Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Book Review

 It's not a comic and it's an old book I finally got around to reading, but it's as comic book related as they come!

Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics by the late Julius Schwartz is a breezy tour of science fiction fandom, including Schwartz's role in birthing the first SF fanzine and his involvement in the first cons, including the first WorldCon. He covers his career as an agent for a Who's Who of SFF writers, inclduing Ray Bradbury, then his career switch to editing over at DC Comics. I knew some of the stories, but not nearly all, and though fairly lightweight as memoirs go, this is a quick, fun read.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

George Perez, RIP

 The hits just keep on coming, though this one is not unexpected.  I had the thrill of meeting George when he still lived in Queens, NY, and he graciously did programs on How to Break into Comics at two library branches where I worked. The second of those times was when he had a broken arm and couldn't doodle while he talked. Older teens packed our meeting room both times and he patiently looked through portfolio after portfolio, offering tips and advice. Thanks for everything, George and rest in peace. You earned it.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Neal Adams RIP

 This poor neglected blog. I'm still reading comics, though not as many as previously. Saga is back and I'm enjoying the heck out of Nightwing. Lady Mechanika is good and Catwoman is entertaining with nice art. There was even a new Astro City! It just feels tedious to type up my 2-6 sentence reviews here. 

But some news can't be ignored. The great Neal Adams died yesterday. He was truly one of the greats. I loved his work on Batman and other books, but it was his work with Denny O'Neil on Green Lantern/Green Arrow that made the biggest impact on me, along with making me a fan of both characters. I'd read GL comics before that and I loved Speedy, but GL/GA was comics perfection. And Adams' amazing, realistic art influenced so many other artists. He'll be missed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


 I just finished reading the final issue of Ascender. It had the emotional feel of a TV series finale, full of emotion and expectation fulfilled. Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen created an amazing and complex universe in Descender, a dystopia where technology has run amok and robots have been outlawed. The heart of that series was centered in a bot called Tim-21, the childhood friend/brother of a boy named Andy, now grown up and searching for Tim-21. A lot of other people with less than altruistic motives also wanted Tim-21 for the secrets in his programming. Ascender is the shorter sequel, focused on Andy's daughter Mila at a time when magic has replaced technology and not in a good way. This final issue is a perfect ending for the saga and moved me to (happy) tears. If you haven't read this, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 29, 2021


 Nightwing 78-79

I haven't read Nightwing since just before he was shot in the head. I'd read, and enjoyed Grayson, but reading about the upcoming storyline that once more would morph Dick Grayson into something other than Nightwing did not interest me. I read so few DC books these days, with Image and some Marvel titles occupying my comics reading time, that I had to think hard about starting back up with Nightwing. A once-page preview of issue 78 made up my mind. I would give the title a chance again. I am so glad I did.

Writer Tom Taylor gets Dick Grayson, and artist Bruno Redondo has a crisp style somewhere between realism and cartoon that is very pleasing to the eye. He needs to work more on his pizza crust lines, though.

As for the story, Dick learns he inherited a fortune from Alfred and is looking for a way to make a real difference in Bludhaven. And Bludhaven needs a lot of help, being under Blockbuster's huge thumb. This is a reset, feeling a bit like Dick's earlier adventures in Bludhaven, yet also feeling like its own thing. The pages catching up Dick's history are elegantly rendered both in text and art.

There's a lot of potential here and I'm happy to have Nightwing back in my life. Now if only someone as good could bring back Roy Harper.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

I Read Something

I got Ron Randall's Trekker Omnibus a few years ago and finally got around to reading it. I probably would've rated this higher if I'd read the series when it was first published, but now, this story of a futuristic female bounty hunter feels dated. What once must have seemed daring and fresh, now has a lot of competition. Mercy St. Clair (her name brought to mind Modesty Blaise) is determined and committed to her chosen profession, but has a soft heart, considered a flaw for someone in her line of work, but it gives her a rounded personality, which is good considering how much of these stories feel cliched, especially the dialogue. I don't know when these stories were originally written, but the tech seems almost quaint now given all the advances of the past couple of decades, which isn't Randall's fault, of course; it just means some aspects of this series haven't aged well. The art is lovely, though. Randall has a nice, realistic touch. I wanted to like this more than I did.

Friday, November 06, 2020

The Dead Hand

 Review of The Dead Hand by Kyle Higgins, art by Stephen Mooney.

I had read good reviews of this comic, so bought the single issues, but somehow, I missed one, so ended up waiting for the trade to be published. And then it sat on a shelf for a while. To take my mind off other things, I read it last night. It wasn't what I expected, and I certainly hadn't expected to tear up at the end. This is a Cold War era espionage thriller about preventing nuclear war after the fall of the Soviet Union, with a near future science fiction twist, and it's kinda brilliant. The art is lovely, and I've been a fan of Kyle Higgins' writing for a while now. I would definitely read more of the story if there is more to read, but it stands on its own as is.