Graceland- 10/24/12

Woah, ho! A Graceland? On a Friday? That’s right! Let’s try this out, here’s my opinions 3 days early.

Adventure Time #9 written by Ryan North, drawn by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, colored by Lisa Moore and Braden Lamb:

“Please? Can’t you, like, smush your time machine into this one? And then, like… pour some science on it?”

Batman Inc #4 written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Chris Burnham, colored by Nathan Fairbairn:

“Call Guinness! I just set a new record for holding breath! Impressed?”

There’s been a real density to the re-launch of Batman Inc., part of which can be attributed to Morrison ramping things up for the end-game, but most of the credit has to go to Burnham’s just incredible work.  You know what? I’m gonna say that Burnham’s the best artist collaborator that Morrison’s ever had, even over Frank Quitely. Burnham’s just got such a great pacing when it comes to fight scenes. Where Quitely excels at picking the perfect static moment to draw and connect to the next, Burnham draws perfect pages; The full panel layout flows together, while each panel is well-designed. Plus, Morrison writes another Matches Malone line! Just get these guys an ongoing of just Matches, please. It’s brilliant.

Bravest Warriors written by Joey Comeau, drawn by Mike Holmes, colored by Zack Sterling, backup by Ryan Pequin:

“Why have you not yet solved our cilization’s problem of gender inequality? WHY DOES SEXISM STILL EXIST?”

Dang, this comic came out of nowhere! I picked it up because, you know, Adventure Time and all, and Mike Holmes is a great artist, but it blew me away. I’d never read any of Joey Comeau’s writing, but this comic is packed with jokes, and background gags, and all sorts of great things. I burst out laughing at least a dozen times, and the backup story was really fun.

Fables #122 written by Bill Willingham, drawn by Gene Ha and Shawn McManus, colored by Art Lyon:

“Maybe devour him too, but I wasn’t quite decided on that. Eating your own dad could get weird.”

Yo, what is with that cover, right? That stain is on every copy. Maybe I can get Dylan Todd’s professional opinion on it, but shit, that does not look purposeful at all.

The Flash #13 written and drawn by Francis Manapul, written and colored by Brian Buccellato:

“The…The…The… Gorillas are here.”

Maybe it’s just because there were so many great comics released this week, but Flash seemed a little weak this issue. There’s not any of the usual jaw-dropping layouts (there’s a couple good ones, but they’re piecemeal by Manapul’s standards), and Gorilla Grodd’s a character I always seem to like more in theory than in practice. Plus, I read this on the tail-end of Batman Inc, which was probably a mistake, since while they’re both fight issues, Batman is a LOT more dense; there’s character development, each line of dialogue has a great flow, and a lot happens. But hey, Manapul and Buccellato are still feeling things out; the writing will improve to match the art eventually.

The Incredible Hulk #15 written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Jefte Palo, colored by Frank Martin:

“All praise to the great Banner, giver of metal chainsaws and guns that shoot bombs!”

Invincible Iron Man #527 written by Matt Fraction, drawn by Salvador Larocca, “colored” by Frank D’Armata:

“Turns out the internet was wrong. He’s a crap engineer.”

I really liked the first couple of years of this comic. Not so much now, but… I don’t know. Fraction came close, you know? Really felt like he had a game plan, and a climax, and it was gonna be an all-time comics run. Maybe it still will be, but it sure doesn’t end like one. All I can think of is that scene from the Simpsons with Poochie when he dies on the way back from his home planet. That and maybe the final few pages are a little personal for Fraction, but hell, I’m only spitballing here. So long Iron-Man! With Greg Land on art, I will be avoiding you like the plague!


Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity written and drawn and colored and damn, dude, did you print this by hand too, Brandon Graham:

“Far from home, my cigarette sings a sad song.”

I’ve been really trying to think of how to talk about Graham’s comics and make half as much sense as Darryl Ayo or David Brothers, two dudes that nail what’s so good about him, and I feel like I’ve almost got it down. He’s just got such a great rhythm to his comics; they meander around, hitting things that he’s interested in, which could change by the page. It feels like a great jazz song, by an artist you know is good, where it can go all over the place, but you know it’ll resolve into something great. You’re willing to stretch a little, and wait for answers to cryptic questions, or just see the scenery, because Graham’s got such a… a confidence built into the comic. It just  feels like the real deal, something he’s worked on, and understands, and it’ll turn out great, just wait and see.

Prophet #30 written by Brandon Graham, drawn by Giannis Milonogianis, colored by Brandon Graham, Giannis Milonogianis, and Joseph Bergin III:

“He tries to recreate his once-human face. And scratches it out in frustration.”

Secret Avengers #33 written by Rick Remender, drawn by Andy Kuhn, colored by Matt Wilson:

“The avengers will not soon forget the wrath of EMPEROR DOOMBOT!”

I was just thinking of dropping this title until this issue almost pulled me back in with The Avengers of Earth 666, featuring everyone’s favorite character(Editor’s note: This is not true) Capwolf! The Werewolf of liberty! But, jeez, after writing about all those earlier better comics, it’s making me wonder what this really offers besides a couple of references to my nostalgia fest. Sure there’s some good dialogue, but Remender’s problem has always been that he’s only interested in a few characters when writing a mainstream superhero book, and when he can’t focus on them, the story suffers. Seems like a lot of the Secret Avengers bore him, or at least he can’t seem to impress why they’re good to the audience. I’m pretty done with this; 8 bucks a month (cause of double shipping) only works if I can justify it to myself, and I sure as hell can’t anymore. Oh, and by the way, Multiple Warheads is the SAME PRICE for 48 pages with NO ADDS.

The Shadow #6 written by Garth Ennis, drawn by Aaron Campbell, colored by Carlos Lopez:

“She looks like one more ineffectual female; she makes me look like a pointless aristocrat. Neither is true.”

It’s interesting how Ennis, normally someone who balks at simplifying brutalities in warfare for any reason, slides over the final event in this story. (you can probably guess, but whatever, I’m avoiding spoilers anyway). I half wonder if it was a question of space; it’s certainly well-paced, and very well drawn, but the over-simplification bugs me largely because he so rarely indulges in it.

The Unwritten #42 written by Mike Carey, drawn by Peter Gross, colored by Chris Chuckry:

“There were oceans. But they were stacked up like towers.”


That’s all for this week. How’s everyone doing? Think I can keep up this Friday schedule consistently? What’s your favorite Godzilla monster? Mine’s Gidorah.


Ziah Grace

Ziah works at a comic shop and has seen Space Jam. You can contact Ziah at zbg333 [at] gmail [dot] com