Wednesday, December 21, 2011

If You Read, You Should Follow It

Hey all you people who occasionally read this, you should consider hitting the follow button. I started this for funsies, but I would love some feedback now and then. Positive or negative, as long as it is constructive I appreciate it.


Morning Glories Vol. 1 Review

Being fairly new to the comic book scene, I never heard the rave reviews surrounding Image's current ongoing series "Morning Glories" when it began last year. What I found in this collection of the first 6 issues was an intriguing mystery filled with great art and few explanations to the overarching story. Morning Glories is written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Joe Eisma.

I picked this title up about a week ago with some hesitation. I looked at the cover art and the name and they didn't seem particularly grabbing, I have never had a particular fondness for prep schools or i's dotted with flowers. I had even turned down purchasing this book the week before in favor of picking up "Mystery Society", which I will be writing about soon. Anyway, before purchasing it, I flipped a couple of pages in and saw an ethereal hand going through a students face. Needless to say, that caught my interest. That brief experience I had easily set a tone for the rest of the book. Neatly made prep school on the front, strange macabre experiment on the inside. If there was one word I would not use to define Morning Glories, it would be expectable.

The story follows 6 new students who have been accepted to Morning Glory Academy, which is often regarded in the text as both prestigious and mysterious. The story follows the 6 as they soon realize that Morning Glory is not a normal prep school and they begin to ask questions about its motives and practices. this ultimately leads to many confrontations with the school's sadistic and occasionally murderous faculty and staff. By the end of the sixth issue, the reader is left with many questions and no definite answers. Since "Morning Glories" is an ongoing series I doubt many of my questions will be answered for some time, but I think this first volume has got me hooked.

Morning Glories has currently published 14 issues and two volumes of trade paperbacks collecting the first two arcs. The TPs only run about $10, so they are a great read for a fairly low price. Check it out if you are looking for a sinister supernatural comic free of capes and spandex.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Library Doesn't Want Me To Have Free Time

This past Wednesday, when stuck on a delayed plane, I was thumbing through Atomic-Robo and I thought, "Does the Oak Park library have a collection of graphic novels?" The answer I found was yes, they have many graphic novels. While this was initially cause for excitement, my thoughts soon turned to dread as I realized the number of volumes they had that I wanted to read. I quickly resigned myself to the fact that by the time I return to Hendrix, that number may be zero.
The library, I am guessing this applies for many libraries, has a surprisingly good source of graphic novels. While I lament the amount of time I will spend reading instead of doing less productive things, I am glad I will be able to knock several books off of my must read list, which seems to be constantly expanding. In conclusion (this post is a bit shorter than normal) investing in reading graphic novels really doesn't have to be an investment, at least not financially.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Early Christmas Presents and the Marvel Online Archive

What did you ask for christmas? I asked for and thankfully already received (thanks, Mom) a year long subscription to Marvel's digital comics unlimited. Although many parts are a little spotty, the current collection online is rather extensive spanning from the beginning of Marvel to recent issues. Although the online reader requires flash, so sadly it isn't on the ipad yet, but the reader is well designed and flows well. To break it in, I have been reading through the original Lee and Kirby issues of the X-Men. For just $60 ($47 if you use this code I found) year long access is a pretty good deal and is easily the cheapest way to get your fill of old school Marvel.
Here is the link:


My Nerdy Winter Plans

I'm on winter break right now which means one thing, free time! That's right, I am now saturated with free time and I plan on taking advantage of every moment of it. I have already read volume 1 of "Atomic-Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne" loaned to me by roommate Josh and it was wonderful. Other activities on the docket include a week long Pokemon card tournament marathon across the Chicagoland area and even more comic book reading. My current reading list excluding normal monthly books looks like this:
If you have never herd of this, go out
and find it because it is well worth it

  • Reinventing Comics -Scott McCloud
  • Mystery Society - Steve Niles
  • Morning Glories vol #1 - Nick Spencer
  • the first several Sandman books - Neil Gaiman
  • Fables -Bill Willingham
  • Sin City - Frank Miller
  • Zot! - Scott McCloud
  • Plus whatever else I can get my hands on
Look forward to many reviews and random articles as I wade through this month of enjoyment.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rare Amazing Fantasy #1 Found in Chicago Suburb

A rare comic has appeared in La Grange comic shop. Amazing Fantasy #1 was the comic that introduced the ever-popular Spider-Man. What is most amazing about this story is that the condition of the bank was ranked at 9.8, which is exceedingly high for a 50 year old comic. The link to the Chicago Sun-Times story is below.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Action Comics No. 1 Online Scan

I stumbled upon this recently. As much of a piece of history this is, the most interesting thing about it is that the Superman story only takes up about 10 pages of the book. The style back then seems to be many small stories collected into an issue. I also like that Zatara is first introduced in this issue, a fact I was unaware of.

Here is the link:


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Understanding "Understanding Comics"

His Shirt is a reference to Zot!
a comic created by McCloud
that ran from  1984-1990
I recently read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics for the first time and it was quite impressive. Never before had I been exposed to such an amazing analysis of the comics medium. Originally published in 1993,  Understanding Comics dives into the deeper art and meaning behind comics all while being narrated by a cartoon version of McCloud.
  McCloud covers just about anything one would hope to see in this type of comic ranging from visual iconography and time to the invisible aspects of the art. In my favorite chapter titled "Closure", McCloud explores some of the less realized aspects of comics, including gutters and the automatic transitions that we see when we read comics. This is a phenomenal work and it made me want to go back and reread everything I had ever read and reevaluate it. It also made me want to go out and begin reading and analyzing every comic and graphic novel I can find.
  The entire comic world owes McCloud a thanks for this work as it eloquently and almost perfectly makes the argument for the importance and beauty of comics. I may be a bit behind the times on recommending this book, but anyone interested in comics or art should give this a read. The latest printing is available from Harper Collins, ISBN: 006097625X.