Archive for comic book

We-view Wednesday – The Powers That Be!

Posted in We-view Wednesday with tags , , , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.” ~Thomas Jefferson


Why is there a police department when there are superheroes to protect the population? That is a question answered in Volume 1, of Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl written by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming.

Enter Christian Walker, a chiseled-faced homicide detective in the local police department. His story is classic. He has been assigned a new and fairly inexperienced partner named Deena Pilgrim who has recently been transferred from the SWAT team.

As their story unfolds, we get an inside look at their relationship. And she could not have arrived at a better time because someone has murdered one of the world’s most respected superheroes, Retro Girl, who is found dead near an elementary school. Walker and Pilgrim are called up to track down her murderer. Their task is not an easy one because of the interference of numerous characters from the busy-buddy Detective Kutter (Walker’s former partner) who seeks glory at every turn to the press, as well as an impossible autopsy. After all; how do you do an autopsy on a superhero who is seemingly indestructible?

Trust, in the beginning, is the focus of the Walker-Pilgrim partnership. Type-A personalities with different investigative styles, the new team clash as outspoken, gung-ho Pilgrim and quiet, by-the-book Walker work together. At one point their relationship is tested when Pilgrim gets too nosey and looks into Walker’s personal life with Retro Girl, after a mysterious package arrives for him (props to Laura Petrie and the inflatable raft).

Bendis certainly has a gift for dialogue, which is pithy, tense, and highly entertaining. The back and forth banter flows with humour and intensity, making Retro Girl quite a fun reading experience. At times the art panels supersede the dialogue totally, creating dramatic visuals. Through the entire volume, I had difficulty navigating the pages, filled with word balloons and panels, some times needing to read across two pages but getting lost in the gutter. This does not, with my limited knowledge conform to other volumes/comic books that I have read, but I contribute my difficulties to this being a large book and not an individual comic book issue. The pages with the news casts were particularly troublesome for me as they moved from horizontal to vertical and then back again, but as the book progressed the rhythm became apparent and my difficulties lessened and then ceased altogether.

I think this is the first time a review of mine will not include a detail of the artwork, because the art work takes a backseat to the words with its simplicity. This book was much more entertaining because of the story itself which would make an ideal movie in my estimation

Powers is a very good read with well written characters who live in an exciting universe filled with superheroes and supervillians, and characters that are murky fun to encounter. Check this out and I can almost guarantee that Volume 1 will deliver!

I give this 5 PRADAs and I can’t wait to begin the next volume.

rating-5

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We-view Wednesday – Loving Lovecraft?

Posted in We-view Wednesday with tags , , , , , on April 29, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

There are my Poe pieces and my Dunsany pieces, but alas, where are my Lovecraft pieces.” -H. P. Lovecraft


Let me start by writing that I have no real experience with the writing or the life of H. P. Lovecraft but when I saw the cover of this comic book my first reaction was, “Wow! This cover has a feel to it, similar to Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris from the book City of Saints and Madmen.” The similar feeling must have had something to do with the octopus creature with multiple amber eyes emerging from the subsisting typewriter to embrace the thin man, framing the cover.

From the beginning Lovecraft is portrayed as a tortured soul. He is down on his luck, perpetually late, and in the midst of writer’s block while attempting to irk out a living sending short stories to Weird Tales magazine for one half penny per word.

While Lovecraft wanders around Providence, after being rejected by “his girl,” he is attacked leaving him bloodied and badly beaten. Early the next morning, while the girl Lovecraft loves is “celebrating” her engagement to the most eligible bachelor and the sailors who robbed him are having their own celebrations with prostitutes on their ship, Lovecraft stares at a blank sheet of paper in his typewriter trying to hurdle over the writer’s block. He wakes from a vivid dream of something horrific entity ripping the sailors apart and typing on his paper. What is produced is all gibberish or is it?

While this (loose?) biography takes place in the roaring 20s, it would have been easy to fill it with lavish settings of flappers, speak-easies, and smoking, but there was only one 2-page spread showing this jive. Mac Carter was able to hold my attention with consistent storytelling and by creating a foundation for subsequent issues in this 4 issue run. I especially enjoyed the inner dialogue of the main character and that dialogue is very useful in getting to know the deepest recesses of this man’s dark mind.

If you have read my reviews in the past, you would know that I am attracted by art work and after seeing the cover (Adam Byrne), I was a bit disappointed with the art inside by Tony Salmons. The inside art appears messy—with characters’ facial features besmirched by dark lines and deep shading leaving the expressions nondescript and muddy.

This comic book is worth the 499¢ (that is the way the price is displayed on the cover) but before the next issue, I would like to read about the life of H. P. Lovecraft to see if this comic book closely mirrors his actual life and if MacCarter has done his homework on this topic. Or on second though, I might just enjoy what the series has to offer instead of coming in with preconceived notions.

I give this comic book 3 PRADAs for the potential it has.

rating-3

Miscellany Monday – The Side of Cialis You Have Never Seen

Posted in Miscellany Monday with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub. –Grover Norquist

The ads for Cialis using the mnemonic device of a man and woman soaking in side-by-side tubs, while quite memorable, annoy me very much. The commercials leave me with so many questions. If Cialis is indeed a medication that is intended for men with erectile dysfunction and the medication actually works why, oh why, tell me, are those couples not in the tub together? I would expect one tub with the man’s head banging against the faucet and the woman’s soapy knees slipping and sliding against the slick porcelain. But no, we get two people in two tubs and in very odd locations, top of a mountain, a field, and the oddest of all, on the beach with water (hello! water) ebbing and flowing. Hmmmm…

cialis

….but I think after reading the most recent issue of Fringe, I have a better idea of what is going on in those commercials.

So, Dr. Bishop likes to be retrained? Interesting!

See the detail below...

 

 

Ooohh, Dr. Bishop *blush*So? What do you think? Discuss it amongst yourselves. 🙂

Miscellany Monday – Colour Palette

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” –Claude Monet

I am obsessed with colour as one can tell by my home and apparel. And I am obsesssed with colour and the interesting palettes the colourists choose for comic book art. Having read many comic books, I can say that I have experienced a wide variety of palettes.

If there is one thing that attracts me to a specific comic book, I would have to say that it is the artwork and the colour of said artwork. This weekend as I was flying home from my week-long conference I read volume one of Sky Doll (Marvel) by Barbara Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci. I will review this comic at a later date because there is just so much to say about it, but for now I would like you to experience the colour. Or in the case of Sky Doll; I believe I should type that as COLOUR.

The colours contained in the artwork of Sky Doll ranges from wild 60s psychedelic to muted classical Renaissance and every thing between. Peaceful and subdued, unbridled and exciting are the colours of Sky Doll.

Below is four flavours of Sky Doll along with the colour swatches representing the palette.

sky-doll-1

sky-doll-2

sky-doll-3

sky-doll-4

Miscellany Monday – Historical Comic Books and Action

Posted in Miscellany Monday with tags , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

“As freedom-loving people across the globe hope for an end to tyranny, we will never forget the enormous suffering of the Holocaust.” –Bob Beauprez

Usually, I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve. I am who I am and my religion is a part of me but not the ultimate reason why I am who I am. My family’s history has had an affect on how I perceive things that have happened in the world and the current climate but I don’t ask for someone to think differently about me because of my religion and the persecution and extermination of family members. I don’t hold any individuals accountable because most of those men are now dead and buried. No reparations. No pity.

Having said that, when I see or hear of something that needs to be fixed from the past, something that is possible to fix, I will do what I can to assist and make it right.

I first picked up X-Men: Magneto Testament because the theme was World War II and more specifically the Holocaust. It was unlike any comic book I read before and certainly left me feeling differently. This is a historically accurate series.

This weekend, I finished reading the last issue (5 of 5). In the back of it there is a section that is called The Last Outrage and it recounts the true story of Dina Gottliebova-Babbit in the form of a short sequential art piece.

In 2006, Dr. Rafael Medoff, who is the director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies organized Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, and J. David Spurlock to rise up against “a terrible injustice.”

Dina Gottliebova entered Auschwitz in 1943 along with her mother. Her artistic abilities came to to attention of Josef Mengele in 1944, and the Angel of Death enlisted Dina to paint watercolours of some of the gypsies that he was doing inhuman experiments on to prove their inferiority to the so called Aryan race. She complied with Mengele because he promised to spare her mother from the gas chamber. 2009-02-22-220835

Until January, 1945, Dina created approximately 11 portraits. By May of 1945, Dina and her mother were liberated by the allied troops.

Many years later the water colors came to light and were been displayed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Dina Gottliebova-Babbit, now 84, rightly believes that the paintings are her property and has been fighting to get them back from the museum. Even though public sympathy is in Dina’s favour, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum refuses to yield to the true owner’s desires.

I feel so strongly about this that I have chosen to sway from our usual frivolity here and bring this outrage to your attention.

E-mail Dina at michele@dinababbitt.com and e-mail your support of Dina to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum at muzeum@auschwitz.org.pl

Add your voice!

For more information.

Fashion Friday – Iconology

Posted in Fashion Friday with tags , , , , on February 20, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

What most men desire is a virgin who is a whore.” –Edward Dahlberg

archies

I have to confess that I may say that I am new to the genre of comic books, that is not totally truthful.

As a child, I was a huge Archie fan but more specifically, I was fascinated by Betty and Veronica. I use to walk to the to the corner drug store with a pocket full of coin that I had earned from washing the dishes and dusting—spending my well earned money on a cup of vanilla ice cream at the counter, along with the latest fashion chronicle known as the Archie Comics.

The world was different then. Simple.

The mania that was the Archie Comics flowed over my Riverdale-like town and in 1968 the animated series hit the television, my father decided to finally purchase. Along with the Saturday morning cartoon came a musical group called the Archie’s and the song, “Sugar, Sugar” that went to the number one position on the Billboard chart and that is right now reverberating through my head.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Archies intro 1969“, posted with vodpod

I was a quiet little girl and Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge were the “girls” I wanted to be like.

Betty and Veronica were rivals and best friends in a strange love triangle with red headed Archie Andrews. They were starkly different and juxtaposed to each other in femininity, not as in the contrast between black and white or virgin and whore but they did have some of those undertones, while remaining wholesome.

Betty was the blonde girl next door, a good sport, willing to help out, kind, generous, insecure as a young woman and plainly dressed. And although she was liked by Archie, he often took advantage of her kind heart. Betty was who I was.

But of course, I wanted to be Veronica. I wanted her exotic look, her raven blue/black hair, her money, and her sexiness (even though back then I didn’t really understand that what she had was sexiness). More importantly, I wanted her self-confidence.

Betty and Veronica were in fact two of my very early fashion idols—one thought of as cute and the other as beautiful. While in life I was the cute girl, I want to be the beautiful one, damn it! Writers used the fashion trends that were seen in other fashion mags and built stories around the two attempting out-dress each other. The girls went through their London phase and through the 60s were seen in tight-tight pants and of course the ever present miniskirt.

Not long after buying these comic books, did I begin to go through by closet and dresser drawers looking for ways of duplicating Veronica’s look, but alas my closet was under whelming and I had to make do with the things I could “borrow” from my mother—a yellow scarf here to go with my red dress and decided too large belt there that I attempted to make do. I even asked my mother if I could have my hair cut with bangs (not telling her why) like Veronica’s forehead fringe.

I still wish that I could achieve the impeccable status of Veronica’s hair, skirt volume, and hourglass figure.

I suppose that i just need some more hairspray, more petticoats, and a corset.

We-view Wednesday – Cosmic Love in the Garden State

Posted in We-view Wednesday with tags , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by thegeekwearsprada

“He was a god, such as men might be, if men were gods.” –Maxwell Anderson

jersey-gods

Back in September, while reading Comic Book Resources, a comic book caught my attention, Jersey Gods. I was attracted to it merely for the title—after all, at one time, I was a Jersey girl and no I didn’t have the stereotypical big “mall” hair-do, talk abrasively, and chew gum like a cow chewing cud. Delving deeper into the article, I saw a illustration from one page with a conversation bubble which said, “What could be more important than 60 percent off at Nordstroms?” (Well Yeah! What could be more important?!?).

2009-02-18-060251

I fired off an e-mail immediately to My Geek and said, “Now, this is a comic book I can embrace.” And then added it to my purchase list.

Jersey Gods (Image Comics) is promoted as a cosmic love story between a god and a Jersey girl.

I just finished Issue #1 which was the setup, introducing the reader to the main characters Zoe (the girl) and Barock (the god). Zoe is a controller and attempts to “mold” all the men she goes out with into her version of the perfect man (Men really like that don’t they? LOL).  [Edit by Her Geek:  Now that is a topic for Miscellany Monday!] In the Cherry Hill Mall, she is dumped by yet another man right before the Christmas holidays and it is there that she encounters a giant, space god named Minog, a Hulk type character (or for those with a working knowledge of City of Heroes, Minog reminds me of Devouring Earth – Bedrock and post death miniature Rubble) who was sent to earth to stir things up.

Meanwhile, on the planet of Neboron, Barock (hmmmm that name sounds familiar though spelled differently) and his subordinate, Helius are in the middle of god-like activities: patrolling the cosmos, keeping it safe from villains, and of course, cruising for women. Barock is a solid, straight as an arrow kind of god, while Hellius is rather a cosmic player and as smooth as glass and just as transparent. Don’t leave him alone with your daughter.

Barock is informed that his old enemy, Minog, is raising cane on earth and the two go off to be the peacekeepers but end up breaking up the joint.

The Jersey Gods is amusing and the dialog (Glen Brunswick) is simple, to the point, and often funny. For instance, when Zoe comes in direct contact with Hellius, she is concerned about the fight between Barock and Minog but Zoe causes conversational whiplash and changes the subject to the softness of the material in Hellius’ costume. Does that whiplash happen in conversations that you have? This is a rhetorical question, geek, My Geek. [Edit by Her Geek:  I end up dizzy after about half of our conversations!]

The artwork (Dan McDaid) reminds me of comics that I had seen in my youth, heavy black outlines, lines for movement, and many energetic BOOMS, WHAMS, and CRACKS pulsating from the panels.

After reading it for a second time, (pulling it out from the dark, recesses of my desk drawer) before writing this post, I found myself smiling more through it and in my mind bellowing as Minog attacks, “DIE, EARTH PEOPLE! THE GODS HAVE RETURNED. AND WE’RE NOT HAPPY.”

But I am! Happy that is with this comic book. I, in fact, love it! And I think Noo Joisey will appreciate the love finally given to the Garden State.

I give this comic book 5 PRADAs

rating-5