May 8th, 2003

smokin'

FYI and some babbling

Dan Vado at SLG provided us with some freebies for the Toms River library talk this Saturday (see following post for deatils). We'll have giveaway copies of Kid Blastoff for the kids, and the SLG sampler featuring the new Milk and Cheese strip for the unkids. We'll also most likely bring some Action Girl issues as well, and some cards if we can find extras. And I bought some new Sharpies for sketching, if anyone brings their pad. This is the final plug, hopefully we'll see some of you folks there.

I did have time to hit the comic shop yesterday while picking up the mail. Picked up the latest Astro Boy trade, and a new Clamp manga for Sarah (forget the title, Man of 20 faces or something), and while they were out of most of the FCBD books, the Manhattan store is sending down some copies of the Alternative Comics sampler and the Donald Duck book. Yay for me. I flipped through the new Comics Journal, I might pick it up for the Romita interview down the line. I seriously eyeballed the latest Michael Rabagliatti or whatever his name is, the Paul has a Summer Job or goes on a trip or whatever the hell it's called. I'm going to pick it up for sure, but maybe I should learn the guy';s name and the name of the books first. Sheesh. This kind of blogging is why CBR never calls me to write articles for them. Anyway, I'm leagues behind on my book buying, I finally finished Epileptic, which I loved, still never picked up the Jimmy Corrigan collection and a bunch of others I've been lollygagging on. So, what comics have I managed to grab instead of all this hifallutin artsy stuff that impresses the folks? Well, uh, Daredevil. That's right, Daredevil. Wanna make something of it?

A friend of ours gave me the Daredevil Essentials and the Ant-Man Essentials and I've been reading those off and on. off and on the can, that is. DD's powers and costume keep changing in the early issues, and despite all of Stan lee's contrived sonic radar and hypersensitive hearing hoo-hah I'm not convinced Matt Murdock shouldn't be a greasy smear on a sidewalk after plunging to his death in issue 2 or 3. I love how he simply assumes all buildings have flagpoles to leap to, and lucks out as to their positioning and lenght. Duh. The real plus is Wally Wood's stiff but lush artwork gracing several issues, most noteably the well-known Sub-Mariner story where the pissy underwater monarch with the flat head and the ankle wings beats the bejeesus out our hero. Visually, it's like Daredevil wandered onto a Thunder Agents backlot for a few issues. I didn't know Joe orlando drew a couple of issues, he really doesn't mesh well with the costumed hero material at all. Overall, I'm amazed Daredevil hung on facing a rogues gallery of lame villains like The Purple Man (uhhh...yeah, the Purple Man), The Owl (a fat man who floats), The Matador (He's, uh, well, a matador. Run for the hills!) and the Stilt-Man (who I actually am fond of, his sucking aside). The back cover copy says DD's rogues gallery is better than Spider-Man's, which in comic book jargon means Marvel copywriters are on the crack pipe. They barely trump the morons that Nova The Human Rocket beat up.

Even higher on the goofy scale is the Ant-Man Essentials, possibly the most DC Comics-like of the early Marvel heroes. It's like Aquaman, only with ants. No sub-plots, no supporting cast (as of yet) or romantic woes, just Hank Pym in a cheap-looking lab getting a call from the ant world, changing into his silly costume, then catapulting out of his lab onto a pile of ants at a predetermined spot somewhere in the city (!!?!!). Somehow Hank Pym finds ants the size of baseballs to ride around on. He really never actually becomes ant-sized, either, he's more like hissing cockroach size. Ants do stuff they couldn't ever do in reality, pull keys from car ignitions, tie people's shoelaces together, contrived DC kiddie stuff like that. Maybe they're alpha-male worker ants, mensa-types who work out. It's fairly entertaining, despite the stupidity -- well, actually, because of the stupidity - you can see why Ant-Man never really clicked with readers and got slammed so hard in that old SNL skit. Larry Leiber's scripting is pretty dullsville, he's the Leaping Lanny Poffo to brother Stan's Randy Savage, he just doesn't have the spark, if you know what I mean. Anyway, there's my comic book report for this week. I go back to work now.