Tagged: Oxford Comics

New Pulp Comics Spotted on Necessary Roughness

Some comic books featuring work by New Pulp Creators Milton Davis, Mark Maddox, Nancy Holder, and Bobby Nash (among others) made a brief (and we mean brief so don’t blink) appearance on the July 24th episode of Necessary Roughness called “The Haunting.” In the episode, Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) tries to help an author with his writer’s block. During the story they end up in a comic book store where the comics were seen behind the counter.

Featured in this episode is Domino Lady Vs. Mummy as co-written by Bobby Nash and Nancy Holder, with a cover by Dan Brereton from Moonstone Books and the Strong Will preview book by Bobby Nash and Michael Gordon from New Legend Productions with a cover by Mark Maddox. Also on the shelf is The Blood Seeker by Milton Davis and Kristopher Mosby from MVMedia.

Special thanks to Tony Cade at Dragon’s Horde comic shop for inviting some of New Pulp’s finest to add their comics to the scene, which was filmed at Atlanta’s Oxford Comics.

Learn more about Necessary Roughness here.

The photos were taken directly off the TV so they are a little blurry as they were behind the character who was in focus, but you can still make out the cover art.

New episodes of Necessary Roughness air Wednesdays at 10 pm on the USA Cable Network. The comics above are on the left side of the screen shots.

Review: “Air” by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker

There’s something so unabashedly original about writer G. Willow Wilson that it’s nearly impossible to not enjoy her comics projects, like last year’s graphic novel [[[Cairo]]] and this week’s new series [[[Air]]].

Wilson brings an entirely new voice and outlook to comics, keeping relevant to contemporary culture while digging into issues like terrorism, nationalism and identity. In Air, the focus is on Blythe, a stewardess who has the unfortunate disposition of being afraid of heights.

While a lesser writer might use that gimmick as a crutch, Wilson allows it to simply exist as one aspect of a fully realized world. The focus from the first stunning page (M.K. Perker deserves a lot of credit here) is on the shadowy forces hijacking Blythe’s airplane, and a world of intrigue opens up chaotically.

For such a structured writer (Wilson’s end note on writing is worth a read), she lets the reins go slack a little too much in this issue, with its convoluted narrative and repetitive settings.

With nearly every scene being set in an airport or airplane, it’s difficult to follow the issue’s chronology, though that has the likely intended effect of establishing how confused Blythe is.

Vertigo allowed me to read the first arc of the story, and it takes about that long to gain a sturdy footing in this new world Wilson has created. But it’s an endlessly fun and inventive ride, and by the sixth issue Air appears on the verge of becoming the next great Vertigo book.

If nothing else, it’s deeply ambitious and delightfully new. Of course, I might be biased, as Wilson is a fellow journalist turned comics person.

Van Jensen is a former crime reporter turned comic book journalist. Every Wednesday, he braves Atlanta traffic to visit Oxford Comics, where he reads a whole mess of books for his weekly reviews. Van’s blog can be found at graphicfiction.wordpress.com.

Publishers who would like their books to be reviewed at ComicMix should contact ComicMix through the usual channels or email Van Jensen directly at van (dot) jensen (at) comicmix (dot) com.

Review: ‘After 9/11’ by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

A few years back, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón came up with the novel idea of retelling the 9/11 Commission Report in comic book form.

Now they’re back with something of a sequel, After 9/11: America’s War on Terror (Hill and Wang, $16.95). While their earlier book was a simple recreation of an existing document, this is a more impressive endeavor, as they compile facts from a great number of sources to create one of the most encompassing yet looks at our ongoing wars.

I really only have one criticism. The book is labeled “graphic journalism,” which is a bit of a misnomer. The creators did no original reporting, as far as I can tell, instead researching media reports for their information.

It’s really an illustrated work of history, an encompassing paper-bound documentary of the past seven years in American foreign policy. Which is to say it’s a pretty depressing read.

The creators organize their collection of news reports and government documents in chronological form, as the U.S. launches its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter through no small part of deception.


Review: ‘Meathaus: SOS’

I was talking to cartoonist Jim Rugg recently about comics anthologies, and he said his thought as a reader is that each collection should have one great story, and then anything else good is just gravy.

In the case of the latest volume of Meathaus, SOS (Nerdcore, $30), Rugg’s Afrodisiac story is the gravy. His old-school, dot-matrix-styled, blaxploitation character has a predictably badass encounter with vampires.

The one great story in SOS, then, is the volume’s first entry, a longish bizarro riff on [[[Zelda]]] (I think) from Farel Dalrymple. It’s a story of two brothers who stumble into a mysterious cave and are attacked by an evil elf wearing a fedora and trench coat.

Dalrymple’s art is as energetic as ever, and the story is a strangely edited puzzler that’s worth multiple reads.

There’s plenty more gravy in the 272 pages. Most notably Dash Shaw’s melding of science fiction and nude modeling for art classes. I don’t think any more needs to be said.


Review: This Week in ‘Trinity’ – Part 9

This ridiculous villain thing has officially gone too far.

First, we have the “evil trinity” of Despero, Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma. Then there’s been Howlers galore and a trio of baddies headlined by the Eraser or White Out or whatever his name is.

And now? Swashbuckler!

He shows up amid the chaos of the bombed mall and lays a kiss on Diana’s gubmint pal (also stealing her ID), and then later fails to steal Nightwing’s mask. Both while offering B-movie banter.

He’s apparently another villain in league with Le Fey, who along with her cronies is amassing more goodies that “define the essence” of key people. It goes back to the continued theme in this series of objects being instilled with a mysterious energy force of the earth.

Elsewhere, Bruce fights off attacking Howlers with Clark’s help. They apprehend a few without being branded like Diana, but we don’t know what happens with that yet.

As Clark is inner-monologuing about Bruce forgetting an earlier encounter with the Howlers, Diana comes over the shortwave to let them know the Crime Syndicate was responsible for mass kidnappings.

Two things here: The Crime Syndicate? And, wait a second, when did these kidnappings happen? Off-panel, I guess.


The Weekly Haul: Comics Reviews for July 30

A pretty slow week in comics, as everyone’s still gasping for breath post Comic-Con (including me, even though I stayed at home this year). Not even a dozen books worth reading this week, and I somehow missed the JSA annual. Still, some interesting stuff, with a strong DC showing.

Book of the Week: Blue Beetle #29 — This was a really strong debut issue from Matthew Sturges, which makes it all the more unfortunate that the finished cover (not the same as the image at right) lists the writer as "Rogers," meaning the departed writer, I imagine.

There’s also a bizarre bit of text added that says: "No trespassing: Violators will be Prosecuted." Except the last word is crossed out and "Persecuted" is written over it. Meaningless fluff that distracts from an attractive bit of art.

Like I said, though, the issue is good stuff aside from a few minor awkwardnesses as Sturges warms up to the series. Jaime keeps on adventuring, though he’s falling into a big mess involving Intergang and smugglers.

Sturges uses that to create a nice dynamic, as Jaime is forced to take a side in the immigration debate. This is a really good jumping-on point, if you’ve been thinking of giving the series a try.

Runners Up:

Green Lantern #33 — Geoff Johns keeps working his magic, digging through the unexplored patches of DC lore for this tale of Hal and Sinestro’s first teamup. It’s a very Obi and Anakin scenario, except if Obi was the one who turned evil.

Johns uses subtlety in examining the reasons Sinestro went mad with power, and the prophecy of the Blackest Night finally is starting to be revealed.

Thor #10 — Not a lot to say here, just another issue that somehow makes believable the idea of Valhalla appearing over the U.S. Reality and myth mingle, and the seduction of Balder deepens. Great stuff.


Review: ‘Shmobots’ by Adam Rifkin and Les Toil

Shmobots is a pretty stupid book on its face. And it’s pretty stupid inside too.

Government negligence leads to a city full of worthless robots (termed [[[Shmobots]]]), and three of the laziest ones hang out with a guy and do pretty much nothing with their lives.

The humore here — from writer Adam Rifkin — is all pretty obvious, heavy on robot cliches and slacker jokes we’ve heard before. Yet the book has an undeniable charm, no doubt because its creators acknowledge those faults and even celebrate them.

Sure, the lead robot character is a carbon copy of Bender from Futurama, but he’s used (at least this is my guess) to make fun of the stupid humor genre even while revelling in it.

There is a more involved plot than I let on: the robots and human friend are constantly looking for money, while unknowingly they’re being stalked by the Shmobot Killer. The plot advances at a marijuana-soaked pace.


Review: ‘Burma Chronicles’ by Guy Delisle

With all of the past year’s insanity in Burma — mainly monk uprisings and government oppressions — you’d think Guy Delisle’s nonfiction comic Burma Chronicles would be especially topical. But you’d be wrong.

As is Delisle’s style, he passes up on the chance to take an expansive view of the country where he lived for six months (he’s written previously about stints in Pyongyang and Shenzhen).

Instead, the book is almost self-centered in how it simply recounts Delisle’s experience as the husband to a Doctors Without Borders. He depicts himself as the ultimate average Joe, a dude content to live life as it comes.

Most of the cartoons are of little moments, like Delisle venting about the sporadic electricity (and sporadic air conditioning), or his hunt for ink to finish a book.

That isn’t to say he doesn’t experience Burmese culture or interact with the locals. He does, but the majority of what he includes in the book are little innocuous windows into the country.


Review: ‘The Number’ by Thomas Ott

The sequence of numbers 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 sit at the top of each page of the superlative new horror graphic novel The Number by Swedish artist Thomas Ott..

Those repeated numbers create a cadence to the book, a dark rhythm drummed into readers’ heads that’s further instilled through Ott’s consistent use of four panels per page.

The wordless story follows a prison executioner who discovers a slip of paper marked only with the previously mentioned number. As the man notices bits of the number turning up in his life, he decides to place his fate in the number, taking it for a wild ride of good luck.

But after a night of gambling success, the man wakes to find the dream turned ugly, and the number only leads him farther into darkness.

It’s not terribly difficult to predict where things end up — after all, the book begins with the quotation “Good people are always so sure they’re right,” from a woman who was executed in prison.

The worthiness of the book lies instead in the way in which Ott unspools his protagonist’s demise. The story moves along briskly, and Ott transitions effectively from the sedate beginning into the surreal and terrifying conclusion.


Review: This Week in Trinity – Part 8

As Comic-Con starts to lull into submission (begin your hype for ’09!), I finally get a chance to sit down with the latest issue of DC’s weekly [[[Trinity]]] and ask myself again why I ever agreed to do weekly reviews.

Yes, the series is still so much better than [[[Countdown]]] that it’s useless comparing the two, but after last week’s big explanations of some of the major mysteries, issue eight has no tension among much weirdness.

We start off with Morgaine Le Fey, Enigma and Despero all hanging out on the largest moon of Itatoq (funny, I’m vacationing there this winter). Because they’re villains, a fight ensues, but after some “We’re all so evil” dialogue the three agree to form their own evil threesome.

At their disposal is the Cosmic Egg, which confused me, since last issue seemed to imply the JLA had the egg (and the villain inside it) stashed somewhere safe. Apparently they stashed it on the largest moon of Itatoq (miles and miles of sandy beaches!).

After that are scenes of the heroes going about their lives, still filling the generic roles prescribed to them by the universe (aka Kurt Busiek). Bruce is sleuthing, Clark is fighting robots and Diana is… shopping. Ahem.