Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes Review

I’ve known about this novel since I was in high school but didn’t get around to reading it until just recently at the age of 33 (coincidentally the same age as the protagonist!). I read a Simpsons comic and watched an episode of the Simpsons TV show which both covered the same story so I felt like I didn’t need to read the original. But I’m glad I finally checked out Daniel Keyes’ Flowers For Algernon because it’s actually really good - it definitely deserves its classic status. 

Thanos, Volume 1: Thanos Returns Review (Jeff Lemire, Mike Deodato)

The last time I saw Thanos he was cosplaying as the Jurassic Park mosquito, frozen within an amber box or something at the end of Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity event (but then who hasn’t woken up someplace kerazy after a few too many, amirite fellas??). I (intentionally) missed The Black Vortex crossover but it looks like he freed himself and has returned from somewhere. Except now he’s got the space cancer and is dying - but not if his weeny son Thane can kill him first!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

X-Men: Original Sin Review (Daniel Way, Mike Deodato)

To no-one’s surprise but his own (and only then for contrived dramatic purposes), Daken discovers that he’s Wolverine’s son. Apparently the bone claws and healing factor weren’t big enough clues! Some baddies kidnap Daken so Logan and Xavier set out to rescue him. 

Sons of the Devil, Volume 3 Review (Brian Buccellato, Toni Infante)

Charlie Manson-esque cult leader David wants to sacrifice his many kids to bring Satan to Earth – his son Travis sets out to stop him.

Sons of the Devil started out strongly with its first book before tanking in the second and going out in a series of bored yawns with this third utterly rubbish volume. Brian Buccellato’s woefully barebones story is all about making the reader wait for Travis to meet his dad before delivering the inevitable and predictable conclusion. It’s such an unexciting and tedious read that’s far too stretched-out for what it is. Toni Infante’s art is ugly and scratchy.

There’s nothing else to say about this one! It’s just disappointing that this title got so crappy after such a promising start. I wouldn’t rec this series at all.

Monday, 25 September 2017

How To Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric Review

Doing what it says in the title, Roman Krznaric explores the concept of meaningful work for those who are unhappy with their 9-5 and looking to change that. And he does a pretty good job of it!

Wolverine: Origins, Volume 4: Our War Review (Daniel Way, Steve Dillon)

Set in the wake of Captain America’s death after the first Civil War, Wolverine pours one out for his fallen comrade and flashes back to their first encounter in WW2 – when he was the one meant to kill Cap!?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Hound of the Baskervilles Review (Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Edginton)

The toffee-nosed Baskervilles are cursed with a spooky monster dog that’s killing off the family, one by one – the game is a-paw, Watson!

You know what I’ve remembered reading these comics adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes novels? I don’t like the originals and I never did - Conan Doyle was a lousy writer! (The Lost World: has there ever been such an awesome concept so poorly realised?) The Hound of the Baskervilles is probably my favourite book of his but I only ever thought it was mediocre.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Death of Hawkman Review (Marc Andreyko, Aaron Lopresti)

At a time when DC looked at most of its line and said “Rebirth”, they looked at one character and one character only - Hawkman - and said “DEATH!”. And y’know what? This is why they’ve been selling gangbusters this past year-and-change, because DC suddenly know what the people want. The only Hawkman comic I was ever going to read would be one where they iced this motherfucker! 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Flintstones, Volume 2: Bedrock Bedlam Review (Mark Russell, Steve Pugh)

Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s acclaimed Flintstones series comes to a yabba-dabba-end with this second volume. While Bedrock’s community undergoes numerous changes, Fred’s career at Mr Slate’s Quarry continues to have its ups and downs, Wilma’s still trying to make it as an artist, and Pebbles questions the importance of science and religion.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Wild Storm, Volume 1 Review (Warren Ellis, Jon Davis-Hunt)

Having successfully relaunched their main superhero titles under the Rebirth banner as well as their Hanna-Barbera line and their new indie imprint Young Animal, DC has turned its attention to their old Wildstorm label which is given a makeover by Warren Ellis in The Wild Storm. And, disappointingly, it’s pants!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

James Bond: Felix Leiter Review (James Robinson, Aaron Campbell)

James Bond’s cyborg buddy Felix Leiter is brought in by the Japanese Bond, Tiger Tanaka, to identify a beautiful (but deadly – of course) Russian spy. Things are never that simple though and Felix and Tiger soon find themselves wrapped up in a complex web of intrigue involving a death cult and North Korea!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Providence, Act Two Review (Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows)

Bah, I knew a decent Alan Moore series wouldn’t last! The feted author disappointingly drops the ball in the second “Act” of Providence.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Weird Detective Review (Fred Van Lente, Guiu Vilanova)

By Cthulhu’s tentacled mug, there’s a lot of HP Lovecraft-themed comics around these days, eh? Weird Detective is yet another one but it’s one of the better books out there and is also Fred Van Lente’s best work in years.

Previously a crooked Noo Yawk detective on the make, Sebastian Greene is now the vessel of an alien, here to stop the Old Ones from wreaking havoc on Earth. Greene picks up the trail after their victims start appearing around the city sucked dry of their innards like empty juice boxes!

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Sign of the Four Review (Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Edginton)

The more I read these comics adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original novels, the more I feel affirmed in the view that the enduring popularity of these books comes from the richness of the characters rather than the dreary stories they appear in. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Aquaman, Volume 8: Out of Darkness Review (Dab Abnett, Vicente Cifuentes)

And so what started out as New 52 Aquaman ends with not-New 52 labelled (but we’ll keep the numbering)-not-yet-Rebirth-Aquaman with Volume 8: Out of Darkness. Does Dan Abnett do any better than the quickly dismissed Cullen Bunn? Nope! 

Saturday, 9 September 2017

How To Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal, Review

In his latest book, How To Be Perfectly Unhappy, Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal, ponders the concept of happiness in his usual humorous style. And it’s a pretty amusing read but short because the subject, and his conclusions, are fairly straightforward and underwhelming.

Friday, 8 September 2017

All-Star Batman, Volume. 2: Ends of the Earth Review (Scott Snyder, Jock)

Scott Snyder continues his Batman no-hitter streak he started with Endgame back in the New 52 with Rebirth’s All-Star Batman, Volume 2: Ends of the Earth. Time to take a break from the character, dude! Mister Freeze unleashes a necrotic black spot that decays everything it touches and Batman’s gotta etc. It’s soooo boring!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century by Chuck Klosterman Review

As you can guess from the title this is Chuck Klosterman’s tenth book which is an anthology of previously published articles - and I really enjoyed reading it! 

The writing voice Klosterman’s cultivated over the years is very compelling. Obviously it helps that the subject matters - pop culture commentary on music, film and TV - interest me, but his articulate, funny, thoughtful and illuminating musings also drew me into subjects that don’t, eg. American sports. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Batman/The Flash: The Button Review (Tom King, Joshua Williamson)

Batman/The Flash: The Button follows on from the end of last year’s DC Universe Rebirth #1 when Batman picked up The Comedian’s smiley-face badge in the Batcave. Here, Batman and Flash continue to investigate what the button means though it’s obvious that it’s teasing the Watchmen’s imminent appearance in the DC Universe. 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Lady Killer, Volume 2 Review (Joelle Jones, Michelle Madsen)

Josie Schuller is the ultimate domestic goddess: loving wife, doting mother – brutal assassin?! While she outwardly plays the idealised 1960s housewife, she’s secretly carrying out contract hits. If only disposal of the bodies wasn’t such a pain! Handily, a blast from her past reappears to offer his services. But Josie’s about to learn that being a small business manager has its pitfalls particularly when her sole employee doesn’t take being let go very well…

Monday, 4 September 2017

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman by Akira Toriyama Review

Dragon Ball is probably my favourite comic ever so I have a lot of time for its creator, Akira Toriyama. That said, the more I read of his non-Dragon Ball work - Dr. Slump, Sand Land, and now Jaco the Galactic Patrolman - the more I realise that he’s unfortunately a one-hit wonder! 

Jaco is an alien policeman who crash-lands on Earth, meets an inventor and a pop star stand-in, and goes on a series of unfunny, uninteresting “adventures”. It’s 200 pages of pointless crappy manga. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Artemis by Andy Weir Review

In space, no-one can hear you yawn…

I try to include plot summaries at the top of my reviews for context but I can’t do it for Fartemis - every time I think about this trash my mind collapses out of exhausted, frustrated, sheer boredom! The protagonist is a smuggler called Jazz Bashara. It’s set on the moon city of Fartemis. There’s a laughable half-assed “heist” plot. Oh, and I fucking haaaated reading it! AARRGH, GET IT AWAY FROM MEEEE!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

My Dog: The Paradox: A Lovable Discourse about Man's Best Friend by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal Review

Matthew “The Oatmeal” Inman waxes amusingly on his beloved dog, and on dog ownership in general, in My Dog: The Paradox. Every dog owner reading this will see their pet’s behaviour mirrored here, particularly, if you have a small dog like me who likes lying down in awkward areas around the house, when you accidentally kick them and they act like they should be apologising to you!

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them do this (since the cats died) but, like Inman’s, my dogs used to eat cat shit occasionally, though I don’t know why he’s surprised that his dog won’t eat broccoli – whose does?! Veggies aren’t for canines – hell, I know more than a few humans who turn their noses up at healthy greens! And my dogs are also sensitive to loud noises (even heavy rain) but quite happily charge towards motorbikes when they appear!

Maybe I’d have liked this better if I hadn’t recently read Inman’s other dog book, If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle-Aged Men, which is similar in content but funnier. Also, this book is very, very short. Still, it’s full of cute, enjoyable observations about the strange, adorable creatures many of us live with and who bring so much happiness with their companionship.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Jupiter's Legacy, Volume 2 Review (Mark Millar, Frank Quitely)

Frank Quitely is my favourite comic book artist but he doesn’t put out material too often and unfortunately these last few years he’s been tied to that hack Mark Millar with this mediocre Jupiter’s Legacy title so I’ve had to put up with Millar’s rubbish to enjoy Quitely’s work. 

Millar’s story is predictably uninspired and unengaging: evil superheroes have taken over the planet - good superheroes gotta stop ‘em. As usual, Millar’s not trying and the flaws are obvious in his rushed script like the ineffective wannabe-emotional father/son scene that falls flat because it’s so underwritten. The rest is instantly forgettable generic superheroes-thumping-each-other crap. 

Quitely’s artwork though is resplendent. He does scale like few can and his panels are meticulous, charged with life, imaginatively executed and are simply beautiful to behold. His visionary art is literally the only reason to pick up Jupiter’s Legacy 2.