Saturday, October 21, 2006

Reading Roundup

The last couple of weeks have been kind of light for new releases, as Marvel's Civil war delays continue. I've picked up some new titles, revisited an old one, and caught up on a mini-series I skipped the first time around. Consider these all recommended.

E-Man: Recharged brings back the energy-being turned super-hero for the fourth or fifth time since his introduction in 1975. I first became aquainted with Alec Tronn with his First series - that is, with his second series published by First Comics in the '80s. This was a good done-in-one introduction to this unique character and his peculiar supporting cast. Published by Digital Webbing, $3.50.

I've been reading Toupydoops since the first issue. Set in a world where comics are cast and produced like movies, Toupydoops suffers through a series of dead end jobs while striving to make it in comics, acting as s substitute kindergarten teacher in #4. Published by Lobrau Productions, $3.50.

Chip Zdarsky's Monster Cops was fun. In it, Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman are reformed from their menacing ways and now serve as beat cops in the small city of Metroville. They go up against a poncey Anne Rice type of vampire, meet Vampirella, and Frankenstein learns to love his hands. Get your mind out of the gutter. Despite a brief cameo by the Prison Funnies gang, this is as "all-ages" as anything Zdarsky has done, and I had no issues letting my 5-year old look at it.
Published by Legion of Evil Press, $4.00.

I'm pretty sure that if I'd been in the Vietnam War, I'd have gone completely insane almost inmmediately. That's pretty much what happens to Pvt. Billy Everette, who gets the "Private Pyle" treatment in Vertigo's the Other Side. He starts seeing dead men, and his gun starts whispering to him before he even leaves boot camp, so I'm sure he'll have a blast in the jungle. The story also follows the parallel experiences of Vo Binh Dai, a Vietnamese conscript who fully expects to die. Also: Happy, the Dancing Rainbow Unicorn!

Okay, I made that up about the unicorn. Cameron Stewart provides art, and he shows why he's become a favorite in this issue. Good, if bleak, stuff.

I also got ahold of DC's Space Ghost miniseries from a couple of years ago for cheap. At the time, this caught some flak for trying to do Space Ghost all grim & gritty, but I have to say, it was pretty good. I liked the art by Ariel Olivetti, and while it starts out dark, Space Ghost comes to a happier place by the end. The story gives us Space Ghost's origin, introduces Jan and Jayce, as well as explaining how SG came to care for them. A very different Zorak shows up to cause problems as well. The text page on the last issue promised more to come, and I wouldn't mind seeing that at all.

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