Friday, November 11, 2005

End of the line with TITANS 29.

Yay! Time to relax with a piping-hot plateful of Toll House cookies fresh out of the oven, a tall, icy-cold glass of Jones Candy Corn Soda, and this week's new comics! Are any fun this week, or likely to provide disappointment to an easily amused little stuffed bull? Let's find out together, shall we? Huh? Shall we?

TT #29TEEN TITANS #29: This comic is not fun. Have you ever been to one of those parties when there are lotsa people you know, but they are all acting strange and not at all like themselves? Before, you knew them and liked them a lot, and they were fun to hang around with and easy to talk to, but as soon as they get into this popular fancy party they're all a sudden "too cool for school" and dressing diff'rent and talkin' all serious? And they don't seem at all like the people you knew and palled around with because they're full of woe-is-me angst and they're more concerned with their hip new friends or maybe their older friends who went away for a while but who are back now and soooo popular because they have an edgy dark streak even though they were kinda fun and goofy in the past? And none of them want to talk to or hang around you anymore and just pitch pennies and eat submarine sandwiches and talk about dumb stuff that makes you all laugh until soda comes out your nose?

Well, that's what Teen Titans is like now. It's not fun anymore. Everybody's mad and angsty and fighting people who have come back from the dead either angry and evil or angry and good, but most of all angry. And they're all angry about stuff that's happening in this Infinite Crisis thingee, which isn't only a party I don't want to go to, it's a party I don't even wanna hear about. So...this is where I get off the Teen Titans train. I won't be picking this book up next month. Have fun at your goth party, Titans! Maybe I'll go hang out with these guys instead!

Escapist #8THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #8: This comic is fun. There's four stories (one of them is to be continued) and one kinda po-mo gag page in this issue of the Escapist, and even though it cost me a lot more dimes (90 of 'em!) than Teen Titans #29 did (25 dimes), it was pound-for-pound a more fun comic all around (Note: I did not weigh the actual comics). I really like the anthology aspect of Escapist, which pretty much guarantees you at least one really solid fun story in every issue, and the top-notch ones give you four or five. My favorite one this time is part one of a story called "The Escapists" in which a boy grows up so obsessed with the character and the comics that when he gets older, he buys the rights to the Escapist and plans to make his own comic. I like Philip Bond's art a lot (John has showed me some of his Vertigo work...well, at least the ones that I was allowed to look at) and there's a neat reprint of a Golden Age Escapist comic in the middle of the story. This one story defines everything I love about comics and what makes them fun: a sense of wonder over the comics and their characters (even the characters in the story have a sense of wonder for the Escapist!), great expressive art, and wow, I can't wait to read the next issue! All the other stories are pretty good too. I liked the one where grumpy Harvey Pekar (who I have seen with David Letterman and in that film last year) meets the Escapist on the bus, and then there's a Andi Watson World War II story that is kinda sad but very dramatic—it reminded me of Band of Brothers with artwork that is in the style of Joe Kubert (and when I say that, Andi, it's a big big compliment!). The last story was a more traditional, rip-roarin', pulpy-style tale of the Escapist at the Royal Festival of Magic, and there was a nice text piece on the Big Little Book it was based on. I'm oh-so glad very nice Mister Chabon is letting Dark Horse publish this anthology of old and new Escapist stories, 'coz I keep reading all about the old Escapist comics in the text pieces and yet I can never, never find any of them in the back issue bins at Jim Hanley's Universe! They must be so popular that I could not buy them even if I had a whole bag fulla dimes! Oh well, a fella can dream, can't he? Maybe I will write and draw my own Escapist comic, huh? I will call it...The Escapbull!

(Trots away merrily to look for my paper and magic markers)

(Trots back hurriedly) I forgot to say: That's why THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST #8 is the most fun comic of the week!

(Trots away again)

(Trots back and stares at you crossly) I do so know what "po-mo" means!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Last week's comics, this week.

I'm finally catching up on a couple comics from last week! Were they worth the wait? Heck yeah!

JLU #15JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #15: This comic is fun. Nobody expected a character almost universal'ly considered to be one of the lamest heroes in the DC Universe to make any sort of comeback, much less a starring role in a Justice League Unlimited story! That's one of the best things of all about JLU: any character, no matter how they were treated or written before, or even if they died, has Justice League potential! (Or, as Superman has been heard to say once or twice, "Each of you brings something to the table." I guess that means even a little stuffed bull has Justice League potential! Mind you, what I usually bring to the table is the silverware and the napkin rings...) Take away the kinda-clichéd "here's the moral of the story" ending and a writer who doesn't know the difference between "el" and "los" and at the heart of this book you have a story that defines the joy 'n' wonder of comics: every character is someone's favorite, and if you dismiss a character as lame, well, he or she just hasn't been written right—yet. I doubt they'd ever bring back Vibe in the real DC Universe, so all hail the Animated DC Universe! May your skies never turn red!

Flaming Carrot #4FLAMING CARROT COMICS #4: This comic is fun. Sentences can't express how cool it is that Flaming Carrot is back in a regular comic book series. So, I'll use a series of partial, disjointed, sentence fragments to explain what I loved about this issue, much in the vein of a hip beatnik hep cat or maybe even the Carrot himself,!

Adventures in his pajamas. Ducky soap! "Pants all pie now." Sponge Boy? SPONGE BOY! Uh oh, evil baby! Dead man's party. Joe Izusu?!? Fumetti! "You made a deal not me!" Carrot secrets! Next issue: all photo Carrot. And...Gumby and Pokey by Bob Burden and Rick Geary!?!?!? Hoo hoo! That's why! FLAMING CARROT COMICS #4! Most fun comic of week! Oh, sorry, I started sounding like the Hulk a little at the end there. Seriously, pick it up. I laughed, I cried, I kissed three-fitty goodbye.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A busy, hectic, tiring week...Batman to the rescue!

I am a tired little stuffed bull.

I have been helping John with sales conference all week long! I've been staying away from Brooklyn in Manhattan and I'm kinda homesick. It's raining and blowing today, and I'm very tired. I didn't even get a chance to review last week's comics or pick up this week's comics yet!

What's the only thing that can make me feel all warm and happy inside? Why, yes, it's another 1950s Batman cover!

Trust me. They're good for what ails ya.

See what I mean? Isn't that a comic you would want to read? Isn't it fun? Doesn't looking at a cover like that cheer you up and make you happy to be alive? I know it does me.

Now, let's do a little test. Does this cover cheer you up and make you happy? Does this look like a fun comic to read?

No. No, it does not. Game, set, match: 1950s Batman.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ben Grimm totally rocks! Reason #4

Why does Ben Grimm totally rock?

4. He understands the importance of keeping your comics safe and pristine, protected from the elements. And superhumans.

He's big, he's bad, he's Aunt Petunia's little nephew Benjy. And now you know...another reason why Ben Grimm totally rocks.