Monday, 3 February 2014

A Weekend of Comic Book Reading (Slightly Hungover Edition)

This weekend was all about reading comic books again; there wasn't a lot of time for much else what with stag parties (nothing like one of those to remind me that I can't hold my drink) and spending Sunday with Hope and her casual swearing. Interesting times where I definitely needed books that had pictures as well as words in them; which kind of made it a shame then that I started off with...

‘Counter X: Volume 2'

I used to read 'Generation X' way back in the day and when I saw 'Counter X' in sale it just seemed like the right time for a little nostalgia trip (apparently; stag parties make me feel old as well...) to see what the guys had been up to in the intervening years. I have to say that I never got far enough to find out (although I’m sure I’ll give it another go, one day when I have literally nothing else to read). While Ellis’ script looked like it had some initial promise I personally found the artwork painful to look at and only got a few pages in before calling it quits. It looked like some really rough sketches that had been coloured in a last ditch attempt to make a deadline; not my kind of thing at all (especially when slightly hungover). Luckily for me, I had a few advance PDFs waiting on my phone so swiftly moved onto…

‘Clown Fatale’ #4 of 4 - Gischler, Rosenzweig (Dark Horse)

While I can quite easily tell you what happened in this final chapter (nearly everyone dies, ‘lurid’ is the word of the day here) I gave up trying to understand why a long time ago. That doesn’t matter though; ‘Clown Fatale’ #4 is just as much fun as the preceding three issues, a short sharp hail of gunfire (and, erm… breasts) that doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t and is all the more refreshing for it. I’m pretty sure it isn’t too late to start at the beginning if you haven’t been reading these books…

‘X’ #10 - Swierczynski, Nguyen (Dark Horse)

It’s all starting to kick off for X now with a released mobster making waves in Arcadia, the return of an old enemy and some guy that I have no idea who he is (one for another time I think). If that wasn’t enough, X’s identity has been blown (maybe) and things are about to get interesting there too. Well, things were going a little too easily for our man in the mask and that never makes for a good story (can you imagine, an ongoing series where the vigilante hero doesn’t have to do anything…?)
‘X’ #10 is full of everything we’ve come to expect from this series which means it’s not for the faint hearted at all, Swierczynski and Nguyen combine well to deliver any number of moments that make the reader wince and you can’t help but wonder… Would X really have cut that gangster’s face off and would Swierczynski and Nguyen have shown it happening? Maybe, maybe not, and that’s part of what makes this series so compelling; what is merely implied can sometimes be just as shocking as what you actually see. Some interesting back story waiting to be filled and a (literally) explosive cliff-hanger mean that, in a few weeks’ time, you will undoubtedly be hearing just what I thought of ‘X’ #11…

‘Creepy’ #15 – Various (Dark Horse)

I’m always a little wary about approaching these collections as the stories can be a little hit and miss while the comic relief ‘shorts’ have never worked for me. ‘Creepy’ #15 was a welcome break from all that though; the comic ‘shorts’ still didn’t do it for me but the stories themselves… they were great.
‘The Revenant’ signposted its ending a little too clearly for me but the characters reactions more than made up for that. It’s all too easy sometimes to forget that the fact we know the ending isn’t really the point; it’s our erstwhile grave robbers who are the point of it all and what happens to them is suitably horrifying. ‘Malhiver’ and ‘Second Childhood’ are absolutely awesome though, both delivering scares at just the right speed to give those last panels an impact that will have you gasping. If I had to choose between the two, I would go for ‘Second Childhood’ and the look in the baby’s eyes as our narrator finally figures it out; absolutely amazing work there.
So ‘Creepy’ #15 then, come for ‘The Revenant’ but make sure you stay for ‘Malhiver’ and ‘Second Childhood’…

Any comic book recommendations that you would like to share? I’m looking read more fantasy comics so anything you can suggest would be appreciated :o)

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