Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Nightly News 1; Pirates of Coney Island 2; Wonder Woman 3

Nightly News
Jonathan Hickman

You have to respect this book. The coolness quotient this one man band of a book oozes, even if you don't like the book, you have to respect this book. Nightly News is Jonathan Hickman's rage against the horrors of modern day conditioning. It's about the two percent that own it all versus the 98 percent who own nothing. It's about violent politcal change. It's about how much the news sucks.

And it's pretty good.

The artistic style of the book can best be described as whatever that mess of information is that you see when you turn on your 24 hour news network. It's information overload. You don't read this book so much as it is shot at you, and you collect what you can. At it's height it's a powerful call to arms. At it's worst it's another in the long line of "You're not your fucking khakis".

And while I enjoyed the first issue immensley the seeds of fight club are there, and it bugs me. I don't feel like this book needs a cult driving it. It would have been enough to be a core of angry men. But to throw this Durden-esque claptrap on top of it...it makes me worry.

But for now, this is a good book to be checking out and I do recommend it. As I said before, even if you don't like, you kind of have to respect it. But you'll probably kind of like it.

Pirates of Coney Island
Rick Spears-Vasilis Lolos

Love this book. If you are at all romantic about the anarchic vibes of the ramones, then this is the kind of book you want to see. It's funny to review this book right next to Nightly News because while Pirates isn't as overtly political a book, it's the kind of book which might be a more successful glamorization of an ideal, and a more successfull call to arms.

Pirates of Coney Island is as near as I can tell about a gang of kids at Coney island who approximate something of a non-sea fairing, group of pirates. It's more akin to Tom Sawyer than anything really, but it wears the clothes of that sort of glue hoffing punk esctatica that even nostalgically will always be in vogue. This is about doing what you want, when you want, and giving the big number one to the authority the whole way through.

What's really fun with the book is how Spears intermarries both pirate and comic book tropes. The Pirates have their own batcave. They have their own roles in the crew, each one a speciality--even though they aren't dressed the part(though one boy does don an eye patch), they do feel like pirates.

I really had a lot of fun reading Pirates of Coney Island and am very excited for the next issue. I actually jumped right into the series without having read issue one, so I still have that to catch up on, but missing that info didn't really affect my enjoyment level of the book.

I guess the diffrence between the two books appeal is that in the end I'd rather drop out with Kerouac, then blow up with Osama. The revolution of Pirates is micro, where the one in Nightly News is more macro. Inward vs. outward.

As a final note, and something I should have mentioned sooner--Vasilis Lolos...just whoa. You can draw my wedding pictures any day sir. Love his art. It slightly reminds me of the gorrilaz animation, but it has this wonderful edge and depravity to it--and the colors just explode off the page. The fun thing with Pirates is reading it after going through a pile of fairly dark grim colored books, and then Pirates just explodes on you with blues and greens and reds and yellows. It's beautiful stuff. I can't wait to see more from Lolos.

Wonder Woman # 3
Allan Heinberg-Terry Dodson

Two things to get off my chest before starting this review. First off, it's something of a minor travesty that a character as important and iconic as Wonder Woman, who is supposedly one of the big three with Superman and Batman, only has one book, and it can't come out on a semi-regular basis. Second of all, if it means Allan Heinberg is going to continue to spin such an interesting yarn, then by all means, take your freaking time.

So yeah, I started this book kind of mad, but ended it ready for more. This is a good old fashioned superhero book with wonderful two page splash pages for battles. Lots of fights, lots of talking and drama during those fights, it's how these things are done when they're to be done right. But what hooks you into this book and makes you strap in for the long haul is contained in the dialouge from Circe to Diana(Wonder Woman): "Power you squandered...battling cyborg centurions and psychic despots...when every day thousands of women are beaten raped and murdered because they have no one to fight for them. Because you were too busy being a superhero to be their champion" Hoo boy. This book just took a turn.

One of my favorite things about Wonder Woman is how political she is. I'm not really interested as much in the greek mythology of the character, but I love when she is wrestling with politics and ideals, and real social change. I really hope this book does go to the streets and connects Wonder Woman to a more grounded place. The character could use that. And I think that's what Heinberg is attempting.

We'll see how it goes, but here's to Heinberg and Dodson telling a story worthy of Wonder Woman. Now about having more than one Wonder Woman book going....

2 comments:

Jamie McKelvie said...

Today at the Birmingham con we were joking about how the back of the Phonogram trade will have quotes from Warren Ellis, Frank Skinner and "the girl who likes the book so much it makes her want to punch her own stunt double in the face".

ie Thanks for the review. :)

Mercurialblonde said...

Hey, thanks for the book :)