Thursday, 15 October 2009

Two more

Tense times at LLC Mansions as we prepare for an afternoon of cold turkey on the nappy front. Yes, imaginary web chums, when the boy wakes up from his nap I will be depriving him of his nappy and putting him into a pair of robot themed pants. Magic shit and piss filled moments will no doubt ensue, wish me luck.

Enough toilet training, what of comics? Well, I managed to read a whole trade yesterday! I Kill Giants, by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura. For those who don't know, it's the story of a precocious 12-year-old girl who says she kills giants. Obviously this gets her into all sorts of scrapes with other kids who think she's a weirdo. Whether she's telling the truth or not is for you to find out. All you need to know is that she has some other problems going on in her life, which make things difficult for her.

This thing has been buried under a mountain of critical praise, so I was pretty keen to get cracking on it. I think I would've liked it a lot more had I not gone into it thinking it was going to be the most wonderful book of all time. Like Asterios Polyp, I'd heard such glowing reports about it that I ended up being slightly underwhelmed. It is worth reading, but it also feels a bit worthy. I dunno.

Kelly does an excellent job of putting the thought processes of kids on the page, that's for sure. The fact that the main character, Barbara, is a lot brighter than her peers but still very obviously a child is handled really well. All the other kids are very believable too.

The art is clearly manga-influenced. It has a rougher, scratchier edge than manga proper, but the influence is there all the same. Occasionally it's difficult to tell what's going on, particularly in the fight scenes which are pretty chaotic, but perhaps this is a deliberate thing. The characters look great though.

So, as a whole, worth a look. Perhaps it's the cynical old bastard in me, but some of the more obviously emotional stuff in the book left me feeling a bit like I was watching a made for TV tearjerker. Like I said though, I'm a heartless cad, so don't listen to me.

On the single issue front, only book I've read this week is the first installment of Rick Remender's Doctor Voodoo. Decent enough start, some interesting art from Jefte Paolo. Has a bit of the Eric Canete about him, draws an old, saggy, worn out looking Doctor Strange which I thought was a novel approach to the character.

The story is actually quite heavy, not the tongue-in-cheek hi jinks I was expecting at all. I'll probably pick up the second issue. Oh and it's one of these $3.99 books which is designed to appeal to us old men. How do I know? Because it's got back matter, that's how. Yup, I think this age of comics will eventually be remembered as the back matter age, an era where comic companies loaded up their books with historical notes and critical essays to satisfy a rapidly aging audience of amateur comic historians.

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