Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Comics Out August 8, 2007

Matt Fraction and Fabio Moon's Casanova #8.

The new issue of Casanova is out, and it is blue, shockingly blue. It was a shade of blue I was not expecting when Fraction sent me the black and whites and told me they would be blue. It is blue-tastic.

It is also the first, and probably last sight of a super-villain (well, not so super to tell the truth) whose name really was was inspired by my name, DOKKKTOR KLOCKHAMMER, appearing here less that two weeks after I finished at Oxford and officially became Doctor Klock. Nice timing Fraction.

Casanova 8 doubles as a great introduction for those that have never read Casanova before -- if you want to jump on, today's the day; Fraction does a great job re-establishing a lot of things without making you feel like he is re-establishing a lot of things. Cause in Casanova exposition, even review-exposition, is always fun. As Fraction himself says in the back-matter, the thing does a needle scratch through the album that is the first seven issues, remixing all of their great stuff in 16 pages. But be warned -- Casanova 8 will make you want to shell out the money for the hard-cover collection of Casanova 1-7.

As for the issue itself. It has a hilarious Dungeons and Dragons reference, a genuinely surprising ending on a couple of levels, and the art is amazing even though it is not by Gabriel Ba, which should not be possible (Fabio Moon is Gabriel Ba's twin brother if you can believe it; and I probably do sometimes) - it has a looseness that goes over well. Fraction (I think) has said that Moon brings the Pope while Ba had the Mignola in his pocket -- that's exactly right. You will love this issue.

Plus: I have seen upcoming issues and read upcoming scripts and I know stacks of secrets and I can promise you that this is going somewhere awesome, somewhere that will rival volume 1.

Buy this issue or something probably bad will happen to you.

Matt Fraction and Ariel Olivetti's Punisher War Journal #10. The White Supremacists Punisher arc comes to an end, white supremacists get the crap beaten out of them (and who does not love to see that -- that's what comics were make to to back when Hitler was setting everything on fire), little Clark really grows as a person and as a killer, and Fraction finds a hell of an ending, a hell of a thing to set between his two main characters. Also the bad guys here have an H-ray generator (hate-rays); what do the bad guys in Casanova have? An H-element generator. Interesting... (Ok, maybe not interesting, but kinda fun.... Remember when you noticed that the Philosopher's stone in Morrison's JLA was the Hand of Glory from the Invisibles -- kinda like that, but with more ... something).

Grant Morrison and J.H. Williams III's Batman #667. This is a lot like Seven Soldiers #0, but slower -- Morrison and J.H. Williams team up to show you a bunch of superhero-losers (including a fat guy), then let loose the killing. There is even an image reminiscent of The Whip on the second to last page of Seven Soldiers 0. It is also a bit like Identity Crisis, with the nostalgia and dire consequences. I loved the two page title spread, Batman's appearance to the group, the two images framed in the hand, and the cruelty of the death, but I am not really feeling on board with this story. I just get annoyed at loser superheroes. It is an easy shot to take? Or I don't care? Something.... Even Williams had as many snoozer images as knockouts. Morrison's Batman is just not doing it for me, even with one of the best artists around.


Joss Whedon and Fabio Moon's Sugershock (Online, and for free) #1. Oh, this is a lot of fun, and Fabio Moon is just the right guy to draw this -- Cassaday is great, but I think Whedon benefits from someone more lose and energetic. You have to give Moon a lot of credit-- this guy knows how to pick who to work with. He is having a great week -- not long ago I did not know who he was and now I love him twice over. Girls, robots, rock bands, awesome. [I was told about this by a commenter a while ago, but was too busy to notice; then Alex Su reminded me today. Two quick questions -- what is the home-page for this and is there a way of being alerted when the new issue comes out so I don't miss it? I mean I know you guys will tell me, and please do, but still...]

Nothing in comics new jumped out at me.

Review, recommend, and discuss this week's comics and comics news.


Ultimate Matt said...

Hmmmm... as I feared, I'm not enjoying the Cass Volume 2 art. Not knocking Fabio exactly, but I can definetly see the Paul Pope comparison... problem being I'm not a big fan of Pope's style. It's actually too loose for its own good, for me - one of Ba's strengths was being able to make things so clear that it really didn't need color, while still being well suited to the one-color thing. This dude's work doesn't mesh so well with the one-color scheme, for me (did that make any snese?). I found some pages hard to look at. I also read this a lot faster than any Cass issue to date.

What was the Dungeons & Dragons reference?

scott s said...

i think i like fabio better, but i agree on the color. the blue's way too loud... it gives me a headache.

James said...

UK readers really have no excuse not to get the first Casanova album; Amazon are still selling the thing for a mere £6.80.

James said...

Oh, and the Dark Horse Presents myspace is the homepage, as far as I can tell. So add them as your friend and I guess they'll post bulletins when new comics go up.

Geoff Klock said...

UM: Did you read Sugar Shock; I am not the biggest Paul Pope fan either, but when I red Sugar Shock I got Fabio Moon fully. I don't know why it took me a minute, but it did. The Dungeons and Dragons thing was very small but the robot making guy is described at one point as "chaotic good" which I just thought was hilarious -- that is the kind of shorthand that makes Casanova fun.

James: thanks. that is what I will do.

Scott said...

Casanova #8-- Visually, it took some time to get used to Fabio's artwork which I do enjoy. But it's a lot more open and larger than Gabriel's was, where each and every page was packed with info. This issue felt more relaxed than the first seven did. It's different and that's not a bad thing.

Batman #667-- More than ever, I'm now convinced that Morrison is writing his own version of the DCU between Seven Soldiers, Batman, All-Star Sups and even his JLA run. It's like he is creating his own world and just using these corporate owned characters to do it with. Williams continues to be one of the most experimental and interesting artists to look at and Dave Stewart's colors are just incredible.

Scott said...

And another thought after looking at the comments for Batman #666-- I wonder if with this issue Morrison is moving a bit beyond Miller's Batman, acknowledging how the character isn't as singular as Miller tries to make him be. The line of "rich, bored men" at the beginning leads Batman a bit away from the crusading avenger that Miller's (and every Batman since) has been.

sara d. reiss said...

I loved sugarshock. That's all I'm sayin for now kids.

Voice Of The Eagle said...

Am I a total sap for thinking Fraction hit on a noble truth when he had Cass say "only a boring madman would mistake cruelty for courage?"

razorsmile said...

What was the Dungeons & Dragons reference?

"Chaotic Good" as used to describe Sabine Seychelle.