6.20.07 Reviews - Part 2

Wasteland #10 (Oni Press): I've been studying the Eisner Nominations this year pretty hard... and Wasteland would be my vote for Best New Series, I was disappointed to see it absent from the list of nominees in any category. Looking specifically at that category, I see The Lone Ranger and Criminal, both worthy contenders and books I enjoy, but Wasteland tops them for me. This issue we get a ton of clues revealed, more info about A-REE-YASS-I, the mysterious symbol in its original form, flashback images from pre-Big Wet(?) of another time or place, and the continued crisp social commentary the book is becoming known for. Like an evil, drug-dealing Dickensian headmaster, Johnston is doling out small portions of crack laced story porridge here... and I just want a little bit more! Just one more taste, Sir. Please! I beg of you! Mitten stretches himself on the artistic front and provides some surreal looking art that makes me think of David Mack or JH Williams III and their approach to innovative and experimental page layouts. These creators are craftsmen who are pushing themselves to the peak of their game. The result is the delivery of a modern epic rife with social commentary and entertainment that could serve as a primer on how to successfully launch a new series. Grade A.

Ex Machina #29 (DC/Wildstorm): Ex Machina is really reading like all middle lately and is on the short list for conversion to (gasp!) "wait for the trade" reading. Each issue seems to feel like I'm listening in on the middle third of a conversation, isn't really in context, and feels much better and cohesive when I get the entire piece in one sitting. Sure, it's still fun, excellently rendered, etc., but here we are the next day after I read it and I can't really recall what exactly occurred. Something cool about the weird spaceman from an alternate reality/timeline(?). Ordinarily, I do not advocate "wait for the trade." It's basically counter to my entire philosophy of supporting books and creators you like and voting with your wallet in the marketplace. However... it's not as if Vaughan is an upstart creator, he has a loyal fan following that should carry him regardless of my practices. I'm torn on what to do. What do you think? Is this a slippery slope I'm on? Grade B+.

I also picked up;

Maxwell Strangewell (Dark Horse): I don't know much about creators the Fillbach Brothers, but this certainly passed the casual flip test with the Phil Hester/Mike Mignola/Darwyn Cooke inspired art, and nearly 400 pages (380 was it?) for slightly under $20 is a freakin' bargain.


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