Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weekly Comics for March 17-24, 2010

American Vampire #1 (Great opening issue, with really good artwork in two different styles from Rafael Albuquerque and Scott Snyder actually steals the show from Stephen King, but both segments of the story are strong. Another solid launch from Vertigo, which is on a bit of a streak lately.)

The Guild #1 (They had me at Jim Rugg, and his art doesn't disappoint. But the story is fun, too, no surprise that it fits seamlessly into the style and continuity of the Guild webseries given that it's written by Felicia Day, who acquits herself fairly well in the transition from writing for screen and writing for comics.)

Orc Stain #2 (I love this book. Spectacularly beautiful, and the fantasy world by way of orcs is a lot of fun.)

Guardians of the Galaxy #24 (Still think Craig's art is out of place on this book, but it's growing on me, and really enjoying the build-up to the next big cosmic epic. Abnett & Lanning haven't let me down yet.)

A-Team War Stories: Hannibal #1 (Mildly cheesy, but a fun standalone action story set during the Iraq War and starring Colonel "Hannibal" John Smith. Dixon was the perfect choice to write this one.)

Robocop #3 (OK, I think this is where they lost me. I might need to read the whole arc again to see if it sticks with me, but I've lost a lot of the story/character threads and so this issue didn't connect.)

Also bought: Robotika Vol 2, The Killer Vol 2, Wondermark Vol 3, Mysterius the Unfathomable

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weekly Comics for March 10, 2010

The Unwritten #11 (Fascinating story about a bit of literature & film I was unfamiliar with, this book reminds me a lot of all the things I liked about Sandman)

Batman & Robin #10 (The writing on this is Morrison at his most scattershot, wild ideas sometimes landing and sometimes going off wild, but while it may not be his most coherent book, it remains exceptionally readable. Far below All-Star Superman and his New X-Men run as far as his superhero work, at least for me, but I must admit I love the freshness he's bringing to it. And Andy Clarke, stepping in on art, does an able job of filling the big shoes Cameron Stewart left for him.)

Criminal The Sinners #5 (Actually upbeat, as far as Criminal endings go, which means its still dark and gritty and riveting)

BPRD King of Fear #3 (Man, these poor guys can't catch a break. No matter what they do, somebody is destined to end the world.)

Daytripper #4 (Slice-of-life tales, beautifully illustrated, with a touch of tragedy and a surprisingly familiar ending motif... great read.)

Also bought: Modern Masters Guy Davis, Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade

Sunday, March 07, 2010

STAPLE! 2010

As I write this, the last thing I have to do to declare the book closed on STAPLE! 2010 is see Guy Davis safely back home and then get all the new books I picked up for the store logged back into the inventory. So as of tomorrow afternoon, STAPLE! 2010 will officially be over for me.

It was a great year, at least on my end. Good attendance, great fans, and everyone I talked to seemed to have a good time. Chris Schweizer (of Crogan's Adventures) and Chad Thomas (of Archie's Sabrina comics) both stayed at my place, and I had a great time hanging out with them. Also helped work Guy Davis's table, and Guy is about as nice a guy as you will ever meet.

The four of us went out to Chuy's for lunch on Friday, where Guy was amused by the "big as your face" burrito and the dinosaur sign over the restroom caught Chris's eye, leading to a brief dinosaur meme at live art on Saturday. We also stopped by Book People and went out to the UPS store so Chris could get some prints done, and then of course there was the Austin Books pre-party.

I know I own another shop in town and shouldn't say anything too nice about the competition, but... damn. Austin Books really is a spectacular comic shop, and being there gives me feelings of envy and inferiority every time. Which is a pretty high compliment, given that I think Rogues Gallery is a pretty kickass comics shop. As always, got to check in with a ton of people who I don't see often enough, and though I had to pass up an invite for LEOG post-party fun and an invite to grab dinner with Kristian Donaldson, Nick Derington and some other friends because I was too damn tired, it was a good time.

STAPLE! itself went really smoothly for me. It was tiring, as I spent most of my time at Guy's table, helping out with sales and chatting with fans in the always long lines to see him. He did free sketches for tons of folks, we sold out of the Marquis and Guy's awesome sketchbooks, and had a good time talking to Paul Maybury and Jason Horn, both of whom shared table space with Guy at one time or another.

I did get out to buy a few things. Picked up the collection of Let's Be Friends Again, Yehudi Mercado's cool-as-hell looking graphic novel Buffalo Speedway, Monica Gallagher's Boobages & Bonnie N. Collide Books One and Two and Chad Townshend's newest sketchbooks. And I was given some cool stuff, including a couple badass prints by Evan Bryce, a Sabrina page from Chad Thomas, Chris Schweizer's Crogans & Smokers of the Marvel Universe prints and the last sketchbook Guy had before we sold out.

Franklin Barbecue for dinner. It is easily the best barbecue I've ever had. Went again for lunch the next day. Will definitely be going again. Soon.

Got quite, quite drunk at the Live Art event. Didn't buy any live art as a result, bummed I didn't get the Guy Davis piece but somebody else nabbed it first. You can follow things I may or may not have said on Nate Southard's Twitter. I don't *think* I wanted to fuck a werewolf, but I'm not entirely sure at this point, to be honest.

Sunday was barbecue again, with Chris S., Chad, Guy, Uncle Staple!, Leo McGovern (of Antigravity Magazine in New Orleans) and Toby Craig, and then took Guy up to visit Rogues Gallery. Then, after a relaxing afternoon, got out to see Shutter Island at the Alamo Drafthouse with Kristian and my friend Jamie.

Fun weekend. Tiring, but I'm not exhausted, which is good, because I've got to do inventory prep and then inventory and then new comics day at the store. And then prep for my D&D game on Friday.

Then I can start planning more for D&D Encounters at the store, finalize all the stuff I've been working on for Free Comic Book Day and get everything lined up for the April New Orleans trip. Oh, and I've already got some ideas for who we should invite to STAPLE! 2011, but I'm afraid if I say the words STAPLE! 2011 to Chris right now, he'll snap and kill me.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Weekly Comics for March 3, 2010

Milestone Forever #2 (Damn, that was great. A terrific cap to a universe that has been waiting for its ending for far too long, and a new beginning, if DC is smart enough to give McDuffie the hands-off approach and marketing support to do it. Even though they probably won't, though, this was a great reminder of how much I loved Static & Hardware in particular and Milestone in general.)

Chew #9 (Continue to love this book as it builds its cast, expands on its story and makes me laugh, month after month.)

Demo Vol 2 #2 (Wow. Creepy. And effective. Loving Demo Vol 2 as much as, maybe even a little more, than the original.)

Sweet Tooth #7 (As bleak in its way as Walking Dead, and just as gripping, but with a smaller, more manageable cast. Loving this book.)

Girl Comics #1 (Bit of a mixed bag, writing-wise, but has some gems, and some great art throughout, and is worth it for the "posies" panel in Valerie D'Orazio's story and the Colleen Coover intro pages alone.)