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21 January 2015

I read a bunch of my daughter's comics.

I buy a lot of comics.  A lot of them are for my kids.  Luckily they have pretty good taste in comics.  The sad thing is that I read the comics they get before I read the ones I get for myself.  (And then my comics accumulate into a giant tower as pictured above.)  See, I don't get to keep their comics.  I can always read my comics on my death bed or whatever but I gotta read their comics before they turn them into pocketbooks and post them on Pintrest or whatever it is kids do with things these days.

(Is Pintrest still a thing?  I got an ello invite a while back and never found the time to read the email.)

Where were we?  Oh yeah, comics. I read a bunch of my daughter's comics recently.  Here are some words about them.

Doctor Who
All three of the new comics from Titan by Nick Abadzis, Elena Casagrande, Al Ewing, Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, Robbie Morrison, Dave Taylor and a whole bunch of other people.
Published by Titan.  $3.99.

My daughter is super into Doctor Who.  (And I am too kinda.)  We started reading some of the IDW Doctor Who comics a year or so ago and like most IDW comics they were pretty good if not super over produced.  I was skeptical about the franchise moving from IDW to Titan but these new Titan Doctor Who comics look and feel almost exactly like the IDW books.  Paper and production that are almost too good.  Colors that are almost too slick.  Writing and drawing that are fine enough.  There are three of these things.  One series for the 10th Doctor, one for the 11th and now one for the 12th.  Each writer does a fine job of capturing their Doctor's personality and dialog and each artist does a solid job of capturing their mannerisms.  I like most of the stories so far.  These comics get to go off into some 2000 AD directions you don't see on TV.  The art can be inconsistent but I enjoy it, especially the Dave Taylor work on the 12th doctor book.  It is lovely sci-fi drawing with some Brendan McCarthy-esque colors as well. Of the three serieses I'd say the 12th Doctor comic is the best.  My main complaint with these things is do we really need three Doctor Who comics at $3.99 each.  How about one comic each month at $4.99.  Instead of 20 ish pages of each doctor each month, give me 8 ish pages of each doctor in one magazine style book.  Maybe even throw in a random "Classic" Doctor story as well?  Maybe even hire me to write one of the things.  Hell, I'd buy two copies of that issue.
Oh, one other complaint:  Titan, give me digital codes in the print comics so I can also read these on my iPad.  Ask Marvel and Comixology how.  Do it!  Do it now!

Edge of Spider-Verse No. 2:  Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman
By Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, Rico Renzi, Clayton Cowles and some other people.
Published by Marvel. $3.99

This is one of the more visually exciting comics I've read in a bit.  Robbi Rodriquez draws with every one's clothes and hair in motion and his action layouts force the eye to the point of impact with great speed.  Rico Renzi's colors really pop off the page and his pallet choices are bold and vibrant.  There are very few tricks and gimmicks in Renzi's colors.  Mostly flats with out any of the garbage effects everyone uses.  Just great choices.  Choices that would probably sound insane if you were to explain them without showing them.  "Yeah, I'm gonna have hot pink on top of electric green in this panel but trust me, it's gonna work." -Something imaginary Renzi said to imaginary Latour and Rodriguez while imaginary coloring the book.  It looks fantastic.  And it's full of some neat ideas.  In this Spider-Man variant universe whatever, Gwen Stacy got bit instead of Pete Parker and it sets up totally different dynamics with her police officer father and her female friends that you don't get in the regular Spider-Man books.  And that costume, I mean c'mon guys, that costume is sharp.  I'd buy more of these.  Hey Marvel, make more of these.  (They are totally making more of these.)

Gotham Academy No. 1
By Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser, Dave McCaig, Steve Wands and some other people.
Published by DC Comics. $2.99.

Ugh.  Aww jeeze.  This one was a slog to get through.  Like reading a mud puddle.  I really should not have read this after reading that exciting Spider-Gwen comic.  This thing, man this thing.  Let's start with the colors by "Geyser with Dave McCaig".  Maybe it should have been colored by just Geyser or just Dave McCaig because one of the two did way too much coloring.  Maybe Karl Kerschl did some good drawing in this thing but I'll never know because all I can see is various shapes of split pea soup and refried beans. And the writing.  Gawd.  This thing is full of words all of which you've read a gagillion times.  This book really lost me on page one with the total imagination vacuum of protagonist monologue captions. "Every stone has a story  ...but not every story has a happy ending."  You know what, either get on with the story or let's skip to the sad ending folks. "This is my life.."  No kid, this is the life of every freaking young adult character ever.  Get over it.  Please God oh please make Batman show up by page 4 of this thing and punch somebody in the neck. I counted the pages and absolutely nothing happens in the first eleven pages of this comic.  This comic is not for me.  And look, most comics published since about 1987 have been published specifically for ME.  I'm cool with somebody not Shannon Smith being pandered too.  Really, go make your young adult fiction comics.  Pretend Bruce Wayne went to Hogwarts.  Whatever you think it is that the youngs need.  Just make them good.  Go read Richard Sala and figure it out.  Jeeziz.  Can we not just pay Richard Sala a bunch of money to pretend that Cat Burglar Black took place in Gotham and re-launch that as an ongoing comic?  Seriously, whatever it takes.

New Suicide Squad No. 1.
By Sean Ryan, Jeremy Roberts, Bond, Taylor Esposito and some other people.
Published by DC Comics.  $2.99.

This is a re-launch of the New 52 re-launch of the Suicide Squad.  Have you read it?  No.  Close your eyes and imagine what this comic looks and reads like.  Okay, that is exactly what this comic looks and reads like.  Like most of the New 52 stuff outside of the Batman, Superman and Green Lantern books, this thing looks and reads like 2000s Image.  And not the good Image.  This looks like the Top Cow image.  Which is terrible.  My daughter wanted this because she is super into Harley Quinn and Duela Dent.  (They call Duela Dent "Joker's Daughter" in the New 52 but she's Duela Dent and she's been around longer than you have.)  Duela and Harley aver very fun characters but there is nothing fun about this comic.  Sure it's full of video game violence if you are into that but where are the jokes?  Where is the madness?  I think (I could be wrong) but I think this is the first time New 52 Harley and New 52 Duela get together.  That should have been magic.  But, not a lot of writers get Harley and Duela in the New 52.  Jimmy Palmiotti does.  Go read Ame-Comi girls.  It's the best comic DC has published in the New 52 era.  Duela Dent shines in that thing.  This is not that thing.  This is not very good.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl No. 1.
By Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and some other people.
Published by Marvel.  $3.99

Loved every panel of this comic.  Great script, great character design and drawing, vibrant colors, talking squirrel... what else you want?  Every thing I said about Renzi's color on the Spider-Gwen book applies here as well.  Ryan North really has this smart comics for kids thing figured out.  I've read about 100 thousand of his Adventure Times comics and I don't want him dead yet so that's pretty darn good.  Love Henderson's Kraven the Hunter in this.  The plot?  Eh, who cares?  She's going to college or whatever.  It's a girl with a squirrel tail and a talking squirrel sidekick.  Who even cares what they are doing as long as they are doing it with jokes?  The kids, they love the jokes.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too now.  I guess it's a law or something.
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