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review 2017-06-19 15:58
Lost Dogs - Jeff Lemire

Lost Dogs is a brutal minimalist story about a simple man who loses everything to violence. The art is done in a very rough brush stroke style; white, black, and red the only colors. The main character looks like a cross between Popeye and Bluto. It is a bit reminiscent of the first Sin City collection, but with far cruder art.

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review 2017-06-04 01:34
Love this so much!
Moon Knight (2016-2017) #14 - Jeff Lemire,Greg Smallwood

Moon Knight has dealt with mental illness in the best possible way: Marc Spector knows there is no true cure, that he will continue to be in turmoil because of his condition, but he hasn't accepted or resigned himself to a living death.   In fact, the more he goes on,  the more he wants to live, and to live on his own terms.  There may not be a pill or surgery that can cure him, but he wants to be better.   Part of that is accepting his mental illness, and part of that is finding strength within himself rather than allowing Khonshu to manipulate him, and his multiple personalities, something he's been building up to in the past storyline. 

 

The way that he navigates the murky waters of having multiple personalities and a mental illness has become more and more nuanced.   Wanting to get better doesn't translate into getting better automatically.    Spector has an uphill battle ahead of him, and it's one that he not only takes seriously, but he is determined to fight until he can fight no longer.   

 

This series is changing lives, and changing them for the better.   It's changing the way I look at mental illness, and the way I treat myself when I'm depressed or anxious.   And I know that just because it works for me, it doesn't mean it works for anyone else: I can cling to something that helps me and ignore problematic issues or become willfully blind to save myself from having to acknowledge that and work out the dissonance.   But the thing is that I actually look at the letters column for this series, at least occasionally, and that means something because I ignore them in most series.    I'm not the only one.   People who suffer from all kinds of mental health issues write in to say that this series, and Spector's struggles, truly mean something to them.  

 

Having this stated, that he's suffering but wants to be better is a very, very strong, and positive message.   And while I don't like Marvel and what they're doing in general, I do hope Moon Knight is safe from those things.   Lemire is doing such good work here, and I'm afraid on two levels: that Hydra trying to gaslight Spector will set him back and that this will taint this series for me.   

 

And quite frankly, I'm feeling protective of Spector, more so than most superheroes right now.   I don't want to see anything threaten the progress he's making, especially since so many are looking towards this series to make an even more positive message to those who suffer from the same, or similar, conditions.   Your life is worthwhile, your life is worth fighting for, and even without a tried and true cure, yeah, you can work to make yourself - and your life - better. 

 

This writing makes me swoon to be honest. 

 

And the art has been, and continues to be, moody, atmospheric, and even cloying when needed.   It feels as suffocating as my own depression and anxiety do at times, and it just makes the writing resonate even more.   

 

Beautiful.   Writing and art, and especially these two together. 

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text 2017-05-03 18:00
What should I get next week?
Quantum Teens Are Go #2 - Magdalene Visaggio,Eryk Donovan,Claudia Aguirre,Zakk Saam
Green Arrow, Volume 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen - Nate Piekos,Benjamin Percy,Otto Schmidt,Juan Ferreyra
Deathstroke (2016-) #15 - Christopher Priest,Jeromy Cox,Bill Sienkiewicz,Jason Paz,Carlo Pagulayan
Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars (Descender Tp) - Jeff Lemire,Dustin Nguyen,Dustin Nguyen
Swamp Thing, Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing - John Totleben,Stephen R. Bissette,Alan Moore

*Reposting as a reminder/if you want to vote and missed this*

 

Vote on which of these books I should read.

 

1. Quantum Teens Are Go is a series written by a trans woman, who wrote Kim and Kim.   (Which I love.   Magdalene Visaggio is hardcore about writing queer positive stories, and doing her best to stay away from toxic themes in her works.   Her new series, Quantum Teens Are Go, has at least one queer character, and seems to continue this trend.  I also really love Black Mask, which is a very small press, and I've read some other books from an exclusive box set they did for a comic day last year - or perhaps the year before?  I got it on sale from Newbury.)

 

2. The Life and Death of Oliver Queen, because I really want to read more DC right now.   So should I hit the button and buy this?   It looks like it's pretty heavy on his girl, Black Canary, whom I kinda love, too.   (Or that's what I got from flipping through this volume in a bookstore.)  I'm kinda excited!

 

3. Deathstroke #15 - and one or two issues beyond - because I picked up #14 because it promised Deathstroke was blinded.   (On the cover of that, so I don't consider that a spoiler.)   I really kinda enjoyed that issue.   Should I continue?   It's more Rebirth that I'm loving, so...

 

4. I own quite a bit of Descender, but there are three or four issues I don't have.   Should I buy them, and actually catch up on this series?   Beautifully illustrated, and there's a robot resistance.   (Following, sadly, a robot massacre.   *cryface*)  Still, I'm really loving this despite all the sad, robot death.   

 

5. Let's go old school.   The thing I like best about the new Hellblazer series?   Swamp thing.  I kinda wanna kick it old school - and I'll even break my rule and go a little above ten dollars since I spent less than I thought I would today - and get the Saga of the Swamp Thing volume one.   Alan Moore.   Could get kinda weird.   Does from what I remember hearing about this.   And I'm definitely up for getting to figure out what's up with Abby and The Rot.   

 

Vote on these five.   Whichever you decide?   I'll get next week via Comixology - or Amazon if they have a better price, which I believe they do for 2 and 5 - and binge on Saturday and Sunday.    

 

This is partly because I'm curious if anyone will care what comics I read, and partly because I'm trying to get myself to read more non-Marvel comics to kick my Marvel habit mostly to the curb.   (I did buy some one dollar digital comics because Star-Lord and Gamora a couple days ago.  I will continue to buy super cheap digital comics and graphics.  But other than that, and some series I'm hardcore invested in, I'm dropping most everything else for now.)

 

So, if you want to, vote.   Because otherwise, I might buy and write about some really weird shit.   Also, feel free to add something for the next vote.   I'm already thinking Saga, Lumberjanes, and Spawn in the future, since I just bought the two issues I need to catch up on that.   (Also, there's a nifty 60% off TMNT sale.   One was on sale for four bucks, and I got half off that, so yes.)   After this, I'm going to flood you with reviews.   And I am truly sorry for that.   But I've found the motivation I need to read comics again, as I've been slowly dealing with Secret Empire.

 

And, ugh, desperately wanting to read Secret Empire #4 because Pym-tron, and I kinda love that literal mashup of character.   Ugh.   Ugh, gross, ugh, but I maaaaay check out that issue in print and flip through it, though I refuse to purchase it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-27 23:47
Loving this whole run!
Moon Knight (2016-) #13 - Jeff Lemire,Greg Smallwood

This is a detailed look into a man who is mentally unwell, the toll it takes on him, how he can persevere despite this and about him coming to terms with how unwell he is and how he wants to be better.   And it's a tough, draining read each month, but very, very worth it in the end. 

 

I see some of my own struggles in this title, and I know from reading some of the letters that others feel the same.   Lemire has done an excellent job, because despite all this, it's simply a story about hero.   There's action and bargaining and Moon Knight trying to save everyone he can, but it just turns out that 'everyone' includes himself this time around. 

 

And I've been criticizing Secret Empire, but at the same time saying 'I'm still reading Marvel because I think they're doing some important things elsewhere.'   I will most likely buy and read the tie-ins to Marvel for Secret Empire, but not the actual event.   (Because I love Doctor Strange and Deadpool and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and I will read them regardless.   I am not getting into the new X-Men stuff because of the glut of it coming out, and because I'm still peeved over Secret Empire existing.   And the fact that it will be dominating the Marvel universe for the next year or so.   Y'know, usually I'm not fond of the 'and they wake up, and it's all a huuuuge nightmare' scenarios, but I'd take it over me waking up realizing that, hey, it's not a nightmare and Secret Empire exists.)  

 

But what I'm saying is that Moon Knight is one of the best thing Marvel is doing, showing us that people with mental health issues are, y'know, people and heroes and deserve to be seen as something more than just their mental health issues.   More than that, it's pushing for people to recognize that they want to be better, and actively trying to be, something I've been struggling with in particular recently.   And I am not ashamed to say that I nearly weep in relief after reading this each month.  'Nuff said.

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review 2017-04-20 01:59
Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars (Descender Tp) - Jeff Lemire,Dustin Nguyen,Dustin Nguyen

And now I am going back to comics. I am really having a lot of fun reading comics lately. I didn't read many last year so getting back into comics this year has been a real treat. I heard about Descender on BookTube. I heard it was a pretty good sci-fi novel so I thought I'd give it a try. And I'm so glad I did. 

 

The story follows a boy named TIM-21. He's a robot who has been put to sleep for ten years during an attack by The Harvesters, a group of alien robots set to destroy everything! And the story takes off from there. I'll admit that it's not an original story. We have all seen stories about alien lifeforms threatening to destroy the world and one person being the key to prevent that from happening. However, I love the pacing of this story. It's taking a concept we are all very well familiar with and spinning it to fit this expansive world that Jeff Lemire is creating. The beginning of this volume introduces this world and its characters and sucks the reader in and by the end of it, you just want to keep reading. To find out where this ancient technology came from. I wish I had the second volume to read because I am super intrigued by what's happening so far!

 

The artwork is phenomenal! Dustin Nguyen mixes a realistic, soft style with watercolor and it just blows me away! I love how bright some panels are, with light blues and reds, but then it gets dark when the mood is right for it. He is able to balance the serious tone of the book without making it seem dreary. Well, there is a bit of gore... but it's not all bad! In fact, I think it's pretty cool! I am in love with his art and I cannot wait to see more of it in the future.

 

The characters are incredible! Especially the robots! I love the main character, TIM-21. He is sweet, caring, and empathetic towards his human counterparts. He has a dog-bot called Bandit and it's a DOG ROBOT! Need I say more? Then there's Driller who joins the team after he helps protect TIM from Scrappers, beings who try to get their hands on old parts to sell to the highest bidder. Driller is also loving and charismatic. He doesn't like humans very much, seeking to kill them since he is Driller the Killer, but TIM holds him back by teaching Driller to understand that some humans are there to help them. Still, Driller prefers not to put his faith in humans as much as he can, which isn't really a bad thing considering how humans react towards any sentient beings.

 

Speaking of humans, they are the ones who I didn't really connect with. There's Dr. Quon, the so-call "inventor" of the TIM series. He's a coward, a jerk, and plain compared to the robots. There's Telsa (although she is not really human), who is the captain of the UGC, an organization sworn to protect the universe from the Harvesters. She's tough, gets things done, and intelligent. My one complaint with her is that she keeps the reader at a distance. She does seem to have more than she lets on but as of right now, she's not letting anyone know who she truly is. My hope is that in future volumes, she allows for those around her into her heart. And the final character is Tullis, Telsa's second in command. We don't know much about him yet. Except that he's very loyal to Telsa and follows her every command without question. I'm sure we'll see more of him, too.

 

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this comic. I liked the premise, the atmosphere, the setting, the plot, and some of the characters. In fact, I would have loved this comic if some of the characters I mentioned above were a bit more fleshed out. Other than that, I highly recommend this comic. If you love sci-fi, alien races, fast-paced action, and a story we've seen time and time again done differently, then you should read Descender. Just keep in mind that there's a bit of gore towards then end, if that's something you prefer to avoid in your comics.

 

I really like this comic and I cannot wait to read more of it soon!

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