Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Comic Book Reading...

A bit of a short and sweet one today because sometimes that’s what comic books are, short and sweet reading. Well, I say ‘short and sweet’… Of the two books on show today, both are short but neither of them are particularly sweet. One of these books was never meant to be sweet but the other? I have no idea…

‘The Goon #38’ – Eric Powell (Dark Horse)

Eric Powell’s ‘The Goon’ has the happy knack of generally being a mixture of laughs, pathos and outright tragedy. Every so often though, Powell takes things down a path even darker than normal (‘Chinatown’ for instance) and lays it on really thick with the tragedy. Those are the times when you end up with something like #38; the sad story of Goon’s Aunt Kizzie (the ‘Iron Maiden) and, by extension, the origins of the Goon himself. You know how Kizzie’s story ends but do you know how it began…? It’s no surprise that Kizzie’s early days were as full of hardship as when we first came to know her; a series of events where happiness is either just out of reach or based on an outright lie. It’s those moments in particular where you really feel for Kizzie, leaving her former life for something that was never there in the first place.
Without giving too much away, things only get worse for Kizzie but she never gives up and I couldn’t help but root for her as a result; a very strong lady in more ways than one and a shining point in the Goon’s life, the only person who ever really wanted him.

“When you died I knew there was one less person in this world that really loved me…”

Issues like this are the reason why Powell is an Eisner award winner and I’ll continue reading ‘The Goon’ as long as it runs. A superb story with the usual high standard of artwork and colouring (Is it really the same Dave Stewart? I’m not sure but I think so)

‘Uglies: Shay’s Story’ – Scott Westerfeld (Del Rey)

This on the other hand…? Well, all I can really say that there is a lot of dystopian media out there that does it a lot better…
I haven’t read the other books in this series but the premise is simple and easy to pick up, a little too simple in fact. The whole ‘beauty is only skin deep, it’s who you are that matters’ thing has surely been done to death already and there’s no effort made to be subtle with the message at all. It’s almost insulting to think that stuff like this is being written because someone really believes that teenagers are only after something simple. And another thing, if one group of teens are known as ‘Uglies’, have the artist make them ugly or at the very least different. The manga style employed by Steven Cummings doesn’t really offer a lot of distinction between the two groups… (Although I know you could well argue that’s the whole point, there does need to be a line though)
Very disappointing. 4/10

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