Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 09, 2013
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Friday, December 06, 2013
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Hm, lots of virtual dust. It's been a while. Maybe I'll see if I still have any desire to post here, or should scrap the whole thing. Well, I guess I'll leave it up because there might be a handful of links out there to some posts, and it would be rude to leave them hanging...
Here are a few of the things I've read in the past month or so, mostly sitting in a pile waiting for me to either stick on a bookshelf or return to the library, that I might write about soon (a few of the posts are already written, actually, but I figure I post so infrequently I might as well spread them out). If anyone is still reading, feel free to let me know if there's anything below you'd like me to weigh in on with a quick ten minute review:
JOE KUBERT PRESENTS
SUPERMAN VOLUME 1 - WHAT PRICE TOMORROW?
SAGA VOLUME 1 and SAGA VOLUME 2
EC creator-based anthologies (Kurtzman, Williamson, Wood)
ETHEL & ERNEST: A TRUE STORY
ALIENS - INHUMAN CONDITION
AMERICAN VAMPIRE VOLUME 1
MIND MGMT - THE MANAGER
THE ADVENTURES OF AUGUSTA WIND
BRODY'S GHOST VOLUME 4
SO LONG, SILVER SCREEN
THE BEST OF MILLIGAN & MCCARTHY
CASTLE WAITING VOLUME 2
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
THE FIRST X-MEN
DAN SPIEGLE - A LIFE IN COMICS
AVENGERS : SEASON ONE
CONAN - QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST [VOLUME 13]
STAR TREK/LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
HOW TO FAKE A MOON LANDING
GODDAMN THIS WAR
PREACHER VOLUME 1
MARCH - BOOK ONE
HAWKEYE - MY LIFE AS A WEAPON
SPUMCO COMIC BOOK
A MATTER OF LIFE
WE ARE ON OUR OWN : A MEMOIR
THE ROCKETEER: HOLLYWOOD HORROR
DAY OF JUDGMENT
THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO GIRL
A.D.D. ADOLESCENT DEMO DIVISION
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
For this installment, Geary looks at a 1920 armed robbery in Massachusetts that left two men dead, and the subsequent arrest, conviction and 1927 execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for the crimes. The case was very famous at the time, with quite a few people convinced the decision was a miscarriage of justice. I'm mostly familiar with it from the Woody Guthrie album BALLADS OF SACCO AND VANZETTI, which as you might expect falls squarely on the "miscarriage of justice" side.
Geary, as is his wont, takes a much more clinical look at the case, first presenting the armed robbery and subsequent police search that led to the arrest of Sacco and Vanzetti, then detailing the backgrounds of the two men from their births in Italy through their immigration to the US and involvement in radical anarchist politics before moving on to the trial, the long appeals process (and the questions about the trial process in Massachusetts that were raised there), the eventual execution and aftermath.
This was a very entertaining book, maybe my favourite of the series. It does a great job of evoking the era, outlining the issues involved and keeping it all a good read as well, and Geary's art has been consistently excellent for decades.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Some more stuff recently read from the library. Exhausted the currently available 20th CENTURY BOYS, not that eager to finish it up. Took a look at the new edition of ADOLF to see if it'll be worth an upgrade. Kind of liked Alan Moore & Co.'s TOP TEN, less so the related books. And not as impressed with the second FATALE book.
Sitting around waiting to be read, THE HEART OF THOMAS, THE UNDERWATER WELDER, THE NEW DEADWARDIANS and some more DC "New 52" books.
Friday, April 12, 2013
KINGS was serialized in six parts from Kitchen Sink in 1988-1989, and collected, along with a short story from DARK HORSE PRESENTS #42, in a single volume in 1990. In that 1990 book, Vance outlines the genesis of the book in a stage play he wrote in 1979:
The result was a bizarre pastiche of Depression-era leftist melodrama called On the Ropes. Set in 1937, it was crammed with characters drawn from the icons of that period: WPA artists and performers, labor agitators, messianic Communists, sociopathic strikebreakers, and the inevitable tough-but-tender-hearted female journalist. To make things more frenetic, I threw in an escape artist with a death wish, and more onstage violence than any two Jacobean tragedies.Fred Bloch was a secondary character in that play, and Vance's desire to expand the character led him to write KINGS IN DISGUISE, first as a play, and later as a comic, featuring the character in 1932, a poor boy from California who winds up on a journey across the early Depression-era America with a hobo named Sam who claims to be the King Of Spain in disguise.
KINGS was a great book, so I was glad to hear that Vance had decided to go full circle and return to the ON THE ROPES story for a sequel, presumably greatly modified since Bloch is definitely the main character now (but all the elements described above are present), along with Burr on the artwork. Maybe slightly wary in addition to glad, since the track record of creators returning to a beloved world after decades away isn't great, but maybe somewhat surprisingly I always lean towards the optimistic side.
This might be one of the few times that such a return results in a superior book to the original. I'm not prepared to say that definitively yet, since I've only read it once, but it definitely stands with the original. The writing is sharp, capturing the various "icons of that period" in a complex story involving real events of the labour movement of that era, not sugar-coating some of the harsh realities of that time.
Burr's artwork is definitely much improved from the already high quality he showed back in the 1980s. His characters are a lot more natural and less stiff than in the earlier book, and the facial expressions get a lot of emotion across in more subtle ways than they did before.
an inexpensive updated edition with an introduction by Alan Moore. I didn't pick it up before, but seeing how nice a package W.W. Norton puts together I'm tempted to upgrade). Vance mentioned in his introduction to KINGS that the evolution of the story included a brief attempt to write a story of Fred Bloch fifteen years after these events, so maybe someday we'll see another book. Hopefully in less than a quarter century.