Monday, March 26, 2007

Here Comes the Boom! -Part 3

....So it turned into a two week event, thanks to this lousy Georgia spring weather (read: pollen, and lots of it). Spent the end of last week knocked out by allergy meds.

To start things off, I found this review of the GN 10, published by Boom! awhile back, but I don't recall ever posting it, so here ya go:


Written by Keith Giffen, Drawn by Andy Kuhn

Everyone’s heard the old saying “Never judge a book by its cover.” Well, never judge a comic by its solicitation either. Before I opened this book to the first page I’d already written it off as just a clone of 100 Bullets. Of course with Giffen and Kuhn’s name on it I knew it would be well written and probably gorgeous, but I had almost no interest in the story.

I didn’t read it so much as devour it. Plot wise it may seem very similar to Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets, but the action and pacing make it more akin to an episode of 24. Ten people are given ten guns with ten bullets, nine of them are given the name of one other person with a gun, and the tenth is given a list of all the contestants. The last man standing wins.

The claustrophobic plot lends a lot to its success. Instead of having a story stretched out over dozens of issues we’ve got just this one. The fat has been trimmed; you don’t know anything you don’t need to know. And what you need to know is never what you want to know. The only character that gets any kind of development is Graham Meachum, the book’s main character. Even then we’re only given a small window into his life before everything comes crashing in on him.

Much of the story is told in the art, and Kuhn is well up to the task. The violence is very stylized, but no overly glamorous. Most books would fall into the trap of wanting it to feel real, ending up with more of a gross appeal, but here it is what it is. It all moves so quick that you have little time to think about the blood. And he does a great job of pulling the focus in, adding to the claustrophobia.

Giffen’s dialogue is great, and almost seems like an afterthought. He knows that Kuhn is capable of telling the story and allows him to do so. There’s no need for explanations or long speeches, often it’s just short and to the point. There are occasional bits of humor here too. It’s definitely darker than Giffen’s more recent output.

It’s a menacing look at humanity in the face of adversity. It’s not as twisted and disturbing as it could have been, or maybe even should have been, and leaves more questions than it answers. Still though, 10 is an interesting look into what people are capable of under the most extreme circumstance.

X Isle #1-3

Written by Andrew Cosby & Michael Alan Nelson, Drawn by Greg Scott

Yet another instance of a Boom! team taking an old idea (stranded on an island) and turning it on its head. The character development is pretty swift, and with the exception of one instance (a forced racism remark, felt awkward and unnecessary in this type of story) it all seems natural. I mentioned before about Talent being compared to Lost, funny that this one wasn't. The island here seems far mor dangerous however, with plants that will eat you alive and bugs bigger than your head. But, the story has been primarily focused on the characters (much like Lost), only here you never really care where they are, just about they're survival. I can't wait to see how they wrap this up.

Pirate Tales #1

Written and Drawn by a hell of a lot of people.

Of all the books I've read by Boom!, these Tales books have been among my favorites, and this one was no different. They make for excellent on-the-go reading, the art here is excellent in every story, suiting the tales nicely. The writing is what really shines for me, ranging from the excitingly goofy to the surprisingly romantic, with a few standards thrown in for good measure. As with most Tales books though it comes down to the source material, which makes them almost review proof. So, if you like pirates, then why the hell haven't you read this yet?

Stick around, there's more to come!