What have I learnt today? Well, USA Today have printed the second page of their Wednesday Comics Superman chapter. The New York Daily News promotes Blackest Night (although it seems that the promotional Blackest Night rings won’t reach the UK till next week) with Geoff Johns quoted as saying “What’s going to be the most horrifying thing these heroes are going to face is going to be their friends and their family”
And the LA Times reports that movie producer Don Murphy got so angry at one message board commentator talking about the From Hell movie on Eddie Campbell’s blog, that he tracked him down, bought his book, read it hoping to castigate it, enjoyed it so much that he had to buy the rights then set up a movie with John Wells. Travis Malloy has been hired to write the screenplay. It’s not the usual way to get a gig. But maybe it could catch on. Scorcese? The Departed was awful. Now make a Flying Friar movie, you arse.
Why not take a journey around the Jerry Siegel’s homestead?
Let’s have a look at some comics coming out today from IDW.
Last Resort #1 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Gianculo Carracuzzo.
This is a beautiful book. A zombie/plague thriller with swearing, sex, breasts, face ripping, F, C (but no Z) words everywhere, and everything you’d expect, but with a real lightness of touch. A mixture of convincing human dialogue balanced with cracking stylised lines. Perfectly thought through panel to panel storytelling, rather than going all balls to the wall, it steps back and tells tender moments, sometimes with long back and forths, other times with no
dialogue at all. The art is self assured, self confident and more in line with BD albums than the usual American comic fare, but it really suits the story, as we get indepth looks at the lives of many different folks on their way to a holiday resort – Florida East (the faded letters reading L.. AST) giving it a very Dawn Of The Dead-On-Sea vibe. They’re all going to get slaughtered in a holiday setting, where the zombies will probably be the quick moving ones. Purely from the initial setup, it’s the best zombie comic I’ve read yet. I don’t care if you’re suffering from zombie fatigue, man up.
Doctor Who: Silver Scream by Tony Lee and Al Davison from IDW
Al Davison is one of the most underrated comic artists working today. I have pages from his Minotaur’s Tale up on my study wall, his Tainted oneshot with Jamie Delano is one of the finest books Vertigo have ever published and, well, I just haven’t seen enough of his stuff recently.
And this book, the first of IDW’s ongoing Doctor Who series, shows it off perfectly, a kind of different-lined Bryan Talbot, that precision of line and space, an openness for colour and a serious understanding of how bodies move, hang and basically exist. And in portraying a very nineteen twenties Hollywood, image is so important. As the Doctor find himself face-to-face with the little tramp himself, the bowler hatted Charlie Chaplin.
And therein lies this book’s real problem, Chaplin. Or rather his absence. Clearly there has been an issue with the likeness rights and/or identifying the individual in question. So he’s Archie Maplin instead. Yet he’s clearly Charlie Chaplin. And every time his identity comes to the fore, you can heard the screech marks as the book tries to manoeuver round the issue at high speed. Al Davison did well to rub out all the skid marks as the bowler hat gains a certain flatness about the top, and a toothbrush moustache now starts to droop. But the book, bizarrely, can name Tom Cruise, Michael Caine, even Harry Knowles, and Tony Lee writes some delightful skipping scenes with the Doctor being very entertainingly silly indeed, but Charlie Chaplin is a no no, and it appears that this change from real-to-fictional analogue character was made after the book had been drawn. It repeatedly pulls me out of the story and it’s hard to get back in. It’s annoying, if anything and reminds me of those X-Statix issues with the not-Princess Diana in. The central theme, that of Hollywood sucking you in as an actor, gorging and profiting on your talent, and leaving a burned out shell is an excellent one, entertainingly told. But damn it, it would have been better with the tramp we know and not this… this littlest faux-bo.
And finally we have Fallen Angel: Reborn #1 by Peter David and JK Woodward.
It’s a crossover with Joss Whedon’s Angel here folks, as Illyria guest stars in this creator owned book which must have played merry hell with rights lawyers. And will probably surprise a few retailers as the Whedon hordes descend.
Because despite this being the first issue of the Fallen Angel relaunch, straight from the off, this issue is an Illyria book far more than it is another issue of Fallen Angel, the protector of Bete Noire only appearing on the last page. This comic looks at Illyria’s time as a god contrasting to her life now, portrayed in a rich, vivid and epic scale that Angel really never had the budget to, and Peter Jackson only just managed with Mordor.
It’s a convincing narrative as the worlds start to spiral into each other, courtesy of the Wolfram And Hart elevator. And since Peter David was kind-of Joss Whedoning while Joss was a still on Roseanne, this is quite the convincing companion to the Angel and Buffy titles currently being published.
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