Love It Hate It: The Weeks #1’s (Jan 03, 2018)

Rank up to six of the week’s #1’s, then compare the two in the top and bottom position. We call it Love It Hate It for the week of January 03, 2018!

Happy New Year . . . Woo-hoo 2018

Ok, enough of that frivolity, it’s time to get down to business . . . I’M BACK!! And I’m excited for this new year. I’m excited to see what comic publishers and creators bring us this year, and I’m excited to write about what I find worthy of my love and of my disdain.

Let’s face it, it’s January and a brisk 10 degrees or so outside, so we have to find things to pull us, sometimes kicking and screaming, through the next 3-4 harsh winter months, right? Sometimes that’s not easy to do. I really think that’s why New Year’s Resolutions came into existence. People needed to find something to focus their energies on and attempt to make it through ’till spring. I’m not much for resolutions, though. I don’t like starting my new year by setting myself up for failure or disappointment.

So I start each New Year with a word. A word that I try to carry with me all year long and that guides me not just through these harsh winter months, but all year. This year’s word is mindfulness. And with that, let’s get started.

Love It Hate It Contenders: Jan. 3rd

So this reviews Love em/Hate em are:

  1. Exit Stage Left: Snagglepuss Chronicles (DC Hanna-Barbera)
  2. Rogue and Gambit (Marvel)
  3. Koshchei the Deathless (Dark Horse)
  4. Star Wars: Adventures Forces of Destiny Princess (IDW)
  5. Transformers Vs the Visionaries (IDW)
  6. Rise of the Black Panther (Marvel)
  7. Planet of the Apes Ursus (Boom)
  8. Batman and the Signal (DC)

LOVE IT: No. 1 Exit Stage Left: Snagglepuss Chronicles #1 (DC Hanna-Barbera)

Tough week for the first week in the new year. I gotta admit that Snagglepuss was the last comic I read of the 8, and until I read it, Rogue and Gambit was #1 with Koshchei the Deathless coming in a close second. But then I read Snagglepuss. And it was ok, until I got to about mid comic . . . then my interest skyrocketed and I began reading it with much more interest and intrigue. So, why?

Exit Stage Left: Snagglepuss Chronicles

So I grew up on Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The FlintstonesHuckleberry HoundYogi BearTom and Jerry, and the list goes on. I loved these characters, and I remembered Snagglepuss as well. In his original creation, his greatest desire was to be a stage actor, and one of his catch phrases, often used to escape trouble, was “exit stage left.” So clearly, this comics’ title caught my eye. Never did I expect what I got though.

The story is by writer Mark Russell with art by Mike Feehan. I also have to throw a shout-out to the colorist, Paul Mounts for the gorgeous color pallets he used: absolutely perfect for this comic. The coloring matches what I would expect for the artwork; the lettering, by Dave Sharpe also matches what I would expect for the story and the artwork; it all works beautifully together. The layouts are clean with mostly crisp, white gutters and some nicely done overlapping of panels when appropriate.

The page to the right, however, is what grabbed my attention. Let’s back up a little bit though. The comic is set in early 1950s New York, and Snagglepuss has clearly made it, as he is now a famous playwright. We quickly realize that the world is a compilation of humans and humanoid animals coexisting peacefully. Snagglepuss is married to a likewise famous actress, Lila Lion. So far, it’s an interesting concept, but nothing to write home about. That is, not until the page shown here. The minute I saw the first panel of this page, I knew where this comic was going and my interest was piqued.

You can see in the background of that first panel the word “Stonewall.” Immediately I knew that this comic was so much more than it appeared on the surface. It wasn’t just written for nostalgia, but also to pay tribute to the turbulent history of the 1950s. I would love to break this comic down page by page, but that would totally spoil the comics, and this one is sooooo worth reading that I can’t do that to you.

Just know that this comic is a history buffs dream. It will also appeal to the LGBTQ community. And again, it doesn’t make the queer elements of the comic the focus of the content, but rather just as part of the story. A very important aspect for me when it comes to including diversity in comics. This is a comic worth the cover price!!

LOVE IT Runner Ups: Rogue and Gambit (Marvel) & Koshchei the Deathless (Dark Horse)

These two books were definitely in the running for the book I loved the most this week. I’m not a huge of the X-Men/Marvel fan, but I love Rogue and Gambit and their never ending/always ending relationship story. Creators Kelly Thompson (W), Pere Pérez (A), Frank D’Armata (C), and VC’s Joe Caramagna (L) do a great job of producing a fun and interesting comic.

And what’s not to love with a Mike Mignola story. This one is another one that I will be following. If you love Hellboy or BPRD, you’ll love this book as well.

HATE IT: Batman and the Signal (DC)

STOP IT DC!!!! Seriously, stop it already. Stop using the back of Batman to try to launch every other character you create. I’m sick of it. And they know they are doing it. Even the writers Scott Snyder and Tony Patrick voice these sentiments in the comic. The Signal tells the Bat Family he knows what they are thinking, “You’re thinking, Hell No. You’re thinking we have enough bat-people already. Look at this table.” And he would be right.

There are more than enough “bat-people,” as he puts it, and I’m tired of DC doing this crap week after week. So perhaps for the first time, DC takes both the top spot and the bottom. I know Batman has been DCs main staple since what, 1939? But they have to stop this crap. Let’s hope this comic is truly only 3 issues and let’s move on. Stop with all of these Metal tie-ins and stop with using Batman as a total cash cow. For those of us who LOVE and admire Batman, you are going to ruin it.

Ok, enough about DC. I’m excited to keep writing this year, and hopefully maintain more of a consistent schedule, posting every week or two. Here’s to a prosperous New Year to all of you and we’ll see ya in the funny books.


Want more? Check out the Love It Hate It archive!

Love It Hate It: The Weeks #1’s (Nov 08, 2017)

Rank up to six of the week’s #1’s, then compare the two in the top and bottom position. We call it Love It Hate It for the weeks of Nov 08, 2017.

So I spent two weeks traveling for work, and then returned home to prepare for Thanksgiving last week. With family coming in from out-of-state, there were things that had to be done, and writing my Love It Hate It blog post, while on the list, didn’t make the cut. I did, however, get to read all of the #1s from the 8th while I was traveling, and I have to admit, the choice of the one I loved the most and the one that just wasn’t quite up to snuff was more difficult than usual.

For instance, there are two that could easily make the number one spot. Both Coyotes and Port of Earth are interesting reads and I would advise anyone to pick them up if you haven’t gotten the chance. Choosing one to be at the bottom was likewise difficult. I struggled choosing between Black Hole Repo and Master of Kung Fu. Interestingly, I at least remember what Master of Kung Fu is about, while Black Hole Repo seems completely foreign to me at this moment. But I’ll stick with my initial gut instincts and leave Master of Kung Fu at the bottom.

Love It Hate It Contenders: Nov. 8th

So this reviews Love em/Hate em are:

  1. Coyotes (Image)
  2. Port of Earth (Image)
  3. She Hulk (Marvel)
  4. Moon Knight (Marvel)
  5. Black Hole Repo (Heavy Metal)
  6. Master of Kung Fu (Marvel)

LOVE IT: No. 1 Coyotes #1 from Image

This week was another tough decision between Image’s Coyotes and Port of Earth. So what won me over to Coyotes? A badass female character, what else?

Coyotes

What’s not to love about this book? The art, the coloring, the lettering, the layouts, the story telling: all of it comes together to make for an outstanding  read. The cover art alone, by Caitlin Yarsky, was enough to draw me to this book. As we all know, the promise of an interesting story on the cover doesn’t always carry through to the rest of the book. This time . . . it certainly does.

The story is by writer Sean Lewis and ALL of the art is by Caitlin Yarsky. In fact, these are the only two credited with the creation of this comic. Perhaps that’s why it seems so tight. The coloring matches what I would expect for the art work; the lettering matches what I would expect for the story and the art work; it all simply works together, including the layouts, to make one awesome comic book.

If you feel like there are two, maybe even three issues/chapters in this one issue, you are not alone. And this caused a bit of confusion for me initially, but by the time I reached the end of the comic, it all made sense, kinda. It doesn’t necessarily all come together, but you begin to see how the individual parts make up the whole. I know this sounds a bit cryptic, but I try hard to not give anything away in these reviews and that can sometimes create a bit of ambiguity. I think, overall, it’s worth it.

I will tell you that the story revolves around what Lewis calls “The City of Lost Girls” and our protagonist, a badass young woman named Analia/Red. The city, clearly a boil on the ass of humanity, is where cops like Coffey get sent when they’ve stepped over the line. In other words, when they challenge the corruption in their department. It’s clear that Coffey isn’t going to take what’s going on in the City of Lost Girls laying down. When Analia’s friends rescue her from Coffey’s interrogation room (with a bit of force involved), he rants that they can’t do that because he’s a cop. The woman’s (perhaps the Duchess) response? “You stop letting our bodies end up in ditches and we’ll stop pissing on your badge.” I look forward to reading more!!!

LOVE IT Runner Up: Port of Earth (Image)

This book was actually impressive. Creators Zack Kaplan (W), Andrea Mutti (A), Vladimier Popov (C), and Troy Peteri (L) create a tale that is both sci-fi and a little to real. The premise of the book is that earth finally makes first contact with aliens. Actually, they’ve known about us for a long time, but never needed anything from us until now. What they need is a port to supply their ships with water for power.

What could possibly go wrong with this scenario, right? What could possibly go wrong with the US seeing an opportunity to make money on a natural commodity that should belong to everyone?

Pick up the book to find out in this latest sci-fi comic.

 

HATE IT: Master of Kung Fu #126 (Rebooted with continuing numbering) from Marvel

Hate? Such a strong word. One that I rarely use and that I feel is overused in today’s world. People hate too much and don’t appreciate or try to understand enough. And no, I didn’t HATE this book. It’s actually kind of fun in places. This is a reboot of a comic that use to exist and now they’ve brought it back with it’s original numbering.

So again, we have a comic that is really a #1 . . . and yet it’s not. The very fact that it has the number 126 indicates there have been 125 issues that came before it. Issue #125 was published in June of 1983. Now I don’t know about y’all, but that’s a bit far back for me to be able to easily fine these issues and catch up on the Master of Kung Fu.

So tell me, what exactly are Marvel and DC trying to prove with this new (not new) technique of picking up the numbering where it last left off. Anyone new to comics who just happens to head into their local comic store to see what they can find would NOT be willing to pick this up.

Creators CM Punk (W), Dalibor Talajic (A), Erick Arciniega (C), and VC’s Travis Lanham (L), do a good job of incorporating backstory within the main story, so we at least know how the monkey came to be our main characters side-kick. But a new reader is not even going to pick this book up unless they have a really good comic book person to explain how this all works.

I feel like I spend a great deal of time ranting when it comes to the book at the bottom, but maybe that’s how it should be.

Here’s the plan for the next few reviews. I did this review because it’s just not fair to lump a bunch of weeks together and pick only one love it and one hate it. That said, we’ll see what the #1s look like for the weeks of Nov. 15th, 22nd, & 29th to see how we’ll proceed. If it’s too much, we might just forget the weeks of the 15th and 22nd.


Want more? Check out the Love It Hate It archive!