Ramblings For Early July

Some random thoughts that need escaping from my mind to my keyboard.

Bad Kids Go To Hell #1I read Antarctic Press’s Bad Kids Go To Hell #1 on the train today. It was the name that caught my eye when I saw it in Previews 2 months ago. AP are a great little publisher and with titles like David Huthchison’s Biowulf and Rod Espinosa’s excellent Prince of Heroes they deserve to be noticed. Bad Kids is not of the same ilk, but it’s good to see AP branch out from their manga flavoured digests. It’s written by Matt Spradlin (or Spadlin according to the intro) with art by Anthony Vargas. The premise is The Breakfast Club meets Buffy’s Hellmouth. A construction crew opens up a portal of some sort and then 3 years later the Crestview Library opens on that spot. Six students are brought in on a Saturday morning for detention. It’s an extra-sized debut but there’s no real smattering of the horror to come just yet, and all of the students are somewhat stereotypical (jock, goth, nerd,etc) but when they’re not swearing and talking about sex the dialogue’s not bad. 4 issues should pretty much say all there is to say with the concept and Vargas’ work is realistic enough in this context.

Rapture #2 from Dark Horse is great. The first issue was a splendid intro and Mike Avon Oeming and Taki Soma’s tale of separated lovers in the apocalypse works well. It could just as well work without Evelyn’s calling and her mystical spear and guide, but the emotion really comes through. Oeming is always a master of the page and with this series he looks to be trying different styles throughout the issues, and it works a treat.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 1The Definitive Edition of Codeflesh from Image is far too expensive. $40 for a Hard Cover on flimsy paper? Nah. It’s an OK tale, by writer Joe Casey and artist Charlie Adlard and it’s good to see the series not suffer from its sporadic publication. The tale of a masked bail bondsman chasing jail skipping freaks is a grand idea and Adlard’s art is dark but not jaw dropping.

Alex Robinson’s black and white digest Too Cool To Be Forgotten from Top Shelf. It’s a slow start and the plot is almost straight out of a Disney film, but Robinson takes the tale of a middle-aged man who gets hypnotised to stop smoking and relives his high school years instead a realistic and un-corny tale. It goes beyond the simple art to poke the heart, kinda like that Adam Sandler film, Click.

I read the first two digest sized volumes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series from Oni Press in quick succession. Girlfriends with names like Bond girls, a healthy respect for comedic timing, retro video games and a dose of fantasy. I can’t wait to see how all this translates to film. If Kevin Smith was a comics creator instead of a film maker, he’d be making books like Scott Pilgrim.

Whiteout Trailer

I love watching a good trailer. They’re an art form in themselves really. Showing not too much while creating anticipation isn’t easy. This reminded me of the old trailers they used to show for 70s and 80s horror films, with it’s almost monotone voice over and lots of silence. It doesn’t really give anything away, but I’m sure more revealing trailers will arrive before the film hits the screen on September 11. Whiteout is based on the Oni Press comic by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber about the first murder in the Antarctic. It stars Kate Beckinsale and The Spirit’s Gabriel Macht. Some may be reminded of 30 Days of Night, but don’t expect vampires.

Labor Days Interview

For Broken Frontier I was able to interview both creators of Oni Press’ recent release, Labor Days, which is a fun, mature, crazy OGN (original graphic novel). It follows Londoner “Bags” Bagwell and his worldwide trek for a mysterious videotape. Hilarity, and action, ensues. My interviews with writer Philip Gelatt can be found here and with artist Rick Lacy here. You can also check out a huge preview here.

LDV1 C1-C4 LAYOUT.indd

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