Sunday, February 13, 2011

All Star Recommends!

As you all know we are trying to make All Star Comics Melbourne something unique. So, we've decided to post up some recommendations which we'll try to get to you on a weekly basis. Let us know what you think by leaving feedback below, in the appropriate Facebook thread or by Tweeting us. All prices listed below are Australian shelf price, standing order customers receive a 10% discount.

Casanova: Luxuria – Marvel/Icon
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Gabriel Ba
Recommended by: Luke

Writer Matt Fraction has become one of the key creative staples within Marvel Comics. His upcoming Fear Itself is an event that seeks to support this year’s films from Marvel Studios, similar to the way his Invincible Iron Man run launched with the blockbuster film in 2008.  Before all this though, he had a little book over at Image comics that was changing the game in ways previously only seen by the likes of Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison; An eye opening tale of paradoxical parallel dimensions, filled with spies and psychedelic cerebral conflict and at the centre, aloof playboy lothario, Casanova Quinn. 

Casanova sees the author’s loves, influences and obsessions unchained and even unburdened by the expectations of mainstream comics, giving us a glimpse of a world (to quote the affable Willy Wonka) ‘of pure imagination’. There are more ideas and explosions of dynamism on one page of Casanova than most comics eke out in 22. Mock-u-mentary style asides ala American Flagg and the Dark Knight Returns compliment the action with character foibles and insight that are story centric but also allow a glimpse into how the medium can be used and pushed to its limit. Oh and it’s funny and a little cheeky/rude too.

Think James Bond by way of Selina Kyle with a dose of James Dean and Jarvis Cocker circa 1997 velvet hipster, but with long hair, and you still don’t quite encapsulate the place this gem occupies.

Casanova: Luxuria is available now at All Star Comics Melbourne for $19.95, new issues are $6.

The Infinite Vacation #1 – Image
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Christian Ward
Recommended by: Dom

The Infinite Vacation is the story of the everyman in a high concept situation. The world of the main character is seemingly no different to our own other than the titular concept of The Infinite Vacation, a mobile phone application allowing the user to discover an alternate reality showing what would have happened if they had made a different decision. The book puts the character in the position of someone who need not take risks because they can see the outcome of an alternative decision with just the press of a button.

One of the key issues a lot of people have with science fiction is their inability to connect to the worlds characters often inhabit. A large and fantastic world can often be too much information and hinders a reader’s ability to connect to the character story. The Infinite Vacation removes this problem by brining the earlier mentioned high concept idea into a tangible world to the reader. The clever exposition detailing this high concept is handled early which in turn gives a solid foundation for the main characters story to begin. It is here that the important questions of a first issue are raised drawing the reader into the character's arc. The situations presented to the reader aren't too outlandish grounding the story to begin with so the headier ideas can come with natural progression.

The Infinite Vacation is that sort of hidden Science Fiction that you see in films like Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind. The science is there to strengthen the characters and compound their problems. It’s possible that miniseries could spiral out of control in later issues but if writer Nick Spencer is able to maintain the solid structure on display in this first issue, this book should remain an exciting adventure through possibility.

The Infinite Vacation #1 is available now at All Star Comics Melbourne for $5.25.

Invincible Iron Man 500.1 - Marvel
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larocca
Recommended by: Eddie

Coming off the fantastic Stark Resilient arc and the interesting alternate reality take on the death of Tony in 500, Matt Fraction and crew bring us a quieter tale in issue 500.1. The idea of the story is a simple one, Tony Stark Attends an Alcoholics anonymous meeting. Basic idea, but it is through Tony telling the story to his fellow addicts where the strength of this issue lies.

 There is a monolog in this issue by Tony that, if read aloud, sounds believable as the story of someone facing addiction in the real world. The juxtaposition of the images from Tony’s life as Iron Man is strong, particularly with this monologue being spoken to a crowd unaware of his alternate life. This is particularly apparent when the reader is show some of the crazier images from the characters often colourful past. It is these layers that help the issue stand out as a great Iron Man tale.

Invincible Iron Man #500.1 is a solid jumping on point for new readers but also a nice reveal for long time readers of this run. It also serves as a lovely trailer for what is to come in the title this year. This issue left me wanting a coffee, if you read it, you’ll know that’s a good thing.

Invincible Iron Man #500.1
is available now at All Star Comics Melbourne for $4.50.


  1. Second arc of Casanova titled GULA only 2 issues in, with art by Gabriel Ba's equally talented sibling Fabio Moon - both issues on shelf at All-Star now!

  2. Casanova sounds cool. Might have to have a look.

  3. Just got into Casanova...loving it so far!