Monday, May 28, 2012

Comic Quickies: Dial T for Tardy

Comic Quickies are back after a brief hiatus.  I've been so insanely busy with school and other life adventures that I've haven't had much time for blogging.  In fact, this is the first time I've sat down to pound out a blog post in over a week... I've been able to keep the blog semi-regular with updates thanks to a couple blogging binges where I cranked out a load of posts, but that supply is starting to dwindle.  So, even though much of the stuff in this Comic Quickies is a week or more old, it's stuff I've read this month that I think merits mention.

Dial H #1: I knew as soon as I heard about China Mieville's comic debut, Dial H, I would have to pick up the first issue.  However, I did a dumb thing and didn't add it to my pull list, so on the day this one came out, I walked into the store to grab a copy off the shelf, and was sadly denied because the shop had sold out all of their copies.  I had to wait two weeks for the re-order to come in, and then, grabbed one of the last few re-order issues. So, suffice it to say that the "H" stands for "hot".

Keeping with China Mieville's modus operandi, this one is kinda weird.  It starts out as two out of shape friends are having an argument about being out of shape.  One guy leaves in a huff, only to be attacked by street thugs a few blocks down the street.  Nelson, the other friend, hustles to try and help, but catches an epic haymaker for the effort.  Luckily, he gets punched right into a phone booth, and while trying to dial 911, somehow gets magically turned into a strange freakshow of a superhero by the name of Boy Chimney.

As the magical smoke-phantasm producing Boy Chimney, Nelson is able to ward off the attackers and carry his friend to safety.  He then awakes a few hours later on random roof top with a minimal memory of the night's events.  After piecing things back together, Nelson figures out that his buddy has gotten on the wrong side of his sketchy employer.  Hoping to set things straight with his new-found Boy Chimney skills, Nelson returns to the magic phone booth and tries to duplicate the previous night's transformation, which he sorta does, but with vastly different results.  From there things get weird and weirder.

I can't really say I was a fan of this one.  It is just all kindsa strange, and nothing about the first issue made me care about what was going on.  Maybe I'll check out the collected trade sometime down the road, but for now, I'm gonna pass on this one.

The Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred #4: Rounding out the "That Shit Cray" double header for the month is the fourth issue of The Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred.  This one scores high in weirdness for the fact that it is a total non-linear issue comprised of 84 panels printed in random sequence.  Yup.  Weird.

The idea here is that one can just paw through the issue willy-nilly and read the damn thing in any order and achieve some sense of entertainment and enlightenment.  I'm not so sure I was enlightened, but this sure was entertaining.  It was one strange, fucked up issue, but I'm always interested to see how people push the comics medium in new and cool directions.  Shaky Kane's art was awesome and trippy as per usual, so I was hugely entertained by that to say the least.

Though the first Bulletproof Coffin mini series provided a great story, this second mini series appears to be just a collection of one-shots set in the world of BPC.  So far, there is nothing to tie together the four distinctly different narratives that we've seen so far, but I also wouldn't put it past Hine and Kane to tie it all together somehow by the end.  If you wanna get your dose of strange, surreal and off-beat in the same serving, Bulletproof Coffin is your medicine.

Mystery in Space (One-Shot): So, uh, I totally picked this up because it had a short comic in here by Nnedi Okorafor.  Sure, there were a few other draws, like the Ryan Sook cover, and the Mike Allred short, but it was pretty much all about Nnedi.

Her story is pretty cool.  I'm not sure if this is her first foray into comics or not, but she's off to a pretty good start.  The story, The Elgort had Okorafor's stamp all over it as her writerly voice, or whatever you wanna call it, came through loud and clear from the get go.  Her scripting was a little shaky, but the story was assisted by some purely sublime art by Michael Kaluta, who I was familiar with from some Rocketeer Adventures stuff.  Overall, The Elgort was a great fantasy story veiled as an SF tale.  This one stood out as the champ of the collection.

The whole she-bang-a-bang probably wasn't worth the $7.99 price tag, but I enjoyed enough of the various comics to be entertained.  I find that I always get really excited about short comic collections, but am ultimately disappointed by what's between the covers.  Maybe  I should lay off them for a while.

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