Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pinch Hitters  

I had a completely different post prepped and ready to go for today but, as usual, life tossed a monkey wrench into the works and it’s going to have to be postponed until another day.

…So, Plan B.

Games: Finished the Wii’s No More Heroes today. A truly bizarre title from any angle, I plan on cobbling together a review that’s as unconventional as the game itself is. In a nutshell, NMH tells the fervently nihilistic story of Travis Touchdown, a socially inept otaku who buys a real, working light saber online and then proceeds to become the top-ranked assassin in the world.

It’s adult, it’s deranged, and there’s more than a lot wrong with it… but at the same time, there are certain rays of brilliance that are impossible to deny. I’m still sort of kicking around a few ideas, but when the final piece is done I’ll link to it here.

Comics: I haven’t done a comics rundown in a while, so I thought it would be good grist for today's mill.

Ghost Rider: Still crap, but the book just got a new writer and this writer seems to be aware of its craptastic status. I’m hoping that they will get off of the completely insipid angel/devil storyline they’ve been on for the last arc and get back to some grittier stuff.

Simon Dark: Still hasn’t taken off yet, but the last page of issue five seems to suggest that big events are on the way. I like the visuals, but the story is frankly, quite boring so far… I’ll give it one or two more before quitting if things don’t improve.

Terror, Inc.: Now, this is pretty interesting. I recapped the story about a constantly-decomposing warrior in modern times working as a mercenary in a previous post, but as I was flipping through the pages of issue two, I noticed that this particular character had been created by Dan Chichester, Margaret Clark, and Klaus Janson. I did not know this previously, and had no knowledge of it when I originally picked up the first issue. I just sort of saw the book on the shelf and it caught my eye for some reason…

I’m a huge Chichester fan from his work on some past Marvel titles, especially some of the smaller niche books that basically failed at retail and died a quick death. Janson is extremely well-known in comic circles, and although I’m not familiar with Clark, I’m sure she’s somebody special, too.

In any event, I found it completely fascinating that I picked this particular book out of a shelf of several hundred and two creators that I love had a hand in it. It made me start to wonder if there was some sort of subliminal recognition going on that drew me to the book in the first place… maybe it’s one of those mysterious powers of the brain that scientists need to hurry up and start studying.

Anyway, it’s cool book.

Fables TPB 3: Storybook Love: After being turned on to Fables by Nightdreamer, I was very glad to see that the books are regularly kept in stock by my local comic shop owner. He’s a pretty cool guy and when we were discussing this series, he mentioned that most people like the first TPB (trade paperback, a collection of single issues) but that they love the second. I sort of found the opposite to be true, but now that I’ve gotten to number three, I think this one trumps both of the earlier books. I was a little hesitant to buy into the concept of Fables in the first place (basically, a giant mix of fairytale characters exist together in New York) but I have to say that it’s definitely quality work.

Death Note 3: Last but not least, another book that Nightdreamer suggested, and it was a good one. I’ve been out of anime/manga circles for several years, but this story has definitely get me coming back for more even though it does have some of the same silliness and outlandish elements that Japanese creators don’t seem to blink twice at. Evidently, the series has become quite popular and even has an animated series which has been receiving raves. If any of you have other manga recommendations that are at least as good if not better than this, drop me a line.

What next?

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