jakebe: (comics)
I know that this journal has devolved into little more than exercise stats and comic reviews, and I promise I'll try to post something more substantial in the next few days. For now, I ask you guys to bear with me, because I want to talk about comic books just a little bit.

I've been a fan of comic books, off and on, since some genius thought up the Age of Apocalypse story, an absolute beast of a plot that turned eight different comics into a nightmarish, post-apocalyptic version of themselves for one glorious summer. I'd pick them up and take them to some remote corner, devour them whole, and think about the way each issue connected with the others to form a complete picture. I became fascinated with that form of episodic storytelling and how that worked.

Comics, to me, are an excellent medium for it. They can pack an awful lot of story into a very small amount of space; the way you can tell a story is remarkably efficient. Both words and pictures can rely on each other to fill in the gaps of either medium, and this can be used for incredible effect. You can tell, literally, any kind of story in any kind of setting, and if you know how to manipulate the medium you can do it in much shorter time than almost any other.

My tastes are pretty broad, but are concentrated in two specific areas right now: the straight-ahead superhero comic, and the quirky (but marketable!) fantasy. Most of my collection comes from one of two sources: Marvel or DC's Vertigo imprint. There's also smaller press stuff, from Image or Dynamite comics, perhaps.

Anyway, I'm writing reviews to get better at them, pure and simple. I like the idea of talking about something I enjoy in a way that *other* people enjoy. I like looking at the angles, taking apart the dialogue, the plot, the composition, offering theories on where the story will turn next. I'd like to be able to discuss comics as an unabashed, but somewhat intelligent, fanboy.

I think I have a long way to go with my writing before I hit upon a voice that's distinctive and interesting. That's what the practice is for, though! I figure if I do this enough, the kinks will be worked out and I'll evolve into a smoother, better writer. Of course, this means I'll need some of you to offer up advice or criticism. :)

Who would be interested in reading this stuff? I'd like to present the review for each issue so that you can get a basic grasp of what's happening (though it *would* be better if you read the comic) and jump in on the discussion with questions and theories of your own. It'd be best for the reviews themselves to be a springboard for more interactive discussion.

Does anyone read reviews? What are some of the trademarks of a good one? Who are your favorite reviewers? I'm a big fan of Roger Ebert, myself, and I have to admit a fondness for Television Without Pity sometimes. Rikoshi does a pretty good review of geeky television, and [livejournal.com profile] entil2001 is my go-to guy for in-depth analysis of sci-fi/geek television shows. I'd love to be just like him when I grow up. :)

Here is my list of ongoing comics: if you folks are interested, would you be so kind as to tell me which ones you're particularly interested in? I'd like to get up to speed where I'm writing reviews for all of them; perhaps after a year or two I might have a good enough portfolio to apply for a position somewhere. Here's to hoping!

The list. )

Which sound most awesome to you? Are there any other comic books I should be picking up on a regular basis?
jakebe: (Default)
Barnell Bohusk saves the day in the conclusion of the "Timebrokers" storyline in this/last month's Exiles. Take that, [livejournal.com profile] theottsel! Talk smack about Beak again, and he'll sick not only one, but *two* Hyperions on you...not to mention an angry giant rabbit. That's a world of hurt you don't want son. :) Actually, I'm looking forward to the next story arc, and I hope they keep Barnell on for a long time. A skinny but endearing chicken-boy is exactly the kind of PR Man the Exiles needs. :)

Was I the only one going "Huh?" at the end of the most recent Uncanny X-Men issues? Once again, Claremont shows that he only has one setting, and that's hyper-kinetic. Jean Gray/Phoenix coming back with Jean dying once and for all? Wolverine suddenly going batshit and killing Northstar? There must be a whole lot of stuff going on in those limited series and one-shots that I don't read. Also, Mojo and the X-Babies idea totally sucked. Conflict was brought about in a pretty superficial, lame way...it was like Claremont was channeling Chuck Austen directly for the fight between Rachel and Kitty Pryde. I mean, really, what was that about? Even still, Beast showed what most of us already know...when he turns on the charm, I'll take him over Gambit any day. :9

Astonishing X-Men continues to bear the standard for the entire line. Whedon's doing an excellent job with...well, everything. All the secrets he's hinting at are driving me insane. What's going on with Emma? Is Danger actually Xavier's...son? Or is there a daughter I don't know about? I'm looking forward to the last two issues of "Dangerous," though I have a sinking feeling the X-Men aren't going to be terribly happy about the Professor's return.

I'm really enjoying Milligan's run on X-Men so far. He has a much better grasp on character interaction than Austen did, and he brings up the issues they face in a very, very tight way. I like the fact that Wolverine's no longer the only X-man pulling double and triple duty. There certainly needs to be more crossover among the titles; sure, they're three seperate teams (with Havok's, honestly, looking like the Bush League X-Men), but they operate in the same space. Surely there's got to be people running in on each other all the time. ;)

The House of M story is kicking into high gear, and I'm ambivalent about it. The trouble with the big blockbuster storylines is the fact that they *are* so far-reaching. It's often an all-or-nothing deal. While I was more than happy to read ten different titles every month to get the full picture of the Age of Apocalypse ten years ago, it's a bit more difficult now. Not only do we have to read Astonishing, Uncanny and Adjectiveless X-Men, there's also Excalibur, New X-Men, The New Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and The House of M limited series to keep a track of. I'm sure there are other titles that I'm missing at the moment, too. I can't read every title, and chances are I'm going to get a bit lost with happenings because of it. ah well. Just grit my teeth through the summer, and wait for the "all clear" come October or whenever they'll be done with everything.

Sorry about that. Had to geek out for a bit. :)


Jun. 24th, 2005 08:48 am
jakebe: (Default)
Take the MIT Weblog Survey

The Stupid Quiz said I am "Pretty Smart!" How stupid are you? Click here to find out!

And I found this comic project, looks very interesting, actually. I wonder if there's actually a connection to Peter Pan beyond name and setting...I don't really remember the book being that violent, actually. ;) Still, well done.

I scored higher on the nerdy McSmartsmart thing the first time I took it. I blame persistent wooziness for my worse showing this time around. :)

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