The Week In Ink, 11-15-05
Before we get to this week's comics, a quick story:
Tonight I was over at my friend Sarah's house for her weekly Bill Murray Night, which is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. It's exactly what it sounds like; she gets a bunch of her friends together and they watch a Bill Murray movie. What really got me excited was that she mentioned that tonight's plan was Caddyshack, a movie which I've managed to avoid seeing despite being a big fan of Ted Knight and spending roughly four million hours in front of a television in my life.
It ended up being Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes, which was fine with me, since I'm pretty sure that's the only on-screen appearance of the RZA, the GZA, and Bill Murray. But that was hardly the focus of the evening.
One of the guests, Josh, had brought over a large cup of Espresso from a coffee house, which Sarah's dog Basil promptly knocked over and licked up off the floor. Josh then thought it would be a good idea to give the dog as much of his beer as it would drink. The dog walked by me and burped.
"Sarah," I said, "If that dog throws up on me, I will be very upset."
Needless to say, five minutes later I was very upset.
Fucker bit me too.
All-Star Superman #1: We all know by now that this comic is fantastic, so I'll do my best to keep this brief: All-Star Superman makes me want to be a better writer. Grant Morrison does such a great job of not only boiling Superman down to what makes him work, but with as little as one line each, nails Cat Grant, Steve Lombard, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White. The Clark Kent sequences are amazing, in no small part thanks to Frank Quitely. I'll admit, when JLA: Earth-2 came out, I hated Quitely's art, mostly because of the way he draws faces. But the fact is, when it comes to page layout and panel construction, he is easily one of the top two guys working in the industry today. WE3 (also with Morrison, which if you haven't read, why the hell are you wasting your time on the internet) was a great example of that, and the scene where Clark walks to Perry White's office is another. Now if it only comes out on time, it may just be the best thing ever.
Banana Sunday #4: At last! Because you demanded it! The secret origin of Kirby's monkeys! And what a wacky origin it is. But, and here's the important part, it's fun, which means Nibot and Coover succeeded in their goal. They did not, however, succeed in the goal I laid out of having Kirby and Nickels make out with each other, even a little bit. And upon typing that, I realize that I am a horrible person. Banana Sunday, though? Top notch.
Batman and the Monster Men #1
Birds of Prey #88
Daredevil vs. Punisher #6: Hey, you know what's awesome? When Daredevil and the Punisher just throw down on each other for nine pages. It's absolutely brutal and I loved every panel of it.
Fables #43: Month after month, Bill Willingham turns out some of the best character development in comics. Imagine my surprise when Old King Cole, a one-note character who hasn't been seen in a while, delivers one of the best lines of the week to Sinbad when discussing slavery. Not to mention the rest of it, which remains truly great, from the James Jean cover and Mark Buckingham's pencils on down to the last.
Local #1: ISB Fair Shake Month continues with the second of three Brian Wood books I ordered, alongside DMZ and the Demo trade paperback. According to the pullquote on the cover, Warren Ellis described it as "the perfect three-minute single," and while it's not exactly perfect (what with All-Star Superman hanging around ruining the curve for everyone), it's certainly highly enjoyable. It's a quick read, but the tight pacing really serves to acccentuate the story's theme as a split-second in time. Ryan Kelly does a great job on pencils as well, especially the shaky, manic boyfriend and his wide-eyed twitchiness. It's well worth picking up.
Marvel Monsters: From The Files of Ulysses Bloodstone: I wasn't going to get this one, but then I opened it up and found out it was an Official Handbook done in the style of Elsa Bloodstone's blog. Yeah, there's pretty much no way I couldn't get it.
The Thing #1: I loved this comic. I've been a fan of Dan Slott's since he did the most recent Batman Adventures series, which was great, and although I was a little wary of She-Hulk at first, I eventually came around. He does a great job with this one, as does Andrea DiVito, giving me everything I want to see in a comic. There's clobbering, a hot girl in her underwear, parodies of celebrities, and a surprise villain who holds a special place in my heart.
Tomorrow Stories Special #1: Aside from the fact that the Jack B. Quick story is awesome, this book taught me something: Just because a girl comes into the store looking for a Cobweb story, that doesn't necessarily mean she's a lesbian. It's gotta be like nine times out of ten, though.
X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1
Kane v.5: The Untouchable Rico Costas and Other Short Stories: Remember way up there when I said Frank Quitely was in the top two for panel layout and page composition? Well, Paul Grist is the other. The way he uses the page is amazing, and the fact that he can do all that while writing some of the best and most fun comics in completely different genres is a testament to how much of a genius he is. I don't throw that word around too often, but how else can you refer to a guy who made Neil Gaiman a character in one of his stories as a serial murderer? Paul Grist, you are the man.
Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow: So I finally broke down and bought the trade, since for some reason I can't stop reading about the new Scorpion. I don't know why, but she pushes that little part of my brain that I like to refer to as "the Punisher button." Heck, I even read an X-23 story that had her in it.
Tenjho Tenge v.4