Wow. Graeme knocks it out of the park like the Barry Bonds of comics-related blogging (twice already!), Brian does his longest batch of reviews in a long time, and me? I've been sweating it out with Nanowrimo, and am 15,000 words into a very, very crappy novel. But to keep from feeling left out (and to give everyone a shot of red-letter text), let me mention:
BLOOD OF THE DEMON #9: Almost worth reading for that insane summary cover page ("...and then some farmer hits Etrigan with a shovel! Has the world gone mad?"). Almost. Pretty darn Awful, and yet kinda irresistable if you're sufficiently masochistic.
DETECTIVE COMICS #813: Kinda reminds me of that great ol' "Batman vs. The Monk" story from Detective Comics #31 & #32, with its attempt to infuse a lot of mysterious creepiness into a Batman story. However, that old yarn was short, dumb, and fun. This one is long, also dumb, and dull. Sadly, very Eh.
FLAMING CARROT COMICS #4: Fumetti comix really don't fry my burger, but the touch of it here has me kinda looking forward to next issue's all-photo approach. Also great fun is reading Bob Burden's advising struggling writers to focus on finding the essential dramatic core of a story in the same issue he has Carrot spending six pages trying to find his soap duck; it's kinda like listening to George Lucas talk rhapsodically about the power of myth while you're watching Jar-Jar get his tongue caught in an engine--except it's genuinely funny here, as opposed to depressing and cringe-inducing. Was Good, I thought.
TOP SHELF CONVERSATIONS #2: I thought this was much better than the first issue, although it's still in the egregiously overpriced category. Interestingly, the weakness here seems to be Kolchaka who comes off as particularly happy to put forward strident declarations and particularly hapless at defending them--which pretty much defeats the point of the whole thing, doesn't it? Eh.
As for trades:
I really agree with Brian on the 676 APPARITIONS OF KILLOFFER GN, but I think I'm even more frustrated than he was because I'm in absolute awe of the artist's way of leading the reader's eye (James Sturm's school could use it as a textbook on that very purpose) through pages without panel borders and with constant duplication and triplication of identical images. It makes the 'Z' pages from this week's Powers look like a Family Circus cartoon by comparison. And yet, Twenty-six bucks? You really gotta be a hardcore comix fan to plunk that down. Unless you're rich, format drags this down to OK.
Far less of a showstopper, but a far better bang for your buck, is NBM's TRAILERS HC by Mark Kneece and Julie Collins-Rousseau, two faculty members of the sequential art department of the Savannah College of Art & Design. Collins-Rousseau's drawing style is kind of a cross between Terry Moore and Carla Speed McNeil with all the depth of visual characterization and body language that suggests, and Kneece's story, although a little less than subtle with the symbolism, crafts a well-placed tale of a teen caught in a terrible situation. While far from perfect, at eight dollars less and probably more than four times the length of KILLOFFER, I found this a highly Good read that's worth seeking out (in fact, although I read it this week, it shipped back on 10/25).
Okay, back to my Silence of the Lambs meets Spinal Tap quality "thriller."