEROGLYPH #3-Intriguing premise, nice art.

SIN CITY:HELL AND BACK #7-Though Frank Miller  is no longer producing the quality of work he useto, even on Cruise control his work is worth a look.

IMAGE (Is producing perhaps the best comics out there, thoughtful, beautiful, haunting; which is kinda ironic considering they're still producing the worst comics out there. We'll limit ourselves to covering just the former):

CROW TPB V1:VENGEANCE -Collects issues #1-3, 5 &6, of Jon J Muth's brillaint work on this series. Recommended.

CYGOR #7    

F5: THE PREVIEW BOOK- I'm a big fan of anything having to do with Navy Seals, just because I have huge respect for anyone who can make it through the training. Let's see if this book does justice to the topic it covers.

JINN #1- sounds interesting.

NINE RINGS OF WU-TANG #3- saw some prelim art for this one, definitely intrigued.

RISING STARS #5     SAM & TWITCH #6    SPAWN #94     SPAWN:THE UNDEAD #7      

TINCAN MAN#1-worth a look.

WICKED #2-Sounds interesting. Nice Art.

OTHER PUBLISHERS

QUANTUM & WOODY #21(ACCLAIM COMICS)-From the writer who reinvented THE BLACK PANTHER. 

LITTLE GLOOMY#2(AMAZE INK)-look in this issue's reviews to see what I think of this gloomy little series.

WARREN ELLIS:STRANGE KISS #3(AVATAR PRESS)-Warren Ellis, do you need any other reason to pick it up.

AFTERMATH #1   LADY DEATH:DARK MILLENIUM#1(CHAOS! COMICS)-publishers have recently redone this line, never cared for it before but willing to give it a 2nd chance.

KANE #28(DANCING ELEPHANT PRESS)-cool mystery, pulp type comic from across the sea.

TALES OF HIP-HOP HORROR #1-2 (DREDD/SCOTT PRODUCTIONS)-Cool sounding horror comic, lots of pages at a good price.

FROM HELL LTD EDITION HC (EDDIE CAMBELL'S COMICS)- The most expensive comic I've ever paid for is the Graphitti Designs HC Edition of WATCHMEN by Alan Moore. Paid $80 for it. Worth every penny. So it's only fitting that the book I'm considering being my new most expensive book, is also by Alan Moore. FROM HELL is the examination of one of histories more bloody monsters, and his victims. The story of Jack the Ripper. At a cover price of $95, this 560 page hardcover is not cheap, but it might just be a great value.

WHITEOUT:MELT #4(ONI)-check out this issues reviews.

EMPTY ZONE #7(SIRIUS)    

MOSAIC TPB(SIRIUS)-Looks interesting. 136 pages, about a cyborg for hire, in a future america. A little expensive.

POE #21(SIRIUS)-see my reviews.

REVENUE MAN(VISUAL ASSAULT COMICS PRESS)-This one sounds like a hoot. In 2046 the tax rate has reached a record high of 96%, and America uses cyborg terminators to ensure you pay your taxes. 80 pages for a little over $4, not a bad deal.

I don't normally recommend non-comic products on this page, but a couple items piqued my interest enough to share with you.

MAGAZINES

ASIAN CULT CINEMA #26-1st look at the new Japanese Godzilla flick. Interview with one of Japan's more controversial directors, Koyu Ohara, plus plenty of reviews.

SKETCH MAGAZINE #1-I've been looking for a resource that gives tips on breaking into comics, producing art, etc. This mag sounds like it.

WIZARD #101-Looks like Garth Ennis will be working on the Punisher. Marvel has a hard time keeping talent, so I'm interested in seeing if they can keep one of the most talented writers.

And wrapping it up for books shipping Feb 2000, is the BLACK KISS TPB.  This 144pg ADULTS ONLY TPB is writer/artist Howard Chaykin at his finest. This is where his demons took him furthest. This tale of sex and blood was controversial over ten years ago, and is still as disturbing and dangerous today. Recommended!

Well, that's it for this installment. Thanks and as always we love to hear from you, email us with what books are getting your rave reviews.

 

 

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