Comic links II

July 23, 2009 at 3:19 am (Uncategorized)

More comics worth reading.

1. Students for a Democratic Society – A Graphic History

How about this? A comic book history of SDS written by America Splendor‘s Harvey Pekar, and drawn by Gary Dumn, a long time Pekar collaborator. The first half of the book is a history of SDS from its origins within the League for Industrial Democracy to its collapse at the end of the 1960s. A marvellously told story, which will resonate with anyone who has been a part of a leftist organization (particularly as SDS splintered into warring factions). The second half of the book is recollections from people like Paul Buhle (who also serves as the editor), Penelope Rosemont, Paul Le Blanc, Alan Wald and many others.

2. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910

Did you see the movie? I mean, did you see the movie? Such pain. It’s no wonder that Alan Moore has disassociated himself from movies. Fear not, LEG Century:  1910is as wonderful as the first two volumes. Again collecting fictional characters such as Nemo, Orlando, Raffles, Thomas Carnacki, Oliver Aleistar Crowley) Hando and many more.  

This volume takes us into the twentieth century and continues Moore’s blend of the fictional world with the real to create something unique. apparently the next volume features the Krays and Jerry Cornelius!

Jerry Nevins, who writes the mini-essays for Incognito (see below), has created a web site for all the references in the book.

3. Incognito

The fifth issue of Ed Brubaker’s super herovillain noir has just been published. There’s a line in the book where Zack Overkill says to Ava Destruction (how can you not love a book where characters have such cool names?), do you remember those villains who tried to discover how to stop time? It’s no problem. Just get an office job. Each issue also has a mini feature of a classic pulp character. This issue, it’s Fu Manchu.

4. Blackest Night

Now, I have to admit, I feel a little sucky about this. I first came across Green Lantern sometime in the early 1970s. I have a copy, sans cover, of one of those Denny O’Neill/Neal Adams collaborations, and featured Green Arrow and Black Canary along with a Mansonesque villain. (DC reprinted them in the eighties and they’re worth looking for).

But unlike Batman or Superman, or any other of the DC gang, Green Lantern never made it outside of the comics universe. I have a Green Lantern t-shirt which people always ask about. 

Now, there’s going to be a movie with Ryan Reynolds.

And this year, DC are making Blackest Night, the big cross-over event. (Huh?Wasn’t it Battle for the Cowl?). A group of dead characters (no one really stays dead) are resurrected as Black Lanterns. Bought, but haven’t read the first issue. Got a free Black Lantern ring with it. Cool.

Now everybody, recite the oath

In brightest day, in blackest night,
no evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light

5. Batman & Robin

And speaking of Batman, I picked up the first two issues of Grant morrison’s new book. I don’t know if I like Dick Grayson as Robin, and Damian is a punk. Morrison is always worth watching though.

6. Joann Sfar.

If Green Lantern makes me feel cool, Joann Sfar makes me feel something different. Remember what it’s like to discover something everyone already knows about (I felt the same way when I started listening to Otis Redding and Al Green in a big way). Sfar is  French artist who has created such memorable books as Vampires Loves, Sardine in Outer Space, The Professor’s Daughter, the Rabbi’s Cat and others. Lovely, enchanting books. Beautifully drawn. For the young and old alike.

7. Constantine

Ian Rankin is writing a John Constantine story, Dark Entries,  to be published as a hard cover book August 19. Here’s Vertigo’s blurb:

Occult detective John Constantine has seen his share of strange things in his career, but nothing could prepare him for the horrors of…reality television. “Haunted Mansion” is currently the hottest show on TV, but when the macabre house actually starts attacking the contestants, Constantine is hired to be the ultimate mole. Locked inside with a cast of wannabe-celebrities, his every move being monitored by a deadly figure from his past, Constantine must figure out who (or what) is pulling the strings before he gets cancelled—permanently.

Hey DC, review copies welcome!

8. Umbrella Academy – Dallas

The second volume of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s surreal comic book concluded recently. And it’s just as good as the first volume: the assassination of JFK, timer travel, sugar crazed hit-men named Hazel and Cha Cha, talking goldfish. What more could you want?

9. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8

I though the last few issues were not quite up to scratch. Not terrible. But just not so good. Then, pow! Jane Espensen’s Retreat is magic.I’ve been watching Season 7 again on DVD, and so have come to appreciate Andrew a little more. His line about when bones are a decorating theme means you have too many bones is great. Similarly, his actual confrontation with Warren. And Oz too!

10. Fallen Angel

Haven’t seen this one yet, but it guest stars Illyria. Probably worth a look.

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