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A Metamorphosis: Beginnings

It’s been over six months since my last blog posts, and in reviewing them it became clear that something was missing.  All that was tendered in these writings, that promised to extol the virtues of the comic book medium and its offerings, was “strict judgment” and a few choice words of appreciation (peppered with quotes)–but the WHY was left unanswered.  There was no evaluation, analysis, interpretation, nor comparison.  The posts were extremely subjective (although that in itself was not bad, they were shallow), and they did not display any deep sensitivity whatsoever in their descriptions.

A different approach was required, but my options were limited.  A redo in life, and returning to school to become an English Lit major was out of the question; but perhaps book driven autodidaction offered a more economical–in both time and money–means for me to acquire the skills and vocabulary necessary to develop a “heightened sense of how literature works and what it does.”  The first reading referred to was a serendipitous find on amazon.com: ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism,’ by Steven J. Venturino  PhD (and it is hoped that he does not take offense at this subversion of his work).

Idiot Guide

In addition, I purchased and read A.O. Scott’s, ‘Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth’ (as to the why, will be made clear in later posts).

ao scott

The comic book medium, however, is unique from pure literature in that it makes use of both text and graphics to tell its stories.  An improved understanding of Art, and the expressions necessary to “translate visual experience[s] into written language” was also needed.  For this, the following texts were read: Gilda William’sHow to Write About Contemporary Art’ and Scott McCloud’s ‘Understanding Comics’.

 

The hope was that these readings would actuate a metamorphosis in me as a writer, and elevate my experiences of life, art, literature, and its under-appreciated cousin: the comic book. Come join me on this fantastic and amazing textile and graphic journey!

amazing fantasy 15

Quotes #NCBD 2/03/2016 (@DCcomics Vertigo)

Three DC Vertigo titles this week.  Tom King continues to impress with The Sheriff of Babylon.  Only a matter of time before this gets optioned for TV or as a movie.

Also picked up Survivor’s Club and Unfollow. Two graphic horror tales focusing on the darker side of gaming and social media.

Here are the quotes:


“Before it was just Saddam, but now we have a thousand Saddams. A Saddam on every corner, driving little Saddam cars, with Saddam guns, and Saddam bullets, and Saddam bombs, everywhere.

The Sheriff of Babylon #5, DC Vertigo Comics
Written by: Tom King
Illustrated and Colored by: Mitch Gerads
Lettered by: Travis Lanham


“The Lord suggests you are best paired with a Heckler & Koch P30 chambered in .40 Cal.”

Unfollow #4, DC Vertigo Comics
Written by: Rob Williams
Illustrated by: Mike Dowling
Colored by: Quinton Winter
Lettered by: Clem Robins


“… Secrets are DEEP. They have to work their way out like a piece of glass in you hand?”

Survivors’ Club #5, DC Vertigo Comics
Written by: Dale Halvorsen & Lauren Beukes
Illustrated by: Ryan Kelly
Colored by: Eva de la Cruz
Lettered by: Clem Robins


 

Quotes #NCBD 12/23/2015 (@ImageComics)

Just wrapped up about three weeks worth of Image books, so again some overlap here with titles from the last two weeks.

This week I picked up Deadly Class #17, Invisible Repubic #8, Jupiter’s Circle #2, Nameless #6, Outcast #14, and Pretty Deadly #7. I also picked up over the past two weeks The Tithe #7, The Violent #1, Goddamned #2, Descender #8, Tokyo Ghost #4, and Monstress #2.

ViolentNo1Who knew Canada has a Brooklyn too. Too many of us Americans are ignorant of our northern neighbor. The Violent #1 gives us a sneak peek at the underworld up North in Vancouver.  Someday, when I get a chance I’ll take a trip to Strathcona to see what it’s all about.

Here are the quotes:


“… they just spread like hipster herpes and now I can barely afford to pay my own rent because Strathcona is ‘Vancouver’s Brooklyn.'”

The Violent #1, Image Comics
Written, Lettered, & Co Created by: Ed Brisson
Illustrated, & Co-Created by: Adam Gorham
Coloured by: Michael Garland
Design & Logo by: Tom Muller


“Human is that which comprehends the pointless horror of it’s own wretched condition …”

Nameless #6, Image Comics
Written by: Grant Morrison
Illustrated by: Chris Burnham
Colored by: Nathan Fairbairn
Lettered by: Simon Bowland
Design & Logo by: Rian Hughes


“The man who runs from his destiny only gets weary for his trouble… for we all end this journey cradled in her arms.”

Pretty Deadly #7, Image Comics
Written by: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Illustrated by: Emma Rios
Colored by: Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by: Clayton Cowles


“You are God’s regret.”

The Goddamned #2, Image Comics
Written by: Jason Aaron
Illustrated by: r.m. Guera
Colored by: Giulia Brusco
Letters & Design by: Jared K. Fletcher

 


 

Quotes #NCBD 12/23/2015 (@BoomStudios)

The holidays are nearly over, and I got a nice thick stack of comics to make my way through before year end, but I did catch up with my Boom!Studios comics.

I look to them primarily for two genres: crime noir and sci-fi. This past week I picked up three sci-fi titles (after all comic books and sci-fi go together like bread and butter).

Venus #1 chronicles the colonization of Mars by a US team of space explorers competing against a superior China Space Program. This is not a what if, but more of a what may likely be.

Arcadia is a virtual world of uploaded human souls, who are aware of their new digital existence.  The catch: true power still remains in the hands of the few and the subservient ‘Meat’ continue to exist to serve and maintain the virtual world.

I can’t wait to see this one as animated feature.  It’s H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’ meets ‘Animal Farm’. This is the second chapter of ‘Wild’s End’ titled ‘The Enemy Within’. It’s already on issue #4 of 6. If you missed this one, pick up the graphic novel.

Here are the quotes:


“When you’re a kid you’re encouraged to think of human lives as stories. You know the drill: Be good, study hard, and you might enjoy ten whole minutes of Happily Ever After before they find a lump in your prostate.”

“What do these desperate rubes give you for your wolf tickets …”

Arcadia #7, Boom!Studios
Written by: Alex Paknadel
Illustrated by: Eric Scott Pfeiffer
Letters by: Colin Bell


“Now it’s time for America to cut a path to the future, to ensure that our way of life endures.”

Venus #1, Boom!Studios
Written by: Rick Loverd
Illustrated by: Huan Danlan
Colors by: Marcio Menyz
Letters by: Colin Bell


“Le bon Dieu est dans le detail.”

Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #4, Boom!Studios
Written by: Dan Abnett
Illustrated and Lettered  by: I.N.J. Culbard
Additional Material by: Nik Abnett

 


 

 

Quotes For #NCBD 12/09/2015 (@Marvel)

 

To quote Al Ewing, “The word of the day is ‘Cosmic‘.” I finally caught up with my Marvel stack. There are at least two weeks worth of reading in this post, so there is some overlap from last week’s releases.

The comic book world’s ex-spy Tom King dreams up a dark suburban Vision.

Daredevil is back, a little meaner, with Matt Murdoch now a grizzly battle hardened prosecutor–plus a sidekick.

The Ultimates continues their cosmic story, with the team taking on the world devourer, Galactus, with life bringing success.

Spider Gwen gets life advice from Spider Woman, and the Goblin makes a guest appearance.

Deadpool goes all detective to find the traitor who set him up.

The Guardians are at the mercy of Hala, as Spartax faces an imminent planetary death.

And the X-Men continue to regroup.

Here are the quotes:


“… I knew I never should’a left Canada.”

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Humberto Ramos

Inker: Victor Olazaba
Color Artist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Extraordinary X-Men #3, Marvel Comics


“We were told society moves forward. That progress never stops. But I look around. I see hate and fear. I see death and destruction. Where’s the progress?”

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Mark Bagley

Inker: Andrew Hennessey
Color Artist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
All New X-Men #1, Marvel Comics


“Knowhere. The edge of the universe. Located inside the decapitated head of a celestial. The rent is insane.”

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Color Artist: Richard Isanove
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Guardians of the Galaxy #3, Marvel Comics


“That’s pretty thin evidence, guys. Even though I have been known to waste some fools from time to time …”

Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Hawthorne

Inker: Terry Pallot
Color Artist: Guru eFX
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Deadpool #3, Marvel Comics


“What’s not right is bypassing biscuits and going right for the butter packets.”

“Believe me. There is no such thing as a normal life. Not if you’re lucky.”

Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Spider Gwen #3, Marvel Comics


“Thankfully, Ms. America’s fists are very skilled in the art of diplomacy …”

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Color Artist: Dan Brown
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Ultimates #2, Marvel Comics


“So, I think about everything I have to gain, weigh it against everything I have to lose, and then I just decide. I tell myself one thing … I am not afraid.”

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ron Garney
Color Artist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Daredevil #1, Marvel Comics


“To assert as truth that which has no meaning is the core mission of humanity.”

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Vision #1, Marvel Comics


“Certainty is an illusion, Belief is a constant.”

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Vision #2, Marvel Comics


Quotes For #NCBD 12/09/2015 (@BoomStudios)

Ollie Masters’ and Tyler Jenkins’ new winter land noir crime story, Snow Blind, is finally released this week. It’s got an Alaskan teenage library breaker-enterer whose whole world is about to be turned upside down when he learns his family is in the witness protection plan. Jenkins’ cold ‘scapes are awesome … and why did they have to shoot the dog?

SnowBlindNo1

Here are the quotes:


“…I felt more comfortable around the pages of dead authors than I do my own parents.”

“No one knows anyone, and why would you want to. We’ve all got bad beneath it all. Why put that out in the world.”

Ollie Masters, with Art by Tyler Jenkins, Snow Blind #1, @BoomStudios


 

Quotes For #NCBD 12/09/2015 (@451official)

What … Bad Moon Rising has a tattooed Buddha quoting biker! Yup, this one has it all … Bikers, Historic Inked Tattoos, Werewolves and even a Buddha quote.

BadMoonRisingNo3

Here are the quotes


“… your culinary zenith is ‘Pizza Supreme'”

“Buddha. A biker who quotes Buddha”

Scott Rosenberg, with Art by Ty Dazo, Bad Moon Rising #3, @451official


“We are all separate and distinct with our own individuality, and each of us moves according to our inherent necessity.”

Buddha as quoted by a Biker in Bad Moon Rising #3, @451official


 

 

Quotes For #NCBD 12/09/2015 (@ValiantComics)

Two superb titles this week from @ValiantComics: Ninjak #10 & Unity #25.

Ninjak goes all magical in his latest mission to the Darkside with Punk Mambo. And they brought Muscle.

Unity #25 Super Sized Spectacular pokes a little Christmas fun at the Valiant Universe. Pick it up for some good laughs.

Here are the quotes:


“Bloody Hell. Magic. Why does it have to be sodding Magic.”

“The Deadside is a cosmic supernatural plane of existence. How are you getting me there?”

“You been spendin’ too much time with X-O Manowar.”

“She’s the Muscle.”

Matt Kindt, with Art by Doug Braithwaite, Niinjak #10, Valiant Comics


“…And I Damn Sure won’t let them ruin America’s Greatest Beer–[Sponsorship Opportunity]”

James Asmus, with Art by Dan Schkade, Unity #25: Super Sized Spectacular – Woody and Quantum Go Hollywood, Valiant Comics


“Are you insane. You should be testing your pharmacological profiles constantly.”

Daniel Kibblesmith, with Art by Karl Moline, Unity #25: Super Sized Spectacular – Ninjak In: Just Say Maybe!, Valiant Comics


 

QUOTES FOR #NCBD 12/02/2015 (VALIANT COMICS)

@ValiantComics is the ‘Michael Corleone’ of the comic book publishing industry. They are the overlooked younger brother, stepping up to take over the family business, and eliminating all enemies in the process.

Only one book out this week; X-O Manowar Commander Trill #0 gives us the low down on his origin story.

TrillNo0

As always, here is a quote:


“Put your faith in a trinket, if you must believe in something. At least that you can touch.”

 

Robert Venditti, with Art by Bit & Francis Portela, X-O Manowar Commander Trill No. 0, Valiant Comics.


 

QUOTES FOR #NCBD 11/25/2015 (DC COMICS)

Another #NCBD is upon us, but not before Grayson takes a step closer to uncovering Spyral’s dark secret, “further and further down the spiral”.

We Are Robin get’s ready for war, as the team gets some good advice from the Butler: wear masks!

DeathStroke can’t save his daughter, but maybe Catwoman can.

DKIII – The Master Race Book One, finally got a moment to read it. Is Bruce Wayne really dead, and who is the father of that baby Wonder Woman was carrying?

Here are the quotes:


“Yes, that is the perfect place to start, isn’t it? Once? In a moment of time? A single point on the infinite line.”

“These intruders interrupted my Percy Bysshe Shelley .”

“Age is a scalpel, cutting out bits of what we are.”

 

Tim Seeley & Tom King, with Art by Stephen Mooney, Grayson No. 14, DC Comics


“I found a way to monetize my condition.”

 

Tony S. Daniel & James Bonny, with Art by Tyler Kirkham, Deathstroke No. 12, DC Comics


“One more thing … wear masks.”

 

Lee Bermejo, with Art by Jorge Corona, We Are Robin No. 6, DC Comics


“A good death.? There’s no such THING.”

“Bruce Wayne is DEAD.”

 

Brian Azzarello & Frank Miller, with Art by Andy Kubert & Klaus Janson, DKIII – The Master Race Book One. DC Comics


 

 

 

 

 

 

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