I wrote an entire review for this and am scrapping it, because I realized something: Drug and Drop is not written for me. It’s not written so that a 36-year-old American male can understand it. I’m not even close to its target audience.
So, much to my Managing Editor’s frustration, I’m submitting an entirely new review.
Really? Are you sure you’ve never heard of Lone Wolf and Cub? This is one of the most definitive comic books in Japanese history – in all of comic book history. It is a true classic. First released in 1970, there have been six films, four plays, a televisions series (Thank you, Wikipedia – seriously, donate some money to them.), and is, as far as I’m concerned, a masterpiece, high art, and fricking awesome.
Gail Simone (Secret Six, Wonder Woman) and Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Makeshift Miracles) spin a simple tale that goes where a typical story normally wouldn’t go but exactly where you want it to go when it’s Conan Red Sonja. It’s not an origin story, but a meet-cute (as it were) between these two characters long before they are to become the legends they will be. They’re really kind of jerks with a swaying sense of allegiance. If you’ve ever seen Zatoichi vs. Yojimbo (Japanese film starring the individual films’ titles characters), you hope that these anti-hero antics will continue until they match that level of brilliance.
Now’s the time to buy Dark Horse Presents again with Issue #6 (nee #199). As it proclaims on the cover page, it's the 2014 Best Anthology for the Eisner Award, Harvey Award, and Stumptown Comic Arts Award. That’s some heavy baggage to carry on any flight. It’s like being told you’re going to get a comfortable, hassle-free flight to anywhere ever these days. I’ll believe it when it happens. Consider me a believer; I couldn’t put this issue down.
I am a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I just recently watched again to show my girlfriend, because she really wanted to see The Legend of Korra. I told her, no – Avatar first.
Let me tell you how much I love The Legend of Korra, which I’m currently making my way through Season Three. The world is rich and the characters even richer. It’s more than just a cartoon, it’s an experience. I adore the art deco-enhanced, fantasy-sci-fi designs whirl-winded together in Republic City that harken back to the gangster-ridden, screwball world of the 1920s and 1930s cinema. The music, the animation, the “talkie” voice-over recap at the beginning – everything. Just thinking about it makes me spasm with joy. The creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, have endless amounts of creativity to spare. To get a behind-the-scenes look at how this world came to be, one would think would be an absolute treat . . . and it is. With the new year, Nickelodeon is publishing The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series - Book Three: Change. Is it worth it? Let me break it down.
The newest collection of Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories (Volume 4) is not the place to start but the place to finish, and the finish is spectacular.
I had the pleasure of reviewing the first issue of this four-part mini-series by Roger Langridge (Fred the Clown, The Muppet Show Comics, Popeye), and when the second one came up, I jumped at the opportunity. Abigail and the Snowman #2 picks up the story of Abigail, her single-parent father, and her new best friend, Yeti, that only kids and Government Agents with special sunglasses can see. Otherwise, no adults can see this giant, friendly beast. This is the ultimate invisible best friend. And, it is charming.
Matt Fraction. That should be all I need to say to recommend his newest book from Image Comics, Casanova: Acedia.
It used to be that I followed artists. If the artist I liked was moving to that comic, I’d follow them. In this slightly more mature period of my life, I follow writers, and Fraction (multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winner: Hawkeye, Sex Criminals, ODY-C) is one of the best around. But, enough about him. Let’s talk about Casanova: Acedia.
I want this comic to be better, simply because the art is unbelievably amazing. I was intrigued with the first issue. Josie Schuller, a Mad Men-era housewife who also happens to be an assassin, is our hero. There was a nice tone to the first issue that doesn’t carry over here. There’s nothing really humorous, mysterious, or even life threatening - the stakes are very low. So, what the writers, Joëlle Jones (Spellcheckers, Hellheim) and Jamie S. Rich (12 Reasons I Love Her, You Have Killed Me, both collaborated on with Jones) want to convey to their audience isn’t completely clear to me.
One thing I’ve been noticing about comic books lately is that, within each issue, less and less story is being told, so story arcs can last over the course of many more issues. It’s not a complaint, just an observation. That isn’t a problem with Rat God from Dark Horse Comics. Writer and artist Richard Corben (Heavy Metal, Den, Hellblazer, 2012 Eisner Hall of Fame Inductee) fills every page with twists and turns, drama, and humor. It’s a real ride.