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The Watchtower - A thread for all comics


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The good news about the 3rd volume of Ultimates is that they have apparently already been working on it for a while, so we should have a good long run of monthly issues. And hopefully it stays that way. I'm glad they're changing the creative teams though- getting a bit too much of Millar these days.

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I've been reading Drawn & Quarterly's collections of Yoshihiro Tatsumi work. I bought a friend the first volume, The Push Man, as a gift, and there's now a second collection out (they're all short stories) called Abandon the Old in Tokyo. D&Q are dedicating each volume (lovely hardbound affairs) to a specific year - 1969 and 1970, so far.

The books have endorsements from the likes of Adrian Tomine (who edits them) and the Hernandez brothers, and it's not hard to see why - Tatsumi's works have similarities in both scope and style, but are literally decades ahead. I think there have only been a couple of previous English and Spanish translations, so Tatsumi's work isn't that well-known outside of Japan, but it certainly deserves to be.

For the most part the stories are city-set and, despite a fair few dramatic plot elements - he seems quite keen on the idea of people losing limbs in industrial accidents - generally low-key, with regularly ambiguous conclusions. Tragedy and alienation loom large, but Tatsumi's documentary-like approach deftly avoids melodrama and he delivers resonant and thoughtful pieces that remain with you well past the final panel. And despite frequently taking time and space to establish mood or merely guide you through the passing of time, not one of the stories so far has outstayed its welcome.

I don't know how many volumes there'll be in the end, but I'll be buying them all and I highly recommend the two linked above.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I read the Lost Girls - 1 last night and flicked through the other two and have to say that I'm not really taken with it at all. It actually made me feel uncomfortable in quite a few places. Its off to Ebay to fund a From Hell I think.

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After reading a massive load of GNs in the last few months, I think my favourite has to be Planetary. I'm sure its the one series i'll be re-reading in 10 years time.

Fables has also really started to shine now.

I've also picked up a few more Ultimate Spidermans and that is certainly improving as it goes.

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Other things to look forward to is a new comic book series from Marvel. Entitled Halo: Uprising, it will be a four-part mini-series written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev, with issue one destined for sale on 25 July at $3.99.

From the Halo 3 thread in discussion. This may well worth be picking up, simply because Bendis and Maleev rocked hard on Daredevil. Has Maleev done any big robot/SF stuff before? I'm just thinking that for robots, epic battle scenes and the like, the man for the job is clearly John Romita Jnr. Just look at the Eternals mini-series!

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After being gifted some selected comics(60 odd) last night, I started on the Runaways. Good god is it good, by the time I finished reading my first issue, I adored the characters.

Marvel Zombies is a bit wrong aint it. :ph34r:

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Marvel Zombies is terrible. It combines 2 of my favourite things, Zombies and Super Heroes but it manages to be dull and annoying. Zombies should be relentless brain-eating machines; they shouldn’t sit around discussing the morality of eating people. I’m looking at you here Zombie Spiderman. The ending is good though.

I borrowed loads of Garth Ennis stuff off a friend over the weekend so I’ve been working my way through Punisher Max. I’m a fan of GEs stuff but I’m finding Punisher:Max pretty dull. I’ve read the first 5 stories and only Mother Russia had any real merit. The rest, Kitchen Irish and Up Is Down & Black Is White etc, were all fairly weak. I was never a bit Punisher fan though. His new on-going, I think it’s called the Wormwood Chronicles, is good fun. It’s about the son of the Devil and the son of God living in modern New York. I prefer his humorous stuff to his relentlessly bleak stuff like Punisher.

The only other thing I’m reading is Y-The Last Man. I think it’s coming to an end but it’s been a great read. Good lead character, great support characters and an interesting set-up.

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I think the Phonogram trade is meant to be out this week, for people that didn't read the floppies. Support your local games journo / comics writer.

Just finished the most recent Gotham Central trade, pretty good stuff, although I find it vaguely irritating when the paperbacks don't include all the singles (especially since good one shots are almost always better than the multi-issue arcs). Homicide: Life on The Street + supervillians = joy

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Let's get the good stuff out of the way: Phonogram was great. My LCS managed to source me all of the issues when I decided halfway through the run I wanted to read it and I really enjoyed the back matter, which added a bit of extra value. It also got a fair few of my Britpop-loving friends into a comic store as well.

From one end of the scale to the other then: Ultimates #13. I have to say I was a little disappointed. I guess it says something about the subtley of Planetary that the sporadic bombastic thrills of The Ultimates didn't measure up in the end. That fold-out splash was great the first time and then just felt so over-the-top as to prove a point. I know I'll put a few pounds down on Volume 3 if only to see a regular monthly featuring the team but despite every effort to go out with a bang, Ultimates just felt like too much noise.

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Just finished the most recent Gotham Central trade, pretty good stuff, although I find it vaguely irritating when the paperbacks don't include all the singles (especially since good one shots are almost always better than the multi-issue arcs). Homicide: Life on The Street + supervillians = joy

It just means there will be an Ultimate edition hardback somewhere down the line. Image did it with the Powers collections which was immensely irritating and so I bought the damn hardback which weighs a fucking ton. :lol:

Anyone read The Professor's Daughter or Mouse Guard?

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1:36 PM']It just means there will be an Ultimate edition hardback somewhere down the line. Image did it with the Powers collections which was immensely irritating and so I bought the damn hardback which weighs a fucking ton. :(

Anyone read The Professor's Daughter or Mouse Guard?

shitfuck, I didn't realise there were gaps in Powers

will have to download the missing issues

edit: those missing Gotham Central issues where all pretty good, better than the whole Corrigan plot IMO, but then they would be not having to sell tie-in to other books.

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It just means there will be an Ultimate edition hardback somewhere down the line. Image did it with the Powers collections which was immensely irritating and so I bought the damn hardback which weighs a fucking ton. :(

Anyone read The Professor's Daughter or Mouse Guard?

Mouse Guard is lovely. Bit like bone, castle waiting etc.

But with mice (duh!)

Story is a bit short (for the wait between issues), but it looks beautiful.

The collected volume will be coming up I guess, so if you didn't read it yet, you should go for that.

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I borrowed loads of Garth Ennis stuff off a friend over the weekend so I’ve been working my way through Punisher Max. I’m a fan of GEs stuff but I’m finding Punisher:Max pretty dull. I’ve read the first 5 stories and only Mother Russia had any real merit. The rest, Kitchen Irish and Up Is Down & Black Is White etc, were all fairly weak. I was never a bit Punisher fan though. His new on-going, I think it’s called the Wormwood Chronicles, is good fun. It’s about the son of the Devil and the son of God living in modern New York. I prefer his humorous stuff to his relentlessly bleak stuff like Punisher.

A mate of mine has been supplying me with the Punisher Max series at the moment, the first 4 so far, i have just finished the Mother Russia one and it easily the best so far.

It is all pretty bleak and sometime seems a bit heavy going for my liking.

If you like Garth Ennis's stuff then check out Preacher, you probably already know about it already mind you.

I have been looking for ages for something on par with Preacher as for me its one of the best things i have read, will have to check out that Wormwood Chronicles series and see what like it is.

Next lot my mate is sendingmy way is the Ultimates series, not sure what i will make of that one.

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Well in my last post I said Runaways was an great read. I now take that opinion and raise it to Runaways is the best damn comic book I've read in years. I'm not normally one for Teenage tales, not being a fan of Buffy and its ilk and being 32 yrs old.

But by christ do I care about them, all of them, their written so well. Molly is a wonderful character and her owning of both Wolverine, and in the latest issue Punisher are classic comic book moments.

Got the first 2 issues of Whedons run yesterday and I now want to read all of Volume 1. Everyone read Runaways.

Oh and picked up World War Hulk #1 yesterday after being given Planet Hulk in its entirety. WWH may be big dumb fun but I loved it.

"Take that Stark" you facist pigdog. -_-

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+1 to that. ^

I read the first volume over the weekend and absolutely loved it. Emos and their pet dinosaurs wouldn’t normally be on my comic reading list but my friend insisted I borrow it. It’s so well written and so much fun I can’t get enough of it. Great characters, great bad-guys, cracking dialogue and beautiful artwork. It’s an excellent book. I’ll get stuck into Vol.2 tonight.

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Huzzah! A sixth Walking Dead volume slipped me by - I just haven't been into GOSH in ages. That's brilliant news, can't wait to read it.

PS. Rev, I'd also be interested in writing for your site if you ever get around to it.

Why can't I find this?

I went to Travelling Man yesterday and they only have 1 to 5 in stock... I'm begining to think people are telling porkies just to get me going.

Anyone reading The Boys by Garth Ennis?

First new thing I've picked up for quite sometime, enjoyable too even though I don't really like Superheroes.

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Has anyone else apart from D.C read Lost Girls yet? I haven't gotten round to purchasing it yet due to a lack of funds but I've been looking forward to it for a long time. I haven't heard/read many overally enthusiastic reviews so far.

I was really hoping for someone to wade in with an opinion after my comments.

I can give you the reasons it made me feel uncomfortable if you like but they may be too much in the way of spoilers. Ask away/PM if you wish though.

Mines on Ebay now. I'm currently reading 'V for Vendetta' and am in the hunt for a 'From Hell'. Does anyone know if that comes in a hardback?

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Has anyone else apart from D.C read Lost Girls yet? I haven't gotten round to purchasing it yet due to a lack of funds but I've been looking forward to it for a long time. I haven't heard/read many overally enthusiastic reviews so far.

I've read all three. I wouldn't normally link to one of my amazon reviews (since I often review stuff I don't even know much about just for the fun of it) but this particular one I wrote for Lost Girls vol.1 well sums up how I felt about the volume - in short, I liked it.

HOWEVER, I got bored of Lost Girls as soon as I started the second volume. It was just more of the same: gratuitous sex, and recollections/flashbacks of sex which reinterpret the three girls' stories. The novelty of the reinterpretations got old quickly. I don't see how Moore could have done it more cleverly within the constraints, but it's precisely this constraint to reframe each story in an explicitly sexual context that limits the work. When you read the first volume it seems so naughty and exciting but by the time you're halfway through the second volume you'll be bored silly of finger fucking, erect penises, dildos and the frankly cringe-worthy "dirty talk" that Alice in particular speaks, 99% of the time. It stops being interesting and just feels manipulative - I was reading it thinking "What? Am I supposed to be turned on by this? Is that the point of this? I didn't buy this for that, I bought it for a risqué but intelligently put together story, not just plain sex".

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I've read all three. I wouldn't normally link to one of my amazon reviews (since I often review stuff I don't even know much about just for the fun of it) but this particular one I wrote for Lost Girls vol.1 well sums up how I felt about volume.

HOWEVER, I got quite bored of Lost Girls as soon as I started the second volume. It was really just more of the same: sex, and recollections/flashbacks of sex which reinterpret the three girls' stories. The novelty of the reinterpretations got old quickly. I don't see how Moore could have done it more cleverly within the constraints, but it's precisely this constraint to reframe each story in a sexual context that limits the work. When you read the first volume it seems so naughty and explicit but by the time you're halfway through the second volume you'll be bored silly of finger fucking, erect penises, dildos and the frankly cringe-worthy "dirty talk" that Alice in particular speaks in 99% of the time. It stops being interesting and just feels manipulative - I was reading it thinking "What? Am I supposed to be turned on by this? Is that the point of this? I didn't buy this for that, I bought it for a risqué but intelligently put together story, not just plain sex".

I also got this feeling when I attempted the books. I also sent hem this:

Ok. The following is drawn from completely reading the first volume and flicking through every page of the remaining two.

I thought it did an excellent job on using the original source material to tell erotic stories. There are clear references to the source material and I enjoyed these parts of the book a lot. But there are at least 3 instances of graphic incest that form large parts of the stories and a couple of frames with scenes involving minors (I have two young children so this may have added to my ill feeling here).

I’m no prude my any stretch of the imagination but the above left me feeling rather ill actually. The complete opposite of the intended reaction myself and my partner has hoped for when we were going to read it together.

I hope that’s brief enough and useful to you. Shout me if you have any other questions and I’ll do my best.

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A mate of mine has been supplying me with the Punisher Max series at the moment, the first 4 so far, i have just finished the Mother Russia one and it easily the best so far.

I love Punisher Max. Try The Slavers, incredibly bleak but so well written and drawn. I love how Ennis strikes a balance between OTT series like Barracuda and more down to earth ones like Slavers. He also really dives into Frank's past, present and future with stories like Born, The Cell, Tyger and The End and it's some of the best work on this character, if not the best.

I love it.

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I downloaded a scan of Lost Girls when it became clear that its publication was being put back considerably, and to be honest while it's truly gorgeous to look at it is arguably a dull read. It picks up when it starts addressing the question of war, and it makes some interesting points on free speech (and acts as a practical exercise in the same), but as Jim says it's cringeworthy in places and frankly ludicrous in others - I think I've mentioned the shadow sequence in this thread before, or maybe elsewhere - that's surprisingly charmless and clumsy considering its creators.

I think it's a laudable experiment and there's no denying the quality work that's gone into it, but unfortunately I think its mission to be a comic about sex ends up getting in the way. Like a collection of Anais Nin stories, you'd have to be pretty dedicated to work your way through it in one sitting without succumbing to the comparably arousing embrace of boredom.

Still, aside from early chapters in Taboo I've only seen scans - and they were spectacular enough. So when it does appear over here I might well pick it up, give it another chance, and at the very least enjoy the artwork and Moore's pockets of brilliance. Not his actual pockets, I'm not going anywhere near them. That's another problem with the book - the question of freedom of expression notwithstanding, I've no particular desire to find out what Alan Moore thinks is sexually arousing.

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Just got up to date with Runaways last night and like Cassidy says, it’s amazing. I’m a bit worried about the change of writer although I do like the comics JW has written. He seems to have totally changed the book in his first issue; the gang are now living on the East Coast and working for The Kingpin. Hmm, can’t say I’m crazy about that development.

One thing is confusing me. What happened that caused them to move to New York? The last issue I read before JW took over ended with them getting back to the base under the tar pit and finding Captain America and co. there. So did Cap and the other Super Heroes run them out of town or did I miss an issue?

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Just got up to date with Runaways last night and like Cassidy says, it’s amazing. I’m a bit worried about the change of writer although I do like the comics JW has written. He seems to have totally changed the book in his first issue; the gang are now living on the East Coast and working for The Kingpin. Hmm, can’t say I’m crazy about that development.

One thing is confusing me. What happened that caused them to move to New York? The last issue I read before JW took over ended with them getting back to the base under the tar pit and finding Captain America and co. there. So did Cap and the other Super Heroes run them out of town or did I miss an issue?

wasnt it Iron Man and Co? Its all to do with Civil War, and its covered in the Young Avengers/Runaways Civil War crossover. Aint read it yet though.

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Yeah, you’re right it was Iron Man.

That makes sense. I’ll have to track down Civil War when I get a chance.

Apparently Loners is also a really good Series Marvel are running. I've just asked for Issues 1-3 be put away for me at the local comic emporium.

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