La Perdida - Jessica Abel

Unfortunately, I didn't care for this impressively long book about a young woman, Carla, who moves to Mexico to establish some connection to a largely non-existent part of her heritage. The problem was that with one briefly appearing exception of Carla's little brother, Rod, every single character in this story is a completely immature, moronic, loser. It's really hard to keep reading about a story filled with these idiot wannabe Marxists, writers, DJs, whatever. And it takes 150 of the 250+ pages before a plot really begins and by that time I really don't care what happens next despite how exciting and intense it should be. I also felt that Abel's early use of subtitles for the spanish didn't really work for me, just have it in english and let me know what parts are suppose to be spanish. Sorry, but if I knew anyone like any of these characters I would just ignore them, so don't make me read about them. 

Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero

I saw this movie years ago, but didn't really remember it, and certainly didn't post about it. It is from the old Batman animated series, so the art style is awesome and distinct although everything looks like it's from the 50s which may turn some people off. Mass murderer and brilliant scientist, Mr. Freeze, needs to revive his ailing wife, and if that means he has to kill innocence to do so, so what? It's up to Batman and Robin to stop him. This is an enjoyable enough Batman adventure, but I do get the feeling you're supposed to forget, at least at times, that Mr. Freeze is a mass murder.

Superman: Doomsday

Having no real stories to tell, DC comics decided to kill Superman (spoilers, he comes back (something I really think may screw up kids who grew up reading comics)). This animated version of the story, which I never read, has a lot of punching, but not a whole lot of anything else. If the story is about anything, it really is about Lois Lane and her relationship with Superman (and not at all with her relationship with Clark Kent) and, to a lesser degree, with Lex Luther's obsession with Superman. With those aspects, we're actually getting towards an interesting story, but it is incomplete. Overall it's not horrible, but it's nothing... super.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters

We all know the Justice League and its main member, Superman, and how he is the son of general Zod, was sent to earth, narrowly missing capture by Lex Luther, and raised by migrant farm workers. Okay, maybe you don't know this version, which has a much darker, bloodier group of superheroes, and now someone's trying to frame them for the murders of scientists (shockingly, murders they did not commit, this time). This was an enjoyable, animated film, but I think you'll enjoy it the most when you have a least some general idea how the DC universe is being turned upside down, otherwise it is just a bunch of meaningless names with much less impact. Definitely worth it if you're a DC comics fan, but otherwise probably not. See if you catch the references to drug use and sex.

Here - Richard McGuire

It seems like a very interesting and artistic idea. The comic focuses on one point in space and jumps around through time, from the distant past to the not so distant future. The problem is that the execution is boring as hell. I'm not even going to put a picture of this book on this review because the cover is boring also. It probably took forever to create this book and you can read it in five minutes.

Thunderbolt Jaxon - Dave Gibbons

In an attempt to update some old British comic characters, Gibbons tried to breath life into a tale about how a magical belt turns a boy into Thor, and how he uses that power for good. Sadly, while this seems to me to be awesome (a cross between the first Thor comic and Captain Marvel but originating earlier than either), Gibbons makes what should be a kids book far too dark, and has a horrible time with the pacing, plotting, and dialogue. There are a lot of good ideas and fun touches here (gods reenacting their wars as hoodlums, the MacBeth witches, a trio of kids), and none of it hold together well. Perhaps if it unfolded over a longer time than the handful of five issues. 

The Voyeurs - Gabrielle Bell

This is why this comic sucks: It's filled with name dropping that means nothing unless you waste your time memorizing the first names of alternative comic artists so you can attempt to figure out who is who; there is no actual plot, just random diary entries; there are no characters, unless you count the parade of superficial hipsters that whine that they have it so good yet seem to do nothing, or Bell herself who is frighteningly unstable (and if she is so unstable how does she actual produce anything?); and there is little information here, mainly recollections of events that are tangential to other--perhaps interesting--events. Ug.

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Based on the death toll and the cursing, I suspect this movie isn't for kids. I don't care what you say, I like Aquaman! Super strong, invulnerability, can breathe underwater, is a king, and can talk to fish; what's not to like? This animated film focuses on introducing Aquaman, while exposing viewers to the Justice League (whom they presumably already know). The plot involves a conspiracy to pit the underwater kingdom of Atlantis against the surface world. Pretty good, and the art is nice although I'm jealous that everyone has amazing deltoid muscles .

Black Panther

I suppose this is based on the comic miniseries that came out a few years ago, which I didn't read, and therefore I'm not sure. In any event, this cartoon version is often rather slow moving, and horribly animated (even if they did try to make the art look like Frank Miller did it). However, it is very funny and actually quite intriguing! Besides introducing us the character of the Black Panther, the leader of an isolationist, technologically advanced, African nation, as well as support characters and villains, it has a very interesting plot wherein a group of villains (and what a hodgepodge group it is!), backed by the United States, attempt a coup. Probably would've been better to just read the comic, since the animation is such crap, but how can you beat having Stan Lee as a racist US General?

DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the young boy who could turn into a superhero with a magic word, and for his evil counterpart, Black Adam, the one time god Emperor. But this short film that has the man of steel, AKA Superman, and Shazam isn't what won me over with this little collection. Instead, it was a short on the spirit of vengeance, otherwise known as The Specter, as it was wonderfully done with the look and sound of a 70s crime drama. There is also a short on The Green Arrow, which was a fun action romp, and Jonah Hex, a nicely done, sexualized, dark western. A great collection with the irony that the title feature was the weakest.


This is a horrible series which is just a narrated series of pictures about the super-powered being called inhumans and the struggles their king has to deal with such as his insane brother, a human attack, and some other nonsense. Apparently, it was an award-winning comic (which I think I read and disliked). Really pointless, the upcoming movie can't be worse.

JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time

An often very funny, if not overly interesting movie, about the Justice League, or to be more precise, about two would be heroes: Dawn Star and Karate Kid, who must travel back in time from the 31st century to undo the mess they made of our time. The art is a little off-putting and I think the plot of the movie is simply to introduce young viewers to various DC characters, but the only actual characters in the film are Dawn Star and Karate Kid which really makes this a Legion of Super Heroes movie and not a Justice League of America one.

Exquisite Corpse - Penelope Bagieu

I was sadly disappointed in this comic. The art is wonderful and it seem like a decent set up: an attractive, but uninspired girl meets a shut-in, older, author with writers block and a bizarre secret. Together, they inspire each other. Seems simple enough, but it takes about half the book before the story really starts and it's all leaning to what are supposed to be shocking twists, but none of the characters are good enough to make me really care about them, or bad enough to make me want anything negative to happen to them. Some of the events come out of nowhere (sorry, it is not a twist when there's no basis for an event to take place), and the whole book reads like a pitch idea for what might be a clever movie if any of the characters were actually developed. exquisite corpse

FBP (Federal Bureau of Physics) (vol 1-2): The Paradigm Shift & Wish You Were Here - Simon Oliver

This world is a lot like ours, except the laws of physics are more like unenforceable suggestions. The FBP is the government agency designed to investigate and attempt to rectify problems such as quantum tornadoes, random wormholes, time shifts, and the occasional loss of gravity. Agent Adam Hardy is a real ladies man (although I'm uncertain why or how) and is looking for his long lost father; unfortunately for him, so is a criminal multinational corporation. There's more to this story, of course, it took the entire first trade just to set up the world and the main character and introduce the sassy, sexy, sociopathic, female sidekick, but I'm unfortunately not really into it. Maybe in part because of the art by Robbi Rodriguez, whose work is just too elongated and faces too indistinct for me, or maybe, as I said, the fact that it took forever to set up our main story line. FBP

Stumptown: The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini) - Greg Rucka

I liked this comic better when it was an episode of The Killing or done by Ed Brubaker;  okay, that's not fair, but it does seem very much like a desperate attempt to create a TV pilot done in the style of Brubaker. I'm sure a ton of people will love this comic, but I am not one of them and here's why: this story is about a woman named Dex, who by her own account is a complete and utter loser; she drinks too much, gambles foolishly, can't get into a relationship (doesn't even know her sexual orientation (but that's really just Rucka trying to be sexy)), flirts shamelessly with anyone she wants something from, and does not seem to be particularly good at her job, which is being a private investigator. We are supposed to like her though because of two things: she takes cares of her mentally disabled little brother (although not particularly well as throughout the story there's ample opportunity for the bad guys to use him as a bargaining chip (why they don't is simply beyond me)), and because she is sassy (although I don't think it's sassy so much as absolute stupidity when you mouth off to people who just attempted to murder you and obviously would have no problem trying again or at the very least raping and/or maiming you). The plot itself is that Dex (who lives in the world of The Killing) has to find a missing girl--the subtitle gives some basic information on that, but makes it seem like a joke, which is another problem I have with the comic as it wants to be dark and serious but obviously thinks everything is a joke. You want to write a crime comic? Fine, and I'm happy for it, but have it make sense. stumptown

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Purest be damned, I had fun with this movie about the genius detective as he attempts to out think a criminal mastermind who hopes to plunge the world into war. There is lots I could complain about, but why bother? It had action and adventure and very funny scenes with Holmes' older, smarter, and fatter brother, Mycroft. Not a bad way to end the series (of two).

Muppets Most Wanted

It was good to see the Muppets again; even if it was not one of the best, it's still better than most crap I watch. The Muppets are back together and are on a world tour, only they're being duped by an evil frog who has replaced Kermit who in turn is stuck in a Siberian prison. Some nice song and dance numbers, but I think most of the cameos could've been better done (Christopher Lee as a priest was a nice touch), and I'm pretty sure some of them were cut as the finale had people I didn't recall from the film. In any event, I was glad to see it and glad to hear the show is coming back.

Hark! A Vagrant - Kate Beaton

Admittedly, I know little about Canadian history or Nancy Drew books, but these cutely drawn comics that often use history and literature (including comics) as subject matter are rather delightful, even if it gets a little overwhelming sitting down to read an entire collection at once. I would say they should be more popular, but many of the references are just too obscure. Hark! A Vagrant  

Not sure why this first collection is being published here about three weeks after the sequel, but that's how I role (I guess).