I’ve been meaning to post that video for months.

§ September 5th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on I’ve been meaning to post that video for months.

Kid Chris: “Wow, Marvel Apes! It’s gorillas mixed with my favorite Marvel comics…two great tastes that go great together!”

Me: “How do you know what gorillas taste like? I mean, I know what Marvel comics taste like…I’ve eaten enough of them over the years.”

And that’s how our holiday-delayed New Comics Day began. To be fair, Marvel Apes did sell okay…customers seemed pretty amused by it, and a quick flip through the book did get a few laughs out of me, so, you know, it does its job. And while Marvel’s “retailer incentive ape variant” program is a transparent attempt at keeping the previous “zombie variant” interest going, it’s hard to resist MONKEY PUNISHER. (And I better not see any “would he punish other monkeys by spanking them” jokes.) (And please don’t tell me if there’s actually one in the series itself.)

Other new comics stuff:

  • We had a fairly quick sell-out of the first issue of DC’s new ongoing Secret Six series…so did Chris Sims, it seems. We ordered based on past performance, but I guess more people want it now than wanted it then, so What Can You Do? Well, other than place a fast reorder and hope they actually show up, I guess. It was a good read, with the introduction of what is so far a darned creepy new villain that is mostly off-panel or otherwise hidden, and will hopefully continue to maintain this level of creepiness even after we start seeing more of him. Also: we get more Cat Man. And we all like Cat Man, right? Who even thought, years ago, that the phrase “we all like Cat Man” would have even been possible?
  • Un-Men comes to a conclusion with its thirteenth issue, which is too bad, for a couple of reasons. First, after a slow start which may have hurt its chances for survival, Un-Men began to really find its voice and rhythm, becoming a grotesquely dark-humored and involving melodrama. Second, that’s pretty much that for the presence of a Swamp Thing-related series on the stands (oddly-colored cameos in the Ambush Bug mini-series aside). After the last couple of short-run series featuring Swamp Thing and related concepts, unless there’s a drastically outstanding or different take on the character (*cough* returns to DCU *cough*) I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing another series for quite a while. Ah, well.

    EDIT: Oh, okay, and Swampy spin-off Hellblazer‘s still going strong, too. Not quite the same as having a Swamp Thing title on the stands, though.

  • Love and Rockets begins its new annual trade paperback format, and it’s just as beautifully done as ever. I’m going to miss having the semi-quarterly/bi-annual comic, but this book has about as much comics as you’d normally get under the L&R banner for a year, more or less, just under one cover instead of spread out over three or four issues. So I think I’ll live. Besides, it’s L&R by the Hernandez Bros. — I’ll take it in whatever format and frequency it’s delivered. Well, maybe not “one page per decade,” but I’m okay with a hundred pages yearly.
  • Comics Journal #292 – almost entirely given over to interviews with the four three Deitch brothers (Kim, Simon, and Seth) and father Gene. (EDIT: Oops…I knew Gene was the father, I swear!) Since I’m about as big of a Kim Deitch fan as they come, I’m looking forward to reading this. No, I haven’t read this yet…I’m writing this blog post instead. Only so many hours in the day, my friends. I’ll read it over breakfast, honest.
  • Myspace Dark Horse Presents #14 – not in stores, I know, but there’s a new full color Achewood strip, and, even better, a new color Beanworld story!
  • Army @ Love: The Art of War #2 – haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but I loved the previous thirteen installments, so I’m gonna guess I’ll like this one, too. The first twelve issues have been collected into two volumes, currently available anyplace that sells funnybooks and has a lick of sense (a rare combination, admittedly), and is recommended reading to anyone with a need for some wartime satire that’s equal parts terrifying and goofy in the Mighty Veitch Manner. Also, looking at the first page of this new issue, I’m glad to see Mr. Veitch is continuing with the best (and most thematically relevant) expositional introductions for a comic book series ever.
  • Invasion! trade paperback – 160 pages of good ol’ fashioned superhero punch-em-up adventure stupidity, and that’s not snark or a criticism…this three issue mini-series was almost the Platonic ideal of a Superhero Comic at the time. You paid your $3 bucks per 80 page issue, and you got non-stop superheroes fighting aliens, and it never pretended to be anything else other than that. Lots of weird alien creatures, lots of action, all your favorite characters, generally well drawn in cartoonishly-exaggerated style by Todd McFarlane and Bart Sears, with scripter Bill Mantlo right in his element.

    I did want to note this blurb that was on the trade paperback’s cover:

    “Secret no more!” is obviously a poke in Marvel’s ribs over their current Secret Invasion crossover event, also dealing with an alien invasion (though that series’ alien infiltration element has more in common with DC’s other newly-released-in-trade series Millennium). Outside of that context, the blurb seems strangely out of place…sure, there are secrets revealed over the course of the story, I suppose, but the main thrust of the series is “Holy Crap! Aliens have invaded the Earth and they know how to incapacitate our heroes!” more than “What is the dark secret of the Invasion?” It’s no slow, suspenseful revelation of hidden truths and shocking unknowns…it’s people in tights punching aliens and each other and blowing things up.

    Point being that, intercompany nose-thumbing aside, the “Secret no more!” blurb seems a little out of place. Not a lot out of place, but it’s obviously there for more reasons than describing the book’s contents. But, let’s be honest, that’s still an improvement over a permanently affixed DVD ad on an archival $75 hardcover.


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