This week’s Graceland is late because there was a weekend sale at the LCS, and since I’m broke what with the holiday spirit, I had to pick my books up on Saturday. But whatever, you’re not paying to read this, and I’m not paid to write this. Read on chumps!
Adventure Time #10 written by Ryan North and Jon M. Gibson, drawn by Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, and Jim Rugg:
“Man, I really wanted to punch my way through those feelings.”
Ryan North has a way of taking concepts that we’re all familiar with through the pop culture knowledge bubble, and if not reinventing it, then at least finding an angle that feels fresh. This issue has a Choose Your Own Adventure story, and it’s pretty great, with some neat twists on the formula. Granted, I’m not the most unbiased person, seeing as how I once gave a personalized CYOA to someone as a gift, but still. Plus, Paroline and Lamb do a really great job making each singular panel flow, which is pretty instrumental in the story that’s being told.
Batman Inc #5 written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Chris Burnham, colored by Nathan Fairbairn:
“Batman begs for help from his enemies!”
Boy, Grant Morrison’s on a big Ennis kick lately, huh? First Happy, now we get Crossed meets Apocalyptic Batman. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this; I’m still reading him, but Morrison’s not exactly doing that well right now. Happy is treading water, Action Comics is weighted down by substandard art, and every interview he’s in nowadays just exhausts me, even if I don’t read it, through the massive internet backlash it generates. Still, I’m enjoying Batman Inc well enough, and Burnham and Fairbairn’s incredible collaboration is a big part of that. They’re absolutely blowing me away with almost every panel, and I would gladly pay an ungodly amount of money for them to re-do the last 5 years of Morrison comics so that R.I.P is finally readable. Anyway, as long as Morrison is writing cool shit for Burnham to draw, I’m still on board.
Chew #30 written by John Layman, drawn by Rob Guillory:
“His appetizers… That’s our wedding music.”
Damn, this issue came so close to being Space Jam of the Week, and if a new Multiple Warheads hadn’t come out, it certainly would have. This is a comic full of real characters in a Looney Tunes world; it’s like if Wiley Coyote could still build a missile out of cardboard, but we watch him die horribly against the cliff wall. It’s just such a punch in the gut, and it’s one that can feel shocking while still making sense in the context of the story. This is the type of stuff you get when you let two creators with vision do their stuff without any goddamn fill-in artists.
The Flash #14 written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, drawn by Francis Manapul, colored by Brian Buccellato:
“The only thing you’re dominating is the conversation.”
Aaaaaand, I’m done. I gave it 14 issues, but dammit, I need more than pretty pictures in my comics. Sure the art’s gorgeous, and the coloring’s very nice, but there’s a good 6 characters with speaking roles in here, and I had trouble remembering who half of them were, and I’m usually very good at that. Plus, Gorilla Grodd is so boring; he’s only ever got the one story nowadays in the last 10 years of DC. He shows up, kills a bunch of people (because it ain’t a good comic if people aren’t dying), and then gets punched in the face for a bit. You can do better with a psychic talking gorilla. Anyway, I wish Manapul and Buccellato luck. I’m sure they’ll become great writers someday, but they aren’t today, and I need to make some cuts.
SPACE JAM OF THE WEEK
Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #2 written and drawn and colored by Brandon Graham:
“It’s cold, but a turnip the heat keeps my hands warm.”
Darryl Ayo was talking the other day about how not enough people were talking about this comic, which is fair. It’s tough to write about, and negative reviews of shit comics are always easier to make than actually explaining why something works, but I’ll give it a shot. For starters, Graham’s got an instantly recognizable style; once you’ve seen a single panel of his, you have no trouble picking him out somewhere else. Still, that’s not good enough in and of itself, Greg Land’s got a recognizable style too. Graham excels because he’s got such control over the little details of the page, from tiny puns in the background, to the vast white snowy mountains, you feel immediately immersed in his work. The colors are soft but clear, they emphasize the difference in locations without the need for a caption box. Brandon Graham is a masterpiece in motion, and if you’re friends with someone who doesn’t want to read this, you need to associate with a better class of chumps.
Nowhere Men #1 written by Eric Stephenson, drawn by Nate Bellegarde, colored by Jordie Bellaire:
“Right, and the Beatles were just a good cover band.”
I bought this for 2 reasons: Nate Bellegarde art, and Nate Bellegarde art. I’ve talked about him before, but every promo picture I’ve seen is eye-popping in how much improvement he’s showing. This looks wild entertaining, even if Stephenson ends up dropping the ball. Plus, Bellaire is a colorist I’ve really been noticing lately, mostly from the Manhattan Projects. She’s got a very distinctive palette, and considering I’m at least half colorblind, it’s rare of me to notice specific colorists. Anyway, let’s get this series over with so we can get some more Hector Plasm!
Prophet #31 written by Brandon Graham, drawn by Giannis Milonogiannis, colored by Joseph Bergin III:
“The bomb explodes (silent) in the vacuum.”
This comic continues to be far better than the general comics audience that’s ignoring it deserves. Good world building from Graham, brilliant art from Milonogiannis and Bergin III, this really needs to go on forever.
Thor: God of Thunder #2 written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Esad Ribic, colored by Ive Svorcina:
“I will simply follow the trail of dead gods.”
Uncanny Avengers #2 written by Rick Remender, drawn by John Cassaday, colored by Laura Martin:
“Get wet. Thank Remy LeBeau and all those kinky bondage drinking games.”
You know, for the new flagship title of the Marvel Universe, there’s really no editors even trying to make this not a mature comic, huh? I mean granted, Marvel and DC both aren’t to be trusted around children, but there’s a whole lotta sex references in this one comic (which isn’t bad, per se, only odd because it’s the first new Avengers comic in Marvel NOW following a massive mostly kid-friendly movie). I’m digging the references Remender is playing with, but there’s not enough here to really get on board quite yet, especially when Cassaday is putting in some occasionally rough panel-work. Ah well. Maybe Remender will even add some characters (literally any) that I care about to replace the Scarlet Witch and Cyclops’ somehow even more boring brother.
Witch Doctor: Mal Practice #1 written by Brandon Seifert, drawn by Lukas Ketner, colored by Andy Troy:
“Who the hell happened to me last night?”