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Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Library Comics

Some more stuff recently read from the library. Exhausted the currently available 20th CENTURY BOYS, not that eager to finish it up. Took a look at the new edition of ADOLF to see if it'll be worth an upgrade. Kind of liked Alan Moore & Co.'s TOP TEN, less so the related books. And not as impressed with the second FATALE book.

Sitting around waiting to be read, THE HEART OF THOMAS, THE UNDERWATER WELDER, THE NEW DEADWARDIANS and some more DC "New 52" books.



20th CENTURY BOYS Vol. 9-19
That finishes up the volumes of Naoki Urasawa's series that the library has so far. It looks like they've been getting volumes about a year after they come out for some reason, so there's a chance they'll get the rest. After the last few books, though, I'm not sure I care. It was really great stuff for a few books in the middle there, but some of the convoluted twists and drawn out storytelling in the last few books just make me tired. A shame, for a while there I was seriously considering buying at least the books the library was missing, maybe even a full set. Now, I'll probably finish if the library eventually gets the rest, but I'm in no real hurry.

Or, alternatively, I noticed that they also have all three volumes of the film adaptation of the series, so maybe I'll take a look at those some day. Not sure how faithful the films are to the plot of the series, but I assume the general idea is the same, and this is a case where compressing the story would be a good thing, eliminating some of the redundancies and red herrings.


MESSAGE TO ADOLF. PART 1
This is the first of two volumes of a new translation of the Osamu Tezuka series ADORUFU NI TSUGU, previously published in English in five volumes as ADOLF. That was the first Tezuka I'd ever read, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I was glad to see it in the library, since I wasn't sure if I wanted to get the new version (one of the reasons I've been reading so much from the library recently is that I'm trying to avoid accumulating stuff I already have in another form and stuff I'll only read once). I still need to compare the two versions. The reproduction of the linework seems a bit better in the new one, while the translation seems to be roughly of the same quality. It is a much nicer looking book. The publisher, Vertical, usually has a table at TCAF, if they have the two books at a decent price it'll be hard for me to say no.


TOP 10. BOOK 1
TOP 10. BOOK 2
TOP 10. THE FORTY-NINERS
SMAX
The four Alan Moore written books of the series he co-created with Gene Ha, about the police force in the city of Neopolis where everyone has super-powers, with Ha providing the art on the first three, and Zander Cannon doing layouts on the first two and pencils on the last one. I liked the main series quite a bit more than I was expecting to, though it was far from perfect. On the top of the list of problems, I thought the (spoiler alert) "Justice League analogues are frauds and child molesters" reveal of one of the long-running subplots was a bit trite. Ha's art was pretty effective, although sometimes I found the level of "chicken fat" (to use the old MAD expression) on the pages was overwhelming, where I would recognize the reference in just enough background elements for it to be a distraction from reading the actual stories, and sometimes distracting from actual story elements I should have been picking up from the art. Didn't like the two spin-offs as much.  THE FORTY-NINERS goes back to a story about the early days of Neopolis, and it's solid but hardly an essential story. SMAX takes two of the characters out of the city and into the homeworld of one of them, where there's a similar level of reference to fictional fantasy characters, and really wasn't too satisfying in the end. I'm slightly tempted by the upcoming oversized reprint combining the four books, which would probably make some of the more obscure background bits clearer, but I'm not sure I liked it quite enough for that.


FATALE. BOOK 2, THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS
Didn't really care for this second book of this on-going Brubaker/Philips crime/horror comic, after a mildly intriguing first book. The bulk of the action moves on to 1970s Hollywood from the 1950s setting of the first book (with the continuing modern day plot showing up in "Interlude" chapters), and I just didn't find any of the new characters as interesting or worth reading about, and Phillips art just seemed a lot looser, less detailed. Don't think I'll be back for a third helping.

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