swamp thing

SW27Swamp Thing has easily been one of the most intriguing and consistent series of the New 52 (Rot World art issues not withstanding).  The series has done an amazing job of weaving a mythos incorporating elements introduced as far a back as Alan Moore’s shatteringly brilliant run on the series with new and original takes on both the character of Alec Holland/Swamp Thing and the powers he wields.

I’ve particularly enjoyed the work of writer Charles Soule thus far in the series.  That being said, this issue was something of a mixed bag.  Following the events of issue #26 and the long boiling confrontation with Seeder/Woodrue, Alec Holland has been given his “reward” for his time as the Avatar and is now living fully within the Green.  However, Swamp Thing needs desperately to return to Earth and put a stop to Woodrue/Seeder’s time as the Avatar.

Perhaps most intriguing is the revelation of what the Parliament of Trees ACTUALLY is, beyond the understanding that they are former Avatars themselves.  I won’t spoil anything here, but suffice it to say what we see on Earth is not necessarily the true form of the Parliament and as we’ve com to see with the Green, the Red, and the Rot, all things come with a price and being a member of the Parliament is no different.

The ending of the issue, while startling, follows logically with the world that Soule has created.  But I can’t help but feel that it rendered the entire Seeder plotline ultimately moot and severely undercut the impact of the previous issue’s finale.  Unless Soule has something more in store for Seeder/Swamp Thing thread, a lot of effort appears to have been needlessly thrown into what amounted to a 5-6 issue plot device.  That being said, the ending does represent an interesting shakeup to the series status quo and an intriguing wrinkle to an already intricate mythology.

7/10

In its 24th year, the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, MI outside Detroit has grown larger and attracted more fans than ever before.   A recent update on the Con’s Facebook page confirmed that over 30,000 fans attended the 3-Day show.  While it’s true that there was heavy traffic to enter the parking lot and long lines to enter the hall, indie artists reported triple the sales of last year’s show due to the high volume of people through the door.

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This is the front of the line on Saturday morning an hour before doors opened.

Here’s a rundown of the guests that this reporter had the chance to interact with.

Lloyd

David Lloyd

V for Vendetta artist, David Lloyd’s latest project is a 21-page noir thriller in Aces Weekly Volume 1.  Aces Weekly is an exclusively digital comic anthology available at http://www.acesweekly.co.uk/home.

Perez

George Perez

The Great George Perez attended the show, delivering commissions and sketching sharpie headshots in between countless autographs.  Mr. Perez’ latest released work is the cover of Legion of Super-Heroes #20, available this month from DC.

Anyone wanting to catch up on Perez’ past work need look no further than this month’s Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? Tpb and Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 6 Tpb.

If that’s not enough, his influence is felt across the New 52 as characters he created may be followed monthly in the pages of Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Justice League.

Kitson

Barry Kitson

Barry Kitson is currently nailing it on Valiant’s Bloodshot title!  Issue #11, containing Barry’s artwork is out this month along with more Barry pencils in the Harbinger Vol. 2 Tpb.  Furthermore, it was just announced that Barry will be illustrating the aftermath of this summer’s Harbinger Wars event in Harbinger #15.

Kitson cares deeply for his fans and this weekend was a prime example.  When Barry saw gridlock on the road leading to the convention center saturday morning, he chose to make the journey from highway to convention hall by foot rather than keep his fans waiting!

Swierczynski

Duane Swierczynski

Speaking of Bloodshot, the writer for that title and Valiant’s big summer event, Harbinger Wars, Duane Swierczynski, was present!  Duane’s also involved with the revival of X for Dark Horse.

Clark

Matthew Clark

Notice a trend developing?  Bloodshot #11 Variant Cover artist Matthew Clark was stationed across the aisle from Swierczynski.

Manning

Dirk Manning

Horror comic writer and Bleeding Cool columnist Dirk Manning was dressed to impress while promoting his recent release of the Write-Or-Wrong column collected edition.  Dirk’s next project is a flip book called Love Stories (To Die For) containing two comic book horror stories.  The book will be available from Image Comics’ partner studio, Shadowline, in September.

McKenna

Mark McKenna

Industry veteran Mark McKenna’s new creator owned project, Combat Jacks, is about humans terraforming a planet while they’re attacked by Jack O’ Lantern monsters.

Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham, fresh from delivering the incentives to those that pledged to his successful kickstarter project NAWRG, set up in prime convention hall real estate.  In short, NAWRG is a story about a troll that lives with a family, but the story contains a deeper meaning on how adopted pets bring great joy to people.   Tyler’s recent work includes Red Hood & the Outlaws, Superman, Teen Titans, and Green Lantern: New Guardians.  His next project is Action Comics #22.

Paquette

Yanick Paquette

Yanick Paquette made his DC debut two years ago in the pages of Batman Inc. and continued his DC work with the New 52 Swamp Thing series.  Yanick’s next project is Wonder Woman: Earth One where he’ll reteam with Grant Morrison.   Yanick remarked on how he loves the way that Grant consistently surprises him and he never knows what Grant will put into their stories.

Hunt

Ken Hunt

Ken Hunt is an artist on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream, currently working on a top secret cover for a future DC release.

Bisley

Simon Bisley

Englishman Simon Bisley was particularly interested in the Detroit Redwings t-shirts that local hockey fans were sporting, remarking on how cool the winged wheel design was.

Kolins

Scott Kolins

Scott Kolins recent Orang Lantern backups in DC’s Threshold title will soon give way to a Larfleeze ongoing series with his art and written by Keith Giffen.

Forney

Sean Forney

Local hero Sean Forney is in the midst of his own kickstarter project The Scarlett Huntress!  The Scarlet Huntress features Sean and his wife Stephanie sharing art and writing duties.  The story is a modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood mythos.  He’s almost at his goal and your pledge could be the one that puts him over the top!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/838034909/scarlet-huntress-anthology

Defoy

Jay Defoy AKA Jay A.D.

Young talent Jay Defoy recently completed the first issue of his creator owned title Threadcount: The Tale of Norman Crest.  It’s about a man that gains superpowers that seem ridiculous at first but turn out to be a fun crime fighting asset as the story goes on.

Richard

Sara Richard

Sara Richard’s artwork has a fun fairytale influence to it.  She spends her days drawing adorable My Little Pony Covers.  Check her out.

Spaniards

From Left to Right: Ramon Bachs, Miguel Sepulveda, Manuel Garcia, Andrews Guinaldo, and Pere Perez

These five artists traveled from Spain to meet their fans and deliver high end commissions.  They’re pictured holding pieces that they did for comic art connoisseur Ari Shapiro’s Batman on Gargoyle themed collection.  Reportedly they were commissioned as a group since they share a common rep.  Once they started work, the artists competed with each other over whose piece was strongest and which Ari would like most.

Roadkill

Roadkill

Until next time, dear reader!

Well, it’s definitely a fuller week for my pull list.   Here are my highlights:

 

dec120180Green Arrow # 17

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Jeff Lermire

Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

It’s new direction for everybody’s favorite emerald archer spearheaded by a new creative team, Jeff Lermire and Andrea Sorrentino.  I’ve been a fan of Lermire’s work since his run Superboy in the pre-New 52 universe.  I’m a big Green Arrow fan and really haven’t cared for the direction of the character since Judd Winick’s run so I’m looking forward to what Lermire can do.  I’m guessing we’ll start seeing the comic move more in line with WB’s “Arrow”.

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dec120297Swamp Thing #17

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Yanick Paquette

It’s been awhile coming, but I’m guessing it will be worth the wait.  Scott Snyder is bringing the Rotworld storyline to a close and odds are no one will make it out unscathed.   Scott Snyder is currently one of the best in the business and this series is well worth your time.

 

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dec120982Red Team #1

Publisher: Dynamite

Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Craig Cermak

It’s no secret that Garth Ennis is one of my all time favorite writer, so I give basically anything he writes a shot.  Red Team follows the NYPD’s elite anti-Narcotics unit, they’ve been highly successful but a new case threatens to push them to their limits and likely beyond .  Given Ennis’ penchant for well-written ultra-violence eccentric characters, this title has a pretty good shot at snagging a permanent spot on my already crowded pull list.

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thumbnailDaredevil: End of Days #5 (of 8)

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Klaus Janson

Daredevil was the book that catapulted Brian Michael Bendis into the spotlight at Marvel and his epic run  elevated Daredevil back to Frank Miller levels both in terms of character work and popularity.  If you are a fan of either Bendis (and his more existential, gritty work) or of Daredevil, then this book is one you need to check out.

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dec120622New Avengers #3

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Steve Epting

I’ve been a fan of Hickman’s work so far on the main Avenger’s book, but for money, New Avengers has been the stronger and more focused read.  This issue sees the Illuminati venture out to bring together the Infinity Gems.  The character work and dynamics so far have been superb and no one writes the Black Panther better than Hickman.

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nov120715Secret Avengers #37

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: Matteo Scalera

Rick Remender’s last issue and the conclusion of “The Rise of the Descendants”.  ’Nuff said.

 

 

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dec121268Shadowman #4

Publisher: Valiant

Writer: Justin Jordan

Artist: Patrick Zircher

Shadowman is probably my favorite series in the current Valiant line.  In the last issue, Jack has finally, if tragically, accepted the mantle of Shadowman and now all bets are off.  This issue promises a showdown between Shadowman and Twist.  This is a great series and definitely merits some attention.

 

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There you go.  My picks for the books you should check out this week.

Did I miss something?  Do you disagree with one of the picks? Do you agree with the picks?

Sound off below!

Two weeks ago I decided to evaluate my comic book pull. It started when I was bagging, boarding and boxing book. I noticed how I was going through bags and boards while storing away some books that I only want to read but have no interest in collecting. Would the value of some of these books really go up because of me bagging and boarding? Well, probably not.

The first thing I looked into was DIGITAL! Yes, blasphemy! The accursed digital format! The way I saw it was that this was the best way to read books that I didn’t really care to keep them. A good way to just read the story and that is it, leaving no stack of books. DC digital isn’t bad. The first month it is priced same as print, but after one month the price usually drops a dollar. So, I told myself, “You can wait one month”. Marvel on the other hand does not drop their price for a long time. Did this keep me getting Marvel in print format because the price is any different? No, I just canceled most of my Marvel list because they can’t work with me. My father has a good example for this. He says that people will complain about the price of brand cola, but will immediately breakdown and buy it anyway. The best way to send a message is to attack their wallets. More people just have to do it.

The only books that I left on my pull list were books that I collected, books that I really like. The main books that I love are Spiderman and Batman. Now, I kept a few books besides those two on my list, but those were the main ones that I couldn’t stop collecting. Other books that I kept were Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Action Comics, Earth 2, Adventure Time (guilty pleasure), and The Walking Dead. Just looking at this list makes me laugh. 5 years ago, my list consisted of all Marvel titles. Now I have such a different mix of comics. Animal Man and Swamp Thing are the most different super heroes you can find in DC, Earth 2 doesn’t take place on the same dimension as the main DCu, Adventure Time is my only all ages book, Action Comics is a Grant Morrison book (which is all I have to say about that), and The Walking Dead is in a realm of its own. This leaves The Amazing Spiderman and Batman as my only “Super Hero” books. This is a big change for me.

Sometimes when collecting anything, you have to set yourself a limit. You have to ask yourself if some of the things you get are stuff you really want and enjoy, or are you getting them just to collect books. It’s not easy to break away from something you’ve been collecting for such a long time, but truthfully, it only makes reading the books you really love that much sweeter.

-Adam Russell