The Comic Queen

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Single-Panel Review: Wonderland, War of the Worlds, Papercutter, Hero Squared, and Recommended Reading

Wonderland #1
SLG $3.50
Writer: Tommy Kovac; Artist: Sonny Liew
Beautiful artwork from Sonny Liew is the highlight of this new comic. The story takes place in Wonderland just after Alice’s departure and follows Mary Ann, the White Rabbit’s assistant. The writing is great – fits the comic perfectly. Simply put, this comic is a real treat and not to be missed. Note: Check out sample pages on the SLG site.
Bottom Line: A

War of the Worlds: Second Wave #3
Boom! Studios $2.99
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson; Artist: Chee
Don’t get me wrong, I like this series so far, I’m just beginning to think it will read better in trade form. I wouldn’t say the series is moving slowly, per se, but with big, beautiful splash pages, it’s hard to get the same amount of story into a comic. Good stuff, though, and definitely worth reading.
Bottom Line: B

Papercutter 1 & 2
Tugboat Press $3 each
Papercutter’s a great little anthology book. The first two issues have featured Aaron Renier, J.P. Coovert, Sean Aaberg, Becca Taylor, Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover, and Liz Prince. So, from this line-up alone, it should be pretty clear that these are good books. If I had to pick to my top two stories, they would be Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s “Criminal Intent” a playful story about a catwoman-like burglar in a small village in the 30s (from #2), and Aaron Renier’s “Through the Hall of Biodiversity,” a down-to-earth little love story (from #1). Really, though, there wasn’t a throw-away story among the two books, which is saying something for an anthology. Sometimes they can be hit or miss, but both of these books are right on.
Bottom Line: B+ each

Hero Squared #1
Boom Studios! $3.99
Writer: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis; Artist: Joe Abraham
Another good book from Giffen in the super-hero genre. Funny, engaging, it’s super-hero but fresher. My only criticism is that Giffen can be a little wordy at times, and this issue in particular he’s got the dialogue kicked up to new levels. Really, a minor complaint, though. Overall, this is good stuff.
Bottom Line: B

I’ve been trying to catch up on my way-to-big pile of comics lately. Here are some recommended reads from that pile:

Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli
Has a Y: The Last Man attitude but more intense. New York City is a war zone, and Manhattan’s the DMZ, a no man’s land where main character Matty unexpectedly becomes an embedded journalist.

Lobrau Productions
Kevin McShane
A very funny comic with a comedy movie pace and feel. The main characters, Toupydoops and Teetereater, have just moved to LA, where Toupydoops is an aspiring comic book character. That’s right, this is an LA where the entertainment industry casts comic books like movies. Nice.

Archaia Studios Press
Alex Sheik Man
I’m at a loss about how to describe this one – it’s futuristic yet the main character is a samurai. It’s not science fiction and it’s not Samaraui Jack, yet it’s both. Not to be defined by one genre, it’s a very fascinating comic. All issues of this four-issue mini-series are out, and another installment is set for next year.

The All New Atom
Gail Simone, John Byrne, and Trevor Scott
The Atom’s back but now played by a different scientific genius – it’s some pretty standard Atom stuff, but this series has some real promise. I’d recommend checking it out.

Boom! Studios
Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski, and Paul Azaceta
I reviewed the first issue of this ongoing, but after issue #2 am really excited about this series, and thought it was worth a second recommendation. If you like a good mystery, you’ve got to pick this comic up.

Jordan Crane
This is an excellent comic in the vein of Kevin Huizenga or even Josh Cotter. Skilled artwork and a thoughtful, sad story.

Pizzeria Kamikaze GN
Alternative Comics
Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka
A graphic novel like nothing I’ve read before. The main character kills himself and goes to a netherworld where only those who have ended their own lives go. They live out an existence that seems like any city or normal life. It’s just that’s all there is. It’s difficult to describe the GN, but I really recommend the book.


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