Wednesday, January 12, 2005

COMICS: Talkin' Trades

I won't be able to make it in to the comic shop today -- mudslides have made getting out of Ojai Valley a nightmare. Monday the road was totally closed; Tuesday it was opened, but they were only letting five cars through at a time with a police escort -- not even the owner at the place I work tried to make it through that mess. Today I thought it would be better, but after it took me about an hour to drive one mile this morning, I turned around, called work and told them I couldn't make it.

So no new comics (assuming the comic shipment wasn't delayed by the mudslides, too -- which it probably was), so I'll write about the trades I picked up last week.

After reading and liking the first ps238 TPB (as I wrote about here), I decided to give Aaron Williams' other series a try -- Nodwick, a comic fantasy centered on four inept Dungeons & Dragons-type adventurers. So I picked up The Nodwick Chronicles, a collection of the first six issues. In some ways, I liked it better: it made me laugh more, for instance; I got more than a few big laughs out of the anachronism-filled hijinks, like when the wizard pulls an ICBM out of a magic chest (it comes with instructions: "One: Push red button. Two: duck and cover. Caution: side effects may include roving bands of bloodthirsty mutants"). In other ways, I didn't like it as much: the characters are underdeveloped, especially the dumb fighter character. And the series relies on gaming and fantasy in-jokes a little too much. Overall, I liked it enough to consider picking up the second volume.

I also got the second trade of Ed Brubaker's Catwoman. Man, this is good stuff. Hard-boiled detective Slam Bradley is such an excellent supporting character; his banter with Catwoman is the best part of the book. (And I learned in the notes to this trade that the character of Slam Bradley pre-dates Batman! He was introduced in Detective Comics #1, 26 issues before the Bat. Wow. Is Brubaker the only writer to have used Bradley since those days?) Brubaker does a great job in combining the superheroic with the street-level dirt and political corruption of Gotham; I'll be picking up his Gotham Central TPB next, which promises more of the same.

Also also, I picked up an old copy of PvP: Striptease, a collection of the early years of the online comic. This is one of my favorite strips, on or offline. Great characters, simple but charming art, great comedy.

Labels: , ,

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by