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text 2017-01-02 02:16
Top 5 Graphic Novel reads from 2016
Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg
Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon
The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun
The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to read 143 comics last year which was a bit more than anticipated and came at the expense of neglecting novels and audiobooks.

 

 

 

I love my comics but this year I'll be trying to pare it back a little and concentrate on getting my novel/novella TBR under control.

 

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin 

 

A fun first outing for me with the Suicide Squad team, the star is of course Harley Quinn and I'm looking forward to reading more of her this year.

 

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg 

 

A beautiful start to the Sandman series with the Robert Smith inspired Dream escaping capture and returning to his kingdom.

 

Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon 

 

I loved all six books in this series but the reason I picked this one was due to Herr Starr. He is left wounded by Preacher, his head now resembles a penis and there are some hilarious panels that show him trying on wigs and hats with the same sour expression on his face until the last panel when he finds something he likes.

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

Related image

 

The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun 

 

Great premise of beauty being a STD and how society values outer beauty at any cost. Amazing artwork makes this a must read.

 

The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis 

 

A shocking end to an amazing series. Garth Ennis is a genius.

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review 2016-10-17 00:47
Wonderfully Offensive!
Gone to Texas - Steve Dillon,Garth Ennis

I originally read Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher about 15 years ago. It was of one of the original printings of the first trade collection and I realise now that I was too young to understand it.

 

Now, a little bit older and (hopefully) a little bit wiser I “get” the story, and what Ennis is trying to say with it, much more. I also understand and appreciate Dillon’s art in a way I didn’t those years before.

 

I can certainly understand why people were - and continue to be - offended by this book. It’s crass, it’s violent, it’s characters are sexist and racist. America is made to look like a country of inbred idiots and not much else. Every character is, for the most part, decidedly unlikable. Even the hero, Jesse Custer, is a bit of a bastard. 

 

Angels swear and get pissed. Demons and angels fuck, Heaven has the biggest murder in creation on it’s pay role and, oh yeah, God’s quit. 

 

While all of this can seem like just an excuse to piss off the religious and more moral readers, if you look past that you can see Ennis is really critiquing ourselves, not religion. Preacher isn’t saying that religion makes people crazy bastards, he’s saying that we make religion crazy. And, maybe, God’s had enough.

 

I loved reading this, properly understanding it for the first time. I’ll certainly be getting the rest of the volumes and I can not wait to see where it all goes!

 

(Originally posted on Collectorize blog.)

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review 2016-08-25 21:42
Punisher Against the World
Punisher vs. the Marvel Universe (The Punisher) - Garth Ennis,Len Wein,John Ostrander,Greg Rucka,Doug Braithwaite,Ross Andru,Pasqual Ferry,John McCrea

This book is exactly what the name implies. Frank Castle takes on the various Marvel heroes, and it's usually not pretty. The stories span from the earlier (and cheesier) Marvel days to the more recent Greg Rucka run. My favorite is still the Rucka run. The artwork steals my heart. I love it. Castle is scaled down to hard edges and determination and his partner Rachel Cole-Alves has that same edge of determination in her eyes.

The first story is a what if, the question being that the marvel heroes (the Avengers) unwittingly caused the death of Castle's family, and as such, Castle becomes a one-man kill squad who sets out to eliminate every super-powered person on earth. That was not fun reading. While Castle is always an antihero, I don't like when he's the out and out bad guy. Having him systematically kill all the Marvel heroes was damaging to my psyche and my perception of the Punisher.

There's a few stories my feelings are in-between about. I don't mind when Castle comes into opposition with the Marvel heroes when they don't end in lethal confrontation. There is one story arc where he's very, very mean to Wolverine. Understandable that Wolverine more or less can't be killed, but Castle was downright cruel in the way he incapacitated Logan.

In the last story, it's a post-apocalyptic scenario in which Castle is one of the few remaining humans who hasn't been infected by a plague that has made people into carnivorous monsters, if not zombies. The remaining folks have split up into tribes run by ruthless leaders. Castle's mission is to eliminate the monsters and protect the innocent, and the mission is everything.

Punisher is always single-minded. His psychology is very simple. See criminals punished and deal with bad guys with finality. Typically, he doesn't kill innocents or even good guys, but in the first story, he crosses that line. I didn't like seeing him that way. Anyone who reads this book has to realize that Punisher is definitely not the hero, if he ever is.

Definitely worth reading for Punisher fans.

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review 2016-08-01 16:52
Glorious mickey-take of WWII comics
Adventures in the Rifle Brigade - Carlos Ezquerra,Garth Ennis

 

 

The dedication is to all the UK WWII comic books of the 1970s and 1980s and this takes the genre apart with humour, exposing all the prejudices and stereotypes of the era. Yorkshiremen only say “Ey Oop”, Cockney, Glaswegian, upper-class stereotypes all talk in stereotypical style as well. The Marvel WWII comics of the 60s and 70s also come under the microscope. Lots of double-entendres add to the humour. The plots are incidental

 

It's a lot of silly fun and well worth a look. Writing and artwork are very good if not explicit.

 

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review 2016-07-26 18:05
Preacher: Book 3 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Preacher, Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon

 

This comic was so effed up, but in a good way! In this volume, we get the origin story of the Saint of Killers.

 

 

He's so badass that he even kills a certain someone in hell. It doesn't really get more badass than that. I did end up feeling something like sympathy for him, which is pretty amazing for a guy that's killed hundreds of people. I felt no sympathy for the residents of Ratwater. You probably won't either.

 

Cassidy meets another of his kind in New Orleans. These have to be some of the funniest moments in the Preacher series so far. I was laughing out loud, reading all by myself, and I just didn't care. (And by the way, Eccarius IS a wanker. SUCH a big wanker!) As are his little group of sycophants, which you'll discover for yourself when you read this.

 

Aresface makes another appearance here and seems to be taking off on a whole new life. Preacher and Tulip are still in pursuit of God. We won't even discuss how the scar on Herr Starr's bald head, made by the Preacher, makes it look like a penis. I could NOT. Stop. Laughing.

 

The humor in this book is the blackest of the black and that happens to be my favorite kind. This series is dark, hilarious, irreverent and so much fun, I just want to read all the rest of this series right now!

 

My highest recommendation! Period. 

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