Posted in comics on 01/21/2010 08:30 am by Zachary
There is a new Grant Morrison book. I like Grant Morrison. The book is called Joe the Barbarian. Let’s talk about it!
I’m of the opinion that every limited series works better when collected in trades. This is a first issue, which means it’s more or less a 32 page teaser for the rest of the series. Morrison’s concept of a kid having fantasies inside of a diabetic coma is solid, I just need to be patient and see where he’s going to take it. Sean Murphy‘s layouts, though… man alive! I want more. The last spread in the issue is one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen in a mainstream comic. There are like a thousand awesome little things that made me say “I hope your diabetic coma lasts forever, Joe!”
Vertigo is claiming to offer the first issue as a free download on their internet web site, but don’t be fooled: the only link I could find is for a nine page excerpt. Maybe the webmaster is very lazy. No matter, because this the first issue of a new Vertigo series, which means there is a one dollar cover price. One dollar! You probably have one dollar’s worth of change rattling around in the cup holder of your fancy Lexus, you jerk. Take a ride down to the local comic shop and convert that change into magical storytelling.
Secret Bonus Tip! You can download the first issue of the Unwritten (the actual whole issue) for free. It’s low resolution and in PDF format… but it’s free, and I think everyone should give this series a try. Vertigo also has a page detailing every free issue hosted on the site, if you want to a reason to spend more time in front of a computer.
Posted in comics on 01/14/2010 01:57 pm by Zachary
Here’s my official endorsement for the Unwritten trade paperback: “Run, don’t walk, to a new browser tab and purchase this fine collection immediately! There are illustrations that are pretty! It’s ten dollars! There is an entire chapter about Rudyard Kipling battling the forces of evil! This is a labyrinth of literary references that will make your head spin… figuratively!”
Feel free to quote any of that on the back of the next volume, Vertigo.
Posted in books, comics on 09/19/2009 07:01 am by Zachary
Mike Carey’s The Unwritten is already up to issue five, which brings about some drastic tonal shifts. For starters, it’s presented as an autobiographical work by Rudyard Kipling that grafts fresh metaphors onto his various works, especially Just So Stories. Kipling recounts his motivations in moving from poetry and travel literature to children’s fables, as well as his run-ins with other authors such as Samuel Clemens and Oscar Wilde.
It’s sort of like fetish porn for lit geeks.
The first four issues of The Unwritten — and their focus on a Harry Potter type character — seem like more of an aside now. The tale Mike Carey is really telling is one of an invisible war fought using prose. Stories are weapons that shape the cultural landscape of the entire planet. Various shadowy figures engineer incidents in order to control what is (or is not) written.
I love this series because the concept seems perfectly tailored for a monthly series. There are so many literary works that can be re-examined as being purposeful agents of change. It makes me a bit giddy. I’m eagerly awaiting the Nabokov one-shot.
Posted in comics on 05/24/2009 06:34 pm by Zachary
I really, really need to recommend Mike Carey’s new Vertigo title The Unwritten. I grabbed the first issue a few weeks ago and can’t get it out of my head. It’s not terribly well written, but the core concepts are fascinating. Basically, it’s Harry Potter, only Harry Potter is based off of a real person, and that person finds himself consumed by the myth of the character. The first chapter is fairly fascinating (not to mention it retails for one dollar) and I’ll be picking up subsequent issues.