I like Wednesdays that surprise me.
Every week I usually have my picks: my best guesses at what books are going to get me giddy. Most times, I’m right on the money and the first books I’m grabbing are the books that keep me talking all week. Great as those reads may be, having your perennial favorites be top picks gets a little predictable.
Then, there’s those other weeks that come along when books A, B and C seem like the most exciting, but X, Y and Z end up making the week memorable. It’s that type of freshness added to my reading list here and there that keeps me coming back for something new.
But the best weeks, by far, are the ones where the books I’ve guessed would be good turn out great and the leaps I’ve taken with other books aren’t let-downs but really enriched my weekly reading.
And with that long explanatory preface over, this week was one of the best kinds where the no-brainers and favorites definitely delivered along with the leaps.
The top “no-brainer” of the week has got to be Logan. I feel like saying, “I shouldn’t even have to explain why Brian K. Vaughan and Eduardo Risso working on a Wolverine book is awesome,” actually insults your intelligence as readers, but if you need telling, check out what this week’s QB crew had to say about this “Book of the Week.” Quick related side-note: I love referring to a last page cliffhanger by saying, “Holy crap, the last page dropped a bomb!” And this book dropped the bomb, calling out “Little Boy” on the page…
Another book this week I could rattle on all day about is Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s Scalped, but Andy Serwin already took care of that for me, so check his blog to hear why you need to be reading this book. Trust me, grab the first two trades, give’em a read and you will wonder how you’ve been getting by as a comics reader without out.
Now, the “no-brainer” for most that really was a leap for me was this week’s Green Lantern. I was editing columnist Jamie Dunst’s Corps Curriculum roundup—which, as a guy who’s never read much Green Lantern, reads like an update about the denizens of the Mos Eisley Cantina to someone who’s never seen Star Wars with all the alien names being bandied about—and got so freakin’ excited after Laira became a Red Lantern that I think I became a Lantern fan on the spot! Seriously, I read that panel and I could just see the splash page down the line with a rainbow of warriors from different factions meeting on an intergalactic battlefield for a crazier and more colorful Hobbit-esque “Battle of Six Armies!”
Another book I gave a read after editing some related stories was Image’s Dead Space. After giving the ol’ edit to Kevin Mahadeo’s interviews with the writer Antony Johnston and artist Ben Templesmith, I thought, “I like Johnston’s Wasteland and I dig Templesmith’s art on Fell, I’ll give this a shot.” While most versions of video games in other forms of media haven’t been great successes, this book really drew me in and had me itching for more issues and a shot at the game, so much so that I snuck into Thursday Morning Quarterback and tacked that very statement onto the end of the Extra Points section (Ok, ok, I didn’t so much “sneak” as I said, “Hey Andy, did you give Dead Space an Extra Point, cuz I dug that book, man.” He said “no” but I could, to which I said, “I’m doing it!”)! I think I’m most excited for the next issue because while this one didn’t have mass amounts of alien assault or monster mayhem, it was a really creepy laying-out of the story that shows all the little pieces that will inevitably lead to the type of clusterf— that lead to a video game about a guy alone on a monster-filled space station. Plus, eerie ghost scenes like this are just intriguing for a big sci-fi fan like me that loves cross-genre stories…
Now, I’ve got to call out Halloween: Night Dance. As I’ve said in other posts, “Halloween” is my favorite horror franchise and I think that’s because it’s not just gore for gore’s sake, it’s always had a very creepy psychological aspect to it and it took place in a small Illinois town that, being from the outer suburbs of Chicago, I could always look at and go, “Wow, that could be my town!” Plus, that setting always made me a little nostalgic for Halloween night back when I was in High School. Anyway, after editing TJ Dietsch’s interview with writer Stefan Hutchinson—I read and edit a cool story, I like to check out the book and that happened a lot this week—I grabbed last month’s first issue and this week’s #2…
Between the ever unraveling mystery of Lisa with her nightmares and the creepy drawings she keeps getting from a young neighbor kid, the plight of the out-of-towner who’s been hospitalized after hitting a young woman fleeing Michael Myers with his car and seen his wife skewered, things are pretty nuts in this comic…and I like it! The inner monologue keeps changing so reader’s get all of Lisa’s anxiety, all the craziness of Mr. Denial-about-his-wife’s-murder as he contemplates how to rescue his love that readers know is long gone and the terrified thoughts of each new victim, the book builds to that frantic, breakneck thought process of being chased by a silent, sadistic unstoppable killer that the classic “Halloween” movies instilled in viewers.
On top of that, Tim Seeley’s art and the colors by Elizabeth John and Courtney Via are so spot on for fall in the Midwest that as I read the carnival scene in issue #2, I actually got the smell of burning leaves and that rush of first brisk breeze and thought about going to grab a sweater. Great stuff!
That’s this week’s best of the bunch for me! Next week, more comics will be read and more bunches of books highlighted, but keep checking in to The Loudest Monkey all week for more comic talk and feel free to leave me comments over at the my blog’s official thread on the Wizard Universe Message Boards or shoot me an email. Till later on, monkey-lovers!