Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All Star Recommends!

After a couple of weeks off due to a variety of outside world events and Supanova, we're back with some more recommendations for your consideration. All books below are available in store at All Star Comics Melbourne from tomorrow. Remember that if you mention you read about one of these here or in our archive we'll give you a 10% discount off the listed price.

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: RM Guera
Recommended by: Luke

It takes a superb team to inspire a sense of creative jealousy. With Scalped it approaches with speed and stealth, as in your compulsion to flip through each arc you submit and fail to properly notice how layered and dense the world Aaron and Guera have in 7 trades made almost historic. That is until the usually crushing revelations in the final pages grind you down in weary acceptance alongside the characters trapped within.

All good crime and noir tinged epics need to convey a setting that the audience can sense, be it through smell or taste that seeps from the landscape. A world populated by denizens with a multitude of human flaws and aspects that allow access to a bleak mirror of our own. In Rez Blues we are taken to a remote place outside of the usual inner Rez hum of the Crazy Horse Casino to watch an aged couple struggle on the edge of town as winter closes in. We are also given a glimpse into the past of yet another character who, having chanced the horrors of Vietnam, has to return to face his foretold future in an equally dire place: home. Finally, there is Shunka, one of the great blank slates of the series thus far, who is revealed to have a secret as devastating as those he seeks to exploit and punish for Chief Red Crow.

Aaron and Guera’s South Dakota “Rez” has become a world unto itself with legacies of greed and misfortune, and the latest in the series deals with the more egregiously cursed folk among them. The book’s closest cousin is perhaps TV’s The Shield. Where from issue one/episode one, the characters the creators are asking you to follow and ingratiate yourself toward are made demonic and challenging to accept; and as the series continues those mistakes/choices linger in the back of your mind as they haunt those on the page/screen.

Scalped is currently up to volume 8 and prices on the trades vary, volume 1 though is available at All Star Comics Melbourne now with a shelf price of $19.95.

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Various
Recommended by: Dom

Thanks to series like Morning Glories, Iron Man 2.0 and those Jimmy Olsen back ups in Action Comics (recently collected in the Jimmy Olsen one shot), writer Nick Spencer has been getting a good amount of buzz. It is generally interesting to go back to a writers earlier to work to see what brought them to the place in which they currently sit. Forgetless is one of those earlier works which shows Spencer's potential and highlights some of the key aspects common to his work like clever dialogue and themes of Gen Y boredom.

Set around a New York nightclub party, Forgetless briefly examines the lives of four individuals who are stuck in bizzare consequences. A late night host whose life is about to come undone, a youtube sensation famous for rather crass antics and two models moolighting as hit girls. There is a key point their lives hit and the story goes backwards and forwards examining the crazy and often rather funny circustances that brought them all to this one event. The art backs up the constant perspective shifts with a sort of hyperglow beautiful reality looking through the model's eyes and a gritty, angular and often ugly world through the men's viewpoint.

It is an examination of boredom for the switched on generation, how reality just isn't enough. On a surface level though, it is just a lot of fun, a story that will have you turning each page to find out how much crazier things can get. The collection also includes a back up story again focusing on a group of underagers trying to get into the same party. Again, similar themes at work and Spencer's sharp ear for funny dialogue goes a long way to carry both stories.

Forgetless is a stand alone collection and is available at All Star Comics Melbourne now with a shelf price of $19.95.

Fear Itself #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Recommended by: Eddie

Jörmungandr. This word may not mean a lot to you. It may be a word you’ve heard many times. But I have rarely seen it used in Marvel Comics. And correct me if I’m wrong not used in this issue at all.

This issue is called “the serpent”. It tells the story of the avengers interacting with the Agasgardians. While in the back ground two things are happening, first every day folk are getting more fearful in everyday life and second Sin, daughter of Red Skull, is dealing with her fathers note books tracking down a weapon called to midgard by the Nazis.

This probably doesn't sound like much of an event, but as said the title of this issue is “the serpent” , and this issue does have easter eggs to one serpent in particular, Jörmungandr. Jörmungandr is in classic norse myths the arch enemy of Thor. He is a sea serpent son of Loki that holds his own tail in his mouth. When he releases said tail it is to mean the end of the world.

Surely the heroes will save the day, but hey that’s why we love comics. However if we are going to get another “end of the world event” we should be glad it's this smartly written.

Fear Itself issue one is available at All Star Comics Melbourne now with a shelf price of $6.00.

Astonishing X-Men 
Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Recommended by: Luke

Late to the party? Perhaps, but there is also no better time than now, in the lead up to 2012’s Avengers, than to look back at Joss Whedon’s most prolific comics work; Namely, his team up with artist John Cassaday on another of Marvel’s mainstays, The X-Men.

Given its own descriptive and a new number one within the X-canon proves a windfall as while Whedon’s run could be considered brief, and though he didn’t shy away from continuity, his 24 issues certainly feel every part his own self contained fling with mutantkind.

Like creators Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison, Whedon has a knack, within long standing franchises, for striking his readers with the obvious (!) and in an emotional moment between Kitty Pride and the recently resurrected Colossus you realise, in spite of its execution seeming plain and recognizable, it’s never been done before, not like that anyway. His sharp sense of humour also finds traction with the reversals of ‘instinct’ forced upon Beast and Wolverine that are also inspired and original in their execution. Cassaday’s artistic expression seeming a perfect fit for Whedon’s lighter moments.

The series is filled with these sparks of ingenuity as what the team endures seems new and yet comfortable, second nature while still fresh. Even with the integration of concepts burdened by continuity (Genosha and The Hellfire Club), Whedon makes nice and shows the reader the depth of the world he is giving an accessible glimpse into. This effect makes one want to peek back into the X past for something equally as mindful, compelling and yes, astonishing. There really is no other word.

We have a whole bunch of formats for Astonishing X-Men here at All Star Comics and a lot of different price points. If you're interested come on in and take a look. If you would like to start cheaply though, the first trade has a shelf price of just $19.95.

All Star Recommends Archive

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