Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All Star Recommends!

We're back again with a couple more recommendations. Next week we plan on doing a special on some Ben Templesmith books in anticipation for the upcoming signing so be sure to keep your eye out for that. Our archive of previous recommendations is here. Remember to mention All Star Recommends when you come in to get a 10% discount on these books and any others you pick up.

Kirby Genesis #0
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Jack Herbert and Alex Ross
Recommended by: Dom

It can be easy to pull at the heart strings of a science fan, one way being to talk about the pioneer 10 space probe. This was the probe that was sent out to explore Juipter transmitting some amazing images of that planet back to earth. Once finished, it pushed on further out into the far reaches of space. It was not only a mission of discovery though, it was also a mission of hope. An image was placed on the probe of a male and female human to show what we as a race look like to any alien life. Kirby: Genesis asks, what if Jack Kirby had drawn that image?

This is an issue zero so it isn't much more than set up. It does however lay the groundwork, the reader follows the probe as it travels into a black hole and past many of Jack Kirby's lesser known creations. When it finally reaches its destination the issue ends leaving the reader to ponder what happens next. The issue also contains a great deal of back up material to clue to reader in on how the series will progress, the characters that will ground it and the history of some of Jack Kirby's designs.

There isn't too much in the way of story here, but what there is can help ignite the imagination of the reader. The questions raised and it will be interesting to see how everything ties together. The cool promise on display here though is that this will be a journey into the mindscape of Jack Kirby, an exploration potentially of how he saw the world and how humanity should represent itself, one hopes it can deliver on that promise. If you are curious about a neat alternate history tale then this could be a book to check out. Perhaps though you are just interested in a creative examination of one of comics great creators, a man responsible for bringing so many favourite super heroes to life. If so, give Kirby Genesis a try, it might surprise you how fun it can be.

Kirby: Genesis #0 is available at All Star Comics Melbourne now for just $1.35.

Green Wake
Writer: Kurtis J. Weibe
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Recommended by: Jess

I wanted to start this recommendation with 'Do you like frogs and blood and manpain?' but I...no, I'm still going to start it like that. 'Green Wake' is all of those things, wrapped up in a jagged art style and tied off with a creepy ribbon.

It begins in sepia tone, with a carcrash, a dead woman and a man wanting the world to swallow him up. It obliges nicely, leading him to a place called Green Wake via a hole in the ground and a torrent of frogs. From here, things get murky. A detective-type called Morley and Krieger, a froggish looking man in a 3 piece suit and bowler hat, find a lipless, bloody body. They also find a slightly more alive one in a boat.

The living one is Carl, and he is one of the lost. Instructed to drink some whiskey until he's good and dizzy, Carl has come to Green Wake with no memory of what has happened before. Morley acts as exposition and guide, while trying to find out about Carl's ex girlfriend Ariel who is responsible for the lipless man.

It's all very fairy tale horror from here - frogs, Babylon and death. Sex and blood. Regrets and dreams. Riley Rossmo's art conveys the surreal, swamplike feel of the town with strong expressions, hulking buildings and colour washes over shadows and thick inked lines. Kurtis Wiebe's dialogue is reminiscent of a B-grade Noir, though with more grit and less wit. He's trying to hook you in with a fragmented, dreamlike plot on one side and the narration of Morley's character. It's full of repressed emotion and that niggling feeling of 'someone done wrong'. It seeps into you, rather than pulls you along but that isn't a bad thing.

Highly recommended for people who like men in pain and slowburning supernatural murder mysteries.
And frogs.

Green Wake is currently out of stock but we are aiming to get more issues in. Please note that as this is a five issue series, we hope the trade will be out in a couple of months time. Keep it on your radar.

Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker
Written by: Joe Casey
Art by: Mike Huddleston
Recommended by: Luke and Eddie

Lukes Take:
Having recommended CASANOVA recently on this very spot, it seems fitting to welcome from Image Comics what appears to be its antithesis, or aggressive, machismo cousin at the least. Though only an issue in, the book’s decidedly right wing ‘hero’ may have some disruptive notions in store for the republican/corporate stooges (here represented by Jay Leno and Dick Cheney) who are relying on the boon of their previous arrangement holding fast in the new age.

A throwback not unlike the soon-to-be resurrected Duke Nukem, Butcher’s recall comes as he is enjoying the spoils of having taken out the world’s trash. A propaganda poster like image suggests he was the one to squash Bin Laden while prominently clad in the red, white and blue. Much like the aforementioned Duke however, and more the mustachioed counterpoint to a clean cut Steve Rogers, his appetite for destruction is now seemingly only ever satiated from the waist down. So this new offer gives him a chance to take his show on the road again.

The symbolism may be overt but the satire is no less poignant, and like Starship Troopers, this first slice has the potential to appeal to both ends of the political strata. The art’s bright palette surrounds Butcher and breaks in waves over the grey landscape America has become, and this new hero’s methods may be more than those who have set him loose can spin positive. Casey’s back matter further encourages the unpredictable nature of his lead character as he welcomes the unbridled chaos that could result from setting this relic loose, and why not. Like Rabbi Kook says “the pure righteous do not complain of the dark, but increase the light; they do not complain of evil, but increase justice; they do not complain of heresy, but increase faith; they do not complain of ignorance, but increase wisdom.” Yeah.

Eddies Take:
This book is CRAZY! But not without reason. The idea of a retired superhero is nothing new to the world of comics. It does however seem to me that Joe Casey is getting into some meta text here.

Joe Casey is a guy who had pretty reasonable success as a comic book writer working for Wildstorm before moving on to the big two. His biggest success of recent however was being a co-creator of Ben 10. I don’t think its any secret that these “Man of Action” guys are living pretty comfortably at the moment.

This is right were Butcher Baker starts, a guy that has done the mainstream thing and is now just kicking back and enjoying life. Till two “well known” men bring him back to the world, not with a bribe, not with some promise but for the idea of the fun reward.

Butcher Baker to me is Joe Casey’s take on comics in general (were else would you have president of a universe??? Answer A comic book company) , Butcher in my eyes is Joe. You will see a lot of his old work (Godland, W.i.l.d.Cats, G.I.Joe) in this book. It’s a guy who has proven himself, just doing a book for the fun of it. Very cool, very fresh. After a new voice in comics? THIS IS IT!

Unfortunately, Butcher Baker is also out of stock at the moment but we continue to try and get more of the issues in. If you can track them down, be sure to head in for the latest issues as they hit. We'll of course be getting many copies of the trade in when it becomes available.

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