Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Graphic Lit -- 1/1

It's about time for a best comics of 2005 list don't you think? Well, not today as I'm still compliling and editing my list of favorites. Perhaps tomorrow or Thursday though. In the meantime, here's the lastest roundup of comic reviews for your enjoyment:

"Watchmen: Absolute Edition"
by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
DC Comics, 464 pages, $75.

Assuming you still have a present or two to purchase, consider buying this hefty coffee-table edition of what is easily one of the most influential comics of the past 25 years. The good news is that Moore and Gibbons’ seminal work still packs quite the wallop. The appendix of preliminary sketches and script notes by Moore only sweetens the deal. Even if you’ve already got the original issues stashed away, this is a hard collection to pass up.

by Buronson and Kentaro Miura
Dark Horse, 216 pages, $12.95.

A burly yakuza thug, a winsome TV reporter and a group of feckless students find themselves thrust into a post-apocalyptic future, where the Japanese live as refugees, forced into slave labor or worse by a European dictatorship. Enraged, the yakuza and his friends decide to fight the power and form a new country "where human beings are free to live like human beings."

If this book were about America, it would be dismissed as a piece of jingoistic drivel. Being about Japan, it’s still a piece of jingoistic drivel. As an action book, its fairly engaging. As propaganda or political thinkpiece, it’s more than a wee bit silly.

by Katsuhiro Otomo, illustrated by Shinji Kimura
Dark Horse Press, $13.95.

Otomo, best known for the widely influential "Akira," collaborated with Kimura on this children’s book about a little boy vampire who lives in a village full of vampires where it’s always night and ... you get the idea.

Kimura’s art owes a great deal to Tim Burton but is charming despite its obvious influences. The stories, however, come across as awkward and stilted. Part of that may be due to poor translation. It may also be due to the author’s inexperience with penning material for young children. I tend to think it’s a little bit of both.

"The King"
by Rich Koslowski
Top Shelf Productions, 264 pages, $19.95.

A mysterious gold-helmeted Elvis impersonator claims to be the real deal and has attracted a following that seems to think so as well. Is he truly The King or a very good impostor? A former tabloid reporter, now working for Time, seeks to find out in this new graphic novel by the author of "Three Fingers."

Koslowski has solid artistic chops, and there are some nice moments here, but the book is burdened by its own ham-fistedness and some strong lapses in logic. I didn’t buy the villain’s motivation at the end, nor did I agree with Koslowski’s theme, which seems to be that belief in something, be it God or Elvis, is more important than the truth. I’m sure there are a lot of Creationists out there who will be happy to hear that message.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2005


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home