Damn, Joe, pretty much all of those gave me a super Void-y vibe. And are you sure you aren't promoting your own work? Come on man, you are OBVIOUSLY the artist for Salem Brownstone
I am super interested in a few things posted here. Old City Blues seems like it's right up my alley, Salem Brownstone looks deliciously weird. That fucking spaceship panel from the last thing there dropped my jaw to the floor. Def gotta hit up some of this stuff.
Right, so, comics 'n' shit. I've read some more Batman/'TEC/Shadow of the Bat/etcetc. Most recently, the Cataclysm arc, which leads into No Man's Land and so forth. It was decent. Chuck Dixon is a weird one, that guy. His sense of pacing and flow is great, but I feel like he always introduces ideas of great depth and doesn't really flesh them out or really tap at their potential. Also somewhere in there was a really damn shitty comic but I can't remember who the writer was, which is annoying as I can't avoid him in the future. I think it was Doug Moench? Not sure, not sure. Anyway yeah No Man's Land is supposed to be good stuff, so I'm lookin' forward to it.
Gotham Central was a fun one. Really fun, at times. The ending annoyed me, though. When the book opens, Marcus Driver is the face of the GCPD we're given, and I like that, I like that it was a new character. It helped that it was a good
character. Although there were some familiar faces from past Bat-books that would get their own arcs, it felt like Driver was a sort of informal centerpiece to everything that the story would come back to now and again. And then.... he just kind of gets sidelined. He's still there, but his role ranges from supporting character to outright cameo, and he doesn't get anymore character development after like halfway through the book. The end is the real kick in the ass, though. They did an infinite crisis issue, and since i was nearing the end, it was like, oh, I get it. Apocalyptic events to round out the book, that makes sense. In reality though it was just one issue, and it was back to normal for the last few, and it just made the whole thing feel trivial. It was nice that the last story was a very good one, but I still have other issues with it. I believe Brubaker had left this book by now, and that Greg Rucka (his cocreator) had taken it on in full now. It kind of shows, because the last arc is pretty much exclusively about Renee Montoya (with a dash of Crispus Allen). That's fine, they're great characters and all, but the ending of Gotham Central should have been more of an ensemble piece. The ending (Montoya retires) feels abrupt and lacks closure, and not in the good way where the lack of closure makes you reflect on something in a meaningful way. It's like Rucka decided that since he was in charge of the book now and had written some Montoya arcs in the past, Montoya is now the centerpiece, and the series ends with her career. For my money, an ensemble piece with Driver as the informal center of everything would have been the way to go, and preferably one that focused on an issue relevant to all of the officers, instead of just one of them (although the last arc tackles corruption, it's very much a personal story about Montoya and to a lesser extent Allen).
Still, overall it was a very fine book, and a brilliant concept.
The Walking Dead. This is a funny one. If anybody listened to the episode of the Vcast I was on, I talked a bit about Kickass and generally didn't have anything very good to say about it, or Mark Millar's writing in particular. Talked about how it felt like it was too up its own ass in trying to be gritty and shocking, and as a result not really hitting the notes it was going for by way of being too over the top to be grittily realistic and yet too gritty and bleak to be much fun either. Some of the lines of dialogue characters say just makes me cringe. You "see the writer" way, way too much. This is what I was expecting from TWD when I read about the series a bit. So many events sounded shocking for the sake of as much. I was dead wrong. In context, the story always
earns these moments, and they are treated with grace and maturity. The characterization of the characters is excellent, with the possible exception that people yell too much. Note that that's a personal pet peeve, as arguments can be such a crutch, a friend of mine made the valid point that people are probably barely held back from venomous arguments all the time in such a world. I'm glad i'm caught up on this book, because the TV show is such utter shit. I feel fortunate that I was able to experience the story in its true form before too much of it was ruined for me in bland, toothless, terribly written show. I would definitely recommend this comic. The slow death of all civilization is compelling as all hell
A buncha Daredevil stuff. Guardian Devil, Born Again, The Man Without Fear, Yellow. Think that's all of it at the moment, about to read the miller run and then brubaker/bendis's runs. GD was a weird one, I enjoyed a lot of things about it, but at times I felt like Kevin Smith was bumbling around the story, particularly in the big payoffs to everything. That final conversation with Spidey and DD in particular did nothing for me at all, it felt like unjustified, preachy gibberish to me. TMWF and Born Again are good stuff. The whole "descent into madness" angle in Born Again felt way too easy and cheap, but I still liked these stories a lot. My main problem is that in BA, it feels like it starts to meander and not really go anywhere at the end. There's no real sense that DD has recovered and is taking the fight to the Kingpin, it's just kinda, he's back, here's a supervillain, let's do this. Daredevil's "victory" at the end there doesn't make much sense to me in the context of his struggle with the Kingpin. TMWF I have no real issues with, it's a story with a good flow and good characterization, and it doesn't feel like Miller was ripping himself off with Batman Year One. DD Yellow was good stuff, and the Jeph Loeb TIm Sale connection continues to impress. I thought the Owl's plan was kind of weak, though, and WHY IN THE FUCK DOES HE MAKE OWL SOUNDS? SERIOUSLY. WHY. THAT WAS SO DUMB. Other than that -- and I suppose how the whole Foggy/Karen/Matt thing was introduced and subsequently went nowhere --though, was diggin' it. The Purple Man was deliciously smug. My favorite scene in this book was one of my favorites in any comic ever, however. The three musketeers go to Matt and Foggy's old college watering hole to play some pool and drink. When the opponents at the table see Matt, they laugh their asses off. Crack jokes at him for being blind. Then Matt sharks the hell out of them, while telling one Helen Keller joke after another. It was fantastic.
I like Daredevil. I relate to the character for similar reasons that I do to Batman, but the character feels a lot more human and less of a pathological automaton than Batman. He makes mistakes, he allows himself little pleasures on occasion. That makes Matt Murdock easier to connect to.
Anyway that's me, of the last while anyway. Oh, I read some Green Arrow too. Year One was fun. The Longbow Hunters was excellent. The Miniseries was ehhhh alright, a decent plot and so-so execution elevated above itself by Ollie Queen's very enjoyable character. What a distinct voice that guy has.