Monthly Archives: May 2019

Mystery Meet

Clue: Candlestick #1
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Dash Shaw
Editor: David Hedgecock
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $4.99 US

Clue is something of a dichotomous piece of our pop culture history. Though certainly not as well known a board game as, say, Monopoly, there’s something about it that has allowed it to insinuate itself, almost subtly, into the collective consciousness. Its success strikes me as odd, since it’s a child’s game about murder, but it’s definitely stood the test of time. It’s both obscure and familiar all at once, and even inspired a film years ago. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see this comic-book adaptation of the game property, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’m pleased I perused its pages, though, as cartoonist Dash Shaw offers a surreal examination of human intellect, obsession and emotion. This comic book embraces the classic elements of its inspiration even as it deconstructs and satirizes them, while also challenging the reader with its experimental approach to the comics medium and human nature.

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“Fixed… With Tape”

When I was a lot younger, before there was a comic shop in my hometown, my main source of comics was a convenience store. My weekly visit to the spinner rack was like a chance to worship, and I’d brave any weather to get there. (And remember, I live in Canada.) But there were secondary sources for comics during my childhood – namely, used book stores and flea markets. They were wonderful and affordable means for me to add to my collection and expand the size of the fantastic universes I loved to visit.

These days, the entire world can be a flea market, thanks to the internet. And while I love the hunt for a bargain, online or in person, I also keep running into people looking to capitalize on the popularity of comics today, regardless of any knowledge about the medium and marketplace. I find these instances infuriating.

Case in point: an example of rampant greed and cluelessness on Kijiji.

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Hungry, Hungry Heroes

DCeased #1
“Going Viral”
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano & James Harren
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover artists: Greg Capullo (regular)/Francesco Mattina and Yasmine Putri (variants)
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99 US

(Note: I started writing this review the week the comic was released, but I got significantly sidetracked. I figured I’d begun, I might as well finish.)

DC seems a little late getting into the 21st century zombie craze, and by “a little late,” I mean ridiculously late. I honestly wasn’t going to delve into this latest event book, but one thing changed my mind: two proper nouns on the cover. Tom Taylor has impressed repeatedly with his super-hero genre work. I was thoroughly impressed with X-Men Red, and I’m really enjoying Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man now. But the clumsily titled DCeased just doesn’t scratch the same itch, as it’s pretty much devoid of the charm, relevance and strong characterization that one normally finds in the writer’s work.

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Avengers… Disassemble Those Guys

Savage Avengers #1
“Chapter One: Once Upon a Time in the City of Sickles”
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colors: Frank Martin
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover artists: David Finch (regular)/Simone Bianchi, Deodato, Moebius, Skottie Young and Leinil Francis Yu
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Price: $4.99 US

Marvel has the licence for Conan comics back in hand, and it’s clearly looking to capitalize on it. And when I say “capitalize,” I mean financially, not creatively. Teaming Conan with a group of the Marvel Universe’s iconic anti-heroes seems like a fun notion at first, but it also seems like fodder from hack fan fiction. Aside from cashing in on the 1990s Kewl factor that serves as the foundation of this concept, I don’t see the point at all. There’s no suspense here, nothing on the line. These characters aren’t going to grow, and they’re not going to lose. So aside from the novelty of Conan’s fish-out-of-water story, Savage Avengers doesn’t have a lot going for it.

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