053 Here Are Some Books That Have Pictures In Them That I Read This Wednesday (3/18/2009)
Welcome to the first edition of HASBTHPITTIRTW (I will not be shortening this name). Each Thursday I’ll be reviewing the comics I bought the day before from my brand new local comic shop, Bergen Street Comics.
It was a bit of a slow week, as I only bought three new books. It would have been four but the owner, Tom, got shorted three books. Hopefully I can grab Invincible #60 today, but otherwise, here’s what you should or should not have bought:
OK so, Ian McKaye, of Fugazi and Minor Threat fame: head of Dischord Records, unwittingly started the straight edge movement, revolutionized punk music in the eighties. You know, that Ian McKaye? Well there’s this story that in the late nineties he was going to fold Dischord. He was so bored with everything coming out, and he felt the “D.C. sound” everybody keeps talking about was getting a little stale. So one day he’s thinking about this and he goes to see some show by this band Q And Not U. According to the story he’s so blown away that he decides he’s going to not only keep Dischord going, but he signs this band, and they go on to become one of the most popular groups Dischord’s ever had. And that’s what G. Willow Wilson’s Air is to me: a little bit of hope that reminds me why I’m here.
Vertigo has a history of putting out good books but they have just been so absolutely boring for the past few years. Sandman Mystery Theatre, Un-Men, Young Liars, Vinyl underground; yeah they’re OK books, and to be honest if any other company had their track record I’d be pretty stoked. But Vertigo has always been the Dischord of comics for me, and besides Y and Scalped and a few other books they were starting to get… well, stale. Air is the kind of book that is so refreshingly interesting and original that it really makes me remember the things I’ve loved about Vertigo since the beginning. M.K. Perker is hands down one of the best artists in comics today. Just looking at those pages is a treat because they’re so damn gorgeous. G. Willow Wilson’s writing is just great, especially over the last few issues where a lot of the initial kinks have been worked out. Where she gets her ideas from is a mystery to me, because a lot of them are as out-of-left-field and complicated as a Grant Morrison script. Please buy this book, and if you need a good jumping on point start here. It does a good job of recapping the story thusfar, and it’s only a buck. One buck! In an age where everyone’s bitching and moaning about comics going $3.99 this is a steal.
I buckled down and bought this (a week late mind you) because like I said the comic shop didn’t get Invincible in, and I wanted to buy one more book. And boy am I glad I did! This was one of the best no I’m just kidding this book was terrible. It’s funny that they would give both writing and art duties to one man who seemingly doesn’t know how to do either. The dialogue was typical, textbook superhero nonsense (“The Black Mask… but… you’re supposed to be DEAD!”) and the penciling was…. god, I mean do you look at what you draw before sending it to the printer? And shouldn’t the editor be like, “Oh hey, dude, you may want to redraw this because no one has any idea what the fuck that’s supposed to be so how about we give it another shot, hmm? One more shot? Give it the ol’ college try this time, whattya say?” My roommate Joey had this to say: “I don’t understand why they tell you that buying this book is so important and then they put this guy on it” and boy, that just hits the nail on the head doesn’t it? You know how sometimes people are like “I just don’t have enough great things to say about ____”? Yeah. That’s a funny expression.