Graceland 11/21/12

This week, Ziah gives out awards to each comic totally unlike that other place that won awards and is super great. Anyway, Ziah did this because there were a lot of great things out this week, and he didn’t want to only give a best award. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Except turkeys. I guess it’s kind of an unfortunate holiday.


Winner of the Jeez, Other Humor Comics, Are You Even Trying Anymore?

Bravest Warriors #2 written by Joey Comeau, drawn by Mike Holmes, colored by Zack Sterling:

“That’s a really stupid name for a god of fear.”



Captain America #1 written by Rick Remender, drawn by John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson, colored by Dean White:

“You’re far too late, prince protector of pollution!”

I have been waiting for a Captain America comic like this for ever. John Romita Jr on art and Rick Remender doing a 50’s movie monster/Sci-Fi inspired premise? That is exactly what I want from my comics. Guys, I shouldn’t have to sell you on this. Captain America in Dimension Z, as drawn by Romita Jr.

Winner of the Hot Damn, This Comic is Made by Talented Folks

Daredevil #20 written by Mark Waid, drawn by Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez:

“Whether after the predator or the Trickster God, it doesn’t matter. Either fits.”

Winner of the Jeff Parker Writes Such Great Dialogue

Dark Avengers #183 written by Jeff Parker, drawn by Neil Edwards and Terry Pallot, colored by SotoColor:

“And we ain’t havin’ it, right, Booms? You know it, Boss Moss.”

Jeff Parker has a really incredible ear for dialogue, and it allows him to do the types of stories that people like Bendis just couldn’t pull off. Case in point is the recent-ish transformation of the Man-Thing in which he speaks in whatever voice the characters most relate to. It’s a testament to his skill as a writer that even when Man-Thing isn’t speaking with the exaggerated slang or rough british accent of Boomerang or Mr. Hyde respectively, you still generally know which character’s voice he’s borrowing. Now unfortunately, he’s paired with artists that aren’t quite up to the level of skill that he’s bringing, but he’s a solid-enough writer that his scripts produce a promising comic even through a lesser artist.

Winner of the Yes, Yes, The Art is Very Pretty, But I Have Nothing Else to Say About This

Fables #123 written by Bill Willingham, drawn by Gene Ha and Shawn McManus, colored by Art Lyon:

“No one can escape his fate.”

Winner of the Best Possible Successor to Both Al Jaffee and Bernie Wrightson at Once

The Goon #43 written by Eric Powell, drawn by Eric Powell, Kyle Hotz, and Mark Buckingham, colored by Eric Powell and Bill Farmer:

“Yeah, don’t feel so good getting’ smacked in the mouth with a $#!T-stained street urchin, does it?!”

Winner of the I’m Glad I Trusted Joshua Dysart to Not be a Terrible Writer

Harbinger #6 written by Joshua Dysart, drawn by Phil Briones and Andrew Hennessy, colored by Ian Hannin:

“And what if God could be taught to be a better person?”

See, issue 1 and 2 of this comic had a moment that seemed so ill-conceived, so genuinely downright awful, that when loaning a friend the first issue, I actually had to warn her not to get angry at it. The only reason I didn’t get pissed off myself is that Dysart is the guy who wrote a comic starring a fictional DC superhero (or Meta-Human or augmented human or whatever they call it now) in Uganda that directly dealt with the horrors of war while still being an action comic, and it wasn’t offensive shit. Unknown Soldier, was in fact one of my favorite books while it was coming out because of its utter refusal to allow the reader to fall into a usual action movie good/evil way of thinking. Anyway, all this is a long way of saying that 5 issues later, Dysart shows why that event in the first issue mattered, and why it wasn’t just the usual power-fantasy bullshit writers sometimes do. This is only going to get better, and I’m glad I stuck around.

Winner of the You Take Away my Aja and Give Me a Pulido? That’s Not Too Bad a Trade

Hawkeye #4 written by Matt Fraction, drawn by Javier Pulido, colored by Matt Hollingsworth:

“Lady are you checking me for tumors or–”

So it looks like Aja is off, at least for a little while, which makes sense. Guy’s got such a brilliant sense of design that it only makes sense he’d have to take a break sooner or later. In the interim, we have this issue by Javier Pulido, who is pretty great normally, but feels a little rushed here. Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t quite feel like his best work, and his Clint Barton faces in particular are rough in a lot of scenes. Still, when it comes to great layouts, and excellent framing, Pulido’s a great choice. No Marcos Martin, but hell, not even Aja is a Marcos Martin.

Winner of the Jeez, Take It Easy, Waid, You’re Making This Look Way Too Easy

Indestructible Hulk #1 written by Mark Waid, drawn by Lenil Yu, colored by Sunny Gho:

“Given that I’m suddenly sharing the table with an atomic bomb, I think I’m remarkably at ease.”

This is the perfect comic to give to people that liked Mark Ruffalo in the Avengers movie. It ties-in without being obvious, is faithful to the past without seeming overly clingy, and has solid writing and good art. Mark Waid is a goddamn treasure, and Marvel should probably be paying him more.

Winner of the I Know I Should Be Sad, But I Hated Him So Much

Uncanny X-Force #34 written by Rick Remender, drawn by Phil Noto, colored by Frank Martin Jr.:

“This is revenge. This is what it gets.”

Rick Remender does such great endings. This issue, plus Fear Agent, almost makes me want to hop back on the Secret Avengers train before it ends, but nah, screw that noise. This, however, is great. Excellent work all around, with a twist in a medium that rarely allows for one not spoiled.

Winner of the Christ Bendis, Everyone Makes Fun of your Voice, Stretch Yourself Just One Goddamn Bit

Ultimate Spider-Man #17 written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by Pepe Larraz, colored by Justin Ponsor:

“They are terrorists. Armed terrorists.”

I really don’t understand not wanting to stretch your writing just a little bit to avoid making it so that parodies of your writing are nigh-indistinguishable from the actual product. With a bullshit crossover, Bendis writing like he could give two shits, and an artist that is neither Sara Pichelli nor David Marquez, I’m seriously reconsidering why I buy this.

Winner of the I Don’t Know, I Think I’m Just Done with This.

Unwritten #43 written by Mike Carey, drawn by Peter Gross, colored by Chris Chuckry:

“By the time he realizes he can’t fly—We’ll be safely across the abyss.”

Winner of the Yes, Good God This is Good

Wolverine and the X-Men #21 written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Nick Bradshaw, colored by Laura Martin:

“Hey! Who do you have to kill to get a corndog around here?”

I’ve given this spiel like a dozen times, so guys, just read Wolverine and the X-Men. It really is that good.


Ziah Grace

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