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Thee Comic Column #141: Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight

MoonKnight_1

courtesy of the scoop-il-icious comicbook.com

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve not read anything Jeff Lemire has written except for the first few issues after Justice League Dark passed from Peter Milligan to him. I didn’t stick around, not because of anything Lemire did, it had just become abundantly apparent to me that the editorial staff was crafting the direction of that book more than the writer. Milligan bounced, Lemire probably received a call asking if he could take it and wah-la. Justice League Dark became considerably less Vertigo-lite (at that point any Vertigo flavor seemed a good thing) and considerably more JLA.

Thee Comic Column #136: Rick Remender’s Year of Creator-Owned Comics

DeadlyClass_12Recently I fell behind in my comics. Due to extenuating personal circumstances I found myself repeatedly unable to get into the shop and pick up my pull. This lasted for a while – almost two agonizing months to be specific! Near the end it became a self-perpetuating problem, as week after week I realized that the amount of cash I was going to need to empty my box at Manhattan Beach’s amazing Comic Bug was growing into a monster. Finally I found myself with a spare $100 bill (how often does that happen?) and I walked in and traded that sucker – or $97 of it – for everything I had missed since the beginning of June. As you might imagine, it’s taking me all the spare time in a busy weekend to put a dent in this pile. This was especially true when, in the backs of both the latest issues of Deadly Class and Black Science, writer Rick Remender made with the best comic-related news imaginable: He is taking a break from writing at Marvel Comics and spending the next year focusing on his creator-owned series.

Thee Comic Column #125 – A Valiant Way of Doing Things

RaiLet me tell you about my trip to the comic shop the other day. As is my custom, I headed to Manhattan Beach’s branch of The Comic Bug on my way home from work, using the stop off as a welcome respite from the five-day a week insanity that is the Southbound 405 Freeway* at 3:00 PM on a weekday. Ah, the sights and sounds of a comic shop on new release day – it is pure, unadulterated joy to me. And on this particular day there was double the joy when I met one Andy Liegl, Sales Manager of Valiant Comics on my way to the register. Andy’s a friendly guy whose passion for comics runs as deep as my own, so within moments of his inquiry into what I had in my stack and the perfunctory small talk that revolved around the first issue of the new Luther Strode series and James Tynion, IV I knew that I wanted to hear what this man had to say. Andy had a table decked out with trades and single issues showcasing the Valiant Universe as it is today, almost three years after the re-launch that brought them back in 2012, about the same time a certain other comic company did their re-launch. But I’ll get back to that. So I inquired and Andy, Andy was only too happy to talk to me about what Valiant is doing – besides signing a nine-figure movie deal to open a movie division that is. I wanted to know about the comics, a company I’d been peripherally aware of since their inception in 1988  So Andy gave me his pitch and when all was said and done, I was impressed.

Thee Comic Column #119 – Inferno!

Could you pass the mustard please? I believe slathering my words – which I am about to eat – may go easier with a nice stone ground brown or perhaps even a lovely champagne dill atop them.

Thee Comic Column #115: Leaving Marvel Monthly

sad hulkThe last time I stopped buying Marvel books was maybe 2010 or 2011; Bendis was writing Avengers but after trying to keep up only to have my wallet smacked out of my hand again and again as he added more and more titles to his workload and the endless events began happening I just could not keep up (that’s not a Bendis-oriented compliant – I love that he can write so much so well and weave such intricate, multi-act, multi-book story scaffolding. I just can’t afford to keep up with buying it all). Other than that, the needle at the self-proclaimed “House of Ideas” really seemed to be skipping. Then a friend introduced me to Rick Remender and both his Uncanny X-Force and Venom titles and soon I realized Marvel was really putting their game back together. Ever since I feel as though they’ve done an amazing job streamlining their Universe, putting it into a real tight working order that keeps most of the old school fans like myself happy and helps usher in newcomers brought in by the sheer perfection of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Movie Universe. I’ve read all Remender’s stuff, tried to read all BMB’s X-Men stuff (and just generally found his mechanism of bringing the young first class into the present day was a potentially terrible idea that he made absolutely amazing), have followed the Hickman Avengers stuff from a distance and really wanted to jump in on the Guardians of the Galaxy stuff. However, even as we prepare for this Spring’s next big step in the evolution of the MCU, I am bidding buying monthly Marvel Comics goodbye.

Thee Comic Column #96: Guarding the Galaxy

Starlord TradeAssurance: There are NO SPOILERS contained in this article. This is not a review of the film so much as a treatise on what it means to comics.

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