Single Panels 6/20/05
By James Kochalka
Top Shelf Productions; $7.00
Straight from the warped mind of James Kochalka comes Super Fuckers, a messed up super hero team. Heroes include Jack Krak a jerk with lightning powers, Vortex who keeps a younger version of himself in a terrarium, and my personal favorite Grotessa, a girl who is ugly, but super smart. The story gets off to a slow start, with character introductions being made, but not much action. What is notable though is Kochalka’s patented style. The pages are bright and fun, even if the characters are being nasty to each other on the page. I’m interested in seeing these characters in action and I hope Kochalka explores that in the next volume.
Bottom Line: B-
Felt: True Tales of Underground Hip Hop
By Jim Mahfood
Image Comics, $2.95
Felt, a companion piece to hip-hop artists Slug and Murs album of the same name is expertly put together by the always stylish Jim Mahfood. The book has many short pieces inspired by the tracks on the album or by Slug and Murs themselves. Although the album is not yet released, readers were assured that the book was a standalone piece. While I think the book and many of the stories are good, it is definitely lacking without the benefit of the album. I’m guessing that the album will add a lot to each panel and give the book some validity. It suffers without the cd and I’ll definitely give it another look when the cd is released.
Bottom Line: B-
Bete Noire #1
Fanatgraphics Books; $9.95
Billed as the first International comics art quarterly, Bete Noire includes many short stories by artists from the United States, France, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Getting a look at alternative comics from around the world is startling. It’s interesting to see all the artists’ styles in one compact volume. Although I found only half the stories to be successful, I was happy to give the book a chance. The translation in some of the stories seems rough and some feel dashed, but it’s nice to get a fresh perspective and be exposed to comics I would have otherwise missed.
Bottom Line: B-
Written by Bill Willingham; Penciled by Mark Buckingham; Inked by Steve Leialoha
Vertigo Comics; $2.50 each
In this storyline called Return to the Homelands, we finally get to see what strikes fear in all the Fables. Boy Blue starts his journey toward confronting and hopefully killing the Emperor that has driven the Fables from their Kingdoms and taken over their world. Along the way, we meet the Snow Queen and learn that Boy Blue is a shape shifter. We also meet the Emperor’s goblin army.
Fables is as good as always. This storyline flows nicely and it is still good to be away from Fabletown. I enjoy it when Willingham focuses on one character such as his look at Boy Blue in these issues. Buckingham’s art is gorgeous as well. I’m impressed by his rendering of the Emperor and of the many goblin soldiers. Fables remains one of the best books available today. It’s consistently of the highest quality and the most value for your money.
Bottom Line: A