Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I Buy: One Nerd's Pull List Part 3

Every Monday I share my 48 issue pull list, justifying why I buy each comic and throwing in some interior art. This week I cover my DC, Dynamite and IDW pick-ups, including All-Star Western, Animal Man, Batwoman, The Flash, Swamp Thing, Bionic Man, a Game of Thrones, Locke and Key, Memorial, Road Rage and Star Trek.

All Star Western
Publisher: DC
Writer: Justin Grey and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Moritat
Why I buy: I loved Grey and Palmiotti's work on 'Jonah Hex', and was hoping for more of it in All-Star Western. Unfortunately, it feels like they've 'sold out' and are trying to target a more mainstream audience with conventional storytelling and Batman mythos. All Star Western is still good, and Moritat's art is fantastic, but I'm just waiting for Jonah Hex to get the hell out of Gotham and go back to doing what he does best - being a wandering bad-ass bounty hunter.

Animal Man
Publisher: DC
Writer: Jeff LeMire
Artist: Travel Foreman, Steve Pugh
Why I buy: Animal Man and Swamp thing are my hands down favourite things DC is publishing right now. Asides the insane horror,
I love the family dynamic in Animal Man. As a happily married man, one of my pet peeves is the lack of solid, committed families in comics. I love that Buddy is totally and unequivocally committed to his family. The stuff with his daughter, Maxine is really cool as well. I love the idea that a little girl knows more about her Father’s powers than he does. Maxine is like a cross between Layla Miller and Valeria Richards.

Publisher: DC
Writer: JH Williams III, W. Hayden Blackman
Artist: JH Williams III, Amy Reeder
Why I buy: JH Williams III. In fact I'm thinking of dropping the title and picking the trades of the JH Williams arcs. Williams is truly one of the best in the business, always providing breathtaking art and innovative visual storytelling. While Amy Reeder's work is not bad, it's not strong enough to carry the story, which is kind of strange and difficult to follow. I miss Greg Rucka.

The Flash
Publisher: DC
Writer: Francis Manipul, Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manipul
Why I buy: Francis Manapul has been killing it with the flash. It's visually spectacular, as Manipul Once again shows the current trend at DC of innovative layouts. His story is surprisingly good as well. Manipul humanizes Barry Allen very well, hitting some great emotional beats while maintaining the sense of fun that comes with superhero comics. A beautiful comic telling a strong story.

Swamp Thing
Publisher: DC
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Yannick Paquette
Why I buy: Swamp thing goes hand in hand with Animal Man – just insane horror.
I continue to adore the fluid panel layouts in Swamp Thing. JH Williams III showed with no uncertainty that you can play around with panel layout to not only make the page look good, but better tell his story. Paquette does it masterfully here. Little things like using vine as panel borders for a jungle scene really make each page stand out, and it’s a treat to look at. If you want superhero-but-not horror comics then you should be reading both Animal Man and Swamp Thing.

Bionic Man
Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: Kevin Smith, Phil Hestor
Artist: Jonathan Lau
Why I buy: I'm not a fan of Kevin Smith. There. I said it. Don't kill me. I don't find his movies funny, and Comic Book Men was atrocious. Having said that, Bionic man as been great. He is co writing with Phil Hester, who I love. The story of Steve Austin becoming the bionic man, and the missions he goes on, is fast paced when it needs to be, as well as being personal and often emotional. Top notch storytelling.

Game of Thrones
Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham
Artist: Tommy Patterson
Why I buy: George R Martin’s series of fantasy novels, collectively known as A Song of Ice and Fire, is hot property right now. Thanks to HBO, who have been adapting the series as an award winning television show, everyone is talking about it. Dynamite are adapting the books into a comic, an so far it’s been pretty spot on. Tommy Patterson, who provides the art on the series, does a wonderful job in capturing the look and feel of the novels.

Locke & key
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodruigez
Why I buy:
Locke and Key is a difficult beast to describe. It’s fantasy, with elements like magic and creepy mansions, but set in the modern world, with 'real' people. It’s horror, with murderous students and sinister villains, but it’s not like a Hack/Slash or 30 Days of Night-type horror. In fact, it's a perfect blend of both genres. It’s The Chronicles of Narnia meets H.P. Lovecraft. It’s Dark Fantasy done right.

Publisher: IDW
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Rich Ellis
Why I buy: When I picked up the first issue of Memorial, I wasn’t completely sure if I loved it or not. By issue 3, I’m convinced I do. It’s a fun twisting tale in the vain of Carey and Gross’ Unwritten, although not quite as deep. There’s something very Gaimanesque about Memorial – world-hopping fantasy with abstract concepts in the form of characters that guide or hinder the main protagonist in her sweeping quest.

Road Rage
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Richard Matheson, Steven King, Joe Hill, Chris Ryall
Artist: Nelson Daniel, Rafa Garres
Why I buy:
The names on the top of the comic read: Hill. Matheson. King. Those three words alone should be enough to convince people to pick up this comic. It is IDW boss Chris Ryall that actually writes the comic, however. He is adapting two short stories – Duel, By Richard Matheson and ‘Throttle’, an homage to Matheson’s piece by father son duo Joe Hill and Steven King. The basic elements to this comic are bad-ass bikies and full tilt action, both provided in bucketfuls.

Star Trek
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Stephen Molnar and others
Why I buy: I’ve always been a fan of the original series star trek, from when I was 12 and was crushing on the cute trekkie girl who lived up the road. So when IDW announced a new Star Trek ongoing telling Original Series stories but set in the JJ Abrams Star Trek universe, I was pretty stoked. The series hasn’t disappointed. It’s exciting, fun, and feels fresh while maintaining a sense of nostalgia.

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