Losing my non-denominational religion
by Warren Ellis and Garrie Gastonny
Published by Avatar
I think Warren Ellis is crazy. If not insane, then maybe hyper-sane. His mind works in ways that are not intended from humans. I believe a portion of his DNA may have been designed by insects. Whatever crazy astrological phenomena caused Warren Ellis to be, his kooky psychology has come up with some of the most eccentric ideas I have ever encountered in any medium, whether comics, TV, video games, books, or vague smudges on bathroom walls in certain questionable dive bars scattered across San Diego.
This time around, he brings us a story where man (the "royal" man, as in humanity) tries to create its own gods. On the first page, we get our narrator, Simon Reddin, laying it all out. "That's how we work. The whole of history is about us trying to build amazing creatures that will save the world." As is typical of this type of thing, it all goes horribly wrong. Man creates these super-beings that are supposed to watch and protect us. They decide the best way to do that would be to get rid of most of us. Now that in itself is nothing terribly new and innovative.
With something like this, you look to Ellis to introduce something new and disturbing. He gives some backstory that the first superbeing was accidentally created when three astronauts went into space in an inadequately shielded spacecraft. Instead of coming back the powers of rock, invisibility, fire, and stretchiness, they fuse together into some kind of mushroom thing. One of the instinct reactions that people had when they encountered it was "... to masturbate with an entranced and furious intensity." WTF? Srsly? You should see how Gastony illustrated that page. Or, maybe you shouldn't see it.
Who should read this book:
People who are cynical about and/or skeptical of religion.
People who liked Straczynski's Rising Stars.
People who live on the outer edges of Earth's atmosphere.
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Music Box #1
by Jennifer Love Hewitt, Scott Lobdell & Michael Gaydos
Published by IDW PUblishing
Yeah, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is indeed a comic series conceived by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Now before you dismiss it outright based on that, give me a second here to sell you on it. First off, it's published by IDW. They have basically risen to be one of the more influential (and financially successful) comic book publishers in the last 5-10 years. You don't get to that spot with just publishing crap. They've been able to be pretty selective about what they release into the world. If they decide to publish a book, you know immediately that it has some merit behind it. You may not be into it yourself, but you have to respect what's going on. Second, they got Scott Lobdell to do the actual writing. This guy's got credits on X-Men, Buffy, Star Trek, Wildcats, the list goes on. I trust his skills to take a concept and create a solid story around it. Third, we got Michael Gaydos on art. I think the 28-issue Alias series that he did with Brian Michael Bendis for Marvel should be used as course material in college classes as an example of how to do comics right. His art is moody, not pretty. It's real in the sense that his edges are rough, just like the story being told. So great publisher + great writer + great artist = give it a chance.
Which I did. I was not disappointed. I wasn't blown away by any means, but I did get an enjoyable done-in-one supernatural story with potential for a lot more. The basic premise is about this music box that gives this cop dude visions of the future. He uses this to do good for himself and others, but is it too much of a good thing? There's a lot of places where this story can go, and I'm eager to find out where those places might be.
So, again, don't just go dismissing this title because you don't think a super-hottie would be able to come up with a cool idea for a comic. Yeah, you still think about her from the tanning scene in "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer", but that doesn't mean she can't scare you with an original concept. Give her enchanting, gorgeous self a chance to expose you to a new story that you'll probably enjoy. And if you happen to see her, let her know I sent you.
Who should read this book:
People who like The Ghost Whisperer.
People who like moody noir art.
People who are the reincarnated spirit of a medieval king and/or queen.
Find your nearest comic shop with the Comic Shop Locator Service.
Nooch's Comic Reviews
More people should be reading comic books, dammit. As the resident comic book elitist, Nooch has made it his personal quest to get more noobs heading into their own dimly-lit comics dungeon every Wednesday to peruse the vastly under-rated world of sequential art.
- (1/11) World Peace? - Halcyon #3
- (8/10) We now return to our regularly scheduled column...
- (4/10) Another Kick-Ass Book
- (3/10) Zombies, Robots, Vampire Drugs
- (2/10) Too Much Stuff