One week. Five trades. Yeah, I'm more than ready for my monthly comics. But in the meantime, I've read trades from Goon to Bone and Mahfood to Wood. It's been an interesting mash up of stuff from the To Read Pile.
Goon Vol. 3 – This series just gets better and better with each volume. After a slightly slow, but still entertaining start, things pick up with the second chapter. A space blob attacks Earth, and after the Goon quickly beats it silly, the alien merges with a Mexican horny toad and the fists and one-liners start flying. This is my favorite single story of The Goon (so far). Check out this trade, which also features Hellboy and a vampire succubus! If you can’t shell out the $12.95, at least get Dark Horse’s The Goon #6 for the Mexican horny toad story. A
Fight for Tomorrow – I read a lot of comics based on the writers. I'll get anything by Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Greg Rucka (non-DC), Sean McKeever, Christos Gage and Scott Morse without knowing anything about the project. A couple of years ago, Brian Wood became one of these writers. In 2002, Wood wrote Fight for Tomorrow, a six-issue mini-series from Vertigo. I picked up the mini on the cheap from a friend (thanks, Kach!) but I prefer Wood’s stuff in trade as it is all incredibly rereadable. The story is about Cedric, who was kidnapped as a boy and trained to fight in illegal MMA-style fights. Once he breaks free of that world, only one thing can bring him back: the love of his life's disappearance. A great Brian Wood read with fantastic, moody art by Denys Cowan. The only negative is the cheap paper quality DC uses for its Vertigo trades. A-
The Further Adventures of One Page Filler Man – I’m a big Jim Mahfood fan. Granted, I didn’t “get” the Generation X Underground Special that came out 10 years ago. But when I stumbled across his various works at Oni a couple years later, I developed a great appreciation for his art and writing. One Page Filler Man is possibly his most surreal work to date. OPFM and his ice cream-loving kid sidekick have various successful hero adventures (like fighting zombie ninjas and searching for the mysterious Agent B, aka 80s pop sensation Billy Ocean) while OPFM babbles nonsense and recites the dictionary both forward and back. A strange yet entertaining read. B
Star Trek: The Key Collection Vol. 4 – I never really expected to like these early 70s Star Trek stories when I got the first trade, but the simplicity in the art and dialogue allows the plot to take center stage. And while the plots are somewhat repetitive (and Prime Directive busting) – find new planet, fix their problems – they are all enjoyable. The best story in this volume was the final chapter, due to a great Planet of the Apes-style twist. While a little expensive (around $23 a trade), Checker Book Publishing has done a good job of bringing these fun, old stories to today's Trek fans. B-
Stupid, Stupid Rat-Tails – Well, it is fun reading the phrase "Big Johnson Bone" every other page, but other than that, the story was generic and predictable. The tall tales BJB told were a bit overbearing. But Jeff Smith's art is awesome and he draws the cutest baby bear ever - a combination of an actual bear cub and a teddy bear. The back up story about a pig was almost unreadable. The characters weren't likeable and the attempts at humor weren’t funny in the least. C+