Comics Picks of the Week of 1 May 2013

Welcome to another installment of Comic Picks of the Week. It seems nothing of interest to me comes out one or two or three weeks each month, piling my purchases into two or three Thursdays a month.  Not enough interests me, especially from the big two. Even Dark Horse hasn't offered much since Resident Alien, and the conclusion of that series was lackluster, feeling rushed after such terrific buildup. Speaking of lackluster, rushed conclusions, the last issue of Planetoid, the series I raved about last installment of this series, really dropped the ball. I think the auteur of the book, Ken Garing, didn't want to leave fans hanging and so wrapped up the brief series that I thought was going to be around for years. I would've preferred to let my imagination run wild with the idea of what might happen next...

Shopping on a very limited income means making very specific choices in reads, considering what it is I might easily find at the library, but balancing that with supporting series that might never make it to trade paperback collections if readers don't support the individual comics.

I don't know if I'm buying anything this week either, but there are some series from Image Comics I've been buying that have Trade Paperbacks coming out at the low, low price of $9.99. This price is so hard to beat for some awesome comics reading.

BEDLAM TP VOL 01 - I'll admit I only read the first, extra-sized issue and found it fascinating and really creepy and I enjoyed the ideas presented within. Velocity Comics' Tom Batten describes the series by asking readers to consider what it would be like if the Joker decided to fight crime instead of causing them. My reading experience with the first issue brought me to lots of craziness and murder, but it all seems like it's there for a purpose and not merely cheap thrills. Writer Nick Spencer creates an engaging world vaguely touching on the genre of the post-modern superhero with visuals by the uber-prolific Riley Rossmo. I do own the first five or six issues and plan to read them soon, finally catching up on many months of back-reading.

BLACKACRE TP VOL 01 - I recently read the first two issues, having found the first for free on Comixology. The world presented in the first issue was enough to pull me in to buy the print comic and then also the second issue. I'm not entirely sure I want to continue buying this series. While the first issue presents a story that's always engaging to me, one in which some kind of law enforcement official is sent to track down another such agent who has gone "missing," but in actually has switched sides, I don't feel like enough happened with the protagonist in the second issue, and without that, I'm not sure I care what happens to him, so this may be a library read, if they get it.

GREAT PACIFIC TP VOL 01 TRASHED - I have read the first six issues and I truly enjoy this series. I was given the first two issues for free, as a push, by Collector's Kingdom's proprietor Mike Bradley. Of course, only the first hit or two is free, but that's OK. This was  a series I'd seen the promo ads for and had a slight interest in it and I'm glad to have gotten that extra shove from the pusher-man. Imagine a landmass forming in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, made up of plastic and other debris. OK, you don't actually have to imagine it, if Wikipedia is accurate, and that is the basis of this story. An oil baron descendent declares this landmass "New Texas" and plans to make it a sovereign nation while somehow profiting from cleaning up trash by somehow transmuting it into useable materials. On this island are some bow & arrow and spear-tossing Pacific islanders, underneath it is a giant octopus they revere as their creator, and many other mysteries lay in wait on this man-made mass that we've yet to discover, and oh oh oh, Uncle Sam is not happy about the young sovereign's bid for internationally-sanctioned nationhood. And there be pirates and downed Soviet weapons satellites and pissed off relatives and cute girls. What more could a boy ask for? Hmmm... How does this series read for various types of women? Is this another male power-fantasy or something more engaging that will reveal a strong female protagonist with motivations of her own and who just may help this series someday pass the Bechdel Test?