Sunday, May 16, 2004


About three weeks ago, I promised a piece on a major manga artist I'd found. I'm working on it, but for the time being, here are some notes on a few comics I've recently read.

ROBIN #? (Sorry, I don't remember the issue number, and I don't have the book on hand): A couple weeks ago I wrote that I'd purchased an issue of ROBIN written by Jon Lewis from the bargain box, and was intrigued enough to explore more. Last week I bought another issue, this time from the regular bin, though it only cost a dollar (which is why I picked it). The cover said it was part three of a five-part story, "World Without Robin." Okay, I can deal with that. When I brought it home and opened it, I discovered it was actually part of a multi-series crossover ("World Without Young Justice"), and that this issue's story was continued from SUPERBOY and was itself continued in IMPULSE. Bleah. And the parts that could be clearly attributed to Lewis--i.e. the dialogue--didn't interest me that much either. Unless I find more issues in bargain bins, or DC publishes a trade which I can examine in the store, I don't think I'll be exploring more of this. On the plus side, the art, by Rebecca Wood iirc, isn't bad.

DOGWITCH #8 by Daniel Schaffer. I was in my town's other comic book store: the one where I usually don't buy comics, because they have a monthly minimum order for subscriptions. I saw this book in the store's small independent section. It looked intriguing, and I felt a bit uncomfortable that I never bought anything here except from the quarter bins, so I bought it. And I enjoyed it. It could be considered a "bad girl" book, I guess: the heroine doesn't have freakishly large breasts, but does wear a leather-and-laceish costume that displays quite a bit of skin, and apparently makes sleazy videos when she's not doing supernatural stuff. But it's done with wit and style, and the art is good. I'm not sure why the comic is called "Dogwitch," though the heroine does have a dog (talking, clothes-wearing, and smoking) for a companion; her other companion looks like a midget wearing a Quaker costume, but with a nasty, disfiguring cut on her face. I'd be interested in seeing more of these, though I don't know if I'd be able to justify a taste for this.

TWO-STEP #2 by Warren Ellis, Amanda Conner, and Jimmy Palmiotti. This was in one of Quimby's grab-bags. I wouldn't have picked it up by itself, not being an Ellis fan: the bits of TRANSMETROPOLITAN I've read struck me as being neither as original or as clever as Ellis thought they were, and I hadn't cared for anything else I read by him. This is lighthearted action in a sci-fi setting, and was fairly amusing, though lightweight. In its tone and pacing it reminded me of a some of the manga I've read, though I don't know whether that was actually an influence. The trouble is that while this sort of "decompression" may be fine when you're paying ten bucks for 180 pages, paying three bucks for 22 pages is a different matter. And it wasn't all that interesting. I passed up #3 when I saw it on the shelf this week.

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