Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Books I Lettered But Didn’t Read Until Now #3

Wolverine: Origins, Vol. 2: Savior

In this latest installment I review another book I lettered but didn’t read until now… “Wolverine Origins, Vol 2 Savior” by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon.

The basic premise behind the Origins series is that Wolverine can now remember all of his past and has to deal with all that comes with those memories.

Before I get into the review, let’s recap the “Origins” of Wolverine.

Going back a few years, during the Bill Jemas “era” Marvel decided to reveal Wolverine’s once shrouded in mystery origin. “Let us do it before Hollywood does” was a smart and commendable move on Marvel’s part. However, the resulting Wolverine: Origin book wasn’t exactly Batman: Year One. I’m trying to think back on it but I really can’t remember a damn thing about it. Which is a shame considering that we’re talking about the “origin” of one of the most popular characters of all-time, Marvel just can’t seem to get a storyline that has to do with Wolverine’s early years right, it’s almost as if they’re trying too hard. Wolverine’s Origin should be an epic show-stopping-page-turner but instead I can’t seem to remember a single page.

When the Wolverine Origins assignment was handed to me I was pretty excited about the book. You’ve got decades upon decades of Wolverine stories to tell and basically no continuity to tangle you along the way. Want to tell a Wolverine during World War I story? Sure! Wolverine in Vietnam? Fine! Wolverine running moonshine with Al Capone? Why not! The possibilities are endless.

Nevertheless I found the Savior storyline very lackluster. Like a lot of mediocre X-Books it’s convoluted and confusing. Where are we? Why are we here? Why does Wolvie give a crap about this cardamantium synthesizer that winds up being a fake or maybe it was real… I was thoroughly confused. Similar to the Punisher we have a running Dirty Harry-esque narrative that is guaranteed to give you at least one “I’m the best there is at what I do” per issue. Ol’ Wolvie will even explain the plot to you along the way in case you’re lost. Which you probably will be even with his long-winded exposition and by the time Wolverine’s son turns up you’ll be ready to either re-read the thing or give up. (Yeah, I said it, Wolverine’s son). Can anyone recall a good story about a major character’s offspring? I can’t and this one ain’t breaking that trend.

On the plus side you’ve got some real nice Steve Dillon art here. I got into his work on the original Marvel Knights Punisher run and his work here is a good as ever.

I hate to say it about a book I was a part of, but skip this one if you can. If someone gives you a free copy or you find it cheap, go for it. Maybe you’ll get more out of it than I did.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The New Comics Experiment: RESULT SHOW!

BPRD Killing Ground #1 by Mignola, Arcudi & Davis 15 votes at 20.83%

Bad Planet #1
by Jane, Niles & LaRosa 3 votes at 4.17%

Powers #25
by Bendis and Oeming 26 votes at 36.11%

Fables #64
by Willingham & Alexovich 17 votes at 23.61%

None of 'em!
11 votes at 15.28%

So I’m like 2 weeks late but here we go… the results of the first “New Comic Experiment”. You can see the results above. I should’ve figured that a Bendis book would clean house on the Bendis Board, but I’m glad I picked that book up…more on that later.

Coming in second was Fables #64. But here’s the kicker. At the time I left for the comic shop, BPRD was winning by one vote. So I never read Fables. Although many comments from the thread suggested I not pick up that issue because I would be lost in the middle of story.

An interesting development as that is a big problem with mainstream comics right now and part of the reason I tried this experiment.

There are so many 6 and even 12 issue storylines that it has to be putting a dent in sales. I just won’t pick up a book if the cover says its part 3 of a 6-part story. So by the time that storyline wraps up I’ve likely forgotten about the book or the creative team that piqued my interest are now off the book. There seems to be a lack of jumping on points for new readers. Especially with DC, as books like 52 and Countdown impact their entire line. There’s just no way I’m touching a new DC book. I’ve heard lifelong DC fans say they can’t keep up with it all, how would a casual DC reader like myself ever jump into that universe?

Marvel is slightly better, but again a lot of 6 to 12 issue storylines with no jumping on points. Not to mention we’re fresh of the Civil War crossover. And in the middle of World War Hulk, which isn’t a massive crossover, but a crossover nonetheless.

Well, before I start going further into a fanboy rant, let’s move onto a couple of really fun comics. Powers #25 and BPRD Killing Ground #1.

I’ve been an on and off reader of Powers since it’s Image days. I love Mike Oeming’s art, however the thing that has made me drop the book a few times has been the storyline. At its core Powers is a grim and gritty street level crime book with superheroes mixed in… a great combo. When the book debuted at Image with the “Who Killed Retro Girl” storyline, it was one of those books I couldn’t get enough of. As with any long running book it has had it’s peaks and valleys. It went through a few strange cosmic storylines that I just didn’t get into at all but the recent issue #25 has gotten back down into the streets. There’s still a little bit of cosmic alien stuff going on, but as long as the story doesn’t completely shift to “outer space”, I’ll keep picking this book up. This book needs to stay street level; it’s where Bendis and Oeming are at their best.

Another fun part of Powers is the back of the book. There are a few interviews, a lengthy letter’s page, a “No Life” section with DVD, book and CD plugs and reviews. Good stuff. I’ll be picking up issue 26 next month.

The second book I picked up was BPRD Killing Ground #1. Like Powers I picked up this book a while back but dropped it for some reason or another. Guy Davis is just a kick-ass and massively underrated artist. His work is like no one else’s in the business. I almost wish this book was black and white, although the colors by Dave Stewart by no means detract from Davis’s art. It’s just so refreshing to see an artist who isn’t afraid of letting a brush stroke look like a brush stroke that I think it could stand alone and hopefully inspire up and coming artists to stay away from this recent wave of photorealistic art.

So I’ll be picking up both of these books next time around. It’s safe to say the New Comic Experiment was a success. As I look at this week’s shipping list there isn’t anything grabbing my attention. We’ll see what looks good on the shelves tomorrow.

So hey, thanks for reading and if you voted over at the Bendis Board, thanks for your input.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Randall Artist

I’ve always had this little pipe-dream that LazyComix will become a collective of artists all working together to make comics just for the love of it… a cool site to visit full of different web comics as well as a Blog full of reviews, rants, interviews, etc. I’m trying to do that, albeit at a snails pace, but the wheels are in motion.

A while back I announced that I’d be doing “LazyComix Conversations”, a series of interviews with comic creators. That is getting very close now and I think the first interview is really going to kick-ass. I’ve been throwing reviews up here at a good pace and I’m thinking of taking that a big further as well.

Another thing that has to happen to make this one-man operation a collective is to get some other people working here. So here’s how it’s going down. I’m wrapping up the first chapter of Randall right now. It’ll be available first as a mini comic at Comic Geek Speak’s Episode 300 celebration, after that it’ll hit,, etc. At the same time I’m going to get some new NYComix going and it’s impossible for me to write and draw Randall and NYComix at the same time. Not to mention finding the time to start other projects that are gnawing away at me.

So I’m looking for an artist to draw Randall. The great thing about releasing Randall through Pixelstrips (besides the fact that it’s a great web comic site) is that it’s a weekly comic so you don’t have to completely bust your butt to get pages done. Just getting 4 pages done ahead of time gets you a month of lead-time for any real life stuff that can and will get in the way.

So if you’re an artist willing and able to draw a weekly strip shoot me an email with either jPegs of your work or better yet, a link to your work. There have to be sequentials included, though. No pin-ups unless they’re accompanied by some ol’ fashion panel-to-panel sequential action.

I’ve got no specific kind of artist in mind and I’ll take a look at any style. You don’t have to color your work, if you can, that’s cool too but it’s not required. I’ll be writing and lettering the thing, so no need to worry about words.

Check out this link to see what I’ve already done with Randall.

So I hope to hear from you folk’s… thanks for any and all interest and I look forward to seeing your work.

If you’re not an artist or not interested in drawing my li’l funnybook… then I guess you just read this for nothin’!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mike Wieringo

Some really sad news in the comic world today. Mike Wieringo long-time fan favorite artist of just about every major character you can think of passed away Sunday morning. Here’s the news from Newsarama.

The comics industry lost a luminary this weekend – Mike Wieringo passed away Sunday of a sudden heart attack. Details are still sketchy as of this time, but according to close sources, the acclaimed artist had chest pains at some point during the day and called 911, but the responders did not make it in time.

Wieringo was 44 years old. He was a vegetarian, and “one of the healthiest ones of us in the bunch,” as his longtime friend and collaborator Todd Dezago described him.

Wieringo worked every day, updating his blog and website with a constant stream of sketches at His last sketch was posted on Friday.

I had the pleasure of lettering his work on Fantastic Four and most recently on Spider-Ham. One of the best artists in recent history as well as a really nice guy.

Go pick up a book by Mike Wieringo.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The New Comics Experiment

So I’m down to 2 ongoing comics that I buy “monthly” without fail. All Star Superman and The Goon. I say “Monthly” in parenthesis because I think they’re both considered bi-monthly. But even that varies from issue to issue.

I go to the comic shop every Wednesday. Being that I work right next to one I’m usually in there more than once a week just to kill some time on my lunch break. What I realized is that I gravitate to the usual suspects. Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, Batman… but none of these books really interest me right now.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to cherry pick 4 titles from this Wednesday’s shipment. One Marvel, one DC, one Image and one Dark Horse. 4 books I haven’t read at all, or in ages. I’m going to enlist the help of the Bendis Board and create a poll that the biggest and smartest fanboys around will vote on. If you’re not a member of the Bendis Board just state your pick in the “comments” section here at the LazyBlog and I’ll add it to the tally. The 2 that receive the most votes I’ll buy this Wednesday and read. This Friday I’ll let ya’ll know what I thought and if I’m adding them to All Star Superman and The Goon. If I’m not down with either one, I’ll give it another shot next week.

So without further delay… here are my 4 choices and my best explanation as to why I picked these books.

From DC:
Fables #64 by Willingham & Alexovich
I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book and I never knew where to start. The solicitation for this issue says it’s a stand-alone story, so maybe this is where I start?

From Dark Horse
BPRD Killing Ground #1 by Mignola, Arcudi & Davis
I read some BPRD’s back in the day and I really love Guy Davis’ work. I got bored with the story and dropped it, but here’s a nice new issue #1. I’m willing to give it a shot if not just for the sweet Guy Davis art.

From Image
Bad Planet #1 by Jane, Niles & LaRosa
This is a reprinting of the first issue and issue 2 will already be on the stands this Wednesday. For some reason this book always looked interesting to me… maybe it’s the Horror Movie look/feel of the book.

From Marvel
Powers #25 by Bendis and Oeming
Another book I used to read regularly but dropped about 16 or so issues into the Marvel run. I’m a fan of both creators and the letters pages are always a blast. Solits say it’s the “perfect jumping on point”.

So there they are, folks… what 2 comics should I read? Feel free to tell me why or why not and of course, thanks for participating.