Tag Archives: comic book

TMNT #9 – Review!

3 May

It goes without saying that I have been VERY critical of IDW’s new TMNT series.  The series presents a take on the TMNT with some new elements, but a foundation that I find built out of the 80s/90s cartoon.  Nothing terrible, but nothing particularly great.

Last issue began a step in the right direction with a more action oriented plot.  This issue, surprisingly, continues the step in the right direction.

The writing by Tom Waltz isn’t actually that bad considering the cookie cutter approach to many of the characters.  His writing, since the start of the series and a couple of issues ago has gained some footing, and I feel like he’s a bit more comfortable with the characters.  The plotting is tight, and we get more rounded depictions of some of the secondary characters.  In addition, there is progress in developing the turtles.  Leonardo is at full force sometimes outshining the other turtles, but, for someone who’s favorite character in all of comics is Leonardo, I don’t have much of a problem with that.  Though, more screen time for Mikey would have been nice even though he’s my least favorite turtle.

The art by Dan Duncan has increasingly gotten better since the first couple of issues.  He takes more risks now and they pay off.  Still, there’s occasionally a complete lack of detail in many of the frames.  This is understandable when the scene is focused on action, but some of the establishing shots could benefit from a few added additions.  Take for instance the scene where Old Hob interrogates Splinter.  Basically, there’s floor, bars for the cage, a computer and desks, with three characters in the panel.  There is so much open space in the panel that the layout of the place wouldn’t really make sense.  The coloring becomes more vibrant halfway through the issue which is slightly distracting and took me out of the story for a bit.

The final splash page reveal is a given considering where this series has been going.  A major character appears with a pretty good redesigned outfit, but, more importantly, one of my favorite female characters of all time is introduced the page before.  This made me incredibly excited.  I’m more interested in her development than the big reveal.  If her story arc is anything like the Mirage series or even the 2k3 cartoon, I will be ecstatic.

Overall, the series is picking up pace.  I’m looking forward to where it goes, and this is a major turn around from 2 issues ago.

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ECCC 2012 part 2!

5 Apr

Yesterday I covered the first part of our ECCC12 experience.  I had to cut it short because the post was getting EXTREMELY long.  Like, I wrote that many words in a 6 or 7 page essay once.  Sure, this was for entertainment, but do you really want to read that much?  PROBABLY NOT IN ONE SITTING.  Here’s part two.  Continue forth for more art, creators, and awesome photos of me with comic-famous people!

Oh, and the best part of that guy’s balloon hat above was that he was pushing a stroller.

I present to you even more Emerald City Comic Con 2012 (click to see more).

Continue reading

Writing Challenge #37: Favorite Store

16 Mar

The one store that I go to consistently about twice a month is the comic book store.  Specifically, I go to Atomic Comics in Tacoma.  Shane and Ashley provide the best service and get to hear me rant about the representations of women in comics.  They have always been there eager to help on all of my essays that I’ve written.  Tracking down Kevin Keller or other comics for me is something they have become a pro at.  Shane’s even let me borrow a trade so I could read it to see if it fit into an essay I was planning.  I didn’t end up using it, but it was great gesture.

Comic Book shops are a place where I feel at home and have a sense of community.  Atomic Comics provides that, and they encourage everyone to come in.  Getting women into comic shops is quite a feat, but they try very hard to appeal to everyone.  They also don’t specifically focus on superheroes with many trades and series from alternative or independent sources.  In addition, they have plenty of kid-friendly comics available.  It’s a great store, and I’ll be sad to see it go when I move away from Tacoma.

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For the whole WRITING CHALLENGE, check out the link!

Writing Challenge: On My Mind

12 Mar

Something that’s always on my mind:

You know how sex is always on the mind of guys?  Replace sex with comics and you’ve got me.  It’s splendid.

If you catch me zoning off while in my room, it’s probably because I’m staring at all of my Ninja Turtles artwork on the walls.

Yeah, they’re on my mind a lot.

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Want to read more of the WRITING CHALLENGE (most of which is not this brief), then check out the link.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Infestation 2 Issue 1 – Review!

8 Mar

The first issue of this crossover by Tristan Jones and Mark Torres delivers everything the title series does not.  I have lamented on the state of direction for the title series (most recently in my review for issue #7), but this issue provides me with so much hope for the future of the TMNT.

First off, I have to admit my bias, I am internet-friends with Tristan Jones often tweeting back and forth with him on movies and other things.  We’ve even shared a few Words with Friends games with one another.  He previously worked on the Turtles with Mirage, and his ‘Tales of the TMNT’ #36 is the issue that got me back into comics.  I also helped in a campaign to get Tristan as the ongoing writer of IDW’s Ninja Turtles series before the writers or artists were announced.  Long story short: I’ve been waiting for this issue for forever.

The premise is the TMNT begin an investigation into weird occurrences happening in NYC particularly within the sewer system.  Strange horrors appear and the Turtles dig deeper into their purpose and meaning.  Donatello, with all of his reasoning, is the one most challenged and most at a loss to what’s going on.

The first thing that this comic reminds me of is a Mike Mignola ‘Hellboy’ comic.  Mark Torres fits perfectly into that vein of horror with his moody lighting and blocky lines.  The lighting is what excels in this issue particularly with the use of flashlights.  Torres and colorist Jay Fotos pull off a technique of hinting at what’s there with the lighting by giving its vague outline which comes as a fresh take on an old technique.  I’m not quite sure what I’m looking at all the time, and that’s a good thing.

Tristan’s writing is wonderful.  He builds suspense, throws in some surprises, and adds a hint of humor to things.  It never comes off as flashy, and he nails all of the Turtles’ personalities right off the bat.  Though, knowing I’m a Turtles fan, I would have liked to see a little bit more development for Leonardo.  (Speaking of being a Turtle fan, Tristan slides in a few references to his previous Mirage work). Nevertheless, this is, at its heart, a comic about Donatello.

Tristan takes a simple premise of the TMNT not knowing what’s going on with weird horror-creatures around and makes this the best TMNT comic IDW has produced yet.  This title being part of a crossover has absolutely no effect to your enjoyment of the comic.  In fact, that should not even be a consideration.  If you miss out on this, then you’ll miss out on an amazing comic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7: Review!

28 Feb

Some of you may be wondering, “what happened to that Turtles guy who did all of the reviews?” after I neglected to post a review for issue #6.  Well, I’d like to reply that it did absolutely nothing for me.  How am I to write on something that I just toss away and forget about?

The last issue was very bad because it was so unremarkable.

This issue just continues the trend of bad dialogue and lack of detail in the art.  Let’s tackle the dialogue/writing through some examples:

“It’s high time he and I get together… [cut to Krang’s menacing, pink, alien body] for a little FACE-TO-FACE.”  Krang says this when he’s angry at Stockman and we discover that Krang is the unfortunate blasphemy of the Utrom idea from Mirage.  Krang mirrors the style of his kids show variant only with a more intimidating host/mechanical body.  I’m not okay with this decision, but I realize that I must get past it in order to fairly review the comic.

“righteous dude” “bustin’ their humps” “that Rat-man digs it.”  Here’s some excerpts from Mikey’s conversation with the pizza boy character.  They’re trying WAY TOO HARD to have hip dialogue.  Do people still talk like this?  Or do comic writers just think people talk like this?

“To what do I owe the pleasure of this unexpected visit, hm?”  Classic line… so classic I’ve seen it in so many other places.  Is it a trope?  Is it!?

“Get showered, slugger – We got a paper to knock out!”  Puns!

Over in the art corner, we have Dan Duncan’s impressive scratchinesss/heavy line working its magic in (most of) the action scenes.  However, when we get a half-splash like on THE VERY FIRST PAGE of a war zone, there’s 2 or so tanks that have been blown up and a few scattered bodies.  THIS IS ONE HECK OF A WAR, isn’t it?  I can see why Krang is soooo worried.

The only thing that saves Duncan’s talking scenes are the colors that add some really nice texture and prettiness despite being so focused on setting up an atmosphere with the tones.  At one point they both fail when I can’t tell if April’s walking into a wall or through a door with a “Ladies” sign hanging up as decoration.

Some nice things:

Despite all of these problems, I was still interested in what happened in the next issue if only because I know there’s going to be more fighting which both the writing and art excel at.  The mousers still intrigue me especially with this variation upon the concept (but how does Old Hob control all of them with a remote that has about 6 buttons on it?).

I’d like to give props to Duncan for giving April a fairly normal body with fairly normal proportions.  She’s not exploited in the least.  It’s sad that I have to applaud this (when this should just be considered normal), but taking notice always helps.

Conclusion:

The writing has the basic plots down which work really well and are quite layered, but the details in the actual dialogue and execution cause the whole thing to end up as a mess.  I really want to like this comic, but it’s hook is getting dull and I’m slipping away.

I just cut 8 titles from my pull list, this may be next.  As a turtles fan, that hurts so much.

Writing Challenge #12: Something I Really, Really Want

19 Feb

Something I really, really want:

I have finished my collection of the primary TMNT artists with Leonardo pieces.  Now, I’m looking to get original artwork from between the covers on some of my favorite comics.  Seeing as this is the TMNT, it is much harder to get actual pages from these comics because 1.) In the grand scheme of things, there have only been about 150 turtles comics that I actually care about 2.) Many creators were involved with making all of those comics.  So, tracking this stuff down will be no easy task.

I mentioned in my previous post about my admiration for Leonardo and him meditating for 50 years to get over his partner’s death.  Lucky for me, pages of Tales of the TMNT #41 are available through a French-Canadian website.  Once I get money, I aim to purchase page 16 of the comic which shows all 4 of the turtles in their future iterations.  This page is really special because, in 3-4 panels it tells a complete story.

So, comic art is on my “really, really want” list.

Oh, and getting accepted into grad school for the University of Utah would be nice.

And a $1000.

And to bring Greg Rucka to talk on my campus (which I’m in the process of working out now).

And to meet a few people.

And to fight a dragon with only my teeth and win and it will be filled with licorice sticks and I will be glad.

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Check out the WRITING CHALLENGE in its entirety by following the link!